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 Post subject: The Dilapidated Dojo (Nevercroft Training)
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:32 pm 
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Provide Training for New Adventurers. Each Trainee Yields A Gold Piece. Combat Experience Required.

That was what the job posting said. "The hell? Train new adventurers? Poor sods are wasting their money. Probably some rich buggers thinking that they want to see the world. Well, I can always show them that the world is a cruel place AND relieve them of some of their wealth."

It took Tiam a while to find the dojo, but when he did he questioned whether he should go inside. The place was run down and its courtyard was overgrown and the sign was little more than a board with more wood exposed than paint; it looked like a scam operation. If the place was a scam then it was a sloppy one, any half-decent criminal would know to pull out the weeds at the very least and maybe fix up that sign, then it might look legitimate. With a shrug Tiam pulled two javelins from his harness and pushed open the door.

The building was nicer on the outside than on the inside, but not by far. The old man behind the desk was reading a book and didn't even bother to look up when Tiam entered. "Are you here for training, or are you here to teach?" The old man had a droning voice as if he had been at this for years and was bored of this now.

"I'm here to train and make some money." There wasn't much else to look at in the place. There was a wall of wooden weapons behind the man, all blunted in order to prevent injury - definitely a place for rich people - and there was a hard-packed dirt ring to the right. That was it.

The old man looked up when he heard Tiam's words and took stock of him. "I suppose you'll do, even if you do look a little rough around the edges." He eyed the short spears that Tiam was still holding, having entered expecting a threat, "Why don't you put those down over there and find a weapon to your liking. I made all of these myself, and they're weighted to make things more realistic." Tiam did as he was asked and hefted a spear and a set of javelins. They were well made and felt like the real thing. Maybe this guy was legitimate after all. "Now there are only two rules. The first is that you can't kill the poor bloke that you're training - that would just be bad for business - and the second is that you stop when I tell you to. How you train is really up to you, just as long as they learn something. That's it." After that he went back to reading his book as if Tiam were soundly dealt with and now beneath his consideration.

"So do you have somebody lined up for me?"

"Nope, you'll just have to wait." That was a load of crap, putting up fliers for a trainer and not even having a trainee. Phaw, piss on that. Tiam was just about to go and rack the weapons back up when the door to the building opened once more. "Are you here for training, or to be trained?"

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 Post subject: Re: The Dilapidated Dojo (Nevercroft Training)
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:01 am 
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Look friend, with the Band dead and Nisyrus gone to ground, you'll have to take up something to bide your time. I've a friend of a friend who trains would-be adventurers – not the kind of adventuring you did in the Band's glory days, the solo kind. He'll give you some tips, at worst a few bruises. At best, you'll come away with a damn sight more sense than you had when you came to me all bloody and broken. Map's attached, and don't be put off by the appearance of the place – something about books and covers applies here, but I'm overdue at the market.

P.s – Don't mess this up.

Jantha


The hastily drawn, crude map had led him here. Yellowed paper crumpled softly as he folded the letter and stuffed it back into his pack. Ansol shook his head, the sun shining off the sweat that glistened on his bald pate. This wasn't the sort of place he'd intended to go – a run-down dojo that probably had never actually seen a proper caretaker. He hefted the pack over his shoulder, and began to walk away, the dust underfoot making faint clouds around his legs.

Jantha was usually right. The woman had been a healer for time immemorial – certainly since before he came to the Band on that night, covered in blood. But this? It couldn't be a place for proper adventurers to train. When he thought of adventurers, he thought of dashing men and devil-may-care women who went exploring dank ruins to find gods-knows-what. The building he had just been looking at invoked a rather different image – one of a fat spider reeling in equally fat (But far more stupid) flies.

He stopped, uncertainty plain.

Ansol had known Jantha for too long, and accrued far too many favors from Jantha to dismiss her advice without even checking. He turned, and walked back through the gate and up to the door. Voices could be heard inside – one old, the other young.

“...you train is really up to you, just as long as they learn something. That's it."

A pause.

"So do you have somebody lined up for me?"

He reached out to open the door, leather armor creaking gently.

"Nope, you'll just have to wait."

The door creaked open, and Ansol was treated to a drab sight. The place was by no means ostentatious – the only real decoration being the weapon racks that occupied one wall of the room. All the weapons there were wooden – his familiarity with his own weapon told him that. None had the lethal gleam that weapons meant for war did.

But they certainly didn't exude friendship and happiness either.

Each was worn, well used, and sturdy – at a glance at least. There were common examples of most weapons he had either used or had used against him. Swords, staves, even some oddly large knuckledusters made their appearance in the group. His eye fell to the pair of maces among them though – each one was blunt, and very obviously wooden. Telltale grooves along the hafts and heads told him that they were weighted.

The old man was next – he was almost nondescript, though his narrow eyes held a nonchalance that Ansol had seen before. Not disdain – appraisal.

"Are you here for training, or to be trained?"

He smiled.

Jantha had been right again.

“Trained.”

Ansol looked around to the room’s other occupant. The man was average – a fighter, no doubt, the way he hefted the javelin. He was young, the brown hair and tanned skin spoke of a seaman. His armor was leather, like his own, but it spoke less of the meticulous care he himself practiced and more of the common 'it's simply useful equipment' attitude among other soldiers and fighters he had met in his time in the band.

“Him too, I guess?”

The old man laughed, a dry sound – old paper rustling in wind.

“No, He'll be your trainer today. Lay your weapon down and choose one from the rack – they're all-” The old man began.

“Wooden, Weighted. Simulates the real thing, limited accidents.”

“Exactly.”

He walked over and selected one of the maces. It was heavier than his, but the balance was right. It whistled through the air as he swung it, feeling how it's weight distributed during an attack. Quick, but it gave him some insight.

He glanced at the man who would train him.

“I'm Ansol Gierhardt, you?”

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 Post subject: Re: The Dilapidated Dojo (Nevercroft Training)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:03 am 
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(You should change the link in your signature when you get the chance. I'm making an assumption on your character's age, so correct me if I'm wrong.)

The man that entered the dojo was of an age with Tiam, if a little older and had the look of a veteran of battle, though his armour didn't look nearly as scared as it could have been. That could mean one of two things: either the man was very good at what he did, or that was a new set of armour. It was most likely the latter... So why the hell was such a man here? Maybe he was part of a mercenary company, or perhaps he was a soldier from a garrison looking to strike out on his own and make his fortune.

Either way, he knew his stuff. He recognized that the weapons were weighted the moment he looked at them, and he handled that mace with great skill. Of course, he had to pick the one weapon that would still hurt to be hit by in training, and a shield to boot. This wasn't going to be fun, and was going to be a hard earned gold piece. Even his name sounded like it belonged to a soldier. "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."

"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." He turned to the old man, "Now, this man clearly doesn't need combat training... so I'll be going now..."

"No you don't. Even if he doesn't need training you can still spar. Maybe he needs to sharpen up. You're not leaving until you do."

"And who's going to stop me old man? You? Him? I'm gone." Tiam turned to leave when his feet suddenly skidded out from under him and his face hit the floor. He struggled to move but found himself firmly fastened to the floor. "Let me go you jackass!"

"Do you agree to spar? If he doesn't spar I don't get my pay, and I'm not about to let money walk out the door. And no, I won't. Do you expect an old man like me to spar against such a hale young man?" The bastard was reading his thoughts!

"Fine," Tiam's tone was grudging "But only if you get out of my damned head." The pressure released and Tiam rose to his feet. "Okay Gierhardt, lets get this over with so I can get paid." He pulled one of the javelins from his harness with his left, took up his spear with his right and went to the hard-packed dirt ring. He took his general combat stance, which was to say that he lightened on his feet and took his spear in a braced grip for one-handed use. "You first."

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 Post subject: Re: The Dilapidated Dojo (Nevercroft Training)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:29 am 
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(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.

Psionics. Interesting.

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.

Skirmishers.


Skirmisher.

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.

“You first.”

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.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dilapidated Dojo (Nevercroft Training)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:59 pm 
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(Made an assumption on your handedness, hope that's cool)

The man clearly knew what he was doing - his stance was perfect. He had done this before, and the way he hefted that clunky top-heavy mace with such ease bespoke great familiarity with the weapon. All in all, Tiam was rather upset. This was supposed to be easy money, not a hard-won battle for a single gold piece. Hopefully the man would stop them sooner rather than later, preferably before Tiam found himself with broken bones and a caved skull. Yes, that would be preferable indeed.

Of course, the bandit wasn't without skill, so perhaps his worry was more than was warranted. He saw the first attack coming a mile away - there were really only two feasible ways to attack from that position if one didn't account for the shield. What he didn't expect was the speed with which the attack was executed. As it was, Tiam just narrowly missed catching the bludgeon on the shoulder as he leaped backward. The weapon was simply too heavy and hard to parry, so he would need to rely on agility to save him from the heavy weapon.

The attack didn't leave the man unbalanced either which was even worse. The man knew how to fight and was a conservative fighter - definitely a soldier then; he was probably one that formed a shield wall with his fellows for the enemy to smash itself against. That shield was going to be another problem altogether. Normally Tiam wouldn't have worried much, javelins were generally a fair solution to a shield as long as one could throw one hard enough to get the thing stuck in the hard wood. Doing so would make the shield far more unwieldy and perhaps even useless in many circumstances. Unfortunately his current javelins were woefully inadequate for the task given that they had blunted ends and no tip to speak of. Oh sure, they were weighted but that didn't mean fuck all when it came to this battle.

He really was on the hard-fought end of this. Still, he couldn't let that deter him, he needed to soldier on. Heh, soldier on.

Tiam slid his hand down the shaft of his spear, giving him the advantage of weapon length in the fight. It would yield less overall control if the weapon was batted away, but for the moment he was more concerned about the safety of his limbs. He charged after that, head on until he was just into striking range, at which point he pushed himself to his left (Ansol's right) circling wide of the shield and directing a thrust at Ansol's open right side. The strike wasn't overly accurate, but it was more powerful with the weight of his charge behind it, but that wouldn't mean much if the thrust didn't land against the targeted ribcage. After the attack Tiam continued on, doing his best to bound away from his more solid opponent then round to face him. His best chance of survival would come from being agile, so that's what he intended to do.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dilapidated Dojo (Nevercroft Training)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:16 pm 
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(Sorry about the lateness. Unexpected overtime on the holidays is killing me.)

The young warrior was as agile as Ansol had feared.

He leaped back away from the mace, a tad quicker than he'd expected. Ansol silently thanked Charmelia that he'd opted for a more cautious opening move as he readied himself again, mace held at chest height, shield at the ready.

Tiam was obviously skilled, made so by the deftness which he changed his grip and started the quick charge forwards, spear held in a way that would make getting close a definite chore. Spearmen were tricky people to fight against, considering that - like dagger-fighters - one almost always had to accept a wound or two to win. That, of course, or be quicker. While there were no illusions that the larger, bulkier man with the shield was quicker, he most definitely had a tolerance for pain.

This full on charge was perplexing, though. Ansol was obviously the larger of the two men. Force wouldn't avail him here. The answer struck sound in his head just as Tiam's footwork changed and he bound around to the veteran's right. The young warrior's hand darted forward, the spear striking out like a coiled viper. Ansol spun to his left, stepping back to try and avoid the worst of the damage. The spear thumped against the well-cared leather of his armor and bounded away. He knew that if it had been a real spear, he'd probably have another scar to add to his growing map across his body.

Something to learn from.

With the momentum gained from his rough pirouette, Ansol threw out his shield arm - intending to catch his assailant with the other equally heavy defensive weapon attached to his left arm. The blow was a bit wild, but there was little he could do to help it - inertia being what it is. As he completed his reckless retaliation, Ansol once again resumed his careful, balanced stance - albeit one bruise worse than he started with.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dilapidated Dojo (Nevercroft Training)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:09 am 
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The spear penetrated the man's stalwart defences and struck true, though without the satisfying wash of blood to follow it. The man was clearly accustomed to having someone to his left as he was not quick to defend that side nor turn to track his opponent quickly. Once the man learned how to do that he would have a much easier time dealing with quick opponent like Tiam. Until then he would likely end up with several more bruises to show for his learning.

The whistle of an object moving fast through the air caught his attention and he responded by diving forward. It couldn't have been his mace- it was in an awkward position after the turn Ansol had made to evade the brunt of the damage from the spear. That meant that the shield was coming from behind, and that was a lot more difficult to avoid than the mace.

That face proved true as the shield slammed into his rump as he dove, propelling him forward and unbalancing him, causing him to skid his chin against the hard-packed dirt floor. As he rolled over he felt indignant, but the damage could have been much worse; the shield could have hit him in the back and blasted the wind from his lungs, rendering him more or less unable to fight. As it was, his ass was sore and his chin was scraped, which was a blessing as far as he was concerned; damaged dignity aside of course.

Tiam pushed himself to his feet and squared up against the man "You're quick for a man with a mace and shield, but you need to get out of the rank-and-file mentality. People like me are no good in all-out warfare, but one-on-one we can take on a staunch defender easier." There, that was enough schooling. Now he would have to hammer his lesson home and make sure it stuck. Who knew, maybe this 'lesson' would save the man's life one day, and what Tiam was learning here might save him as well. Tiam made note of the fact that he was learning as well - he learned that he couldn't judge his opponent's capabilities from his equipment.

Tiam started moving forward again, as he did last time, drawing his spear back to thrust, "So, in summary, lighten up!"(Concussion). The last two words were spoken at close range as he feinted with his spear at his opponent's shield to keep it occupied and down so the blast of sound could hit Ansol square in the face. This would be his second lesson, to know that the fighters that roam on their own or in small bands had special abilities that would have no place on a real battlefield.

[Concussion, 2/3 remain]

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