The Art of the Sword... Most Thangiens learn to use a weapon as soon as they are able to hold one. There are several schools of weapon training on Thanged: Rait’jaun, Art of the Mace, Rait’huon, Art of the Spear, and Rait’clak, Art of the Staff, but no other school is as widely practiced as Rait’chian, Art of the Sword. Those who master swordplay often distinguish themselves in history either as beloved leaders, cunning generals, or heroes of renown. All weapon schools share the same rank structure, with the wielder of a bouphoran-"laser-blade boomerang"-capable of ascending to the ultimate rank of Metraverse. Roth and Witheren imparted their knowledge of battle techniques to the ancient Freelanders in order to prepare them for future conflicts, and a well-trained swordsman can easily stand toe to toe with a fully-grown Thunthen Nobeyl.
A child as young as five cycles of age (ten years Earth-time) is able to begin training with a weapon, though it takes years to attain the higher ranks. The earlier training starts the easier it is for proficiency to be attained.
Of this school there are six levels: Impacting Asteroid, Sweeping Comet, Solar Flare, Super Nova, Colliding Galaxy, and Metraverse. Each level has a signature moveset.
Impacting AsteroidDefined by use of the pommel to smite and disorient an enemy.
Sweeping CometAgility-based maneuvers focusing on closing the distance to disarm an opponent.
Solar FlareThe emergence of energy-based attacks, empowering a blade to slice through the hardest of armor.
Super NovaAllows a warrior to attack multiple opponents in a short period of time.
Colliding GalaxyThe harnessing of energy to unleash it in a barely visible wave.
MetraverseRepresents the highest achievement of discipline and strength, and as such the omnipotent Metra Wave appears as a massive discharge of energy, the result of the wielder harnessing the Fabric of Being. Very few ever achieve this skill level, but those that do are among the most powerful mortals in existence: people of legend and renown.
Payment & Reimbursement
Currency is seldom exchanged among Thangiens, but proficient warriors are able to increase the status of their respective Houses in battle. Highly skilled warriors are often readily provided with food and lodgings and the promise of induction into Council of Houses member families.
The higher a warrior's skill level, the greater their renown. Ander Vai Stel Vethu broke the Siege of Bainshaebo with a numerically inferior force by maximizing the potential of warriors under his command. The actions of he and his children-also practitioners of Rait'chian-have catapulted the House of St'lur to the rank of First House, next in line for the seat of Watch-Rider
Swordsmanship allows Thangiens to adhere to their philosophy against use of firearms while deploying unconventional battle tactics against technologically advanced foes. An Impacting Asteroid rank deflect or reflect projectiles with relative ease, or a Sweeping Comet vault out of the way of a potentially fatal blast. Most duels are to the death and settled with swords, and frivolous arguments and spurious accusations are swiftly put down by a superior opponent. However the risk of death doesn't always deter stupidity.
Understanding of Rait'chian is an unwritten requirement for higher-ranking Houses, as members must be able to defend their arguments or deter unworthy suitors. Poor training is a death sentence in any of the various Traels. Yainae had seven brothers in her youth, and all of them squandered their lives trying to marry up into the Second and First Houses or settling ridiculous arguments incurred by imbibing too much Moukiri. Nearly all of them were of merely Sweeping Comet or Solar Flare trying to best individuals ranked either Super Nova or Colliding Galaxy. While duels are most commonly fought between men, it is not unheard of for females to defend their families or their children. A notorious case came from a few years ago when local bullies attempted to target the Native-born son of T'plaureth and Aurorakhan, Ph'li. Aurora, a Super Nova rank at the time, used her bouphoran to ensure there were several less local bullies.
Nearly everyone in the city proper is encouraged to learn the art given the availability of weapons, but lonesteaders and modern Freelanders feel no need for such combat theatrics. Skill is not limited to a particular species as Oldworlders and Natives are capable of learning just as well. Das Anazhar famously adapted Dau'che'taun as a Thunthen variation of dueling based on the principles of swordsmanship. Agility, speed, and strength are the primary prerequisites for learning the basics.
MetraverseAzuro, Phaeryn, Nalore, Geiro
Colliding GalaxyAurora, T'plaureth
Super NovaDanae, King Torke, Caroline Wendell
Solar FlareMorind de Witheren, Prince Torehj
Sweeping CometPh'li, Ko'li
Impacting AsteroidYulie Yamano, Australa
First introduced five-thousand years ago by the goddess Wrawthe-who would be later be known as Roth-the Goddess of Victory and the Queen of Triumph encouraged proliferation of the Art of the Sword amongst the populace nestled within Bainshaebo. Initially intended as a means of settling grievances and personal defense, Rait'chian's use grew with the onset of the City Strife. When Das Anazhar arrived two thousand years later demanding the surrender of the populace, the only blood spilled came from Queen Danaetanera III during the famous Blood Walk. It is said Das Anazhar withdrew knowing instead of a standing army he'd face an entire city full of grieving warriors proficient in swordsmanship. Three thousand years later training would explode among all ages with fresh aggression brought about by the Daggur Clan. Ander Vai Stel Vethu famously broke enemy lines at the main gate in a mounted charge using pegacorns to bring high-level warriors close enough to deploy their techniques in the Siege of Bainshaebo, mowing down the technologically-superior Thunthen with relative ease. Highly skilled warriors could use the pegacorn's abilities to compete handily with space-worthy craft such as cruisers and D-class fighters. After the firing of the Vyerrdeklagn during the Battle of Banguk, Ander brought conflict to a swift conclusion deploying a Metra Wave, resulting in the death of Sur Daggur aboard the Roaring Mountain. This also culminated in Ander's ill-fated duel against Sur Daggurs' son, Mal Daggur. Decades later Ander's daughter Chi Chi Lina, Danae secured contact with the Oldworld and the powerful Morind de Witheren. A mere three riders threw the entire Dynasty army into disarray at the Battle of the Citadel combining the technology of their Pegasi and Rait'chian techniques.
Any weapon can be used as a foci for a bearer's skill. Azuro was able to use a Metra Wave with a length of PVC pipe (it disintegrated soon afterward) and Australa used her smithing hammer to execute a Impacting Asteroid maneuver during her escape from the Dynasty. Members of the Morind de Witheren are also able to use techniques whether they use dual-wielded blades or two-handed weapons. Yulie Yamano managed to use a poorly-executed Cresta's Wheel to limited success defending himself with nothing more than a bokken. Aurora's bouphoran is considered a bladed weapon, but its use is not common due to its difficult learning curve.
Aurora reached behind herself and drew out her weapon of choice; the bouphoran, ‘laser-blade boomerang’, a weapon that spanned almost three feet long when fully extended. The energized edge hummed. Aurora squared her shoulders and glared at Phaeryn in an expression not meant to be argued with. “She know how to use that thing?” Kento asked in a hushed whisper. “Aurora is Colliding Galaxy rank. That’s just below Metraverse,” Rowen replied. “I am told that a group of ruffians once tried to shave Ph’li’s tail. They found out the hard way that Aurora is still a daughter of Ander,” Anubis added with a faint smirk.
Weapons in Bainshaebo are commonly made of dererium but any sufficiently-tempered weapon can be used. The higher the skill level, however, the stronger the weapon must be to execute the more complex moves of Colliding Galaxy and Metraverse ranks.
Training can be carried out at any location, be it home or in a public setting. T'plaureth, despite being a Native, is viewed as a renowned Weapons-Master and frequently trains up-and-coming warriors in Bainshaebo.
The highest-level warriors are known as the Metraind and viewed as the first and last line of defense for the people. Warriors of Super Nova and Colliding Galaxy ranks form the bulk of combat-ready forces with Solar Flare providing backup. Impacting Asteroid and Sweeping Comet are considered not fit for front-line combat, being called into reserve only in extreme need.
Dangers & Hazards
Due to the melee-based techniques of lower levels, there is always the risk of suffering injury either from projectiles or melee counter-attacks. Even Metraind are not invincible, as witnessed with Geiro's death at the hands of the Black Unicorn. Ander's forces saw their fair share of casualties during the Siege of Bainshaebo and Memner's great host suffered terrific losses against the Totalitary.
"Hey Danae!” Kento called out. Danae looked up at him. “Can you teach us that move? You know, the one where you broke Black Hawk’s sword?” The Thangien woman frowned and exchanged glances with her companions. “The Cresta’s Wheel?” Rona asked. The three Ronin nodded. Rona chuckled softly. “Not to insult your Legendary status, but such a move is beyond your skill.” “Why would you say that?” Rowen asked. “Well to begin with, it is part of an ancient school of swordsmanship called Rait’chian, or ‘Art of the Blade’."
Danae demonstrated a way of handling a sword by spinning it slowly in the hand, so that the grip rolled over the palm and the fingers seemed to caress the hilt in its cycle. On the second rotation she gripped the sword tightly and threw it into the air then ducked swiftly, as if dodging something. Before the sword had a chance to fall she grabbed it with her left hand and slashed.
Art of the Sword
Wrawthe and Wuerhen set down the codes of combat millennia ago as a means for both defense and the settling of arguments. To Thangiens, if an opponent is slain in a duel, then simply put the victor's argument is superior. Trael de Nuca: Trial of Love Disputes between suitors are settled with a duel to the death. Trael de VaorDispute over property or insult, can end in a draw under the right conditions without loss of life.
“Oh ho! Look, the boy thinks he’s a Ronin Warrior! Hah hah!” Chaizar teased. Balthazar and Scar guffawed heartily, oblivious to the way Yulie held his bokken: mimicking the way Danae held her sword during that morning’s practice session. Chaizar had his eyes closed and didn’t see it coming when Yulie sprang up and brought the wooden sword down hard right between the eyes with a loud smack.
“ENOUGH! I grow tired of this!” Azuro howled and swung his sword about, wrapping the air itself around his blade. Soldiers continued attacking to no avail as the distortion wake shielded Azuro while he geared up for something big. Azuro crouched then sprang into the air, flipping several times before striking the ground with his sword. The blade seemed to fracture and multiple swords of bluish light flew out in all directions. The blades spun through the air as they plowed into all the remaining soldiers. The lifeless husks collapsed to the ground, the Nether essence drifting out of the gaping cuts. “…Uh uh!” Black Hawk squeaked and shook her head before disappearing into the clouds. “And that, ladies, was a Metra Nova,” Tanya explained to the awestruck women.