• Solo • New Chapter of Life

Aualar starts at school

Sirothelle rests near the Heart of the World, one of the largest active volcano known in Idalos. Within the walls of this city resides the Aukarians, a race known for its treachery and murderous intent. Stone is a main component in the construction of most of the buildings in this city as the Aukari have a habit of burning down towns with their fire. Almost everything is made of stone, even their house, room, and beds. Most travelers do not come here, whether out of fear, hatred, or both. If an adventurer had the courage to step foot within Sirothelle, they can expect not to be greeted kindly, if at all.
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Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:38 am
Race: Aukari
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New Chapter of Life

Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:36 pm

1st Trial of Ymiden, 716
Aualar was woken from his sleep by a hand clamped over his mouth and nose. His eyes flew open, his heart pounding in his chest as he flailed.

"Stop it!" A familiar voice whispered at him, and he froze. His eyes strained in the darkness, and he could just make out the outline of Riheey. The hand was slowly removed from his mouth, and he breathed in deeply.

Together the pair left the room, and standing in the hall was the rest of his spark. He could barely see through his bleary, sleepy filled eyes, and he wasn't the only one. Harah and the twins both looked like they were about to fall over, but Eohky and Riheey were both dressed and ready for the day, weapons strapped on their backs, and the rest of the spark's clothing in their arms. His face began to get warm as he realized he was standing next to Eohky in nothing but his underwear, and he shifted, trying to cover up a little better. She caught the movement, and raised an eyebrow at him. His face flamed red, but she had already turned away, speaking to the group.

"We're starting behind. They ranked us by how fast we ran, and we were one of the lowest groups. We've only got two seasons to make our way up. I refuse to finish last."

Her voice carried a note of determination, and it woke Aualar up a bit. He shook his head fiercely, trying to shake the cobwebs out of his mind.

"Wha-what? I'm sorry, what time is it? His voice cracked as he tried to speak, and his face flushed again.

"4th Break. Why?"

His mouth dropped open, surprise across his face. "And what exactly do you think we'll be doing? Immortals, I didn't go to sleep until 1st Break last night!" His voice began to rise, and he was quickly hushed by the rest. As soon as he spoke he felt mortified. As if I said that to her!

"This isn't up for discussion. We're doing this, all of us." The flashing eyes challenged Aualar, daring him to disagree. Without a hesitation, he pulled on his clothes, and grabbed his weapon.

"Good, now lets go out for a run." Her voice was chipper, and Aualar felt himself cheering up, but slowly, so slowly. He followed his spark out of the door, his eyes locked on the back of her head.
They leaned over, panting. She had led them on a hard run, despite only lasting for half a break. They had nearly sprinted the whole thing, pausing for brief, 30-trill rests, before they were off again. Everyone was gasping, sweat dripping off them, when Eohky forced herself upright.

"All right, that was a good warmup." A tinge of sarcasm threaded its way through her voice, and Aualar smirked. As the rest of the spark slowly forced themselves up, and Eohky continued.

"We're all terrible at bows, so we're going to work on them this morning. Plus a little birdy told me that we're having a competition in archery this week, and we need the extra points. Especially you, Aualar. "

At her comment, his cheeks burned. No matter how true it was, it still hurt him to have it pointed out, let alone pointed out by his crush. A silence fell over the group, awkward at the reminder of Aualar's failure, and unsure of how to proceed. Slowly, they headed off towards the targets, none of them meeting his eyes. They trotted over towards the archery range, carefully stringing their bows.

Aualar fiddled with his, not quite able to hook the small loop around the end of his bow. A small hand fell over his, guiding in over perfectly. He looked up to see Eohky's face inches from his. He froze- he could feel her warm breath on his face, smell her skin, and his heart began to race. A small smile crossed her face as he stared at her, like a deer in headlights, and she leaned in, whispering in his ear.

"Sorry about that Aualar. But I know you can do it, and you doing well will push them to do better. They look up to you."

He barely registered her words, but he somehow managed to mutter something vaguely coherent. He turned towards the target, already knocking his bow. He pulled back, his arm shaking with the force required to pull the longbow.

There were a variety of weapons, but Aran had nearly forced the Aukari into the longbow. 'It's a good weapon for a big one like yourself' he said. 'You'll have no problems pulling it' he said.... Hmm. He hunched his neck awkwardly, peering down the shaft of the arrow to sight the target twenty feet away. As he let go, the tight string struck his arm, the skin immediately going red, and the arrow flew off course, somehow lodging itself in the dead centre of Harah's target.

The rest of his spark turned to look at him, their faces were masks of shock at his shot, slowly turning to mirth as they realized he had been aiming for his own target. Soon the group was howling on the ground, Herau's feet kicking the air as tears streamed from their faces. The tension was broken, and soon they were all helping each other to their feet.

"You should try to pull with your back, Aualar. It might help." Riheey told Aualar, squeezing his own shoulder blades together as he demonstrated. The man's muscles rippled as he did, and Aualar felt a stab of envy as he saw Eohky glance appreciatively at his back.

He stalked over towards the archery range, his mood suddenly soured. But despite that, he knew that Riheey was just looking out for him. He breathed deeply. calming himself as he pushed his resentment out. Finally, he stood up, and drew his bow. He pushed out his chest, squeezing his back, and the string came back easily. A smile crossed his face as he got to full draw, and held it without shaking. With the change in his stance, he found he could easily stare down the shaft as well. He exhaled, and let go, the shaft flying straight and true to hit the target. He let out a whoop, and the others turned to look at his target.

The arrow had missed the painted circle, and had barely struck the top of the straw, but Aualar was elated. That was the closest shot he had made in three trials of practice, and he grinned broadly as he managed to contain his excitement.

It's going to be a good day.
word count: 1148
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:38 am
Race: Aukari
Renown: +30
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New Chapter of Life

Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:34 pm

The sound of the bell woke Aualar, and he groggily opened his eyes to see the first hints of the sun streaming in. The rest of the students were already lined up, their beds made and ready for another day.

Aualar, however, was exhausted. He had felt fine, great even, as his spark crept back into their beds. It had been his idea- cutting their practice short by two dozen bits, so their training would remain somewhat secret. It had worked this morning, and no one had been awake as he tried to silently slip between their beds. Luckily the sleeping students were all exhausted, and didn't hear the creaking floorboards, or the muffled curses as he stubbed his pinky toe on an extruding trunk.

But now, it all seemed to backfire. He hadn't meant to fall asleep, but the bed had been so warm, and inviting, he just hadn't been able to keep his eyes open. The exhaustion dragged him down, and it took all his energy to rise. His legs screamed at him, and he groaned in protest. I should've stretched more...

He busied himself with getting ready, and then headed out with the rest of the students. They filed out into the courtyard, where row upon row of dummies were waiting. Groans echoed from the assembled students, and Aran smiled darkly at them.

"All right, listen up!" His voice easily carried over the assembled students, and they quickly quieted their moans of protest. The first trial had been enough to learn that when Aran spoke, you shut up.

"Good. Now this morning is going to be more practice of the basic moves, and this afternoon we'll get more into actual sparring."

A short guy with spiky hair muttered under his breath. "We know this dumb shit. Just move on already."

Aran's head whipped around, and his eyes pinned the boy to the ground as he pushed his way through the crowd.

"What did you say?" HIs voice was quiet, but the sound made the hair on Aualar's neck stand up. The boy looked nervous, but as he looked around at his friends, he drew up courage from somewhere deep inside.

"I said, why are we practicing this baby shit. I know how to do this, so lets move on already."

Aran nodded his head thoughtfully, but Aualar could see a wicked smile beginning on his lips.

"Well, if you're so ready, grab your sword and follow me." He turned and stalked back to the centre of the field, the boy following behind. As he got there, he drew his sword. "If you can touch me with your blade, I'll give you the day off. But if I touch you with mine, you and your spark don't get to practice sparring this afternoon, and will continue to hit the dummies. Understood? Good. You may begin."

As he spoke, Aualar could see the boys eyes widen, and he looked as if he wanted to be anywhere else. A burst of cries from his spark at the terms made him smile, even as the boy tentatively drew his weapon and leapt at Aran.

Calling it a fight would be generous- it implies there was some back and forth. Instead, it lasted all of three swings. The boy made a sloppy overhead swing towards Aran, and instead of dodging, he stepped toward it and simply raised his sword to block the strike. The blades rang together, and the vibrations made the boy drop his blade, numb hands shaking. Aran swung his sword, resting the point on the boy's collarbone.

"No sparring for you today." He said as he sheathed his sword. Turning towards the rest of the class, he told them to get to it.

Aualar walked over to a dummy, and drew his sword. Beside him, Eohky raised her greatsword, and shot Aualar a soft smile. A grin spilt his face as he took his stance. She may be a better archer than I am, but this is my game.

Aran's voice carried easily across the field. "Overhead" With a grunt, Aualar lifted his sword over his head and smacked it down on the dummy. Beside him, Eohky was somehow doing the same with a weapon that weighed nearly half as much as her. The thuds echoed around the field and they drew their weapons back, waiting. "RIght" As one, the assembled students swung their swords horizontally, cutting deep into the notched dummies.

He continued to shout commands as he walked through the lines of students, pausing every so often to give a word of advice. As he passed Aualar, he nodded his head. "Good enough."

Aualar lost track of time, fighting the sweat in his eyes and the burning of his arms with every stroke.
Finally, he called a rest. Exhausted, Aualar's arms dropped. He sheathed his sword, and sat down on the ground, sweat pouring off his body.

"Take a break, go and grab some water, then return. We begin sparring in fifteen bits. If you're late, you don't get to participate, and can join those who thought they were too good for basic strokes." Aran turned and disappeared into the building, and Aualar hauled himself upright to drag his target off to the side.

He and his spark walked into the mess hall, greedily gulping down nearly a dozen pitchers of water before Aualar stopped them. "Guys, don't drink so much. We're gonna be fighting soon, and that's just going to slow you down. Actually, on second though drink as much as you want. It'll just make it that much easier to beat you." He smiled to show he meant no offense, and the rest of his spark chuckled.

"The only reason you could beat me is because your reach is so much longer!" Eohky poked back. "And I don't have some spear that I can use to jab at you with either." She said, looking at Harah.

They made their way back out to the field to see large, white squares outlined by rope on the ground. They looked at each other, confused, but Riheey quickly realized what it was.

"They're having us fight other sparks. Not our own." The realization made them all pause, and nervousness rippled through the group. Aualar felt fine, confident in his abilities, but the rest showed varying degrees of worry.

"Guys, we've got this. Relax. Just think of all the hours you've put in, and do your best. Whatever happens, happens. We won't blame you for a bad fight." He looked around at all of them, resting his eyes the longest on Harah, who looked like she was about to vomit.

Nervous smiles crossed the twin's faces as they nodded at each other. They had both chosen a pair of weapons- Kyreh had a set of Sais, and Herau had an arming sword and a dagger. They looked worried, but they calmed each other down quickly.

When the students had all trickled in, Aran returned, and started yelling out names. Aualar quickly realized that he had organized it so each of the squares was a weapon. In his group, there was only four others- two smaller girls, a boy mere inches shorter than Aualar, and another, fatter boy.

They introduced themselves, shaking hands, but Aualar promptly forgot their names as he turned back to Aran.

"Match is to first 'blood'. Winner moves on, loser gets replaced. Anything goes, but you seriously injure someone and you're sitting out for however long it takes them to return. Questions? No? Good. You may begin."

Aualar turned back to see the two girls already sparring. Their movements were awkward and stilted, but their blades rang together with purpose. Aualar saw several times, openings that he would've used, but the girls showed no awareness of them.

Finally, after several bits, one of them dropped her guard too much, and the dull metal smacked hard against her arm. She let out a cry, and dropped her longsword. Aualar quickly jumped in the ring before anyone else had a chance to. He drew his sword, and glanced down at the small girl. He felt slightly bad for her, but knew that this was no time to take it easy.

He drew his sword, and charged her, his attacks flowing from one into the next with far more grace than the girl could ever hope to block. Within trills her defense faltered, and Aualar's blade snuck in to strike her shoulder, and they halted.

The other two boys went similarly, though they both showed much more practice with the blade. Aualar was soon soaked in sweat, the sword feeling heavier and heavier as he finished the last match. He stopped, grateful for the reprieve as they turned to look at Aran. He looked at them, and gestured to keep cycling through. Aualar groaned as the next in line stepped into the ring.
That night, getting ready for bed, he felt sore all over. It hadn't been long after that when his exhaustion had made him drop his guard, and he earned a blade to the side for that one. Throughout the rest of the trial, he had accumulated a variety of bruises, and he hadn't been able to move his arms for dinner. Climbing under his sheets, he was asleep before his head hit the pillow.
word count: 1595
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:36 pm
Race: Prophet
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New Chapter of Life

Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:03 pm


Peer Review

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 0/5
Structure: 5/5

Awarded Knowledge
Generalised Knowledge [/color]xxxxxx Specialised Knowledge
Location: The First Finger [/color]xxxxxx The First Finger: Early Starts
Location: The Hand of Faldrun [/color]xxxxxx The Military: Teamwork
[/color]xxxxxx Bow: Draw With Your Back
[/color]xxxxxx Water: Slows You Down
Loot & Losses [/color]xxxxxx Injuries
None [/color]xxxxxx None

This was beautifully written but sometimes hard to read. This could possibly be because of my terrible eyes… but in future might I suggest enlarging the font slightly to make it easier on the eyes? And possibly changing the colour of the text for different speakers? Though that second one is really minor. But sometimes it is a little confusing if you’re expecting something. Other than that… it was a really good read. I like how you capture the exhaustion of going through this.

As you can see, I have provided feedback and reasoning behind my review. If you have any questions, comments or criticism about your review, feel free to send me a PM and we can discuss it.
word count: 250
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