Training Thread - Seros

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Re: Training Thread - Seros

Post  DemonicFerret on Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:49 pm

Seros leapt gracefully from the deck of the Changebringer to land on the planks of the docks. The scene was one of chaos, pirate rowboats landing and disgorging their passengers, all of whom appeared heavily armed and intent on raping and pillaging everything in their path. The city guard was responding, as were Seros' thugs. The pirates were many, but they had a chance to beat them back.

Seros began moving forward through the fleeing crowd, trying to close with the pirates. Only too late did he notice the slightly larger rowboat, carrying what appeared to be a full-sized cannon and its crew. Their spotter had already noticed Seros (men in bright blue and gold full plate tend to stand out, he had to admit), and he found himself staring directly down the barrel of the cannon, no more than fifty paces away. An instant after he registered this fact, the gun fired.

Seros barely heard the deafening boom of the cannon as he instinctively launched into a last-ditch dodge maneuver that he had not been forced to attempt in many years. With surprising agility for such a heavily armored man, Seros bent backwards at the waist, causing the cannonball to fly harmlessly over him.

That was the theory, anyway. He had never tried this dodge while wearing armor, and it did not work as intended. The cannonball glanced off his breastplate and careened into the crowd, smushing a fleeing dwarf to liquid. Even this minor graze carried significant force, however, and Seros was knocked to the ground, bashing his head against the hard wood of the docks. The cannon crew saw him fall, counted him as dead, and began looking for a new target among the throng of fighters rushing to defend the Tamerian docks.

Seros lay there for a moment, dazed and drifting in and out of consciousness. He had to get up and get back in the fight, but for some reason his limbs refused to obey his commands. As his mind drifted, he was reminded of the time, years ago, that he had learned to dodge like that, and the elf who had taught him so...

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Re: Training Thread - Seros

Post  FlyingPinkPony on Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:34 am

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Re: Training Thread - Seros

Post  DemonicFerret on Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:07 pm

Years ago...

Seros was not yet Seros Changebringer, but rather Seros, heir to a fairly successful noble family in the heart of Altdorf. He had not yet perused forbidden texts in libraries, not yet performed dark rituals in the sewers, not yet sacrificed maidens both willing and unwilling to the glory of the Changer of Ways.

At this point in time, Seros sat on the steps of the Academy of Arms, the finest school of weapons training in the city, perhaps in the world. Only those with significant prestige could earn a spot on the roster, and only those with significant wealth could pay for it. Thousands of aspiring blademasters from across the Empire would have given anything to attend but a single lesson here.

And yet Seros found himself bored, and thus enjoying the sunlight rather than attending class. This was what he did on most days - the instructors were too set in their ways, too focused on the right way to fight, and it made them weak. An unexpected kick to the groin had won Seros the school's championship match, against a far superior opponent. Why bother improving his skill at swordplay, when being unpredictable won every match anyway? There was too much order to their teachings, while battle was nothing but chaos.

Seros' musings were interrupted by a shadow blocking his sun. He glanced up, only able to see a tall, back-lit figure standing before him. "Kindly move out of my light, good sir," he said boredly. The figure remained motionless.

"Why should I, young one?" The figure spoke, and Seros was immediately interested. Looking more carefully, he noticed the pointed ears and slender physique that marked the body of an elf. Curious.

Hearing no response from Seros, the elf elaborated. "THe commanding tone in your voice, but lack of interest in who is actually standing before you, tells me that you are accustomed to being obeyed at all times, but your relaxed pose and lack of a weapon tells me that you are unprepared to enforce your commands. You are an arrogant young noble, willing to send others to do the work that you are not skilled enough to perform yourself. So tell me, boy, why should I move for you?"

Still lounging on the steps, Seros cocked his head and regarded the Asur. "You can tell so much about me with such ease, can you?"

"I can. Judging an unknown opponent accurately wins many battles. Perhaps someday you will be able to as well, Seros."

Seros tapped his lips with one finger, as if considering something. There was silence for a moment, until finally Seros spoke. "The faint lyrical tone to your voice tells me that you were born in Ulthuan, and are more accustomed to speaking Eltharin. However, the lack of a more pronounced accent means that you are quite practiced in Reikspiel, probably because you are in a position that requires you to deal with humans often. A merchant, perhaps... No, your clothes are too fine for a merchant. Some sort of official posting in Altdorf."

"Your insistence on annoying me and lack of fear of my reprisals means that you are eager to prove your martial superiority. You have your hand set gently on your sword, because despite your words, you noticed the dagger hidden in my boot, and you want me to attempt to attack you with it. Only a Swordmaster of Hoeth could be so sure of disarming me in the instant it would take me to lunge at you."

"The fact that you know my name, and that you have turned up to speak to me at the Academy, means that someone - most likely my father - has persuaded you to come teach me something, most likely in return for some political favor. In sum, I know only one elven official posted in Altdorf who needs favors from my father, and also happens to be a Swordmaster. You are Ithilien Sunspear, source of much gossip around the city. It is a pleasure to finally meet you." Seros rose to his feet and extended his hand in greeting."

The elf sniffed disdainfully at the gesture and ignored it. "That is Ambassador Sunspear, to you. And perhaps this will not be quite as intolerable as I feared. We begin tomorrow, at dawn. Meet me here. Bring nothing." Sunspear turned abruptly and began walking away.

"Haven't you forgotten something, Asur? What makes you think I will consent to this training? I am a busy man, after all," Seros called after him.

Ithilien Sunspear stopped and answered without turning around. "Your desire to annoy your father by refusing may slightly outweigh your desire to actually learn something worth learning, rather than be bored outside this school all day. However, your desire to annoy me by accepting will shift the balance the other way. I will see you in the morning." The elf resumed walking.

Agi +3 (From dodging that cannonball in the last post, y'see?)

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Re: Training Thread - Seros

Post  FlyingPinkPony on Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:13 pm

Totally. Approved. Btw post something in the adventure post.
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Re: Training Thread - Seros

Post  DemonicFerret on Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:17 pm

Ithilien Sunspear arrived at the Academy steps at dawn, to find Seros already present, in the middle of a crowd of giggling young women. Sunspear cleared his throat politely. Seros glanced at him, gave a wave of greeting, and returned to whatever conversation he was having. Resisting the urge to forcibly remove the young Seros, Sunspear crossed his arms and waited.

Some half an hour later, a bell tolled elsewhere in the city, and the crowd of girls made overly dramatic cries of anguish, gathered their things, and hurried off. Waving to the last of them, Seros strolled over to Ithilien. "Sorry about that, you understand," he said casually, inspecting his nails. "Such a shame, the school for prim and proper young ladies gets started early. Although some of those girls are far from prim and proper, if you catch my meaning." Seros winked knowingly. Sunspear stared back at him, immobile and silent.

Seros shrugged and continued. "Well, I was just telling those ladies about my new tutor, the famous Ithilien Sunspear! That will get me some play, no doubt - and, of course, I had to explain how such a thing came to pass. The whole "you and my father, shady backroom dealings" bit. Oh, I suppose that wouldn't look good, if it became public knowledge... Don't worry, I'm sure they won't tell anyone. Their lips are sealed. Well, metaphorically speaking, of course." Sunspear's expression had become yet more displeased, if that was even possible.

Seros let a moment pass in silence, seeing if Ithilien would rise to the bait. It seemed not. "Such a mistake, thinking my goals were mutually exclusive. I can annoy you, annoy my father, and learn everything I can, all at the same time! So, shall we get started? What are we learning about today, elven philosophy?"

Sunspear glared down at him. "Follow me," he said, and proceeded into the Academy without waiting for a response. Seros dutifully followed behind him, a smirk glued firmly on his face. They arrived moments later at a padded training room.

"Ah, weapons training already! Excellent. So, where's my blade?" Seros said, scanning the room. There was only one weapons rack present, and it did not appear to contain swords. Sunspear began grabbing items from it as he spoke.

"I was going to save this lesson for later, but... I think you're ready," The Asur turned, and Seros saw that he was holding a pistol, aimed directly at his face. He had only enough time to register a moment of alarm before the gun fired. Reflexively, he began leaping to the side, but Seros knew it was far too late.

No bullet came. Seros landed heavily on the padded floor, knocking the breath out of him. He looked up to see a wisp of smoke coming from the barrel of the gun. "Hmm," Sunspear said. "It seems some of these are loaded with blanks. Let's try this one," The elf discarded the empty pistol casually to the ground, and deftly grabbed another from the rack and cocked it.

Seros' eyes widened. "You can't - " Sunspear began aiming the gun at him, and Seros rolled enthusiastically out of the way, slightly more prepared this time. There was a loud *crack* as a bullet punctured the mats inches from Seros' arm and embedded itself in the floor beneath.

Ithilien raised an eyebrow. "Mm, that one was real. Excellent dodge," he said, reaching for another pistol.

"You can't possibly do this. I'm a noble! You can't just shoot at me! I could die!" Seros protested in disbelief as he scrambled to his feet.

Sunspear shrugged. "I'm not aiming for anything vital. You'll heal, and I suspect after your performance earlier, your father will be only too happy to see you learn some humility." The Asur fired again, and again Seros threw himself to one side.

Too slow. The bullet tore through his shoulder, ripping Seros from his feet and smashing him to the ground. Howling in pain, Seros struggled to stand once again. Sunspear watched him impassively, twirling a pistol in each hand. "There is a point to this lesson other than teaching you how to dodge, you know. Do you know what it is?"

Trying to stem the flow of blood from his shoulder with his hand, Seros grimaced at the elf. "Enlighten me."

"No training fight can reproduce the reality of combat. You have to feel the pain, the desperation, the doubt of your own survival. If you've never feared for your life before, you'll freeze up when you do." Sunspear tossed one of the pistols to the floor before Seros, and aimed the other one at him. "Don't miss."

Even as the words left the elf's mouth, Seros lunged for the gun on the floor, his shoulder producing fresh waves of agony as he landed hard on the ground for what seemed like the tenth time today. He snatched up the pistol, aimed quickly up at Sunspear, and fired.

The shot was surprisingly well aimed, streaking towards Ithilien's face. With an impossibly quick motion, the elf blocked with his own pistol, the bullet embedding itself in the barrel of his gun. Unperturbed, Sunspear inspected the damage for a moment, then let the broken weapon fall to the ground.

"Not bad. You may have the makings of a warrior after all," he said. Seros lay unmoving on the ground, panting and clutching his shoulder. "Same time tomorrow," Sunspear continued, "and the next time you have the urge to inconvenience me, I will make you dodge a cannon instead of a pistol."

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Re: Training Thread - Seros

Post  FlyingPinkPony on Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:44 am

Approved. I like it. Trying to finally maybe not be last in line for loot?

Edit: Oops silly me you were at your WP cap before. It all makes sense now.
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Re: Training Thread - Seros

Post  DemonicFerret on Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:07 am

Months passed, and Ithilien Sunspear taught Seros the art of battle. They covered the application of hundreds of tactics, proficiency in dozens of weapons both Imperial and Asur, and even basic strategy and logistics. Already, Seros had become a far more capable warrior, as well as a passable tactician and commander of men. Sunspear found him to be an eager learner, although at times he felt a certain resentment in his pupil. It was clear that Seros held some genuine respect for the elf, but Sunspear felt his disdain deepen with every lesson. It was as if Seros wanted to know everything Ithilien knew, but still despised him for knowing more.

This feeling only intensified when Seros discovered that in addition to being a Swordmaster, Sunspear was also an accomplished mage. "They allow you to do both? How do you have the time?" Seros said, lounging in a chair and absently polishing his blade between lessons. The young noble seemed only casually interested in the subject, but it was more interest than he had previously displayed in Sunspear's life, so the elf obliged him.

"We Asur have more time than humans do to master a skill. I have spent a human lifetime learning at the White Tower, another lifetime studying diplomacy and politics, and several more lifetimes discovering the secrets of the winds of magic."

Seros nodded slowly, eyes still locked on his gleaming sword. "There is a man in my father's entourage, a feeble trickster from what I have seen, who claims to be a master of the Aqshy, the Lore of Fire. What sort of magic do you practice?"

"I have mastered each of the lores, and through them, I have come to know the Qhaysh, the High Magic, the wind from which all other magic flows," Sunspear responded proudly. Why not? He had toiled for decades to learn what he now knew.

Seros turned his head slightly to make eye contact with his teacher. Sunspear noticed a dangerous glint in his eyes, one that reminded him somehow of the gaze of a Druchii, or perhaps a predatory animal. Was this new, or had it always been there, beneath his notice? "Teach me," Seros said. His tone seemed to dare Sunspear to say no.

And he must say no, of course. "I cannot. There is already too much to learn, and too little time - "

"We will hold lessons more often," Seros interrupted him.

"Your Empire forbids - "

"I won't tell them if you won't," Seros interjected again.

"Your mastery of the blade would suffer. Concentrate on becoming the best warrior - "

Seros was on his feet now, staring intently at Sunspear. "I feel confident I am capable of learning both, just as you did. You will teach me this 'High Magic' of yours!" Seros was almost shouting now, commanding the elf. Sunspear was reminded that his student was a man who had always found a way to get what he wanted.

"Even if I would, I cannot. No human can learn the Qhaysh. It takes hundreds of years to master the other winds, and without that mastery, the High Magic will forever be beyond your grasp. Only a few humans even have the aptitude for magic; you would probably not be capable of the simplest cantrip, even with training!" Sunspear said harshly. Who did this human boy think he was, to speak to him this way?

"No?" Seros said quietly, suddenly subdued, all fury gone from his voice. He calmly raised one hand, palm up, and concentrated for a moment. A wisp of reddish flame appeared on his fingers for a moment, flickered, and disappeared. Seros closed his hand, satisfied. The room was silent for a moment.

"Where did you learn to do that?" Sunspear said, not sure if he should be impressed, furious, or frightened.

"I have been doing my own research, elf. The restricted section of the Altdorf Grand Library holds some interesting reading on this subject. De Atrum Psychomantium was particularly informative," Seros said.

Ithilien Sunspear was beginning to lean towards "furious". "That book is forbidden, even to trained wizards, and it is so for a reason! YOu have no idea the powers you are trifling with, boy! Even if you are not consumed by demons, your own country hangs apostate mages!"

Seros smiled humorlessly, and Sunspear realized the situation the young fool had just placed him in. "Then I suppose you had better train me, hadn't you?" Seros said. "If I were to be discovered, and hung - after implicating you at my trial, of course - that would not bode well for your endeavors here, would it?"

Sunspear narrowed his eyes at the human. He continued to underestimate this boy. Clearly he would continue practicing magic on his own. The only way to keep him safe - and thus keep himself safe - was to train him to do it properly. He had been outplayed, and that was a rarity in Ithilien's life. "Do not make me regret this, Seros. I will train you, but let this be the end of your independent studies."

Seros' smile grew larger, and more cruel. No, he thought. This is only the beginning.

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Re: Training Thread - Seros

Post  FlyingPinkPony on Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:17 pm

Whoa WP stacking? I'm shocked, truly.
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Re: Training Thread - Seros

Post  DemonicFerret on Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:16 am

Seros peered into the darkness ahead, brandishing his torch at it with little effect. He scowled. The sewers of Altdorf were - by design - unsuitable for human travel. Behind him, a petite blonde girl gazed nervously over his shoulder.

"I don't think we're going the right way..." she said. Seros had needed the housemaid's key to the basement, so he had told her they were going to a spot he knew in the sewers for an illicit rendezvous. If she knew what he was actually trying to find, she would likely run screaming.

"Quiet, girl. We're almost there," Seros lied as he proceeded blindly into the darkness. The maid looked back longingly, as if trying to decide if she could still find her way out from here. Apparently not, as she turned and continued following him.

It had been almost a full day since Seros had spotted the mark, innocently blending in with the rest of the graffiti on an abandoned house deep in Altdorf's central market. He had recognized it immediately - indeed, all the symbols he had studied in De Atrum Psychomantium were branded permanently into his memory. This one was the Mark of Slaanesh, and the smaller runes circling it translated roughly to a time and place.

That time was several minutes ago, but the place still eluded him. He was relatively sure it had to be in the sewers, as the same location above ground was the palace of some Duke or another. But navigating the sewers had proven more difficult than he expected, and now he was going to be late for... whatever this was.

What was this? Why was he trying to find it? If it was a cult gathering, as he suspected, they would hardly appreciate intruders. Why risk his life? He felt no particular desire to join this cult of Slaanesh, he was simply... curious. After so much discussion of Chaos and how terrible it was, Seros could not resist the lure of such power. Sunspear's preaching on the danger of Chaos had only tempted the young noble further. He would not be seduced by their lies. He would not be destroyed by their treachery. He could use Chaos for his own ends, without being corrupted. And he would prove it, by sneaking into their meeting.

"Seros, my lord? I do not..." The girl prattled on with her worries, and Seros tuned her out. He had long ago come to regret bringing her. Perhaps he would simply leave her down here, to find her own way out. She deserved no less for doubting him.

The darkness ahead moved slightly, and Seros' gaze snapped towards it, alert for any further sign. None came. Seros abruptly stopped walking, causing his maid to walk into his back. He stumbled and glared back at the girl, only to notice that there was another figure lurking behind her. Carefully, he looked forward again. Yet another figure, calmly standing right in front of him. There was a stifled gasp from the girl as she noticed them as well.

"Greetings," Seros said indifferently. He noticed that the figures were armed. On some objective level he was aware that his life was in imminent danger, but he had never felt so calm.

"The Prince of Pleasure welcomes you. Have you brought a sacrifice?" the figure before him whispered.

Seros let no emotion reach his face, and simply blinked once as he considered this question. It only took an instant for him to reach a decision.

"I have," he said, gesturing casually behind him. The housemaid's eyes widened for a moment, and then disappeared as the figure behind her deftly enveloped her head in a cloth. There was the beginning of a muffled scream, and then silence as her body went limp. Seros waited awkwardly as the girl was dragged past him and vanished into the darkness.

"She's attractive," the remaining figure commented without emotion. "A good choice." Seros remained silent, unsure how to respond. "One more thing, before we continue to the gathering. Slaanesh requires a taste of your blood."

The casual name-dropping of a greater Chaos power sent Seros' mind reeling for a moment. He had seen that name only in some of the forbidden writings he had perused, and never heard it spoken. It had a certain power to it.

He noticed that he had extended his hand, and the cultist before him was drawing blood from it with a strange looking blade. It didn't hurt, for some reason... in fact, it almost felt good.

"Come then, my new friend. The others will be quite excited to meet you." The figure turned and walked off into the darkness, and Seros had to hurry to keep up. It was hard to tell in this lighting, but the wound on his hand looked almost like a symbol. It seemed vaguely familiar somehow, as if he had seen it in a book before... and it seemed to be glowing. His imagination, surely.

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Re: Training Thread - Seros

Post  FlyingPinkPony on Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:17 pm

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