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Try, Try Again
Sat May 27, 2006 03:46 (XFF:

Pressing the back of her clammy fingers to her red cheek Valla took no more than a moment to collect herself. The game had truly woken her up, she now pulsed with energy. In fact, rather too much energy to now stand quietly and listen to philosophies and techniques she had known about since childhood. Being Saldaean in these southern lands had itís benefits, occasionally. Although Valla had never been officially instructed in the sword, she could well remember the hours spent in one of her fatherís disused grain barns with lathes and her weapons tutor, Manred. Her mother would never have approved. However, Manred had always been adamant that Valla should learn at least the rudiments of every weapon, just in case. For it was a risky business she was going into. He had also taught how everyday objects could be used. Valla suppressed a smile at the recollection of the burly soldier wielding a feather duster with aplomb. So long ago it seemed now.

ďÖYou and your sword are one, you fight together." The SeiíTarís voice drifted back to the front of the traineeís thoughts. The Void, or Koídi as she had been told. It seemed completely alien to someone so very passionate; to seal oneself away from feelings, to be completely dispassionate. Cold. Every movement a conscious thought, rationalised, and executed. The philosophy was the complete opposite of Valla, perhaps that was a good enough reason to try it.

Harsh, stark and still an angry pink after a couple of seasons the scar down Vallaís face was fantastic for reminding the girl what not thinking could do. Overpoweringly lively at times, Valla knew she often went off at a tangent unable to stop herself from leaping into situations beyond control at a whim. Or opening her mouth with some comment that sparked off an argument. Her sharp tongue had a talent for finding the chinks in armour. However, here she was. Still alive and more-or-less whole.

"Now think about which one of those you would fight with, you will have time to decide later. For now, listen to the disciplines you can follow.Ē

There were five. This was new to Valla. Shifting her feet a little, she listened more intently as each discipline was explained. It was difficult to cram the new information into her mind, retain it to be thought over later. The disciplines name held, for the most part, the key to the way that discipline fought.

The Scales of Power held nothing for Valla. Big and stocky she was most definitely not, and at the moment her swings, she suspected, would just about overpower a kitten. A particularly small one. Moíkaiíla was next, the SeiíTarís personal favourite. Valla could imagine herself forgetting what form flowed into which in the middle of heated battle, almost instantly she dismissed the discipline. Knowledge of the forms would, of course, be fundamental to every battle but Valla preferred to have a little spontaneity.

"The Way of the Wind is the name of the next discipline. It requires that you are nimble and agile. To add to that, you must be relaxed whilst in battle and this will allow you to attack quickly and also permits that you can talk to your opponent, jaunt them and tease them.Ē

Perfect. In fact, so perfect that Valla listened with only half an ear to the remaining two disciplines. Thunder on the Ocean and Path of Water. Path of Water sounded interesting but Valla knew already that The Way of the Wind was the one for her, offensive and fast it almost described her temperament too.

Five seemed to be the number of the day as the SeiíTar demonstrated stances. From the back of her mind Valla could hazily recall the stances, through dancing dust motes and dim light the figure of Mandred admonishing her for some imperfection. The names of the stances had been forgotten, but the positioning could be recalled somewhat rustily.

"Right, now. First things first, you are going to come and grab a set of bundled lathes. Then you are going to come and tell me which form and discipline you have picked, or are torn between.Ē

As Valla waited in line for the lathes she turned over the philosophies in her mind. There were pros and cons for each, but neither beckoned to her as The Way of the Wind had done. At times, Valla longed to feel nothing. To be the stoic warrior, at one with sword and battle. However, she knew the exhilaration of her emotions as she clashed, the thrill of conflict and freedom that came when her instincts were right. She also knew the dire consequences when they were wrong. Having reached the front, Valla wrapped her hand around the bundle of lathes.

ďI choose the Void and The Way of the Wind, SeiíTarĒ Surely, instincts could still reach her even in the Void.

Sloping off toward a quiet and uncrowded space the Saldaean hefted the bundled lathes and wrinkled her nose at the heaviness. Before she had time to even run through a couple of the stances the SeiíTar began to call them out. Her stances were sloppy, half-hearted attempts at first. A struggle to remember, perform and accomplish what had seemed a perfectly simple stance just moments before for the SeiíTar, and seasons ago by a younger Valla.

The stance calls kept coming, the scolding more frequent as persistence brought the trainee closer to the correct stance. Only to be torn apart by complete failure to remember which form was which. She would remember, and she would be perfect. This was only the first lesson Valla reminded herself through gritted teeth and yet another re-adjustment to her stance, in time she would be perfect. In time.

  • Philosophies, Disciplines and Stances!Harin Rieldred, Sei'Tar, Wed May 24 04:18
    Scanning the courtyard, Harin decided that the game had done the job. The trainees looked slightly red faced, and a couple of them were stopping to double over and pant slightly. Yes. He'd let it go... more
    • The Forms to Success!Harin Rieldred, Sei'Tar, Wed May 31 05:18
      They weren't children, so it was easy enough to rectify a mistake once and expect not to see it again. As such, Harin spent his time nipping possible bad habits in the bud. They were all quick to... more
      • Swing it, shake it, move it, Spar it.Harin Rieldred, Sei'Tar, Sun Jun 11 05:47
        Harin watched as the more pitiful attempts becameÖ less pitiful. The forms were executed with a complete lack of precision or poise, but what they did have, was promise. Some seemed pleased with... more
        • Lesson ClosedRick, Tue Jun 20 04:13
          Nice job guys. Thanks to all who took part. Credit is awarded to: Sarin, Aethan'Tar Riani, Aethan'Tar Valla, Aethan'Tar Sirestes, Aethan'Tar. I will be e-mailing Jeremy with credit later today. So... more
        • To Be Practical or Orthodox?Sirestes Aethan'Tar, Sun Jun 18 08:04
          Sirestes appeared to have done well enough with this activity, it seemed, for he was feeling confident in his skills when the time came to progress. He claimed no mastery over the weapon, but thought ... more
        • Enter The DummyValla Karajan, Aethan'Tar, Thu Jun 15 14:22
          Valla did not want a fair fight. She wanted someone with the grace and speed of a three legged pig. Half the intelligence; optional. It was not due to a desperation for victory, rather, not entirely... more
        • An Expected LossRiani Aethan'Tar, Wed Jun 14 13:55
          Sparring, Riani thought, gritting her teeth, oh, thatís just great. Excellent. Her mouth should have been dripping with the sarcasm of her unspoken words, but Riani had had sixteen years of practise... more
        • Wood as SteelSarin Cordana - Aethan'Tar, Sun Jun 11 18:08
          Sarin scratched his chin as he listened to the SeiíTar lay out the rules for their spars. He smirked when he heard that if you got hit in the leg you lost use of it, he couldnít imagine himself... more
      • Give It All, or Give It UpValla Karajan, Aethan'Tar, Sat Jun 10 11:46
        Letting the lathes dip down toward the ground Valla allowed herself a muscle loosening shake. It wasnít that the activity was taxing, though holding a stance for an extended period of time does... more
      • Four in SuccessionSirestes Aethan'Tar, Sun Jun 4 08:40
        Once all had been said and done, and once Sirestes, breathing more heavily than he might have liked to, could lower the wooden lathe in tandem with the rest of the trainees, the lesson could... more
      • Dancing Cats & Kissing HummingbirdsSarin Cordana - Aethan'Tar, Fri Jun 2 22:10
        The lathe in his hands began to irritate Sarin as he shifted it from stance to stance and back again. He snuck a quick glance down at them and noticed that his right hand was now a bright red. He... more
      • No Pain No Gain, Right?Riani Aethan'Tar, Thu Jun 1 10:47
        Riani felt the weight of the lathes in her hand even as she stood at careful attention, listening to the instructions of the SeiíTar. She had absolutely no desire to lift the wooden thing above her... more
    • Decision and IndecisionSirestes Aethan'Tar, Sat May 27 14:42
      As the last vestiges of the game came to a close, and as the final few AethaníTar finished tossing the ball around, even with the halfheartedness of exhaustion, the SeiíTar summoned them to begin the ... more
    • Now this is what I call a work-out!Riani Aethan'Tar, Sat May 27 12:36
      To Rianiís surprise her body hurt considerably less after the game of tag than it had earlier. She and Harina both stood gasping for breath as the SeiíTar who was teaching gave them a small lecture... more
    • Try, Try Again — Valla Karajan, Aethan'Tar, Sat May 27 03:46
    • Super-conducting loopSarin Cordana - Aethan'Tar, Fri May 26 17:52
      The void, it was something that was constantly talked about during lessons and to tell the truth Sarin never could get a hold of utter calm within his mind. Every time he had tried to find this void, ... more
    • New and OldSoldier Falora Tilde, Thu May 25 01:51
      After twenty odd minutes, the SeiíTar finally decided to call a halt to the game, gathering the trainees into a cluster in front of him. Once all had gathered, Harin began the lesson proper by giving ... more
    • Low Wind RisingTain Aethan'Tar, Thu May 25 00:47
      When the SeiíTar began to describe the two different types of philosophies, Tain smiled slightly to himself. Faoelin had drilled the Flame and the Void into his head, as forcefully as she could,... more
    • Rinse and repeatAccepted Celeste Illharess, Wed May 24 23:30
      Finally, the game drew to a close as the SeiíTar, one Harin, called the group to gather. He began the lesson proper by touching first on the philosophies of fighting, the schools of thought that... more
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