A Heritage of Power 4: Jerik's Story 9.99:
First Fight

by Fur and Fantasy
PG-13
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

Sir Artus stood a catwalk along one of the Guild's fortified walls, looking down on Tomar, Jerik, Tim, and Quasma; the two Defender/mage teams squaring off against each other. His mage, a female Bear whose dark brown fur matched his own, stood next to him.

"Are you prepared?" He asked the two mages.

"Yes, Sir Artus." The quartet responded in unison.

"Good. Remember what we've been teaching you so far," he told them. "Mages, focus on each other and on keeping your Defender between yourself and the other warrior. Defenders, if your mages take so much as a serious scratch that isn't caused by a spell, it counts against you. Begin," he told them, Quasma quickly moving behind Tim, her staff in both hands as she assessed the pair she was facing.

She knew she had a real advantage if she could goad Jerik into drawing his sword. The tom was not one to stand back in a fight. The down side of the plan was that he could take out all three of them if he really wanted to. It would win her the match, but only prove that he was a vicious fighter in his own right.

She gripped Numin in both hands when she felt his first move, a telekinetic grab for her weapon. With a growl she twisted Numin out of his grip. She quickly cast a spell, her senses moving a few moments ahead, just enough to give her time to warn Tim about what was coming.

Just in time, too.

"Right," she whispered, seeing the sword-thrust Tomar was about to make.

In focusing on the other Defender, she missed the almost instant double-blow of a telekinetic slam down over both her and Tim, and the flash of three small bolts of energy hurtling towards them from Jerik's hand.

She cast her own magic missile, countering Jerik's spell with her own, but couldn't avoid all of the telekinetic burst. Tomar quickly reversed his swing as Tim dodged it, bringing his blade up to parry Tim's counterattack.

"Lower left, knee," Quasma whispered to her Defender. He brought his left knee up, wincing as Tomar clawed at his support leg.

"His left!" Quasma hissed, throwing up a shield spell to try guard against any other magic missiles Jerik might use. She'd fought him often enough already to know that he was unlikely to unless he was having a really brain-dead day, but she had to do her best.

"Duck!" She nearly yelled at Tim when she saw Jerik turned his Glovatrix on the Rottie and fired a moment before it happened. It was too late though, Jerik knew her tactics and countered them with his own type of combat precog. It wasn't as clear as her spells, but it did its job and he nailed Tim in the shoulder with a metal bolt.

Tomar followed the attack immediately, taking advantage of Tim's distraction to lunge into him, sending the Rottie stumbling back. Quasma managed to duck out of his way, but it left her open and exposed for a few seconds that she could already see were going to be 'fatal.' She knew she needed to react fast, and did so, flicking her wrist down, dropping a concealed dart into her hand, and then up at Jerik, hoping she could get it past Tomar and hit the other mage for at least some points in her favor.

Her aim was true; the dart flashed towards Jerik only to have him sidestep it at a completely unnatural speed. She didn't even have a chance to blink before he was shoulder to shoulder with her and Kaul's blade was across her throat with him positioned to carry the strike though to behead her.

"You're dead." He said softly.

"Yeah," Quasma admitted with a grumble, ending the match.

"Defenders, cease!" Sir Artus called out, ending the scuffle that had started between Tim and Tomar while Jerik took care of Quasma. "The match is Jerik and Tomar's."

"Mages, you did well," Elder Guyna said, beginning the critique of the match. "Though you were killed in the end, Quasma, you supported your Defender, attempted to maintain your defense, and didn't give up until it was truly over. Jerik, you take a more dominant role in combat than I typically approve of, but you know that by now. At this point, your skills support you doing so. Just remember that there are more skilled swordsmen out there, and that one of these days you might be facing them without knowing it."

"I understand, Elder." He inclined his head and sheathed his sword.

"As for you two," Sir Artus started, looking at the Defenders as they sheathed their weapons and Tim applied pressure to the small dart wound. "Tomar, you did very well. You didn't interfere with your mage, and you made sure to take advantage of openings he created for you." He turned towards the Rottweiler, who knew full well he'd lost this one spectacularly.

"Tim, you have got to learn to interpret your mage's warnings and directions correctly," the Bear told him. "You did well until the end, but your mage is a Diviner by training. She doesn't have the combat magic most mages do, and most of her spells that are useful in a battle will rely on you understanding her directions in order for them to be useful to you. However, I can't say that I'm surprised by the results of this match. Tim, report to have your shoulder looked at and bandaged, then go back to training with Quasma."

"Yes Sir," the Rottweiler nodded, heading off to do as he was told, Quasma behind him.

"Now, as for you two ...." Artus trailed off, thinking over his options for Jerik and Tomar. "Jerik, it's clear that your combat skills are advanced well beyond the peers of your age group. To a certain extent, they make it difficult to assess your skills at working with your Defender. Are you willing to face a more advanced student?"

"Yes, Sir Artus." He nodded seriously.

"Tomar?" The Bear asked the Rohr seriously.

"Yes Sir," he nodded. "If Jerik is, I am."

"Very well. Apprentice Kyr and his Defenders should be here shortly then."

The plural got Jerik and Tomar to glance at each other. This would be a serious challenge, even more so since they didn't know the Mage's specialty, if any.

"Are you ready to try telepathy in combat?" Jerik asked quietly. "I think we're going to need the extra coordination."

"I think so," Tomar nodded. "Don't know that I'll be able to answer, but we're going to need to pull out most of the stops here."

"Don't worry about answering." Jerik put a hand on his shoulder, his manner very serious but not afraid. "Just accept the information I can give you. At least it's not going to be as bad as the goblins. These guys aren't trying to dice us up for real."

"That always helps," Tomar chuckled as the door to the main building opened and a male Wolf and female Raccoon stepped out, wearing full armor and carrying several weapons.

"That would be the Defenders," the Rohr observed, another Raccoon following them out, dressed in a mage's robes and carrying a heavy, ironwood staff, bound in several points to reinforce it, the finial a piece of flint at the end that had been knapped into a serviceable spear-tip.

"Seems like another Mage who likes to fight." Jerik nodded towards Kyr. "This should be interesting."

"Not surprised," Tomar murmured. "Don't suppose I could talk you into staying out of the thick of it this time?"

"I'll try." Jerik consented. "I've gotten better about using ranged attacks."

"Well, let's see what we can do then," Tomar nodded, moving into a defensive stance as the other apprentice and Defenders prepared themselves. "I think we'll be doing a lot of blocking this time around."

"Yap," Jerik nodded.

"Are you prepared?" Sir Artus asked the two mages now on the field.

"Yes, Sir Artus." They responded in unison.

"Then begin." He nodded, watching intently with his Mage at this very different dynamic and how Jerik reacted to an unknown opponent when outnumbered.

"An improvement." Elder Guyna noted quietly to her primary Defender at his largely defensive posture.

"Definitely." Artus nodded as the match began with Jerik casting a globe of silence spell centered on his opponent while Tomar blocked both attacks from his opposing Defenders.

Kyr responded with a pair of energy bolts from his staff, arcing out of the tip and striking Jerik and Tomar. The Rohr winced, but didn't let it interfere with his counterattack against the female Raccoon defending Kyr. He slammed his sword into her shield with both hands, protecting his exposed flank from her Wolf partner as she staggered back.

"*Wolf behind you.*" Jerik told his partner silently and assaulted Kyr with a paralytic bolt before moving to keep Tomar between himself and the Wolf.

Kyr moved back, his female Defender diving to intercept the bolt. She fell to the ground with a clank of armor, paralyzed as Tomar kicked out with his hind-legs, hammering the Wolf in the stomach and knocking him back.

Kyr stabbed the end of his staff to the ground, the finial flaring up brightly and dazzling the Kat and Rohr.

It was enough for the Wolf to get his sword to Tomar's throat, taking the Rohr out of the fight and leaving Jerik alone against a Mage and Defender.

Another set of magic missiles hit Jerik, nearly taking him to the ground as he recovered his senses. With a deep growl he focused and slammed down on Kyr with a hard telekinetic wave and only just managed to roll out of the way of the Wolf's sword strike.

Kyr staggered back, clearly surprised by the move. He made a motion with his staff, and the Wolf nodded, hurrying around to Jerik's other side, trapping him between the armed mage and warrior, Kyr holding his staff like a spear and watching him warily.

Jerik's body language abruptly shifted, centered and calmed. Kaul was drawn as a sword and lit with magical energy as Jerik went on the pure defensive with his first level of training.

Mage and Defender circled him cautiously, watching his reaction, seeing which of them he was paying more attention to. Suddenly, the Wolf lunged forward, diving off to the side a bit, trying to get close behind him.

He was met with a sword block and telekinetic shove that removed him from the competition for a moment, giving Jerik enough time to lock eyes with Kyr and call on both magical and Force power.

"*Sleep.*" He commanded with both his mind and voice, not ready to admit defeat.

Kyr seemed to shrug it off, finishing his own spell, mouth working silently but on reflex. A large ball of flame appeared, rolling through the air towards Jerik, singing the ends of his whiskers as it stopped a few inches short of him.

"Concede?" Kyr asked him as the silence spell wore off.

"I concede." Jerik nodded and lowered Kaul as warriors did, the ball of flame evaporating in response to his surender. Kyr's two Defenders stood as Jerik ended the paralysis spell, and Tomar hurryed to Jerik's side.

"Excellent, both of you," Sir Artus said approvingly. "Particularly you, Elsa. You've come a long way since you first started training."

"Thank you, Sir," the female Raccoon said, bowing her head respectfully before stretching out stiff muscles.

"Ren, Kyr, excellent tactics once you had Jerik alone, and adjusting to deal with the silence spell. Tomar, you did well as well; good use of your hind-body in the fight. Jerik, your defensive tactics were good, although you do need some practice. Watch out for the lower-level combat spells."

"Yes, Sir." He bowed slightly to the combat instructor and suppressed a wince from the magic missile damage.

Elder Guyna stood, walking down from the catwalk.

"I would suggest taking this before you do too much more tonight," she said, pulling a small vial from a belt-pouch on her robes and handing it to Jerik. "You both did well; Kyr, you should speak with your teachers about recognition as a full mage soon. I recognized at least one second-circle spell cast at third-circle level; you should be a few weeks away from graduating at most."

"Thank you, Elder." Kyr beamed at the serious praise.

"I will, and thank you, Elder Guyna." Jerik inclined his head to her.

"You are dismissed," she said easily. "Rest up; you've both earned it."

Both bowed their heads politely before starting to walk from the battlefield, Tomar next to Jerik and offering him a shoulder for support as they headed for their quarters for a short rest and snack before the afternoon classes began.

"I'm impressed." Keil told them as he walked up with Lina. "You're good."

"Thanks," Jerik smiled at him as the foursome walked together. "It's a very different set of tactics than I'm used to."

"We'll practice against you a few times," Lina chuckled. "You'll get some practice with a combat mage. Most folks around here aren't gonna hammer you as hard as you're willing to hammer them. Still, you did good, making them work for it as much as they did. Elsa's getting damned good, and you were outnumbered because of it."

"Outnumbered and outclassed is an effective way to learn." Jerik said.

"Well, I can't give you that, but you won't get pounded quite so hard with a team closer to your level to spar with." Keil commented.

"Not until tomorrow." Tomar insisted sternly. "You're injured, whether you care to admit it or not."

"Yes, Defender." Jerik rolled his eyes, but his tone was affectionate and teasing.

"Of course not until then," Lina giggled. "If we tried any sooner, we'd all get our asses kicked for doing it."

"So, you two were watching?" Tomar asked them.

"Yep," Lina nodded easily. "It'll be easier for both of you when you're out of the Academy. Here, everybody goes for the mage first. It's easier when the Defender can attract their attention."

"It'll be easier for us when we get out and I'm not all but required to wear robes too." Jerik added. "I do prefer light armor."

"Want me to see if I can work something out for you?" Lina asked him curiously. "I think I could apply most of my current techniques to leather plates as well as metal ones. Wouldn't be as good, but you could wear it under your robes."

"That would be awesome." Jerik looked at her in honest surprise and delight. "I'm not looking to take a pounding like you do, but a little extra protection would be very welcome."

"You wouldn't be able to take it," Lina said honestly. "I'm not even entirely sure if it'll work, and you'll need some work to learn to use it properly, but it'll help."

"Just don't encourage him too much," Tomar chuckled slightly. "He'll get into even more trouble if you do."

"Better to have it than not when I do drag us into trouble again." Jerik winked at him. "I am the one who thinks clearing out the Blight is a fun career choice."

"You're crazier than I am," Keil chuckled, shaking his head. "But that's definitely a sign you'll want some armor."

"It's a family hobby." Jerik shrugged with a grin. "Some of us guard territories, some of us clear them out. We're all a little ... ambitious."

"Just wait - we'll either be partners, or arch-rivals in a few years," Keil chuckled.

"I'll hope for partners, since I like Lina." Jerik winked at her. "She's a cute, feisty little Mouse."

"Thank you," Lina winked back. "Good to know there's somebody else who thinks so."

"So who's the second one?" Keil teased her, earning a gloved fist to the shoulder for his effort.

"Hey, aren't you supposed to be protecting him?" Tomar teased.

"I can't protect him from himself," Lina smirked.

"Just bruise him enough times he learns." Jerik snickered. "If it's possible."

"Nope!" Keil said cheerfully, ducking another playful slug.

"Maybe I should teach him a bit of my combat style." Jerik offered playfully. "He's built for it, and has the spirit."

"Now that's got potential," Keil grinned.

"Not tonight!" Tomar said, shaking his head with a chuckle. "Come on, Jerik. I'm gonna get you home before you manage to talk yourself into breaking something."

"Yes, Tomar." He played at being meek, not that anyone believed it.

It still made his Defender feel good to know he was in such good spirits despite being injured and defeated. Some days he wasn't so suree Jerik could handle loosing.

Days like this helped to reassure him.

A Heritage of Power 4: Jerik's Story 9.99: First Fight

PG-13

16 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written January 4, 2006 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann

Setting: Herath, Star Wars (Furry)

Primary Races: Bear, Canine, Feline, Kat, Mice, Raccoon, Rohr (Herm Wolftaur), Wolf

Contents: Furry. Gen. Violence

Blurb: Jerik and Tomar get some time in the practice arena and face both wins and losses.

Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.

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