Morning Forms (Fanfic)

Welcome to the Warder Yards. This is the place for Warder and Trainee roleplays. Informal non-training interactions take place here, as well as some extended role plays.
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Welcome to the Warder Yards. This is the place for Warder and Trainee roleplays. Informal non-training interactions take place here, as well as some extended role plays. Yet these events may take place at any area of the Tower, and sometimes outside of it, since the images to the left merely serves as inspiration towards the sceneries of your stories. Channelers are always welcome, and might even find his or her bondmate through the threads that are displayed below.
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Billy
"New Spring"
Posts: 10
Joined: June 30th, 2023, 8:40 pm
PC: Sigmund al'Amon

Morning Forms (Fanfic)

Post by Billy » July 4th, 2023, 8:01 pm

A chilly fall wind blew down from the peaks of the Mountains of Mist just as the first rays of sunlight were making their way over the towering heights. The wind continued through the foothills and into the sprawling expanse of the waking Hama Valon. On it moved through the stout stone gates of the Grey Tower causing the suspended eight-colored pennants hung there to begin dancing. Its intensity died down as it raced across the paved pathways of the many gardens and forums of the Tower grounds. When it at last blew into the Warder training yards it only managed to rustle Sigmund's long hair which was bound up by a cord at the back of the young man's head.

The Andoran man was breathing heavily with a sheen of sweat on his face. He put a finger in the high collar of his grey Drin uniform and irritably pulled at it. "Bloody thing." It had been two months since he had come to the Tower and he had still not become accustomed to the thing, it was much more form-fitting than his Whitebridge guard attire. Has it really been two months? The young man was a bit taken aback by this. Two months and he still wasn't sure if he belonged here or not. With the exception of his Gaidin instructors everybody here had been quite kind to him, even if they were a bit distant. What am I even doing here? Two months and ever since he took his first step into the Grey Tower his life had become increasingly busy. Up an hour before dawn, ten minutes for personal hygiene followed by two hours of weapons training beneath the watchful eye of the Master of the Yards. The rest of the day was spent in study, additional weapons training, hand-to-hand combat drills, more study, more drills, and if you were very lucky a turn as a message runner for a Gaidin. Looking around the Yard the sweating youth smiled to himself and adjusted his grip on the training sword in his hands. The uncertainty faded from his mind. The martial training here was quite literally the most sought-after instruction in the settled world.

He was started out of his introspection by a smooth voice with a borderland accent. "Again, and mind your balance! Your aggressive stance may allow for a clean hit, but you cannot strike from an unstable position and hope to be prepared for the counter. And quit picking at your collar!" Sigmund bowed his head to the aging Saldaean Warder that was overseeing the yards that morning. "Yes, Sotma Gaidin." Carefully avoiding his instructor's scowling gaze Sigmund refocused himself on the task at hand. His years spent as an Andoran guardsman had built up what he had previously believed to be a significant skill with the sword. His confidence in his blade work had been humbled during his first day of training by a friendly Gaidin who had walked into the sparring ring, bowed to him, and then proceeded to disarm him and strike him twice in as many moves. The Gaidin, who had never stopped smiling, stepped back, clapped him on the shoulder and said. "You have quick wrists but your footwork is only passing. You're not standing guard anymore Drin." Sigmund smiled inwardly at the memory and then pushed it out of his mind and worked towards that clear inner state that the Gaidin seemed to live in.

The Creeper Embraces The Oak. The young Drin slowly began circling his opponent, a young Tairen Drin named Emare, all the while shifting his guard from high to low and then back again. He had bested Emare in their first and third bouts this morning and the other Drin was red with anger at only having taken Sigmund in the ribs once late in their second round. Sigmund had realized in that round that Emare had trouble adapting to a shifting guard and had changed his approach, adding feints, and parries, and never maintained a static guard or stance. As he continued his circling he angled himself to Emare's left side and slowly closed the distance between them. He attacks the body when pressed on his left. As their blades neared each other Emare grunted slightly and launched forward with an outside slash aimed at Sigmund's torso. The expected attack met The Falling Leaf, the parry causing the momentum of the slash to carry it harmlessly by. Shifting his weight lightly Sigmund brought his blade up in The Wind Blows Over The Wall and smacked the overextended Tairen in the ribs with a hard horizontal slash. The Tairen grunted in pain and stepped back. The red-faced man straightened his uniform coat and spat in the dirt at the Andoran Drin's feet. "Quit doing the same thing!", he let out in a frustrated garble. Sigmund internally feeling nothing at this exchange, smiled at the already angry Tairen. "Try something different then." The angry young Tairen's temper was pushed past its limit by these words. He threw his practice sword down and charged Sigmund. Sigmund shifted his weight and instinctively began The Courtier Taps His Fan a strong overhand attack, effective against an enemy charging from the front. Both young men froze at a commanding below. "Halt!"

The aging Warder had approached both of his students unaware during their sparring session. They both snapped to attention as Sotma strode towards them and then passed them. The Warder kneeled down and almost reverently picked up the discarded training sword. Taking a firm and practiced grip on the mock blade he rounded on his students. "Emare! You could be forgiven for standing still every match, you could be forgiven for allowing your opponent to break your concentration, but you cannot be forgiven for discarding your weapon." The Tairen's face had lost its angry red hue and was slowly draining all other colors as Sotma Gaidin continued to outline the importance of respecting one's weapon. As the tirade died down Sotma sent the chastened Drin to his dormitory for personal reflection and additional training on achieving the Oneness. Sigmund watched the dejected Tairen jog off towards the Drin dormitories carefully keeping his face a mask of indifference. His Gaidin instructor turned and regarded him. "You are picking up the forms quickly, but you certainly did not make a friend here today." The older man gestured at Emare's retreating form. "That one lets his anger take control and end a fight early." Looking back at the Andoran, Sotma sized him up. "You on the other hand need to learn that skill with a blade will count for little if you face the Shadow alone."

Falling into a practiced stance the Warder leveled Emare's training blade at Sigmund. "Blade up Drin, I'll not have you miss half your training session due to lacking an opponent." Sigmund swallowed hard and assumed The Kingfisher Watches the Sky. It was an excellent defensive stance and the young man knew he would be best served reacting to the more skilled swordsman initially. He has the the skill advantage, and the speed advantage, and the strength....Bloody ashes, stop. He has the advantage, just focus! He cleared his mind and fell into the well-practiced routine of separating himself from his emotions. Feeling a calm overtake him he refocused on the older man.

Seeing his student's prepared stance the older man flowed forward. The first bout was over almost before it began. The aged Warder came in, pushed through the young man's defensive posture and Sigmund was left retreating to avoid a direct strike to the chest. Sotma continued to press and in two moves the point of his practice sword was pressed firmly against Sigmund's throat. "Footwork boy, being defensive is fine, but you need to remain flexible. Again!" The young man breathed deeply and stepped back. Flexible. I can be flexible. This time Sigmund dropped into The Ox Lowers His Horns. Pivoting weight onto his back foot he slowly lowered himself down and brought the blade up close to his face, angled downwards towards his instructor. It was an aggressive stance, one which allowed for a myriad of attacks against one's opponent. He nestled all of his thoughts into the back of his mind and let the Oneness overtake him. It had become easier to reach that detached place in recent weeks.

This time when Sotma moved towards him, Sigmund moved forward as well. The Moon on the Water met The Wood Grouse Dances, Parting the Silk met The Swallow Takes Flight, Sigmund almost caught a strong overhand slash to the top of his head as he narrowly dodged Sotma's Stones Falling From the Cliff. He danced back to allow himself some breathing room and then immediately re-engaged the older man with Lightning of Three Prongs. The Warder deflected the first thrust and neatly dodged the second and third slash. Sigmund continued to press the attack before being driven back several steps. For a while the young man was completely absorbed with deflecting his teacher's oncoming attacks. Sigmund used every single trick and technique he had learned during his time as a guardsman and since coming to the Tower and he barely managed to keep his opponents blade from reaching him.

After what seemed like hours the older man neatly disarmed him and the training blade was once again leveled at Sigmund's throat. Sotma eyed him cooly. "Well at least you have shown that you can adapt to your enemy, but you still have a long way to go Drin." The old borderlander lowered his blade. "Your stance still speaks to your time standing guard, but having said that, your defensive movements are improving. You will meet me here every morning an hour before first muster with a dulled blade. I think you know enough not to lop your own foot off. We will train the guardsman out of you or break you trying." Sigmund felt at once elated and apprehensive in equal measures. On one hand, he chaffed at the sleep that had just vanished from his already busy schedule, but on the other here was a living breathing Blademaster willing to give him personal instruction. Even a Whitecloak would jump at this opportunity. The young man smirked and went to attention. "Understood Sotma Gaidin." Letting his smile flow inward the young Andoran thought to himself. It's only sleep!

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