Dead bodies were not uncommon in Ferelden, or at least that's what it felt like to Clara. Since she had left Crestwood, she saw them everywhere. First because of the blight, then because of where her mercenary job lead her. So when she saw the rotting corpse of a dead elf as she made her way down to Amaranthine a few days ago, she wasn't surprised.
"Poor sod," she said as Jam sniffed at the body. "Well, I hope you found a better place." It was as Jam was nosing it that Clara noticed the bow that was strung across the back. Clara was surprised. Someone would have looted that ting by now. The bow's oak limbs were beautifully polished and carved with etchings of figures that she had never seen before, she assumed elven gods. Taking advantage of the opportunity that lay before her, Clara gently pulled the bow and quiver (which still had a few arrows left) off of the elf and continued along the road, wondering how much a bow like that might get her at the market.
During the rest of the journey, Clara continued to run her fingers along the bow's markings. Ideas were beginning to form in her mind. She had a number of close calls recently with people discovering her magic. It had crossed her mind before to attempt to learn archery so she wouldn't rouse suspicion, but she never had enough money at one time to afford a bow. Now she had one in her hand that she could take advantage of.
So the morning when she arrived once again at Amaranthine, Clara awoke at the break of dawn and found an archery range not far away to attempt to teach herself how to shoot.
Even before Leliana had arrived in Amaranthine, she had determined to explore the Wending Wood in search of a religious artefact which she believed was mentioned in one of the local ballads. Now she was in the city, she was swift to seize the opportunity and rose early in the day, setting out through the quiet streets towards the main gates.
Passing by some open training yards, she caught sight of a young woman with a fine oak bow in her hands. The bow was indeed beautiful and clearly intended to be held by one who was skilled. Yet the manner in which this particular woman held the object demonstrated a complete absence of knowledge. Slowing in her stride, Leliana watched for a few moments more, but it became clear that the woman would hurt herself and damage the bow if permitted to continue.
She could spare an hour or so. Adjusting her direction, Leliana entered into the training yard, noticing the old Mabari and bowing her head to the creature in recognition. She had no wish to startle either the creature or his mistress.
"Good morning," she called, a smile brightening her features. "It is always a pleasure to meet someone who possesses such a fine bow. The carving is quite beautiful."
Post by Clara Shaltin on Jul 7, 2017 18:36:24 GMT -5
Ok, I have a bow I have arrows, now what? Clara thought. She had seen archers nock arrows before but found that it was a lot harder than she had expected. The string wasn't as pliable as she thought it would be and as she pulled it back with the arrow loosely fitted on the bow, the string sprang back, catching her on the cheek. "Ow." she rubbed her cheek where it stung. She pulled back her fingers to see that she wasn't bleeding.
It was Jam who saw the woman first. He wagged his tail as she bowed to him, still watching her closely as she approached his partner. "Good morning," Clara turned to see a woman with auburn hair approach her with a disarming smile. "It is always a pleasure to meet someone who possesses such a fine bow. The carving is quite beautiful."
"Thank you," said Clara, feeling guilt prick at her heart like tiny thorns. "I thought it was nice, too."
Her greeting was met with barely concealed apprehension. Something which suggested that perhaps the bow had not originally belonged to the woman. Yet so many objects often found their way to new owners.
"Thank you," the woman said, her gaze guilty. "I thought it was nice, too."
Bending down, Leliana withdrew one of the arrows from the quiver, examining the fletchings with an expert eye. These had been fashioned by one who understood the secrets of shooting; that was not this woman. She returned the arrow to the quiver and then stepped closer, examining what carvings could be seen from her new vantage point. Elvhen, she realised.
"It is a quality weapon," Leliana confirmed. "It will take time to learn the skill necessary to wield it effectively. Are you waiting for your trainer?"
Post by Clara Shaltin on Jul 14, 2017 14:23:27 GMT -5
Clara watched the woman examine one of her arrows and the bow itself in a way that told that this person was an expert. She felt even guiltier as gently touched the arrow. This bow belonged to someone who actually knew what they were doing. Someone like her.
"It is a quality weapon," the woman said, "It will take time to learn the skill necessary to wield it effectively. Are you waiting for your trainer?"
"Um, no," said Clara wringing her fingers around the bow, "I can't afford one. I thought I would try to teach myself but - well, you see how well that is going."
The question of a trainer provoked further anxiety in the young woman. "Um, no," she admitted, her fingers curling tighter around the intricate carvings of the upper limb of the bow. "I can't afford one. I thought I would try to teach myself but - well, you see how well that is going."
A complete novice, then. One who possessed a beautifully crafted elvhen bow. "I do not know if you have heard minstrels sing of weapons," Leliana remarked, her smile soft but her gaze sharp. "Ones such as these," she gestured to the bow, "which are cherished possessions. Some stories claim that one who removes a bow from its owner without either need or cause will never shoot straight with it." Having been forced to resort to using the weapons of slain darkspawn had left behind, Leliana could attest to the idea of cursed weapons. But that was not her intent here.
"How did you come by this bow?" she asked of the young woman. "If it is stolen from one who seeks it, you will never learn even the most basic of skills with it."
Post by Clara Shaltin on Jul 16, 2017 13:32:53 GMT -5
"I do not know if you have heard minstrels sing of weapons," the woman's smile was gentle but her eyes looked like they were shooting daggers. "Ones such as these, which are cherished possessions. Some stories claim that one who removes a bow from its owner without either need or cause will never shoot straight with it." What was this person trying to do? Scare Clara into telling the truth? She probably didn't really need the bow, she had magic to defend herself. But the idea of a cursed weapon that wouldn't shoot straight didn't bother her that much. If this plan didn't work out and she didn't learn how to shoot, she would just stop learning to shoot until she found a bow that would work for her. After all, she had her magic. And this would still get her a pretty silver at the very least.
"How did you come by this bow? If it is stolen from one who seeks it, you will never learn even the most basic of skills with it." And there it was, the reason why the woman had threatened her about curses.
"I didn't steal it," said Clara indignantly. If there was anything that she could be proud of it was that she hadn't stolen anything, yet. "I found it."
"I didn't steal it," came the woman's strident defence. "I found it."
"Oh?" Leliana lifted a brow. Her particular skills told her much about people - their tone, their posture, their movements - and she was inclined to believe that her new companion was telling the truth about not having stolen it. But that did not explain how she had found such a beautiful bow. "Such an expertly crafted bow is a rare find, no? I would like to have been so blessed as to find such a weapon as this."
With a soft sigh, Leliana folded her arms across her chest. "My apologies. I only wish to help. If it is truly yours to wield, perhaps you would welcome a lesson on the very basics of shooting? And then no one else will think to question your ownership."
Post by Clara Shaltin on Jul 21, 2017 14:42:53 GMT -5
"Oh?" said the woman, raising a suspicious brow. Clara got a strange feeling that she was looking through her. "Such an expertly crafted bow is a rare find, no? I would like to have been so blessed as to find such a weapon as this." Clara's mind was tossing up and down the idea of telling the woman the truth, but then she thought better. Saying that she found it off a dead body would mean more questions from this person, questions she wouldn't be able to answer.
The woman sighed and folded her arms. "My apologies. I only wish to help. If it is truly yours to wield, perhaps you would welcome a lesson on the very basics of shooting? And then no one else will think to question your ownership." Clara's heart skipped a beat. How could she have possibly gotten this lucky?
"That would be a big help," she said, "thank you so much."
Her offer of assistance was met with an almost palpable air of relief from the young woman. "That would be a big help," she admitted, before adding, "thank you so much."
Giving a nod of acknowledgement, Leliana pressed her hand flat against her chest. "My name is Leliana," she introduced herself, before gesturing that she wished the name of her newest student. "And yours?"
Once the initial introductions were complete, Leliana gestured that the young woman should adopt her stance and walked around her, gaze raking over the way in which she held herself. In fairness, the posture was acceptable for a complete novice and it would not take much instruction to adjust the positioning. The question was whether Clara could hold the stance while drawing back the bow.
"Wrap your fingers around the string like this," Leliana stepped forward and manipulated the woman's fingers around the bow string. No arrow, of course. "Now, attempt to draw it back while maintaining your position. Let me see how you fare."
Post by Clara Shaltin on Jul 30, 2017 18:04:13 GMT -5
"My name is Leliana. And yours?" Clara hesitated for a moment. She hated giving people her name. The last thing she wanted was someone finding out she was a mage and telling anyone about it. She looked over at Jam, who had rested his head against his forepaws and now sound asleep. There was no danger here. She was just learning how to use a bow. Finally, she answered. "Clara."
Almost immediately, Leliana began her lesson. She had her make a stance while she circled around and examined her. After a couple of times around, she returned to Clara's side.
"Wrap your fingers around the string like this." Leliana took her fingers and wrapped them around the string in the proper way. "Now, attempt to draw it back while maintaining your position. Let me see how you fare." Clara ground her feet into the dirt and pulled the string back. She felt her other hand holding the limb of the bow tremble. The fingers that gripped the string were already starting feel sore but she forced herself to hang on. She turned her head tentatively to face Leliana. "Is this right?"
Obligingly, the young woman did as Leiana instructed. There was the expected tremble in her arm as she fought against the tension of the bow, pulling the string back while keeping her posture straight. With a slight turn of her head, Clara looked to Leliana. "Is this right?"
It was. However, they would not progress much further in their lesson if Clara exhausted herself within the first few attempts. Nodding, Leliana stepped forward and held out her hand for the bow, wishing to demonstrate what should happen next. She notched an arrow to the bow and then took up the stance, her muscles well-accustomed to the very real strain which shooting demanded from an archer.
"You will need to practice this form to build up your stamina," she explained, before letting the arrow fly through the air towards the target. "For the moment though..." She turned and looked about the yard, setting her sights on a cache of equipment which, she presumed, belonged to the likes of the Guard. Since no one was using it at the moment, Leliana went across and selected another bow which had far less tension in the string than the one which Clara possessed.
Returning to the young woman, Leliana held it out. "Try again with this. Just until you become familiar with the stance and how the bow should feel in your hands."
Post by Clara Shaltin on Aug 11, 2017 13:13:34 GMT -5
Clara's heart leapt at Leliana's approving nod. She thought that she would fail miserably, even under the watchful eye of a teacher. She watched as Leliana took the bow, notched an arrow, and expertly pulled back the string.
"You will need to practice this form to build up your stamina," she released the arrow and it hit the target with perfect precision. Clara could tell that her new teacher wasn't just a casual archer. The woman that stood before her was a master. "For the moment though..." Leliana left her side and in a few moments brought back another bow. "Try again with this. Just until you become familiar with the stance and how the bow should feel in your hands."
This string was a lot easier to pull back than the other. It still resisted her touch but the trembling in her hand managed to not be as wild as before. She released the string, which made a satisfying twang as it fell back into place before she pulled it back again. She continued to do this several more times.
Watching as Clara continued to practise the form with the other bow, Leliana noted a few other inconsistencies with her posture and made to adjust them, her hands quick and light as she directed Clara's limbs. After a while, she stood back and folded her arms.
"There is little else I can teach until you have perfected this," she remarked. It was impossible that the young woman could be taught more than the very basics in so short a time. "You will need to build your strength and stamina before you can begin to take aim."
She eyed the woman, curious. "How do you defend yourself on your travels?" It was clear that Clara was no noblewoman and so would undertake her own journeys, yet she possessed no obvious weapon to ensure her safety.
Post by Clara Shaltin on Aug 18, 2017 21:05:05 GMT -5
After a while of pulling the bow string continually and being adjusted, Leliana stepped back and folded her arms.
"There is little else I can teach until you have perfected this. You will need to build your strength and stamina before you can begin to take aim," she said.
Clara nodded. "Thank you for helping me," she said. She wasn't sure how much she would improve on her own, but at least now she had a place to start.
Then Leliana gave her a curious look. Clara didn't like that look. "How do you defend yourself on your travels?"
Clara's heart stopped for a moment, as it always did when people pried. "I have Jam. He's a very good guard dog," she attempted to say casually. She was trying best to keep her breathing even, but as she did, she felt her cheeks burn.
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ann: *peeks head in* So, returning rp'er to the dragon age universe. I was wondering who of the staff one should poke about character concept? Just to run it by and get and oki.
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