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Old July 18, 2017, 11:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[Demios] Sometimes I Aim to Please, But Mostly I Shoot to Kill [Private]

Truth be told the prospect was daunting. It had been at least an era since Niven had picked up her bow, and a few more since she needed to. Now, out of doors, she looked at it and her quiver leaning against a tree on the grounds, rubbing her hands together nervously.

She knew it was ridiculous to be nervous. She'd had eras of experience, she'd been shooting archery since she was a little girl. And one didn't just lose all their skill, did they? It's true, the old adage, use it or you lose it, but surely one didn't lose... everything.

Though, she had returned from Sancta Nova quite emaciated. Most of her muscle had been lost, not to mention body fat. She'd only just started looking more like herself in the past weeks, filling out her dresses like a woman should. Dante had been privately training her, putting her through the paces, helping her regain her muscular strength while she worked on her own to gain her mental and emotional strength once again. Both were coming along, though one faster than another.

The elf stopped. Lost in her own anxious thoughts, she'd started pacing back and forth without realizing it. Her palms were warm from her vigorous rubbing. "Oh, I'm being ridiculous!" she chided herself, forcing her hands to fall to her sides. "It's a bow, not a poisonous snake!"

Gathering her wits, Niven marched forward and grabbed the quiver first. Slinging it over her head, she adjusted the strap on her shoulder and across her chest. She had to admit that wearing it again felt good. Almost like a hug from an old friend. Then she grabbed her bow.

Then smooth wood in her hand felt good again. A smile played on here lips. "Hello old friend," she said, rubbing the grip with her thumb. She looked the length of the weapon. A breeze took that moment to pass through, ruffling her blonde hair. The elf closed her eyes as the cool air caressed her face. "Father," she whispered. She opened her eyes, the creamy jade of her iris' soft, but determined.

Niven ran her fingers over the string, testing it's strength. She reached back and withdrew an arrow. Holding her bow in a horizontal position, she placed the notched end of her arrow onto the reinforced center of the bowstring, gripped the bow with her left hand, and rested three fingers of her right hand upon the string. Turning her bow, she extended her left arm, then pointed the tip of the arrow toward the target she'd set up for herself earlier out of the slice of a fallen tree. In one steady movement, she pulled the bowstring with her three centre fingers, then locked her right thumb under the bone at the junction of her jaw and earlobe.

Closing her left eye, Niven centred on the target, took an even breath, then opened the three fingers of her right hand.
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Old July 19, 2017, 02:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It was like riding a bike!

You know, a bike! Those things that... uh... you know!

Bikes didn't exist in Aelyria.

Still! It all felt very familiar to Niven, once she actually got going. Yeah! The bow! An old friend! Yeah! Arrow! Notch it! Hold it! Aim it! Yeah! Get the target in her mind! Granted, she hadn't exactly been a master archer or anything, but the knowledge she'd gained was still there. Rough, unpolished, she just needed to shake the rust off and she'd be able to fall back into it in no time. If she could reliably hit standing targets, Niven would already be back to where she was when she'd left off. Most military basic training just expected archers to be capable of firing mass volleys in hope that some of them might hit what they were aiming for. Roundabouts.

Pew.

Thk.

A bit low. Hadn't pulled it far back enough, maybe? On the plus side, she'd actually managed to hit the target. So she hadn't totally lost her touch.
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Old July 20, 2017, 04:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As the arrow struck the target, the elf's face took on a look of tight-lipped disappointment. She sighed. It could have been worse. She could have missed the target altogether.

She rotated her shoulder and shook her right arm. Then she stretched her neck muscles by leaning her head from one shoulder to another. "Alright," she said. "Let's try this again."

Reaching over her head and drawing another arrow, she knocked it in the string. She raised the bow once again and drew. She inhaled deeply though her nose and slowly let the breath out through her mouth as she aimed for the painted red circle. Then she released her fingers and inhaled as she watched the arrow fly towards the target.
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Old July 20, 2017, 04:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Consistency was excellent unless you were a failure to begin with.

Thckkkkkkkk.

Wow! She'd managed to split her last arrow! You know, the one that missed. That was still kind of impressive though, right?

Now, was her aim off here? Maybe she wasn't compensating enough by pointing higher? Or was she just not able to pull it back as much as she wanted?

Maybe if she rotated her shoulder the other way...
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Old July 27, 2017, 05:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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“Oh for feth’s sake!” Niven frowned, exhaling forcefully while looking at her split. She was clearly doing something right as she was consistent. The problem was she was consistently off the mark. What had she forgotten?


She was hitting the target, clearly with force if she’d managed to split an arrow. So it wasn’t her draw. But it was something. Something she was forgetting. The elf’s face screwed up as she chewed the inside of her cheek. The breeze ran through the trees again, tousling her hair. The elf froze and then rolled her eyes at herself. “The wind.”


Shaking her head, she drew and nocked another arrow. This time she waited for the breeze on her face before she made the mental calculation and aimed slightly up and to the right of the target to compensate for the resistance. Then she loosed her arrow.
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Old July 27, 2017, 10:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, swearing wasn't going to fix anything!

Aha! Well, it was definitely something. Whether or not the wind was the culprit, Niven was starting to remember all the things that she needed to pay heed to when firing off a shot. If only it was so easy as to line the arrow up with the target! But if that were the case archers would be so much more deadly and valuable to any standing army than they currently were. Volleys existed because sniping at specific targets was such a difficult thing to pick up on.

Wind resistance. Compensate a bit for it...

...tk.

Closer to center this time, much better. So the wind had definitely been a factor. Progress!

There was another large blast of wind that made its way through the trees, though, much stronger than the breeze from before, rushing its way past Niven. There was a smell of sulfur in that air - definitely not a normal thing. Somewhere off to the north?
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Old July 31, 2017, 11:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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"Ha!" Niven cried, triumph in her voice. No, it wasn't a perfect shot, but it had made a big difference, getting her closer to her actual goal. She stood straighter as she gazed at the target mentally making the adjustments and compensations she'd need to make to get her the bulls-eye she was looking for.

As the wind blew again, a sulphur smell filled her nostrils. "Ugh!" she cried, making a face. That was new. She looked up to the direction the wind had been coming from. What on telath was making that smell? She'd never smelled that here before!

Niven glanced at the house, wondering if she should tell someone what she was about to do. Then she shook her head, and moved off in the direction of the scent, her weapon still in her hand. It was probably nothing, no one needed to know until she'd determined the cause. But it was just good sense to take the bow. You know, just in case.
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Old July 31, 2017, 01:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Niven was an strong independent adventurer who didn't need no backup when she went off to investigate things. She laughed in the face of the danger! Haaaa ha ha ha!

Anyway. Off she'd go in the direction of the strange breeze that had just passed through the area. Off into the trees, and on for a little walk. It took a bit of time for Niven to actually come across anything, but she'd know exactly when she'd found what she wanted to find.

Visible white fumes were starting to rise up into the sky as just up ahead, a sinkhole had apparently appeared right in the middle of the woods. This was where the noxious sulfur fumes had come from, and presumably the collapse had caused a whoosh of air to go out in all directions as it was pushed out of the hole.

There were just a few people around, some of them onlookers, but a few of them seemed to be rushing around making a few preparations. One of them noticed Niven - in particular her bow and arrows - and rushed over to her. "Pardon, pardon," the young man called out, trying to get her attention. "Did Reyes send you? I don't know if we have enough people on hang right now to deal with this, we're going to need some more archers."
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Old August 5, 2017, 05:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The scent became more intense as Niven walked through the woods. She knew Dante hadn't liked her adventuring in on her own as he worried about the different creatures and natural phenomena that littered the Weaver's Woods, but Niven had been born and raised in a forest and was confident she could handle anything these woods threw at her.

The elf was surprised to find so many people already at the scene. Though, really, she shouldn't have been. Of course, people were in these woods all the time. A small smile flitted across her lips. Dante just really cared and loved her enough for her to not do something foolish. As sweet as that was, Niven had to be true to herself.

The sinkhole was deep. She didn't even have to be close in order to see that. She glanced around looking for a cause. Were all these people working on something and it had gone wrong or had this suddenly happened on its own and they had been drawn to the natural disaster based on the scent as well?

A man spotted her and wrestled his way over, which she found odd. It all became clear when he spoke. You know, if mud was clear. "Reyes?" The elf knew no one by that name, but it didn't matter now. She was needed. "Where do you want me? How can I help?"
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Old August 5, 2017, 06:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Right then, simple explanations. There was a lot of geography talk involved that kind of flew over Niven's head, but basically? The formation of these sinkholes was tied to gas pockets deep underground. Now, if they were lucky, then a sinkhole was just that, and they could cordon it off and monitor it and hopefully there'd be nothing more. Maybe try and fill it up.

They weren't lucky today, though. The gas pocket was bubbling - literally. Giant bubbles of brackish gas were rising up out of it, and that stuff? Poisonous, acidic, noxious. Who knew where those bubbles might float?

So. Archers. Shoot and pop those bubbles before they could get anywhere. Simple enough, right?
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Old August 10, 2017, 03:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Niven watched as the man's mouth moved but he might as well have been speaking Jaedaxian to her for all she understood. Near the end, he started making sense.

Gas bubbles. Poison. Bad. Shoot em down. Understood.

The elf positioned herself so that she was a safe enough distance from the sinkhole that her safety wouldn't be called into question unless the sinkhole decided to get bigger. As a bubble rose out of the earth, Niven nocked an arrow, aimed for where she predicted the bubble would go accounting for the wind, and loosed her arrow.
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Old August 10, 2017, 03:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Blorp.

It came from below, quite the audible sound, as a large bubble slowly and gently floated upwards. It was... pretty big, to say the least. Niven estimated that it might be as big as herself, at least in height. They seemed quite unstable, their forms not perfectly spherical as one might expect, distorting quite a bit on the surface.

Slow-moving, but for now they remained in the sinkhole itself and made for easy pickings. Already the other archers were making to remove as many as possible before they could come out and be picked up by the breeze.

Pbbbbbbbt.

"Watch the wind!" somebody cried out. "The gas is heavier than normal air! If the bubble is popped it may spill out towards you!"

The first few bubbles were starting to spill out of the sinkhole and up into the air proper. There was a bit of airflow coming out of the sinkhole, it seemed, as they began to rise up far into the air, Niven's arrows joining others as they continued to work away. Brackish brown gas could be seen gently wafting out of the bubbles as they popped, something of an indicator as to where it might be headed. Best be careful.

There was a loud gurgle from deep within the sinkhole, just as the breeze picked up and all of the bubbles began to drift in Niven's direction. Uh oh.
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Old August 13, 2017, 01:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Listening to the sound the bubbles made when they popped and watching the black-brown gas inside release was immensely satisfying. The task was straight forward and between her and the other archers, she felt they were doing well at keeping the bubbles contained. That is, until the breeze picked up again.

The breeze caught the updraft from the sinkhole and a few started drifting towards her. She knew if she shot them from her current position, she was likely to be covered with whatever gasses were inside the bubbles. And the last time an elf had found itself in a gaseous fog....

Niven nimbly dove and rolled away to her right and, from the ground, she pulled arrows and shot at the oblong bubbles that were closest to her previous position before scrambling to her feet again and moving further away so not to find herself in the 'splash zone'.
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Old August 13, 2017, 01:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Time to run, yes? Running was good. Duck, dodge, dive out of the way. The other archers had to hold off on their fire lest Niven be struck by a falling arrow or something. Wouldn't want a case of friendly fire or anything, after all. For now they focused on getting as many of the bubbles that were coming out, leaving most of the bubbles that had been headed Niven's way to... well, her.

The breeze had gently wafted six of them her way. She managed to get the one after diving out of the way, and another archer managed to get one in the back, leaving four of them slowly drifting off in... what was in that direction? Well, it was important the bubbles be popped regardless.
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Old August 21, 2017, 05:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Grateful the other archers didn't try to take her out as she got out of the direct path of the bubbles, Niven stood what she felt was a safe distance away. She'd gotten one, another archer another, but that still left four floating towards where she'd just been.

They were getting closer to the edge of the clearing and she was not about to let them leave and find their way to somewhere where they would be even more destructive than they already were. It was going to take some quick draw to hit them all before they got too far.

Firing one after another, Niven quickly aimed and fired at the bubbles, shooting just a little before them so as to use the breeze to her advantage and hit her targets.
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