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Duelists: Kasyr vs Syrri

Duel: Traditional 3 rounds with final defense, 15 minute posting limit.
Stakes: Auto-hit to the winner.
Judges: Daath, Lionel, and Orikahn

Lake Frysta

Even in the dead of winter, one may yet find a fleeting taste of the coming spring. Today, Frostmaw enjoyed the welcome reprieve of bright, warm sunlight. The lake ice has thinned, and animal life is stirring. The steamy weather has roused the winter wolves from their dens, desperate for meat during harsh times. Though they have staked out the forested edges on all sides of the lake in hopes of ambushing the duelists, they dare not venture onto the ice, and for good reason. Indeed, beneath the brittle surface there is frigid, numbing water. To compound the lake's dangers, today's relative warmth has set Lake Frysta's population of Black Sun Koi stirring, and there are some giants among them capable of swallowing a wolf whole--or a tourney fighter. Our fight begins on the lake ice, some ten or so yards from shore. Just onshore there is a simple grandstands set up where, for reasons mysterious, the crowd will be safe from any hazards, be they environmental or otherwise.

Kasyr shivers, if only because he's left bereft of his normal choice in clothes- the sheer weight of his trenchcoat and greatsword having obliged him to abandon them near the shore, if only so that he could safely venture onto the icy surface of the lake, With the only thing to protect him from the still chill climes being a thin sleeveless jacket, and that ever present, ever flowing scarf- it's no wonder that Kasyr seems so cheerful when Syrri arrives. "I'm never being early to one of these again." It's with that Pleasentry aside that the Kensai starts moving, though it's not quite towards the halfing- as the Kensai instead proceeds to (awkwardly) skate across the slick surface of the ice, both to maintain a degree of distance away from the warrior, and direct himself towards one of the many fishing huts present. Within moments of reaching one, he veers around the outerwall, at once for the cover it provides, as well as it's capacity to obfuscate him- as he proceeds to pluck a handful of scalpels out from their sheathes within his jacket. After all, the Kensai's a rather adept Empath, a feat that allows him to sense Syrri's relative location, even despite the physical barriers between them. "Sorry." It's more meant for the huts owner than the halfing- if only because a moment later, the swordsman is imbuing an excessive amount of electrical energy within those metallic shivs, providing them with enough kinetic force that they're more than up to the task of punching through what Kasyr is using as cover, and sending the super heated shards towards the dwarf. It also happens to catch the hut on fire, which is at once awkward, and also has the kensai skating back from what is clearly a crime scene, "-Really- sorry."

Syrri Two years. Two long, terrible years. That's how long Syrri Darkfoot had been under the mountains. That's how long she had endured unmentionable horrors at the behest of Crazy People. There was no other way to describe them, and even now, as she ventured out toward the edge of the frozen lake, she could not shake their tendrils, curling in around the edges of her mind. Layers of fur and leather, alternating in deep hues of Nightstone-blue and pale hoarfrost, were attached by buckled straps, protecting the halfling as she crept closer still toward the delicate depths. Shadows moved under the ice as the lake's inhabitants stirred, but as the cursed young woman's cleated boots first clinked and dug into the fragile ice sheet, her gaze swept toward her opponent. Before today, she had never set chestnut-and-azure eyes upon the Kensai, but someone like Kasyr had stories circulating through even the densest crowds. Swallowing past whatever trepidation sought to grip her chest in a tight vice, her grip on her pair of familiar handaxes flexed. It had been just as long since she'd cleaved with Fate, nor hacked with Luck, and a delicate layer of perspiration coated the leather bindings on either timeworn haft. The sounds of the crowd faded away as stakes were laid out and apologies made. A gelid gust ruffled her silver hair from the careful braids she'd twisted it in, and the plaits flapped behind her as she started to take off toward the Empath. It was wise that he'd chosen to use his energy on the huts rather than her, but it also revealed quite a lot about himself to the axeling. She didn't spare much thought toward the dwarf or what remained of his fishing hut. Her dichromatic sights were locked on Kasyr. Picking up speed, Syrri spotted what she hoped was a thicker patch of ice, and slid toward it. Each tiny footfall wasn't much to fracture the ice on its own, but as she launched herself forward, she kicked off the patch, one of the spikes sending jagged cracks outward like spider webs. With enough momentum, the warrior leaped forward and finally released Fate from her grasp. Her aim was for one of Kasyr's hands, but just as quickly, she sent Luck flying toward the Kensai's head, her boots screaming across the ice as she landed. Even if she missed on either regard, she was kicking into the ice to start charging him again.

Kasyr is still in the process of sliding and woefully eyeing the aftermath of his unplanned for arson, when he becomes imminently aware of a staccato of crackles heading in his direction. The gaze he affixes on the halfling is almost owlish, but once she launchers herself into the air and sends one of her weapons hurling his way- it does worlds for getting his focus back onto the matter at hand. Literally, given that he immediately moves to throw the very hand she'd aimed at towards Fate, albeit with a small addition. Some faint traces of the electrical energy he'd wielded still exist in that hand, and though it's not enough to propel the item, it is enough to slow it so that he can catch it awkwardly within his hands. A clumsiness which only carries over when he tries to block it's twin, Luck. Whilst he does managed to interpose it in the way of the strike and avoid his skull being cleft in two- it does very little to stop the very axe he's wielding being crunched back into his face with enough violence to shatter his noise, and carve open his forehead, setting fresh rivulets of blood trailing over his vision. it's all he can do to keep hold of the axe he'd use in his defense, as his other hand goes to the panicked task of trying to clear his vision. As Syrri's footfalls continue to draw near, the swordsman is left with a singular option in that moment, the likes of which sees the already bleeding wounds on his forehead beginning to propagate, as his flesh begins to disintegrate into sparks. After all, whilst the Kensai isn't particularily adept with axes- he doesn't need to be, if he opens up a conduit to raw elemental electricity, and then channel all of it into the axe as he hucks it down to the ice between them. The explosion of sonic force, nigh akin to a clap of thunder, would be enough in itself to rob someone unprepared of their footing, but the explosion of ice that is sent spraying in all directions certainly provides an added degree of threat, as does the rapidly growing fractures that spread through the ice, enticing the Koi to come up and investigate their newfound access to their grub? It's only in the aftermath that Kasyr considers that he's now been bowled over onto a diminished slab of ice that seems to be tilting grievously towards the water.

Syrri had to retrieve her axes. /Had/ to. It wasn't just that Fate and Luck were her favorite weapons; they were also her only weapons. So she's charging at him, barely sparing half a heartbeat to relish the sight of his blood spilling across his face when the force of his thunderclap slammed into her. It wasn't very many types of magic that seemed capable of disarming the cursed halfling, but this one sends her spinning head over boot in a backward somersault before smacking into the ice with an unhealthy crunch. More uneven cracks spread in the ice from her point of impact, stretching in wide arcs. They nearly mirrored the lightning flung through her ax, serpentining across the lake. Each shard of ice broke off from its mothers and sisters and brothers, floes grinding against each other as the Koi began to nudge at the disrupted sheets. Channels of frigid water were forged between her and Kasyr, but she finally roused herself enough to gather her bearings. It was a hop, skip, and a helluva jump from her berg toward his, but it was the only choice for her: get to him, get the axes, and drive them both further into his cleft head.

Kasyr drags one hand up to his forehead, something that serves at once to help clear his vision, as well as slick back his mess of hair with a mess of icey water and blood. It also helps to provide a snapshot of the complete mess he's made of the area, and the fact that there's an overtly large Koi pushing on the underside of the ice wedge he's seated on, in an effort to tip the Kensai into Frystas frigid waters. As the swordsman is busy trying to both get to his feet and scuttle up the rapidly inclining slat of ice, Syrri is retrieving her arms- which finally leaves him dangling at an altogether odd angle, between a halfling and a hard place. "Could tu-?" There's a sheepish look on his part as she hops towards him, but the murder in her eyes is unmistakeable in the midst of that leap, and serves as a prime motivator for him to relinquish his hold and begin hurtling down. Unfortunately, it never quite reaches that point- as between the ice slabs calamitous angle, his own weight, and the force of Syrri's impact into the point where his head occupied a moment ago- she manages to finish the job that he'd started on this particular bit of sheet ice, sundering it into pieces and sending the pair of them hurtling to the frigid waters below. Aware of the looming, blurbling maw of the Koi below, the Kensai finally reaches down to the Katana sheathed at his side- his thumb flicking beneath the hilt. What ensues is another small burst of electrical energy as the Kensai clears the blade of the sheathe, only it's not into his waiting grasp. Rather, he twists during his fall, so that when it's propelled from it's resting place, it seems hilt first into the kois face- momentarily causing it's mouth to close as it recoils in pain. His proximity and the ambient charge also means he can catch the blade in mid air, the momentum in it's ricochet enough that he can arc himself into a swipe aimed to bisect the likely-also-plumetting halfling. Right before he lands back first onto the Koi, and then slides off it's slimy body and straight into the lakes freezing waters. At least he remembered to hold his breath. Barely. Beyond the chunk he lost glurbling at the shock of the cold.

Syrri; The familiar grip of Fate and Luck were barely in her hands again as the seesawing slab threatened to toss her and her opponent from its slick surface. Whatever more the halfling had managed to do to the Kensai's head, there was no glory in her gaze. Jaw set in a stubborn line, she leapt away from the floe, but her boots slipped, the berg bobbing up and down in increasingly polarizing angles. Out of the corner of her azure eye, she saw the Kensai sliding away from her into the lake, but another Koi had crested to scavenge the remains of its dead mate, its cavernous maw breaking the frigid surface to swallow half whole. But everything after that went dark, light, dark, light. The waters had swallowed her up too, and she was bobbing between the night and the morning, frozen fingers clawing at the nearest sheet of ice, each ax bound to her by its strap around her wrists. Gasping, choking, she gulped down lungfuls of air before diving below, pushing off from the berg to propel herself toward the Empath. One hand reached for his collar, his coat, any semblance of clothing upon which she could grip; but it wasn't to save him. Even in this fated descent, the halfling's stony stare honed in on his blue-cast features, and she swung forward with all her might, through the water, the cold, the sluggishness as it crept into her weary, frostbitten bones. Knuckles white and blue and purple drove toward Kasyr's face, meaning to gouge out his eye before the currents and Koi swayed her aim.

Kasyr feels like he should be struggling, flailing, trying to swim, but the Koi circle about, and a very sick part of his brain starts to graphically depict what it would be like to have a batch of them do whatever the lakeside equivalent of being drawn and quartered is. Maybe it's the earlier blow to his head that allows his brain to drift to the weird tidbit that their teeth are in their throat. In any case, Syrri's arrival actually helps to bring the Kensai out of the shocked fog it's entered, and as she reaches a hand towards him, he finds himself reaching out in turn at what he momentarily perceives as a gesture for help. But as she bypasses his hand and aims for his collar, and that lingering hostility continues to simmer beneath the surface- their circumstances are once more thrust to the forefront of his mind . . . Right alongside her fist. "Glub." That flat bubble is all he manages in that , his head briefly drifting back in time with the current, before he hurls his face towards her hand to throw off her aim, so that knuckles poised for his instead find purchase upon his injured but far more solid skull. It's blindingly painful, especially as they crash into flesh freshly rent by both her and own his machinations. But while it leaves his vision swimming- he still has vision to gripe about. Now, what to do about this drowning. " Blub Blub."

Kasyr feels a momentary slackening of Syrris grip in the aftermath of the headbutt gone awry, but rather then embrace the imminent promise of distance, he reaches out to take hold of her arm- before finally letting out the last of his air in singular 'blub', which translates to "RHEW!" Kasyr, after all, had never relinquished his sword, allowing him in that moment to channel Quintessa's favoured ice spell through his blade, to begin flash freezing the water beneath himself and Syrri with enough violence that it sends the pair of them hurtling towards the surface. Unfortunately for the halfing, whilst the Kensais hold on her means that neither herself nor her axes are liable to be consigned to the frozen depths, she's also able to be used as a battering ram from the ice they come up beneath, which is smashed against their back during their ascent. It's only when they've broken clear of the waters, and the swordsman si finally able to take in a burning breath of air that the rapidly forming pillar of ice begins to lose consistency and veer towards the side- something which sends them both hurling towards the shore- Syrri still being used as an impromptu buffer for impacts when Kasyr uses her to pad their impact with the ground, to boot. That said, he's just going to lie there for a bit in the aftermath, maybe give an awkward thumbs up and spit up the baby Koi he's pretty sure swam into his mouth when he invokved that last spell. "Glub."

Kasyr spits up a bit more water, before going to sit up, looking to be on the verge of responding to Joans offer. Which is about the point that he feels something slosh in his brain, in a more figurative than literal sense. It's a weird, and altogether unpleasant sensation- but one he can't overly afford to acknowledge within the moment, especially not in the face of Joan. Instead, he offers his best fascimile of a smile, and politely accepts, "It's appreciated." Now to go along with the aches of his fresh bruises, and the way the wind gnaws at the exposed flesh on his forehead, he has to mind the aches of his muscles as he suppresses the urge to shiver. He's supposed to be a vampire after all, right?

Syrri didn't have much energy leftover, her muscles and bones still stiff and sore from her time underground. Battered and bruised by the time she is washed ashore, she declined whatever healing or amenities Joan offered, and instead quietly, wearily gathered up her axes and stumbled in the vague direction of home, a sopping, half-frozen mess.

Winner: Kasyr