The Art of Swordplay

Written by Eruantien

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A longsword match between two men. Image // Fechtbücher (Commons)

“I’ll draw them,” murmured Garidth to Kurvello. “You lead the others further in.”

“Take the heat off you when they realise we’re already inside the keep?”

“Would be nice,” Garidth nodded to his brother and the others, and strode out of the undergrowth to the front of the gate house. Lowering his buffe to reveal his face, the young knight raised his longsword and his voice: “All glory to the true lord of Janakholm, Kurvello Karvelson! Let any who deny his claim come forth now and challenge me, Sir Garidth of Corlyn; or hide forever behind the skirts of your mothers, like that snivelling boy who calls himself lord!”

Two came forth and Garidth could see a third hovering in the gateway, only half armoured. The other two – wearing maille and open-faced helms – drew their swords and closed on Garidth. Garidth couldn’t help but smile as the words of his old tutor echoed in his ears, “if someone attacks you with his blade in a standard grip when you are in full plate, then he knows nothing of the True Art”. His blood singing, Garidth launched his attack, thrusting hard at the one to his left, but the man’s sword came up in time to glance the thrust to the side. Against the Hämähäkkan’s expectations, Garidth continued his push and quickly whipped his steel-clad left fist forwards in a straight jab, smashing into his opponent’s face. Already turning as the stunned man stumbled back, Garidth blocked the second soldier’s overhand strike with his right vambrace. Garidth couldn’t help but let out a grunt of discomfort as the heavy sword bit into the steel, but before the Hämähäkkan could recover his guard, he swung his blade towards himself and caught it in his left hand. Without pausing, he slammed the pommel into the bridge of his opponent’s nose and fractured his skull. The man dropped. His first opponent began to gather his wits a moment too late as Garidth’s sword got behind his knee and took his feet from under him. Garidth immediately thrust his blade down, two-handed, at the maille protecting the man’s throat. Steel rings split beneath the blade’s tip. Garidth paused for a moment to catch his breath, and withdrew his sword as the third member of the gatehouse came out.

Garidth eyed this new combatant; clad in brigandine, the way in which he held himself was different from the other two Hämähäkkans he’d fought. Unlike the others, this one had adopted a half-sword stance and had solid plates on his arms and legs complimenting the brigandine and visored helm. Garidth found himself suddenly wishing that he hadn’t lowered his buffe earlier; there was no time to secure it back in place now.

Blood dripped from the tip of Garidth’s longsword as he gripped it halfway down the blade. Continue reading →

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Monthly Editorial: Focusing On Dedication In July’s Content

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Fancy a bit of a warm up? Image // BBC

Hey Inkblotters!

As June’s content and theme passes, July’s is now upon us and we’ve got a new theme to boot. Since the sporting season is here – what with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and Wimbledon’s annual two-week stint on the BBC – our theme this month reflects the commitment sportsmen and sportswomen must have in order to succeed and achieve splendid results in their chosen careers. Putting matters of money and sponsorship deals aside, athletes work hard to be the very best they can – 5am wake-up calls, swim sessions, and gritting their teeth through bad weather to head out for a morning run. But it’s not just athletes who dedicate themselves to sport, what about the regular individuals who just do it for fun? So this month we’re tackling the theme of “dedication” through sport, an homage full of admiration, or with dedication to an event in history – we’re going to cover the theme from all angles.

First up we’ve got a wonderful HHC entry by Dice in his Alexander episodic shorts on the 5th. Written in relation to the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Dice’s Summer 1943 is definitely not one to miss. On the 8th, poetry whizz Ashcloud takes us on a journey with a knight as an homage to her closest friend; consider us fans already. Then a little further into the month on the 20th, new contributor but forum veteran Fuzzyears takes snippets from song lyrics and recreates her own for us. But you know the drill by now, keep checking back to see much more Inkblots content throughout July.

For those who follow our Twitter, you may have seen a small tease that the Fiction Frenzy will be returning – well, it has and it’s returned for TWO entire months this time. Throughout July until August 31, the FF will be open to everyone. You can check out the rules on our Inkwell forum, here, for more info. Also, seen as the competition will be running for two months, I couldn’t help but give our members two themes to go with it. So get writing some awesome entries for Virtual Reality and Carnage. If you’re looking to send us your entry, just check out the submissions page for rules and guidelines and, more importantly, our email!

Finally, seen as you’re probably getting sick of me babble on, our new Half Hour Challenge theme is Chase. Since I’ve been re-watching One Tree Hill episodes, I can only think of the character named Chase who wants to be a pilot. But hey, I’m sure you (our lovely readers and contributors) will think of much better HHC entries than the above.

Until next time!

– Silver,  Inkblots Editor