The winter days passed as Jerreck tested hundreds of applicants
from the realm. Invited was not only soliders, but anyone who
felt they could have a chance. Jerreck had started by viewing the
troops train, taking a few soldiers aside and asking them to
try their skills under his training. He also held competitions
of physical prowess as well as mental fortitude in the city, where
he after some delibiration was able to handpick a few more.
On February the 4th, 795, he had thirtyfour students gathered
around him on one of the training yards in the Justice Keep. They
were mostly young, but some were as old as fourty. There were also
a few women in the group, easily as sturdy as their male counterparts.
For the first lesson, none of the students had been allowed to
bring any gear other than the simple leather outfits they had been
provided by the army, and a small cloth rug that they would sit
upon in the snow.
"Sit down", Jerreck began. All the students sat down on their rugs,
trying their best to ignore the cold.
"You are here because you think you can meet the requirements to be
Warrior Adepts. We will see if this is true."
He let his dark gaze wander until he found a young red haired man
sitting on his right.
"Bozryn, you and a companion have encountered a dragon, who offers
you a chance to escape with your lives. He presents you with a sword
and with a shield. You get to pick one of these. Which one do you
pick, and why?"
Bozryn tried to keep calm, as he kew the master's eyes were upon him.
Quietly, he thought the situation over for a while before
"Sir, if i know the dragon to be a firebreathing one, i would pick the
shield, sir. If i know that my companion would depend on the sword
more than i, i would take the shield and protect her, sir."
"You have studied your papers well, Bozryn. And why is it that we rather
find ways to shield ourselves and if possible our companions, than to
smite the enemy in hopes to kill it?"
"Because, sir, if we don't manage to kill it, it will lash back and
we will have no protection. If we act as impregnable shields, our enemies
will eventually open up to an attack or even tire themselves out."
Jerreck nodded and started pacing to reach the ears of all his students.
"That is one way to see it, and it comes close enough to the core of
the essence that i will be trying to fuse into you."
He knelt next to a bundle of cloth on the ground. Unfolding it, he pulled
forth a fine broadsword. The students gasped as he swirled it around in
his hands, making some fine weapon drills.
"What do we have here?" He looked around and pointed at a woman in the
back of the crowd. "Corianna?"
"That, sir, is a broadsword."
Jerreck nodded. "Correct. What else is it?"
Corianna shrugged. "Some would call it a weapon. A Warrior, though, call
it a tool, or an extention."
Smiling, Jerreck picked up a rock and held in his other hand. He stood
like that for a moment, weighing the sword in one hand, and the rock
in the other, as if comparing them.
"Very well. Then i suppose we could call this a tool as well then?" He
held out the rock. "It doesn't seem quite as effective as the sword, does
Corianna hesitated and couldn't find an answer to that. Jerreck continued.
"Well, then what if you look at it like this? You are captive in an
underground complex and the only weapon you got is a rock that you
managed to smuggle from your daily work in the quarries. Suddenly you
wish you knew how to use it to its best effect."
"What it's all about, is that a Warrior sees himself as the weapon. The
rest, swords, clubs, rocks, bows, arrows... they are just tools, like
Corianna said. But the real weapon, the only thing worth keeping safe,
He clenched his fist and thrust it towards his chest.
"This is what you can trust and depend on. Your body and mind."
He threw the sword and the rock to the ground.
"Don't misunderstand me though. You should also be able to trust your
companions. Where i come from, great bands of Warriors would always
be successful because they looked out for eachother. They make sure to
quench any arguments within the group, and they don't put their own
interests before those of the group. Remember this."
"Also, don't judge others by appearance. Some of the greatest warriors
of my home are mere windlings... little winged halfmen that fly in the
air. And my teacher, Lugor, was an Ork! Have respect for your opponent.
Many swordmasters will be so busy with flashy moves and insults that
they forget that the quiet opponent might just be analyzing them, finding
a weak spot to strike."
And so the lessons continued throughout the week. The first lessons were
all theory, while at the start of the end of the week, unarmed combat was
taught to the students. Simple but reliable moves were practiced.