• Solo • [Training Grounds] Looking High at the Sky

Franz gets into a one-sided spar against the Berserker

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Franz Messer
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[Training Grounds] Looking High at the Sky

14th Trial of Ashan of the Arc 716 8th Break, 24th Bit

The Training Grounds belonging to the Iron Hand was an outdoorsy place as one could easily imagine. Everyone from the lowly squire to even the Lord Commander would use it to polish their martial skills as well as the temple that was their body. For Franz it served as an observation ground whenever he didn’t train, then again observation was a form of training itself so there was that.

He had mixed feelings about the Training Grounds, oh sure there was an air of danger for it but that danger was from the risk of not paying attention to what you’re doing or where you were going. After all, people were training their bodies and minds to use methods for killing other people and even a blind fool could see the tension so thick to be cut with a knife.

As he walked upon the stone path between the myriad of grass and dirt grounds, a waster in the shape of a longsword in hand and his kite shield in the other, he realized why the air of danger here irked him; it wasn’t so much that it was dangerous; but rather it was the preparation for danger with the realization that in the next bit the flame of your life could be snuffed out just like a candle flame.

Standing to look at a group of squires, he could see that they were dressed in heavily padded armor and sparring each other with wasters. The thickness and heaviness designed to imitate the struggles of moving in plate armor. The steward knight handling their training kept shouting at one or the other to fix their forms and to not waste their movements, squires equipped in similar garb made jokes and chuckled and those actively training probably bemoaned the fact they had to train in something so exhaustive with such suffocating gear in the midst of Ashran.

Despite this, perhaps more of them knew the necessity of why they must train in such conditions. They had to get used to the weight, they had to get used to the suffocating confines of the pseudo-armor and they had to get used to fighting in it as well as get used to fighting under such fearsome weather for the inevitability that one trial they’ll be fighting under such conditions as well.

Walking the path a bit more, he came across a group of knights ungarbed in armor and stripped down to their breeches practicing striking and grappling moves upon the grass. A steward was showing the gathering of knights the advantage of a well-timed jab and the devastation of a good body slam could bring on a reluctant knight acting as the dummy.

It was kind of funny Franz to admit; the fact that the warriors of the Iron Hand with all their finely crafter armor and weapons would ever need to know to fight with their firsts. A knight was never without his weapon after all so went the saying.

‘What a load of rubbish’ He thought, knowing a time-honored truth ‘Everything was a weapon’ and that did not exclude the human body itself especially when one remembers that the human mind is a fallible thing.

Hard bone and muscle made a good bludgeon, the limbs made a good snare to immobilize the opposing limbs and could apply leverage to break bones or snap a neck. Exercise was simply the maintenance and strengthening of that natural weapon.


It was when he was lost in his introspection that he was approached by another, also holding a waster and a round shield.
“You never struck me as the serious type, what’s with all that looking that you’re doing?”.
Last edited by Franz Messer on Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 635
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Franz Messer
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[Training Grounds] Looking High at the Sky

The voice and form belonged to one James Creed, a steward knight known as the Berserker. Even to Franz he was a fearsome man and while he currently wore something approaching a smirk was on his face there was no denying how tightly the man held his rage in. He never truly lost it in training as far as Franz’ knew, and he knew very little other than his fierce hatred of bandits, but he was a man worthy of respect all the same.

“Just taking in the view I guess, Ser.” He replied to his question “ I dunno, the Trainin’ Grounds never made me feel easy”.

James simply nodded, though perhaps he didn’t really quite get it. Nonetheless he noted Franz’ waster and shield and motioned his head at him “Well, then let’s get some training done then, Knight. I could use a dummy to practice on and I know for a fact that you could use some training”

Ah, now he knew how the knight who was being used a punching bag felt like all of a sudden. Still, it wasn’t a request, so a no wouldn’t have worked here. With a gulp and sense of resignation, he nodded his acknowledgement and followed the Steward as he led away to an unused bit of the grounds.

Once they arrived they took their stances, raisied shields and pointed blades. They needed no signal as it had already began and Franz took a few steps forward and swung his blade overhead, only for Creed to parry the blade with the tip of his own and pushing Reis’ blade arm.

In an explosion of aggression, Creed slammed his shield into Franz’s own with surprising force and causing Franz to stumble back a bit before catching his balance.

‘Oh bother’ he thought with panic, while he did relish the sense of danger that Creed emitted in that brief instance of strength, the fact he could feel the force so clearly when their shields met stirred the realization that the man was simply out of his reach currently when It came to strength and skill.

A mischievous grin former on his face however, as if stating as he’d allow himself to back away especially if he gained something from this. Creed made no effort to press his advantage and so Franz stepped forward oncemore with regained footing and bashed his own shield into Creed’s as a declaration of challenge.

He didn’t even budge and as their eyes met Franz suddenly found himself caught off guard by Creed’s next words “Your footings too clumsy and you didn’t use your entire body in that bash” Suddenly Franz was pushed back even harder this time and he found himself looking at the sky.

“Oh yeah” He mumbled quietly “ I’m the one learning here…..”
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Franz Messer
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[Training Grounds] Looking High at the Sky

“I could have killed you a hundred times over by now, you know” Stated Creed as he watched Franz carried himself up from the ground.

He did, in fact, realize from the start how brutally and easily the man known as the Berserker could hand his hindquarters to him. He just wished he knew how to listen that degree by ten, he’d reach a hundred eventually but he would settle for ten at the moment.

Still, at least the smirk off his own face was wiped off and replied “ I realized that sir, so with respects to your powers, could you point what I could do to fix that?” For a moment he thought he saw Creed grin but in truth that never happened, although part of him hoped he was at least grinning on the inside.

“I could do that, yes. But first…” Like one third of a raging bull, Creed moved forward with deceptive speed as he swung his arming sword at Franz, who could barely block it in time as he raised his shield, the blunt edge of the practice blade emitting a crack as it met with the face of the kite shield.

He grunted at this with a sort of approval, but his criticism came out like a whip “If I were you I would have used that moment to push away my blade and force an opening, in fact I would have tried to push it away during the collision as to minimize the force from the blade”

He the stepped back and then threw a horizontal sword struck, it was evident that he was holding back severely as Franz managed to parry the blade away with the tip of his own sword and forcing creeds blade arm to move inside with the momentum. What he didn’t however, was the suddenly elbow strike from the blade arm coming forward as he hastily raised his shield arm to block it.

“Oh good, you must be used to fighting unarmed if you could react to that quick enough, by the way you should have pushed with your shield again, I was hardly braced to take a good push from the shield” Another wasted opportunity Franz realized from those words and that grated him to no end.

Still he was impressed with the Steward Knight, even when holding back he was superior to Franz in the field of battle. Perhaps even more impressive was how held the thinly veiled torrent of Rage within him while trying to give coherent advice and pointing out the flaws with Franz’s technique.

His eyes widened as he realized he wasted a bit more time as Creed shield bashed him once more and pushed Franz on his back

‘By the seven’ He thought miserable with flattened brows ‘I should have known’
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Franz Messer
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[Training Grounds] Looking High at the Sky

“I don’t think I need to say what was wrong with that” Considering he just demonstrated it he certainly didn’t. Nonetheless a point was made and Reis carried himself up once again and resumed his stance.

Pulling his arm and shoulder back, the thrusted the blade forward only for Creed to direct it way with the tip of his blade. He tried to pull back quickly but found that creed was inside his range and face to face with him.

“Don’t even need to hit you with my blade, just a headbutt and everything would have been over from there” He didn’t quite spit the words, but to Franz he might as well had been. Still, headbutts were Franz’ thing and while he wasn’t the best arms fighter he was damn good with his fists.

So he responded the one way he knew how; he headbutted him. It was a lucky shot, one that left migraines for both parties as Franz’s forehead connected with Creed’s. However it was Franz who stumbled back rather than Creed, who stood there unfazed. The only damage they shared was that both had blood dripping from their forehead.

“Alright, that bit was my fault” He said with a shaky voice as he tiled his head though, one could swear it was out of constraint rather than any daze “Thing is if you’re going to throw a headbutt throw it at the nose, it’s a softer target. Now come on, let’s get to it again….”

The one-sided spar and training session lasted a while after with each bout ending with Franz looking up at the sky or find a blade to most vulnerable parts to his body. By the end of it Creed seemed no worse for wear while Franz was perhaps left to stare at the sky for the umpteenth time this trial.


His breathing was heavy whilst he looked at the sky above, feeling so small. His wooden longsword and his shield now lay on the ground besides him.

“Franz, why did you choose to become a Knight, why did you choose to be part of the Iron Hand?” The question felt odd and out of no where considering the circumstances, Franz’s eyes quickly darting to look at the man who continuously bested him without even the need to put forth more than perhaps a token effort.

“Why do you ask?”

“Just answer it alright?” He said curty as he sat before the tired excuse of a Knight.

At that, Franz turned his eyes to the sky once more and shrugged “for the honor of serving King and Kingdom”

He heard the snort coming fro Creed and he had to admit that was a lme excuse even to himself and let out one of his own. He had nothing against the young king except maybe the bitch that stood at his side, but he hardly inspired any real loyalty in his subjects.

“Alright, alright…. I suppose I was looking for something a bit more honorable than being a merc”

“I think I hear the bull shitting itself back at the Arena early, Franz, and it sounds a lot like what your spewing. Don’t lie to a superior officer now…. It’s a well-known fact that honor ain’t exactly a priority for a thrill seeker like you”

‘Gah, point taken, I don’t exactly hide these things meself’ he then nodded and let out a chuckle “Fine fine, I was looking for a chain I guess….”

He was certain Creed was raising his brow as he let the curiosity seep into his voice “ A chain?”

“…Yeah, a chain. Someone to hold me leash, get it? Y’see, being a merc meant I didn’t have much for bosses unless I hammered out a contract with them and the like, so lots of times it was just getting a job and going out and do it. Lots of ‘em dangerous, naturally. Sometimes by me lonesome, other times with a group.

I don’t much ask of life anything more than something exciting and after a few years of doing the job, the usual bits get boring. My whole reason for existence is just…fighting for the sake of it, done it so many times that the only way to achieve my reason again is to do more extreme stuff….. You getting me so far, Sir?” He turned his eyes to the Steward, who nodded somewhat sympathetically.

“Well, thing is there is so much a dog like me can do to look for excitement without crossing certain lines, I’ve me a conscience after all! Ma and Da raised no crook, no scallywag, no sinner of the deepest…”

“I got it already!” Creed snapped

“…Well, point is I didn’t trust meself not go down a dark and dreary road just for the thrill. But I can’t put down the blade either, I’m born for it, yeah? Don’t want to be an unhappy sod” After that he shrugged his shoulders.

“So you needed a chain…” Creed continued for him”…. And the only thing you could think of was being part of the Iron Hand, specifically a member of the Knights”

Franz couldn’t help but smirk at that as he sat up and looked at Creed, whose brows were furrowed “Yep, believe it or not it was the Knights that served as the inspiration of being a warrior”

“Most lads would think it an inspiration to become a knight, not simply a warrior”

Franz chuckled at that and nodded “Yeah, Sir. But I was a bit of a problem child, liked me fights more than serving King and Kingdom, the idea of being of a knight just came later”

Creed nodded in understanding “Still, I get what you mean by needing a chain to keep you from the brink. As you might have heard, I’ve got me a bit of temper issues. Rage like mine left unchecked and I’d be one of the things I hate. But…” His eyes shot a glare at Franz “….you don’t got a real reason to fight Franz, I agree that you need the Iron Hand. But the Iron Hand doesn’t need someone who doesn’t have a good reason to be part of it. I, on the other, have very good reasons to fight.” Standing up with shield and blade in hand he looked down at Franz.

“You say your only goal in life is excitement, good for you, plenty of excitement to be found here. You want a chain to keep you from acting up or a firm hand to put you down? You came to the right place…. But we don’t care for soldiers who don’t have real conviction” With those words spoken, Creed had left Franz alone to ponder.

Franz could only chuckle humorlessly as he looked up to the sky once more “Think I don’t know that? Believe me, I’m trying to get that conviction….” Without further ado, he picked up the waster and his shield, and trudged back to the armory….

….a chain in neck yet no warm hand holding it and pointing to the right way of things.
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[Training Grounds] Looking High at the Sky

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Franz


Skills
Observation: 2
Socialization: 2
Melee Combat (Longsword): 4
Shield Combat (Kite Shield): 3
Unarmed Combat: 2
Rhetoric: 1
Story-telling: 1

Basic Knowledge
Location: Iron Hard Training Grounds
Combat: Don’t waste movement
Combat: Everything is a weapon
James Creed: The Beserker

Specialist Knowledge
James Creed: A formidable opponent – expect the unexpected
James Creed: Knows why you’ve joined the Knights
Combat: The importance of a balanced stance
Combat: Use your whole body
Shield Combat: Never waste an opportunity
Unarmed Combat: Head-butting – aim for softer targets, like a nose
Moseke Knights: Need warriors with conviction

Injuries
General aches and pains for three trials from landing in the dirt so many times.
A sore shield arm from the strength of James Creeds’ strike for two trials.
A cut to the forehead from your head butt. This will bruise and turn into a lump. Although it will heal within four trials, it may leave a small silvery scar on your temple
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