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Weapons, Weapons Everywhere! (Band Weapon Training)


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Even if he was no longer a part of the Band, Mehrin reveled in the march. It had been so long since the Band had properly mobilized, and Mehrin could see the lack of practice in how they moved. No conservation of motion, no order to the motion. However, the Asha'man that were accompanying the Band were a saving grace. The Band would march for several days, then stop for a few days while the Asha'man, accompanied by a small bodyguard, explored the lay of the land. When a suitable location was found, the Asha'man would gather and open gateways to the location, allowing the Band to stream through the gateways. It meant less order, but more speed. More importantly, there was no need for supply trains.


In fact, Mehrin wondered why the Band was marching. Probably one of Salla's ideas.


Mehrin had been surprised to find Salla Alliatar of the Infantry elevated to command of the Band. She had always been capable, though. In fact, she had been far more competent than Mehrin. It was why he had promoted her into his place as Captain General of the Infantry. Her rather cold greeting to Mehrin when he arrived probably had to do with the paperwork he had left behind. It was probably why she had sent him here. In fact, Mehrin knew it was why she had sent him here.


"You were useless as a Commander, and I have never said otherwise. Maybe training some of these soldiers will be more to your abilities." The tone of voice had allowed no argument, and Mehrin would not have offered one. His ability to command had not been called into question, but the ability to command was not the same as the ability to be a commander. Mehrin knew that her words bore the ring of truth. So he had left her tent and begun arranging to have what he would need.


Mehrin was unsure of what he would be sent to train, so he had gathered several training weapons, ranging from knives and swords to quarterstaves and maces. A nearby clearing served for his training grounds. Several tables had been brought for the weapons, and two water barrels had been set on the edge of the clearing.


As the sun rose, the trainees approached, some alone and some with friends. Mehrin stood in the middle of the clearing, watching them approach, his arms crossed against his chest. For some, it was the first time that they had ever seen Mehrin, though he suspected that stories about him still circulated around the camp. And here he was, wearing a vest over his bare torso, covered in scars, and glowering like an oncoming storm.


When the last of the trainees arrived, Mehrin began. "I don't know the vast majority of you. I know one or two of you. None of that matters. Here, you are all one thing: useless. It is my job to see that this state of uselessness does not continue." As he spoke, Mehrin approached the line of trainees, then started a slow walk from one end of the line to the other, looking each trainee in the face. "For those of you who don't know, I am Mehrin Deathwatch. You may have heard of me. I know that you are all at various levels of training, and it is my task improve you, whatever your ability."


Walking back to the middle of the line, Mehrin pointed at a random trainee. "You! What is your name, rank, division, and weapon of choice?"


OOC: Okay, folks, let's get this going.

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The morning air was fresh and damp and the world was green everywhere Arinth looked. The sun was shining down casting everything in a golden glow and some kind of bird was singing in the air. Arinth hated all of it. Every single bit. He hated being sober and he hated being awake before the sun had reached its peak. He wasn’t very fond of all the marching the band had been doing recently. Nobody had told him that when you were in the infantry you had to march so light forsaken much.


He was a corporal now though and that meant more responsibility and that didn’t just mean out drinking the privates and starting fights in taverns. Nobody ever told him much of what he was suppose to do but he figured he was suppose to learn the sword a little better and start thinking a little more clearly. Most people seemed to think thinking clearly was a lot easier without a few mugs of ale with breakfast. Arinth hated those people too.


When Arinth looked around he realized everyone else was lining up for a class. He had suspected that was when most of the training was done. He patted himself on the back. He frowned when he saw the man standing in front of him with only a vest to cover his chest.


Is he trying to impress me by showing me all the scars hes received over the years? Because, burn me, its working pretty well. I may have picked up a few scars against the Aiel but nothing compared to him. Wouldn’t want to get in a scar competition or much of any other competition with him either. That is one tough…


Arinth realized suddenly that while he had been thinking the man had been talking to the group. And it just so happened that for some reason the man’s finger was pointed at Arinth.


I knew I should have had a drink.


I’m sorry sir? Arinth said with a confused look on his face. “What were you saying?”


Arinth wasn’t sure by the man’s look if he thought he was dealing with the dumbest trainee in the land or if he wanted to rip his head off. More than likely it was both. Arinth wished he had at least caught the man’s name. He always lost his attention at the worst time. He scratched his dark beard and rubbed his broken nose.


“Oh yes, I can do that.” Arinth said when Mehrin repeated himself. After a minute of silence he realized that everyone was still waiting for him to answer the question. By then he couldn’t even remember every part of it. The man had asked like four things at once.


“Arinth, corporal, infantry….” He couldn’t remember the last one.


“You can bet his weapon of choice is not his brain.” Someone shouted.


Arinth turned around but couldn’t see who did it. “Come forward and say that. I’ll open up your head and stuff your brains down your throat.” He turned back around. “Sorry sir, looks like you are dealing with a whole pack of idiots today.”


OOC: Even though he didn't answer the question his weapon of choice is just the standard sword for the infantry.

Edited by Arinth
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Sitting on the ground outside his tent, Arkin whittled away at a piece of wood he was forming into a passable flute-he'd given his last one to his old master when he left, leavign Arkin somewhat lacking in the woodwind area. His hands worked on automatic to shape the wood and he hummed to himself as he glanced around the camp. He'd arrived the night before and was as yet still trying to find something useful to do with himself and feel out the Band and the camp.


Despite the short time he'd spent there, Arkin was already quite comfortable. He had a bed, a job, an income and most importantly something to do, which already put the Band well ahead of many other groups Arkin had partaken of over the years. However, the slim traveller did not yet know anyone else in the Band and had begun to feel that despite his superior abilities in the areas of thieving and running away, and infinitely superior vocal cords, he was finding himself lacking in weaponry skills.


Here it was fortunate that Arkin was a simple man. If he wanted a flute, he made one. If he was happy, he sang. If he was cold, he lit a fire.


And so, when he saw younger Band members congregating for a lesson in weapons, it was a simple decision to stand, throw his half-made flute into his tent, take a swig of ale from his flask and join the crowd of trainees.


The man that stood out at the front of the class intrigued Arkin. Muscled, scarred. Arkin's first reaction, ingrained from years of followign fight or flight instincts, was to turn tail and walk back to his flute, but he stood fast, taking in the other trainees and the man himself. He looked as though he'd had a few stories in his past. Arkin nodded as the man introduced himself as Mehrin Deathwatch. A good name for a story, that one.


Not bothering to hold in a grin at the apparent discomfort and tension the other trainees seemed to be enduring, Arkin took another swig from his flask before tucking it behind his belt. Don't drink too much, you'll fall over in a training session-not such a good idea whilst holding a knife.


Letting out a laugh as Arinth slowly responded to Mehrin, Arkin chuckled loudly as the man next to him threw an insult at the distracted corporal.

Feeling the tension rise as Arinth responded violently, Arkin released his flask from his belt and threw it over the line of trainees towards Arinth. "Catch and relax, my friend." he said, using years of experience as a singer and storyteller to project his voice over the group. "Save the brain bashing for the actual training session."

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With several rapid strides, Mehrin seized the thrown flask from the ground where it struck, and poured the contents onto the ground. "One of the earlier commanders of the Band was a drunk, and the Band suffered for it. I know for a fact that he has stopped drinking, but he will always consider himself a drunk. If I see anybody with alcohol on this training ground, I will personally drag them to their superiors and demand a flogging." Looking into the crowd towards the offending thrower, a man that he had never met, Mehrin added, "Am I perfectly clear?"


There was a chorus of loud affirmatives, and Mehrin nodded in satisfaction. "Now, continue the introductions."


After the last trainee had given the details for which Mehrin had asked, Mehrin said, "Pair off. I will be coming around to provide specific details for your choice of weapon. Arinth, you and the flask thrower come with me."


The crowd dispersed, each taking up weapons similar to their preferred weapon. When they were in the clear, Mehrin asked, "Okay, you two, tell me how much practice you have had with your weapons. I won't ask if you could kill a man because I assume that you could easily kill yourselves."

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As Arinth was looking for someone to punch for their big flapping lips he heard the voice of an angel and turned to see a flask floating in the air towards him. It caught the morning sunlight and looked just like a gift from the creator. Arinth stood staring at it with a grin on his face forgetting that he was suppose to catch it. It thudded to the ground nearby but before Arinth could regain his senses and grab it the man in charge strode forward and grabbed it.


Deathwatch started laying into the trainees about the flask and alcohol and how useless they all were. At least that is what Arinth was assuming he was doing it. He was used to being verbally assaulted as part of the infantry and the trick was to stand straight and stare ahead. He tuned out most of what was being said. The problem now was that he tuned people out more and more often when he should be listening and then had to guess about what he was suppose to go. He wasn’t a very good guesser it had turned out.


This wasn’t just an infantry training session though and not everyone appeared to be standing straight and looking ahead. Arinth took that opportunity to look around and see who it was that had through the flask. He would have to find the man and thank him and apologize for what had happened. It was a terrible thing to witness.


Arinth started listening to Deathwatch again in time to hear his own name called. Silently cursing his luck he followed the man.


“Okay, you two, tell me how much practice you have had with your weapons. I won’t ask if you could kill a man because I assume that you could easily kill yourselves.” Mehrin asked. He didn’t sound very happy. Arinth looked around. Everyone had paired off but since he was standing with Mehrin and Mehrin was talking to him everyone was staring at him. At least they had an enjoyable view as they waited.


“I fought against the Aiel and others sir.” Arinth replied. “I can hold the sword and can swing it real hard and everything. Usually when I get in fights it is fist fights with those idiots in the Cavalry. Though sometimes we get bored in the infantry from not having a good fight and have to fight each other. Haven’t fought any medics or scouts though. I was tempted to punch a medic once when he was stitching me up. He kept laughing for no reason.” Arinth realized he was rambling and stopped. “I’ve seen better men fight with the sword though and I don’t like the thought of not being able to hold my own against someone like that so I guess I want to learn.” He added and then stopped again, this time he stayed quiet.

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Arkin grinned as he saw Arinth's face light up at the sight of a flask sailing towards him, but that grin quickly fell into a horrified frown as Deathwatch Storyname marched over and upended Arkin's alcohol.


Arkin watched with wide eyes as the glorious liquid that belonged in the stomach of him or some other man equally as needy, splashed into the dirt, mixing and swirling to make alcoholic mud that quickly bore the imprint of Deathwatch's boot as he stepped in it.


This was where Arkin got rather uncomfortable. He wasn't used to functioning in a group, and he didn't quite know how this man was going to react. His old Master would have cuffed him upside the head and made him train until he fell over. But then, his old Master had been a man of few words. However, when he did speak, those words were usually worth listening to, so as Mehrin Deathwatch began to talk, Arkin gave him his full attention, despite the way his eyes kept wandering to the flask the man still held in his hand, wondering whether he'd ever get it back.


Deathwatch's eyes suddenly drilled into his, and Arkin shrank back. Now that was a look he recognised.

Do I make myself perfectly clear?

Arkin nodded quickly and tried to look meek: it really didn't take much effort.


When his turn came, Arkin quickly murmured "Arkin Fletcher, Private, Scouts and Knives.", but his murmur was still a lot louder than your average man's voice.


However, his brief attempt at not drawing attention to himself was quickly cut short as 'the flask thrower' and Arinth were called over the Deathwatch's side. Ah, so he was the flask thrower now.

Listening to Arinth's reply, Arkin couldn't hold back a grin. He did quite like Arinth, he liked how he rambled and was always shocked when he noticed.


"I've not ever been in an army or an organised fighting unit except for working with my Master. My old Master, that is. Anyway, we got into enough scrapes over the years that I know how to use my knives pretty well, but I don't have anywhere near the experience or the skill of most of the men around here."

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Yriel was running late, still not used to running to somebody else's schedule again it annoyed him greatly that he'd used to be so punctual in the old days. Then again in the old days he'd never imagined himself a member of the infantry, admittedly an odd infantryman with a crossbow on his back rather than a shield or an axe and being well read. He walked into the training lines slowly trying to remain hidden from the scarred man at the front. He got into position just in time to see the flask being poured out, he could all most sense the despair in the men as the liquid, he snorted under his breath and smirked.


As the mass paired off, Yriel matched with a man he'd seen a few times before. It was clear from the way the man held a sword, admittedly a training sword, he was much more used to it that Yriel was. Grimacing he took a defensive stance, holding his sword low. If he was going to score any hits on this man, they would have to be counters and luck ones at that. As the first blows rained in he took experimental sideways steps trying to find a gap anywhere in the other man's defence. Trying for a perceived gap Yriel was rewarded with a blow across his arms.


"Too slow and obvious, your defence is solid though" His partner commented as Yriel stepped back a few paces to gain some space. It was then he realized how much better than him his partner was than he knew was wrong with his position. He must be a sergeant Yriel guessed. Swinging in to the left Yriel feigned a twist but stabbed directly forward. and was rewarded from with a satisfying grunt from the sergeant as it connected.


"To obvious was I" Yriel smirked and moved back again and retook his defensive stance.

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As he was about to start training the two men that he had singled out, Mehrin noticed a man run into the training area, then immediately pick a fight with one of the other trainees. After the man struck a blow, Mehrin yelled, "You! Latecomer! Come here!" As the man approached, Mehrin looked at Arinth and said, "You will be working with him. You have a bit more experience, so I expect you to be able to do some work with him on the basics of the sword. I will check in on you in a little bit. Work on his footwork first, then do basic attack and defense."


With that, Mehrin stepped away and took up a basic guard stance across from the other man. Drawing one of his training knives, Mehrin said, "Draw your weapons. You say you're not the worst man in the world with a knife. I'd like to see that. Let's see how you fare. I want you to circle. Do not attack me yet; I want to see how you handle yourself."


OOC: Basics time. Yriel and Arinth can go at it a bit without me posting. Bard, we'll do a bit of back-and-forth posting. There will be combat eventually, but Mehrin has to see what he's working with.

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Arinth watched as a Yriel rushed to join the rest of the group for the morning training. His jaw tightened. The boy had better not be drinking without him he thought. Of course he was suppose to be a better role model. He was suppose to be mature and blah blah blah boring. That is what it came down to. He had to be boring.


For some reason that annoyed him and he felt like fighting. It was a shame it had to be Yriel that had to stand against him with his blood heating. The boy was not so bad as to deserve a beating. He knew how to hold his sword too. Arinth would be able to beat him more often than not but he wouldn’t humiliate the boy by any means.


“Work on his footwork first.” Death snapped.


What was there to work on with footwork? He looked at Yriel uncertainly. “I’m not sure what he means by footwork boy. Unless he means for me to teach you how to stand on them which you appear to be doing well enough on your own. I guess it comes down to three things.” He settled into a steady, firm stance. “This is how you stand when you mean to hold a piece of ground against the enemy.” He began moving forward, steadily and sure footed towards Yriel. “This is how you advance. There is no retreat, do you understand me? Those are your brothers next to you. Don’t you ever let me catch you running or dying and leaving their flank exposed. Do you understand?”


The sword work was the brutal part. Each man gave and received several bruises on arms and chest, thighs and Arinth even took a smart shot to his forehead that had the world spinning for a few moments. Yriel proved he could stand firm. He advanced at a steady pace and fought with a fierce effort that Arinth respected. By the end Arinth’s blood had cooled and Yriel had weathered the storm.


He wasn’t sure how much time had passed by the time a break was called for but he knew he was glad. He hadn’t felt so beat up since he had trained against old Daruun. That man had been a bear. “You did well boy. I might not knock you in the back of the head if I find you standing next to me on the battlefield.”


Arinth focused on regaining his breathing as Mehrin worked with Arkin. Arkin was fast and shifty and a small target to be sure but Arinth had never seen a better fighter than Mehrin and doubted he ever would. He listened as Mehrin shouted out instructions and corrections to Arkin. He didn’t really like knives himself but he helped to know what to expect from someone else who might fight you.


“How do you feel Yriel?” He asked turning to the young infantryman. “Basic attack and defense is well pretty basic. You swing and duck and dodge and thrust. It all gets pretty ugly on the battlefield. You forget half what you learn and the ground turns muddy with blood under your boots. Trust your instincts and your brothers. Watch their backs and they’ll have yours. Don’t advance ahead of them or turn and run. If you are commanded to withdraw you do so in an orderly manner. Half of it still comes down to luck. I’ve seen good men killed for no good reason. A boot slips, a sword catches glare from the sun, a knife breaks.” He trailed off. “Damn I could use a drink about now.”

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Arkin's attention had wandered though part of his mind was fixed on Mehrin as he watched a new man rush in to join the group. Ooh, a tardy fella, maybe this would get him out of Deathwatch's bad books. Deathwatch...more like Death to Alcohol. Arkin held in a laugh at his own terrible joke. It was early, Arkin was impressed with himself if he came up with anyhting at this stage.


Arkin's attention shfited back onto his immediate surroundings when he felt Arinth move away. Eyes widening, Arkin found himself alone, facing the most dangerous man he'd ever seen in his life. A man who wasn't exactly his greatest fan at the moment. Brilliant! Arkin was pretty sure his gulp was audible as he did as instructed and pulled his knives out from their place on his thick belt-he had two, one differentiated from the other by thickness. He called the other his thin belt.


For the second time that day, Mehrin's eyes stabbed at him and Arkin did as he was told and began to circle.

Light, he was not nearly drunk enough for this...


Arkin knew he could handle himself well in terms of footwork at least. He was agile and fast and acrobatic-you didn't come by those skills without gaining some foot-confidence. He could defend pretty well and he could throw with usually rather lethal aim at certain distances, but the whole, attacking thing was what Arkin wasn't so confident about. The footwork, he could do, he could circle for years, as long as he never had to attack this man made for fighting that stood glaring at him. Arkin eyed the training knife with distrust and continued his circling. He could circle without signs of fear or worry or fatigue despite what might be coming-you could hardly be a good performer if you screwed up the first song because you were worrying about the second.


He just hoped to the Light that he never reached that second song...

Edited by The Bard Babe
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Yriel held in a grimace as he was paired with Arinth, the man had fought aiel, compared to that Yriel mas as well have been holding a teaspoon. However he paid attention as Arinth spoke explained concepts to him, he'd never fought as part of battle lines, ashes, he hadn't even seen a battle so most of what the man said seemed to make sense if for honour and comradeship if nothing else. He nodded to show he understood, not that he could contemplate leaving people standing exposed to an enemy and a much more likely death.


As they began sparring Yriel could feel his muscle jarring as the blows reign in, still he held firm. When he didn't his reward was the inevitable pain and bruising of a solid strike, the bruising reminded him to not get hit again at the same time as making oh so much more likely. Still he was presently surprised whenever he managed through luck he was sure, to land a hit on Arkin, once he even accidentally broke what he understood of sparring etiquette and landed a blow on Arinth's head. He noticed as well that Arinth's blows were becoming steadily less vicious, he assumed that the man must have had something to work through.


As the break was called it took most of Yriel's effort to stop himself just slumping to the ground. "Wait till we're in the lines then decide if you feel the same." He said smirking in reply.


He turned to see what Arkin was looking at, now his pairing didn't seem so bad. Watching Mehrin put Arkin through his paces was almost as tiring as the fighting himself had been. They were both so much quicker than he was but then again that was why Yriel wasn't a scout. Still at some time he'd have to work out how to fight people who weren't just infantry.


"As Tired as ever been" Was all he could reply to Arkin's question, he remembered being taught the basics by the guards of the household a good few years ago, from his perspective anyway. pondering Yriel thought about how well he would do in battle, would he have enough luck to get through when he met a properly trained man over steel in anger.


"The only thing you'll be drinking while Mehrin over there is watching, is water. Your body may die from the shock." Yriel maintained a deadpan face for the end of the sentence, he wouldn't really be all that surprised with the amount Arkin drank. He did get the feeling that despite the fact Mehrin was sparring he was watching the pair of them like hawk.

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"Very good," Mehrin said to Arkin as he began to circle opposite of the man. "Your footwork is good enough that I don't have to work on that with you. Few recruits ever hear anybody say that." Shifting the knife to his left hand, Mehrin continued to speak. "You will never perfect footwork, though, so I encourage you to always keep it in mind while training. You hold the knife a little tightly, though. Keep a firm grip, but not a tight one. The small movements that you can make by just shifting your fingers can be as deadly as the motions caused by your wrists and arms."


When Arkin looked comfortable in his motions, Mehrin lunged forward suddenly, gauging the other man's reaction. He had timed the movement when his legs were crossing over each other. The other man's recovery was clumsy, but he kept his feet. "Excellent balance, though I should never have taken you by surprise. I think you know better than that." With the final piece in place, Mehrin said, "Now, go on the offensive. I need to see how you actually fight. Attack!"

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Arkin's nerves grew as he continued to circle, though they did not affect his footwork in the slightest. This was rewarded by a wondrous line of praise from Mehrin. Mehrin lived and thrived off praise, he needed it. However, the praise on his footwork made him more nervous about his offence. It was a vicious circle!


"You hold the knife a little tightly though. Keep a firm grip, not a tight one."


Nodding, Arkin automatically loosened his grip. Tight grip-evidence of nerves. Growling at himself audibly, Arkin berated his body for allowing nerves to control it. Nerves were never good, but it had been a long time since Arkin had been nervous about anything. Allowing his body to settle, Arkin found himself a little too comfortable, as was proven when Mehrin lunged forward. Arkin's crossed legs were in the perfect position to spin and run in the opposite direction, and the ingrained reaction quickly took over. It took his mind a moment to catch up and firmly take ahold of his fleeing legs, which resulted in Arkin stopping halfway through a spin and letting out a loud yelp as he almost lost his balance as a result. He would not run away. He could not run away anymore. That's why he was learning how to use those weapons-when he wasn't running from guards and Arinth didn't have his back, Arkin needed to be able to stand his ground, not just flip off onto a roof and bolt.




Huh. Well, there was a big difference between not running away and actually attacking. Arkin's acrobatic mind automatically looked around, taking in his environment. No trees, no lumps, nothing to jump on or over, nothing to give him a height advantage. Just flat ground and other people. Well, maybe he'd end up using other people as acrobatic tools later on, but for now, there was nothing to do but to run forward with a yell and allow his attacking experience to take over his body.


He now had to rely on his speed, which would be his only advantage given his much smaller size and the lack of opportunity for acrobatic manoeuvres.

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Arinth slapped Yriel on the back and stood back up hefting his sword as he did so. “Alright, break is over. I hope you are ready to get serious now. Merry Deathman won’t be happy if he thinks I am going easy on you.”


If the young infantry private was surprised he hid it well. Arinth remembered how his first training sessions had gone. He still had nightmares. Daruun had made him run laps with huge rocks on his back. Each lap the man had laughed as he piled more and more weight on his back. It had hardened him and made him mentally strong. Pain was not important. He felt it and noted it and then tucked it away and kept doing what he had to do.


When the Yriel was back on his feet Arinth began talking again. “Alright, when you are in the infantry you need to know how to use your strength to your advantage and make sure that it does not become a weakness. If you ever end up in battle more than likely you will end up facing other infantry. That means mean as big as you and I though probably not as good natured considering they probably don’t get to drink the same quality of ale. That might not be so bad except I swear every time their officers feel the need to tell them this just to piss them off.”

Arinth realized that he was rambling again and stopped. He was suppose to train the young man not bore him to death. He was also working up a good thirst now that he had mentioned ale. It was better to stop that train of thought.


“Alright, lets attack. Use your strength and size but don’t overuse and exhaust yourself too. Focus on points of weakness. Its not some long drawn out glorified duel you are having out there. You’ll get one hack at the man in front of you so you better make it count of you will be holding your guts in your hands and looking up at the sun.”

Yriel nodded and began to attack. Arinth called out instructions. “Good, yes cut, slash, thrust, use your shoulder. If you can knock the man down hes as good as dead. Step forward and let the man behind you do the rest.”


Arinth took the battering the young man gave him, hammering down blows that became more and more focused and accurate. Arinth couldn’t help but grin. He would have patted himself on the back but didn’t. Yriel would probably land two or three good shots in the time it took to give himself a proper pat.


After a time Arinth raised his hand and the two stopped. He brushed the hair back out of his eyes and dragged an arm against his brow. It was dripping with sweat.


“Take a breather. When you are ready we’ll see how well you can defend now that you can barely hold your arms up.” Arinth smiled. He wouldn’t leave him too beaten and bruised.

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Yriel stood up and stretched out his back before turning to face Arinth again. He mentally sighed a break was only a gap between two things so it was inevitable that he'd have to start again. He nodded his way through the large man's rambling, basically be strong but don't get slow. The second was basics as Yriel began flowing into his attacks listening to the voice of experience as he did so , but all the time trying not to think and just move when he felt there may be gap and despite Arinth's warnings to to over exert himself he could feel himself tiring as he kept raining blow in, trying to give his opponent as little time as possible to move to the next defensive position. A rather large sweat drop stung his his as it dropped of his brow, he'd never been so glad that he kept his hair tied back. His hands were become sore from the constant shifting of position and wear on the un-calloused skin. He wished he'd spent more time developing harder skin now.


Yriel let out a hard sigh of relief as he was offered a breather, his determination was set hard to learn but his body felt it was about to seize up on him. He couldn't hold a wince of pain as Arinth mentioned him now going on the defence. Light becoming a soldier was going to kill him. He supposed the training made sense though who was to say the tide of a battle wouldn't turn against the band and they'd have to change from a regular attack to a quick defence. His lips had dried out and he couldn't really summon the breath to muster any response. However he stood up back straight and set his jaw, managing to hold the blade up with the shake only showing at the very tip of the blade. He kept to the balls of the feet moving quickly as the blows started coming in, each one seemingly stronger and faster than the last to him. He almost tripped over his own feet moving backwards and was rewarded with a sharp jab to the ribs, A grunt of air escaped his lips as he grimaced. The pain making him more determined keeping the sword in a steady defence position and only getting shouldered to the dirt a mere handful of times. He was however slightly ashamed at the fact he couldn't counter a single blow that was raining in. Eventually the storm of attack relented and Yriel found himself looking with glazed eyes at Arinth still waiting for a blow that failed to materialize. It was only then he realised that the fool man was smiling at him. It was then when his legs decided to get a rather painful stitch along the muscle forcing Yriel to drop to one knee and massage the leg. Not the most professional thing to do.


Looking up at the older man he smirked

"So how did I do at defence?"

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As Mehrin unconsciously sidestepped the screaming man who had charged directly at him, he couldn't help but smirk. "Recruit," he said, resuming the circling pattern that was second nature to him, "every single trainee that I have faced has done what you just did. It happens so often that I have even come up with a name for it. I call it 'suicide by stupidity.' You are fortunate that this is not an actual fight; you would be dead right now if it was." As the circle continued, Mehrin continued to lecture. "A knife fighter never dashes wildly at his opponent. You will be in close quarters with your enemy. If that enemy is holding a sword, then you have to be even better than if he is holding a knife, and I guarantee you that you will fight more swordsmen than you will knife fighters."


Mehrin sighed as he continued circling. "You are not very practiced in actually attacking with those knives of yours, are you? Very well, then. I will start. Let's see how well you defend." With that, Mehrin took several rapid steps, closing the distance between him and Arkin. The man was smaller than he was, and probably a touch faster. However, Mehrin's experience would be more than a match for that, but that was not the point. It took a conscious effort, but Mehrin slowed down his first strike, a sweeping horizontal strike that would open up the other man's throat. The other man's speed was obviously a factor in his defense; he quickly ducked under the blow, bringing his own blade in a similar horizontal strike aimed at Mehrin's guts. Mehrin's free hand caught the other man's wrist, and with a little effort, Mehrin shoved the man off-balance.


Recovering quickly, Arkin began to circle again. "You have remarkable balance," Mehrin said. "I didn't expect you to stay on your feet." Closing, Mehrin continued to speak. "A knife fight is not generally a long fight. It is a series of rapid strikes by both fighters, each trying to counter their opponent while trying to find an opening to finish the fight. If you find yourself in a pitched battle with another knife fighter, then you are doing something wrong." Again Mehrin closed the gap between them, striking with a slow flurry of blows. This time, one of his strikes broke through. Stepping back, Mehrin let Arkin catch his breath.


"Now," Mehrin said, brandishing his training knife in front of him, "we go again."


OOC: Try to describe a series of attacks against Mehrin. Part of the reason that we do weapons training is so you can get comfortable with writing combat posts. Given the military bend of our particular corner of the PSW, it's kind of necessary.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Arinth rained down blow after blow but Yriel’s sword was always there to turn his away. He tried to be creative and unpredictable but either he was unoriginal or the young man was very perceptive. More than likely it was a combination of both.


He was breathing heavy and his arms felt like they were about to fall off. His blows became slower and weaker until finally he paused. From the looks of things Yriel was pretty exhausted as well.


He smiled and offered a hand to pull the man back up to his feet when they stopped. “Your defense was decent. We’ll keep working and hopefully both my attacking and your defending will improve.


He found his seat again to watch the others around him train. Most of the other infantrymen in the group were taking a rest too and taking the time to drink. Most of the scouts were busy dancing around each other with daggers but rarely engaging. Arinth turned away to try to hide his contempt. Knives were good for cutting vegetables and that was about all as far as he was concerned.


He reevaluated his feelings when his eyes fell back on Mehrin. Watching the way the man moved and used his knives he was reminded of how dangerous they could be. Of course Mehrin wasn’t the average man by any means. He could probably kill a man with a spoon and a broom.


He dragged his arm across his forehead. He was sweating like crazy. He took a drink of water, swished it around and spat it out. The next mouthful he swallowed. “I hope you realize Mehrin was probably taking it easy on us today. By the end of tomorrow he’ll probably have us willing to jump off a cliff to escape him. It will be fun.” Arinth grinned.

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Arkin barely held back a laugh. Wow. He was the same as the others. Predictable. He had no idea when the last he’d been called predictable was. Light, he didn’t think that he had ever been predictable in his life. Maybe that was why he got on so well with the so blatantly straight-forward Arinth.

The circling continued, a good thing for Arkin. He cocked his head to the side slightly, taking in Mehrin’s words. He knew that information from his old Master, he just wasn’t so good at implementing it. Alright, he was bloody terrible at implementing it.

Mehrin’s sigh had Arkin itching to rub the back of his neck, but he resisted, adjusting his grip on his knives as the older man lunged forward to test his defence. With another yelp, Arkin ducked the blow before his brain could catch up, sending a sweeping horizontal blow at Mehrin’s guts, imitating the man as closely as he could.

He found his wrist caught and held with great ease by the big trainer. A brief shove from the man was automatically coped with by Arkin with no conscious effort on his part, which resulted in some eyebrow raising when Mehrin commented on his remarkable balance. Arkin’s grin at the praise was cut short by the flurry of blows that followed, leaving him breathless and his brain focussed completely on the training blades.

His muscles straining from over-use and his grip sweaty, Arkin took a deep breath and tugged off a shirt, leaving him in a light shirt that was much cooler.

“Now, we go again.” Mehrin ordered.

His mouth setting into a determined line, Arkin ducked away from Mehrin’s blows, by then somewhat used to them. For a moment, he allowed himself to simply duck and weave and occasionally throw a strike back at the older man, getting into the feel of the spar. Every time he got used to it, he felt the speed increase up until the point where Arkin’s mind had once more completely focussed itself on the fight.

Mehrin’s knife flew upwards from the level of Arkin’s waist to slash at his throat. Arkin brought up his knife to knock the blow aside and spun to the side so Mehrin’s arm was in front of him. Feeling his hair flash around to whip Mehrin in the face, Arkin let out a laugh, rewarded by a punch in the back from the older man that sent him flying into a forward roll. He flew back to his feet and sent a low blow towards Mehrin’s stomach. He blocked it with his own knife and Arkin flicked his other blade towards the trainer’s ribs. Mehrin blocked it as well, shoving it out of the way and stepping forward, refusing to release Arkin’s first blade and therefore forcing Arkin backwards. The smaller man relied on fast feet to not stumble as he worked to block the series of blows coming from Mehrin’s spare hand, flying quickly towards his face, his neck, ribs, thigh, stomach. About half of them connected as Arkin’s movement was thoroughly restricted and his fighting being done with only one hand.

Fighting through the panic in his brain, Arkin shifted his weight, once, twice, thrice, and whipped his arm out of Mehrin’s forceful block, bringing both of his blades up simultaneously to cross around either side of Mehrin’s and twist it out of his grip.

Deep shock took over Arkin’s senses and he could do nothing but stare at the training knife caught between his two blades. In some corner of his mind, he knew that he should move and do something, he knew that Mehrin had been going easy on him and that if he had wanted to keep ahold of that knife, then there was no way that Arkin would have it, but his reflexes were too distracted to react before a swift punch snapped into his face and threw him reeling to the floor.


Arkin didn't mind however, as he knew somewhere in his pain-clouded brain that he had just discovered his signature move.

Edited by The Bard Babe
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Yriel gladly took Arinth's hand and stood up as the pain in his leg quickly lessoning with his basic massage. However once he was upright he continued to stretch his legs and muscles, forcing out knots before they formed. He couldn't see how he'd defend if the older man's defence got any faster or more ingenious, but he supposed that was because he was inexperienced and couldn't see Arinth's next move, at least not consciously.


"Hopefully, I won't have too many broken bones by the time my defence is good enough." He said twisting his neck to work out a kink that had probably developed on one of his many trips to the flat of his back during the sparring.


Yriel sipped at a water-skin still a bit short on breath to take down the fluid in the gulps he wanted. Looking round Yriel was surprised by the variation in fighting styles and weapons. He wasn't sure he'd ever seen so many weapons in one place, admittedly training weapons but still. He supposed it was a result of an army of different nationalities. He was beginning to understand why the band was such an effective fighting force. Light training had nearly killed him, so the heavy training probably would. Watching the dagger fighters and spear-man reminded Yriel he'd probably ought to put in some hours on the range with his crossbow.


Looking at the sky Yriel wished a cloud would appear to cover up the almost offensively hot sun. The dust kicked up by the training clung to the sweaty of his arm and neck, and his hair clumped and knotted together, all in all he was looking rather the worse for wear despite as Arinth insisted on reminding him that this was only the beginning of Mehrin's campaign to toughen up the soldiers. He could not by the creator understand why Arinth was smiling.

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  • 4 weeks later...

After another go-round with the scout, Mehrin said, "Enough, take a break." As he turned away to see how some of the other trainees were doing, Mehrin heard the other man drop heavily to the ground, causing him to smile. It was always fun to see the new blood in their early training. Mehrin cast his eye across the clearing, mentally calculating how many newcomers there were. It was a surprisingly small number; most of the men and women training were maintaining well, while the scattered new blood were sitting or lying on the ground, gasping for breath. Mehrin could see one man crouched over and heaving as if he had just thrown up. Somewhere, a sergeant working under Mehrin's supervision was doing his job well.


Mehrin's casual stride brought him to one of the few men that he recognized, the corporal that he had set to work with the new blood. The two were taking a breather, which caused a cruel little smile to come over Mehrin's face. Now, we can't be having that, can we? he thought as he approached the two. Looking from one man to the other, Mehrin casually shrugged his shoulders loose again and took the training knife from his belt. "Fletcher!" he yelled at the man with whom he had been working. "Over here on the double!"


As the man worked his way through the crowd, Mehrin gestured at the two men. "You're both infantry, so you know you'll likely be on the front lines. I doubt you've had too much training in small-group tactics. We'll be remedying that in just a moment." Mehrin stopped when he heard the knifeman arrive. "Fletcher, you will watch this and take note. Now, then," he added, returning his attention to the two infantrymen. "You will work together against me. Be creative, and take care of each other, if you can. Given your inexperience, you're far more likely to survive if you can work with others. Now, attack." With that, Mehrin stood away from the two, his knife held in his right hand, knees slightly bent.

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