Lease this WebApp and get rid of the ads.
Sore Fingers, Tired Arms
Wed May 3, 2006 05:53 (XFF:

When the Gaidin spoke again Riani was relieved. Surely, they would be allowed to leave now? She was not sure what caused her the most pain; her fingers, sore from letting the bow-string fly between them over and over and over again, or the muscles of her arm and back, getting sorer and sorer with every shot. Surely, the man would allow them to go now so that she could nurse her body into at least a semblance of normality before going to her chores? She was supposed to serve the Gaidin and Gaidar for dinner tonight, she knew, and it would be heavy enough for her rather slender and pathetically muscle-less frame even if she wasn’t driven nearly to the brink of exhaustion first.

Together with the other trainees she once more stood in the half circle, awaiting the man’s commands. Some of the others seemed remarkably fit for having done the same exercise that made Riani feel like a pulp; she comforted herself with the thought that most likely they just had not given it their best. Besides, she wasn’t really here to be a Gaidin, after all; her stay here would only last till her father changed his mind – or most likely, got his mind changed by her mother’s ‘suggestions’ – and until then, well, it would not hurt her to learn what she could about weaponry. After all, she was the sole heir of her father, and she had no intention of letting the High Seat pass to one of her uncles merely because she suffered an ‘accident’ on the same day her parents died. Not that she thought her uncle would dare attempt kill her father, he was a fool but not that big of a fool, but who knew what the future might bring? Best to be prepared for all eventualities.

Her arms on slender – her mother would’ve called them ‘boyish’ – hips, Riani listened to Jield Gaidin’s instructions, swallowing as she realized that the man did intend them to practise further. Her arms felt somewhat better even after only this short respite, but she thought her fingers might start blistering at any moment. The words of caution the man gave to not nock – the word was still an unfamiliar one, and she repeated it to herself after he said it – was unnecessary for Riani, since she had absolutely no wish to extert her muscles more than what would be demanded of her, but she could see some of the trainees ducking their heads when she took a quick glance around.

The explanation of ceasefire – what it meant, at least – made sense as well, so it was not before the Gaidin started talking about how to nock a bow that Riani’s eyes became intent on him and his doings. She might not want to become a Gaidar, but she was also very opposed to the idea of doing less than her best, and not only because she feared the punishment that might be the result of such behaviour. It was her honor, she assumed, her honor and her pride, that forbade her to do less than her best, no matter if that was not well enough – then at least she had done her best.

After she had been given a bow and…what had the man called it, a quiver? That thing that held arrows, at least – Riani followed her peers over to the actual range.

The round targets they were supposed to aim at seemed so far away! Resisting her urge to ask her teacher to be excused – she had a feeling that would be met with laughter, at best – Riani lifted the new bow she had been given, feeling the bow-string and wincing as she felt that it was indeed more tight than what the former had been. Finding the right stance came almost natural now, she noted with a short-lasting feeling of glee before she remembered the new challenge that lay in front of her, that of fitting arrow to bow and letting it fly towards the far-away target with something that at least resembled some sort of accuracy.

Placing the arrow on the string with ginger hands, Riani fumbled more than a little bit before she managed to place her hands like the instructor had ordered. Why, once she actually almost lost the arrow altogether; it was only with a swift movement with her left hand that she managed to catch it before it hit dark soil beneath her feet.

The first shot was, she assumed, about as far from success as could be expected from someone who had never in their life tried to aim one of the things. First of all it appeared she had held her bow too low; at least that was what Jield Gaidin said in what seemed a somewhat amused voice upon seeing the arrow sticking out of the ground about ten yards or so from the target. Second, judging from where the ground it stuck up she had aimed too far left. She bit her teeth together, glared at her reddened fingers, and took another arrow from her quiver. And another, another, another, until she felt as if her fingers had been subjected to fire and her arms could fall off at any time. Then, there was a short respite once more – Riani surely wasn’t the first to have emptied her quiver of arrows, but nor was she the last – as those who had not done so shot their quivers empty, and then they were sent to retrieve the arrows and lined up for another round. Arrow after arrow after arrow flew, and when Riani was finally dismissed she felt like she could sleep for a week, and groaned at the thought of waiting at table come dinner.

(OOC: I hope this is ok, I don't understand how it's possible to do this shorter than 600 words, that is for sure...)

  • Part Two: Arrows!Jield Gaidin, Head Gaidin, Tue May 2 22:55
    Despite Jield’s warnings, some of the trainees managed to slap the bowstring against their flesh somehow, some of them wearing the protection he’d given them and others, much more stupid and in much... more
    • Dead-EyeTain Aethan'Tar, Fri May 5 05:28
      Tain had distanced himself from the rest of the group, in order to practice. He was not one for crowds or idle chitchat and he had no interest in listening to others ramble on. He had set himself up... more
    • Sore Fingers, Tired Arms — Rianii Aethan'Tar, Wed May 3 05:53
Click here to receive daily updates