Great Sword (2)

Berra — Great Sword 2

????, Dark Season


Context

Mid Dark Season. Berra is still practicing the greatsword as well as the broadsword. [[[s02:session-21|Session 21]]]

Events

Morning is crisp. Yesterday’s mud has frozen during the night and there is just a wisp of fresh snow covering it and making everything look fresh and clean in the Straw Weaver camp.

Xenofos emerges from the yurt dressed for training session and greets Berra and Varanis as usual, asking if they mind him joining in.

Berra nods to where Varanis is. “Sure she doesn’t underst… uh, mind, either. Dunno where that came from. Can you help me?” She looks up at Xenofos with bright, open eyes.

“Sure, what do you want to work with this morning.” Xenofos has brought his rapier and sword and seems to be armored; his gaze seems frank and without guile.

“Greatsword,” Berra beams. “It’s taller than I am.”

“Hmmm, in that case I better retain shield I think. Do you want me to use spear or rapier?”

“Rapier. One of us at least should be in control.” Berra goes to pick up a long, sturdy stick made of bound rattan, groove-fitted together so it makes a decent blade. “It’s a tiny bit bendy, but a good weight. One that is balanced for me will probably be a bit shorter, to be honest.” It’s almost as tall as Xenofos.

Xenofos picks up a waster, slightly shorter than a proper rapier and swings it around couple of times. “A bit whippy and not quite long enough, but that will just require agile and determined footwork.” He smiles, but the brown eyes are already gauging the measure between him and his opponent.

The opponent is getting into a practiced but not perfect guard position, looking determined. “Ready?” She never usually asks.

He salutes with the stick “Ready!” and lets the hilt of the sword fall to outside his right hip.

Berra brings her blade up a little to start accelerating it towards the kill pocket on his right shoulder. Too close for the point work she is likely after, but if it hits it might still cut straight through.1Berra fails her greatsword rolls throughout. Xenofos passes most rolls.

Xenofos steps tiny bit to left of center and takes a strong step back right lifting the handle of his sword high, with point down, towards Berras face trying to close the distance as he does so.

Overcommitted, Berra nearly grounds her sword before she can pull it back, and only a frantic twist gets the blade up into the way, but her balance is off, and she is easy prey to that smaller sword.

Smaller sword, powered by Berra’s parry comes around to tap her helmet lightly.

“Yep,” Berra says. “This sort of reminds me of ladders I’ve climbed in the past.” She comes back to a guard with her forearms straining momentarily, and lets the weight flip around, a simple, space-clearing move before her.

“I do not want to trade strokes with a sword of that length” Xenofos notes while staying way ot of range.

“Well, no.” Berra manages to flip it back through the air again, although a little too far. “And I’ve seen a couple of people making it look easy.” She is just about managing to quarter the air, solidly defensive but without the ability to convert it to anything else.

Xenofos surges forward taking a smash to his shield and again trying to close the distance for a strike.

Berra scrambles back to bring her blade online, bouncing the tip towards Xenofos more by luck than good judgement, but while she manages to threaten his face briefly, she gets it over his left shoulder with plenty of room to spare and he can use his shield to keep him safe as he walks in. Walk. He can walk. She is not good at this.

Xenofos is not walking, he closes the distance rapidly and displays the stick in front of Berra’s face. He disengages diagonally to Berra’s left leaving the shield to cover the line until he is well out of reach.

“I can’t salute with this, so…” Berra thumps his shield to say goodbye. “This is going to be very tiring.”

“Do you want to continue with set drills or was that enough for today?”

“Keep going. I want to feel why I am doing the drill. A bit more.” She looks determined, like she has forgotten she could stop.

He checks he is still out of distance, nods and approaches leading with his shield sword in low outer ward. When he judges the measure right he launches forward with a thrust closing the center line over the shield.

Berra is closer to threatening him this time, scuttering her sword around the bottom of his shield and nearly hitting the thigh, but without any real speed behind it, only the weight of the sword. And, of course, it leaves her defenceless.

Again point is presented without contact. And once again scribe disengages with his guard up.

He signals his next attack with a nod, aiming to make the big cut from Berra’s left shoulder to right hip.

Except he pulls the cut short and onto centerline.

The big, long cut gets the parry, and Berra has no way to come back from that, and is fighting the weight of the sword as she is hit. She pulls back, this time bringing her sword vertically to indicate she is stopping. “Alright. I think I get the idea. I think. Or at least I know what to work on.”2Berra rolls a special pass on greatsword to understand her lessons and be able to meditate on them later.

Xenofos bows curtly. “If that was sharp I would have trouble being as determined. But I guess I would just have to trust my shield anyway.”

“Yeah. But I think I know how to think about it, at least. And… it was interesting. Is. Not being very good. And having you just dance in. That was funny. Sort of.” Berra lifts the sword up to turn and go put it down without endangering anyone by accident. “I’m should probably blame this on Rajar, but it’s a good thing for me to learn anyhow.”

Xenofos looks at the tall waster “I kind of doubt it’s utility. Sure it is horrible if it hits but if even you have so much trouble using one it seems – I don’t know, awkward.”

“I’ve seen it done well. And it’s not awkward. I could call on the understanding of the sword and it would BE easy. If I ever had to. But it’s not a broadsword. It’s still a sword, though. They get used to break pike ranks, sometimes, which is not a thing I’ve ever had to do.” Berra checks her harness is still hanging properly, having not taken off her swords for sword practice.

He shrugs. “I’ll take your word for it.” His eyes gaze over the field where Varanis is doing her greetings saluting Yelm and over to animal pens where the High llama signals the location of guest’s mounts.

“You don’t have to ask to join in, you know?” Berra is watching him, not Varanis.

He looks at her, raises an eyebrow and nods. “Kind of you to say that, little cousin.”

Berra pauses in a step she was just starting to take. “Do you know that wasn’t really an answer?”3Xenofos passes Insight (Human) and Berra gets a special.

Insight: Berra was trying to be kind and is now maybe curious instead.

“I mean… have I scared you or something?” she adds a moment later, and turns the full force of her attention on him.

He seems to be curious, alert and a bit surprised. Scholar pauses to look at her, before answering. “No? Why do you ask?”

“Well, I didn’t really ask a question, so I guess I shouldn’t have expected and answer but you seem to have been nervous around me. Like I said something wrong or threatened you or something.” She tilts her head a little, thinking, and then shrugs, then stops halfway through the shrug. “But you’re still calling me little cousin and you’re…” she trails off and completes the shrug. “I think I suddenly wondered if you were alright.”

He shakes his head “Nervous? No? A bit confused maybe.”

Berra accepts that. “Fair enough.” She takes that and goes with it. “I think I’m going to do some drills, then. Try to get used to the weight.” Her attention leaves him, goes onto the snow and the sword and the air around them and the high llama and Varanis.

“What made you think I was nervous in the first place, Berra, you made me curious.” he asks her profile.

Berra shrugs one-shouldered. “You’ve been asking to do things like join me or sit down with me or come and practice. For ages.” Days, at least. Forever, for a young Humakti.

He nods slowly “Yes… after our discussion way back in the river valley I was not quite sure if it would be awkward for you to be around me. So I deemed it more polite to ask.” He is trying to see the zebras apparently. “Since I enjoy your company and seek it anyway.”

“No, I don’t mind. I just want to make sure mine’s not pressing on you.” She picks up the greatsword. If she has an expression, he’s concentrating on the zebras anyhow.

He nods couple of times and turns to look at her again.

She has the sword in a ready stance now, and begins stepping through the forms of simple great sword motions – beginner drills, but suddenly made elegant.4Another special

He stays looking at her fluid movement, not saying more.