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03.31.20 - Thrace, Areleth @ Training Grounds

iiezu Mar 31st, 2020 96 Never
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  1. Deathstalker Castle on Oasiz.net
  2. www.deathstalkerempire.com
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  6. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : Yet under palace-arrest, Areleth had spent the majority of his time focusing on his roguelike education, following Thrace's detailed instructions by missive during the slow, uncomfortable transformation his body had undertaken in the year he'd spent in the Emperor's protection. No longer was the young, bronze-skinned man easily mistaken for human, no longer did his eyes shine with curiosity or youth...instead they smoldered like the balefire of his birth. It had begun with -c-
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  8. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- his voice, beginning as melodic like his mothers, then deepening, further and further until it scarcely resembled his youthful face, then gradually, over the months that followed, he'd grown into it, his smooth, boyish face thinning into something more akin to his father. Areleth knew this, could see it in the way his mother looked at him, but far from hating it as he had when he was a younger man, the young half-fiend had come to embrace it. To see it's worth. -c-
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  10. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- He was handsome, devilishly so, and though in that time he'd grown a pair of small, sharp horns on either side of his crown, he didn't begrudge them, refused to file them or have them removed, instead preferring to polish them with oil so that they stood away from his dark, thick hair in relief. It had been an arduous thing, his maturity into fiendhood, full of growing pains and mixed emotions, and so Areleth was glad that in the year passing he'd seen little of Jacinthe, -c
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  12. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- his lady love, giving him time to parse and truly understand his emotions toward her and how they too were changing. No longer was she the innocent flower he'd fallen in love with despite their parents objections, instead she was a precious prize to be possessed, a pearl of great price he coveted with every dark shred of himself, and he wondered how long he could keep this change from her. Would she accept him as he reached his power? Would she flee him? -c-
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  14. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- Worse still, would he be compelled by his blood to give chase? Pondering these things, the young man walked jauntily through the great hall toward the offices of his Master, Thrace Daighan, his hooves snapping on the marble, demanding the attention of male and female courtiers alike, throwing them a dark, knowing grin as he darkened the Bothan's office door. "Master Daighan, your letters are so dreadfully dull," that deep, heady voice intoned, -c-
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  16. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- so different from the young man he'd met a year ago, "I thought to visit instead of struggle through another." -d-
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  20. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : :: "Lad," the old Bothan said, still in uniform and sitting behind his desk, "it's not meant to be exciting. Please," he said, gesturing at a chair, "have a seat. I am finishing up some paperwork." As he continued to write, he could see the young male in his periphery and noted that his features were sharper and more notable than they had been when he had last seen him. Jade eyes continued to scan the reports on his desk as he softly inquired, "how would you define >>>
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  22. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> -discipline- Master Areleth?" Without looking up, the old creature's quill continued to glide over the page, pausing to dip it into the ink well or move the page as he went on to the next. Graying, Thrace always looked old, and in a uniform that showed the signs of someone who had likely been awake more than a day or two without sleep, he looked even older. Yet, his voice was firm and vital, and physically, he always seemed ready, if a little stiff from his rheumy >>>
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  24. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> joints. Behind him against the wall, his old sword was propped and waiting, though it was unlikely to get any use. Tonight would be all Areleth. ::
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  28. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : "Of course," he said of the letters, "I practice as you order, I study as you order, that hasn't changed. I just hadn't seen you in some time," the deep lull of his voice seemed to fill the very corners of the office as he joined the Bothan in the little space and took a seat across the desk from him, settling back into the polished wood with a pleasant, indulgent little sigh. "Truth be told I've been grateful, a year under house arrest has me climbing the walls for -c-
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  30. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- something, anything to do. I'm so tired of this." Watching Thrace pouring over his paperwork, aware of the creature's jade gaze on him in the periphery, Areleth rolled his head from side to side with a deep, muscular crackle as he was asked to define 'discipline'. "Discipline itself is the act of following orders under threat of punishment, but it also denotes the willpower required to follow through any task set before a man, such as remaining within the palace walls, -c-
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  32. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- diligently studying a Mentor's methods, or suffering through paperwork even if one clearly has no desire or love of desk shifts." He splayed a dark hand over the desk and settled back in his chair, eyeing the walls, the great blade on the mantle behind Thrace, admiring it's craft. Unable to help himself, the young fiend felt his tempter-nature rippling against all of what Thrace had taught him, "we should go out to the courtyard for a spar when you're finished." -d-
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  36. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : :: Chuckling to himself as he listened to Areleth, Thrace weighed the sparring option, though in all actuality, he was not confident that that was what the young man needed just yet with so impersonal a mode of training taking place recently. Finally, he paused in his paperwork, jade eyes meeting the deep yellowish eyes of the fiend, "a more simple definition, the one more applicable to you, and your training is: the repetition of the same activity or activities until it>>>
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  38. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> becomes routine." Pausing for effect, Thrace smiled and went back to his paperwork, "make that your mantra. Discipline, in this context, is not about the punishment that may be received, or solely will power to listen, but to build a routine that will strengthen your habits and allow you to focus on maintaining and honing your skills. A routinized body begets a routinized mind, not the other way around. Minds do not like to be walled in, bodies have no choice. It>>>
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  40. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> takes will power, some measure of guidance, and a great deal of simple repetition until you no longer need a reminder, where your mind can wander as your body carries out it's day. Where you can then look inward as you practice, critiquing yourself, adjusting, perfecting, making note of limitations and striving to know and better employ your skills around them. Not all limits can be eliminated. A disciplined warrior can reveal their weakness and still prevail because>>
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  42. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> they have learned something that many never do. They have learned how to balance their strengths and weaknesses and how to flow in the moment. When you understand your craft, beyond knowing it as you know why you do it, you no longer have a weakness, only a limitation, one that can be mitigated by you, and thus not exploited by your opponents. That is why discipline is a must. Repetition. Once you no longer need concentrate on what you are doing, you can transcend>>>
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  44. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> to focusing on why you are doing it. Life is not like the military, you do not have to remain in a state of focusing on the what rather than why, or vice versa. You can have both with time and discipline, and that is when you move on from skill to art." As he spoke, his quill never stopped moving, and he continued to read over reports and messages. He was nearly done. ::
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  48. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : Only a few minutes into his visit, and the lecture had begun, but Areleth sat through it, taking it all in, giving it consideration even he'd quietly hoped for something more engaging than a lesson on the nature of discipline. Despite that, the keynotes hit home with the young fiend, and he nodded along, understanding the need to make these things second-nature to him despite his own growing impatience with the process of being trained. That said, his Godfather's -c-
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  50. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- directives were not to be ignored, especially as he remained in house-arrest to protect him from the devices of his own father, but did he truly -want- to be protected from them anymore? Perhaps it was within his nature, and perhaps it was his father's encoded will in all of his thousands of heirs that they should seek him out, put themselves in his path, want what he wanted, and Areleth rebelled against that notion. "I see the truth of it," Areleth admitted, -c-
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  52. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- letting his sharp fingertips play along the arm of the chair he reclined in, watching the Bothan. "Puzzle this one out for me, old man," the young fiend said almost playfully, "indulge me. Suppose you are a very small pawn in a very large game, with thousands upon thousands of other pawns steadily being elevated to greater standards and power, and the player of this game has his eyes fixed directly on you...how do you avoid being played? How do you keep -c-
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  54. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- yourself from falling directly into that player's fingertips? Advise me, Master Thrace, for my Father has come to Larlandarl and made a palaver with the Emperor, and it's only a matter of time before he makes a play for I and my mother to be returned to his keeping. I can sense it. I -feel- it coming. How then can I protect myself from becoming just another pawn in his game, and protect my mother from being taken back into his harem?" -d-
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  58. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : :: That caught Thrace's attention, and he stopped his paperwork as he listened, slowly setting the quill aside and sitting back in his desk chair as he eyed the younger creature thoughtfully. Blank was the Bothan's expression as he considered the game that was being laid out in front of him. Seeing the pieces laid out on the board in his mind's eye, he smiled, "do you play Chess, Areleth?" Slowly, he got to his feet and grabbed the bundle that sat in the corner, practice>
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  60. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> swords, Areleth might just get his wish. Though Thrace also hefted his own blade, and carrying it all, he nodded for the Fiend to come with him for their training session. "Carry on," he said sharply as his guards popped to sharply. Leading the way, he expected the young man to follow him, he did not wait or ask. He was more curious about that answer. "In fact," he decided to add on the way down to the practice yards, "do you dance, as well? Have you been keeping>>>
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  62. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> on your footwork and your swordsmanship? You will find that the answer is already in your reach, depending on your personal end game in this scenario. Which, I know what I mine would be, but what is yours?" ::
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  66. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : "I do, but not often...my only partner lately is my Godfather and he's unbeatable." Areleth said flatly of Casim, and while he enjoyed their games, there was only so many times he could have the figurative dogshit beaten out of him before he lost interest in the game entirely. "I'm an impulsive creature, Master Thrace, it's hard to see as far ahead as he does, though I try." As the Bothan rose and reached for the bundle in the corner, the cambion's eyes lit up -c-
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  68. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- with obvious interest, rising himself and offering to take the bundle under his arm if Thrace allowed it, following him out of the office as the at-rest guards tensed with his presence before being told to remain at rest. When his mentor asked if he danced, Areleth laughed abruptly, "as often as possible, as for my swordsmanship, I've been working at it every day. What else is there for me to do but that and read?" Admittedly his education had improved since his -c-
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  70. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- palace arrest, the time was definitely not wasted, despite being tedious, and for that Areleth was grateful. "As for my personal endgame, I'd like my Father to lose interest in both of us entirely, however he has his own designs for both of us, I'm afraid. He's enamored with my mother, and he has use for me, though he hasn't made it known what that use is...as I grow, as I change, I become more aware of his will embedded in my own bones and I hate it." -c-
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  72. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- "There's no killing him, no vanquishing him, there's no happy ending when it comes to Graz'zt," Areleth spoke of the great demon prince who'd visited the Emperor a week prior, word spreading through the palace of the devilish encounter quickly following, the way the hooved, horned prince had come into the throne room and immediately enthralled every mortal soul that looked upon him, horror and lust in their dreams for days afterward, marking them as his own. -c-
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  74. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- "The difficulty I see is that for me to lose his interest, I must be useless to him...but if I am useless to him, he will send one of my thousands of brothers or sisters to see to my end...as for my mother, I can think of no way to make her unattractive to him after the sordid history they have. It spans centuries. I was born out of his coersion. My mother may be many things, a bard, a jester, a whore, but she is not easily forced into doing anything she doesn't wish." -c-
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  76. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- "That is to say, he's a cunning son of a bitch, and his eyes are set on us." -d-
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  80. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : :: Allowing for Areleth to take the bundle as the walked out, Thrace nodded, repositioning the pieces in his head as more information came out.  The name rang bells in his head, alarm gongs rather, and he smiled grimly. No such thing as something that could not be killed, but he did understand being overwhelmed. Losing interest was not an easy feat either, and Areleth's endgame was not the same as Thrace's would be. However, Thrace had age on his side, his moves did >>>
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  82. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> tend to be a little colder. Nonetheless, as they reached the practice grounds, he nodded, "alright, lad. Let's see your forms first. Use my sword." As he let Areleth fall into the forms, he pulled his pipe out, carefully packing it as he continued, "well, it sounds like we need to analyze your opponent. First and foremost, what makes you and your mother so desirable to him? Let's start there. Just like any other plan, you cannot attack until you have answered a >>>
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  84. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> few key questions. Let's begin. Try not to focus on the forms, you have been doing them everyday. Just work from form to form, and focus on the transition." ::
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  88. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : Gods it felt good to be outside under the stars, even if the fog obscured them. A breath of fresh air not stolen from a high terrace or open window, but real, clean, chilly air. As they reached the practice grounds, Areleth took a moment gaze upward at the splay of tiny lights above, knowing more of constellations now than he did before his house-arrest, identifying them here and there as memory allowed. When bade, he took up Thrace's sword with both hands and demonstrated -c-
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  90. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- the first of many forms he'd learned from his mentor, preferring daggers to swords, but understanding via both Thrace and Renaud the need to wield a longer blade when necessity required. The scent of pipeleaf caught his attention as he demonstrated his understanding slowly, methodically, considering Thrace's question for a moment before answering, his body remaining in tension as he worked through the forms, trying to find smooth transitions from one to the next. -c-
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  92. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- "I was one of the few raised by my father, most are abandoned as bastards to their mothers after they're sired and they never see him again unless needs require it...he used to tell me that he expected, because of my heritage, that I would be exceptional. I was raised by he himself until I was 14, then I struck out in search of my mother. He wants me to become more than a pawn, though what other piece I could not say." Areleth's body remained steady as he shifted from -c-
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  94. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- one stance to the next, finding it easier and easier to shift from form to form. "As for my mother, she wasn't always known as Erzabet," it felt strange to admit this part of his mother's terrible history to anyone, but he trusted in Thrace. "She's been known by many names during her lifetime, dozens, and he knows them all...she's been many things in that time, and at some point their paths crossed. He is not capable of love. I'm not sure she is either to be frank, -c-
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  96. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- but they, at some point, found kinship in one another. He lusts after her, and every time a long-term lover of her's dies, she goes on the Long Walk finds herself back at his doorstep, like a bad habit she can't seem to stop herself from returning to. I think she was known as 'Babalon' when they met...she doesn't speak of it, what I know is what Graz'zt himself told me. He has seen her in many forms and many identities, and always seems to seek her out for himself." -c-
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  98. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- "The only reason he let me leave Azzagrat at 14 was that he believed I would go and find her and convince her to return with me...it didn't end as he'd hoped." -d-
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  102. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : :: "Your mother attracts the powerful, they covet her, because they cannot control her, it is a challenge unlike any other, and the Red Goddess Bablon cannot be contained. After all, it was she that imprisoned the Dark One," Thrace said before striking a match off the sole of his boot, which even with his discipline, a sharp eye might notice that his toes squirmed in his boot and his heel did not touch the ground right away as he seemingly reaffirmed his traction whilst >>>
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  104. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> leaning against a low wall. Lighting his pipe, he watched each transition, nodding, "the transition is never taught specifically for a reason, lad. Relax, a tense body is a slow one. You are not striving for perfection, you are striving for purpose. Imagine an opponent between each form, move through them at random. You are getting better, just relax. As for your father, his covetous nature is what it will be, now, you mentioned that killing him is out of the >>>
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  106. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> question. I can appreciate that sentiment for many reasons, though I will remind you that even Gods can die or be contained. Ask your Godfather about his pets. Ask your mother, even. She can recount more than one of the divine falling in her existence." Shaking flame from the match, he let it fall, and used the still squirming foot to extinguish it fully. "Your mother knows more about and has given and dealt with more love than you can imagine. Love is not beyond>>
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  108. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> her. Far from it. She knows more about love than she cares to admit, and if she didn't, you would not be here. Your mother is timeless, she has no need for children. Consider your existence any time you begin to wonder if your mother knows love, lad. You'll see she knows it better than most. Time has a way of doing that. Especially to the timeless." ::
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  112. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : Areleth felt his eyes widen at this new information, uncertain of it, briefly faltering in his tense shift from form to form, nearly losing his balance before beginning again. "Did she? Huh." Would have been nice to know, but then again his mother was excellent at keeping her own secrets. Did Alaire know? He couldn't possibly. Would he even believe it possible considering her current condition? He doubted it. Taking a breath, the young fiend tried to relax, -c-
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  114. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- feeling the motions come more naturally as he moved from stance to stance, his hooves padding on the damp grass of the foggy practice grounds, tamping here and there, shifting, slowly sliding from movement to movement, imagining an opposing fighter for each shift of the blade in his hands, feeling like an extension of his own arm. "I wonder how she fell," he said of his mother, uncertain if she truly had fallen, or simply elected to take on another guise for an unknown -c-
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  116. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- period of time. Thrace's words regarding his mother's understanding of love were not lost on the cambion, and logically it did make sense to him...despite his own birth being coerced, she'd done it out of love for Renaud and Alaire, a desire to return to them on Graz'zt terms that she give him an heir. He still was uncertain whether she could ever truly love he himself, for he looked so like his father, moreso every day, and there was always a certain sadness in her eyes -c
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  118. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- when she looked upon him, as though she knew he was a lost cause but still struggled to keep him upright anyway. Mayhaps it was love that kept her trying after all, who knew? "It sounds like you knew her," Areleth said quietly, still working on the motions, grateful for them in the moment because it kept him distracted from the revelations that abounded from this conversation. "My father can be killed, contained, certainly, and it may happen -c-
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  120. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- without any effort from either of us if he loses to Immoten...I suppose that's a hope, but if he falls to Immoten, Larlandarl suffers. Graz'zt and the Emperor made a pact to assist one another in taking him down, and I don't think my father would agree to such a thing if success wasn't certain." -d-
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  124. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : ::  "Then help your father meet Immoten," Thrace said casually, finally ceasing the movement of that foot.  "Lad, few things can be handled by open conflict on a scale this grand.  A little subtlety, just like what you're doing now, goes a long way. Don't over extend. Let your opponent get close, they like it when you are close, it makes them think they have won." Holding up a hand, Thrace freed the practice swords, "your father is not unlike myself. You get old, you >>>
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  126. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> begin to like pulling things and people to you, instead of the other way around. You know your abilities, but still, let your prey do the work.  When you get old, all of that raw power, the reach, the speed, it begins to wane. For me, it was my joints that went first, and now I am stiffer than I would like. You will never see my feet bare, they hurt, even now, and they are so bloody sensitive that I can tell you the color of the pebble I am standing on," he said with>>
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  128. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> a laugh. But there was something to it, he was curious to see if the young man had heeded his earlier words or not. Waiting for Areleth to put away the real sword, he would hold out one practice blade to him. "Your endgame, it might need revising, lad. It does not have to happen at risk of losing to Immoten." At six feet tall, he was still shorter than the other man, and as he rolled his shoulders, the old Bothan tested the weight and balance of the wooden practice>>
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  130. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> blade as he walked out to join his student. He did the same as his student, he did this every morning, it put his body in the right place so that his mind could act without having to consciously drag his body through things. "I knew your mother once long ago. We were, and still are, friends and I could read her then. With time, she has become more clear. She is not ancient, she is without time or origin. She simply is. Love is not unlike your mother, and vice >>>
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  132. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> versa. That is why I tell you what I do. Do not assume the fate of the realm. There are older Gods out there, and those who can match Immoten when placed on the right square. Ask your Godfather. Ask your mother. There are Gods and Goddesses that you have never heard of, some of them right here. The Goddess Babalon is merely the most coveted among them." ::
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  136. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : One saturnine eyebrow lifted at the suggestion that he -help- Graz'zt in the conflict with Immoten, rebelled against it, bucked against the notion of assisting him in any way, but the more Thrace explained, the more it made sense. Get close to him again, get to know him again, discover his weaknesses and agendas and use that to his own advantage. "Most of his children are just used as fodder in the Blood Wars out in the planes...he uses his bastards as officers." -c-
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  138. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- "He's still in his prime, judging from his progress in the Wars with the other Demon Princes, but he won't always be. While he's fighting Immoten he'll be more vulnerable." While he couldn't see as many moves ahead in this game of chess as Thrace or Casim, it was becoming more and more clear the more he considered it. As Thrace took up the practice swords, Areleth let his arms fall from his present stance, reaching out to take the dulled sword in trade for his mentor's. -c
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  140. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- The notion that his mother existed outside of time perplexed the young cambion, and he tilted his head to the side as he considered Thrace across the foggy practice grass, "do you know how she fell...or why?" These were things she'd never tell him herself, and he was curious over it, even if it didn't effect him altogether much. "My father used to say 'Fallen, fallen is Babalon the Great, who bade nations drink the wine of sin and iniquity.' I knew he was talking about -c-
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  142. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- her, but I thought it was figurative at best." Shrugging, he settled into his most comfortable stance and waited for Thrace to do the same, taking a deep breath of the damp, chilly air, feeling the fog settling on his bare neck and cheeks. Rather than continuing his line of questioning, Areleth let himself focus on the match, his smoldering gaze on Thrace's hands, his eyes, his feet, intuiting him as best he could, trying to predict the choices he would make. -c-
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  144. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- "You know, I asked my Godfather to spar with me a few months ago, I had no idea he could use a sword," Areleth said conversationally, "he told me Drenai himself taught him how to wield it, but it's so strange to see him fight without finesse. He uses that blade like a cudgel." -d-
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  148. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : :: "Your Godfather is a brilliant man, how did the sparring session go?" Speaking around his pipe stem, the Bothan was still wearing his full uniform otherwise as he slowly walked out after sheathing his sword himself, not wanting Areleth to worry about that. Since the sword was light, he wielded it more like a short sword, "now, you're going to work longshord formsh! Get into step, Lad." He knew that Areleth was watching him, and the Gods knew that the rheumatism was>>>
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  150. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> worst in his larger joints, but his hands ached constantly, and his feet were killing him after having done a review earlier. Most importantly? Thrace knew his body well. Regardless, he knew how to move, but even made a point, noticing that Areleth was watching, to step gingerly, and stopped about six feet away, easily out of reach, and held his blade straight out from the waist level in what would look like a gate stance, but one handed, and his blade was parallel >>>
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  152. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> to the ground. As he did this, he cracked his neck and his ankles, wiggling his long toes in his boots, all the while noting Areleth's reactions. ::
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  156. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : "He beat me into paste, smiling the whole time," Areleth admitted ruefully, "gods above he hits hard for such a narrow man. Quick too, even with a longsword. Wore my ass out. I'd suggested the spar as more of a joke than anything, but then I turn away for half a second and he's got a sword in his hand and this grin, man. I've never seen him grin like that." Shaking his head, laughing off his defeat at the hands of his Godfather, Areleth slowly shifted stances into a -c-
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  158. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- longsword form as he was bade to, the near-ward stance, the blade's edge aimed backward and down to one side, prepared to throw up a guard in case Thrace unexpectedly advanced on him. Knowing he was about to be beaten smartly no matter how much he'd learned, the young cambion steeled himself for it, setting his teeth, his dark eyes darting from his opponents feet to hands to eyes and back. He knew Thrace was hurting, that much was evident, -c-
  159.  
  160. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- but he knew the Bothan better than to trust that he'd be any kind of slow. Once they'd settled into position, Areleth took a long, slow breath, noticing that several of the guardsmen had come outside the massive maw of the palace to watch the match, suddenly self-conscious of the entire debacle. Usually when he had his ass handed to him, it was in private, leaving his dignity intact. Though practiced, there was a subtle tell as he clenched his jaw before -c-
  161.  
  162. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- darting forward, swinging hard toward the back of Thrace's turned knee. -d-
  163.  
  164.  
  165.  
  166. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : :: "Hard swings, beat you, finesse is about the subtlety of it. You think that his technique was not subtle, yet he managed to disguise his abilities in an almost seemingly overpowering swing. Your Godfather is the most dangerous individual that I know. Consider that, Lad." As Areleth began the attack, Thrace saw what he did, and sore feet or not, and his feet were sore, he stepped in towards the swing, his blade dipping down as he did, closing that six foot gap with >>>
  167.  
  168. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> the movements of both men down to less than two. Thrace was still balanced, and the tip of his practice sword went almost to the ground as he bent at the knees, more importantly, pushing the attacking blade away from from his knee and his body, having led with his left foot as the attack was aimed as his left knee, allowing him to drag his right foot up behind him to be still shoulder length as he turned his body ninety degrees, turning his right shoulder toward his >>>
  169.  
  170. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> opponent, his arm rotating so that his elbow was jutting towards the now wide open torso of the fiend, and with Areleth's sword to his his right and away from his body, with the Bothan in that open space, the hilt of the practice sword was shooting for the prominent chin of the younger male. Obviously, even if the man leaned back, the movement was going to turn into a swing as the Bothan extending the arm upwards to his right, the blade arcing upwards and outwards to >>>
  171.  
  172. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>>his right and his opponent's left. "What did I say about extending, Lad?" ::
  173.  
  174.  
  175.  
  176. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : Mistake. A grave mistake, and he was about to pay for it, Areleth scrambling backward as Thrace reacted instantly, giving no sign of his movements before hand, startling the young rogue as he watched his mentor pivot and step with authority into the space he'd created. Realizing he was acting on pure instinct, Areleth set his teeth and stopped retreating and threw up a guard against the incoming swing, straightening his opposing leg to help bolster against the heavy blow -c-
  177.  
  178. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- trying to divert it's force toward Thrace's current off-hand, his left. Rather than give Thrace space to swing again, mindful of his extension and the vulnerability it caused, rather than step backward after the blow, he stepped inward to try and stop his mentor from getting in another swing, hefting the blade in his right hand, moving for a quick slash under the ribs. "I saw my Aunt the other day," he said though his teeth, "are her slippers your work?" -c-
  179.  
  180. Дʀᴇʟᴇᴛʜ : -c- His eyes were on Thrace's arms now, the two men only inches apart as he tried to make the blow land, trying to predict how Thrace would react, but there were no tells to be had. As much as he hated leaving himself open via overextension, being right up on your opponent was almost worse, and in a street-fight he'd likely have stepped in for a sound headbutt, but this was not a common brawl. -d-
  181.  
  182.  
  183.  
  184. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : :: Unfortunately for Areleth, his guard was quick, but misplaced, and did not meet the mark as Thrace's hilt slammed into his chin hard enough to knock him off of his hooves. "Lad, you work the forms all day, don't change it up on my account," Thrace said calmly. Letting the young man take a chance to pick himself up off of the ground, the aged Bothan gingerly walked back to give him space, "do not assume weaknesses are shortcomings. Unless you have me tied up, don't >>>
  185.  
  186. Sir_Thrace_Daighan : >>> bother with my damned feet, boy! Pay attention to my shoulders, my elbows, where my blade is going. More importantly, do NOT over extend yourself! Never more than half unless you can tell for certain. It makes more sense as you get older. I did not live to get old and grey because I am charming. Let's try it again, lad!" ::
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