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Ashka & Anais work on weapons

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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[Ashka's Acres] Skills to Sharpen

Postby Anais Seawind on September 3rd, 2018, 4:18 am

6th of Fall - 11th Bell


Muttering quietly as she retraced her steps, Anais glanced skyward; it was late, later than she had agreed to meet Ashka, but the other woman’s directions had gotten a bit muddled in her head. “Between the mercantile and the pool, canoe on the beach, tent further back…” The problem with those directions, Anais was realizing, was that there were several canoes along the beach and a lot of land between the mercantile and the community pool. Ashka had said something about a stream, as well, but Anais didn’t see one close by and was reluctant to wander too far away from the path to look for it.

Instead, she’d walked from the mercantile along the cobbled pathway until she’d ended up in front of the community pool and realized she’d gone too far. She’d been told, though she couldn’t remember who’d mentioned it, that the cobbled pathway reached every location in Syka. Juli, maybe? Or Randal? Either way, Anais had assumed that she would follow it and run straight into Ashka’s land, only to discover that that was apparently not how the path worked. On her own land, the pathway led straight to the area her dock would be built – it was coincidence, she was sure, but a convenient one. Transporting wood from the core to her land would have been much more difficult without it. Lars! It had been Lars, the man responsible for operating Syka’s sawmill, who had mentioned the pathway that led to everywhere.

But, after walking the from the mercantile to the pool and not finding Ashka or her tent, Anais had started to wonder if the pathway simply touched a part of every location. Maybe she’d crossed the tiniest corner of Ashka’s place and not known it? So she was backtracking, paying more attention to her surroundings than to the pathway this time.

From the pool, she followed the path a short distance into the jungle, its cobbled stones turning from a beachy pale sand to darker, earthier tones within the shade of the trees and vines. It was a welcome respite from Syna’s rays; though the days had cooled marginally, the midday heat could still be oppressive. Anais looked around, not hoping to see Ashka or her tent, but rather appreciating the view – the jungle was becoming more familiar to her and less threatening, especially while she remained on the path that she knew led back out of the jungle. Birds chirped overhead, and the Svefra caught a glimpse of brilliant flash of red darting through the air above her, quickly hidden once more in the lush leafy growth.

The path led out of the jungle again, and Anais followed it as it traced the border between jungle and beach. Near the shore, she could just make out a canoe resting under a small stand of palms, and Anais could hear laughter coming from somewhere nearby, though no people helpfully popped into view. Was that Ashka? Well, whoever it is, they seem to be in a good mood. If it’s not her, maybe they can give me directions? Stepping off the path, Anais followed the trail of amusement down the beach. As she neared the canoe, the sound of waves mixed with laughter and a voice Anais thought sounded familiar. “Hello,” she called out, voice raised to be heard over the other sounds.

She’d made plans to meet with the younger woman for some weapon training, but if she had to trek back and forth all morning before finding her, Anais wasn’t sure how much use she’d be for such a physical activity. “Ashka? Is that you? Its Anais,” the words were loud, designed to carry down to the shore where she could finally see two people. Raising a hand in greeting, Anais made her way down the beach; a half-smile tugged at one corner of her mouth, Anais’ version of a friendly expression as she glanced from one face to the other. “I must’ve walked right past you earlier – ended up at the pool,” she shook her head at her own missteps, voice light and laced with a hint of amusement at her own expense.
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[Ashka's Acres] Skills to Sharpen

Postby Ashka on September 7th, 2018, 10:03 pm


Ashka kept one eye on the sun. The young Svefra woman she'd agreed to meet was late, and one corner of Ashka's mind wondered if it had all been a set up for a prank. If she was supposed to be hanging around wasting her time fretting and waiting for someone who would never come.

She shook her head and scrubbed plates and pots clean instead, taking out her nerves on stains and burnt on food. Chaya bounced around her, scooting off one way to investigate something on the beach, and then racing back to join Ashka. The next time she bounced back, Ashka playfully flicked a drop of water at her. Chaya squeaked, giggled, and flicked one back.

Someone called to them and Ashka turned, her hand dropping to the knife on her right hip rather than the kukri on her left hip. "Hello?" she called back, and the voice identified its owner as Anais, the young woman she was waiting for. She handed the clean plates to Chaya to put away, but her sister just stood there waiting. "Yes, we're here, just come along the beach a bit!"

Anais appeared finally, and some of the nerves eased as she explained that she'd got lost and missed them.

Ashka smiled wryly as she flipped the cleaned pot upside down to drain and dry. "I'm sorry, I'm used to people coming along the beach rather than the path, and it's much more obvious from there. I should have given clearer instructions. The kid is my little sister Chaya, by the way."

The small house was built in the shade of the trees, not far from the tent, its palm thatch and bamboo frame blending with the jungle at first glance. Ashka indicated it with a tilt of her head as Chaya ran on ahead at last with the plates. "Are you still up to sparring, or do you want to sit in the shade a little while you - recover from getting lost? We've water and fruit, at least." If Anais took her up on the offer of a rest, Ashka would lead her into the house and pass her a jug of truly cold water, thanks to the magical ice crystals she owned. If not, Ashka would lead the way to a cleared patch of beach, flanked on one side by a sand dune with a practice target drawn in its side.


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[Ashka's Acres] Skills to Sharpen

Postby Anais Seawind on September 12th, 2018, 3:09 am



“Hi, Chaya – its nice to meet you,” the greeting was automatic, but sincere. Anais loved children. Chaya was older than Anais’ own son would have been, but that didn’t stop the grief that clenched around her heart briefly, before fading to the lingering ache that she was used to. She stared after the girl as she ran into a house that blended well – a little too well, apparently – with the surrounding jungle. Turning back to Ashka, she nodded gratefully at the other woman’s offer.

“Maybe a drink of water before we start working,” she glanced upward, judging the sun’s position – in a few bells, it would be warm enough that a rest would be not only welcome, but necessary, unless Ashka had a shaded spot to work in. The other woman led the way into her home, a raised construct made of bamboo, similar in design to many of the buildings Anais had seen in Syka. With interest, she noted that the sides of the structure were made of cloth, rolled and securely tied out of the way. It was clever, and allowed the living space to be completely opened to the jungle, as well as allowing the breeze to flow, unimpeded, from the sea. Although she could appreciate the benefits, Anais was glad her home would have sturdy walls between her and the jungle. But that canvas idea would work over the windows, she mused.

“Although getting lost wasn’t too much of a hardship – in a few hours, the extra hike might have been more unpleasant,” she offered, the small talk sitting awkwardly on her tongue. Since her arrival in Syka, Anais had spent the majority of her time alone, and was surprised at having to think about something as simple as making conversation. “Thank you.” Accepting the water from her hostess, Anais took a deep drink; blond brows raised in pleasant surprise as the cold liquid ran down her throat. Drawing the back of her hand across her lips, she turned her surprise to Ashka, “Its so cold!” Anais had grown accustomed to Syka-temperature water, even at its coldest, it could best be described as ‘cool.’ The water Ashka had given her was icy, and went a long way toward refreshing her after her trek. She eyed the water jug, unwilling to probe by asking the other woman how she kept her water so frigid, but curious, just the same.

“I think I’m ready for a bit of sparring now, if you are,” her tone lilted upward, turning the statement into a question. Anais was looking forward to the sparring; it had been years since she’d done any weapons training, and she remembered it fondly from her youth. Since leaving her pod, she’d had little time or opportunity for such things; off the sea, people were less inclined to barter for the necessities of life, and Anais had had to find work to earn coin for food and clothing and other expenses. It had left little time for enjoyable pursuits, and classes to keep her skills sharp cost even more coin. In Syka, however, she had found that the economy ran more like a Svefra pod: barter and shared knowledge were valuable commodities. Ashka, for instance, had been willing to run through weapons training with her simply for mutual benefit.

Anais would follow the other woman as she led the way to the training area; dropping her waterskin in a shady spot, she withdrew her cutlass from its home on her hip and inspected her training partner. Aside from a couple small blades at Ashka’s hips, Anais didn’t spot any weapons. Are those daggers? “What weapon are you using? I’ve just brought my cutlass,” she flourished the weapon subtly, to emphasize its presence. The Svefra had never sparred against a blade so much smaller than her own – How is this going to work? She’d seen plenty of her pod use a dagger alongside a sword, or a grappling hook, or any number of small weapons, for that matter; generally anyone using a small weapon also had a larger one. She worried her bottom lip gently, trying to recall any instance where she’d seen a cutlass alone against a single dagger-sized weapon. Nothing came to mind.

I suppose its much the same as a cutlass and another cutlass. Except I’ll have to be careful not to skewer her.
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[Ashka's Acres] Skills to Sharpen

Postby Ashka on September 16th, 2018, 1:12 am


"Things wash up on the beach from time to time," Ashka said, her mouth quirking in response to Anais' surprise. "One time it was a handful of crystals. They look and act like ice in a drink, but they don't melt. Very useful on a hot day. Or any day here, I guess."

She led the way to the practice area and when asked what she was using, she paused to consider for a moment, her gaze on the other woman's cutlass. "I have a dagger and a kukri. The kukri's probably a closer match, but I'm a little better with the dagger." She slid the deceptively stubby kukri from its sheath and shifted her grip to get a better balance point. It was only slightly shorter than a short sword, with a wide, heavy blade. James had reccomended it for cutting her way through jungle undergrowth, and combined with her long arms it did well enough there. Anais had an inch on her in height though, which made a change. That, combined with the extra length of the cutlass - Ashka shrugged a little. She was going to have to dodge a lot. Footwork was going to matter more here than when she was practicing knife throwing. "Let's try the kukri for now at least."

Eventually she wanted to learn a weapon in each hand, but she didn't yet have the skill for that. One weapon at a time was as much as she could handle. She waited until Anais was ready, then began to circle on the hard packed sand. She was looking for an opportunity to either knock the cutlass out of the way and rush in close, inside the reach of the longer blade or to slash at the cutlass arm itself, although she would try pull the blow or use the flat of the blade instead of hurting the other woman.


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[Ashka's Acres] Skills to Sharpen

Postby Anais Seawind on October 28th, 2018, 2:39 am

“That’s,” she paused, not sure how to respond, “convenient? I haven’t been so fortunate yet with my findings. Mostly rocks and bugs,” she injected a bit of humor into her voice, “I’ll have to keep my eyes sharp for anything more useful while I wander around.” Blue eyes scanned the ground as she followed the other woman to the training area. Nothing unusual grabbed her attention, though, and she managed a half-smile at her luck before turning her attention back to her companion.

Ashka had pulled out a smallish sword – or a largeish dagger? - with a wide blade, and held it as though she were at least familiar with the weapon. Anais felt a bit better about the mechanics of sparring; Ashka would certainly know her own weapon’s limitations, and Anais could just focus on her own. Footing in the sand was trickier than on the solid wood of a ship’s deck; although the water moved the deck, the deck remained solid underfoot. In the sand, even as compacted as it was in the small clearing, Anais could feel her feet shift subtly on the uneven surface.

"Kukri it is, then," she nodded agreeably. Either weapon would provide a challenge, the size and styles of the blades that Ashka carried were very different from her own cutlass.
She felt a small rush of adrenaline at the impending unknown - she'd only ever sparred against similar weapons and similar fighting styles. This exercise was bound to be surprising, and the prospect of learning a new trick or two was exciting. But nothing complicated right away, she reminded herself, best to start simply and safely. She mimicked Ashka’s circular movements for a few steps before attempting a half-hearted lunge at her opponent.

Angling her body slightly away from Ashka, Anais led with her cutlass, arcing it in a downward slice aimed at the other woman’s kukri. It was a familiar move for the Svefra, if at halfspeed, and one that allowed her to both get the feel for the ground beneath her feet and feel out the other woman’s reaction. If Ashka met the lunge straight on, there was not enough force in Anais’ attack to provide any real resistance – the Svefra was counting on a small, ringing impact and kept her stance light, muscles ready to spring back after contact. It was difficult to predict an unfamiliar opponent’s movements; if her attack was not met, and Ashka dodged backward, Anais would be off-balance, but the lack of force in her swing would ensure that she at least didn’t topple forward and put either of them in an awkward – or painful – position.
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[Ashka's Acres] Skills to Sharpen

Postby Ashka on October 28th, 2018, 3:35 pm


"Head up Stair Step Falls, or over to Treasure Point sometime," Ashka suggested with a crooked grin when Anais showed interest in looking for items herself. "Those are where you're most likely to find something interesting, though stuff can wash up anywhere."

Once the pair reached the training spot and agreed on weapons, it didn't take long before the first attack came. Ashka saw it coming, and old reflexes born of surviving many pranks took over. As the scimiter came slowly down towards her kukri, she twisted sideways out of its direct path. Sand slipped and skidded under her feet, throwing her a little off balance and she had to work hard to correct it. She locked her core muscles, using the strength in her torso to shift back into a more balanced position. She wound up with her chest parallel to Anais's arm for a moment. The sand shifting under Ashka's feet had reminded her how easy it would be to lose her balance on this surface, unlike when she had first learned to fight aboard ship. She bent her knees slightly to lower her centre and make it easier for her to bounce in any direction - hopefully without falling over.

Her evasion seemed to have pulled Anais off balance too, and as the other woman pulled back, Ashka brought the flat of her own blade up at half speed. She used the chopping movement that James had once taught her for clearing away vines, but at this speed and using the flat rather than the edge it wouldn't cause any real damage to her opponent. She expected to cause a stinging tap on the elbow if Anais didn't manage to pull back, a lighter tap closer to the hand if she partly recovered, or if she fully recovered, a small jarring blow to the scimiter blade. She hoped to knock the arm or the blade upwards. If she succeeded, she would bend her knees deeper, and launch herself under the arm to hammer her shoulder into Anais's side. She'd once fought a giant bat from that close and won, and didn't know better than to give an opponent that much of an opening. If her opponent managed to evade that lunge, Ashka would almost certainly land hard on the ground. If she didn't succeed in knocking the arm up, she would keep her distance and continue to circle.


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