An Update, Just to Let You Know I’m Still Alive

I know it’s been awhile since I posted a new chapter, and I apologize. That should be changing soon, however, so just be patient a little longer, and I promise you will be rewarded. See, I have a few bonus things to give you with the chapter. Anyways, as is my tradition, I will not simply leave you with an update; I will also give you a bonus gift to hopefully appease you. Enjoy.

Tom’s Combat Techniques

Though known for his use of an Arilese monk halberd technique, Tom is actually accomplished in a wide variety of sword styles and combat techniques. This is why, despite his reluctance to kill, most informed individuals consider him a lethal A-rank warrior.

Koeleth Shield and Sword Technique

Tom learned this technique from his father when he was young. It is the most common combat technique in Koeleth, as it is used by the main body of the Koeleth military. It is noted for being more aggressive than most sword and shield techniques, with the shield being almost as much of a weapon as the sword. The guard of the Royal City affectionately adopted the term “Slash and Bash” to describe the technique, and the name stuck. While a relatively basic technique, a soldier who masters the form is arguably more dangerous than most skilled duelists. An aggressive subset of the technique was developed by elite soldiers that emphasizes the shield as the main weapon and the sword as a sidearm, known colloquially as the “Block and Clock.”

Koeleth Dueling Technique

Tom was taught this as a young teenager by a traveling mercenary who lodged in Lilly Pond for a few months while on a mission. It finds its use not in the hands of the rank and file soldier, but of the skilled elite swordsman. Oftentimes, the Koeleth duelist uses a single double-edged longsword and alternates between one-handed and two-handed attacks. At the cost of reduced defensive capabilities, the duelist gains greater speed and power. Duelists have proved their worth time and again, with major battles often hinging on the presence of no greater than 20 or 30 duelists in an entire army. This also means that duelists often feel the greatest loss in times of war. The nature of the style requires a duelist to use less armor than a common soldier and leaves no room for a typical military formation, so a well-trained cavalry could tear through their ranks if the duelists aren’t prepared.

Ekoalreich Dueling Technique

Tom learned this technique from his uncle who was visiting while on leave from military service. His uncle, though a born Cradler like Tom and his father, lives in Ekoalreich in Koeleth’s south, where he learned the technique when he signed up for the local militia. It is distinct from the Koeleth dueling technique in the sense that it is far less elegant. Despite its lack of finesse, however, it is just as effective. The differences are readily apparent: the weapon of choice in the Ekoalreich form is a shortsword or broadsword, and the technique makes use of the empty hand for combat purposes. The sword movements are quick and efficient while the empty hand, often armored with a leather glove or a light gauntlet, punches, slaps, jabs, grabs shields, blocks swinging arms, and does a slew of other things. It requires a great deal of speed and skill to master this art and has all the weakness of the Koeleth form. It is not uncommon to see Ekoalreich duelists fighting side by side with Koeleth duelists, the speed and resourcefulness of the former complimenting the power and skill of the latter. Tom adapted the style to his own tastes, using a longsword or a heavier broadsword instead of lighter blades.

Ariluo Monk Halberd Technique

Tom learned this one from his mentor in the Adventurer’s Guild. His blessed weapon demanded that he learn how to wield a halberd. It has become his primary style of combat. Unlike most halberdiers, the halberd-wielding monks of certain Arilese temples focus on a defensive, close-combat technique, rather than an offensive technique. The technique requires shorter halberds than the norm, but it makes up for it by being relatively fast and versatile. The actions resemble those of a staff or pole wielder’s technique, but with added benefit of having a deadly metal spear/axe at one end. The defensive technique requires a great deal of stamina to use for extended periods of time, but if done correctly, the enemy will be driven off before that point is reached. The monks wear no armor, so they can usually outlast their heavily armored opponents. Tom’s already strong body aides him in using this technique while wearing armor, a wholly unique characteristic among the users of this style.

Ariluo  Jackrabbit Technique

Tom learned this one from his mentor in the Adventurer’s Guild. The Arilese have a wide variety of weaponless martial arts that they practice, making them deadly with or without a weapon in hand. For those whose hands are often preoccupied or unusable, there are several foot-based styles, such as the Jackrabbit. As the name suggests, the technique relies on quick, powerful kicks in rapid succession. The technique is very athletic, requiring the combatant to continually stay in motion. It is designed to oppose the vandals who frequently attack Arilese temples and altars. Tom uses this technique as last resort, because it requires him to remove his armor.

Ariluo Flying Feet Technique

Tom learned this one from his mentor in the Adventurer’s Guild. Another foot-based martial technique, the Flying Feet technique is not as much about attacking as it is about disabling. The technique, as the name implies, sees the user in the air most of the time. Flying kicks, high kicks, jumping maneuvers, even wrapping your legs around the opponent’s head to bring them to the ground, are used in this style. The hands become feet for some of the maneuvers, a prime example of the importance of feet in this technique. Tom uses this technique as a last resort, because it requires him to remove his armor.

Danagir Dueling Technique

After much begging and swearing an oath to never pass the style on to anyone of a non-Danagir descent, Tom convinced Theo to teach him this traditional sword technique from Danagir. The denizens of Danagir take great pride in the history and ancestry, and their fighting styles are no exception. The Danagir are known for a unique two sword dueling technique. The Danagir duelist uses two falchions in perfect harmony to cut their opponent to shreds. To accommodate this technique, the duelist only wears lightweight, mobile leather armor. The technique is as beautiful as it is lethal, consisting of twirling blades, spinning motions and an almost dance-like fluidity about it. Its showiness does nothing to hurt its deadliness. A skilled Danagir duelist is worth ten lesser warriors.

Koeleth Dual Wielding Technique

Tom learned this technique from a Valiant Blade he was traveling with. This technique is famous for being developed by a legendary “Block and Clock” warrior, known as the Black Death for the vengeful trail of destruction he left in his wake, when his family was murdered and he was left for dead. Those responsible for the tragedy stole everything of value from him, including his family shield. A traveling cleric restored him to health before continuing on his journey. The warrior returned to his devastated home, where all he found were two blades, one a shattered longsword from one of his foes, and the other his own bloodied shortsword, left behind for reasons unknown. Vowing vengeance, he took up both blades and hunted down the vandals who slew his family. The resulting style of combat reflected the nature of the “Block and Clock,” but, making use of a pair of shortswords, obviously lacking the defensive elements, therefore making it a fiercer, more powerful technique, if a bit reckless.

Freelance Brawling Technique

Tom created this “technique” from bits and pieces of the other techniques he knows and a few simple barroom brawl techniques, like punching someone in the nose. It is useful for all sorts of situations, and it allows him much more freedom and adaptability than a pure technique.

Demon in the Mist Technique

Tom did not learn or create this technique, per se. It is a berserk, reckless style that he uses when he is pushed beyond his breaking point. He aggressively attacks his foes, getting up close and striking with powerful blows. With unrivaled speed and heightened reflexes, he crashes into his enemy’s line, ignoring what few lucky strikes do hit him. The adrenaline coursing through his veins pushes him on until his rage is sated.