The Spar


POSTED: Tue May 20, 2014 3:41 pm

The afternoon was a warm one, it seemed that all the afternoons these days were warm ones. It seemed pretty obvious that summer was not too far off. Bran stood in the far cooler shade of a tree, on the side of the small clearing he often chopped wood in. Today he wasn’t chopping though, today he’d told Farina to meet him here for a little bit of practise. The Araedi in Vinatta were damn good at their jobs, they were all hard workers and they all loved their pack, still a bit of practise now and again was not only fun, it was a learning experience for both parties, not to mention the fact it was almost an exercise in bonding, Bran had been surrounded by Irish folk, when was a good fight not welcome?

He squatted down and rubbed dirt into his palms to improve his grip. He wasn’t going to jump the younger Araedi, but the force of habit was hard to break. While he waited he took out a pine comb and began to brush his pelt. It wasn’t a vanity thing, but his summer coat had almost come through, and the remaining winter pelt kept him hot and made him sluggish, overheating was never a good thing. Clumps of caramel fur blew playfully in the breeze, tossed about by small gusts. The Stormbringer began to hum softly while he waited, his own voice producing wonderful colours in front of his eyes.

POSTED: Tue May 27, 2014 2:36 pm

For a few months now Farina had called herself Araedi, promoted at similar time to several well-known packmates into various worker tiers. She and Andira were declared warrior-guardians together, a friendship quickly formed through their discussions and training in Casa di Cavalieri, yet more recently absent in interaction. What Andira had to focus on Farina did not know, but the wolfdog missed her training partner. She thought to bother Shiloh for practice, but between Saul's recent departure and Solieri's ongoing absence, Farina thought it best to let her be.

Instead she had turned to Bran, her tier's leader and something of a distant acquaintance: always present throughout her childhood, yet never more than a face in the background. Strange that they had never interacted at greater level before considering their stark similarities, but it was not too late. The invitation to train and spar had been made, and she sought him out in the directed clearing, pushing aside brush with rather leisurely approach.

"Bran?" she called, inkwell eyes glancing the span of open space in her approach. Was there a better way to address her tier's leader? She did not know. "I'm here."

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Luperci Falconer + Diplomat

POSTED: Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:41 pm

The Stormbringer had listened to his pack mate’s approach, but stayed on his haunches, listening to her gait until Farina appeared. He stood, his tail wagging slightly and his crooked grin appearing. His manner was relaxed and easy, but he didn’t approach her, this was a sparring match, and while there were rules, not telling your opponent when things had started wasn’t one of them.

”hello darlin’, how’re you doion’?”

His Irish brogue coloured his speech, his tone friendly and casual as always.

”I was up early so figured I come down here and wait for yu after my duties.”

It was true that Farina wasn’t one of the luperci he knew as well as others, but he never let that stop him being friendly, she was still a pack mate, and more, a member of his own chosen tier, a protector. He took in her athletic physique, and the dark pelted highlighted by those startling splashes of light brown, straw and even what appeared to be white near her temple. It was true, Bran always enjoyed beauty, this wasn’t merely an appreciation, he was, like doubtless she would be, looking for clues, little giveaways about health, what might be weak, anything that may lend an advantage. It all sounded pretty cut throat, but if your friends could spot them, then there was probably no way your enemies could miss it. More importantly, if a pack mate spotted it, you’d get a chance to change things, you might not if you were in a fight for your life.

”So. How do you normally fight? Bare knuckle or weapons?”

He asked, subtly changing his stance to an easy defence stance. Actually that wasn’t entirely true, yes his position had changed, but only the weight distribution, it would take a skilled eye, like say, an Araedi's, to notice the difference. From this position he could react to a swift attack on Farina’s part, or he could launch an assault of his own. Still, no harm in a little conversation first.

POSTED: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:58 am

He had a funny accent, poor Bran, unlike that of his siblings or the other Stormbringers she could recall. Farina smiled no less, charmed by his informal demeanor, and shrugged. "Sorry to keep you waiting, then," she said, hoping she had not ruined his opinion of her by being tardy. "We can start anytime."

He posed a question and poised himself defensively, signaling Farina to do the same. Biting back strands of anxiety the vin Haki looked at her feet and repositioned them, her body angling, reminders in Alistair's voice repeating within her skull. "Bare knuckles," she explained, rolling her shoulders, fingers opening and closing. "I mean, how else can I be ready when something comes up?"

She took a moment to read his stance and anticipate the natural movement in and out of it, as her mentor had taught her to do. To some extent she had learned not to rely on her power and instinct alone; a short analysis of her opponent could do wonders, although with one as experience as Bran, Farina doubted she could do much to keep herself from absolute failure in a match.

Farina raised readied fists closer to her eyes. "Ready."

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Luperci Falconer + Diplomat

POSTED: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:36 pm

The caramel pelted male could smell the tension in the air and could see the strands of anxiety coiling in Farina’s muscles, which was good, the tension certainly helped to make you more aware of yourself and your opponent, the anxiety would be harder to evoke the more fights she was in.

”Bare knuckles it is then, and there are lots o’ people who prefer t’ use knives or swords, gives yu a little bit o’ distance, and if yu enemy’s got a blade, can even the odds. I’d suggest yu don’t try and take someone on with a knife if yu’ve only got your fists until yu’re pretty confident in yu abilities.”

As the other luperci dropped not her position, the Aor Araedi took it in, watched the weight distribution and decided he might as well try teachin’ her now.

”Okay darlin’ feet a little wider apart, and one slightly more forward than yur other. When yu throw a punch, use all o’ yu body, not just yur arm, really put some smack behind it.”

He re-adjusted his own stance, falling into his form as easy as putting on a pair of worn and familiar shorts. He looked like he had a giant spring inside of him, bouncing and coiled.

”Okay, now hit me, and go easy, remember I’m an old fella, practically wastin’ away here.”

Bran wanted to make sure there was tension, but he also wanted Farina to realise that this was a spar between pack mates, it was also supposed to be fun.

POSTED: Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:30 am

She nodded to his recommendation, interpreted as common sense her skills had been based upon. Weapons could be unequipped, leaving their owners open and helpless, whereas Farina could not lose her fists and legs. Her skills had yet to sharpen in full. There would be a time she could tear free the weapon from her opponents, but until then, she hated to think she would be at a constant disadvantage. All the more motivation to become stronger and train with those like Bran.

Resolve jumpstarted, the vin Haki slid apart her feet as directed, but drew together her brows under instruction for her punches. "I've had training before, Bran," she reminded, tone partial to both jest and impatience, thoughts of Fenrir surfacing. Had she not taught him the very same punch, nearly word for word?

The Stormbringer fell into poise and invited her. "Oh, stop it," she said, laughing. "Don't hold back on me. I'm sick of people holding back."

If she was going to fall, after all, she was going to fall hard—just as she had done against Veri among the knights in April. Farina hated the defeat, but in her mind deserved it. She had not fought hard enough, and would not go down so easily again.

The Araedi charged—all two-and-a-half hundred pounds surging forward, a black wall with copper flaws in its bricks. But, diverging from her typical style into something experimental, she feinted. At the last moment Farina sidestepped and pivoted, second leg swinging up in a wide kick.

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Luperci Falconer + Diplomat

POSTED: Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:18 pm

When the kick came, Bran was ready, he was the bloody Aor of the Araedi of course he was ready. Just because he patrolled, carved up what, drank and had sex whenever he could, didn’t mean he wasn’t prepared to take care of his pack. Saying that of course, the caramel pelted male was very impressed with the manoeuvre. Farina was quick, and she could improvise, Bran had said bare knuckle fighting, and she’d decided to take that interpretation and stretch it. Of course, the Aor had fought good fighters and he’d fought many bar brawls, much to the embarrassment of Nier no doubt, but his experience and skill meant he was quick, and he moved out of the trajectory of the foot. The Aor had no qualms about laying the smack down on anyone, no matter their gender, but he would never hurt his pack mates cruelly, and so as her leg arched in the kick, Bran dropped to the ground. He could have sent a strong kick at her knee, perhaps fracturing the joint, but this was a spar, not that sort of a fight. He could also try to sweep her leg out from under her. There was however a problem with this second option. Farina was no, wet behind the ears, fighter, if she had decided to plant her foot, it would stay that way, Bran could see it in the lines of her muscle. However, there was a third option, and that was the one he decided to go for.

The Stormbringer had seen it used before, in a bar fight actually, the smaller male had dropped down, like Bran had done, and hooked a foot around back of the knee and pulled. The flexible joint wanted to bend and the opponent had over-balanced and fallen on his face. Of course, Bran doubted Farina would do anything quite that dramatic, but he was pretty confident it might mess up her stride. So he tried gave it a go.

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