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Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered--Chapter Nine

Started by Evie, June 20, 2011, 09:20:20 AM

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Elkhound

I disagree with a sword vs. a knife for self-defense.  First, a sword is harder to conceal than a knife, and is not a part of a lady's normal garb, and a lady carrying one would draw attention to herself, and the first stage of self-defense is to be unnoticed; a knife could be concealed up a sleeve or inside a bodice or elsewhere about the person.  Second, to draw and swing a sword requires some room; if one has room to draw a sword, one generally has room to flee rather than fight.  A sword is little good if one is grabbed from behind or unexpectedly rushed.  A knife is useful for both.  (A a smallsword short enough to concealed about the person and used in close quarters would be, in essence, a very long knife.)

Evie

Well, keep in mind that this is Sextus's daughter we're talking about, and just because he might think a sword is a more suitable reason for self-defense, that doesn't mean he'd not teach her how to use a knife--or for that matter, a broken bottle, a rock, a stick, a stool, or any other object that's at hand--as a defensive weapon.  My point was just that knife fighting is pretty darn difficult (much more so than most fantasy writers who have no real experience with weapons, or only formal martial arts training at best, make it out to be), and to become highly skilled at it would require as much training as it would take to learn how to wield a sword skillfully.  And given a choice between a weapon with longer range and one that requires very close range to use, Sextus would dearly hope his daughter never has to be in the latter position at all, because her chances of severe injury, no matter how skilled she is with a weapon, increase greatly at point-blank range.  Grub's training would be geared primarily towards defense rather than offense (she's not being trained to go off to war or to track down and kill people), and so Sextus would be primarily looking to ensure that his petite little offspring knows enough self-defense skills to be able to parry a weapon with anything and everything she can get her dainty little mitts on, and maybe strike a defensive blow or two long enough to get away from her attacker and ride the heck out of Dodge.  Or out of Desse, as the case may be.   :D

Spending her formative years in an environment where she grew skilled at dodging iron pots will probably be quite an asset, if a rather dubious one, since by the time she gets any formal weapons training, she'll just be adding new skills to an already keen-honed sense of survival.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Elkhound

#17
I don't want to boast, but one of my teachers was former Navy Seal.  Some of the things he knew he couldn't teach me,  and some he wouldn't teach me.  But I think I know a little bit about the matter. 

If I had to train someone who was planning to be 'in His/Her Majesty's service' in a capacity where s/he didn't expect to be primarily a fighter, but might occasionally have to defend him/herself, and had the choice of training him/her in the use of a sword or a knife, I'd choose the latter. And if s/he had a relative that was pushing for sword over knife, I'd explain why (see above); and if I had to put that relative on his a@@ a couple of times to make my point, I'd do so.  I'd also see that s/he learned hand-to-hand (including pressure points, joint locks, throws and sweeps, and other techniques that don't need so much brute strength as movement and balance), and learned to think of the sword or knife or any other weapon as an extension of the arm, rather than a tool.

Of course, sword, knife, and hand-to-hand are all important, and ideally I'd train the person in all three; but if it had to be only two out of three, I'd dispense with sword.

Alkari

#18
Alas Elkhound, regardless of your training with a Navy Seal, young Amanda Arilan is simply NOT going to become some sort of Gwynedd's Great Female Ninja Warrior.   Seal or Turtle  :D

Fighting needs and styles have changed greatly over the years: I very much doubt, for example, that today's Navy Seal regularly trains with a broadsword, or undertakes armoured combat on horseback.  (How many of them could even ride a horse anyway?!)   Evie has already explained Amanda's situation in that society: she would go about adequately chaperoned and guarded in public, and the best form of self defence is always, always to avoid getting into a difficult situation in the first place.  Sure, she will probably have some self-defence training, but if she is going to do any travelling, the ability to ride a horse well and make a fast getaway is likely to be far more useful to her than the ability to wield sword or dagger!    She may occasionally carry a dagger, especially if travelling or venturing out into more dangerous areas of town, but the most likely weapon a woman of her status would have readily available is a nice sharp pair of scissors, routinely carried on her girdle with her belt pouch and other items, such as keys, etc.  Or else a sharp cloak pin or veil pin.  Or just a handy iron pot, or anything else heavy!!   Even today, police will tell women that a bunch of keys or a sharp pin can be very effective in self-defence situations.    

Besides, you seem to forget that she is Deryni.  I'm sure there are plenty of interesting defence mechanisms available to them - a nice little sheet of fire like Kelson conjured up in front of the army in High Deryni is likely to be a most effective weapon if attacked on the road, for example.  :)   "OK you guys - do you want to be quick fried, or shall I enjoy slow roasting you all?"

Evie

#19
Actually, it would probably go more like this:

"Grab the girl, Bart!"

Bart strode across the room towards the petite maiden.  She shot him an incredulous look, her eyes blazing with anger, and muttered something under her breath as her hand shot out and traced an arc in the air before her.  The brigand stopped short as a wall of flame suddenly appeared before him, and he leaped backwards, cursing violently.

The leader of the outlaws frowned.  He'd heard this girl was Deryni, so he wasn't as startled as his henchman was to see the sudden appearance of a fiery barrier, but they were in a thatch roofed building.  Why was the roof not burning?  He drew his sword, tapping gingerly at the wooden floorboards at the base of the flames.  To his eyes, they appeared to be scorched, but the wood felt sound beneath his blade.

"It's an illusion, I'm sure of it!" he told Bart.  

The henchman, recovering his composure, brought up a wary hand to gauge the fire's heat.  It was warm, but far cooler than such an inferno should be.  He laughed.  "Thought your Deryni mind-tricks could fool us, my dear?" he taunted as he strode through the fiery barrier.  On the other side of it, he found himself silenced again, baffled once more.

"What's the problem, Bart?" said the voice behind him.

"Damn it, there's three of her in here!"

The leader walked through the fire.  "Well, what's the problem?  Just see which one is solid!  How hard can that be?"  He grabbed at the nearest maiden, but his hand encountered mere mist.  Bart grabbed at a second maiden, only to experience the same thing.  They both lunged at the third.

The two men collided with each other as she, too, vanished.  Bart gingerly touched his swelling lip as his leader began to curse fluently.

"Where'd she go?" Bart wondered aloud.

The sound of rapid hoofbeats outside answered his question.  He looked out the open window in time to see his own horse galloping away, the Arilan chit astride him.



;D


"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Jerusha

"It was a moment to make a father proud."   ;)
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Evie

ROFL!  More so than simply knowing when it might be best to ask to be allowed to leave the table?  ;D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Jerusha

#22
Absolutely.  And I have no doubt Amanda/Grub will leave more than one (or two) men wondering "what happened?!" as she grows.  One may even be her Great-Uncle Denis.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Alkari

QuotePerhaps Uncle Denis has come to the conclusion that Sextus was sent by God to teach him patience?  "Oh Lord, grant me patience. . . SOON!"

["You keep asking Me for patience, and I keep sending Sextus back to you.  When are you ever going to make the connection, son?"   --God   

" Dear Lord, I learnt my lesson with Sextus.   What grievous sins have I ever committed that you should send me Amanda as well? "

derynifanatic64

I have a feeling that Amanda and Great-Uncle Denis will become the best of friends.  Because we all know that Denis Arilan is a big softie when it comes to his nieces.
We will never forget the events of 9-11!!  USA!! USA!!

Elkhound

Quote from: derynifanatic64 on June 23, 2011, 06:41:18 PM
I have a feeling that Amanda and Great-Uncle Denis will become the best of friends.  Because we all know that Denis Arilan is a big softie when it comes to his nieces.

He'll love her very much; that doesn't mean he won't find her difficult sometimes; I'm sure in his way he's fond of Sextus, too, in his own way.  (I'm imaginging Sextus going through a virtuous period, and Uncle Denis worrying that the young man might be sick.)