Completed An Ember Adrift From The Bonfire III

A supplimental story from "The Length Of A Day."

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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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An Ember Adrift From The Bonfire III

Postby Tazrae on October 29th, 2022, 2:19 pm

Timestamp: 45th of Fall, 522 A.V.


The Kois Quas Dominion : Gold Lake (second season)


Tazrae’s whip lesson continued. She admired the hunting whip in her hand, the one she’d just been handed, and noted that the plaiting on the handle was different than the plaiting on the thong. “Why are the two plaits different? Just decorative?” She asked, not seeing a true reason for it.

Her trainer nodded. “Decorative. It’s a demarcation of lineage. That whip you hold was braided by a Kois. They use a 24/12 plait. The first number is the count on the handle. The second number is the thong plait. Other families use other patterns. You can identify who the owner of the whip is by the plait count. Your father would never, for example, use your mother’s whip. It’s just not done.” He said sincerely.

Tazrae’s head came up sharply. “You knew them?” She asked, her gaze meeting his.

The golden-eyed man raised an eyebrow but then nodded. “Of course, I know them.” He said with a frown on his face. “Did someone tell you they were dead? You speak of them in the past tense. That would be incorrect. They are very much alive. In fact, because they are alive, the Kois and the Lisuli Tribes might just survive what’s been happening to them. They are my wife’s parents. I am Kamrae’s lifemate. She is, I believe, your sister.” He said without emotion.

Taz nodded really slowly, indicating her hesitant understanding, fighting to conceal her shock. Kami was married. And her full name was Kamrae? There was so much Tazrae didn’t know about her sister. And now she wondered if she had squandered the time she could have been getting to know her sister. She wanted to tell him she’d met Kami, that the woman was safe in Syka. But she wasn’t sure how safe the information was with him. Taz knew the man could keep a secret, but she didn’t know if he had feelings for his wife or not… and the situation of their relationship. It could have been any sort of situation, considering how the Tribes were, and not all of them pleasant. But he’d specifically said lifemate. What did that mean? To her, it seemed like it might indicate an emotional attachment. But she was poorly versed in Benshira traditions, so it could be anything at all really.

And just like that, the moment was over. He was back to being an all-business all-professional cold calculating teacher. Watching him go from a more gentle concerned person to the teacher she knew was like watching a cold front blow in over Riverfall’s cliffs. Taz internally sighed but schooled her expression into impassive emotion but with a mild interest as he carried on. He continued the lesson, swapping out whips again, his entire demeanor that of a detached professional.

Once more the hunting whip was traded out for yet another whip. This one she took gingerly and turned over and over in her hands. It had a massive handle, nearly four times the size of the normal bullwhip she’d just gotten her first lessons with. “What’s this one?” She asked, looking up at him. “This looks like…a stock whip that has been way overdone. It has similar features to the stockwhip but this handle…. It must be five feel long…. nearly as long as I am tall.” She said, eyes wide. “The keeper like this means it has a replaceable thong. You must wear out thongs cracking this thing.” She said thoughtfully and then turned it over and over again in her hands as if to see if it would reveal its secrets.
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."
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An Ember Adrift From The Bonfire III

Postby Tazrae on October 29th, 2022, 2:21 pm

Her trainer actually laughed. “It’s a Bullock Whip.” He said, waiting for Tazrae’s reaction.

She clamped down on the humor, the anger in her still simmering just below the surface. There was no room in her head for mirth. “As in balls?” She asked, her voice quiet. She had no idea why this thing would be called that.

Her trainer nodded. “Exactly like that. It’s the largest and most unwieldy of all the whips out there. You will literally use just about every muscle in your trunk and arms to crack this thing.” He said. “It’s designed to echo for miles. It has a huge deafening crack to it. You will wear yourself out quickly using this type of whip. It’s actually far too large for you to comfortably use. I can… but it's just this once.” He said, stepping forward, retrieving the whip from her and stepping back, doing a half turn, and then snaking his whole body out with both hands on the whip and cracking it. It took a tremendous amount of effort for the man to bring the whip up and crack it. But the sound was deafening. Taz immediately clamped her hands over her ears and bent forward as the room rocked with the sound. It took what felt like chimes for the sound to die completely out. Taz thought, if when this was ever over, and she survived this imprisonment, she would forever to her dying day remember the crack of that whip.

With a shudder, she watched him replace the whip. Then he pulled out an array of what looked like brand-new bullwhips. They were in all different colors, yet they all had the 24/12 pattern of weave, and they looked to be different lengths. He walked over to a long table against a far wall that held other weapons and spread them out after pushing the bludgeoning weapons already there aside. “Come look at these. Pick one out for yourself. They are all new, never before used whips.” He added, laying the five whips out and stepping aside to watch Tazrae make her selection.

She approached the table and walked down its length. As with any weapon, she could care less what it looked like. The patterning didn’t matter at all. If she ever got back to the jungle, she knew she’d place a bright red or yellow ribbon on the wrist strap of any of the whips she chose so if she dropped it, she’d be able to find it in the vegetation of the jungle contained.

So instead of selecting by color, she walked down and picked each whip up by the handle. Two felt immediately too big. A third felt too thin. Two of the remaining whips felt comfortable in her grip. She pushed the others aside and put the two that felt the best side by side. Both were made of rich leather. One was black and white, with the pale strands of leather bleached out while the other strands were dyed a deep black. It was a striking pattern but it didn’t fit the way she saw a weapon being. In fact, the black and white whip looked to be about ten or twelve feet long. That was way too long, Tazrae decided.
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: 1245
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An Ember Adrift From The Bonfire III

Postby Tazrae on October 29th, 2022, 2:23 pm

Instead she selected the other one. It felt good in her grip and was a rich brown that would blend in to the rest of her gear. She uncoiled it, testing its handle for a moment, and nodded. It was eight feet, she was sure of it, and not nearly as much to handle as the twelve-foot whip. “This one… this one seems perfect.” Taz said, turning and holding out the whip to the man for his inspection. He took it from her, coiled it up, and unfurled it. He nodded, testing the handle and the balance.

“What made you select this one?” He asked, curious.

“There were only two of them that handles that fit my hand and felt balanced. One was the fancy black and white one. One was this one. The black is pretty, but its to garish for a weapon designed to kill. Plus its at least ten feet long… maybe longer. I would need a lot more skill to handle that one than I would this one. It’s plain, but really comfortable. It’s well balanced and only eight foot long.” She said, indicating the whip in his hands. “I love its color too. It’s rich but plain, understated.” She added, her approval of the color important to her.

“Good.” He said thoughtfully. “Nice choice. That is the whip I would have picked for you myself. Now, tell me what’s wrong with it.” He asked her, then glanced at the whip and shook his head.

Image


“What’s wrong with it?” Tazrae asked suddenly, frowning. She wanted to like the whip. She wanted it to make her happy. Three dampeners later and she finally had wants. This was an itch she wanted to get scratched. “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. It looks perfectly weighted, well plaited, and has all the parts as you’ve described them needing to be.” She added, wide-eyed and a bit worried.

“It’s not what you are thinking, Tazrae. There’s only one thing wrong with this whip. It is a masterwork. But you need to understand… it's new. That’s what’s exactly wrong with it. All these whips have the same problem ultimately. They need to be broken in.” He stated plainly. “And I’ll have to show you how to do that as well… because it's on your own time.” He added, wanting her to understand.

Taz nodded. “Alright. I can understand that. How do I break a whip in?” She asked him abruptly.

The golden-eyed man look thoughtful and then suddenly smiled. “Truthfully, there is no quick way. You will be busy breaking that whip in for quite a while since it takes time and usage.” He said with a dry voice as if this was the most uninteresting conversation he’d yet had with her. “That is a good quality whip. You can tell because it's quite stiff and straight, and since the braids are braided tightly, they are made with high-quality leather. Low-quality leather will never pull tight. If you break it in slowly, it will last for decades and longer. A really good well-made whip will take time to slowly relax into its role. Over time, it will develop its own personality and have a unique feel so you can pick it out of a basket of whips just by the way it flexes in your hand and the way it cracks.” He added. “They slowly wake up… like any weapon. And gain a life of their own.” He added.
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.
 
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An Ember Adrift From The Bonfire III

Postby Tazrae on October 29th, 2022, 2:25 pm

Then the tall golden-eyed man continued. For the hundredth time, Tazrae wished to know his name. It was yet another need that was awakening in her as he added more and more of the null plates against the stones at her neck. Her mind wandered and she missed what he said until he snapped his fingers in front of her nose and continued in his same bored detached voice. “But you are responsible for making that awakening happen. How are you going to do this?” He asked, tilting his head.

Tazrae studied the whip in her hand, turning it over and over. “I suspect I’m just going to properly use it. It doesn’t seem right to bend it or stretch it or get it wet or treat it with leather conditioner… not after all you’ve told me. The only thing that makes sense is that I use it.” She said, glancing at him. “I’m right, aren’t I? And after this lesson… I use it?” She repeated.

He nodded.

“And the other sorts of whips? Do they get broke in the same way?” She asked, curious, but really only concerned with the beautiful bullwhip in her hand.

“It doesn’t matter if you have a bullwhip, a snake whip, a stock whip, or anything else… it's all the same. Use it. To break it in properly it must be used over and over and over again with perfect careful technique and attention to detail.” He added. Then he moved to stand beside her and then examined the way she held the whip in her dominant hand. “Very good. It’s important to hold the whip correctly.” He said softly. The man stood close, far closer than usual, and Taz turned her head as much as the constricting metal around her neck allowed for flexibility. “Feet need to be planted shoulder-width apart.” He said, reaching out with a booted foot and kicking her feet wider. Taz moved as he directed, letting her position her body as he saw fit.

“You know how to shake a hand? Firmly but with purpose? That is how you must hold this whip. You shake hands with it. The starting position should have the whip untangled and unbunched or bound, trailing straight back behind you. You want it perpendicular to your hips. It should lay in waiting behind you, ready to strike at the response to a flick of your wrist.” The man said, reaching down and adjusting the whip so it did as he suggested, trailing behind her rather than coiling down beside her on the floor. “Make sure you aren’t going to catch the whip on your clothing, and so it won’t run up against your hip or leg as you snap it. Such things will disrupt the flow of energy down the whip and lessen the power of your whip. It only has power if it's unfettered.” He reminded her, then moved on.

Then, moving to stand directly behind her and stepping off to her left side away from her dominant hand, he reached out and took her arm. “This is a forward whip crack. Hold it firmly in your hand, and bring your arm straight up as if you are pointing at the stars in the sky. Then keep your elbow locked on the up motion, keeping your arm straight as you do so. To crack the whip, let your elbow bend naturally and snap your arm down firmly in front of you, keeping the whip clear of your body.” He added, then reached forward, grasped her hand with his big one, and brought the whip through the motion he’d just described, moving her as if she were some life-sized puppet. He repeated the action multiple times. Then, when she was relaxed and confident, he released her hand and stepped further to the side to let her practice.
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: 1245
Words: 1808031
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
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An Ember Adrift From The Bonfire III

Postby Tazrae on October 29th, 2022, 2:26 pm

He nodded as she brought the whip through its most basic motion. She did it again and again, gaining confidence and getting a feel for the leather in her hand. She repeated what he’d said in her mind. “Start from here… always leave the whip behind me and to the side of your body. Don’t let the whip hit me.” She thought over and over until he distracted her out of the mindset.

“You must repeatedly bring the whip up straight in the air. That way you are managing the whole thong, the popper, everything and it's ultimately in your complete control. You never want it risking tangling or being stepped on, Tazrae. And once you get the hang of this basic motion, you’ll get the hang of keeping your whip in fluid motion so that it doesn’t have to rest on the ground. The weight of your arm falling should do most of the work to transmit energy down the length of the leather to give it the snap at the end that makes it crack.” He explained and frowned as Tazrae tensed up under his scrutiny. He turned, and walked away, giving her space to figure out it out.

He was satisfied hearing the correct snap of the whip after he wasn’t so intently focused on her.

“Follow the natural motion of your arm. Relax and let it be an extension of your limbs.” He urged, reaching the far wall and turning to pace back, careful to stay out of the direct line of her whip. “So… the reason the whip cracks is because one part of the whip is traveling in one direction along a straight plain and the other end of the whip is suddenly changing direction. That’s where it does all the damage and can take out an eye or rend flesh off the bone. Whips are destructive weapons or can be used with gentle finesse. It all depends on the wielder and what their skill is and what they have in mind. You can also easily disarm foes if you are skilled enough and close enough without the blade ever touching the leather of your whip.” He added, striding forward.

“Give it a few more shots and I’ll explain a few more concepts to you.” He added, intending to introduce her to a half dozen beginner moves and the concept of planes in the reality of her world. People who Mastered the whip didn’t do so without understanding geometry and the very basics of physics. He’d taken the first steps by putting the weapon in her hand. Now, all he could do was pass on the knowledge and hope she took to it. There wasn’t a lot a young woman with a whip, even with an infant in her arms, couldn’t do.

Words: 2832
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: 1245
Words: 1808031
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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