Duel:Divoyn v Meri, Match 2 of the 2014 Frostmaw Tournament

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Duelists: Divoyn vs. Meri. 
Duel: Traditional 3 posts each, with final defense. 15 minute posting limit. 
Stakes: Autohit post. Advancement in the Titans of Winter Tournament 2014. 
Judges: Satoshi (mid), Hildegarde, & Tristram

Swamp Flowers

Tristram said, "The scene || Planks forming long walkways have been set over the murky swamp waters, most leading to two sets of stands meant for spectators to the region. Others, whose frames might be too hefty to allow passage over those stretches of lumber are directed to a station where workers are ready to tie on snowshoe-like apparatuses to ensure the onlooker that he does not find himself a victim of the viscous quicksand. The arena is clearly marked between the two stands, a low-lying area of swampland, the bottom half of which is covered by a viscous fog, obscuring the lower half of any average-sized body within its confines. So long as the parties keep moving, the quicksand only slows and proves a deterrent. But if the parties find themselves in any one place for longer than at most a minute or so, the quicksand will take a hold, and begin to pull its victim down to its gelatinous depths. Various orphans filter around the stands, selling concessions that range from typical human fare (perhaps a tad extravagant for so barbaric a sport) to food more fitting those with an orcish appetite (of which there are many in attendance)."

Eliwood looked around at the people present, he begins judging the two fighters before him. He has heard little of them, however the one was a drow... Memories begin to flood to the surface of the last one that he met. A viscous woman that was out for blood, she left only losing a bit of her own. Eliwood raised a sack full of coin into the air, “I have gold that says the drow goes down!” This was done mostly on instinct, for if he thought about this prior he probably would have simply smirked and exited to the east. Too late now... “Come now, who believes me wrong?”

Zondo walks across the planks carefully, a careful eye looking at the two contestants carefully as he hears Eliwood's call for a wager. Looking over at the man, the elder simply shrugs. "I will take you bet sir, exactly how much are we talking?"

Tristram arranged himself in the stands, accompanied by a white cat that hissed at some poor bystander's own pet in passing. He settled there and nabbed some popcorn from one of the orphans passing through the stands. Meanwhile, Wes, an older orphan, promptly situated himself in front of Eliwood. "You have gold for the fight? It's even odds, double the payout, one thousand cap. What can I put you down for?"

Satoshi is present, high among the stands. Although Frostmaw's queen had not been able to attend the first match, in Alithrya, she's made an effort to be here for the Gualon match. For the most part, the magus seems content to play the spectator, unless she's need to call announcements for the duel. That is up to the city's draconic governor, for the stage belongs to him even if the tournament is Satoshi's.

Divoyn was summoned at the last moment to this event, representing his house was the only reason he had come. He needed the name, needed the fear, his tiny house absolutely unknown within the community. He moved through the scene, taking the walking apparatuses, even though they weren’t needed, and applying them to his feet. With that, he made his way towards the center of the distinguished area, his face unseen behind the veil of the hood he wore, no distinguishable features just darkness.. More and more darkness hidden within. Within his left hand was a bag, a small little set of tricks held within, but other than that nothing was apparently seen on the cloaked drow.. The only thing that truly showed him as drow was the color of his hands, the only skin that was actually shown.

Eliwood grins, “However much your pockets can afford! How about we start at 3k and work our way up from there?” he grinned to the man before him wondering how much further he would try to raise the bet. After this he turns to Wes and pulls an extra 1000 coin from his pack. “1k Gold Coins on the one called Meri to win.” Eliwood seemed rather happy with this bet. Drow were weak in his eyes.

Meri tramps into the clearing, one that she has become quiet familiar with during her stay in Gualon. The tattooed woman opted to go with spare armor, boots, iron bracers, and a spiked round-shield the only pieces selected for this battle. Unlike her opponent, she doesn’t use the planks set up for the spectacle, already mucking up her armored boots. Moving toward the center of the area, not lingering in one place for too long, Meri regards her opponent with a watchful gaze, waiting with anticipation.

Zondo ponders the thought of a simple three thousand gold stakes. He didn't know either of the fights but for some reason he felt good about his betting on the the drow. "We can start there, but i am sure both of our pockets will afford to kick it up a notch or two when the action starts." Turning to the orphan boy he hands him a sack of gold. "Give me one thousand on the drow and let us hope he wins."

Duel Start

Eliwood simply smirked, “Of course. Lets see how the fights begin and we can raise our coin from there. Actually, why not go on up a bit now and call it 5k?” Was his hate for the Drow so strong or perhaps it was instead that he was really a gambling man and could this wager end up breaking him?

Satoshi purchases popcorn from a passing orphan as she settles in for the fight. Popped kernels are delivered to the sugar glider perched upon her shoulder, the bright-eyed critter nibbling away happily--and leaving crumbs on his companion.

Hildegarde is definitely standing guard beside Satoshi - she never really sits until told as much at these events. Mind you, she wouldn't mind a little bit of that popcorn.

Zette is momentarily distracted by the large amount of shiny things being exchanged, but mostly she has been drawn to the excitement of the area. As such, she flits between people, winding her four-foot frame this way and that, to find a safe place to sit and watch. Three rather-late wyverns follow the seeming-child, as do a flock of hummingbirds. They settle when she does, and the fae and her menagerie proceed to cuddle.

Tristram rose from the stands and lifted his arms as he waited for the growing din to die down. Eventually even the orcs quieted (as much as they could), lending a moment of gravitas for him to speak. "Ladies and gentlemen, first let me welcome you to Gualon. We also welcome Queen Satoshi of Frostmaw, who is responsible for the fight you will witness here today, between our salty gal Meri and the mysterious Divoyn. We wish the fighters honor and strength, but most of all, good drinks in the Grogshop afterward to celebrate or commiserate, depending upon your particular affiliation. Spectators, orphans are circulating in the stands, providing snacks and rinks for your enjoyment, and you may be able to find a certain orphan taking bets still, until the first round ends. With that in mind, I will stop all this needless rambling. Let the fight begin!!"

Zondo hardly hesitates with his response to the man, "5k is a good starting point." The elder was not worried about the coin, win or lose he would enjoy the stakes but he could tell the other better had a bitter taste about the duelist although for what reason or extend the vampire was uncertain but it may help cloud his judgement enough to raise the stakes later.

Anton walks to the outskirts of the duel, taking a restful stance and keeps an eye on the contestants. A smile crosses his face and with a telepathic command, his familiar shrinks into the shadows weaving in and around the various spectators.

Tristram || Wes nods to Eliwood as his associate collects the man's coin. He jots something down in a notebook and moves on to Zondo, where the same pattern is repeated. He begins to circulate in the stands again, ready and willing to take bets until after the first round.

Satoshi catches another orphan trotting by with goodies, whispers briefly in his ear, and ensures that a bag of popcorn, and a small pile of sweets, find their way furtively on the seat beside Hildegarde. After all, the knight is much too dutifully to ask or accept, as the magus knows too well.

Divoyn stood centre stage of the arena, eyes to briefly glance around the area that was made just for this match. He turned about, the immensity of the situation to fill up his head, the thoughts of actually improving his house to cause an amount of stress upon the man. The drow’s eyes finally shut, as he began to imagine the others removed, the arena gone, his own mind shutting down everything else and being a task he could actually do. As once more his eyes opened, his mind has tricked itself into believing nothing else was here, just a nuisance woman who constantly proved a thorn in his side, deterring his efforts previously towards success and now he’d finally be able to remove her. Within his zone he began to form the ideas of his illusions, use his magic, force out those grand imagined thoughts that others hopefully bought and failed to. It began with a simple ability, the darkness all drow were capable of bringing as it covered the walkways and he ground before Meri, incapacitating her ability to actually discover the route to him upon safety with ease.. The quicksand was his ally, the marsh his ability to slow and manipulate her way to him through some undiscovered path. The male then pulled forth a single bottle filled with liquid from his bag and threw it in her direction. A single word spoken, a small zap made from the small amount of actual spells the male knew, and finally the contents to pour forth across the ground in a fiery eruptions as the electricity sparked the flames. The fire began to grow, aided by the drow’s own efforts as he imagined the heat rising, spreading towards his foe, attempting to incinerate her, torching her corpse and hopefully aided with her lack of movement, kill her before the battle started. His only hope that the actual flames might guise the illusioned ones from any sensory techniques she might possess.

Zette beams a smile towards Hildegarde, a clear chirp of a greeting. The wave is continued, though hesitantly so, when the fae's gaze lingers upon Satoshi, before the little thing blushes deep and hides her face in a Wyvern wing, bash fully.

Eliwood sits in the stands happily although not too far from where this other character would take his seat, he wanted to be sure he was close enough to raise his wager higher should the fight appear to be going better for him.

Hildegarde glances very quickly towards her amassed pile of sweeties and popcorn, dipping to the side just slightly so she might grasp a handful to munch upon. To Zette, she offers a smile in return and a little nod.

Zondo moves only a short distance towards the stands, choosing to lean against planks that would for the edge of the seating area. Sitting just made him anxious to do something and now that he had gold on the line he needed to just relax and wait for the games to take off.

Reum entered the area like a light, subtly washing over the people gathered with a warmth that was almost palpable. He wore an array of colors, none of which were particularly vibrant, but shone like gems reflecting sunlight. Reum didn't say anything for a while, simply observed, his eyes keen on the participants as if weighing their skill and value. His eyes seemed to perhaps sparkle, diamond like, almost. Finally he called out in a booming voice, "One Thousand Gold pieces on the Human woman!"

Zondo offers the avian only but a small glance as he calls out his bid. It allows the vampire a small smile, he like it when the odds were against him.

Terra elbowed Tristram and peeked at Wes' notebook. Satoshi's whiskers twitch and the shroud of perpetual frost gathers closer around her, in a reversal of one seeking warmth from the cold. This Frostmaw inhabitant prefers to maintain a comfortable chill around herself, even in the midst of a stifling swamp.

Hildegarde is in the same boat as Satoshi, in terms of seeking the chill. She shuffles closer to the Queen in an effort to get in on that chilly aura.

Hildegarde found a dinglehopper.

Hildegarde gave 1 fork to you.

Zette stares at the avian. He -sparkles!- there is a sparkly man here and suddenly there is nothing else that matters, nothing else that has -ever- mattered. She rises, uncurling her small frame from around a hummingbird and teeters towards Reum.

Satoshi brushes her hair with Hildegarde's glorious gift.

Meri was not unfamiliar with Divoyn and his trickery. The woman’s brows furrow with concern momentarily as a safe path to the drow is concerned by darkness but she’s not about to let her lack of ability to see where she is walking hinder or slow her movements, lest the swamps consume her. Carefully, one step at a time, Meri continues to move through the swamp, not letting her feet be still. Hope was not lost for the woman. Her psionic abilities, with an emphasis on psychokinesis, made it possible to feel what is about her despite the darkness, keeping her from tripping over any over any rotting branches or decaying fauna. Her psionic talents are relied upon even further then the illusion of flames threatens to engulf the woman. Not being sure if this is another attempt to deceive her mind or if this was reality, the psionic warrior reacts by summoning a unseen barrier about her person, a protective bubble that the flames lick at and engulf but keeps Meri safe from harm until the flames die down, if they die down. While Meri’s defense keeps the flames from directly burning her, it only hinders the heat. Beads of sweet begin to drip down Meri’s forehead. The heat does well to slow the woman’s movements, the swamp was already threatening to engulf her. The psionic woman forces her attention on Divoyn, trying to feel out the environment surrounding him despite the darkness, seeking to use the area to her advantage. The roots of the many flowers take to life, as if controlled by some poltergeist, looking to entangle Divoyn starting from the ankles and working their way up, threatening to pull weight him down and pull him into the sinking swamps. Simultaneously, a plank from the makeshift walkway behind Divoyn is loosed from his position and takes to the sky, looking to smack Divoyn clean upside the back to knock the wind from him. For now, Meri makes no attempt to advance toward Divoyn.

Zondo watches with keen interest as the female summons the barrier against the flames, even as her movements get sluggish it can tell that she is getting worn down even as she launches a counter attack. Turning again to Eliwood a small fanged smile is shown. "Shall we kick it up another three thousand, sir?"

Eliwood said to Zondo, "So then to 8k we go? Very well. Let us hope your coin is well wagered."

Zondo said to Eliwood, "The wager is hardly fun if there is no risk. I have a thing for going for the under dog"

Satoshi feels the battle more than she sees it through the drowish darkness. Thanks being to those mana-sensitive whiskers a wizard (accidentally) cursed her with. The ebb and flow of various magic types are like threads tugging at those whiskers, weaving the tale for Satoshi as she draws her snowcloak nearer--well, aside from a tendril of the aura being extended to offer Hildegarde some comfort.

Tristram || Wes snapped his notebook closed, signaling the end of official, sanctioned betting, and he moved to take a seat near Terra. Of course, since there aren't many enforcers around, unregulated betting is bound to happen. Tristram, meanwhile, handed Terra his cat and stretched out in the stands, propping his feet up on an empty bleacher in front of him as he tossed some popcorn in his mouth.

Reum hardly seemed to be watching the battle, as if it didn't even matter to him. His attention, as it were, was caught by a little fairie making her way towards him. Reum simply looked at her, smiled brilliantly, and turned to regard the rest of the crowd, waiting to perhaps see what the fairie would do. Even in the stifling heat and muck of the swamp, Reum somehow seemed 'clean', pure. His wings remained closely to his back, a sense of freedom evident despite the lack of room above him. "This is an awfully dark place for a bright little creature like yourself." He said, almost to no one, his voice soft.

Divoyn wasn’t intending for the flowers to rise against him, their roots to grasp at his ankles and feet in an attempt to pull him below. Trickery and mind games, not that the illusionist knew any of this but as the flowers attempted to grip and pull, forcing him underneath, he pulled and ripped, shredding the fauna before it might take anywhere up his leg.. And yet, as he ripped it continued to claw his way up him. Whilst he fought, he had no idea of the board that came his way, when suddenly in the back of his head he was struck, and the vines began to make their way up him. Locked in place, disoriented, he had lost his claim upon the flames, their heat suddenly vanishing then reappearing, as he lost the focus upon keeping the whole of them steady, imagination staggered by blow. It took seconds, finally able to reclaim his common sense, but when it had happened the fauna had brought him down to his knees, wrapped tightly around his calves and forcing him down, unable to move the lower portions of his legs at all. Mind once more called upon as he blocked out the outside, forcing the fauna from his concerns, it might claim him but he’d damn well serve his interests towards the house before it happened. As the thoughts of plants and roots were removed, their ability to affect his attention was gone and he was back towards the woman. Flames removed, the illusioned ones at least, as he realized the heat had flickered in and out during his moments of weakness. All that remained was the contents that burned from the bottle, their liquid form a small area between the two that broke her ability to come straight for him lest she run through. He worked upon his next spell however, this time the charred up remains of corpses rose from the ground, floating upon the grotesque marsh, faces just barely seen through the darkness. As he manipulated his imagination further, the three corpses that floated began to move, the bodies to reek of decay and death. As they moved, they attempted to block the path towards the drow, standing just outside the flames and attempting to tackle her into the flames if she came close. The spell was two parts though, as rotten hands burst forth from the ground, aimed to grasp at her ankles in an attempt to pull her deep within the marsh. The illusions had the scent of decay, they wreaked of the foul odor death brought forth, and as they touched upon another, the feeling of rotting flesh could be felt.. Yet, from below, within the darkness, nothing remained. From behind, the corpses had no backsides, and the hands had nothing they were attached too. Too much detail, too much time, and too much energy to produce all the little things that others might need. As long as she couldn’t see through the darkness, he had that advantage to it.

Zette reels no closer. When she is sighted, rather, she turns tail and flees, back to her wyverns, back to her hummingbirds. She looks around at the growing crowd, at the battle below and, flight icly, decides she doesn't like the excitement so much after all. She takes to the sky, departing.

Meri might seem as though she is wearing down but already the woman’s body was acting accordingly. What life was in the area? Meri was feeding off it like a parasite, subconsciously, replenishing the energy that was draining at a rapid rate during this battle of the minds with the illusionist. There was no telltale sign of what she was doing. It was not obvious, not like a vampire, except to maybe those of keen senses. The flames die down and the heat flickers away, cluing Meri into the fact that this might just be another illusion and so the psionic barrier summoned by the woman drops. Another trick of the mind. So when the rest of the contents of the bottle spill onto the ground, summon up more flames, Meri does charge forward through the flame, using nothing more than her shield as protection. The psionic warrior was not about to have a clean break toward the drow, finding more of his illusions blocking her path. Again the woman is faced with the question of if these creatures were real or not another trick of the mind but experience with the drow suggested they probably were not. She was not about to take any chances, drawing the bastard sword that has been resting at her hip from its scabbard. Rather than wage war with Divoyn’s corpse-summons, she let’s the creatures push her back, the flames licking at the heels of her boot, heating her armored boots up which already begins to burn at the skin beneath. Grit teeth together and the bastard sword that she grips within her hand is thrown toward Divoyn, sent toppling end over end, aimed low on the drow’s torso and guided by the woman’s psionic ability. If Divoyn dodges, the sword will boomerang past him only to stop mid-air, adjust it’s course, and then travel back toward the male for pass number two, a second attempt to impale the male.

Terra stole some of Tristram's popcorn when the cat wasn't stealing her attention. A handful was then offered to Wes.

Satoshi has entirely forgotten about her popcorn, which is a fortunate thing considering the sugar glider has burrowed into the snack for greedy feasting. Nobody needs a mouthful of glider-tail while watching a duel.

Hildegarde has ate all of her popcorn and sweets. Hungry hungry-dragon.

Divoyn was troubled by his current predicament as once more the roots from before continued to grow. This time they spread up his thighs, tugging once more, pulling him upon the board till he lay upon his stomach. His concentration broke once more, as the illusionary men, the hands, all shattered, so did his ability to block out the plants for his body could no longer fight back their strength that drug him down. He collapsed forward upon the plank, the growing flora to wrap tighter and tighter around his legs, thighs and calves completely covered by them, strapped to the plank. As he collapsed forward, the blade came through the right side of his torso, out the back of his shoulder blade and he collapsed down to it’s hilt. He shrieked in pain, the concentration he needed becoming further and further difficult to muster. Reaching down, he pulled a weapon from his thigh, struggling to free it from the vines, then threw it forward at the advancing woman with his left. It didn’t stop there, as the first dagger was thrown, a second was pulled, then a third, each thrown one after another. And as he continued this, finally the quantity of knives ended. He only had three, each after that which he ‘pulled’ from it’s sheath and chucked with his left hand was fake. Each illusioned blade an attempt at her knees and her thighs. The real weapons, while aimed, lacked the precision of the fakes that attempted to stop her advance and allow the marsh to finish the job he was unable to do. No instead they were just to dull her senses, forcing her unable to think through the process of discovering what was real and what was not.

Zondo finds his single-eyed gaze flitting back and forth between the two, curiously watching the illusions the drow has conjured, at first he thought they were real beasts, aimed to destroy the female but the faltering illusion but subtle flaws and missing parts to the creatures. Even as he looks over at the drow the elder hopes he did not misplace his bet on the struggling man.

Meri wasted no time in continuing her advance toward Divoyn as soon as the illusions of the dead fade from view. She was limping, yes, but she pressed on regardless, shield held protectively in front of her. When her own weapon is sent hurtling back toward the air at her, Meri slows its trajectory, guiding the bastard sword smoothly back into the grasp of her tattooed hand. The daggers proved tricky. The sheer number of illusionary daggers conjured up made it difficult for Meri to discern which were real and which were fake. The first dagger sent pummeling toward her person, the fact that it had mass and substance was easily picked up by the psionic warrior. This dagger was caught and held in stasis. The second is lost amongst the illusions and imbeds itself into Meri’s leg, the one that isn’t burned, slowing her movements even further. Teeth grit together in pain, not wanting to let the swamp get the better of her, forcing herself to continue despite the blood trickling down her leg. Dropping into a partial crouch, the woman takes herself to stepping to the left and then to the right, keeping low to the ground and trying to keep her shield in front of her ankles and legs. The third dagger, rather than meeting flesh, collides with her shield with a dull thud. The dagger in her shield and the dagger in her leg are pulled free by Meri’s will, though the blade in her leg does not come free without a grunt of pain from Meri. All three are loosed back toward Divoyn, looking to turn the the drow into something akin to a pin-cushion.

Divoyn ’s body became further encroached by the roots, now as they climbed up his chest, the lower part of his stomach becoming caught up within. As the drow finished throwing the daggers, they attempted to grasp at his hands, his arms, every limb they might with each pass. The problem became that as he struggled a blade suddenly sank into him, one of three? He spotted Meri’s counterattack, his only response was grasping one of the nearby planks, pulled forth and placed between him and his own weaponry. THe final two sank deep into the wood, the plank tossed into the marsh and lost whilst the roots continued their advance. He had but one hope as he grasped at one of the roots and pulled it free, it’s thick confines suddenly ignited as the drow brought it aflame. The torch waved back and forth, Divoyn attempted to force them back, yet they refused to give in so easily, the struggle between dark skin and plant having begun as the flames attempted to ignite them whilst they attempted to crush him.

Zondo glances over at the half elf as it appears the contest is drawing to a close. "I would say that is quite the spectacle, eh?"

Eliwood said to Zondo, "Yeah, what bit of it we could see."

Zondo said to Eliwood, "Good thing the shadows only covered most of the ground. Any higher and we wouldn't know what happened."

Winner: Meri, unanimous

Tristram stood amidst the cheers and bellows over the crowd, "Congratulations Meri, as well as Divoyn for a worthy battle! You are both welcome to visit the Gualonian clinic and Grogshop, in whichever order you may feel is necessary. And to the victor? The one of a kind--" An orc suddenly bellowed and rushed down into the quicksand to challenge Meri to a duel, as there can be only one kind of champion in the Gualonian Swamps -- and that is orc. Unfortunately, in his rush, he knocked over the stands and sent everyone in them into the quicksand-esque swamp as well. Of course, in a spirit of camaraderie, those watching from the plank walkways immediately seek to help and usher the guests and visitors from the swamps and toward the city for recreation.

Zondo shrugs his shoulders and reaches into the folds of his cloak. Grabbing a pouch from within he tosses it to the half elf. "It was a good run, not the direction I was hoping for." The Elder turns and makes his way back across the planks and off into the night.

Meri was not normally one to kick her opponent while they are down, so to speak. But the drow? He was a different. It was personal between the two of them. That moment she and Raphaline were assaulted by this particular drow had not escaped the woman’s memory, it was not a grudge she would so willingly let go of. The woman closes the gap between them while he struggles to free himself from the rooted bindings that hold him. The damage she dealt to him via her psionic abilities were not good enough to sate the woman. She wanted to get a -real- blow in. And that is just what she’ll do. Using the hilt of her sword, she’ll knock her opponent upside the head, hard enough to render him unconscious and hopefully leave him face down in the swamps for someone else to deal with. He wasn’t her problem anymore. She didn’t care. The only thing that she cared about was getting the hell out of the swamps and tending to her wounds. Which she does soon after, only sparing a nod to the crowd that was there to witness.