Scars and Spars

In which Haft reacquaints himself with Sir Tyren

Knights’ Practice Room

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You stand on the chamber which serves the Knights’ Practice Room. One part is dedicated to hand to hand combat, and the rest of the area has stands for straw dummies. You can also see much of the countryside from here. On a chair near the door sits the old sergeant, Doel, who maintains the equipment. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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You can go: Equipment Room <E>

Contents: A son of adam with a scarred face and sharp features; Doel, the

Trainer; and Straw Target.

Tyren leans against a wall, taking a breather as he chats with Doel on the finer points of proper parrying technique. After a bit, Tyren apparently decides he’s had enough of a break, and returns his attention to the target in the room.

Haft enters the room and, seeing a nobleman at practice, leans against the wall and watches, arms folded across his chest.

Tyren directs his blade through a few familiar maneuvers, slashing at the target in expert fashion. After a few moments of this, the target falls apart, and Tyren nods once, apparently satisfied with his work.

Haft says, “Pretty work, there, sir.”

Tyren’s brow lifts slightly as he glances toward the speaker. “Thank you. Though admittedly I tend to favor effectiveness over aesthetics when it comes to bladework.”

Haft acknowledges the comment with a bob of his head.  “That’s true enough.  Doesn’t much matter if it’s elegant so long as the enemy’s defeated.”

Tyren nods. “Elegance has its place. The battefield tends not to be it.”

Haft says, “You seemed to have passed through the recent battle unharmed sir.  More than can be said for a lot of our soldiers.  I’d say your blade served you well.”

Tyren replies, “Not my first tilt, either, but yes, I would say it did as well.” He gestures toward the remains of the target. “Yet no reason to get complacent, either.”

Haft says, “Indeed not.”  He searches the younger man’s face.  “Sir Tyren, isn’t it?””

Tyren says, “It is.”

Haft says, “Good to see you.  I remember when you were just a boy.  You’ve changed a great deal, of course, but the face still tells.”

Tyren taps a finger to one of the scars now lining his face. “That’s changed a fair amount since my youth, too. To be expected in this line of work, though.”

Haft asks, “Aye.  How’d you get ’em, if you don’t mind my askin’?”

Tyren shrugs a shoulder, apparently not minding one way or the other. “Thug. The head of a ring of bandits didn’t appreciate me poking my nose into his affairs, and decided to… send someone to push me back a bit.”

Haft wrinkles his nose in distaste.  “Send someone?  Man couldn’t fight his own battles?”

Tyren says, “Oh, we had our own confrontation, eventually. And matched wits on several occasions. That was his strong point. He played the mental game over the physical.”

Haft says, “Gave him back as good as you got, I hope–in both senses.”

Tyren says, “Did my best to. And apparently succeeded to some degree, at least.” After a beat, he tilts his head, just a slight degree. “Forgive me, but you seem to have the advantage over me as far as memory goes.”

Haft says, “No matter.  No reason you should remember me, you being young and me a member of the guard.  When I did my job well I was out of the way.”  He hesitates half a beat, then offers.  “Name’s Haft.”

Tyren’s brow furrows slightly. “A name I do recall, though more from hearsay and such rather than experience, I confess.”

Haft stiffens.  He draws a deep breath and fixes his eyes on the floor.  “And what is it you remember hearing, sir?”

Tyren says, “It has been some time, so I admit the details are not particularly forthcoming. I do not recall it being particularly flattering, though.”

Haft says softly, “No, I don’t reckon it was.”  His eyes flicker to the door as if considering escape.

Tyren says, “I’m not one who puts a lot of stock in hearsay, though. It tends to obscure the truth more often than relay it.”

Haft growls, “Yeah, well, I imagine the word ‘traitor’ got tossed around quite a bit back in the day…’fool’ might’ve been a better word.  Or ‘derelict’.  But there ain’t much difference between the words if the result is all the same, is there?”

Tyren says, “Depends on who you ask. All about context, sometimes. But I see your point.”

Haft runs a hand through his hair.  “Didn’t make any difference to Cor what I was, did it?  Anyhow, if you’re wondering what I’m doing here, the king’s reinstated me to the guard.”

Tyren nods once. “I see. Well, what’s good enough for His Majesty is good enough for me. Welcome back.”

Haft nods gruffly.  “Thanks.”  He sizes Tyren up for a moment.  “Don’t suppose you’d like a human opponent to practice with?  I could…let off some energy.”

Tyren says, “I seldom decline the opportunity myself.”

Haft lays down his satchel.  “Well, sir, I gave the challenge, so I’ll let you begin.”

Tyren simply nods once in acquiescence, hefting his practice blade once more. He gives it a swing or two, takes a breath, then when his opponent appears ready, lunges.

Haft steps to his left and responds with a quick thrust.

Tyren grimaces slightly, though loses no time in retaliating with a swift jab of his own.

Haft attempts to step back, but isn’t fast enough.  He brings the sword around in an arc toward Tyren’s left side.

Tyren pivots slightly, but not swiftly enough. He slips to the side a pace, the better to slice toward Haft’s extended arm.

Haft winces.  “Wood’s harder here than Narnia, by all accounts…stings like the blazes.”

Tyren twitches a faint smirk, even as he retaliates. “Wouldn’t know. Didn’t face a wooden weapon in the few spars I had in Narnia.”

Haft grumbles, “Yeah, well, it’s a ruddy pain to get the nicks out of a real one, innit?”  He thrusts back.

Tyren winces. “The hardships a knight faces,” he replies as he slashes.

Haft tries to dodge, unsuccessfully.  “Never been called a knight before,” he returns, while returning the blow.

Tyren parries the blow, and as he strikes back, replies, “Soldier of any sort, really. I say knight because it’s the variety I know best.”

Haft yelps as the sword catches him on the knuckles.  He tries again, minding his footwork.

Tyren meets Haft’s blade with his own, the clack echoing in the room as Tyren deflects the strike, then jabs his sword toward the opening the move has made.

Haft leans to the side, lessening the impact, before swinging low at Tyren’s knees.

Tyren takes a sharp breath, not quite fast enough to avoid the blow. He drives his own weapon toward Haft’s shoulder in retaliation.

Haft edges back, losing ground, as he tries to parry

Tyren grunts, shaking his head slightly before pressing his attack again.

Haft’s eyes narrow against the pain as he attempts to regain some ground.

Tyren gives none, even after a forceful strike, and continues to press Haft back.

Haft grunts, trying the reassess his enemy, as his current approach doesn’t seem to be giving him the opening he needs.  He swings rapidly to buy time.

Tyren meets Haft’s blade with his own, diverting it out of the way and driving his sword toward his opponent.

Haft pushes back, trying to use his greater weight as a weapon.

Tyren grunts, though smirks. “Trying to throw your weight around, hm? Tactic I use a fair amount myself.”

Haft says, “Well, I’m shorter than you.  Use what I’ve got.”

Tyren concedes, “Best way to go about it.”

Haft exclaims, “Blast!”

Tyren continues to hold his ground, unrelenting in his offense.

Haft steps to the side, minimizing the impact of the blow and trying to return his own with greater efficiency as the combatants become more tired.

Tyren uses his own blade to flick Hafts away, preventing it from doing much damage, then lunges again, taking what ground he can little by little.

Haft scowls as his sword is pushed out of the way, opening him to the blow, he brings it back in with a lunge.

Tyren grits his teeth, starting to feel a bit of strain, but seems to be little affected in continuing to push his advance.

Haft is panting for breath now, and lets out another grunt as he attempts–unsuccessfully–to deflect Tyren’s blow.  He strikes again.

Tyren parries, threading his blade right into the opening it creates.

Haft’s face is a little grim as he begins to become annoyed with himself.  He tries to use his own sword to twist Tyren’s away.

Tyren holds his ground, though looks rather uncomfortable in the process, pushing back.

Haft steps forward quickly as the blow grazes off him, aiming for Tyren’s shoulder.

Tyren ducks in response, even as he takes the sharp rap, and goes for Haft’s leg.

Haft groans, sinking for a second as his leg buckles.  He regains his feet a moment later and aims for Tyren’s wrist.

Tyren snaps his wrist out of the way in the nick of time – mostly because he’s losing none in delivering his next blow.

Haft grits his teeth.  He’s not winning this battle and he seems to know it.  Still, he’s not quite ready to yield.

Tyren’s jaw tightens, though this is the only visible reaction to what is clearly a very palpable hit.

Haft lets out an “Oof” and tries for another damaging blow.

Tyren once more deflects the brunt of the strike with his blade, twirling his blade once afterward before driving it toward Haft.

Haft works his jaw, circling slowly, looking for any opening.

Tyren gives Haft very few of them, though he exploits a few in return.

Haft stumbles back a couple paces before lurching forward again, though his footing is less steady.

Tyren frowns just a hair, though it doesn’t prevent him from pushing further.

Haft takes the blow on his shoulder, aiming his own strike to Tyren’s side.

Tyren perhaps reads this somewhere in Haft’s stance, as he slips to the side and avoids most of the blow.

Haft’s face twists at the impact before he parries back.

Tyren meets Haft’s blade with his own, directing the blow away from him before throwing another in return.

Haft steps back quickly, then feints to the side before thrusting low.

Tyren lets out a ‘whoof’, sliding back a hair. “Good one,” he allows, before driving his offense forward once more.

Haft says, “Thanks,” though he seems a little short for breath.  He diverts most of Tyren’s blow before taking aim again.

Tyren pivots, skirting the blow and delivering one of his own in the process.

Haft doesn’t manage to dodge this one at all, and he grimaces as he stabs again.

Tyren manages to avert this blow as well, and his glance becomes a bit more overtly scrutinizing as his opponent becomes more visibly weary. It doesn’t keep him from striking back, though. Yet.

Haft narrows his eyes at the inspection.  He may not have much left, but he’ll not give up without a final attempt or two.

Tyren gives a small nod of acceptance, possibly reading this in the expression, and strikes once more.

Haft’s foot slips a little as he tries to dodge, and he finds himself again taking the brunt of the blow before he turns and–in desperation–makes a wide, wild swing, though there’s power behind it.

…and also time enough to forsee it coming, which means enough time to avert it entirely.

COMBAT> Tyren has DEFEATED Haft!

Haft stumbles back, lowering his sword.  “Well fought,” he says, breathless. “I yield.”

Tyren nods once, lowering his sword as well. “Well fought on both sides, I should say. You’ve a good deal of tenacity.”

Haft nods, still catching his breath.  “Never wanted for that, I guess.  But those Calormenes they sent against Anvard must’ve been farmers, if I’m this out of practice.  Still, well done.  You’ve plainly attended your own lessons, lad–Sir.  Sorry.”

Tyren waves a hand in a ‘think nothing of it’ sort of gesture at the apology. “I should hope I have, it is what my position asks of me, after all.”

Haft nods.  “Reckon that’s all anyone can ask.”

Tyren says, “True enough, when it comes down to it.”

Haft says, “Well, I’m glad for the practice.  Tried to keep in practice during my–during the time I was away, but it ain’t the same sparring Beasts as Men.”

Tyren nods. “Quite a different experience indeed. Honestly, I wish I had more opportunity.”

Haft asks, “Exercises a different set of muscles, to be honest.  When were you there last?”

Tyren says, “Precisely why I would relish the opportunity. Helps encourage versatility. I was last there… oh, couple years back, now.”

Haft nods.  “It’s all well and good–till it’s actual Calormenes attacking.  Then you wish you’re training was less versatile and more…what was your word?  Pragmatic.”

Tyren lifts a finger. “Ah, but that attack proved the pragmatism of it as well. You know better how to fight alongside Beasts if you’ve sparred them yourself.”

Haft says, “Well, that’s true enough, I guess.  That’s the direction I was coming from, so at least I knew what I was doing.”

Tyren nods slightly. “It’s a thought that’s been on my mind a good deal in the time since.”

Haft asks, “Learning to fight with Beasts?”

Tyren nods again. “Precious few here have had that experience.”

Haft bites his lip.  “No, I suppose not.  Not likely they’ll get much change though, unless you mean to sponsor a bunch of tourneys between the lands…but that ain’t practice.

Tyren nods again. “There’s use, and then there’s practicality. But there has to be some balance somewhere.” He shrugs a shoulder. “Perhaps it will come to nothing. But it has remained on my mind regardless.”

Haft nods.  “It’s the stories of men who’d never held a sword before, going out to defend their wives and daughters, as I find sobering.”

Tyren hehs quietly, nodding slightly. “We did have a fair few of those.”

Haft says, “I don’t know if training for them might be managed, just so they’d know which ends goes in the other fellow.  Can’t imagine they were much more than a danger to their own side.”

Tyren says, “It has left us with much to consider, it is true.”

Haft nods, rubbing his arm.  He picks up his satchel and slings it over his shoulder.  “Reckon I’d better go clean up.  No duty tonight, but still.”

Haft picks up the satchel.

The A Leather Satchel seems to be a decent weight for you.

Haft puts on his satchel.

Tyren nods. “Even so. A good eve to you then, Haft.”

Haft heads out of the chamber.

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