• Mature • Eighteen Lashes (pt 1/3) [Graded]

Eve of the fourth Tentrials.

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Eighteen Lashes (pt 1/3) [Graded]


36th of Vhalar 719

"This is not a gift, though." Said Brigantia, as she presented the bolt of spider silk to Woe. "I expect you to pay well for it, dear."

"Of course. I'm indebted to you; I wouldn't dream of taking it off your hands without proper reimbursement." Woe remarked, marveling at the shiny, blacks and reds of the silk bolt in front of him. The bolt was of the most robust spider silk, and Brigantia had promised to make him a whip out of it. It'd take all of her skill at cutting and weaving cloth to make his weapon a reality.

"You'll have the iron ball bearings and beads, as well as the copper ones I put in for? I mean to fill the whip's core?" Woe asked.

"That I will, I know a good supplier of precious and base metals. Copper will be no trouble at all..." Brigantia smiled her knowing smile at the mention of copper. Did Woe anticipate a run-in with ghosts? Perhaps he should, with so many ghosts left over from the chaos of the war, who'd yet to succumb to the gravity of having fulfilled their purpose. Perhaps the poor souls had forgotten their purpose, in the ravages of war.

"Very well." Woe nodded and left her to it. "I'll be back in a few trials, then."

39th of Vhalar 719

With heavy cutting tools and the best techniques at her disposal, Brigantia managed to cobble together a masterpiece whip with the aid of some of the best leather whip makers remaining in Etzos. She knew well enough how to cut spider silk and create cords, but had to learn from those whip makers to figure out just how whips are constructed.

The whip, braided with spider silks of black and reds interwoven, was braided with expert skill. Inside the strap, small metal balls of pure grave gold and pure copper were oiled to resist corrosion. At the soft handle knot of the blacksnake whip, was contained a large grave gold ballbearing. The grave gold shell was filled with some lead in its core to increase the weight and balance. The hard ballbearing served well as an option to bludgeon into the bargain.

Woe took up the whip and nodded at her craftsmanship. "This is worth a season's wage." Woe remarked. Perhaps stupidly in retrospect. As that is precisely the sum, she asked of him.

"I'll tell you, lad, it wasn't easy to make! That spider silk doesn't cut easy, takes a damn near razor pair of scissors. You won't likely find a sword that can make so much as a single nick in one of its fibers..."

Woe nodded, giving the whip a few practice swings, away from Brigantia. It cracked well, which was one of the psychological values of the whip. That sound often gave opponents pause before engaging in combat. And once they did, the pain of the narrow of the whip was enough to convince them of the folly of attacking the man wielding it. If the pain wasn't enough? The weighed ballbearing on the handle could be reversed, and swung like a blackjack, braining whoever was foolish enough to attack him.

The price settled, albeit haphazardly on Woe's part, he set aside the gold and onyx she called for, and walked out of her shop, satisfied with the fruits of their association.

40th of Vhalar 719 7th break

Early in the morning, of the fortieth trial of Vhalar, Woe got out of his home, intent on a few purposes for the day. He had it in mind to have his tentrial day of exercise, roughly his fourth on returning to Etzos. The Crescent Arena had been a comfort to him in his grief, between work and grieving, all he really had was the arena, the houses of ill-repute that Fargis introduced him to, and his own solitude. Now, having been steeled against the sensation of grief, Woe returned to the arena, intent on making use of his recent acquisition.

The whip was light in hand, cracked well, and had the right balance. Woe had little doubt that it'd hold up in matches. The Webspinner came to the towering edifice that marked the boundaries of the arena and slipped into the entrance. Through the hallways, checking in with the bout handler and then onto the training grounds.

The dust of the grounds were grimy with freshly spilled blood. Although fatalities were a rarity in the Arena tentrials, sometimes accidents happened. Othertimes, prisoners who were condemned were to serve as a public example, whether by slaughter or corporal punishment, which meant that they would bleed.

The Webspinner stood astride the flat, dusty terrain of the arena, waiting for a challenger to suss him out. He held only his whip, and wore some padded armor and plated kettle helm over his clothing. On the kettle helm, he placed his hat that he'd earned in Withersfield, to shield his eyes from the rising sun.

After a few bits of waiting, a young man approached him. Brown of hair, well-muscled, and tall. He carried a quarterstaff. The way he presented himself, Woe had doubts about his experience in fighting, compounded by his youth. The Webspinner was almost disappointed, thinking perhaps he wouldn't be a good enough task to his skill with the whip. Yet if the boy wanted to try him, he'd give him his best.

So they squared away on the dusty ground. Woe began moving the whip all around, curling the blacksnake forward, under, and over the arm as it whirled around.

In a moment, the lad came forward with a lateral swing to Woe's left arm. However, the boy held the quarterstaff too much by the middle, and he was not able to gain enough reach to make it anywhere near to striking. Woe used the blacksnake to whip at the boy's upper body as he leaned into the attack. For the lad's trouble, a painful welt formed beneath his aketon.

"Shit!" He swore, and whirled around with the quarterstaff, exposing his back yet driving the butt of the weapon in a thrust toward Woe's solar plexus. Once again, reach wasn't the lad's friend. The Webspinner sent the whip careening down across his lower back, snapping at his posterior. The young man straightened up as soon as the narrow of the whip made contact, howling in pain, and darting off toward the edge of the circle.

This time, he corrected his grip on the quarterstaff, allowing himself a bit more reach, but it was too late for him to go on the offensive. Woe was coming at him with the whip whirling in seeming multitude of directions. The way he wielded his blacksnake was a confusing ballet of movements around his upper body.

Yet Woe had trouble closing into range now, as the young man held his staff by the end, fending him off. Woe made a few practice tries, getting a read of the boy's form and rhythm. He was fast, faster than Woe anyway. But Woe was ready by the third attempt he made to get within measure. He swept aside the staff with his left forearm in an unarmed block maneuver, and unfurled the blacksnake, across the boy's face. Woe wanted to know the full extent of damage this whip could do. The boy flinched but was too slow to recoil, and a large, line of a red gash crossed his cheek. He howled in pain, yet wasn't cowed by his third failure.

He charged at Woe, leading with a diagonal strike toward Woe's neck. However, this time, when Woe blocked with his left gauntlet, the shaft gave way almost too easily. The butt of the quarterstaff turned around to nail him in the side of the shin.

It wasn't often that Woe was given to feel pain, but he felt it now and realized some sympathy for those he'd interrogated over the years.

By now, the staff was thrown aside as the boy resorted to unarmed confrontation. Woe wasn't ready to go there and flipped the blacksnake in his hand as he backpedaled and sidestepped toward the center of the circle.

A low sweeping kick nearly took his other leg out from under him, but the Webspinner stood firm against the attack and brought the heavy end of his blacksnake, weighted with grave gold and lead, down on the boy's left shoulder nerve. The impact of the improvised blackjack made a crushing sound, as it bore through and pinched the lad's brachial nerve.

His left arm thus disabled, and unable to defend, Woe reversed his grip on the blacksnake, and began letting the boy have the narrow of his whip, up and down his left side. He continued the assault until the boy was on his knees, holding his head as best he could with just his right, "Mercy, sir! I yield!"

Thus having conceded, the boy shuffled off to see his wound scared for and checked out by a local sawbones while Woe waited for the next person in line to fight him.
word count: 1563
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Re: Eighteen Lashes (pt 1/3)


Negotiation: Settling on a price for materials and make of a weapon.
Textile Production: Spider silk is highly resistant to cutting.
Whip: Blacksnakes are full of metal shot, with a ball-bearing in the handle knot.
Whip: Blacksnakes are efficient at blludgeoning while holding them by the narrow.
Whip: Blacksnake whips tend to be shorter than full-length leather bullwhips.
Whip: Reverse the grip of the whip to use the bludgeoning end of the blacksnake to hammer your opponents.

Loot: -14 wp for a Masterwork+ Grave Gold and Spidersilk Blacksnake Whip
Wealth: -
Injuries: Some pain in his legs from his opponent’s attacks, should be fine again soon though
Renown: 5, for winning a fight.
Magic XP: -
Points: 10
- - -
Comments: Woe’s new weapon sounds really cool, and it seems to be well worth the money!

I never considered the psychological value of the whip before. It’s interesting that you mentioned that.

You wrote that you are not the best at writing combat. As far as I am concerned, there was nothing wrong with the way you wrote those combat scenes. It was easy for me to picture what Woe was doing.

I look forward to Woe’s next fight!

Great job, and enjoy your rewards!
word count: 216





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