Duel:Orikahn v Shishi, May 30 of the 2018 Frostmaw Tournament
Duelists: Orikahn vs Shishi, Former Titans of Winter Champion Duel: Traditional 3 rounds with final defense, 15 minute posting limit. Stakes: Auto-hit to the winner (along with all of Frostmaw’s adoration), Loser eats a bug Judges: Meri, Leone and Gilwen.
Shishi shows up at the site of this Titans bout a little while beforehand to go through the ritual of signing autographs and meeting with his fans. For the first time in awhile his cheering section is rivaled by that of his opponent’s. The feral feline’s Titan fights are fresher in their minds than the vampire’s from a year ago, but the assassin has something Orikahn doesn’t yet, -endorsements-. Shishi appears to have sold ad space on his warm up robes that cover his usual shirt and tie ensemble. Several Frostmawian businesses such as The Bone Cleaver and Frostmaw Tavern are represented, and even some as far away as the company that ferries people between Cenril and Rynvale have paid to have their names adorned on The Reigning Titan. Of course, Mesthak’s Strongest Brew is on the back of the hood of the robes, being the official brew of The Titan of Winter.
Orikahn scrabbles up over the edge of the cliff, wild-eyed and hasty. Several times he slashes, thrashes, and kicks at the ice, looking quite panicked. In a furious instant, he manages to leap up onto solid ground, lands on his feet (naturally), and immediately looks as though nothing had happened out of the ordinary. He straightens his fur armor and drops his extra gear by the lip of the frozen outcrop.
Leone said, "Welcome to the final round of the (seventh) Titans of Winter Tournament! Here we gather at the Uncomfortable View, where the dead are starting to rise. The cliff is crawling with revenants of past residents, those poor souls sacrificed clawing their way out of the snowpack below and beginning to ascend. Even worse! A crystal-clear wall of ice hedges our combatants in on nearly every side, lending a scant arena in which to perform combative feats. Those who are particularly observant might even notice that the chilly corral is advancing toward the precipitous plummet with each passing moment. What ever will our champions do? Good luck to both Orikahn and Shishi."
Aira is here, of course, arms crossed over her chest and eyes narrowed and unblinking towards the space where the duel would take place. Her vulpine ears are hidden under a fur-lined hood, but her russet-hued tail gives an anxious twitch.
Khitti is here with Meri because Khitti needed to get this sad, mopey mood out of her system. It probably won't work, but hey! She gets to see some fighting and maybe that'll get her psyched to finish dealing with Venturil's ninety-nine problems, right? Right! (Wrong.) If only Brand were here. He'd like to see this too, especially because it's Shishi and they were friends or something at some point? Khitti doesn't know. Khitti and Shishi only met once, a very long time ago. So, she's not directly rooting for him. She's not directly rooting for Kahn either, but, that's mainly because she didn't want to bring attention to herself--she was feeling sort of awkward about #JustGuildThings, after finding out Encara was a part of it too. This was fraught, as Lionel would put it. Focus on the punching and stabbing and maiming and possible dying, Khitti. That's how you'll get through this. She eventually found herself and Meri and decent place to watch the fight, and settled down into the seating area that was temporarily made for the fight.
Meri is indeed here with Khitti. It seemed like a good idea to make her come, she does seem sad and mopey. Even Meri was able to figure that out, she just wasn't exactly sure what to do to fix it. So hey, let's go watch some guys get beat up, yeah? That's really the best Meri's got, but at least she is trying. Sometimes it is the thought that counts, give the poor blonde some credit. Anyway, it is dang cold up here. Meri is grateful of that time she met Alvina, and got this really nice jacket as a gift from a woman who is way too kind to total strangers. It helps to keep the cold at bay, but Meri has also come armed with a couple of thermoses, one of which is passed of to Khitti. It's hot chocolate. Hot chocolate and a fight, good combination, yeah? Maybe hot beer would be better but eh, sobriety gets to even the best of them sometimes.
Shishi loses his warm up robe and leaves it behind in the snow just inside the wall of ice that he hasn’t noticed is inching closer and reducing the size of the dueling grounds just yet. The cliffs edge is to the vampire’s left and Orikahn is in front of him. The ghouls below claw up the face of the sheer cliff, but none are close enough yet to the top for The Blue Demon to pay them any mind. Instead he stares across the way with eyes that change in hue from their usual oceanic shade to a faintly glowing crimson. An eerie pulse travels through the immediate area around the assassin, barely reaching the ferocious feline that signals that Shishi’s family curse is active and now every bit of shadow and shade in the stark white snow, (and beneath it), has had life breathed into it. Shishi stares across at the hunter and without warning, charges at full speed, his signature black necktie fluttering over his shoulder as he moves. Darkness itself seeps out from the white snow and from over the cliff edge and rushes towards the vampire who sprints despite his feet falling through the soft powder with each step. Shade envelops both of his hands, begins to take shape, and… -barks-. His fists are replaced with black wolf heads, canines as sharp and vicious as the real things, so that when he throws a combination of left-hand dominant punches at the kitty, they have less of a threat of bludgeoning, and more of a threat of biting and never letting go…
Khitti took that thermos from Meri, opened it up, smelled that chocolate, and immediately declared aloud, "You're a saint. I'm going to ask Seika to see if Cyris can make you one. If that's how it works." Don't blame her. She's still new at this templar thing, mostly. Well, not the fighting part. The having to know every little detail about the gods part. The redhead eyed the dueling area, the environment around the vampire and the feline sort of making Khitti miss Vailkrin. She may have hated most of the people in it, but it was a damned quiet town with the best cemetery ever. "You know, maybe -we- should do this. Well, not the tournament, obviously. I did not have a good time with that last year. But, maybe the Redskull thing? It might keep us busy and our minds off of stuff." Like, you know, the lack of certain people. And the hell going on in Venturil right now. And, uh, Kahran. And all of the other generally awful stuff that goes on in Lithrydel. "Could use it as a chance to see how far you've come with your archery and such when you're ready," she continued before taking a sip of her delicious drink.
Orikahn keeps his eyes, all three of them, tight on Shishi. There's a tangible tension in the arctic air. Kahn's fought the vampire once before, and his instincts are already buzzing with fight-or-flight excitement. As soon as Shishi moves, the feline draws his tomahawk answers the charge. Orikahn is dead-set on a collision course. The shadows sweep beneath the snow toward him, and the hunter's ears slick back in warning. Kahn roars an earsplitting challenge, his face wrinkled in furious indignation as he leaps, airborne, to close the gap. Several times, fangs sink into his outstretched arm, into the thick fur of his sleeve and pierce the wolfen hide, straight into living fur and flesh beneath: first blood. Kahn hopes to draw a bit of his own. His oustretched hand will grasp whatever it can, and his off hand swings down in a wide, wicked arc, bringing the tomahawk along in hopes of landing a murder blow straight off the bat.
Aira is pacing back and forth, her eyes glued on the fight which starts without much preamble. The vixen sucks in a breath as Kahn roars and she wrings her hands as people people her grumble. It seems some other spectators aren’t too happy with the huntress’s nervous trekking so she ends up plopping down unceremoniously near where Khitti and Meri sit (sorry ladies). “C’mon, Kahn…” she urges the prime hunter under her breath as he swings his tomahawk.
Meri snickers at the thought of being considered Saint Meri. Maybe Cal has had this she-devil thing backwards this whole time. Saint Meri. Has a nice ring to it. Buuut ultimately the psion gives a firm shake of her head, dismissing the thought for she knows that it is not true. No saint here. When Khitti suggests they should do this, Meri does initially jump to entering tournaments. A brow is lifted at the thought but shoulders are shrugged in a semi-disinterested sort of way. Been there. Interest is rekindled at the mention of the Red Skull and the blonde ends up motioning toward Kahn with a bit of a smirk, suggesting maybe they ought to speak with him to make it happen. Annnd then Meri gives Khitti a tap of a punch to the shoulder. Not too hard, no sense in seeing good hot chocolate spilled. Aira plops down next to Khitti and Meri, and it takes her a second to recognize the woman, but when she does Aria is greeted with a, "Hey."
Khitti || It doesn't take Khitti quite as long as it does Meri to realize who Aira is. Oh good, here's awkward Khitti. It's been awhile since you've seen -her-, hasn't it, Meri? "Hi, Aira." Red brows furrowed as she looked towards Meri, and sipped her hot chocolate carefully, eventually giving the tattooed female a nod when she registered what been said silently about talking to Kahn. The last time Aira and Khitti saw each other, one was definitely an elf and the other was definitely a vampire. Things have definitely changed since then, clearly. What had been a depressed mood before has now been overtaken by tide of shyness and silence. With all these mood changes, you'd think she was pregnant again (thankfully, she's not).
Shishi ’s lupine hands catch their target and although the vampire can’t taste the blood they draw, he is satisfied with the results nonetheless. His own fangs flash in a smile, but it is impossible and unwise for him to celebrate for more than that fraction of a second. The tomahawk is coming and the shadows that make up Shishi’s offence must now be repurposed into something that can save his unnaturally long life. The solid shade leaves the assassin’s hands and Kahn’s flesh and move impossibly fast, becoming incorporeal for just enough time to combine and wrap themselves around The Blue Demon’s head and solidify, again into the shape of a wolf head, (only because there was simply no time to redesign), but this time hard as stone to act as a helmet against the monstrous blow coming down. It works, sort of. There’s a loud crack and the shadows shatter, falling away from the vampire’s skull as blood seeps from the edge of his dark hair down to his forehead. He wasn’t killed, but he’s hurt and stunned. Concussed, he stumbles backwards into the snow until his back is against the incoming ice wall. ‘Why is that so close?’ He wonders if maybe this new concussion is messing with his perception of space, but then sees his robes next to him, pushed from where he left them to this spot much closer to the cliff edge. The walls are closing in and now ghastly hands are appearing at that cliff edge and Kahn likely isn’t going to wait for Shishi to clear the ringing going on in his head. In somewhat of a panic and his back literally against a wall, the vampire calls on the shadows over the cliffs edge to grapple those revenants in tentacle-like grasps and fling them the rest of the way over the dropoff, directly towards the hostile feline. Kahn will find four such undead creatures sailing through the air at him while Shishi tries to shake the stars from his vision…
Tristina squats next to Aira in the snow not quite setting and cups a wing around her not quite touching, "Trust dear is a marvelous thing when you trust your bonded to live to stay at your side no matter the cost you need never fear losing them."
Hudson comments, with disgust, to the guy sitting next to him, "Shishi with the wolf-face....... no respect."
Orikahn has absolutely no intention of offering his opponent a moment to catch their breath, and he presses his offensive with reckless disregard. With a trail of bright red blood behind him, the sabercat throws his tomahawk straight for the retreating vampire, a toss aimed vaguely at "the middle" of him, and rushes forward, claws and fangs outstretched. Little does he know that silent shadows and breathless revenants threaten him from behind. As Kahn swings again, this time in a daring bid to grab the vampire by his very throat, the unliving missiles crash around him. There's scarcely time to react; their withered digits are already clawing blindly at the feline's leggings, ripping at his jerkin, and even daring to tear the belt of skulls from his waist! "GrraaaAAH!?" This last blow, an unexpected insult atop unexpected injury, is enough to break Kahn's attention. He startles and, in a wild scramble, attempts to literally claw his way up the vampire to escape the horrible frozen monsters--if he can kick Shishi down into their midst in the process, well... all the better.
Meri looks from Khitti, to Aria, and then back to Khitti. The woman is a bit confused as to why Khitti is suddenly acting so shy and awkward, but she's not going to be that jerk of a friend that just outright asks. Her confusion is obvious though. Thankfully Tristina comes along and provides a break in Meri's confusion, at least long enough to flash the stranger a smile.
Aira only tears her attention from the dueling space when she hears greetings aimed in her direction. Meri is given a nod and a quick ‘hullo’. Khitti is given a double take; it had been a while since the pair had seen each other. Last time Aira was definitely not part fox and, as if on its own accord, her bushy tail gives another flick. “Hi Khitti, it’s good to see you again.” That’s all the huntress gets out because the fight has her attention again and a look of confusion crosses her visage as she notes the ice seems to be moving closer towards the combatants. She is just to call out an encouraging word to the saber cat when Tristina, crouched beside the vixen, startles her. Aira blinks. “Hmph,” comes her simple response. “Let’s hope his aura is strong today, eh?” She offers the dragon before turning back to the duel, just in time to see undead creatures being flung at Kahn. These two hunters have a history with such beings, and not a very good one. Aira’s eyes go wide and she inches closer to Khitti and Meri trying to get a better look at the fight. “Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no,” she mutters again under her breath.
Shishi comes out of his daze just in time to see the tomahawk flying at his chest, but not just in time to defend against it. This time fortune favors him and the ice wall pushes him forward from behind juuuust the right distance so that the handle of the tumbling primitive weapon connects with is sternum first, softening the blow ever so slightly so that when the head of the weapon rotates forward and connects with his chest it doesn’t break the skin and simply knocks the wind out of him. Being a vampire, he doesn’t need to breathe so having the wind knocked out of him isn’t the end of the world. Kahn claws forward and the ice wall pushes from behind, forcing Shishi to slide against it towards the cliff edge, away from both the feline and his own thrown projectiles/ghouls. Thing is, space is getting tight now and more hands are reaching over the top of the snowy cliff. One grabs the assassin’s left ankle, and the feline grabs (more like digs into) his right. So The Blue Demon makes a decision he will probably end up regretting… “Ok then,” he says to the undead hoard and the hunter alike and falls with his opponent just as he claws up to his knee. Several things happen during the drop; the ghouls grab at Kahn and Shishi from the face of the cliff, the assassin flails and punches at the feline with one hand, and with the other tries to pull himself onto the cliff face as it rushes past, shadows gathering at his fingertips to enhance his grip.
Khitti gave Meri an apologetic look. She'd explain on the way home. She promises. "Likewise," the redhead said to the foxy lady. Her line of sight shifted from the three near her to Kahn and Shishi, Aira's concern obvious. Khitti'd known that the two were close, but she didn't know how close as of late. "I'm sure he'll be fine. Him and I fought an entire nest of Vailkrin's spiders together a long time ago. If he can deal with that -and- a moody vampire at the same time, even after getting covered in venomous spider guts. I'm sure he'll make it through this too," the templar said, trying to be strangely supportive of Aira and her concerns. Frankly, if it was Brand, or Lionel, or Meri in Kahn's place, she'd certainly be feeling the same way.
Tristina glances at Aira with slightly glazed eyes "It doesn't work that way."
Aira gives Khitti a sideways glance as the redhead offers her support and encouragement in Kahn. Truth was, the vixen wasn’t worried about his ability to hold his own with Shishi. The undead creatures though…that was the first and really only time she had seen Kahn injured badly. But he had overcome that right? Right. “I never liked spiders,” she admits with a wrinkle of her nose. “Give me a den of dragons any day and I’m fine, but I can do without those eight-legged creatures.” Aira shifts her gave back to Tristina and gives a small shrug. “Maybe you can explain it me sometime.” What is -this-? Aira is being not entirely disagreeable?! Anxiety is a funny thing.
Meri was mid-sip of her hot chocolate. I'm sure he'll be fine, Khitti assures Aria...and then what happens? It looks Shishi has gone over the cliffs edge. What about Kahn? How was he faring? I'm sure he'll be fine though! Meri chokes on her hot chocolate. It's okay though, just give her a second, she'll be fine. But Aria seems to be coping well enough with the anxiety, all things considered. "Same on the spiders," Meri agrees with Aria. Sorry to Khitti's spider, Meri is not really a fan. You are just a tolerated creature for her sake.
Orikahn doesn't manage to climb very high. Shishi's decision to intentionally fall leaves the fuzzy hunter without a leg to stand on. Robbed of his support, Kahn tumbles with him. Ice and bodies fly by him, and there's no time to think, only time to act! In a flash of instinct, Kahn snatches the lip of the cliff tight in his grasp, claws digging into the ice to reinforce his grip. There is a split second in which the two combatants dangle in mirrored posture, each one clinging to the cliff and swatting away the hungry hands and jaws of the swarming revenants. For Kahn's part? The feline exercises his natural advantage to its fullest; the cat has three limbs fully armed and ready. He'll only need to fight through the bleeding. Heavy drops of bright crimson sail down the cliff face as the cat claws and flails. With his last reserves of adrenaline, Kahn throws his weight into a swing and leaps! It's a maverick gamble, but Kahn plans to try again what he's tried once before! To escape the ghouls and grisly fall, he'll climb his way right up Shishi and back to what little cliff remains against the wall of ice. Claws, don't fail him now!
Tristina stands opening her wings to there full extent showing them to be quite large for her small size easily three times the wing to mass ratio for more magic reliant dragons and moves to look down over the cliffs edge.
Khitti smirked at Meri, "I'll tell Francis that. We'll see if my spider-son helps us in battle again or not. He'll be so heartbroken. He'll give me those eight, big spider-puppy eyes. 'Why doesn't Aunt Meri love me anymore?'" She nodded solemnly, "Poor, poor Francis." Sigh. "Speaking of which, I think I'll need to take him with us, to wherever we go next. He's been cooped up in that ship for too long. Maybe he'd like a nice visit up here again. He loved sinking his fangs into the wolves." There was that tiny issue with Francis practically drooling Shadow Plane spider venom all over the place when he got exited, which then ate away at the ground, but... that was a problem for Future Khitti! Her attention moved back to the duel, the rest of her hot chocolate drank as she mused aloud to herself, "Maybe there could be a pet battle too in Craughmoyle. Rangers and their pets fighting together." The Mother of Spiders was definitely envisioning this now, herself and Francis the cow-sized spider fighting along side one another with people cheering her on.
Shishi is far less naturally inclined to scaling the face of this cliff than Orikahn, and even with shadows at the vampire’s disposal now mimicking the feline’s claws to hold him in his precarious position clinging to the rock and ice, he is far too occupied with keeping the ghouls from peeling him off the wall and sending him falling the rest of the way to worry about this feral sabertooth using him as a ladder and scratch post as he climbs back onto what’s left of the plateau. He actually waits for Kahn to get up all the way, the back of his shirt now stained red with stolen blood, before he makes his own escape. Thick, dense shadows move along the cliff face, shoving undead off the walls as they make their way to Shishi. The darkness solidifies and digs itself into wounds left by Orikahn at the vampire’s shoulder blades while the shade outside his body takes the shape of massive wings comparable to the size of an avian’s. The Blue Demon lets go of the ice and rock and drops for a short distance, out of the reach of the climbing revenants, before those black wings unfurl and flap powerfully to stop his descent and leave him hovering in the air before pushing him back up towards where the Titans Finale began...
Aira :: If Aira had been paying attention to Khitti’s words she might have apologized for insulting spiders (if you can call her expression of dislike of arachnoids an insult), but the huntress is on her feet again, trying to get a better look at what is happening over the cliff face. Her nails press into the palms of her hands and she holds her breath.
Lanara slips quietly into view and takes a seat amongst the row of spectators, her chocolate hues briefly eyeing those in the crowd, before trailing to where the combatants were engaged. Shishi versus Orikahn, a show that she couldn’t live without seeing in the flesh. She didn’t even know who she was here to cheer for, as she was fond of the feline, but the vampire was the people’s champ! Should she lean towards the undead whose autographed poster hung on the back of her bedroom door, or the cat-man who was the mate of her frenemy and guild navigator? Having arrived late, the elf takes a moment to catch her breath and rubs her gloved hands together, as she pulls her fur-lined parka tightly about her slender figure. Her tapered ears take in the shouts and jeers of those around her, and she tries to see who they feel is in the lead in this match.
Meri groans. It's not like Meri brings the over-sized spider treats. What sort of treats to you bring that? Meri does not want to know, she'll settle on rats....but Khitti expands. He loved sinking his fangs into those wolves. Wolves are kind of cute, sometimes Khitti, as long as they are not hungry. "Well. I know for certain that I am not going to bring Kadence into a fight." One, the horse is skittish. Two, Francis would make her an easy snack.
Tristina snaps her wings closed and moves back by Aira
Khitti just kinda shrugged at Meri. Maybe a pet battle wasn't the best of ideas. Oh well.
Tristina offers Aira a claw up "I believe it is time you go patch him up."
Meri 's pet just isn't cool enough. Maybe it needs to be Khitti/Francis vs Encara and her creepy crawly friend. Or maybe Cal will think he ordering a puppy but what they get is not a puppy. Hm. Either way, this fight is over and it is freaking cold here, so Meri will hang around long enough for Khitti to be ready to scram...and then they are back off to warmer climates. If the redhead takes to long she will have to deal with a whining Meri.
Khitti is definitely fine with doing that getting the heck out of Frostmaw thing. For now. Until she has to come back to do Lionel's paperwork again. Sigh.
Aira offers a parting wave to Khitti and Meri as they depart, before Tristina garners her attention once more and the huntress absentmindedly nods her head.
Shishi flaps up over the cliff edge and gives Kahn the stink-eye from his spot above the chaos of the hoard climbing up into the snow. The feathers detach from his shadowy wings and float in the air around the assassin before he drops down to the clifftop, landing atop the skull of one of the undead that made it up all the way. The floating feathers turn their quills towards the feral feline and dart forward, hundreds of them, raining down on the hunter, piercing fur and flesh and dissolving into harmless shadow as soon as they make impact. For some reason there is a fly in the air, buzzing around, probably attracted by the decaying bodies to brave the snow and ice. Anyway, one quill impales that fly and that very same quill flies directly into Orikahn’s mouth, adding gross insult to porcupine-like injury...