Berra — Wrestling Practice 03
????, Sea Season
1626, Sea Season, no particular place to go. Berra and Varanis are noodling around with spears. (( Berra was about to GM and wanted to make sure there were wooden weapons around in case Rajar happened later… ))
((Spoiler: Rajar happened later.))
Berra, mostly devoid of dust and in her armour – which can be said of her most days, has collected an armful of training weapons and saunters into view with the innocent look of someone who knows Bad Thing Will Probably Not Happen, but is prepared for the chance. They are mostly the blunt, wooden-tipped sort, but there are also padded wasters and leather-tipped spears. She holds up one of the latter to Varanis and asks, “Up for it?”
“I have minimal training in spear,” Varanis admits reluctantly. “But, yes. I won’t get better if I don’t try, right.”
“I thought you said you had some…” Berra considers. “Two-handed, then? I’m pretty good with spear and shield but as I don’t have my shield with me… well, that’s interesting. I’ve not practised without my shield for a while. So we should do that, but maybe two-handed would be better. Or I can take you through some drills.” Squatting with her weight on one leg beside the pile, the other stuck out in an infantry-at-rest position, she is a mean little figure. She has brought one or two of just about everything, including wooden rapiers.
It took only one trip, but someone obviously helped to pile them onto her arms at the start of it.
“Let’s try two-handed spear for a while. I’m sure it will be good for me, if nothing else.” The reluctance is overcome with a desire to spar. Varanis rolls her shoulders and shakes out her wrists.
“And me.” Berra picks up a couple, throwing one to Varanis and running her hands over the other to check for splinters. Perhaps that is over-polite, but she finds a small one and uses a very small knife from a pouch to smooth it off, before she declares herself ready to go.
Varanis is testing the weight and movement of the spear in her hands. She does appear to have a reasonable stance and seems to know how to hold the spear. While she is grinning, it’s a nervous grin.
(( Varanis inspires spear with movement right away. Success on the roll. ))
Berra obviously knows how to hold the spear, but she’s less confident than with a sword, and she takes a moment even as Varanis tries out the weight to do it herself. Maybe because it’s not a sword.
Berra comes in with a swift, flowing, but functionally useless attack. Her feet are in the right place but her hands don’t quite work together, and that seems to displease her.
Varanis attempts to parry the attack and ends up not getting her spear even close to where it needs to be. She’s lucky that Berra’s blow was ineffective.
Varanis comes in unexpectedly fast, spear coming directly at Berra’s head. Everything seems to click for her suddenly.
Clicking is good, but pulling blows would also be good. Berra is starting to gather herself for another try, when the spear hits, and she has not even managed to start moving out of the way when the thud of the impact jars Varanis and her together. It takes her on the right side of her face, hitting her cheek hard enough to split her lip, and turning her around from the force of the impact. That would have been a perfect killing blow, had this not been practice. As is, the Humakti only stays even close to upright by letting go of her spear and spinning around on her forearm and then … no, not close to upright. She is down and groaning, blood on her face.
Varanis nearly drops her spear in shock. “Berra!” She sets the spear down and is instantly at the Humakti’s side. “Are you hurt? Do you need healing?” There is real concern here. “Look at me – can you see straight? Shit. That was a lot harder than I meant it to be.” She is crouched at Berra’s side and her hands are reaching towards the other woman’s head, cautiously.
Berra’s lips move – even the torn one – and the cut twitches and is gone, although the twitching leaves a scar that is a soft shade of pink-brown against her pale skin.. “Had worse,” she says, her eyes focusing. “Yes, I see straight. I think you moved a tooth.” She explores with her tongue, and then nods. “Just a bit. Canine. Are you trying to make me be a wolf again?” She feels her cheek with her fingertips.
“I’m sorry. I thought you’d block that.” Varanis sounds chagrined. She stares at the newly-formed scar on Berra’s lip.
“Well, that’s my problem, not yours.” Berra blinks up and the sky and then starts sitting up. “Check the head? You might have loosened the protection.” She leans over from where she is to hook her spear closer, and look it over, still elegant even if a little dazed.
Varanis pulls her own spear into her lap and checks over the leather covering. She readjusts it, to make sure that it’s secure. She rises gracefully to her feet and offers Berra a hand. “Ready to stand yet, or want to give it a moment longer?”
Berra says, “If it’s alright with you, given people are watching, I’d prefer not to take your hand.” She’s graceful too, on the way up, but she murmurs something, and it might be a spell, and she sighs. “Let’s try that again and get it right.” A moment later she gets it right, and then there’s a little sway of her body as magic moves through her, and it’s almost hypnotic. Her grasp on the spear becomes something better, and her balance improves. An air of pretenatural grace, so perfect it becomes uncanny, is around her.
(( Co-ordination spell. 3 DEX, giving 5% to manipulation (and 22 DEX…) ))
Varanis lets her hand drop and steps back. The enthusiasm has fled and she looks more ashamed than anything else. “I should have had better control. I’m sorry.”
“Oh, not a worry. That is what practice is for. Try that again, but this time on purpose.” But now Berra’s flowing style has reached her hands, and her feet, and the sway is part of the spear as well. Her technique would still, to a professional, be cause for great concern… But she is in her element when it comes to manoeuvring.
(( Berra is now also inspired by movement! ))
Berra’s technique lets her down again as she stabs forwards, apparently caught out by having two hands to move. She passes the spear forward, but that dips the end. She is definitely not used to this weapon.
Varanis retakes her stance, adjusting her grip on the spear. Her knuckles are white and stiff. Taking a long, deep breath, she blinks realizing that Berra is moving already. She swings her spear frantically into a parry that would have been useless if Berra’s thrust had been on target. She thrusts forward from the parry, in a sharp jab towards the Humakti’s middle.
It’s a solid, well-executed attack. It’s a pity that Berra just decides not to be there. An arc of her back puts her onto her toes, the spear passes behind her as she twists to the right, and then she steps forward in a slow spin to thrust in return. It is more of a dancer’s move than a warriors’s but it is still straight on target for the left arm, as she balances spear and self, taking advantage of not being where she was.
Varanis shifts subtly, fading back just enough that the spear slides past her left side. She sweeps the spear upwards towards Berra’s undefended head again, stopping just short of connecting haft to temple.
Berra snorts, as she realise how close she came to catnapping in the Temple of Chalana Arroy. “Open,” she says. “The balance of this keeps not doing what I want a spear to.” Her tip takes on a figure of infinity, a weaving motion as she makes up her mind what to do. She drops it for the thigh, but the blow goes too far – what should be a slice is likely to be a gentle touch of the wood as she gets the length wrong.
Varanis moves quickly, but the wrong way and she’s lucky that Berra’s spear isn’t where the Humakti had intended. She thrusts again for her gut, but is too far back now to make the distance work.
Berra keeps her spear-head low as she recovers it and her posture – she had her balance already. She does not bother with moving out of the way, although a veteran warrior would have punished her. This time she manages to bring back the spear in a way that will scrape back along the right leg, and cut Varanis from behind if all coes to plan.
Varanis dances out of the way, gracefully. But, she has once again increased the distance between them and can’t reach her target. She has a look of intense concentration and perhaps a little frustration.
Berra has the look of someone who has forgotten that she is in danger, and is hardly parrying or moving sideways, but more dedicated to exploring the various weaknesses she can find, in turn. She commits, with a speed and precision that is more familiar to those who have seen her with a sword, to an upward sweep to where Varanis has left her right arm exposed. She has managed to convert a one-handed spear technique for two hands, her spear held behind her as she moves. Seasoned warriors would weep, but many would also fall for it.
Varanis dances back yet again, staying out of reach. Her thrust at Berra’s chest is a finger’s breadth from connecting, but she’s at full extension.
Finally, Berra remembers that she is holding something that can keep her safe as well as killing. She steps back, brings her arms – and her spear – over her head, and flicks the shaft over her fingers to get her grasp on it again. It is possible that Humakt allowed her shoulder-blades to pass through each other for that – no other explanation is possible. But she has used the movement to flick per spear forwards in her grasps as well, and although she dips once more for the right thigh, she is dead on target and her extension makes up for the natural – and pretty extreme – deficiency of her height. Little. Short. And pointed.
Varanis leaps forward, right onto the spear point. All her flowing, dancing movement comes to a sudden, abrupt stop as Berra’s spear connects solidly with the muscle of the Vingan’s right thigh. She gasps in pain, but continues her attack, having committed herself to the forward strike. The point of her spear is aimed directly at Berra’s belly again.
She stops immediately after throwing the blow. “Wait. You had already landed the point on me. If your spear wasn’t blunted, I’d be in desperate need of healing right now.”
Berra remembers too late, once more, that she is in danger from a long way away, and although she hits the ground with her dancer’s poise and her solid reflexes, she also hits the spear-point. “Me too,” she admits. “Maybe this is a silly weapon. We should try something else, less undignified.” Were it not for armour she would be folded around herself on the ground, trying to breathe, with an option of having a spear through her.