[The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

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Balthazar Black
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Re: [The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?


19 Vhalar 721
Balthazar grinned when Oram assured him that the training spears at the Proving Grounds would not be enough to injure him. Balthazar had found that even a dull weapon could be exceedingly lethal in the right hands but he was happy Oram was confident in the training equipment. The duo walked to the weapon stands and when they arrived, Balthazar eyed the staffs that were available curiously. He thought of his own arsenal of weapons and while he didn't own a staff, he did own quite the interesting spear. So he changed his mind and took one of the rubber tipped training spears that was just a little bit taller than he was. He fought the same with them regardless.

His method with a spear seemed to be vastly different than Oram who was rather straightforward. Balthazar saw Oram as a 'pointy end' fighter. His main goal almost always seemed to be to stick the enemy with the pointy end. Balthazar was a little more flashy. He twirled the weapon in his hand for a few moments to get a feel for the weight of it. Passing it between his fingers and then switching it to his other hand as it spun, Balthazar knew the spinning wasn't useful for much in combat beyond a distraction. In the end you needed to strike with one of the sides but keeping the weapon in motion until the moment you struck seemed like a good way to distract an enemy.

Comfortable with the spear, Balthazar removed the belt holding his other weapons and set it beside his black satchel. He wasn't wearing armor at the moment but he reached into his satchel's side pocket and produced a small, black tiara of an uncertain metal. He lowered it onto his head and when he did, similarly black armor encased his body. He shifted a little to get a feel for the weight of the conjured armor, and then he picked his training spear back up and turned to see if Oram was prepared. Oram was just about done with his footwork practice and his practice jabs when Balthazar looked over and the mage regretted not watching Oram a little longer. He thought about offering to share is own muscle memory with Oram through his mark but decided he wanted to see what Oram could do alone first.

Treating the spear not very differently than a staff, Balthazar moved in towards Oram with a similar but looser grip on his staff. His hand were a little closer together but they seemed to slide along the shaft of the spear without much concern, form, or planning. In fact, if Oram was more experienced than Balthazar, he might even have been lead to believe that Balthazar wasn't going to strike with the spear when he reached him- but he did. It was nothing fancy apart from the twirl that proceeded it. He spun the rubber tip of the training spear backwards while her still had the space and as it came around he thrust it forward towards Oram's midsection.


word count: 521

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: [The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

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Arc 721, 19 Vhalar


Elisabeth knew about Mortalborn and even knew a few, but since the tunawa was a relatively new acquaintance, it was a piece of information she didn't have. She watched as he sprung off the ground, flipped, and slashed at her, prompting a swift reaction on her part as she jumped back out of the way of his blade.

The young woman always tried to take lessons away from each sparring match she participated in, and it was evident that the one with Kisaik would teach her a lot. Not that she anticipated fighting tunawas, but if the past few cycles had taught her anything, it was that one could never predict what was around the next corner. Being prepared for anything and everything – as best one could - was the best strategy.

Aware of their spar's attention, Elisabeth kept her focus on Kisaik. She had never seen him fight before, so she had limited knowledge of his standard tactics. As the horizontal strike came at her, she swiftly moved her arm to deflect the blow slightly, allowing it to continue along the same trajectory but out of harm's way.

Swinging her body to the side, she brought her blade around, attempting to swipe at the tunawa's legs, realizing immediately the difficultly of targeting something so much smaller than she, understanding the lessons that she could take away from both sides of the spar. Perhaps after the spar, they could sit down and discuss things. Kisaik embraced using every tool at one's disposal in a fight, it seemed, and she wanted to learn more about his tactics.

Using her larger size as an advantage, Elisabeth attempted to press Kisaik back, using alternating vertical and horizontal strikes, taking a step in between, waiting to see how he reacted.
word count: 304
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Oram Mednix
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Re: [The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

You should try spinning; I hear that’s a good trick.

Oram raised an eyebrow when Balthazar changed his mind last-moment about using a spear instead of a staff. He had no idea what his opponent’s skill in pole arms was; that remained to be seen. The hunter was more intrigued by the man’s producing and donning a tiara. It was not the most suitable-looking piece of equipment for their fight. Either Balthazar had lost a bet with one of his fellow Troopers, or the tiara had some virtue or power that Balthazar wished to use to his advantage.

Amusing as the former idea was, Oram guessed the latter to be more likely, a guess quickly confirmed when his opponent was suddenly encased in glistening black plate. In response Oram muttered the phrase: ”Protect your servant” in Scalveen to activate the armor on his acorn helmet. A trill later the Chief Ranger was covered from head to toe in scales the shape and colors of autumn leaves, yet hard as steel.

Balthazar immediately began spinning his spear around, a move Oram had seen others use before, although not one he liked to use much himself, except perhaps as a warm-up exercise. Controlling a spin on a large stick required keeping one’s hands near the center of the shaft; such a grip limited the weapon’s reach. Switching to a conventional thrusting grip required sliding a hand towards the back end. Thus, Oram mainly watched Balthazar’s hands, rather than the spinning ends of the spear, while keeping his own spear point well out in front of him. He was just contemplating how he might come in with an attack of his own when Balthazar switched his grip and stabbed at his gut.

Spinning into a thrust like that made said thrust harder to aim and control, but also correspondingly harder to anticipate and counter. Oram hopped back while blocking reflexively, suddenly glad he had practiced his footwork just previously; the Troop’s point just missed touching his midsection as he deflected it. Then he counter-thrust at Balthazar’s face. It was not as fast nor forceful a riposte as the Chief Ranger would have liked, since the need to regain his feet after back-pedaling delayed it just a fraction of a trill, but it could catch an overextended adversary unawares, and would at very least stop any attempted followup to the initial attack in its tracks. Maybe next time he would try a more active counter to a spin move.

Without waiting, Oram immediately followed with a second thrust, this time low, and this time with a half-step forward behind it. He planned to start with a simple approach, alternating high and low jabs quickly, to feel out his opponent. Once he had some sort of feel, he would switch the next high thrust into a downward chop, angled slightly off-line.
word count: 491
Villains are powerless against story beats.
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Kisaik
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Re: [The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

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The tunawa’s blade sailed shy of Elisabeth’s arm as she moved it out of the way, deflecting the foot-long toseorun blade with her own sword to complete her defense. She was a very thoughtful and deliberate fighter, but also very quick on her feet. Kisaik didn’t think he’d fought such a skilled opponent in his life. While the Aukari in the tunnels beneath the Heart of the World had given him a run for his money, he thought Elisabeth could’ve easily made short work of them by comparison.

Be that as it may, they were still on slightly unfamiliar territory, supposedly. Not many people went toe to toe with a tunawa, or were used to hitting such small targets, and targets that were fully armored. As she tried to swipe at his legs, her cut was precise, but with a little movement to counter her swing, Kisaik managed not to get his armor dented, but merely dinged as the blade made its arc, sweeping aside his legs.

”Well struck!” He said, as she plinked his armored legs out from under him.

Unfortunately for Kisaik, this meant he was without a source of balance or connection with the ground, and was effectively upside-down for the moment. Flipping in midair in the middle of a fight wasn’t an easy proposition, even for a tunawa of his talents. Yet he used the point of his blade as a sort of brace against falling flat on his back. Then he brought himself back upright, and placed his feet on the ground.

Taking the toseorun blade from the ground, he brought it back up to face the woman he was fighting. She had many advantages in this fight, reach, speed, skill and strength. Kisaik wasn’t sure how to eek out a win here.

But anyway, winning wasn’t the objective. The point of this exercise was to learn more and get better. It was a training spar.

Kisaik held his ground for a few moments, trying to figure out a plan of action. He wasn’t normally the most tactical of minds for battle. He tended to go with the flow and react to his opponent’s moves and attacks and defenses. But Elisabeth’s deliberate and ever evolving approach challenged Kisaik to take his planning to a level above where he was used to.

She would have to direct her guards toward the ground, in order to meet him there. He thought if he could get her off-balance that way, he could try to hit her high once every so often, and catch her off guard. It was worth a shot.

So for the moment, he decided to curtail his high-flying antics and try to attack her feet! He held his toseorun blade high over his head, and bashed it down on her feet. He didn’t intend to cause actual harm (though he probably could if he landed a hit), and so mainly tried her feet with the flat of his sword. This wasn’t cutting practice, afterall.

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word count: 516
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Doran
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Re: [The Proving Ground - Combat Festival] Days Off? What Are Those?

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Balthazar:

Knowledge:
Axes and Bludgeons - A basic parry with a hammer
Polearm (Spear) - Attack with the pointy end
Polearm (Spear) - Keep it in motion to distract lesser opponents

Loot: -
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: 5, for attending the combat festival.
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level
Points: 15

Oram:

Knowledge:
[Athletics] Backpedaling out of an attack.
[Athletics] Warm-ups are important!
[Combat: Axes & Cudgels] Blunt weapons tend to be short and top-heavy, which affects their tactics.
[Combat: Axes & Cudgels] Defense techniques with a warhammer.
[Combat: Polearms & Staves] Spinning a pole arm requires keeping one’s hands near the center of the shaft.
[Combat: Polearms & Staves] Downward chop with a spear.
[Discipline] Ignoring a distracting florish.
[Intelligence] The precautions people take can signal the threats they anticipate.
[Tactics] Voiding an attack rather than parrying it works, but makes it harder to riposte.

Loot: -
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: 5, for attending the combat festival.
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level
Points: 15

Kisaik:

Knowledge:
Tactics: x 3
Combat: Blades: x3
Athletics: x2

Loot: -
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: 5, for attending the combat festival.
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level
Points: 15

Elisabeth:

Knowledge:
Combat: Blades x 2
Intelligence x 1
Investigation x 1
Socialization x 2
Athletics - Side-stepping out of the way of a horizontal strike
Detection - Identifying a strained smile
Tactics - Underestimating an opponent is never a good idea

Loot: -
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: 5, for attending the combat festival.
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level
Points: 15
- - -
Comments: I’ve really enjoyed reading about your experiences at the combat festival. Writing a collaborative thread with four different PCs in it isn’t easy, but you did a great job in my opinion!

I appreciate that you had your PC change before rejoining the festival, Elisabeth. Such things often get overlooked. I also thought that the conversation with Bramwell at the beginning was handled well and entertaining. Hopefully, Mister Foy’s curiosity will be satisfied!

All four of you brought something different to the thread. While Elisabeth was obviously looking forward to fighting, Oram seemed to be worried about his fighting prowess. I found it interesting that he wondered why Elisabeth felt the need to carry a sword!

Unfortunately, his wish not to see anybody he knew didn’t come true. You managed to make me feel sorry for him. It seemed as if he worried less once he started to spar with Balthazar though!

It didn’t surprise me that Balthazar planned on attending all four trials of the combat festival. He’s such a skilled fighter. I found it interesting that you mentioned his being a Blessed of Vri. I’ve never considered how the various abilities might help when fighting/training. I also like that you incorporated a little demonstration into your first post.

The way in which Kisaik arrived was quite impressive in my opinion. It’s a pity that it went largely unnoticed. I was quite amused when he immediately challenged Elisabeth to a duel. Fortunately, she accepted!

I liked how your fighting styles are all different from each other, from Kisaik’s acrobatic style, over Elisabeth trying to observe and learn to Balthazar’s somewhat flashy style. Oram wasn’t too bad either, in spite of his worries, and his activating his special armor was clever!

The ending was a bit abrupt – I was disappointed because I really wanted to read more and find out who would win – but it makes sense to split the thread. It would probably have become quite long otherwise!

With that being said, enjoy your rewards!

P.S.: Balthazar, you didn’t put “Polearms” on the list of skills used! Elisabeth, you didn't put "Blades" on the list of skills used.
word count: 627

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