Friday, April 24, 2009

Jousting, Indeed.

(Note: There's been a lot of serious posts on here lately with all the patch info, so I felt like doing something a bit lighter today. I don't do "RP" stuff usually, but I felt the urge for a funny story doubling as a sort of character study exercise or what-have-you. You know, get the creative juices flowing on a Friday. I might try to do more stuff in this vein if y'all find it enjoyable... or not, I could go either way. In any case, does anyone else wish the jousting was more like... I don't know... jousting?)

Stepping out of the large canvas tent, I flip up my hood against the sunlight. As usual, the giant freaking gem slaps down and hits me square on the nose. If it wasn't for how much more powerful the shiny stone made me feel, I'd get rid of the cursed thing. At least I can take the hood off when I'm inside. Outside, however, the sun can be quite annoying to a person who enjoys his shadow.

Walking over to a rack near the stables, I select a large wooden lance with a similarly wooden shield attached. The whole thing reeks of cheapness. It's painted all colorful and fruity. Count on the Argent to make a big production of a serious tournament. Can you believe all the damn vendors around here? They're peddling T-shirts over there. T-shirts! Seriously? This is a tournament of skill, not a freaking carnival.

*Fwoosh*

Aw hell. There goes the lance. See what happens when I get riled?

Shaking the ash off of my gloves, I reach for another lance. I look around for the nearest mount. There is a small stall of white horses to my right. I see numerous others hop lithely up onto the horse with their nifty lance and shield combo, heading for the other end of the tournament grounds.

Generic white pony... check. Glancing around self-consciously before mounting, I hike up my robe in a very undignified manner and leap onto the horse.

Why am I here again? Oh, right, they reward you for doing this crap.

The pale looking elf in the big-top tent had told me if I run around the practice area for a bit, taking the advice of the overly helpful instructors sitting around, he'd give me some gold and a shot to champion a city. Now, I don't care much about the whole "champion" thing, but that's where the gold's at. Any good warlock knows that the real way to win in life is to trick someone into believing you like them, then kill them when they least expect it. I'm not sure how that applies here, since I can't really do that to a whole city... Or can I?

*Fwoosh* Damnit!

Riding back to the rack, I pick up my third lance and head out to the tournament grounds. What I see confounds the senses. A whole herd of horses with idiots in the saddle parade around throwing things at targets and charging haphazardly at vaguely humanoid dummies. This IS a carnival.

Trotting the horse over to the nearest instructor, I ask him what he wants me to do. Quickly he begins to explain in a flat, bored tone that I need to ride over to "that there dummy" and, using both "this here" lance, proceed to "beat on" the wooden representation of conquest. At first, I have to remind myself that he is not referring to himself as the dummy to be "beat on", as I sense something vaguely condescending in his mannerisms. A small fire starts along the hand grip of the lance as I remove myself from the source of my consternation, having heard enough of the man's drivel and wanting to just get on with it already. I quickly smother the fire with my robe.

Looking down at my ash stained gloves, I shake my head. Lately, one of my commonly used spells of affliction had become even more unstable than normal, causing it to spontaneously combust when used in conjunction with my spell of immolation. The stupid thing now had the bad habit of just blowing up in my face, causing no pain and destruction whatsoever. Ashamed of my sudden inadequacy with controlling the immolation, I've just stopped using the two spells together. Apparently this has resulted in some pent up fire frustrations that have been manifesting themselves in very unfortunate places lately. Case in point: my third lance, or the line of charred critter corpses leading into the big-top tent back there.

Trotting over to the dummy, I size it up. The thing is rickety, in need of repairs, and rooted into he ground. It holds a dented wooden shield lashed to one appendage and an extremely menacing short, blunt, and splintered wooded representation of a sword lashed to the other. All that gnomish engineering crap and THIS is the best we can do?

In any case, you can tell it is quite apparent to me how this exercise will aid in my development as a jouster. Inanimate, stationary wooden dummy beat down... check. Sidling up to the dummy, I heft my lance and look warily at the dummy, half expecting it to fall over in a gust of wind. I mean, the darn thing looks like it'll break with merely the slightest strike from my lance. Reaching out with the lance, I lightly poke the dummy. It creaks, swaying, and the sword falls to the ground, the lashings having been frayed from overuse.

Stupid thing. Getting a small bit of forward momentum, I swing the lance harder this time, aiming for the large, well worn shield attached to the dummy's arm structure. My blow strikes true in the center of the shield, sending a resounding crack across the practice field. To my surprise, the shield recoils from the blow, swinging around quickly. A second too late, I realize the trajectory of the spinning dummy is bringing the shield directly at the back of my head.

*Crack*

Wood connecting with skull sends a much louder noise across the field. Stars burst in front of my vision and I am thrown from my horse, landing roughly on the torn up ground around the dummy. Rubbing the back of my head, I stand up and hear laughter behind me. Just, f-ing great.

Turning around, I see the instructor laughing at me. As my horse trots back to the stable on its own to get some feed, I try to brush the dirt off my robes and regain some sense of dignity. The creaking of the settling dummy behind me combines with the raucous laughter of the instructor to poignantly remind me that there's none to be found here. Swirling around in my robes, I face the dummy.

*Fwoosh*

The rickety piece of shit goes up in flames, crackling pleasantly as it burns. Discontentedly, I stalk off towards the tent. I seem to recall one of the other dumb elves saying something about killing scourge for money instead. That sounds more like my mug of Dwarven stout, anyways. The instructor yells after me something about having to pay for the dummy I just destroyed. Making a rude gesture, I don't even break my stride as I head back across the grounds.

Why did I want to do this again? Championing? Gold? Fire? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't jousting where you ride AT another person, not a dummy, and strike them with the intent of knocking them off of their mount? I've read some tomes about it, I swear. That's the part I want to do! This dummy stuff was going to kill me though. I just don't see the point I guess. Besides, it's not like these instructors are exactly exalted warriors. I mean, I don't recall ever seeing them fighting Kel'Thuzad out in Dragonblight.

Hell, they've probably never even ridden a dragon. Now, THAT would be real jousting. Dragons and fire breathing. We don't even need lances. We'll just say the person who is not reduced to ash wins at the end. That's fair, right?

Arriving back at the tent, I chuck my lance angrily back towards the rack.

*Fwoosh*

Jousting, indeed.

5 comments:

  1. wonderful story hun :D

    You would light those dummies on fire wouldnt you lol

    I remember the very first time I was in there doing that spinning guy when I forgot about my shield and I got whacked pretty hard.

    I also had some idiot start beating on the same spinner when I was standing there and he killed me too. I was about to pitch a fit.

    Lucky for me though, I'm done with that "training" part ...

    Where the heck is that black knight.

    Now for Ollie Williams Punishment report: Ollie?

    He' Goin' Get it!

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  2. Great story. I cracked up with the 2nd *fwoosh* ;)

    I'm finding the tourney combat to be interesting and different, but not quite what I thought jousting entailed.

    /hairflip

    I just really want a little squire to do my bidding. Yesss...

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  3. Bravo!! It's posts like this that make me wish I could write roleplay posts.

    Nibuca

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  4. Haha very nice. Almost made me laugh out loud in the middle of class. I'm not normally drawn to RP stories, but I'll be keeping an eye out for yours in the future =P.

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