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== Optional Introduction ==
 
== Optional Introduction ==
  
Reginae thought entering a tournament, especially one in Larket, would be the best way to mend possible relations. She had a lot of questions to ask Queen Josleen about how Muzo had come to study witches in the palace and felt like, even though the press published Larket’s surprise and disgust with the experiments, that she knew enough to give her something. Anything. When she arrives at the aforementioned Cemetery, she’s sporting humanoid legs that support a tall, pallid female frame. On her belt, she has two daggers (suspiciously akin to those worn by a certain rogue), and light cloth over her skin. Though she’s in human form, her skin still has the integrity of naga scales. At least, from the waist down. On her arms, she wears two polished black vambraces with gold rivets. Her long white hair is pulled back in a high braided ponytail that reaches down to the backs of her knees. She’s in the process of wrapping the braid into a bun against her skull just as her feet hit cemetery dirt. Her azure eyes cast eagerly across the scene as her opponent had not been announced. She wondered if it might be that terribly destructive Uyeer she faced last year. Or maybe the enchanted crocodile a few years prior.
+
Reginae thought entering a tournament, especially one in Larket, would be the best way to mend possible relations. She had a lot of questions to ask Queen Josleen about how Muzo had come to study witches in the palace and felt like, even though the press published Larket’s surprise and disgust with the experiments, that she knew enough to give her something. Anything. When she arrives at the aforementioned Cemetery, she’s sporting humanoid legs that support a tall, pallid female frame. On her belt, she has two daggers (suspiciously akin to those worn by a certain rogue), and light cloth over her skin. Though she’s in human form, her skin still has the integrity of naga scales. At least, from the waist down. On her arm, she wears one polished black vambrace with gold rivets. Her long white hair is pulled back in a high braided ponytail that reaches down to the backs of her knees. She’s in the process of wrapping the braid into a bun against her skull just as her feet hit cemetery dirt. Her azure eyes cast eagerly across the scene as her opponent had not been announced. She wondered if it might be that terribly destructive Uyeer she faced last year. Or maybe the enchanted crocodile a few years prior.
  
 
Rorin || A small, young, athletic body, clad in a dark long coat, crouches in the top of a large old oak. A face covered by a ghostly mask representing the skull of a raven covers the face of the person within, shrouding them in menacing mystery. Translucent eye-pieces set into the skull show nothing of the thoughts or motives underneath, only a quiet darkness watching in wait. My, my, don’t you look fancy… They think to themselves as they watch their opponent enter the scene. At their side, well within reach, is a severely sharp rapier with a basket handle, and in their right hand rests a small hand crossbow, expertly maintained, currently loaded. This person knows what they’re doing, though they don’t know as much as they could about their opponent. More than human, fast and light. It will require precision and persistence to bring Reginae down, that’s for sure. But what other skills does the lady possess, and what other equipment, perhaps, besides those knives. Questions, questions, everywhere.
 
Rorin || A small, young, athletic body, clad in a dark long coat, crouches in the top of a large old oak. A face covered by a ghostly mask representing the skull of a raven covers the face of the person within, shrouding them in menacing mystery. Translucent eye-pieces set into the skull show nothing of the thoughts or motives underneath, only a quiet darkness watching in wait. My, my, don’t you look fancy… They think to themselves as they watch their opponent enter the scene. At their side, well within reach, is a severely sharp rapier with a basket handle, and in their right hand rests a small hand crossbow, expertly maintained, currently loaded. This person knows what they’re doing, though they don’t know as much as they could about their opponent. More than human, fast and light. It will require precision and persistence to bring Reginae down, that’s for sure. But what other skills does the lady possess, and what other equipment, perhaps, besides those knives. Questions, questions, everywhere.
 
  
 
== Duel ==
 
== Duel ==
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Rorin || The Initiate holds his hand crossbow close, gloved finger slipping down the shaft of the bolt as he whispers a prayer in an unknown tongue. “Be bound by the chains of awful malice, that you should feel the hunters wrath.” Taking slow, careful aim at his prey, the Initiate grabs up his rapier in his other hand and lets his bolt fly, aiming not directly for Reginae, but for the ground beneath her feet. The spells work is automatic, but there is a moment for her to possibly escape, as the bolt explodes and the shards glow with a divine light. Each shard would twist and curve with a strand of light beginning from where the bolt landed, each acting as a thorn, wildly grasping and curving, intended to wrap around the target and drag them to the ground like a net of terrible vines. Leaping from his perch, the Initiate reloads his armament in the blink of an eye, fingers a whirl. Tracking Regi and searching for weaknesses, the Initiate begins to chant another prayer as they close the distance to their prey and attempt a powerful jab with the rapier, Dancing around the graves out of respect, the Initiate circles Reginae as much as possible on the Cemeteries paths, keeping between Regi and the oak trees so that the enemy does not disappear from the Initiate’s line of sight. The rapier’s tip blazing with holy power, they work to make a precise and powerful strike. Stronger than they are fast, the Initiate is keen to take Regi down as quickly as possible, not one to allow a foe they know nearly nothing about to have the chance to get the upper hand.
 
Rorin || The Initiate holds his hand crossbow close, gloved finger slipping down the shaft of the bolt as he whispers a prayer in an unknown tongue. “Be bound by the chains of awful malice, that you should feel the hunters wrath.” Taking slow, careful aim at his prey, the Initiate grabs up his rapier in his other hand and lets his bolt fly, aiming not directly for Reginae, but for the ground beneath her feet. The spells work is automatic, but there is a moment for her to possibly escape, as the bolt explodes and the shards glow with a divine light. Each shard would twist and curve with a strand of light beginning from where the bolt landed, each acting as a thorn, wildly grasping and curving, intended to wrap around the target and drag them to the ground like a net of terrible vines. Leaping from his perch, the Initiate reloads his armament in the blink of an eye, fingers a whirl. Tracking Regi and searching for weaknesses, the Initiate begins to chant another prayer as they close the distance to their prey and attempt a powerful jab with the rapier, Dancing around the graves out of respect, the Initiate circles Reginae as much as possible on the Cemeteries paths, keeping between Regi and the oak trees so that the enemy does not disappear from the Initiate’s line of sight. The rapier’s tip blazing with holy power, they work to make a precise and powerful strike. Stronger than they are fast, the Initiate is keen to take Regi down as quickly as possible, not one to allow a foe they know nearly nothing about to have the chance to get the upper hand.
  
Reginae || The screams and howls of the crowd, not to mention the eerie music coming from somewhere beyond, deafens the woman momentarily. Her long fingers grasp the hilts of her daggers expectantly when no contestant openly emerges in the cemetery to attract her attention. The masked man’s bolt strikes near her boots, causing her to leap backwards in surprise. Her leg muscles move her a great distance, stronger than she appears because of the muscular tail composing them. The vines of line whip around her ankles and slicing at her pant legs. She doesn’t appear fearful or overly concerned about the holy magic but she can certainly sense it. Reginae ducks another thendral just as the man’s rapier is jabbed in her direction. The rapier slices a thin line on her left cheek. A beat later it cuts away the strap that holds her hair, leaving the braid to unfurl like a gossamer dancers ribbon behind her as she moves to dodge. She pivots, rolling her torso backwards to charge under the blade’s attack, a well gripped dagger turned towards the man’s ribs as she hits her knees in the dirt and jabs upwards with incredible speed. She is more speed than force, though she can exceed humanoid expectations effortlessly. Her free hand grips the loose dirt below her, trying to steady herself from the blunt shock of her landing.
+
Reginae || The screams and howls of the crowd, not to mention the eerie music coming from somewhere beyond, deafens the woman momentarily. Her long fingers grasp the hilts of her daggers expectantly when no contestant openly emerges in the cemetery to attract her attention. The masked man’s bolt strikes near her boots, causing her to leap backwards in surprise. Her leg muscles move her a great distance, stronger than she appears because of the muscular tail composing them. The vines of light whip around her ankles and slice at her pant legs. She doesn’t appear fearful or overly concerned about the holy magic but she can certainly sense it. Reginae ducks another tendril just as the man’s rapier jabs in her direction. The rapier slices a thin line on her left cheek. A beat later it cuts away the strap that holds her hair, leaving the braid to unfurl like a gossamer dancers ribbon behind her as she moves to dodge. She pivots, rolling her torso backwards to charge under the blade’s attack, a well gripped dagger turned towards the man’s ribs as she hits her knees in the dirt and jabs upwards with incredible speed. She is more speed than force, though she can exceed humanoid expectations effortlessly. Her free hand grips the loose dirt below her, trying to steady herself from the blunt shock of her landing.
  
 
Rorin || Reginae is far faster than the Initiate had even guessed, impressively so. Perhaps a more defensive structure will need to be taken. She’s rather bendy too, and that hair is gorgeous, but this really isn’t the time to get distracted by a beautiful girl. Stepping backwards to dodge the swift knife striking up at him, the Initiate steps onto a grave stone and becomes unexpectedly grasped by the hand of the undead! Raising his rapier in defense, the Initiate utters a quick word and blasts at his own feet, looking away as a flare of divine glory weakens the hand and hopefully blinds his foe. Instead of taking to the safer paths, the Initiate leaps onto the headstones, reloading his crossbow as he keeps his eyes on Reginae. Chanting something unintelligible, he moves into closer quarters once again, a series of feints from his Rapier intending to keep Reginae guessing as he prepares his next attack. Even with her speed, attacking in a line or a cone might deter her from making a comeback, and in that moment, he’ll have his chance. Swiping the rapier and snapping up the hand crossbow to chest level, the Initiate releases a swift enchantment, this time the bolt exploding outward shortly after fired, a shattering of pieces that embed themselves wherever they can. Around the shards of the bolt grows a thin sheet of what first appears to be ice, but is neither cold nor so weak, instead it appears to be crystallizing stone! With the intent of bringing Reginae down to his speed, and hopefully degrading her reflexes as the crystal grows over her, the Initiate once again brings his Rapier to bare, aiming for her center of mass with all his might. Leaving himself open like this isn’t good, but it may be his only option for ending this fight. As long as a Reginae can’t counter with a more menacing blow, the Initiate thinks of himself as having good chances to survive. What else does Reginae have up her sleeves though? What skills and powers has the Initiate yet to see? Uncalculated for and unpredictable, it’s still possible the risk presented may spell doom for the fighter blessed with the divine.
 
Rorin || Reginae is far faster than the Initiate had even guessed, impressively so. Perhaps a more defensive structure will need to be taken. She’s rather bendy too, and that hair is gorgeous, but this really isn’t the time to get distracted by a beautiful girl. Stepping backwards to dodge the swift knife striking up at him, the Initiate steps onto a grave stone and becomes unexpectedly grasped by the hand of the undead! Raising his rapier in defense, the Initiate utters a quick word and blasts at his own feet, looking away as a flare of divine glory weakens the hand and hopefully blinds his foe. Instead of taking to the safer paths, the Initiate leaps onto the headstones, reloading his crossbow as he keeps his eyes on Reginae. Chanting something unintelligible, he moves into closer quarters once again, a series of feints from his Rapier intending to keep Reginae guessing as he prepares his next attack. Even with her speed, attacking in a line or a cone might deter her from making a comeback, and in that moment, he’ll have his chance. Swiping the rapier and snapping up the hand crossbow to chest level, the Initiate releases a swift enchantment, this time the bolt exploding outward shortly after fired, a shattering of pieces that embed themselves wherever they can. Around the shards of the bolt grows a thin sheet of what first appears to be ice, but is neither cold nor so weak, instead it appears to be crystallizing stone! With the intent of bringing Reginae down to his speed, and hopefully degrading her reflexes as the crystal grows over her, the Initiate once again brings his Rapier to bare, aiming for her center of mass with all his might. Leaving himself open like this isn’t good, but it may be his only option for ending this fight. As long as a Reginae can’t counter with a more menacing blow, the Initiate thinks of himself as having good chances to survive. What else does Reginae have up her sleeves though? What skills and powers has the Initiate yet to see? Uncalculated for and unpredictable, it’s still possible the risk presented may spell doom for the fighter blessed with the divine.
  
Reginae jabs up and, disappointedly, only hits air. She attempts to unleash a follow up swipe with her dagger but she’s startled by the appearance of the hand that springs out of the ground. Shortly after, she’s blinded by the blast the masked man uses to escape the gravesite. Reginae uses her fast footwork to put distance between herself and the man armed with both ranged and close combat attire. The sound of his cloak rustling gives away his position too easily. She’s able to track him and parry his false blows while momentarily blinded by light. Just as her eyes clear enough to retaliate, another bolt is heading in her direction. She lifts her vambrace, hiding behind the dense metal as it turns to vibrate from impact and hardens to stone around her wrist. The blessing doesn’t appear to eat through the metal enough to touch her skin. The naga slacks her left arm, letting the armor fall with a heavy thud into the dirt below. All of her blind running places her near the entrance and attracts the attention of a certain creepy clown. It releases a red balloon with a malicious grin while Reginae again throws herself to the ground with the intention of catching his legs with hers and propelling him up into the air so his footing is lost. Her torn pant legs stir a path of dust as it swings up, aimed at his shins while being mindful of his cloak. The mask he wears makes it difficult to predict his moves. She can’t read his face or glean any information about his intentions. As she moves, ropes appear magically from her fingertips, likewise aimed upperward to curl around his limbs and throw him back to the ground. A secondary line of defense in case he dodges her legs. A split second before any contact, predicted or otherwise, can be made the balloon over both their heads pops. It sends a shower of blood and soft, pink organs splattering all over the ground (and potentially both combatants).
+
Reginae jabs up, disappointingly, only hits air. She attempts to unleash a follow up swipe with her dagger but she’s startled by the appearance of the hand that springs out of the ground. Shortly after, she’s blinded by the blast the masked man uses to escape the grave site. Reginae uses her fast footwork to put distance between herself and the man armed with both ranged and close combat attire. The sound of his cloak rustling gives away his position too easily. She’s able to track him and parry his false blows while momentarily blinded by light. Just as her eyes clear enough to retaliate, another bolt is heading in her direction. She lifts her vambrace, hiding behind the dense metal as it starts to vibrate from impact and hardens to stone around her wrist. The blessing doesn’t appear to eat through the metal enough to touch her skin. The naga slacks her left arm, letting the armor fall with a heavy thud into the dirt below. All of her blind running places her near the entrance and attracts the attention of a certain creepy clown. It releases a red balloon with a malicious grin while Reginae again throws herself to the ground with the intention of catching his legs with hers and propelling him up into the air so his footing is lost. Her torn pant legs stir a path of dust as they swing up, aimed at his shins while being mindful of his cloak. The mask he wears makes it difficult to predict his moves. She can’t read his face or glean any information about his intentions. As she moves, ropes appear magically from her fingertips, likewise aimed upward to curl around his limbs and throw him back to the ground. A secondary line of defense in case he dodges her legs. A split second before any contact can be made, predicted or otherwise, the balloon over both their heads pops. It sends a shower of blood and soft, pink organs splattering all over the ground (and potentially both combatants).
  
 
Rorin || Far underestimated the perceptive powers of his opponent, coupled with her agility. Damning his luck at the heft of her vambrace while it falls to the ground, the Initiate backpedals and concentrates on reloading. For all his trick shots, he hasn’t landed even one. The opponent closes in and makes her sweep, but the Initiate deftly maneuvers into a back flip with ease. During the maneuver, however, the finger ropes catch him up, driving quite the shock of surprise into his system as he had no way to see them coming. Lifted up and pounded down, he flips over with crossbow at the ready, and on his back has the chance to sight the rain of gore coming down before Reginae does. Crossing his arms, the Initiate conjures one of his most powerful spells, despite the drain already caused on his internal stores of energy. An incredible shield, wholly dense, of a translucent red light, comes into being above him before being splattered with gore. Seeing this as an opportunity to act without Reginae being able to predict his movement, the Witch Hunter tenses his body and bursts through the barrier, dropping his hand crossbow and throwing his hand forward, sending out a blast of paralyzing lightning arcing across the battlefield as his hand alights. No matter what he hit, be it Reginae, random person in the crowd, or perhaps one of the undead lurking below the hallowed ground, he would begin to attempt drawing energy from it directly to replenish his stores. Things were down to the wire, both parties having dashed and dodged and partied over dozens of yards. He could only hope Reginae was growing as desperate as he was, as the Initiate had his own dreams for winning this battle, and this tournament.
 
Rorin || Far underestimated the perceptive powers of his opponent, coupled with her agility. Damning his luck at the heft of her vambrace while it falls to the ground, the Initiate backpedals and concentrates on reloading. For all his trick shots, he hasn’t landed even one. The opponent closes in and makes her sweep, but the Initiate deftly maneuvers into a back flip with ease. During the maneuver, however, the finger ropes catch him up, driving quite the shock of surprise into his system as he had no way to see them coming. Lifted up and pounded down, he flips over with crossbow at the ready, and on his back has the chance to sight the rain of gore coming down before Reginae does. Crossing his arms, the Initiate conjures one of his most powerful spells, despite the drain already caused on his internal stores of energy. An incredible shield, wholly dense, of a translucent red light, comes into being above him before being splattered with gore. Seeing this as an opportunity to act without Reginae being able to predict his movement, the Witch Hunter tenses his body and bursts through the barrier, dropping his hand crossbow and throwing his hand forward, sending out a blast of paralyzing lightning arcing across the battlefield as his hand alights. No matter what he hit, be it Reginae, random person in the crowd, or perhaps one of the undead lurking below the hallowed ground, he would begin to attempt drawing energy from it directly to replenish his stores. Things were down to the wire, both parties having dashed and dodged and partied over dozens of yards. He could only hope Reginae was growing as desperate as he was, as the Initiate had his own dreams for winning this battle, and this tournament.
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== Auto-hit Stake ==
 
== Auto-hit Stake ==
  
Reginae trips back into a headstone reading ‘Here lies my beloved wife, unless a necromancer got to her’ jabs it’s weather worn edges into the back of her knees as the so-called beloved wife’s rotting hand shoots up and digs it’s dirt encrusted nails into Reginae’s snowy hair. The clutches bits in the corpses’ hand begins to sizzle,smelling horribly and causing vain panic while she struggles to free herself. She reaches down and pulls the rotting woman out of the ground with all her strength and, seeing the masked man’s undead companion, throws hers into the fray. Her white hair breaks, flying off with the woman’s jumbled body. The two corpses collide with the acidic ball and the body parts sizzle and fly back in all directions. Reginae manages to dodge the debris but one of the pieces of eroding bone leaves a sizeable mark (and a small red burn) through his glove.
+
Reginae trips back into a headstone reading ‘Here lies my beloved wife, unless a necromancer got to her’. It jabs it’s weather worn edges into the back of her knees as the so-called beloved wife’s rotting hand shoots up and digs it’s dirt encrusted nails into Reginae’s snowy hair. The clutched bits in the corpses’ hand begins to sizzle, smelling horribly and causing vain panic while Regi struggles to free herself. She reaches down and pulls the rotting woman out of the loose ground with all her strength and, seeing the masked man’s undead companion, throws hers into the fray. Her white hair breaks, flying off with the woman’s jumbled body. The two corpses collide with the acidic ball and the body parts sizzle and fly back in all directions. Reginae manages to dodge the debris but one of the pieces of eroding bone leaves a sizeable mark (and a small red burn) through his glove.
  
 
*Back to [[The Hero of Freedom Championship 2019]]
 
*Back to [[The Hero of Freedom Championship 2019]]

Latest revision as of 20:32, 12 August 2019

Duelists: Reginae vs Masked Man

Duel: Traditional 3 rounds with final defense, 15 minute posting limit.

Stakes: Auto-hit to the winner, leaving a small permanent scar. Three thousand gold coins to the winner.

Judges: Brennia, Meri, and Natianara


Larket Cemetery

Passing through the gnarled path of the foreboding Eternal Forest you are greeted with the expansive sight of a field of misery. It is a fitting setting for such a morbid scene. An intricately welded iron archway marks the entrance to the final resting place for some of Larket’s bravest citizens and beloved family members. Rich iron letters spelling out Larket Cemetery are stretched out along the archway and the bird of the city, a Lark, flanks the title prominently. Moving through the gates a smooth stone path stretches out over the grounds for the benefit of visiting mourners. The walkway forks to the left where a larger office building sits. Its red oak doors are open wide to let in the sweet scent and smell of fresh, dewy air. Straight ahead rests the gravesites. Markers carved of stone and marble stand in silent reverence for what lies beneath their eternal watch. Closer inspection reveals sentimental words carved into each face along with dates or birth and death. Mothers, fathers, children, and relatives are grouped in small clusters as well. Some sites are littered with poems and flowers from loved ones left behind. Saplings are planted in various spots over the field and adult oaks hang their lazy arms over stretches of stone as if to comfort the patrons of this sorrowful place. Benches have also taken up residence in certain spots so that the weary may take rest beneath the shade of a tree. Another smaller shed on the right bank holds the materials needed by the graveyard staff. At the north end of the cemetery a grey marble path leads to a small clearing set apart from all the rest. Perhaps it is a place reserved for the sturdier figures of Larket.


Environmental Challenge

The Larket Cemetery is rather lively today, as many come to cheer and jeer for the combatants, Reginae and the Masked Man. Both are hopeful to advance to the next round, however, only one will exit the cemetery a champion. Outside of the wrought iron gates, there have been benches placed for those that wish to spectate, and a small stand is erected at the entrance, selling mugs of chilled ale, popcorn, and Larket foam fingers for those that wish to snack or truly get into the spirit of the tournament. A creepy clown walks the perimeter of the gate, and although he’s making balloon animals, all of the children avoid paying him a visit. His costume is in complete disarray with what looks like dung stains, his shoes leave a crimson footprint with each step taken, and his afro points every which way. The disheveled man pauses every few feet to eye the pair within the cemetery, a twisted grin on his painted face, his black eyes plotting something sinister. If Reginae or the Disguised Combatant gets too close to any of the gravestones, they are in ‘grave’ danger of having their limbs grabbed by one of the recently buried. The hand that will snag an ankle or wrist seems to be suffering some sort of corrosion from the minerals in the earth, so as the victim is momentarily held in place, they also will sustain a burn on their flesh, hot enough to pierce armor, as well. It either opponent gets too close to the gates, the clown will release a balloon which will fly over the graveyard… If it pops above your head, you will be covered in incredible gore; a mixture of blood and guts, likely from one of the goats at the nearby stables. A steward clears his throat, casting a wary glance at the clown and speaking over the groans of the zombies beneath the shallow dirty, “On behalf of King Macon, Queen Josleen, and Prince Guillem, I decree that it’s time for the duel to begin. Are you ready, combatants?” He takes a seat on a lone bench, preparing to closely watch the fight, so he can report back to the royals at the castle.


Optional Introduction

Reginae thought entering a tournament, especially one in Larket, would be the best way to mend possible relations. She had a lot of questions to ask Queen Josleen about how Muzo had come to study witches in the palace and felt like, even though the press published Larket’s surprise and disgust with the experiments, that she knew enough to give her something. Anything. When she arrives at the aforementioned Cemetery, she’s sporting humanoid legs that support a tall, pallid female frame. On her belt, she has two daggers (suspiciously akin to those worn by a certain rogue), and light cloth over her skin. Though she’s in human form, her skin still has the integrity of naga scales. At least, from the waist down. On her arm, she wears one polished black vambrace with gold rivets. Her long white hair is pulled back in a high braided ponytail that reaches down to the backs of her knees. She’s in the process of wrapping the braid into a bun against her skull just as her feet hit cemetery dirt. Her azure eyes cast eagerly across the scene as her opponent had not been announced. She wondered if it might be that terribly destructive Uyeer she faced last year. Or maybe the enchanted crocodile a few years prior.

Rorin || A small, young, athletic body, clad in a dark long coat, crouches in the top of a large old oak. A face covered by a ghostly mask representing the skull of a raven covers the face of the person within, shrouding them in menacing mystery. Translucent eye-pieces set into the skull show nothing of the thoughts or motives underneath, only a quiet darkness watching in wait. My, my, don’t you look fancy… They think to themselves as they watch their opponent enter the scene. At their side, well within reach, is a severely sharp rapier with a basket handle, and in their right hand rests a small hand crossbow, expertly maintained, currently loaded. This person knows what they’re doing, though they don’t know as much as they could about their opponent. More than human, fast and light. It will require precision and persistence to bring Reginae down, that’s for sure. But what other skills does the lady possess, and what other equipment, perhaps, besides those knives. Questions, questions, everywhere.

Duel

Rorin || The Initiate holds his hand crossbow close, gloved finger slipping down the shaft of the bolt as he whispers a prayer in an unknown tongue. “Be bound by the chains of awful malice, that you should feel the hunters wrath.” Taking slow, careful aim at his prey, the Initiate grabs up his rapier in his other hand and lets his bolt fly, aiming not directly for Reginae, but for the ground beneath her feet. The spells work is automatic, but there is a moment for her to possibly escape, as the bolt explodes and the shards glow with a divine light. Each shard would twist and curve with a strand of light beginning from where the bolt landed, each acting as a thorn, wildly grasping and curving, intended to wrap around the target and drag them to the ground like a net of terrible vines. Leaping from his perch, the Initiate reloads his armament in the blink of an eye, fingers a whirl. Tracking Regi and searching for weaknesses, the Initiate begins to chant another prayer as they close the distance to their prey and attempt a powerful jab with the rapier, Dancing around the graves out of respect, the Initiate circles Reginae as much as possible on the Cemeteries paths, keeping between Regi and the oak trees so that the enemy does not disappear from the Initiate’s line of sight. The rapier’s tip blazing with holy power, they work to make a precise and powerful strike. Stronger than they are fast, the Initiate is keen to take Regi down as quickly as possible, not one to allow a foe they know nearly nothing about to have the chance to get the upper hand.

Reginae || The screams and howls of the crowd, not to mention the eerie music coming from somewhere beyond, deafens the woman momentarily. Her long fingers grasp the hilts of her daggers expectantly when no contestant openly emerges in the cemetery to attract her attention. The masked man’s bolt strikes near her boots, causing her to leap backwards in surprise. Her leg muscles move her a great distance, stronger than she appears because of the muscular tail composing them. The vines of light whip around her ankles and slice at her pant legs. She doesn’t appear fearful or overly concerned about the holy magic but she can certainly sense it. Reginae ducks another tendril just as the man’s rapier jabs in her direction. The rapier slices a thin line on her left cheek. A beat later it cuts away the strap that holds her hair, leaving the braid to unfurl like a gossamer dancers ribbon behind her as she moves to dodge. She pivots, rolling her torso backwards to charge under the blade’s attack, a well gripped dagger turned towards the man’s ribs as she hits her knees in the dirt and jabs upwards with incredible speed. She is more speed than force, though she can exceed humanoid expectations effortlessly. Her free hand grips the loose dirt below her, trying to steady herself from the blunt shock of her landing.

Rorin || Reginae is far faster than the Initiate had even guessed, impressively so. Perhaps a more defensive structure will need to be taken. She’s rather bendy too, and that hair is gorgeous, but this really isn’t the time to get distracted by a beautiful girl. Stepping backwards to dodge the swift knife striking up at him, the Initiate steps onto a grave stone and becomes unexpectedly grasped by the hand of the undead! Raising his rapier in defense, the Initiate utters a quick word and blasts at his own feet, looking away as a flare of divine glory weakens the hand and hopefully blinds his foe. Instead of taking to the safer paths, the Initiate leaps onto the headstones, reloading his crossbow as he keeps his eyes on Reginae. Chanting something unintelligible, he moves into closer quarters once again, a series of feints from his Rapier intending to keep Reginae guessing as he prepares his next attack. Even with her speed, attacking in a line or a cone might deter her from making a comeback, and in that moment, he’ll have his chance. Swiping the rapier and snapping up the hand crossbow to chest level, the Initiate releases a swift enchantment, this time the bolt exploding outward shortly after fired, a shattering of pieces that embed themselves wherever they can. Around the shards of the bolt grows a thin sheet of what first appears to be ice, but is neither cold nor so weak, instead it appears to be crystallizing stone! With the intent of bringing Reginae down to his speed, and hopefully degrading her reflexes as the crystal grows over her, the Initiate once again brings his Rapier to bare, aiming for her center of mass with all his might. Leaving himself open like this isn’t good, but it may be his only option for ending this fight. As long as a Reginae can’t counter with a more menacing blow, the Initiate thinks of himself as having good chances to survive. What else does Reginae have up her sleeves though? What skills and powers has the Initiate yet to see? Uncalculated for and unpredictable, it’s still possible the risk presented may spell doom for the fighter blessed with the divine.

Reginae jabs up, disappointingly, only hits air. She attempts to unleash a follow up swipe with her dagger but she’s startled by the appearance of the hand that springs out of the ground. Shortly after, she’s blinded by the blast the masked man uses to escape the grave site. Reginae uses her fast footwork to put distance between herself and the man armed with both ranged and close combat attire. The sound of his cloak rustling gives away his position too easily. She’s able to track him and parry his false blows while momentarily blinded by light. Just as her eyes clear enough to retaliate, another bolt is heading in her direction. She lifts her vambrace, hiding behind the dense metal as it starts to vibrate from impact and hardens to stone around her wrist. The blessing doesn’t appear to eat through the metal enough to touch her skin. The naga slacks her left arm, letting the armor fall with a heavy thud into the dirt below. All of her blind running places her near the entrance and attracts the attention of a certain creepy clown. It releases a red balloon with a malicious grin while Reginae again throws herself to the ground with the intention of catching his legs with hers and propelling him up into the air so his footing is lost. Her torn pant legs stir a path of dust as they swing up, aimed at his shins while being mindful of his cloak. The mask he wears makes it difficult to predict his moves. She can’t read his face or glean any information about his intentions. As she moves, ropes appear magically from her fingertips, likewise aimed upward to curl around his limbs and throw him back to the ground. A secondary line of defense in case he dodges her legs. A split second before any contact can be made, predicted or otherwise, the balloon over both their heads pops. It sends a shower of blood and soft, pink organs splattering all over the ground (and potentially both combatants).

Rorin || Far underestimated the perceptive powers of his opponent, coupled with her agility. Damning his luck at the heft of her vambrace while it falls to the ground, the Initiate backpedals and concentrates on reloading. For all his trick shots, he hasn’t landed even one. The opponent closes in and makes her sweep, but the Initiate deftly maneuvers into a back flip with ease. During the maneuver, however, the finger ropes catch him up, driving quite the shock of surprise into his system as he had no way to see them coming. Lifted up and pounded down, he flips over with crossbow at the ready, and on his back has the chance to sight the rain of gore coming down before Reginae does. Crossing his arms, the Initiate conjures one of his most powerful spells, despite the drain already caused on his internal stores of energy. An incredible shield, wholly dense, of a translucent red light, comes into being above him before being splattered with gore. Seeing this as an opportunity to act without Reginae being able to predict his movement, the Witch Hunter tenses his body and bursts through the barrier, dropping his hand crossbow and throwing his hand forward, sending out a blast of paralyzing lightning arcing across the battlefield as his hand alights. No matter what he hit, be it Reginae, random person in the crowd, or perhaps one of the undead lurking below the hallowed ground, he would begin to attempt drawing energy from it directly to replenish his stores. Things were down to the wire, both parties having dashed and dodged and partied over dozens of yards. He could only hope Reginae was growing as desperate as he was, as the Initiate had his own dreams for winning this battle, and this tournament.

Reginae moves into a back handspring when her kick misses, grinning wickedly as the ropes take hold and bind ever tighter around the mischievous man before throwing him down. His rebound and the slippery gore disorient her enough that her fingers recoil and take their original form, letting him slip free. One of her daggers, formerly dropped to the ground when her vambrace turned to stone and left there, is coated too completely by blood and bits for her to find. Luckily, she has another. Azurite eyes turn up, watching the figure shoot through a barrier while hurling a prickling magic down in his wake. Reginae, fearing that ranged combat might be the only means for her success, leaves her other dagger in her belt and pushes her palms together, concentrating hard as a small black ball forms and grows as she pulls her hands apart. When the paralyzing lightning strikes, it hits the bare bit of skin on her ankle where the shredded remains of her pants leg had been. Though she has naga scales to protect her from significant damage, it does push her back from the site of impact and leave her leg momentarily paralyzed. She releases the ball of black energy she’d been cultivating in his direction, weakened by his lighting but still plenty deadly. It’s a balloon of its own; an acidic bomb with a strong enough magical presence to eat through magic barrier and light armor alike, such as the man’s cloak.

Rorin || Feeling his spell make impact, the caster begins to draw energy from Reginae, refueling his own stores to further the fight. His hand and her ankle both come alight, his concentration kept on pulling in more power from her. Seeing her own spell begin to form, the disguised paladin readies himself, looking at the globular bombastic arcana and knowing that his next move can only be made in his own defense. But this gives him an idea. Releasing his draining magic, the Initiate withdraws towards the gravestones, purposefully exciting the undead that he detects within. Grabbing a handful of silver coins from his pouch and throwing it onto the grave before stepping over, he watches a grotesque, decaying pair of hands grab hold of the loose change as instinct from it’s maggoty brain dulls its senses. Grasping the arms with all his might and channeling both long practiced technique and focus, Rorin fully pulls not just the appendage, but the entire corpse from its rest, hauling it over his head and flinging it in the direction of Reginae’s magical attack. If Rorin himself can’t withstand it, why not make someone or something else? Will it be enough? With the ideals of retribution, hope for victory, and the intense struggle between two foes of athletic prowess, does the Initiate have enough left in him to win this fight? With a dream of victory meaning one day facing Larket and revealing the truth behind the mask, the Initiate’s heart pumps with adrenaline. Ferocity, righteousness, the strength of the divine. These are what he has, and these are what will see him through the dark and violent night.

Winner: Reginae

Auto-hit Stake

Reginae trips back into a headstone reading ‘Here lies my beloved wife, unless a necromancer got to her’. It jabs it’s weather worn edges into the back of her knees as the so-called beloved wife’s rotting hand shoots up and digs it’s dirt encrusted nails into Reginae’s snowy hair. The clutched bits in the corpses’ hand begins to sizzle, smelling horribly and causing vain panic while Regi struggles to free herself. She reaches down and pulls the rotting woman out of the loose ground with all her strength and, seeing the masked man’s undead companion, throws hers into the fray. Her white hair breaks, flying off with the woman’s jumbled body. The two corpses collide with the acidic ball and the body parts sizzle and fly back in all directions. Reginae manages to dodge the debris but one of the pieces of eroding bone leaves a sizeable mark (and a small red burn) through his glove.