A friendly sparring session
Heinrich | Maria
Liv | Vitus
Liv | Vitus
𝓝𝓸𝓿𝓮𝓶𝓫𝓮𝓻 𝟖𝓽𝓱, 𝟏𝟑𝟐𝟕 / / 𝓐𝓾𝓼𝓯𝓮𝓵𝓭 / / 𝓒𝓪𝓻𝓻𝓲𝓭𝓪𝓷'𝓼 𝓔𝓼𝓽𝓪𝓽𝓮 / / ��𝓸𝓻𝓷𝓲𝓷𝓰
Collab with [@RiffusMaximus] @GreenGoat @PapiTan @Chasers115 @dragonmancer
She yawned, one hand up to cover her mouth, rocking her feet back and forth on the shoulders of her massive servant.
Maria wasn't really the type of person who wakes up at the crack of dawn; she wasn't some lowly soldier after all. But here she was training with some... well, a few of the best. The rest were riff raff she would rather flay, string up then set them on fire to light her garden with. That, or just have them come with her to play.
Either would be fine really.
But for today, it would seem they were meant to learn how to fight, sparring and hand to hand and all that. She wasn't sure if they knew what they were doing, but perhaps someone was a sadist if they put her and Heinrich in this particular lineup.
"Well, I hope everyone have fun." She said, smiling brightly. Without losing that smile, she bent over, whispering in her servant's ear. "Just don't kill them. Everything else is fine."
"Fun. Yes! Fun is important!" the giant of a man added enthusiastically as he looked over the rest of his training crew, a grin as wide as he could muster on the prospect of sparring with those present. All the stronger-looking fellows were sent to other training units, much to his dismay. Not that everyone else seemed that strong to begin with. There was, however, that black-haired girl among them. She looked a bit quaint, akin to a peasant, but he could see some muscles showing on her skin. Perhaps she'll prove to be more of a challenge than the others here.
Still, challenges was not what he was mainly looking for. Upon the whispered words of his mistress, it was hard for him to have a grin larger than it already was, but some of his sadistic hints flashed through his smile. Oh, the fun he was going to have with these puny toys.
Nodding, Heinrich moved to the circle of freshly overturned dirt. As his naked feet stepped on the moist soil, he could already feel at home, right in this ring. It reminded him of the arena's sand and of the fresh blood he spilled there. Oh yes, he could already imagine ripping one of these fellows their arms and beat them to unconsciousness. Or was it too much to start with?
Reaching the center, the goliath looked to the others with his creepy haunting smile, reflecting the little lady's on his shoulders. He popped a few of his aching joints, result of a night spent sleeping on the floor. Not that he wasn't used to sleeping uncomfortably, but his body still felt it even after all these years.
"C'mon, who's first! Let's see what ye guys got!"
Although they've completely changed their lodging, waking up early seemed to follow Gwen however lifestyle she chose to follow. When morning came and she had been woked up to take part of this morning's training exercises, the youngest of the Ravencroft found no issue at rising up from her bed and prepare herself for the day.
She quickly had put together a simple outfit fit for someone going to work; trousers and a plain white short-sleeved shirt. Really, all that was missing was her apron, and she'd think she was going to work the forge yet again today.
Gwen went to find her brother to his room, enthusiastic about what this first day at the Carridan's manor, then headed to the training grounds.
The girl looked around, watching the others as everyone was separated into three teams. She couldn't tell if it was a blessing to be of those in the sparring lessons' group, or if whoever was commanding here had weird sense of humor. Looking over the colossus happily heading to the patch of dirt, she was slightly creeped out by his appearance. She could commend his enthusiasm at the task though.
Unsure about the whole situation, Gwen turned to the owner of the estate.
"So, uh... how do we proceed?"
"First," Carridan looked over the few that had joined him at the rings of dirt: a barely-clothed giant, his owner, two men who looked like they would lose to a fly, a street rat, and a woman who at least looked like she could hold her own in a fight. This was an odd bunch, to say the least. "Stances. I need to know which of ya'll know how to not get knocked on your ass. After that, I might throw two of you in a ring to judge your skill. None of ya magical powers allowed, a'course."
Carridan's face seemed to immediately brighten up as he began to speak about training, the man's general demeanor sounding more realistic for a general than the doom and gloom that he had presented only moments ago. Despite this his hand was still gripping the paper, now crumpled into a ball in his fist, with a worrying tightness. "Any other questions?"
"Yes, I do have a question, my good sir!" Vitus said, not bothering to raise his hand and instead simply stepping forward. Eyes passed over the rest of the group as he did; these folks looked like they knew nothing of proper sparring - and he doubted the big man would even be able to operate such a delicate device.
"Where are the foils? Surely you can't expect us to properly spar without the necessary equipment!"
Oh heavens, they weren't supposed to bring their own rapiers, were they? He hadn't even considered that a possibility! Of course, an estate such as this would have some around somewhere...ah, but he'd have to balance it, and find one that was perfectly weighted for him. What a hassle.
Dalgen Carridan felt a headache coming on.
"Are you blind, deaf, or both?" Carridan asked the question with full sincerity. "I've only got one good eye, and enough ringin' in my ears to drown out just 'bout anyone, but not even I would ask such a damn stupid question." He sighed, motioning towards the rack of weapons that stood clear as day behind him. "You won't be using no damn rapiers either. Only used by weaklin's who are too scared to actually fight. We ain't duelin' for sport round here, boy. War is life and death." Dalgen turned his head towards the weapons for a moment, glancing over the arsenal until his eyes settled on exactly what he was hoping to find.
"Actually," Dalgen started towards the rack, "how about we give ya' a little wake-up call? I've never been fond of you prissy high-born types. It'll be fun to knock a little sense into ya." He picked a sword off the rack: a rapier. The blade itself was relatively boring, long and thin as it should be, but with an extravagant hand guard that seemed designed only to show off. All together the thing was beautiful, it wasn't much else, but it was nice to look at. Carridan flicked his wrist, and sure enough a faint glow followed the sword's path. He moved back to his trainees and handed the weakling his sword of choice.
"I know a few mages who can make a blade harmless, better for training than a dull sword. You can swing with all your might and ya wont shatter anythin', though it might hurt like hell. Not that ya can hurt anythin' with that poor excuse for a weapon, but still." Carridan pointed Vitus towards the nearest of the dirt rings before turning his attention to the mountain of a man. "You look ready to kill someone. Take your pick," he gestured to the weapon rack.
Heinrich looked at the two men talking, his grin only growing larger as how hilarious the situation was turning out to be. He saw rapiers being used in the arena. Thin blades made for quick assaults, but beyond that, he wasn't impressed. It was a puny armament. Heinrich could still remember the time he used one itself. Grabbed it by the foil as his opponent swung it at him, yanked away from the man, then thrusted it right into his adversary's eyeballs.
The large blonde man nodded at Carridan, walking over to the rack of weapons with an ever-growing sadistic smile. So much choice, it was just like back then. Usually, he'd fight with something light and good reach, like a spear or a trident. Things changed however. He saw the collosal weapon that was going to be his slaughter partner from now on. While everyone was here training, he might as well start picking up on training with the same type of weapon.
And so there it was, the weapon Heinrich would use to spar with the puny little man. A large morningstar.
"I am." the goliath replied simply, with a grin that would say more than his words.
There were far too many words while Vitus was reminicing about his fencing experiences. There had been that one lady who was so full of fire - she'd been a thrill to go up against, even if he had lost. Truly, that was a exhilarating experience, likely for the both of them. Of course, he'd never asked, but he knew his assumptions were correct.
He was still talking. Skies above, this man talked a lot.
Of course, he'd have to show the layabouts what true sparring was like. Perhaps he'd go easy. Or would it be better to demonstrate his skill first, to prove his standing amongst them? An interesting conundrum he had ahead of him; maybe he'd just play it by ear and see how he was feeling in the moment.
His attention was drawn back as a rapier was handed to him. Finally some decent service around these parts, and all he had to do was ask!
And then the goliath stepped in. Holding a very big, and very dangerous looking weapon in his hands. Good lord, this man was very large.
"I'm sorry my large, hulking, friend. I do think you've misunderstood the man, though I'm not surprised."
With the confidence of a man who had not realized his fate, Vitus turned to Carridan. "Go on, tell our resident behemoth his mistake."
Inside the ring of dirt, Vitus made the one mistake no fighter should allow themselves to do in the arena.
Do not turn your back to your opponent!
As the nobleman turned to speak with Carridan, Heinrich closed in, like a wolf stalking his prey. A large hand reached to grab the quaint man by the back of his collar, lifting him a foot above ground before throwing him to the ground, face first in the dirt, and placing a firm and giant foot on his head.
Then came down his large morningstar. It crashed just mere inches away from Vitus' face.
"Rule one: Don't turn yer back to yer foe." Heinrich snarled, retreating his foot from the rapier-wielding guy's head before delivering a kick to his sides.
Vitus had felt the hand on the back of his collar, and had been halfway through turning around to kindly ask the giant to wait his turn when he was lifted. Then, just as quickly as he was in the air, he was on the dirt, bouncing slightly against the surface of the area. Something impacted very close to his head, though he could not look to see it with something heavy forcing his face into the dirt. He let out a slight grunt of pain as the same heavy object impacted him in the side of the ribs, rolling him over onto his back.
Vitus quickly scrambled to his feet, quite undignified as he did so. He was covered in mud, he'd just been manhandled by a brute, and most importantly, he was covered in mud.
"HOW. DARE." Vitus hissed, brushing the largest spots of dirt off his outfit.
"How dare you, sir? Perhaps you do not learn the finer arts of sparring in whatever brutish town or leather-themed brothel you come from, but I will not be humiliated in such a manner! Especially not by a ruffian such as yourself, no matter how monstrous you may be!"
Liv was aware that she probably should have said something before Vitus went to a sparring match with a man that looked more like a behemoth than a human. She was acutely aware that under normal circumstances, her bonded partner would probably die within a few minutes of entering an actual fight. She was aware of all these things, and yet the thief didn't say anything, only watched as the "sparring" match began and promptly ended.
And Vitus was still talking.
"Maybe ya don' wanna insul' the guy beatin' yer hide?" Liv called to her partner, eyes trailing toward the morning star that had slammed into the ground a little closer to her benefactor's face than comfort would have allowed in normal circumstances. The territorial part of her reared its head, vicious, angry, and wanting to step into the so-called "fight" to assert her claim over her property. The smart part of her kept her feet planted in place, aware that her slight frame and largely limited experience in straight combat would have her faring little better than Vitus. "Jus' an idea."
Alistar had been a bit further back from the group in comparison to the crowd. All the while standing as he watched these fools embarrass themselves. One of them, the obnoxious one he recognized from dinner, had gotten thrown due to his incompetence and complaining to the group. His other teammates didn't seem that impressive for this situation either. Then again, their opponent was a giant hulking figure. He wasn't one to talk, however. He had no place in hand to hand combat. "What a bunch of.." Alistar cut himself off to get to his point. "To think my talents would be squandered in such a barbaric exercise. I am not some violent brute, my hands were meant for magic not melee." The mage complained out loud to the group. "No matter, I'd only get in your way if I tried to 'assist' in this little game. I trust you are all more proficient at the talents of a simpleton."
He had glanced to his sister, Gwen, for a brief moment. "Don't dissapoint me."
Gwen nodded, seemingly excitedly with twinkles in her eyes as she looked up to her brother "Just you watch!"
Meanwhile, the giant pushed a long, exhasperated sigh. Those people sure were carefree idiots. They won't stay alive for long, that much he could tell.
"Ye guys talk too much..." Heinrich grunted as he started walking towards his adversary, wrapping a hand around the handle of his morningstar and lifting it from the small crater it made. "Less talk, more fight!" he roared as he swung the giant spiked mace at the pompous little man.
Vitus turned to glare at Liv. Of all the people here he should have expected her to be backing up for him the mos-
Wait. No. Obviously not. What was he even thinking?
"He's not 'beating my hide', Liv! He simply caught me off guard!" he shouted at the sidelines, turning back towards his opponent to berate him some more. Fortunately for his lifespan, he turned at just the right moment to see the goliath begin his swing, and let out something between a shout of alarm and a tiny baby yelp.
He took a step backwards, a large oval of light appearing behind him. A similar oval appeared right in the area passed by the giant swing, and as Vitus stepped through the slightly shimmering doorway, he appeared on the other side of the attack, out of harm's way.
Of course, this left an opening for him, which he gladly took. Jabbing the large man's lower rib area once with his rapier, he drew back and stood at attention, a cocky grin appearing on his face.
"Point for me, Colossus!"
How unexpected. And yet, Heinrich could only but grin at all this. Finally, the guy was showing some backbone, even if it meant using his magic when ordered not to.
As the rapier poked onto his side, a slight wince of pain crossed his face but was shortly replaced by a grin of delight. As if... he was relishing onto the faint amount of pain he got from the poke.
"Yes! More!" The titan roared with a demented grin, breking into a charge as he threw his body and weapon at the bold duelist.
Meanwhile, having since abandoned her seat at the giant's shoulders the moment he was picked out, Maria was inspecting the array of sharp metal lined up in the rack. She had not the first idea of how to fight, but she was sure a piece of metal even if it was on some sort of foppish weapon everyone disapproved of would kill anyone should it get lodged in anyone's chest. Maria did have experience in.... hurting people after all; there were places one could stick a sharpened rod in and still leave the person alive, and places where... they did not.
She picked up a rapier with a cup hilt, one almost as tall as she was and started swinging it. It did look rather nice; she can't fault the guy for wanting to use it.
Deciding she wanted to use it, Maria started playing with it as she sat down near the others, or rather, near Liv. She looked so deliciously soft Maria couldn't help but wonder... .
"Hi." She smiled her brightest smile, trying to remember Liv's name."Liv right? And he's your uh... "master she wanted to say, but he hardly seemed the sort. In fact, she was sure he couldn't even be master to a dog if he tried.
"Companion right? He sure seems confident of himself." She said as the sparring session escalated.
So much for not using magical powers. Liv watched with moderate interest as her partner continued sparring, somehow managing to almost hold his own with magic on his side--but that was of little consequence. The dark-haired thief focused instead on the hulking brute, gauging his reactions, trying to work out in her mind's eye how fast each motion happened, mentally creating simulations of how fast she would have to act in order to evade. There was no doubt that in an actual fight, she would have lost. No doubt that even with Vitus's quick little portals, he would probably be flattened. Narrowing her eyes, Liv made a mental note to avoid crossing paths with the giant if possible. No matter how lithe and nimble she was, a misstep would mean a caved skull.
'Well, s'not like I was plannin' on fightin' him straight on if--' Liv cut the thought short as someone approached. The smallest of their motley little crew, but she'd been sitting on the giant's shoulder earlier. What was her name? Liv racked her mind to introductions the night before, struggling to recall the names. M...M...agdalene? No, too long. Millie...? No...
Oh for hell's sake, it was a name she'd had before, wasn't it?
"Uh, yeah, 's my partner." The thief murmured, her gaze trailing over the girl. The rapier in the smaller figure's hands was far from comforting, sending a faint thrill of apprehension up Liv's spine. Blades near her that were not in her hands usually weren't the makings of a good situation--but that had been on the streets. Right. It would be fine. Fine. "'s um...airogunt. Thought he'd do worse though." Then again, as her eyes fell back on the sparring match, Liv grimaced faintly. There were only a few ways to match or do worse than what Liv had expected, to be fair. "'s yer name again? I don' do so well rememberin' names."
More? But they were supposed to reset after a point. He doubted, of course, that the man knew this. He'd likely never even been able to witness a prop-
"EEP!" Vitus squealed in response to the giant's roar, quickly backpedaling away from the charge. In fact, he backpedaled straight through another of his shimmering doorways, this time appearing directly behind the mountainous man as he charged forward. He unwisely aimed to deliver another sharp jab before the beast could get out of range of his thrust.
Yet another disappearing act. While he could commend the puny man's ressources to fight, his magical tricks started to annoy Heinrich. Again, he felt the faint poke of the dulled rapier on his back.
That was it.
Feet digging into the fresh turned soil, the colossus brought his charge to an end abruptely. If he couldn't catch that teleporting mage, then he will have to use more brutal methods.
With a wrathful roar, Heinrich tossed his large spiked club at Vitus.
With Vitus's own wrathful roar (or rather, a frightened squeak), he conjured another portal to his side, stumbling through very quickly. In all honesty, he hadn't really needed to use a portal, as he'd set the end point to be slightly to the side anyway.
Still, he stumbled awkwardly out, whirling around to see the large spiked club sail off. This big fella could really do some damage if he wanted to.
Heinrich had expected his sparring partner to appear behind him again, but he did not, instead teleporting slightly to the side. Keeping the pressure, the blonde giant of a man manifested a gigantic weapon in his hands, the unholy hybrid of a bone club and a scythe that was almost as big as the man himself.
Again, he tossed his massive weapon at Vitus, but he broke into a charge shortly after.
Vitus's tactic remained basically the same, only he didn't actually turn around in time to get the chance to conjure a portal. Instead, he awkwardly dodged backwards, landing on his backside as the weapon narrowly soared over his head, and hopping back up to his feet with confidence.
How many weapons did this guy have anyway?
Or at least, that was thought he had before he looked up to see Heinrich barreling down on him.
All according to plan.
As Vitus reappeared, the poor man was hit by the mountain of muscles as if a carriage ran through him. Bracing for impact, Heinrich tackled Vitus with his shoulder, throwing both himself and his victim to the ground. Forcefully grabbing the puny man's hand, the behemoth ripped the rapier from him to toss it away.
With a vicious and sadistic look in his eyes, Heinrich found one of his huge hand wrapping around Vitus' neck. The pressure was not enough to strangle him, but it definitely would make him struggle to breathe.
"Who's got the point now, puny man?"
He was being choked to death. As he unsucessfully attempted to squirm his way out from under the behemoth, he felt his air supply dwindle. This had never happened to him before - he'd never been throttled. Hell, he'd never even throttled anybody himself. He was going to die here, crushed under the body of a man who knew nothing of proper fencing, and whose breath smelled terrible.
Well that just wouldn't do! Not for Vitus Aylous!
Underneath Heinrich, buried in the mud, a small sigil appeared. It flashed once, like a round of gunpowder going off, before the giant would be flung 10ft. up into the air.
Caught surprised by Vitus' strange magic, Heinrich was flung up into the air, still holding onto the dirtied nobleman. Too much weird things happening too fast, not enough time to react. A gruesome idea had crossed into Heinrich's mind to try and make it so Vitus would be underneath the colossus just as they came crashing onto the ground.
But then, he recalled his mistress' words.
"Just don't kill them. Everything else is fine."
As they reached peak height of the teleporter's powers, Heinrich simply decided to let go of Vitus. Rather, he simply decided to fling him downwards back to gravity's grasp. As for himself, Heinrich tried the best he could to cushion his landing, but he only just fell on his back hard.
A gasp of pain escaped his mouth as he fell the brunt of the impact onto his spine. If one would pay close attention to the bone scythe the large man had throw at Vitus earlier, they would notice a faint crimson glow emanating from the weapon just at the same time its owner hit the ground. The very faint red glow seemed to also originate from the big guy.
The pain... it was exquisite! And so was this rush of power that came with it.
Maria looked at her hand holding the rapier, then towards Heinrich. Ah, so the fool finally managed to hurt him enough to feed Heinrich's ability.
"Maria Abigail Tepes." She extended a hand towards Liv. "Pleasure to meet you."
Tch, how dare you forget my name. I should flay you and leave your corpse out for the crows to peck. Her expressions did not betray her thoughts, as she simply grinned and sidled closer.
"Say, will you be my sparring partner next?" There was a hint of of a pleading whine in her voice, not unlike a puppy trying to coddle food out of people. "I have no experience in fighting, and I fear most here would just beat me over the head like brutes."
Liv glanced at the offered hand, hazel eyes seeming to reflect a moment of uncertainty.
'Uh...' She racked her mind for similar situations--right. Handshake. With a trace of hesitation, something more grudging than politic, Liv carefully took the hand with her own.
"Nice to meet ya too." The action was rapid, her own hand quickly withdrawing, relief flooding the Liv as soon as her hand was free. Relief was soon replaced by discomfort as Maria moved closer, and Liv's attention was quickly removed from her partner and the hulking figure, now surreptitiously placed on the girl beside her. Red flags--too close. Impulsively, the rogue placed one hand over where she would normally have placed her pilfered goods.
"'m--" Liv paused, glanced at the others in the vicinity. The dark-haired girl, Vitus, the giant, and another male that looked like he would have been the other option to avoid the worst case scenario. It probably wasn't fair, really, for Liv to accept a sparring match with someone smaller than her, and even moreso against someone that seemed to be completely inexperienced in fighting, but the dark-haired "knight" was more interested in her own wellbeing than any concept of "fair". "...sure, I can do that."
Vitus was just being thrown around like a doll. It wasn't something he was used to, it definitely wasn't something he was enjoying, but it also wasn't anything he could control. For the second time, Vitus hit the ground hard, laying there for a little bit longer than he had the first iteration.
Maybe there was just no shame in calling it quits. After all, someone as fine as himself had to know when it was best to stop dirtying his hands.
Vitus stood up slowly on shaky legs, like a newborn fawn. His eyes flicked over to where Heinrich was sprawled out on the ground, a small grin forming on his face. Maybe he'd taken down the buffoon after all!
Unfortunately for Vitus, pain was a driving motivation for the goliath. The pain made him stronger, more resilient. After a few seconds of laying down still, an eerie laugh erupted from his mouth, Oh, just how long had it been since he had this much fun in a fight. Regaining his bearings, Heinrich slowly got back up to his feet, thanks his spine being more or less in good condition with the fall.
"Nice tricks ye got there. That'll do to live for a minute more."
Vitus watched as the behemoth towered to his full height again, standing in what could be described as awe. Clearly, this was going nowehere fast for him. All he'd managed to do at this point was get himself hurt and dirty his attire.
"Well then! I would say we are equally matched, my good sir. I propose a draw!" Vitus said, attempting his best to stand tall in the face of adversity.
The tall man paused, his face looking as if he had an encouter with the epitome of stupidity. With a mixture of disdain and a sadistic grin, the giant only resumed his march forward with slow but menacing steps. "
"What're ye sayin'? In the arena, there's no draw. In a fight, there's only one victor. We train 'till one can't move a finger, little man!"
"Wh-?" Vitus stammered, taking an unsure step backwards. Was this man a lunatic?
"I'm sorry friend." he grimaced internally at the use of the word 'friend'. "But I think you're mistaken. This is sparring, not some barbaric arena fight."
"Sparring is training. We train to fight. Half-assed fights means you're dead meat."
Heinrich continued walking forward, a giant step bringing him closer to the backpedaling little man.
Maria spoke without raising her voice, but it carried clearly across the circle.
"That is enough. Tis obvious who had won." Her eyes crinkled up slightly as she smiled. "Surely you do not mean to trample upon this man's pride some more?"
Her eyes spoke a different story. Stop now, or that man might die. A misconduct on his part meant tarnishing her image, their reputation. For now, they should focus on their first impressions. It was, after all, just training. If Maria needed someone dead, they would be dealt with in a more discreet manner.
As the behemoth closed in on Vitus, giant hand reaching out for his neck, Heinrich stopped dead in his tracks as soon as he heard his mistress' voice. There was a clear displeased look on his face as he complied to Maria's order.
The colossus' hand wavered to the side, reaching for the nobleman's shoulder instead. Heinrich gave Vitus a large grin, giving him a friendly brutal pat on his shoulder.
"Ye fought good, boy. Will be lookin' forward for more trainin'."
With that being said, and forcing himself to a friendlier façade to benefit his mistress' image, the blonde gladiator retreated from the ring of dirt to join his mistress' side.
Vitus, who had only just now decided that it was probably a good time to start cowering, let out an audible sigh of relief. Thank goodness the little one had called her monster off - there was no telling what a brute of that caliber would do to someone like him. Surely, the jealousy and rabidness must have been at an all time high with this group.
Steadying himself, Vitus's whole body was nearly toppled over at the large man's pat. He gave an unsure smile, brushing off the spot where the mad had, yet again, dirtied his attire. "Yes. You fought adequately as well. I look forward to sparring in a more...controlled environment.
That was a lie, of course. He'd be caught dead before he ever went up against the big man again.
It was obvious that Dalgen Carridan was distracted. Under normal circumstances, he would have stopped things as soon as they had started to get out of hand, but based on what he had seen these were not normal circustances. The old man had stalked off from the training grounds, stumbling towards the treeline. He held a rifle in his hands. He wasn't an amazing shot with only one good eye, but he needed to be armed. It seemed that no one had noticed the old General's actions until it was too late.
By the time Hounds and other churchmen ran to where Dalgen was, he had disappeared into the woods.