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Old May 28, 2013, 08:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The swords of spring (Claudius please)

Spring, Era XX

Mixie had arranged to meet a man named Claudius for the purposes of teaching him how to use his short sword, and for this reason found herself waiting for his arrival at a park in Littletown that had a nice, if small, green lawn which seemed good for such purposes.

Mixie lay on the grass of the park, her pack resting on the belly of her Worg, Colonel Fuzzyparts, who lay contentedly chewing on something or other. A thought occurred to Mixie.

"What have you got there?"

Mixie turned to look and saw that he was chewing up one of the practice swords she'd brought. She took it from him, but it was too chewed up to be useful so she gave it back. She had two others, she had just meant to have a spare.

A small group of cether children had gathered to examine the green woman and her enormous dog.

A young boy approached.

"Is he nice?" he asked.

Mixie considered a moment.

"No," she said. "But he will be if I tell him to be. Would you like to ride on him."

A moment later saw Mixie leading the pony-sized animal around the park with five cether children on its back.
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Old May 29, 2013, 07:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Claudius got a little lost trying to find the park, as it was a different one than the gardens he met Luciana at. None the less, he couldn't stop looking at the huge Worg giving piggy-back rides to the children. A broad smile came across his face and his eyes teared up a little in joy. Nothing gave him more happiness than children at play, happy and carefree. He didn't want to interrupt the moment at all, but he stepped forward and over the grassy hill in the same brown clothes that Mixie had seen him in before.

She wasn't bad looking at all, but quite a bit intimidating to him. Her animal collection made him glad that she was on his side and willing to teach him in the martial ways. He had brought his short sword just in case there would be a need for 'real' combat and demonstration, but for now, he waited until the children were finished playing before hailing Mixie.
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Old May 29, 2013, 11:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A small bevy of Cether mothers had been talking to each other at the edge of the park and nearly in unison they all looked over to see their precious children aboard the back of an enormous man eating animal being led about by some sort of orc or goblin. Screams and shouts filled the park, and a swarm of rocks and sticks began to fly in Mixie's direction.

Mixie sighed heavily, and with some difficulty restrained the worg, who did not like to be pelted with rocks.

"You must go now, your mothers are angry." Mixie said, shooing the children away. Turning, she saw Claudius watching.

"Ah. It is time that we begin."

A group of cether had formed, watching Mixie's ever movement as she went to her things and brought back the two unchewed wooden short swords. She handed one to Claudius. She began without ceremony.

"There are many schools of sword combat," she said. "None are universally adequate. Most teachers teach as if you will be going up against only a certain type of opponent. If you plan to fight only duels or to a lesser extent in an army, this might be more or less true. If you wish to use your weapon as defense against the assorted odds and ends of bandits, drunks, and monsters that life tends to throw at one, you ought not focus your style so narrowly."

"The advantages of the short sword are several. It is light and so you can take it with you even if you don't plan on trouble, which is well as trouble has no interest in your plans. It can cut or thrust, parry or attack. It is useful in close quarters if you find yourself crowded for space."

"On the other hand, the short sword has a number of disadvantages. The reach is not long, and you will have difficulty against foes with strong armor. Still, no weapon is perfect."

"The first instinct of a man with a short sword is to cut with it. The cut feels stronger, and seems to be more damaging. Visions of dismembered foe fill the swordsman's head and he roars like a barbarian. But it is a mistake, the thrust is the superior attack and you ought to think in these terms. The swing is a much easier blow to parry than a thrust. To parry a swing all one must do is hold their sword up at an angle to the attack and wait for the blow to bounce off it. With a thrust, you must actively find the weapon and move it out of the way before it strikes you. Secondly, the vital parts of the body lie deep and shielded by bone- a stab seeks these places out most efficiently without having to cut through structural parts. Also, a swing brings your weapon out of line, and opens you up to quicker attacks, and if you miss your blow your follow-through does likewise."

"There are times however when you will want to cut. For example, if you are attacked by a bear, you may wish to cause large painful wounds to drive the creature away, and the bear cannot parry your blow in any event. Do you understand so far?"
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Old May 30, 2013, 12:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Claudius saw the scene and was saddened, but approached and caught the sword that he was offered. He looked at it and swung it about to get the feel for it and jabbed a few times in midair as she explained the difference between a stab and a slice. He listened carefully, trying to mimic what she was instructing in practice with the thrust.

"So this is an up close and personal weapon? I see. So it's better to thrust forward than to go at an angle and swing. Gotcha."

He imagined a bear and tilted his head to the side.

"Uhm... would a short sword really route a bear short of gutting its midsection? You'd really have to get in deep for a battle like that!"
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Old June 1, 2013, 12:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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"I once fought a bear who was able to heat itself to a red hot glow. In general I would recommend a spear for bear work, or better yet a crossbow, but in this case we met in the sewers of Arakmat and a spear would not have gone around the corners. Also I don't have a spear. If you carry a short sword than you must make due with it."

She handed Claudius a wooden sword and then a small wooden buckler, a little shield not much bigger than his fist with a grip like a door handle on the back.

"I have taken to fighting with a buckler," she said. "It is better to learn how to use one even if you won't carry one, just in case you need it some day. Use it as a last ditch device should a blow get past your sword."

Mixie took up her sword and assumed a stance, feet at shoulder width with front foot forward and back foot angled at 45 degrees to the front.

"Stand like so, more or less. This allows you to face your opponent with the side of your body, presenting a small target and allowing you to stand behind your sword. By and large you will find that fighting is about trying to work out an opening in your opponent's defense. Let us fight, and I will explain moves as we go."

Giving Claudius only a moment to take his own stance, Mixie moved rapidly in and began a series of small thrusts at his sword arm near the wrist.
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Old June 1, 2013, 03:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Claudius listened to the story attentively and nodded his head, whistling at meeting a bear in the sewers. He wondered what creatures crawled around in the sewers of Nexus Prime. Taking the sword and buckler, he put the buckler on his left arm and the sword at his right hand and tried to mimic the stance that his teacher was trying to portray.

He was a little awkward at first, but widened his stance and he seemed to be getting it well enough.

"W-whoh!"

He had never held a weapon in his life and hopped backwards when she started to jab, swatting wildly in a slight panic from getting attacked... and this was only practice! Almost tripping over his own feet, he remembered to keep his sword out and tried to jab her back with his sword as she verbally instructed. He, of course, left his arm wide open and got swatted on the arm.

"Gah!"
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Old June 4, 2013, 12:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Mixie stopped and frowned, considering her student carefully. This was not the sort of thing she was good at dealing with. The scars on the man's face had fooled her into misjudging him. At length she spoke.

"When I was young, I was kept in a dungeon in Vortex and my adoptive father used me for practice for his torture techniques. He enjoyed sketching on my body with a hot poker, or peeling off my skin so that he could regrow it again with an alchemical preparation. It was there that I learned the basics of what there is to know about pain, but it was not until later when I was dosed with Arium Crier venom that I truly understood."

"Fear and Pain are wicked brothers who work as a team. Fear magnifies pain, pain opens you to fear. You must use them for your own ends. Fear and Pain can be the grindstone which sharpens you into a useful tool if they are handled correctly."

Mixie lunged suddenly forward, passed Claudius' guard, and caught hold of him, her weight overbalancing him. Together they fell with Claudius landing heavily on top of Mixie.

"Strike! Strike! I've run mad, save yourself! Strike with your fist!" she wailed.
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Old June 4, 2013, 01:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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"I know of pain... I just don't like it... -OOOOF!"

Fear, pain. Were his teacher to give him time to explain his philosophy, he wouldn't have been thrown head first into hers. Tumbling on the grass, he swallowed, his cowl thrown free from his cloak. His normally gentle eyes tried to look fierce, but pity was all he could muster.

"I hate hitting women... but this is for your own good!"

After his verbal justification, he threw one fist at Mixie, aimed at her face. It hit hard, but Claudius never learned how to punch correctly, and his thumb hit her jawbone hard enough to cause Claudius to wince and hold his hand. He wondered what Luci would think if she saw him now.

Shaking all thoughts from his head, he snapped somehow.

"Okay! Fine!"

He once heard the collarbone was a bad spot to hit anyone in and aimed his second punch right between the neck and the breasts.
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Old June 4, 2013, 02:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Claudius' blows landed heavily, with dull meaty thunks.

"Yes! The fight is on but you are winning! Perhaps you will survive!" Mixie pinched him hard on the leg, then caught his fist as it descended and pulled it past her to the right side, and with a sudden twist pulled him off of her. She seemed exceptionally strong for a person her size, and in a flash was scrambling for her weapon.

She scrambled for her wooden weapon, taking enough time that Claudius was able to find his own. Then she turned and flung herself wildly at him, swinging the sword in a great arc over head to cut down upon him.

"Weeeeuuugghhh!" she wailed. Claudius could see a ring of wide eyed cether forming at a discrete distance around them.
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Old June 4, 2013, 02:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Claudius still had the buckler strapped to his arm as he crawled for his own weapons. Hearing the shout from his teacher, he knew it wasn't going to be good. Turning to see the wild swing, his instincts kicked in and in his mind, he knew he had little chance at a one-on-one if he rolled away.

Perhaps it was the time for surprise?

Rolling towards his attacker to get close to her under the wild swing, he kept his shield up to block the swing and swung hard on her knee to try and bring the battle to the ground again.
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Old June 8, 2013, 02:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Mixie's sword came down hard on Claudius' buckler, jarring his arm but leaving him unhurt. He swung at Mixie's knee but it was somewhat difficult to do so while prone and using the other arm for blocking, and Mixie lifted her foot and caught the blow with the sole.

"Good!" she said, "But a thrust would have been better, harder to block. You must stand now. We can learn ground fighting if you wish it, but you must learn the basics on your feet."
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Old June 8, 2013, 03:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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"Hey... you brought me down first. I was trying to return the favor."

Claudius smiled and nodded, slowly getting to his feet.

"Basics first... then I can get fancy."

He positioned himself again, making sure the buckler was in front of him. He waited patiently for the brutal attack, hoping to return it now that his confidence was much higher than when they first started.
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Old June 16, 2013, 12:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Mixie smiled, her teeth a gleaming white with pronounced fangs.

"It is so. My reason was to jar you out of your timidity. We will wrestle later if you like, and if you prefer perhaps make sex."

Having said this, Mixie launched herself forward, having just given Claudius a chance to get up. The thrust directly at his chest with her sword, a manic gleam in her eye.
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Old June 18, 2013, 12:29 AM   #14 (permalink)
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"A cycle ago, I might have accepted that offer..."

Raising his buckler, he shot it to the side to 'swat' the sword blow out of the way and counter with his own jab to the chest.

"But... I'm after a lady's heart right now. She wouldn't take kindly if I slept with you."

He tried to get more than one thrust in, hopping backwards to get some distance. His gaze was focused on the battle and his eyes narrowed in concentration.

"Though I am highly flattered. Thank you."
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Old June 19, 2013, 12:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Mixie caught Claudius' blow on her buckler and brought her weapon back in line, moving back and then forward again.

"My own wife is not the jealous sort, which is all to the better. The world is large and cold and there is little point to loneliness."

Mixie lunged forward, but when Claudius went to parry the thrust he found the sword wasn't there, instead the tip was pressed against his chest.

"This is called the 'disengage.' I will demonstrate it again. As you lunge you bring your sword down and under your opponent's weapon, using the smallest movements you can so that they do not necessarily notice. It happens as the sword goes forward, just dip and like so. You try it."
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