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Written By Ida

Aug. 1, 2016, 11:40 a.m.(3/7/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Hammar

A rather hulking figure of a man came to the shop a week or more ago. Imposing would be an understatement and that blank look in his eyes...well. I've seen people hit a few times too many in the head during my days as a pugilist and this seemed a touch beyond even that. While Master Hammer, no doubt, is an exceptionally dangerous person - deadly, even - our meeting wasn't like that at all. I'm unsure how he was lead to my door - the sign? Word? Whatever the case, he requested armor and I have to admit, the challenge was one I was excited about. He's about the size of a small cottage back at the hamlet, so just trying to make something to fit his girth would be work unto itself. Mostly dull, black armor, he seemed pleased with it, which made me happy. And, perhaps, from harm. He doesn't seem the type to hurt unprovoked. Duke Arn Telmar remarked to me recently that he saw Hammar in his armor and thought it amazing work. Humbling, right? One could do worse than someone near the size of a barn walking around in one's armor.

Written By Viviana

Aug. 1, 2016, 9:07 a.m.(3/6/1004 AR)

I've been asked a few times now to shed some light onto my training regime, so I thought I may as well do so here.

I try to train at least two hours a day, usually in the morning unless I've had a long night, and I do skip it if I'm injured or ill. I put very little stock in sparring, it will help you a lot if you are a novice, but what I would call mindless sparring in which you treat it as if it were a real fight for practice is never going to help you improve beyond a certain point.

I try to split my session into equal halves working on pure physical conditioning, and working on technique. When it comes to conditioning it is important to be sure to exercise your whole body, especially your legs and rear. Many neglect those areas in favor of more strength in their upper body but the power for proper thrusts comes from legs and the speed of your footwork is very often the difference between being struck or not. It is also important to focus on explosive power and endurance over raw strength, practice by doing the same sort of thing you're likely to do in a fight, but harder.

When it comes to technique it is again very important to push yourself. Do not simply do the same thing over and over again, force yourself to have to do something faster or harder or smoother than you have before. Your body learns through reptition so no matter how tiring or boring it is make sure you practice everything until you can do it without thinking. Your body will always react faster than your mind, you need to teach it how to react however.

When you do spar be sure to try to work the new things you have been drilling into the practice session, even if it means you do worse in the spar or are forcing yourself to use it in sub-optimal situations. The point of sparring is not to win, it's to teach your body to do something new in a situation much like real combat.

Also never stop thinking about your art, a duel is almost as much mental as it is physical. You need to find the weakenesses in someone's style and come up with ways to exploit them in the middle of the fight. You can practice this even when you aren't fighting, if you meet someone new imagine them as a warrior, what kind of warrior would they be? How do you think they'd fight? What would be the weaknesses of that style? Don't ever let yourself give into the temptation to be mindless or to use the gaps in combat to simply recover yourself.

As a general guide any time your training becomes a routine or stops being stressful or borders on becoming enjoyable, you're not getting better and are probably getting worse.

Written By Viviana

Aug. 1, 2016, 8:55 a.m.(3/6/1004 AR)

Organizing a Decathlon is quite exhausing, I must write a note to never attempt something so silly again. Still at least people seemed to enjoy themselves and it gives them something to talk about.

I was surprised by how well Talen fought, given he'd been lanced off his horse a half hour previous and beaten into unconsciousness the day before that. Still I wouldn't put it past him to fake injuries for the upper hand. In either case it was a close fight, and could have gone either way. In the end I won, which likely makes me the single combat champion of Arx at least for now. I am sure of course there is no less than an army of warriors with long and elaborate reasons for why they could not take part in the contest and would definitely have won if they did.

The problem with being the best at something, or even just one of the best really, is people are always trying to tear you down, it's rather exhausting truth be told. Miss Kima Saik started a rumor that I'd used my house blade in the competition, which was of course nonsense there are hundreds of witnesses to the fact that I was using my personal rubicund weapon in all three bouts. I would generously assume she is hard of sight and perhaps merely saw what she wished to? Although as an aside as a lady of the Lyceum someone should really teach her how to properly slander others, you don't say things that are provable false when they're also easily traced back to you.

Ailith, the palace Seraph later noted that I wore armor of shadowmeld that made me invulnerable. A curious sentiment given not only my wounds but the fact that my shadowmeld, even if it were invulnerable, covers only the back of my torso. Perhaps she too is hard of seeing and thought the rest of my armor also shadowmeld? Although that would not explain how I kept my head invulnerable without a helmet. I suppose she might believe I struck a deal with the Thirteeth to secure an invisible, invulnerable shadowmeld helmet?

These are but two examples, in truth it's a common phenomenon, if you are a woman who is any good at pretty much anything, there will be a whole lot of other women going to often rather insane lengths to try and bring you down. I'm sure men suffer the same from their own rivals, but I think it is perhaps less insane in that case. Women are undoubtedly impressed by champions and the more skilled and accomplished a man, the greater the appeal. But it really does not work that way for men. For sure men are more attracted to women who are more capable, and as their prowess increases so does the attraction, but right at the point their prowess passes the man's that attraction takes a rather sharp plumment off a rather steep cliff. I would say they should learn this for themselves, but that might require taking too much time away from man chasing and complaining to train, and I'm not sure how likely that is.

I think I still prefer being the best though, even if it does bring on such hassles, I'm a proud creature.

Written By Viviana

Aug. 1, 2016, 8:32 a.m.(3/6/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Enzo

Master Enzo is a quite talented jeweler who had the idea of creating little figurines of the champions of the Decathlon. It is really quite adorable and while I don't consider myself a particularly maternal person the idea of little children someday re-enacting the battles and events with them is not entirely an unpleasant one.

Written By Rohkir

Aug. 1, 2016, 5:50 a.m.(3/6/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Jaenelle

Any time you play games, there's always a chance you'll lose.

Written By Fiora

Aug. 1, 2016, 5:39 a.m.(3/6/1004 AR)

After missing the sprint, much to my dismay, I made sure I could at least attend the one event I was confident I could win. I have been proficient with a bow since I was a little girl; I am far more talented at archery than I am with a blade.

I did not win. The victory went to a commoner, Master Gerry, whose last two shots were truly remarkable. It was not an undeserved win, but I believe my own poor performance helped him win just as surely.

I was rewarded with a trophy nevertheless. I am not sure where to put it - I admit to not having thought that through before the event. It looks like my trunk will have to do.

I also received a flattering figurine of myself, crafted by Master Enzo, apparently as a gift. It is a clever way to get the nobility in his shop, no doubt. I visited shortly after receiving it and bought myself a splendid choker and another pair of earrings which go nicely with my favorite shade of red.

The figurine compliments my nightstand quite well.

Written By Silas

Aug. 1, 2016, 1:45 a.m.(3/5/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Acacia

The reputation of the Culler family is a complex, dark one... and I suspect Mistress Acacia is of the same cloth, though perhaps of a different color. We can help each other, while keeping our roles intact - though I am sure my intentions will receive some doubt, and others may suspect I'm being bribed somehow if we get too chummy. I'm not sure how much I care yet, but perception does matter.

Written By Acacia

Aug. 1, 2016, 1:07 a.m.(3/5/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Silas

While it's true that I don't often rub elbows with those of the Iron Guard for rather obvious reasons, Sir Mercier might be a slight exception on rare occasion when he's in a good mood and potentially absent any cause to hunt me down. I appreciate the distinction between the worlds, while facing it all with a pragmatic external aura. He's deceptively easy to talk to and were I a normal kind of woman, I'd be tempted to say that he has a lot of good in him beneath all those layers of Knightly metal. Getting him to appreciate the burn of a good whiskey might be as difficult as convincing him to let me off the hook someday-- but at least one of those might be worth trying.

Written By Silas

Aug. 1, 2016, 1:03 a.m.(3/5/1004 AR)

I received a messenger from a Mistress Acacia Culler after returning from my shift and an offer to 'chat' at my shop. Chat we did, and it appears she wished to become friends as a means to assist each other with our roles in the city.

It appears there are some among the Iron Guard who seek to take advantage of the chaos in the wake of the King's misfortune by extorting money from the citizenry, thinking they can more easily get away with it. Hopefully, with Acacia's aid, we can put a stop to it. It is to our mutual benefit, and to the benefit of many others.

Written By Acacia

Aug. 1, 2016, 12:52 a.m.(3/5/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Evaine

Starlet Evaine Silverhand is a glorious sight for anyone. She flows through conversation like she was born for it -- and really, she probably was. She's dauntingly difficult to track down at times, but I have full intentions to plant myself in the front row of the Black Rose Theatre and have people throw flowers at her until I might be able to steal her attention again.

Written By Jaenelle

Aug. 1, 2016, 12:04 a.m.(3/5/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Leona

My twin. The only other person that I should be able to share everything in the world with. The only person that should understand. We are so different, people don't even believe me when I tell them she is my sister, let alone my twin. She and I went down two different paths, starting from an early age. My weapon of choice was my personality and her's was a sword, and in doing so, we learned to survive.

Written By Tyrene

July 31, 2016, 11:53 p.m.(3/5/1004 AR)

That Prince Inquisitor sort gave me a bunch of silver to let Iron Guards drink free for a few days in the Unkindness. I told him, sure, I'll take his silver, but if any of them start bullying folk from the Boroughs, I'll give him what wasn't used up, then charge the guards that caused problems double what their drinks were worth, then regular price for other guards. Don't hurt none to make folks a bit happy now and then, and play nice, but I'm not about to let it be an excuse for harrassin' my people.

Written By Nekarris

July 31, 2016, 11:51 p.m.(3/5/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Belladonna

She's a Duchess, a Pravus. I remember hearing tales of her exploits when I was a young Lycene girl, myself - but I never got to meet her. Until recently. I was attending his Grace when she entered the crosses and proceeded to imply some really gut-churning things about the two of them. I just...ew. Ew! I get that she's trying that seduction thing but come on, he'd never be fooled by something that obvious. To imply I can't write it down. I can't think about it!

Written By Isolde

July 31, 2016, 11:50 p.m.(3/5/1004 AR)

The Mirror's Meditation is a week long ritual, in which one enters into a state of meditation so deep, you do not eat, sleep, or even move. It is utterly exhausting, but the enlightenment one can receive in one's Reflection is utterly euphoric. It's never to be undertaken lightly, but it is worth it. I see the world so differently now, see people with a much keener eye. This was my first Meditation unguided, and the experience was all I hoped it would be.

Written By Gareth

July 31, 2016, 11:49 p.m.(3/5/1004 AR)

I have hired the Smith Ida to perform a few small repairs for the servants of House Grayson. There is just so many peices that float about and are forgotten by our smiths.. that often times it can be months before one of our soldiers is fully fit and equipped for battle. It is through prepardness that Grayson has found glory. Others require cruelty.. cunning, honor or strength.. yet it is planning that is Grayson's key virtue.

Written By Evaine

July 31, 2016, 11:49 p.m.(3/5/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Acacia

Acacia is a Culler, the sister to one of my mummers. That could be 'sister' in the lower boroughs sense of the word, but I think it's the more traditional sense. I keep meaning to catch up with her. She's always busy, making moves for her family - and rubbing elbows with the nobility, despite her protests that she's not fit for such lofty company.

Written By Luca

July 31, 2016, 11:47 p.m.(3/5/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Wolbrand

A trainer I had when I was competing in tournaments as a younger man. He's a good guy, a solid person. I think he wishes, like all older men who are not as good as I am, that I'd 'apply myself' and 'live up to my potential', but it's alright.

Written By Gareth

July 31, 2016, 11:47 p.m.(3/5/1004 AR)

Day afte day, I have met those who question the intentions of the Inquisition. We are meant to be servants.. investigators.. of the public good.. searching for enemies of not just the crown, or the compact.. but of all mankind. There are those who do not appreciate this sentiment, nor this loyalty. If they must burn so that the others must be reminded of this threat, then so be it, but I will take no pleasure in this behavior.

Written By Chanse

July 31, 2016, 11:12 p.m.(3/5/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Nekarris

An eight? AN EIGHT? All right, maybe I was off my stride a little, but that was at least a nine, if not a fucking twelve on the one to ten scale. Be that as it fucking may, while most countesses are of the 'harumph, why I never!' variety, the Countess of Darkwater seems like the type that can drink whiskey without catching the vapors and fainting at the sight of burly men with unscrupulous intent. She's a little on the sweet side, and she seemed to pout all adorably when describing how no one can see her as dangerous, but who can blame 'em? Some people are tough, mean bastards (like yours truly), and some are just... like Nekarris.

Written By Gibson

July 31, 2016, 11:07 p.m.(3/5/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Evaine

Anyone that would describe me as 'not entirely unpleasant' and has a noticably significant pause mentioning our relationship is probably worth pursuing. In my opinion, which is the best, most accurate, and truthiest opinion in the city, if someone looks like they are giving due consideration to an escape plan when they are meeting you, then they are EXACTLY the kind of person you want to cultivate a personal relationship with. You don't really need to worry about them discovering your terrible side, since they already know, and have probably gone from 'what a find' all the way down to 'all right, you'll do just fine', and it will be delightful.

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