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Allister finds an unlikely ally... and some damn good advice.

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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There's This Thing Called a Learning Curve

Postby Allister on March 20th, 2018, 3:26 am

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24th of Spring
10th Bell


When the group arrived in Riverfall and left their ship, huge blue men wrapped in leather armor handed then a map of the city and gave some warning about shadows and being out past dark. Allister had been thinking about a great many things- many more than usual due to recent events. The incident on the ship was one. Had those sailors elected to harm Madeira, he would have been powerless to stop them. Likewise, the sheer size and presence of the large blue brutes made the pale, thin kelvic feel as though he was insufficient for any sort of task that his beloved bondmate might throw his way. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. Allister could concoct one fantastic distraction.

A smile perched itself upon his lips but quickly faded as the hyena stomped along the well made roads staring a map. He turned the map several times while looking about for landmarks. The waterfall and its noise was a really good compass but the former slave kept second guessing himself. There was a moment where he missed the wandering of Alvadas. The illusions could be frustrating but everyone simply expected there to be some kind of delay. Now that he was in a normal place, the consistency of layout gave rise to a desire that one should reach a destination within a set time frame. Mad at himself for getting distracted, the kelvic ran off to one side and leapt up to grab the branch of a tree much as he did the boom of the sail. He was still a bit sore from all of that exertion but forced himself to pull. His shoulders and core complained while his arms shivered under the strain of hoisting the long body up into the air. Allister grunted and grimaced as his head drew closer to the branch. His hands hurt but held a solid grip as his elbows bent even more and the muscles of his arms hardened into knots. When his eyes passed the limb, Allister straightened his back and exhaled sharply. He used the expulsion to provide a burst of will and power to his biceps which propelled his chin over the makeshift bar. “Ha!” He shouted in triumph and then dropped back to the ground in a crouch. The hyena moved back to his previous position and took hold of the map again.

Allister was standing off to the side of a crossroads. The blue chunks of flesh were everywhere and some were even different colors. The tattooed man snickered at one who looked a bit pink even though his massive size would have easily allowed him to pummel the kelvic into soup. Still, the odd-looking fellow marveled at how many men there were and pondered why he hadn’t seen any blue women. He shrugged and looked left to see a large tower that seemed to be made of the night itself. It was menacing and yet majestic at the same time. Almost the same distance the opposite direction was a tower with a stone on top of it. The stone was green and easily spotted from a long distance. Using these two things, the hyena stared at the map then burst out into laughter that landed on the fence between strange and disturbing. He took the map and turned it over one hundred and eighty degrees and suddenly everything made sense. Even the stretch of road directly in front of him matched what was on the paper.

With a spring in his step, the bonded bumbler strode forth towards his destination- the Tuvya Sasaran. The map says it’s where the big blue guys goto train in unarmed combat. Allister would be lying if he said he didn’t need such practice so that was his destination today. It didn’t take long to approach a single story building that looked very plain but also massive at the same time. The sounds of men fighting and instructors was easily heard from outside. The kelvic started to get excited but also nervous. He’d never done anything like this before and the blues were just so stinking big. There were a few he’d passed which seemed big enough to snap the hyena in two. Regardless, Allister took a deep breath to swell his chest then marched right up to the door where a few men stood discussing something in an uncouth language that the former slave did not understand.

“I am here… uhh… to train- fight!” Allister’s voice was quiet and slow then loud and brief. He almost shook physically though his eyes quaked as he gingerly smiled and felt his posture break down under the weighty stares of judgement that he received. One of the blue men rolled his eyes while another scoffed. The third one didn’t even look at Allister and simply walked past him making sure to collide with the palid frame; a blow that caused the kelvic to take a few steps back to maintain his balance. The hyena growled and barked a very Common “Petch off!” then turned to find the last of the bunch standing directly in front of the visitor.

“You don’t belong here, vajik.” His voice was deep, his breath smelled and his chest was eye level with Allister not to mention being easily twice as wide.

The kelvic bristled somewhat but took a breath and let it out slowly through pursed lips. “I think I’ll just go inside.” He made like he was going to step around to the left but quickly change directions to go to the right. Allister thought this a clever move as he raised an elbow to blindside the azure obstacle but was met with a huge fist folding him in half at the waist instead of a clear path into the sasaren. The air fled his lungs in a whoosh and his thin frame temporarily went limp. A dazed face turned to look at the owner of the fist- his face read no emotion. The apparent bouncer flung the limp body off to the side and just stared at him. The hyena was utterly lost. How did he know I was going to do that? The man thought to himself. The blue fellow didn’t move extremely fast nor did he exert a lot of force but he still managed to position his body perfectly to both avoid the blow and land one of his own.

“Get lost or get dead, filth.” The way he made a fist and then let his hand relax was slow and deliberate. For a moment, the hyena found himself entranced by what was taking place and so he slowly got to his feet only to stumble back down to his knees. He felt broken inside and remained hunched while he took shallow breaths; each and every one of which felt like being blasted by an Isurian fist. For the next few moments, Allister simply swallowed the pain. He had no choice. Madeira couldn’t help him now and if he didn’t train then he would never be able to help her. With a great deal of will, the kelvic pushed himself up then paused bent over his his hands on his knees. Black eyes looked to the blue man expecting another blow but one never came. The hyena nodded to the big meanie then started walking onward past the training center. It didn’t take him long to open his eyes and see the massive pork and forest area that extended behind as far as Allister could see.

Allister started to breath a little easier and made several attempts to fully stand but he never quite made it. He paused near a very large tree and used its study trunk to twist his body. He pointed his hips and toes directly at the massive oak then crossed his right arm over his body and pulled against the rough bark. His hips were held tight while his shoulders rotated. The strain it put on his abdomen caused a groan to escape from his dry lips. He reversed the process until his back popped. It was satisfying but also painful- a mix of emotions that had become more frequent as of late. With a bit less of that crushed abdomen sensation, the black eyes scanned the huge park area for something that might serve as a good place to train. If he couldn’t get professional help, he could at least work through the few skills that Mota had tried to teach him on their journey from Alvadas.
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There's This Thing Called a Learning Curve

Postby Allister on April 13th, 2018, 1:49 am

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Allister took off running through the park. He pumped his arms and churned his legs with a focus on trying to keep himself in some kind of rhythm. It was awkward at first. The kelvic didn’t run much and the few times he had were on four legs, not two. He covered ground quickly, however, and despite himself the former slave found a freedom in the effort of it all. His lungs quickly started to burn and his mouth grew tacky but his legs ached. On top of that, his head bobbed about as if it might fall from his skinny neck. This made his back hurt and by the time he’d been running for six or seven chimes, he stumbled and crashed into a heap that rolled and tumbled over the grass before finally coming to rest near a small line of well-kept shrubbery. The hyena panted in his human form; tongue lolling out of his mouth as the cool of the ground soaked into his skin.

“That was pathetic.” A deep voice boomed from thin air.

Allister panicked, his body reacted by bristling goosebumps along his neck and arms but it was not effective at all without his canine fur. He pulled his hands under his body and pushed up, the heaving of his chest made it so that his core felt useless and thus put all of the effort on his arms. The spindly limbs shook slightly but the kelvic grunted and found that place where he was at peace with the weakness in his body. He opened his mouth and felt a growl in his belly rise as his chest rose above the grass. Once he was high enough, he popped his knees underneath his hips and sat back on his haunches with a gasp of relief. The black eyes looked around nervously and saw no one at first. Then a robed figured slowly approached from behind the manicured bushes.

“That was just as bad…” The voice called again. He seemed a bit stooped and walked with a large stick for assistance but his figure was massive and still held the marks of disciplined power. The Kelvic normally felt emboldened in the presence of men; foolishly so on occasion but every fiber of his being pulled itself into a position of respect and submission. There was something about this blue giant that demanded the hyena not act out.

Allister opened his mouth but closed it without making a sound and this made the large man laugh as he drew ever closer. Once he stepped a bit closer, the beady eyes shifted about to observe scars like he’d never seen before. The stranger was also missing part of his arm and his one leg was so badly twisted that it appeared as if he could put no weight upon it. The kelvic subconsciously began to reach for the mangled tissue but he stopped himself when the Akalak cleared his throat.

“You’re a bigger mess than I am, boy. Why were you running?” The eyes that studied him were clear, deep and cold but the former slave did not feel threatened. He rocked back to sit on his bottom and swung his legs around in front of his body, the big jacket billowing to allow for the shift. He threw his arms around his knees and crossed his ankles while his own pale face looked to the dark blue skin above him.

“I-- I don’t know.” Allister grinned a wide smile that split his pale face like an open wound. “I wanted to learn how to fight over at that building but your arsehat kin…” The kelvic quickly realized he may have said too much and cowered a bit lower to the ground away from the massive stranger. The man said nothing for several ticks then he burst into laughter that echoed through the whole park. The sudden silence then noise made the hyena jump halfway out of his skin.

“It’s alright, boy. Those men are rather pompous though I’m surprised they didn’t beat you half to death for trying to join their sacred training.” He inclined his bald head towards the figure huddled up on the ground. Instinctively, Allister’s hand went to his abdomen where he had been folded earlier in the day. The body leaned onto the staff and a smile parted the man’s thin, wide lips. “So you took a shot from one of them...that’s almost impressive for someone who looks so frail.”

The kelvic felt a tremble inside of him. He did not mind being insulted on various things and rarely listened but now that he was bonded, he did not like being the one who appeared weak. It’s why he wanted to train. It’s why he readily accepted the friendship of a Svefra who taught him a new way to look at the world. The shadow over the black eyes and pale face did not go unnoticed. Despite the warnings. Despite the feeling of dread, the hyena felt his body tensing as he prepared for an attack. The big blues pushed everybody around. They looked down their giant noses at other races much in the same way that the Dynasties in Kenash believed themselves better than any who lacked their names. His breathing quickened and his shoulders rose and fell more rapidly but to Allister, he felt as if nothing had changed.

The kelvic coiled into himself then unleashed a roar as he pushed the force of his strength from his feet up through his legs. The long, thin body launched into the air straight at the apparently handicapped man who, oddly enough, didn’t react. Allister tore the strength that propelled up up through his core from his hips to his shoulders and then drove it into his arm then threw his fist at the man’s chin. Still, the stranger didn’t move. At the very last second, his form twisted on his boots and the staff came up sharply to land its tip into the kelvic’s ribs while he sailed through the air. It was the second time in less than a chime an Akalak had relieved him of the ability to breath. The hyena cried out then fell into a ball on the ground at the feet of his better.
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There's This Thing Called a Learning Curve

Postby Allister on April 20th, 2018, 2:08 am

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The Akalak relaxed and leaned upon his quarterstaff, scarred and bald head looking down upon the pale man at his feet. There was a wave of compassion that registered in a much softer glare than usual and for as moment, one might almost be able to read the expression as sympathetic. Allister groaned and moved around a bit but it mostly looked like in slow motion. The big blue man began to make a slow circle as he limped along and studied the creature beneath him. “Why do you seek the training of my people?” The sincere face remained plastered across the azure skin.

The kelvic looked up and watched the man who watched him. Black eyes soaked up the various scars and wounds while trying to listen to, not just hear, what was being said. Allister had a hard time with most conversations; focus was not an easy thing to acquire. The tick of the staff on the ground was rhythmic and the deep voice was clear but the seriousness on the man’s face made the hyena wonder if a simple answer was not going to be enough. With a sigh and the expectation of being wrong, Allister pushed himself up onto his knees and looked to the giant blue brute. “I belong to someone who deserves better.” The beady eyes of the scavenger locked with the dark gaze of the humbled warrior and for several moments, nothing happened- even the wind stopped its whispers.

The Akalak’s face was the first to crack as a slow smile spread over it like the sun cresting over the waters of the Suvan. “That’s the best answer that I’ve ever heard.” The circle resumed and the gentleness was gone from the moment. “On your feet, Useless...we’ve got work to do.”
Allister responded to the commanding tone of the voice and put his hands on the ground on either side of his boots. He pressed up with his shoulder and legs at the same time into a straight stance of attention. He looked awkward and unbalanced but he did his best to remain still. When the kelvic turned to look at the larger man, the end of the staff caught him on the cheek to return his gaze forward.

“Eyes forward. Lose the jacket.” The akalak barked.

Allister did as he was told and shed the coat from his shoulders. He allowed it to slide down his arms into his hands and then tossed it aside. He returned his arms to his sides and remained still, a chill climbing along his skin as he waited for the next part of the day to present itself. He wasn’t made to wait long. The blue warrior made an upward slash with his quarterstaff aimed to catch Allister by the chin. The hyena made a knee-jerk reaction and bent his legs and back while turning his head aside to avoid the blow. His hands swiped without result at the weapon; too slow. When he moved to recover his balance, the staff came back down against the tops of his partially extended wrists with a double crack.

The kelvic tried to recover by pulling his hands in and reversing the arc of his body but it only made a third strike plausible. As Allister pushed his midsection back and away, the wooden pole flew back up and caught him underneath his chin with such force that it lifted him from the ground. He sailed into the air and felt the terrifying sensation of weightlessness while his eyes observed the sky spinning into the ground and then nothing. The former slave groaned into the cool grass as his fingers dug in and blood flowed from his mouth where he had bitten his cheek not to mention the gash on his chin. “Does learning how the grass smells make me a better fighter?” The pale mess mumbled.

“No.” The superior fighter exclaimed with a somewhat playful grin. “But it lets you know that I am -and always will be- in charge.”
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There's This Thing Called a Learning Curve

Postby Allister on June 9th, 2018, 1:39 am

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The pale kelvic felt a burning sensation on the skin of his chin but felt a dull ache at the point of impact but also back in the hinges of his jaw. There wasn’t much that surprised him in terms of pain since he’d been put through a decent amount in his short life but the disorientation was new. Never before had he experienced such power in a single being. The man -seemingly crippled- made one move and elevated Allister enough to make his lanky form do a backflip. Shaking hands dug into the dirt as fingers curled into the soil as a wave of nausea passed through the straggly performer. Beady black eyes lifted to find the man coolly leaning upon his staff and regarding the hyena with mild distaste...or was it amusement? Allister couldn’t tell.

His shoulders strained and the exertion moved down his arms and into his core as the man pushed his torso up from the ground until his hips started to rise. Then he tucked his knees up and brought his bare feet underneath his rump and sat back. “I don’t think I’ll ever get a shot in on you at this rate.” The kelvic rolled his head to one side and then back to the other as he continued to shake off the haze left from the strike. Slowly, he brought his body back over his feet until he sat in a crouch. In a fluid motion born of sheer will, the former slave stood up as he continued to address the blue brute. “Maybe if I had you stick, I’d stand a chance.” Arms reached high into the air which drew a groan from the cracked lips. Allister closed his eyes and turned his face skyward, the stretch really helped him to recover.

“Sure.” The Akalak said. “Catch.” The old warrior knew there was nothing the hyena could do to harm him- not with his patron Wyser’s gifts on his side. So, as he spoke the two simple words, his body shifted most of the mass to his good leg while his right arm extended out and gently tossed the quarterstaff to his new pupil. A grin spread at the corners of his mouth in anticipation for what was to come next.

Allister’s eyes shot open and he pointed his face directly at the azure warrior. He never expected the guy to agree to such a thing. He opened his mouth to speak but the kelvic never had a chance because he had to prepare for the stick that was flying at him. His hands went forward but the former slave was not used to handling weapons. In fact, his mind tried to flash to a time when he ever held one. He flinched at the impact as the heavy wood of the pole thwacked the tip of his left middle finger. The impact jammed the small bones together with a dead sort of numbness that hurt more than Allister would have expected. The staff bobbled until one end hit the ground and only then did the kelvic wrap his hands awkwardly around the cool, smooth surface of the weapon and hugged it to his chest.

This display caused the Akalak to shake his head but he also chuckled a little bit. “Your face looked like I threw a glassbeak at you.” The deep voice rumbled like thunder in their quiet corner of the park. “Hold it like you intend to do some harm with it, boy.” The voice barked.

Allister smiled at the low laugh but the expression quickly faded as he fumbled with the quarterstaff that came up just above his shoulders. At first, he wasn’t sure where to hold it but then his hands found the slightly eroded grips left by hands much more powerful than his own. Keeping his white-knuckled fists relatively equidistant from the center, the hyena ended up feeling very comfortable holding the weapon with a space of almost twice his own waist in between his hands. The realization of doing something right caused him to widen his stance as it just felt better. When he did so, the goofy man couldn’t resist taking a half-hearted swing that left an open-mouthed grin on his face. “Ha!” The kelvic shouted as if he had just felled a powerful adversary. He would soon learn that he was far from intimidating or effective.
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There's This Thing Called a Learning Curve

Postby Allister on June 9th, 2018, 3:13 am

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“Congratulations, boy, you figured out how to hold a stick.” The sarcastic tone was lost on the naive hyena. Allister was brimming with gusto and pride as he watched the blue man slowly limp towards his left. The kelvic had all but forgotten his aches and pains associated with the few chimes he’d spent with the Akalak thus far. “The first thing you need to understand about using a weapon is how to stand.” The matter-of-fact tone ressonnated against the ears of the pale man but its meaning was lost. The student jerked the staff back and forth by extending one arm while simultaneously bending the other. The switching of end to end felt useful to Allister and he lost track of anything else other than watching the rounded ends jab out over and over again.

Urahli had gone quiet. Maimed limb and all, the huge figure shifted along the edges of the small feature within the park and did his best to blend into the shadows. Dark eyes watched through a low brow as the ignorant pupil showed more weaknesses than strengths in his approach to learning. It was like watching a pup trying to attack its own tail. Harmless as such an act seemed, the puppy had annoyed a much larger dog. Ytang had taken over and he hand no patience for idiots -a fact that the kelvic was soon to discover.

The former slave was lost in his machinations as he was made his arms rotate in an off synced rhythm that simulated something like rowing a narrow boat. A pointless move in combat, it allowed the kelvic to gain a bit familiarity for the quarterstaff; its weight, the shift of balance and to just grow accustomed to holding the thing. As his teacher approached from the rear, Allister looked up and didn’t see his new friend. He turned around, leading with the staff only to run smack into the stranger. Ytang caught the shaft in between the hyena’s hands and jerked it against his chest with a powerful grip. The akalak’s free hand came straight out and planted a firm palm strike in the thin man’s sternum. This deflated the air from Allister’s lungs and caused him to stagger backwards but he refused to relinquish his hold of the weapon. Even as his body sagged, the eager student clung to his hold, a look of pain rested upon his face but the fires of determination burned in his eyes.

Allister leaned into the stiff arm and pulled with all his might. His back ached and the sinewy biceps bulged and shook behind the strain. Slowly, the kelvic felt like his arms were bending and his body was growing closer to wrestling back control of the weapon. In a vain attempt at being clever, the hyena tried to twist the staff quickly which he managed to achieve but all it did was cross his arms in front of his chest. Ytang grinned and spat. “Fool!” The voice was different! Allister didn’t have time to contemplate this, however, as the arm in his chest rose straight up and used the leverage of the kelvic’s own skinny arms to hoist him into the air. For the second time tonight, the Alvad was airborne and expecting unpleasantness on the other side. The Akalak lifted him up and rotated to alleviate the added pressure from his bad leg. Ytang brought Allister up, turned ninety degrees and then slammed the lanky figure on to the ground without releasing his hold on the middle of his own weapon. “Never twist a staff when you don’t have inside control!”
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There's This Thing Called a Learning Curve

Postby Allister on June 9th, 2018, 12:25 pm

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Allister felt the hardness of the earth and its unforgiving strength reverberated all of the bones in his body with a dull thud. The kelvc felt queasy and had a mind filled with doubt. He reached through the bond for Madeira. His soul needed the strength that she held and when he found it, the hyena tightened his grip upon the staff. The Akalak lifted the weapon and looked to the dangling mess of limbs underneath it. Ytang smirked and shook the quarterstaff and the pale ornament suspended beneath shivered in the movement. “You’re a tough little shyke. There might be hope for you yet.” The Akalak released the shaft and turned around slowly then made his way to the tree. Once he reached the trunk, his twisted body leaned against it for support. Urahli resumed control and turned to face his student. “Get up.”

The kelvic caught the change in voice once more. He tilted his head as he stared inquisitively at the big warrior. He had heard Madeira lose her voice to Emma and he wondered if it was the same thing. Allister struggled to get to his feet. He leaned upon the shaft and rose up as joints popped and muscles protested the effort. He was starting to feel like everything hurt but he ignored the pain in favor of burning curiosity to know more; about the weapon and the teacher. “Do you have a ghost inside you?” The former slave coughed. His back hurt and it brought the tickle in his throat into an agitated state.

Urahli scoffed. “No, boy. Akalaks have two souls. My name is Urahli and my brother’s name is Ytang.” He kicked a rock towards the pupil. “No more questions. Come over here and hit this tree.” The blue man moved off to one side because he knew the novice’s control was nonexistent. The kelvic grinned wide like the malicious smile inked upon his stomach. He still held the same positions on the pole as he stalked over and stood an arm’s reach from the thick trunk. He drew back with the right side, his body twisting in the middle then he uncoiled forward like he had seen warriors do in the past. His arms outstretched and brought the end of the quarterstaff against the tree.

A high-pitched crack echoed from the branches and Allister felt the tree hit him back. The blow knocked the bark from where he had smacked the tree but the vibrations rattled along the weapon until it made the kelvic’s hands numb. He could no longer hold the staff and it fell to the ground. Black eyes stared at empty hands in disbelief as Allister tried to lose the weird and slightly painful sensation that coursed through his limbs. The sound of deep laughter caused him to change his focus.

“Never hit something you can’t break, arse-ling.” Ytang was back and Allister’s brow leveled in an unamused look. He bent down and took hold of the weapon then took a step back and righted his frame. While being useless at so much, the kelvic resolved to be better. He just had to-- for her. Resolve crossed his face in an expression of granite as the black stare leveled itself at the blue instructor.

“Never twist the staff if you don’t have inside control. Never hit something you can’t break. What’s next?”
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Allister
The Answer to Boredom
 
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There's This Thing Called a Learning Curve

Postby Azmere on August 21st, 2018, 12:33 am

Running +2
Acrobatics +3
Endurance +5
Bodybuilding +2
Observation +5
Land Navigation +1
Logic+1
Unarmed Combat +3
Socialization +2
Weapon-Quarterstaff +4

Acrobatics: Controlling your body in the air
Acrobatics: Dodging a weapon strike
Akalaks: Have no women in their race
Akalaks: Have two souls
Allister: Determined to train
Allister: Ytang calls him “arseling”
Bodybuilding: Doing a pull up
Endurance: Training even when you’re sore
Endurance: Holding onto a weapon despite taking a strike
Endurance: Repeatedly taking damage to the same place
Land Navigation: Reading a map
Logic: To protect, one must be able to fight
Running: It’s easier with four legs
Unarmed Combat: Fake one way and go the other
Unarmed Combat: Blocking while dodging
Urahli: Scarred Akalak
Urahli: Powerful and quiet
Urahli: The light soul
Weapon-Quarterstaff: Hold it like you mean to do harm
Weapon-Quarterstaff: Stance is everything
Weapon-Quarterstaff: Never twist when you don’t have inside control
Weapon-Quarterstaff: A tight grip is essential
Ytang: The dark soul to Urahli
Attn: GradersObservation is maxed. Thank you for all your hard work.


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