[Haven] Arming The Unarmed

Balthazar leads a training session.

A small island with an active volcano, Faldrass is the home to Saoire's school and to the Faldrass Induk.

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Balthazar Black
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[Haven] Arming The Unarmed


18 Ashan 721
On the night of the eighteenth, as the time ticked by waiting for the arsonist to confess to their crimes, Balthazar lead another of the training sessions he'd been prompted by Silk to offer the settlers. He was good at what he did but he was not always the best at imparting knowledge to others. He was getting better but everything took time. He had the class lined up in rows, going over the basic punches and blocks they could perform with their arms. He hadn't really started teaching anyone kicking yet because he wanted to make sure they had the basics before moving to something that would upset the balance of many of the untrained. Towards the end of the session, Balthazar had the group of roughly fifteen settlers separate into pairs and practice by sparring with each other- the odd one out being Elisabeth.

There had been twenty settlers the first time he offered this training and the number had dwindled over the trials since. Not everyone was content to progress as slowly as it seemed they were. That had cost him two students. Not everyone was suited for fighting, some just wouldn't put the work in. That cost him another. Some didn't like when they challenged you to a spar and were quickly beaten. That had cost him two students. However the ones who remained seemed content enough with the lessons and almost excited as they split into pairs to spar on the beach. It was always good to go to your happy place after a long, stressful trial.

word count: 269

Visible Mutations/ Marks

Mutations
Defiance: Skin always glows faintly and he is warm to the touch. His is also the center of a field of static electricity so people get shocked touching him on occasion.
Rupturing: Orange etheric cracks spider-web up his arms to his elbows. His eyes and the glowing cracks going down his cheeks glow dark blue.
Transmutation: He has a series of emerald, glowing cracks on his right pectoral.
Marks
Bellinos: His fingernails are always black. The color fades into his fingers.
Celarion: A dim glowing ring surrounds his left forearm.
Palenon: A silver lightning shaped mark about the size of a hand stretching up towards his torso.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks on Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Elisabeth Black
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Re: [Haven] Arming The Unarmed

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Arc 721, 18 Ashan


In passing early that trial, Balthazar had mentioned that he was giving an unarmed training session to the settlers. While she generally worked on unarmed alone, Elisabeth decided it would be good to participate so she could practice against others. Her skills were above the unskilled settlers, but she also had the advantage of Balthazar’s expertise that she had access to.

Whenever they sparred, she ended up on her ass…but she learned each time and improved. She would never be as good as he was but that really wasn’t the point.

Dressing in her training clothes, she met the group on the beach, letting the elements wash over her. Smiling as she watched Balthazar teach the class, she thought about how much he had improved as a teacher. Remembering one particular training session at Storm’s Edge where the sum whole of his instruction to her had been ‘fall less’, it was gratifying to see him in his element.

Elisabeth went through the basic moves with the others, simply for review. When everyone paired off, she allowed the settlers to pair together, being the odd one out, which was fine. They needed the work more than she did. Walking over to Balthazar, she smiled. “They are improving quickly. Make sure to remind them to ‘fall less’ at least once.” Grinning, she turned and let her sapphire eyes move over the sparring pairs, looking for any simple errors that she could learn from.

Unarmed was more than just a combat form. It was about learning body position and being aware of your form in space. It was breathing and discipline. The settlers would have to learn about that too but first things first.


Last edited by Elisabeth Black on Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:30 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 289
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Balthazar Black
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Re: [Haven] Arming The Unarmed


18 Ashan 721
"I haven't had to yet, they don't fall quite as much as you." He said with a playful nudge as he watched the various groups sparring. He looked over at Elisabeth standing beside him, just standing there. She was better than the settlers but far from good enough by Balthazar's standard. She may have been the odd one out but she had an ability that no one else on that beach did and Balthazar was going to show it to her. He was a master of unarmed combat but he had never truly been unarmed as he learned. The Albarech took his magic but not his knowledge. It was time to teach Elisabeth the elemental fighting forms. However he would have to take her back to the very basics. "What are you doing standing around? Hands up, keep punching. Just because you couldn't find a partner doesn't mean you can't practice. Do a few punches, work on breathing as you do, I need to make a round and help a few people with form and then I'll show you something." Balthazar said as he pat Elisabeth on the back and moved a little bit away to speak with various pairing of students as they went through their training matches.

He wanted to give her more focus, but he was training a class and if he gave her a lot of focus it meant he was not giving them enough. Balthazar walked through the row of settlers sparring and stopped occasionally to watch an exchange of blows. They'd worked out a simple point system for spars during the first few sessions. Hits to the face and groin were illegal, hits to the body got you one point and it took three points to win your spar- not that winning meant much. There were no prizes other than pride but Balthazar had never needed more than that. It didn't seem the students did either. Balthazar stopped before a duo, Balder and Silk. He'd noticed them in the crowd before but hadn't said anything. He had the chance now so he took it. "What, couldn't get Ronan to come?" Balthazar asked the duo who were trading punches. His voice distracted Balder for a moment allowing Silk to land a straight jab to Balder's chest. "Keep your guard up."

Balder gave Balthazar a small nod and then turned to Silk. "One point for you." He brought his hands back up and readied himself for her next attack but Silk was looking at Balthazar.

"He didn't want to." Silk replied before Balder moved in to attack. Silk shifted into her defensive quickly- parrying Balder's first two jabs for swinging at him. He ducked backwards, avoiding her fist, and Silk advanced with another two jabs that Balder blocked.

"We're going to wrap up after the sparring. In a few bits come over to me and Elisabeth, I have an exercise I think would be... fun." Balthazar said while the two continued exchanging punches. He got nods from both of them but neither could break their focus enough for a verbal response. Balthazar moved along to another group training, gave some simple advice about their form, and moved onto another. He invited a few to come over to him in a few bits and instructed the others to gather in a semi-circle when they were done. His shadow followed him the whole time yet Balthazar did not think for a moment about them. He returned to Elisabeth after making all his rounds and announced himself as he reached her. "Have you manifest fire yet-or any of the elements really? I've noticed... changes."

word count: 627

Visible Mutations/ Marks

Mutations
Defiance: Skin always glows faintly and he is warm to the touch. His is also the center of a field of static electricity so people get shocked touching him on occasion.
Rupturing: Orange etheric cracks spider-web up his arms to his elbows. His eyes and the glowing cracks going down his cheeks glow dark blue.
Transmutation: He has a series of emerald, glowing cracks on his right pectoral.
Marks
Bellinos: His fingernails are always black. The color fades into his fingers.
Celarion: A dim glowing ring surrounds his left forearm.
Palenon: A silver lightning shaped mark about the size of a hand stretching up towards his torso.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks on Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Elisabeth Black
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Re: [Haven] Arming The Unarmed

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Arc 721, 18 Ashan


The playful nudge was returned in kind with a grin. He apparently remembered from where she referenced his ‘wise’ teaching advice. “Well, to be fair, I had to deal with the course, Prae and you – all at the same time. I still made it…”

Shaking her head gently as he asked why she was standing there, she tossed him a smile. “You are very aware of how much I train…and how many things I train in. One bit of rest isn’t going to derail that.” Laughing a bit, she moved into a centered stance and did as he asked, focusing more on her breathing and body position than anything else. Reviewing basic punches was a good idea but the problem was that the settlers were learning the mechanics of the punches themselves. Elisabeth already knew those, so she needed a new approach that would allow her to progress.

Forms were a good way, from what she had learned at Storm’s Edge, to practice hits but also learn flow and proper breathing. The young mage had done forms before, but it had been a while.

Closing her eyes gently, she bent her knees a bit and allowed herself to feel the balance of her starting position. The sand offered a bit of a challenge as it tended to be uneven and ever-shifting.

Settling her bare feet into it, hoping to dig them far enough into the warm sand to find semi-solid ground, Elisabeth finally began a fairly fluid form of multiple punches from the forward guard position. Those flowed into blocks and back to punches. Unarmed combat meant having to worry about offensive and defensive strategy since your body was all that stood between you and whatever was trying to hurt you.

It was a good thing that Elisabeth didn’t hear Balthazar’s comment about ‘fun’…because she knew what that term meant for him – someone’s ass was going to be hitting the ground, and it usually was hers. The young woman was still working on her forms as he sauntered back. Continuing with her work as they spoke, she replied. “Changes? No…I haven’t manifested anything yet. I didn’t think I was at that point yet. I mean, everything else had gotten much easier but I’m not sure what you mean about changes. What changes?” Balthazar, with or without his magic, was still her guide to magic. He saw things she didn’t and as such, if he was seeing changes, she wanted to know about them.

Last edited by Elisabeth Black on Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:25 am, edited 3 times in total. word count: 431
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Re: [Haven] Arming The Unarmed


18 Ashan 721
Elisabeth was getting cocky... perhaps a good knock on her backside would do her some good. The point wasn't that one bit of rest would hurt, the point was that he was leading a class. Now was the time to train, not later, even if that meant punching the air by yourself. Balthazar had punched a lot of air by himself to get where he was totrial- or well, to get where he'd been a season ago. So much work undone by such an easily escapable restriction. Well... not easily but certainly doable. The three flame troopers on the island and the fact that the Badlands was an unknown made it difficult, but not impossible to elude them until his magic returned enough for him really to escape. If Emea hadn't cracked, or shut down again- an issue which still perplexed the frequent dreamwalker, he would have likely already made an attempt.

No, you wouldn't. Fuego's voice chimed in his head.

No, I wouldn't. Balthazar agreed. Regardless of Kura and Rand, Balthazar had promised Saoire and Faldrass that he would help the people prosper. He would lead them. He hated many different mortals on Idalos and had been betrayed by many more, but Saoire and Faldrass had done nothing to him but good things. Well... Faldrass had nearly killed him but the induk could hardly be blamed for that just as Balthazar could hardly be blamed for fighting the creep when it tried to kill him in Melrath. Saoire, though, had truly done nothing dubious. He liked her quite a bit as far as immortals he'd met went. Tio kidnapped him, Vri threatened his life and bound him with a deal that taught him different values every trial, Syroa danced with him but he knew he was to consider her an enemy because of Vri and well... the shrine incident, Daia was fine but they hadn't spoken much, Xiur seemed kind but he liked Doran so... the point was that Saoire had always had a gift, been kind, and introduced Balthazar to the most curious and varied species he'd ever seen.

He would keep his word to her even if it meant working with people he did not enjoy, but he would seek every alternative before working with them.

"You don't... feel it?" Balthazar asked, seemingly surprised that Elisabeth did not notice the changes he was talking about. "I always thought everyone felt it- I certainly felt mine but my whole body felt like it was burning for a few breaks before I got used to it so I suppose it was a noticeable change." He was rambling, finding his guard dropped by the amount of mystic curiosity going through his mind. He couldn't practice magic, but he knew it very well and every time he learned something that was contrary to a belief he had (in regards to magic) it was interesting. "I noticed it first after the fire but didn't say anything. You've mutated. It's not there now but your eyes were different when I found you outside the burning building." He shook his head, they were getting off track and the students would only be sparring for a little longer before they assembled for the final exercise.

"Later, for now hold out your hand and pick an element. Focus on it, focus on your ether, and try to conjure that element above your hand. I've found fire is easiest but wind and water are not far behind. Creating a rock from thin air is a little more... complicated."

word count: 609

Visible Mutations/ Marks

Mutations
Defiance: Skin always glows faintly and he is warm to the touch. His is also the center of a field of static electricity so people get shocked touching him on occasion.
Rupturing: Orange etheric cracks spider-web up his arms to his elbows. His eyes and the glowing cracks going down his cheeks glow dark blue.
Transmutation: He has a series of emerald, glowing cracks on his right pectoral.
Marks
Bellinos: His fingernails are always black. The color fades into his fingers.
Celarion: A dim glowing ring surrounds his left forearm.
Palenon: A silver lightning shaped mark about the size of a hand stretching up towards his torso.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks on Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Elisabeth Black
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Re: [Haven] Arming The Unarmed

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Arc 721, 18 Ashan



Of course, he was teaching a class now…and she had been working with the rest of the class up until the point everyone paired off. It only had been a few bits that she hadn’t been doing exactly what he asked her. Elisabeth wasn’t going to point that out though. Not in public. That was a conversation for another time.

When he asked her about changes, he seemed baffled by her answer that she hadn’t noticed anything. He went on to explain that he had…but Elisabeth knew that magic manifested differently in each wielder. Balthazar had been unable to be her guide for most of her beginning level lessons due to the intimate nature of how the elements communicated with her. It sounded like, perhaps, there would still be a bit of that uncertainty as she crawled her way towards understanding the next level of her abilities.

He had noticed…a change with her eyes? What did that mean? She was mutated? Obviously, she knew what mutations were. Elisabeth had figured that if she gained mutations, she would know but maybe not. No matter. He assigned her a task while he dealt with the other students.

Manifest an element.

Doing as he asked, the young mage held out her hand and closed her eyes. It wasn’t difficult to pick an element for there was one she always leaped to first. It had greeted her first upon initiation and when she heard it, it was Balthazar speaking to her. There had never been another choice when it came to which element she would feel closest to and it seemed like that relationship was progressing.

Concentrating as he instructed on her ether, she called to the element that was once a source of fear for her but now, so beloved. It came, whispering to her, but different. Something…was different. Elisabeth was asking it to do something she hadn’t asked before so there was a bit of confusion, hesitation. Defiance was always about the relationship one had with the elements and manifestation seemed to be a big step. It didn't happen quickly or easily, forcing her to focus her discipline on the goal.

After a few bits of connection, she began to feel something different. Heat rising within her. The young mage couldn’t see it, but ribbons of crimson began swirling in her eyes – a tell-tale sign of what was to come. Above her hand, in the blink of an eye, fire sprouted and grew. Elisabeth continued to focus on the flame, feeling something new and intense. The manifestation amplified the feeling she had when she spoke to fire. She wouldn’t be able to adequately explain it, but in manifesting the flame, she could feel a euphoria, unlike anything she had ever felt before.


Last edited by Elisabeth Black on Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:32 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 477
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Re: [Haven] Arming The Unarmed


18 Ashan 721
Balthazar waited and watched as the crimson swirls returned to her eyes and a few trills later a flame burst into existence in the palm of her hand. Good. He didn't know how she'd gone about doing it, he didn't know how any other defier really called an element into existence- only how he'd done it. It didn't matter though, what mattered was that she had been able to bring the flame to life. He wanted to push further and have her actually propel a flame with an attack, but they'd run out of time. It seemed like she'd done it quickly to him, but they had taken more time than he knew. The semicircle of students gathered around the group of five chosen fighters, including Elisabeth. "Alright, away with the fire, it's time for something important." Balthazar said to his initiate before gesturing for her to join the other four chosen.

He'd picked the best students based on their form and performance during their personal sparring session. Silk, Balder, a young man with a patchy beard, a woman with blonde hair pulled up into a bun, and Elisabeth- they were best in the class. Balthazar pulled two lengths of red fabric from his pocket and held them up for the five students to see. "At the end of the next few training sessions I will allow five volunteers an opportunity to participate in this exercise. I've chosen you five tonight because I think you might be able to figure it out and show the others how to complete the challenge." But what was that challenge? "I'm going to attach these to my belt and the first two of you to pull the cloth off my belt win. Only two can win, consider that in your approach. Those who pull the cloth will receive a personal lesson with me at a later time." Balthazar explained, running the cloth through his belt so it hung surprisingly loosely at either side.

"Begin." Mummers passed around the semicircle of students and Balthazar assumed a ready stance, bringing his hands up and bending his knees just slightly to prepare. Then the fatal five struck.

word count: 374

Visible Mutations/ Marks

Mutations
Defiance: Skin always glows faintly and he is warm to the touch. His is also the center of a field of static electricity so people get shocked touching him on occasion.
Rupturing: Orange etheric cracks spider-web up his arms to his elbows. His eyes and the glowing cracks going down his cheeks glow dark blue.
Transmutation: He has a series of emerald, glowing cracks on his right pectoral.
Marks
Bellinos: His fingernails are always black. The color fades into his fingers.
Celarion: A dim glowing ring surrounds his left forearm.
Palenon: A silver lightning shaped mark about the size of a hand stretching up towards his torso.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks on Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Elisabeth Black
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Re: [Haven] Arming The Unarmed

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Arc 721, 18 Ashan


She knew she felt something different but there were no words for her to explain. As Balthazar approached her, he noted the flame and then proceeded to tell her to make it go away because they needed to move on. Easier said then done. How was she supposed to make it go away? Concentrating on the flames, she reached out to them, asking them to disperse. At first, it appeared that nothing was happening. The flame continued to happily dance above her hand. Arching her eyebrow gently, Elisabeth tried again, a little more insistent this time. In response, the flames lowered…but did not vanish completely. Well, progress. One more push of her mind, and a firm command seemed to finally do the trick, watching as the flame winked out of existence. Exhaling a bit, she smiled, happy that she figured it out on her own.

Joining the two guards and two additional settlers, Elisabeth listened to the instructions and directives. Balthazar enjoyed his games, certainly. The personal lesson from him wasn’t a motivating factor for her – she could get those anytime. However, accomplishing the goal? Vastly motivating. She had already benefited from the man’s training, so she wasn’t surprised at being picked to participate….and it wasn’t cockiness that made her think that. She pushed herself hard in personal training.

As the exercise began, a flurry of things happened. Elisabeth was the first in, having been trained in Balthazar’s belief of hitting hard right out of the gate. Due to her sword training, she was fast and quick on her feet. Not Balthazar fast…but fast. Sapphire eyes glued to a red strip of fabric, she began with a quick strike to his torso, hoping to withdraw the hand quickly enough to not lose it to his grasp. Her other hand, the free one, guarded her face. Her body was angled, not directly facing him, knees bent and making sure to keep her torso tight and movements fluid. While she was within his range though, she followed up with another strike of the other hand, aimed slightly lower to the stomach. Elisabeth had always fought Balthazar one on one, so the group dynamic was a bit trickier. She did not immediately try to grab for the prize though, valuing information before formulating her plan.

Elisabeth’s rush allowed the other four a bit of time to consider their options. Balder took the initiative first, rushing Balthazar’s right side, although a bit clumsily. His footwork was decent but moving quickly sometimes meant mistakes and sacrificing form. There was a bit of hesitation, however, before deciding to strike out at Balthazar’s side, trying to grab the red material, while the man was dealing with his initiate. Silk and the one of the settlers, the young man, began their approaches. The young man decided with Balthazar’s attention focused on the others in front of him that approaching from an angle towards the back might work best, striking straight out for the red fabric. Silk took the other side of Balthazar from Balder, seeing an opening but moving slower than the rest as she tried to strike his torso. The blond female settler seemed a bit confused by the group attack and was the last one to try to hit him, coming straight at Balthazar, attempting to strike the face.

Elisabeth watched the others attack, collecting the data. Balder was the best of the bunch in her mind, but how could she use that to her advantage?

word count: 596
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Balthazar Black
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Re: [Haven] Arming The Unarmed


18 Ashan 721
And so it began. Elisabeth charged forward in her attempt to strike hard and strike first but it was a predictable move. She had the most training and was not shy about mentioning it, so he figured she would rush in. However more than that, he knew she would because he recognized the look in her eye. It was the same look everyone had right before they went on the attack. He didn't notice it when he had his magic because he had so many other ways of detecting movement, but he remembered that look in all those he'd fought before as he saw it in her eyes. As she came forward and struck at his midsection, one hand swept her punch to the left while his other shot forward, striking on the side of her ribcage beneath her extended arm. She was blocking her face but people didn't tend to block beneath their attacking arm. He didn't strike with enough force to push her back, which meant she could continue her assault. In all honesty, his hit was quite gentle.

Elisabeth went for another punch with her other hand aimed slightly lower and Balthazar shifted the same hand he'd used to block her first strike (his left) to push her second punch to the left, twisting her slightly and exposing her shoulder. She was the best unarmed fighter in the group, so he had to keep her down a little bit longer than the other ones. Sorry about this, love. His hand shot out with a sharp jab into her shoulder that would cause the muscle to seize and lock for a trill but before that sensation could hit Elisabeth, Balthazar's leg swept her lead foot to the right. Balder had moved in, his hand reaching for the fabric and Balthazar's meeting it with a smack to guide it off course before the former mage twisted and pulled away from Elisabeth and Balder.

Silk came in on his left as the blonde came in from the front and the young man attacked from the back, everything happening in the span of a few trills. Balthazar blocked both Silk and the blonde, one arm swinging down to divert Silk and the other swiping in front of his face to divert the woman, while his leg shot back and struck the approaching man in the chest, knocking him off his feet. Silk pressed her attack, as did the blonde, and Balthazar deflected their strikes with remarkable speed before returning his own. Silk threw a punch and Balthazar grabbed her wrist, pulling her and throwing her into the blonde and causing them both to crash onto the beach.

"You're attacking at the same time, but alone. Is it working?" Balthazar said, moving in a slow circle around the five students. Elisabeth would have enough time for the paralysis in her shoulder to wear off but it had given Balthazar the opening he needed to defend against the other three. Silk and the blonde stood up while Balder helped the young man back onto his feet. They all looked around at each other, then Elisabeth, and then they prepared to attack again.

word count: 540

Visible Mutations/ Marks

Mutations
Defiance: Skin always glows faintly and he is warm to the touch. His is also the center of a field of static electricity so people get shocked touching him on occasion.
Rupturing: Orange etheric cracks spider-web up his arms to his elbows. His eyes and the glowing cracks going down his cheeks glow dark blue.
Transmutation: He has a series of emerald, glowing cracks on his right pectoral.
Marks
Bellinos: His fingernails are always black. The color fades into his fingers.
Celarion: A dim glowing ring surrounds his left forearm.
Palenon: A silver lightning shaped mark about the size of a hand stretching up towards his torso.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks on Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Elisabeth Black
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Re: [Haven] Arming The Unarmed

Image
Arc 721, 18 Ashan

Elisabeth was a realist – her attacks, while solid for someone of her level of experience in unarmed combat, weren’t going to accomplish anything against someone of Balthazar’s abilities. The only question was how hard he was going to hit her back. As his strike came in for her ribcage, she tried to block. Her reaction time, however, was far too slow, feeling the hit and inwardly cursing. It wasn’t until his follow-up, temporarily disabling her shoulder, that she actually began to grin. Cheeky, Clever Boy….she thought. Elisabeth knew why he had done that but the fact that he had gone to that extent to take her out of the battle, even for the merest of moments, made her feel a bit better. He forced her foot off balance, causing her to adjust her weight to keep from falling. Brat.

There was no getting past the fact that she had been trained by a Yari – in a good many things. As such, the young woman had acquired several traits, thanks to Balthazar, common to people from Yaralon. Sparring with Balthazar electrified her in a way that was beyond explanation. They hadn’t sparred in a while…but it felt good. Really good.

She watched while he unceremoniously dispatched the rest. His comment to them was expected. They were attacking as individuals, not working together. Shaking her arm out, Elisabeth felt it come back to life. Taking a moment to consider tactics, she needed to figure out the best way to approach a problem like Balthazar. There were five relatively inexperienced fighters against one very experienced man. The odds should have been on their side, but he was simply that good. But how many spots could he protect and block at the same time?

They were going to see.

Kicks had not been introduced to the others yet, but Elisabeth knew a small bit. Catching the looks from the others, she nodded and began coordination. It was unfortunate that she would have to give away the plan but there was no other way to communicate what she was thinking. “Silk, go high. Balder, find something in the middle. You other two, mix it up.” Left unsaid was what she was going to do and the fact that they needed to strike at relatively the same time. They already had figured that out, so Elisabeth didn’t feel the need to elaborate further. She also didn’t specify, other than vague areas, what the targets were. It, hopefully, was enough to produce results.

Grinning at Balthazar, she began her next run, focusing on his lower body. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the rest hesitating as she approached, groaning inwardly. Come on guys, work with me. Instead of attacking, she held until she noted Balder begin his strike, followed by the others. Only then did she move in, aiming for Balthazar’s knee with a forward kick, pushing straight in and followed up by a strike aimed at the throat. High and low. This time, she did try to swipe at the red material.

At the same time, Balder came barreling in, striking out with punches towards Balthazar’s stomach. Silk opted for the shoulder, trying to push the man off balance. The young man went straight for the ribcage, trying to grab the fabric while the blond female settler aimed for the ribcage on the opposite side of the target.


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