Sentinel Training

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Sentinel Training

Post  Scribbler on Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:21 pm

The sun begins to slide gently from the sky, sinks into the grey horizon. The city turns gold for a while, and then fades into dusk. A lamp lighter walks the main street, routine in his manner, while people begin to make their way home. Others seem to be on their way out, either to a later hour of work, or perhaps to one of the taverns. The guards change as the night-shift arrives to relieve them for the evening.

Hans waits in the shadows for the one who sent the message, maintaining a view down all avenues of approach. The tavern dwellers and other pedestrians not noticing the man blending into the night.

After a while, a guardsman stands under the gate arch. He glances about, but doesn't see what he's looking for.
Taking a standing stance, he looks as if he will be staying for a while.

Hans walks up behind the guardsman, as quietly as he can, the sounds of Amran masking his footsteps. He speaks when he is right behind the guardsman.
"I take it you're my summoner."

"Gah!" exclaims the guard, jumping out of his skin, as his hand flies to his hip, grasping the hilt of his blade.
Spinning to face the rogue who'd caught him off guard, his eyes focus on the figure, and he relaxes, a little.
"Ay haff noht summon'd any man." he says, somewhat disgruntled.
After a short pause, he adds. "Howev'r ay du haff a message."

"Another one? If this is a pun on the old tale of Hans and Greta..." He rubs his brow. "What is your message, Guardsman?"

"Hans andh Greta?" he murmurs, confused. "Luuk, frankly dhis maykes leetle sens tu me, buht dhis is wat ay am told: Go east teel road forks. Tayk ryte. Walk dhis road, dhen when yu reach twin rocks, follow deer path to pondh. Wayt here."

"Old tale. Who told you to tell me this, exactly? I don't like being sent on wild goose chases."
Hans prepares to leave, but waits for the Guards answer.

"A man kame tuday. Ay didh noht know heem. He was as tall as ay am. Darrk beard. Brown cloak. Leadher armour. Did noht see hes fayce. He toldh me somewun would be here, tunyt. Andh that dhey would want tu know dhis. He payd me fore my trubble."

Hans sighs and turns toward the road. "Well, thanks for the directions anyway." He strides off down the road, following the directions. Once at the pond, he picks a particularly shadowy spot between some trees and waits.

The sky, having been overcast for most of the day, began to clear a little around sunset, but clouds still remain. The moon is not yet full, but passed it's half point of the month. This meant that the night was not pitch dark, and there was a little light from above to see by. Though there wasn't much more than a breeze tonight, the higher sky was skidding past. The clouds that skittered by made odd shadows that fluttered past. Combined with the vague movement of the tree, it made for a strangely fluid feeling.

A small deer peeked out of the undergrowth, and stepped cautiously towards the water's edge. It sipped gently for a while, and then walked a small distance away, to crop the grass. A dull flash of white passed silently across the clearing, as an owl flew by.


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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Hans Yksin on Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:59 am

Hans, figuring he's going to be there for a while, sits and takes a meditative position. He closes his eyes and tries to listen to the world around him with more than just his ears. He finds himself in the quiet ministrations of the wind, and as he listens to the world around him, he meditates over recent events, and recent failings. He loses himself in quiet regret over his failings and mistakes. His accidental release of the Vampire Lord, which he'd worked so hard to hide from the others. His failing to properly end the murdering Baelnorn, believing her ruse of death to be genuine. His realisation, too late, of the Bear-shaman's true nature as she struck down Trade. His inability to protect his Comrades, which eventually led to the sacrifice of brave younglings to restore Johann, Lydia, Maeldaenis and that baby. His dealings with the crime lord Cutter Gentry, and the imminent danger regarding the aspect of his life he now wanted to sever...

As ever, his thoughts quietly turned to his parents. He held their picture in his hand as he meditated, as he always did. Now, even carrying the marbles of a celestial in the other. Eventually, his mind finally silenced itself, and he allowed himself that peace of mind, for however long it would last.


A voice calls softly, barely heard over the whispering of the trees in the wind, so as not to break his reverie.
"Hans." The figure stands a couple of paces from his spot, her face hidden in the depths of her hood.
Patiently she waits a response, in no apparent rush.

Hans' eyes open, and for him the world resumed. The marbles and picture disappear with a flourish, into pockets unknown. He recognises the woman before him, even in the dead of night.
"Hilde. It's been a while." He stands slowly, still drawing pieces of his mind from his trance.
"Good evening. I assume you called me here for what we discussed in Gevell? Or do you require my assistance in another matter?"
His body is still, carrying a degree of calm he didn't have in Gevell.

"Good to see you again, Hans. I trust I'm not interrupting?" she says, pushing back the hood of her cloak. She offers her hand in welcome. "There is only one matter, for now. Are you prepared?"

Hans takes the woman's hand in mutual greeting and gives it a typical strong nordic shake, his father having taught him the importance of a stong handshake long ago. "Not interrupting, no. I should come here more often though. The peace is... calming." He releases her hand and adopts a fairly serious expression. "As ready as I'm ever going to be."

She nods, reassured in his conviction. "Comfortable out here, on your own? Promising." Hilde turns to leave, indicating he should follow. "Not far, but there are no directions. With me."

Hans nods and silently follows the woman, taking care to watch his footing and keep an eye out for anything unsavory in the forest.

Hilde picks a path through the undergrowth, hardly disturbing the place at all.
Shadowing her footsteps as guidance, they make good pace with ease.
"Have you since used your Father's blade?" she asks, facing him for a moment as she holds back a sapling branch that would otherwise block their way.

"Once. I asked Robere for a spar. I was promptly beaten into the ground by his superior swordsmanship, which was to be expected. I haven't had much time otherwise, I've been trying to track someone down." He makes sure to follow Hilde's steps exactly, and is extremely impressed at how the place looks unaltered wherever she treads, but hides it well.

"Ah, Robere, yes, I imagine he is quick with a rapier." She lets the branch go and continues their way. "Tracking someone? What progress have you made?"

"Not much, I'm no ranger, and he is... slippery. I'll have better luck going after his subordinates."

"Hm. Well, if you wanted-" she stops. "Ah, we're here."
Before them stood a rocky cliff face, around 30ft tall. The trees grow all the way up to the edge of it, some smaller saplings even growing out of cracks in the bare stone. Tangled ivy and leafless brambles crawl over the surface. A large fallen boulder lays in front of the wall, the victim of gravity some years previous. Walking closer, Hilde steps to the side of it, and disappears from view.

Hans blinks at her disappearance, but then follows her footsteps exactly, wondering where she might've gone.
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Scribbler on Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:34 am

There is a small harsh tapping noise close by. A small glow flickers in the dark, and then a lantern is lit. In a few moments, a handful of lanterns provide enough light to see clearly enough. The glow reveals a small cavern, with an unlit fire-pit, and a collection of crates and boxes. "Come, sit, relax."

Hans nods politely and takes a seat on one of the boxes, stretching lightly. "So, how've you been since Gevell?"

"Ah, the usual." she replies. "Teya is well." Hilde shrugs off her cloak, and settles down. "So. Your training. As you are here, I assume you still wish to continue."

Hans nods. "Indeed. I need to become much more well rounded, but the way Johann and Lief use the blade... it's not to my liking. I wanted something more refined, faster, more precise. Then I saw the way you fought. It was everything I wanted to be able to do and more. So, please..." He clasps his hands as if in prayer and bows his head respectfully, but not submissively. "Train me, even if only in the ways of the blade."

"It will be done." she takes a sip from a flask, and passes it over. "But sword skill is not the first step."

Hans accepts the flask and smiles as the firewhisky warms his throat. "Then what is the first step?"

"We sit at a fireside. Lets us tell stories." Hilde puts a candle to the kindling, and it catches with a dry crackle. "Legend tells of an ancient covenant, a group of individuals formed in shared guardianship of the lands of Xenos." She looks up at Hans, from the fire, watching for a reaction. "These people were known as Sentinels."

Hans leans his chin on his hands and positions his elbows on his knees, clearly preparing for a good story. His face is determined, intent and inquisitive, clearly intending to give all of his attention to this tale. "Go on..." The words are barely above a whisper, but they carry an anxious intent he wasn't quite able to mask.

A smile plays across her lips. "Through the Ages, the Sentinels have endured, watching the world develop, defending it from threats kept unseen, protecting it from that which would seek to destroy civilisation as it grew. Guardians in shadows, sheltering all from the Dark." She pauses here, knowing what it might mean to him.

A whisper plays across his lips, the title of a nameless god. "When one stands in the light, it is difficult to see into the dark, but when in the shadows, one can see into both the dark and the light." He looks at her intently. "And neither can see you. It seems we have much to thank these Sentinels for if they've rebuked the Dark alone all this time."

Listening to his words, she nods. Her right hand moves across her lap, and unbuckles her left vambrace. Placing it on the makeshift bench beside her, she pulls up her sleeve and proffers her forearm, palm upwards. In the warm flickering glow of the camp, a tattoo is revealed; an owl in the centre, on one side a candle, on the other, a star. "Join us, Hans Yksin."



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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Hans Yksin on Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:21 am

"A life lived in the defense of others. I happily accept." He removes his glove and rolls up his right sleeve, careful to position his concealed gun away from either occupant. "So... what do I need to do?"

The Sentinel's eyes glint in the firelight, yet not all of the spark within them is from the flame. "By chance or by fate, you have come to me. I will stand for your affirmation within the order." By the tone of her voice you can tell that she will not be swayed. "However. In order to vouch for you, in order to train you, I must know you. It is your turn."

Hans sighs, bowing his head.

"I don't even know where to begin. My tale is not a pleasant one, nor is it as clean as others."

He exhales slowly, as if preparing to talk about things he doesn't like others knowing.

"My mother was a Sudman. She fled the south when her medicinal practices ended with her accused of Necromancy by men that were jealous of her talent. Which was when she met my father."

"He was a strong man, a Guardsman in the north. Every bit an Amranian. Strong, unwieldy, a damn good warrior, but his pride was always tempered, he was always patient. I learned that from him, if nothing else. When the lawmen of the south caught up to my mother, they attacked our home and dragged her back south. Dad mounted a rescue attempt. We weren't fast enough. He burst through the gates with me in his arms, and I watched her head fall into the Headsman's bucket. That was my last memory of her."

He pauses and steels himself for continuation, clearly not used to discussing this.

"Dad was broken, after that. He cut down any man that tried to touch her body, and we left. Buried her in the north. The local lord smoothed things over with the Sudmen Duke that ordered the execution, but neither my father or I let it go. There are some things no-one should ever see. I grew up resenting Amranian values. Pride, Honour, Prowess. What use were they if they were just twisted into a way to disgrace women and murder them in front of their children? To accuse them of crimes based on jealousy and lack of evidence? This is one of the main reasons I support Teya. She's fixing it, correcting the viewpoint, showing people what each of those word should mean."

"Anyway, I left Amrania as soon as I was old enough. The house... it just stank of beer and sorrow and emptiness. Dad looked after me, he really did, but he was always detached. I learned that from him as well. I went to Tion to study new technology, a direct revolt against your typical Amranian tradition. It felt good, resisting in that way. I worked on mastering the pistol, excelled with the rifle, ran through cannon fire drills... but then Dad died. Murdered on the Wall by raiders. So my education was in danger. I needed the money to finish my studies or I'd be left in Tion with no money and no skills. All the jobs were taken up, and I wasn't good enough with the guns yet to make a living that way. So I started stealing, taking things that people didn't need, the fancy stuff the rich hold as trophies to show to their other rich friends. Nothing sentimentally important, never taking from anyone too poor to afford it. Even as a thief, I had my code. And I never, ever killed. If I got caught I ran, I didn't fight, I didn't try to hurt anyone. I didn't want to cause anymore pain than I had to to survive. When I finally finished my education, I joined the Seekers, and then I joined Cloudbreaker's pirate crew. Not a good idea. My less-than-violent approach didn't really mesh so if I wanted a cut I had to run cargo. Nothing dangerous, some weak spice out of Shuru, some books out of Tion. Then I took a job I shouldn't have, and I nearly got caught. Lief was no help there, nor were the rest of the Seekers, sans Seamus and maybe Johann. Talked to the Queen on my behalf, got me off of something worse. Seamus saved my ass after Dende poisoned me..."

His fist clenches here and anger drops into his voice.

"He was the one that dobbed me in, tried to get me killed, then poisoned me. If Seamus hadn't intervened... Let's just say the Fishboy won't get help from me. He's on his own. I spent a week cleaning out dog shit because some Gevellian asshat tried to make me run livestock and Fishface opened his gills. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Now, the Merc Guild battle against the greenskins..."
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Scribbler on Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:43 am

Hilde watches him closely, and does not doubt his words for a moment.
Her face does not judge- only listen, and remember.
The promise she had sensed before shows again.
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Hans Yksin on Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:09 am

Hans attitude changes from anger and pain to a more hardened, solid one, one of a man who has seen quite a few battles.

"I've been in some bad fights, but that one, that was a complete disaster. We were headed underground to get Johann the materials the Norn needed to build his fancy sword. We were completely decimated. The order to charge was given and they all just dove in."

He shakes his head at the memory, clearly in slight distress

"The front line got bogged down in the mud, fighting goblins. The terrain was terrible, we should've held our ground, but you know how the Wolves get. Their bloodlust. They need the fight, it defines them. And it cost us. Ratmen burst out of a hidden tunnel, blades coated in poison, and slammed straight into our flank. We were losing to begin with, but these things just disarmed our men with their poison, made them shake in agony, then carved a swathe straight through the battle. The front line was pushed so far back it become the rear guard, and the clerics were left in the open. They were cut down like sheep."

He sighs in some kind of twisted pain at the memory, and continues.

"From then on it was chaos. Smaller skirmishes broke out, we were all fighting separately. Then this massive Goblin covered in armour decimates Johann, I think it brought down Seamus and someone else too. I tried to keep it occupied, buy us some time, but I'd given my gun to the Norn for a pair of better ones that they'd give us later, and one of my spares had broken. I had this one little Derringer, and I was taking this Goliath on."

"I knew I wansn't going to win. I shot it and dodged it's strikes to buy time for the others to pull back, but they were so few now that the rest of the goblins cut them down. There was mud and blood and dying seekers everywhere. I pulled back, managed to slip through stalagmites that the big one couldn't fit between and circle around through the tunnels. There was me and this one Lanetian girl left. Dende had run like a coward and everyone else was dying... I checked Divah, figured he might have something on him, something left, and he did. A healing potion. So I force fed him it, got him back on his feet, he started healing Clerics. But we still couldn't pull out. They'd dragged off Seamus and Johann and others to eat, and we couldn't leave them there. So Divah gave some of the fighters a potion, and one of them, one that a Celestial had taken a liking to, no less, carved a path straight through, smashed Greenskins out of the way like paper. Divah used the opening to get to Johann and the others. Revived them. They'd've died had the greenskins not, for whatever reason, healed them. So now we had them, Johann and the others carving through their back, us fighting through the front, Emris and others firing off spells. We won the day, but we were so close to losing, so close to not being enough, I don't know, perhaps we should've been more prepared, maybe I should've pushed for a plan harder, but the Merc Guild wasn't much for a chain of command, and I suppose part of that was my fault, too used to lone wolfing it I wasn't prepared to submit to a military system. But we survived, that's the important thing. But then, another of my failings..."
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Scribbler on Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:20 am

As he speaks, Hilde reaches into one of the boxes, and removes a small pouch.
She takes a pinch of the contents, and tosses the fine dust into the fire.
There is a soft fizz, but nothing too distracting. She takes a stick from a different, similar bag, and lights it.
It appears to be some kind of incense. Her actions are smooth and silent, and Hans' concentration remains unbroken,
Still listening, she takes another sip from the flask, and passes it to him in a convenient pause, careful not to interrupt.
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Hans Yksin on Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:59 am

Hans smiles gratefully and sips at the whisky, inhaling the fumes of the fire and calming his mind again,

"A cultist ritual, an unwilling sacrifice occured that night. We didn't realise what was happening until they'd sealed the circle, and by then it was too late. Wild and black magic eminated everywhere as they chanted to the Dark, as they slit their captives throat..."

He sighs, recalling the event vividly.

"Seamus and I tried our guns but they wouldn't break the barrier, and then we're surrounded by other Seekers. 'What's going on?' 'Who are they?' 'What are they doing?' I tried to get them to go back to camp and protect the Queen, they'd left her defenseless, but none of them would listen. So I was ordered to go back and check on her. I did, and when I returned they were finishing. That kid with Glory's favour charged in as the rest of us wondered if the barrier had really dropped. He felled one, I think, before losing to another, but by then we'd woken up and were fighting his opponent, we got him up with no problems. But they left something in the circle, a bowl full of blood. One of the Seekers tried to shove their hand in, I stopped them, asked a Seer if he could divine any kind of negative power, or sense any traps. The blood was charged with necromantic magic. So, I shoved my hand in, I opened myself up to the consequences so no-one else had to. I felt the congealed blood on my hand as I pulled out an amulet, and amulet witch led me to a seal in the ground. I don't know why I followed, but I did, and when it asked me to plunge my hand in again, into the earth, I did. My hand came out without the amulet, but it now bore a Ring, a magic Ring which allowed me to take the health of my allies, should they permit it. It might've been useful, were anyone willing to actually permit it. Only Sean ever let me use it, and I am thankful for that. It's gotten me out of nasty fights alive. Then, that night, a Vampire Lord that had been sealed for thousands of years showed up. And I think I may have been the one that let him out. Yet another sin to atone for."

He takes a swig of the whisky and stares into the flames, losing himself in their dance slightly.

"Still, better me than someone else. He tore Dende's throat out. I enjoyed that part, despite myself. The Bishop tried to kill him, it was laughable, might as well have been a gnat trying to take down a lion. Then I entered into discussion with his Herald. A woman named Syuzannah, dead at Prospero before I even arrived. Killed by Dende and Johann. We share a mutual dislike for Fishboy. She fed me an apple that no-one else would touch, and I was hungry. Took a liking to me after that. It's an odd thing, having a Vampire like you, but not a bad thing. She's been nothing but helpful to me, as far as I'm aware. Still, pinches of salt... She took what was left of the Necromantic Blood after I showed her it, left me and others unconscious in the Circle. She says that wasn't her fault, and says she made sure we came to no harm, yet despite having no reason to disbelieve her, there's a nagging feeling. My paranoia, probably. Had very vivid dreams of Dende's death that night. Maybe that was her too. I don't know, Vampires are difficult at the best of times. I did win the Queen's competition, however. Found her bloody runes and tarot cards, was one of the first to win. Not that I've seen any kind of result from that little stretch of my abilities. Bloody cheep-ass Lanetians. Still, we survived, as did she, so that's something..."
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Scribbler on Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:14 am

The wild story untangles as he speaks, and still his would-be tutor has no reply.
He has seen much of the shadowed side of the world, more than most ever would.
This she already knew from speaking with him before, but to hear it all flowing out honestly was quite something else entirely.
Strangely there is little surprise on the ranger's face.
At Han's latest break, she nods in agreement, but says nothing, knowing the tale is not yet told.
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Hans Yksin on Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:35 am

Hans takes a breath and continues, allowing himself to bask in the warmth of the flames.

"Still, the Lord wasn't as bad as that Battle Suit at Prospero. That thing was invincible, and with the crap I've seen that's not a claim to scoff at."

His finger twitches as if he's imagining it on a trigger, eyes glazed as he remembers the fight.

"Nothing was hurting it, and I mean nothing. Bullets, Magic, Blades, even Teya couldn't do anything. Everything was totally useless, and it was just gunning us down like flies to a honeytorch. So much blood, so many people pretending to have died so that they didn't have to keep fighting. Divah used that as a tactic to conceal himself amidst the bodies as he brought them back from death's door, clever elf, that one. For once I had an advantage, though. I knew how it worked. The guns had a delay before it could fire them, so I darted between trees, always in the corner of its eye, and while it desperately tried to get a lock on me the fighters whacked it from behind, for what little good it did. So I circled around to where Theodore and others were working on the Ancient control panel, they thought that the suit was drawing its power and if they screwed up the panel they could stop the suit, so picked a tree between them and the Suit and I kept the bugger occupied while they screwed around. The fighters soon adopted similar tactics, hide behind trees or pretend to be corpses and then smash it as soon as its back was turned. We kept it occupied long enough for Teddy and the others to blow the controls, and then it exploded like a fireball, leaving the wearer nothing but a charred corpse. Of course, that little result ended with Propero Valley destabilizing, and, as I was later told by Divah, the Fae known as the 'Winter Queen' moving back in, after she gave us Seekers a very regal introduction. The others didn't really pay her much heed, but I'd read up on Fae in the old tales, and those things are dangerous in so many ways. Still, we were all tired from the fighting and really couldn't be bothered to pay attention to some sparkly wench who claimed to be a Queen. We were hungry, tired and freezing our asses off, and I didn't realise the implications until after Divah's admission of his powers. We barely escaped that valley as the blizzards rolled in. Then we had Lanet as I've said and then we had... The Nexus, where we first met."
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Scribbler on Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:51 am

"Ah yes, and I know the rest of that, you've told me before." Hilde leans back with closed eyes, takes a deep breath, and sighs. The sound seems to carry a lot of weight. "You have done well." She sits upright, and catches his gaze, her eyes so focused he wonders what it is she can see there. "I believe you are right for this. You have already seen much firsthand."

He laughs slightly, but it carries no mirth. "You don't need to tell me that. I daresay you've seen just as much. Before we begin, I do have one question...I may have let out a Vampire Lord, failed to protect the Prince of Gevell, was a criminal for a large portion of my life and have failed in many other ways, to the point where I can barely count my successes. Why do you think I'm worth this? Why are you so willing to train me?"

She nods, and closes her eyes for a moment, in agreement. "When one stands in the light, it is difficult to see into the dark, but when in the shadows, one can see into both." The smallest smile pulls at the corner of her eyes. Then her expression is stern, but gentle. "None of us are perfect, Hans. In many cases that is what brings us together. So many never see what's right before their eyes. For better or worse, you have, and you are not alone in that. Do not underestimate what surviving can teach you."

Hans nods. "Fair enough then. Leif will be disappointed, but I need to get stronger, for whatever's coming. Well then, where do we go from here, Sentinel Hilde?"

Hilde raises an eyebrow. "First- Just Hilde is fine." She stands, and replaces her right vambrace. "Second- it's late. Get some rest, show me your sword skill tomorrow. We'll work from there."

"Right then, good thing I brought my sleeping roll in my pack." He unpacks his roll and rolls it out, clearly not unused to cold flooring, he lies down and allows his consciousness to leave him, hand never leaving his gun.

Checking the entrance, Hilde fastens the heavy curtain across the opening, and loops some ropes over a couple of snags in the rock face. The cave was hardly visible from the outside anyway, with the boulder right in front of it, but this would also keep out the night's chill once the flames were extinguished. Part of her had wondered if he'd return to the Guild, and find his way back the next day, but this seemed to be a more practical option for now. She steps across the space within, and puts out all of the lights. The fire was low anyway, and would soon die by itself.
Moving a couple of boxes together, she picks up her cloak, and settles into it for the night.
With a final swig of water before sleep, she raises the skin to the dying embers.
To new beginnings...


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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Hans Yksin on Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:04 am

Hans awakes with the familiar aches of sleeping in the rough. He allows himself a few moments to wipe the grogginess of sleep from his mind and then sets about working the cricks out of his bones

The cave is no longer lit by candlelight, and the fire is little more than ashes. There is a dull grey daylight coming in from outside, and it's bright enough to see. "Morning." It's more of a statement than a greeting. Hilde is sitting on the box, as she was last night. One might wonder if she slept at all.

"So it is." He climbs off of his bed roll and adjusts his clothing so it looks less mussed. He sits on a box across from her. "So what now?"

"So, you wish to use your sword. May I?" She offers out a hand to accept the blade.

He removes the blade from his coat and passes it to her. It is short, but not overly so, and otherwise seems a decent blade. Not that he'd actually be able to tell that. "You may."

Taking the hilt, she examines the sword. It is of a strong build, and a good weight. "So, how do you feel today?" she asks, without looking up. The ranger runs her thumb gently over the edge of the blade, without injury. She then balances the weapon across her fingers, and makes a small satisfied nod.

"I feel fine, despite knowing the training is probably going to hurt. I really do suck with a blade." He looks slightly sheepish as he rubs the back of his head slightly.
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Scribbler on Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:55 am

Hilde stands up, and grips the hilt. Holding the blade outward, she does a couple of curious sweeps.
"You'll need to keep her in better condition than this, but she's a faithful weapon, and should serve you well."
She drops her grasp and catches the sword by the blade, bringing the hilt up to return it to Hans' reach.
"I won't lie, it won't be easy." she says, as he takes back his sword. "But, you will learn."
She places her cloak and belt down safely, she then moves towards the doorway, her own sword in hand.
"Come. Show me." and she steps outside.

The morning is overcast, but not damp. A typical fresh day for Amrania. Those further south would call it chill, but it was spring, and it was not raining, so it would do nicely.

Hans follows, setting himself up across from her outside the cave. His stance has obvious flaws, and he probably isn't holding the hilt correctly, but it's certainly not the first time he's used a sword. "She's not seen any use since Dad died, and guns are enough maintenance on their own. I am sorry I've not better kept her, though." He prepares to fight, watching his opponent as he holds the sword out in front of him.

There is no reply, and little more to read in her features either. They stand in a small clear patch of short rough grass and leaf littered earth, about the size of one of the bunk rooms back at the Guild. Hilde stands slightly diagonally to Hans, her sword in her right hand, in a guarding position. With her left, she indicates he ought attack.

He lunges, quickly but clumsily toward her legs, keeping his left arm behind his back so as to not offer a larger target.

Stepping cleanly to the side, she guides his sword with her own blade, bringing the point smoothly away from either of them. Taking a further step back, she allows him to regain himself.

Hans attempts a series of what might pass as an attempt at precise strikes, toward the arms and torso, but they really aren't that accurate.

After either blocking or dodging everything he's thrown at her, Hilde steps closer to the cliff-face, and rests her sword on a ledge.
Taking a small knife from a pocket, she picks a nearby sapling branch, cuts it neatly from the trunk, and strips off any errant twigs and leaves. She then moves back out into their practice circle, and holds it up, as she did with her sword. "Again."

Hans, getting a little annoyed at his lack of any skill in this field, attacks again, lunging and striking, trying to get around her guard.

This time, she defends with the stick, trying to focus on the weapons rather than evasive movement. Hilde takes care to keep her movements slow, so that he may see them. She guides his attacks, and thus his gaze, back and forth, until one particularly spirited strike makes her step aside. In doing so, he leaves himself open, and she stops, deciding that taking the move wouldn't actually help. "Enough."


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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Hans Yksin on Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:46 am

He stops immediately and takes a step back, observing his sparring partner.

The stick point rests on the ground, as she looks at him. "What is it?"

"You said enough, so I stopped. Was I supposed to keep going?" He quirks his head questioningly and starts to raise the blade again.

She shakes her head, but stands firm. "If you wish. Are you ready?"

"Ready or not, you've been more than fair." He lunges again, but this time attempts to mimic the movements Hilde had previously used. They're a pale comparison, but an imitation none the less.

She brings the stick up, and it pings off of the blade. Encouraged by his renewed determination, she deftly parries his blows, but there's a lot more contact this time.

He continues mimicking her moves, getting used to the feel of them, trying to not leave himself open.

"Rhythm. Good. Faster." She begins to move, only a step at a time, but making him move too. Circles, circles, back and forth. Keeping the flow.

He speeds up, circling with her, matching her steps, trying to copy her movements. By no means is he doing well, but he's doing better.

Move, shift, strike. A pattern of movements. "Good. Now. Strike." Repeating steps. A dance. A flow. "Again."

He's following the movements now, allowing the sound of the snow beneath his feet and the blade cutting through the air to become a song witch he moves with. The sound of metal on wood becomes his tempo as he matches her stride, and suddenly he finds himself moving like he never had before. Fighting, but also not. The stillness of mind he had just the night before fills him again and the sounds of the world start to dictate his swordplay. And it amazes him.

Then suddenly it's gone as he trips on an unseen log, and he misses it.
He picks himself up and readies his blade.


"Again."
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Scribbler on Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:44 am

She smiles, knowingly. "Alright." The stick comes up again.

His mind clears faster this time, and then the world is with him again. He reaches out with more than his perceptions, he feels the opponent, he can see her, and then he can see her. He matches her movements, her stride, not once stepping outside the circle. He can feel it again, the world showing him the path. It's not invasive, it's soft, like a hand helping guide his blade.

But his body is tiring. He is not used to swordplay, especially in this variety, and it shows. His face has developed a sweaty shene despite the cold and his hand is starting to shake with the weight of the blade on his less than well-used arm. But he continues anyway, because if he didn't he would miss the peace of mind it is giving him.


Hilde steps to the side, out of the pattern, and swaps her sword into her other hand. Then just as quickly she's back in, and grasps his sword hand in hers. "Stop."

He stops. He misses the pattern, the melody, but he stops. And then he falls on his backside in quiet tiredness, breathing heavily. "That was... I just... you know?"

She nods. "I know." Hilde slips into the cave for a moment, and comes back, tossing him a waterskin. "Drink. Rest. Fancy some breakfast?"

"Breakfast... would be good." He drinks from the waterskin and finds himself a more comfortable seat than the rapidly melting snow. "How is Teya coping with the politics? She mentioned she hadn't much taste for it in Gevell."

"Politics?! Ha. She deals with them almost the same as her father does. "Yes. No. Never."...quite well, I'd say." Hilde ducks inside again, and returns with some bread, and a small clay pot. "Here." she says, tossing him a roll, and the pot. "Honey." She pulls at her own bread, and perches against the rock wall. Improvement already, though it wasn't much, was a step in the right direction.



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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Hans Yksin on Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:40 am

His eyes light up like a child at the sight of Honey and he lathers his bread with it, before tucking in, enjoying the sweet liquid.
"Sounds like a good way to do politics. Nobody else in the other countries give concise answers. Though I admit I'm curious about you. I'd like to hear your tale, even if it is only pieces of it. And I'd like to know more about the Sentinels."

"Hm." For a moment, it seems like the only answer she might give. "I suppose it's only fair. Exchange is no robbery, I've heard it said. Though I admit, I'm not sure I agree." Moving her sword along the ledge, Hilde settles there instead. "We follow our own paths, for the most part..." she begins, ambiguously.

Hans listens silently, tearing off more honeyed bread and setting himself up for a tale.

"There's not that much to tell, to be honest." she says, and you're not sure if the words are to persuade the listener, or the speaker. Hilde leans back against the rock, and looks up at the clouds. "My father was a guardsman, at the castle. You already know which one. I don't remember my mother. She passed when I was very young." There is a pause, as if she considers something for a moment, and then continues. "There were always plenty of people around, so it's not that I was ignored- but they were there to work, so I had to entertain myself. I don't remember much of it. But I remember Teya." Hilde looks over at Hans. "Imagine, if you can," with a tone that says "as if you can't" "- a young girl exploring. Where she shouldn't be. Imagine her surprise when she turns a corner, only to find another- doing the exact same thing." She smirks. "These two ran circles around each other and everyone else, and had the most fun you can imagine- when you're only as tall as the kitchen's cat. It was only when they found us, asleep in an old fireplace, that I realised who she was."

"Must've been nice, having someone like that." He sips at the water, and offers no further comment.

"Almost wasn't. Apparently, the Daughter of the Royal House oughtn't play with the offspring of the staff. Fortunately, there wasn't a lot to be done about it. Anyway. Some time later...after a couple of...incidents...it was decided that I'd be better off elsewhere. Father wasn't keen on it, but he found a way. I was sent to stay at Metsavartijia, which though I hated to leave Amran, was probably the best place for me."

Hans looks as if he wants to ask about these 'incidents', but decides not to pry, and allows her to continue her tale.

"Metsavartija. Isolated. Wilderness. Rangers. Wild Beasts...As you can imagine, I forgave my Father. Eventually. I got to know people. Didn't really make any friends though. Didn't want to get close, in case I had to leave again. It was a long time, but I learned much, and quickly too. I can safely say I'd not be alive today if not for what that place taught me." As she stops this time, you can tell that she's weighing up points for importance. "Once a trainee is deemed ready, they are able to go out alone. You are expected to survive for a short period of time, and then return, preferably with a story to tell. Having started there so young, I had heard many such stories- hunting a stag, fighting a bear, evading a wolf pack..." For the first time in the telling, she looks down at Hans. "I wanted- needed a new story."

Hans closes his eyes and nods solemnly, and she gets the sense that he knows the feeling all too well, even if his stories weren't pleasant ones. His eyes open and again she has his focus.
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Scribbler on Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:03 am

"When I left, I took what I could carry, but not too much to look suspicious. Besides, we were supposed to be foraging and hunting, so you weren't expected to have much. They wished me luck and good hunting, and I was free." Hilde glances up to the forest's edge. "I went north- hoping to catch a glimpse of the Beastmen I'd heard so much about, but never seen. I knew that the lands past the border belonged to the Wolves, and that they sometimes came south while hunting. So I set about it. It took me several days- I was careful to count. Optimistically, I marked them on a stick. How many days your first trek lasted, was a badge of sorts among the trainees." Absently she marks the fighting stick in her hands with her thumbnail. "I traveled well. I enjoyed the peace of it. The freedom. There were no walls, no rules, just myself, the trees and the sky. I was young, curious, and...unprepared." She sighed. "After a few days I was concerned- maybe I wouldn't find them? How would I know when I got there? What if I kept walking all the way through their lands, until I reached the Northern Ice?"

Hans is still silent and attentive, knowing when not to ask questions. He passes the waterskin back over silently and allows her to continue.

"That was not to be my problem. On my fourth night, I was awakened suddenly, by a noise the like of which I had never known. A terrible roaring howl. I grasped at my blade, and froze then in silence, searching for the source. I had set out at the turn of the moon, so there should have been good light- but it had grown cloudy and dark, and there were no stars to be seen. At this point I will admit, that I thought perhaps a bear would have been a good story." she jokes with a smile. "What happened soon after, I can never know, but the noise came again, followed by a screech of some kind of animal in pain- and then as I craned to see where it had came from, everything went black."

Hans eyes narrow here, but again he does not interrupt, and only listens.

"Clearly, the story does not end there. When I awoke, the sky was just paling, but nothing seemed as pale as the face that stared down at me. Her name was Siana Dal'vé. A long way from Dar'Revann. She told me she'd been tracking a beast, and that it had attacked me. With my first words to her I swore upon my Father's honour that I would join her hunt. Would you believe she laughed at me? A harsh sound, but not without humour. I'd never met an Elf before. After some convincing, she would let me stay. I was unharmed, and honestly I think the idea amused her."

Hans smirks slightly, as if knowing that feeling too, and nods for her to go on.

"As it was, it was no ordinary beast that she followed. This helped my pride at least. She told me that it was a dire wolf, and that it's pelt would grant her much respect where she came from. The latter part was true at least." It was surprisingly hard for me to trail such a large creature, but somehow she seemed to know. "More than once the trail seemed to be lost, or merge with others in the undergrowth, but she could always find it. And find it we did. It was over almost as suddenly as it began. Have you ever watched the light play on a running stream? That was how she fought. Her sword was in all places at once, and though there were claws, and fangs, and the fiercest eyes I had ever seen, she seemed to block it's every move with ease. So lost was I in watching them that it was only as she called out to me that I remembered my vow. Sometimes I think perhaps the beast laughed, as she had, as this young thing, little more than a child, ran out at it on that grey dawn- but I struck hard and I struck true, and we three knew it. The beast fell. Thinking about it later, I am sure she must have spent more effort trying to position the creature for such a blow than would have been so simple to end it herself, yet she offered it to me." Hilde takes a drink of the water. "Yet no sooner had the giant beast's heart ceased, when something strange occurred. The huge wolf lay slain, but as it did, it changed. Before my young eyes, it's very shape was different, so much more like that of a man. Confusion welled inside of me, but Siana laid her hand on my shoulder, and I knew it was right."


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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Hans Yksin on Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:50 am

Hans mutters 'Werewolf' under his breath, barely audible, and settles down again, paying attention to the tale.

"I assumed this must be a werewolf- a myth that Teya and I had once pretended to ourselves we were- but it was now that Siana sat me down, and very carefully told me what would happen next." Hilde drops down from her ledge, and kneels in front of Hans. "This...creature- was not a werewolf. And you cannot tell anyone what has happened here. None must know. Promise me, and I will explain." So, I swore, of course. On my life and my Father's honour. What she told me next eventually led me exactly to where we are now. "This is a Wolf Tribe Beastman. Or he was, once. But he was in service of the 'Dark. I am sure you know what this means. The Nameless one has followers of it's own. The Fallen Beastmen are known as Theria. They are all known as Darklings. They are twisted servants, and must be destroyed. Do you understand?" I did. And, I kept my promise. Siana took me back to Metsarvatija, and told them a story of our own, that we had slain a great wolf- and that we had burned it's body and scattered it's ashes in the name of the Wind Speaker, her patron. She left the next night, no-one saw her leave, and for a while I wondered if I had dreamed the entire thing."

Hans nods at the death of the darkling and continues to remain silent, emotion not showing across his face.

"As it turned out, I hadn't. Some years later, Siana returned, and with what I already knew, and armed with what I had now learned, I asked to join her in her hunt. Which, in itself, led to a conversation not unlike this one. And so, I joined the Sentinels. I assume this does not surprise you." Hilde takes a few more bites of bread, and washes it down with the water. She looks over at Hans, who seems to be uncommonly hard to read. "So..."

Hans' gaze softens. "An interesting tale. Nice to know that there are Sentinels from every corner of the continent. Nice to know I'm not the only one capable of occasionally noticing a darkling too..." He trails off, not really sure how to progress from here.

"Most of our number are Humans or Elves. The Dwarves don't often have the right...spirit, for it. Though, there are some. We meet, once a year, in the lands of the Hill Clans. On the shortest night of the year, when we are least needed. Or at least, that is the custom."

"Mmm, Dwarves didn't seem to fit the type. Good to know the diversity though. Once a year? Sounds a bit... infrequent."

"Any more often would be inconvenient. Especially when you consider the potential distances involved. Some places cannot afford to be left for too long."

There is a soft murmur of agreement from him as he finishes his bread, not entirely sure what to ask next.
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Scribbler on Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:26 am

"If you are rested, we may continue." she says, flexing her wrists.

He nods, stretches and rises, picking up his blade as he does so, and moves toward the circle.

Taking up position opposite him, she brings up the branch. "Fair warning. This time, you will feel the stick. Begin."

He begins his previous reinforcement of the movements she exhibited earlier. His mind isn't as clear as it was but he's definitely listening.

Hilde leads him into the first strike, and continues the pattern. Parry. Step. Strike. Block. Parry. She gives him a chance to get back into it.

The pattern is his again, thanks to her help. He feels alleys where he could put his own twist on it, but not yet. Not so soon. The pattern is with him again and that is all that matters, so he speeds up slightly, testing himself a little.

His confidence does not go unnoticed. Quietly hopeful, she matches it, but does not push. It's his turn to lead for now. She feels the edge of control in his movement, and watches for the gaps. Here. There. Wait...Now!
With a small change to the angle of her parry, her "blade" slips past his.

The stick smacks against his arm, and there is a pained hiss from him, but he pushes the attack and tries to force her back before withdrawing to recuperate. He visibly tests the damage to his arm, not taking his eyes of her, by giving it a shake, before he's back into the pattern, this time watching that break in his guard.

She withdraws, letting him recover. The stick might sting, and could leave a bruise, but it wouldn't do him any real harm. After waiting a few minutes, she begins to look again. To his credit, he covers the last gap well. Unfortunately, this is compensated cover, and has left an opening on his other side. She strikes again, this time making sure to dart back after the blow.


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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Hans Yksin on Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:35 am

Another pained hiss, but he's getting used to the adrenaline now, and it doesn't smart as much as it would've. His feels his anger well up, but immediately crushes it. Anger would only blind him.

Instead, he steps back and allows the pattern to from in his mind again, and he listens to the gaps in the song, he hears the points at which the notes can change, so he changes them.

When the next strike should occur, he instead darts to the side and attacks from a different angle, allowing experience from his use of the dagger in the slums of Tion to flow into his new bladework. The blow comes from her peripheral vision, robbing her of her depth perception. He is adding his notes of experience to the song, and it shows. The movements are hers, but they are sneakier, less forward, more about taking advantage of the terrain, of how the snow slows their feet, of the way the sunlight glinting from the sword offers a hint of distraction.

It is not a dirty way of fighting, but it is one that utilizes every advantage. For a second, Hilde might even see the overlay of another spirit on Hans, one that looks much like him as he moves, as the blade moves through the air.
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Scribbler on Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:45 am

The determination on his face is clear. His gaze focused, but not on his weapon, or hers, or even her. She recognises the state, and a glint of pride shows in her eyes. Neither of them see it. The game continues. There are less gaps, and he is quicker now, his attacks more precise. His movements echo her own, yet there is something different also. This is good. Mimicry will only get you so far. Adaptation is survival.

Hans just listens to the song, feeling phantom hands guide his blade in a style that is rapidly becoming his. A combination of harsh lessons learned in the gutters of Tion, of pale mimicry of the Sentinel before him and a blade style his father had tried to school him in long ago. He is fighting like himself, yet also like Hilde, and yet also his father. He feels his hand twist the blade in a perfect feint his father taught him that he'd long since forgotten, and Hilde, to his immense surprise, seems to fall for it for but an instant, for a fleet moment her eyes are in the wrong place.

"Now" whispers a woman to him, and he moves.

The stick shatters as he completes a move with a strike mirroring Hilde's, but adding power and a twist to the sabre that hers lacked, and she is weaponless. His blade withdraws from her, and he moves back slightly, but it is blatantly obvious that the focus, the song, is still with him.


"Good." His opponent bends to pick up the pieces. She walks towards the rocks, and places the broken fragments on the ledge she'd sat at before. Hilde's sword rests there, where she'd left it. Her hand grips the hilt, firmly. She turns to face him, and raises before her face it in acknowledgement. Then she lowers it, ready. Waiting.

Hans moves with a speed he previously lacked, and he is learning quickly. He has three patterns now, none mastered but each such a contrast to the next that his movements are unpredictable. He switches between patterns freely, changing the speed and the tempo of the song, even the song itself. He feels himself becoming lost in his movements, and reels his mind back in, allowing the calm to overtake him again. He switches into the first pattern and then moves between them softly again, where he was once erratic he is controlled, and the melody flows better. His control is better. The pattern is better. And he feels whole.

The game has changed. Where before, the stick would whip against the steel of his father's sword, now there is a clash of metal. When the weapons met, the stick would tap, and flick away- but the sword stays. There is pressure in the parry, and new force in the strikes.

The new weight and force are calculated for quickly. The Engineer is clearly used to accommodating such things, likely the use of his guns has trained him in regard to rapidly changing conditions. He lacks the physical strength to win out against her guard by forcing through, but this training was never about the force, it was about the finesse. He slips back into a mixture of his father's and his own patterns, working around her guard, trying to tempt her into revealing weaknesses, using the terrain again, attacking from her peripherals. His pattern only relies on her basic movements now, for every move of hers he uses he uses two of his own.

Testing his defenses she pushes against his pattern. He holds on to his calm well. Resolving to show him something he has not already seen, she darts to the side, and catches his guard. Strike, parry, shift... She moves again, twisting the balance awkwardly.

A change in the pattern, he takes note of it, calculates it, and moves. He parries the strike, feints at her and as she parries, strikes at the spot he feels she is likely to shift to, and then he returns the new segment of pattern at her. He's enjoying this and it shows, but the signs of fatigue are showing again, and his movements are slowing.

As expected. She feints toward him, and as he moves to parry, she slides the blades down together, until the tips touch the grass. "Enough." Drawing away, she sheathes her sword. "Speak your thoughts."

"I... I just... Dad's style... I..." He drops to his knees, tearing up in happiness. "I thought I had forgotten. But I remembered, the lessons he gave... and my own skills, and what I've learned... and it all worked." He smiles fully. "It's like waking up, and then waking up again."

It was clear that this was a powerful moment, and having listened to his story the night before, she could tell precisely why. Without the need for further words, it's clear that she understands exactly what he means. She lays a reassuring hand on his shoulder for a moment, with a warm glance, then leaves him with his thoughts, disappearing into the hole between the rocks.


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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Hans Yksin on Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:15 pm

Hans closes his eyes and sings an old Amranian prayer, and the winds pick up slightly as his mind calms. He regains control of himself, sheathes his blade and stands.

The weight of his guns reminds him of their presence. He wonders if there is perhaps some way to fit them into the pattern, and so he draws a gun and a blade and sets about sparring with an imaginary opponent, trying to work out what points at which to fire, when he would, and where.

He quickly finds that the gun serves as a counterbalance to the blade in his other hand, and its familiar grip gives him comfort. He fits choice points to fire into the pattern, and works with it. The song isn't there this time, only the movement, but he's fine with that, and as he works on his movements he feels the lessons crop up again in his mind, and he allows himself to fall into them again. He closes his eyes and just works on personalising his style by the cliff.


Hilde decides to wait a while, and let the Seeker collect himself. The supplies for lunch are in good condition, and she thanks Amrania for it's fresh, cool air. A snatch of a song floats by, and she recognises it. One she has not heard for a long time. After a few moments, she can hear movement outside. This one is keen indeed. She stands, takes the small wooden box, and heads back outside.

Hans can feel the song in a wholly different way now. The gun in his hand reminds him of the points on his foe that are weak, that allow for a deft and damaging strike, and he aims for them on his imagined foe, occasionally twisting the gun to fire an imaginary shot from an unconventional angle. He's never seen anyone fight the way he is fighting right now, but it feels right. The song is different now. Louder, deadlier, but more refined, calmer. his sword strikes are finalised by an imaginary gunshot, his shots followed by a flurry of blows, and the two separate schools of combat shift and meld to suit him and it's eloquent, refined, deadly.

He doesn't stop, getting used to incorporating the gun into his new pattern, building a fourth from his father, Hilde, and the two sides of himself.


She steps silently, and moves slowly, so as not to draw attention. Then the Sentinel simply watches.

Strike, Parry, Fire under blade, Strike, Strike, Parry, Shift, switch guns, Parry, Fire. The chain is long and complex but it works for him, the movement of the gun in his hand clearly having been trained to a ridiculously high level, and there is a glimpse there not of a trainee swordsman but of the man who had survived and fought things few had even heard of, let alone imagined, and then his blade is moving and his gun is pointed and his pattern shifts again.

Standing here, observing, it's as though she can see his mind working.
The movements that had started sharp and awkward only hours ago are still visible, but they flow.
His stance has improved also, having the gun in his off hand seems to have balanced him.
After a little while, it becomes clear that any further practice will have to be done with that also.
Her eyes follow his movement expectantly, and she begins to predict him moves as he does them. Before.
Not taking her gaze from him, Hilde rests against the rock wall, and bites into an apple.

He stops his pattern. It's enough for now, and despite it being only the beginning of a new pattern, it seems to fit him more than the others did. His stomach growls extremely loudly and he looks down in surprise and slight embarrassment, not having realised how hungry and how tired he'd gotten.

"Here." she calls, tossing an apple to him, knowing perfectly well his hands are full.

The gun is holstered in a very well practiced motion and he manages to (barely) catch the apple in time, before biting into it and groaning softly at the sweetness of it.
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Scribbler on Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:07 pm

His reward, other than the apple, is a nod of approval. "So. How are you finding it?" she asks, bringing the box over, and sitting opposite him. By this time, the sun has climbed into the sky, hiding behind a thin cover of dull cloud. There is a faint wind in the trees, and the occasional bird song.

"It's getting easier to slip into the pattern, but it's hard accommodating for the slowness of a sword in comparison to a gun. The gun does help me remember where I'm supposed to be striking, however." He bites into the apple again and allows the wind to stroke his hair with its wispy fingers.

"Comparatively, perhaps. But you will get faster with practice. Surely you can feel the improvement already?"

He nods. "I can indeed. It's much, much easier than it was, and I can feel myself getting used to the moves."

"These movements, yes. I will need to show you more before much longer, save you get too attached to them." She pushes the wooden box towards him with the toe of her boot, and explains. "I'm sure you're aware, that there are different ways to fight?" The question is open, and you're sure she doesn't just mean hitting things with different weapons.

Hans nods. "I've come across a vast diversity of them in my time with the Seekers. Fist, Gun, Spell, Sword, Shield, Axe, Hammer, Claw, Glaive... I've seen them all used at various points in and out of battle."

She sighs softly, and takes her time preparing some bread and meat from the box. "And if I was to say: Agressive, Passive, Defensive?"

"Ah, yes, the attitudes behind them." He looks sheepish. "I've seen those too. Johann and Lief specialise in aggressive, Tanner in the defensive and passive is... well, I suppose that's how I fight."

"Not to worry. You are here to learn, are you not?" Hilde takes a drink from a waterskin, and frowns at it ever so slightly. It's getting low. "I have not seen Tanner fight. And currently, you are following the passive style." She finishes her bread and meat. "It was not a trick question- but I intend to teach you to use all of these."

"We might have difficulty with aggressive, I'm not very much into that mentality. Defensive sounds good, however." He finishes his apple and wonders what he should do with the core, but decides that it would feed the trees and grass anyway before he chucks it into the brush.

"Not a bad thing. Keeping your head will keep you alive." She waves at the food box. "Take what you need. We continue when you are ready."

Hans nods and fishes some meat and fruit out of the box and uses a knife to cut them up into some odd mixture that he jumbles in a bowl and then picks pieces out of without looking, after cutting the fruit over the meat. "You said the Sentinels meet once a year, on the shortest night of the year. If I'm correct, that's not far off."

She nods. "A few weeks."

Hans looks as if he is trying to choose his words carefully. "Would you... bring me with you, please?" It's clear he's not used to having to ask for things, usually just taking them or doing the thing he might as for himself.

Amusement flickers in her eyes. "Of course?"

Hans blinks. He didn't expect it to be that easy. "Well, ah, ok then. Thats... great." Obviously, the answer was not the one he had prepared for. He again manages to look rather sheepish.

She pats him on the shoulder, and offers him a hand up. "You don't yet bear the Brand, but I believe you have the heart for it."

He accepts the hand and gets up, before stretching lightly. "Well, best I get better at this so it doesn't get cut out of my chest, I think."

"Not when I'm done with you, my friend." It's not clear if that was a threat or a promise.


Last edited by Scribbler on Thu May 09, 2013 10:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Hans Yksin on Wed May 01, 2013 3:59 am

Hans takes it as both and steps back, drawing his blade.

Hilde is not yet standing in position. Her sword, though in her hand, is loosely gripped. She looks at him expectantly. "Forgetting something?"

"Thanks for the hand up." He again manages to look sheepish. "Or did you mean my gun?"

She rolls her eyes with a smirk. "Yes, your gun. I saw you. It works. Now show me."

He draws his gun, but is careful not to cock the hammer as he usually would. Preparations complete, he starts moving, slipping back into one of his patterns.

It isn't long before Hans is back in his focus. Watching closely, she keeps up the pattern for him, but starts shifting around as they work. Then she pushes a slightly stronger strike, and steps forwards into it as she does so.

The blow is met my Hans. He doesn't parry, but instead locks blades. His other hand, bearing the gun, is brought up under their battling swords and aimed at a choice part of her abdomen. She knows that had that shot been fired, it would have torn through her gut like paper. "Fire." Then the blades are unlocked and he has shifted back, then launches a flurry that would've been highly effective if the opponent had indeed taken the bullet.

Hilde deflects the flurry, and decides a change of pace is in order. So, he prefers defensive? Alright. She leaps to his left, and strikes- which he blocks well. This is follwed quickly by a feint, and a strike, feint, strike, strike, strike- all the while circling swiftly. This continues.

He parries and dodges, trying to tell the feints from the strikes themselves, when an idea occurs. When she next gets into a striking position, his gun is pointed toward her thigh. "Fire." The shot would've robbed her of her maneuverability, and made it much easier for him to dodge her strikes. His confidence is gaining now that he's using a weapon he's experienced with, but he's careful to not let it go to his head. He shifts back and starts adding to Hilde's pattern, keeping himself either out of reach or parrying, allowing his blows to occur with his gun or with the occasional counter-strike, but these strikes aren't very well executed.

Next she tries to lead him into attacking, using the feints and parries to lead him on to back at strike at her, defending it as she does.

He follows her movements, and goes for precision over number when he attacks, and another thought occurs to him. The magic in his gun. If he were to use the blade, gun and magic all at once, he would be a difficult opponent indeed.
But he decides he is not at that level, and needs to improve his bladework so that he can defend himself when he chants the needed incantation. Instead, he focuses with the blade now, preferring to use the gun only when he needs to, a practice conditioned into his mind from previous battles. he changes the pattern, striking at what flaws he thinks he can see, and trying to force her back by shifting forwards and around her.


In order to lure his attacks further, she starts leaving him chances, ever so slight, to catch her "off guard". Not so much that he might suspect, but just to let him have the opportunity. She can already see him looking for them, and he needs to learn when to take the chance.

He sees a flaw. Slight, but there, and he strikes at it, aiming just so she won't get her blade up in time.
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Re: Sentinel Training

Post  Scribbler on Wed May 01, 2013 9:28 am

Ready for his attack, she makes her move. In an instant she ducks out of the way, sliding his blade harmlessly to the side as she does so, and presses her heel into the back of his knee, knocking him down. Following her momentum brings her down behind him, and she rolls a short difference, back up onto her feet. Her blade is infront of her again, pointed at Hans and guarding, ready.

Instinctively he is on his back with his pistol drawn, aimed at Hilde. He grunts as he gets up, the gun still trained on her. Then he lunges and is back in the pattern, watching for anymore false openings

They continue for the rest of the afternoon. Sometimes she knocks him down, sometimes not. On occasion he manages to gain the upper hand. They trade blows, falls, and tricks, until the light begins to fail.

"It's getting dark. Are we sleeping in the cave again?" He sheathes his sword and holsters his gun in a practiced manner.

"What, don't you fight in the dark?" she asks, sounding almost disappointed. Then she nods, and also sheathes her sword. "Probably due a break. You're learning quickly."

"Thank-you. And I do fight in the dark. I prefer fighting in the dark, actually. Easier to see. But frankly, I could use a tavern. I haven't had a good brawl in a while and you and Teya left to have one without me." He pouts in jest at the last part.

"Easier to see, he says!" she laughs "Some of your blood from beyond the border now is it?"

"God I hope not. If I start growing claws I'll end up getting executed for being a Werewolf..." He shivers at the idea more than the cold of the night.

"Well then. A tavern it is. Besides, you know what Teya is like." She adjusts her belt, and picks up a few things before leaving. Lastly she collects her cloak.

"That I do. Which serves her right, she missed out on a werewolf hunt." He grins as he throws his jacket on, then realises he doesn't know which way he's going. "Ah."

Hilde wonders at his hesitation- and then remembers. "Oh. I'll lead then." and walks off into the undergrowth.


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