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Yndria

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Nightshade Eld
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Ashan 24th, 718
Perhaps she was acting foolishly at the moment, but there was a method in the madness that the half-breed was about to indulge. So far things were progressing smoothly for her business as she was slowly getting everything prepared and her feet under her. But it still left some glaring questions. She needed workers, and she herself needed to get even better with her combative abilities. So why not try to kill two birds with a single stone? A lovely little idea had managed to cross her mind that she couldn't help but adore.

Now she found herself walking into a bar. Not something the half-breed did often all things considered. There was one tavern she could say she visited regularly but she hadn't the chance this season or most of the last, working keeping her as occupied as it was. She did, however, have friends willing to keep an eye on things for her. Who was taking the highest paying merc jobs, who was picking regular fights? She had trouble keeping up, but if there was one thing she was aware of it was that a lot of high-quality mercs could be found in a bar if you were willing to sift. That was why she was here. What better way to practice? What better way to find workers? What better way to do both at the same time than attempt to beat up some mercenaries. She wasn't going to go fighting any bar drunks or anything, she was going to see if anyone wanted to spar her the clean way. Of course, the 'clean way' was a bit up for debate when speaking with a merc.

Her back was straight as she seemed to almost glide. Her feet had finally stopped getting in the way of her movement as long as she was moving slower than a jog. Her eyes looked around the building taking stock of who exactly was in it. Most of the people were rough either battle bruised or work bruised men and occasionally women looking for some form of relaxation and relief. Their eyes hinted weariness that their bodies displayed in loads. Some were flirting with beautiful partners of the opposite sex who smiled and laughed at all the right moments, playing right along with whatever their clients wanted. They were escorts, of course, Night would be legitimately impressed if any of them weren't. People like that didn't come to bars like these without very good reason, and work was a good reason.

There were a few who kept to themselves, their stories quiet and untold. They preferred to sit alone and nurse their drinks. Those were the people who caused her curiosity. What was their story? What had they done in their life? Why would they rather be along? Night supposed she could answer the last one. Why would anyone want company when there's no good company around.

After taking the moment to size up the bar she raised her voice in a shout. "Aye!" She cried out, easily raising her voice above the noise within the tavern to get as much attention as she could. She had no better way of doing this. "Anyone interested enough in heading out back for a sparring match? A clean one. Or as clean as you lot can get anyways. Anyone who wants can come watch, but I just need the practice. And hey, for some of you, it might be your only chance to beat me," she announced like shouting in a bar was completely normal. There was no bit in her expression that showed what she was doing might have been socially unacceptable.

"Common"

"Ith'ession"
word count: 638
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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It had nothing and everything to do with the way the woman had strolled into the bar.

Yndira had but a moment before attempted to command the attention of the half-drunk patrons around her with her broken Common and pretty eyes before Nadine had quite literally yanked her away. Without further explanation, the woman had dragged the Naer to a seat further away from the counter with disapproval dragging ugly features into a uglier expression. The unceremonious, uncontested loss of power left a bitter taste in her mouth, even as she sipped the drink she’d claimed as her a trophy towards from a mangy one-eyed shitstain less than half a break prior. Though she was full - another trophy to add to the count - there was an ache in her belly for something more, a specific taste. She wouldn’t not find anything like it here; too much flesh saturated with cheap booze. No, she wanted something more. But the Naer wasn’t going to risk an attempt at some big shot in a place she still had to get acquainted with.

But the woman that entered commanded the attention she had just had, and that thoroughly pissed her off. There was an air of importance that she carried herself with, and when she spoke - her voice was enough to make Yndira’s nose scrunch and lips screw up slightly like she’d sucked on a lemon - it was with an arrogant boasting. She wanted a sparring partner; she’d surely get one if she pissed the right person off. It might even only take one solid punch to the face to knock the woman down, but it would not be thrown by Yndira. She was to remain ‘inconspicuous’ - whatever that meant. And she didn’t like it, but she valued picking her battles. She couldn’t have herself being thrown into jail without getting a proper meal here, after all.

It seemed as though there were no takers, thus far. A silence had fallen, as if the patrons were all at once contemplating the woman’s offer and finding it not worth it. She’d spoken as if she’d been a big deal, and perhaps she was. As everyone returned to their previous conversations with a forced nonchalance and rigidness to their frames, Yndira felt a nudge at her boot. Across the table, Nadine looked at her pointedly, brows raised and a silent prompting there on her face. Her, fight this woman? The absurdity of it was not lost to the Naer, who barked out a laugh almost immediately. But Nadine’s expression never changed and she was soon nudged again, harder this time.

Shooting the other woman a glare, Yndira turned her attention to the winged woman. Once more she would need to work on communicating with someone she would rather not, but when was that ever new? Licking her lips as she stood, dark curls falling around her face, she observed the room around her. She had their attention, she noted with just the twitch of her lips; maybe this hadn’t been such a bad idea.

“Not good partner, but will spar.” She nodded, as if to herself, a soft smile spreading over her lips. “Need learn to...protect self.” This was plausible enough an excuse, and it wasn’t entirely untrue. Yndira had grown sloppy, inefficient in her hiatus from feasting. She sought to rectify that.
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For those who were a little more frequent runners of the bar, or Etzos for that matter, this wasn't too strange an occurrence. The woman wasn't trying to be prideful or look strong or get attention. She honestly just wanted someone to practice with. Understandable, since most places with any mercenary ties were already aware of her attempts at starting up The Roost. But for those who weren't local, the scene must have looked rather odd for something so Avriel looking to burst in and demand a fight. Almost stereotypical. Until she started to bounce around the bar starting up leisurely conversations and begging what could only be assumed were regulars who shook their heads and shied from her touch. It wasn't like she would go all out and kick their asses or something, but most people hesitated fighting Nightshade. At least, those who were more aware of her story.

The half-breed instantly turned to Yndira when she approached, her attention focusing in on the other woman as she waited quietly for whatever would be said. A soft and warm smile spread across her features after Yn had spoken. "Hey, no problem. That's why people practice after all," she said, flashing a brilliant smile. Her expression was sunny and so very spring-like in nature as a light laugh jumped into her voice. It wasn't a laugh at something comedic, most certainly not a laugh at Yn, but more so a random laugh that someone might give off if they were really happy. Her eyes were practically glittering. Unexerpeience was in some ways better, at least when it came to sparring. It might give Night the chance to practice something new if she had a style Yn prefered. "My name is Nightshade. Do you have any styles you favor?" She asked. Yndira's abilities with common didn't seem to throw her in the least as she started walking, leading a direction.

"You obviously aren't from around here. Sorry if me coming in randomly to ask for a sparring partner seemed a bit strange. I wouldn't have done that to just any bar, but you happened to be sitting in one where mercenaries tend to congregate. If you plan to go back, you might want to get used to people demanding fights," she smiled at Yn, making friendly conversation as the walked to wherever the half-breed thought might be a good place to spar. There was a slight pink to her cheeks and she laughed as though she was embarrassed without even knowing the first impression she'd made. Or was still making depending on how open-minded Yndira was. "I was originally just going to find a Blackguard to spar with but noooo, Alex didn't want me to do that," her face contorted as her voice jumped in pitch and slightly dragged on the world 'Alex'. Almost like she was mocking a best friend. Her expression quickly fell away and it once again turned into laughter as she shook her head at her own actions.

Eventually, the woman led the way to an area where they could spar. It mostly consisted of a sandy pit. "Alright, hit me with your best shot," the half-breed said as she motioned for Yndira to take the first hit.

"Common"

"Ith'ession"
word count: 568
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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As if things couldn't get worse, this...Nightshade woman smiled. The hiss that left clenched teeth was a reaction Yndira could not control, nor the slight recoil. There was a warmth to it reminiscent of the sun and the Naer was very quickly regretting the forced decision to approach the winged thing. She'd certainly let Nadine know in the near future of her distaste for this seemingly bright individual and for having been put on the spot in needing to speak with her. But soon enough, she schooled her features and smiled in return, though it was considerably more tight-lipped as she followed the woman off to wherever they were meant to be going.

This posed problematic, though: no Nadine, and thus no back up. The human woman had opted to stay inside, as far as the Naer could tell. Which meant that if her temper or hunger got the better of her, there would be no one to pull her off of the course wherever those impulses would take her. Not a terrifying thought, but certainly not a comforting one. And - there was also the possibility that this Nightshade might very well do her harm and then who would be there to patch her up? She wasn't going to crawl on the ground towards Nadine, that was for sure.

Yndira's eyes narrowed as Nightshade prattled on. Only a few words were making any semblance of sense, but she nodded along as if she understood. What the fuck was this bitch saying to her? Whatever it was, she continued to nod and follow along, but watched the woman closely. There was a change in her voice at a name - something she could pick out easily - and then she was laughing again. Yndira wasn't sure if she was supposed to laugh right along with her, but refrained from doing so because that felt quite stupid. This woman came off as just that, but Yndira didn't have the patience to deal with the repercussions of letting that opinion be known. So she watched and waited.

Nightshade stopped them at a pit of sand, and the Naerikk supposed this was where they would be doing their sparring. A scowl very nearly pulled her lips down from her smile as she looked down at it. Sand; it'd get into everything and everywhere if she went down in it. She'd have to avoid that quite fiercely. Jaw clenching for a moment, she turned to the woman who seemed to beckon her forward, brows raising. So it would be her go first. Yndira was sure this woman was...something, but even she wasn't likely to beat the winged bitch.

"Me, first?" Of course, she had understood the gesture and linked it to the words coming out of her mouth, but affirmation was always nice, right? Or at least delayed the inevitable. For a trill, she considered ridding herself of her skirt - and while that seemed so very appealing - she doubted that would keep some semblance of the appearance of being helpless. Like it would be a task for someone with some idea of what they were doing. Instead, she lifted her skirt to tie it back to keep it somewhat out of the way.

Yndira had to admit, though, that she had very little experience with combat of any sort. Her targets were usually taken out without much fight and the last time she had been set to attack anyone - well, the end result had not been the most desired. It would seem that this was no different, aside from her decision to lash out at the woman starting with a run, and swing of her hand - open-palmed to utilize her nails as weapons.
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The half-breed was completely oblivious to the annoyance of the Naer, or at the very least was extremely good at ignoring it. The second option was the more likely of the two. Nightshade had always been good at picking up on the emotions of others. Feelings of anger and annoyance in particular because she was so used to feeling those emotions silently drilling into her back. It had become normal when she was a child to just quietly ignore the judgments of others. They still hurt. Dear Immortals, they stung like daggers in her back and she felt like she was going to die whenever she had to hold a conversation with someone who obviously didn't want to even remotely be around her. It made her throat tighten and her eyes sting. But she'd gotten good at pretending to not be bothered. 25 arcs of practicing could do that to a person. So she ignored the burning, stabbing sensation as her eyes darted towards the Naer and she saw the thinly veiled frustration, disregard, and distaste.

She'd ignore it. As always. At least her combat skills were relatively impressive. She wanted to try and gauge the level of skill that Yndira had. The quicker she figured out how strong her opponent was the easier it would be to adapt. The half-breed had no intention of losing.

The half-breed nodded quietly as she continued to watch Yndira. Helpless looking or not, the half-breed wasn't about to judge her on appearances. Sometimes there was nothing more deceiving than the way someone acted, talked, or dressed in regards to their physical prowess. The half-breed wasn't about the make the mistake of underestimating Yndira and in return getting her tailfeathers handed back to her. She instead she watched her opponent quietly, carefully gauging her actions. As Yndira charged at her the half-breed analyzed the movements quietly. Reckless and novice, but it could easily be a ploy. The half-breed herself, having dangerously sharp nails, had done something similar before she actually started to develop some form of style. Nails were a dangerous natural weapon and could certainly take a foe off guard if they weren't paying careful attention, but the half-breed had taken note of the way that Yndira was swinging her arm. It wasn't like a punch as a proper punch would have the arm swinging in a different motion.

Charging in swinging, open-palmed no less, was a valid strategy. But it was easier to counter when someone understood hand to hand combat. And the half-breed in recent seasons had made herself intimately of many different styles of combat so supplement her use of a blade. Hence why she wanted to spar. Her current target was unarmed mastery.

The half-breed waited for the Naer to get within range, her body tensed. Part of her contemplated using one of her mark abilities to completely negate the attack, but somehow that felt just a little too much like cheating. Not to mention even though the pair was currently alone they were still in the city. It was only a matter of time before the sparring match drew attention and the use of a marked ability in town was just asking for trouble. So instead the half-breed ducked down at the last minute. If Yn managed to scratch her than so be it, her new position allowed her to protect her face and there were few other areas on her body where those claws could do much damage. From her half-crouched position, she launched herself at the midsection of Yn with the full intention of trying to knock her down and pin her. Unless Yn had a strong core or a low center of gravity it wasn't likely she'd be able to stay standing getting tackled by the half-breed at full force.

"Common"

"Ith'ession"
word count: 668
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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This was a set up - of this she was convinced. Or maybe it was a sense of paranoia coming with nothing seeming to go her way too often in this damn city. But why else would Nadine be so eager to set her on this opportunity for humiliation? Was it meant to be some sort of lesson? Or just for the woman's amusement to see the Naer struggle? Perhaps the hatred for her mother that the other had harbored had come out to play in the form of tormenting her successor. Yndira's jaw clenched. Nothing about this was fair in any way.

But that did nothing to rectify how she was now looking up at the sky and not on her own two feet. The breath had been taken from her lungs like it had been nothing. This was to be expected, she supposed. Her opponent was stronger, better; she'd been picking off weaklings for much of her life. There was little she recalled that could help her, not when she was pinned. Nightshade seemed neither pleased or amused, but there was a sort of calculation in her eyes. That of someone seasoned, well-versed. The Naer didn't like that. She didn't like any of this, really.

Her intentions were soon very clear. The squirm and wriggle of her body to get out from under the other's hold was as much as she could muster. As it were, she'd be better off treating this as something other than just practice. Even still down, she attempted her escape by aiming her own talons at the winged woman's arms. But something dawned her that only slightly made the struggling cease. Did this woman not have a weakness, much like any other person she'd ever dealt with? And even if there were claims of otherwise, there were ways to work around them.

It wasn't a particularly complicated thought that struck her. No, she wasn't...bright enough for such things. Instead, it came more in the form of - "what would hurt most?" The largest thing in her view would be Nightshade's wings and as such they would be the first thing the Naer reached for. If she could reach them. She left one hand to remain on task at clawing at the skin of the half-breed's arm while the other attempted to reach for her wings, something malicious in her gaze.
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After pinning her the half-breed straightened, watching the Naer struggle. She didn't try to further attack the Naer. Instead, she peered down and watched the other woman try her best to lay scratches across her arms. It was a muted kind of pain, she observed. None of the cuts were deeper than anything she was used to. Yes, the scratches that peppered her flesh were plentiful, but she'd deal with worse pains. Small droplets of blood gathered on the broken flesh as she regarded it dismissively. She'd have to get herself bandaged up when she was done in order to avoid infection. She pushed the sensation of pain to the farthest corner of her thoughts.

"You're using your talons wrong," the half-breed said as she used her wings to pull herself off the Naer in one fluid motion, pulling herself away from the other woman as well as putting her wings well out of range. She allowed the Naer a couple of moments to stumble back to her feet before she continues. She held up on of her own hands and began to point. "If you're trying to hurt an enemy you want to aim at the wrists. Try to slit a vein or artery. Those are harder to repair. If your foe isn't very smart then there's a chance you can convince them to bleed out."

Of course, we aren't trying to kill each other, so I wouldn't appreciate you trying to test that on me," the woman shook her head at the idea. Neither the nail on her hand or the nails of the Naer were like the talons of her feet which she'd used to kill many a foe before she'd gotten good enough with her blade that it was the only thing she needed. Swords were nice and all, but diversity kept you alive on the battlefield. A fight was won by being able to use anything to your advantage. The half-breed had gotten used to fighting for her life more often than not. It was rare that she was able to actually spar with someone at a similar level as herself. When she could it was always a good chance to test new methods. However, teaching could be just as useful if done properly.

She wondered if she could make this into a teaching experience for this Naer. There was rather obvious waves of hatred coming off the other being, so the half-breed was rather assured in her ability to convince the creature to keep trying to beat her up. Did she want to teach someone that was potentially murderous thought? She continued to watch the Naer for a long moment, analyzing her moments. "Try and hit me again."

"Common"

"Ith'ession"
word count: 479
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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It was the feeling of powerlessness that perhaps caused her the most grief with this whole situation. Her opponent was of more skill than she, and it was painfully obvious. It felt more like being toyed with than someone sparring with her. Not that she'd often sparred with anyone outside of Augiery, and there she could concede defeat to one of her shadow sisters. This was a half-breed, though. Impure, diluted. Unworthy. If she could be stopped by her, then there was very little that she could do and the Naer was only further put off by this thought.

Then the bird bitch let her up and Yndira was getting to her feet. An embarrassment. Her chest heaved, gaze darting between the gathering faces that had come to watch. She licked her lips, straightening up as she listened to the woman speak. Taking advice from her was the last thing she wanted, but it would have to do. She hadn't often resorted to the use of her nails. "Will keep in mind." No; much of the death she'd caused before had been done with minimal usage of them. The last time had been in Rynmere, and even then she'd been stopped by someone else. It filled her with a bitterness that propelled her forward. Try? She would certainly try and hit her again.

There wasn't so much that she remembered of her time in Augiery; she was not one to engage in combat often and that left her with an inability to picture everything or have it remain in the memory of her limbs. But there was the basic concept of 'attack' that she could remember. And the usage of her limbs would need to be involved. She charged the woman once more, swinging her fist again - but with the intention to miss. It would not hit, not when her opponent was much better than she. She allowed her momentum to carry her, lifting her leg into a kick to follow suit.

If she thought about - which she didn't, not in the moment - it was almost like dancing. Not quite deadly, but not entirely for fun, it felt like another one of the parties she used to stalk as a predator seeking prey. An easy feeling, but not one that she had much focus for in the moment. Her legs were not as strong as they could be, and the slight lift she needed to get the woman's face was not there. But she'd see the result of her somewhat reckless attempt.

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The most important ability one could have in regards to unarmed combat was understanding the movements of your enemies. In the woman's own opinion, unarmed combat could be one of the most dangerous forms of combat out there. It was always too close. Too close for the half-breed to feel comfortable using it anyways. Unarmed was a last resort, that's why it was so important she learn how to use it properly. It was also important to her that she avoid using it as much as possible. Be that as it may, when it became necessary to use the half-breed refused to be a pushover. That's why she was always careful to watch an enemy.

There were certain tells that one could get from watching a foe. Even she gave off her own bodily tells, but it took someone smart to figure out what those tells were saying. You had to both be quick enough to analyze those moments as well as smart enough to know exactly what they meant. The half-breed wasn't proud, but she knew her own abilities well and she knew the abilities of others. Outside sparring matches she didn't pick fights she couldn't win. Even then, she was always careful when it came to watching her foes. She'd sparred with masters before, and she'd quite thoroughly gotten her ass kicked. It was a vital step to the process of learning how to actually fight. Only by getting your ass kicked multiple times could you really tell how Unarmed Combat actually truly works.

Nightshade was currently staring down a woman who had likely gotten herself beaten multiple times, but never had the humility or the foresight to learn from it. Of course, she could be wrong. Night wasn't the kind to underestimate a foe. But generally, she liked to think she was a good judge of skill and character. At least with skills she was versed with. Yndira moved like a novice. Her actions didn't have the practiced flow to them that some of the masters Night had observed possed. They didn't even have the same fluidity as her own movements, the likes of which she'd practiced over and over for the sake of self-defense if all other things failed, an event that didn't happen often. Instead, Yndira's movements had a split second hesitation to them. It wasn't anything noticeable to most people. It was the kind of hesitation that people have when they're thinking through a move or a plan before they've completely memorized it.

Night was sure she hesitated often enough as well. She didn't have perfect fluidity. But her movements were more fluid than her opponents and that split second of hesitation allowed her at least somewhat assume the actions of the other woman before they were about to occur. Not with perfect accuracy mind you, but enough that she was able to react. That's why she didn't' try to dodge Yndira's punch. Call it confidence, call it recklessness, she used her forearms to block the hit. She wasn't even aware of the plan that Yn was trying to put into action as she hadn't taken note of the tensing of her foe's leg, but she saw an opening and went for it.

After blocking the hit she aimed for the shoulder of the other woman, hopeful that it would land. The half-breed admittedly didn't want to hurt her sparring partner and wasn't quite ready for the fight to end, so she did her best to extend it by minimizing damage to both parties. She didn't put much power behind her hit and she moved slowly. She wasn't trying to make it easy on the other sparer, no, quite the opposite. She was hopeful that Yndira would possibly start to notice some of the things that Night had trained herself to.

Playing teacher, however, didn't mean she had any intention to give up her advantage.

"Common"

"Ith'ession"
word count: 695
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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The two differed very much in their views. If the halfbreed had ever voiced those opinions - a last resort - Yndira would have laughed. It was the first and only resort for the Naer. Her nails functioned much as knives, save the ability to be thrown. More control, or the illusion of it. But, of course, none of this was passed between the two women.

What they did have in common was choosing their battles wisely. It was not that Yndira fought and was beaten; far from it, in fact. Her target type of prey was considerably weaker than she and easy to fool. Vulnerable and at risk due to lack of foresight and plain stupidity. She was smart enough for that, and it had been conditioned in her. That was what her father had taught her and it was one of the few things of he'd imparted to her that was of any use.

Her first thought was that her plan had been a success. The woman had braced herself for a punch that was never intended to hit. The raise of her arm to block was telling enough, but then she dropped the arm and intended to make a land a punch of her own. It was an awkward twist, interrupting the kick and forcing her to contort her body to compensate. But not enough.

The punch did clip her shoulder, knocking her further off balance. The blow that landed from her kick was thus much weaker than she would have liked. She hissed as she braced for her untidy landing, sand grating into her palms. Nadine didn't train her like this. It was namely just instruction while the older woman refined her own skills. Sparring was a limited thing. Maybe it was for the exact reason of her frustration. Jaw clenched, she remained down for a moment, shoulder throbbing lightly.

It wasn't much of a thought this time around, either. The sand was, well - it was there and a viable option. If she wanted the upper hand, she would use any means needed. Scooping up some of the sand, she flung it towards the halfbreed and swiped out with her leg.

And this color is for dialogue
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