Oasis Of Two Scimitars

A Gorean RP In The Tahari
 
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 Warrior Training on Gor

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PostSubject: Warrior Training on Gor   Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:03 pm



The Training of a Warrior
Training schedule is grueling and meticulous
The schedule that was forced upon me was meticulous and gruelling, and except for rest and feeding, alternated between times of study and times of training, largely in arms, but partly in the use of various devices as common to the Goreans as adding machines and scales are to us.
Tarnsman

Older, experienced warrior testing & accepting as a trainee
Without warning, with blinding speed, the bronze-headed spear flew towards my breast, the heavy shaft blurred like a comet's tail behind it. I twisted, and the blade cut my tunic cleanly, creasing the skin with a line of blood as sharp as a razor. It sunk eight inches into the heavy wooden beams behind me. Had it struck me with that force, it would have passed through my body.
'He's fast enough,' said the man who had cast the spear. 'I shall accept him.'
This was my introduction to my instructor in arms, whose name was also Tarl. I shall call him the Older Tarl. He was a blond Viking giant of a man, a bearded fellow with a cheerful, craggy face and fierce blue eyes, who strode about as though he owned the earth on which he stood. His whole body, his carriage, the holding of his head bespoke the warrior, a man who knew his weapons and, on the simple world of Gor, knew that he could kill almost any man who might stand against him. If there was one outstanding impression I gathered of the Older Tarl in that first terrifying meeting, it was that he was a proud man, not arrogant, but proud, and rightfully so. I would come to know this skilled, powerful, proud man well.
Tarnsman

Training with another experienced warrior
Ten days of ten hours each in training
For ten days had we trained, for ten Gorean hours a day. Of the past forty passages eight had been divided, no blood adjudged drawn. In thirty-two I had been adjudged victorious, nineteen times to the death cut.
He pulled his sand veil, yellow, from his dark face, down about his throat. He thrust his burnoose back further over his shoulders. He was Harif, said to be the finest blade in Tor.
...
I discarded the exercise sheath, and, with the bared blade, parted the leather that had bound the jaws of the kaiila. The leather sprang from the blade. Silk, dropped upon the scimitar of the Tahari, divided, falls free, floating, to the floor. The beast reared, its claws raking the air, and threw back its head, biting at the sun.
I lifted the curved blade of the scimitar. It flashed. I sheathed it, and slipped from the saddle, giving the rein of the mount to the boy.
I faced the warrior.
"Ride free," he said.
"I will, "I said.
"I can teach you nothing more," he said.
Tribesman


The Training
Largest part is in arms, mostly sword & spear See also Gorean Swords and Gorean Spears
Indeed, the largest part of my education was to be in arms, mostly training in the spear and sword.
Tarnsman

Developed skill to hurl spear through hoop the size of a dinner plate at 20 yards
The spear seemed light to me because of the gravity, and I soon developed a dexterity in casting it with considerable force and accuracy. I could penetrate a shield at close distance, and I managed to develop a skill sufficient to hurl it through a thrown hoop about the size of a dinner plate at twenty yards.
Tarnsman

Taught to use weapons with both hands
I was also forced to learn to throw the spear with my left hand.
Once I objected.
'What if you are wounded in the right arm?' demanded the Older Tarl. 'What will you do then?'
'Run?' suggested Torm, who occasionally observed these practice sessions.
'No!' cried the Older Tarl. 'You must stand and be slain like a warrior!'
Torm tucked a scroll, which he had been pretending to read, under his arm. He wiped his nose sagely on the sleeve of his blue robe. 'Is that rational?' he asked.
The Older Tarl seized a spear, and Torm, lifting his robes, hastily departed the training area.
In despair, with my left arm I lifted another spear from the spear-rack, to try once more. Eventually, perhaps more to my surprise than that of the Older Tarl, my performance became almost creditable. I had increased my margin of survival by some obscure percentage.
Tarnsman

Taught to use short sword with both hands
My training in the short, stabbing sword of the Goreans was as thorough as they could make it. I had belonged to a fencing club at Oxford and had fenced for sport and pleasure at the college in New Hampshire, but this current business was serious. Once again, I was supposed to learn to wield the weapon equally well with either hand, but, again, I could never manage to develop the skill to my genuine satisfaction. I acknowledged to myself that I was inveterately, stubbornly right-handed, for better or worse.
Tarnsman

Training by sparring with the Older Warrior
During my training with the sword, the Older Tarl cut me unpleasantly a number of times, shouting out, annoyingly enough, I thought, 'You are dead!' At last, near the end of my training, I managed to break through his guard and, pulling my stroke, to drive my blade against his chest. I withdrew it bright with his blood. He flung down his sword with a crash on the stone tiles and clasped me to his bleeding chest, laughing.
'I am dead!' he shouted in triumph. He slapped me on the shoulders, proud as a father who has taught his son chess and has been defeated for the first time.
Tarnsman

Trained in use of shield to deflect spears<
SEE ALSO Gorean Shields
SEE ALSO Spears
I also learned the use of the shield, primarily to meet the cast spear obliquely so that it would deflect harmlessly. Towards the end of my training I always fought with shield and helmet. I would have supposed that armour, or chain mail perhaps, would have been a desirable addition to the accoutrements of the Gorean warrior, but it had been forbidden by the Priest-Kings. A possible hypothesis to explain this is that the Priest-Kings may have wished war to be a biologically selective process in which the weaker and slower perish and fail to reproduce themselves. This might account for the relatively primitive weapons allowed to the Men Below the Mountains. On Gor it was not the case that a cavern-chested toothpick could close a switch and devastate an army. Also, the primitive weapons guaranteed that what selection went on would proceed with sufficient slowness to establish its direction, and alter it, if necessary.
Tarnsman

Trained also in bow use - crossbow & longbow See also Gorean Bows - crossbow & long bow
Besides the spear and sword, the crossbow and longbow were permitted, and these latter weapons perhaps tended to redistribute the probabilities of survival somewhat more broadly than te former. It may be, of course, that the Priest-Kings controlled weapons as they did simply because they feared for their own safety. I doubted that they stood against one another, man to man, sword to sword, in their holy mountains, putting their principles of selection to the test in their own cases. Incidentally, speaking of the crossbow and longbow, I did receive some instruction in them, but not much. The Older Tarl, my redoubtable instructor in arms, did not care for them, regarding them as secondary weapons almost unworthy for the hand of a warrior. I did not share his contempt, and occasionally during my rest periods had sought to improve my proficiency with them.
Tarnsman

Trained to run with long slow pace, carrying shield and weapons, for pasangs.
SEE ALSO Gorean Roads
In a moment or two, now, I had emerged on the other side of the pack. I could see Flaminius, and his men, on the other side of the pack, quite near, now, to its edge. I observed them for a time. I watched while two or three crossbow quarrels, their energy spent in the distance, looped over the pack and fell short of me. Then they turned about, hurrying back the way they had come. They perhaps had tharlarion somewhere. I then turned, and climbed through the broken, cerrated edges of this natural stone bowl, found myself in the open fields, and began to run, with the long, slow warrior’s pace, that pace in which warriors are trained, that pace which may be maintained, even under the weight of weapons, accouterments and a shield, for pasangs.
Players

It is nothing for a Warrior to cover 90 pasangs on foot in a day
It is nothing for a warrior to cover ninety pasangs on foot in a day. This is usually done by alternating the warrior’s pace with the warrior’s stride, and allowing for periods of rest. Few who have been invested in the scarlet of the warriors cannot match this accomplishment. I, and many others, can considerably improve upon it.
Marauders

Training with weighted shields
In between the assaults we gasped for breath and crouched behind our shields, resting their rims on the walkway. To lift such a device for Ehn at a time, and receive blow after blow upon it, bearing up under them, in time makes the arm desperately tired and sore. It is little wonder warriors often train with weighted shields. In the early Ahn of battle a common cause of causalities, particularly with young warriors, is recklessness, and the failure to use the shield properly to protect oneself. In the late Ahn of a battle, however, an even more common cause of causalities, interestingly enough, is the simple inability to lift, control and maneuver the shield. There is a great temptation to lower it, to ease the pain of the screaming muscles. This compounds, of course, with arm weariness, the result of wielding the sword, and the slowing of reflexes and reaction time, resulting from general fatigue.
Renegades

Trained to tie capture knots
I flipped one of the thongs about her wrists, then again, then turned a double opposite overhand, with a twist following the first overhand.
"My," she said, wiggling her wrists, "you tied that quickly."
I did not tell her, of course, but Warriors are trained to tie that knot, and most can do it in less than three Ihn.
"I wouldn't struggle," I said.
"Oh!" she said, stopping, pinched.
"You will tighten it," I said.
"It is an interesting knot," she said, examining her bound wrists. "What do you call it?"
"It is a Capture Knot," I said.
Assassin

Knots tied by a trained Warrior are more difficult to escape
I hoped I might be able to loosen the ropes. They were thick, and coarse: They were not binding fiber, designed for the perfect holding of prisoners and slaves, nor chains. Too, they had not been knotted by trained warriors or guardsmen. Too, I was strong. Too, the metal back of the blade, though not sharp, was narrow, and rectangular. I had not been bound to a large, rounded metal ring. I was sure that, given time, I could free myself.
Guardsman

Trained in various strokes with a blade
Suddenly in the darkness before me there reared up a warrior of Port Kar. He struck down at me with the double-edged sword. Had he known I was a warrior he might not have used his blade improperly. I caught his wrist, breaking it. He howled in pain. I seized up his sword. Another man thrust at me with a spear. I took it in my left hand and jerked him forward, at the same time moving my blade in a swift, easy arc, transversely and slightly upward, towards him. It passed through his throat, returning me to the on-guard position. He fell to the matting, his helmet rolling, lost in his own blood. It is an elementary stroke, one of the first taught a warrior.
Raiders

Trained in unarmed combat
"He intends to purchase fighting slaves," said Miles, "and then free them, and organize matches among free men. Have you ever heard of such a thing?"
"There are perhaps places where such things are done," I said.
"Free men fight with weapons," said Miles. "They are not animals."
"Warriors are trained in unarmed combat," I said.
"But only as a last resort, only for emergencies," said Miles.
Guardsman

Trained in precise target areas of the body
With a cry of rage Kisu leaped toward me, the shovel swinging toward my head. I blocked the blow and, bringing about the long handle of my own shovel, struck him a heavy blow alongside of the face. It would have staggered a kailiauk. To my amazement he did not go down. I then, smartly, began to deflect and parry blows. One slash or blow of the shovel would have finished me. I thrust him back twice with the handle of the shovel, the second time plunging the handle into his solar plexus. He stopped, paralyzed by the latter blow. But he did not fall. He could not then defend himself. I was breathing heavily. I did not, of course, strike him. That precise point of the body is one of the target areas taught to warriors. Such a blow is usually given with a thrust of the butt of a spear, generally in the crowding of close combat when you cannot bring the weapon about. He lifted his head, looking at me in amazement. He did not understand how such a blow could have stopped one of his strength. Then he threw up in the marsh.
Explorers

Trained to rely on peripheral vision
Other precise body parts - such as bridge of nose & diaphragm noted
I did not raise my eyes but appeared to be concerned with the paga. I heard him make a sound of contempt. I wondered if he noted that my hand closed more tightly upon the base of the kantharos. I should try to control that. I think, I myself, might have noticed it, in the movement of the upper arm. He stood there, a few feet away. I began to feel insulted. Heat rose in my body. I controlled myself. Surely that is what Dietrich of Tarnburg would have done. I did not look up. Warriors, of course, are trained to rely upon peripheral vision. If he approached me too closely, coming within a predetermined critical distance, I could dash the paga upward into his eyes and wrench the table up and about, plunging one of the legs into his diaphragm. Then in a moment I could have him under my foot or upon my sword. Such authorities recommend breaking the kantharos into shards on the face, marking the target above the bridge of the nose with the rim. This can be even more dangerous with a metal goblet. Many civilians, I believe, do not know why certain warriors, by habit, request their paga in metal goblets when dining in public houses. They regard it, I suppose, as an eccentricity. I heard him make another sound of contempt, and then he strode away, toward another table. He was still alive. I wondered what was in the pouch.
Renegades

Trained to strike precise targets, not hack away
Then it occurred to me that there must be some vital center not mentioned by Sarm, probably a crucial organ or organs for pumping the body fluids of the Priest-Kings, most simply something corresponding to the heart. But of course he would not tell me of this, nor of its location. Rather than reveal this information he would undoubtedly prefer that I hack away at doomed Misk as though he were a block of insensate fungus. Not only would I not do this because of my affection for Misk but even if I intended to kill him I surely would not have done so in this manner, for it is not the way a trained warrior kills.
Priest Kings

Trained in precise usage and control of weapon
"Consider his wounds," I said. "The man I fought was a master, a trained killer, either of the warriors or of the assassins. He struck him as he wished, not to kill but in the feigning of a mortal attack."
Beasts

Trained to be highly observant
"Do you think I cannot tell one Kur from another?" I asked. Warriors are trained in acute observation and retention. The recognition and comprehension of a detail, sometimes subtle, can sometimes make a difference between life and death.
Beasts

Trained to detect hidden weapons
"Between the third and fourth robes," I told her, "there is a sheathed dagger, concealed in the lining. Keep your hands away from it."
"You are observant," she said.
A warrior is trained to look for such things.
Beasts

Trained to listen & be aware
“You should take your breath,” I told him, “before you approach. Too, you should have your arm raised early, that the movement of the sleeve not be audible. Too, you should have the girl, in her diversion, keep her eyes closed. That could be natural enough, and, in that way, you would not be reflected in the mirror of her eyes.” It had not been difficult to detect his approach, even apart from the more obvious clues I had called to his attention. The senses of a warrior are trained. His life may depend on it.
Explorers

Trained to anticipate and handle attacks from behind
The fellow lashed out. What occurred then was done rapidly. I am not certain that all present clearly understood what was done. I caught his wrist and, twisting it, jerked him forward and off balance, at the same time kicking forcibly upwards. I then, bending his wrist back, thrust him to the side. The other fellow was caught with a backwards kick, his steel no more then halfway from its sheath. As I had not been facing him he had apparently been taken by surprise by this blow, by its direction, its nature and force. Untrained men often expect assaults to occur frontally. Various options in the martial arts, of course, are available to the practiced combatant. My blade was free from my sheath before his knees began to sag. I faced the drovers then, my blade drawn. He crumpled to the floor. Men quickly cleared space about us.
Savages

Trained in strategy & tactics
"You anticipate another attack?" asked the officer.
"Perimeters against infiltration," I said. "Preferably with open expanses of delta. Beware of straws, or rence, which seem to move in the water."
"You do not anticipate another attack?" asked the officer.
"The element of surprise gone," I said, "I would not anticipate another attack, not now, at least, not of a nature similar to that which has apparently just occurred."
You speak of simple rencers as though they were trained warriors, of ruses, of strategems and tactics which might be the mark of a Maximus Hegesius Quintilius, of a Dietrich of Tarnburg."
"Or of a Ho-Hak, or a Tamrun, of the Rence," I said.
Vagabonds


Seeking out masters of arms to learn from
That he was now of the Caste of Warriors did not change much with Cernus, of course, save that a strip of red silk, with those of blue and yellow, now adorned his left sleeve. I did know that Cernus had been, for years, trained in the use of weapons. Indeed, he was said to be, and I do not doubt it, first sword in the house. He had doubtless hired masters of arms because he wished to acquire skill in weapons, but I think, too, he may, even for years, have had in mind his investiture as Warrior.
Assassin


War Schools
“So is Dietrich of Tarnburg, of the high city of Tarnburg, some two hundred pasangs to the north and west of Hochburg, both substantially mountain fortresses, both in the more southern and civilized ranges of the Voltai, was well-known to the warriors of Gor. His name was almost a legend. It was he who had won the day on the fields of both Piedmont and Cardonicus, who had led the Forty Days’ March, relieving the siege of Talmont, who had effected the crossing of the Issus in 10,122 C.A., in the night evacuation of Keibel Hill, when I had been in Torvaldsland , and who had been the victor in the battles of Rovere, Kargash, Edgington, Teveh Pass, Gordon Heights, and the Plains of Sanchez. His campaigns were studied in all the war schools of the high cities. I knew him from scrolls I had studied years ago in Ko-ro-ba, and from volumes in my library in Port Kar, such as the commentaries of Minicius and the anonymous analyses of “The Diaries,” sometimes attributed to the military historian, Carl Commenius, of Argentum, rumored to have once been a mercenary himself.
Mercenaries


Training Camps
I inferred then that I found myself slave in a camp of soldiers of some city or country. The camp, however, situated as it was, did not seen an outpost or guard camp; it did not command terrain; it was not fortified; it was too small for a training camp or a wintering camp; too, because of its size, so small, it did not seem a likely war camp; sixteen men quartered here, with two girls as slaves; here there were no armies, no divisions or regiments. There was nothing here with which to consummate war, to repel or launch invasions, or meet in wide-spread combat on great fields. What then, I asked myself, was the nature of this camp?
Slave Girl


Special Training of infantry
The Warriors who flanked the Administrator and High Initiate, incidentally, were Taurentians, members of the palace guard, an elite corps of swordsmen and bowmen, carefully selected, specially trained, independent of the general military organizations of the city.
Assassin

Trained infantry, incidentally, might move rapidly through the streets of a city with shields locked over their heads, much in the fashion of the Roman testudo, but this formation requires discipline and precision, martial virtues not to be expected in high degree of the rebels of Tharna.
Outlaw


I should not have demonstrated the skill with the sword that I had, I supposed. Indeed, I had resolved, as a part of a disguise, to pretend to only modest skill with the weapon, unless it proved necessary to do otherwise. As soon as the two blades had touched, however, I had seen what could be done, and had done it. The matter was reflexive as much, or more, than rational. The steel, as is often the case, had seemed to think for itself. But I did not regret what I had done. I chuckled. Let them see, said I to myself, the skill of one who had once trained in the martial courts of Ko-ro-ba.
Savages

“What is the nature of the training being given the men on Cos?” I asked.
“Infantry training,” he said.
“That is interesting,” I said. it did not seem likely to me that infantry, at least in its normal deployments and tactics, would be successful in an assault on Port Kar. This had primarily to do with her situation, in the northwestern portion of the estuary of the Vosk, the waters of the Tamber Guld and Thassa before her, the vast, trackless marshes of the Vosk’s delta behind her.
“Can it be,” I asked, “that Cos is planning to challenge Ar on the land?”
“That would be madness,” said Samos.
I nodded. Ar is the major land force in known Gor. The Cosian infantry, meeting her on land in open battle, in force, would be crushed.
“It seems clear then,” said Samos, “that they are planning on using the infantry against Port Kar.”
I nodded. Cos would never challenge Ar on the land. That was unthinkable.
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