Berra — Wrestling Practice 06
Season/Week/Day/Time and Notable Context. [[[s01:session-30|Session 30]]]
Xenofos walks into the ring once more looks arround and asks ” Anyone ready for more?”
Berra puts a hand up. “More than,” she says. “But can you help me with a thing?”
Big question mark over Xenofos head as he tilts his head inquiringly.
“I’d like to see how to take a sword from a person. I’m not good at it, but it’s a thing that Humakt should be able to do.” Berra smiles. “Can you show me how you’d do it?”
Varanis settles in, elbows on knees, to watch. Curiosity and eagerness glitter in her eyes.
“The best way to do it would be to hit him or her with a sword and pick it up afterwards.”
(( A successful grapple attack and a weapon parry, means the grappler is gripping the weapon arm. A successful parry against failed attack will also do it, GM rules. ))
“Yes, but this is a religous thing. Humakt doesn’t have a sword when he takes one from Eurmal. But then again, Eurmal is clumsy.” Berra shrugs. “I think I can pretend to be bad with a sword.”
“Even a knife makes wrestling rreally dangerous and uncomfortable… in theory I could grapple that arm before the hit really gets on its way, but there is no margin for error.”
“Yes. I’ve had to do it twice now, although I think I won’t be Heroquesting like that for a while, but I had a good Eurmal once who worked with me, and once, I didn’t.”
“And sometimes, you don’t get a choice.” From the dark expression on her face now, Varanis is clearly remembering something in particular.
“We can try if you pick a wooden sword for the attempt, I’d rather not get sliced unnecessarily if I fail – I am not that good.”
(( According to the myth Humakt has to wait for the attack and then grab, so GM says a successful parry from ‘Humakt’ is equivalent to a grab. ))
Berra smiles. “Of course,” she says. “Wind Tooth is sleeping right now.” On her shield, in the one patch of shade that Berra has found here. “But I should probably use a broadsword. I’ll just be bad with it.” Confident, then.
Berra grabs a wooden broadsword and runs her fingers along the edge of it for splinters, seeming satisfied with what she finds. She tests the balance briefly and then mutters, “Humakt, forgive me for this,” to the sword itself, and then looks to Xenofos. “Any signal you like, but perhaps not a real insult. I’d hate to find myself playing the part of the Liar.”
(( Xenofos as Humakt inspires himself with Truth – normal success, 20 )) Xenofos gauges the distance, gets onto basic posture on balls of his feet and concentrates. He seems relaxed.
“Whenever you are ready.”
Berra waits for a signal, her sword held in three fingers, and as soon as Xenofos says, she comes in at a run. She slows a little as she gets to him, the sword coming with far less than her usual vehemence, and rather less than her usual control. (( 96. Fail. So not really in control, because she’s trying to pretend not to be in control. ))
Xenofos steps in a quarter turn, blocking Berra’s wrist with left hand and gripping it. (( 23 normal succes with a 85 ))
He pulls sharply downwards while continuing the turn but loses the grip. ((93 – out of 85))
There’s a grunt of annoyance from Berra that sounds exactly like Eurmal could give, and her rush takes her further towards Xenofos. Then she stops. “Interesting question. Would I care about the sword at this point? I don’t know about it yet.”
There is a brief moment of consideration, and then Berra says, “Yes,” with a thin smile. “I would. Take that again from the charge?”
Xenofos bows and taps the sand. “Yes please.”
And then, from him, a “Tallyho!”
“HAH!” Berra comes in once more, and this time her sword does not escape her, although it is still not fast. She’s trying, apparently, to help Xenofos lose weight, and his left arm looks heavy. (( success, location 16 ))
Again Xenofos rolls inside the trajectory of the blade getting Berras arm from the inside. (succcess both to grab and to lock. Berra fails to parry by grapplling. )
Xenofos is gripping Berra’s sword arm, standing between her and the sword-stick.
Xenofos tries to roll Berra’s arm into a crooked armbar but fails to even budge the Humakti’s posture.
“Mm.” Berra thinks about that. “Maybe you could just take the sword, at that point? You have the arm, and I think that might be the important part.” With a sword she is far more solid to the ground, far more casually balanced, than without. It might help that she is in obvious practice, and therefore not inclined to to the fast foot movements she needs to carry her around a wrestling opponent.
“Well I could grip the sword and wrench it that way – to free it from your grip” Xenofos says ” but if you get the blade moving I’ll be missing some fingers soon.”
Even in pausing, Berra is gently shifting her weight, unable to stay completely still. Tension stays in her, and relaxation. She is ready to move even when she has stopped to talk. “Don’t take the sword by the blade. Holding it that way comes later, in a different story. You really don’t want that one to appear right now. But the hilt? Getting my arm under yours so you can keep trying? I don’t think I can draw a knife here because I don’t think they would work yet.”
“In hilt we are roughly equal, with blade I get leverage, so I need to twist either your wrist or elbow to get things moving “
“Alright. I think in this case the wrist should probably be the thing, just because it’s closest to the sword, and that’s where the struggle is. It’s what it’s about. Want to start again, or move back a bit and get that grab again?”
“Sure, let’s reset.”
Berra goes through those motions again, but her grip is too weak and she passes her sword into her own thigh. It flies out of her hand with a thump, and an immediate peal of giggles from the Humakti. “Oh, Eurmal. You really cannot be trusted with that.” She goes to get it, inspects it, and tries again, badly. ( fumble, fail )
Xenofos is startled when the contest turns into thrown weapons use and takes some distance allowing the Humakti safe space to pick up the waster.
“Really, very sorry about that. It seems I’m very good at being bad at this.” Berra tries once more. This time, she is inexpert without being amusingly terrible.
This time Xenofos uses his right arm to catch Berra’s swordarm (normal success). He twists to Berra’s left, trying to apply pressure to elbow. (normal success) and once again fails to immobilize the joint (roll 91 on str vs str.)
No chance to wriggle free without letting go of her precious sword. Berra swings a wild punch for Xenofos instead, skimming his shoulder but missing his jaw. (( Failed at fist attack. ))
Varanis, watching avidly, comments to no one in particular, “I feel like a key lesson here is that if you have any other choice, an unarmed opponent should probably avoided grappling with an armed one.”
There are a few people watching from a distance away, but nobody who cares to step in and show them how it is done.
Xenofos throws his right arm over Berras left arm , while still holding that swordarm. (Normal success with grapple after that ) And he goes for that throw (20 % chance, roll 14) stepping past Berra and sweeping her legs from behind…
Berra goes back, with a yelp that seems to be from the Humakti, and not the god she is pretending to be….
…and Xenofos follows to the ground trying to maintain his grip on that sword arm, while letting his weight drop onto Berras chest.
OOF. At least Berra wears armour for this sort of practice, but it is still a solid thump, and she is driven downwards, her arm in the control of Xenofos and the air at least theoretically driven out of her. “I think you have it now,” she admits. “And my ribs. Damn.” She lets go of the sword, either because she can’t hold it any more, or because she chooses to. “And half of my swordarm. Well done.” Probably, because she could not hold it any more.
“And I would for the love of Ernalda avoid such attempt if I that blade was sharp and I would have any other option,” says Xenofos while gathering his own arms. “In armour one could perhaps hope for a weak blow, but the one grappling still needs to succeed better than the one with the blade.”
“Yes. Would you mind going over that with me every now and then? A few times? You get to be the one with the blade. I want to know my options if it comes up again.” The little Humakti puts her head back on the ground, pillowed in her helmet, and stares upward. “Oof.”
“Sorry about that ” says Xenofos a bit sheepishly. Again offering his hand for the opponent to get up.
Varanis pipes up, “You can practice disarming me with Xenofos watching and advising sometimes too. Best to try things on multiple opponents.”
“Oh, not you.” Berra gives her hand. “You were kindness itself. Just the way it would have happened to Eurmal, and the amount of work I need to do to make it right.” Once standing she nods to Varanis. “That would be good. Yes. Thank you.” She gives a tired smile, happy.
This is a special case where Humakt has to do a particular thing. We found it best to be generous to him, as he is trying to gain a particular thing. It’s also notable this might happen in a Heroquest, so Truth or Death are suitable passions, while Eurmal knows he is losing, so may try to cheat.