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Duelists: Mathollak vs Quintessa

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

Frostmaw Mines

Deep down a forgotten turn, the black mouth of a tunnel stands blocked off by a wooden “X”. Someone has chiseled a warning into the crossed boards: BOTTOMLESS PITS. It’s easy to slip through the barricade, and the tunnel quickly widens into a spacious stretch of open, dusty mine. There are a few lanterns hanging on the support timbers, and they form a sparse grid of light. Each one casts a pool of illumination no more than three or four yards across, and there’s at least that much blackness between them, not to mention the shadows of the timbers. The lazy lighting would be an obnoxious inconvenience under even the safest conditions, but with the pits, it’s deadly irresponsible. Miners had once marked the pitfalls with warning signs, but these have been removed for the duel. Some pits lurk in plain sight. Most lurk in gloomy shadow. Though they vary in width, all of them are large enough to swallow a person whole.

Mathollak swings his axe into a lantern, batting it toward Quintessa. There was almost no chance it would reach her, but its arc created a memorable picture for him. He couldn't see in the dark. Then he rushed her, axe horizontal across his chest, using it like a balance pole while he pressed toward her, keeping close to the wall. When the distance was closed somewhat, he channeled magic from his totem speaking an infernal language. It wasn't for anyone to understand but Delisha. The magic coursed through his hand as he pressed his palm against the wall, and slithered to a particular spot behind Quintessa. The effect was noisy and bright, a crimson spike bursts from the stone wall attempting to lodge into her back, while Mathollak slides his hands down to the butt of his axe, and heaves it in a wide horizontal arc, hoping to catch her dodgy moves in a wide net.

Quintessa cannot contain the horrific laughter that escapes her mouth as her mismatched eyes burrow into Mathollak. As the changeling's chortle echoes through the dimly lit cave, her sinister aura expands slowly as dark wisps of shadow, nearly invisible in the darkness all around them. Her aura quickly extents away from Quintessa's body, reaching out and snuffing the nearby lanterns out to obscure her in the dark. The changeling had ways of seeing in the inky blackness and assumed that Mathollak did not. Seeing the way he searched for her in the dark it would seem her assumption was correct. When Mathollak hurls a lantern in her direction she grins, the light form the object illuminating her just enough to be seen, her sharp teeth gleaming in the low-light. Her grim amusement is cut short, however, as the death knight's crimson spike impales her through her left shoulder. Quintessa grows at him as blood spatters on the stone floor, angry at being fooled so easily. Remembering Khitti's words, Quintessa channels this anger, letting her aura twist and contort around her. "You'll pay for that!" she screams, her sword freed from its sheath just in time to catch his horizontal arc as it deflects over her head. Just as quickly as she drew her blade, Quintessa presses forward, prying herself from the spike and ducking low to dance behind the death knight. With enough force to sever limbs, the swordswoman brings the edge of her sword downward, aiming to chop off the hand that wielded the axe before she slides backwards, giving her just a meter of space to bring her sword back in preparation of a thrust. "Mellt!" she calls, the magic words cause her katana to shimmer with electricity just before she aims an attack for the man's spine. A little mutual impalement would balance this fight out again, thought the magic would hopefully be a shocking surprise.

Mathollak wasn't one to check his attacks, and after his axe sailed over her head, it lodged itself in the stone wall. When he saw her intent, it informed an easy decision. He pulled his hands away from the axe as her sword sung past his fingers. He tried to spin around and be ready for another attack, but he guessed wrong. He wouldn't be able to dodge, but he could choose where to take it. He chose a hand. At the same time the blade impaled his left hand, his right hand arced around her neck to the back of her shoulder where it was impaled. He just wanted her to drop her sword, but it was crackling with electricity. While it coursed through his body, it turned all his muscles tense and made his grip even tighter, and hopefully closing the loop of the electrical current with her body.

Quintessa winces as the pain in her left arm begins to grow and she knows she won't be able to use it for long. The adrenaline was pumping strong but Mathollak's attack must have damaged something vital because the tingling numbness was becoming impossible to fight through. She was confident, however, that she only needed one hand to beat this axe-man. To Quintessa's surprise, however, this death knight was no coward and had no issue taking an impalement through his hand. Had this fight not been in a tournament, the changeling might be tempted to flirt with him for such a ballsy defense. "I don't think so," she mutters, changing the focus of her mana from electricity to something a little harder to turn against her. "Tân Uffern!" she screams, the blade shifting quickly from being electrified to becoming a burning inferno, lighting up the entire area around them. Quintessa tries to break free from of Mathollak's grip, but he had two arms while she only had one. Having no other choice, Quintessa abandons her flaming sword, wrenching herself away from the man before uttering the word "Anweledigrwydd." and her lithe form vanishes in the darkness aided by her invisibility cloak. Her laughter echoes from the darkness again as she circles around him, keeping her location a mystery until she dropped her spell a few yards away. When she finally reappears she has one of Kasyr's scalpels in hand, a memento from a spar they had, and she brings it up before preparing to emulate her other teacher's attack. "Streic mellt!" she calls, letting the scalpel leave her grip as it flies through the air, aided by the electric spell that now enchants the sliver of metal aiming straight for Mathollac's face.

Mathollak gets what he wanted. She released her blade. Of course he wasn't thrilled with the result, but the pain was faint thanks to Delisha's molten brew he imbibed. It gave him a tremendous tolerance to pain, and a mildly increased vitality. He grabs her flaming sword by the hilt and 'unsheaths' it from his hand. It illuminated his face. One side effect of the potion was the enormous toothy grin he couldn't hide. As she turns invisible he swung his wounded hand in a wide arc. His heart thundered in his chest, and jetted blood out of his hand across the field. He saw which ones landed on ground and which ones floated in mid-air, and found his quarry. He knew his potions effects would run out soon, and leave him feeling exhausted. With her sword functioning as his torch, he also had a much easier awareness of the pitfalls surrounding them. He advanced on her relentlessly, so he could see the pits behind her even if she couldn't. He was imminent when she hurled the scalpel, and he bowed his head. It glanced off his rounded red helmet, and tased him. But only slightly. Now she was where he thought he wanted her. He swung the burning sword in wide obnoxious arcs, feints, then interposed a booted heel behind hers and slammed his shoulder into her chest. If she fell back, there would be no ground to catch her. Only the abyss.

Quintessa curses as the death knight begins to wield her own sword against her, but she would not allow him use of her magic too. When the changeling sees Mathollak using her flaming sword as a torch, she chuckles and disenchants it with a flick of her wrist, shrouding the duelists in darkness once again. This pitch blackness was the changeling's safe place and she knew she had the advantage over most surface races when dwelling in it. As her left arms dangles lifelessly at one side, crimson droplets decorating the ground beneath her, she dodges the wild attacks from her own sword wielded against her, ducking and taking small steps back ever closer to the pit that loomed behind her. When she feels the man's boot planted behind her's however, she cannot react soon enough and takes the shoulder to her chest, knocking her backwards and closer to the edge. Her still undamaged arm reaches up to grab the totem that hangs from his neck, keeping from from falling over the edge and into the bottomless pit. Quintessa glances back down the hole for a second before she chuckles grimly in the dark. "If I go down you come with me." she coos to him before lifting her foot up to stomp down hard on his foot with her spiked heel. Even if she missed pulls herself up by his necklace, letting her spike anchor her to the ground as she spins around, shifting the momentum to attempt to hurl Mathollak down the dark hole instead.

Mathollak was in no place to dodge her spiked heel, and he didn't believe he had to. She targeted one of the only places he was armored up on tonight. But she had the angle, and her spiked heel found purchase in the top of his foot. Were it an ordinary shoe, it certainly would've impaled him straight through. He drops her sword and peels her fingers off his chain, blocking her from snapping it. He attempts to talk, and what he tried to say might've been clever. But his lips are permanently peeled back from his teeth as long as his potion fuels him, and its gibberish. Delisha hears him though, and grants his request. This time the magic funnels through his feet and into the ground beneath him. As she pushes him into the hole, another crimson spike erupts from the wall of the pit, he plants a foot on it and leaps to the other side.

Quintessa stumbles away from the pit, frantically searching for the Catalian katana that lies idly on the ground between her and the death knight. This match was fun but Quintessa had had enough. Plucking her sword from the ground before pivoting to witness Mathollak vault over to the other side, Quintessa grins hideously at him before allowing her aura to return to her, the lanterns sheading there light through the mine once more. The hex blade needed all of her remaining mana to put a punctuation mark on this battle. "Rhew!" she calls as she swings her blade, her spell transforming her mystic energies into large spike of ices that hurls toward Mathollak at the crest of her swipe. The spike hits his left shoulder and propels him into the cave wall, pinning him there as she brings up her katana for her finale. "Tân..." the tip of her blade glows orange with heat as her blade is reignited, "-Chwyth!" with the second word of her incantation spoken she snaps her blade down in the direction of her foe and a a large pillar of fire a meter wide blasts from the tip of her weapon and rushes the death knight, engulfing him and her own icy spike in bright flames. As the fire scorches the walls all around him, it melts her first attack and protects Mathollak from the worst of her flames, but her point is made. One last smirk is given to him before she turns away and heads for the exit. "Better luck next time, cutie. I'm sure Delisha is still proud of you."

Winner: Quintessa