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6/5 Out of Shape

JWaldman Jun 6th, 2019 (edited) 83 Never
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  1. Ser Artaghh would silently make his exit from the bustling square of Dawn for the frigid north once more, leaving his son to his youthful antics with Hoppy as he marched quietly sabataon by sabaton out of the city. Slowly progressing forth into the snowy mountains of the north, a vigorous glide and decades of travel up the steep cliffs making arrival at the cliffside plateau a short trip for the seasoned commander. He'd just been here with his son after all.
  2.  
  3. Yet, young Feth was absent this time around, and this visit to the heights of the northern mountains high above Dawn's persistent occultic taint, where the howling gales of air were fresh and cold in a purifying cascade of wind. Here Ser Artaghh's soul felt most attuned to the spirits, high above the petty politics of the city of undeath. Here, the knight of the Green Hill could, at least for a time, clear his head and think.
  4.  
  5. As the last feet of the steep ascent towards the mountainous plain where he'd mastered the mystic arts, Artaghh would sigh deeply as he carefully paced across its edge, his woolen cloak billowing behind him as he peered down over down towards the mountain's base. If he slipped and fell, he'd likely tumble a hundred feet down to his doom. It did not seem the prettiest way to go, the knight could not deny it.
  6.  
  7.  
  8. (Artaghh)
  9. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  10.  
  11. Ser Artaghh would steadily begin to poke away at the straps that bound his burdensome nyeshk cuirass to his torso, futzing away
  12.  
  13. With a firm, determined step forth over the edge of the plateau, Artaghh would catch one, iron gripped pinky upon rocky corner that separated the knight from a two hundred foot drop down into the snow. Taking a deep, reassuring breath of the fresh mountain air, Artaghh would begin the first of ten thousand one finger pull ups on his pinky, the first of the ten digits to come. If Artaghh was to acquire the strength he needed to defend his blood son from the dangers of the island, he would need to push his physical limits once more.
  14.  
  15. As the first hundred completed, the nail chipped on his pinky as an agonizing jolt of pain lurched from his cold numbed hand, nearly losing his grip as the sundering made even his burn scarred nerves quake with pain. Taking steady breathes as his muscle tendons screeched, hundred by hundred and thousand by thousand would be complete, his pinky growing only more purple and swollen as it was subjected to progressive amounts of torturous weight from thetonnage of stone and progressive rise and fall of the pull ups.
  16.  
  17. But the knight would press on, there were things more important than his health at stake.
  18.  
  19. Finally, ten thousand were completed on the pinky, a shaky press forward of his next digit in line being subjected to the same agonizing treatment as the hours passed steadily upon the galling peaks of the northern mountains . With each slow rise of his bicep and forearm to pull the weight harnessed to his person, the commander could feel with clarity each strained muscle tendon, torn fire, and bruised bone as his arms were pushed far past their limits bit by bit. The sun fell as night grew deeper and deeper, digits changed as each article of ten thousand was completed with relentless determination and growing pain.
  20.  
  21. Halfway through the routine with his right thumb, the mithril paladin could feel his joint dislodge as he crunched his teeth down to prevent biting his tongue of from pained sensory overstimulation, his grip loosening as he nearly tumbled back with twenty five tons of stone two hundred feet down to the mountain's foot. Forcing himself to steel his nerves, Artaghh would grip the dislodged joint of the thumb with his free hand before popping it back in with a sickening snap, a scream echoing from the fifty year old commander as the joint was painfully put back into place. Pressing on through the five thousands, the knight would ignore the steady, numbing ache that spread through his arms muscles, the ethereal flow of energy around his person giving him drive where his body ought to have none.
  22.  
  23. (Artaghh)
  24. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  25.  
  26.  Completing the first fifty thousand required on his right hand, Artaghh would take a long, pained breath from his rot scarred lungs for switching to his left hand's pinky as the grip shifted carefully from his right arm. Losing his hold could be very, very fatal, and the mithril paladin had no desire of testing his chances. As his left arm took the full weight of his hauled stone, Artaghh's right arm limply fell to his side in a purple red mess of shattered nails, thick bruises, and bent joints that did not look pleasant.
  27.  
  28. Trying to move his now free arm, the bald swordsman found that his right arm had become quite dysfunctional. Fifty thousand weighted pull ups had taken their toll on the fifty year old's muscle, and the muscle fibers had given out from far too much endured. Beginning the pained rise and fall of the ten thousand on his fresh hand, Artaghh heaved with exertion as his shroud of mystic energy burned bright through the struggles of the night. Like a guiding moonlight, the flames of the spirit realm's mana spurned the burned knight on through each length. The distant laughter of Chroma, Chaaca, and Theodore rung in his ears, and a lightness remained in his chest in spite of his waning reserves.
  29.  
  30. Ten, a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand. And at last, one hundred thousand pulls ups were completed as the commander finished the last set with cold sweat beading upon his reddened, strained brow. His left thumb quaked and shuddered as all the weight of the quarter hundred tons of stone lay upon its remaining digit, the strain of the exercise having turned it bulbous purple from muscle fiber damage.
  31.  
  32. As the commander moved to pulled himself up over the cliffside plateau's edge, his thumb bone snapped, and the knight of the Green Hill's grip was lost on the edge.
  33.  
  34. Just like that, Ser Artaghh was falling two hundred feet down towards the bottom of a mountain with twenty five tons of stone chained to his back.
  35.  
  36. Oh bother.
  37. (Artaghh)
  38. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  39.  
  40.  Ser Artaghh tumbled down towards unsightly doom in almost slow motion, his life in Dawn flashing before his eyes as his arms limply flopped by his side. Descending forth with the rocky mass dragging the knight towards the ground at increasing velocity, the commander gazed serenely upwards towards the powdery snowfall in the night sky. Was this the end of his journey, tumbling down on some fools errand into a pile of rocks?
  41.  
  42. It wasn't the worst way to go, he supposed.
  43.  
  44. Trying to move his body, mess around with the bindings attaching him to the block of stone, all of his efforts failed as his aged body gave out on him, Artaghh slowly falling towards the ground with no ability to stop, to glide, to do anything but watch his inevitable demise from a front row seat. It was serene in a way, to let go of it all and detach himself from the world at last. He'd failed to save Chaaca or Chroma's lives, failed Freya most of all.
  45.  
  46. Why did he deserve to save himself?
  47.  
  48. Yet, a toothy smile flashed before Artaghh's eyes as the sight of his young son entered his mind, a reminder of his sworn duty to live not for his own sake, but to ensure that his beloved child lived safely in the city of his birth. He could not die to some mountain while his son drew breathe, Feth still needed him. Artaghh would not fail as a father, not with him.
  49.  
  50. Ser Artaghh's right arm with shimmer and expand as all of his gathered mana, spiritual and mundane, flushed with a rushing tide into every seam of muscle the appendage had. Tripling in bulk, density, and size, his oversized arm looked almost comical compared to the rest of his body. Yes, the flames of mystic energy coiled around his enlarged fist with incredible density, veins bulging out with the overwhelming pressure of gathered strength within just one limb.
  51.  
  52. As Artaghh forced his right arm to curl back for a swing, he felt the energies of the lost beside him, the whispers of spirits motivating him to continue in the name of the fallen, to honor their sacrifice by seizing the embers of their life force as his own. With a resounding howl from the knight's lungs, he would SMASH his arm into the granite block with a resounding, kinetic shockwave of force as the knight of the Green Hill gave every last bit he had.
  53.  
  54. The gales swirled and gusted into whirlwinds as tornados spun out from the sheer air pressure generated by the hit, the peak of the master energy magi's performance manifested in one focused effort, draining him of all he had. Swirled away by the tempestine winds of his own effort, Artaghh would have just enough time to force himself forward in the air with gravity magic, plunging his black greatsword with an agonizing, bruised grip into the mountainside as he slid down in a spark of heat and grinding metal.
  55.  
  56. Yet slowly, steadily, the paladin would slow down his fall, sputtering out just before he hit the ground in a sigh of immense relief as the fragmented pieces of the granite tonnage fell from above in pieces of rock. All of his reserves exhausted, Ser Artaghh would collapse back in the snow with a heaving sigh, coughing away with a smile in spite of his near death experience.
  57.  
  58. He felt just a bit more alive.
  59. (Artaghh)
  60. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  61.  
  62.  Ser Artaghh would make his way back towards Dawn with an exhausted glide, his burn scarred, bandaged arms limply hanging by his sides as he puffed away steadily at his corn cob pipe. Blowing a cloud of minty smoke into the distant horizon, the knight would glance up at his purplish red palms, all manners of messed up from the vigorous exercise regimen the commander had subjected himself to, with a sigh and resounding bark of laughter.
  63.  
  64. These things happened.
  65. (Artaghh)
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