Solo Swinging at shadows III

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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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Swinging at shadows III

Postby Cleon on May 25th, 2022, 2:04 pm

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61st of Spring

Before he could enjoy that however he settled down at his desk to copy what had been written in the Guidebook. He didn’t bother trying his hand at the illustrations, instead he just worked on copying what had been written down as legibly as he could manage. Of course, he was unfamiliar with writing so even going slow his words had a wobbly broken appearance as they ran into one another along the course of his sentences. He scribbled through several examples, trying again and again until finally he thought about tracing them. Of course that involved him awkwardly maneuvering his blank book so that the page could fit over the one in the Guide book and before he put his pen to the paper he hesitated, briefly worried that the ink might bleed through onto the book below and ruin the results.

Worried he took just a little bit of ink on a fresh quill and then hesitated over the corner of the Guidebook before it looked like a drop was about to touch the page it slid off before he could do anything about it, and dropped down onto the page. Surprisingly instead of soaking into the page, the drop just slide right off to fall against the wood of the table where it started to soak in gradually into the wood grain. Well that was a bit of relief he considered as he tried laying the books page over the other one again. Pressing the mostly blank page down, he saw a shadow of the words underneath and dipping his quill, he set about slowly tracing the letters below.

Of course this was not a perfect solution. His letters still ran as he was unused to dipping the appropriate amount of ink onto the tip of the pin which either lead to it running out halfway through or conversely pooling in unsightly ways across the page. He tried to spot check the runs with the edge of his finger before they really got going but only ended up making more of a mess. Eventually after two or three pages of messed up results, he managed to get a passage of barely legible writing onto a page by tracing it letter for letter before finally finishing. Then he blew across the page for a chime before leaving the book open to dry for a bit. The Guidebook he returned to his backpack before he stood up from his desk and stretched his arms out as far as he could managed, curling his toes as he did so.

Looking out the window and seeing their was yet a little daylight left, he decided to take his training dummy out for a spin. He’d left it at the foot of his bed, and hauling over his shoulder, he carefully maneuvered the long post out of his door and through the hallways of the Inn. Then fortunately there was only one more set of doors to get past before he was out on the beach in front of the inn. He didn’t pause to set up right there though. Instead he continued further along the beach until he was closer to the dock before he drove the stake into the sand. It took a few tries but eventually he got it so it didn’t tilt much to the side, and would stand up on its own without him holding it.

Then he looked down to the bastard sword strapped to his hip, and undid his belt to lay in in the shade of a nearby palm along with his bag. As much as he wanted to give the sword a few swings, he had started something earlier with the machete that he intended to finish now that he had an actual target to practice against. First he held the machete straight out so that it was in line with the rest of his arm as he slowly rotated his arm around in a wide circle. Then bending his arm at the elbow, he shifted his feet so his left was pointed to the side in front of him while his right was only slightly angled to his right. Facing the target, he swung overhead and across, striking the dummy in the corner or the cross.

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Swinging at shadows III

Postby Cleon on May 30th, 2022, 12:43 am

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It reverberated with a thunk, biting shallowly into the wood as the blade vibrated in his grasp. Cleon held on, and grasping the long handle of the machete with two hands pulled with all of his might. With a bit of help from his brace, he managed to pull the blade free as he stumbled back a few steps. Then he relaxed his grip, switching it so that he was holding the machete in one hand, letting the tip of it drag quietly across the ground as he collected himself. He tried to see this target as an enemy, recalling earlier what it was like for someone to really come after him. How scary and confusing that feeling had been. How overwhelming. Taking in a deep breath, he tried to dismiss those thoughts, that nervous anxiety that bubbled up like a hotspring inside of him, making his hands slightly jittery. He flexed his fingers across the handle of the machete, gripping it so tightly that his knuckles went white. The anxiety wasn’t going away, but at least it wasn’t growing anymore. Deep regular breaths. Stop thinking those thoughts. IN. Out. The nose felt better so he kept his focus concentrated there, breathing in through it and out. There was something about the fresh salty smell of the breeze that came off of the sea to his right that was almost peaceful. It helped him feel more certain, less like he was losing control.

Flexing the muscles in his arm he took a step forward and slashed across at about breast height. The blade didn’t sink in this time but skipped off the wood with a hiss and a thunk. He brought it back across the other way towards the ‘legs’ of the dummy, extended too far and the middle of his machete blade stuck fast in the side of the dummy. Grimacing, Cleon again grasped the handle with both hands before pulling it away and taking a few steps back this time to collect himself. He didn’t have to be in an actual fight to know that he was doing poorly, in fact he probably wouldn’t have got in as many strikes as he did against a real opponent. The first time his blade got trapped and he would be swiftly overpowered by a coordinated foe. He tossed the blade onto the sand frustrated as he then kicked up a patch, partially spraying his bag.

Rolling his eyes, he walked over to brush his bag off and heard a quiet, muffled voice coming from within. Releasing another deep sigh, Cleon dug in through the top of his pack to grasp the book gingerly by the top, and then flipped the leather tome around so its face was well.. Facing him. The bright green orb blinked open as its small toothy mouth curled into a snarl.

“What gives? Tossing sand into your bag for fun are we?” The book growled, and shaking his head, Cleon set it down on the ground propped up slightly against the palm tree.

“It was an accident. Give me a break.” He said exasperated, still not sure about what to think about this magical tome he had acquired around the same time as he’d come back with the Guide Book. Unfortunately, unlike the Guide Book this one talked but only did so when it was time to berate him for something that he was obviously just doing to displease it. Honestly, he was starting to wonder why he had even picked up the petching thing if it was just going to verbally assault him all the time.

“Look, I’m brushing the sand off. You don’t really have any on you anyways so I don’t know why you are complaining. It was mostly on the outside of my bag, how did you even feel that?” Cleon kept the questions coming to avoid letting the book get a word in but eventually he ran out of things to say as he was brushing the sides of his bag off.

“I am very sensitive to that sort of thing. Honestly, with this humid environment and your reek permeating that bag, you’re lucky I don’t complain more. I have every right to you know. You took me from my brothers in a nice, comfortable, and most of all quiet library to what? Store me with you unmentionables. Do you even know anything about Djed?” The book snarled, and almost looked like it was going to snap at him for a moment there. Cleon took a step backwards just in case.


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Swinging at shadows III

Postby Cleon on May 30th, 2022, 12:44 am

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There was that word again. Djed. He felt like he should know it, and recalled hearing something along those lines back when he first acquired these books. Something involving a young ethereal woman in a place that was rotting around him. Honestly he might have just considered it to be a fever dream if he hadn’t came away from it with these magical books. Something had happened out in the jungle, he just wasn’t sure what. Djed did ring a bell though. Could it be self referential? Could it be magic?

“Magic?” He asked cautiously.

The book rolled its eye. It actually rolled its eye before it guffawed.

“Magic? Is Djed Magic?? My boy you are helpless. How the petch did I ever end up in your possession. I must have done something to piss off someone if this is were I am to end up. I really can’t believe Talia let you of all people take me from the library.” The book continued.

Talia. Library. Reclaimed Knowledge. It was starting to come back to him. Pieces at least. He couldn’t remember how he had come there but he distinctly remembered talking with Talia about Djed ships. Djed that was supposedly behind everything or something like that.

“Well she did. And I know about Djed. It was used to fuel djedships. Its like, the fuel for everything.” He said, ending less confidently than he started which only made the book laugh harder.

“Oh I see. You must have amused Talia. That’s what this is, it has to be. Alright. Funny joke. Now take me back!” The book exclaimed, and Cleon shook his head.

“I can’t take you back.” Cleon said.

“Why the petch not?” The book growled.

“Because one I don’t know the way back. Two the jungle is dangerous, and three your in my possession now so deal with it.” Cleon shot back, and before the book could utter another word he stuffed it back into his backpack and picked up his machete. Striding back over to the wooden dummy, he snapped his arm back and swung hard at the dummy, burying its edge in the wood with a satisfying clunk. It didn’t really make him feel any better but he managed to play out some of the tension that build around his shoulders from listening to the book spout off about him.

Drawing the machete off the wooden dummy with both hands, he winded back up for an upper cut strike that hit the dummy low just below where the wood crossed. It was too close to sink in so the blade just bounced off before sliding up to come to a complete stop. He slapped at the post with the flat of the blade then took a few steps back before thrusting ahead with the tip of the machete to strike against one of the arms. While less useful for clearing foliage he kind of like the way it felt to strike like that. It was kind of aggressive which felt nice for a man who was used to being passive for so long. A draw back of being a sneak thief for much of his life. It wasn't the kind of life he was very proud of and perhaps that is what truly irked him about the talking book. It made him feel like a thief and his petching memory wasn't sound enough to be sure that the book wasn't right about him. He was pretty sure he didn't steal the book but it was hard to know for certain. Maybe if he could find a way back to the library of Reclaimed Knowledge he could ask Talia to make sure.

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