Solo The Painted Master

Vypec and three others are educated by a master swordsman.

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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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The Painted Master

Postby Vypec on February 18th, 2016, 12:01 am

30th of Winter, 515 A.V.
Kuvay'Nas Lodge

It happened so suddenly that Vypec gave a start. He had been sitting with a few other Akalak Kuvay'Nas volunteers talking about the prospective branches. The Lodge was relatively quiet, with most people sitting quietly immersed in their own private discussions. In another room a few listened to one skilled human play a stringed instrument Vypec had never seen before. That was all shattered when the door flew open and a lean and mean looking Akalak strode in. There was an instant prickling in the air, as if a predator had somehow slunk its way into the room full of birds.

The Akalak was Cerulean, the painted face a signal to all that he stood above even the other Akalaks in danger. The warning of imbalance was not the only thing that was intimidating about him. He stood as though he had been born with those two vicious scimitars in hand. He walked like a swordsman. But when he spoke, that was when Vypec really felt unnerved.

"Is there no one willing to test their mettle against me?" He spread his dark red hands to encompass the whole of the common room. "I need the aid of all those who think themselves up to the task of standing five minutes with me in the sparring ring. I am in dire need of a workout and can't seem to find a worthy opponent at the Sasaran." His words are heavy with amusement. It was a bold thing to claim, and a bold challenge. It was made even more so by him standing before the Lodge of Riverfall's Warriors. Vypec saw,by indication of his tunic, that the Cerulean was a member of the Kuvay'Nas himself, and a squad leader. This worried Vypec, for anyone who could boast so confidently here must truly be a fool or a master.

The moment after this plea for some form of combat competence, half mockery, half serious, there was utter silence. The stunned Kuvay'Nas simply stared at the Cerulean, who still had his hands spread wide. A smirk was now forming on his mouth. The man was clearly amused that no one spoke in challenge to his claimed superiority. He was pleased with his own theatrics, though they only served to stun the audience for a moment. Two other Akalaks stood instantly, thumping their hands on their chests and speaking challenges. A half second later a human in the corner stood and said slowly in broken Tukant "If you desire someone to educate you in the ways of combat, I am here and willing!"

Then, before the Cerulean could make a further jest at all those who sat down, Vypec stood. He had thought to make some spoken boast or jest, like the other warriors who had volunteered. But he was neither skilled nor respected enough to make such a claim. So instead he simply made eye contact with the Cerulean, which was not as easy as it sounded. The Akalak had a feral glint in his eyes, as if he was half beast himself.

That was how Vypec came to find himself arrayed around the Cerulean in the cleared space outside the Lodge, along with the three others. The Lodge had emptied when people heard that a squad leader had issued a blanket challenge. Now the Kuvay'Nas were arrayed around the Cerulean and the four challengers were reading themselves for the combat. The human was readying his short spear, a vicious looking weapon with an exotic blade. Both the Akalaks were using long swords. Vypec stood next to the human, feeling nervous. He held the gladius lightly in his hand. This was ridiculous. The Cerulean seemed unperturbed that he was about to fight four warriors at once. His natural calmness intimidated Vypec, and he knew he wasn't the only one. The Akalaks were whispering amongst themselves, probably talking tactics.

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Vypec
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The Painted Master

Postby Vypec on February 18th, 2016, 12:01 am

Eventually the Cerulean was ready. He did not say anything or make any signal that the match would begin. He simply drew his scimitars and looked expectantly at them. They all started to circle him at the same time. The Cerulean didn't move until they moved to strike.

One of the Akalaks made a lunge, the steel of his blade shining in the light. He betrayed his movement with a grunt of effort. The Cerulean reacted before Vypec could even think. He spun and deflected the Akalak's blade towards the blade of the second longsword coming at him. Both the Akalak attackers were forced to stumble back. The Cerulean grinned as he turned again and, to Vypec's horror, faced him. The painted warrior began to spin his blades in a perfect flowering. Their edges deadly and their flats catching the light. Both scimitars spun quickly in front of him and Vypec was forced to give ground.

Vypec held his blade out in front of him in the standard guard. He made cautious attacks, light slashes or half-hearted jabs. It was mostly to allow his companions to fall in behind the Cerulean. With every attack Vypec made the Cerulean only continued the swift flowering, deflecting all that came his way. Then, when the human had moved behind, Vypec struck. At the same time, the human lunged with his vicious looking spear. They had him, his overconfidence had been his undoing.

But no. The Cerulean let his left scimitar fall hard on Vypec's blade, almost knocking it to the ground as it came at him. His right sword caught and pushed the spear up and overhead harmlessly. Vypec barely noticed this expert maneuver as he was forced to avoid a sweeping scimitar, shuffling backwards. The Cerulean spun around the human, keeping the wooden shaft of the spear between them with one blade. The one that had so aptly accosted Vypec continued along to engage the two Akalaks. The Cerulean was fighting them both with the single scimitar, parrying and deflecting blows from both longswords with it. The entire time he was also keeping the spear at bay.

Vypec would not be left out of the fight. Perhaps he was what was needed to unbalance this accomplished fighter. The Akalak stormed in beside the spear man. He tried to press the Cerulean to one side so that they might back him into making a mistake. The man growled with savage pleasure at the confrontation. He shot a quick succession of jabs at Vypec, between parrying blows from the others. Vypec could barely avoid the second of the twin jabs. He was amazed at the swiftness of this other Akalak. The attacks were so fast and precise that Vypec could barely avoid them. They were like an afterthought to the Cerulean however.

The Cerulean seemed to slip out of the trap they were ushering him into with the ease of a man side stepping through a half opened door. He had seen it the entire time. The nearest Akalak to him had to turn and face the man alone. A maniac grin spread over the Cerulean's face as he assaulted the Akalak with strikes. For his part, the Akalak survived on his own for five or six of them, putting a quite impressive show on as the others scrambled to aid him. In the end he narrowly avoided the first blood by backing quickly away.

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Vypec
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The Painted Master

Postby Vypec on February 18th, 2016, 1:08 am

Vypec and the second swordsman took his place, with the human side stepping along beside them. They timed their blades to match strikes. The Cerulean leant forward into the blows, catching the blades with his own and holding them high. Vypec pushed down with all his might, trying to break the man's strength. He was like wound iron, tough and unyielding. The Cerulean was forced to break away as the human lunged at his unprotected side. The Squad Leader released his force on the blades just as the spear lurched forward, stepping back out of range. Both blades descended on the spear and all three of them stumbled forward, caught off balance by the sudden lack of resistance. The Cerulean renewed his efforts, winding his way around the spearman, and using him to block Vypec and the other swordsman.

Vypec knew what was going to happen before it did. He saw it in the way the Cerulean moved. He was going to thin the herd a bit. He sprang into motion, slipping past their futile attempts to engage him. His blades accosted the lone Akalak with a fury they hadn't experienced as of yet. Vypec could not even analyze his movements confidently, as the attacks were so full of feints and false strikes he had no idea which of the blows had really landed. But the Akalak came away with a shallow cut just above the elbow. He growled in fury and backed off, kicking at a nearby bench as he did so.

Now they were three against one. Vypec was disliking their odds more and more as they continued. Vypec and the spearman both lunged forward as the Akalak walked off, hoping to catch the Cerulean in the wake of his victory. But the man was having none of that. He moved once again into the dual flowering, deflecting and parrying anything Vypec threw at him. The spearman was afraid to have his longer weapon knocked away, or worse, cut in half. So Vypec and the swordsman moved forward to take the brunt of the Cerulean's attention. They seemed to work in a rhythm where one would attack and the other would follow it up.

The Cerulean seemed to be getting bored with only the three of them left, frowning slightly as he swatted away their attacks. Vypec saw his opportunity in that moment. He feigned a thrust and the watched the Cerulean move to perry it. A heartbeat afterwards the swordsman made his move. As Vypec watched the second scimitar intercept that, he spun away. It allowed for the spearman to move forward with a quick lunge. Vypec was lucky the man had seen his plan as it unfolded. The human lunged at precisely the right time, sending his spear tearing through the air between him and the Cerulean.

But the squad leader hadn't gotten to that position by luck. He had years of experience on them, and he saw the move a moment after the spearman. The Cerulean was forced to step back and block the spear point with both blades. And then moment did it. He swatted the spear away from him without a second look, his eyes cast over malevolently on Vypec. In that moment the battle shifted. They all knew it. Everyone watching knew it.

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Vypec
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The Painted Master

Postby Vypec on February 18th, 2016, 1:09 am

It had been one second, but the three had managed to make the Cerulean go on the defensive for a heart beat, and now he was going to put them in their place. "You are next." the Cerulean said, grinning at Vypec. Vypec tried not to look like a faun caught in the wild by the gaze of a wolf. He swung his gladius back up into the guard and shrugged. The Cerulean laughed and deflected the blows of the swordsman who was trying desperately to press the assault. He maneuvered his way around the makeshift ring, forcing the spearman and the swordsman back with furious sweeping strikes of the scimitars.

Vypec felt his skin go cold under the stare of the squad leader. The Cerulean lunged at him and Vypec felt his arm move to intercept the blade. His gladius moved desperately to black the oncoming scimitars. Both slashing and striking at him from different angles and with speeds that did not allow him to reset at all. Vypec found his blade being rattled between the two, barely able to stave off the attack for the manner of heartbeats it took the Cerulean to push him back the ten feet across the ring. Then he was against the edge and forced to stand his ground.

For a split second Vypec saw the rhythm of the Cerulean's movements. He saw the strikes coming, or thought he did. Then the Cerulean threw in a careless feint and it all came crashing down. Even if he knew where the blades were coming from, Vypec could not have blocked the blows. They were too physically hard and fast for him to react to each. In the end it was a downward strike from his left side that disarmed Vypec. After all of that it had taken the Cerulean only a few seconds to press Vypec out of the fight. The crowd cheered and Vypec stood there, stunned.

It was mere moments before the swordsman was disarmed as well. Vypec had picked up his gladius and returned it to its sheath while watching. The spearman seemed to hold a slightly higher level of challenge than the rest. He lasted a full ten seconds along against the scimitars. But in the end he was sliced on the forearm and the bout was over. There was a cheer going up for the Cerulean, who paid it no mind. He waved the combatants over. Vypec walked to him with his shoulders low. It had been an embarrassing defeat, and now the wild warrior was going to rub it in.

"You are all pathetic." The Cerulean said, "But they're all shyke. I'd take pathetic over shyke any day." He gestured with contempt to those who watched and had not volunteered their skills for the bout. "Work on your speed and your balance." The Cerulean said, leering at them. "I'll keep my eye on you all." He finished, his bright eyes flickering over Vypec for a moment before turned and strolling out of the Lodge gardens and onto the street beyond. He did not look back at them or pay attention to their farewells. The man had received what he came for. A five minute workout.

537 words
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Vypec
Night Stalker
 
Posts: 122
Words: 156592
Joined roleplay: January 21st, 2016, 6:49 pm
Location: Riverfall
Race: Akalak
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The Painted Master

Postby Theo Popcampio on July 6th, 2016, 3:52 pm

Image
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Skills
  • Gladius 4
  • Observation 4
  • Tactics 1
  • Acrobatics 1
Lores
  • Actions speak louder than words
  • Tactics: The role of range in battle
  • Ceruleans: Fierce and harsh
  • Suffering an embarrassing defeat
  • Being bested by a master

Notes
Well, that didn’t go as good as Vypec hoped haha. Just be careful using this character moving forward because he clearly displayed master level talent in a weapon. That’s not an issue as far as I know, but usually if you use a character a couple of times then you need approval of them. You know the drill by now: Let me know if you have any questions or concerns, and mark the thread as graded. Update your CS Vypec ;).

ENJOY YOUR LOOT!

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