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Friv
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Red Sky At Night, Part 15: Training Styles

17 Jan 2007, 10:17

Lodaris carefully set a slate shingle into place and paused, look down to compare it to those already in place in the roof. The building that he was working on had once been a training dojo for the island’s militia, but increased isolation coupled with a population that wasn’t growing had caused the military to shrink, and the building had been first used as a general garden, and then finally abandoned. It had been over sixty years since it had seen use in a military capacity, and another thirty since it had been kept in any real state of repair. Fortunately, the island rarely saw serious storms, and the building had been well-made, so Lodaris hadn’t expected that it would take more than minor effort to convert it into a training dojo for his own purposes. In practice, five days later, it was becoming increasingly clear that he had underestimated it.

“You know, I could have a dozen zombie labourers down here in about ten minutes.” Lodaris closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, then looked down into the wide courtyard. Once made up of tightly packed cobblestones, it was now filled with weeds, and someone had planted a tree in one corner that had grown and cast shade over several feet of dirt and grass. Alina was lying under the tree, dozing, while Steel watched Lodaris’s efforts with an annoyingly critical eye.

“For the last time, I don’t want labourers.” Lodaris stopped working entirely to crouch on the edge of the building, looking down at the Abyssal. “The construction and repair of a dojo is a sacred affair. The Essence of one’s soul is a part of the process, a dedication to the power of the spirit. There is no room for labourers who will not be part of the spiritual process of training.”

Steel looked over the shingles Lodaris had placed. “I’m guessing rain is part of the spiritual process of training?” When Lodaris glared at him, he shrugged. “I’m just saying, you are undeniably an extremely skilled and presumably wise warrior and monk, but you suck as a carpenter.”

“As opposed to zombies.”

“Well…”

Lodaris sighed, shaking his head, and returned to work. “If it rains within the dojo, the students will patch the leaks. Part of training is learning that all tasks have a purpose. Those without discipline have no place learning the martial arts.”

“Mm-hmm.” Steel shook his head slowly. “The sad thing? This still sounds better than my own martial arts training.”

Lodaris nearly dropped the slate he was holding. Turning incredulously, he looked Steel up and down. “YOU trained in the martial arts?”

“Well, yeah.” Steel shrugged. “As an Abyssal of the Dusk Caste, I’ll have you know that I’m naturally gifted in all forms of death-dealing. Weapons, martial arts, bowmanship, mass combat… you name it, I can kill with it.”

“You trained. In the martial arts.” Lodaris spoke again.

“Don’t have to sound so surprised.” Crossing his arms across his chest, Steel regarded Lodaris stonily. “I happen to be an adept of the Laughing Wounds style, thank you.”

“Sounds delightful.” Recovering his composure, Lodaris returned to work.

“Oh, yeah. Laugh a minute, if you’ll forgive the pun.” Steel leaned against the wall. “The core of the style’s teachings is the interrelation of pain and pleasure until we associate the one with the other. In theory, practitioners of Laughing Wounds enjoy being injured, and thus are fearless in combat.”

“That explains so much about you.”

“I think I will choose to be offended by that.” Steel still had his arms crossed, but he grinned up at Lodaris’s back. “I mean, you are speaking as a member of the religion that subjects their monks to increasing doses of fire in order to teach – what? Restraint?”

“Endurance.” Lodaris’s voice was flat. “There is a difference between accepting injury and inviting it. We teach the former. The latter is a dangerous path to tread.”

“Yeah, I know. I thrive on danger.” Steel grinned, and shrugged. He opened his mouth to continue, but whatever he was about to say was washed out by a sudden scream of terror from under the tree. Spinning, Steel dashes towards Alina, who was suddenly thrashing in her sleep, as Lodaris leapt from the roof of the building into the courtyard. He reached down to shake her awake. “Hey, Breezy! Wake up, you’re having some – woah!”

Steel somersaulted backwards as Alina vaulted awake, her chakram materializing in her hand, swinging wildly up at his arm. “YOU WON’T SKIN ME!!” As Steel landed on his feet, his sais flipping into his hands, she looked around wildly.

“Easy, girl, I wasn’t planning to.” Steel kept his voice light, but shifted into a combat stance. Lodaris, approaching from behind, narrowed his eyes as he regarded the two. For a moment, Alina stared around the courtyard as though she didn’t know where she was, and then she twisted her wrist and the chakram vanished. Steel sighed softly and slid his sais back into their sheathes.

“What did you dream?” Lodaris kept his voice low, and Steel raised an eyebrow at him. Alina shook her head, holding it with one hand.

“The acid sea, pouring from the mountains. So much pain, I don’t…” She stopped, and looked up, suddenly desperate. “We have to get to the Shogunate base.”

“We were going to. Day after tomorrow.” Steel’s voice was confused, and he looked between Lodaris and Alina. “Anyone care to explain this?”

“We have to go now! It might already be too late!” Steel’s eyebrows both rose at that pronouncement, as Alina started across the courtyard. “They’re coming for it!”

“Wait.” Lodaris stepped in front of Alina. “We will gather supplies, and then leave at once. And you can tell us what so frightened you.”

“I don’t know, exactly. But we’ll know soon.” Alina shuddered, looking towards the mountain. “There are Lintha coming here, and their leader is something dark and terrible. I don’t know what, exactly. Some sort of monster, wearing his brother’s skin as armour. It was… horrible.”

“Alright, then.” Steel smiled. “I can get behind this. Lintha-killing, and all. Just one little question before we get going.”

“Yes?” Looking clearly impatient, Alina looked back towards him.

“What’s all this stuff about your dreams?”
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

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17 Jan 2007, 23:33

I never want a Laughing Wounds MAist mad at me. I know enough about the style to find it freaky and I don't want to reinact the Kali-Ma Worship scene from the second Indiana Jones movie.

They really should have told Steel about the whole prophetic dreams thing.

I have reservations about a Fire Aspect training in what is presumably a wooden building.
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Friv
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18 Jan 2007, 00:31

*pssh* That's what the courtyard is for. Inside, Lodaris doesn't have to use his anima. He's training people, after all. If he can't take them using only his personal Essence, they're really more "sparring partners".
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19 Jan 2007, 12:08

Point and point.

Also, Steel...just doesn't strike me as the kind to use Laughing Wounds, honestly. I don't know why. I guess I'll have to see him use it first and then see if that tells me anything.

I like Lodaris. That is all.
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Friv
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19 Jan 2007, 12:21

fallstavia wrote:
Point and point.

Also, Steel...just doesn't strike me as the kind to use Laughing Wounds, honestly. I don't know why. I guess I'll have to see him use it first and then see if that tells me anything.


You may notice that he doesn't use it very often, preferring to fall back on his Melee Charms instead.

But the Lover invented that style, and she damned well made sure that her Dusk Caste enforcer learned it. Especially given that he was using the form weapons already.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

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01 Feb 2007, 12:51

Loving the interaction between Steel and Lodaris.



Also, sai are style weapons for Laughing Wounds? I thought it would leather whips and chains.
Do not confuse the inexcusable for the unforgivable. If a crime can be excused, then there was nothing to forgive in the first place. It is only when a crime is inexcusable that forgiveness is even an issue. And at that point, forgive. Forgive, if only because it sets you free. Bitterness never produced anything sweet.
 
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01 Feb 2007, 13:18

Tornado Wolf wrote:
Loving the interaction between Steel and Lodaris.



Also, sai are style weapons for Laughing Wounds? I thought it would leather whips and chains.


Whips, fighting chains, and sais. For some reason.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

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01 Feb 2007, 14:30

*thinks about sai and S&M*

MENTAL IMAGES!
Do not confuse the inexcusable for the unforgivable. If a crime can be excused, then there was nothing to forgive in the first place. It is only when a crime is inexcusable that forgiveness is even an issue. And at that point, forgive. Forgive, if only because it sets you free. Bitterness never produced anything sweet.

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