Closed [Antinous Training Ground] Playing With Knives

Weaponmaster Miriam teaches Michael to fight with a dagger.

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This shining population center is considered the jewel of The Sylira Region. Home of the vast majority of Mizahar's population, Syliras is nestled in a quiet, sprawling valley on the shores of the Suvan Sea. [Lore]

[Antinous Training Ground] Playing With Knives

Postby Michael Kyber on February 21st, 2017, 11:45 pm

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WInter 84th, 516AV


It was a well know fact that in order to become a knight, one needed to take up arms and know how to fight with a weapon on a regular basis. For most knights this wasn't an issue; fighting with swords and shields was exactly what they'd signed up for, and they were more than happy to throw themselves into training with their favored weaponry day after day. By the end of their squire training they could pick up practically anything made of metal and find a creative way to fight someone with it if needs be.

For a mage-knight though this requirement presented a bit of a problem. Most mages, out of necessity, favored mental strength over physical. As powerful a tool as magic may be practicing it didn't develop the muscles in one's body, and so when it came to hard physical work most mages tended to struggle a bit. They knew the reasons why it was in their best interests to learn to fight with a weapon of course; if they ran out of usable djed when there were still enemies around they were about as good as a sitting duck, but knowing something and actually doing something about it were two very different things entirely.

Every since he'd arrived in Syliras Michael had found weapons becoming a bigger part of his life than he'd previously imagined. He'd lost a sparing match against a squire named Garland with a bastard sword and a cutlass one time, and only a few days ago he'd undertaken a mission to escort a caravan to the Mithryn Outpost armed with a glaive he didn't know how to properly wield. He'd thought he'd have time to find a weapon which suited his particular tastes whilst he practiced magic with his master Thazz, but it was becoming apparent to him that even as a squire there was a lot of danger he had to face up against, and if he wanted to face those dangers he needed to learn to fight with a weapon.

Which was why he was here at the Antinous training grounds; to find a weapon that suited him. All around him were knights of all different races, each wielding a multitude of weapons as they sparred with each other or ran through individual training drills. Michael watched them all, studying how they moved and how they made the most of their particular weapon, and when one knight or another caught his attention he'd take a weapon similar to theirs from the weapon rack and give it a few experimental swings to see how comfortable it felt in his hands.

So far though nothing had felt quite right. Perhaps it was simply because he was so inexperienced, but every weapon felt like it hindered his movements so much that he'd be better off fighting without it.

Michael put a mace he'd been swinging around back on the rack. Yet again the weapon just didn't seem to mesh with him, and he started to wonder if perhaps all his efforts were completely pointless. This must be his seventh... either weapon by now?

"Catch!"

Michael instinctively turned to the direction of the voice nearby, only for his brain to kick into overdrive as he took in what exactly was happening right in front of him...

There was a knife sailing through the air towards him, with quite a lot of force.

Unable to react in time, Michael could only freeze with a look of horror on his face as the knife smashed straight into his forehead. It was only at that moment, as pain surged from his head, that Michael realised to some relief that the knife was still inside a sheath. The knife cluttered to the floor as Michael's hands flew to his head to cover the spot where the pain was blossoming from.

"And you call yourself a squire? Even for a newbie that was terrible." A nearby voice, full of laughter, rang out.

Michael looked up from his seat to see a girl roughly his age wearing full knights armor standing not to far away. Judging from the identical dagger she was twirling around in her hand it was obvious that she was the one who'd throw the dagger at him, and judging from the smirk on her face it was clear that she found that fact hilarious.

Annoyed, Michael found his temper rising. "What they hell is wrong with you! Why did you do that?"

The girl however didn't seem at all threatened by his anger, indeed it seemed to make her smile grow wider. "What's wrong with me? I should be the one asking what's wrong with you. You've been here for what, a chime and a half now? And during that whole time all you've done is watch everyone else practice and occasionally swing a random weapon around for a bit. Were you planning on doing some actual training, or are you just looking for that perfect place for a picnic?"

"And what part of that gives you the right to throw a weapon at me?" Michael shot back, blushing a little in embarrassment from being caught.

The girl leaned forward, a look of triumph clearly written on her face. "The part where in these training ground the weaponmaster's words are law, and as I am a weaponmaster if I say you need to have a dagger thrown at your head then that's what happens."

Michael couldn't stop the look of surprise and disbelief from passing onto his face. She couldn't be much older than him, yet she was a weaponmaster? Was it even possible for someone so young to master fighting to such a degree, let alone be able to teach others?

If she noticed his expression however the weaponmaster didn't deem it worth acknowledging. Instead her look of amusement turned to one of appraisal, as if he were a weapon and she was trying to discern its craftsmanship. "What's your name squire?"

"Michael Kyber." He replied. "Squire to Ser Thazz Mortmer."

The girl hummed noncommittally. "A mage then huh? I always thought Thazz would choose someone a bit tougher to be his squire. Well whatever. Anyway my name's Miriam Antinous." She pivoted fluidly on her heel and began to walk towards an empty space in the training grounds, looking over her shoulder at him after he remained seated. "Well what are you waiting for? Pick up that dagger and follow me, training begins now."

"Training? What, with this?" Michael replied, clear skepticism in his voice as he grabbed the dagger and followed her.

"Oh, don't want to fight with a dagger do you?"

"No." Michael replied, deciding that brute honesty was his best option. From a statistical standpoint daggers were the worst possible choice of weapon; whatever advantage they had in speed what immensely overshadowed by their lack of reach, weight and durability.

"My my, quite the critic aren't you?" Miriam teased. "Well trust me when I say that that little dagger you're holding in your hand is the weapon best suited to you. It's my job to know what kind of weapon will suit someone the best, I've been doing it for as long as I could walk. And I can tell you from experience that people of your personality are best suited to daggers."

"How could my personality decide which weapon fits me best?"

Miriam raised an arm to point one by one at various knights about the field. "Some people are the kind to rush into the thick of danger head first and take the blunt of the damage for the sake of their comrades. Some are the kind who watch how their opponents move and predict where it is their sword will strike next. Some are the kind who can dance across like the battlefield as if it were a stage. But you..." She smiled at him. Not a mocking smile, but a genuine encouraging smile. "You're a supporter. You work at your best a bit behind the rest of your squad, watching the battle as a whole and using your magic where it's needed most. For you a weapon isn't your first choice for combat, it's your crutch to fall back on once that fails. And when you do need to use it your instinct is to aims for the weakest area and exploit it."

"And that is why you are best suited to a dagger. A spear can't be thrust into that tiny slot in a helmet the enemy looks out of. A sword can't be fashioned from the small amount of resources you find lying around in a house. A mace can't be smuggled into an enemy city down the leg of your trousers, don't flatter yourself." She chuckled a bit at her own joke. "Look, my point is that what a dagger lacks in its more obvious combat qualities, it makes up for with its precision, stealth and utility. You can mess around with the other weapons on that rack all you want, but I promise you that the weapon you'll be the most comfortable wielding, and the one you'll be the most glad you took the time to learn someday, is the dagger."

Michael took a moment to consider her words. He honestly couldn't find a fault with anything Miriam had said, and the more she'd talked the more dangerous looking the dagger in his hands had seemed to become. Perhaps it really would just be better for him if he accepted that a weaponmaster really did know best.

"Okay, you've convinced me. I'll learn to fight with a dagger." Michael replied. "So what do I need to do then? Take some stabs at a practice dummy?"

Miriam waved the question off with a flick of her hand. "Eh, maybe later. For now though there's only one thing I want you to do." In one fluid motion she drew her dagger and used it to gesture to the one Michael was holding.

"Stab me, if you can."

Michael speaking in: Common | Fratava | Nader-Canoch
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Michael Kyber
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[Antinous Training Ground] Playing With Knives

Postby Michael Kyber on February 23rd, 2017, 11:06 pm

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"Stab you?"

Miriam nodded, seemingly nonplussed by her instruction. "If you think you can. Come on, draw just one little teensie drop of blood and we'll call it a day."

Michael drew the dagger, but found himself hesitant to attack. On the one hand this wasn't a blunted training dagger, he could actually do some serious damage with this even by accident. On the other hand it was difficult to see how he could be a threat to a weaponmaster like Miriam even with a weapon, the skills of a weaponmaster were the stuff of legend after all.

Miriam smirked at him. "What, you're just going to stand there? Or could it be that you're afraid of a little girl?"

Ah screw it.

Michael charged forwards, starting off with a simple straight thrust. Miriam however simply sidestepped out of the way with no signs of effort, and as Michael followed up with a succession of other stabs she continue to dance out of the way as if she knew where he was going to stab before he'd even started to move.

"No no, that's no good." She lightly scalded as she continued to evade his attacks. "Your thrusts have no strength to them. Stabbing with a dagger is like throwing a punch; you use the muscles in your back, reach further forward than the point you want to hit, and twist towards your arms towards your body. Try it."

Michael listened to her, throwing another stab the way she'd instructed. Even as he did it Michael could tell that the stab was more powerful than before, the force flowing up from his arm seemed to snap like a whip at it reached the daggers tip, and had it hit an unarmored opponent Michael was sure it would have been able to pierce them with ease. As it was though Miriam flickered out of the way again, amusement creeping up on her face. "Good good, now we're getting somewhere."

In a flash Miriam was suddenly gone from his sight, and a moment later Michael felt a sharp sing in his hand. Miriam had drop low and kicked the hand he held his dagger in, forcing him to let go of it. As it fell though Michael grabbed it with his other hand, sheer luck allowing him not to fumble, and kept it pointing towards her.

"Nicely done." Miriam back-flipped back onto her feet. "But do you know why it was that I was able to strike you so?"

Not knowing the answer, Michael shook his head.

"It is because you only fight on one level, the level straight in front of your eyes." Miriam replied. "You need to stay aware of attacks from above and bellow you, especially in a fight with lighter weaponry. The answer lies in your knees; use them to bend and roll to attack from bellow, and use them to jump when you need to use height."

"Alright then." Michael said, giving the dagger an experimental twirl in his weaker hand. He charged forwards again and, remembering the advice he'd learnt about using feints from Garland, acted as if he was about to jump upwards, but as fast as he could bent at the knees and dropped into a roll, attempting a low slash.

But as fast as he could wasn't at all fast enough to catch Miriam off guard. With a pivot of her feet she spun away, once again avoiding the dagger. "No... not fluid enough. You need more practice with moving your body in a smoother way, and with making less obvious feints."

Michael speaking in: Common | Fratava | Nader-Canoch
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Michael Kyber
A Good Man with a Bad Cause
 
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[Antinous Training Ground] Playing With Knives

Postby Michael Kyber on March 1st, 2017, 10:23 pm

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Michael twirled the dagger round into a reverse grip and lunged forwards at Miriam, swinging the blade upwards in a wild slash. Once again Miriam avoided it with ease, but this time did so by stepping forward into his personal space instead of retreating away. It was only as she hooked one of her feet behind his and pushed his back, causing him to trip and fall to the floor, that he noticed the sour look on her face.

"What on earth was that supposed to be?" She chastised. "You don't need anything like that much swing with a dagger, it's too light to make much of a difference. And it's so easy to read and leaves you so open it's like you're asking to get hit."

"Then how am I supposed to do it properly?" Michael asked. He remembered seeing a staged fight with daggers at a street performance once before, and the two performers had definitely used lethal looking slashed with daggers held in a reverse grip.

Miriam pulled him back up onto his feet. "You're thinking too much about changing how your body naturally moves to make the most of your weapon. The type of moves you want to pull off require a more acrobatic body than the one you have now, as well as knowledge of basic techniques you've yet to learn. For now focus on simply adjusting moves that you naturally know to take advantage of your weapon. Like this."

With practiced ease Miriam flicked the dagger around in her hand so that she too was holding it in a reverse grip, and then without warning shot her hand out like a punch towards his throat. Michael flinched at the feeling of cold metal just teasing the skin of his neck.

"See, like this. Aim a punch to the side of whatever area you want to cut, and the dagger blade held in this grip will be able to slice it easily. It's just as fast as throwing a real punch, and takes no trouble at all to learn." She withdrew the blade from his neck and took a few steps back, putting some distance between them again. "Now you try."

As bidden Michael imitated her move, punching forwards with the hand holding the dagger. Once again he could feel the force of the punch flowing with the blade, and instinctively knew that it would do far more damage than his clumsier attempt earlier would have done.

"Better, better. I think you may be starting to get the hang of this." Miriam praised. "Come on, keep trying. practice makes perfect you know."

For the next couple of chimes Michael came at Miriam with the moves she'd taught him again and again, and each time Miriam anticipated and avoided them as if it was the most natural thing in the world (which, he supposed, it might actually be for her). However with every swing Michael grew more and more tired, until at last he reach a point where he could go on no longer. Breathing heavily he sheathed the dagger again and sat down on the training ground floor.

"That's it, I can't go on any longer."

Miriam, who barely looked like she'd broken a sweat, smirked slyly. "Aww, is that all you've got? Well I suppose you did do well for a mage-squire, we might just make something out of you yet."

She took the dagger back from him and turned to leave. "Come back whenever you have the time Michael, I'm always happy to teach you a thing or two about fighting with daggers. If you stick with it I think you'll find yourself becoming pretty good in no time."

Michael speaking in: Common | Fratava | Nader-Canoch
Other people speaking is in green. Monsters are in black
Thoughts/Flashbacks are Italicized. Shouting/Dramatic Speech is in Bold
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Michael Kyber
A Good Man with a Bad Cause
 
Posts: 131
Words: 118838
Joined roleplay: December 9th, 2016, 8:09 pm
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[Antinous Training Ground] Playing With Knives

Postby Baelin Holt on May 28th, 2017, 11:08 pm

Michael Kyber :
Skills:
2 Weapon (Dagger)
1 Acrobatics
1 Endurance
1 Observation
1 Socialization

Lores:
Location: Antinous Training Grounds
All squires need weaponry, even mages
Miriam Antinous: A young Weaponmaster
Miriam Antinous: Recommends the dagger
Daggers offer precision, stealth, and utility
Dagger Technique: Stab with your back
Acrobatics: Use your knees to attack from above and below
Dagger Technique: Reverse grip and throw a punch

Comments:
A great training thread, I enjoyed the read. I didn't award Unarmed Combat since Michael used a dagger for all of his fighting. I also didn't award Shield Points for a training thread since a minimum of four posts is needed. That said, these were long posts. A ST might offer an exception.

Please edit your grade request to show that its been graded. If you have any questions or concerns about your grade, please do PM me.
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Baelin Holt
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