Flashback [Training] Doubt

Horse and Sword

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

[Training] Doubt

Postby Elias Caldera on February 9th, 2016, 11:46 pm

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39th Day of Winter, 508 AV

Was he serious? Someone was going to get seriously hurt. Well. He was going to get seriously hurt anyway. Caiden could dance circle around him with his martial prowess. Would he hold back, was the question. Or was his punishment to be this harsh? Wounds. Scars. Or did he mean to truly kill him?

Caiden, are you sure about-

Shut up. Ready yourself!” Elias had never seen such a fire in his uncle’s eyes. He couldn’t tell what it was. Anger? Rage? Was it hate? Only the big man himself really knew, for it was completely alien to the apprentice. What was clear to him was that with Caiden’s first movement, he wasn’t toying around. Slicing through the air was his blade, forcing Elias to react quickly, the sharp steel narrowly missed the top of his head. Thankfully the young Ebonstryfer managing to duck beneath the attack. His body screamed for him to counter, but without the protection of his shield or armor, he didn’t want to risk hurting the old man.

He wasn’t his enemy, even if that’s how it felt at the moment.

In a flash of strokes, Elias found himself in reverse as Caiden continued to assault him unrelentingly. He was mixing up his blows, high, low, horizontal, diagonal, vertical. And they were all so smooth, so well transitioned. It was everything he could muster to keep the heavy metal shield between his body and the kiss of the mercenary’s blade. His arm was going to fall off at this rate! The man left his nephew no opening, or at least not one he could see. Shyke He really did mean to do him harm. More than usual anyway.

Why are you here?!” His voice pierced the ringing of steel, startling the Caldera. The tip of his weapon tore through the fabric on his shirt and the faint pain that followed only reinforced the serious attitude this bout suddenly carried

What? You’re the one who called me out here!” Elias swung his blade to meet his opponent’s, sparks screaming as two well-honed weapons collided without yield. Clearly not an acceptable answer. “Just take it easy!” Again, his sword came crashing down. Elias raised his shield and met his strike, teeth gritted in frustration. The son of a bitch was out of control. “Blessed is the mind too small for doubt!” Oh gods, now he’s quoting scripture. What was he supposed to do with that?

Despite his emotions, Caiden’s blade rose again. He would beat his nephew until he answered with something that satisfied whatever madness had overtaken him.

Elias had no such answer for him.

The young stryfer merely slapped his weapon aside with his shield and stepped in, preparing to strike, but he couldn't bring himself to follow through. “A suspicious mind is a healthy mind.” He instead roared in some kind strange retaliation, hastily trying to recall the teachings his uncle’s words related to. Of course none of it made sense. Caiden’s fury only soared at the response and the giant retaliated with the same maneuver, a powerful swing of his shield exposing Elias to his assault. Raising his blade high he brought it down without hesitation.

His eyes widened when Elias didn't move defend himself.

This would end one way or another.
Last edited by Elias Caldera on February 10th, 2016, 1:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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[Training] Doubt

Postby Elias Caldera on February 9th, 2016, 11:46 pm

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Is that all you have, apprentice? It’s pathetic.

Caiden was relentless in his mocking of Elias’s lack of skill with the blade. Not that it wasn’t justified. “Petch you, Caiden. If I’m such shyke, it’s only because my teacher is just as bad.” So that had made it worse, naturally, but what the hell else was he meant to do with such unprovoked hostility? Caiden had been the one to call him out to the lakeshore for this unexpected training, and to think he had ridden for bells on that petching ferry just to be subjected to this bullshyke! Whats worse, his uncle was downright wrong. Elias had come leaps and bounds over a very short time, but sure he still had much more left to do; he could barely ride a horse, and a blind person had a better chance of hitting a target with an arrow. Still, when it came to the long sword the Caldera heir was a gods damned natural, surpassing even the other aspirants and petitioners who had been practicing for years and years longer than he had.

Elias raised his shield to repel Caiden’s sudden slash. Clang! Slapping the strike away, Elias stepped in, moving inside his weapon range. The fluxer called upon his power then, his shallow incantations a mental aid to help him guide the strength from his arms down into his legs. The surge of strength was unnatural and the dark eyed warrior stumbled backwards as Elias forcefully drove his shoulder into his midsection, digging his heels into the ground to regain his footing. It wasn't enough.

If this is the best the Defiler has to offer, then I pity the Ravok that has only the likes of you to fight for her!

The two had spent quite a bit of time together, training along the reed covered banks and beaches of the lakeshore, so much so in fact that nearly every nook and cranny was as familiar as the grip on his sword. The sounds of practice weapons slapping together and the grunts two warriors an all too familiar noise at this point. It was routine, for lack of a better word. This was just supposed another day of Elias getting his ass kicked by his uncle, but it felt different.

It felt wrong.

Caiden flashed his apprentice a mirthless grin before resuming his assault. Slash left, then right.Shyke, left again! A flurry of blows rained down all around him whilst he advanced on Elias, regaining the initiative and forcing the teenager back onto the defensive. Elias stepped back, interposing the heavy steel shield between them once again, the clang of the sword on his defense ringing out loudly. “Only coward is so familiar with the back of his shield. Does Rhysol’s teachings breed cowards now? Keep your eyes up. Maintain control!” He emphasized his point with particularly vicious blow to the guard.

It always boosted Elias’s confidence when the big man showed just how much he was holding back.

Motherpetcher…

Caiden’s strike was aimed high on the shield, and without Elias’s focus on just where he was attacking so he could brace, it left him unbalanced. He followed it with a low slash, connecting squarely with the younger boy’s now exposed midsection. The weapon may have been wood on the outside, but that metal core stilled packed a punch. “Argh! I get it, I get it.” Elias recoiled backwards, lowering his blade and rubbing his side at the point of impact. This was some lesson in religion apparently. Fine, whatever, he could work it all out later. Right now all he understood was that there was going to be rather large bruise he was going to have to deal with later. Not that it would be different than any other time he trained with Caiden. He’d learned from their very first sessions that the mercenary was a huge fan of something called ‘negative reinforcement.’ If it hurt, he wasn’t likely to let it happen again, or so he reasoned.

Heresy grows from idleness. Pick that sword back up.

Another petching maxim. Enough was enough.

I’m done, old man. What the hell is this supposed to be about?” His uncle sneered at him, furiously striding toward the smaller of the two until they were face to snarling face. “You are done, aren’t you, but you thought I wouldn’t hear about it?” Caiden spat, but the apprentice restrained himself. “All your work- all our work, and now I have to hear from Torian that you’re having doubts, thinking about leaving?!”

Doubts? What? What the hell is Torian playing at?

I-

What are you?” Caiden interrupted, his tirade clearly unfinished. The boy tried again to say his piece but was cutt off once more, this time with even sterner demand. “What. Are. You?

I am the Stryfe.

Words. Fleeting like the wind.” Caiden roared, circling him, his massive, calloused hands prodding and shoving the apprentice as he taunted him. The rage that was building within the young Caldera was near incalculable now. To be pushed was one thing, but to have his devotion questioned was a line not to be crossed.

I am the Stryfe!” He growled back through his bubbling indignation.

What are you!

I am his will! I am his sword!

What are you!

I am his fury given form, his rage given purpose!

What are you…

I am his messenger, unyielding, unwavering. His servant, in this life and the next. I am his promise, his vengeance. Woe to those who defy the king of kings, god of gods, for there will be no sanctuary from my wrath, no path to see you safe, no walls to keep me out. I am the bane of his enemies. I am the strife of my foes.

Elias was panting by the end, voice hoarse and ragged from the exertion such passionate and impromptu fervor the Ebonstryfe creed has elicited out of him. He had recited the same words a thousand times before, and would do so thousand times again, but he wasn't sure he had ever lent such feeling and desperation to what he had said until today. Caiden too had stopped his jeering, the mercenary standing before his nephew with tempers lessened though still plainly unimpressed. He made a guttural grunt and turned his back on the Caldera, harsh words trailing behind him as he moved to leave. “I'm done with you. Come back when that creed means more to you than just the breath you waste on it.

Elias’s face warped with disbelief. How could he think he wasn’t ready for this! That he wasn’t committed utterly with both body and mind? What in the world had that bastard Torian said that could convince his uncle so totally?

Caiden.” He cried out after the giant, but the he did not stop. “Caiden, wait!” Nothing.

Dad!

The word had slipped out before he had even realized it. Both he and Caiden froze where they stood, Elias certain that neither of them knew what to say next after such a colossal petch up on his part. It was an unspoken covenant between them, something both Calderas had understood was paramount never to be acknowledged, let alone said aloud, yet now the truth hung between them like a searing haze, stifling, drowning, and neither was sure how to escape it.

Clearing his throat awkwardly, the apprentice straightened himself and tried his best to sound unshaken. However uncomfortable this moment was, it provided the chance he desperately needed. He couldn’t squander it. “I swear to you, Caiden, there is nothing in this world I care more about than my oath, save except maybe your respect. I would never… I just wouldn’t do that, especially not to you…"

Can we… Can we just do something else, maybe?
Last edited by Elias Caldera on February 11th, 2016, 8:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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[Training] Doubt

Postby Elias Caldera on February 9th, 2016, 11:47 pm

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Elias didn't know what he'd been thinking. If he'd actually taken a moment to stop, consider what was said, and let it sink in, the apprentice wouldn't never have agreed and he certainly wouldn't be on the back of a horse, fully clad in his armor with a sword and shield in his hands.

Caiden, after their little showdown, had eventually softened under his nephew’s resolve, believing him enough to offer something akin to an apology, even though it was more like a grunt and a ‘harumph’ more than anything else. Whatever Torian had hoped would come of his lies had backfired, for there was no wedge strong enough he could drive between the two of them that would ever keep them apart. In fact, it only made their bond stronger.

With that rekindled sense of unity boggling his mind and distracting his better judgement, his uncle had pounced upon the opportunity and had asked him he wanted 'to try something new.' Half paying attention, Elias stupidly replied with 'sure', and before it he could think to take it back, Caiden had dragged him to the stables to have a little fun.

Now, about twenty feet away from him sat his grizzled, old instructor, armed and equipped similarly to Elias. It seemed they would be facing one another in mounted combat… Fantastic. Horse, dulled blade and shield. It was hardly what Elias wanted to do anymore, but his opinion didn't matter in the least.

While it had become easier to ride, it was far from second nature. Besides, Elias hadn't found a horse he could get along with, least of all Bessy, the old, miserable bitch of a warhorse that he currently called his partner for this shenanigans.

"Alright,” Caiden began, speaking loudly from atop his mount, a golden brown mere the younger Caldera didn’t recognize. “Should have started refining your mounted combat skills a long time ago, so we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. Remember, no striking at the horses, and if you’re dismounted, that doesn’t mean the bout is over. Fighting a foot solider from mount or visa versa is an important talent to develop. Most of all, you're going to make mistakes, ones that would kill you in real battle. Take those errors to heart and learn from them. Now begin! Hiyah!"

The mercenary seemed considerably more eager to fight than his student, and he moved immediately after giving the command to start. Hesitating for a few moments, Elias glanced at his sword and then to the charging tower of muscle barreling down upon him. Taking a deep breath, the apprentice reached up and lowered the visor on his helm before kicking his mount into action. Though he had a shield strapped to his left arm, he still had the capability to hold onto the reins as he moved, at least until he entered combat. Gently he squeezed the leather straps, tightening his thighs together in tandem to spur the beast into motion. He was forceful, but not so much as to cause pain. Instead, he was trying to encourage it to burst into a gallop immediately. It took a bit more effort than he wanted, as the horse resisted initially, only going into a trot despite the threat galloping toward them both. Another swift poke to its side with the back of his boot however, got the message across, and before long the two Calderas were on a collision course.

Thundering hooves crashed against the snowy ground beneath them, kicking up bits of white powder and brown mud as the two beasts of war grew closer. Elias bounced up and down in his saddle with each impact, silently cursing the freezing weather, some of the worst he’d ever seen. Sometimes it was easy to forget Ravok was shielded from the harshness of such bullshyke when you lived there for so long.

His dissatisfaction with the weather would be short-lived as his foe came crashing down.

Elias released the rein in time to raise his shield in preparation for the other man’s blow. It was rather awkward to control a mount without his hands, relying on his legs instead to do all the work, including keeping him in the saddle. His muscles twisted and strained as he brought his arm over in front of his body, canting the guard at an angle to ensure it didn’t smack his horse. All the while his legs remained constantly engaged to keep the horse moving forward and stop him from falling. His feet remained deep in his stirrups, and when Caiden’s sword came down on him, Elias was able to shift his own shield in place to allow it to intercept the blow.

At the same time, he raised his own sword, meeting his opponents strike with one of his own. The slash was sloppy, as Elias wasn’t accustomed to fighting while moving full speed. He’d been shown how by his official mentors at the Vitrax of course, but it was much more straightforward to point a stick at someone than to score a sweeping blow with a blade. If only excuses and complaints could see him survive this without another welt to add to the collection…

His arm arched back, fingers wrapped tightly around the hilt of his longsword. He lashed out with a horizontal strike, aiming for his foe’s midsection. The bounding of the horse coincided with his swing and the jarring force of the beast meeting the ground sent his attack awry. The dulled steel weapon collided with the steel pauldron of Caiden’s plate armor. Whie he absorbed the impact of his foe’s swing, Elias’s arm was forced aside as the glancing blow passed without success.

The two riders rode past one another, both circling their mounts to prepare for another clash. Elias lowered his shield to hurriedly grasp the reins once more, applying pressure with his left leg while squeezing the left rein to turn the animal so that it was facing the other apprentice. As his foe did the same, Elias nodded in acknowledgement of their clash. When his motion was returned, they both set off to meet in a dance of steel and hooves once again.
Last edited by Elias Caldera on February 11th, 2016, 9:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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[Training] Doubt

Postby Elias Caldera on February 9th, 2016, 11:47 pm

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The two combatants wasted no time in charging one another, powerful steeds loping across the ground towards impending victory. Blades waved wildly in their grasps as the distance between uncle and nephew rapidly closed. Again and again would they meet in a fierce test of mettle and skill, but neither of them could claim much of the latter.

Caiden knew his apprentice was uncomfortable on the back of a horse. While he had finally figured out how to control the creatures enough to actually ride with some amount of skill, he was still unnerved by them to say the least. The big man must have intended to keep him riding as much as he could until he was able to overcome whatever barrier seemed to be impeding the boy’s progress.

As the distance between them disappeared, the two men slowed their horses. Elias’s legs relaxed their clench, releasing the pressure he’d been applying to push his mount faster and faster. At the same time his shield arm dropped down, his hand grasping the rein tightly, and pulling back to bring the horse to a much slower pace. When the horse reared back, Elias knew he’d pulled too hard. He’d learned quite early on in his training that they didn’t react well to such mishandling. Luckily, countless trips to the hard ground had finally taught Elias a thing or two about proper reaction to these events.

First, he released the rein. Too many times had the apprentice pulled harder and found himself and the mount on the ground in a tangled manner they didn’t belong in. As he felt the horse start to rear back, he shifted his body forward, aiming to keep his weight centered as far as left and right, and as far up on the saddle as he could manage as far as front to back. Teeth gritted together as he clenched all his muscles in an attempt to stay mounted. Though he could feel himself start to slip, relief washed over his face when he felt the horse fall back to all fours as the gods intended.

Before Elias could celebrate his first successfully navigated rearing, the flash of a blade interrupted his glee.

The first slash glanced harmlessly off his breastplate, the uneven strike sliding against the steel armor. Elias grunted as the force pushed him back in his saddle. The heavy steel shield came back to its proper place as another swipe was unleashed by the mercenary. His foe had taken advantage of Elias’s struggles with control, and was now riding around him offering thrusts and slashes that he could barely manage to withstand.

By shifting ever so slightly to the left and pushing down with his left seat bone, he forced the horse to turn in its place, following the aggressive rider as he tried to get a clear shot at Elias. Again and again the probing strikes came, but Elias’s shield was there to turn them away. It proved to be more difficult to use a shield effectively from horseback than he’d expected. While on the ground he’d gained some amount of proficiency using the shield to redirect blows. While mounted, it was an entirely different story.

The apprentice managed to take blow after blow into the steel frame, each solid hit reverberating throughout his body. The big man was unrelenting, and before he knew what was happening, Elias could feel himself starting to slip.

From behind the safety of his shield came the longsword. His hand grasped the tightly, weak, desperate thrusts jutting out as he tried to repel his opponent. The straight blade did give him a fair bit of range on his attack, but because of his lack of balance on the back of his mount, they were mostly ineffectual attempts that left him flailing wildly at the other rider rather than dismounting him.

Another solid blow to his shield and Elias could do nothing to prevent himself from being unseated. He was too far over to one side and in the matter of a tick, he was looking up to the winter sky, cold, dirty snow falling around him in quiet mockery.

He lay there for a while, trying to figure out just what had happened, then Caiden’s voice called out.

Get up! This fight isn’t over!
Last edited by Elias Caldera on February 10th, 2016, 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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[Training] Doubt

Postby Elias Caldera on February 9th, 2016, 11:47 pm

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Elias scrambled to his feet just in time to be returned from whence he came.

Another powerful blow landed square in the center of his chest, sending the poor sod toppling over backwards as the still mounted Caiden took advantage of his position. Elias’s breath was knocked from him as he impacted flush with the ground, a grunt forcing itself from the Ebonstryfer’s depths.

He tried to take deep breaths to regain himself, but his body wouldn’t cooperate. Only shallow, laborious gasps answered his desperate call for oxygen sd his system came to terms with the rough impact. He could hear the pounding of hooves, both right around him and ones growing softer, further way.

That bastard horse abandoned me!

Elias placed one hand firmly against the ground and flipped over to his knees, eventually managing to stand, if a bit shakily, as he prepared himself for another attack. With a split second to decide, Elias elected to use his shield in defense against a slash only made more powerful by speed and weight of the horse. His shield rose into place just in time to absorb the crushing blow. Since his foe was higher than him, Elias angled the shield so the top of the guard was leaning in towards him, causing the bottom of it to raise higher than it would normally be. With a steel wall between him and the dulled blade, the apprentice braced for the impact.

He could feel himself sink down further into the snow as steel met steel. It hurt quite a bit to take such a hit, even if the shield had done its part. Nearly losing his balance once more, Elias slid back in the snow, struggling to not wither under the pain that shot through his arm. Caiden’s attack had driven Elias’s shield back down, into his body, and the strain it put on his shoulder was nearly unbearable. If there was one thing he learned from the entirety of this experience, is was that he wasn’t going to let himself get dismounted in combat again. The disadvantage he was at was practically insurmountable. Maybe if he’d had a spear or halberd he could do something, but being restricted to a sword left him simply seeing how long he could survive.

Elias’s feet pattered about on the ground and he nervously moved about to keep the rider from overrunning him. His stance shifted back and forth as he danced to try and keep enough distance between he and the murderous mounted mountain of man that was his wretched uncle. All the while he continued to shake out his shield arm, trying to recover from the last hit, though it was hardly getting him anywhere.

Caiden was upon him, and another slash sliced down at Elias with merciless intent.

He tossed the shield up, deflecting the blow, but this time it was simply too much. In an idiotic attempt to save hismelf, he had foolishly called upon the flux a second time, stealing the strength he needed to himself standing upright and pouring it instead into his arms in hopes of deflecting the blow. The djed carried his strength as it had been bid, but when the strike came his feet simply slipped in the unforgiving snow and even his shield was wrenched from his grasp.

Elias embraced the ground, utterly defeated.

Oh dear.” Caiden’s sigh came as he rode over to end the brief training. “You alive down there, scrub?

The apprentice groaned in reply.

Looks like we’ve got quite a bit of work to do.
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[Training] Doubt

Postby Dove Brown on August 9th, 2016, 1:59 pm

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Don't forget to edit/delete your grade request. If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding your grade, please do not hesitate to send me a PM.



 
Elias Caldera
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  • Weapon: Shield 4
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  • Shield: blocking a flurry of blows
  • Riding with a shield
  • Riding: steering only with legs
  • Being on foot vs a mounted opponent is hopeless

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