When it comes to fantasy combat, you think swords, lances, axes, armor, crossbow, and clubs. It’s rare that a character will be known for martial arts unless they use a weapon connected to the style. Dariana doesn’t do anything like this. Her powers do give her a physical edge, but she still needs to factor in the facts that swords cut flesh and armor isn’t very kind to fists. So, what tips would she have to a person who wants to go hand-to-blade in Windemere?
- Dodging is your friend. Blocking a sword with your arm is a one-time trick that tends to fail. Stay out of reach, duck the swings, sidestep the jabs, and wait for an opening that you can strike at. Preferably the head to rattle the brain and make future dodges a lot easier.
- Patience is an essential part of #1. The chance of getting a clear shot at the beginning is very low, so you keep ducking and weaving until you know you can land a blow. Move in too early and you can get hit by something that you’d normally avoid if you were more careful.
- There is a pro and con when fighting someone with armor. The downside is that you can really hurt your knuckles and feet on platemail. You have to find the gaps or try to strip your enemy. If not that then knock them down and throw fair fight rules out the window. On the plus side of things, an armored opponent is slower than you as long as you aren’t in similar clothing.
- Using the landscape to your advantage helps when you’re facing a stronger opponent. If they have a weapon in hand then they can’t grab whatever is around. Get them to focus ahead or above, so they never see what will trip them from below. Areas where you can hide, escape, and come around from another direction should be sought out if you can choose the battlefield.
- Always remember that your leg has a longer reach than your arm, so learn a few kicks for emergencies. For some people, their legs are even stronger and there is also the benefit of a larger swing arc. There is a danger here since this leaves more space for the weapon to strike and you have to perfect your balance. Very few things can get you killed faster than trying to kick and falling on your back.