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Kasoria
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Posts: 1544
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
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Re: Of Clay and Bricks (Max)

The Old Man didn't know how to teach, but he remembered being taught. Not just in schoolhouse classrooms, though those times were lamentably few and far between. No, he recalled the bawled lessons of the training yard and sparring circle. The growling instructions passed on by hoary veterans in dry, cold classrooms in the Hall Of Reprimand.

These things, these places, that had beaten by repetition their lessons into his memory... and a plethora of darker wisdom, quite literally beaten into him elsewhere.

Pain teaches, he remembered Sergeant Tantos say, usually after breaking something belonging to a recruit. Pain sticks with you. And once you feel it, you-

Getting ahead of yourself.


TUNK

He blinked and escaped his own thoughts. Focused on the urchin in front of him, the flashing steel in her hand, the thudding impact of her straight little dagger against the dummy. Blinked again, and his vision changed further. Form and Passion. Body and Mind. That was how it was described to him. There was the mechanical aspects of fighting, the moves, the blows, the strikes and the counters, all of which needed to seep into muscles and the memory... and then there was the mind. The temperament. Having the skill and knowledge and sheer experience to know how and when to apply what solution to a problem. More than that, having the ice in your veins not to panic when, inevitably, all those clever plans go awry.

One thing more, too. The only test that really counts.

"Enough."

She was gouging a hole through the dummy's belly by the time Kasoria spoke, once and gruffly, certain he'd be obeyed. He was silent as she panted, face a little flushed but not sweating yet. That was good. She'd be dripping all over the cobbles by the end; he wanted her pacing herself. He held out his hand and she paused, of course. Because she was't a fucking idiot, and he was still (almost mostly) a stranger. But then he flicked his fingers towards himself, injected a little more iron into his glare... and she handed it over.

Handle first.

"First of all, you keep yer blade tight to your side-" He demonstrated, holding the blade tight and close to his hip, arm bent, ready to slash or thrust. "-an' don't bother with this shite-" Again, a demonstration, only this time more of a parody. He held the blade out almost at arm's length, like it was a talisman against some monster. "Can't get no power like that. No bend in yer arm. No swing from yer hips. Just shallow cuts as y'wave it about. But from here-"

He half-turned and stabbed out in the same moment, the same movement, the same breath. One moment he was facing her, the next he was facing the dummy-

TUNK

-and the dagger was half-buried in the belly of it. He waited for her gaze to travel from the metal to his eyes, then continued.

"You know t'go for the soft parts, an' not just cuz yer small and that's all youse can reach fer now. That's good. Shows y'know where to cause damage. Like here." There was a terrible, grinding, scraping sound as Kasoria twisted the blade in the "wound" he'd made. Max didn't want to think about what that would do to an actual stomach, with all the sundry ropy organs and fleshy sacks under the skin. "You twist it. Make the wound bigger. Harder to stitch closed. Hurts more, too. Fucks up their concentration. Also, when y'twist it-"

He yanked the blade free, far easier than she'd done.

"Doesn't get stuck as easy. Don't get predictable, either." He waited for the light to dawn in her eyes... and waited a while. "Means 'easy for people to guess what yer gonna do'. Don't go for the same spot, y'see? Belly's good. So's here... and here... and here... and 'specially here."

The dagger thrust out again into the throat, the kidneys, then stabbing straight into the face, and finally stabbed between the legs of the dummy. Every time, it was from that hip-close stance he'd already shown her. Other hand up, hand open, for balance and for blocking, she assumed. But when the dagger moved... it was smooth. Practiced. Effortless.

Kasoria saw that hungry look in the way she watched. Like she wanted to eat him alive and devour that power, make it her own. He'd worn the same avarice, decades ago. He snorted when it didn't fade even after he castrated the dummy with the dagger.

"This? This'll end every fight out there." He twisted. He gouged. The killer grinned as he ripped the blade out and wood chips pattered onto the cobbles. "Cock or not. Guarantee ye that..."

He handed her back the blade and once she had a grip on it, he held up a hand.

"One more thing."

The Old Man's hand lashed out, and Max felt his knobbly knuckles crack into the back of her hand, blow coming almost before the echo of the last word he'd spoken had faded from the air. The dagger clattered onto the ground and Kasoria grinned even wider at her indignation.

"Yer grip's shit. Hold on tighter."

Kasoria stepped back and out of the bright, deceptive suns bathing the yard in light. Oh, it looked warm. It blinded and bedazzled... until you stepped outside. Then the air proved the lights a liar. Then you froze. Kasoria felt it and did not react to it. Max tried to do the same, as the Old Man walked back to the doorway. His ears pricked as he heard the faint grind and scrape of a dagger being reclaimed from the cobbles. She could do it, right now. Or fool herself into thinking she could. His back turned, yet close enough for an attempt...

He looked over his shoulder, and found her facing the dummy.

"Again."

Again. Again. Again. Sometimes that was the only word their heard in the training rooms. Just the same, barked command, over and over, until they dreamed of it. Woke up with scraped knuckles and knees, from where they'd drilled in their sleep. Kasoria watched her start to move again. Rough and uneven. Seeing more than just wood, but... finding some semblance, some outline of her form.

"Keep at it," he said, louder so she'd hear him as he went back inside. "Remember: don't always go fer the same spots..."

The steady metronome of metal into and onto wood was almost soothing. Furry opportunists clustered around his feet, like sharks around a whale. He walked to the bookshelf and it didn't miss a step. He found the book he wanted and walked back outside. Watching her progress. Watching his student evolve, not even running or walking, just crawling. He didn't even realize he'd used that word for her, within his own mind, until long after she was gone.

He decided to wait until she asked what he was carrying. Initiative, after all. She had to learn that, too.
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word count: 1217

Appearance

  • Habitually dressed in boots, breeches, tunic, and cloak.
  • Long hair down to the shoulders, usually swept back or in a rough ponytail
  • Prefers a trimmed beard and mustache

Mutations

  • Star-shaped scar on each palm.
  • Air around him seems to thicken and become more turbulent the closer a person gets to him.
  • Pitch black eyes, from tear ducts to the pupils.
  • Arms from shoulder to palms appear as if heavy chains are wrapped around them.
  • Wisps of black smoke constantly drifts around his body, forming the rough outline of a cloak. The more agitated he becomes, the thicker the layers get.
    Note: the torch-motif medallion Kasoria wears negates the visible effects of this mutation.
  • Roughly circular pattern across breastbone, constantly transforming, and resettling
  • Sunken, closed eyes in the back of hands; they open when stared at
  • Skin takes on the tone and quality of whatever material he's just Transmuted
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Max
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Re: Of Clay and Bricks (Max)

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The Old Man's command to cease her tirade came and Max relented to the instruction. She wrenched her dagger free a final time, pivoting to face him while her chest rapidly rose and fell. Sweat beaded across her reddened brow. The orphan suddenly felt like sitting with a minor wave of lightheadedness. I would be much later that she realized, as she sometimes had when she was in a scuffle, she had been so focused on the violence of her action that she'd forgotten to breathe for its duration. Her brow furrowed with exhaustion, caramel eyes moving from the dagger in her grasp to his opened palm. Maxine reluctantly turned open the weapon and crossed her arms in its absence. No doubt the Old Man was about to show her up. Frustration already began its brewing.

As irritating as it was to be so flawed, another mood had taken the young student over. For the first time she was gifted with a mentor eager to teach. Someone gave enough of a shit to let her learn, and it was that foreign attention that allowed the Old Man to hold her undivided attention throughout his demonstration. Maxine studied his gestures like a scholar would words on a page, committing the prowess and efficiency of his movements to eager memory. When he struck the dummy with sound that just signaled a brutally fatal strike, a breath of admiration sighed from her lips. It was like throwing fuel to the flame of her newfound ambition.

Off to the side, she held an air dagger in her right hand with her eyes glued to the seasoned killer. Hips squared to an invisible dummy of her own, she started with the imaginary dagger at her waist before she thrusted it forward as the Old Man had. It was awkward at first. After the third stab it started to feel more...natural. What a dangerous thing indeed that was for a young girl to feel---the practice of a killing blow feeling natural. She dropped the act to watch her teacher point out the weak points on a person's body. She cringed when the dagger twisted, but in her eyes there burned a dangerous appreciation. Immortals help her, she even grinned at him.

Maxine hastily reached out to snatch up the blade when the Old Man finally offered it back to her. Her mind reeled, processing all the information he'd thrown at her that she was eager to put to deadly use. That wild train of thought was smacked out of her head like the blade from her fingers. Her expression darkened, eyes snapping from the grounded weapon to her teacher. She shook her hand a bit, biting her tongue though he could see the curses she spoke in her mind in her expression.

Asshole.

The orphan put her back to the Old Man, rolling her eyes as she bent down to reclaim the dagger she'd stolen from one of his kills. She stood up straight to eye his back. A quiet voice in her mind wondered which was quicker: the speed in which she could race to him or that with which he could turn before she reached him. So many dead men must've underestimated him. The Mixed Race knew better than that. She'd seen too much already to make that mistake. Yet the ambitious voice continued its musings, wondering if there would ever be a trial the student would out-skill the master. That time was not now. It wouldn't be any trial soon. She stomped over to the marred dummy with the dagger clenched tighter in her grasp. The work she put in to-trial would bring her one trial closer.

Her first attacks on the dummy were horribly uncoordinated. Sometimes she stepped first and over-thinking delayed the actual stab. Other times she tried too hard to be perfect, making the movements too dramatic and broadcasted. The more the Old Man pushed her, the smoother her shoddy work became. The step before the stab became quicker and the subsequent attack timely. When muscle memory kept the dagger coming tight from her side each time, she was afforded the chance to focus on putting more power behind each attempt. Head. Groins. Kidneys. Throat. She played with combinations, some far more logical and realistic than others. Maxine was imperfect in every sense of the word. By all definitions she was clearly a true novice. Yet the progress was there. However small, it was there. For what she couldn't provide in skill, the Old Man could see she fought like hell to make up with effort.

Exhaustion. True exhaustion. That was the untold lesson the Old Man was teaching her that trial. Again, again, and again he called for her to continue. Each time she felt her body giving up just a bit more on her, even if her mind willed it not to be so. The air became harder to suck into her lungs. An alien burn consumed her arms and legs, making the dagger feel heavier with each thrust. The sweat clinging to her skin brought a bone-deep chill with each gust of wind. In just a few bits she was standing there, panting, shivering in place before the wooden dummy. Max turned her head to spy the Old Man standing in the doorway with a book in hand.

"That," Maxine extended the dagger-wielding hand between breaths lazily to point at the tome. "What is it?" It wasn't quite the question her tired brain was trying to ask. Really she was trying to figure out what the point of it was. He was teaching her to use a blade and pay attention to the world around her. It was all attention to detail and deadly precision. Neither of those things required a book, and frankly, the presence of the lettered pages only reminded her of another way the high class found her inferior. "Something to smack me in the head with?" If nothing else she was buying herself time to recover before the next "again" rang out.
word count: 1035
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Kasoria
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Re: Of Clay and Bricks (Max)

Iyt took her a while to ask, but that was no bad thing. She had that tunnel vision thing about her now, which Kasoria knew well. Like a horse with blinkers on, the girl had shrunk her whole world down to the dummy, the blade, and herself. Difference being, she'd chosen to do such a thing, whereas the horse had no such freedom.

That'll matter, too, down the road. That she chose this. That she wanted it. He almost sighed inwardly; it was almost impossible not to compare the two of them as he coalesced the times and brutal lessons of his own life, into the words that would be her training. We could all be doing something else. But we choose this life. We own that, we accept it... things get easier.

"No, not this time, but we'll get back to that..."

He knew Tantos would have cracked him around the head for such impish snark, but Kasoria was not that man. For one thing, the Sergeant was a better example of humanity that Kasoria would ever be. For another, he was most definitely dead. And for a final one, their lessons were... slightly different. Besides which, there were only so many times you could beat a child before the education stopped, the fear ran dry, and hatred replaced both.

Something else you taught me, father.

"This... is a book... on human anatomy."

He spoke as he opened up the tome to a page he'd already marked. One with a big, detailed rendering of a human body covering one page. The girl rubbernecked and stepped closer despite herself, bravado-spouting urchin facade cracking for a moment as sheer childish curiosity overwhelmed her. The older killer smirked and stood to one side, propping the book open on the chair outside, so she could see the painting from where she stood before the dummy.

"Now y'can see for yerself, y'ken? Now... the heart, an' the lungs, an' most a' the liver..." He pointed to these strange, labeled masses as he spoke, Max drinking in the True Sight of human mechanisms so wonderfully detailed and captured on mere paper. A strange alchemy, an unexpected magic, she thought. "Wadaya notice about what's around them?"

It took her a few guesses, but Kasoria wouldn't even be talking to her if she didn't have a brain. He had no time nor patience for trying to train people too stupid to adapt, too stubborn to evolve, and too dull in perception not to know what "adapt" and "evolve" meant. A few guesses, then the killer smiled as she said (roughly) the right words.

"Aye, and there's a cage of them, all around these organs. So-" he extended his hand, flicked his fingers, and this time she gave up her blade without a fuss "-when you go for the heart an' lungs... y'gotta go on flat, like this..."

He demonstrated a few times with the dagger, holding the blade close to his side like before, then thrusting out... only now the blade was parallel to the ground. Thin steel horizontal to her eyes, better to slide between the ribs of the dummy he impaled. Once, twice, three times his arm stabbed out, sliding between different ribs each time. Clearly the man was... educated, enough that he didn't need the book to know where they were.

"Or, if y'can't manage that, you come in from under-"

He burst forward a step and the blade jutted up between man and dummy, making the latter tremble as it thrust into its torso just below the ribcage... and Max could see the blade bury in the soft flesh below the natural armor the cage provided.

"-work it around... twist it, shred their insides into stew meat-"

His hand was doing just that, writhing and turning and twisting, and Max could imagine the damage the blade could make. Hell, he was practically whittling away the dummy, and that was made of wood!

"-then whip it out, and send 'em away-"

The Old Man stepped back and withdrew the blade at the same time, but once there was enough space between them-

-his foot lashed out, kick powered by his hips-

-and nailed the dummy low in the stomach. Max blinked and could see a man there, instead. Gutted and ruined, ugly, serrated wound sucking and gushing under his futile hands, and now kicked back into the dirt and away from the man that had killed him. Kasoria turned to her and saw the bloody pantomime in her eyes. He snorted and snatched up the book, one final thing to teach for the moment.

"Oh, and as fer what y'said before?" He tossed the tome over and Max nearly stuttered in shock when she caught it. Fates, this thing was worth more than she could beg or steal in half a season. "It's heavy, an' it's solid. So if you clump some cunt wiv' it, thing'll cause damage. Good rule fer you to remember. Anything that can hurt, is a weapon. Now... ten bits. Water, rest, reading."

The Old Man tapped the cover of the book.

"Learn the organs, then get back to it."

With that, he walked back to the shady spot under the wall. Cleaning his nails with his teeth and silently marking time. The suns were nearly at their peak for the trial, and many breaks remained... but the lessons were not over.
Image
word count: 929

Appearance

  • Habitually dressed in boots, breeches, tunic, and cloak.
  • Long hair down to the shoulders, usually swept back or in a rough ponytail
  • Prefers a trimmed beard and mustache

Mutations

  • Star-shaped scar on each palm.
  • Air around him seems to thicken and become more turbulent the closer a person gets to him.
  • Pitch black eyes, from tear ducts to the pupils.
  • Arms from shoulder to palms appear as if heavy chains are wrapped around them.
  • Wisps of black smoke constantly drifts around his body, forming the rough outline of a cloak. The more agitated he becomes, the thicker the layers get.
    Note: the torch-motif medallion Kasoria wears negates the visible effects of this mutation.
  • Roughly circular pattern across breastbone, constantly transforming, and resettling
  • Sunken, closed eyes in the back of hands; they open when stared at
  • Skin takes on the tone and quality of whatever material he's just Transmuted
User avatar
Max
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Posts: 848
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:53 am
Race: Mixed Race
Renown: 765
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Re: Of Clay and Bricks (Max)

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"Human antomy?" she attempted to parrot, brow knit as her naive mind searched her memories for a clue as to what any of that meant. Pages were a waste of time as far as she was concerned. Anything worth learning, The Old Man could obviously show her on the dummy with nightmarish efficiency. Part of her considered turning from him entirely. She could easily go back to the dummy with her dagger, whittling away at it with each practice swing taking her closer to something resembling proficiency. Then she caught a glance of a picture upon the opened page he offered to her eyes. Her head turned despite herself to get a better look. Words were wind. Pictures could tell her what staring at letters could not.

She was drawn in with wide eyes. Besides the inadvertent autopsy Kasoria had performed for her in the house trials ago, the young orphan had no clue about what laid behind the skin of the human body. This one seemed to illustrate just that. Skin peeled back to reveal what fruits laid beneath, the silhouette of a man was inlaid with a mess of detail. Lines moved between thick shapes like country roads between cities. Letters were scribbled next to arrows pointing to the shapes in particular, an indication that they were worthy of a reader's attention. She followed the Old Man's finger as he identified each organ. Then, as the dots began to connect, she turned her eyes toward the dummy and tried to superimpose the mental image of the diagram onto its wooden figure. Enlightenment began to dawn.

"The organs," Max pointed out the obvious. "The important ones are protect by bones." She dared to extend an index finger, tapping at the rib cage. Eager for another lesson, she didn't fight him in returning her dagger to his possession. Once more his movements became the center of her focus. The grace of his thrusts, the way in which he position and twisted the dagger; all of it was committed to her memory. Her muscles twitched beneath the surface, her mind envisioning performing the actions for herself while she watched.

There was a beauty to this brutality. The level of practice and knowledge it took to know the subtle ins and outs of a target was immense. Max would never commit herself to scholarship. She couldn't sit still. She didn't have the discipline to bury her rear in a desk seat and nose in a book spine. What she could do, believed she could do, was wake up every trial and suck. She could stand in front of this wooden dummy for breaks, jabbing, thrusting, slashing, and looking like the amateurish fool she was. She would try and fail again and again. Her attacks aimed for specific organs would miss. The dagger she wielded would be thwarted by the protective rib cage. But one trial she'd suck just a bit less. She'd become just a smidge more formidable. The hope she could resemble a fraction of the Old Man's skill was motivation enough. It was that progress she could suffer toward.

While the young student was focused on a daydream of what she could be, the book was airborne. It nearly struck her in the face before she reacted at the last trill to catch it. Her arms gave with its unexpected weight, and she had to adjust it onto her hip to keep a good hold on it. Her gaze moved to the dummy. Her expression turned into a dark scowl. She wanted the dagger, not the damned book. Alas, the Old Man had proven there was some method to his madness. She'd weather the unpleasant task for as long as she could.

The orphan lugged the book over toward the dummy. She dropped down, back braced against it as though mere contact provided promise she'd soon strike it again. The tome fell open to the diagram page again. She gave her head a scratch. There were so many labels, arrows, and illustrations of what seemed to be the same thing but with new details. She flipped the page. Her hands ran down her face. Even the details had details.

Heart. Lungs. Liver. Kidneys. The list when on and on. Pages of pictures were dedicated to each one. Letters filled the spaces, scrawled writing filling the margins. Her lack of education wasn't serving her well. Whatever important information the author was trying to convey to her would always fall on blind eyes. All her learning had to come from observation and deduction. So she did her best. She stared at the placement of each important functioning body part. Her index finger traced the thick red and blue lines that connected each, all seeming to lead back to the heart. Half-break by half-break the significance of each piece was starting to weigh on her. Yet Maxine was no practiced learner. Important as the pictures might've been, impatience quickly got the better of her.

"Target these to kill them," Maxine's voice raised suddenly, irritated. "I get it." She closed up the book, stood, and walked toward the Old Man with the tome carried low in her arms. "But how am I going to do any of that with that little thing." Max nodded with her chin toward the dagger. "If they have a sword they'll cut me in half before I get anywhere near their ribs."

word count: 928
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Kasoria
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Posts: 1544
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Renown: 935
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Re: Of Clay and Bricks (Max)

It wasn't quite scorn that looked down at her when she made her quite logical and reasonable point. Oh, the Old Man was capable of it, for sure, but the venom in his sneers had seeped away over the last few breaks. Contempt for a novice was not conducive to an education, after all. Acting like a struggling student was dumb as rocks and hopeless as a fish that dreamed of flying, was not the mark of a good teacher.

But they were from such different worlds, and Max was fast-realizing that it wasn't just skill and training that separated them. There was mind lurking beyond those dark, dark eyes and mounds of black hair that was unlike any she'd come into contact with. She'd seen shadows of it before, in the cruelty of her bullies and the pitiless discipline of her wardens. But it seemed... purer, in this man. Shorn of pretense and stripped of excuses. Exemplified perfectly when he snorted and took the book back from her.

"Girl, half a' the job is gettin' close. You think we're fencin', here? Callin' out fer challenge, t'be answered by heralds an' such?" He walked around her and spoke as he did, resting a hand on the dummy's shoulder. "Wanna know how y'get close enough fer yer blade? Simple. Like this."

Then he turned the wooden man around so his back was to them.

"That's how. Shank 'em when they ain't lookin', do it good an' thorough, then leave."

The Old Man stepped in front of her again, eclipsing the suns with his proximity. His eyes bored down into hers as he stared, trying to force the weight, the burden, the brutal reality of what he did. Not just the act itself, but the mind that was required to execute it without hesitation. He didn't look away as he spoke, voice slow enough that his accent lessened almost to nothing.

"I ain't teaching you how to fight, girl. I'm teaching you how to kill. Leave fighting to warriors and soldiers and heroes. Killers ain't about bard singing their names or crowds cheering them. But y'know what they are about?" He leaned closer, poking Max with his finger as he made each point. "Living longer than those wankers, and getting paid for their work."

He straightened back up and the light flooded back in. Momentarily blinding the girl until her fluttering eyes forced some sort of equilibrium back into her gaze-

WHOMP

-until a blow sharp and painful but carefully measured crashed into her belly and dropped her to one knee. Even as she gasped and coughed, though, she knew the Old Man had pulled his punch. It was more instructional than damaging; educational as opposed than punishing. He hurt her, put her down, but not so much she couldn't hear his words slither into her ear as he passed her.

"'nother little trick for ya, girl. Use the light. Blind the bastards if y'can, an' come outta the suns. Kinda hard fer a man to fight back when he's got two big burning bright cunts in his eyes..."

Kasoria put the book on the chair and pondered what to do next. She was right, in her own narrow way. Scrappers and gangers across Etzos favored long knives and daggers, for sure, but most of them have a sword tucked away somewhere. It was a simple matter of reach and practicality; a man with a sword who knew how to use it, was more likely to keep back a man with just a dagger. Deny him the closeness of a killing blow, while being able to dole out his own. Kasoria knew that, and the girl had already worked it out, but-

"Youse ain't ready fer a sword, anyway. Too young. Too little. Muscles ain't grown in... yet."

He paused when he turned, and saw her face. The last word seemed to take more effort to get out, when he took in the thunderous expression plastered all over a face almost too young for him to take it seriously. Almost. Because he'd seen those youthful features harden even surrounded by blood and bodies; that restless mind turn to icy logic when he'd menaced her. She was not a child, she was not a girl, she was... her, damnit, and this old fool wasn't taking her seriously.

Kasoria pursed his lips for a moment. He didn't want to rush this training schedule, if they even fucking had one, but now... yes. Now was as good a time.

"Don't believe me? Hmm. Okay." He reached inside the door and drew the gladius she'd become so familiar with. She gazed on it as if it were some holy relic, some precious artifact of ruin and devastation. When he flipped it over and offered it, her jaw actually dropped. "Youse gonna take it not?"

She did, and Kasoria watched the pleasure seep into her face like poison into a vein. Not outright joy, giddy and grinning, but a slow, rapt enjoyment. She slashed side to side with the sword, and Kasoria had to force himself not to roll his eyes. Give a young one a sword, and they wave it around like a fucking stick. Every sodding time. Finally he stepped back from her and opened his arms wide. As if offering himself. Which was a good way to put it, since-

"Okay. Now strike me down."

The little human was stunned. The cats were not. Even when she looked from him to them, their bisected eyes just blinked lazily back at her. She would have no clarification from them, only the madman who now clasped his hands behind his back and-

"You fuckin' stupid or somethin'? Mummy an' Daddy didn't teach you words?"

Thunder. Shadows. Cloud and darkness. Kasoria saw them fall over her face and he grinned. Good. Always nice to knew where the levers were.

"Ah. Guessin' not, hmm? No wonder who don't have the balls to just do it already-"

With a yell, she exploded forwards. Thrusting like the sword was designed for, like her training all day had revolved around, and yet before the tip was even close to his stomach-

-Kasoria twisted to his side, feet not even moving, sword and girl holding it flying past him-

Be careful. Even amateurs get lucky. Especially angry ones.

But she rallied. She countered. She remembered what she'd seen in that squalid little house trials ago, seen this same sword move with unstoppable ease and cleave flesh with seemingly every stroke. She tried to ape the Old Man now, thrust failing, so going for a backhand as he stood at her right instead-

-only for the gladius to whistle through the empty air as he hopped back across the stones, light and graceful as a sparrow. Impossibly so, but ah, that was the trick she was learning. So much of what the Old Man projected, was weakness, and age, and disbelief. That he could be dangerous in any way. That he could move with a flexibility belonging to a man half his age. That he could see her blows coming before her own mind had crafted them,

First her lunge, then her thrust, now her backhand. All seen, all avoided.

And the bastard was still smiling at her.

"C'mon, girlie," he goaded, hands still clasped behind his back, like he didn't even need them for her. "Make them proud."
Image
word count: 1276

Appearance

  • Habitually dressed in boots, breeches, tunic, and cloak.
  • Long hair down to the shoulders, usually swept back or in a rough ponytail
  • Prefers a trimmed beard and mustache

Mutations

  • Star-shaped scar on each palm.
  • Air around him seems to thicken and become more turbulent the closer a person gets to him.
  • Pitch black eyes, from tear ducts to the pupils.
  • Arms from shoulder to palms appear as if heavy chains are wrapped around them.
  • Wisps of black smoke constantly drifts around his body, forming the rough outline of a cloak. The more agitated he becomes, the thicker the layers get.
    Note: the torch-motif medallion Kasoria wears negates the visible effects of this mutation.
  • Roughly circular pattern across breastbone, constantly transforming, and resettling
  • Sunken, closed eyes in the back of hands; they open when stared at
  • Skin takes on the tone and quality of whatever material he's just Transmuted
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Max
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Re: Of Clay and Bricks (Max)

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Answers. At every turn, with every lesson, Maxine wanted an answer to everything. The way in which the man maimed and murdered was unlike anything she'd ever seen. To the naive child he was the sort of man one could mistake for invincible. She wanted to be of that caliber. She wanted to be untouchable. For every scenario in which things could go terribly wrong and the enemy had the upper hand, Maxine demanded the simple answer that would unfailingly ensure her victory. It was about to be a long hard road only to discover that such ultimate wisdom didn't exist. There'd be plenty of smacks upside the head before then.

The orphan watched as the Old Man pointed out the obvious. An unsuspecting victim would be easy. She'd suckerpunched more playmates than she had fingers and toes to count. The problem wasn't ambushing an enemy that never saw her coming. It was the one who had her in their sights, squared to her, and had their big fuck-off weapon prepared to cut down the little snot wielding the toothpick. Max was a scrapper by all accounts. She'd jam a finger in the eye, put a boot between the legs, and fish-hook without a moment of hesitation. Fighting dirty was the only way to fight. She had enough animosity in her small frame to make for a decent fighter for her age.

Violence made sense to her more than most things did. It was simple and clear. Its basis was as instinctual as it was cathartic. As much as she didn't want to admit it, the Old Man had a point. Warriors fell quicker than killers so long as the latter could avoid the chopping block. There was something obvious in what he'd said that hadn't occurred to her before though. Her brow knit and understanding dawned.

He gets paid for his kills?

Max was reworking that new detail into her bloody memories when the blow hit her out of no where. She crumpled where she stood, dropping to a knee with a vacuum in her lungs. Her eyes were wide as she sucked greedily at the air to replace what had been punched out of her. One hand braced the earth, the other clutching her middle. There was no hiding her discomfort in the grimace she wore. His matter-of-fact murmur of explanation did little to patch up her pride, not that he cared. Later she'd come to appreciate his quirky intelligence, the little hints and strategies he employed that kept his enemies on their heels. For now she'd remain blind to her indignation.

Not ready for a sword? I'm not ready for a damn sword?

"Bullshit," Max countered him when she could breathe evenly again. She pushed herself up off the floor and straightened her spine to stand tall. Her hands practically twitched where they hung at her sides, preparing to cover her head in the wake of the smack to come. The Old Man acted on the contrary. She tried not to let the ghost of a smirk grace her visage for even a moment when he turned around to procure the gladius. Her caramel eyes glued themselves to the naked blade, appreciating its sharp shine in the light of the suns. She blinked in a trill of bewilderment when he prompted her, but hastily she grasped the handle with both hands.

It was heavy. Heavier than it looked even. Her fingers tightened around the hilt, slipping into the natural grooves of the well-handled weapon. Tip of the sword pointed toward the ground, Max took a couple steps backward from her instructor. There was no holding back the smirk now. It had long since evolved into a full-out beam. Her eyes gleamed, a shot of adrenaline pumped through her veins as her mind recognized the power merely in the feeling of the weapon. With two hands she slashed at the air, elated with each sound the blade made as it parted the air itself. It was all fun and games until the Old Man spoke his challenge. Max paused in her swinging, letting the tip of the sword rest upon the ground at her feet. She studied him with a knit brow. The smile quickly faded. Maybe her teacher really was a bum who lost his marbles. She had a mind to blow him off as a joke, hand back the sword even...but then he weaseled once again under her skin.

Fucking dick.

He hit a nerve and it showed. Her lip curled and her nostrils flared. The smile that came to his face in the wake of her fury only made the storm of emotions swirling in her darken. He didn't need to finish the sentence of his next mocking. She was lunging at him halfway through it with the sword raised. Just as she was with the dummy, she was nothing but a flurry of violent emotion. Her forward thrust for his middle had her entire mass behind it. She'd fully committed to running him through in her fit of rage, and like a dancer, the Old Man faded out of the way with no effort at all. His avoidance only angered her more.

Max followed after him, swinging wildly with all the force she could muster. One of the swings almost turned her completely around, but she recovered her balance and came at him again, again, again with wild shrieks paired with the attempts to cleave him open. He dodged every one. In that moment, Maxine was sure she had never hated anyone more.

"I don't need to make them anything!" she growled between grit teeth, dropping her arms for a couple trills to rest the muscles. "I don't need them. And I don't need you!" Anger alone raised the sword again, aiding the orphan with so very much to prove. She rushed at him again. This time she didn't go for the straight thrusts he so nimbly pivoted from. She came for him with wide, wild arcs intended to cut him in half no matter which flank he moved toward. She was blinded by this rage. Her feet only moved forward.
word count: 1061
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Kasoria
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Re: Of Clay and Bricks (Max)

He grinned. He chuckled. He let the mockery drip like venom'd shit from his lips and he sprayed it at her whenever she got close. But he knew that more than the words she'd heard countless times before, from dorm-room bullies to holier-than-thou adults, wouldn't be what really hurt her. They'd sting, but they wouldn't seep into her blood. They wouldn't enrage and inflame her soul. Drive her limbs into furious action and set her teeth to gnashing like a rabid dog's whenever she grunted out a breath .

She wanted to be as good as him. As fast as him. Every thrust and chop and stab hit nothing but air. Every attack was avoided with contemptuous ease. And every time, every time, he reminded Max just how fucking useless she really was.

And every time, she gets a little bit closer to the lesson.

"Never learn, do ya?"

Another twist away, arms behind his back. Clenching pretty damned tight, actually, because she was starting to get closer, but fucked if she was going to find that out. His torso pivoted on his hips and a stab to his kidney hit bugger all instead, and he was already padding away, sliding, gliding, barely touching the stones.

Still grinning when she faced him again, hair flying around her face like furious snakes.

"No wonder they fucked off an' left ya in that place."

She spat out her words and came at him like an animal. Back to using the gladius like a stick. No form, no balance, no thought, just blind hatred moving her forward. Yet even in those moments of shrieking outrage, Kasoria could see the embers of a fresh strategy. Using the gladius as it was designed wasn't working: the Old Man could skip and slid and dodge her. But slashing, hacking, swinging... that might work. Don't give him anywhere to dodge to.

Kasoria's grin spread a little wider. She was learning to adapt, even when smothered by her unbalanced emotions, and that was good.

It meant he could start fighting back, too. That was even better.

She slashed at him from the side, over and over, like she was cutting corn only she could see. Her eyes were red, her face streamed sweat, and Kasoria could see the familiar killing rage leaking out of those sockets like tears. He'd pushed and pushed and now she was doing the same. Forcing him back across the yard until he could feel the tall stone edifice behind him.

Nowhere left to run.

She swung one more time, an almost-horizontal arc that was clearly intended to cleave through his stomach and keep going until it severed his fucking spine. Well, that was hardly an option, so instead his body twisted towards the swinging blade-

-foot lashing out with his hands still behind his back-

-kicking out into the middle of the forearm that held the weapon and not just stopping it in mid-swing but knocking it back the way it came-

The red mist of murder cleared for a moment, and Max could see just how much she'd been lulled by the little bastard's pacifism. Now he was moving swiftly. Now he was alive with graceful movement, the momentum from that kick continuing to spin his body round and even as his right foot came back down to the ground his left was coming up-

-a back kick that slammed his heel into her stomach and sent her skittering backwards across the cobbles.

The gladius went clattering away from her. She was on one knee, stomach nearly mashed against her fucking spine, trying her best not to vomit all over the stones. Then the shadow fell across her. He was advancing. He was not done with her. Fear bubbled and gibbered inside her head and then that fiery anger torched it, killed it, sent her hand snapping to the dagger still on her body-

Good girl. Lose your weapon? Take a hit? Fuck it. You keep fighting.

He had to time this part right. He didn't take his eyes off her as he approached. His hands let go of themselves and came to his sides. His fingers flexed as she pulled the dagger. His arms stiffened as she drew back.

Tight to the side. Just like he'd taught her. He was practically on top of her when she let out a feral scream and thrust the dagger into his stomach-

-only for the blow to never land.

Both his hands snapped out like snake tongues, and wrapped around her wrist like a single shackle of bone and flesh. Barely in time, too. Max's jaw dropped as she saw the dagger was practically tickling his stomach, trembling tip denting the fabric of his tunic. She looked up and saw his face was no longer smiling. That same hard, purposeful look he wore before was there instead. Had it all been a deception? A ruse? Another tactic to rattle her cage and get her right to this spot?

She didn't know. Kasoria was only half-sure himself. But he knew there was a lesson to be told now, regardless of what had been intended.

"You fight angry, you fight sloppy," he said, voice worlds away from the achingly, savagely mocking tone of before. Eyes never leaving hers, even as she was still pushing that dagger towards his gut. "You let them in yer head, an' yeh stop using it. You let it burn everything away. Everything you learned. So y'don't let it burn."

He leaned closer. Enough that she could smell the food on his breath, the sweat in his hair. Enough that he felt the murderous pressure under his palms lessen, just a little.

"You let that shite freeze. The cold way is better. You think. You plan. You adapt. You never let yer anger rule yeh, cuz once it does, it taker yer arms an' legs an' then yer done." The pressure drained away, gram by gram, until the dagger wasn't thrusting anymore. It was just in her outstretched hand, grazing his stomach. "Fer example..."

He took his hands away. One push, and it would be done. She knew it. She could feel it. If she couldn't, Kasoria made sure, but leaning forwards just a touch-

-face twitching for a moment as the sharp tip dug into his skin. Harder and harder until he knew she could feel just how little pressure it would take. Just how easy it would be. When all the fancy moves and hand-blurring expertise was gone, and you were this close to your enemy... how much of a mockery it made of life, that our bodies could be so easily destroyed.

"Y'could kill me now," he all but whispered, "An' lose any chance to learn anythin' else. Forever. All over a few words I spat just to rattle you. Y'could burn, an' run outta here with a sword an' fuck-all else. Or you could burn cold... you could freeze that flame an' keep it locked in you until y'need it..."

Max was old enough in arcs and plenty aged enough in street-living to know when a man was half-talking, and half-remembering. Kasoria's eyes glazed over for a fraction of a trill, as if peering in and not out, seeing all the raging hatred that had made him this, so many arcs ago. He saw flames, real and red and raw. A house and all the lives it contained, all the evidence of living from doilies to cutlery to woodcuts to bedding, turned to ash and there, there he was in the middle of it.

Before Max was even born. Before his son. Before he still dreamed the world was more than what he knew it was now. Before the night he burned the future to the ground, and the Raggedy Man crawled from the ashes.

The assassin swallowed, and straightened up. Dagger still at his belly. Face serene. Vri was an old friend to him. If that be the trial the wanker tapped him on the shoulder, so be it. His son would be provided for. Nothing else mattered.

"Yer choice, Maxine..."
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word count: 1397

Appearance

  • Habitually dressed in boots, breeches, tunic, and cloak.
  • Long hair down to the shoulders, usually swept back or in a rough ponytail
  • Prefers a trimmed beard and mustache

Mutations

  • Star-shaped scar on each palm.
  • Air around him seems to thicken and become more turbulent the closer a person gets to him.
  • Pitch black eyes, from tear ducts to the pupils.
  • Arms from shoulder to palms appear as if heavy chains are wrapped around them.
  • Wisps of black smoke constantly drifts around his body, forming the rough outline of a cloak. The more agitated he becomes, the thicker the layers get.
    Note: the torch-motif medallion Kasoria wears negates the visible effects of this mutation.
  • Roughly circular pattern across breastbone, constantly transforming, and resettling
  • Sunken, closed eyes in the back of hands; they open when stared at
  • Skin takes on the tone and quality of whatever material he's just Transmuted
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Max
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Re: Of Clay and Bricks (Max)

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Her chest was rapidly rising and falling by the time the dagger came into her hands. Baited, mocked, and riled up, Maxine had become a ball of impulsive fury within the span of a bit. Her young mind didn't comprehend the weight of her actions. Each swing of the sword meant to punish her bully was merely a tool of retribution, not an edged weapon designed to maim and murder. The dagger was a mere replacement of that tool when it was wrenched from her grasp. When she drove it toward the man's middle, her rational mind had been left far behind. It was only when those two hands snagged her wrist, suspending time and fate, that she had any idea what she'd almost done.

Maxine stared with wide eyes at the end of her dagger. The sight of the point pressing into the Old Man's middle completely possessed her. Just a half inch. That was all it would take to press through the clothing, through skin, and into that soft body cavity filled with all those organs that riddled the book's pages. Just a half trill faster and she would've done exactly that. She pried her gaze from her weapon to the Old Man's face, the fury draining from her face to be replaced by fear and remorse. She swallowed hard. There was no patronizing smirk to indicate he was still playing games with her. The close call was real. At least it felt real.

He was coaching her again, pointing out her childish flaws and instilling knowledge like there wasn't a blade prodding his belly. He didn't even bother to knock it away. Maxine adjusted her grip on the dagger, the tightness in her hold visibly loosening as she seemed to grow more uncomfortable with what she could've done. The orphan had been a spitfire for her whole short life. She burned hot like wildfire, consuming everything and anyone in her path when provoked. Her fuse could light as quickly and dangerously as dry timberland could catch flame. Her mind went away as it did when she wielded the sword against her mentor. Anger fueled her strength in the same way it did her self-destruction. Brow knit, she struggled to grasp the concept of losing the emotions that seemed to rule her.

Max was contemplating the weight of his message when she felt the supporting hands free her wrist. The dagger dipped a bit, but the girl quickly leveled the weapon back against the man's body. Utter confusion riddled her expression now. She looked between the Old Man and his vulnerable frame several times, adjusting her stance as her mind worked to understand just what the crazy bastard was thinking. Those orphan eyes bulged again when he leaned into the point of the dagger.

He was offering her angry mind exactly what it wanted. For his disrespect and his unjust abuse, she could permanently end him. Never again would remarks about her worth or her personal past exit his lips. Never would his worn, aging hands touch a hair upon her head. He'd rightly underestimated her. She was small. She was relatively weak. She waved and fumbled with weapons like the inexperienced little girl she was. Now he'd made a fatal error. He put his fate in the hands of this incapable, angry child with little to lose. He gambled on his life that reason, one of her weaknesses, would over-rule the desire to mend a wounded ego.

Maxine's mood darkened. Her fingers tightened their grip on the hilt of the sword, muscles in her core, arms, and legs tightening as she prepared to use her whole body to muster the strength to plunge the weapon home. Her hands shook under the weight of the weapon. Her teeth grit and her eyes focused on her target, committing herself to the act. The power cast unto her was as intoxicating as it was heavy. She could claim her first life. She just had to do it.

"You really are crazy," Maxine grumped, arms dropping with relief as she lowered the tip of the sword to the ground rather than through the tunic. As rotten a man as he was, Maxine saw the logic in his words in the end. She offered the hilt of the gladius back to its owner with a scowl. There would be no learning his talent if he was not alive to wield the tool.

"I could've done it ya know," she pointed out, taking a couple steps back from the man who offered himself up like a sacrificial swine. "If I wanted to." Her brow was knit, actively masking the fear that came with the murder she could've committed. Beating playmates to a pulp was one thing. Being the cause of someone's last breath and still heart was quite another. Perhaps there was a threshold the reckless, ungovernable child could not cross in this life after all. "I spared your life. You owe me."

And yet, as obvious as it was, Maxine failed to see through the Old Man even in that most tense, unnerving moment. Another lesson. Another illusion of choice. How far could the mentor go in molding and manipulating his student to his will before she began to catch on? Would she even recognize herself, assuming she was indeed bent before she was broken like a wild mare?
word count: 925
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Kasoria
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Re: Of Clay and Bricks (Max)

It did occur to him that maybe she would do it. She'd hardly be the first killer barely in double digits that Etzos had seen.

He remembered so little of his childhood; only the things that burned so bright with goodness that he only looked at them once or twice an arc. More than that and they hurt him, reminded him what he'd lost and mourned and abandoned and could have been but never would be. Sometimes, though... it was the bad things. The children born in the darkness of the tunnels or outside brothels or workhouses. Never shown compassion or kindness, even from those that spawned them. Growing up without a speck of love and thus being incapable of it. Who relied on the streets to nourish them, and played only by the merciless, amoral rules of that urban jungle.

A handful of names buzzed through his head. Faces followed. Cherubic and deceptive, scarred and obvious. All killers. All too young to even know how to tug their own cocks. But killers still, with blades and bludgeons and whatever else was close to hand. He remembered their eyes, because he'd known them. Mayhap vaguely, since his parents would never allow such a friendship, but he remembered that terrible... emptiness, in their gaze.

Kasoria didn't see that in Max's eyes. That particular doubt vanished once he saw it, and counted not this waif among their number.

She doesn't have that bleakness in her. Anger and bitterness and hunger... but not hatred.

Not yet.


He ignored her first crack. He'd heard it before. People often called crazy or insane those who simply had the will to do what they could not. There was a fine line between that lack of fetters and being a madman who simply didn't see any such things existing anyway, for whom even his own life was an expendable resource. Kasoria was not quite that far down the road. Though he sometimes wondered if that was his destiny.

Then she spoke again and this fresh, unfamiliar persona that was scholarly and educational settled in the forefront of his mind again. He smiled softly as she spoke and nodded his head. The gladius pointed skyward in his hand as he perused the blade. Notched and pitted in the most minute ways; bones from a hundred men each leaving a scar upon the metal. Some fainter than others, all too small to effect the deadliness of the blade. To the girl it looked like an artist observing some great and impeccable work of art; for Kasoria, he was but a craftsman, and this was his tool.

"I don't doubt it," he said quietly, and even Maxine could hear the eerie change in his voice. The way it seemed softer, lower, and directed as much inwards as to was to her. "There's nothin' easier, girl. Nothin' at all." He sheathed the blade and his head shook, left and right, once each, then stopped. Looking at her. "Too easy, some would say..."

A bell chimed in a far steeply, drawing his gaze up to the top of the walls lining the yard. Their audience of felines barely even stirred, as used to the booming peals as he was. The sound seemed to resonate more in his mind. It reminded him there was a world beyond the walls; beyond their duel and lessons. He shook his head and wondered how he came to be giving lessons. The Fates were strange and Men made them stranger. A line his father liked to trot out, and now the little killer snorted and shook his head at the memory.

"I'll pay you back with another lesson." He didn't bother mentioning how he could kill her at any moment and consider himself a prudent man for eliminating one who was still a witness, in case either one of them were forgetting that. Instead he turned on that shit-eating smile he knew rankled within her, and nodded to the gate set into one wall. "Five trials. I have business before. Then come around and we'll... continue."

Well, fuck. Committed now, ain't you?

She left with a quip he expected, and still it drew a smirk from his weathered features. She was fire and fury, that one. Ready to tear the cobbles up and lob them at the Citadel. Make her mark in the world she knew, and never be subject to the horrors of it again. The sheer, brutal indifference of the streets. He wondered if she would find out exactly what he was. Not the who, because that was easier than one would think. His deeds were, after all, mostly anonymous and only those in the know had any ken that his name could be attached.

The killer sighed as Bella came out and ribbed herself luxuriantly against his shins. He shook his head and wandered back into his home.

She'll learn. She'll have to. Every skill you must master, every shrd of yourself you have to give up.

Kasoria had taught Maxine a little, and promised much more. But only she would learn the true price, and he would show her, escort her right to the very edge of the chasm and train her to jump into the void.

He padded inside, tangle of fanged feelings gnawing at his guts. He’d been a killer for a long time. But he was new to the damnation business.
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Last edited by Kasoria on Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:53 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 927

Appearance

  • Habitually dressed in boots, breeches, tunic, and cloak.
  • Long hair down to the shoulders, usually swept back or in a rough ponytail
  • Prefers a trimmed beard and mustache

Mutations

  • Star-shaped scar on each palm.
  • Air around him seems to thicken and become more turbulent the closer a person gets to him.
  • Pitch black eyes, from tear ducts to the pupils.
  • Arms from shoulder to palms appear as if heavy chains are wrapped around them.
  • Wisps of black smoke constantly drifts around his body, forming the rough outline of a cloak. The more agitated he becomes, the thicker the layers get.
    Note: the torch-motif medallion Kasoria wears negates the visible effects of this mutation.
  • Roughly circular pattern across breastbone, constantly transforming, and resettling
  • Sunken, closed eyes in the back of hands; they open when stared at
  • Skin takes on the tone and quality of whatever material he's just Transmuted
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Yrmellyn Cole
Posts: 850
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:09 pm
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Profession: Attuned to the Art
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Re: Of Clay and Bricks (Max)

[Of Clay And Bricks
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Kasoria

Overview

A triller about teaching? This tread was intense and really pulled me in. “We could all be doing something else. But we choose this life. We own that, we accept it... things get easier.” Kasoria is a professional assassin, but with his talent and the intelligence he could have been something else, for example a military officer. The character is enormously well-rounded and complex.The plot is exiting. A great thread with outstanding character interaction.

Points

15

Loot, Renown, Injuries

Knowledge

Knowledge:
Acrobatics: Pivoting and Twisting Away from a Thrust Blade
Detection: Knowing the Sound of a Person Moving Carefully in the Shadows
Disguise: Actually Begging Completes the Facade of Dressing Like One
Philosophy: Killing Is Too Easy
Psychology: Orphans are Prickly about Their Parents
Tactics: Avoid Predictability in Combat
Tactics: Attack With the Light Behind You To Blind Your Opponents
Teaching: Testing How Much a Student REALLY Wants to Learn
Teaching: Don't Rely on Your Teacher; Find Out For Yourself
Teaching: Accepting Your Responsibilities as a Mentor
Teaching: Testing Observation and Memory
Teaching: Strength is Nothing Without Brains
Teaching: Show, Don't (just) Tell
Unarmed Combat (Ki'Enaq): Spinning Double Kick
Unarmed Combat (Ki'Enaq): Block a Blade Swing with a Kick to the Inside of the Arm

Non-Skill Knowledge:
PC Maxine: Smarter Than She Looks, Not As Tough As She Acts
PC Maxine: Little Girl Who Wants to be a Big-League Killer
PC Maxine: Improving with a Dagger
PC Maxine: Needs to Controler Herself in Combat

Maxine

Overview

Maxine ... childish and premature, scared and defiant. Finally somebody sees her and finds her worth something. Even though he is an unkempt ragged assassin with harsh manners she’s so starved of attention that she does everything she can to match his expectations. At same time there’s an ambivalence, a constant questioning of “the old man”. At the end when she states that she spared his life ... it seemed like the pride of a child who doesn’t see that they were set up to win, by a parent who could easily have made them lose, but didn’t. As I also said to Kasoria, great thread with outstanding character interaction.

Points

15

Loot, Renown, Injuries

Knowledge

Knowledge:
Investigation: Asking Around About a Bar
Stealth: Waiting Out of Public View
Tactics: Pausing to Observe the Inside of a Strange Place
Blades (Dagger): Attacking From the Hip
Blades (Dagger): Keep The Dagger in Tight
Blades (Dagger): Keep a Bend in the Arm
Blades (Dagger): Driving into the Belly
Tactics: Aim to Attack the Soft Body Parts
Blades (Dagger): Twist to Enlarge a Wound
Blades (Dagger): Attack the Throat, Kidneys, Liver, Face, Heart, Lungs and Face
Blades (Dagger): Keep the Blade Flat to Go Between Ribs
Medicine: Location of Human Organs
Blades (Dagger): Stringing Attack Combinations Together
Blades (Dagger): Keep a Hold That's Not Too Loose or Tight


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