Who

Kyara, Erissa

What

Kyara gives Erissa her first lesson in defense/offense tactics.

When

It is afternoon of the twentieth day of the seventh month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Standing Stones, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 

KyaraIcon.jpg erissa.jpg

igenstandingstones.jpg

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.


Characters


Log

The warmth of the afternoon is a testament to the season toward which Igen is headed - Kyara's least favorite, but it's the one that defines her home, and there's nothing to be done about it. At least it isn't a humid heat, and not too pronounced just yet. The rusty-hued columns, crags, and arches of stone surrounding the greenrider only amplify it a little bit, but it's enough for her to be grateful she chose a sleeveless top to work in this afternoon - an immense relief after the heat of her riding leathers during the sweep she finished up not long ago. That, plus loose drawstring pants, light but sturdy shoes, and her hair done up in a high runnertail, make it clear that she's ready for a workout, but she sits on an outcrop with Liareth in the background for now, waiting. She's to give a lesson, after all - which doesn't work when the student isn't here yet.


A blast of frigid air hits the warmer temps of Igen and creates a moment of relief for those within it's path. The bringer of such relief is a stocky, muscular blue who immediately wings in for a neatly controlled landing and deposits his lean, shapely rider on the rocky grounds of the Standing Stones. A rumble of greeting is cast to Liareth as the blue furls cobalt wings to his side. Erissa immeidately pulls off her riding helmet and shakes her tousled mass of white-blond locks like a wet puppy. "Kyara!" she calls out on seeing the greenrider. Hopefully she's in this good of a mood /after/ the training.


Kyara slips from her perch as Danorath wings overhead, stretching a bit as Liareth croons a hello of her own to Danorath with a coy arch of neck as she rises to sit. « Good afternoon, Danorath, » the pretty green intones coolly, tendrils of warm steam a pleasant greeting across the stocky blue's mind. Kyara glances up at her lifemate and gives a small, long-suffering shake of her head before sauntering forward. "Hello, Erissa," the greenrider replies, giving a soft bit of a grunt as her stretching induces a somewhat audible neck pop. "You ready? Or do you want to go change and whatnot first?"


Danorath sidles over to where Liareth rests and assumes his self-imposed position of guardian from there. Duty and all, you know. But that doesn't mean he might indulge in a little fraternizing at the same time. Erissa grins wider at the sound of Kyara’s bones cracking and shrugs off her black riding jacket as blue-gray hues eye the younger woman.

“You sure you’re ready, Granny?” she counters, teasing.

The white, sleeveless shirt the bluerider wears is mark enough of her having planned ahead as to attire. The thicker trousers that match her jacket when she’s on flight duties have been replaced by thinner, more comfortable pants of a neutral gray hue. As well, boots are gone and lightweight sandals are now laced around her feet and ankles.


Granny? Well, there's a first time for everything. Kyara laughs, standing on one leg and grabbing her other ankle to stretch out a quad. "Oh-ho! Who's the one with the white hair, here?" she teases right back, her smile impishly crooked. "Stretch out first," she instructs, switching to the other leg. "We'll need it." Liareth, in the meantime, rumbles at Danorath and watches him intently, settling in to do what she does best: talk. And flirt, but much of that is accomplished through the talking - which Kyara tunes out in favor of concentrating on what's to come next.


Touche! Erissa laughs at the greenrider’s comeback, one hand darting upward to shove some of those white-hued locks behind an ear. Setting her gear neatly aside she moves to a couple arm lengths from Kyara and immediately imitates the other woman’s exercises. No need to tell her twice of the benefits! Swaying as she works on keeping her balance the bluerider smirks, “That sounds ominous.” Danorath isn’t much of a talker, especially when he’s on ‘duty’, so Liareth has her work cut out for her. A simple touch of clear ocean-fed winds greets her mind with the words, «Clear skies to you, lovely Liareth.» The blue sets so that he’s facing the bowl and has a good view of the skies above it, glittering facets watching the pair of riders as well.


Having moved on to stretching out her back and side with some easy twists and then some leans with her arms over her head, Kyara grins. “Well,” she says, her voice tightened by the physical work she’s doing, “I suppose it could be, seeing as I don’t exactly have a lesson plan to start from today. Have to see where you are, first.” Presently, she moves on to stretching her arms and wrists, giving her neck a little more attention for good measure before bouncing on the balls of her feet a little.


Erissa continues to copy the exercises following Kyara’s movements like a light-haired shadow. It seems to amuse her judging by the little lift at the corner of full lips as she watches the other woman.

“I don’t have any official training in anything specific,” the bluerider offers. “Just the general stuff we get in wing training.”


Liareth doesn’t mind having her work cut out for her, since she never really considers it work to talk up (or at) a handsome blue. She lets that ocean wind from Danorath mingle with the humid, wax and soapsand-scented scented air wafting about the rich marble of her bath house, steam curling lazily ‘round about each column as barely audible conversations take on an amused lilt in the background. « And to you, Danorath. What is it you watch for, when you aren’t on watch? » she questions easily, sidling a little closer to to the blue to get a better view of their lifemates below.

Kyara rolls her shoulders a little, then nods. “It’s good for basics,” she concedes about their usual training. “But we can get pretty well beyond basics quickly. Come on, then.” With that, she drops into a pushup position. “Just follow along with how I change it up.” Once Erissa is down there with her, she’ll start in on just normal pushups at first…then after twenty, she throws in a variation. It’s an easy one to start with: wide pushups - hands set a good foot out from each shoulder. She watches from her periphery to see how quickly the bluerider follows suit.


Danorath remains outwardly stoic in his vigilance but the whip and whirl of salty winds take an appreciative tour of that tempting bath house, ever willing to allow for the attentions of a lovely green. To do otherwise would be just plain rude and Danorath is always mindful of the farer hues.

«Anything that needs watching.» the blue replies, purposely vague. Ever ready. Ever mindful. «One never knows.»

Erissa follows Kyara’s lead with the ease of a physique used to an active lifestyle, though she saves the air in her lungs for exertion rather than speech. Highlights of sunlit white to shadows of a milder blond hide her profile much of the time during the push-ups, the tousled man of uneven layers spilling about her downturned profile.


It isn’t long before Kyara opts for silence as well, and with a sharp shove at the ground to let her get some air beneath her in order to shift the position of her hands, she goes into diamond pushups - one of her least favorite variations, and one that slows her a bit as she concentrates on new muscle groups and getting her nose down to her fingers with each descent.

After that comes a round of push-jacks, then the narrow variation of regular, followed by the slowest and most difficult of the lot: one-armed - right and then left. One last set of regular pushups tops it all off before the greenrider jumps her legs in and slowly rises, stretching her arms again. What they’ve just done is enough to make even the strongest of the male riders at least a little jelly-armed…but who’s going to admit it aloud? Certainly not Kyara, though her expression gives just enough away to show that she feels it.

“Ready for the next?” she questions, breathing slightly harder as she starts shuffling backward toward the thick of the sandstone formations, her bit of a grin crooked at Erissa as she finishes stretching out their previous exertions.


Erissa hesitates a moment to watch as Kyara changes the exercise but then she quickly sets to imitating it. Breath grows shallow and quick as the variations continue and she keeps up just a few paces behind the greenrider. Noting the other woman’s seemingly effortless control Erissa strives to do the same, wanting of course to make a good first impression no matter how her muscles ache in protest. Pushing herself to her feet as the workout portion ends she props both palms on either side of slender hips and leans her weight to one side.

“Absolutely,” she replies, sounding positive even though the look on Kyara’s face does not bode well. Moving to follow the other woman she gives in to a bit of eager-laced impatience to ask, “Are we gonna practice with a weapon now?”


“Oh, not quite yet,” Kyara replies with a grin, and with that, she’s off at a run, leading Erissa through a winding trail through the Stones often used in weyrling PT - still a favorite route for the greenrider when Liareth is in the mood to challenge her lifemate. Not a straightforward course, this; while the route is clear, there a little boulders to hop and shuffle over and dodge, and it’s for this reason that Kyara has brought the bluerider into it. Fortunately, it isn’t a long route, just a challenging one. A quarter of a candlemark later, she brings them to rest at the spot the began, catching her breath. Now, perhaps, they’ll start with the actual fighting bit…but she doesn’t say that just yet, instead going over to a nearby boulder, retrieving a waterskin, and leaning against it while drinking. Another gets tossed to Erissa once she’s ready. The point to all this? That’ll come in a moment.


Erissa smothers disappointment with determination and takes off after Kyara when the woman launches into a run. The route they take soon consumes her attention, a watchful eye needed for the uncertain footing. The challenge of it feels good though, making her muscles react quickly and in different ways. By time the come back around to where they began her heart is a heavy thump against her chest and breath quickens through parted lips. The waterskin is a welcome sight and she catches the one tossed to her with both hands. Tipping it back for one good long drink she lets a little spill over her lips and run down her throat, instantly soaking into the edges of her shirt. Then, feeling refreshed, she ruffles one hand through tousled locks, the damp edges sticking to her skin. Dark blue eyes, bright from exertion, look to the greenrider.

“What else ya got?” she jokes impishly.


Kyara answers with a grin and a quiet laugh at first, still concentrating on hydrating herself. “Well,” she replies after a moment, idly stretching out muscles used in the run, “I know where I can start with you now, physically.” Much further ahead than where she began with Zalara and Veresch, which will be a switch! “So next, I ask you a few things. First off,” she asks, her expression serious, “is there going to be an issue if I have to lay a hand on you to teach you something? Grappling and whatnot?” One can never be too careful; she’d rather not take the chance on triggering something in one of her students.


Makes sense. Erissa recorks the skin as she nods. But then the other woman’s question brings her up short. A quick flash of memory serves up her cold-cocking K’vvan when he had knelt too close, an instinctual reaction which she’d regretted. There was a reason for that though, and Kyara wasn’t the right gender to worry about a repeat - at least she didn’t think so.

A shake of blond head is quick to answer. “No, no issue.”


“Good,” Kyara returns simply, setting aside her water bottle and starting to take slow steps around Erissa, her hands rising to guard her torso as she watches to see how the bluerider will react to her posturing. “Would you say it’s better to strike first, or to wait for the one stupid enough to attack you to get things going?”


At first Erissa just stands still and watches as Kyara starts to circle her, not sure what the greenrider is doing. But when the woman takes up a defensive pose the bluerider automatically does the same, spinning on a heel to keep her opponent in front of her.

Ah, a tough question. The politically correct answer seems obvious but, in the spirit of being honest, Erissa replies, “I’d probably strike first, especially if I feel like I’m in danger.”

Nearby, Danorath watches the humans with a mixture of concern and amusement wisping through the colors of eye and mental winds, while the rest of his attention is split between the surrounding skies and the lovely green at his side. «Does Yours do this often?» he asks with a curious whirl of salty sea breeze.


Kyara’s expression remains neutral until Erissa picks up on what’s going on. Then she nods, smiling at the bluerider’s answer. “Naturally,” she concedes. “I think the answer isn’t black and white. There’s a time for both. Trouble is, in a tight spot, you won’t get the first shot. Someone wants something you have, wants to shove you into a dark corner or wants to throw you off, they’ll be sloppier and hit first because they just want to be done or gain the upper hand as quickly as possible. So most of the time, just out in the Bazaar or in a crowd or even checking people on a sweep and running into trouble, you won’t get the chance to strike first. You have to get defensive right away, but you want to turn that around as quick as possible. Economy of movement,” she says, suddenly shuffling forward a fews steps to close within arm’s reach of Erissa, “hides a lot from your opponent, surprises them, and done properly, takes them out before they even know what happened.” Stopping, she holds up a palm. “Punch,” she instructs, tapping that extended hand, “but pull the strike. Let’s see how much control you have. Then we’ll dive in.”

Liareth, her own attention divided between the blue and their riders, rumbles approvingly as she watches. « Quite often, » she replies, the light of sconces upon marble columns flaring slightly with warm orange beyond the steam. « It is her favorite way to keep strong, and it keeps her mind sharp. She likes to teach others, as well. » Sensing the concern in him, she whuffles lightly at his shoulder. « Do they worry you, Danorath? »


Erissa keeps turning, following Kyara physically as well as listening to all she says. Slow nods mark her understanding and agreement with the greenrider’s logic. Then Kyara is moving forward suddenly and the bluerider tenses, expecting an attack. When one doesn’t come but instead the other rider directs her to punch an open palm Erissa hesitates a moment, considering, but then she nods and poses with slender shoulders slightly bent and both fists raised in front of her chest. Fine features settle into an expression of concentration.

One count. Two count. Punch!

Her right fist darts forward, stopping just shy of Kyara’s hand as instructed.

Danorath’s muzzle drops slightly, wave-crested hues splashing down the length of his neck and splashing into the sandy sea-bottom of his chest. Mental winds toy with those plumes of steam, approval in their wake as Liareth describes her bonded. Then, when her physical touch adds to the mental connection a hint of shadow laces through the pride of stronger winds. «She wants this. It will make her feel…..safer.» Clear winds take on a smoky hue, swirling with more uncertainty than his words would indicate.


There’s a flexing of fingers, a slight collapse of Kyara’s palm as Erissa makes her move, just in case the greenrider needs to absorb impact. When that turns out not to be the case, she grins, giving a short nod. “Good!” is her brightly voiced assessment, though it’s only a start. Pulling strikes in the midst of sparring is another game entirely. “Again, other hand.” She assumes the result will be the same and is quick to move on thereafter.

“You’ve already got plenty going for you. We’ll start with some simple grapples and blocks. Women seem to be regarded as good targets for getting grabbed and pushed around. So, to start. Say some bastard decides you’re not going anywhere, and does like so.” Her right hand shoots out to wrap around Erissa’s left wrist - not hard, but firmly, drawing their hands up between them as she comes within a step of the bluerider. “Assume it’s a vise grip. Now of course, you want to be let go of, and quickly. There are a few weaknesses you can exploit. Any thoughts?” she asks, watching Erissa’s reactions carefully.

At those hints of shadow and smoky breezes, Liareth rumbles and actually bumps Danorath’s neck lightly, imbuing that wind-swept steam of hers with a bit more warmth and a hint of bergamot amongst the sweetsand and candle wax scenting the atmosphere of her baths. « Mine will help as much as she can. Does yours not feel safe here? » Her tail begins a slow undulation, belying an earnestness that the cool soprano of her mindvoice doesn’t fully capture. « There are several here who would do much to be sure she does. Mine included, even if yours confuses her somewhat. »


Not as strong with her left hand, the punch Erissa throws with that hand skims Kyara’s palm rather than stopping completely short. Pale brows flicker with a hint of frustration. Focusing on what the greenrider says next casts lines of concentration across the brow beneath white-blond bangs, especially when her left wrist is caught and drawn. The question, however, pulls a quirk of lip that’s more than telling.

“Kicking them in the balls seems to be an attention-getter,” she offers wryly, humor only allowed the back seat. She knows full well that method, while effective, isn’t always an option.

Wings bathed in deep hues of cobalt blue brush against those of rich green, responding in kind to the nudge she offers. Mental winds thicken and whirl, deepening the shadows of what he keeps hidden. «It is complicated. She never feels safe enough. Not really. But I can protect her. She does not need this.» Salty tang thickens, reluctance in the admission that follows. «If it makes her feel better then it is good.»


Even with that skimmed end to Erissa’s punch, Kyara doesn’t waver or demand it be done again. Not for this lesson, at least. To the bluerider’s response, she chuckles a little. “Sure, but there’s no guarantee they’ll let go even if you do nail them. And what if it isn’t a man doing it?” Not as likely, but it’s a situation not to be ruled out. Her grip on Erissa’s wrist tightens a bit more, and she taps on her own thumb with her free hand. “The thumb is the weakest part of anyone’s grip,” she says. “So, grab your attacker’s wrist, tense the arm he’s got hold of, step back a little, and pull or push toward where his thumb and forefinger meet. Then, since you’re tensed up, you won’t move too much, so you can follow up with…” Her free hand curls into a fist, palm turn in toward herself, and she taps her knuckles lightly against Erissa’s nose in a backfist. “…That. Or this.” The same hand drops to tap the bluerider in the solar plexus. “Sharp and quick. It doesn’t take much to break a nose, or wind someone. Then you can kick them in the balls.” Dirty fighting! But it does the job. Her grip tightens slightly more. “Try it. Pull out, then backfist. Just…don’t actually backfist me.”

Liareth sighs, steam billowing gently round about columns and fountains, the hiss of moisture on coals subtly underscoring softly babbling waters. « We cannot always enter the places ours go, » the pretty green points out matter-of-factly, « and if danger should follow them to those places, it helps much for them to know such as this so that they can return safely to where we may reach them. » Ever practical, is Liareth, though she understands fully. Her tail flicks, the tip of it brushing up and coming to rest near Danorath’s, and the steam takes on the energy of reassurance once more, though no further words follow.


Dark blue hues follow the movements and gestures Kyara makes, envisioning and committing to memory the maneuvers she demonstrates. A little smile appears as she blinks when the greenrider nearly lands a punch on her nose, a single snorted chuckle following for the inclusion of some ball-kicking. When told to try the moves herself she gives a nod and smoothes her expression, pretty features taking on the cast of concentration. Grabbing the other woman’s wrist with her free hand she tenses, pulls, and squeezes as instructed, adding a jab to the stomach that just brushes knuckles to the other woman’s shirt.

“Bam!” she can’t help exclaiming in emphasis.

Danorath can’t argue with that logic. He knew it already, of course, but that doesn’t mean he has to like it. It’s his job to protect his bonded and that’s that! Reassurances offered by those steamy mists are noted but the blue’s protective instinct is hard to overcome and isn’t so easily mollified. The smaller green’s lithe frame cozied up so close to his is more of a distraction, and a pleasant one at that. Winds take on a thicker, velvety feel as they wind through those bath house columns and fountains. «You are as wise as you are lovely.»


Kyara grins at Erissa’s apparent enthusiasm, quietly approving. May as well enjoy learning something used under less enjoyable circumstances! “Indeed!” she returns, and she reaches out to grab the bluerider’s other wrist. “Same thing, one more time.” But like most teachers, she really doesn’t mean one more time. This is one she’ll take Erissa through a couple times more before changing it up yet again. “Now,” she asks, “what do you think would be the thing to do if someone has both hands?” And she does so, firmly taking hold of both the bluerider’s wrists between them.

With a coy arch to her neck, Liareth gives a light rumble of appreciation, the barest hint of jasmine insinuating itself into the heated atmosphere of her mind as firelight flickers and all the subtle sounds of the bath house softening. « Thank you. And you, my good Danorath, are as vigilant as you are handsome. We are most fortunate to have you about, » she says with a small hum.


Erissa changes moods as quickly as flipping a switch, lightly-tanned features slipping from amused to serious concentration with a single blink of pale lashes. She isn’t as strong or quick with her left hand but does a fairly good job, hitting the points Kyara is looking for much better with her right. When both wrists are caught she pauses, pale brows rising beneath the messy fall of over-long bangs. What would be her first instinct?

“Pull,” she starts with a tug of her arms that attempts to draw Kyara in. “Then knee to the stomach?” she guesses, one leg hitching an inch or two.

Sweet perfume comes through rich and sultry when mingled with the clean crisp winds of Danorath’s touch, drawing the blue’s attention all the more. Her compliment deepens the oceanic blue’s response, pride swelling his sand-hued chest and muscle-bound withers. «Too true.» he pipes back on a ripple of amused wisps.


“Good instincts,” Kyara confirms with a nod, lurching forward when Erissa pulls, “but take a step back when you do it. It gives you stability, leaves the other person with less, and lets you put a knee here instead, once your balance is solid.” She taps her own solar plexus. “Much more effective. Then you can finish off by snapping a kick where it counts, same leg. Try it that way; you’ll see what I mean,” she instructs, grabbing the bluerider’s wrists again.

Danorath’s response elicits a rich, melodic laugh from Liareth, the sound resonating slightly between relief-carved walls. « Your self-awareness does you credit, » she says, laughter still edging her voice as she idly unfurls an ivy-draped pinion to preen a little, accidentally brushing the stocky blue in the process. Completely accidentally. « I do miss flying with you each day, Danorath, » she comments with a wistful bit of a sigh stirring that perfumed mist.


Erissa nods to the suggestions given, making more mental notes, and braces to give them a go when the greenrider takes ahold of her wrists again. Pull, /step/ back, knee to the stomach - which stops with a good handspan to spare. Oh right, and a kick! Belatedly she brings her foot down purposely light on the other woman’s, a slight twitch of lip emerging for her blunder. Giving her chin a jerk to try and swing sweaty locks from sticking around her face she gives the other woman a wry grin.

“I bet no one ever messes with you, do they?” Phrased as a question her tone makes it a statement.

Danorath notices that accidental brush of wing. Oh yes he does. A low rumble vibrates through his stocky frame, velvet over solid muscle. Her comment has his winds picking up, swirling about like a sea-fed waterspout, heavy with hues of disappointment. «Yes! Why did that have to change??»


Kyara gives a dry laugh at the question, though she demurs a little as well. “If that were true, I never would’ve had to learn,” she answers quietly. “And these days…one never knows.” With a little shake of her head, she takes Erissa through the previous couple of techniques a few more times before moving on. “Alright. Suppose someone binds you up from behind,” she says, taking the bluerider’s wrist again and stepping around to twist her arm around to her back. From there, it’ll be learning to get out of such things, and elbow locks, perhaps even a headlock if all goes well.

Liareth settles down onto her stomach, forelegs crossed as she casually flips the end of her tail over Danorath’s. « Mine cannot remain attached to Itzquintlith’s without breaking a rule Valiuth’s has set, » she explains with a slightly exasperated sigh. « She tells me she is following her heart rather than her head, which I don’t fully understand, but it makes her happy, and that is what matters. » With a slow blink up at the blue, she gives a soft rumble, somewhat resigned. « Kanyith’s wing is not Valiuth’s, but it is quite capable, and we do well. Still, » she adds in a teasing tone, « there are things that are missed. » Whirling eyes turn back down to their riders, and she settles in a bit more, continuing to watch.


Erissa automatically tenses when her arm is turned behind her back, spine going rigid and chest jutting forward. Not that she doesn’t trust Kyara but the position itself is awkward. Not to mention limiting. For the first time since they’ve started she feels at a loss for a good answer.

Attempting to jerk her other elbow back she makes a guess. “Try for a jab with this arm?”

That drop of tail is noted and allowed, the tip of his own tail even twitching a bit as if to curl about hers. It doesn’t though. The explanation given seems to satisfy the duty-minded blue even if it frustrates the green. Rules and protocol. Order brings comfortable familiarity. He gets that. Winds whirl and blow all clouds away to reveal a clear, bright sky as he lowers wave-crested muzzle to gently brush the top of her head. «You are missed. But at least you are not gone.» Having transferred Weyrs twice, the blue speaks from experience on that.


“No,” Kyara replies, shaking her head even though Erissa can’t see the motion. “That’ll just torque your shoulder more, see?” She grasps the elbow the bluerider tries to throw back and pulls just a little to make her point; a slight twinge should come fairly quickly at that. With her free hand, she taps the back of Erissa’s head. “Snap your head back and break the other guy’s nose. Then dig your heel into his knee, drag it down his shin, and stomp on his foot. If you keep turning the way he’s twisted your arm,” continuing to her right, in other words, “you can work around to face him, and then it’s back to using that weak thumb again to break free. Give it a try,” she encourages, wryly tacking on, “Carefully,” for good measure.

And so it goes for some time afterward - grapple and counter, teaching Erissa both how to get out of a few holds and how to implement them herself, their lifemates keeping an idle watch over the lesson from above until duty calls them each to other affairs.

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