freedom_is_grey: (talking over shoulder)
Ysalwen Surana, Warden-Commander of Ferelden ([personal profile] freedom_is_grey) wrote2015-12-21 08:12 pm

Practice makes perfect, or does it?

Liranan keeps himself warm running in circle and occasionally providing a shadow opponent for some of Ysalwen's sword-work. Usually when she is practicing counters.

But right now she's got a book propped open on a rock in front of her, frowning and biting her lip as she moves her wrist like that, keeps her feet set like that, and with her weight on her feet like this --

"Mmmph. No, that wasn't right. Not stable enough. Liranan, bark if my weight is too far over my knee again, thank you."

And back to it she goes.
pro_patria_mortuus: (je ne comprends pas)

[personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus 2015-12-23 03:01 am (UTC)(link)
Enjolras is out for a walk. The grounds aren't so much of interest, especially with the number of times he's traversed the same ground over these months. But the exercise is -- for all his love of libraries and thought and discussion, he's not a man made for a wholly sedentary life -- and sometimes one meets friends or interesting strangers outside.

Ysalwen isn't exactly either, at this point, but she's also definitely not someone he expected to see doing... basic fencing exercises?
pro_patria_mortuus: (here upon these stones)

[personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus 2015-12-23 03:12 am (UTC)(link)
The dog doesn't seem hostile, so Enjolras will amicably mostly ignore him. He can be prevailed upon for some perfunctory greeting ear-rubs if Liranan wants to insist upon them, though.

(Sorry, Liranan. Enjolras isn't much of an animal person.)

"Hello, Warden." It's a formal title, but he says it amicably, in the same tone he'd say her name if, well, she were a man. The narration apologizes for the 19th century in general and Enjolras's formality in specific.

"Are you -- learning sword-work?"

Okay, he knows she's not a delicate sheltered lady, but still. It's not an immediate assumption.
pro_patria_mortuus: (here upon these stones)

[personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus 2015-12-23 03:50 am (UTC)(link)
Enjolras listens to this explanation thoughtfully.

His views of women in battle are not, exactly, what they were. In Paris he was neither opposed to the rights of women, nor especially preoccupied with them -- he held, like many, that it was pragmatic to begin by achieving rights for all men, and extend that to women after the former was achieved -- and he knew of women who fought with men in the streets and on the barricades. It was women in the market, after all, who began and led the march on Versailles in '89. But almost no one, of any gender, truly advocated for women on the battlefield as a good and desirable thing. Battles of any sort are a tragedy, to his mind, even when they bring glory; the violent death of any human being is a betrayal of brother by brother; but men and women are different, and women are gentler, softer, fitted by nature for motherhood and not for gun and sword.

He's read at Milliways of future years, though. Of the armies of other societies, the battles metaphorical and literal of women. It hasn't been a primary focus for him here either, but he's read of it, and he's thought about it, to no immediate conclusion. The future is not infallible, despite its progress; does he agree with later societies' conclusions about the fundamental nature of men and women, and those who feel themselves to be neither? He's not sure.

And yet. To fall back on prejudices and generalities while ignoring the realities and needs of the person in front of you -- that's an easy way to blind yourself to the world, and an unconscionable one. What matters when talking to an individual is that individual, and the realities of her situation.

"I am," he says. "With the saber, primarily. I don't know how similar the style is from the little I saw of yours."
pro_patria_mortuus: (to days gone by)

[personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus 2015-12-23 04:04 am (UTC)(link)
Pragmatism can go a long way. So can a ruthless insistence upon intellectual and moral honesty with oneself.

Sword-work learned almost entirely from a book and solitary practice is --

well, it's doubtless better than nothing. And it's certainly not unprecedented. But it's horribly limited, and it paints a worrisome picture: a slight woman, forced to use a sword in self-defense and dire straits, with only book-learning to guide her arm.

"Thank you."

He will, since it seems a sincere offer. He's curious, and more than that he's concerned.
pro_patria_mortuus: (to days gone by)

[personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus 2015-12-23 04:35 am (UTC)(link)
Enjolras, however, hasn't met Cullen. For all he knows, Cullen is a bookish fellow who dug up relevant books for her.

He nods, listening; he's flipping through, not so much reading as just attempting to scan it for key indications.

"I haven't met Cullen. --I don't mean to push in, m--Warden. It's your project. But I do know something of the sword."

In a style that's divergent in some of its tactics and details, from what he can see so far, but not so different in the elementary basics.
pro_patria_mortuus: (a charming young man)

[personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus 2015-12-23 04:50 am (UTC)(link)
Enjolras's mouth quirks a little, wryly.

"I was never a soldier, no. I fought for my country and the rights of her people, against a government that respected only its own authority."

...Also it was a standard gentlemanly skill to learn at least something of, but that's not what she asked, and it's not why he devoted himself to learning.
pro_patria_mortuus: A few dozen fighters of the barricade sitting together at night, drinking and talking, with a red flag above them (where misery encounters the ideal)

[personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus 2015-12-29 07:39 am (UTC)(link)
"I regret that the fight was ever necessary," he says, quiet and very sincere, "but I can think of no greater honor than to have been a part of it."