• Solo • The Cat's Half in the Bag

Training in arena, then pit fighting.

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.

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• Solo • The Cat's Half in the Bag

Postby Woe » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:52 am

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Date: 6th Day of Cylus, 717th Arc
"You picked a shit weapon to try and master." Bower told him, his face sour. "But five golden nels an hour isn't easy to pass up."

This quarter of the arena was largely deserted at noontime. There was a shadow over the grounds of the arena, and most of the stands. The grounds didn't see much use during these Cylus trials. Although they had every ability to light them from the inside, using torches, burning braziers and mirrors, few were willing to brave the upper echelons of the stands, where the cold was enough to make the spittle on one's tongue freeze.

Still, there was action on the floor, and a few sparse torches lit around the area where they trained. Slaves as well as regular fighters trained under the masters at arms. Woe knew, from what he understood of the fighting slaves, that their masters paid in bulk for the drilling of entire stables. Knights and squires alike made good money conditioning them and giving lessons on their tactics and fighting styles.

As Bower had said, the fee for training there was five golden nels an hour. Woe had paid for about two, just to refine his techniques with the scourge, before the main event he was planning on involving himself in later. Bower had taken to call the ex-slave 'Flogger'. Woe didn't much give a care what anyone called him. Flogger suited him fine here. Maybe he'd use it in part of his stage name later, when he took up a career in mummery.

The master corrected his form at turns, then gave him a wide berth as he tested the power of his scourge against the hide of a pig. The pig's skin was well-tanned, or else over boiled, not even making a nick in it.

"Pathetic." Bower rested his head in his hand.

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The Cat's Half in the Bag

Postby Woe » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:38 pm

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Date: 6th Day of Cylus, 717th Arc
"I'm beginning to wonder if that ten golden nels I spent was worth it." Woe hinted not so subtly. Bower snorted. "Can't you teach me anything about using a scourge, or whip or anything similar?"

"Nobody can teach you to be effective with a whip. If there is anyone, they're either miles deep in a dungeon having at some poor sod's backside, or dead, thinking they'd be a little different than the common warrior and then promptly getting their weapon torn apart and gutted by someone with a spear, axe, or another weapon that's actually useful." Bower scratched his chin.

"What about the flail? Is that not the same skill set?"

Bower's shoulders shook slightly as he chuckled, "Sure, there are experts in the flail. Any bastard invalid with a flail can close his eyes in the middle of a crowded battlefield, and become one. That is, if he's strong enough to hold it while its metal head is flailing. But look at you, you're skinny, barely a scrap of muscle on you."

Woe snapped his scourge at the stationary pig hide in frustration. Barely a scratch.

"Hey, Bower!" Said one of the slave masters overseeing his stable's training. "I'll wager I can teach that stick of a man to throw a whip, I'll wager whatever he paid you."

Bower shrugged nonchalant. "Fine, be my guest. I'll watch your property get their asses knocked to the ground for a while. It's got to be more entertaining than a break with Flogger here."

"See here, man..." Said the master, as he walked over from his stable of trainees, and took Flogger's hand in his. He taught him the proper grip, which was holding the handle straight out, perpendicular from the wrist and forearm. "You don't want to move the grip too much as you're swinging it, a whip is not used like an axe or a sword. Wait till the barbs or end of the whip are just about to hit their mark, then flex and twist the wrist tightly, don't ever let it slacken or weave about. And then return to form."

Flogger tried this method against the pig skin, leaving a trail of scratches with the barbs at the end of each tail of his scourge. Didn't seem like much, but it was progress the ex-slave could be pleased with. "You're slight of build but tall. You should take advantage of your reach, but be careful not to lose it by letting your opponent inside your guard. If you go with a longer whip as you get more experienced, it'll go doubly so. You have to evade, because many will try to rush a man with a scourge, thinking he won't be able to get his whip around in time. As you get better, you can combine the evasion with attacks. The key is to outlast, outrun, and bleed them. Death by a hundred cuts. You wield a weapon of torment and attrition. Bower knows his business, a whip or scourge isn't a weapon for all occasions. They won't help you against someone covered head to toe in armor. That's when you turn to chains or flails... Not entirely dissimilar weapons to whips, but needing more strength than you have."

Having said this, the master let Flogger have at the pig skin some more, emboldened by the options laid out to him. He had no illusions of becoming a great warrior, but it was good to know he hadn't wasted time on a weapon that would be entirely useless to him. Besides, how often would he have to face knights and guards in armor, anyway?
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The Cat's Half in the Bag

Postby Woe » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:28 pm

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Date: 7th Day of Cylus, 717th Arc
Woe came back the next day, after practicing his form at home for hours on end. Sure enough Bower and the other master were present, ready for the latest round of humiliation. Woe was fairly confident now in his technique, and so felt he would acquit himself well enough today.

He held the scourge at his side as he entered the proving grounds. After a few trills passed, Bower stepped forward. [b]"Alright, we'll see if that old sod taught you anything worth remembering."


He gestured toward a tanned hide first, "First test, will be one of actually doing damage with that ball of yarn you call a weapon."

Next, Bower turned toward a wooden practice sword that was stuck in the ground. "Second test, wrench that sword out of the ground with your scourge, and send it in the direction of the hide."

"We're not expecting you to actually throw the thing with your whip, so don't bother trying anything fancy like that." He turned finally to face Woe.

"Then we'll be having a more practical test, but..." Here he grinned wide, "That'll be spoiling the surprise if I tell you what it's about."

So saying, Bower exited the proving circle, and let Woe have it.

First, Woe approached the tanned hide. He loosened up his swordarm by doing a figure-eight with his scourge, followed up by a rolling of his shoulders. He made a slight shift in his stance, lowering the leading shoulder while the swordarm held the scourge above his shoulder-line. The leading shoulder rose as he carried forward, an brought his scourge down upon the hide. The little jagged shards attached to the ends of the tendrils tore into the hide by a fraction with each strike. After four whips of his scourge, he managed to tear it open.

"No time to waste, Flogger! Wrench that sword out of the ground!"

Woe did as ordered. The ex-slave turned on his heels, reversing his stance as he did so. Then he advanced with the opposite foot, returning to the previous form. He visualized the way the tendrils of his scourge would wrap around the handle of the sword before he struck. Then he cast it out, twisting his wrist as he struck the hilt. The tendrils wrapped themselves neat around the handle. He didn't wait another trill before pulling it with all his might. Woe threw the wooden blade across the ground. It made a loud clattering sound as it slid across the snow-dusted ground.

"There." Woe said, turning to face Bower. "Now what? Did I pass?"

Bower only shook his head with a smile. Woe could detect a looming shadow across his back. He wasn't alone in this training. Without missing another beat, he rolled forward, avoiding by a narrow margin a flail that his new opponent swung at his head.

With the momentum of the roll, he managed to turn himself around, and witness his assailant. He was a big man, as tall as Woe, but looking much meaner and stronger. Strange thing, he appeared to be missing an eye, wearing an eyepatch over his left ocular cavity. Woe saw that as a fair opportunity to acquit himself of this lesson.

He stood his ground, but knowing the ins and outs of flail and whip combat, was able more or less to avoid his opponent's weapon. He turned his leading ankle leftward, rolling again toward the big man's left side. Without missing a trill, Woe struck out with his scourge against the man's thigh. A loud roar of pain erupted from the man as blood coursed from the messy wound.

Woe near slipped as he retreated from the man's fury, with he swinging his flail this way and that. The flail threatened violence and death with every whoosh of its head. The ex-slave bided his time, careful to evade attacks until an opportunity to exploit his opponent presented.

It happened as the man recovered from an over head swing, whipping his flail in the opposite, upward arc. Woe moved forward again, evading the flail's head by inches while scratching the scourge across the man's crotch in an upward arc of his own.

This served to down the man.

Bower, meanwhile, grumbled and spat. Woe could hear the clinking of coin exchanged between he and the whipmaster. After a hearty congratulations from the master, Woe left the training ground, triumphant.
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The Cat's Half in the Bag

Postby Alistair » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:34 am

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Woe

Knowledge
Whip (Scourge): Turning your wrist to deliver a stronger blow.
Whip (Scourge): The pain of the weapon causes is part of it's danger.
Whip (Scourge): Relentless, speedy strikes can strip hide asunder
Whip (Flail): Even a blindman could use it.
Whip (Chains): Can be used to bludgeon or grapple with armored opponents.
Endurance: Perservering beyond discouragement and exertion.

Non-Skill Knowledge:

NPC: Bower: A hard-nosed trainer
NPC: Bower: Doesn't coddle his students
NPC: Bower: Willing to make a wager with his fellow masters on the outcome of sparring
NPC: Bower: Underestimates weapons he doesn't understand.

Loot: N/A
Injuries: Minor, non-serious injuries such as scratches and bruises; will fade within 7 trials
Renown: N/A
Devotion: N/A

Points: 10

Comments: I enjoyed your descriptions, and I liked your thorough and visual approach to the physical training. Well written! Also, nice whip moves!
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