Part 1 - The Teacher is Met
Shao Ching Ling stood silently next to the fire. Carefully performing each of the 5 forms of the Mage-Kata in slow motion. Feeling the Al'Noth. Becoming one with it. Probing it's mysteries. Letting himself be taken away by it. He felt the familiar feeling of the Al'Noth in his bones, causing them to throb and vibrate slightly as he breathed out and moved to the next form. He was halfway through the form when..
"Hmph. Nice Dance boy." a nearby voice stated through the darkness of Shao's closed eyes.
Shao opened his eyes and looked to see another elf. Finely dressed in the most noble of clothes, staring back at him with a bemused expression on his face.
"Fancy dances and magic tricks will only get you so far, as in dead." The gruff elf said with surety.
"I do not understand. What do you mean by dance?" Shao asked.
The rich elf did a comically exaggerated rendition of the 3rd form and then broke into laughter at Shao, the sound annoyed him.
"Whoever taught you that didn't understand half of what is really out here. Hit me." the strange elf said with complete confidence, as if going around asking strangers to hit him was part of his perfectly normal day.
Shao hesitated, not sure that he heard correctly. Did this foppish dandy ask him to hit him?
"Hit me!" The elf commanded, harshly this time.
Shao struck out on command, his fist balled perfectly aimed according to the 2nd form and it flew out to connect with.. nothing but air! When Shao looked the elf who had been standing in one place was now several inches to the right. Shao lashed out with a foot and nearly fell over when his foot, which he was sure would contact some kind of target, struck nothing but the empty space where the elf had been standing.
The elf smirked. "A bit of advice lad. The best defense is simply not to be there in the first place."
Shao brought the power of the Al'Noth up and lashed out with a powerful spell, one designed to suck the life force from this arrogant fop and leave him exhausted and weak. The elf didn't even move. He just stood straight as Shao's palm struck him in his chest, which felt like an iron anvil in density. Shao felt the Al'Noth flow through his hand and begin to draw on the lifeforce of the impudent stranger.
With nothing more than a flinch of his breast muscle where Shao's hand was resting, the force of the spell was broken, forcing Shao back a step and then out of nowhere a knife palm struck him in his jaw, sending a prismatic spray of colors through his vision. When it cleared he was laying on the dirt next to the fire. He looked up astonished as the elf merely smirked down at him.
"You have some basic magic ability but that won't get you farther than Port Hempstead's sewers. Come with me if you want to LIVE." and with that the elf turned his back to Shao and began to walk away.
Part 2 - The Arena and A Very Big Orc
Before long, Shao found himself standing next the largest sentient beast he had ever seen. It stood 2 heads taller than he and was at least 3 times as wide as his own lithe frame. It was covered head to toe in platemail, and it's toothy jaw was fixed in arrogant bemusement. A few minutes before the nobly dressed elf had spoken to the orc out in the street, out of earshot of Shao, and then the orc smiled a toothy grin and headed for the arena. Each step clopping as loud as that of a shoed horse on cobblestone as he headed for a non descript door down a side alley.
The elf nodded his head towards the orc and bid Shao follow him. Now the giant orc and the elf(who finally made his introductions as "Glitch", though Shao believed that to be an alias) were facing each other in the arena and Glitch was taunting the giant creature with arrogant words about speed versus brawn. The orc was visibly angered by this, his pig nostrils snorting with the building rage as Glitch continued his insulting speech as if this giant beast was a petulant student who had done something wrong in class and nothing more.
The orc finally bellowed in rage and lashed out with a mailed fist. The wind whistled as the haymaker swung fast and wide, but as with Shao earlier, it touched nothing but air and left the orc off balance. Glitch lashed out with a foot and caught the orc in the chest and knocked it back with a grunt. The fight continued, Glitch passing too and fro with unbelievable speed as the orc swung or kicked and failed. The orc then tried to bearhug the untouchable elf. He grabbed hold and lifted the elf high into the air, locked in tight and squeezed with all his might.
The elf merely smiled and then boxed the orc's ears and followed it up with a chop to the throat and the Orc dropped Glitch with alacrity and backed off. Then, with motions so swift as to be nearly unseen he traced a strange symbol in the air and ended with his upturned palm facing the Orc.
Suddenly, the air was rent by a great sonic boom and the Orc was thrown from his feet completely and landed a fair distance away on the arena floor, tendrils of smoke rising from his armor. There was a grunt and a bellow, then silence as the creature lost consciousness.
Shao stood gape mouthed.
Glitch looked at Shao and smiled.
"What would you do with this kind of power Shao? Would you use it for good? Would you use it to keep order in the universe? Or would you use it for your own selfish needs? Tell me now!"
Shao could do nothing but nod, slack jawed and dazed. Glitch merely smirked.
"I will use these powers to protect others and to advance the cause of order in the world!" Shao forcefully replied. He had found the teacher to continue where his human father could not. To teach him as an elf.!
"Then we begin immediately. Now HIT ME!"
A loud "HA!" came from Shao as he lashed out towards his new master.
..and the training began.