Alexei acknowledges the difficulty that Fiona adds to a fight. "Well...a smaller target at any rate. But Stephen will not be directly between you. If he is directly between you then if you try to attack or cast a spell you have to get around him. A bit back and then towards the opposite side of his shield arm. So towards your right. If multiple opponents are trying to get past him, then you may have to adjust and get more directly behind him. The nice thing about that situation is that targetting the one that is on his weapon hand side is easier to target and you have little risk of hitting your shield grog."
Alexei stands in front of Fiona so she has a clear view. "Now, watch the footwork. The step is easy, nothing fancy. If you need to move forward take a step with your lead foot, the left and then shuffle the back foot behind it, but never lose their direction. The left pointed towards the front, the right at a 90 degree angle. Do not cross your legs." Alexei takes a quick shuffle step forward with the left and drags the right behind it equally fast. "You are less likely to trip this way, either by encountering something underfoot and by not crossing the legs. Even someone as big as you Fiona could be pushed over with ease if your legs are crossed in mid stride. If you need to step back, then do the quick step with the right foot and then drag the left. You may need to change the feet facing here, but as soon as you've moved to where you need change them back so the left foot is towards the enemy." Alexei demonstrates with a shuffle step back. "If you're neither advancing nor retreating, and the grog is moving side to side, then you are the pivot on a wheel. Merely keep moving the left foot and adjusting with the right to stay in position. When you can do this, you make yourself safer and free the shielf grog to be less concerned about where you are, he can be sure you are in the proper spot and that you will be protected. So, let us see how this works. Stephen, guard me, we shall go through the paces. Gilbert! You are the attacker, take this slow, Stephen, protect me, Fiona please observe."
The other Grog Gilbert bounds up with wooden sword and shield and squares off against Stephen. Alexei immediately falls in behind Stephen and to his right. "En garde!" Alexei commands. "Slowly!" he adds so as to make it easier to see. Gilbert raises his sword and makes a simple probing thrust which is blocked and then begins to make leisurely passes at Gilbert, pressing forward and backing off, circling right and left. Stephen easily matches the pace, never following up very far and wheeling or backing up with confidence. Alexei is always a pace and a half behind him and to the right, their footwork almost completely in sync. "Now, normally I fight as the vanguard, but should I fight as the Magus, I will usually be slightly further back, my talisman as a weapon gives additional reach, when Gilbert comes in and is clashing with Stephen I can probably get a jab in with my staff and deliver a spell by touch. But should you decide mainly to be protected, then shadow the footsteps of your grog. With your height, you need a bit more space back from him, and you likely can still reach Gilbert if you need to."
((The footwork is basically borrowed from Aikido, which based it off of swordsmanship. As artistic as Aikido is, it only has 3 different steps, this is the first one))