Today is day 2 of Critical Role Relationship Week and that means the second entry in my week long creative exercise!
There may or may not be an update tomorrow, depending on how much I get done around my pre-existing plans. If there isn’t, there shall be two updates on Wednesday to compensate.
With all that said, enjoy!
The spear in my hands moves like lightning. Step, thrust, block, repeat. My movements, trained over years of experience, are muscle memory and help distract me from the world.
Dragons. One dragon I can deal with. Nine Hells, there was that time Z. and I took one down for the Take. But four? I never thought I’d be thankful to be away from the mighty Doom of a hero.
I feel the bitter smile on my lips as my spear thunks solidly once more into the chest of the training dummy. I am always ready for a fight, but some fights can’t be won.
At least, that’s what I used to think.
But meeting Vox Machina, and seeing them in action, maybe that isn’t so true.
Ugh, when did I get so mawkish? The world is what it is; uncaring and lethal. If a dragon doesn’t kill you, time will. Time always wins in the end.
The mid-morning sun warms my armour and I feel the sweat beading beneath my gambeson. Sleep, as it always did this time of year, had proved little relief from Her whisperings and I’d been up since dawn, practicing with shield and spear against inanimate objects. The exercise is always a futile one but finding an experienced fighter amid the ruins of this gods-forsaken city has proved difficult.
“Need some help with that dummy? I think it’s making threatening gestures in your direction.”
The voice cuts through the quiet air and I turn my head to look at the entrance to the training yard.
The halfling, Lady Kima of somewhere or other, is standing there. Her plate catches the rising sun and the silver sheen reflects it straight into my eyes. I blink and look away.
“Awww. Come on. Who knows what it’ll do next?”
“I said, no.” I turn back to the dummy, readying my spear for another thrust.
“Worried you’ll lose?” I feel my jaw tighten and I straighten. “Only, I’ve got this new sword and I REALLY want to try it out.” I hear her take a few steps further into the yard and turn to confront her.
A great-sword, almost as long as she is tall, is balanced confidently over one shoulder. Behind her, I can see a cluster of guards and recruits staring at us. I bring my spear and shield up into a ready position.
She goes from confident, smirking swagger to a blur of platinum in a heartbeat. The sword hums as it streaks through the air and I catch it on my shield. There is a loud crack as it bounces off and my arms goes numb for a moment as the impact sends shockwaves through it.
She laughs and swings again, coming in low, aiming for my legs.
I clench my jaw and step backwards lightly, springing into a thrust as her attack forces her off balance. My spear darts forwards and she uses the force of her swing to carry her out of the way.
“Nice try.” She grins.
“Are we talking? Or sparring?”
“Why not both?” She laughs, dashing forwards, the blade coming in low again.
I knock it out of the way with my shield and thrust downwards, aiming for her feet. She leaps backwards, a girlish giggle erupting from her lips.
I can hear Her whispers growing louder in the back of my head and I do my best to ignore them, keeping my eyes on the halfling in front of me. We circle a few times before she yells and charges towards me, her shoulder low. I sidestep her rush and she twists, the sword spinning effortlessly in her hands to swing towards my chest.
The edge of the blade clips me as I step backwards desperately, sparks fly from my breastplate. She grins at the glancing blow.
“I got you that time.”
“You did.” I drop my shield and take my spear in both hands. She laughs and moves towards me, the sword coming round. I kick the shield towards her, sliding it along the ground. Her foot comes down, catches the polished metal and she topples backwards, overbalanced by a lack of firm footing and the strength behind her attack.
The blade drifts past me and I lower the point of my spear to the halfling’s eye, ignoring Her commands to kill the foolish braggart.
“Next time!” She laughs from the ground.
“Maybe.” I say, nodding and pulling her to her feet. “Maybe.”