Author Topic: The Rise of Konrad Kruschev  (Read 682 times)

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The Rise of Konrad Kruschev
« on: October 10, 2008, 03:20:13 PM »
The Citadel Training Hall was cold in the winter months, but Konrad Kruschev felt only warmth and strength in his body as he ducked neatly under the blade of his opponent’s sword, bringing up his own up in response.

The men surrounding the combat circle jeered and applauded the two men as they crossed blades again and again, the strength of their blows growing with every stroke as the frustration to be the victor grew. Both men were bare-chested and wore only their boots and britches, armed with the steel Longsword issued to them.

The hall roared with the cheers of the Garda, exchanging comments and criticism after each lunge and blow. They had all heard of the lashing received by the young Garda from Vallaki who had grown so quickly in the ranks, and lost it just as fast. With the scars still visible on the young mans back and without the Rank of Lance Corporal to deter more spiteful Garda, a Private with dark hair and a thick moustache had taunted him into entering the combat circle to teach the boy from Vallaki a lesson of his own…

The Private wheeled around on his heel, catching Kruschev off balance and sending him tumbling into the men that surrounded him. Not even twenty years old, the Private had at least ten years on the Recruit, keen to use the thick bulk he had gained over the years to bully Kruschev into a mistake that would cost him the bout.

The men pulled him up with rough hands, forcing him back into the middle of the circle to the waiting soldier, yellow teeth bearing beneath his moustache. Kruschev raised his blade immediately and fended off several blows as they rained down from the man who seemed to loom over him in the cramped ring.

Kruschev did not doubt his courage, he had always been bolder than his friends as a child, always the one to push deeper into the darkness of the cave systems near the farm, before turning back to the jeering children that waited at the cave mouth. Fear had no place in battle. His father had told him to always be fearful of the coming battle and to revel in the calm after, but in combat, fear would lead to only one outcome, death.

Kruschev side-stepped the Privates last hammering blow, returning the assault with his own swift cuts and lunges. He was young and fast, faster than his opponent and the young man felt calm warm the beating in his chest as he tried to control his breathing. None had ever bested him with a sword and he felt nibble compared to the Private that strived to injure him so brutally. He was in the prime of his life, but Kruschev could see he had began to soften in the last years, favouring his right leg and always eager to throw his weight around than rely on skill and accuracy.

Kruschev remembered the armies of the Count, marching out the gates of Vallaki to meet the invaders from Invidia. Hundreds of armoured Garda, their heads held high. His father was amongst them, fighting proudly in the war that would later end his career and rob him of his left leg. Kruschev was just a boy then and the reality of serving the Count had been a very different world to the illusions held only by the young.

Kruschev was woken from his memories as one of the Garda in the crowd grabbed at his sword hand before he could make the final blow to win the bout. He snapped his arm free of the grip just as his jaw connected with the fist of the Private, eager to make use of the advantage presented to him.

Kruschev tumbled back into the men behind him, taking the one who grabbed him down to the stone floor with him as the Private raises his arms to receive another roar of applause.

He wrestled his way back up, furious that he had dropped his guard so foolishly. Costirneau was right, he was a fine swordsman but he lacked the focus of mind possessed by older men. Perhaps he -was- just too young to lead the Counts men

He rushed the man, planting his foot deep into his hip, collapsing his stance like a falling tree. His sword came down with frightening speed, as the Private fell, escaping the blades edge by inches.

He was soon back to his feet and lunged carelessly in anger at the boy who had dared to strike him in front of his men.

The attack was badly timed and it was all Kruschev needed. He dodged to the side, parrying the blade with the forearm of his free hand, rolling around the shoulder of the Private and brought his sword down across the mans chest as he turned to face the young Recruit of Vallaki.

The Private fell within seconds, wrapping his thick hairy arms around his chest to cradle the severed muscles. The cut had not gone deep, but blood had been shed and the bout was over…

Kruschev stood, his own chest heaving for breath. His dark blue eyes lifted to the men around him unsure whether they would beat him for the victory over the Private.

Some shook their heads, grunting at the result, while some met his gaze, exchanging a nod of respect with men he had commanded as a Lance.

The crowd parted to let him through, as the ring itself began to melt away. Coins would change hands that night under the cover of the dark bunk room.

The young man from Vallaki would have no more challenges to his honor for now.
             



 
Beriszló Józsa - Gundarakite Commoner
Emanuel Lupescu - Cursed Barovian...
Hastian Vandel - "And The Dead Shall Walk..."
Konrad Kruschev - R.I.P

-Rotten Fish-

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Re: The Rise of Konrad Kruschev
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2008, 03:26:51 PM »
//Feel free to post any comments by the way, just keep them short!
Beriszló Józsa - Gundarakite Commoner
Emanuel Lupescu - Cursed Barovian...
Hastian Vandel - "And The Dead Shall Walk..."
Konrad Kruschev - R.I.P