A Job for a Bat (Brandon Blackwing)

Brandon gets his job and caste assignment.

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The westernmost tip of Kalea, Wind Reach is home to an amazing group of people and their giant eagle mounts. [Lore]

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A Job for a Bat (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Verilian on March 18th, 2015, 10:40 pm

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Timestamp: 38th of Spring, 515 AV

A busy day, the Valintar thought to himself.

There had been a line of people outside his office that morning, but Kaden took it all in stride. Several new Yasi had come of age this season, and a few he'd seen were among them, but there were other things as well. Complaints about missing children, complaints about bears in the valley, complaints that the fishing wasn't as good this year as it had been last Spring. Currently he was listening to a middle-aged Inarta drone on and on about how he'd finally learned to shoot a bow, and he wanted to be moved to the Avora caste immediately.

"I hit the target nearly every time," the man said, "And I can even hit the moving ones sometimes."

Kaden was not convinced. The man had been training with his bow, but that did not make one a hunter.

"And can you track? Can you survive in the wilderness for days at a time? Do you know which way is north, or the difference between the scat of a deer and a bear? Being a hunter is not just about shooting arrows. It is a way of life. You can shoot, but you have none of the other skills required of a hunter. How will you even find game to shoot at? No, for now, you will remain in your current position. I suggest seeking out a hunter to apprentice you. Stop trying to learn everything on your own. If this is what you want to be, then do it properly."

"But."

"That is my decision. You haven't proven to me that you would be an asset to the city as a hunter. You can go now."

Normally Kaden was not so frank, but it had been a long day so far. There was one more person waiting to be seen, and Kaden hoped to get it over with as soon as possible. After the chiet left Kaden followed him to the door, peering out into the reception area. The man waiting inside was not an Inarta, though he did wear an Inartan bryda. That was all Kaden knew of him, but he could assume that the man had been directed his way to be assigned a caste. That was what all visitors to the city were directed to do.

"Hello," the Valintar greeted in perfect common, assuming it unlikely that the stranger spoke the local tongue, "Welcome to Wind Reach. Come in, have a seat. Tell me a bit about yourself. What is your name, where are you from? Has anybody explained to you the way things work in our city?"


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A Job for a Bat (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Brandon Blackwing on March 19th, 2015, 5:39 pm

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The reception area was quite crowded, filled with lots and lots of Inarta; young ones and older ones, females and males. Most were chatting happily and excitedly in that birdlike language of the redhead folk. Of all of them, Brandon felt he stood out the most; it wasn’t because of his lack of clothes –he had taken care to dress for this occasion- nor for wearing exotic garments. In fact, in terms of clothes, Brandon was just as Inarta as the others present in the room. Obviously, it was his hair, being dark and definitely not red or any shade of orange. Maybe his eyes too, but he couldn’t be sure. Perhaps his height, Inartan males were not all that tall and while Bran wasn’t one of the tallest either, he actually was in Wind Reach, though he had seen some bird-people who had been as tall as he was.

Well, in the end it didn’t really matter. Strangers were rare in Wind Reach, and when they came they stood out, so there was no way to avoid the quick glances of curiosity or the occasional person who dared coming close enough to start a conversation. Usually they didn’t stick around long, their Common spoken with a thick accent and hard to understand.

One by one the numbers dwindled, and eventually, Brandon was the only one left in the room, leaning against a wall with crossed arms and a nonchalant gaze. He’d been told to come here of course, Zhol had mentioned it was kind of mandatory, and even Dru had stated that when he’d asked. Did he actually want a job? Perhaps, perhaps not. It was necessary though, for with stealing he wouldn’t make it here. This wasn’t Lhavit, he didn’t know the city, and there weren’t any taverns around where he could buy some food or some drinks. In that aspect, Wind Reach promised to be extremely boring. Food, so he had heard, was your payment –among other things- for working, and thus the bat had decided to apply for a job. It was a nice change of pace, plus it would aid him in his goal of laying low.

Finally, the last of the Inarta left the office, looking rather disappointed and insulted, soon followed by another man, who scanned the room briefly before his eyes settled on the bat. His greeting wasn’t spoken in just common, but in perfect common, clearly understandable and actually sounding like what it was supposed to rather than like a choking parrot. Brandon nodded in return, both a greeting and acknowledgement of his words and followed the Valintar inside, settling down in one of the chairs presented to him. As per usual, Brandon kept his cool, nerves nonexistent, not for these kind of mundane activities. While the figure of authority spoke, the thief took the time to study him a bit, being perhaps a bit surprised in what he saw. The Valintar didn’t appear to be some kind of person with a lot of influence and power, rather resembling the bat’s step-father in terms of joviality and … feel. Hard to explain, but the Kelvic was oddly reminded of Gallan as he watched him.

“The name is Brandon. Brandon Blackwing. I came from Lhavit, and was born and raised in Kalinor.” He paused for a tick or two, recalling that this person wasn’t only the head of the city but also the employer of just about everyone the city housed. That certainly was odd, but not the strangest thing he’d ever seen. That spot was taken by a dog wearing boots walking on only its front legs, hind legs high above its head. “Eh, I don’t think it would hurt to get reminded of the customs and norms here. I’m sure some people have told me at one point or another-“ Zhol had, probably, Dru too, if he wasn’t mistaken. “-but I’ve always had a poor memory for rules, regulations and prohibitions.” A hand came up to make a dismissive gesture, as if he believed it didn’t matter all that much.
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A Job for a Bat (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Verilian on April 1st, 2015, 8:58 pm

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"You would do well to remember the rules and regulations here."

The words were not spoken threateningly, just plain and true. The Valintar leaned back in his chair and took a deep breath, running through the proper words in his mind. It was always difficult for new people in the city, and some did not take well to the rules.

"In Wind Reach, everyone has a place, which is determined by their skills and their usefulness to the city. If you have a useful skill, such as hunting, you are placed higher in the hierarchy. If you have no useful skills, you are placed lower, so part of today will involve determining what you can do, and what your placement would be."

The Valintar drummed his fingers on his desk thoughtfully, watching Brandon to judge his reaction before continuing.

"There are four castes in the city. The highest among them are the endal. Endal are usually hunters, and you can only be an endal if you are chosen by one of the Wind Eagles. The next caste is the Avora, who are usually artisans or craftsman, and also hunters. Below them are the chiet, who are skilled workers, craftsman who are non-essential to the city, scouts, teachers, and other things. The lowest are the dek, the unskilled workers, and the disabled. No matter what caste you are assigned, you must work to live in the city, even if you only intend to stay temporarily. You will be given wages, housing, food, clothing.. all based on your caste. You must obey the word of any caste higher than your own. That is the law here. Follow that rule, do your job, and your life will be easy and you will have everything you need."

Kaden watched Brandon carefully. This was the part that people had the most questions, or complaints, about. Other places might be different, but in Wind Reach the caste system was law, and not everyone could handle that.

"Feel free to ask any questions, if you have them. If not, we can move on to job and caste placement. What skills do you have that might be of use to our city? What are you good at?"


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A Job for a Bat (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Brandon Blackwing on April 2nd, 2015, 2:01 pm

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“Of course,” the bat said in response. Remembering the rules was vital, he usually made sure he knew most of them before he decided to cast them aside or when he found he did not need to follow them all that closely. Brandon bent rules and escaped them from time to time. In a way, his claim not to have a good memory for rules was his excuse, though it never worked all that well. Ignorance was not a good excuse for most people, and because of that, Brandon chose to be elusive if he broke the rules and regulations. That was how he had done it in Lhavit, and that was how he would do it here.

As the bat listened, his memory was triggered and he recalled most of what Zhol had said a dozen days before. And once again the realization that Wind Reach’s system was messed up struck him. Hunters were the most valuable citizens, but game scouts weren’t? What kind of bullshyke was that? Weren’t the scouts the people who actually kept track of where the game could be found during the season, where they migrated to and where dangerous predators hid? Weren’t they the ones who actually led the hunters to their prey? And they were not important? Wind Reach did not seem to be much into the team-player mentality.

Their narrow-mindedness would become their downfall once, the bat wondered what would happen if all those “unimportant” people would leave the city, if only the hunters and whatever other Avora remained. No game scouts, no cleaners,… It would be a shock for them to find out just how much they depended on the lower castes. The Valintar’s speech only served to fortify the bat’s beliefs; the Inarta were bird-brained. Whatever else they were did not really matter, they were stupid, and the lower castes were spineless. Don’t question the Endal, do what the Endal say, no matter what they want you to do. No, Wind Reach was not a place for Brandon, but he had no other place to go. He was here now, and leaving was not an option anymore. He’d have to adapt. But more importantly, he’d have to build himself a reputation.

A reputation so impressive that even the toughest and most haughty of Endal would think twice about crossing him. A reputation that would result in him getting respect from them. Zhol had mentioned the fighting pits; well, he could start there. Beat some of those eagle riders, show them that he was at least equally skilled, or more likely that he was too much for them to handle. In a way, Wind Reach made things easy for him; once he had the respect of the endal, the other castes would follow immediately. But the Endal were his goal. Endal could make your life a living hell, or so he had heard. Well then he had to make sure that they wouldn’t dare to even think about it. He’d have to prove himself. Perhaps he should try to kill a Zith with his bare hands or so…

“Yes, I do have some questions. From what I have heard, rape and theft seems to be accepted if it’s the Endal who commit it. Or just about anyone who’s a higher caste than the victim. So I want to know if there actually are things that are considered a crime? And what the punishment is for committing them. Also, I suppose that in whatever argument the Endal is right, right? ” To be completely honest, he wasn’t only asking because he was planning to lay low, but also because he wanted to know the risks of going for revenge. He wanted to know what would happen if he was caught stealing –unthinkable, but if he had bad luck it could happen- or if he beat up an Endal, or humiliated one. In a city like this one, the punishments would be preposterous, ridiculous, no doubt.

“As for what I can do,” the bat started, then taking a deep breath. “I am a proficient martial artist. I am an acrobat. My sense of smell is excellent and my hearing is sensitive.” I am also skilled in picking pockets, breaking and entering, kidnapping, and burning down buildings. As well as infiltrating card games organized by dangerous people. Oh, and I have a brain, unlike you people. “Yeah, I think that unarmed combat is the only thing about me you might consider useful.” The amount of sarcasm in his voice couldn’t be mistaken for anything else. But despite that, Brandon did not say anything else. He had made a decision. He couldn’t care less about castes or whatever. If Wind Reach wanted to put people in boxes depending on their skills, well, that was their problem. If they found that being a game scout was not as useful as being a hunter, then that only meant that they did not have a brain in their skull. And even if they did, they couldn’t use it very well.
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A Job for a Bat (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Verilian on April 4th, 2015, 4:03 pm

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Kaden suppressed a sigh as Brandon started to respond. He'd spoken to someone who was a victim of such things, most likely. That was the trouble with newcomers, they simply could not see.

"Are you planning to rape or steal?"

The Valintar sat forward, locking eyes with Brandon. This subject was not one of his favorites, but it always came up. There was no way around it.

"It is true. An endal can do as they please, however, the sole purpose of the Endal is to provide and protect. Without them, we would all starve. There have been times in history when the eagles have not been able to fly, and the endal could not provide. We have hunters, and grow what meager crops we can here, but Kalea is treacherous. The ground hunters and scouts bring in only a tiny fraction of the food required for us to survive. The valley is not always plentiful, rarely actually, and only the endal can travel the mountains quickly and easily enough to find the food needed to sustain the city. So yes, we let them get away with whatever they want. But, an deal who becomes known for rape, theft, murder, or other unsavory acts will find themselves in a very dangerous place. The city protects itself. The Wind Eagles do not take kindly to an endal who fails in his duties. Rape is not so common as people believe. Most of the lower castes happily go with the endal when asked. Murder happens even less. And if an endal takes something they need it is not considered theft. Craftsman are paid regardless of how much an endal takes without paying. Clothing, lodging, food, and the supplies necessary to do your job are all provide so long as you work. It is what it is."

The Valintar paused and sat back, taking a breath and relaxing a bit. His eyes still locked with Brandon's, but his posture was more relaxed.

"Things here are actually very simple. We do not need a complex system of laws as other cities do. Obey those above your caste. Contribute to the city. If you have a dispute with someone of your own caste, settle it in the Fighting Pit. You can even challenge someone of a higher caste, and most will accept. Defeating, even killing, an endal in the Fighting Pit is not a crime.

If you steal from the city, however, regardless of caste, you generally are put to death. Food is strictly rationed, especially during the winter, and even for endal. Other supplies have less restrictions, but if you take more than your fair share, you will be punished. I suppose you could say the only true law here is, Wind Reach survives. And we have done so this way for five hundred and fifteen years."


The Valintar shifted gears again, his tone becoming businesslike and he pulled a parchment, quill, and ink from his desk. He quickly jotted a few notes on one parchment, then began on another.

"I am assigning you to the chiet caste. You appear sound of body and mind, however unarmed training is not an essential skill. I do believe yasi could benefit from the physical and mental discipline that comes with such training though. Do not discredit your other talents either. A fine sense of smell could be useful in many fields, as a cook, a scout, even a hunter. The only difference between a scout and a hunter is the ability to trap and use a bow. Most scouts are promoted to hunters eventually."

"You will be on a ten day rotation, working eight out of ten. Five days you will train the yasi. For the other three you will be assigned random tasks in various parts of the city, to better familiarize yourself with the way we do things. If you find yourself talented in another field and would like to change jobs, you may come to me at any time."


Kaden handed Brandon the second sheet, which had his name, caste assignment, and other pertinent details on it, along with the Valintar's signature.

"Bring that to the Darniva Commonrooms and they will get you set up with housing and other supplies. Did you have any other questions? If not, I'd like you to come with me to the Fighting Pit. I don't doubt you, but I cannot finalize things until I've seen that you have the skill to safely teach our yasi. I'm sure someone there will be willing to do a practice session with you so we can see how you'd do."

Job Info :
So yeah, I decided to add a twist. You'll have the usual 2 off in 10. 5 days will be yasi training and adults upon request, 3 will be random other things. Basically he's making you do bendi tasks, like yasi have to do, so you might work the kitchens one day, apprentice with a blacksmith another day, be assigned to hunt an angry bear the next. For thread purposes, you need 1 unarmed combat job thread, and one random other job thread to get your salary, for the next couple seasons anyway. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.


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A Job for a Bat (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Brandon Blackwing on April 5th, 2015, 1:22 pm

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What kind of question was that? Did that guy really expect someone to say “yes of course, here’s my plan. First I rape a girl, then I steal her possessions!” No seriously, what kind of question was that? “Don’t be ridiculous,” the bat snorted, “As a gentleman I don’t rape females just out of sheer lust.” True, he’d find a brothel if he truly needed it. As for stealing, Brandon wasn’t planning on stealing, but it just happened. Someone offended him? Suddenly there was a wallet in his pocket. That said, it was an easy way to get some extra money, so he wouldn’t stop himself from doing it. Was he planning on stealing? No, but he would if he had the chance. Or was that planning? A loose plan then, very loose.

The answer to Brandon’s question was one huge excuse. Endal provided for the city so they could do as they pleased. Bullshyke. If those eagles were as smart as the whole redheaded population seemed to believe they were, they could just send the eagles to hunt. No need for riders. The Valintar just did not want to admit that their whole system was one huge problematic load of bullshyke. True, a bad reputation would make you not quite liked, but did they actually care? If the Endal was a serial offender but fulfilled his duties, there wouldn’t be any complaints, now would there? Oh well.

Justifying the highest caste or not, he did get his answers, and he had to admit that it certainly made things interesting. Immediate execution when caught stealing? Well that was certainly a way to make things risky and intense. A gamble with high stakes, the outcome deciding over life and death? Oh, gods the thoughts alone was enough to send a surge of adrenaline rushing through the bat’s veins. It wasn’t wrong to say that Brandon liked gambling. He was a thrill seeker, and gambling did provide exactly that, even though in a different way.

When handed the parchment, the bat gave it a quick glance, then waited for the ink to dry and folded it a couple times, tucking it away in a pocket of his bryda. He decided not to ask about the strange ‘five days teacher, three days random tasks’ assignment. He hadn’t heard Zhol say he had to do something like that, but then again, Zhol’s skills were considered extremely useful here. Maybe the Valintar hadn’t wanted to risk the horse-boy finding something else he liked more than caring for horses. “So… to safely teach the Yasi, you say? How will you measure that ability? Do I just have to defeat my opponent?”

Brandon hoped he’d find a certain Endal in the Fighting Pits… Endal Turil, the petcher who’d introduced him to the annoying highest caste. Of course, he wouldn’t get his hopes up; it was very well possible that the man wasn’t even present. Perhaps he was doing his work somewhere, maybe. But perhaps he was lucky and he’d get the chance to beat him to a pulp. That would be a great start of his reputation.
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A Job for a Bat (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Verilian on May 22nd, 2015, 2:07 am

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Kaden considered Brandon's question, an idea coming to mind. Defeating some random opponent, even a skilled one, would not really demonstrate any ability to transfer those skills from one person to the other. Could Brandon even teach someone to fight? Could he help mold a young Yasi into a disciplined fighter? Those were questions that needed to be answered, not whether or not he was a master fighter. It did not take a master fighter to teach Yasi anyway.

"No, I think I have a better idea. You will not be fighting some random warrior. What I want to know is if you can teach someone to fight and so, you will teach me. One lesson, to see how you will handle someone who is not a fighter, such as myself."

The walk to the Fighting Pits did not take long, no more than fifteen chimes, even with the Valintar occasionally stopping to say hello to random Inarta along the way. Most people seemed to treat him with respect, but few stopped to grovel or kneel or any of the other things one might do when a ruler was around in other cultures. Dek respectfully averted their eyes, but they did that to everyone. Most people seemed to treat him as just a normal person, one they respected, but nothing more than that.

When they arrived at the arena there were a pair of warriors already training with each other, both using Talon Swords, though they were made of wood. Kaden stood and watched them for a while, but did not interrupt. Eventually the fighters seemed to notice that Kaden was waiting, and they concluded their fight early, giving way for the Valintar to use the training ground. A small crowd of curious onlookers had gathered, and they fighters joined them. Kaden was not known for his fighting skill, and it seemed he was going to fight with a stranger. Was it a grudge match? Or just a sparring session? Everyone wanted to know.

"Well, it looks like we're going to have an audience. So.. I guess lets get started. Pretend I'm a yasi, first day in training with you. How would you start?"


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A Job for a Bat (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Brandon Blackwing on May 22nd, 2015, 8:28 pm

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Well, that was too bad; no fighting, no beating up annoying endal bastards. The task Brandon was given was a challenge too though; the bat had never taught anyone before. This would be a good introduction to his job -if he would be accepted that is. Not that Brandon worried too much about that, even if he didn't get a job, there was still Drusilla. She'd already offered him to stay in Turrin -who wasn't around anyway- his aeries. As for food, well, Dru couldn't really eat like other people because of her race, nevertheless, she could claim her portion of food each day if she so desired. Of course, Bran would eat it in her stead.

Though, that was only a plan C or so. Plan B was a different job. Independence was pretty important to the thief, and such he had turned down her offer. He'd rather have his own room and get his own food, even if he'd have to work for it. It was too bad you couldn't really do all that much with money in this city, Brandon wouldn't have changed his style of income if that hadn't been the case.

While following the Valintar through the warrens, Brandon found himself a first row spectator of the respectful demeanor with which the Valintar was treated. As to be expected of a the ruler of a city; Bran had seen the same sort of thing happen when Alses walked around Lhavit. If he'd been in the crowd, he wouldn't have minded it, but here, so close to the man? No, it felt wrong. Those eyes fixated on him or a person near him, no, that was not good for a thief. This was a step higher though, these glances... No, no, he didn't like it. Intense respect or not, he didn't like it, not one bit.

Deciding to take countermeasures, Brandon started to diminish his own presence, adjusting his body language to radiate not charisma or confidence but the exact opposite. The less interesting you were, the less likely you were to be noticed. Those dek walking around were pretty good at it as well, though they probably did it unconsciously and because of the treatment they were given. They didn't have any confidence or pride. Still, one'd think that with the Valintar walking nearby him Brandon would get some attention too, but no, the bat used the ruler as a lightening rod, attracting all attention and drawing it away from him.

Once they reached the fighting pits, and stepped into the arena, Brandon returned to his normal demeanor, rising to his full length, even changing the angle his feet pointed in, making his presence greater once more. Though that technique was like a second skill for a pickpocket, Brandon always felt his muscles complain a little when he undid it, which wasn't too strange as it was in essence not his natural posture, nor his usual attitude.

The Valintar told him to go ahead and demonstrate how he'd start a first lesson of his classes, and Brandon nodded, still pondering on the matter. He had an idea; just do what his mother had done, only a bit different. No beatings to demonstrate he needed to start building some muscle mass for example. Brandon scrutinized the man for a couple moments, eyes darting from one point of his body to another, judging and gauging just how fit he was. Although he had claimed not to be a fighter, he did have some developed arms and abs, though indeed not as much as a man who trained very often. Some sort of physically taxing activity that relied on swinging his arms a lot and for long periods of time, probably. But that was just about it though.

“Right, you're a Yasi,” Brandon spoke, frowning a little, “well, I'd start with an introduction and all that, but I doubt that's relevant right now.” A hand stroked his chin and cheek. “So, that leaves us with one thing to do. And it's not martial arts.” Brandon grinned widely, figuring the Valintar probably hadn't expected that. “Your arms and torso are pretty good, so I'd ignore that for now, since it's just you and me. First we'll work on stamina. We'll run.” The bat clapped his hands together, “Stretch first, it's important” Brandon instructed, starting to bend one leg while the other was kept outstretched, leaning on the bent knee, then switching. He rolled his shoulders after a couple of leg stretches, and then started on his arms, pulling at his fingers above his head for a couple ticks. Lastly he swung his arms back and forth a couple times.

When the Valintar was done as well, the bat spoke up again, briefly this time. “We'll start with warming up, a couple rounds around the arena, then a small break and then we really start.” And with that he started to jog, heading to the edge of the Fighting Pit -as far as he could go, keeping a good couple steps between himself and the audience. His breathing was steady, and Brandon easily fell into his pace, not too fast, but not too slow either, perfect for warming up. After a while he skipped a pace so the Valintar could draw up by his side. “I'd instruct yasi to run in pairs, so they'd stick to the pace. And keep it up easier. Running is easier in pairs.” he explained. After that he didn't really open his mouth anymore, except to tell the Valintar to save his breath since he'd need it soon. Brandon made the both of them run three full laps, then he indicated to stop, slowing down to a walking pace instead, giving his 'pupil' a chime or two to catch his breath, telling him to keep walking though. The bat himself was quite alright still, a bit of perspiration, but not much. When they would really start running though, he wouldn't escape the sweaty fate that came with exercise.
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A Job for a Bat (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Verilian on June 6th, 2015, 5:05 pm

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Kaden was indeed surprised when Brandon announced that they would not be learning to fight, but that surprise gave way to appreciation when he realized Brandon was indeed treating him like someone who had never learned a wing's beat of combat training in their life. Of course getting one into shape before hand would be an important part of any martial training. One did not just pick up a talon sword and start swinging it like a master. They had to build arm strength and muscle memory. Just like one did not simply play the drums double time at two hundred beats a minute on the first day.

The stretching Kaden managed without any difficulty. The running was a little harder. He managed all three laps wordlessly, only nodding when Brandon spoke to him, and by the end he was indeed sweating and panting a little more than he would have liked to admit. And this was the warmup? Kaden felt a little embarrassed. He was fit enough, for someone who spent most of their time in an office or at the Inclement Weather. But he was embarrassed that he was so easily winded. And this was only the warmup.

"Well," the Valintar said jokingly when they slowed to take a break, "At least if we don't get to any fighting I'll know that I can outrun my opponents."

Much of the crowd had already dispersed, disappointed that they were not going to see a fight. People running in circles could only entertain for so long. Several stayed though, including the two who had been sparring, who watched with curiosity and understanding both. To them this was not just two people running in circles. Perhaps it was only a fitness session, but that could be done anywhere. They could tell that there was a point to the running.
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A Job for a Bat (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Brandon Blackwing on June 16th, 2015, 8:02 pm

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“Well of course,” Brandon said cheerily, “being able to flee is important as well. Not every fight you get involved in is one you can win. You need to know your body, you need to know your limits. You need to know what you can and can't do. Sometimes the best way to win a fight is not by fighting at all, but by starting to run.” Paradoxical perhaps? “You see, fighting is not a game. Martial arts is first and foremost a way to defend yourself. It's not about winning or losing, but about staying alive. That's what it's for. Sometimes running is the best option, sometimes it isn't. Sometimes there is no way out. Sometimes you can't outrun what's going to kill you. Then you can do two things; either give up or fight. It doesn't always matter which you choose, since death will take you when your time has come.”

A slight pause as the bat ordered his thoughts. “However, since resistance is futile when your time's up, it does not matter whether you desperately fight or not. But does that mean you know your time has come? Can you be sure? You can't. Only Dira knows for sure. As such putting up a fight might just prove you still have time left. That's what I believe anyway. ” He nodded to himself, recalling his near-death experience from his trip to Wind Reach. He'd fought, and it had seemed futile. He'd given up, since there had been nothing he could do. Sure, he'd just said the opposite, but back then Brandon had known for sure that was the end for him. And yet, he was still alive. Dira had spared him. It still felt a little surreal.

With a simple clap, the bat signaled it was time for the real running now, and set his body back in faster motion, falling into his usual slowish pace easily, not too fast, not too slow, just perfect for this particular lesson. “So, this is the real deal -for now. Well be running for a couple chimes, five or so, and then we'll take a break. Since the warming up is pretty intense for new pupils we have to work towards stamina first. Then once they're on a level where they can complete the warming up easily we can go do other things. Like throwing punches and all that.”

Then the bat shut up and focused on running for a bit, checking his breathing rhythm, which had been disturbed by talking, and monitored his pace, making sure he did not accelerate to his body's most natural speed. The Valintar was supposed to keep up after all, and so were the future yasi students. This wasn't supposed to be some sort of torture class, they were supposed to build their strength and stamina -at least for the first season or so. Then they would begin training for real, keeping their bodies in shape and learning new techniques. It was a bit of a long road ahead, but not an impossibly hard one. He'd only teach them the basics anyway.

After approximately five chimes the bat slowed down to a walk, panting and sweating rather much, though most of it probably came from this damned heat. Volcano or not, this city was too hot all the time! Well, in a way it added a new dimension to his own training,enduring the heat and fighting the effects thereof while working out. Brandon strolled slowly along the way he'd just run, looking at his pupil of the day to see how he was doing. Better than he'd expected from someone of his age and occupation, that much was certain. “Well, since you can't just expect to run three laps and double your stamina, I'd be doing this kind of thing a lot during the first season when teaching. This needs time. Of course it won't aways be running in circles, I might find some way to make it in a game or so. And apart from running we'll be doing a lot of bodybuilding exercises. Push-ups and so. Not very fun, but necessary all the same. Basics are basics. Can't throw someone off a cliff and tell them to fly just out of the blue,” he explained.
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