Completed Surpringly Warm Under the Dragoon's Wings

If you're going to punch someone, why not an enemy?

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Surpringly Warm Under the Dragoon's Wings

Postby Dmitri Saratov on February 16th, 2015, 10:21 am

Timestamp: 47th of Winter, 514 AV


'Petching shyke, what'd I do this time?!'

After a quick physical check-up once Dmitri had fully woken up, it was clear he had gotten in a, most likely drunk and self-induced, fight yesterday night. His jaw and ribs were sore and he had dried blood sticking to his face. Still he didn't feel too much like shyke, as he saw he had dried blood on his knuckles as well. He pumped himself up that at the very least he didn't go without a fight, until he tried to stand up and groaned in pain from the bruises in his sides.

'Son of a ... This has got to stop!'


By that he didn't mean that he'd stop drinking, of course! He just needed to get better at fighting! Like any good prospect alcoholic, that thought only occured to him briefly and faintly until the hangover passed, after which he spent the remainder of the day doing absolutely nothing, but as the pain in his body faded, so resurfaced the dedication to improve his combat skills one way or another. He didn't have any way of training himself though, except for his stiletto and basic body building excercises that even he knew of. Jabbing the wall with his stiletto, pumping and doing sit-ups all seemed so...boring to him, so he opted to get some professional training, from the Dragoons no less.

He figured it'd be best to get experienced trainers and combatants to give'm a good work-out, even better if he got to punch out one of the Night Eyes' enemies! Once he spent another night sleeping and dreaming of glorious victories in the arena, he set out into the city, on his merry way to the Sun's Birth territory. Of course he left his Night Eyes' insignia safely at home, no point in bringing that with him and undoubtedly getting himself killed. Jabbing the entire Sun's Birth Dragoons to death with his stiletto seemed a bit overkill, even for his mighty self...Unable to withhold a self-mocking smirk at that silly thought, he approached The Proving Grounds.
Last edited by Dmitri Saratov on February 19th, 2015, 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Surpringly Warm Under the Dragoon's Wings

Postby Dmitri Saratov on February 16th, 2015, 11:20 am

It took him a while to arrive at the new, smaller, territory of the Sun's Birth at the western part of town. What was noteworthy was how the area was kept clean and tidy by the gang, they were diligent in all their endeavours apparently. Not to mention that there was barely any of them with a sign of weariness or defeat on their faces, giving Dmitri the impression they were ready to bare fang and claw at anyone trying to take any more of them, if they weren't aiming higher that is. Soon after entering their diminished territory he got halted by a patrolling group of Sun's Birth footsoldiers.

"Haven't seen you around these parts before, state your business!"


"I'm a citizen of Sunberth, seeking training from the Sun's Birth Dragoons."

The footsoldiers, not even bothering with another word spent on Dmitri, approached him further and started going through his pockets and patting his figure for any conceilments, something Dmitri wasn't to keen on letting happen, whether or not it was justified.

"Hey, man, do you mind?"

"Take it or leave it, outsider, we need to make sure you're not here for any..other..motives!"


"Fine! Just don't pick my pockets and stay away from my region for petch's sake!"

After the grunts finished their search, they went back to what appeared to be their commanding officer, holding Dmitri's wallet, something Dmitri didn't allow to leave from his sight. Even going as far as to open the wallet and peer inside, the leader of the group was finally satisfied with what he had seen and gave the wallet back, before showing Dmitri one Gold Miza that he had taken from the coinsack.

"Entry fee, now carry on to the Proving Grounds, civilian!"


'Petching dungholes.'

After leaving the patrol's company, at first glance anyway as they coincidentally enough seemed to go that direction as well, he made his way to what appeared to be Proving Grounds as it showed plenty of tools to work out with, and even an arena. Proceeding to walk towards the open gate and attempting to cross the two halberd-wielding guards, he got halted once again. Sighing, he was about to explain he already met their companions and was simply here for training, but the guards simply stared passed him with halberds crossed, until one of them nodded to someone behind him, causing Dmitri to turn on the spot. It was the patrolling group he had encountered before. Seemed pretty damn tricky to infiltrate this area, almost locked tighter than a shrine maiden's legs.

Either way, Dmitri was allowed entry into the Proving Grounds and was greeted by loud groans from all sides and an odor reeking of sweat all around him. Unsure what to do now or where to go next, a voice called out to him. A feminine sound, albeit barely, originating from an imposing figure in the distance. Two unsheathed and clearly well-used short swords were hanging from the woman's belt as she beckoned Dmitri over and sternly spoke to him.

"Outsider training, right?! Go pay the fee over there after deciding if you want a group or individual training, after you've done so, march back here and report to me."
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Surpringly Warm Under the Dragoon's Wings

Postby Dmitri Saratov on February 16th, 2015, 5:57 pm

There was something about the woman, whether it was her tone of voice, pose or attitude, that just screamed to Dmitri he didn't want to defy or argue with her. Not the lapdog type to obey any commands at will, it was no easy task for Dmitri to hold his tongue and simply nod before leaving her presence and carrying onto the booth to pay the fee. Undoubtedly he did the right thing though, as picking a straight-up fight with a Dragoon, whether it was on their turf or any other place...Was pretty much a lightning-fast way to end at Sunberth's Dustbed Cemetery.

At the booth, the man in chainmail asked what type of training Dmitri was looking for. He figured it couldn't hurt to ask where the differences lied in individual training and group training, besides the obvious ones of course. The man was surprisingly enough polite and even friendly in the manner he responded, explaining individual coarses would be lead by one of a pair of fierce instructors and would be more in-depth working on Dmitri's weaknesses while the group sessions would be lead by the other member of the duo and be more all-round training.

Thanking the man and mulling over his options, he decided it was best to start off with the group session, so he paid the fee of 7 GM for a Basic Group Session and was sent off back to where he came from, the fierce and stern woman that had sent him over here to pay the fee before anything else. As he approached her again, she glared right at him and seemed to take in his build and the way he walked up to her.

"So, which course did you pick and why?"

"The group training, because I was told it worked from the ground up and covered all of the basics, which I need to start off with considering my degree of proficiency in combat at this point in time."

"...Well said, you seem to have more than meets the eye between those ears of yours. I am Marshal Iztel the Swift, I will be your coach for today and the classes start in half a bell, I expect to see you right here, right then...Late, and you lost your chance and coin."


"Yes, Marshal Iztel."

Appears Dmitri's hunch not to nip at the woman's heels was the right one, it was the first time he met a Marshal in person, but he heard plenty of tales of their combat prowess and brutality, better stay on her good side.
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Surpringly Warm Under the Dragoon's Wings

Postby Dmitri Saratov on February 17th, 2015, 9:30 am

As the chimes past, so did the last falling snowflakes for that day and Dmitri couldn't help but admire his adversaring faction Sun's Birth as not a single one of their members seemed to be complaining about having to work and train under the snowblanket. The blanket was light as it hadn't been snowing all that hard during the day but the icy wind certainly still cut through fabric and skin down to your very core. It was almost enough to make Dmitri turn tail and head back to his 'cozy' room at Sunset Quarters, but his pride and desire to become stronger won the battle against his desire for comfort and heat and so he waited, leaning against the inner walls of the Proving Grounds and taking in all before him.

There were all sorts of training going on before him simultaneously, some more agressive and brutal than others but all of them were being practicioned almost as if they were religious zealots training their chants as best they could. At long last he figured it was nearing the time to 'report' to Marshal Iztel and as he walked up to her, so did half a dozen others. Some of them were clearly civilians judging by their attire, and the two others were wearing chainmail with a piece of clothing over it stitched with the Sun's Birth icon.
As they all arrived at the fierce mademoiselle Iztel, she glanced over them and scoffed.

"Seems like the cold has cleared us from the meek and weak-willed, I expected no less. But enough with the small talk, you came here to train and I'm here to train you, nothing more and nothing less, understood?!"


A group effort was put into the loudest possible 'Yes Ma'am' by all of the attendants, besides Dmitri, who simply nodded and awaited further instructions from the Marshal.

"Follow me to the punching bags, we'll start off with those and establish your proficiency in unarmed combat before anything else."

She spoke to the group, looking at each individual straight in the eyes but for some reason Dmitri thought he could notice her looking at him differently or longer, he couldn't quite place his finger on it. Maybe that was the same rush everyone else felt as she looked at them or simply his imagination. Either way, she didn't spill any other words on him as she guided the participants to the room which had punching bags lined up from the ceiling, hanging by three against each wall.

Everyone took a punching bag but apparently the ones Dmitri chose had something special about them considering the 2 recruits in the Sun's Birth both chose the ones Dmitri had picked, before them no less, almost as if they were trying to pick a fight and trying to get a rouse out of him. Even while realising the possibility of a set-up, Dmitri couldn't help but bare his fangs.

"What, does the smell of this bag remind you of home sweet home, or what?!"

He snapped at the recruit claiming the 2nd bag he chose who frowned and put on his gnarliest face, Dmitri could only imagine it was in an attempt to intimidate him but it seemed so comical he could only laugh.

"Fine, take your comfort blanket and stay the petch out of my way!"

The other civilian participants did their utmost best not to look and get caught in the cross-fire and as Dmitri turned and chose another punching bag, he could swear he saw a glimpse of a smile on the Marshal's face as she looked at him, Dmitri was getting in a sour mood and didn't pay much heed to it and simply balled his fists and waited for the class to start.
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Surpringly Warm Under the Dragoon's Wings

Postby Dmitri Saratov on February 18th, 2015, 8:41 am


"Alright! Let's get started, just keep on wailing on those bags until I come by and tell you to stop."


And so the journey to becoming the world's greatest box---No..No wait, so begun the hardest training Dmitri had ever faced so far though. At first it started out fun and helped Dmitri get out of his foul mood by walopping against those lifeless bags that weren't able to strike back. He had posed himself in his usual I'm-Going-To-Break-Your-Face stance that he used when fighting and started hitting the bag as hard as he could from all angles, sometimes he tried to be fancy and give it a few combo strikes, such as a body blow and then a hard hook with his right fist. All jolly good fun really, that was until he started to feel the drain from continuesly hitting the hard leather bag as hard and fast as he could. First he felt his muscles cry out, then his bones grate and last but not least...The bag started to hit back! His fists became sore and the leather seemed to scratch against his skin harder than he managed to hit it for petch's sake!

Still he refused to stop 'wailing' against the bag, even when his breathing became erratic and he let his body sink in against the bag after every blow, he didn't pay any attention to his surroundings though, as he was facing the rest of the trainees with his back, but he figured them all to be still punching the bag, that was the command given by the freakin' Marshal at least. Eventually he really started to slow down as he felt the cold sweat pouring over his body and face as if an evil Deity Itself was taking a shyking leak.

'SHYKE! When is this bit---'

"Alright, that's enough, you can stop!'

Dmitri figured she was talking to everyone, but as he turned, the room's tennants were cut down in half, at best. Everyone who remained seemed equally exhausted though, even the two recruits of the Dragoons seemed ready to blow out their last life's candle.

"Good work! Still being here means you passed the test of endurance and determination, in the corner is water and towels, dry yourselves off and rest a bit before we proceed."

Dmitri huffed and puffed as he made his way to the corner and waited his turn to dry himself off and drink the refreshing and much needed water. Swallowing even felt painful and he ended up in a coughing fit after removing the mug from his lips. But then the realization that it had only begun, sunk in and he couldn't help but to close his eyes and dream of a far-away land with green grass and bunnies... roasting over a campfire. The loud voice of the Marshal dragged him right back though.

"You, get your ass back up, you think this is a petching picnic? Stand over here, I'll teach you how to throw a punch ya wimp."
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Surpringly Warm Under the Dragoon's Wings

Postby Dmitri Saratov on February 18th, 2015, 1:02 pm

The commanding voice held no room for sympathy, all that resonated was demanding obedience and results. While he wasn't a wimp or a lapdog, he wasn't suicidal either, so he gritted his teeth and pushed himself off a crate, ready for round two. He wanted to make a snide remark, so badly, but all inside him screamed not to, simply to survive..and to learn! The woman positioned herself before one of the bags where all remaining participants could clearly see her and posed herself, ready to start swinging. But, opposed to what Dmitri always did, she didn't place herself so she was ready to take a beating and withstand it, rather she placed herself more elegantly and balanced than he could have imagined her ever being.

"This is how you usually stand when preparing for a battle that's going to come at you head-on, understood? Not like a gate ready to take on a battering ram, like you! But like a deer, ready to dodge the incoming arrows and spear the enemy with your own!"


It hit him right there and then, he never thought of actively dodging and blocking, possibly because he felt he wasn't able to yet. But still, preparing yourself to get hit shouldn't be the priority when fighting, it should be to win and win as best as you could! Taking minimal damage whilst inflicting maximum damage, which seemed to be the same reasoning the female Marshal had since when she started throwing out her arrows...It was clear to all, they hit the bull's eye, each and every one of them! The sound the impacts made and the way the large and weighing punching bags swayed, could only indicate they were punches capable of breaking a man's bones and placed right there, where they would!

Not only that, but Iztel seemed to move 'with' her punches, as if the bag wasn't lifeless but actively throwing counter punches at her. Dodging and weaving in-between punches and side-stepping actively, she knew how to fight, that was obvious to all! Dmitri was impressed, he knew she was way out of his league, but to see her educate them so easily, simply by making them watch and come to their own realizations, left him astonished.

"Now, you try!"


Dmitri didn't hesitate, the flame had been rekindled and he was ready to go all the way, until he collapsed! He stood before the punching bag, not like a boar ready to stomp his way into the trap this time, but with one foot slightly before the other and ligth on his toes and heels, almost hopping around before he started to hit the bag. First one punch in the stomach, then one on face-height and then a sharp hook to the temple followed. Inbetween the punches he was skipping slightly around, maintaining his lightness while moving his shoulders and ducking his head to the sides and even creating distance between him and the bag as if it was ready to grapple him to the ground at any given time.

His punches continued to fly into the cloth-filled leather sandbag while 'dancing' about, sometimes light, sometimes hard but all of them hitting the mark. Or so he thought, he could hear from the sounds around him that the others have started as well, but again he didn't really pay attention to it and focused solely on himself and his own training, just as he pulled back his arm to deliver a devastating right, he felt a strong hand gripping down on his shoulder.

"Not bad, for a beginner...You have much to learn but I see that you have the heart and mind to do so! You saw what I was doing, analyzed it and are now trying to make it your own, which isn't a bad way to do things. But you're still lacking, let me show you how it's done again and lets see if you can come up with more than this!"


Iztel pushed him aside, casually but so effortlessly it almost hurt Dmitri's pride. Getting over himself, he gave her more distance and focused solely on her and what she was doing.
First she took her stance again and then started hammering the punching bag again, but why did it seem the bag took much more beating from her than from him? Sure, she had more training and muscle, but their builds were not 'that' far apart and yet the swaying and sounds the leather bag made were far more impressive than what he accomplished. Then he realized something as he continued to watch her, she didn't just hit any random spot. If he imagined it being a person, he could tell she aimed for strong punches in the ribs and quick jabs on the face mixed with an occasional gutwrenching hook to the temple. If that HAD been a person, he wouldn't want to be it!

That was one thing, but it didn't explain the reason behind her power. He couldn't figure it out so he did what any student would do, he swallowed his tension away and asked his teacher straight-up.

"Marshal Iztel, how come you seem to be hitting so much harder than me? It goes without a doubt you're stronger and more skilled than any of us here, but the difference goes beyond that! Could you tell me?"

She laughed. "You got a sharp mind and keen eyes...I could tell you...But would you really prefer the easy way? Or learn it by your own mettle and go home satisfied and feel acomplished from the training?!"

He frowned and stared silently at the Marshal, it was obvious that he no longer wanted to know it from her mouth but rather learn it with his own fists.

"Good lad, what's your name?"


"Dmitri, Saratov."

"I see, continue your training, Saratov!"
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Surpringly Warm Under the Dragoon's Wings

Postby Dmitri Saratov on February 19th, 2015, 6:48 am

Dmitri tried to figure out the mystery and so he ended up spending so much time simply staring at the punching bag and wrecking his brain that he almost forgot that he was supposed to be training his body more so than his mind right now, sighing he hoped that by training his boxing skills, he might end up chiseling away at the hidden clues somewhere. There had to be a logical reasoning behind it, but what more was there to punching things than simply winding up your strength and then letting it explode against whatever or whoever you wanted to hit?

Aiming and hitting the same spot on the punching bag over and over again, sometimes winding up his arm more than other times, he continued to fail to see the forest because of the trees, until he started to feel an aching pain in his shoulder when he really wanted to bring the hurt to the bag after thinking about possible answers without results for too long. Then it hit him rather than the target, there 'was' more to punching than simply throwing out your fist...There was power and stamina, but also technique! Possibly, or probably, more important than the first two even. It had been so obvious now that he realized it, from the get-go the Marshal Iztel had been showing them all their technique was their flaw more so than their other points, by manipulating how they stood and acted during the training.

After that, he was continuously trying to figure it out whilst already doing it, alternating between swift jabs and strong, slow sledgehammer punches without effectively understanding he was throwing out different types of punches and improving his technique.

'Alright! Technique! That could be the reason for it, now I just need to figure out what technique the Marshal uses more so than the rest of us!'


Instead of going back to Iztel to report to her of his epiphany and weasle out tips and tricks, he continued his work out but this time he was more conscious of what exactly he was doing, how they were landing and what their good point and bad points were.
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Surpringly Warm Under the Dragoon's Wings

Postby Dmitri Saratov on February 19th, 2015, 7:17 am

As time went on, so did his stamina, again it started to feel as if he was going to pass out from exhaustion and lacking air in his lungs but even so Dmitri didn't cave, he proceeded to punch the shyke out of the punching bag, not forgetting to move his body in unpredictable ways to attempt to dodge the illusive imaginary punches thrown back by the leather bag. Darting in and out of range while hippedy hopping on the balls of his feet, he threw out as many punches as his body could still manage but in addition to feeling the weakening of his thrown punches, he failed to improve his technique by much really. All he managed to do was hang in there and hope for another epiphany, but as they say, lightning rarely strikes twice!

He was about to give up for the moment, to recatch his breath as the second wind he has heard about just didn't come to him. All he managed to do was exhaust himself further and further to the point that he had to maintain his stability by pressing his forehead against the punchingbag and throwing, in frustration, as many body blows as he could before he ran out of gas. That was when he again felt a hand gripping down on his shoulder, but this time it wasn't from Iztel the Marshal...

"You're doing good, man, I figured you just being all hot air but you're hanging in there nicely! If you'll allow me, let me show you how to throw a punch as hard as you can, from any angle or position you find yourself in!"


The mixture of insult and compliment came from an unexpected direction, one of the recruits he had clashed with earlier now seemed to approve of him in a way, even going as far as to helping him out without crushing his pride. Dmitri could only nod, more so because he was completely out of breath than being reluctantly approving.
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Surpringly Warm Under the Dragoon's Wings

Postby Dmitri Saratov on February 19th, 2015, 10:45 am


"Alright, catch your breath and look at where I'm punching, closely!"


The recruit moved next to the bag and then moved back a few steps as if he was going to punch an invisible bag right next to the real one, meanwhile Dmitri placed both palms of his hands on the edge of the crate and breathed heavily whilst swiping away the downpour of sweat over his face. Then the recruit started to jab, not even alternating between punches, simply jabbing straight forwards. At first, Dmitri frowned and just followed the fist from near the recruit's torso to the outstretched state, the recruit repeated this motion at least half a dozen times before Dmitri finally saw what he was trying to show, eyes widening and mouth opening as the epiphany finally had dropped.

"You hit further than the punching bag!? Through the bag, not against it!! Thanks man, appreciated!"

He couldn't help remaining slightly vague in his appreciation as he was a bit sulky that he hadn't come up with that himself, but he was in fact quite grateful of the recruit.Who seemed to be kinder than he had given him credit for! Ready for round 3, he pushed his sore body off the crate and cracked his neck and knuckles for what he secretly hoped to be the last round of the day as he was seriously at his limits by now! Now it was his turn, he gave a, few, quick jabs next to the bag to get an idea of what he was about to pull before moving before the bag with a quick side-step and going at it one more time!

He started with jabbing, just like the recruit had done, first placing his right fist near his torso, then letting out swift straight punches with the intent to hit an invisible target within the bag rather than simply hit the leather outer rim of the bag. It was clear to him why this had more effect rather than hit the target without pushing through, it wasn't the end that had most impact, as you naturally hit harder and further during the actual motion rather than just at the finish line, to reach was more effective than to hit in this manner.
Whilst the sounds and swaying of the bag still held no candle even remotely near the Marshal, it was different in a good way. He was improving slowly but steadily and he felt his punches have more impact this way, although the damage against his fists also accumulated faster this way. Glancing down as he pulled back, he could see the scraped flesh of his knuckles and sore red state they were in, he was unable to keep this up much longer. His body did not permit it, but he wasn't going to stop until the Marshal told him to! He had come this far and he wasn't going to quit, even if he could see the bones in his fists, he wouldn't quit!!

As he grew more accustomed to the distance and the technique, Dmitri started throwing in hooks and body blows in the mix, turning on the front of his foot along with his waist as he did so. He still had a long way to go but it had been enough for the day, and the Marshal Iztel seemed to agree as she shouted out to everyone that it had been enough for now.

"Good work everyone! I hope you all found it to be productive and possibly 'till next time! The decision is up to y'all of course!"


As Dmitri dried himself off once again and took a few more gulps of water before leaving the room, he saw the Marshal take a minute to speak to everyone separately as they made their way out. He wondered what she would say to him, he figured it'd be positive but y'never know, she was undoubtedly accustomed to much more than this and might think they're wimps for not being able to take more training...Letting out a soft throat-grumble at the realization of his own weakness, he walked away 'till he was halted by the Marshal Iztel.

"You did well, I don't need to mention you're still far from good...I can tell you know that yourself, but you have the guts, and spirit, above all else...don't underestimate the power of determination! I hope to see you here sometime again, you were a good student, Saratov!"


He couldn't help but smile boy'ishly at the compliment and thanked the Marshal in turn for her great tutoring and closed off the conversation and training with a bow of the head as a sign of thanks and respect.
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Surpringly Warm Under the Dragoon's Wings

Postby Khara on April 4th, 2015, 11:52 pm

.
Dmitri Saratov :
XP:
  • Observation + 4
  • Intimidation + 1
  • Unarmed Combat + 5
  • Endurance +4
Lore:
  • Going to the Enemy for Training
  • Types of training available at The Proving Grounds
  • Marshal Iztel the Swift: Not a woman to defy
  • Surviving Marshal Iztel's first test
  • Unarmed Combat: Proper stance for facing an enemy head on
  • Unarmed Combat: Aiming your strikes
  • Unarmed Combat: Striving to punch through your target
Expenses: -1 GM for "Entry Fee", - 7GM for Basic Group Session. Total -8GM

Injures: Sore Knuckles/Bone Bruises: Will fully heal in about 7 days

Comments: Really interesting training thread! Great use of the NPCs and environment to make the whole thing more "alive". I think you did a really great job at showing Dmitri's determination as well. Nicely done. :)
Please don't hesitate to PM me if you have any questions/comments regarding your grade. I'll be more than happy to take a second look if you think I've missed something!
.
Also, please don't forget to edit your post as 'graded' in the request thread.
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