[Venora, Job thread] Having Faith is to have Wings (Lazuli)

32nd of Vhalar 716

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Kylar
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[Venora, Job thread] Having Faith is to have Wings (Lazuli)

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32nd Vhalar, 716

Kylar walked through the fields he had been directed to, hoping he was going to the right place. He hadn't been told much, just that he was training with someone else with some kind of skill he would need to become a true Skyrider. But that was near enough to all he had been told. A field to train in. What skill would he learn there? All they said was that they chose a field so they wouldn't be disturbed. They claimed Kylar wasn't ready for the full training yet, so this would have to do for now. He hoped it didn't involve the animals, he didn't think he was ready for that. But he was told it wouldn't be too intensive. He just hoped that was true, and they didn't tell him that to calm his nerves before sending him to tame a giant dragon-demon or something similar.

After some walking, he arrived in the field he believed was his destination. What looked like some targets had already been set up, so he at least assumed this was the right place. He hadn't brought any equipment though, apart from his two daggers. But he couldn't throw those, one was attached to his wrist and the other was far too valuable for throwing. Besides, it wasn't the right kind of balance to be thrown. He prayed to Karem he hadn't forgot to bring something that was important. But from the looks of things, the Iron Hand had that all sorted. So he was sure it would work out. Now, all he could do was wait, so he made himself comfortable and sat down on the grass. It was slightly colder than he would like, but nowhere near unbearable - more like uncomfortable. If anything, he was dreading the real cold part of this season. He didn't handle cold well at all. It had always been a problem for him, that was why he was grateful he had met Crimson around then and was able to stay with her - or his travels would have been near to impossible.

With Crimson on his mind, he kept his eyes open for someone else to arrive. Until then, he sat comfortably and hummed to himself a small tune he remembered from when he had stayed with Crimson, one she had sung when they first met and sung most days since. With that thought, he smiled.
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Lazuli
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[Venora, Job thread] Having Faith is to have Wings (Lazuli)

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Asher was temperamental today, the new surroundings throwing the horse off his stride. He flinched at shadows and the moving trees, pushed about by the cold breeze. Zi’da would be upon them soon and even the south was bound to see a little snow this winter. Lazuli shortened the reins and pressed her heel into the stallion’s soft belly, coaxing him forwards, hoping that if his mind were distracted by the journey, and they they were moving fast enough, that he would not linger on things that upset him.
The fields in Venora were not like those found in her home region of Warrick. Here the ground was a mix of gentle rises and falls, and grassy hills that pitched into small mountains. Warrick, on the other hand, was very flat and somewhat easier to navigate with the Burning Mountains fixed to the north. In Venora Lazuli felt as if every twist and turn looked the same, and so she fixed her eye on the horizon and lifted her shielded gaze to the sun. She knew she had travelled from the east, and needed to head south to find the makeshift training grounds. She could see the maintain where Nova’s Rest was situated, and knowing that was north, pulled the left rein to steer her mount south.
Soon she had arrived at the right place and found a nearby tree to tie her horse to, taking one end of the reins so that he had plenty of rope to duck his dead and graze at his leisure. The young noble woman took the crossbow fixed to the saddle then and strode out into the field where the targets had been set up and the people who had trained her already this morning have left a variety of ranged weapons. She took a bolt from her quiver and pulled her hood down to survey the land. That was when she spotted the stranger sat down in the grass.
“Good morning,” Lazuli called and raised her free hand. “I apologise to arriving a little late. Shall we begin?”
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Kylar
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[Venora, Job thread] Having Faith is to have Wings (Lazuli)

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After what felt like little time at all, Kylar heard a voice. He turned and saw a young woman waving her arm at him. He assumed, from her location if nothing else, that she was the person that was meant to be working with him today. By working with, he thought he would probably be the one doing a lot of the work - training and the like. After all, he was brand new to this, and he didn't possess any of the skills that the other riders did. He couldn't fly, he couldn't shoot anything, and he wasn't that great with animals - definitely not enough to ride one.

If the fact that this woman was in the random field with equipment wasn't enough, the fact she had a crossbow was a bit of a giveaway. Unless he was falling trick to some rather well thought out bandit attack - but he didn't see it likely. Besides, he had his blades, so he was ready to at least try and defend himself. Not that it would do much good against a crossbow, but maybe he'd be lucky - or maybe just impaled. Either way, she had called out to him and was asking if they should begin, so he worked out that she was almost definitely not here to kill him.

After realising that he had been sat there for a short while, seemingly unresponsive, Kylar stood up and brushed himself off. He smiled pleasantly and approached the woman. When he arrived near her, he bowed his head politely - as he would to a superior. "Good morning, my name is Kylar" he said. He then raised his head again and smiled at the young woman. His eyes then met her crossbow. "I'm assuming that's that they meant when they told me I would be 'training' today?" he asked with a nervous tone.
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Lazuli
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[Venora, Job thread] Having Faith is to have Wings (Lazuli)

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The man, Kylar, was much bigger on his feet than Lazuli had first imagined, and the sight of him put her on the back foot. She was not a very confident young woman, but hid this well more often than not, by training her gaze on something in the distance or closer at hand. For now she kept her eyes on the assortment of weapons at their disposal, and gestured for Kylar to choose something that he felt best suited him.
“The crossbow would be easiest,” she coached, “from here on out you can just apply whatever knowledge you take from this lesson today with any other ranged weapon you choose to take up.” Lazuli wasn't too sure why she had been chosen to teach the man, after all she was none but his equal in rank, perhaps, she thought, they had something to teach and learn from each other.
She waited for Kylar to return to their starting point before offering her name. “I am Lazuli Warrick,” an introduction partnered with a cautious smile. Lots of people had noble last names, but no all of them were noble, she had no reason to assume this man would jump to conclusions.
“Why don't we start with something simple,” she lowered her crossbow and closed the toe of her left foot over the foothold. “If you put your foot there it will keep the weapon steady and allow you to load faster. Draw the string back, set your bolt, and wait for the click. That's the sound of it locking,” Lazuli explained, “it won't release now unless you pull the trigger.”
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[Venora, Job thread] Having Faith is to have Wings (Lazuli)

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When Kylar was directed to the weapons, he decided it would be best to take the advice he was given. Without hesitation, he picked up the crossbow that was in front of him. He also made sure to pick up some bolts. This was his first time ever touching a crossbow, and it was intimidating to start off with. He was used to the feel of a small dagger. Light, fast, sharp. But this crossbow was the opposite. Heavy, big, direct. It felt different, and he somewhat liked it. It was a change, and not a bad one. It was growing on him. So he felt the weight around a bit, then walked back over to the young woman.

"Pleasure to meet you, Lazuli" he said gently and smiled. His normal encounters with new people were hard, but this was something else. It wasn't just meeting someone, it was training with them. But Lazuli made it easier. She was friendly, or so Kylar felt. Easy to talk to. It gave him confidence that he didn't normally have. So his smile was genuine. He just hoped he could make such a first impression on her.

Kylar listened carefully to what she told him, and followed the instructions. He had always been good at taking orders down to the letter if it was possible for him. He had to be, to hunt well, or the wildlife would get away - or worse. So he did as she said. He followed what he thought the footwork should be, trying to copy her. Then he drew back the string and put the bolt in and stopped when it clicked. Kylar nodded as she explained. "Right, that makes sense. Want me to practice that a few more times? he asked. He sounded uncertain when talking to her. Where they equals, was she his superior? He didn't want to call her by a title without knowing it, and he didn't want to call her by her first name if that was incorrect. He found it confusing, to say the least. So instead, he just smiled politely at her as he asked the question.
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[Venora, Job thread] Having Faith is to have Wings (Lazuli)

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“No,” Lazuli shook her head, “you'll get plenty of practice with the target shooting we are going to do.”
The young woman pointed to the closest target. Of the three it was the centre one, and stood on four legs about twenty metres from their current position. She took her own crossbow and lowered it against the ground to put her foot in the stirrup and used all of her strength to draw the string back and fit a bolt once it was locked in place. The crossbow was then raised and she took aim, demonstrating how to hold the weapon so that she was able to peer down the sights and line up a shot.
“When you pull the trigger, I want you to use two fingers,” the woman explained before taking her shot. The bolt raced from its keep and slammed into the painted target, seeing it rock on its feet a little. “Now you try.”
Lazuli took a step back, giving Kylar plenty of room to work with. Her bolt had hit the target on the outer ring, a purposeful mistake on her part, she didn't want to seem too confident and risk discouraging her student. After Kylar had taken his shot, Lazuli offered a warm smile and coached him through the process of loading the weapon again. “Foot in the stirrup, that's right, draw the string back, that little bronze catch the string is locked behind is called the nut, and you load the bolt into the tiller.”
With care, she rustled around in the quiver attached to her belt and and took out two types of bolts to show Kylar the comparisons. “The arrow head on this bolt is long and narrow, it's used for piercing chainmail and other types of armour. This one with the bigger point is for shooting unarmed opponents and wild game, they do more damage, especially to moving targets, like deer, but it's rare to see one penetrate armour.”
Lazuli fell quiet then after encouraging the man to take another shot, but just incase he wasn't convinced that the crossbow was for him, she decided to explain the differences between that and a more traditional bow. “Loading is slower, but once the bolt is locked in there is less energy spent holding it at the ready. The release of a bolt is instant, and the distance travelled is just as impressed. Crossbows are a popular weapon for novices because it's a lot easier to teach a man to load, aim, and shoot, that it is to teach him the skill of the longbow, for example. A traditional bow relies on a person's strength and ability to draw and hold the string taut, which is where all the power comes from in both weapons, with the crossbow, however, all the hard work is done for you.”
With that, Lazuli drew the string back along the tiller and locked it behind the nut, she drew her foot away from the stirrup before loading the bolt, not wanting to risk shooting herself in the foot, took aim, and sent her second shot zooming towards the same target, striking a ring even closer to the centre. “You'll soon get the hang of it.”
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Kylar
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[Venora, Job thread] Having Faith is to have Wings (Lazuli)

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Kylar mimicked the hold that Lazuli had on the crossbow, trying to make sure he was following her instructions correctly. He kept checking back from her crossbow to his, making changes accordingly. Once Lazuli had taken her step back he finally took his shot, making sure to keep the stance he was shown and use two fingers to pull the trigger like he was advised to do. The bolt flew out of the crossbow and barely made contact with the target. If he had been any less accurate he would have had to chase after the bolt. "By the immortals" he cursed. He took a deep breath. He couldn't let this annoy him too much, it was his first time trying it - he wasn't expected to be an incredible shot already. So he stopped and calmed down for a second, trying to avoid eye contact with Lazuli. He wasn't embarrassed too much about missing, but the fact he had let a mistake get the better of his emotions.

"Sorry" he said quietly, before starting to load his crossbow again. Foot in the stirrup. Pull back the string until it clicks, then load the bolt. He repeated those words in his head, to try and keep him on task. Once loaded he raised the crossbow to stop him from shooting anyone he didn't want to. He kept both fingers off the trigger as Lazuli explained the two types of bolt. One for armor, one for unarmored targets. Exactly like his two daggers. That much he could remember with ease. He nodded and looked at both bolts carefully, memorizing which one was made for which purpose. "That makes sense, thank you" he said to Lazuli, smiling nervously. He prayed he hadn't made a bad impression, but that was probably a prayer he should have worried about a little earlier. After being encouraged to try again, he did so hesitantly. Two fingers on the trigger, steady breathing - and fire. The bolt launched and this time hit the target with moderate success. Kylar sighed with relief. It wasn't an impressive shot, but it was on target - that was enough for him after his last attempt. He turned to Lazuli and smiled reassuringly, trying to show her he wasn't about to have another outburst.

"The crossbow sounds better for me, especially when riding. I can barely fly and barely shoot, so having to focus on the bow as well sounds a little too much. Besides, I can understand this better - if I link the bolts to the daggers I use especially" he said put down the crossbow. He drew both daggers, one drawn from his side and one launching from his wrist. He showed the stiletto to Lazuli first, then the propelled one. "This one is the chainmail piercing one, and this is used for the hunt" he explained. Then he chuckled. "Sorry, this is crossbow training, not daggers" he said as he put both back. "What can I do next?" he asked eagerly.
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[Venora, Job thread] Having Faith is to have Wings (Lazuli)

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Lazuli only offered a shy smile when the man apologised, she didn't really mind his outburst, if nothing else, she understood the feeling of frustration, especially regarding the use of weapons. Kylar took another shot and this one brushed the target, stopped by the very outer edge. “Not bad for a beginner,” the young noble encouraged. “When my father was teaching me how to use his crossbow, it took some time before I made a straight shot.” She didn't tell him that she had only been seven at the time, and barely able to lift the weapon.
Attention turned to the daggers, Lazuli made a mental note of what each of them was called and used for. Much like the pointed metal heads on her bolts, each had a purpose when it came to damaging armoured targets and chasing down game during a hunt. The bigger heads, she understood, did more damage to moving muscles, and eventually slowed the prey down. Lazuli wondered if the same logic could be applied to the daggers. “Are they both for throwing, or do you keep ahold of them at all times?”
Kylar had slipped the weapons away and tried to steer the conversation back towards the use of the crossbow, but Lazuli was content that the man had picked up most of the basics, which was really all she was qualified to teach him well. She had noticed, however, his mention of not being a very competent rider, and after Lazuli walked over to the targets to collect the bolts they had fired, she returned with a popersition for the man. “Why don't you accompany me back to the village?” she asked. “You said you could do with some practice riding and I brought my horse all the way out here, it would be better than making you walk all the way home,” she grinned. “Come on.”
When they came to stand beside the horse, Lazuli waited for Kylar to mount up before climbing on to sit behind him. Asher swished his tail and gave a grunt, not used to the weight of a man, having only ever entertained the likes of Lazuli up until now. The woman reached her hands out and paused monetarily before placing them on the man’s hips, it seemed like a safe enough spot. “I use a short rein,” Lazuli explained, “which keeps the horse from lowering his head too much or reaching down to take grass. You have to be firm with him though, he can be quite cheeky,” she giggled, knowing it might take Kylar a minute or two to get used to the reins. “Just give him a very light nudge with your heel, click your tongue against the roof of your mouth and he should walk and trot once you have him pointed in the direction you want to go. You want to squeeze with your legs in order to stay on, but not too far back, and not so tight that the horse gets uncomfortable and tries to buck you off.”
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[Venora, Job thread] Having Faith is to have Wings (Lazuli)

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Kylar smiled slightly out of the corner of his mouth. The way Lazuli was encouraging him was beyond helpful. It was like every word she said sunk in and each word meant something to him, and he took it all to heart. It was encouraging, to say the least. Then she showed interest in his daggers, which really made his day. Few people bothered faking interest, and even fewer had any interest to begin with. He hoped she was the latter. "I keep ahold of them. I know of people that do throw them, but I prefer to use them up close - for the fact that losing them would be losing around 80 gold nels or so" he chuckled.

After Lazuli returned, Kylar was surprised to hear her offer. "Well, uh...thank you. That's very generous of you". In truth, Kylar didn't know what to say. This woman had come to train him with a weapon he never used before, and now he felt somewhat confident with it. As if that wasn't enough, she then spent time to encourage him and comfort him when he struggled, and was now offering him a ride home on the back of her own horse. It was kindness like he wasn't used to from someone he had just met. Saying that, everyone he had met in the Riders so far seemed incredibly kind. His first tour of the lodge, meeting fellow riders, and now Lazuli. The thought made him smile. Perhaps this was a bigger step forward in his life than he'd originally thought. So he walked alongside Lazuli towards the horse.

Kylar mounted on the horse as best he could, trying to keep comfortable. Lazuli then sat on the horse behind him and he started to feel the pressure. He was riding for his own and her safety. Not to mention that her hands were on his hips, which made the situation just a little more uncomfortable. But he took a deep breath and just relaxed, then followed her instructions. He held the rein firm. Then he tapped the horse with the heel of his shoe, clicked his tongue and then directed him. He squeezed his legs gently, enough that he felt supported. "Alright, just tell me if I'm doing something wrong". After falling silent for a second, he spoke again. "Thank you, Lazuli. It's been an honor to meet you. I hope we can meet again soon". With that, he carried on riding - grateful to have made a new friend.
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[Venora, Job thread] Having Faith is to have Wings (Lazuli)

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Kylar


Points!:

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 5/ 5
Structure: 5/ 5
Knowledge:

Detection: Spotting what someone is carrying
Discipline: Following orders
Discipline: Carrying on, even when irritated with yourself.
Discipline: Not showing discomfort
Endurance: Cold is uncomfortable
Etiquette: It's good manners to answer when someone speaks to you
Etiquette: How to address someone when you don't know their rank.
Etiquette: Err on the side of polite and friendly
Mount: Horse: Short rein to stop the horse from lowering its head
Mount: Horse: Have to be firm and retain control
Mount: Horse: Nudge with your heel
Mount: Horse: Squeeze with your legs to stay on
Mount: Horse: Don't squeeze too hard or too far back
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: Stance for loading
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: Techniques for loading
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: Clicks when locked
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: Once locked, won't release unless you release it.
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: The feel of a crossbow, weight etc in your hands
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: How to take aim
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: How to hold it for maximum efficiency
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: Releasing whilst keeping aim
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: Different types of ammunition
Tactics: Advantages and disadvantages of a crossbow over a traditional bow
Tactics: Different types of daggers for different jobs.
Lazuli Warrick: A pleasant woman
Lazuli Warrick: Your teacher.
Lazuli Warrick: Kind


Loot:
NA
Fame:
NA
Devotion:
+1 (Karem)
Magic:
These points may NOT be used for arcana
Lazuli


Points!:

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 5/ 5
Structure: 5/ 5
Knowledge:

Mount: Horse: Keeping a skittish horse calm
Mount: Horse: Using heels to steer and control speed
Mount: Horse: Distract the horse to stop it from getting into panic
Mount: Horse: Mounting techniques
Mount: Horse: Short rein to stop the horse from lowering its head
Mount: Horse: Have to be firm and retain control
Mount: Horse: Squeeze with your legs to stay on
Mount: Horse: Don't squeeze too hard or too far back
Navigation: Land: Use the horizon
Navigation: Land: Use the sun
Navigation: Land: Use landmarks
Discipline: Maintain a calm demeanour by focusing on the landscape
Teaching: Reassure the pupil
Teaching: Let the student know what is the easiest option
Teaching: Don't appear to be all-powerful
Teaching: Explain why their choice was good
Teaching: Choose which part of a story you tell to encourage self belief
Tactics: Advantages and disadvantages of a crossbow over a traditional bow
Tactics: Different types of daggers for different jobs.
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: Stance for loading
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: Techniques for loading
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: Clicks when locked
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: Once locked, won't release unless you release it.
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: How to take aim
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: How to hold it for maximum efficiency
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: Releasing whilst keeping aim
Ranged Combat: Crossbow: Different types of ammunition
Venora: Very different landscape
Kylar: New recruit
Kylar: Bigger than he looks


Loot:
NA
Fame:
+1 (general good deed: teaching), +1 (general good deed: ride home)
Devotion:
NA
Magic:
These points may NOT be used for arcana

Overview:

General comments. What a lovely thread - I feel like I just got a window into two people, very different people, starting a friendship. Really enjoyed it, got enthralled by it and then realised that I was supposed to be reviewing it, not just reading it. Great stuff!
Story All good - really enjoyed it. Liked the very quiet, shy nature of them both, but they worked together well because of that.
Structure No issues - you both write well.

Please do PM me if you think I've missed anything or you have any questions!
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~~Red in hoof and claw... ~~


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