trial by fire

FB Indi and Teagan

POSTED: Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:06 am

Ooc: This begins the trial of Indi and Teagan. Alistair will be your referee. Please be sure to go over the correlating PM.

Alistair saw to the field himself. The ring was prepped with fresh and flattened dirt even and near-perfectly level. It was an ideal battleground though Alistair knew and knew well that this was seldom the case. However, it would more than serve their young Guarire and Lotta who lacked the experience of a trained knight. They would face off fairly and without obstacle to hinder them.

There was a thrill in the air and Alistair's mood was light. He was looking forward to this. This match marked the first time in their history when Crescita fought their First Blood against one another. He stood back from the ring and called to the challengers.
Alistair Callow

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Stormie
Luperci SoSuWriMo 2013 Champ! have you ever licked a lamppost in winter...?
I am the Sword
the Light
and the Shield

POSTED: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:23 pm

TEAGAN STRYDER
I will not bow. I will not break. I will shut the world away.
[ 544 ]

Let me know if anything needs changing, Alex! Also, wasn’t sure if you were going to be actively replying to this thread too, Stormie?

Weapon of Choice: Short Sword

In the preceding days, the Stryder had been a ball of anxious energy tightly netted below an exterior front of calm control. It had been a while since she had felt nervous about something. In fact, if she cared to think about it, the last time had probably been during her apprentice ceremony as a pup. She had never particularly cared for social events, and to be at the center of one once again was not something she looked forward to. To make matters worse, today’s event was one of great importance, and required more than to just walk and look professional. This ceremony would be her graduation from child to adulthood, a show that would mark her as a true knight of Casa di Cavalieri. It would be a test of her skills and expertise as a fighter.

The girls had sworn off training with one another during the past week, not wanting to let an existing injury hamper them on their big day. So, what time the two siblings had together had been spent relaxing and enjoying their last few days as apprentices. Playing, patrolling, their usual gossip and banter, it had been a good distraction from the ceremony that loomed over them.

That morning and the evening prior, Teagan had spent making sure her short sword was in pristine condition for battle. She had been told that she could only fight with one item in the ring. Naturally, her choice had been a sword, a weapon she had loved since her youth. Spurred from her fantasies in her story books, she had made her dream a reality, and she prided herself on her mastery of the blade thus far.

She’d slipped off to speak with her beloved bird just before the ceremony, informing the young falcon of the events and her inner worries, mostly, about Indi. When she’d first heard of who her opponent would be, she had been uneasy. While Indi had come a long way, today, there would be no holding back. The koi-colored sibling would have to give it her all, and would have to not doubt herself and or her willingness to strike down Teagan. She wanted the best for her sister, but, this…this was not something she could do for her. It was all up to Indi to decide her own fate…

When the time came, Teagan had made her way to the ceremony grounds. Her dark hair had been tied up in a high ponytail, and her sword rested readily at her side. She had forgone her scarf, not wanting to let it impede her during her First Blood. The Stryder took a deep breath before letting it out slowly. Her face remained stoic despite her racing thoughts and fluttering heart.

The Sole, Alistair, called the siblings forward, and Teagan did so with confidence, hoping her outward aura would be contagious and encouraging for Indi if she had any self-doubts or jitters. She offered her sister a small smile and a nod as well, wordlessly showing her support. “Good luck, Indi,” she offered with a smirk, her hand coming up to rest on the hilt of her sword. She waited for the Sole to give the signal to begin.

I will not fall. I will not fade. I will take your breath away.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Teagan Stryder

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You shoot me down
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POSTED: Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:00 pm

INDI KNIGHT
[ 330 ]

Everything is fine <3

Breath deeply, keep calm. Despite repeating the words inside her head like a mantra it was all that Indi could do to follow the first part, never mind the second. The first blood ceremony was something that had been weighing on Indi’s mind ever since she had heard about it. That had become an impossibility, and the ceremony itself instantly the crux of all her thoughts, when her and Teagan’s had been actually announced. A test based solely around her ability to fight, one that would decide her future within the pack. And not only that, but she was to fight her sister; not only one of three people in the world that the thought of hurting made Indi feel physically sick, but an objectively better fighter than Indi. She couldn’t imagine a coming-of-age ceremony less suited to her. She could practically already feel herself failing, and she hadn’t even taken a step onto the field yet.

The youth’s hands were clamped vice-tight around her spear as she padded slowly towards Alistair’s call, and much as she tried to keep calm, some of her nervousness showed through in the manic wideness of her eyes, and the dejected slump of her shoulders. Like Teagan Indi had spent much of the previous day cleaning and shining her weapon - even the silk tassel had been swapped out for a clean, freshly dyed piece of cloth - though unlike her sister Indi had been doing it in an attempt to burn some of her nervous energy without tiring herself out, more than any desire to look good. She had pretty much given up on that before things even started; hard to disappoint herself if she didn’t hope for anything in the first place. Disappointing her sister and parents would have to be enough.

Trying not to let the self-destructive flash of humour show on her face, Indi set herself opposite Teagan and took a last deep breath. “Y-you too sis,” she said shakily, dropping down into a ready position and aiming the spear loosely at Teagan.

Template: Hilli / Andi || Table: Songbird

POSTED: Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:19 pm

The girls arrived Teagan first then Indi although he supposed after today he couldn't call them girls. The pair had grown up before his very eyes ad seeing them now he could not deny that their bond was strong. He wished them both well and while he felt some reserve in having them fight each other he knew that there was no better way - no better opponent for them than each other. The playing field was even their ages a match now it came down to skill. He was just glad he was here to witness.

You know the rules: the outcome of this match will be determined by whoever lands a total of thee hits. I don't think I need to tell you girls this, but only strike hard enough to break the skin- nothing more. No broken bones, no serious injuries, superficial wounds only. His gaze was stern and he looked the pair of them directly in the eye before continuing. Now, let me make this clear. If you win that does not mean that you move on to the Bracciante ranks and the other does not. I'm looking for skill and spirit. Lack of skill, of confidence with your weapon- or even a shred of cowardice and you will not be moving on to the Bracciante tier, you will be titled Prova. Any questions? He asked, though hardly paused for an anwer. None? Good.

Begin!
Alistair Callow

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Luperci SoSuWriMo 2013 Champ! have you ever licked a lamppost in winter...?
I am the Sword
the Light
and the Shield

POSTED: Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:33 pm

TEAGAN STRYDER
I will not bow. I will not break. I will shut the world away.
[ 430 ]

All powerplay has been discussed and pre-approved~<3

The crack in Indi’s voice wasn’t comforting for the Lotta. They hadn’t even started, but she could already see and hear the self-doubt in the Knight. No, no, no! They only had one shot at this! There would be no re-trials or do-overs. If the Sole wasn’t impressed by Indi’s progress, she would be left behind!

Alistair appraised the two teenagers before speaking once more. The rules were laid out on the table in case either had forgotten them; show confidence but not arrogance, show skill but don’t overdo it, cowardice was cause for failure. Teagan nodded in silent understanding, though, her canary eyes never left her sister’s sapphire ones. She wanted to make sure that Indi understood the gravity of the words and didn’t let her feelings get in the way. She needed to be strong, like when she’d first shown off her pretty spear to Teagan, not doubtful and weak, as she had been after her attack.

The command to begin was given, and Teagan’s sword sung as she pulled it from its sheath and advanced. Indi parried her initial attack—their meeting announced with a metallic “clang!”—but with every swing and strike afterwards, Teagan became more and more aware of her sister’s lacking spirit. She was being cautious, and her attacks with her spear were half-hearted, as if she were inwardly conflicted—distracted—with something. The sister moved in graceful, twirling movements, but the steps and movements were much tamer than they should have been. For the most part, she remained on the defensive, lashing out only here and there when the opening was obvious.

Teagan wanted nothing more than to break the koi-colored sister out of whatever reverie she might be in. How could she do it without making her sister’s lacking drive obvious to the referee though? If she pointed it out, she risked Indi being failed on the spot! She needed to find an alternative way…

Her initial ferocity lessoned considerably. Teagan’s strikes were toned down, and made to match in strength with Indi’s own, hoping the other girl would notice. She purposely began to leave herself open.

She was going easy on Indi.

At one point, Teagan let her sword accidentally slip through Indi’s defenses, grazing the ivory-furred Knight’s bicep. She withdrew quickly, as if regretting that she’d landed a hit on her sibling. “Tch.” Teagan grimaced and backed off, her sword poised in wait for Indi to attack.

I will not fall. I will not fade. I will take your breath away.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Teagan Stryder

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POSTED: Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:14 pm

INDI KNIGHT
[ 800]

Ditto here!

Indi’s ears shrank back against her head under Alistair’s stern gaze, though it was his words that affected her the most. Prova, the lowest of the low in Casa - bar those who had somehow managed to lower themselves to the ran of Dishonourable - and likely Indi’s future rank. That defeat didn’t necessarily mean being sentenced to the humiliation of the lower rank slid right past Indi’s ears, failing to penetrate the doom and gloom surrounding her.

The start of the fight should have been Indi’s moment to shine, her weapon was closer to ready and she was quicker than Teagan by a long shot. Indi had become her own worst enemy though; she was so preoccupied with doubting herself that she hesitated a moment too long and the opportunity was gone. Only pure instinct pushed her to step to the side and flick her spear, parrying Teagan’s opening strike to the side with a ferocious screech of metal on metal.

Indi did her best to recover, flicking her spear up into the spinning motions that would keep Teagan away from her and out at Indi’s ideal range, but try and she might she couldn’t muster the energy. Her movements were weak and slow, and for a moment the fight was desperately close to being over then and there as Teagan’s sword clashed again and again against her spear, and defending was all that Indi could push herself to do. The whole thing just felt pointless and draining. But somehow, after a particularly embarassing block made her stumble almost to the ground, things began to improve. Slowly, the fight somehow began to even out. Indi’s strikes met less resistance, some even came a hair away from actually getting past Teagan’s defences! The koi youth’s spirits slowly started to rise as the two traded blows evenly in a fast moving storm of wood and metal, until she noticed. It was little things, a step that seemed too hesitant, a blow that was held back just long enough for Indi to move a block into place, a weak blow on her part that somehow managed to push back Teagan’s defences.

She was going easy on Indi.

The Knight youth had come to the arena with no confidence in herself, prepared to lose. She had accepted that. This though, this hurt. Teagan had always supported her, had confidence in her, pushed her to work past her problems. Or at least, Indi had thought that her sister had confidence in her; evidently not. That her sister thought so little of her that she felt the need to do this… humiliation flooded Indi’s veins at the thought. And even worse, she was putting herself at risk! Teagan’s movements were hesitant, weak, just like Indi’s. At this rate they were both going to end up Prova!

Frustration and guilt swam through Indi’s head and she barely noticed the sword slicing neatly through her bicep. Only Teagan’s vocalisation and the way that she retreated afterwards registered; even that had been an accident. Ears shrinking back again Indi lashed out, pushing forwards so that she and Teagan locked blades, muzzles inches from each other.

“What the hell are you doing?” she hissed. That she was even able to hold a clash like this confirmed her suspicions beyond a shadow of a doubt. Indi was speed, Teagan was strength, that was how it had always been; this position should be impossible. “You should be winning this Tea!”

They broke apart again, and Indi hoped that her words would have had the desired effect, but sadly no. Teagan continued her increasingly obvious charade, and after one particularly insultingly slow overhead swing, Indi snapped. Snarling in frustration and humiliation she ducked past Teagan’s blade, jabbing upwards with her spear. The spear-head went wide as Teagan instinctively dodged but the tassel fluttered into her eyes, and in that moment Indi struck. Her spear spun and the metal-plated endcap swung upwards into Teagan’s jaw with a sharp crack, sending her stumbling backwards. Indi’s instinctive horror at hurting her sister was somehow overshadowed by her anger.

“Fight properly!” she snapped, frustrated tears pricking at the corner of her eyes as she lunged forwards with another stab. This time the counter-blow produced a clear, harsh tone and numbed Indi’s arm, driving her backwards. Grinning in self-destructive triumph Indi lunged forwards again and again with a barrage of spinning blows, anger and a complete lack of consideration for herself pushing a level of competence into the movements that her lack of confidence had drained out of it, “I don’t want your pity!”

Template: Hilli / Andi || Table: Songbird
Last edited by Indi Knight on Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

POSTED: Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:37 pm

TEAGAN STRYDER
I will not bow. I will not break. I will shut the world away.
[ 768 ]

-runs around like a chicken with its head cut off- Hopefully this goes through! My phone keeps dropping as my internet connection! Dx

Teagan remained as stoic as possible through the fight. So long as it looked like they were supposed to be evenly matched, perhaps Alistair wouldn’t suspect that Teagan was purposely trying to rig the fight to be in her sister’s favor. She wanted Indi’s skills to shine, and the only way to do that right now was to tune down the aggression from her side and lower herself to the sister’s distracted level. If Indi failed, Teagan would be at her side. It was how they always did things. Together. Rank didn’t matter to her. Her pride would survive it. They’d climb their way through the ranks together if they had to, even if it meant that they both had to start from the bottom. Teagan wouldn’t let Indi go through it alone.

Her weaker blows and obvious catering hadn’t gone unnoticed by the Knight. Indi whispered harshly to her when she drew in close after Teagan had cut her, demanding why Teagan wasn’t showing her true prowess in the fight. And you should be giving this your all!

Teagan was silent though. She pushed back, offering nothing to her sister but a cold scowl. She couldn’t yell, couldn’t argue with Indi. Not here, not now. If Indi couldn’t see if for herself, then Teagan wouldn’t risk explaining it. This wasn’t a spar. This was a coming of age ceremony! If she didn’t show that she could have confidence without a pep talk from someone else every time, she would fail! In the real world, she had to stand on her own strength! She needed to realize that!

The Lotta and Guarire met swing for swing, and Teagan could feel the tension and frustration rising from Indi until it was finally released. Indi evaded her and struck with a sudden increase of speed and power, a stark contrast from her previous movements. The spear struck out, and the Stryder dodged, but, that damnable piece of cloth tied to the spear had blinded Teagan from the lightning-fast secondary attack.

The suddenness and power behind the blow sent Teagan pedaling backwards. Her jaw throbbed from the sharp impact and her vision spun a bit from the force behind it. Had she not been in the midst of a fight, she might have reached up to test the area for a developing bruise. It seemed her sister’s fight had returned, even if it had only been spurred by her anger. Indi yelled at her, causing Teagan’s canary gaze to refocus as the koi-colored girl made to strike again.

Instinctively, Teagan swung her sword swiftly to combat the attack, harshly meeting the spear with a renewed intensity. Finally, Indi was fighting like she meant it. The Guarire’s strikes became stronger with each attack, her steps more attuned to the rhythm and fight of a battle rather than the routine of a sparring session. She was finally showing off her talents with her spear.

When the sister spoke again, denying her need for Teagan’s pity, the Lotta stepped in close and breathed dangerously, “Then show me that you don’t need it!” Her canary eyes were as hard as diamonds as she pushed back and put distance between them once again.

Teagan parried, countered, and dodged her sister’s strikes, feints, and attempts to trip her up. Her own fighting ability began to leak out more and more as Indi’s gained in confidence and strength. At times, Indi would keep Teagan at a distance and constantly minding her footwork, at others, Teagan would step into her guard and put her on the defensive. It was a dance of fierce intensity. Their weapons sung as metal bit against metal. Teagan was giving the fight her all in hopes that Indi would do the same.

At one point, Indi struck forward with a rapid barrage of thrusts, forcing Teagan to either dodge or redirect the attacks with her sword. Towards the tail end of it all, Indi poured a little extra power into one of the thrusts. Teagan batted the spear aside with enough force that the momentum caused Indi to stumble into the direction of which her weapon was pushed. It left her open, and Teagan did not waste the opportunity.

With a simple twist of her wrists, Teagan changed the direction of her sword, cutting upward. The edge of her blade sliced the underside of the same limb that she had cut previously, earning her her second mark in the fight.

I will not fall. I will not fade. I will take your breath away.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Teagan Stryder

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New Caledonia
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City Watch II, Falconer I
You shoot me down
but I won't fall
I am titanium

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