Duel:Berkedai v Deaglan, Match 1 of the 2014 Frostmaw Tournament

From HollowWiki
Duelists: Berkedai vs. Deaglan. 
Duel: Traditional 3 posts each, with final defense. 15 minute posting limit. 
Stakes: Autohit post. Advancement in the Titans of Winter Tournament 2014. 
Judges: Svilfon & Tiphareth

Extravagant Water Garden

Svilfon stands beside the gates which lead to the main chambers of the palace, and though there is a hint of seriousness in his pale eyes, the smile he gives those gathered is jovial and relaxed. “Greetings, Deaglan and Berkedai. Greetings, citizens of Alithrya. Greetings, all those who come to watch this battle.” He tips his hat to those gathered, before flashing another gap-toothed smile. “I am the Sublime Master Svilfon, wizard-knight of Frostmaw, and I'll stand this day for queen Satoshi.” He nods at that, before carrying on – his voice pitched with the skill of an arcane master to reach all the ears of those gathered, despite him seeming to speak rather than shout. “Frostmaw is well equipped with its allies throughout the land, and this coming battle, this tournament, is testament to those alliances. So I thank you, on behalf of Frostmaw and its queen. And I bid you welcome to our home, if ever you seek to visit,” his smile becomes crooked, “of course, as long as your intentions are noble.” With a wink he extends his hands, “When the combatants are ready, the battle can begin. Fight well, Deaglan and Berdekai, for on this day you fight not just for yourselves, but for Aramoth too, and he well rewards warriors who are worthy, as no doubt you both are.” That said, he tips his hat one more time, before relaxing once more against the arches leading to the palace.

Berkedai enters the garden from the north, his small, sturdy horse slogging through the waterlogged streets of the naga city. The nomad comes prepared for his fight, wearing armor made of thin plates of iron sewn in overlapping segments onto a heavy silk tunic. At the herdsman's waist hangs a quiver of arrows and a sheathed sword, and he carries a double-curved bow in his hands, already strung. As he enters the appointed place, his eyes fixate on his foe, his gaze unwavering while the wizard speaks. When Svilfon subsides, the nomad offers him a seated bow from atop his saddle, and another to his opponent, for courtesies must be observed. Straightening, Berkedai calls out a curt "chuh!" to his horse, the sharp sound setting the mare in motion. Although there is not enough room for a full gallop, the horseman guides his mount around the outer perimeter of the gardens, coaxing as much speed as he can on the slick stones, and guiding the mare with only his knees. Grinning at the familiar feel of wind against his face, Berkedai draws an arrow from his quiver, setting the long birch shaft, tipped with iron, to the taut bowstring. With a whisper, he draws a little more speed from his horse before directing his course straight toward Deaglan, drawing and loosing the arrow in one swift motion even as he turns, aiming to strike the brawler in the upper leg: a crippling shot. With practiced speed, he draws and looses again, waiting for the perfect moment of stillness between his horse's strides to send the arrow at Deaglan's chest, now almost point-blank. A swift twitch of one leg is enough to guide the horse around the hopefully vanquished enemy, and as he rushes by the nomad twists in his saddle, loosing one more shaft with withering speed, hoping to drive it through leather and flesh and end the bout with poetic swiftness.

Deaglan stood amidst the gardens, a sentinel, much like the owl lofted above on exotic branches amidst exotic flowers to which the hunter could not prescribe names. This was a beautiful place. An amalgamation of stone and water and life and amidst it all they were to shed blood and play in the oldest and most sacred of games. He knew of horses. Knew of bows. Time melded, slipped, and stretched on. It sharpened, also, the great weight of each second until he felt as though for all the trials and tribulations and struggles and hardships – this was the instant in which those things broke away and the conflict devoured them both. Deaglan moved, not after the nomad’s first arrow was released, but before. Charging him. The horse’s muscled legs rising, falling, as Deaglan’s own churned through leathers to hurtle him across the stones. He had no great struggle with traction. The deerskin on his feet had treads, used to mud, to give him purchase. The first arrow was released and he jerked, pressing to his left, cutting so that it whizzed by him and struck the stones. The next, he cut right, just a moment before it was loosed. It passed closer, though, close enough to punch a hole through the fabric of his cloak and graze along the pauldron of hardened leather at his shoulder. There would be no third, it seemed, as in the next instant he and the mounted nomad were all but colliding. The horse moved to pass him, they were so close he felt the air displace around the powerful creature, and rather than draw the arrows on his back he took up the Ironwood Longbow in both of his hands. His entire body contorted, twisted with effort, slabs of muscle bristling as his bulky and brawny frame threw every ounce of his considerable strength into the stroke designed to bring the wicked blade along the length of his longbow up into belly of the horse as it drew by. Intent on spilling its guts, parting flesh amongst steel, and splashing the stones with the pale coils of intestine the animal held within it. To send it tumbling, rolling, to violently dismount the nomad and perhaps crush him under the dying animal’s weight. Either way, hit or miss, the horse would pass. And he did not anticipate the third arrow, couldn’t have seen it. The birch shaft striking true high upon the back of his left shoulder. Beneath the leather, ratty as it was, lay elvish mail. It could not stop the arrow’s point, which spread the tiny rings, dug into his skin and the muscle beyond. Fortunate, though, that the armor slowed it. The wound more shallow than intended. The sound of water. A graceful thing. Unlike the throes of a once proud creature dying amidst the gardens. Unlike the sound of arrows biting into flesh and the contest’s sudden start.

Berkedai hears the mare scream as the blade tears her flesh, feels her feet falter as her life drains away. With a muttered curse, he flings his bow to one side, hoping against hope that the valuable weapon will not be damaged too much by the fall. In the same heartbeat, he kicks his feet free of the stirrups so that, as the mare's legs fold up under her, he can launch himself away, hitting the ground with a wet smack as he rolls, keeping clear of the last few thrashes of his mount's hooves. Berkedai pulls himself to his feet, his face a cold mask as he looks upon his dead steed for an instant, no more. Turning back toward his foe, the herdsman draws his sword, revealing a curved, well-worn blade, lacking in any ornament whatsoever; a tool, nothing more, nothing less. With his other hand he takes out his knife, the short blade as ordinary as the longer one. Dropping into a half-crouch to retain his balance on the slick stones, the nomad darts toward Deaglan, warily watching the other man's bow. Moving as swiftly as he can to avoid giving the half-elf time to feather him with arrows, Berkedai hacks out with the heavy blade in a backhanded swing aimed to bite the hunter where his neck and shoulder meet, deadly enough if the man is not ready. But the nomad is certain that he will be, so he follows through with a lunge, hoping that, should Deaglan block the initial slash, he will be unready for the blocked blade to slide suddenly forward, the tip aimed to take the hunter through the throat. Continuing on into his opponent, Berkedai thrusts with his knife, hoping to bury the blade in the pit of Deaglan's gut, where he can wrench and twist it before withdrawing.

Anton sits quietly watching the duel. A grin crosses his face as his familiar moves to Lita passing behind her brushing up against her leg upon contact Anton says a stream of words causing a arctic feel to emit from the famliars touch before it continues on its wandering path. 

Vuryal hovers freely about, waiting to make his appearance known as his "special lab" waits eagerly for him nearby.

Tyler had been simply passing through the area, the malnourished human garbed in simple torn clothing as the duel before him catches his eye. Despite his attempts to continue on through this forsaken place, he can't seem to break his gaze and eventually takes up a spot beside Anton, his caramel gaze locked on the combatants at hand.

Deaglan rounded, even as the horse buckled, his face a grim mask as pain lit up through him with the arrow’s tip buried in the meat of his shoulder. It wasn’t lethal, not nearly, but he’d no time to address it. Blood welled from the hole in his armor, in the chain and leather, splashing crimson amidst the wet stones and along his back. The scent of it was raw, coppery, thick in the air as the man rose, drew his sword, charged on. Charged in. In the garden’s closed confines the sound of steel meeting steel was deafening as the hunter one half of the bladed bow to meet the sword’s slash. The impact rippled through his arms, corded muscles tightening in defiance, before his keen eyes caught the lunge as it started and he pressed the man’s blade aside. He’d seen the knife, anticipated it, but in that instant could not move enough to avoid it entirely. The blade punched into his leather, splitting it open, and found the chain mail beneath. It was the chain that saved him, that turned the blade, which punched through it and grazed along the hard stretch of his abdomen that tore a rend deeply and peeled back flesh to expose pink, raw muscle beneath. The blood from the wound was immediate. Hot. Bright with life. The hunter rode the pain, used to it, familiar with all the darkness and the shadow in the world and the hardships that were embraced. He rode the pain, used his momentum, and twisted so that the bottom length of the longbow, which sported the glistening blade of the top without blood to mark it worn, swung out in an uppercut strike designed to cleave the man’s legs off at the knees. Or, in the very least, bite deep into the flesh there and sweep his balance out from beneath him. Already, soaked by the dying animal’s last throes and the great gout of blood pouring from its opened belly, the floor to the hall lay covered in watered red. The stench of death, sweat, and the grim certainty of a terrible end swirling to stand in bold contrast to the once vibrant liveliness of the gardens before. Above them all, silent and grim, the owl stood a cold witness.

Tyler winces and his face pulls back in a look of disgust as blood begins to pour from the pin-cushion known as Deaglan. It's at that moment that the human decides he is rooting for the opposing party in the duel. After all, join the winning team, right? A bit of excitiment boils up as he cries out a cheer in Berkedai's favor.

Tristram made his way into the spectators' area with Terra, quietly taking his seat there so as not to detract from the current spectacle.

Anton places a simple hand on Tyler hoping the simple touch goes un-noticed. A soft word is spoken as to not disrupt the contest should both go unnoticed a spell of temporary blindness would be cast upon the necromancers neighbor that would last just the duration of the contest. 

Berkedai , when he realizes that his attack has failed, pulls back, trying his hardest to disengage before the strange bow can touch him. He frees his sword, at least, and swings it blindly down in a panic, the awkward blow clanging metal against metal, slowing the bow's approach. All the same, Deaglan's weapon connects with Berkedai's leg, which lacks the iron protection of his torso. The bow-sword slices easily through the nomad's leather leggings, cutting deeply into the meat at Berkedai's calf. Fresh blood flows to tinge the watery road, but the herdsman allows only a grunt of pain to escape him. Limping now, he remains on the balls of his feet, keeping in motion despite the pain. Feinting high, he lashes the blade down at Deaglan's legs, knee-height, a controlled blow meant to either render one leg useless, or force the hunter to dodge. Again the sword hacks down, this time without any feint to preceed it, but this time the nomad continues on, stepping in once more toward his foe and swinging his shoulder to the front, hoping to smash it into Deaglan's chest, to overbalance him and knock him directly into the fish-filled pool. Following, the nomad abandons his sword, wielding his knife with manic speed as he tries to inflict on Deaglan what the half elf had so callously inflicted on the mare at the beginning of the fight. If the tackle is successful, Berkedai's now free right hand scrabbles for Deaglan's face, hoping to force the man's head under water, drowning him even while the knife tears at his belly.

Tyler is so caught up in the fighting that he almost misses Anton's touch. Almost. The man's eyes narrow at the feeling of a hand brushing him and is quick to thrust a kick toward Anton's leg and offers a confused/spiteful look at he offers a clawed hand that offers a swift burst of flames before dying down. "Piss off." He mutters while taking a few steps away from the stranger before turning his attention back to the fight.

Anton chuckles.

Lita flickers a sideways glance at Tyler and Anton, dark eyes narrowed slightly with annoyance. Chio perked up beside her, seems he was watching the fight too.

Lita throws popcorn at Terra and Tristram, but will blame it on Tyler if accused.

Tristram found a piece of popcorn in a wrinkle in his shirt. He ate it and narrowed his eyes at Terra.

Deaglan knew swordsplay. He lived it and breathed it with the bow as much as the brand. It hung on, steel on steel, as his hands worked to redouble his efforts and keep the nomad’s curved blade from tearing into him. Still, he overcommits, caught in the moment and baited by the previous high-stroke. He is off-balance and only just manages to get the bow’s blade down. The first slash sends a tremble through his arms, pain lighting up along his left as the shoulder protests against the impact. The second comes and he turns it away with the bow once more. Withering under the force as the rider’s brand cleaves the bow from his hands. He watches as the Ironwood Blade Bow skitters across the blood soaked stones and sends a wake of crimson water up in its path. The nomad’s shoulder finds him off-balance, heavy, bleeding from the attrition of the battle and topples him over. On the way down, striking the basin, the arrow protruding from him snaps against the stone and white-hot pain tears through him until his eyes fill with stars and his body contorts with primal and desperate force away from it. The reaction, this instant, is where thoughts slip away and the fabric between the ascended and the bestial thins. For a moment, tackled, he and Berkedai are a savage tangle. It is with that pain driving him to turn that they land amidst the water side by side. Instinct, reactions, guide his hand to the man’s wrist to halt the blade before it can sink into him. The tip skitters across tired leather and chain, finds a soft place and skitters across it. It cannot bury deep but it does cut, it does stab, it does part flesh and draw blood that begins to fill the fountain steadily. Deaglan’s other hand lifts his tomahawk free, glinting steel with a small, wicked head. He arcs it out, and back, seeking to drive the curved axe-like blade into the base of the man’s skull and punch it into the soft, pink tissue beyond. They have devolved into a mess of corded limbs, leather and lamellar, clawing and splashing beneath the garden’s ceilings. Beneath the owl, which hoots once in grim spectacle, watching impassively as sanguine waters cloud around them. Deaglan, surrendered entirely to the familiarity of it all, sinks further into the darkness. Embraces it. Finds a home for himself amidst the primal toil. This was all he’d been risen for.

Tyler seems to grow more excited at the two duelist become engaged in close combat and provides another shout of, erm, let's say encouragement to Berkedai.

Tyler shouted, "Rip his throat out!"

Terra is evidently a messy eater since the popcorn seemed to spread from her hands to Tristram's shirt. His narrowed eyes got a half smile and a tilt of her bag to share the treat.

Berkedai lands in a less-than-optimal position, and struggles to keep his head above water, craning his neck and using the muscles of his right arm and shoulder, disproportionately strong from a lifetime drawing a bow, to try and lever himself over on top of his opponent, Leaving off his efforts to try and drown the hunter, he plants his right hand solidly on the pool's bottom, pushing off hard so that he can rear up, higher than his foe, presumably to fall back on him with increased force. The nomad never gets the chance, for the tomahawk sings in just then, snapping two of the thin plates of armor on his shoulder, and sinking into the thickly woven silk beneath, driving the fabric into the herdsman's flesh. Instinctively, Berkedai throws himself backward, his knife far outclassed. His injured leg causes him to stumble as he exits the pool, but he pulls himself up again, weakened fingers finding is sword's hilt once again, ready should Deaglan rise from the blood-tinged pool.

Terra sneezed, spilled the rest of her popcorn on Tristram and then dabbed at her watery eyes before sneezing again.

Tristram sneezed thrice and ate a piece of popcorn. He kept his eyes on Deaglan, though, watching to see if he would rouse, and perhaps intervene if he would not.

Terra suggests that Berk use Anton as a horse in revenge.

Deaglan rose, albeit slowly, sporting a split lip. Blood runs, with water, along his frame. Soaked to the core. The raggedy remnants of his attire clinging stubbornly to tired, corded muscles. Tomahawk in hand, even as the battle is ended, he seems to pay no immediate mind to the holes rent along his frame. There is a wild look to him. Intent. Even, finally, as the tomahawk is lowered to hang ominously at his side.

Tristram nudged Terra with his elbow. After a sneeze, he said in a low voice, "Bring your pack from the carriage, darling. Let's get him sorted enough to get back to Gualon." He made his way down to the makeshift arena, glancing up at the owl as he tentatively approached Deaglan. "Good sport, friend. Well fought."

Anton stands and heads towards the exit patting Tyler on the back, "See you around good friend"

Tyler gains a look of distaste as the battle begins to wind down. At the feeling of Anton's pat her arches a brow with a low echoing 'Hmm?' as he takes to looking over his shoulder to see the necromancer taking his leave. A crooked smirk is given to the stranger as he retorts. "Yeah. See ya' bub."

Tristram is perhaps hasty. He hangs out with Terra and awaits her further instruction.

Terra seemed to have recovered from her sneezing fit and tugged on Tristram's sleeve to stay in their seats. Deaglan looked a little... scary. "Is this the first round? Did I miss any?"

Tristram sat back down in his seat, but he kept an eye on the owl. "First duel of the tournament, as far as I know."

Lita chewed at her lower lip as she watched and moved closer towards Terra, poked the blonde in the shoulder. "Hey you."

Winner Berkedai

Berkedai musters his waning strength for one last burst of speed, pushing off of the soggy street with his uninjured leg to throw his shoulder into Deaglan again, using one forearm to block the tomahawk, while punching his sword's hilt into the hunter's face. The two fall into the pool again, but Berkedai swiftly rises, trusting the punch to the face to be enough to stun or perhaps even knock out the half elf. With a wary eye on the pool, the nomad collects his weapons and returns to his horse, using his knife to swiftly gut and skin the animal, and to begin quartering the meat.

Lita stared at Terra. She had no idea about this duel she spoke of. She did know about the owl turning into a bear thing. But she wasn't sure how to answer that question. Bare shoulders rose in a shrug and for once she was grateful for Hanan's sudden arrival. Dark eyes narrowed on the Cap'n and Lita chucked the rest of her popcorn at her.

Deaglan swirls in darkness, bobbing listlessly amidst the sanguine and water. The owl shifts, just a solitary stretch of one dark-taloned foot before it is replaced. Looming overhead. Looking down upon the crumpled hunter's form.

Svilfon steps forward at the violent end of the fight, and speaks again in a voice which easily reaches everyone here. “Well... it seems Berkedai has won. Congratulations, warrior, you will advance in the tournament.” He shifts his gaze to Deaglan, “He fought so well... someone should probably make sure he doesn't drown.” The wizard grins at that, tips his hat, before turning and wandering back into the palace proper to do whatever it is wizards do.