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Duel:Emrith v Kreekitaka- Round One of the Acolytes of War Tournament 2016

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Duelists: Emrith vs. Kreekitaka
Location: Snowless Training Yard
Judges: Callamyre, Skylei
Duel: Traditional 3 posts each, with final defense. 15 minute posting limit. First round of 2016 Acolytes of War.

Emrith stalks out into the snowless training yard with death in his eyes. He immediately locks his cold green gaze upon his foe, but rather than give any formal bow or display any other introductory behaviour typical for the beginning of such bouts, the spell-blade simply reaches over his shoulders and draws both of his twin shortswords. Heleg, the blue one, possesses an innate enchantment of ice, while Nahr, the red one, is its opposite, being ensorcelled with fire. The vampiric elf stalks forward a few places, readying Heleg in his right hand and Nahr in his left. With no warning he suddenly erupts into violent motion, sprinting toward Kreekitaka head-on, raising Heleg and dropping Nahr into a cross-body low-guard position with its blade parallel to the ground. When he is close to his peculiar assailant, Emrith suddenly bounds to the right, using all of the speed and strength in his supple body to twist in midair and simultaneously piston himself forward. The result is that Emrith has propelled himself into a tightly controlled airborne lunge aimed diagonally at Kreekitaka's front and left side. The spell-blade sweeps his right arm upward as he leaps, and tenses his left wrist in preparation for a dual attack. As he reaches striking distance, both of the shortswords come into play. Heleg cleaves outward and downward with vicious intent, meaning to hack through Kreekitaka's left arm near the shoulder. Nahr, on the other hand, snaps outward and downward, aiming to bite into the crustacean's legs or middle. Should either blade hit its mark, Kreekitaka is apt to feel the magical enchantment associated with the weapon activate; Heleg's numbing cold and Nahr's intense heat are intrinsic, and might bring about some sort of misery even if the seaborn manages to escape serious injury. The pair of strikes make up a fairly uncomplicated opening sally, but the spell-blade is confident that his seething inner turmoil, not to mention his sheer prowess with blades, will soon tip this battle decisively in his favour.

Kreekitaka, as his opponent stepped onto the (thankfully warm) battlefield, removed his splendid purple-and-green cape and tossed it aside, revealing his thick carapace and matching kilt—and shield, crafted from the bone of an armored fish and reinforced with druidic potions. His opponent rushed forward and Kree analyzed his movements—he was going to come at him hard and fast. Well, let's see how this wave crashes against this wall. Kree locked himself down, drew back—and suddenly, at the exact same moment as Emrith lunged, he lashed out as well, driving his small, curved shield forward in a punch aimed right for his opponent's chest, intending to knock the wind right out of his lunging foe. The movement of his arm caused Heleg's frosty cold to graze along the outside of his carapace but Nahr seared into one of the small gaps between his segments. With a hiss of pain, Kree flexed his torso slightly and locked the blade there—it was painful, but if the man was unwilling to give up his sword he'd likely find himself entirely prey to Kree's other claw suddenly lashing out and clamping down on his forearm with all the strength he could bring to bear. Any lobster could sever a finger with barely a thought—the might behind Kree's crusher was likely enough to shatter bones.

Emrith has been trained, as a spell-blade, to react quickly and decisively. Decades of instincts instilled by his elven masters tell him to let go of Nahr when Kreekitaka locks down on it, and he heeds them with barely a thought, splaying his fingers and relinquishing his grip upon the shortsword. At this moment, Kreekitaka's shield strikes him edge-on in the chest, eliciting a hiss of pain and a redirection of his momentum. Emrith is tossed backward, but he uses his now empty left hand to brace his fall by hitting the dirt palm-down as he falls backward. Elves are naturally nimble, and vampires are naturally strong. The combination means that Emrith is on his feet in a trice, now a few feet away from Kreekitaka, holding Heleg firmly in one hand and nursing a bruised ribcage. Having no need of breath, he is not encumbered as much as a living, breathing foe might be, but the pain is still a distraction. Gritting his teeth, Emrith drops his left hand to his hip and unslings his belt, a simple chain set with studs. This he swings in a casual-looking overhand blow toward Kreekitaka's face. As the belt-turned-whip begins to descend, the spell-blade squeezes one particular link, which activates the enchantment the implement possesses. A split-second before it goes off, Emrith lets go of the magically-charged length of chain, intending to drape it onto Kreekitaka just as its lethal payload of electricity sparks to life. The current is enough to turn the metal molten within a few seconds, and its sheer proximity to this water-dwelling creature may prove a near-instant death sentence. Not willing to leave things up to chance, however, Emrith leaps into motion the moment the electrified weapon leaves his left hand, moving so fast that he almost seems to blur before the naked eye. He darts around to Kreekitaka's left side, sweeping Heleg across his body at chest level. The move is simultaneously offensive and defensive, since the blade now faces outward. Emrith is poised to block an incoming blow with the flat of his blade if such should be incoming, but also able to deliver a single brutal chop toward the seaborn's side, which he does with all the rising fury of a vampire unleashed.

Kreekitaka took the opportunity, as his opponent fell backward, to extricate the sword from his side before it roasted him alive and stabbed it into the ground. It was a nice little sharp thing but it wasn't at all Kree's style. Instead, he hauled out from its holster on his back his jawblade—almost five feet of bone and steel, as thick as a man's leg, with twin staggered rows of shark's teeth along the forward-curved edge and a solid plate of metal along the back. The weapon weighed as much as a small person might and Kree one-handed it just fine. As the chain swept down towards him, Kree was fortunate to have his shield—rather than simply blocking it, as some might, he instead swung at it sideways, swatting it aside. The voltage was still enough to give him a sizzle even then, however, and his shield was left with a terrible burnt scar across it, but he'd only barely had enough time to process that when here came Emrith on the offensive again! Kree turned his body slightly, swinging the jawblade in a lateral-upwards arc, toothed side forward. The intention was to catch the sword on the teeth of the weapon and at least stop it—perhaps even knock it from his hands with the sheer weight of it, but the move was awkward and left him a bit unbalanced—a wide opening for those who knew how to look for it.

Emrith knows that in order to survive this melee, he will need to utilize all of his training and cunning to best advantage. As Kreekitaka first takes the lightning-laced whip on his shield and then moves to parry Emrith's sword-slash, the spell-blade drops into water stance, the most fluid and speedy of his natural weapon stances. Emrith arches his back, bends his knees and brings his elbow down against his sternum, causing Kreekitaka's blade to whistle past just above his head and face while his own weapon's trajectory is likewise redirected downward. He leans to his right, ducks his head and then comes up, all in one motion, finding himself within Kreekitaka's guard and poised for a ruthless counter-attack. Heleg swings upward and inward, attempting to bite Kreekitaka's overextended jawblade-wielding arm from the outside, while the spellblade's empty left hand darts groundward, snatches Nahr from where the seaborn had jammed it into the ground, then hammers forward, using the fiery shortsword like a spear and aiming for his middle again. Whether or not either of these attempts to further wound the strange crustacean succeed, Emrith knows that remaining this close to a monster so large and powerful is a very excellent way to end up chopped to pieces. So believing, he skips backward and to his left, re-adjusting his grip on both swords as he moves. The backward step is only a preparation, though; he immediately shifts into flame stance, the flashiest and most aggressive of his sword-forms, and begins to assail Kreekitaka with a veritable fuselade of quick blows. High and low, left and right, vertical and horizontal, thrust and jab alike. The vampiric elf's hands are moving faster and more surely than they ever have before. The pain in his chest and the near-fatal encounter with that horrendous jawblade weapon are relegated to the back of his mind as his onslaught increases. Fire and ice threaten to overwhelm Kreekitaka with their sheer ferocity.

Kreekitaka found himself suddenly once more impaled by a flaming sword—should have just tossed it aside, ah that hurt!--and this time felt the ice one embed itself in a chink in his arm's carapace as well. The twin blows and the shock of ice and fire were enough to cause him to stagger backward slightly, pulling back, bringing his arms into a guard positon—though his jawblade arm was moving a bit sluggishly now. There was little time, however. Emrith's assault came again, blades flashing one after another. Fortunately, this sort of assault was where Kree was in his element—he had nearly limitless stamina and his greater size and tough carapace, plus his four legs and shield made this flurry of quick and light blows far easier to bear than the attacks using all his foe's might which had preceded them. Slowly, Kree gave ground, baiting his opponent into a rhythm, watching and waiting for the perfect moment, slowly recovering from the frosty bite on the arm—and suddenly, with no warning, Kree threw down his shield and jawblade and snapped his claws open, extending his tentacles and attempting to lash them around Emrith's wrists. Whether this movement worked or not, Kree would lunge forward, using his claws and sheer mass to try to shove aside any guard on Emrith's part, and bring his armored carapace-clad face against his opponent's very cartilaginous nose. One leg would sweep up and around behind one of Emrith's ankles to try and trip him up, for the purposes of causing this strike to send the man to the ground. Should this move be at all successful, Kree sould take his turn at repeated hits, though these would be brutal punches to the face and ribcage rather than slashes, and would not be light.

Emrith continues to batter away at his opponent, scoring a succession of hits against the seaborn's carapace. He expects it to crack and perhaps shatter before long, if only from the repeated heatings and coolings it is taking...but before that can even begin to happen, the tables have turned. Transitioning from flame stance into stone stance as Kreekitaka jettisons both shield and jawblade, Emrith leaps backward and brings both of his blades across his body, then slams his own hands against his chest. Kreekitaka's tentacles snag the spell-blade's swords instead of his wrists, and the vampiric elf lets them both go so as not to be snared and pummelled, as the seaborn likely intends. Instead, he is hit a glancing blow in the face as Kreekitaka's head comes barrelling down toward him, but by this point, the spell-blade is already fading backward, avoiding the pressuring claws and leg-sweep with the simple expedient of distance, rolling with the single heavy blow and shaking his head to clear it. his left hand comes up to fasten the cloak at his throat, at which point Emrith disappears entirely from sight owing to the boddy-hugging light-bending illusion it possesses. Emrith will take a moment to get his own stamina back; vampire or not, his own strength is not limitless, after all. Just a moment of quiet, and he will be ready to re-mount the offensive. He still has many, many tricks up his sleeves.

Kreekitaka wins! Victory round:

Kreekitaka tossed aside the vampire's weapons even faster than he had his own, tentacles already sore from the fire and ice which had briefly touched them, but he wasn't finished pressing this attack yet. Continuing to surge forward, tendrils spread wide, he reached out to feel for where the man had gone and felt a leg enter his grasp. Immediately, the rest of the tentacles of that arm lashed themselves around his leg and drew him back towards his claws. Latching onto his opponent's ankles, he leaned up and back, heaving his opponent high into the air, swinging him up over his head before bringing him back down, back-first against the sand of the training field, smashing him into the dirt. One claw proceeded to hold him down while the other continued to beat him--one, two, three punches to the face, before he was picked up and thrown aside like a ragdoll. Kree stood there afterwards, paddles flared wide, rippling slowly. His armor was dripping in a couple of places where the flaming blade hadn't quite fully cauterized the wounds it had made, and there were several places where he was chipped and had little hairline cracks which hadn't yet split open. Still... he felt he'd given as good as he got. He moved carefully over to where he'd tossed aside his weapons and then would assist any effort in retrieving Emrith from the field.