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A Spirit Is Born

By: Kadiskas

Her face red from working over the fire all day she turns back to the piece of metal that lays upon the anvil. She has strained everyday for weeks since her father told her that she could have her own armor and weaponry to make her chest piece just how she wanted it. With every pound of her hammer she pounds a bit more of herself into it trying to make it perfect in her eyes. Her eyes squint as she pounds her hammer on the corner of her breastplate to get the right curve to it so it will mesh with the rest of it. Her concentration so deep on it that she doesn't notice Xaniqos standing a bit behind her, watching. 'You pound that corner to much more Kadi and you'll be stabbing yourself with your own armor.' Kadiskas stops hammering, looking at the corner and nods then turns to the armorsmith 'I guess I am just getting anxious. My breastplate is only half way done and we have had 4 battles since I started.' She sighs heavily, looking down at her armor and frowns 'I just want to go with my father when the next one comes.'
Xaniqos gives a small smile, walks up and places his hand on her shoulder, causing her to look up. 'Patience, Kadi, patience. You will get your turn and I know that your father will want you prepared armor wise before you even think of going into battle.' He drops his hand continuing to smile 'Besides who would I get to help me around here if you were out there?' He motions outside the tent. Kadiskas gives him a smirk, shaking her head and closes her eyes briefly before replying, glancing around the tent. 'You could always get Ketmiri to do it? I mean its not like she doesn't know what to do.' Xanqios grunts softly and nods 'She does but she is training to be a rogue now and an apothecary so she has her hands full.' He looks out over the encampment as if he can see her. 'She is trying just as hard as you to get out in the battles but she still has alot to learn.' Kadiskas nods as she looks back down at her armor. 'I just want my father to be proud of me.'
'I am' Keveras says as he comes up the hill. His eyes stern but gentle and he says again as he nears her 'I am Kadi, very much. But you must remember that again battle is not all honor and glory. You must be ready both mentally, physically. That includes your armor and your weapons.' He looks down at her armor that is still on the anvil, the metal cooling and smiles softly 'You are doing well on your breastplate I see.' He glances at her out of the corner of his eyes seeing her face brighten a bit but her frown does not disappear. He looks back down at the piece running a hand over it, looking closely at the hammer marks then pulls his hand back and lifts his head to look back at Kadiskas. 'It is time for your training now though so this must wait.' Kadiskas grimaces but nods 'Yes father.' Picking up her armor she places it with the rest of the pieces before making her way towards the training ring. Keveras watches her daughter walk off before he glances to Xaniqos 'She is doing very well Xaniqos. Look over her things to make sure nothing is amiss.' 'I will.' Xaniqos says with a nod. Keveras returns his nod and follows his daughter.
Kadiskas, walking alone towards the training ring, her thoughts jumbled with many things. She starts to slow her walk as she looks around the encampment. Looking upon soldiers, both men and women, preparing either a meal for themselves or working their blades sharp. She stops as she sees a small elven child playing outside a tent with her doll. As she watches the child play she notices a scar on the side of the child's leg. Narrowing her eyes she sees the scar runs sideways from the front to the back, almost looking like an arrow had just missed it. With her mood already dark with the thoughts of her armor not done it darkens even more with the thought of the little girl nearly missing her death. With a grim yet determined look on her face she starts to make her way towards the training ring.
The training ring in the distance she notices two figures standing there, looking as if they are waiting for someone. As she enters she looks at the two, one man and one woman. She nods to each of them, knowing their names for she had spared with them in the recent past. She glances at what they are holding in their hands as she makes her way to where her wooden sword is. Upon the glance she realizes that they are holding actual swords and wearing leather armor. She bends down to pick up her sword thinking how it is odd that they are in the training ring with leather armor and actual swords. 'Kadi, you won't be needing that.' Keveras, whom was a ways behind her says. 'You will not be needing that wooden sword as of today.' A confused look crosses Kadiskas's face as she straightens, leaving the wooden sword where it is and turns to her father. 'This is what I always train with but if you say that I won't be using it what then will I use?' Keveras gives her another small smile his eyes intense as always as he takes from his side a scabbard and in it a sword. The hilt, engraved with vines and a single red gem at the base, glinting as he moves it. Kadiskas's eyes widen as she looks at it, realizing what he is intending. Staying where she is she watches her father take it out of its scabbard. The blade gleams as the sunlight hits it. Silver with intricate designs along it, one going all the way to the tip.
Keveras swings the blade a bit giving it a test before he walks up to Kadiskas. 'This...' he begins as holds it out to her 'was your mothers sword. I have had it balanced just for you so it will feel as an extension of you.' Kadiskas takes the hilt in her right hand as she runs her left hand slowly under the blade to look at it better carefully, studying it. Looking up to her father she asks 'And is this what I am to be using when I go into battle?' Keveras slowly nods as he looks at his daughters face, a thought begins to darken his thoughts but he lets it go for the time being. 'Yes Kadi, this is to be with you where ever you go from now on.' He sets down the scabbard next to the training fence 'I have one more thing for you as well.' He reaches his right hand out and pulls, what Kadiskas thought was just a blanket, up and reveals a shield. The shield, bronze in color looked like a knights shield but with elven flair. Imprinted on the front looking as if it had just grown on there was an intricate design of a tree with its roots starting at the bottom of the point, the trunk going up the middle where the tree spreads it limbs close to the edges of the shield.
Kadiskas stares at it while her father picks it up and hands it to her as well 'This I had made for you. As you know the tree means family,' he motions with his hand to the encampment 'even though these here are not your blood relatives they are still your family. The tree also stands for strength, wisdom and longevity.' His face softens as he watches her put it on, testing its weight. 'There are many meanings for the tree but those are the three that I have chosen to give you.' Kadiskas looks at him upon finally getting it on and bows her head, closing her eyes as she does so 'Thank you father. I will cherish them both.' She opens her eyes as she raises her head, glancing over at the two still standing patiently. 'Am I to also use this from here on out?' Keveras nods then with a sweeping motion with his hand he steps out of the training ring and before Kadiskas knows it she is jumped by one of the two.
Bringing up her shield quickly to block the attack she swings it to her left as she follows her sword behind missing the one barely. She follows through with the swing and turns in a circle to fully face her opponent. Looking around she knows that she can't leave her back and sides open to them. She starts to back up to a corner of the fence all the while keeping an eye on them, her shield between her and them. Placing her steps as smoothly as possible she feels a small, rough rock turn under the ball of her right foot. She shifts her weight to the side so as to keep her balance which caused a indiscernible hitch in her stride. The right one noticed and yelled out a cry, leaping out at Kadiskas. Raising her sword arm she deflects the blow, trying to disarm him she brings her shield up to his arm but he has already twirled out of the way. Growling softly behind her shield she backs up the few remaining steps to the fence and waits. There is still plenty of room behind her to move but none of them can make their way to flank her.
Keveras walks around the ring, watching. Inspecting her movements to see if she remembers everything he has taught her. The two elves look intently at and around Kadiskas to see if she has an opening. Tense minutes pass then the two seem to have thought that same thing and sprang forward to her. Again she brings up her shield to deflect the blows but only one hits and before she knows it the other is behind her, bringing his sword to her throat. Lowering her shield he removes the sword as she hears her father call out 'Again.' As they walk to the middle of the ring, anger starts to build in Kadiskas. Before they can get there she swings out with her sword arm to the closest opponent. He dances out of the way, throwing out his arms. Before he can recover Kadiskas calls out her own cry and pushes forward to him leading with her shield. He rolled to the left side as he tried to swing at her back. Turning on the ball of her foot she brings her sword to meet the other. A clang ringing out as she caught it just before it would have cut the back of her leg. Just then the woman came as Kadiskas's chest was exposed making a stab at her stomach. Kadiskas brought her shield towards her front but only managed to catch the woman's arm causing her sword to go right up Kad's right forearm.
The cut was shallow but long. It went from her elbow up to her wrist. There wasn't much blood so her father called out to continue. Now Kadiskas was mad and she went at the two without any more thought than to tag them as they had tagged her. On and on they went, their movements quick and jerky till finally Kadiskas is able to tag one on the thigh. Keveras calls out to stop which Kadiskas finally lets out a breath that she didn't know she was holding and looks between the two and bows her head. She turns as she raises it and comes to face her father. Softly she says 'How did I do father?' Keveras only looks at his daughter briefly before he excuses the other two. As they leave he hears her ask again and he starts to walk towards their tent. Feeling her anger boil she follows after her father, quickly grabbing the sword belt and carrying her sword and shield.
Finally reaching their tent her father stops and turns to Kadiskas as she sets down her things. Straightening she looks at her father and waits for him to begin. Keveras watches her for a minute or two before taking a deep breath letting it out as he begins. 'Kadi, I sensed anger from you today and you have allowed yourself to become angrier then you should have. It has its place, but it will not help you. As you know that the way of the warrior is a way of knowing and if that knowledge requires you to use anger, then use it, but you can't get knowledge by losing your temper. Pain and frustration will be your reward if you continue to try.' Sitting down on a stump he rests his arm on the taller one beside it.
'You must strive to be calm, even if a hundred enemies are at your heels. You must try to empty your mind and allow it to become like a tranquil pool that reflects everything around it and remains untouched. When you are free of irrational fears about victory and defeat, life and death, you will gain understanding. You can't predict every eventuality, and you can't guarantee success every time you face an opponent. But, by seeing all and discounting nothing you can adapt to any change. The warrior who can adapt the easiest to the unexpected is the warrior who will live the longest.' He smiles to himself as he looks at her and sees that she has relaxed and is listening. 'So Kadi, next time take the time to see what you are looking at, then take the action you think most appropriate. Once you are in motion, don't allow your thoughts to become distracting and jumbled. Think without thinking, so that you can act as if out of instinct and not reason.'
Standing slowly as he finishes, he walks over to her, places a hand on each of her shoulders and looks at her. 'You are your mother when it comes to learning and picking up things. You learn quickly but this you must defiantly learn for it will help you in the long run.' He looks down at her right arm 'I suppose we had better get that healed.' Kadiskas shakes her head as her father looks back up 'No, I want to keep it. But had I known that the blades were going to be unspelled I would have grabbed my own leather armor.' Her father's smile widens as his eyes soften 'They will be spelled next time for the training after today's shows me that we need to make it more intense. Today was just to see if you could block and deflect without to much damage and you held true to that. Today is the day that I believe you have learned what it is to be a paladin. You still have much to learn from this path but you did well. Now go on,' He lowers his hands 'get yourself cleaned up and ready for supper. I will get it started.'
Kadiskas nods as she looks at her father's smile and the kindness in his eyes and wraps her arms around him in a hug. 'Thank you father,' she whispers 'Thank you.' Her father wraps his arms around her, giving her a kiss on the top of her head he whispers back 'Your welcome Kadi.'

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