Solo Crack of the Whip (Part II)

Aster buys a weapon and tries to learn how to use it.

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role playing forums. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

Herein lies Xyna's Outpost, and her gift to Mizahar's people. It is a magical place full of potential and possibility where all can gather and exchange ideas and commerce.

Moderator: Gossamer

Crack of the Whip (Part II)

Postby Asterope on July 27th, 2020, 11:41 pm

Image
12th of summer, 520 AV

(Continued from Crack of the Whip Part I*)

Aster stared at the whip in her hand, beginning to wonder if she should just call the whole experience a loss, a waste of time and money, and throw the whip over the cliff and forget about it. But she was tired of giving up on things, and besides, she was stubborn. With a resigned sigh, she curled her fingers around the bone hilt, adjusting her grip until it was comfortable, and positioned herself in her ready stance once more.

She raised her arm up, and this time when she threw it down, she lunged into the movement. Too far; she had to break her stance and step forward to stop herself from falling, her free hand thrown out to the side to keep her balance. She re-positioned and tried again; this time as she flung the whip forward, she leaned her body into the slightly forward swing of her arm instead of throwing herself.

There was a noticeable improvement; the whip kept its direction now, snapping forward in a mostly clean line, and Aster once again heard the faint whistle of wind as it sliced through the air. But something about it was still loose, and she heard no crack.

Still, it was improvement. Perhaps she just had to put more force behind the swing. As she raised her arm up to do so, she suddenly heard footsteps approaching behind her. Spinning on her heel, she automatically raised the whip in defense, throwing her other hand up in warning.

A man was approaching, and he stopped a good distance away. He was older, slightly stooped, with a thick, long beard. He carried a lantern in one hand, and a sack in the other. He stared at her, guarded, and Aster stared back. "Ye' up to no good, miss?" The man asked, his voice issuing a challenge.

She almost laughed; almost. Up to no good in Sunberth was the minimum expected of the people living there, really. But instead Aster shook her head. Despite his gruff voice, something about the man seemed...well, not violent, anyway. "No. I just wanted somewhere private to practice," Aster said, as she eyed the door to the dovecote, wondering if she could make it there in time if she turned out to be wrong about the old man.

"Practice what?" He asked, and Aster gave the whip she was holding a little shake before lowering it. The man's suspicious expression changed to one of confusion. Aster supposed she couldn't blame him; it must have been a strange sight indeed, to come across a lovely, pink-haired woman, alone at night on a hill in the outskirts of Sunberth, practicing how to use a whip.

"Did you come from there?" He asked, motioning with the lantern to the dovecote, and Aster nodded. He seemed to relax slightly at that. "The name's Faust," he said, after a moment. "I keep watch here." His chest puffed up with pride at that, and Aster felt herself relax as well. If he was the dovecote's keeper, even on Sunberth's side, she could trust him. Probably.

"Well, as long as yer not bothering any of the birds none and treatin' this place fine, I've no issues with you doin' your practice," Faust shrugged one shoulder. He hesitated then, peering more closely at her, his wrinkled gaze searching her crimson ones, seeming to look for something. Aster cocked her head to the side, and Faust shook his head, looking away.

"Wait," Aster said, as he turned to leave, and he glanced back at her. "Uhm, if anyone comes asking about me, please don't tell them you saw me." She hadn't met Faust in any of her other forms, so he wouldn't know about her. And Alard didn't know about this form, but she wanted to be on the safe side.

Faust looked at her for a long moment then let out a grunt. "No promises," he said, but he nodded slightly, and that was all Aster needed. She watched him shuffle into the dovecote, leaving the door slightly ajar behind him.

She wasn't sure if she felt more or less comfortable with the old man's presence nearby. Regardless, it didn't matter. He wasn't bothering her, and she wouldn't bother him. She wanted to get at least one good crack out of the whip before she called it for the night, so she still had work to do.

Word count: 734
Image

The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 519
Words: 529979
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)

Crack of the Whip (Part II)

Postby Asterope on July 28th, 2020, 1:19 am

Image
Turning away and settling back into position once more, Aster raised her arm and slashed the whip through the air. Her shoulder was beginning to hurt, and there was still no crack. While the whip was starting to mostly keep in one direction, the razor tip flailed about, and the length of leather was still loose. Was she really not strong enough to crack a whip? It didn't take that much effort, surely?

She was so occupied with her practice that this time, she didn't hear the footsteps approach. She slashed the whip through the air again, but she knew as soon as she brought her arm down it was too sloppy, the whip flailing about. She was letting her frustration get to her.

"You're doin' it all wrong," came Faust's voice. Aster startled, whirling around. He was standing with his arms folded, leaning against the crumbling wall where she had set up her bottles, squinting at her. "Well, to be fair, I've never touched a whip in my life. But as someone who's used weapons, I can tell you've never put yer hands on one in your life."

That wasn't quite true, but Aster bit her tongue. It might as well be. Faust continued. "You're doing it all from your shoulder. It's not enough power and you're just goin' to hurt yourself that way. Most of your movement should be in your forearm and wrist, and the power behind it should come from your core when you move with the weapon, not from your shoulder." He mimicked jabbing at something as if with a spear, which Aster assumed was a movement he was more familiar with.

She, quite frankly, had no idea what he was talking about. It looked like he was using his shoulder. Faust repeated the movement as she stared at him, more slowly, and this time Aster noted the force behind his forearm and the way he leaned into the imaginary thrust of the weapon, as opposed to extending his arm fully from the shoulder.

"It's not quite the same, obviously. But I imagine it ain't too different for a whip. Could be dead wrong, though. Still, I figured any advice was better than none with the way ye were goin' on," Faust shrugged. Aster wasn't sure whether to be grateful or offended.

She decided to settle on the former to avoid any more frustration. "Thank you for the advice," she nodded, tipping her head. Faust grunted, jerking his chin at her in a signal to try again. She hesitated; she didn't want him standing there and watching her, judging her incompetency with a weapon.

But after a moment she let out a sigh and turned back around; she didn't want to practice in the old man's direction and accidentally tear his face open with the razor tip or whip an eye out. Even having seen a bit of a demonstration, the explanation was foreign to her, and she struggled to grasp it fully as she bent her knees slightly, taking up her stance.

Word count: 508
Total: 1,242
Image

The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 519
Words: 529979
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)

Crack of the Whip (Part II)

Postby Asterope on July 28th, 2020, 1:21 am

Image
Aster raised her arm for what seemed the millionth time that night. Soreness in her shoulder aside, her whole arm was beginning to ache. Ignoring the discomfort, she went through the motions slowly, feeling out the advice she had been given. Instead of throwing her arm downwards from her shoulder, she focused on snapping it downwards from the elbow, tensing her forearm and bending her wrist to give the whip a gentle flick. As she moved her arm down, she leaned forward slightly, bracing herself more firmly on her feet.

That felt...better. Raising her arm above her head, she did it at full speed. Arm up, forearm forward, wrist snap, lean into the swing. The whip whistled through the air, and though it didn't crack, the tip sliced cleanly through the air. That was significantly better, actually. "Again," she heard Faust grunt behind her, and perhaps it was just her, but he sounded both amused and pleased. "More power from your core into it, but don't lean too far or you'll topple over. Done that a few times," he snorted.

Planting her feet, Aster inhaled deeply. She pulled her arm up, subconsciously pushing her other elbow out to brace herself as she snapped the whip forward, focusing her strength on her forearm and the snap of her wrist, tensing her stomach as she pushed her body into the movement rather than leaned.

The razor tip of the Symenestran lash sliced through the air; Aster heard the faint whistle of it, and then as it snapped cleanly in the air in front of her, a resounding crack echoed from the whip. She almost dropped it in shock. "I did it!" She exclaimed, whirling around to face Faust.

The old man grunted. "Not too bad. You've got a long way to go, though. Better keep practicing." He tipped his hat at her, and Aster waved with her free hand.

"Thank you for your help." Faust grunted once more and straightened up, shambling back into the dovecote. Turning back around, Aster inhaled, planting her feet as she gave the whip another lash through the air, pushing her weight into the movement and focusing on her arm and wrist. The whip sailed through the air cleanly, but didn't quite snap as sharply and precisely as it just had, and there was no cracking noise to accompany it.

Aster scowled. She'd just done it, why couldn't she get it again? She repeated the motion, putting more force into the snap of her wrist, and was rewarded with another crack that echoed over the hills, though the tip of the lash flung out to the side away from where she'd been aiming.

Clearly, it was still very much a work in progress. But she was happy with the progress she had managed to make; she could at least vaguely aim the whip in a direction now, without it flailing around like a damp noodle, and with the right effort she could get it to crack. She was willing to call that a win, though now she was excited with the newfound abilities she had, she wanted to keep practicing. Maybe now she could try aiming more precisely at the bottles she'd set up before.

Word count: 538
Total: 1,780
Image

The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 519
Words: 529979
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)

Crack of the Whip (Part II)

Postby Asterope on July 28th, 2020, 1:51 am

Image
Approaching the wall again, Aster made sure the bottles were still lined up before she took a few steps back. Looking at the dirty and chipped glass bottles lined up in front of her, she had her doubts. It was one thing to just crack the whip in the air, and even that she had and continued to struggle with. But to aim it at a target, one so small and precise?

Well, she wasn't going to get better without practice. Steadying herself, Aster focused on the bottle in the center, and brought her arm down. She knew right away it was wrong; she was going from the shoulder again, and the whip flopped as it had her first few attempts. She'd been too concentrated on where it was going, she hadn't bothered to focus on the actual motions.

Adjusting her grip, her palm slightly clammy, on the bone hilt, she inhaled deeply, focusing her gaze on the bottle. An extension of yourself, she reminded herself. She knew how to direct her hand to follow her gaze; she just had to do the same thing here, and hope the whip would follow.

Arm up, power behind straightening her elbow, snap the wrist and push into the strike. The whip snapped through the air with a crack, though it wasn't as crisp as her others had been, and the tip of the lash snapped a few inches above the bottle she'd been aiming for.

Too high. Okay, so she needed to wait until her arm was lower to snap her wrist and send the whip through the air. She repeated the motion, giving herself an extra moment before she snapped the whip. This time, the tip of it snapped against the crumbling stone of the wall near the base. Much too low.

With a sigh, Aster settled herself again, repeating the process as she had the first time, this time counting in her head as she went. She didn't quite get a crack out of the whip, distracted by her counting, but the tip lashed through the air cleanly enough, above the bottle again this time.

The motion was faster than she realized. It was going to be difficult to time herself. She snapped the whip again, this time waiting a single extra second longer to flick it. The tip of the whip whizzed through the air and cracked against the stone wall just an inch below the bottle. Aster blew out a breath of frustration, sending strands of pink and grey hair flying around her face. That was better, but still not good enough.

Not to mention the fact that she was distracting herself by counting just meant she wasn't focusing on her motions, and she wasn't getting clean snaps of the whip anymore. Timing herself clearly wasn't the way to go about it. She supposed she'd just have to keep at it with trial and error until she found what felt right and actually worked, the same way she'd done everything else so far.

Word count: 506
Total: 2,286
Image

The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 519
Words: 529979
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)

Crack of the Whip (Part II)

Postby Asterope on July 28th, 2020, 2:22 am

Image
Repetition, repetition, repetition. She was beginning to get frustrated with doing the same thing over and over, even though she knew it was how one learned to do something. When she'd first been leaning medicine, she'd lost track of how many times Nara had forced her to wrap a bandage around her arm before she could do it perfectly.

Lining herself up again, Aster raised her arm, putting all of her focus back into her movements. She snapped the whip again, this time getting a crack, and the tip of it just barely licked the neck of the bottle, sending it wobbling for a brief moment. Excitement coursed through her. That was closer!

Inhaling to steady herself, Aster dug her teeth into her bottom lip as she focused, keeping her gaze where she wanted the whip to land, but putting her concentration on the way her body moved. It occurred to her briefly that the control using the whip required was perhaps even more intense than the control she'd had to grasp when she'd been dancing. Perhaps there were similarities there, too; in the control and grace and power of one's movements.

But that was a metaphor for another time. She cracked the whip, slamming her arm down and snapping her wrist just below the peak of the swing when it felt right, and the tip of the lash snapped against the glass bottle, sending it tumbling off of the wall. Aster jumped up and down in excitement, nearly clapping her hands before she realized that would swing the whip dangerously close to her face. Even without any real force behind it, she would rather not have the razor edge of the lash that close to her face.

She wondered if she could put enough force behind the whip to shatter a bottle. "Just one more try," she murmured to herself, shifting over to aim for the next bottle. She raised her arm, bringing it down, but snapped her wrist too early. The whip let out a crack in the air behind her, and Aster felt a burning pain in her ear.

"Oh, petch," she gasped, dropping the whip in shock; it was a sharp sting, burning, and she could feel wetness running down her neck. Reaching up blindly through her hair, Aster felt gingerly at her ear, wincing and hissing out a breath. The edge of the lash, likely the razor one given the clean cut, had caught the edge of her ear and sliced clean through part of the outer shell of cartilage, leaving a small notch in her ear.

She was lucky she hadn't caught her ear further in or the whole damn thing might have been sliced in half. The thought sent a shudder through her. The throbbing pain was dying down; it still hurt intensely, but the sharpness of the edge of the lash had made a clean cut at least. From what she could tell it wasn't exactly life-threatening; but she was bleeding a fair amount, and she would probably need stitches in her ear.

Aster glared down at the whip, lying in the grass where she'd dropped it. She kicked the handle half-heartedly before crouching to pick it up, snatching the bag she'd dropped earlier and bundling it back inside. Clearly, she had to be more careful than she realized when practicing with it. She would have expected that of a sword, but not a whip; even one with such a razor edge. She'd been more concerned about people in her surroundings than herself.

She couldn't even stem the bleeding by ageing the cut since it was nighttime. Unless she wanted to start the next night with blood pouring down her neck again, she had to hurry and get it stitched up before the sun rose and she shifted forms.

Still, despite her annoyance and the throbbing pain in her ear, Aster was surprised by how pleased she was. She'd made quite a bit of progress, largely on her own, considering the total lack of experience with which she'd began the night. Maybe learning to use a weapon wasn't as bad as she had thought. It didn't mean she'd ever have to kill someone; it was for defense, and besides, a lot more effort went into it than she had thought. It was an art-form all of its own.

Faust was asleep, snoring on a cot in the corner when she entered the dovecote again. She'd need to find the medical facility as soon as she exited into the Outpost. She'd never been there herself, so she didn't know off the top of her head, but she was sure Paul could point her in the right direction. Hopefully he was there at that hour.

As luck would have it, he was; as Aster stepped out of the dovecote and into the Outpost, Paul took one look at her, raised both eyebrows, and pointed down the street. "That way to the Redynn. You can't miss it, they'll be able to patch you up."

It wasn't long to make her way there, and before she knew it, Aster was getting the notch in her ear stitched up and an admonishment to be more careful. The slice was too large to stitch back together, so each edge was being stitched individually. She'd be left with a scar in the form of a notch in her ear, but she didn't particularly mind. It was easy enough to hide with her hair if it ever bothered her, and besides, it wasn't like she was stuck looking like this all the time.

Payment wasn't set, which surprised her; she wasn't sure what an appropriate amount to pay was, and she didn't have much money on her at the moment anyway, so she dug around in her pockets and handed over the last five Mizas she had on her. That seemed to be satisfactory, so she thanked the doctor who had attended her before leaving to go home for the night.

Aster was, quite frankly, exhausted. And her ear still burned, and her arm hurt. Had it been worth it? Now that the euphoria and adrenaline was dying down, she wasn't so sure. But it was a bit late to regret the way she'd spent her night at that point, so instead she just focused on getting home, dropping the bag that held the whip by the door, and flopping face-first onto her bed. She didn't even kick off her boots before she slipped away into sleep.

Word count: 1,087
Total: 3,373

Ledger :
-5 GM for medical treatment

Note about injury: A notched ear; stitches can come out after ~7 days, and the wound will heal in ~3 weeks
Image

The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 519
Words: 529979
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests