Completed Accepting The Reality Of The World We Live In - Part I

Tazrae furthers her knowledge with members of her Quintet.

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

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

Moderator: Gossamer

Accepting The Reality Of The World We Live In - Part I

Postby Tazrae on August 13th, 2022, 2:30 am

Timestamp: 35th of Summer, 522 A.V.


There was a kind of power in swinging a weapon. Tazrae understood what Gracelin had meant by calling it an extension of her body. And because she was wielding a bard’s weapon, the unity she felt linking her with the blade was almost a tangible thing. She’d promised Gracelin to practice faithfully, creating her wall of edge and defending herself behind it. There were other lessons she learned in her practice.

Her torso, for example, contained organs she couldn’t afford to get damaged. Her lungs, her heart, her kidneys, liver… even her stomach were vulnerable. She wanted children someday, so she had to guard even her ovaries and uterus. Taz created that defensive wall with her machete and made sure her body was behind it as she swung her machete through the forms, minding her breathing, and concentrating on keeping the weapon moving and lethal.

She kept her left arm as her shield, protecting her throat, face and chest. She wanted to take wounds on that arm, not on her body. Her arm between the machete and her torso was also her ‘in between’ protection and she didn’t forget that, moving it offensively against invisible enemies as she trained.

Each fight with her machete wasn’t a battle or a contest between her and someone else. It was, according to Gracelin, to be a timed event where she didn’t counter her oponent’s moves, but rather an opportunity to see how quickly she could disarm or disable her opponent.

If she couldn’t do either, death was also an option. She reminded herself in quick curt sentences in her mind that she wasn’t to drag it out. Be quick. Aim for the hand that’s holding the weapon to disarm an opponent. Cut fingers off. Cut limbs off. Cut a head off. Never hesitate. Blood is good, especially if it wasn’t her own. In that way, Taz could embrace her more feral aspect, fighting for keeps instead of fighting for technique. The dead don’t care how pretty a fighter looked. They were dead.

Gracelin wasn’t her only teacher though. Buraga had come around more than once and given her some pointers. She incorporated his teaching into her practice as well. He’d made some valid points. While Gracelin was an elegant fighter with a machete, Buraga advocated quick and dirty fighting, which was the style Gracelin had pushed Tazrae too. But Buraga’s approach was different. He had shown her how to lead with her empty hand, keeping her machete off her opponent’s view and notice until the very last minute when it might have been a mistake.

By leading with her empty hand, she kept her enemies focus on the hand that wasn’t deadly and off the one holding the machete. It was true that Sweet Refrain was larger than most machete’s, and more like a short sword, but people had a tendency to focus on the threat immediately before them rather than the threat immediately behind the threat immediately in front of them.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Accepting The Reality Of The World We Live In - Part I

Postby Tazrae on August 13th, 2022, 2:34 am

His words had been clear. “Capture and hold your opponent’s attention on her free hand. Have Sweet Refrain out where she could use her, but not in a direct line of sight. Partially conceal her by holding her close to her side. Once she engaged, held their attention, and brought them right up to her, she could then bring Sweet Refrain into the fight and hit them repeatedly. Machetes were bloody gory weapons that killed quick.

But she had to get her enemies close enough, and the lure of a vulnerable unarmed or unthreatening but defensive victim could do that. Buraga claimed half a fight was psychological, and she had to be smarter and faster than the person she fought. That meant not glancing down at her weapon or giving the enemy any tells as to what she planned to do. Acting, in that way, was good, because if she could let fear or vulnerability cross her face, she was softening her opponent and opening them up to take her less seriously than she should be trained.

Taz whirled, sweating profusely in the jungle humidity, bringing Sweet Refrain up and around after faking at her training dummy with her empty hand. She practiced, faithfully, not giving away the machete’s presence or even giving any attention to her armed hand. The show belonged when she was training these moves, to her empty hand… the hand that gathered attention while the other hand killed.

She whirled the blade, moving through the forms after her ruse would realistically be up, and let her muscles take the brunt of her training, getting used to moving the blade in a controlled and elegant manner. As she moved, she kept her body aligned as she’d been taught, presenting as small of a profile as she could, angling her strikes against the training dummy in such a way as she maximized her balance due to her stance and minimized the amount of flesh she allowed her enemy access too as she fought them.

She concentrated on her weapon, hearing Buraga’s voice in her head as he had barked instructions to her. “Focus, Tazrae! Never drop your weapon. A lost weapon means a dead fighter. Don’t be deceived by an opponent trying to pull what you are trying to pull, and that is a distraction by say yelling, waving a hand, stomping a foot… don’t fall for your own ruses that are designed to give you an advantage. You can’t wait for opportunities. You have to create advantages and opportunities.” He’d said, and so she’d listened.

He’d followed the words by several series of distractions she’d fell for immediately and that had lead to him just pounding her flesh with the flat of a wooden machete and later that of a wooden dagger so she was bruised. But as he said, bruises were better than dead.

Death was not something she could come back from. Bruises were.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Accepting The Reality Of The World We Live In - Part I

Postby Tazrae on August 13th, 2022, 2:37 am

Buraga had also taught her to use what she had. If she could grab a fist full of mud and fling it as she fought, she should do so. If she could catch a blade with the loose front of her shirt, and expose some flesh to distract an opponent, then she should do so. Use everything she had, that was Buraga’s take-home. He’d explained to her how fighting in the city was different. How she could get bumped in a crowd not to get felt up on a street, but to get a knife between her ribs for the sum in her coin purse. But here, in the jungle, the battle was more honest. It was for territory or to eat or to gain something the other didn’t have. There were power struggles within power struggles in the city, but here mostly things were clear cut.

Taz lifted her machete, swung it in a controlled thrust, and whirled it around her mind completely on the weapon and her control of it. In the jungle, the predator wanted the prey to go down fast and easy so there would be minimal damage to the predator. They wanted the wounded, the weak, or the aged. Tazrae was none of the three, at least not at the moment, and she was going to do all she could to be sure she didn’t fall into those categories. She didn’t want to be vulnerable and her bond with Sweet Refrain was that thing that will be able to help her be strong. And she was going to learn as much about it as she could… and practice… practice like this as hard as she could.

Gracelin had taught her that fighting against a target got her to utilize her four-step movement and four-angle cutting system to strike at the target. She danced around it, her body growing used to the machete as an addition to her arms, training her breathing she was learning from Zayne and fighting hard to make the weapon an extension of herself. She was starting to understand the rhythm, balance, and coordination it took to keep the blade moving. She wanted her mind to not have to consciously think of her motions as a person wielding a machete. She wanted the machete, instead, to be second-natured.

Building a series of targets to stand in for people wasn’t hard. Tazrae had a plethora of driftwood to choose from, most of which were already a bit man-shaped. She had selected three different sizes of tree trunks with the root systems still attached. Most of the big trees that washed up on Syka’s shores came after storms where whole banks had eroded away and dropped the trees growing there into the sea in their entirety.

The trees tossed carelessly from collapsed shoreline easily lost their leaves and most of their smaller branches tossed about in the sea… but they almost aways kept their bigger branches and root systems partially intact. Most washed ashore that way, worn smooth by the waves after having drifted for ages in the Suvan.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Accepting The Reality Of The World We Live In - Part I

Postby Tazrae on August 13th, 2022, 2:39 am

Taz had borrowed one of Randal’s big axes and had chopped the trees she’d searched for either removing the root system or the branches. She always cut them at the rough man or woman-shaped sizes, left them big enough to bury and sink into the ground, and removed enough roots and branches so only ‘arms’ and ‘legs’ remained that she could strike at. The chopping had been tedious and back-breaking, testing her muscles to the limits.

But moving the flotsam turned training dummies up to Garden Beach and her training area had been easy enough. Harness, Ixam, and food motivation had gotten the things where they needed to go. The Ixam had also helped her dig holes in the ground large enough to maneuver the dummies into much like fence posts and then tamp around them sealing them tight. Duncan had eventually wandered by and stoned them in with Reimancy at her polite request.

Once made, they were ready to fight. She was an Innkeeper that was attempting to turn herself into a warrior, not just a caregiver, but a weapon herself so she could defend that which she cared for. Tazrae felt it was the right thing to do. And so she learned, slowly, but surely, that she could find her rhythm, balance, and coordination fighting enemies of dead wood.

She made it a point to keep her blade and her feet flowing while darting in to strike with her forward foot on the same side. She repeated the practices over and over, building an instinctive combat memory and action/reaction sequence that would help her in a real battle. Or at least that was the hope.

Another side benefit to having the training dummies was that as she swung her machete around and kept her footwork in sync, she built up her stamina, endurance and more importantly gave her a sense of time…. meaning how long it would take her to get tired in a fighting situation. That time wasn’t as long as she suspected, or perhaps hoped, but each training day extended that time out a bit longer. Combat fatigue was a real factor and she didn’t want to lose her life to it.

So she trained, and kept training, working on her grips, her footwork, and even seeking out Gracelin when she needed a partner and what Gracelin called a “Teacher Tune-up.” Gracelin claimed all students developed bad habits training unsupervised and without a partner to call them on their weak spots, dropped guards, and poor footwork. So for every two or three days Tazrae practiced, she’d find Gracelin and seek her “Teacher Tune-up” to get her back on tract and have all her newly developing bad habits countered or at least pointed out.

Those sparring sessions taught her the most. The ‘tune-up’ was a real thing. For one thing, Tazrae learned quickly what Sweet Refrain’s ‘kill range’ was… or rather the distance at which she could touch her opponent and that same opponent could touch her. For weapons to work, unlike magic, Taz had to establish and violate the kill range of her machete repeatedly. It was different for each enemy depending on their speed, arm length, weapon type, and flexibility. Taz swore it was ‘willpower’ too, but Gracelin had only laughed and shook her head at Tazrae’s insistence on adding that to the list of what defined the kill range.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Accepting The Reality Of The World We Live In - Part I

Postby Tazrae on August 13th, 2022, 2:41 am

She was also able to practice her 4-step with her 4 angles against her training partner, learning firsthand how to counter and anticipate someone fighting in the same style. She would often move slightly out of range, run her 4 counts, and use that to reset any shaken confidence or confused misdirection Gracelin threw at her. The woman was wicked with a machete, though Taz was slowly finding she was able to match her stroke for stroke, and sometimes break through her guard. She never actively cut her teacher, but the two women tilted their razor-sharp blades at the last minute and delivered painful slaps to each other with the sides of their blades.

Even when they didn’t make contact, which wasn’t often – Gracelin believed in head-on teaching and trading blows with actual live-blade weapons whenever possible – Taz was learning how to move with a living opponent. It also gave her a boost up with her flotsam army because after watching Gracelin counter and then act on Tazrae with her machete, she could more clearly visualize what her stoic wooden practice dummies would be doing that she’d parry in her mind when she trained alone.

Gracelin taught Taz to move slightly into range, letting blades contact each other, get used to the feel of blows, then move out of range to regroup. She also taught Taz to keep her eyes moving, and to not fixate on her opponent which invariably left her blind to other dangers – trip hazards, other enemies moving into the scene, accomplices acting or reacting.

Countering the naturally crossing X patterns the ladies found themselves battling in, also taught Taz to view Gracelin like she was staring at herself in a reversed mirror. She mimicked her stances, her motions, and the smooth way she moved from one form to the other carefully and deliberately without any hesitation of motion. It was battle, but in so many ways it was beautiful, and it was teaching Tazrae’s body to move differently than she’d ever moved before.

Yoga was helping that as well.

Gracelin’s attack patterns with the machete were varied and rarely repeat themselves in the same half-bell of training. Any of them Taz didn’t understand or she moved too fast for her student to follow got repeated if Taz requested it be so. Gracelin wasn’t a slave-driver in that manner, forcing Taz to study the motions and miss the bigger battle picture in doing so. Keen attention needed to be paid to their fights, but not so focused that the scene around them faded and all that mattered was the blades forming an X pattern as they struck, the two women moving in tandem, fighting like two extensions of one being.

Very quickly Tazrae learned if Gracelin attacked with an Angle 1, then she could negate the Angle 1 with an Angle 1 to block the incoming strike. It unfolded a ton of strategies that became somewhat intuitive as Tazrae forced herself and her body to get used to the flow and the motions of battle. She quickly learned how it felt to make contact and be in that kill range where she could be touched.

It also helped Tazrae gain confidence and feel oddly comfortable with a machete or another type of blade coming at her. That was the weirdest thing to Tazrae… how easily she adapted to the violence and how taking blows became second nature and not a crisis or some sort of demonstration of her weaknesses.

Words: 2642
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Accepting The Reality Of The World We Live In - Part I

Postby Tazrae on August 25th, 2022, 5:21 pm

Grading!


Tazrae –

Machete +5, Psychology +4, Brawling +1, Construction +1, Tactics +3

Machete: Extension Of One’s Body, Machete: Understanding Vulnerable Body Areas, Machete: Steel Wall – Centering Body Behind It, Machete: Left Arm Protective of Body – Protecting Throat Face And Chest, Machete: Each Spar/Battle A Timed Event To See How Fast One Can Disarm Or Disable, Machete: Quick And Dirty, Machete: Fake By Leading w/Left Hand, Machete: Keep Weapon Moving And Out Of Direct Line Of Sight, Psychology: Half The Fight Is Psychology, Machete: Create As Small Of A Profile As Possible, Machete: Lost Or Dropped Weapon = Dead, Psychology: Creating Opportunities and Advantages In Battle, Brawling: Pair Outside Materials with Weapon (Dirt, Dust, Water, Hard Objects), Psychology: Understand The Psychology Of A Predator, Psychology: Psychology of Prey, Psychology Of Interaction Of How Predators Pick Prey – Min Damage To Predator For Max Payoff Of Food Or Resources, Construction: How To Make Practice Dummies, Tactics: Keep Eyes Moving – Not Solely Focused On Enemy, Tactics: Move Into Range To Fight, Move Out Of Range To Regroup, Machete: Must Get Used To The Feel Of Blows Being Traded, Tactics: Tunnel Vision = Blindness To Outside Dangers Such as Enemies Moving Into Range, etc., Tactics: Recognizing Angles Of Attack To Counter With Same Angle Of Attack, Tactics: What Is Kill Range
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Shiress and 0 guests