Training will you get up off your knees?
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,924
MP:
#1
Amalia;
Attack. Defend. Repeat.

It is a simple drill, one she knows well, muscle memory making the work easy and light. Strike. Jab. Block. Sweep. Her feet move fluidly, leopard paws latching into the ground. She has been trying out different form combinations, giving herself more versatility, more skill, trying always to improve. The leopard's teeth, the owl's talon: every form offers another tool, another weapon in an arsenal to wield against her foes. The staff is red light in her hands, red as her anger, red as her blood.

Today she has chosen the leopard, because it is the one she feels most comfortable in, the one she knows the best. A tail offers balance, clawed feet finding purchase on the dusty ground. She is dressed simply, her long hair pulled into a plait, a tight green shirt and spun brown leggings showing off the wry muscles that mark her dancer's form. But the clearest mark of her intent is buried in her face: fire and steel, flint and embers, a stubborn line drawn by her clenched jaw.

Amalia is not a fighter. She was taught to defend, to keep her strength, to find solace in the comfort of routine. She has never had an enemy before, as such, never had a place to direct her anger. But now that there is someone to be angry with she finds she has a wealth of rage, deep untapped pools of fury running like rivers through her veins. So she practices, and practices, the same motions repeated until they are second nature, as familiar as taking breath. Strike. Jab. Block. Sweep.

Attack. Defend. Repeat.
dry your smoke-stung eyes
you can see the light

Nathaniel Sterling
Hunter

Age: 30 | Height: 6'3" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 1 - Strg: 14 - Dext: 9 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 6
Played by: kae Offline
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Posts: 63
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#2
sons could be birds,
taken broken up to the mountain
List of things Nathaniel did not expect to find in his neighborhood:


  1. Snow Leopards

  2. Snow Leopards who were actually women.

  3. Snow Leopards who were actually women he knew.


Nathaniel generally tried not to think about Attuned. He slept better without considering how many animals in the forest might be people at any given time. He was a fur trapper by trade, after all. But, every now and then, a fellow was taking a walk through the neighborhood and he came across something — someone — who reminded him immediately and ruthlessly that attuned were very real and also sort of terrifying when they did that thing where they weren’t really animals and weren’t really people, but some uncomfortable middle ground. Why could Attuned even do that?

“Amalia!” His deep voice broke the morning silence like a peal of lonely thunder. Then Nathaniel paused, as if surprised. He hadn’t meant to call out, really. But he recognized her with her back turned, at first. The long lick of flame that was her hair, maybe something about the way she moved… The baker was practicing drills or something off by herself, and her form was properly intense without the clawed feet or the bushy tail.

“Are you training?” he asked as he approached. Perhaps she wanted to train alone? Nathaniel had never considered her a soldier, but with things going the way they were, it was probably a good idea… He shifted his walking stick from one hand to the other, and glanced over his shoulder to whistle for the dog, who followed him dutifully on their morning rounds. He was suddenly self conscious, and looking at the dog was easier than looking at Amalia.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,924
MP:
#3
Amalia;
Amalia spins around, surprised, not expecting to hear her name spoken in the morning air. Black eyes widen, her hackles visibly rising, the evidence of her tightly wound state written in the way she moves. For a moment she looks more animal than human: a strange ferocity marks her features, not angry so much as wary, wild.

But then the moment passes, and she is a just a baker again, gilded and small in an expanding world. "Hello, Nathaniel," the girl replies, craning her neck to look up in his face, her hand raised to shield her eyes from sweat. There is something unusual about seeing him here, giving her a moment of pause. Usually the farmer strikes an odd figure, a little too big, a little out of place in every room. But here, in the wild of his own back yard, Nate feels right, as though he belongs, as though the emptiness of this place was made to be filled by his towering form.

Shrugging off the odd thought, Amalia glances at the stick in his hand. "Yes," she answers. "Just in case." In case of what she does not say, but she doesn't have to, really. They are in the same boat, of the same opinions, small-town children in a growing world, trying desperately to keep up with marching changes. Her eyes flick to the dog, back to the stick, and then again to his distinctive face. "Would you care to join?"
dry your smoke-stung eyes
you can see the light

Nathaniel Sterling
Hunter

Age: 30 | Height: 6'3" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 1 - Strg: 14 - Dext: 9 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 6
Played by: kae Offline
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Posts: 63
MP:
#4
sons could be birds,
taken broken up to the mountain
Breathe in: she turns toward him with a look he knows. Her eyes are the eyes of a cornered beast. She is about to spring. She will defend herself with all means necessary, and Nate has only the walking stick and the dog —

Breathe out: the human peering out of her eyes again. Her voice, Amalia's voice, issuing from the catlike features. The leopard suits her somehow, as if she always wears it in some fashion, holding the obvious signs just out of sight. Then they are looking at each other, looking with something intense, silently agreeing on some unspoken thing, and Nate can't bear it and he has to look after the dog. Not fair, because she wasn't doing anything bad, but she comes along willingly anyway, her plumed tail waving gently side to side. Nate scratches her ears before he looks at Amalia again.

She is very small out here. A moment ago, she was going to rip his guts out, but still the wilderness spreads out around her and cups her in its palm like she is nothing. Just in case. Is this what they are now? Speaking in code words and vague implication? Is this what the Hollowed Grounds have become? He looks at her and he sees someone braver than himself. He looks at her, and his guts twist uncomfortably.

"I might get in the way," he says, and shifts his weight. "But I can probably take a few hits." He can feel the attempt at humor falling flat and so he gestures at the dog. "Go home," he tells her with a wave. "Home. Make sure Adam doesn't burn anything down." Dutifully, she obeys. The dog is the only thing worth keeping, he thinks sometimes.

Nate turns back to Amalia, and hefts the walking stick in one hand. It's long enough to be a short staff, not entirely straight, but the wood it sanded and finished, wrapped with leather around the grip. Nathaniel is uncomfortably aware he hasn't had much practice with this. Not since he was a liter younger and a lot lighter, with only fear and anger on his side.

He tries to find some sort of muscle memory, anyway, as he widens his stance and moved slowly to the right. "Ladies first?"
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,924
MP:
#5
Amalia;
"So can I." Is it a challenge? A joke? A reassurance? The intent is not clear, but then, maybe it wasn't meant to be. Maybe it's just a statement of fact, an acknowledgment of the way thing are, the way they have been for months, for years. I can take a few hits- because isn't that all they do here, really? Take a hit and shake it off, again and again and again and again, until their bones are broken and their lungs are full of blood, and even then they spit out their broken teeth and wait for the next blow to fall.

She raises an eyebrow at the instruction to the dog. That, at least, is clearly amusement, the concept of Nate and Adam as roommates still dumbfounding to the girl. "How's that going?" she asks, tilting her head. "Adam. He's a bit of a mess." A shrug, clearly not irate, more entertained and a little concerned. Amalia is fond of the strange man, and protective. She is protective of everyone she cares about.

She has lost too many already.

Amalia's staff is a work of art, wrought by Remi to fit her form, her height, her weight, her hands. Rivulets of luxere horn drip down it like waterfalls, glowing faintly in the girl's grip, a soothing sort of red. It fits easily against her palms, and as he readies his she lifts it up, waiting to follow his lead. Instead, he invites her to go first- a surprise, but not an unwelcome one. A shrug is the only answer he receives, a flick of her ears and lashing tail the only warning before she swings, the staff arcing delicately in her hands, a slash of red against the blue sky. She is not aiming to hurt or hit him: her goal is to strike his stick in turn, to have him block and then pull back into her own defensive stance.

Her feet skate delicately through the dirt, a dancer's form, long and lean. This is a drill, not a fight, a training between comrades. Amalia has no intent of harming the larger man, nor being hurt herself. They do not need to wound each other. Life has dealt them enough blows, with many more on the way.
dry your smoke-stung eyes
you can see the light

Nathaniel Sterling
Hunter

Age: 30 | Height: 6'3" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 1 - Strg: 14 - Dext: 9 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 6
Played by: kae Offline
Change author:
Posts: 63
MP:
#6
sons could be birds,
taken broken up to the mountain
The question takes him by surprise. Of course — why doesn’t she know Adam? He glances at her, brows lifted, expression unguarded. And he looks younger for a moment, until he remembers himself and his features close off again. “A bit?” he snorts, and shakes his head. “He’s not bad, for an Outlander.” And that is all Nate has to say about that. What he really thinks about Adam, he has not yet examined in great detail. They live together, but they are not friends. Nathaniel has very few friends.

Amalia wastes no time after his invitation. And he’s glad for that, really. No more time to think — he always thinks too much. Just the single flick of her ears, the set of her mouth. Then the graceful arc of her staff, glowing softly against the pale blue of the morning sky. Nate goes tense, thinking he ought to act a full half a second before he actually does anything. He has never fought in earnest. Has hardly drilled at all, beyond the basic self defense he learned as an unhappy teenager there in the woods beside the house. Always be aware of your surroundings. Know where your knife is. Know what can be used a weapon. He has a weapon now — a makeshift one, at least. He moves it haphazardly, just at the last moment, and Amalia’s staff clacks against it with a sharp report.

She moves as if she knows how to do this, and Nathaniel wonders how much training she has done already. How long has she known it would come to this? His expression steels, and he decides now — now — he must be worthy of their cause. Of her dedication. The echoes of the first hit fading, Nate moves slightly to the left and swings down that side of his staff. He aims for her side, though the strike is slow, and if it does land, it will land lightly.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,924
MP:
#7
Amalia;
For an Outlander. Lines, again- they are drawn so easily, and Amalia is just as guilty as anyone else, the mentality of us and them ingrained in her bones. But if this is to work, if they are going to build a functional world out of the dust, they need to start by erasing those lines. There cannot be an underlying contention of Outlander versus Natural; they cannot treat the people who want to help them as though they don't belong. But she does not say that now, only chews her lip, deep in thought, worried, worried, always worried.

It is easy to slip into the safety of action, to let the world fall away so she is only the staff and the sky. Let her body lead instead of her mind: muscles make simpler decisions, without the agony of second guessing, the anxiety of what if. Her blow lands as she expected, striking the stick with a resounding clang, wood on wood a comforting echo in the quiet between their breaths. How long is it since she drilled with another? Years, she thinks. Not since the days her mother tried to train her, dragging her out and into the cold air, forbidding her from wasting the hours after dawn. Amalia had resented her, then, whined and complained and bitched and moaned.

She wishes she could take it back. We always do, when it's too late.

The staff withdraws, defending, the movement a little awkward when performed in conjunction with someone else. Especially someone as slow as Nate. Accustomed to being the lesser competitor, Amalia is not entirely sure how to adjust herself to his speed, his inexperience. It makes her movements abnormally clunky, a little uncertain as she tries to match his pace. She still blocks his strike easily enough, the slow blow well translated by her larger opponent. Responding in kind, she too steps to the left, trying to keep him in front of her, to avoid being caught unawares. After blocking his downstrike she flicks the right side of the staff up, trying to upset his grip, to test how easily he'll stumble away. If he gives her an opening she'll swing for his shins, angling the left side of the staff to the right of him while taking a step closer, her feet still steady, her movements measured.
dry your smoke-stung eyes
you can see the light



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