Who

Kyara, Xanthee

What

Kyara and Xanthee meet at the Standing Stones for a training lesson.

When

It is afternoon of the twenty-second day of the first month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Standing Stones , Igen Weyr

OOC Date 25 Jan 2018 05:00

 

kyara_default.jpg, xanthee_default.jpg

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Standing Stones

It is perhaps a pity that the Standing Stones lie in quiet isolation, half-forgotten in the Weyr's easternmost corner. Or perhaps it is inevitable: the grandiose beauty of these red rocks is ill-suited to Igen's coarse grit, and maybe only their loneliness allows them to survive unmarred. Whatever the reason, it cannot be denied that the Standing Stones, a lonely jumble of ancient boulders, have a glory about them. The tumbled field of pillars and arches has been shaped by eons of wind and water into strange shapes, twisted and rutted. The going is treacherous: only the Weyr's half-feral herd of caprines navigates the terrain with any ease. To the northwest, the lakeshore glimmers; to the east, rough-carved steps lead towards another ancient pile of rocks - though the Star Stones are less haphazardly placed than their Standing cousins.


Though Kyara may favor early morning practice sessions when it comes to self-defense, there are some days when it isn't possible…and also rest days when she likes to get in a bit more sleep than usual. Therefore, noon becomes a target time, lunch saved for afterward when the body will need the replenishment much more immediately. Today she's making her latest student traverse the Standing Stones, have told Xanthee to meet her there…but not how far into the jumbled rock formations she'll have to go to find the greenrider. Kyara is waiting all the way back near the bowl wall, perched atop a sturdy but narrow stone column above a lower shelf of rock, where there are a couple of satchels and a blanket waiting. It's a bit of a hike, but Kyara sets nothing up without purpose. She waits patiently on her perch, listening for the Weyrgirl's approach. Will Xanthee figure out where to look, or will Kyara get to start off with a specific point to make atop the others she intends?

Wearing her mom' old riding jacket over top her usual workout gear, Xanthee makes her way to the Standing Stones as instructed by Kyara. Unfortunately the greenrider hadn't been more specific so Xan pauses and scans the area with her sharp emerald eyes but sees neither re-haired rider or a hint of her green's hide. Looking back on the trail she thinks maybe she's early. But no, she knows she's right on time and her teacher has always been punctual so far. So with a sigh, she heads off to hike through the rock formations. With only a couple of stumbles, mainly because she tried steps too wide for her shorter legs, but she didn't go down, she makes her way straight through the middle towards the back of the bowl. When she spies the supplies left of the ledge, she looks around at ground level but doesn't see anyone, is this where she is supposed to be? She wanders the area, peering around rock formations and getting more and more perplexed when she doesn't see anyone.

Ever-sharp ears pick up Xanthee's footsteps before Kyara actually sees the girl, but they're enough to tell her a path of approach. When Xanthee does come into view, the greenrider watches closely, her smirk deepening while her student searches to no avail. She lets this go on for a long moment before prizing a pebble loose from the edge of the column she's sitting on. When Xanthee comes nearer to the shelf beneath her perch, Kyara snaps the pebble downward, sending it bouncing off the stone below with a sharp spang that cracks sharply off the surrounding rock. She taps her heels against her perch to make doubly certain the girl knows where she is. "There are more directions to look than around, Xanthee," the greenrider informs her, her smirk becoming a rather impish grin as she peers down at her student from about six feet overhead.

So intent on her looking, Xanthee most certainly startles when the pebble hits stone, jumping as a shriek escpaes her lips. Looking up instinctively when she hears that voice, xan sees her teacher standing there and reddens in embaressement. "Yes Kyara. I will remember that." she says with a smirk and then one eyebrow raises in question as she shields her eyes from the bright sun to get a better look at the greenrider. "So, dare I ask why you decided we would be training here today?" she asks as she puts a hand on her hip with a touch of her usual sassiness.

Kyara manages not to laugh when Xanthee shrieks, though amber eyes do glint with amusement. "I'm not disappointed, just unsurprised," she says as she lowers herself along the side of the formation, then drops to the shelf beside the two satchels, landing in a crouch to cushion the fall before straightening and dusting off her rear. "Most people don't look up enough. You'd think that wouldn't be such an issue in a Weyr…" And it's probably less of an issue than in other places, but the fact still remains. As for why she's had her student hike all the way to the back of the Standing Stones… "If you happen to end up in a confrontation in a place like the Bazaar or caravan grounds, there's usually a lack of space - walls or people or stalls, any number of things. But it's not convenient to practice any of those places." A half shrug for that before she hops down to the sand and gestures around. "I like coming back here because it's more confined and less of a nuisance to others when sparring starts happening. And you're more likely to bump into a caprine than a person. Let's get to stretching." Which she starts off herself by folding down to sit, unfurling her legs and slowly bending at the waist toward one foot to reach her toes and beyond, holding it before repeating the process on the other side. "We'll get some kick work done, then a bit of sparring. And we can work on some things with your blade, if you like."

Xanthee watches in awe as the taller woman makes her way down the rock formation and her smoothing landing into a crouch, emerald eyes growing wide and round. When Kyara mentions that people don't look up enough, the raven-haired girls nods sagely making a mental note of that. Then at the explanation as to why this place for training, she comments, "Ok. I can see that." And then there is stretching happening. Shrugging off the battered riding jacket, Xanthee folds it reverently before placing it on the ledge next to the other supplies, her thick sweater should be enough once they start warming up. Mirroring the greenrider's actions, she sits across from her teacher and stretches a long her legs as well. "That sounds good. I can always use more practice on my kicks that's for sure." Xan replies as the plan for the training session is explained.

Moving onto butterfly stretches, Kyara sets her elbows on her knees to gently press them further down. "You are getting better," she tells Xanthee, "and in a relatively short amount of time, at that. You have good instincts. Except for watching your head." She can't help but tease after the shrieking, of course. "Not that you're likely to forget now. And most scuffles obviously won't start with someone leaping down on you from a roof or something, but the point is less about that and more being aware of your surroundings." She stands, reaching down to give Xanthee a hand up before she balances on one leg, folding the other behind her and catching her instep to stretch her quads. She glances at the jacket Xanthee takes such care with, noting the cut and wear of it. "Your mother's?" the greenrider ventures with a gentle smile, even as she switches legs.

"Well at least you think I'm getting better." Xanthee replies sardonically as she follows her teacher's lead in the stretches. When she's pulled to her feet, she continues to mirror the stretching routine of her teacher. "And yeah, I wouldn't put it past some of the people you find in the Bazaar to hang out on the rooftops." she's almost two full turns working in the Bazaar under her belt now, she has a pretty good feel for it, or at least she feels anyway. When Kyara asks about her jacket, Xan nods slightly. "Yep." is all she is going to answer as a shadow crosses her features briefly, certain recent revelations unearthed about her mother still weight on the girl.

Kyara chuckles at that. "Such as the Zingari spies? And even some of them who aren't," she amends, moving on to her arms and shoulders. The clipped reply and brief clouding of Xanthee's expression sobers the greenrider a bit, her features taking on a sympathetic cast. "I'm sorry," she says quietly, and arm lifting and folding so that she can catch her elbow and press it back in a tricep stretch. "I didn't mean to touch a sore spot. Though I do understand what it's like, to miss them."

Xanthee is totally fine with allowing Kyara to think that it is mere missing that causes the shadow. Now is not the time, and she still has more processing to do anyway. So she brushes off the apology with a shrug, apparently focused on her stretching for the time being. "Almost everyone in the Weyr has lost someone at some point. My story isn't unique." Her reply is very slightly dismissive as she works on stretching her own arms.

"But it is yours," Kyara notes as she rolls her neck. "And that is important." She'll leave the matter there, thoughtful through the brief remainder of her stretching before moving to one of her satchels and pulling out a pair of small, thick rectangular pads made of soft hide stitched around layers of cloth - old garments repurposed. There are two straps sewn to the back of each pad, which she slips her hands into. "Now," she says, settling into an easy balanced stance and holding one padded hand just below her waist level to her left, open for Xanthee to target. "To review a little, what is the strongest point on your foot that you want to try to strike with whenever possible?"

Xanthee shakes her limbs out after she's done her stretching, feeling nice and loose. Watching as Kyara dons the pads, she takes a few even breaths as she begins to get focused for the training at hand, her usual bubbly self pushed aside for something more serious. When Kyara gets down into her stance, Xan takes up her own, legs slightly spread for better balance her weight mostly on the balls of her feet, hands up in a defensive posture as she stands ready. At the question, Xan only has to think a moment before answering, "The ball of the foot." She replies with confidence.

"Front kick," Kyara instructs, tilting her head toward her readied left hand. "Focus on your balance as you carry through. "And if the ball of your foot isn't an option?"

Xanthee adjusts her stance for front kicking with a nod as she carefully shifts her feet to maximize her balance. "The heel of your foot can also be used." she replies easily as she brings her back leg up, knee bending up almost to her waist before she kicks out with her foot, striking the pad with her heel relatively close to the middle mark with a loud thwap. She may still be a little slow and deliberate in her movements, but she thinks her form is pretty good. At least she doesn't wobble this time as she completes the kick and resumes her original position.

"Good," is Kyara's evaluation of Xanthee's efforts, approval of the girl's deliberate approach evident in the nod she gives. She'll take Xan through a circuit of kicks - front, round, side, even back kicking, all at different levels and distances and, hopefully, steadily increasing speeds. When she ends, though, the targets will be up near her head regardless of whether or not Xanthee can reach, just to give a measure of future goals. "Alright," the greenrider says eventually, holding a pad at chest level, "a few punches and we'll get on to sparring. What are the keys to an effective punch?"

Her face red with her exertions, breathing just slightly elevated, Xanthee manages to pick up a little bit of speed in her form as she moves through the assortment of kicking styles with Kyara. When the pad is placed particularly high, she just groans and makes an attempt anyway, where she manages to actually reach it, but with no real power left to it when she does. Her brows furrow at that, not entirely satisfied with her effort but then shrugging when Kyara ends that portion of their training. At the questions, she puts her hands on her hips and looks up, eyes closing as she tries to remember what she was told. "Hit with the first two knuckles, keep a straight line through the fist, snap the punch, and use your whole body behind the punch not just the arm from the elbow," With one last deep breath, she takes up her defensive stance again and awaits instructions.

"Good! And…" Kyara lifts a finger from the back of the other pad, brandishing it at Xanthee with a knowing upward quirk to the corner of her mouth. "Don't get knotted up about what you can't do yet. You'll get there. Remember, perfection is rare, and may as well be absent in combat." She saw that little brow-wrinkle! "Let's go." The pad is brandished before her, her stance settling in again as she takes Xanthee through a similar circuit of punches - straight, crossed, hooked, though with fewer differences in level and for a shorter span than with the kicks. And when they're done with that… "Alright. Water." Since they won't last long without it. She slips the pads off her hands and tosses them on the satchel, catching her breath a bit as she parks on the stone ledge and produces a waterskin, which she first hands to Xanthee. "Blade work or sparring next?" she asks, letting Xan plot the course of things for after their water break.

Punches Xanthee has a bit more finesse with, and she easily keeps up with the circuit of punches that Kyara runs her through, keeping special focus on her form, remembering her tweaked wrist that hurt for near to a sevenday. When a break is called, Xanthee reaches up and uses the sleeve of her sweater to wipe at the sweat beading on her forehead before it runs down into her eyes. Taking the waterskin with a smile of thanks, Xan takes a couple of sips before taking a long pull and then handing it back. Resting her hands on her lower back as she rocks back and forth, keeping warm in the near freezing weather as she considers what they should do next. "Sparring." She says with a nod, since she had just run through her kicks and punches, may as well put them to the test.

Kyara grins and nods at that, having had a feeling Xanthee might say as much. She takes her own pulls from the waterskin and then gets back to her feet. "Remember - control for this. Impact will come the longer you practice with bags and pads; you're focusing on accuracy and quick thinking here. Tap me, but don't purposely go harder or we'll switch working ground fighting in the sand." Which means sand in all sorts of unpleasant places, and neither of them want that. The greenrider adopts a readied stance, weight shifted to the balls of her feet, knees slightly bent and arms lifted to guard her midline…though not too high, because Faranth knows how good the shorter ones can get at kidney shots!

Xanthee shakes out her limbs one last time before she resumes her own similar stance, although her hands are higher because Kyara is so much taller than her. She nods her head to the instructions, especially the one about control. Taking one final deep breath, she figures her teacher is ready enough, so she goes on the offensive and advances with a little bounce on the balls of her feet, a series of quick jabs, aimed high, followed by a roundhouse kick to the kidneys.

Kyara bats the jabs downward, leaning away, then lifts a knee to join her elbow in deflecting Xanthee's kick. "Good flurry!" she praises, darting a low kick forward toward Xanthee's knee while also making a grab for her wrist…though not pulling, since she wants to see if the girl can remember how to get out of it on the fly.

Xanthee smiles briefly at the praise and then drops her hand to block the kick aimed as her knee as she steps to the side and then brings a crescent kick up across her body but gets thrown off balance when her wrist is grabbed, dropping her kick midway through. It only takes a moment for her to remember what to do and relaxes her wrist and twists it in Kyara's grip hoping to loosen it so she can jerk it loose.

Since Xanthee manages to make her twist toward Kyara's thumb, it works…but the greenrider's approval is shown only in a quick grin before she goes on the offensive. She'll go after the girl relentlessly for nearly thirty seconds, putting her defenses to the test and not stopping even if she finds her mark. She wants to see how much quicker Xanthee has gotten compared to when they first began…and to see whether or not the girl flusters at a continued onslaught.

A swell of pride when Xanthee spies that grin, quick as it may be. But she doesn't have time to gloat as Kyara goes onto the offensive, and Xan has to quickly change up her plan of attack and takes a more defensive stance against the onslaught her teacher. Small and quick, Xan dances around, narrowly avoiding being hit by dodging and weaving, bringing her hands and knees up in quick succession to try and counter as much as she can. A couple taps get through, but she shakes them off quickly enough as her emerald eyes are hyper focused on the various limbs coming at her at once.

Kyara couldn't be prouder of the way Xanthee handled herself through the flurry, taking a sec to catch her breath and grinning again as she falls back into a ready posture again. "You do have a quick eye, lass. It'll be to your advantage. But beware of dirty tricks, too." Which they'll get to, but in a non-sparring setting first. Said dirty tricks are quite unpleasant, after all.

Taking her own sec to catch her breath and wipe again at her brow, Xanthee smiles a bit at the compliment, "Thanks." a nod is given to acknowledge the comment about dirty tricks. Then she exhales heavily when Kyara again takes up her stance so Xan does the same, putting her hands up, but this time, she waits for her teacher to make the first move, weight on the balls of her feet, ready to move.

Kyara's feet move first, a shuffled step forward to close distance quickly just before her lead hand darts out in a flick toward Xanthee's eyes, intended to make the girl flinch - the very least of dirty tricks. Then she shuffles forward again…and switches her stance so that she's suddenly practically hip to hip with her student, an arm sweeping out to catch her across the chest. Unless Xanthee thinks fast, she might just end up on her butt, pushed over the jutting angle of Kyara's switched leg and knee.

So focused is Xanthee's stare that the flick does indeed make her flinch back instinctively, throwing off her center of balance enough that when she steps back to avoid the arm sweeping towards her, Kyara's leg hits her right at the knee and she completely loses her footing as she falls back hard onto her rump with a little queak of surprise.

"Like that," Kyara notes with a sympathetic smirk, reaching down to clasp Xanthee's forearm and help her back to her feet again. "Though to be fair, it doesn't matter who you are or how good, you'll flinch at something coming towards your eyes quick enough. That's what makes such a simple thing so effective. What could you have changed, when I first started moving?"

Xanthee sighs a little bit as she clasps Kyara's arm and gets herself back to her feet before dusting herself off. As she looks sheepishy back up at Kyara, running a hand up to smooth back stray tendrils of raven hair that escape her runnertail, she considers the question and with a shrug the only thing she can come up with is, "I should have moved before you had gotten that close?" She asks, unsure of her answer.

Kyara nods, the smile on her lips growing at Xanthee's reply. "And made sure not to lock your eyes. You can tell a lot about how someone fights or even what their next move is likely to be by watching shoulders and feet, but even better if you're able to take in all of an opponent at once. Without staring." She takes a step toward Xanthee in demonstration. "When I shuffled in, you could've shuffled back and kept me out of range. Like dancing." A small chuckle at that. "Fighting can be a lot like dancing, actually. And vice versa."

Xanthee listens intently and nods at her teacher's words, realizing where she went wrong. Then when she mentions dancing and Xan smiles brightly, a soft blush coloring her cheeks, "Dancing huh? I like dancing." she says softly with a little giggle as she steps back when Kyara moves in on her in demonstration, easily keeping distance between them, causing her to nod again as she understands.

Kyara can't help but grin when she spots that blush, coming up with a guess or two as to what it might be about. "So do I," she admits with a chuckle of her own, taking another shuffling step toward Xanthee just to make sure. "If you've someone to enjoy it with you, take advantage often. Not only will you have a good time, but it'll help with this, too. Strange as it sounds." Straightening again, Kyara regards her student with a lift of burnished brows. "Any questions so far? Or shall we do another round and then move on?"

"Oh I definitely have someone in mind." Xanthee replies with a coy smile playing on her lips. When Kyara shuffles forward again, Xan's reaction is to step back in time and she smiles cause now she can use another reference point, dancing, to help in this area of her training. It's funny how things work like that. As for quetions, Xan shakes her head, "Not right now, let's keep going." She says, her color high with entusiasm for their lessons. She takes a few licks during the rest of their time together, but always determinedly getting back up and trying it again. All in all, it was a very productive use of their time.

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