10.03.3013: To Sir or not to Sir
Summary: Thalo and Klaudea spar with swords while Anabethe watches and teases Thalo while talking with her brother Nitrim, who also watches.
Date: 16 September, 2013
Related: None
Anabethe Klaudea Nitrim Thalo 

Barracks Volkan, The Crescent
At the base of the Blackspyre are several floors of barracks, training facilities, armories, and cafeterias, all built to house the defenders of House Khournas in rough comfort. Soldiers are bunked in rooms each large enough to sleep 50, with lockers and desks alongside each bed. Deep within the barracks levels, close to the training areas, are communal bathhouses, some set aside for single-sex use and others open to members of both sexes. There, the soldiers and nobles of House Khournas can soak away the aches of a hard day's labor. The corridors are all narrow enough that two soldiers could hold them against a tide, except those leading from assembly areas to great doors that open to the exterior surface of Volkan, allowing the soldiers of House Khournas to march out already in formation if need be.
3 October, 3013

The morning finds Klaudea awake. She's just returned from breakfast, apple in hand that she is finishing as she makes sure her armor clean and her practice weapons are in good condition. Setting the apple aside, she picks up her sword, and frowns. Standing, she takes some practice swings, then moves into a stance. She starts with her parry moves, then works through each motion as she remembers them, sometimes pausing as something doesn't feel right, to correct it. She gets lost in her practice, and is still going through her stances when it is time for her to be armored and ready for morning spar.

Training takes various forms, but morning spar is a ritual that occurs a few times a week. Weapons vary, but the focus on fundamentals and stricts rules makes it an important exercise. Today Thalo moves into the barracks, and past the various other Squires, nodding to a few here and there, "Suit up." he calls out from across the room towards Klaudea. He doesn't say more than that, nor does he need to, he's already wearing his practice armor and has a sword slung across his back. No, not a hammer, an actual sword. It's large by normal people standards, almost hand and a half sized, but for Thalo it's just about right. He continues towards the sparring ring.

Klaudea startles from her concentration, and realizes the time. With a hastily mumbled, 'sorry', she dives for her armor, pulling it on and fastening it into place. She jogs over to the ring carrying her polearm in one hand, and sword in the other. Once she reaches the ring, she sets them down and does one last check of her armor. "Good Morning, Sir Thalo," she greets, her eyes flickering to the sword that takes the place of the usual hammer with a bit of surprise, but she looks back to the knight for instructions.

Once in the ring, Thalo waits till Klaudea has finished strapping into her armor. He takes his hip flask out of the slot its on his armor plate on his left leg and takes a swig. Recapping it and slipping it back intot he slot he nods, "Swords and shields. We'll be working on proper shield defenses when you get separated from a shield wall." And by way of example, he unsheathes his sword and moves to the center of the ring, "Spike, Shield mode." he says and his armor growls, a red rectangular shield that looks vaguely like a wall, coming to life from his left bracer.

The Shield that Klaudea's light combat armor calls up isn't nearly as impressive as the wall light Shield that Thalo's armor calls up, but it's there on her left bracer as she stands, her shield in place and her sword now held confidentely in her right hand. She pauses in front of her knight, settling in ready position, waiting for him attack, her eyes scanning him alertly to try and anticipate the attack.

Anabethe has already been in the gym and back up to the Spyre, but apparently she isn't ready to go back to paperwork just yet. Still wearing a pair of short sweats and a tank top, with her hair braided against her head, she makes her way down to the barracks, greeting a few of the soldiers in residence as she comes in. Catching sight of the spar in progress, she makes her way over to the ring, picking out a corner to watch from. "Hey, Thalo," she calls over with a tip of her chin in greeting.

Thalo offers a nod off towards Anabethe as she speaks and with a flick of his head down, his helment starts to unfold from around the back of his neck, building itself around his head. His voice is more of a growl from within the armor, but that's normal for Spike's vocal amplification, "Just seeing how my Squire has improved." he offers and then moves in towards Klaudea at a steady pace. He keeps his shield set before him, thrusting it towards Klaudea, and then swiping with his sword.

Glancing once towards Anabethe, Klaudea sets herself as Thalo moves in. She tries to sidestep the push with the shield so she can use her own to meet Thalo's sword, ducking slightly to try and swing underneath his swipe.

<COMBAT> Thalo attacks Klaudea with Sword but Klaudea DODGES!
<COMBAT> Klaudea attacks Thalo with Sword and MISSES!

"Plenty, I'm sure," Anabethe grins to Thalo, crossing her arms over a rope and settling in to watch.

As Klaudea moves around the shield, Thalo's blade whips out towards her. The duck is enough to keep under the blade. For his own part, he sidesteps what he thinks her attack will be, moving in a half circle around her before his growling voice comes out again, "Not bad so far…And we'll see." There's an inclination of his helmeted head towards Anabethe and then he bumrushes in for another attack.

One of the tricks of being smaller is to never be where the enemy expects you to be. Klaudea watches Thalo, then she takes a sidestep, keeping her shield up as she tries to step around behind Thalo for another swing of her sword.

There's a spar going on in the ring between Thalo and Klaudea - swords and shields - and Bethe has gotten herself a prime position to watch, leaning against the ropes to watch. She's looking like she's already worked out herself, in short sweats and a tank top, hair braided. "Not bad," she calls as Klaudea dodges. "Last thing you want is to get hit by something that much bigger than you are."

<COMBAT> Klaudea attacks Thalo with Sword - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Thalo attacks Klaudea with Sword - Light wound to Left Leg.

Tap. Tap. Clop. The footsteps preceding the form that enters the door are simple and heavy, belonging to the belted, buckled boots of Nitrim Khournas. Wandering, he's dressed himself in a vest-like garb that leaves his tattooed arms bare, haunting the area around the Blackspyre with his particular blend of broody, avoid-the-press manner. As he enters, he turns from the door and slowly heads towards Anabethe, his eyes watching the fight from the sidelines as he moves.

The bumrush isn't always a wise move, it relies heavily on your opponent getting scared for half a second. Of course, in fights like these, a large part of Thalo's job is act like an enemy would. So he rushes in. A blade connects with his abdomen, scoring against his armor. There's a stagger to his step, but he brings his sword down in an over the head slash that only manages to connect on the leg. Looks like Klaudea will have two sets of armor to polish after this.

Klaudea's ploy is mostly effective. At least, she's only got a knick on the leg, rather than being a pancake on the ground. She takes a stagger step to quickly test the leg before putting her weight back on it and pivoting to try and follow up with another strike before she backs off and studies his path.

Anabethe glances over at Nitrim, smile flickering toward her brother. "Hey," she nods toward him before she looks back to the spar. "Thalo's testing out his squire. Figured it was worth a watch. How're you holding up?" She's not looking away from the fight much, tracking each move with a practiced eye.

<COMBAT> Thalo attacks Klaudea with Sword but Klaudea DODGES!
<COMBAT> Klaudea attacks Thalo with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

"Entertaining guests. Lyrienne visited with cookies from her kids to cheer me up and," Nitrim pauses for dramatic effect as his eyes sway from Klaudea, to Thalo, to Klaudea again as his eyes sharpen in a familiar manner. "I got to feed Dahlia today, which is always fun." And morbid. He comes to a stop beside Anabethe and leans his shoulder to hers in a bump. "I am so happy it's hurricane season and I'm dreaming about raining blood. Everything's keen again." He pauses for a quick beat. "His squire's from Obsidia, right?"

Thalo regains himself quickly enough and swipes out at her reactively. To be fair, it's a space gaining technique. A quick lash of the blade forces the opponent to move out of reach and when it comes to Thalo, out of reach might as well be across the room. Still, her blade finds his chest armor, but does little more than that. His armor growls, "Good."

Having determined to get out of the way once she made her own attack, Klaudea was already starting out of her way when lash came out, so it did succeed in its goal, it backed her away from him. She gives an unseen grin behind her helmet. "At least it didn't mew this time," she finally speaks, her comm only muffling her voice slightly.

<COMBAT> Thalo attacks Klaudea with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Klaudea attacks Thalo with Sword - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).

"Ah, not sure?" Anabethe admits, looking a little embarrassed as she tries to answer Nitrim's question. "Keeping up well, though," she nods approvingly, bumping his shoulder back. "Talked to Dad this afternoon. Think everything should be okay with him, in case you were worried about it."

"I was worried about it, thank you," Nitrim replies to his sister, bowing his head to slip a cigarette between his lips. Continuing to watch the fight, his eyes snow over as he relinquishes the need for a cigarette lighter; he is one. The first glorious drag is taken as his eyes return to normal. "Give it a couple of weeks and some other poor sop'll fuck up and I'll be home free to kill some of these Hostile with you and the guys." Nitrim adds as he exhales, then tilts a brow to Bethe. "How is the old man doing?"

Welp, it was even till now. Thalo was circling and he thrust his shield out again, and when the opening was there he slashed with the sword. Metal on metal groans, but it isn't enough to get through. And then the blade catches his arm, and he grunts just a bit, "Son of a bitch…" he says, eyes of his helmet growing redder.

Grunting with frustration as Thalo gets through, Klaudea brings her sword around, slashing down at the shield arm that blocks her attack, managing to get make contact. It's a desperation move, but a desperation move that frees her from the close quarters, and gets her room to move around and strike again. She gives a little shake to settle the dented armor, and then keeps low, trying to keep him from getting that chest armor again.

"He's good," Anabethe nods to Nitrim. "Getting over a cold. Sort of. Wants soup for dinner," she adds, a flicker of amusement crossing her features. "I sent Mom a message to let her know. But he's holding up same as he ever has. You know him. Like…granite. He'll be around long after I'm gone."

<COMBAT> Thalo attacks Klaudea with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Klaudea attacks Thalo with Sword - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

"What, are you kidding me, that man could digest a helmet and spit out the AI. He'll be fine." Nitrim agrees, a little laugh skipping over his teeth as he folds his arms across his chest, settling in to watch the sparring while he taps his foot gently against the floor. "I think with the heavy rains coming in I want to stay around town, I'm getting that paranoid itch again."

Going more heavily on the offensive, Thalo shoves in once more, using his size to his advantage once more. Where Klaudea is faster, Thalo is bigger. Big is what he does. So he shoves a shoulder in and slams his blade into her chest. The armor seems handy at keeping her from getting hurt, but then, his does them same as her blade rakes across his abdomen. What he wouldn't give for a hammer.

That leg wasn't ready to go low, slowing Klaudea up and getting her caught in Thalo's rush. Once more she has to resort to lashing out hard to gain space, but this time there's no bite as the abdomen stops her blade. Backing up, she begins a more wary, defensive approach, keeping on the move and watching, waiting for him to rush again.

"Well, I'm going to be talking to Vic about setting up patrols for the outlying factories," Anabethe says to Nitrim, wincing as the two in the ring bang off of each other. "If you want in on it, then I could see about getting you added to the roster. It's not exactly safe or easy work, but it might help take some of the edge off."

<COMBAT> Thalo attacks Klaudea with Sword but Klaudea DODGES!
<COMBAT> Klaudea attacks Thalo with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

"So long as I promise not to goad or talk to the Hostile, I'll be fine. I was at Niveus with you, Bethe. I'm a big boy." Nitrim muses, his eyes narrowing as he watches the fight, wincing just like his sister. "Well, not as big as Victor. Or you. Or Thalo, but you get the point. I've been having dreams lately of dusty ground and raining blood, and I'm not the only one getting them. We've got plenty of rain and dusty ground. Let's hope it's something in the pie and not them taking advantage of all of that hard-to-see, right?" He looks over to her, smirking. "Besides, you guys just got your flamethrow—fuck, there's Devon. Still. We work well together."

Getting the space she wanted, Thalo moves back a step and then shoves forward with his shield, "Defensive posture will get you killed eventually!" he growls out. Of course, that's not always true, but Thalo is an aggressive fighter. His sword goes high, but gets dodged. Her incoming attack slides along his armor with a screech but he continues to press forward.

Her teeth bare in a grimace at the screech of the sword and armor, but the space she'd taken, and the distance to study and anticipate his attack gave her the opening she wanted, which she dodged into, and almost scored her hit. "Sir Urik taught me that defensive posture, when used at the right time, can lure the enemy into thinking I'm vulnerable, and cause them to get careless," Klaudea offers as explanation, but the talking doesn't make her stop. Instead, she keeps in close now that she's found an opening and tries again.

<COMBAT> Thalo attacks Klaudea with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Klaudea attacks Thalo with Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

"Careful, Thalo, she's going to take you out one finger at a time," Anabethe calls into the ring with a grin, teasing, before she looks back to Nitrim. "Hey, I didn't say you couldn't handle it. Just was giving you the choice in case there was something else you wanted to do. You been thinking about squiring up again? Or just going to see how it goes?"

"I don't want to push the Granthams just yet. I'm fifty-fifty. I want to train like a drake should and I do want to earn my Ash Legion stripes, but…" Nitrim takes a deep breath, which he fills with cigarette smoke. "You know maybe I need to stop running all over the place and learn how to sit still for ten minutes, too." He looks over to Bethe with no lack of affection. "Maybe next time we spar I'll get a tap in?" He laughs with a roll of his eyes and a shake of his head. "I just wanna let things progress naturally. I miss training under Flint and I don't want him to suffer watching Ashleigh train me if he's not ready for that yet."

Another slash winds up getting dodged and the large Knight grunts, which his armor makes out to be a growl. This time, in leaving himself open, the sword that connects with him actually clangs hard and dents the armor in causing Thalo to draw back his shoulder to avoid a puncture. "Fuckin' Urik…" he grumbles.

"I wouldn't worry too much about Flint's feelings," Anabethe says, a faint smile tugging at one corner of her lips. "He's given me hell enough for worrying about it. If you want to train with him, then tell him that. He'll find a way to make it work if he's willing to do it with you."

Taking advantage of her lack of size once she's in close, Klaudea ducks and comes up behind the knight, giving him a hard knock, and grinning under her helmet she turns, backing one step away to set up her next move. "That's fuckin' /Sir/ Urik, Sir Thalo," she reminds, her voice light before she tries to follow up and keep pressing the advantage.

"Then I'll tell him I want to train with him. Don't get me wrong, Ashleigh's great, but I was off at Landing when he got hurt, and I should have been there. I made the call to halt and head into Eagle-Town, and now he's got a busted back. He's got plenty of sisters, he needs a brother." Extending the cigarette away from him, Nitrim uses his middle finger to flick the ash away. "You know, Thalo, for a man your size you're fast as hell, but this girl is fast, knowm'sayin?"

<COMBAT> Thalo attacks Klaudea with Sword - Light wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Klaudea attacks Thalo with Sword - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!

See, now he can take losing, but backtalk? Not so much. A leg is kicked out at Klaudea, mostly to gain distance. "Sass me like that pup, and you'll be cleanin my latrine with your tongue!" he snarls at her, bringing his blade down, though only catching a leg. He gruns towards Nitrim too, "Fast and mouthy!"

"It'd be good for him to have something to work on other than Marah's paperwork," Anabethe nods to Nitrim, rubbing a hand at the back of her neck as she watches the fight. "Talk to him. Losing your temper, Thalo?" she calls back to the ring with a grin as The Wall starts adding his own threats.

Klaudea grunts as the weapon makes contact, hitting the arm that hits her with the blade, although she fails to make it growl. She shakes her head as she backs off, and stands her ground. "Not sass, Sir Thalo. My cousin was a knight who fell holding the line, in your own words. He earned the honor of his title." There might be a wobble in her voice near the end, but there's no wobble in her dodging attack.

A thin, shrill whistle sounds from Nitrim's lips as he listens to the chatter between the knight and his squire, watching with no lack of amusement. Good points on both sides, but it's not his place to speak up, so he simply continues to provide them with a needed audience. "I'll talk to him. He still going to be coming by to visit you? Maybe I can rescue him from daytime romance programming time to catch some of the jousts aired down at Public House."

<COMBAT> Klaudea attacks Thalo with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Thalo attacks Klaudea with Sword - Moderate wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Klaudea has been KO'd!

Well, Thalo may be a mediocre sword fighter, but he's a seasoned veteran on the field. An opening doesn't come until her blade makes contact with his armor. He had no choice here though, getting to the exposed area meant moving in close. He does so, slashing at her right arm. He steps back as soon as the blow lands, still growling through his helmet, "And for that you call him Sir, as you do me. He was my peer and subordinate, so I called him Urik." His tone is actually a bit cold there, but he takes another step back.

Anabethe hesitates for a moment at Nitrim's question. "Might be better to give him a hail on Ignis," she says afterwards, trying to cover the pause with a small smile. "Be a little easier, anyhow. Not sure he's real big on jousts, but I'm sure he'd be glad to meet for a few drinks."

Klaudea gets her hit, but her sword ends up hitting the ground a moment later. She backs off, her armor hiding her eyes. "Are you telling me, sir, that he is less worthy of his title because you outrank him?" she asks, her head tilting to the side as she takes a few deep breaths.

"I'll do that. I like Ignis, plenty of heat and it's all cramped. Almost moved there once, I did." Nitrim comments, of course, he shouldn't joke. There was tragedy involved in all of it. With a wry smirk, he drops his cigarette to the floor and crushes it beneath the toe of his boot, eyes lifting to Thalo and Klaudea as he senses tension.

"I am telling you, pup, that if I want to call someone a shit eating fuck face, I will. And you want to avoid my wrath for the next two weeks, you'll shut up about it." Thalo snarls out and this time it's likely the helmet is doing all that much to make his voice sound that way, "I don't call Knights I've served with for years, Sir. That's a title used for Knights you barely fuckin' know. Grow up and learn a thing or two before you try lecturing me, got it?"

"Got Dad's sense of humor, didn't you?" Anabethe smirks at Nitrim, though it fades a bit as she looks between Thalo and Klaudea. "Good fight," she calls back to them, in an attempt at interrupting the incipient argument.

There is a moment of silence from the pup, and then she says quietly, "I was asking a question, Sir Thalo. I did not intend for it be a lecture, merely seeking information." There's a muffled sound, but her shield retracts and she bends to pick up her sword. Taking his wrath for dismissal, she turns from the ring, her back stiff as she carries her sword to her corner. Though she drops the sword with her other belongings, and begins to loosen her arms, she doesn't remove her helmet.

"Yes, I did, and it's a shame good looks didn't travel genetically upwind." Nitrim flashes Anabethe a toothy grin, leaning in a little bit. "And if you were wondering, don't read that book." That's all she needs to know. Clearing his throat, he lifts his head and looks to Thalo and Klaudea, getting their attention. "Yeah, good fight you guys, you two move really well together as a team. Power and speed, cut low, cut high. You guys are going to do some good work."

A nod is offered as Thalo pulls his helmet off, "Go get that arm looked at. Clean up the armor tomorrow." he says and moves towards the edge of the ring now, starting to unbuckle his chest armor now, "Girl can hit, I'll give her that. She'll make a good soldier soon."

"Really wasn't planning on reading the book," Anabethe assures Nitrim, rueful. "She'll make a great soldier. Probably hate your ugly guts, but that's okay," she drawls teasingly to Thalo, stepping back to make room for the knight to get out of the ring. "Next time, you and me."

"Long as I get my Hammer. Fightin you with no weapons just makes me look bad." Thalo replies with a smirk and gets out of the ring. He continues to unbuckle his armor, setting it on one of the stands by the ring, "We'll need to do King of the Mountain I think."

"I've got a copy that I'm reading. Recon." Nitrim murmurs as a chirp sounds from his hip. Sighing, he picks up the tablet and flips it on, looking over the message. "Oh this reminds me, Bethe, Cyrielle Hollolas is visiting until she gets to the tourney." Nitrim comments and opens his message program. "Girl's got spirit, Thalo, that'll take her past the point of exhaustion. If I didn't know any better she's a keepe-" Nitrim stops, blinking at the screen before him. He chews his lip and presses a finger to the power button, clearing his throat softly. Good message? Bad Message? Probably the former. "Can I throw TK at the King of the Hill, big guy?"

Klaudea nods at the order to get her arm checked out, "Yes, Sir Thalo," but she doesn't go just at the moment, as she takes off the rest of her armor and leaves it neatly piled, taking off the helmet last and taking a towel to her face, wiping away the sweat and pushing some of the sweat streaked strands back. She grabs a water bottle and takes a swig as she heads out the door to the infirmary.
You paged Nitrim with 'when did Ithaca become 'hot'? I thought she was supposed to be way too anti-establishment to be hot.'

"Man, I hate your hammer. More accurately, my ribs hate your hammer," Anabethe grins at Thalo. "But I guess it's fair enough. Good practice for getting hammered by Hostiles, at least. Did you let Devon or Brianny know about Cyrielle?" she asks Nitrim, distracted for a moment. "Make sure there's a room set up?"

"Everyone hates the Hammer." Thalo states with a grin and looks to Nitrim, shaking his head, "None of that crazy mind magic shit, buddy. King of the Mountain is pure unarmed action. No weapons at all." He finishes stacking his armor and nods again to Bethe and Nitrim, "See you two later." And then he's off for the door.

"See you later, Squire." Nitrim calls out to Klaudea, waving at her back politely as he tucks his tablet against his elbow and types out a quick message. Pressing send, rather animatedly, he grins to himself and slips the tablet away with an oh face. "Shit. I don't know? She just mentioned she was going to be involved and I'll have to relay that around. Let me—" Nitrim grunts, taking the tablet out again. "Mind magic is gonna win this war, Thalo, just you wait, man."

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