Prepare for Pain–Basic Swordsmanship for Dreadies

”Trousers,” Rendra hrmphed to herself as she headed towards the room she’d been directed to for the class, “Why do they feel so.. indecent?!”

She had been very happy to hear that they were going to let some of the Adepts and Acolytes train in weapons, and had jumped at the chance to learn something about it. After all, she had hoped to become an Assassin initially before they realized she could channel and shoved her in with this lot. Even if the young Acolyte had come to terms with being able to channel, she took it to heart that one shouldn’t depend on that ability… ”Even if it means feeling a little indecent,” she continued to grump to herself as she approached the room the class was to be taking place in.

A couple of other Acolytes had lined themselves up along one wall outside the room, so she wandered over and joined them. A few were conversing quietly with each other, but as Rendra had thusfar managed to not get to know anyone that well in and amongst those training in the Fortress, she contented herself to wait. Which wasn’t terribly long; a voice shortly called out and bade them to enter.

As she stepped through the doorway, her eyes widened slightly; she didn’t know what was really different. There was nothing special about the room she could see; windows looking out into the strange sky of the Blight near Thanka’dar, which was always a bit disconcerting.

As she lined up where the instructor had pointed, she spent a moment looking at the man who was to teach them the sword – a plain man trying to look fierce; he didn’t strike her as anything in particular. Nor had Rendra seen him around the Fortress before, but that could mean anything; the Fortress wasn’t exactly a small place, so it shouldn’t surprise her if there was someone she’d not met yet leading one of her classes.

He spoke again, pointing at someone on the other end of the line, “My name is Sevrud Randra, and I will be teaching you how to not kill yourself with those blades you hold in your hands. First order of business, I want you to all hold out your dominant hand and tell me your names. Starting with you.” When it was her turn, she held out her right hand and announced her name, “Rendra Harella, sir.”


19 June 2008

Rendra patted her pinned back braids and listened to their mysterious instructor, or sir, as he deigned to not share his name. ”A bit rude that, but then, people here are a bit odd,” she thought to herself as the man started explaining that they would be using practice lathes instead of bare steel. ”Probably wise that, though; some of these people look as if they’ve never even picked up a dagger to cut their own meat!”

Their instructor showed them a few moves, and Rendra nodded along; she vaguely comprehended the point he was trying to make, but had a feeling it would make more sense once she got into it. The strange man noticed the nodding, stopped, and turned to the group and instructed them to pair off with the person next to them, gesturing for those who were confused. Nodding again, Rendra turned to her assigned partner.

A bit taller than her, and a bit slimmer, the other woman looked like a bit like the Domani tramps that passed for merchants she’d seen in the streets around Tanchico, “A short Domani, perhaps.. kind of pale too, but she could just be ill?” The young Taraboner had no real idea; she’d not really taken notice of any of the other Adepts around the Quarters – they were just other people, and as long as they kept their distance, she was generally content.

Rendra gestured towards the lathes, and started walking towards them. As he other woman followed to pick one out, Rendra introduced herself, “I’m Rendra.. you are?”

“Rebecca,” the taller woman offered as she took a lathe, and said no more.

Nodding, Rendra did her best to emulate the parry stance the teacher had shown, making sure her right hand was the hand closer to the ‘blade’. Holding it before her, she experimentally moved her lathe to a block position, noting how her arms (and especially her elbows!) moved as she slanted her practice blade one way or the other. She noted Rebecca doing the same, and spoke, “Did you want to try a spar, then?”


14 July 2008

She stood there, posed and waiting for a response. The taller woman, Rebecca, appeared to be staring off at the distance. Raising an eyebrow, Rendra opened her mouth to speak again, but fell silent, “Maybe I should just pummel this hussy if she’s going to be inattentive,” she thought to herself, gripping the practice lathe more tightly.

Her mind made up, Rendra’s muscles tensed as she struck. To her surprise, Rebecca came out of her seeming stupor enough to parry the blow. Eyes narrowing, Rendra struck again… only to be parried again. As focused as she was on trying to strike the other woman, she didn’t notice the half-Domani girl’s change in stance, and yelped as Rebecca’s lathes swished towards her. Shifting backwards, Rendra managed to only just miss getting whapped as she got her lathe up in time to block.


28 July 2008

Glaring at the taller woman, Rendra’s stance was probably beyond sub-par as she did her best to keep from getting hit. “What is the matter with this insane woman?!” she thought, wincing as another blow landed.

Neither of them were that good, obviously; they were just learning, but this Rebecca character seemed like she was seriously out to kill the poor Taraboner woman. Rendra’s own swings were becoming more erratic to match the taller woman’s strikes, and her arms becoming leaden from being forced to continue through motions her body was unfamiliar with.

Her eyes widened slightly as Rebecca continued to press her; the other woman’s face was contorted in a grimace of concentration that the shorter woman was unaware of matching. Her breath was coming in laboured gasps as she strove for reach, to actually hit the other woman. Oh, she managed a few strikes, though not as many as the taller woman.

Rendra growled; a shriek escaped between her teeth as she attempted to advance on the other woman… someone needed a good braining, and it wasn’t going to be this Taraboner that got one!

Put yer Dukes up, Hussy!


August 12, 2008

Growling, Rendra has most happy to drop her weapon and grapple with the slightly taller weapon.  For all the Taraboner wanted to learn the sword, she was already most familiar with pounding someone to a pulp bare-fisted!

So intent she was on trying to rip the other woman to shreds (and obviously, vice versa), it was an extreme shock when someone’s practice blade slammed into her back, causing her to shove Rebecca into yet another trainee.  In short order, they were all on the floor; the severity of the bruising and pain started to become evident to all in the class as they stopped moving and turned their attention back to the instructor.

He had fetched his sword, this sir, and sat cross-legged in front of them.  It seemed that the pummeling wasn’t enough, and now the masochist expected the lot of them to shift around practicing drawing and re-sheathing their swords!  And to demonstrate it back to him!

Moving stiffly along with his demonstration, Rendra could understand what this sir person meant; if you couldn’t get your blade out in time, you might as well ask to be cut down in a sword fight.  So she followed along assiduously, and did her best to demonstrate what she’d learned… stiffly, true, but at least she was making the effort.

Even so, it was a great relief to be dismissed; she had a date with a hot bath and a nap.