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Old 12-13-2008, 05:01 PM   #374
Nogrod
Flame of the Ainulindalë
 
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QS-fight, round 2, match 1

“Any ideas my friend?” Balvir asked Lithor as they received their staves.

“Should we try that “change the target” -thing? Or try to keep the line… even if with just two of us it’s a bit hard to make a line.”, Lithor answered smiling at Balvir.

“Let’s try the change. They will not anticipate it, at least in the beginning… If we go through from this there’s no use trying it to lord Eodwine and Thornden anyway. And we should show some military prowess…” Balvir answered dryly but his eyes did smile.

“Let’s go for it mate, like the old times.” Lithor said and patted Balvir on the shoulder.

“Well, they’re no orcs…”, Balvir flashed a wide grin, “But let’s go… and I will take that Crabannan in the end, I’m about his age and you’re old enough to beat that youngster Druadán…”

“And too old to take Crabannan? … I guess you’re right about that. He’s good.” Lithor nodded and looked back on Balvir: “So I’ll fly on Crabannan first, right?”

Balvir shook his head. “I’ll charge Dan and then we change… I mean it’s just a suggestion.”

“And a good one” Lithor nodded. “Let’s go in like soldiers!”

-----

“Darn, soldiers again! But oldies this time…” Dan half protested and half jested to Crabannan.

“It seems they want to test us now doesn’t it? But let’s be careful out there. The young soldiers were skilful but hot-headed. These are of a different class for they have fought in real battles. Trust my word, they are very much harder to win.” Crabannan said in a low voice leaning towards the Druadán. “Keep it simple, keep it straightforward.”

Dan nodded. “Should I take the older one?”

“He might be the more cunning of them… If you could hold the younger one for a moment I might be able to wear Lithor down. A deal?”

“A deal” Dan answered and they shook hands before walking into the flagged area.

-----

“Are you ready for the next round?” Wilcred shouted and the crowd cheered in response. The air was full of anticipation as the veteran soldiers meeting the victorious newcomers promised a good fight.

“I’ll give you captain Balvir and venerable Lithor against the furious Dan and mighty Crabannan! Let the fight be fair but tough!” The crowd burst into applauds and whistling. The mood was high.

Wilcred blew the horn.


When the blow rang it looked like both Balvir and Lithor had been called "Attention!" in a boot camp. They both took a still stance laying their staves upright to the leg.

“Hop!” Balvir shouted and they simultaneously raised their staves up and lowered them then into a 45 degree angle pointing forwards. “Foorwaarrd… march!” Balvir called and they both started marching towards Dan and Crabannan.

“Now what the…?” Dan commented to his side but Crabannan stood still. There were still some five yards between them.

“Ooo-pen!” Balvir called and they both turned the points of the staves outwards forming like a letter V if looked from above. The crowd were cheering.

“Steady Dan, steady…” Crabannan whispered through his lips. “Keep it simple, keep it straight whatever they do…”

It was just two yards between the sides when Balvir finally yelled “Chaaarrge!”.

What happened after that happened just too quickly for most of the audience to grasp – and sadly for Dan and Crabannan as well.

Both soldiers brought their staves forwards and ran diagonally changing places. So Balvir was suddenly in front of Dan even if he had been originally facing Crabannan. Before Dan managed to move he was hit by the staff to the side and he howled in pain. Crabannan saw the move and readied himself to counter the blow by Lithor coming for him. But that blow never came.

Lithor ducked down to the left anticipating the defending blow by Crabannan and rushed towards Dan still inbalanced by the blow by Balvir. Balvir meanwhile took a sharp turn right and instead of continuing after Dan he hit Crabannan - who was still a bit unbalanced after hitting only thin air - from the side straight to his back. But it had been a bit too endearing move and Balvir lost his balance with the hit at the same time Crabannan fell on all fours.

“First hit against Dan… against Craban…!” Wilcred tried to follow the action.

But Lithor made a perfect hit on Dan’s breast as he was trying to adjust himself sending him flying backwards. And Lithor pressed on mercilessly landing a blow to Dan’s chest right as he hit the ground. Dan’s body cramped and shivered and suddenly went still. Lithor was shocked and rushed kneeling beside him in anguish. “Help!” he cried, only to receive a fist on his face from the angered Druadán, sending him backwards to the ground as well.

“Second and third hit against Dan! Dan is out! … And a little out of bounds hit – even if deserved one - against master Lithor as well!” Wilcred cried and people burst in applauds and releasing laughter after all had thought for a fleeting moment that something bad had actually happened.


Wilcred saw his moment of educational enlightenment right there. “So you see youngsters, this is why you were not accepted in this game. This is for the adults.”

Indeed there was no need for him to make the point. The youngsters who had been responsible for checking it out if anyone was going out of bounds were looking at the fights from a very close range – and they were really impressed. If that’s how they fight for fun, what is it for real? Cnebba found himself wondering and he was more than pleased he was not an adult yet… It was just so much more aggressive and powerful anything he and Garstan or Javan ever did. And still the adults seemed to part in friendship after even the fiercest fight. Now there was something he had to chew on.


But a real fight was going on just a few yards away from that scene. Crabannan fell on all fours but was up on his knees before the crowd could realise it. And he didn’t waste time on turning around but going with his instincts he made a powerful backhanded blow aiming behind his back just to where he thought Balvir was. And it was a direct hit to Balvir’s lower abdomen. Balvir yelled in pain and fell backwards while Crabannan rushed himself up.

“A hit against Balvir… a bad hit indeed!” Wilcred shouted and people were drawn to see what would follow as the newcomer bent over the household soldier.

Crabannan went on with the deciding blow but somehow Balvir managed to get back to the here and now and roll away from the down-coming staff. Crabannan only hit the ground just a few inches from Balvir’s side. And before he realised it, Balvir had turned enough to deal him another blow from the ground hitting him hard to his thigh from behind. Crabannan fell on his knees from the impact and they faced each other on their knees just a bit over yard apart.

“Second hit against Crabannan!” Wilcred called and was clearly late with his announcement but that could be forgiven. It was intense indeed as it happened right when Wilcred was being educative towards the youngsters.

The two looked at each other both on their knees. And suddenly they fought… in their knees! The staves hit each other in fury and neither had a chance to rise up. The crowd was just waiting for Lithor to rise up from where he was lying a few yards away from the fighting pair and to end it all but it seemed that the blow Dan had given him to his nose was bad enough not to make him useful for a moment. He was lying down but tried to arise. Somehow his head just felt too dizzy for it.

Meanwhile it soon became clear that even if Crabannan was a great fighter Balvir’s technical skills with the quarterstaff were just superb. Hit by hit Balvir wore Crabannan down, hit by hit he gained the momentum, but every time Crabannan fought back with instinct, luck, sense… what have you. It should have ended a dozen of times but Crabannan held back.

Finally Balvir hit Crabannan’s staff so hard to the left that he lost his balance and Balvir had time to rise up to finish the fight. But to his astonishment Crabannan was up about the same time and his deciding blow into which he had invested all his remaining power met with Crabannan’s staff in mid-air. For a second Balvir thought he had lost it when he stumbled down losing his balance and seeing Crabannan standing upright as he fell. But no hit came on him.

Instead there was a loud cheer of the crowd as Lithor had finally forced himself up and dealt a mighty blow on Crabannan’s back sending him face on to the ground. And Crabannan was totally stunned with the force of the blow. Lithor placed his left foot on Crabannan’s back and lowered the tip of his staff on his neck. “Call!” Lithor yelled.

“Call accepted!” Wilcred cried. “Lithor and Balvir will go to the finals! Cheers for the veterans!”

The crowd didn’t need to be told that. The cheers were ear-deafening. They had seen a spectacular fight indeed.
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