[The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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Elisabeth Angelus
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[The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

Fri Nov 12, 2021 4:37 am

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Arc 721, 19 Vhalar


The Proving Ground was not a place Elisabeth had ever gone before, although she really should have. Before Balthazar left, when the two of them were in the same place, there had been no need since she had a mentor and sparring partner readily available.

Since taking over as settlement leader for Haven, and Balthazar's reassignment, they were no longer physically in the same location often, so her options were severely limited. Having mentioned the fact to the Haven guards, Silk said that she had heard of a combat festival to be hosted in Scalvoris Town and thought it might be a good idea for Elisabeth to go. Silently, the young mage deduced that the guard wanted Elisabeth to have a little fun, not realizing that she would take such an event just as seriously as everything else in her life.

However, what had clinched her decision about going was Balthazar, who informed her that he would be attending all four trials of the event. Elisabeth knew she couldn't make the first trial but could attend the following three and maybe convince the man she loved to spend her birthtrial with her. Maybe.

Sword strapped to her back, Elisabeth walked into the venue and glanced around. There were many people in attendance, and while she was eager to get down to things, she needed to wash the road off her first, having gone straight to the event from the docks. Navigating the streets of Scalvoris Town was getting easier and easier with each visit, and the young woman had made good time.

Finding a young man nearby that looked to be working the event, Elisabeth gave a quick smile and inquired about a few things. "Hello. Could you tell me where the changing areas might be? I just arrived in Scalvoris Town and want to straighten up a bit before diving in." His eyes immediately went to the sword hilt peeking up over her shoulder and nodded, pointing her in the right direction.

Thanking him for the information, she started to walk away before curiosity got the best of him, and he called after her. "Miss, I don't think I've seen you in here before. What's your name?" Arching her eyebrow gently, she curiously wondered why that was important but decided it wasn't worth the trouble to ask. "Elisabeth Angelus."

He glanced at her curiously, as if he knew the name but couldn't place why, during which time the young settlement leader had thought of one more question. "Do you know where I could find Balthazar Black? I'm meeting him here."

***


It only took a few bits to get herself washed up, presentable and feeling much better. Elisabeth rejoined the festival and immediately headed in the direction the young man had pointed her in. He had remembered seeing Balthazar near the demonstration area, and that's where she would start, but before she had much of a chance to move that direction, a voice called out to her.

"Miss Angelus, a word?" Turning, she noted a stocky older man was making his way to her. "Forgive me, but a little bird told me you were here and I wanted to introduce myself. Bramwell Foy, owner of the Proving Ground." His quiet voice was a stark contrast to the yelling and hollering from the activities around them. Holding out his hand in greeting, Elisabeth firmly took it, giving him a quick smile. "A pleasure, Mr. Foy. Please, call me Elisabeth."

Nodding, he gestured in the direction she had been starting to head. "I heard you were looking for Mr. Black. I think you'll find him this way, but I wanted to ask you if you were planning to enter any of the matches? I know a little about you, but what I've heard had nothing to do with any martial or weapons abilities you might possess. Curiosity got the best of me, and when I heard you were here, I wanted to ask."

Laughing softly, she followed him, replying quietly. "I don't blame you. I'm a curious creature myself, and I'm fairly skilled with the sword. Less so with unarmed combat. Balthazar has been my sole mentor in unarmed, but I've had an assortment of teachers in blades. As for your question, I do plan on doing a bit of sparring in both. I've not had the opportunity to test myself against other combatants, beyond Balthazar and a few others."

Nodding his understanding, he chuckled a bit. "Wise girl you are. Well, many of the area's best are here. I'm sure we can find you some good people to spar against, and I hope you enjoy yourself. As you who you are looking for…." Pointing through the crowd, Bramwell had spotted Balthazar's form, showing the young woman. "There you go. It was a delight meeting you, Elisabeth. I hope to run into you again before the festival is over, and please, feel free to visit us here anytime if you need a place to train."

She watched the man swiftly depart, wondering about the curious conversation, and more specifically, how he had heard of her. Was her name that well known? Had Balthazar said something about her? Maybe the Haven guards? She knew they came into Scalvoris Town occasionally and dropped in.

Starting for Balthazar again, Elisabeth glanced around and noted another familiar face nearby. "Oram?" She called out, waving at the man. A fellow forged, although fire-forged like Balthazar, Oram was someone Elisabeth respected and liked, and his presence made her smile a bit, remembering his quick visit to Haven. He spoke his mind, and that was a trait the young leader appreciated. "It's good to see you! Are you going to be participating?"

Smiling as she turned from Oram for a brief trill, watching Balthazar's back. The first comment that popped up in her mind was one that, well, she privately appreciated, but Balthazar probably wouldn't considering he was serious about learning his art more fully. Her thoughts were laced with a mischievousness that Elisabeth had learned to rein in over her time with the Yari. At least in public. Privately? All bets were off.

Calling over to Balthazar, she gave a wave and smile, patiently waiting for him to join them when he was able.


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Re: [The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

Mon Nov 15, 2021 4:49 pm

What’s that wooden thing that you use to hold the pointy thing? Shaft! (Can you dig it?)

The Proving Grounds bustled with people, mostly drawn by the prospect of spectacle that the Combat Festival offered, rather than by an interest in learning or practicing the combat arts themselves. It was a good season for such spectacles; the scorching heat of Saun had receded over the last score of trials, but the afternoons were still warm, promising to be comfortable for idle onlookers, if not for the more active participants.

Oram’s eyes swept the well-peopled arena and its even more crowded surrounding galleries for familiar faces, hoping that he would not find any. The hunter had few illusions about his fighting prowess, notwithstanding he had lately fought against Immortals and even helped kill one, and while he could handle being humbled in the name of learning and improvement, he preferred not to have people he knew watch him be thus humbled.

His brother and sister-in-law would not be here, he knew. Neither cared for violent sports, and they were both no doubt fatigued from celebrating the various other festivals that filled Vhalar so tediously. Oram had run into Clem, the enormous traveler who worked in the docks. The big oaf planned to try his hand at wrestling this trial, he had proudly told Oram, and had teasingly asked whether Oram himself would like to participate in that sport as well? Needless to say, Oram had declined; he had other plans: to get some practice and instruction with polearms, and possibly to learn a thing or two about stick-fighting as well.

As a result of his wish to avoid spectators who knew him, he was not as happy to see Elisabeth as he might otherwise have been. Still, he forced himself to smile when she greeted him. Judging from her attire, she planned to participate. That surprised Oram, although he quickly realized that it probably ought not have. He recalled that she had excused herself for exercise on the morning he left Haven for Hopetoun, and that she had taken a practice sword with her. Did she really expect to encounter much trouble, the hunter wondered, out there on Faldrass? Haven had seemed a peaceful, close-knit, and friendly community. He wondered idly what sort of threats the woman thought she might confront. Pirates, perhaps?

Oram’s curiosity about this was not entirely idle. He was Chief Ranger now, after all, and the Rangers had an outpost on Faldrass. Thus, he had a professional interest in why somebody living there might feel the need to carry a sword. He did not have time to pursue the conversation, though, as Elisabeth had already caught sight of whomever it was she had been looking for and shouted out to him. Following her gaze, Oram recognized that it was Balthazar Black. Another person who knew him, Oram thought unhappily, although he maintained his unfelt smile while he nodded in greeting to the man. The hunter hoped that the pair would both be too busy with their own events to gawk at him waving a long stick around.

Belatedly remembering to be polite, Oram turned back to Elisabeth to respond to her question. "Yes, I'm here to spar a bit with spear, maybe try some other polearms." He had not indicated his interests thus far to Bramwell Foy nor any of the other trainers. He hoped that Jo, the woman from the Elements who had humbled him rather intensely the last time he had sparred here in the Proving Grounds, would not be among their number.
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Re: [The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

Tue Nov 16, 2021 6:44 pm


19 Vhalar 721
When word went out that Bramwell Foy was hosting an event at The Proving Grounds in Scalvoris Town, Balthazar found his curiosity set alight. He reached out to the Elements that he knew through work and reputation, inviting them to join him at the Combat Festival for lessons and sparring if they wanted to. He might not have been the best fighter in the Elements as a whole, but he thought he was one of the better unarmed combatants in the military force. Not that it particularly mattered given they had to learn competence in and carry a weapon on them when they were working. He still thought that he might be able to provide some insight and if he could not, he was certain that the festival in general would be beneficial to Elements who attended. None of the experienced members responded. They said it would be a conflict of interests but Balthazar didn't understand how if they were off duty when they went. Then again... were they ever really off duty?

It was now the second trial of the festival and Balthazar was dressed in a simple white shirt and black pants. He had his black leather satchel strung across his body and his white hair, which had grown mostly back out, flowed down the sides of his head. He wore his newly obtained cutlass from the labyrinth on one side, his hammer on the other, and a dagger at the back of his belt. He was joined once again by the young Flame Trooper named Pylos. It seemed that Balthazar could do no wrong in the young detective's eyes and when Pylos heard that Balthazar was reaching out to Elements, the kid made sure he didn't miss the second trial. Pylos had his hair pulled half up so that it stayed out of his face and he wore simple leather armor with a short sword strapped to his side. Pylos was not the only individual who'd joined Balthazar that trial. While Pylos stood on the left, the slightly older Robin of Oakleigh stood on Balthazar's right with a longsword on his hip and leather armor on the rest of him.

Balthazar suggested to Elisabeth that he might attend all four but it wasn't a guarantee. If he was called in to work he would go but if not, he would attend as much of the festival as he could. The mark he bore which darkened the tips of his fingers gave him the ability to share his skills with another. He could practice hand to hand combat with someone and put them at his level of skill. He could train with a weapon he had never held and perform with his instructors experience. The memories held in the muscles were remarkable.

The trio were watching a man giving a demonstration using hammers and Balthazar's face was scrunched slightly in focus. His arms were crossed and he wasn't speaking to either of the men beside him thought they both stole periodic glances in his direction to see if he was going to move on or not. The man the trio was watching was demonstrating various ways to parry bladed weapons using a hammer in one hand. It seemed like a fairly simple technique but the man explained that there were factors which complicated it. Most swords and polearms had longer reach than hammers did. On top of that, the hammer was heavier and its weight made it a harder weapon to stop and maneuver with. Not impossible, but it would require far more strength to wield quickly than a shortsword. The trainer explained that due to the smaller reach and heavier weight, you needed to keep the hammer moving in combat to make it effective. You had to move with the momentum of the swing, not against it.

The man was beginning the actual demonstration with his assistant when Balthazar heard Elisabeth call out for him. He, Pylos, and Robin all turned in unison and looked towards Elisabeth but the latter two seemed confused and looked towards Balthazar for explanation. He held up a hand to indicate he had heard her and then waved her over because he still wanted to see the demonstration. Hearing about the theory was fine and all but once Balthazar saw it performed he would be able to analyze the movements forever. The trio turned back to the show and Balthazar said, "She is my beloved," to explain who Elisabeth was to him to the other two.

The hammer man moved slowly with his assistant and they demonstrated three different ways to parry and stop an incoming blade. The first way was to parry an incoming thrust. The movement seemed fairly simple and it ended with a strike. As the blade came inward, the man explained, it was important to move backwards and create distance so the swordsman would overextend themself. If you don't create the distance, they might be able to maneuver their sword and cut you before your parry lands. Once the distance was made and the blade was overextended, the demonstrator swept the hammer towards the blade and knocked it aside before stepping inward and continuing through his sweeping motion to bring the hammer back around and down towards his assistant's head before they could bring their sword back around. He performed the motion three times for the audience and each time he did, he moved a little faster with his assistant to demonstrate its effectiveness.

The second parry that was shown was how to parry a sword swing and it actually turned out to be more of a block than a parry. The principal was the same. Get a safe distance so you didn't get cut, stop the swing with the hammer, and then push in before the sword can come back around if you could. If you couldn't, the recommendation was to remain further back until either the opponent's sword broke against your hammer or until you found an opening. Balthazar did not stay for the third, having decided he really wanted to see Elisabeth. "Could you two watch the last one and show me when it is over?" Balthazar asked Robin and Pylos who both nodded.

"Where are you going?" Robin asked.

"I'm going to say hello to Elisabeth, I'll be back." And with that he turned away only to find Oram standing beside Elisabeth, talking to her about something. From what he could see of Oram's lips moving and what he thought he heard as he grew closer, Oram was talking about polearms. He waved to greet Oram as he approached and hugged Elisabeth when he arrived. He waited until the two of them were done talking to say anything and when they were, Balthazar said, "It is good to see you, Oram. How has the festival been treating you?"

word count: 1177

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  • Tall, Dark, and... Well He Was Always Brooding: Balthazar is now wearing Paradigm cuffs as a part of his sentence which means he no longer had any of his mutations! He still has dark black fingertips and nails from his Bellinos mark but now his hair is brown, shorter, and his eyes are also... brown.

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  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Re: [The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:25 pm

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Arc 721, 19 Vhalar


Oram was smiling, but it wasn't genuine – that she could tell. Something about her or her presence bothered the man, yet she decided not to push the matter. There were many reasons why he wouldn't be happy to see her, but it wasn't her business. She didn't take it personally, but her experience watching people and their reactions told her something was slightly off.

As Balthazar and the few others turned to look at her, Elisabeth curiously arched her eyebrow, waving at the trio that glanced her direction. If the Yari knew them, he'd take care of the explanation, and she was trying to give him space to attend to whatever he needed to.

Chief Ranger Mednix spoke his reasons for attending, and she listened carefully, noting his interest in spear and polearms. Praetorum was the closest she could think of in terms of someone favoring such types of weapons, but everyone seemed to have their favorites. It was always good to know such things. "I see. I hope you find the training you are looking for then. There seems to be a fair amount going on here, from my brief glimpse so far." Oram's smile might have forced, but Elisabeth's wasn't – she was genuinely pleased to see him.

Her smile widened as Balthazar joined them, collecting her up in a quick embrace. "Hello, you." The Yari would feel her happiness at being with him again. The ability they had gained between them, allowing each a window into the other's soul, it seemed, was new and slightly unpredictable. Still, she knew it gave Balthazar an avenue to understand what she felt for him, and that was a gift in her opinion.

The two men exchanged greetings, allowing Elisabeth to glance around at the current offerings of the festival. For the moment, she was interested in blade work, and her gaze found its way to a nearby arena where such a demonstration seemed to be starting.

Smiling at both, Elisabeth quickly excused herself. "Forgive me, but I want to sit in on that sword demonstration over there. Oram, it's wonderful to see you again. If you have time during the festival, I'd love to catch up?"

Turning to Balthazar, she gave his arm a quick squeeze. "Catch up with me when you can?" And with that, she bounced off. Well, not literally, but a fair amount of excitement was building inside of her, and the thought of pushing her blade skills further made her genuinely pleased.

When she arrived at the nearby arena, a man she didn't know pointed out a few common mistakes in footwork when using a sword, but then the demonstration quickly turned into an opportunity to spar. Asking for volunteers, Elisabeth stepped forward and accepted a wooden training sword, waiting to see who would fight against her.

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Re: [The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:02 am

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Kisaik knew he wanted to take part in the combat festival in Scalvoristown, as soon as he'd heard about it. That was about four days ago, around when Kisaik and his friends and a couple of newcomers to the story group had shared tales and food and space around the fire. Kisaik's dragonling was flying overhead, far overhead so as not to alarm those on the ground too much. They were used to seeing Sohr Khal flying around the Menagerie, after all, and other flying creatures.

Kisaik made his way down to the ground as he often did, skipping from skystep to skystep, and then finally landing without ceremony to the ground. From there, he arrived mostly unnoticed in the tournament. While it wasn't every day one noticed a tunawa in shining full plate armor, he was still rather small and hard to catch sight of underfoot.

He made his way toward where they appeared to be having blades demonstrations. An instructor was waiting to see if anyone would come to challenge the woman he'd chosen for sparring. Kisaik waited patiently, but when nobody stepped forward, he clinked and clanked ahead, rising to the occasion. From his shadow, he pulled the shadow sword, which was around 8 inches long. From the ambient light of the area, he drew a beaming sword of pure light, about twice as long as the shadow sword. He wanted to learn to use both at the same time, and now in this training scenario, it seemed as good a chance as any.

He looked up at his opponent, and was surprised to see Miss Elisabeth, the leader of Haven! He remembered her from storytime. "Hullo Miss Elisabeth! Fancy meeting you here? Would you like to try your blade against mine?"

Kisaik turned to the instructor and asked, "Are there any ground rules, no magic, no abilities? Just our skills?"

The instructor nodded his affirmation, and so Kisaik smirked as he turned his gaze back toward Elisabeth. "Very well, your skills versus mine, no magic or tricks!" So saying, he dispelled the shadow sword and the Celarion sword of light. From his domain bag with a swift motion, he drew Will o Wit, a long Toseorun blade, about twelve inches in length. He handled it easily, however. It appeared to be made of an elongated nutshell, but it was tough as embersteel and just as sharp.

"En garde!" Kisaik shouted and began to take a step forward, leaping with a slash intended to test her defenses.

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Re: [The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:25 am

We’ve done the passion fruit!

Oram gave Balthazar a friendly greeting. How could he not, after what they’d done together? The Yari was starting to look like his old self once more, as well. Nonetheless, the hunter could not say he was thrilled to see him, for the same reason he was not thrilled to see Elisabeth: Balth was one more acquaintance who could watch Oram get humiliated. ”I just got here, so the Festival hasn’t beaten me up too badly yet. But maybe that’ll change.” He gave Balthazar a grim, self-deprecating grin as he said that. If there was any reassurance, it was that both Balth and Elisabeth seemed intent on doing or watching other things. One could only hope.

Before the pair had taken their leave of Oram, he noticed that Balthazar and a couple of what he guessed were fellow Element troops had been watching a demonstration of a man countering sword attacks with a hammer. That interested the Chief Ranger for a couple reasons. Although he had no interest in learning to use a war hammer specifically, he had considered learning a bit more about blunts in general. Now that he had a house surrounded by a bit of wood lot, Oram expected that he would be using axes and hatchets a bit more often than before; moreover, thanks to the time spent around Skai, he found himself intrigued by the possibilities of a walking stick as a self-defense weapon. Finally, he realized in general that it was important to practice fighting against weapons that differed from your own.

Oram was no expert in either the hammer or the sword, but as he watched the demonstration, he couldn’t help but feel a bit skeptical of the technique being used. It didn’t seem to him that somebody with a weapon that was both slower and shorter than one’s opponent’s should ever back away. You’d want to get up as close as possible. Also, it sounded like the guy was counting on his opponent overextending with his sword thrust. What if he didn’t? This was something he’d have to try for himself.

Once Elisabeth and Balthazar went off to do their thing with swords, Oram turned his attention back to the hammer guy. When there was a pause in the demonstration, he spoke up and asked the instructor: ”Does the technique work the same against a spear?” he asked. The man and his assistant both shot him a sharp look, more challenging than annoyed.

”The principle would be the same, yes,” the instructor answered. ”Why? Would you like to try me with a spear against my hammer?” The man’s eyes flashed eagerly at the prospect of a challenge.

Oram thought a bit, glanced around quickly to make sure he didn’t have a familiar audience. ”Sure,” he said at last, shrugging.

The instructor’s eager expression darkened slightly. ”Are you?” he asked doubtfully. ”You don’t sound too enthused. Tell you what; I’ll finish my demonstration here and then take a quick pause for a snack. You gear up and meet me here in about half a break, if you decide you’re really up for it, and then we’ll see how you do with a spear versus a hammer. How does that sound, sir?”

Oram nodded curtly. ”Deal,” he said simply. ”I’ll see you soon.” Half a break would be more than enough time. He wore his gambeson, and had brought both his sturdy work gloves and his helmet. He just needed to find himself a practice spear, and there was no need to run off and do that right away.

And that was fortunate, because apparently there was already a duel about to start nearby, and Oram was curious about it. Elisabeth, it turned out, had grabbed a practice sword and awaited a challenger. Even more interestingly, one had come forward, and a highly unlikely one at that: a tiny creature, no more than a foot tall, clad in what looked like toy armor, produced a blade as long if not longer than it was tall, then stepped forward into the arena and called out that it would accept the woman’s challenge. It appeared to be a tunawa. Was that…what was its name…Kisaik? Oram only knew two tunawa on Scalvoris, and this definitely wasn’t Stan. Upon seeing this development, Oram decided that fetching a practice spear could wait.
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Re: [The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

Fri Nov 26, 2021 8:07 am


19 Vhalar 721
If Balthazar had not had to live with four sparks in him, he might not have been able to figure out where the sudden rush of happiness came from. However between his experience, his mark, and his knowledge of Elisabeth he knew that what he was feeling when he reached them was her love for him. He listened to what Oram said with wide eyes that couldn't help but examine the Chief Ranger's appearance for clues about where he'd been and what he planned on doing next. Dirt on the shoes, garment choice, weapon choice- there were countless little details that could give things away if one knew where to look. Yet not very long after Balthazar joined the group, Elisabeth departed from it. He watched her go with some confusion but made no comment other than to nod in agreement with her notion that they should catch up. He might have wanted to watch the display as well but he couldn't forget about Pylos and Robin waiting for him.

He really couldn't forget because shortly after Elisabeth left the two younger men arrived to see what Balthazar and Oram were talking about. Oram had already begun to take his own leave, going towards the hammer demonstration that Pylos, Robin, and he had been watching. "What happened? They scattered." Robin asked as he and Pylos arrived.

"It's a festival, people want to do things. You two should go find someone to practice with, maybe even each other- I need to speak with Oram." That wasn't true. Balthazar really did not need to, he just needed an excuse to get a little bit of space from Pylos. Robin seemed to recognize that and nodded. If Pylos protested, Balthazar didn't hear it before he walked away and Robin must have done a good job of keeping Pylos occupied because Balthazar didn't see them again immediately.

Balthazar returned to the demonstration he'd been watching where Oram stood now and he listened to the question Oram asked. Would it work against a spear? When the instructor said it would, Balthazar's brow furrowed a little. He didn't believe that. A spear had one sharp end. It was a weapon that was far less lethal if you pushed in than if you stayed back. Then again Balthazar was thinking about it from an unarmed perspective. He often had to push in and take control of an enemy polearm because of its superior range. He was curious to see how the demonstration progressed against the spear. Balthazar noticed what the instructor pointed out, Oram did not seem particularly enthusiastic about what was going to happen.

Oram was given half a break to prepare for the duel and Balthazar approached him while he was moving to the demonstration Elisabeth was at. She'd progressed to a point where it seemed they were sparring and while Balthazar was amused that she'd be crossing toy swords with a Tunawa, he had come to the festival to learn and did not see himself learning much from watching people who weren't demonstrating a technique spar. He tapped Oram's shoulder gently and asked, "Would you like to warm up while she's sparring? I'll get a staff. You can use a spear? Just don't run me through with a sharp stick."

word count: 582

Snazzy Wrist Bands

  • Tall, Dark, and... Well He Was Always Brooding: Balthazar is now wearing Paradigm cuffs as a part of his sentence which means he no longer had any of his mutations! He still has dark black fingertips and nails from his Bellinos mark but now his hair is brown, shorter, and his eyes are also... brown.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Re: [The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

Mon Nov 29, 2021 5:44 am

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Arc 721, 19 Vhalar


Elisabeth waited to see if anyone would step up to spar with her. She understood that it was possible she didn’t seem to pose much of a threat to anyone, hence lack of challengers, but her mentors included some very talented people, and she had quickly gained skill. Misjudging what she was capable of could be used to her advantage too. At least against the right person.

A small voice sounded behind her, and the young woman turned, immediately smiling. “Kisaik! I’m so pleased to see you again. I would be honored to spar with you.” Her voice conveyed sincere warmth at the unexpected meeting, and it would be clear that she was happy to see the Tunawa.

While some were possibly amused at the apparent match-up, Elisabeth took the spar seriously. As someone who others often underestimated, she had a keen understanding of the folly in doing so.

Briefly, her gaze turned outward to the crowd, and she noted Oram in the audience, speaking to Balthazar, curious as what the two were discussing but only gave it a passing thought, returning her attention to the matter at hand. She would catch up to both men after.

The Tunawa confirmed the sparring rules with the instructor, and Elisabeth moved into a mid-guard, stopping to incline her head in respect to her opponent before hearing Kisaik proclaim the spar afoot.

Anyone familiar with fighting who knew what they were doing often opened with attacks meant to probe their opponents’ reflexes and defenses. It was vital to get that type of information early on, to inform one during the battle better, and Kisaik knew what he was doing. The Tunawa launched himself in her direction, causing Elisabeth to step to the side and dodge the blow. Not stopping there, she countered with a quick, probing swipe at Kisaik’s mid-section, trying to see how he fought and reacted.

The leap had shown her that he wouldn’t stay tethered to the ground, which would be a problem for her. Having never battled a Tunawa before, Elisabeth needed to know if he would take to the air often. Speed would be a factor too. She was fast and small for a human, which always gave her an advantage when sparring against Balthazar, but Kisaik was much quicker and much smaller than she, and Elisabeth wasn’t quite sure how she was going to counter that yet.

Her eyes stayed alert, watching him for any tells or clues as to what he would do next. Elisabeth knew better than to let her guard down, so she did what she did best - observe and learn. She knew Kisaik was doing the same with her, but she felt he had more experience fighting those larger than himself than she did with others smaller than her, which put her at an immediate disadvantage.

word count: 501
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Oram Mednix
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Re: [The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

Tue Nov 30, 2021 10:44 pm

Staff training. Because every workplace needs a well-trained staff.

Oram’s mouth opened a bit when he saw the tunawa jump. He’d had no idea that the creature was so mobile, especially if its armor were as proportionately heavy as it looked. The hunter was no swordsman, but he could see that Elisabeth was somewhat taken aback by her opponent’s unexpected ability to move and jump around. He would have been, too, in her position.

Before he could watch any more of the fight, however, Balthazar tapped him on the shoulder and asked if he wished to spar, to warm up, staff versus spear. He thought a moment.

”Sure,” he responded at last. ”I’ve been thinking of picking up a bit of staff, myself, though that hadn’t been my plan for today.” He grinned. ”And don’t worry, the practice spears they have here aren’t that pointy. I’ve used them once before, and believe me when I say, I wouldn’t be here today if those were deadly.”

The hunter followed Balthazar to the weapon stands and picked out a rubber-tipped stick about the length and heft of his own boar spear. There were staffs of every length, too, anywhere from four to eight feet long. For safety and space reasons, the organizers had not put out any poles longer than that to spar with. Oram wore his gambeson already, and he had brought his acorn helmet, which he now put on, although he did not activate its power; today, it was just a helmet. He also put on a pair of heavy work gloves, well-worn, such that despite their heaviness they felt comfortable, and did not overly affect his grip on the shaft.

It didn’t take long to find a place to spar. Elisabeth and the tunawa had attracted a fair crowd, which meant that there was briefly that much more space for the two men. Oram picked a side and gave his spear a few twirls and swings to get a feel for it, then he hopped a couple times around an imaginary square on the ground, picturing the shape Jo had taught him to trace for footwork drills, footwork drills he had been quite remiss in practicing lately. Finally, he held his spear in a standard grip, lead hand about mid-way up the shaft and the trail hand about half-way back from that. He tried a few jabs, middle, then high, then low.

When he felt sufficiently warmed up, Oram looked over at Balthazar and invited him to take the first attack. That was partly out of courtesy, but also because he was curious to see what sort of technique the man would use with a staff.
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Kisaik
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Re: [The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

Tue Nov 30, 2021 11:03 pm

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Kisaik was pleased with the greeting he got from Elisabeth, and bowed deeply before Haven's leader. She seemed to be in better spirits now, although he didn't know for certain. Perhaps it was the prospect of good exercise, or just the fact that one couldn't go into such a practice session with a negative mindset. Whatever the case, he was glad to see her as well.

Kisaik was used to being underestimated, and it wasn't totally unwarranted for him to be so. A small creature could only do so much without the same mobility and reach as one who was six times his height. However, Kisaik had advantages native to who he was beyond his magic, and beyond ordinary tunawa. He was mortalborn, and could extend his arms and legs. It didn't occur to him that he would have to put a lid on those abilities as well, and indeed he was confounded as to how he might succeed here without the use of his ability to extend his arms and legs.

Kisaik sailed forward, leaping into the air and Elisabeth was swift to side-step him, allowing the momentum of his leap and the weight of his armor to carry him beyond her. Unfortunately for him, she was able to score a slight nick on his cuirass, which protected his entire torso and head. The cuirass was shaped intricately like a fluted vessel, with a lid at the top keeping his head protected, and a visor all around it, to keep everything in sight around him.

The nick against his armor pinged him across the sparring ring. However, he extended his legs, catching the ground sooner than he otherwise would, and used that springiness to launch himself into another leap backward, flipping end over end, and flashing his twelve-inch toseorun blade in a vertical slash toward Elisabeth's upper body.

For all that Elisabeth may not be prepared for the tunawa's fighting style, or his acrobatic style, he was equally unused to duelling one tall person at a time. Ordinarily, his tactic, apart from using magic and his marks, was to flip from opponent to opponent, goading them to attack each other, in trying to hit him.

When fighting against just one person, this tactic was far less viable, if not totally ineffective. People were a lot more careful not to injure themselves while trying to attack a samll opponent.

Regardless of whether his rebounding attack landed, or if she hit him, he'd recover the arc of his sword from it's vertical slash, and then twist in the air to perform an attempted horizontal strike against her swordarm.

He was all too aware of the attention his fight with Elisabeth might be getting, and he was very interested in giving a good showing, however more skilled she was than he. It was important for people to realize that size was only one factor in a fight, not everything!
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