Trewsday night, 00:00. A star-filled sky hangs above the far realm. The two moons are vibrant thanks in part to the sparse cloud coverage. Low winds keep it chilly and remind all winter is upon them. Temps: -3C/25F lows and 1C/33F highs.
resource block credit goes to miss texas. credit for mini profile goes to bee.
The Valkyrie known as Trish, appointed by the Goddess, Ende, oversees Nicolas's training here in Valhalla. For now she is the only one watching him, but not the only one present. Warriors and Valkyries alike are present in the large training area of the Military Quarters, though they're all too busy to care much for the new recruit. Considering that everyone else here is training for the Nordic Apocalypse, Nic is a bit of an outsider. He's here to prove his worth, and in a fashion true to himself, cares little for this eventual ultimate battle of good and evil.
Still the task at hand would be a lot harder if he had led a less physical lifestyle before he came here. Instead he's comfortable with most of the non-combative exercises, and held his own for a few minutes against his opponent earlier that day in hand to hand. He had no experience, though, compared to the centuries, or even millennia, that the residents of Valhalla had. Now Trish has ordered him to move on to weapon based combat. It took all of thirty minutes for them to decide against the swords, Nicolas lacked a certain finesse.
Before him lies a weapons rack with a mace, and hand axe, and a spear. Nic looks them over carefully, somewhat dragging the action of selecting his next weapon out. His hand gravitates towards the spear momentarily, and he mentally toys with the image of him wielding it in his head. After consideration he picks up the mace. The handle is made of oak, and the head of the mace seems to be some sort of heavy, very solid, metal. It's dotted with inch long spikes. Like any of the other weapons here, it is no toy or practice thing, it is the real deal.
With the mace in hand he turns back to Trish. "Let me get a feel for this sucker first," he says, trying to ward off an instantaneous attack from his trainer. She was aggressive in training, and merciless, but it was something he was noticing as a commonality amongst the Warrior-Women. Lydia, clearly, is the exception. Nicolas swings the mace around, trying to get a feel for the balance of the weapon as well as the physics behind its movements. He locks eye with the Valkyrie and nods his head. "Let's start."
He wastes no more time and charges Trish, He swings the mace high and attempts to bring it down upon her head in a very direct and obvious sort of attack. It's not hard to put his frustration behind the force of his attack. He's not directly displeased by Trish herself... he kind of likes her in a way, but the entire reason he's here is because the forces of the universe like to jack with his life, and he doesn't care for it. True, he chose to come here, but that was mostly him trying to reassert some amount of control over the events that happened.
Trish waits patiently for Nicholas to choose his weapon, silent and still amid the constant noise and movement around her. It’s familiar; it’s home.
Nicholas has yet to find that some sense of belonging here, but she’s aware that he must if he is to become Theone’s champion, and Trish has been put in the position to determine that worth. While she has never deemed to take a champion for herself, she is not so unfeeling as to not wish a small hope that he succeeds, if only for her sister’s sake.
She watches as he deliberates over his choice of the weapons, each of them formidable in their own right. Each with their own strengths and weaknesses. It pleases her to see that he doesn’t rush the decision. A weapon is an extension of its wielder and choosing the wrong weapon could mean certain death. While the sword had clearly been a poor choice for him earlier, he will learn to use it.
He will learn to use all of them by the time she was through with him.
Trish’s face remains neutral when Nicholas’ hand comes to rest on the mace. Her weapon of choice.
Her opinion of Nicholas rises a fraction…
Until he swings it around, and she has to refrain from raising her eyes skyward. He will learn, she reminds herself, like they all do.
Trish barely has time to nod her assent, before Nicholas is charging her, swinging the mace high in an attempt at an attack on her head. His frustration is palpable and his actions both current and future clear to see for anyone with skill in reading an opponent. Smoothly, she side-steps, raising her shield to deflect the blow and uses the momentum to push him past her, just enough that she could have knocked him down with one sharp blow to the back of his legs.
“You’re frustrated,” she critiques. “Don’t let it show in battle.”
Trish mimics his earlier attack to nothing but air. A demonstration. “Your attack was sloppy. You left yourself wide open to counter-attack. You have to be clear-headed. Channel your frustration, but don’t be ruled by it.”
Nicolas is not surprised that his attack is futile. He suspects that all his attacks will be futile against these women. They're a different breed of being, no matter how pretty or human they may look, they're not. In myth, Valkyries were creatures of the battleground. They gathered the dead and took them to Valhalla (case and point: him), but Nic thought they did much more than that. He sees now that they are warriors themselves, and ageless. They have all of time's great span to hone their skills. Even without a magical assist, Nicolas is outclassed and out-matched.
He stumbles forward a few steps, but quickly regains his composure. He spins himself around, locating Trish and facing her. He brings the mace up, instinctively, ready to use it again, but he holds back, waiting for her move. Instead she proceeds to admonish and correct him. Under other circumstances, maybe ones where Nic new all the rules of this realm, he might dismiss what she says. However, he gets a gut feeling that Trish is merely trying to help him reach his goals... or at least help her sister find happiness.
The thought brings up, once again, a lot of mixed feelings and memories pertaining to Lydia. He's trying to just shove it all down, to focus on the training and the present. It's still too new and confusing to tap into that part of him from another life. Still, he knows there's certain expectations of him from the Valkyries. They want him to be Theone's champion, or die trying. Nic, though, he's hoping that this ordeal will prove himself, and show him where his life is supposed to be headed.
"Okay... I'll try." he says after Trish finishes. He gives himself a moment to shake off his frustrations. It's not easy to let go of that particular set of baggage, but he does try. So he looks at the warrior-woman again and adjusts his stance. Rather than an all out attack like before. He plans to rain a series of light blows upon her in an attempt to break her balance. In theory it was similar to the fighting he had learned before back when he was alive.
He moves forward, and puts energy into his swing, but there's restraint as he aims directly for her shield. As soon as the mace hits, he pulls it back. He aims it low, at her knee, but keeps an eye out for her own shield and mace. He's ready to pull back if need be.
When Nicholas moves this time, his attacks are more measured, and Trish responds in kind. It’s not perfect, but it’s an improvement, and improvement demands reward and respect. He has a long way to go until he can defeat any Valkyrie in battle but he has promise.
He’s clearly had some experience; his movements now are far more sure. The moment his mace hits her shield, she’s already withdrawing. Reassessing, then moving as he aims low, shield dropping to protect her knee, then pushing back up and toward him, looking to knock him off balance.
“Better,” she remarks.
It was a smart move, to aim high then drop the attack lower, but one she was ready for. She steps forward, bringing her mace down on his shield.
Trish’s goal is not to embarrass the newest recruit, nor is it to even win. She needs to know who and what she’s dealing with. Theone, if she so wishes to have one, deserves a true champion by her side.
Nicholas has the makings of one, she suspects. He just has to want to fight for it.
At first, Nic gives into his ego, his confidence, as Trish seemingly recoils from his first blow. ('Maybe she's not as tough as she looks.') The thought flashes into his head, but quickly vanishes. Her shield drops down low, as if she has anticipated his combination attack, and absorbs the full force of his assault. She then counters, and shoves the shield upward, his mace and arm along with it. Nic finds himself stumbling backwards, instantly on the defensive again while his mind reals with a panicked ('WTF?')
He doesn't lose his footing as she compliments him on doing better, but he is unsteady as the Valkyrie smoothly transitions from using her shield, to use her mace. His eyes widen as he mace connects with his shield, which he managed only to raise a moment before. He grunts and grimaces as he tries to bear up against the force she has put behind her swing. Once again he has to admonish himself as he is forcibly reminded that Trish is not a human, or even a demon, she's a powerful creature from millennia ago. He needs to remember that. He especially needs to remember that even when he thinks he's winning.
His breathing is heavy as he looks her in the eye as he steps back, trying to withdraw from her a bit. He can still feel the vibrations of metal on metal ringing through his wrist where her mace met his shield. "Thanks," he says back to her as he brings his shield up, huddling behind it and pushes himself back towards her. He swings his mace at her side, aiming towards her ribs. He knows it's futile, but this is training, and he's not about to give up.
Besides, he wonders how much these Valkyries really know about him, about what he can do. He might still have a few tricks up his sleeve but only time will tell.
Trish deflects his next attack, then steps back, holding up a hand. “Enough,” she says, ending this round. He needs a moment to collect his breath, and she’s no fool to beat a man in training simply to prove a point.
This isn’t a battle.
“You have the makings of warrior,” Trish tells him. “With practice, you’ll improve quickly.”
She motions for him to rest. “The mace is not your weapon of choice. What weapon would you choose, if you could?” Trish asks him.
It’s a question of interest to her; one’s choice of weapon belies a lot of its wielder. In truth, there is much about Nicolas that the Valkyries want to learn, not least of which are his intentions. But truth comes from trust and he doesn’t trust them yet, nor they him. That comes from discourse and time, both of which are in short supply.
His choice in attacks suggest some training and she’s curious to know with what purpose.