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13 days ago
Current i am going to die on the streets after keeping an eye on the streets for so long.. life is a true poetry
2 mos ago
we 23 now, who allowed this one. mistakes have been made big G
2 likes
2 mos ago
everybody saying we need to come together and stop conflict is blind. soldiers nut all the time dumb assholes, it does nothing to stop their lust for blood
3 likes
3 mos ago
disrespecting men in 2019 like i disrespected women in 1302; gotta keep the score even.. sorry gents
8 likes
4 mos ago
if the thai man trains his shin by kicking banana tree until he bleeds, i, the american man, will train my shin by kicking lamppost until it shatters. we go hard as fuck here little man, get owned
2 likes

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Gerard Segremors


He cut.

Clean steel flashed as it sliced through the open morning air, parting an imagined head from its shoulders. The knight, not quite completely out of his fighting kit, stepped off to the outside angle as he followed the motion through, blade tightly arcing back around. Just before it returned to his guard, he brought it down from the roof, an overhead strike from the new angle, splitting the helm of another visualized foe. Perhaps one charging in as the first fell. Something of that nature.

He cut.

This process continued as he witnessed again every man he had fought before, their shadows testing his technique. His sword was already long-used to most of the motions, so now came refinement. Honing everything to a keen edge, tightening and ironing out every minor imperfection. Mind balance and position. Don't throw anything off-kilter. Don't overextended but don't under-commit. Be assured, be swift, and be precise. Refine it. Refine it. Refine it, because there was so much left to work on.

He cut.

Quickly, his blade was pulled back as he drew his lead foot inward, a massive visualized sword inches away from shattering it and tearing straight through him. As the tall figure within his mind's eye brought that absurd sword to bear, Had he given enough ground? Could he afford to? Was he too slow, or simply tired from the night prior? ...That didn't matter. He wouldn't have the luxury on the field of battle. He needed this. He needed to be able to fight well even drained. He needed to grow much, much stronger.

So he would cut a thousand times more, or until he could no no more.

Whichever came first.

Then he could rest.

The home of the Order or Iron Roses was truly massive, befitting the grand scale of Aimlenn. Gerard had always marveled at it much as he had the city itself, but the chord Candaeln struck was much more personal in that he was certain his village could comfortably nestle itself within its walls, or at least come very close. Home of the entire order, he like all the others had found himself still working to familiarize himself with its entirety— but he knew the Training Yard all too well.

The wing was filled to the brim with all manner of equipment, everything from the classical straw dummies and sparring rings to entire sections dedicated solely to refining physical capability— gymnastics, weights to lift, everything he could imagine and likely more. Its reach even spread to part of the courtyard that dominated the compound's center, a general free space where one could practice form to their heart's content— and if one was bright and early like Gerard, in relative solitude.

Plenty of open room to work, when one simply wanted to throw themselves wholeheartedly into simulating swordplay. He doubted any of his fellows would be quite so rambunctious as he was, either in the midst of waking themselves or returning from this mission as he was. Drilling with another body was out of the question— and likely just as well.

He was here because that battle was eating away at him. He could not be satisfied with where he was at now. If he did so, the next fighter of Jeremiah's caliber that they faced would be his last. The last of countless more. Perhaps it was simple selfishness disguised as altruism, but for the sake of his comrades if not himself, he needed to be able to rise to such a challenge. A knight was the one who stood against the dragon for the sake of those that couldn't. They donned their armor to take on any danger that threatened those that couldn't. It was why they even bothered wearing it in the first place.

The world was much bigger than he.

The massive form of Knight's Doom, a silhouette of savage power, loomed over him as the other men he faced melted away. He had no trouble with their ilk. He hadn't for years. But even in his mind's eye, he could scarcely find his way inside the Bandit King's range and reflex. It was this that he chased, even as he ran through every defensive gap, as though possessed.

His sword whirled and bit out around him, searching each potential angle. Thwarting Hews, overhead strikes, thrusts from the Ox guard, even the displacing Crooked Hew— everything possible. Sequence after sequence of strikes lashed against what he remembered of Jeremiah through the brief times their swords met. Against an impossible, mountainous force that promised certain death, should he ever linger for even a moment too soon.

Sharper. Faster. Waste no motion. He was not the only one out there. There would be others to face.

He cut.

He cut.

He cut.

A respectable sheen of sweat glistened upon the young man's brow, and his hair was once again damp. A deep, raspy burn had begun to build in his lungs, adding a texture to his sharp, short breathing. He was warm all over, and his shoulders in particular were beginning to ache in protest, even more than the rest of him. He felt his heart race as it tried to keep up with his mind ordering his muscle around. There was no denying that he hadn't come in fresh, and yet...

Would he really be able to bring a great evil like that down if he gave up here?

He began again, taking his pace a notch further. His master hews, all in the order they had been learned, sprung to life. Bread and butter techniques. Reliable. Tried. True. Seven years ago, he had taken the first step on this journey to become an ideal knight, one he could proudly declare himself as. Countless miles were ahead, now more clearly than ever—

He had many swings left in him this morning.

Rest could come after he had shortened the gap a bit.
works for me, i'm probably just going to be doing a little training grounds filler if anything at all before then

speaking of,

@FlappyTheSpybot I think you got Gerard (mine) and Jarde (@PaulHaynek's) mixed up there
Been a while.
I am of course here as well
Hope you regain your muse one day. Best of luck.

Starting to wonder if we should do a roll call of sorts at this point.
that’s my ninja way
That’s a shame. Have a good one, friend
@PaulHaynek missed this tag, need to stop posting when halfway comatose. been a long day, my b
@jdh97@VitaVitaAR

He took it in silently. The Knight-Captain, numb to the world for a moment, had not responded to anyone save Aria Larette's almost mercifully direct query regarding what was obviously dominating her mind. He looked downward to the bisected man, regarding him with a solemn neutrality.

Sir Rickart...

He hadn't known him well. Perhaps they had traded a few passing blows on the training grounds, or greeted eachother amiably when their paths through the many halls of the Iron Roses compound crossed, but for all of Gerard's contemplation, he could not truly speak of the man knowingly.

It was a shame. An uncomfortable inevitability in the theatre of war that each man who made it their trade was forced to accept, but all the while a shame. Men he would never know lost their lives on the same field as he. Men he would never get the chance to properly remember. It was the reality of being a mercenary, and it was a reality that he had known would extend to knighthood. Hardening one's heart to the guilt of not knowing was a skill he had to learn quickly. Without it, anyone would break.

His eyes flitted to the Captain for a moment, before settling back upon Rickart's body.

If I can spare a thought for hardened criminals, however, I can surely offer the same to a comrade, known or not.

May the Goddesses bring your soul a peaceful rest, Sir Rickart.

I'm sure you've earned it.


With orders to carry out and nothing left to merit his idling, he then pushed off the branch, and set himself to work.




The ride back was, all told, a slow and quiet one. Luckily enough, his earlier assessment had proven largely correct— no lives lost within the number of knights assigned to him, and comparatively few injuries atop that— the most major of which being Sir Jerel's shoulder. Beyond that, nothing of real note— everyone was able to fight, to say nothing of ride or march. Including, he noted with some amusement, the girl he'd found and armed. He owed the aforementioned older knight an apology for her nearly taking his head off, but was glad that he'd all the same ensured her safety as things drew to a close.

Finding Sir Jarde a horse had been mercifully easy once that was all said and done— a simple matter of convincing one of the bandits' to carry the young man. Thankfully the blonde didn't wear much in the way of armor, so his weight wouldn't prove too unfamiliar to this undoubtedly less trained animal. Once they were satisfied with how that had played out, Jarde more or less managing to strike up a kind of understanding between himself and his new horse, it was time to depart.

...He had been very fortunate indeed that it all went so smoothly, he realized in review as the first glimmers of dawn peeked above the horizon. Both in that none in his command had been grievously wounded in spite of his singular determination to fight, and that he himself had not suffered any harm in the face of that recklessness— even the bruise he'd suspected to be upon his shoulder had faded from his senses as the hours had passed. All that was left then were his thoughts. His singular understanding that he had much to learn from this mission.

He turned his eyes upwards towards alabaster towers as they passed through the mighty oak and steel gates of Aimlenn. The Capital city was still a somewhat awe-inspiring sight for him, a man hailing from much further north, close to the border with Velt. To think human hands could build structures so massively high, and yet at the same time so elegant... It boggled his bumpkin mind to this day. He knew of cities, of fortified, high walls of stone. He's seen plenty with his ragtag band of sellswords, and was no stranger to the concept itself— but nothing could match the capital's scale. Aimlenn absolutely dwarfed anything else he'd ever known.

Yet more proof that the world was still far bigger than him.

Not to mention, this Order as well. He thought, offering a wave to awestruck children that watched their passing. It's strange how being the one gawking at knights feels so simultaneously a short and long while ago.

That used to be me down there. I wonder if they would follow my path, should it mean a chance to ride with us?


He hoped not.

He wouldn't trade the opportunity nor the honor for the world, nor even the much larger weight of time that he had experienced in an unscrupulous trade to lead him to them, but he hoped not.

He hoped that any prospective Knights would be far better prepared than he for many facets of this. That they would be stronger in body and mind than he. That they wouldn't make so many mistakes, whether he had escaped consequences this time or no. He had much more work left to his name before he could truly become the knight he decided was his goal, seven years ago. Far from mastering himself to the degree it required, half the time he wondered if he had truly earned the right to step foot into that hallowed compound.

The Knights entered the Candaeln, their home base, and the tiny Captain stiffly ordered them to disperse towards either healing, or some rest. That they'd earned it.

That much was true. They, collectively, had earned more than their share of a good morning's sleep. A surgical night raid that had resulted in a dominating victory, vanquishing a scourge upon the land's people as well as a fairly powerful enemy fighter at its head. Good work by any metric, regardless of how disdainfully they had all entered the mission. She, as much as anyone, had done enough to merit such. Looked for all the world to be ready to follow her own advice.

But Gerard, inexorably, found himself drifting towards the Training Wing rather than his quarters.

His mind had not yet settled. He intended, in the simplest terms, to hone himself until fatigue would do it for him.


Jonas blinked, momentarily baffled by her words, before spotting the connecting thread.

A wry smile followed, heralding a shake of the head and a turn back to the kitchen, headed towards the fridge.

"If you want a second helping, I'll gladly make one." He began, welcoming the outward flow of cool air on his skin as he reached for the package of bacon, encased within a ziploc bag. Gotta keep that environment sealed to maximize fridge life— Unless it was gonna all get used up before the days was out. "But that's not what I meant."

He was far more satisfied with his handiwork than he was the meeting. He had believed that much to be obvious, but evidently he had shown a little too much humility about his own cooking. Either that, or Cross had made a rare misstep in reading his implication. Dana did mention she wasn't much of a morning person.

Maybe you really do need coffee?

He turned the knob of the burner beneath the pan, welcoming flame back into the kitchen without fanfare. Waving the back of his hand to get a read of the temperature, he promptly laid two more strips onto the still-reasonably warm metal. Hadn't been too long since he'd taken it off heat, all things considered.

While he watched them fry in their own fat, he spoke once again, now choosing his words a bit more carefully. None of them needed any more wrong ideas today, even minor and benign ones such as this. He doubted she'd been quite so earnest as she appeared in her deduction that he was in high spirits. Fine by him. It wasn't wrong of her to look a little closer.

"Do you know of any legends brought about by fleeing, Rebekah? I don't mean like Marathon— I mean like what they demanded of us back there."

He halfway expected an actual answer in return from the de facto leader of the unofficial Olympus Book Club, but she was doubtlessly sharp enough to get the point he was driving towards. His composure was long-practiced under emotional and situational duress, even without the backing of his inherent divine ability. Each word was delivered with a level frostiness that had no business matching the smirk they had just seen him turn away with, and if they paid attention to the subtle rise and fall of his shoulders they would note that even the breaths preceding them were decidedly measured.

He continued to neutrally regard his bacon as his hand slid over to ignite the burner beneath salted, vinegary water.

"In all of your years and all of your texts, who is a hero for running fearfully for the trees? I can recall none."
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