• Graded • Exposed To The Elements

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Darius Baer Bottom
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Exposed To The Elements

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Arc 720, 4th of Cylus
Three trials had passed since Darius had helped at the Dusk Festival. He'd decided to patiently wait for the Elements time to clean up in the wake of the various bonfires before taking up their kind offer of training, and he had used that time to visit his father Josef.

Now, though, he had recovered from the festival's excitement and it was with no small ampunt of excitement that he returned to the Element Hall.

"Good trial to you," he smiled politely at the receptionist as she greeted him. "I helped with the Dusk Festival, and I was told to —"

"Ah, you must be here for the training?" she interrupted, though she was polite when she did so.

"Aye," Darius nodded, and he was directed into a familiar looking room.

It was there, just a few trials earlier, where he, Oram, and a few others received their instructions from Jo, and the Land Assistant was there again when he stepped inside.

"Good to see you again, Darius," came the welcome, and it surprised the seafarer that his name had been remembered. "I have to thank you again for your assistance during the Dusk Festival. Do you know what you'd like your two training sessions to be?"

Darius nodded. He had known which skills he wanted to hone ever since he had discovered that such training was available.

"I'd like to learn how better to wield a blade, and how to fight without one."

"That shouldn't be a problem," Jo responded after a brief pause. "Come back tomorrow morning, and we'll get started."

And as simply as that, arrangements had been made. With a spring in his step, Darius left the room, excited about the training that was to follow.
Last edited by Darius Baer Bottom on Tue Sep 27, 2022 10:43 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 300
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Darius Baer Bottom
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Re: Exposed To The Elements

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Arc 720, 5th of Cylus
Darius was still buoyant when he returned the following trial. He wore lighter clothes, for he knew he would be enduring physical activity, though the cold Cylus temperatures ensured he still donned his coat over the top , only removing it once he was inside the Element Hall.

He smiled a polite greeting to the receptionist as he arrived and continued on through to Jo's office. The man was toying with a knife at his desk, rotating it between his fingers with a deftness that only came from many years of focused training.

"Ah, good," the land assistant welcomed his visitor. "You're right on time. Follow me."

Jo stood up and led Darius down a corridor and into a deceptively large courtyard, its surface covered in sand and sawdust. Straw-filled dummies were tied against wooden posts at one end, and a youth hacked at one with a wooden sword under the watchful eye of a woman dressed in Land Troop colours. Various other wooden weapons - swords, staffs, and shields - were in separate piles along one edge of the space.

Jo set down his dagger and removed his belt along with the longsword that had been hanging from it. He pointed at Darius' hips, inviting him to do the same.

"We'll go over sword combat on the morrow," he smiled gently, "but for now we'll focus on how to hold your own when you don't have your weapon within reach."

Darius obliged, resting his blades atop a small crate nearby. A loud yell distracted him, and he briefly watched the youth putting all of his efforts into punishing the dummy for some unknown offense. The post it was tied to began to lean, and eventually a strong blow knocked it to the ground, and the woman applauded as the young man stopped to catch his breath.

The bearded blond turned to face Jo once more, and he began a training session of his own.

"Let's start with how to position your feet," his instructor said.

Darius nodded, grateful that his instructor appeared to be taking it easy on him.



"Oof!"

Darius winced as he crashed into the ground for the umpteenth time. This one was a face-plant - and not his first - but he managed to roll over, and, with Jo's assistance, return to his feet.

"That was much better," Jo declared.

"It didn't feel like it," replied Darius with a groan, which caused his trainer to laugh.

"Yes, well...the end result might have been the same, but you're certainly improving."

Darius looked across to the far end of the courtyard, but the youth was no longer there. The straw-filled dummy that he had attacked so mercilessly still lay on its side in a crumpled heap, and the bearded blond couldn't help but feel a sense of empathy with it. He was grateful that Jo hadn't been armed with a wooden blade, though that was surely to come at their next training session.

"I think that's enough for today," the instructor declared. "Get some water into you. You've earned it."

Darius gratefully obliged, taking large gulps from his waterskin, droplets of liquid escaping his mouth and forming rivulets down his chin. He was coated in a thin layer of sweat, with a mixture of sand and sawdust up the full length of the right side of his body and across one cheek so that it was almost indistinguishable from his blond beard. He could also feel a number of aches and bruises that were beginning to form; he had taken a lot of knocks that trial. As if to rub salt into his metaphorical wounds, Jo appeared to not have even broken a sweat; only his boots had any sawdust on them, and he hardly seemed out of breath.

Perhaps, Darius thought, that might change on the morrow.

Perhaps.
Last edited by Darius Baer Bottom on Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:10 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 658
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Darius Baer Bottom
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Re: Exposed To The Elements

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Arc 720, 6th of Cylus
Darius was nursing several knocks and bruises when he returned the following trial. They weren't so sore that they would prevent him from moving freely - Jo had clearly gone easy on him - but the niggles were still prominent enough to ensure he didn't forget his unarmed combat lesson in a hurry.

The Land Assistant was waiting for his student in the training area, practice blade in hand. He was taking himself through a series of movements that he would repeat: from the upper right, swinging down diagonally to the lower right; from the upper left to the lower right; a side strike from the right to the left; another side strike, going from the left to the right; and an overhead strike that Darius was rather hopeful his skull would not have to stop.

These strikes landed against one of the dummies that Darius had seen the youth using the trial before. Jo's movements were swift and they appeared easier than the bearded blond imagined they actually were. The Land Assistant was clearly a skilled swordsman.

After a few repetitions, Jo turned and, upon seeing his trainee, lowered his blade. The dusky sunlight caught the light sheen of sweat on his skin as he approached.

"In our previous lesson, I taught you how to handle yourself if you should be disarmed," Jo stated simply without even bothering to greet Darius. "This time around, let's explore what you can do when your weapon is still in your hand."

Darius might have bristled at the assumption that he would, sooner or later, find himself unarmed in the midst of a sword fight, but he would have been unjustified in doing so. The reality was that Jo was but one of many who were more skilled than he, so the unwarranted sense of pride he felt would have to be discarded if he was to keep himself alive when faced with an armed opponent.

And so, picking up a wooden practice sword of his own from the pile nearby, Darius tried to mentally prepare himself for his lesson.



Darius woke with a start. The first thing he noticed was a ringing noise in his ears. And then his brain recognised an overwhelming sensation: pain!

His head throbbed, and as he lifted a finger to touch it, he flinched. That would surely bruise.

"Sorry," Jo said, a little embarassed as he offering a hand up that was gratefully received. "I thought you were going to duck that."

In time, Darius would realise that ducking was precisely what he was supposed to have done, but he had moved too slowly and the practice blade had struck him hard.

It had been an accident, of course, and Darius had mercifully been unconscious for only a few trills. If Jo had gone easy on him the trial before, the Land Assistant certainly hadn't been so kind this time around. In addition to the lump on Darius' head, one of his forearms was already beginning to bruise, and a pain in one leg had given him a temporary limp. That said nothing of the aches his back muscles felt from so much twisting as he'd learnt the most basic of strikes.

Each pain in his body was a lesson that he vowed to learn from.
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Re: Exposed To The Elements

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Darius

Experience: 10 no magic

Knowledge:

1) Combat: Blades: Learn how to properly grip a weapon.
2) Combat: Blades: Become familiar with your weapon's reach.
3) Combat: Unarmed: Defense is just as important as offense.
4) Combat: Unarmed: Keep your guard up.
5) Endurance: If you get knocked down, get back up.
6) Tactics: Don't pick a fight that you clearly can't win.

Renown: none

Skill Usage: none

Loot/Losses: none

Injuries/Conditions: Darius may have bumps and bruises for a few trials.

Consequences: none

Comments: A very straightforward training thread. Well written for that, though. I appreciate that you allowed Darius to fail a bit. Best way to learn sometimes is to know how not to do things.

Hopefully Darius carries that lesson into real combat situations, or he might not just get a bump in the head for his trouble!

If you have any concerns about this review, please PM me about them.
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