• Solo • Plia

Stronghold of education and learning, this fortress is in one of the coldest areas of Idalos and home to many knowledge seekers in a variety of disciplines. However, unknown to most, below the city are those who suffer for the sake of science. While all are welcome, not everyone will be treated as they expect.

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Doran
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Plia

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The son of Ziell entered the Fitness Centre and walked up to the front desk. Ashton Reed, the receptionist, a man of but twenty-three arcs, was sitting there, his head bent over a piece of paper, scribbling away, not noticing that someone had arrived. When the Mortalborn cleared his throat, he looked up though. Doran inclined his head in a greeting and smiled very lightly. Ashton returned his smile in a much more enthusiastic fashion, in a nearly exaggerated fashion in fact.

“Professor!” he remarked in a cheerful and excited tone, and his eyes lit up “Are you back for another session? It’s been a while since I last saw you. I’ve already started to wonder if something happened to you or if you aren’t interested anymore. Are you looking to spar with someone? Both Wyllum and Bella are currently free and would love to work with you. Have you ever thought about teaching here yourself, by the way? We could use someone with your skills!” he proclaimed, nearly beaming at the other man.

“I have been working on my thesis. I won’t be sparring with any of your employees to-trial”, the Mortalborn informed the human politely. “One of the research assistants of my institute will join me in a bit though. We will need the private room on the ground floor. As for the matter of teaching at the Fitness Centre – unfortunately, my work at the Academy and at the Infirmary keeps me too busy to take on a second, regular job”, he replied somewhat curtly, and Ashton let out a loud and almost exaggeratedly disappointed sigh before he nodded and handed him the key to the private room that he had requested.

Without further ado, the Mortalborn walked down the hallway towards his destination. He had offered to teach Plia Yishnai Velanar, a young woman of mixed Eidisi and Ellune descent and budding alchemist, the basics of swordsmanship. Plia excelled at her studies, she was intelligent, but she had absolutely no self-esteem which was something that he didn’t understand and that sometimes irritated him just a little. In his opinion she ought to be proud of herself and what she had accomplished so far. Perhaps, a training such as the one that he had planned for her would help build up her confidence though.
word count: 398

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Doran
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Re: Plia

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The son of Ziell had arrived earlier than the young research assistant for a reason. He did not sit down on one of the benches that were located at the back of the room in order to wait for her. Instead, he took his coat, a fine dark wool coat whose hood was trimmed with silver fox fur off and deposited it there. Following that, he removed his gloves so that the crimson markings on his hands, one of the most obvious signs of his growing proficiency in his chosen magic were revealed and walked over to the weapons stand, letting his gaze drift across the assortments of blades that had been provided, trying to decide on one.

In the end, the Mortalborn picked a bastard sword that was comparatively heavy and moved to the center of the room, warming up, loosening his muscles and stretching his arms and legs, before he went through a number of different exercises that were meant for agility as much as for strength, complex and challenging exercises. When the door was finally being opened, and the young half-blood stepped into the room he put the weapon away again and approached her though.

He was warmer than he had been, but not unpleasantly so. In spite of his currently being more focused on academia, he was in excellent shape – he had no interest in growing weak and soft, like most of his fellow professors.

“Plia”, he greeted her and inclined his head.

“Professor”, the young woman remarked. “I have arrived”, she said, stating the obvious and smiled tentatively before she turned to inspect the weapons that were on display, occasionally pulling one out, as if she were trying to test how it felt in her hands before she settled on a broadsword. The Mortalborn watched her for a while, his head tilted a little to the side, wondering what had made her choose that particular weapon, before he shook his head very lightly, took a very slender, light blade and handed it to her.

“Take this one”, he told her in a firm tone and gestured for her to hand the broadsword to him before he put it away. “It is an excellent weapon for a beginner and easy to handle. Anything heavier, and your arms will feel as if they are going to fall off by the time we are done. Your training will be challenging enough as it is.”

Plia didn’t attempt to argue with him, but simply nodded her head, as if she understood why he had said what he had said. The half-blood who was always so shy and hesitant, almost a bit cowardly, he noticed, seemed to be curious about and interested in what lay ahead.

word count: 459

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Doran
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Re: Plia

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“Show me how you would stand, Plia”, the Mortalborn told the half-blood. A moment later, when he noticed how tense the young woman was and that she held her sword in a vice-like grip, as if she were afraid of accidentally dropping it, he shook his head and informed her, “Not like this. Try to be a bit more relaxed. Watch me, Plia, and then try to copy me.”

He spread his legs slightly and moved one foot slightly forward. Unlike the young half-blood, the Mortalborn was not tense at all. He was completely in his element, and utterly relaxed, and he held the heavy blade in a somewhat loose fashion, effortlessly, as if it didn’t weigh a thing.

Plia furrowed her brow in concentration as she watched him, before she nodded and moved her right foot forward, bending her knees slightly. A moment later, she stepped forward with her left foot. Having done that, she glanced at the sword that she was holding with both hands now and tried to adjust her grip, moving her fingers until the blade felt comfortable. A little later, she looked up at the Mortalborn again and smiled at him tentatively,

“Like this, Professor?”
she asked.

“Like this”, he confirmed before he moved on to the next part of their lesson. “There are four main guards that I will show you to-trial, Plia: the Plow Guard, the Ox Guard, the Roof Guard and the Fool’s Guard. Watch me again, and then try to repeat what I do. You’ve done well so far, by the way”, he added, the tone of his voice softening slightly. Considering what the ultimate goal of their little training session was, a bit of positive criticism might be of use; besides, Plia was doing a good job, a better job than he had expected, even though she was still a little shy from time to time.
word count: 323

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Doran
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Re: Plia

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Having covered the different guards, the Mortalborn proceeded to showing the Young woman how to attack. He executed a strike, precise and lightning-fast, so fast that Plia just stared at him and blinked as she tried to follow the movements of his blade before he repeated what he had done, slowly, so that she could watch him, how he held his sword and what he did with it. Different attacks followed, thrusts and slices, executed at different speeds and with different amounts of force. He demonstrated an attack, and Plia immediately tried to copy it – until the young half-blood started to breathe more heavily, and her grey cheeks were slightly flushed, as if she were starting to get exhausted. She was smiling though, less shyly than before.

Once they had returned their weapons to their respective stands, the Mortalborn gestured for Plia to sit with him for a moment so that she could relax. “I expect you to practice regularly, Plia”, he spoke, and the young woman nodded. “I will ask you about it when I see you at work next”, he added as he put his gloves back on again. “By the way, Plia …” he began before he waved his hand somewhat dismissively. He had considered telling her to walk with her head held high, that she wasn’t inadequate, but in fact better than most of her classmates, that she shouldn’t constantly downplay her achievements.

He wasn’t sure if telling her that would have the intended effect though. Judging by what he had previously observed, it might just embarrass her and make things awkward.

So, he simply talked about their training and their work with her a little longer before he bade his young colleague farewell, smiling lightly as she thanked him. Finally, he made his way back to the Obsidian Prism where he lived, to continue working on the research project that he had started the cycle before – he had decided to call it Racial Blood Magic for the time being – and to wonder about how much his life had changed in just two short seasons. To his surprise, he had enjoyed working with Plia. It had been strangely … satisfying.

The old Doran, he mused, the man he had been before Viden, before Emea, before magic, before meeting his mentor, the Hero of Oscillus, would likely have been more reluctant to help her. He was glad that he was gone.

word count: 407

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Yrmellyn Cole
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Re: Plia

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Overview

Doran's personality development at his very high age gives the PC and your writing about him brand new energy. Although he is the same person, he isn't stuck in a never-changing mindset anymore but opening up to new experiences.

I find that theme very interesting and it shines through in this thread, where Doran actually seems to have fun and even feel happy to leave part of his former views and habits behind. To live again ...

The thread was a massive lesson in swordplay as well, but I didn't find it "grindy". You wrote it with a lot of detail and made it feel alive.

A good read!

Doran


Rewards and consequences

Points: 10

Knowledge:
Blades x1
Strength x5¨

Renown: +5 or so, for teaching Plia and trying to help her become more confident

Skill Review: Appropriate


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