(Sorry about the lateness, work's been kicking me in the dangly-bits lately. And changed my sig for convenience's sake.)
"Tiam Calden. So, what the hell is a person like you doing in a place like this? You obviously don't need combat training - are you looking for something else? Survival instruction perhaps? I suppose I can give you some of that."
The young man didn't want to fight. Ansol knew the feeling himself, but this was what he was here for – not just the basics. He'd learned those during his time in the Band. But it never hurt to hear again, just to be sure.
"Keep off the well-beaten path, find a safe place to camp, keep fires small, find food before you're hungry, and that's about it."
Nope. Nothing new.
"Now, this man clearly doesn't need combat training... so I'll be going now..."
After a few brief words more, Tiam had turned to leave. It seemed like the proverbial carpet had been pulled out from under him though, and he hit the floor. Ansol glanced at the old man, seeing the look of scrutiny and concentration on his face.
After a short verbal exchange, the young fighter got to his feet. He readied himself in the training ring, feet making little to no noise on the packed dirt.
"Okay Gierhardt, lets get this over with so I can get paid."
He unlimbered a small javelin and spear, holding one in each hand, and took up a stance Ansol had seen before.
The battlefield was silent as they advanced, a solid line of men and women, shields held to the fore – The Creeping Mountain formation, that allowed the Band to advance upon a force of archers or pikemen with the fewest weak spots exposed. Arrows thudded against shields, and here and there men fell. One, two, a third. The volley ended, and the silence resumed.
A sharp yell preceded them, a wall of fast moving, limber men with javelins and slings. They hounded the line, stones and spears taking more men than the arrows had, but not many.
He knew the spry man would make him work. He relished the opportunity though – he had never fought a skirmisher man to man before, only in battle with his brother's and sister's shields surrounding him.
Training it would be.
He smiled, walking over to the ring. The mace was very heavy, very real in his hand. Weighted training weapons usually meant that one had to get used to additional weight and loss of lethal edge. Ansol, however, had no such problems. He favored his mace, and the mace was ideally suited here.
“Fine, have it your way.”
He readied himself, shield raised on his left arm, mace held above his shoulder, head back. This particular stance was better against an opponent who could weather multiple blows, but it would also allow him quick recoveries – less strength than normal, but he suspected that speed would play a factor in this fight.
Spears were meant for pinpoint moves, he'd have no room for lack of speed.
Moments passed as he squared off with his opponent.
The blow was quick, for a maceman. The mace arced down, a solid body blow if it connected, but not extended enough to leave him reeling if his suspicions of this man's spryness proved to be correct.