Talon of a Man

Lani learns how relationships in Wind Reach manifests when Narth offers to teach her how to use her Talon Sword.

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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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Talon of a Man

Postby Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 1:18 am


42nd of Fall, 518AV


“Black eyes! Black eyes!” When she approached their newly appointed meeting spot, Lani found Narth crouched on the edge of the clearing, peering into the woods and calling for her with his nick name for her, which she still didn’t know the meaning of, but understood the words to answer when called.

“Narth, what are you doing?” She asked in Nari, calling his attention to her approach.

“Oh!” He stood up, turning to her. The season was growing colder and he no longer wore his chest bare, much to the greedy half-Eypharian’s disappointment. “I thought I saw you, over there.” He motioned behind him, and then lowered his voice. “You know, in dog form.”

She recognized the Nari word for dog, thought, and saw. She was able to piece his quick words together; he thought he had seen her over there, as a Jackal. She laughed at him, letting the chuckle bellow out of her stomach, not afraid of offending him.

“I’m a Jackal, silly. A desert dog, you won’t find any of those up here.” Her chuckles ceased as she realized the gravity of her words, and then she sighed. She was a desert dog, and she did not belong in these northern Kalean Mountains. Nothing had drilled that feeling home as much as returning to the land she called home.

”You do know what Jackal is?” She switched back to Nari, trying to veer her personal thoughts away from the subject. They had work to do, no point in moping while they did so.

“No.” He answered curtly, not picking up on her mood, but also not willing to admit that he didn’t know everything about everything. The Endal were special, and skilled, and were supposed to be masters of the wild. But if they had no need to learn the desert nature, then they simply didn’t. It wasn’t that Lani had either, but she did have blood there and so had more reason to be curious than most northerners.

“Then stop acting like you know everything.” She grinned at him, speaking in common. She then stepped past him, tapping his nose lightly as she did. He scrunched his face and caught her hand, pulling it into his chest. Her own chest felt a squirm of discomfort at the motion. She knew she was leading this man on, in a way. Was it leading on if she was giving him exactly what he wanted? He was a good guy, better than most Inarta, as far as Lani was concerned. He did not associate with her in public, or give her special favors. But in private, like right now, he treated her like a human.

Last edited by Lani Stranger on December 14th, 2018, 7:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Talon of a Man

Postby Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 1:19 am


They stood on the edge of the pastures; his eagle was flying overhead, away from the Inarta eye. As an Endal, Narth preferred to worry about medicine and caring for his people in a more direct manner. But recently he has gone hunting more, adjusting to the needs of his people. But on days like today, he called on her to aide him in scavenging. With his medicinal knowledge, he knew where the wild herbs were that the Gardens could not grow. He didn’t pull Lani along as a favor, but because she was actually familiar with the Kalean wilderness, and was useful. She knew what plants and herbs they needed for the medicine as well, and she knew where to avoid and where was safe. The Desert blooded woman was no stranger to this wilderness, and she did not drag Narth or his Wind Eagle down. Often he would take flight with his wind eagle to search for the biomes they needed to search, and she would scout below. She didn’t understand the stretch of Wind Eagle senses, and when he did so, she felt very alone and fearful. Still, she was not one to question an Endal. But now they walked in line down the trail into the forest, Evek soaring above them.

”Is that… a talon sword?” She heard his Nari trill from behind her. The mixed blood paused, turned back towards him, placing a hand on her sword and nodding. ”Do you know how to use it?”

She glared at him without commitment, and turned around to keep walking. ”No.” She finally answered in Nari. They were not hunting today, so they needn’t be quiet or stealthy. They were looking for relatively common herbs that were hard to grow in the gardens. There was a moss, which grew at the tops of trees, a cave flower, and some water roots that were needed. It was a fairly simple list, but it could take anywhere from two bells to two ten-days to find them. Evek was searching the tops of the trees for the moss, and Lani was scanning the rocky forest surrounding her in search of any hidden caves, or streams that crossed their path. Even so they would have to go a little far out, as the area immediately surrounding the trails would have been thoroughly scavenged.

”Well…” the cheery Endal bounded beside her, stroking his beard in a comical thought. ”You know who does know how to use one?” His Nari was a little quicker than Lani was used to, but his tone was very excited so she asked him to clarify.

”What?”

”No, who. Me.” He answered the question that she hadn’t understood.

”You what?” The confusion was clear on her face.

”I know how to use a Talon Sword. I can teach you, while we are out here.: He spoke slower now, realizing she hadn’t understood him. Lani thought he was offering to teach her, which would be extremely rare from an Endal. She nodded, slight excitement growing her ebony eyes, and caressed her sword handle. She wore it because it was pretty and because she hoped it offered some intimidation, but she was now starting to realize that.

Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Talon of a Man

Postby Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 1:19 am


Narth drew his own sword, and as the sun filtered between the branches to glint on the metal and hilt of his weapon, Lani could see that it was of superior quality to hers. Of course, he was an Endal. She pulled her own weapon from its hilt, not nearly as swift as his, only she didn’t hold it in the nonchalant and experienced way he did. She grabbed the handle firmly in one hand and let the blade rest flat against the other hand, carrying it carefully. He laughed at her.

”You’re going to cut yourself doing that.” He said, and she frowned at him, switching so both hands were tightly gripping the long handle of the Inartan sword. It didn’t feel stable. The hilt was definitely long enough to fit both of her hands laterally below it, but she held them at the very base of the sword to allow more room between her and the blade.

”Here, look.” Narth directed her attention to himself as he placed his second hand on his sword. One hand was placed on the top of the hilt, closest to the blade, gripping firmly. The other rested at the very base, loosely attached and seemed more like guidance than anything else. As if showing off, the Endal then took two large steps back and made a swooping downward motion with his sword. In a similar quick movement the bearded Inarta brought it up over his head and brought it down on an imaginary enemy behind him. Still with the fluidity of an eagle he swept it horizontally across his right side with one hand, letting it go once it was in front of him, and catching it with his other hand. He then twisted the blade so the hook was facing down and brought it down on another invisible enemy, dragging it towards himself in a way that would drag whoever he stabbed with it.

Lani’s mouth gaped, and her own grip on the sword faltered. He laughed at her again. Trying to brush off the impressed look of the show he had just given her, she adjusted her hands on her hilt. Bringing her left hand up to the top of the hilt, gripping it firmly, and letting the right hand fall below to guide it. She heard him sheath his sword, then the crunch of his footsteps walking towards her in the leaves. She looked up just in time to see him place his hands on her hands.

Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Talon of a Man

Postby Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 1:20 am


”Which hand is your dominant one?” He asked, and she gave him a puzzled look, not understanding the meaning of ‘dominant’. He paused, and then rephrased. ”Which hand do you write with?”

”Right.” She answered, and he grabbed the sword from her with his left hand, peeling her left hand from the hilt, and placing her right hand at the top, and then placing her left hand at the bottom.

”Okay then, right to hold, left to guide.”

”Right to hold, left to guide.” She repeated almost exactly, nodding at the information.

”That way, you can fight one handed, with your right, when you need to.” He instructed, and she nodded. ”Now, are you ready?” He asked, turning to look her in the eye. She realized how close he was, and a thought crossed her mind. Narth was never this close unless he was inside her. The Endal had shared no feelings for her, she was well aware she was his exotic lay. But she couldn’t help her heart from setting into a run as she realized the proximity. It took her a tick too long to respond, and he stepped away from her, unsheathing his sword once again.

”Watch my feet.” He directed, and she looked down, as he got into position, holding his sword naturally in front of him. He stepped slightly apart, about shoulder length, and then stepped back slightly with his right foot so he was at an angle. Lani was still standing feet together in a pin-straight position, so she stuck a foot back, copying him. ”Does it balance your weight?”

Lani nodded at what he said, not entirely sure if she understood it correctly, and he sheathed his sword once again, stepped over to her, and with very little effort, pushed on her shoulder and knocked her over. ”Nope.” He said simply, looking down at her.

Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Talon of a Man

Postby Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 1:20 am


She frowned at him, and then reached for her sword which had fallen into the autumn leaves just out of her reach. As she did so, she felt his booted food fall on her wrist. It did not hurt, and clearly wasn’t hard, but the cool tip of the metal on her chest was what worried her. Panic raced her heart, and Lani slowly let her black eyes wander up to his steely brown ones. She narrowed them, looking for what the switch was that required her death. He could get away with it out here, he could probably get away with it in the center of Market Day, but whatever his reasons were, and could she evade them?

Fear, of course, was pumping through her brain, but her mind was already thinking of how she was going to get out of this situation, if she could. She could not reach her sword; she had no other weapons on her. She could not move, or he would clamp down on her wrist, or impale her with a thrust of his arm. She was stuck.

”Narth…” Her voice was cool and collected, the fear not yet surfacing, as she leveled his gaze. Just then the murderous expression vanished. He let out a booming laugh, taking his boot from her wrist and then sheathing his sword. Still enjoying his joke he offered a hand to her, but anger seethed through her. He was in a position of power so that she took that seriously! How dare he play with her emotions like that! Furrowing her brow, she grabbed his hand roughly, forgetting about her sword on the ground. As he hoisted her up, she balanced her weight on one foot, hooking her left foot behind his knee. She was still holding his hand with both of her own and so she yanked forward, pushing the warrior onto his back. Shock showed in his eyes as he hit the ground, clearly not expecting her to fight back. She stuck her tongue out at him, and turned to retrieve her sword. If he hadn’t wanted to kill her just then, he surely did now.

But instead she heard the jolly man laughing more as he stood up from the leaves, brushing them off his behind. ”I guess that is fair.” He muttered, still chuckling to himself.

”Let work. I do not want to practice today.” She muttered, and now it was his turn to frown.

Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Talon of a Man

Postby Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 1:21 am


”Oh c’mon, Black Eyes. It was a joke! You have a hell of a survival instinct, keeping your cool like that.” She didn’t understand what he said past a joke, but she was still upset. She lined her sword up with the sheath to put it away, not looking at him. ”Black Eyes, look at me.” He said then, with the authority of an Endal, she looked at him, letting her sword fall into place in its sheath.

”I won’t play anymore.” It wasn’t a command to keep learning the talon sword, but it was a truce. Now it was her turn to apologize. Lani looked down, still a little angry, but trying not to show it.

”Sorry Narth.” She muttered, hating that she could not be real with him because of the caste system. She wasn’t sorry; she wanted to yell at him for playing with her like that. It wasn’t the first time she was prone and staring up the length of a blade, it wasn’t even the fourth. She kept her cool because she was used to it, because she knew she had to. What he saw as a joke, she saw as a threat to her life. She didn’t want to trust him anymore, but none of that she could say. Still, he was her only resource to learn how to use her newly purchased Inartan weapon, and he treated her like a human because she slept with him when he wanted. It wasn’t quite worth severing her relationship as his friend, or at least his bedwarmer. ”Will you teach me?”

Black eyes crawled up his chest to meet his brown ones, and he didn’t immediately see through her act. He was so easy going, that he just grinned at her, and nodded towards his sword, unsheathing his own once again. She tried, this time, to take it out as smoothly as him, but her arms were much shorter than his, and got stuck at the curve, so that she had to take it out with two hands again.

”You should keep your sheath on your left hip, so that you can remove it with your right. These are not southerner swords; Talon swords are longer than you think.” He chattered in Nari, walking over to her, and handing her his sword. Unsure what to do with it, she now held both of their swords at arm’s length, facing down, while he grabbed at her belt. She felt him unclasp the sheath from her belt, walk around behind her, and clasp it again on her left side. He slid the sheath, so she could feel his knuckles across her hips the whole way, and it sent chills up her spine. Still, she stood frozen, two arms forward awkwardly holding their blades so that it would cut neither of them. When she felt the click again, she thrust her left hand with his sword forward, and then grabbed hers with both hands, facing him off. She adjusted her right hand so it was at the top of the hilt, and then tried to remember to keep her left hand looser on the bottom. She took a step back, this time shuffling her feet slightly to square her stance better.

Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Talon of a Man

Postby Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 1:22 am


”Got your stance?” He asked, pushing hard at her shoulder again, this time she deflected, shifting her weight into her hind leg so she absorbed his shove, rather than letting it send her sprawling again. He grinned at her success and she winked at him, nodding.

”Good, good. Now, there are four ways to swing that you are going to want to learn and practice-“

”Slow, please.” She reminded him, her grasp on the language not catching up with his slow words. ”Four ways what?”

He shifted into his own stance about ten feet in front of her, so smoothly she hadn’t realized the switch at first. ”Four ways to swing,” He said. ”Watch.”

She held her stance, but watched as he took the sword with both hands, making a sweeping sideways motion from her right to left, and then back. ”One.” He titled it. Then he pulled the sword above him, swinging it down with a move that looked powerful on someone like him, but he slowed it so the sword didn’t reach the ground. Twisting the sword in his hand, he pulled it up with the same graceful speed. ”Two.” He then pulled the sword from his upper left diagonally across him to his lower right side. Again he adjusted the grip and pulled it back to the same position. ”Three.” He then did the exact same move from his upper right diagonally down to his lower left, adjusted, and then back. ”Four.” He labelled the last one, and Lani raised her brow.

”It’s more like eight, because you have to go back from your original direction.” He explained, keeping his words slow and measured so she could understand them. Still, Lani had to piece together that he meant eight strokes because each of his strokes had to go in the opposite direction too. She nodded once she understood, waiting for further instruction. ”Okay, now you do it.”

Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 3:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Talon of a Man

Postby Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 1:23 am


Lani paused as she understood what he said. She immediately imagined it would be awkward. It was not like she was skilled and practiced like he was, it would not be smooth and powerful strokes through the air, but awkward fumbling slashing into nothing from her. She wanted to practice; she just didn’t want the Endal to watch her. Still, she wasn’t going to get away with not doing it, because then he might simply stop teaching her. He nodded to her, and the mixed blood sighed in defeat, pulling her sword above her head like he did. She brought it down much harder than she needed to and it slammed into grass below. It sliced through pretty well, but that wasn’t the point of this exercise.

”Keep going.” He encouraged, and she yanked the talon sword out of the ground, adjusting it like he had, and then swinging it upwards. She then put herself back into her ready stance, and attempted to do the horizontal slashed quicker. She did do them quicker, but they were not straight and she went too far again, not controlling her movements as well as he did. She knew she was wrong, but when she glanced at him for a correction, he merely nodded at her, and she saw the studious look in his eyes. He was going to tell her afterwards. Great, she had to keep going. This time, Lani returned to the starting position, but slowed down as she reached her sword up diagonally and brought it down, adjusting it and then bringing it back up. She didn’t over swing this time, but it was still wobbly and not as smooth. She did the same on the other side, and then brought herself back to the ready position once again. It was then that she realized her left hand was gripping the bottom of the sword like death to sickness. She tried to loosen it, but realize it might have been why her strokes were wobbly.

In front of her, Narth uncrossed his arms, preparing to step forward and give her pointers, but she held a finger up. ”One more time, I know what I do.” She said, and he raised his eyebrows but nodded at her to go ahead, taking another step back to give her room.

Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 3:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lani Stranger
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Talon of a Man

Postby Lani Stranger on November 24th, 2018, 1:23 am


This time she returned to ready position, making sure her stance and hands were appropriately places. In a quick movement she brought the talon sword up and slashed it down, controlling herself to slow her motions before it even reached the leaves below. She adjusted to swing up, and although she aimed to control, it was harder to do so above her head and again went too far. Ignoring it, she brought herself back to ready position. This time she took the extra tick to make sure her hands were in the right place, and that her left one was relaxed for guiding only, and balanced her weigh on her feet. Once she was sure she had gotten the ready position correct, she quickly slashed the sword both ways horizontally in front of her. This was not wobbly or diagonal, but a clean horizontal cut, surely the product of making sure her left hand was gently grasping the hilt, unlike last time.

In her peripherals she saw Narth nod absently at this noticeable difference, and she returned to ready position, taking the extra tick again to adjust her hands and stance. It didn’t need so much adjusting as last time, but she still found her left hand attempting to grip the handle at the end of each swing. She brought her sword down and then up from her upper left to her bottom right in a swift motion. Again she had trouble controlling the blade on the upwards slash, but she continued on, not entirely sure what she was doing wrong. She returned to ready position, adjusted herself, and did the same on the other diagonal. Knowing that she was consciously keeping her left hand loose, the sweep of the blade was much less wobbly, and she could better control where it was going. She didn’t have a good concept of how much power to put into it, but she didn’t know how to fix that. Still, once she was done, she returned to ready position and made sure her stance was square, waiting for Narth’s assessment.

”You’re having trouble regulating the power of your strokes.” He said, and Lani had to snap back into trying to understand the Nari.

”What?”

”The power, of your strokes.” His sword was sheathed but he made a stroke with an invisible sword to show her was he meant, she nodded, understanding. ”Not good.” Lani smiled sheepishly, she wasn’t sure what she was doing wrong in that regard. ”You’ll get better if you can practice on a dummy to know how much power you need.” He remembered to speak in slow, even Nari, so she had time to try and understand. She nodded. ”In the meantime, just imagine a perfect circle around you.” He drew an invisible circle in front of himself to show her. ”And try to stay within those lines, once you can do that, come see me again.”

She nodded, her arms were beginning to ache, holding her sword ready after having tried to use it so much. Narth was glancing up at the sky then, either looking for his Wing Eagle or looking for the time, she did not know.

”We should work.” She said for him, it was clear she would have to work on the sword on her own for some time in order to be at a place where he could continue to teach her, that and if they were too distracted, they would never find the herbs they were looking for. Narth nodded at her suggestion, and she turned to sheath her sword, only remembering it was on her other hip. She then lined up the sword with the entrance to the sheath and slid it in, finding the motion to be much smoother on this side. She grinned, she at least knew the very beginnings of the basics on how to use in Inartan sword now, and that made her a little happy. She had learned their caste and money system. She was learning their language, and now she could learn their weapons. She wasn’t Inarta, she never would be. But perhaps more of the people would accept her, the more she integrated into their culture.

Word Count: 4,073

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Lani Stranger
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Talon of a Man

Postby Ssezzkero on December 5th, 2018, 4:41 am

Observation +5, Socialization +2, Acting +1, Weapon: Talon Sword +4, Acrobatics +1, Planning +1, Acting +1, Unarmed Combat +1, Narth: Sometimes requests Lani as a scout, Narth: Doesn’t know what a Jackal is, Jackal: Desert Dog, Endal: Skilled in Kalean Wilderness, Narth: Compassionate, Narth: Skilled in Medicine, Weapon: Talon Sword, Wind Eagle: Evek, Narth: Evek’s rider, Talon Sword: How to hold it, Talon Sword: How to draw it, Talon Sword: Hold with your right hand, Talon Sword: Guide with your left hand, Inarta: Non-monogamous, Talon Sword: Starting position, Acrobatics: How to balance your weight when holding a weapon, Unarmed Combat: Hitting behind the knees to bring someone down, Narth: Plays too much, Talon Sword: Keep sheath on left hip to draw with right hand, Talon Sword: Basic swings
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