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gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

Two stances on the art of knife-fighting

Galeni Rothrilis, Knife-Scholar of Mournhold

Knife-fighting is one of the High Arts, alongside poetry and philosophy. A combat with daggers is not an exercise of personal bravado, or a way of settling tawdry disputes. It is a demonstration of principles and a form of moral instruction for the masses.

All other physical contests are by their nature unequal. In wrestling, one fighter is bigger and stronger. In a sorcerous duel, one participant has a greater innate grasp of magicka than the other. But in an unarmored knife-meeting all that matters is speed, which is a matter of pure will and moral clarity, and knowledge of the appropriate attacks, dodges and feints. When both knives are equally long and sharp they confer no inherent advantage, becoming merely a physical extension of the will of the fighter. Both combatants being of sound body, the only true edge is found within their spirit.

All blade motions have been codified by the Guild of Daggerlads, and it is up to knife wielders to familiarize themselves with these laws. Master the theory and victory will be yours, every time. This is a holy principle in our lands. Why do you think Lord Vivec commanded a blade before taking up the spear?

The Hlaalu reject our stances, and mock the ordered traditions of combat. It is their folly, as they are forced to improvise what we have committed to memory. They favor the reverse grip, the posture of the backstabber, which for us is only deployed by amateurs or the purest masters. It adds strength to the blow, and conceals the attacker’s motions, but it must be wielded with exceptional skill or the wielder risks cutting themselves and defeating their own efforts. See how the knife fight holds a mirror to flawed ideologies?

Anonymous Daggerlad, Narsis

A knife fight at close quarters is an exciting thing to experience. It’s exciting to watch, too, and if you’re as good as I am you can make a pile of money doing it. All sorts flock to our duels. Rich and poor, native and outlander. Soldiers even- folks who fight for a living themselves and think nothing of it, and they’ll pay to watch us face off. Do you know why?

It’s the meeting of two forces. It’s the hundred different skills you need, beyond the obvious nimble fingers. Our pious cousins are right about one thing: there’s a poetry to it. But while for them it’s all rote stanzas in some dead language, for us it’s improvised, freeform verse. People aren’t like those Dwemer cogmen you see children throwing stones at during the harvest fair. They have their own ideas and approaches. Some are braggarts looking to show off. Some get into the knife fights because they just want an excuse to hurt someone. Some have a death wish. These things come out in the way they fight, and two thirds of the duel is about figuring out what kind of fetcher you’re fighting against, while giving nothing away about yourself. That last bit is important- whoever masks their intent best, wins nine times out of ten.

Here’s a tip for free: if you know you have to fight someone, get to know them first. Buy them a sujamma and talk about the old days. If they’re a sensible, suspicious type then you’ll have to settle for spying on them as they go about their business. Learn their reactions, and learn what they’re looking for. Become their friend if you can, then when the time comes cut them for being so foolish. Never fails.

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Last edited by gro-Dhal on Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:39 pm; edited 6 times in total
Post Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:31 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



Oh, this is lovely. One of the best "skill books" I've read. The only hiccup for me is the word 'machismo', perhaps it could be replaced with something else?

The Indoril Tong of daggerlads is a mighty interesting subject. (Since arvis' plans for the Mages Guild in OE involves an Indoril-minded Tong, maybe this could be it?)

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Post Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:44 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

Thanks. I'm particularly pleased you figured out the author was an Indoril as I didn't say so outright.

I want to put in two perspectives. This one, and an opposing view from a Hlaalu knife fighter who fights for profit and plays up the mind game aspect of the duel.

Edit: you're right that if this goes into Data it needs to be a Short Blade skillbook.

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Post Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:25 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Terrifying Daedric Foe
Developer
26 Aug 2010

Location: England

Are these going to be two separate books? They don't fit well together as they current stand, imo. I'm also not a fan of the word 'Daggerlad'.

Apart from that I think they're rather good, especially the Indoril part. Smile

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'The strange thing about TR is that I think it is by and large accepted that we will finish. We are all the sort of crazy people that would do such a thing. We are inevitable.' ~ Thrignar Fraxix
Post Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:22 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

They're two highly contrasting viewpoints that criticise one another, so it's meant to be jarring.

The term daggerlad is one MK uses occasionally and I really like it. It was that and the reference in the sermons to knife-fighting that inspired the whole thing.

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Post Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:40 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Terrifying Daedric Foe
Developer
26 Aug 2010

Location: England

Perhaps there could be a bit of extra text linking the two POV together? Perhaps an introduction, setting out what the author/interviewer wants to achieve?
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'The strange thing about TR is that I think it is by and large accepted that we will finish. We are all the sort of crazy people that would do such a thing. We are inevitable.' ~ Thrignar Fraxix
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Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

For what it's worth, I think it's fine as is.
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