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Aeterna Roma RPG

The art of punching


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Late October, 76AD

Lucius walked into the Castra with a bit of hesitation. He had passed the building many times, being close to his own family's domus, but this was the first time he had ever been inside. He did so by Longinus' suggestion. Whether he was going to join the legions, or the vigiles, he needed to have some sort of a fighting experience - and who better to learn from than a trusted veteran of the legions, who currently served as praetorian? The guards at the door pointed him out, and Lucius walked into the courtyard where training happened, trying to look confident. He had always been at ease around all sorts of people, but the soldiers put him on edge. He walked up to the young man who, hopefully, had been notified of his impending visit.

"Decimus Rutilius Atellus?" he asked with a friendly smile, masking his hesitation.

@Sains

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It had been some time since Decimus last trained a fresh man during his service. In Britannia there were many times when he'd overseen the training being conducted by several newly appointed Centurions, but every man in the first cohort had been a veteran to some degree. He was truly excited to get the chance to go over the fundamentals again, as it was somewhat easy learning, and had consequently been preparing a small training area off to the side of the courtyard so they wouldn't be bothered by any of his comrades who were hacking away at their own poles.

It wasn't hard to spot Lucius out of the small groups of men wandering around in simple clothing, but the boy didn't appear to be overly scrawny or unsuited for combat. In some ways he looked hardier than some of the boys who got off the boat on the Isle, but only time would tell if he had the makings of a fighter.

"Salve, citizen. I trust you're the one that Longinus speaks of." 

He returned the boys greeting a with a smile and a quick nod, though this smile was soon replaced by a look of general seriousness that would seem all-too-typical of the soldiers walking about the grounds. 

"Are you to be the next Achilles?"

 

@Chevi

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"Salve, citizen. I trust you're the one that Longinus speaks of." 

"Salve. Lucius Vipsanius Roscius. Indeed, Longinus sent me." he nodded, looking curiously around. It seemed like everything was arranged for training. He'd thought that their first encounter would be... a bit more theoretical. War stories, maybe?... But he didn't mind the practice. It made him curious.

"Are you to be the next Achilles?"

Lucius grinned at the question.

"I hope not. I'd rather be someone who survived the war, if that's all the same to you." Short life, eternal fame. The choice had been made for Achilles, but he was not sure he'd choose the same. "I've never been one for fame anyway."

@Sains

 

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The boy's response would elicit an amused smirk from Decimus as he approached to give the boy a once over. As prepared as he may have seemed, Decimus would admit that he didn't quite feel like the old and grizzled veteran that he'd become in Britannia. In many ways, even if he were supposed to be one of the Empire's most elite warriors, he felt far more civilian than he ever had in his service on the frontlines. He'd not been involved in any real fighting for some length of time, and that thought did nothing to comfort the slight ego he'd developed as the leader of the first cohort of a frontline legion. But it wouldn't matter all that much, especially for a boy like Lucius. Even if he smelled better, wore clean clothing, and had lost the paranoia that had come to dominate his mind in the Britannic bush, he could still train the boy to be a decent man-at-arms. 

"Well, we'll see if we can make you into a passable peacekeeper then. They'll teach you how to carry water well enough when you join up, but it pays to be ready to handle any of the drunks in the Subura that give you trouble." 

Even though he was more of a palace guardsman at this stage of his career, Decimus had become fairly well acquainted with the city and its various seedy neighborhoods and troublesome areas. It was well worth knowing what places should be avoided on any form of royal excursion, infrequent as they might be. 

"Ever been in a fight?"  

 

@Chevi

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Well, at least his joke landed, even if his punches were not likely to. Lucius decided Longinus had chosen wisely about a possible teacher.

"Well, we'll see if we can make you into a passable peacekeeper then. They'll teach you how to carry water well enough when you join up, but it pays to be ready to handle any of the drunks in the Subura that give you trouble." 

"That... sounds very useful. Especially because, as I have learned, the vigiles don't get weapons." Lucius pointed out. Not that he had made up his mind yet about joining the vigiles at all. But he liked the possibility.

"Ever been in a fight?"  

"I... can't say I have" he looked a little sheepish about it "Unless you count those times when I was a kid and wrestled with other kids. Not an adult fight, though... So. What do I do?"

@Sains

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"It's a bit different from those matches," he'd begin, smirking at the very thought "But the core idea is the same." 

The boy had the lock of a novice about him, but this was hardly surprising to a man like Decimus who had been tasked with this exact job in the past. It was jarring, learning how to fight, but the ability to put a man in the dirt always seemed to be an epiphanic source of confidence for those who'd never given it a try. That could of course have been because he was training men that intended to learn to kill other men, but he expected that the drive to win in a bout existed in most everyone. To dig a man's fighting spirit out of a lifetime of luxury, however, was not always easy. 

Decimus took a few steps towards a simple pole that he'd set up in their little 'dojo'. It was much like the ones that were hacked at with wooden swords, in fact it was one, but it could be used for more than that purpose. 

"Watch and listen." he'd say, rather stoically. 

"The first thing you 'ought to know about a street fight is that speed is often the decider. You've got to hit first, and in the right spots."

Methodically he'd point to each area that he, apparently, deemed as noteworthy in that line of thought. 

Nose

Stomach

Groin

"No concerns about hitting a man below the belt, I trust?"

 

@Chevi

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"Watch and listen. The first thing you 'ought to know about a street fight is that speed is often the decider. You've got to hit first, and in the right spots."

It was strange, talking about fighting in the streets. His ancestors would have head a heart attack, hearing about such things. Fighting in the legions as a tribune... that was another story. But Lucius found that he was curious about this lesson. At least, if he did decide to join the vigiles, he could use his skills to help people. By punching wrongdoers in the...

"Nose. Stomach. Groin. No concerns about hitting a man below the belt, I trust?"

Lucius arched an eyebrow and winced. Ow.

"Let's say none. As long as I'm the one doing the hitting."

@Sains

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It wasn't hard to admire the boy's spirit. When he'd first heard of this youth he'd feared, despite any assurances from Longinus, that this boy would be yet another noble sprite that didn't quite understand what they were getting in to. Now that was certainly still possible, but the the witty quips that Lucius was putting forward were indicative of the fact that he was at least willing to learn about fighting. 

"As you say!" he'd exclaim "Getting hit isn't the aim, but I'll help you through that too."

Fortunately, Decimus had some pretty recent experience with getting knocked about. Whether or not he'd be able to relate any good advice based on that experience was somewhat questionable, but he could think of a few things that he'd wished he'd done differently that day that might be of use.

"Anyways, lets get to some demonstration." 

He didn't expect that suggestion would garner any great amount of excitement from Lucius, but learning through experience was usually best. 

"Ready your feet and we'll practice the most common attack of your average man. The charge." 

 

@Chevi

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"As you say! Getting hit isn't the aim, but I'll help you through that too."

"Oh, fun." Lucius grinned. It was not gonna be fun at all, is it.

"Anyways, lets get to some demonstration. Ready your feet and we'll practice the most common attack of your average man. The charge." 

Lucius blinked, then spread his feet into a wider stance, and bent his knees. It felt more stable that way. If he was going to get charged... well, that brought back memories, from playing around with other boys his age. However, that had been a long time ago...

@Sains

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