haute ecole rider:
Who can resist a good fist-fight? Not an orc, that is for sure!
Ancondil is of course a gracious winner. mALX
: Well, Ancondil is not shooting tomorrow. Kurz on the other hand...Acadian
: Hopefully this will keep all your guys' testosterone topped off for the rest of the tourney, since there will not be (much) more violent action in the rest of the chapter. The betting was an outgrowth of using the Baa Baa Blacksheep show and Greg Boyington as inspiration for Pappy Vitellus. I could not imagine any chapter of his not
having fistfights and gambling on the outcome! I kept thinking of Dr. Strangelove as I wrote that part, and the scene where the President says "There's no fighting in the war room!" Well, there certainly is in the Fighters Guild. How can there not be? Grits
: The Rumble in the Jungle it was! That was back in the good old days when fights were so cool that they had names, like The Fight of the Century, The Thrilla in Manila, etc... Poor Chance will indeed be beating his head against the wall for missing the Brawl in Bravil. Olen
: I did a lot of studying when I wrote that episode, in order to make it plausible. I do agree that without a ref you cannot have a real boxing match, let alone things like ropes to cordon off an area, rounds being kept, etc... I just hope that disbelief can be suspended enough for most folks not to care.
It is funny, but three dog's latest post in BotM pretty much mirrored the same mentality in the Fighters Guild, concerning fist fighting. As long as it does not get out of hand and turn lethal, it can be a great way to let off steam. Thomas Kaira:
We will be seeing exactly why Ancondil is such a good boxer this coming segment. Previously on Teresa of the Faint Smile:
Kurz picked a fight with Ancondil, which resulted in a boxing match that was not only entertaining for the other guild members, but very instructive to Teresa concerning the use of skill and tactics in combat. Next, Teresa learns a little bit more about the elegant orc, and about herself as well. Chapter 34.9 - The Tournament Of Archers
"I never did have the opportunity to thank you for that delicious meal," Ancondil said. "Your stuffed cabbage was superb."
Ancondil sat on his rattan bed. His face and bare chest were livid with bruises and scabbed over cuts. Yet his eyes were bloodshot not from fighting, but rather from the alcohol he had put down with Kurz, Lum, and the other men afterward. Teresa still could not believe how the Chorrol orc had turned from bully to best friend so quickly. It was as if Ancondil had somehow knocked some decency into him.
"I didn't make all of them." Teresa bit her lip. She stared at the cut that ran down the center of the Orisimer's own lower lip. That was where the other orc's crushing left cross had landed near the start of the fight. "Pappy made the ones with meat in them."
"Perhaps, but I could not tell one from the other by the taste," Ancondil smiled.
"That's not what Vincent said." Teresa frowned as she stared at the floor.
"Well, some people have no
taste," Ancondil laughed. "You cannot please everyone."
"Well you don't have to please me," Teresa said, looking back at his bruises. He had stood up to Kurz because of her, when she should have done it herself. Why had Tadrose stopped her? Was the dark elf afraid of what would have happened? To her? or to Kurz? She stared down at her hand. Thanks to Culotte, she knew full well what her Burning Hand could do, and the spell had been firmly etched in her mind when Kurz had taunted her.
But she could do more than destroy with magic. She could heal. With that in mind, Teresa closed her eyes and thought of Bear. Slowing down her breathing as she did when she entered her Astral Temple, she let the world fall away. She pictured Bear in her mind, and as if summoned by her thoughts, warm fur spread over her arms. Rising up her shoulders, the curly brown hairs went on to enfold the rest of her body. Staring down, Teresa looked at the black claws that tipped her paws. Sniffing the air with her muzzle, she smelled dried blood and sweat.
She reached out with one paw to Ancondil, and felt his heart beating under the pad of her forefoot. She let the beat of her heart match his, felt his blood pumping through her veins, and his breath hot in her lungs. She felt the aches and pains that wracked his muscles, and stung through his cuts and bruises.
In her mind she saw him, healthy and whole. A smile crossed his features, and he stood with muscular arms stretched high. He moved fluidly, without pain or hindrance. His eyes glowed with delight, and his cheeks flushed a healthy shade of green.
Teresa summoned her magicka and poured it into that image. She could feel it flowing from her body like a river of energy. As it poured, she felt Ancondil's cut flesh knit together, his bruises fade clear, and his aches vanish.
Teresa opened her eyes and stared back down at the Orisimer. A look of amazement was etched upon his strong features. Swaying on her feet for a moment, she could not resist the yawn that erupted from her mouth. Bear, that was tiring!
"My stars Teresa, you healed me!" he gasped. He reached up with one hand and slid a finger along his now healthy and whole lip. "I had heard you healed a bear, but I thought it was with potions. When did you learn to do that?"
"I did heal her with potions," Teresa bit her lip as she stared down at the muscular Orisimer. She wondered what he had seen? Had it been a wood elf, or a bear? She imagined that his reaction would have been more extreme if it had been a bear. So perhaps no one else could see it when she called up Bear to join her. "That wasn't enough though. So I justÖ did what I had to. The same as now."
"That is amazing!" Ancondil gasped. "You are the most incredible woman I have ever met Teresa. Always full of surprises. But you really did not have to do anything. It was just a few cuts and bruises."
"I don't care. I don't like it when the people I care about are hurt." Teresa bit her lip once more. "Besides, you didn't have to do what you did for me."
"Eat the stuffed cabbage? I assure you, the pleasure was all mine!"
"No," Teresa fought to keep a serious face. Thankfully eighteen years on the street gave her the victory. So while the ghost of a smile escaped her features for a moment, it was quickly subdued. "I mean fight Kurz. You could have gotten your head smashed in by that ogre."
"Teresa, as much as I would like to play the gallant hero, I must confess I did not fight him for you." Now Ancondil reached out to take one of Teresa's hands in his own. She stared down at the massive green fingers that enfolded hers. Now so very gentle in spite of the obvious power that was wrapped within them.
Her mind traveled back in time, to the night they first met. He had walked her to her room at Silverhome on the Water
, and had been looking for much more than that. "If you were a woman I would love to spend the evening with you, alone,"
she had told him. If only you were a woman Ancondil, Teresa sighed, then even the mysterious Tadrose Helas would not be able to hold candle to you!
"I faced down Kurz because I had to," Ancondil explained, seemingly oblivious to Teresa's sojourn down memory lane. "He wanted that fight very badly. Insulting you was just a means to an end, as his discourtesy toward me was getting him nowhere. That made me see that there was no avoiding it, so I finally threw down the glove."
"You certainly did throw it down!" Teresa breathed. "Where did you learn to fight like that?"
"Why the Mages Guild of course!" Ancondil smiled.
"The what?" Teresa wondered if the blows to Ancondil's head had split more than just his lip.
"That is right, the Mages Guild, back in Cheydinhal," Ancondil continued. "Trayvon the Redguard taught me the manly art of self defense when I was a boy."
"I thought that Redguards didn't like magic?" Teresa blinked.
"Most of them do not. Which is why Trayvon learned pugilism." Ancondil winked. "I imagine that he must have seen much of himself in me."
"What do you mean?" Teresa sat down beside the orc on the bed. If it were any other man, she never would have done such a thing. But thankfully she had been through all of that with Ancondil already. She knew the Orisimer's true measure, as he did hers.
"Oh, I was quite the Daedra when I was young," Ancondil said, his eyes taking that slightly glassy look of one who is reliving the past. "I was like Red Mountain, ready to erupt at any moment. Much like Kurz is. Being an orc with high elves for parents, I had no shortage of opportunities. Among elves I was always a savage: a half-animal orc. Other Orisimer however, said I was green on the outside, but gold on the inside. Soft from Altmer ways, and too good for my own race."
"So that's what Kurz was getting at then?" Teresa bit her lip a third time as she stared at her friend, imagining the taunting and abuse he must have suffered. Some people liked to believe that children were cute little Aedra. But as a wood elf who grew up on the streets of the Imperial City, she knew that Daedra were closer to the reality.
"Kurz has some things he must deal with," Ancondil sighed. "I do not know exactly what. He is clearly very frustrated, and has a great deal of anger buried within him."
"You seem to know a lot about this?" Teresa observed.
"Like the old saying, it takes one to know one," Ancondil admitted.
"But you are nothing like that," Teresa insisted. "Even with Kurz needling you, and then during that fight, you never once lost your temper. I never could have stayed so calm!"
"At one time I would have went as berserk as Kurz did at the end," Ancondil explained. "When I was young, I was always starting fights or throwing tantrums. Any little thing could set me off. You know, this reminds me of those days in fact."
"How is that?" Teresa looked at the orc with curious eyes. The young orc Ancondil described seemed nothing like the man she saw before her. Could a person really change so much?
"I cannot recount the number of times I came home with a split lip or black eye," the Orisimer explained. "My father would send me to bed without dinner, and refuse to heal me. He said the bruises would help me think over my choices in life. Then my mother would sneak in later with a healing potion and a plate of leftovers."
Teresa did not fight a real smile as she pictured that. It reminded her so much of Simplicia, and how the Imperial would save her begging money to buy her goat's milk and bread.
"Thankfully I have learned how to control my temper since then," the orc said.
"How did you do it?" Teresa asked. Images of how she had stormed from the guild on her first day in Bravil rose up from the depths of her memory. Alongside them came other unflattering portraits from her past. Punching Volsinius in his breastplate. Snapping at Simplicia just before the Oblivion Crisis, as well as when Umbacano's manservant had found them at Jensine's afterward. Finally, there was the death of the Emperor, where she had been so overcome by rage that even Kurz would have been terrified to witness her.
"Ohtesse from the Chapel of Mara helped me," Ancondil explained. "She taught me to meditate, and how to appreciate the good things I have in life. But most importantly, she taught me to face my Shadow."
"Your shadow?" Teresa raised a dubious eyebrow.
"No, my Shadow, with a capital 'S'," Ancondil replied. "Not the shadow you see on the floor, but the Shadow that is cast in your Lower Self. We all have things about ourselves that we do not like. Things that we are ashamed of, things that we hate. We often want to pretend these parts of ourselves do not exist, and stuff them away in some deep, dark corner of our mind. With it unseen and unheard, we go on as if it never existed in the first place. Like throwing a pair of old shoes in a chest."
"But when you repress feelings like that, you also divest yourself of control over them," the Orisimer continued. "Left in the darkness, the Shadow grows into something fearsome and terrible. While we may have willfully forgotten it, it remembers us, and will not be ignored. In time it finds ways to break free of its prison. Usually in the most socially unacceptable moments. In the end, there is no escaping it."
"So how do you defeat it?" Teresa asked. Was this why she kept losing her temper? Was it this Shadow? feelings deep down within her that she did not want to admit to having?
"You don't," Ancondil smiled. "It is not a battle. That is the very mentality that creates the Shadow in the first place. Instead you have to embrace it. The Altmer say you must make a feast for your Daedra. Invite them to come down and sit, stuff them with sweet meats and heap praises upon them, show them how you love them. The point is that you must accept those things that you have tried to repress, and openly acknowledge that they are a part of you. That is the only way that you can regain control over them."
"Can you teach me how to do that?"This post has been edited by SubRosa: Apr 26 2011, 10:08 PM