• Closed • A Whole New World

Jericho explores Sabaissant's training grounds

The seven Duchies of Central Rynmere and their respective baronies, cities, towns, villages, and landmarks each overseen by a Duke of one of the seven noble families and ultimately controlled by the King of Rynmere.
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Jericho
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:17 am
Race: Naerikk
Profession: Squire
Renown: -10
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Wealth Tier: Tier 1

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A Whole New World

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Two trials after he met Lord Alistair Venora, Jericho found that his accommodations were spectacular. Not that they were particularly lavish, but they met his expectations and exceeded. Mostly, though, he was excited about the prospect of being allowed into the Sabaissant training grounds, which were typically reserved for the Venora and their personal guards. Lord Alistair offered him the opportunity, and he gratefully and eagerly accepted.

When given the chance, the squire-to-be slipped away from the castle itself, swordbelt clasped and shield on his back. The fire-haired youth was easily recognized in the city, and as he traversed the castle grounds, many greeted him by name or with a smile. The house guard had been more than accommodating, owing in no small part to Alistair's insistence that they treat the young Bouclier with politeness and kindness. He owed a great debt to the man, and he intended to repay that debt, no matter the cost.

Because it was early in the trial, the darkness hadn't quite lifted from the training grounds. The dummies, wooden figured outfitted with slatted shields and faux helmets, stood like sentinels in the dusk. There were one or two other soldiers out there, practicing their craft away from the prying eyes of their superiors. It seemed that Jericho was not the only one in need of some sharpening.

As he drew close, he saw an array of wooden weapons lying in a heap by the inner wall. Among them were facsimile spears, maces, quarterstaves and swords of varying sizes. He chose one closest to his preferred weapon, slipping off his iron sword and sheathe and setting it next to the weapons. He knew he need not worry about theft, and so he put it from his mind. Hefting the wooden sword, it reminded him of when he played knight in the grass surrounding The Little Garden.

What a difference three trials makes. The thought had crossed his mind nearly a million times since his departure from the orphanage, and he was still suspicious that the whole ordeal was an elaborate joke. But so far, he'd been shown nothing but courtesy and kindness, which the Venora were particularly known for. The servants were upstanding, the guard pleasant, and the Venoras themselves were wonderful. It was like a dream he never had to wake up from.

As he squared off with the training dummy, Jericho assumed a neutral stance, feet spread apart. His knees bent slightly, and he held his sword behind his shield, dominant foot back as if he were going to suddenly thrust forward. As he circled slowly, he came around the right side of the dummy, thrusting viciously at the slatted shield with his sword. The sharp crack of wood-on-wood was satisfying to him, fueling his fire for combat.

Next came an overhead slash, downward diagonally across the shield. Against, wood met wood with a loud noise, drawing gazes from the soldiers in the guard. Without noticing, Jericho danced to the left, stabbing the unprotected torso of the dummy, just a poke to set up the heavier shield bash. The helmet, fashioned into the wood of the dummy, did not budge as it would have if it were not connected, but Jericho felt the impact in his arm. If the dummy were sentient, it would have had its wits knocked out.

Following through with the motion of the shield bash, Jericho spun and slammed his sword into the small space between the shoulder and the head, jarring the dummy with the force. Breathing heavily, Jericho leaned the tip of the sword into the dirt and rested on the hilt, catching his breath, satisfied that the dummy was "dead". With a smile, he turned and saw the two other combatants approaching him.

"Clever twist there, but you're dulling your blade." One of them hailed him, and it took him a second to process what the man meant. Were the sword not made of wood, the tip in the mud would dull the blade. Sheepishly, he pulled the sword from the ground, a clump of wet grass hanging from the tip. He offered the two an innocent smile, and they just chuckled.

"I'm Jhon, and this is Hamesh. We're house guards. You're the new guy, the one Lord Alistair brought back from the village, right?" Jhon seemed friendly enough, and was slight and short. Hamesh was a bit more muscular, but no less friendly looking. They could not have been more than a few arcs older than he.

"I am. Jericho... er... Bouclier." He seemed unsure, and it was something that brought a smile to Jhon's face.

"Are you not sure who you are?" The words were in jest, but Jericho did not smile. Instead, he answered earnestly.

"No, it's a new name. Bouclier, not Jericho. I've always been Jericho. At least, I think." He rambled on, and the other two exchanged a glance. He knew the look, one of mocking laughter, but the two did not seem to be making fun of him. Hamesh grabbed a spear from the pile of makeshift weapons, and handed Jhon a mace.

"Want some company?" They grinned, and he only smiled in return.

"Who's first?" With that, he assumed a defensive stance and waited for them to decide.
Last edited by Jericho on Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:54 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 898
User avatar
Jericho
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:17 am
Race: Naerikk
Profession: Squire
Renown: -10
Character Sheet
Wealth Tier: Tier 1

Contribution

Milestones

Miscellaneous

A Whole New World

The thrust was unexpected, but not so much that Jericho wasn't prepared to dodge. Hamesh followed a very strict regiment of attacks, testing his range, then exploiting it. Jericho began to notice the thrusting pattern quickly, but could not find an opening to counter. Instead, he repelled the spear by the shaft with every thrust, using the momentum of his movement rather than the strength of his arm.

With a yell, Jhon rushed from behind him, prompting Hamesh to back off. The three had been doing this same thing for half a break, with the two guards alternating attacks while Jericho defended. His stance, closed and tight, allowed him to parry and riposte with little effort, affording him the opportunity to keep going against both men. Jhon got the raw deal, really. His mace put him in close quarters with Jericho, which allowed the younger man to counter far more often than he could with Hamesh.

The grunt from Jhon was a good sign for Jericho. Though the weapons were not made of metal, they were appropriately weighted, and Jhon was aggressive in his approach. He was tiring himself out, and Jericho was going to let him. Blow after blow met the shield, numbing his arm beneath it, but keeping him relatively safe. Jhon arched back for a particularly heavy blow, and Jericho darted in. He jammed the tip of the sword into Jhon's ribs, doubling him over. Before he could follow, though, the tip of Hamesh's spear reached over Jhon's back, colliding just in time with Jericho's shield.

Jericho tumbled backwards onto his rear, but he kept his shield up. Hamesh pressed the attack, jabbing quickly in rapid succession while Jericho struggled to block and try to stand. And then Jhon was up, circling around to flank Jericho and end the contest. With a bold strategy in mind, Jericho allowed one of the spear thrusts through his shield, clipping it on the shaft just below the spear, driving it wide. Using the same momentum, he threw his body around and tripped Hamesh, catching a heavy blow to his back from Jhon. It was not full strength, but it was powerful enough to bruise.

Offering an oof in response, Jericho pushed to his feet quickly, blocking another vicious chop from Jhon. He threw his shield outward with the blow, opening Jhon's torso to a counter-slash. The blow startled him, causing him to trip backwards. In a second, Jericho had the sword point to his throat. His victory was short lived, though, as Hamesh came rushing forward with a sprinting stab. Panting, Jericho grunted as he stepped to the side, swinging his sword down and catching Hamesh in the shin.

Though he stopped the attack, Hamesh redirected his spear to clip Jericho's waist, turning him and tossing him to the ground. The three men all lied there, breathing heavily. As if on cue, the two house guards burst into laughter, and after a moment, Jericho joined them. The three men guffawed at their melee, each sporting a few new bruises and a respect for each other. Jhon sat up and tossed his mace at Jericho, missing heinously. Jericho laughed and rolled over, grabbing the mace with his hand. He tossed it to the pile as the men all stood, clapping each other on the back.

"Refreshments, yea?" Hamesh offered, moving to the well and pumping some water for the men to drink. They did so thirstily, chugging through a few cups each before sitting with their backs on the inner wall. Hamesh looked across Jhon at Jericho, who rested his head tiredly on the stone.

"Where'd you learn to fight like that?" He was genuinely interested, and it made Jericho smile. He shrugged after a moment, color rushing to his cheeks.

"It's embarrassing. I taught myself, fighting against imaginary opponents." He paused, waiting for their jeers and laughter, but it didn't come. Instead, Jhon turned to him, eyes slightly narrowed.

"You're not lying? You've never even fought anyone before?" Jericho hadn't, really... There was the small problem with the attackers at the orphanage, but other than that, he'd never been in true combat. Instead, he fight against trees and the other children, and only friendly spars with them.

"No. I mean, Lord Alistair and I fended off some blackguards attacking my orphanage, but before that, no. It's just... Have you ever imagined something so much that it became vivid, like a memory rather than a fantasy? That's me. I saw it in my head, and practiced on trees and the air. The form came from repetition. I'm still not great, but better than many in my situation."

Both men appraised him again, this time with more respect. Hamesh refilled the water cups, and the two begged him for the story of he and Lord Venora at the Little Garden. With only a small amount of embellishment, he told them the story. It was another two breaks before the three got back to their feet, fast friends.
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