Legend, Lore, and the Truth (pt. 3)
Location: Mid-Morning, Guard Recruit Training grounds
Timeline: Hawke, Richard
Hawke nodded to a few of the trainees as they headed back to their lessons. As he looked around to make sure all the trainees who had faced off with him he saw a trainee helping one of his earlier opponents to their feet. Hawke walked over to speak with the trainee and check his condition when he caught the one man's comment. Hawke stopped behind him. "I appreciate the compliment, but I am not sure I am quite so advanced in years as you imply."
After assuring that his fellow trainee was reasonably steady on his feet, Richard released the man and stood to attention. "Maybe not in absolute terms, syr, but most of these trainees are really just boys. Compared to them well, you've likely been in more fights than they've had hot dinners." Richard shrugged ever so slightly. "I think though they will do alright for themselves when they go into combat for real, so long as they're given a bit more time to mature and little more of our instructors tender care."
Hawke nodded. "You have a good point. I seem to recall you had warrior training where you came from, Traveler...were your Trainees boys as well?"
"Yes, for the most part." Richard replied with a nod. "We would occasionally have older volunteers, since service wasn't mandatory like it is here. Though honestly I think my country would be a better place if it where required. Most of us though, myself included, joined at eighteen." Richard shrugged slightly. "That seems like a very long time ago now. I suppose combat has that effect."
Hawke nodded. "I suppose some things never change..." The two men were interrupted by a Trainee who had been standing nearby. "Ryndar, you took those men without effort with swords, but I have heard that you are also skilled without weapons. What do they mean?" Hawke glanced at the young man. "Trainee, the one set of weapons a warrior is never without are their hands, feet, and brain. Everyone is capable of becoming skilled with no weapons at hand, but it does take more effort than a sword or axe. I started studying The Way of the Fox in my youth because my Uncle wanted me to be able to handle myself even with no blade at hand..." Hawke then looked over at Coyle. "Traveler...didn't you say you studied unarmed combat? perhaps we could show these Trainees there is another way besides blind brawling?"
"Yes syr, I may have let slip something to that effect." Richard replied, not entirely sure he liked where this was going, but unwilling to completely demure, even if pride did result in some bruises. "The combatives I have been trained in though are still on the more aggression less elegance plan, though they are still more effective than swinging wildly and hoping for the best."
Richard let his gauntlets drop off his hands as punching someone in the face with them on was likely just a bit too realistic a training method even for the Cymerians. Settling in to a defensive stance Richard nodded to Hawke. "Whenever you're ready, syr."
Hawke gave a nod and immediately lunged into a punch. The traveler surprised him by leaning aside and deflecting it with a moving arm. Hawke fended off the counter punch and a following kick. The Ryndar evaluated what he had seen and raised his estimation of his opponent as he circled to his opponent's left, throwing a jab or punch randomly and at different angles. The two men parried and struck at each other warily. Hawke glanced out from his guard position just as his opponent spun. Hawke knew what was coming and bent his knees, the foot at the end of the outstretched leg passing just over his head as he bobbed back upright, his own leg coming up and chambering a kick that pistoned out and hit the other man's stomach, sending him stumbling back a few paces.
Richard stumbled slightly from the kick to the guts but recovered his footing quickly. The older man was quicker than he looked, but that was not all that surprising to Richard. After all, he was an old man in a profession where people usually die young. He clearly wasn't going to win a stand up fight, so Richard decided to change the game. Throwing a couple of punches to cover himself, Richard rushed in. He still caught a fist on the way in but he pressed forward into a running tackle, driving Hawke to the ground. They both landed hard but quickly began grappling for position. Richard soon found himself flipped on his back, but managed to get a good grip on his opponents arm.
Hawke muttered as he felt the other man grabbing his arm, He had had his teacher do a similar move on him enough times in the past to recognize his plan. Hawke rolled into the arm hold and ended up on top of his opponent. his free hand shoved up under Coyle's neck, pushing his head back and cutting off his air as he used his weight to keep the rest of Coyle's body stationary, his arm still trapped between them but no longer in any danger.
Richard made gurgling sounds as Hawke's arm pressed into his throat. Still Richard was tough and wasn't going to give up quite that easily and he knew he had to act quickly. Richard ducked his chin and managed, if only slightly to relieve some of the pressure on his throat as his one free hand came crashing into Hawke's temple in a hammer blow. Pitching his weight sideways he managed to get a leg up so his foot was flat. Pushing off the ground hard he flipped Hawke onto his side as well and attempted now to reverse the situation and press his own forearm into the man's throat.
Hawke blinked from the blow as the flash of white filled his brain from the punch. He ended up on his back and realized the Traveler was attempting to choke him out as he had been trying a few moments before. Hawke's arms shot up between then and he grabbed hold of the other man's tunic. Hawke's eyes widened and his muscles flexed, yanking Coyle down as his head came up, headbutting him hard. Both men blinked from the impact and Hawke yanked forward again, taking the advantage of knowing he meant to do what he did and their heads impacted. Hawke saw Coyle's expression slack slightly and he shoved hard, rolling to his feet as Coyle ended up on his hands and knees nearby. Hawke moved instinctively and his boot swept forward and up, shin catching the Traveler in the stomach, nearly lifting the man off his hands and knees. Hawke took a shaky step back and braced himself as Coyle staggered to his own unsteady feet. Hawke decided not to delay and moved in, a quick right swept in at Coyle's side under the ribs and then his left shot forward into the stomach. Hawke's right hand grabbed Coyle's right wrist, twisting the arm out to lock it as his left hand grabbed Coyle's neck, fingers and thumb pressing in, curling tight along the arteries and pressing hard. Hawke's sword hand was much stronger than his right and the fingers easily shut down the blood flow. Hawke tried to get free but his strength faded quickly and Hawke watched his eyelids flutter and his eyes rolled up. Hawke paused another moment to make sure it was not a feint then he let go, his hands grabbing Coyle's arm and keeping him on his feet as his senses returned. "Well...Traveler...I am impressed by how your home trains its warriors. I haven't been that hard pressed in quite a while." Hawke glanced around at the staring Trainees. "You just saw...without a weapon, two men can do serious damage to each other without ending up out of the fight...Never think yourself useless if you lose your weapons."
Richard was a bit unsteady on his feet and he could taste the copper flavor of blood in his mouth. Coughing slightly he nodded acknowledgement of Hawke's words, both his compliment and the lesson he was giving to the other trainees. "... and we were being nice to each other." Richard added as he began to get his breath back. "No eye gouging or groin kicks. Trust me, things get ugly when it's really life or death. Though if you will excuse me syr, I think I need to rest for a bit."
Hawke nodded and smiled genuinely. He reached and caught the other man's arm in a warrior's clasp. "You did well, Traveler...I am impressed...and I will remember your name for later. Now go get some rest." Hawke turned and looked at the Drillmaster and nodded his thanks before turning to walk back toward the archway.