A Balanced Weapon - RPLOG
It's roughly noon, and Flora is waiting in the training-yard. She's requested a small area to be set aside for personal use, with several straw training-dummies stalled out, along with various archery-targets, on which Flora's placed some cheap, dyed pieces of cloth to mimic the shape of a target.
Beyond that, various swords and hammers are set aside, of various materials and shape, along with a small collection of pistols...
Mal saunters his way into the training yard, looking around for a moment before spotting the noble and heading over. "Afternoon," he says to Flora, grinning. "Can you believe the weather?" Having gotten some sleep, he's much better; his eyes are still a little blood-shot, but not as bad as it was. "Thanks for taking the time to help me, by the way," he adds, looking over the collection of equipment.
"The weather is... Fine, yes?" Flora offers after a short pause, her tails flicking behind her, as she gestures at the swords and hammers, before gesturing at the dummies. "Get a feel, yes. Pick the one closest to mister Mal's old sword first, show Flora how mister Mal would use that one," she offers with a smile on her lips.
Each of the different standard lengths of swords is represented, and there's swords made of quite a lot of metals available, including bronze, various different irons, and of course, the most expensive looking ones few are made of different types of steel...
The Coyote shakes his head, seems Flora doesn't do humor. "Nevermind," Mal says, "Little joke." He looks over the swords, eyeing those of a nicer quality, before picking up a plain, iron blade, not too long in length, and giving it a heft.
He nods and steps up to the dummy, twirling the sword in his hand before slashing at the target, landing a flurry of blows as he dips and weaves, always moving, only stopping to land a particularly hard strike before darting to the side. Just because it doesn't fight back doesn't mean he's going to stay in one spot.
Flora nods lightly, and makes a small note on a piece of paper, jotting down a few marks to identify the sword, and a few notes about Mal's style. "Mister Mal seems to prefer faster strikes, yes?" she offers, as she waits for him to hand the blade back.
"Is mister Mal familiar with the concept of a center of balance?" she offers, gesturing at a small pole she's set up, before carefully balancing the large sword on its side, to offer a small demonstration. "Any other point, and the sword will tip, and fall," she offers.
Mal nods. "Fast strikes. Leave the heavy blows to the ones with all the shining armor," he replies, stepping back from the dummy and turning to hand over the blade, hilt first. He watches silently as Flora talks about Center of Balance. "Of course," he says with another nod, walking over to the table. "What about it?"
"The further the center of balance is from the hand, the harder it is to swing the sword, or hammer. On the other hand, the further away it is, the heavier the blow. That is why a war-hammer packs a punch, but requires a lot of strength to use. A well-balanced rapier, on the other hand, has its center of balance in the grip. That is why a heavy blade has a heavy pommel, too. This is a two-handed sword. It is heavy, it requires a lot of effort to swing, and the center of balance is far from the grip, even with the pommel," she offers as she taps the spot the sword is balancing on.
"Try one of these two," she continues, as she taps two smaller, single-handed swords. One of them steel, the other iron.
Mal rotates his wrist as the Noble talks, and nods. "Alright," he says, looking over the two swords offered, holding one, then the other, giving each a few light swings. He sets the iron sword down, taking the steel blade in his hand and giving it the same twirl he gave the first sword. "Huh. I was expecting something a little...heavier," he says with a shrug, turning back to the dummy and walking over, starting in with another flurry of slashes and stabs, darting and sliding, as before.
"The two-handed sword is only a bit heavier, actually. The difference is the balance. Try picking them up while they are vertical, and mister Mal can feel the actual difference," she offers, her tails twitching behind her. "Less straining, yes? Flora assumes mister Mal can feel the difference?" she offers, as she carefully balances the iron sword, next to its sibling. It's immediately apparent that the center of balance of the smaller sword is a lot closer to the grip, in proportion to its size.
"Aye, less pain in my wrist," Mal replies, stepping back from the target and rolling his wrist. "Didn't really need to switch hands, like I normally do," he comments, eyeing the sword in his hand. The Coyote looks over to the balancing act, nodding. "Make a difference, I suppose. If I'm gonna use a sword like this, gonna need to get used to not needing to toss the sword from hand to hand," he says. "I'd incorporated so many moves into the tossing..." he mumbles, shaking his head.
"That is because it is an one-handed sword, yes. Less tiring to swing, but less reach. If mister Mal wants to continue using a longsword or bastard-sword, though, Flora would recommend fighting two-handed. Flora is... Pretty sure it is bad for the wrist to feel painful, yes," she concludes after a while, before putting the two swords back in the rack. "This hammer weighs the same, if mister Mal wants to try it, but based on mister Mal's style, Flora would recommend the arming sword, yes. A shortsword is also an option, midway between a dagger and a sword, yes. Alternatively, a thrusting weapon might be an option, although it would necessitate a completely different style, yes," the she-cat purrs, a smile on her lips. "The metal... It matters, of course. Steel is more durable, but also much more expensive. And while it takes longer to dull, it will take longer to sharpen again, too," she offers.
"As for pistols... There are a few options, although the differences are smaller."
Mal sets the sword aside and nods. "Don't exactly have the crown to work with steel, sadly," he says, shaking his head. The Coyote looks over the pistols as Flora talks about them, nodding along quietly. "Mind giving me the run-down on pistols?" he asks the Noble. He might know the basics, but considering pistols seem to be all Flora uses, some expert insight couldn't hurt.
"Point, pull the trigger, yes. Simple, effective," Flora offers, rather nonchalantly, as she pulls one of her own pistols from her outfit, priming it, and firing, taking aim at one of the targets, and firing.
"Keep it loaded, make sure there's a safety. Reloading takes a while. If you rely on pistols, carry several, because you don't want to have to reload," she continues, before gesturing at the different designs, with different thicknesses of barrels, as she gestures at them. "Bigger barrel, more power. However, it takes takes more powder, creates more smoke, and the knockback is bigger. Needs a steadier hand, and you can feel it for longer afterwards."
"Keep multiple pistols, the bigger the barrel, the more of a punch it has," Mal repeats, watching Flora before picking up one of the smaller pistols and looking it over. Start small! The Coyote checks to make sure it's loaded, primed, all the good stuff that makes it work. After a moment of fiddling, he holds it up and takes aim, firing at one of the dummies.
"Fire at the targets, not the dummies. Marksmanship is easier to gauge with a target, yes," she offers, as she effortlessly pulls out another pistol, firing the thing at the target. Not quite in the center, sure, but she's pretty close.
"When making a pistol, the barrel is the most important part. Too much powder and a weak barrel, and the barrel might explode," she offers, as she holds up the various, bigger-barreled guns, which seem to have a much thicker barrel the larger they get... "Never fire the first shot with a new pistol from the hand. Test it a few times first. Lock it in place, use a piece of string to pull the trigger from a safe distance, yes. If there is damage to the barrel, start over," she offers. "Beings have blown their hands off with malfunctioning pistols, because they decided to go cheap on the materials.
Mal looks at the targets. "...Oh. Yeah, I suppose so," he says, picking up another pistol. Going up the spectrum, smallest to biggest. He takes aim and breathes, pulling the trigger and letting loose with the cloud of gunsmoke. He coughs and waves his hand, squinting down the way at the target. "...These were all tested, right?" he says after Flora's words click.
"Yes. Flora made these," she notes, as she watches Mal fire the pistol, her ears flicking lightly. "Flora carries at least a few at all times, yes. Just in case the family decides to pay Flora a visit."
"The smoke takes some getting used to. If it's an issue, a lighter gun with smaller bullets is better. Don't fire into the wind if at all possible," she offers, tails twitching behind her. "There are also heavier firearms, yes. Muskets, blunderbusses. Shot-gun. A sort of large-barreled musket. But they are not as easy to carry around."
"I can imagine," he replies, setting the pistol down. Muskets and Shotguns, hmm...maybe there's a Soul for that.
The Coyote takes time, testing the other pistols and getting a feel for them in general. "I will definitely have to consider carrying one of these," Mal says, nodding.
"Gunslinger for muskets and blunderbusses. Cannoneer for shotguns. They're heavier, require a different way of handling them. Not quite as heavy as a hand cannon," Flora notes, as she flicks her tail again. "Muskets take longer to reload, but can fire from further away. A single musketman is not very useful on their own, because it takes a long while to reload. But if a small number of targets need to be taken out, they can be very useful, yes."
Mal nods, setting the last of the pistols down. "Alright. I'll have to look into that," he replies, brushing his hands off. "Though, I have to say; those souls don't sound like they have a lot of mobility," he says, grinning. "Any advice, should someone try building a pistol? Anything to keep an eye out for?"
"Balance. A straight barrel. A crooked barrel means you miss, means the bullet might get lodged, meaning the hot gases will try to find a way out, yes. And that means that they will blow back through the firing-mechanism," she offers. "Make sure that IF that happens, the air goes to the side, not back," she explains.
"Right, to keep the...gasses out of the face?" Mal asks, mentally taking notes; he can write it down later. He also takes the time to look over the design of the pistols and swords here, for a general guideline of framework. But forget the hammers; no Coyote is gonna walk around with a giant hammer so he can hit things...
"Yes. The smoke is bad enough. Add hot gas, and things get dangerous, yes," Flora offers, leaning back lightly, and making sure to load her pistols again, before tucking them away. "Flora can help make some designs, if mister Mal has any other specific requests. There are other design-choices possible with swords, yes. Curved blade, single cutting edge, and so on."
Mal nods. "Ah, thank you. Probably better to get an expert's opinion instead of just running off and trying to build something on my own," he says, rubbing his chin. "Always thought scimitars were a bit...strange. Best to stay safe; straight edge, though how sharp the edges will be..." he murmurs, tapping his chin. "Probably a straight, double-edged blade." The Coyote glances to Flora and grins. "Trying to stick to the original design as much as possible. With a few...important adjustments." Like maybe not being a two-handed sword.
"Nothing wrong with that. Questions are good, yes," Flora offers after a short pause, a small flick of the ears. "Flora can't claim to be an expert on swords, but Flora is good at figuring out how things move, how they should move, and how to make them move better. And in that, swords and pendulums are the same, yes. Well, pendulums are more like hammers. Lots of weight on the end."
"Heh, yes. It's all Hammers and Pendulums," Mal says with a grin. "Thank you for the chance to test weapons outside the norm, Lady Longtail," he says, gesturing to the pistols. "Wasn't as bad as I was expecting; I have a few new ideas to add to the book," the Freesword adds. He looks up at the sky and squints. "Speaking of books, I feel like I should see if I can read a few before the nightfall," he comments, rolling his shoulders. "A little learning never hurt anybody..."
Flora nods lightly once again, her ears flicking, her tails twitching. "Nothing wrong with reading, no. Reading is a good thing. And if mister Mal has any other questions, feel free to ask Flora if mister Mal sees Flora, or leave a note at the manor gates, yes. Flora is always happy to help people, yes."