[Memory] Training 2

The first day of training has only barely begun, and Lucia is already exhausted. Learning to be a Skadiri is hard.

The cities and villages of Melrath are as varied and diverse as they come. The capital of Raelia is the the jewel of this western kingdom, playing host to a merchants, artisans, Aesir priests, as well as a cut throat political landscape dominated by the nobles of Raelia. To the south in the depths of the Myrkvior Forest lies Melrath's second largest, and oldest city, Fensalir. Here people have learned to live alongside spirits and the natural world by maintaining their loyalty to traditions laid down the first Melrathi. To the east lies the small fishing village of Noatun, and to the western mountains rests the Mer city of Verimeer, the brewing town of Alivilda and the alpine village Vormund.

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Lucia
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[Memory] Training 2

Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:02 am

13th Zi'da, 716

After the mid-morning meal, Lucia could already feel the burning in her legs from all the running she'd done. Fortunately, she'd had the better part of two hours to recover--including the meditation that Birna had made them do--and was able to walk without feeling like her legs were goo. She'd only had about ten minutes to eat, since one of the other recruits had been nice enough to let her know that she needed to have all the pots scrubbed before they had to report back. The teen knew what Birna was trying to do; she was trying to make them quit. Lucia had heard as much about the other branches, over the years. It only fit that the Skadiri would do the same. In order to reach her goal, Lucia would have to prove to Birna that she could not only endure this day after day, but grow stronger.

It was no surprise to anybody, least of all Lucia, that she was not qualified. She had spent most of the last four years sitting indoors or meditating outside in order to catch hold of the Frequencies of others. She couldn't run as fast or as long as anybody else in her group...but she was being fed and housed while she worked up to it. That wasn't a half-bad deal. The girl realized she was probably taken in because they wanted her magic. Nobody else in her group of recruits had a Spark, and most who wanted to join the Ragnari ended up in the Syn. She'd already proven she could handle an initiation, and that held some merit among those who understood what an initiation entailed. While Lucia didn't like that her Spark was likely a deciding factor, she decided to make the most of the opportunity.

The young woman jogged to catch up with the rest of her group, but otherwise didn't engage them as they all walked back out into the chill air. They didn't show a lot of interest in talking to her, so she returned the favor. She wasn't here to make friends; she had more important things to do.
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Lucia
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Re: [Memory] Training 2

Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:26 am

Next up was combat training. "The foundation of all fighting is the body," Birna told them, "And you need to learn to use it well before you can hold your own in a fight. Skadiri are trained to use any weapon that suits their needs. By the time you're done here, you will be able to pick up any weapon and be able to at least put up a fight. Remember, we're not the Valkyrion. Only a few among us are true masters of fighting. We train to be useful in any situation we find ourselves in--not just the battlefield." Here the woman smirked a bit. "But that's no excuse to slack off." Her tone made it clear she'd ensure that mindset never took hold...and she'd use any means necessary to reach that end.

Since the recruits were all of different progression levels, Birna circulated among small groups. Lucia and a few others were standing in a line off to the side practicing their footwork. Every now and then, Birna would come by and use her own foot to push one of their feet into a different position or throw her weight against one of the recruits in an attempt to unbalance them. It invariably worked--she knew how to throw her weight around, and insisted that footwork was the difference between unbalancing a man twice her size and being able to withstand a full charge from that man. There were limits, she'd told them, and footwork was important against every foe. More quietly, she'd added to Lucia that it was especially important for her. Not in the snarky way that Lucia was starting to associate with the woman, but as a legitimate observation. As something she needed to be aware of and work around. Lucia knew she was of fairly diminutive stature, but it did sting to be reminded of it so bluntly. Then, Birna had promptly sent Lucia sprawling onto her back and reprimanded her "sloppy footwork."

The young woman got back up and set to work again. Wide stance, knees bent slightly, one foot slightly further back than the other with the foot turned slightly outward. "The key," Birna told them, "Is to keep your weight low. Standing straight," here, she lightly shoved one of the recruits to demonstrate, "Makes you top-heavy. You need to be bottom-heavy. And keep your arms up, like this." Birna soon had them doing exercises--for starters, she had them taking moving backward and then forward again. Then left and right, pivoting slightly so that they could still be facing their imaginary opponent.
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Lucia
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Re: [Memory] Training 2

Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:41 am

For roughly the next two breaks, Birna had Lucia practicing footwork. Left, right. Back, forward. Turn clockwise, counterclockwise. She paired them up together and had one recruit move and the other do their best to maintain the same relative position. Then the two would switch roles and it would continue again. "First one to stumble has to spar with me," Birna, always a fan of the stick rather than the carrot, offered that to the set of a half-dozen recruits while the rest performed other exercises that Lucia assumed she'd be taught fairly soon. None of them had been in the tower for long, so Lucia hoped she could catch up. Or at least not make too much of a fool of herself.

As it turned out, she wasn't the first one to fall. Not out of any great skill on her part, just that her partner wasn't being too quick. For some of the other pairs, it was something of a game to see how fast they could go. Lucia made sure her movements were measured and careful; she moved exactly like Birna showed her (with a few corrections here and there), and her partner followed the pace that she set. Her and her partner's method was very lucky for Lucia--the young man who did stumble ended up getting bruised all over the ribs, side, legs, and arms. The worst part was that Birna hardly broke a sweat; she could handle any one of them or maybe even all of them put together, and was pulling her punches with the man.

Lucia, by sharp contrast, was already exhausted and a mass of sore muscles that were wobbling now and again. It was only sheer willpower that kept her upright; at least, that was what it felt like. Lucia had never been in a position like this, needing to work her body hard. It simply wasn't part of her daily life until today, and she was paying the price for that now.
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