Thursday, March 6, 2014

The training of a Grelladin Swordsman

The training of a Grelladin swordsman traditionally includes the use of sloar-beast bladders, of which only the seventh and ninth are used.  The others are too small* or, in the case of the fifth, sacred and as such reserved for the High Rituals. 

The bladders are carefully extracted and sealed shut with a small morsel of turtle flesh within them.  As the flesh rots it releases various gases which fill the bladder and inflate it to several times its normal size.  These gases are lighter than air, causing the bladder to float.  Depending on the age, diet, and health of the sloar-beast from which the bladders are harvested, the inflated organ will exhibit various hues – purple, red, yellow, even blue or green. 

The bladders are tethered to weights which secure them to the training floor so they are not carried away into the sky.  Trainees then strike the bladders with their blades.  The tethers are flexible enough and the bladders tough enough that a glancing blow will merely push them aside, bringing great shame to the trainee.

*It is a common misconception that the first through fourth bladders of the sloar-beast are quite large, as the battle-displays of the enraged sloar involve what appear to be greatly inflated bladders along the creature's ventral line.  However, closer anatomical study shows that it is actually the first through fourth penises which are inflated in such displays.  The bladders associated with these penises are actually quite small in the adult sloar, having shrunk to a vestigial state by the third molting.  The eighth bladder and its attendant penis are too horrible to discuss. 

--Steve Kilian


The Blue Lion

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