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Fight:Hildegarde vs Orikahn

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Presented by The Redskull Trophy Ring

Combatants: Hildegarde vs. Orikahn
Stakes: If Hildegarde wins, Orikahn must henceforth stop poaching in Frostmaw and resume his former position. If Orikahn wins, he will be forgiven for his crimes and relieved of his duties to Frostmaw.
Master of Cermonies: Alvina, The Silver Bard
Ring Marshal: King of Larket, Macon
Judge: Queen of Larket, Josleen

Walled Courtyard

Alvina strides confidently into the center of the courtyard while the crowd murmurs and debate possible outcomes on the side lines. Various bets are being placed, money exchanged well out of view from most patrons. Ah, the lovely world of blood sports. Her garb is unusually extravagant. Long, red sleeves that drape well below her waist, almost dragging the ground and covering her entire person. A red speck on the field. With a wry grin, she throws both her arms into the air and small mortars are launched overhead by a simply slingshot system, preluded by the thunderous ‘boom’ of explosive magic in bright red bursts overhead. The sights and sounds simmer as she begins to speak. “Welcome ladies and gentleman, boys and girls of all ages and creeds!” Her voice resonates through the area for all to hear. “We have gathered here today to bear witness to a historic moment. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m so pumped! Today I have the honor and privilege to introduce - The - Dragon of the Frozen Tundra. Well known by Frostmaw citizens and ‘round all of Lithrydel for her strategy in combat. Her strong sense of justice marks her a hero! Her strength and sword make her a fearsome opponent! The beauty of the battlefield, Queen Hildegaaaaaaaarde!” Alvina pauses mid introduction while various fans roar or boo, depending on their preferences. She cups her hands to her ears, encouraging those who haven’t spoken up yet to do so. After the cries die down, she shakes her head in a ‘tsk tsk tsk’ fashion. “Now her opponent...ah, we’ve all heard the whispers. The rumors about a savage feline who stalks through the lands. Sharp claws, razor sharp teeth, and all the upstanding ethics of a common house slipper. This is no ordinary house cat, ladies and gents. Ol’ three eyed here is charged with neglect of office and poaching. His deadly aim and survival prowess make him the most dangerous hunter in the land. The Might Sabertooth, Orikahn!” Alvina once again sweeps the crowd, hand to her ear as cries go up at a deafening volume. “And now, put your hands together for our magnificent judge today, the unparalleled Queen of Larket, Lady Josleen!” With a bow, Alvina gestures toward where the Queen will enter, adding her own clapping to the noise surrounding as she exits the courtyard to make room for the combatants.

Josleen arrives at the courtyard with the air of a magistrate, viewing this fight as the organ of justice flexing its might. The crowd has come for sport, but the judge has come to interpret Aramoth's judgment in the case of Hildegarde v. Orikahn, In the city of war, violence and justice are indistinguishable, but for the city's Thane, it is important to keep the pretext of this fight front and center. She never liked Orikahn on a personal level, but she tries to convince herself that her biases won't affect her decision. She's fit for the job because Hildegarde, Aramoth's Daughter, has chosen her, if myths are to be believed. Hopefully Aramoth won't be biased either. She was pleased when her husband, King Macon, was chosen to be the Ring Marshal, a sign of the thawing tensions between the two cities. The Thane is dressed in traditional Frostmawian garbs: finely cut furs, leathers, everything covered up save a little cleavage. She stands and waves at the crowd as Alvina introduces her, with her infant son Prince Guillem sitting on her hip. He's not yet a month old but looks to be able 7 months old--Larket's curse is no secret. She waves for the combatants to enter as the crowd's roar reaches a fever pitch.

Orikahn stands between two frost giant guards, looking surly. Stripped of his garments and equipment, the Prime Hunter stands in naught but his trusty loincloth. Beneath the boreal sun, the massive sabertooth's well-tended glistens with a healthy sheen, his black and brown stripes rolling like waves over the outlandish muscles beneath. Paws flex, exposing and retracting the deadly claws hidden within. Behind the gaze of the three-eyed beast, there is already a seething intensity, a burning hunger for vindication through blood in the court of might-makes-right. Sensing the moment has come at last, Kahn steps free of his guards with a sneer, padded feet carrying him to the center of the courtyard in a swift, silent glide that belies his sheer, outlandish bulk. Hildegarde, Kahn taunts with a confident grin that shows a little too much fang and, perhaps, a little too much familiarity. It is not the way one greets a queen. Rolling his shoulders, Kahn raises his paws palms outward, arms close to his body as he sinks into a martial stance, eyes level as he begins bouncing on his broad, feline toes. He's quite glib, overall, for a man on trail--accused of poaching and neglect of office. The outcome of the fight will determine his fate.

Hildegarde is not one to boast or brag, so she remains entirely solemn when Alvina proclaims many complimentary things about her. Unlike Orikahn, she is not garbed only in loincloth – much to the delight of the audience, no doubt – and is instead wearing a fur trimmed tunic, trousers and boots. The tunic is similar in colour and style to her other one, though this one lacks the chainmail lining she typically prefers when she must attend a casual but still important meeting. Once Orikahn has taken his place in the middle of the courtyard and so toothily sneers at her, the dragon queen makes her way to the middle to join him: sole eye casting over his underdressed fuzzy body as he assumes a martial stance and begins bouncing on his toes. Hildegarde’s strength in war was strategy, so it is safe to assume she is presently assessing her opponent. The Silver performs a quick roll of her shoulders and wiggle of her limbs in preparation; feet sliding slightly apart and hands raising just slightly but remaining open. The Queen of War was ready.

Prince Guillem stares at a cartoonishly buxom frost giantess, straight at her most prominent assets.

Macon hands off the marble crown of Larket to Roald, the Kingsguard accompanying him, who will join the rest of the team guarding the Queen and Prince during the fight. The King, other than the crown, is dressed in plain enough clothes to allow him to perform his duties as the official for the event, nothing cumbersome or extravagant enough to get in his way while moving around the outskirts of the fight. The Fury Knight moves to the center of the courtyard while watching his wife and son take their place to judge the fight, Roald getting to his post afterward, having taken the long route along the outside of the fighting area. Macon moves to stand between the two combatants, looking them both over briefly for any secret chainmail or weapons. It is easier, obviously, to determine that the tiger isn't hiding anything, unless he is extra sneaky. No signs of anything fishy are found. The King’s voice is the same loud, commanding one he's used in Larket while addressing several different angry mobs, only about half of which were angry at him. “You both know the rules tha’ ‘ave been laid out. Claws…” he looks at Orikahn, and then at Hildegarde, “...and dragon’s might are ok. No weapons. No armor. Don’ do anythin’ stupid and I won’ ‘ave t’step in. Ready?” Once he gets acknowledgement from the both of them he steps back and lets this thing begin.

Gigi, also present, picks up Hudson's scent. His whole body wags with excitement that Man-dog is here. Gigi, a very good boy, weaves through the crowd in pursuit of Man-dog, his best friend (don't feel too special, the 'best friend' status is updated as quickly as his thoughts).

Hudson is apparently here, and has really inappropriately brought his daughters. Because 1) he's in charge of them right now, 2) Alvina's in charge of them right after this, and 3) this isn't contemporary society and nobody's gotten all fun police just yet about bringing the youth to RL MMA brawls basically. He is already having many regrets because naturally his daughters have no interest in this event so he'd bought them a cotton candy to share and now it's on everything. It's on their faces. On their clothes. On their hands. And now on Gigi, who is in their presence and licking them. It's not just man-dog! It's man-children! His daughters immediately rank Gigi higher than their father in the love rankings, because obviously. Hudson seizes the opportunity to stealth finish the cotton candy. If they ask later, he'll say he doesn't know what happened to it. Must have been swept away by an usher IDK.

Orikahn listens to Macon with half an ear, his gaze never leaving Hildegarde's sole eye. He licks his chops and gives another taunt, flexing his paws in a deliberate show of claws when they are mentioned, flashing the razor edges in a brief display of arms. Macon steps back, and Kahn takes his cue. The cat begins circling, his bouncing steps carrying him in a sideways arc toward the Silver. His steps are not swift, not yet, but if Hildegarde doesn't answer with footwork of her own, if she does not watch for any sudden change in the cat's posture, frostmaw's queen could discover the devil cat has slipped behind her back, behind her guard. This is Kahn's intention. Will she read it in his eyes? His grin flashes darkly, daring Hilde to make the first move.

Meri knows at least two people present well enough that she might have felt inclined to go up and say hello to them, if she spotted them. Except Hudson brought the kids...so Meri is just going to pretend she can't see either Hudson or Alvina in the crowd. She is going to stare very, very pointedly at the fight. Because....small people....short attention spans...yeah. She's a horrible friend, yes.

Hildegarde does not follow Orikahn around the ring. Instead, the battle-hardened knight remains entirely still as the cat begins to circle his prey. She doesn’t seek to read his intent, nor does she move a muscle even though every little bit of her is telling her to do so! Roll, strafe, begin the evasive manoeuvres! It’s a strong instinct to deny, but she denies it all the same. She’s presumably a bit boring to watch right this moment!

Macon side steps several times in response to Orikahn's movements, keeping himself midway between the fighters just far enough to be out of the way, and close enough to dive in if needed.

Josleen tries to watch the fight (already finding Hildegarde in better form than Orikahn even thought literally nothing has happened), but Guillem is very distracting. He is currently trying to slow-mo force things into her mouth. An inexhaustive list: her own hair, her necklace, his fingers, his teething ring. Half the things he tries to feed her are covered in his own drool, and yet she doesn't seem fazed by this, gently pulling his hands away. He's been on a two-day kick where he's obsessed with feeding her because she's started feeling him solids. Quid pro quo. What a thoughtful child. Gigi, also thoughtful, brings the girls a discarded turkey leg for them to pick apart, maybe chew on.

Kreekitaka is here also. I mean, why wouldn't he be at a fight? He made sure to be careful about exactly what he was drinking, though--he'd been a bit antsy lately, and he could tell that if he got too riled he was going to climb into that arena himself and challenge the victor. So no alcohol, at least at this junction. But maybe afterwards, there would be battle-hungry types headed to the bar. That might work quite well, yes…

Orikahn doesn't waste his advance! Sensing the moment is ripe, as soon as he believes himself far enough around to escape retaliation, he springs. Feline legs burst out of their defensive crouch, propelling the mighty Kahn not forward, but upward! Trusting his instincts, Kahn flies in a high arc to carry him behind Hildegarde's head at its zenith. Legs thrash and rake behind him, the claws of his toes splayed as he hopes to shred her skin like the upholstery of a common footstool, scrambling to kick and claw at her shoulders, her neck, her scalp, wherever his flurry of kicks may catch, snag, and rip.

Josleen shouted, "Ref!"

Josleen gestures wildly at Kahn.

Hudson immediately becomes best friends with the guy sitting near him, in the tradition of men spectating sports and rooting for the same side (Hildegarde). The friendship is mostly borne out of the fact that the guy bought him a beer, out of perhaps pity for the man who brought two girl children to a fight. Man, whatever, Hudson thinks the girls are being pretty good, though Alvina will be a little twitchy when she notices them all here. Harper and Luna have crowded Gigi and put their little arms around his neck. This is the sweetest thing... ??? Is that a turkey leg? Hudson nearly chokes on his beer and intercepts it. "Daddy, he brought it for us!!!" shrieks Harper, her face growing pinched in a certain foreboding way. "I need to go pee, Daddy," complains Luna. ... Just kidding, this was the worst idea ever! Hudson drains his beer, tries to get everyone up. It unfortunately happens during this MOMENTOUS assault by Kahn. Everyone get up. Stop looking at the fight. Uggggghhhh everyone's hands are mysteriously sticky. They all file out of the row with Hudson leading the way toward the men's room. "I don't like going in there, it's gross, I want mommy," complains Luna, super loudly, as she plants her feet and refuses to keep walking. Awesome.

Lionel is here because he has to be. The Queen is risking life and limb, and while he welcomes her spirit in the matter, he can’t afford to be elsewhere. On top of regulation, there is the matter that now would be the most opportune time for bad things to befall Frostmaw once again; recent events have kept him in a constant vigil over any bit of festival the City of War has dared to hold. Lately, that has meant increasing the guard and promoting those he trusts, because Lionel has been in Cenril almost as much as he’s been in Frostmaw. Today, as Queen Hildegarde makes a personal and potentially very dangerous appearance, it means keeping his own eyes fixed on the fight. Lionel isn’t dressed for splendor, because he’ll never dress for splendor if he can get away with it. He’s in a reasonable black silk shirt, well-ironed but otherwise unremarkable, and matching trousers. His only visible weapons are the knives holstered to his utility belt, which is a new item you can purchase from Xalious. But act fast, because like the SNES Classic in a distant and very different dimension, these utility belts are going, going, going, gone.

Hildegarde can hear the sound of claw against stone as Orikahn finally makes his move, her knees bending just slightly as her feet square to strengthen her stance and prepare for whatever impact might come. Although she half expected him to lunge for her neck and attempt to rip her throat out, this pounce is all the more interesting. With a sharp hiss, the claws rend through her grey tunic and the flesh of her back, shoulder and perhaps just a little bit of her scalp if the flutter of fiery hair to the floor is any indication. Yet as Orikahn scrambles up Hildegarde and kicks away to finally scramble off his target, Hildegarde strikes: one hand reaching for what can only be described as the ankle (cats have freaky little ankle things) with an iron like grasp as her other hand reaches for his tail, aiming to grasp it and wrap her arm around it at least once in an attempt to slam him down hard into the ground with a furious roar of effort! Should Orikahn go to the floor as intended, Hildegarde’s boot will come crashing down with deadly intention to his trachea.

Macon continues his focused sidestepping while Josleen yells for him to intervene. Luckily for her, she isn't the only one complaining about the style of this first strike in the crowd. He just growls to himself and ignores the Queen and others. Claws are ok, people.

Alvina has moved to the side line to commentate on the first action of the battle. Her voice is still broadcasting loud, for all to here while she remains on the edge of the courtyard. “Oh! Orikahn is the first to strike! Not unexpected for the fast feline.” She pauses, waiting to see the outcome. “Annnnd that’s a hit-” She stops again when Josleen shouts and offers a gentle reminder. “Due to the terms of the fight, claws -are- allowed.”

Hudson bends down to reason with Luna. Harper, now over the turkey leg, is being kind of a dick about it. "Come on, LUNA," she hisses her sister's name like a bad word. And so Luna is peer pressured into going into the men's room. All the men presently in the men's room visibly pity the dude leading 2 small female children into a stall. "Everyone is peeing, we're not doing this again. Luna, go first," Hudson announces. It's about when he gets to wrapping it up with Harper that he notices that Luna has started crawling on the floor of the men's room and is literally popping up in the next stall, like... a very terrible version of whack-a-mole that nobody wants to play except her. There are some things you do as a parent that do not make you proud. This is one of them: Hudson pulls his child, who commences screaming like a siren, by the ankle into the right stall. Luna spitefully refuses to wash her hands, just continues wailing. Everyone is staring when they exit.

Macon was given instructions, besides allowing claws and not allowing armor and weapons, to make sure that the fight is fought fairly. In his interpretation of that guideline, tail pulling and hitting while someone is down are acceptable. If they wanted a -clean- fight, they probably should have got someone other than The Rage Knight to officiate.

Macon feels a tremendous sense of pity all of a sudden, but he can't imagine why. It's best that he doesn't imagine what is happening in the men's room though. What a nightmare.

Orikahn can sense that his moment of visceral elation will be short-lived. Even as the scent of blood fills his nostrils, even as he can feel the satisfyingly slick sensation of flesh parting between his toes, a nagging voice of self-preservation warns him to brace for impact. This slight won't go unanswered, and indeed, the inevitable comes to pass. Hilde's hand closes around his leg, clutching his digitigrade "ankle" and slamming him to the ground with enough force to evict the breath from his lungs. The pain flashes like an old, familiar friend that splashes across his synapses. "GRAAH!" It's no accident when Kahn twists about his middle, half to clutch his abused body, half to dodge the death-blow to his windpipe. Reflex and instinct guide him, wasting no time on comprehensible thought, for even as Hildegarde's foot strikes the flagstones with a sickening thud, Orikahn's feet are kicking wildly, his splayed toes aiming to scrape along Hildegarde's clutching arm. Does he kick himself free? Do his claws open the veins of her forearms? Surely, the moment he is out of her grasp, he will scramble away, but it's hard telling how strong her grip will remain…

Lionel confers with a number of the city guard as he strolls from one end of the courtyard to the other. While he’s here, he’ll take the time to issue new orders regarding the safety and security of a larger-than-usual caravan of merchants and entertainers estimated to arrive in Frostmaw within the week. There will also be a rare appearance from a group of Frost Giants living some ways from the city. They aren’t exiles, but rather, they’ve chosen this lifestyle, and their pending arrival portends the chance for a cultural dialogue. It could open new opportunities for Frostmaw, but it could also be a front. Lionel can’t afford optimism. Of course, while he’s going about his duties, there’s a no-holds-barred brawl occurring at the center of the yard. On rare occasions the Catalian spares a glance, but he will always keep Queen Hildegarde in his peripheral. She is the Queen of the City of War, and she is the shepherd and conductor of the Warrior’s Guild. But she is still the Queen.

Hildegarde ’s back feels wet and slick with blood, the grey shirt distorting in colour due to the injury. Some lucky members of the audience might even catch a glimpse of that bare back (no swooning, please) as Hildegarde ferociously stomps down and misses her target due to that feisty feline. She has already tasted the pain from his claws – particularly those vicious back claws made for gutting animal bellies – and is swift to relinquish her grip upon his ‘ankle’ so he can begin his scramble away. But Hildegarde isn’t quite done with the cat, no. With another monstrous roar, the knight stomps down once again with the malicious intent to stomp upon Orikahn’s tail as he attempts to scramble away from her. If her aim is true and she has managed to make contact with his tail, she would make it brief: leaping onto the cat’s striped back as one arm winds tightly around his neck and the other clasps tightly against an exposed sabretooth like fang where she would begin to pull the fang forward in order to force Orikahn’s head forward and lean further into her constricting grip.

Alvina is a loose acquaintance of Orikahn’s in the sense that she almost bore a scar from his arrow as it pierced her shoulder so long ago. It’s still hard to watch. She wonders if Aria is here, and decides she must be somewhere. With her adorable fluffy tail. It melts her heart. She doesn’t -not- know Hudson is here with her daughters or she’d have fled the country with them in tow. When Hildegarde gets hold of Orikhan’s tail though, she flinches, the hiss of fear broadcast to those watching. “Gods above,” and her hands briefly cover her eyes. Blood sports are not her bag but as a Frostmaw official she’d agreed to be here and wanted to cheer them both on in her own way. May the Gods be merciful. She looks back in time to see Orikahn dodge Hildegarde’s boot and sighs with relief. “Nearly a flawless execution,” She comments, wondering if this is why Aria didn’t want a tail. Dangerous thing, tails. That and capes.

Prince Guillem's attention turns to the fight when the action starts. Baby's First Bloodsport goes poorly. Orikahn's kitty growls, hisses, and screeches disturb the technically-not-yet-a-month-old child. His lips pucker, chin wrinkles, eyes glisten. He squirms and starts to protest in nonsense babble until Hildegarde stomps the ground, narrowly missing the cat's windpipe. Now the child screams, his wail powerful despite his size, his face red and entire body trembling with the rage he cannot contain. He sends out a miniature rage pulse, a fraction the strength of his father's. The combatants, already primed for violence, may feel it most acutely. Josleen turns her back to the fight and crowd for a moment, fussing with her dress in the classic way of all mothers preparing to publicly breastfeed. Once Guillem has latched on, she turns back to the fight, her exposed breast only partially obscured by the baby's head. Those sitting nearest to her turn their gazes stiffly forward, their spines go ramrod straight and they have suddenly lost the ability to move their eyeballs or necks.

Aira 's eyes momentarily shift towards the restroom area where screeching can be heard, easily carrying over the brawl and crowd. The huntress's nose wrinkles in distaste and she quickly side steps away from it as if that will muffle the wailing (it doesn't). At Kahn's yell, however, that metallic gaze snaps back to the center area in time for Aira to wince, closing one eye as she watches the Queen aim a booted blow to the prime hunter's windpipe. Thankfully, he's maneuvered away from it and the elf can release a breath she didn't know she was holding. Still, there's little time for her to relax and the huntress begins to shift her weight on either leg anxiously as Hildegarde continues her attack.

Hudson needs like, two more beers to recover from this bathroom trip. He feels like they've missed a lot of good stuff, the crowd was very loud while they were in there. Gigi is waiting for them, good dog, the sight of Gigi somewhat soothes Luna, who latches on to him and shoots her father dirty looks. Sorry daddy didn't let you crawl around on the floor of the men's room and drop in on dudes who were pooping, life sux. Harper sees her mother, and indicates her for Hudson. "It's mommy!" she exclaims, waving spastically. Her mother does not see her, because why would Alvina look at the random men's room in this area. "Can we go see her?" "Let's bring Gigi!" "Daddy???? Daddy HELLO?" Hudson is not really listening, he's standing and watching the hold Hildegarde has on Orikahn's fang. "Come on," he mutters under his breath.

Macon tilts his stare away from the fight very briefly, and towards his wife and son when that pulse of angry Aura comes from the prince. The King has a bit of immunity built up to the effects of the Rage infection that others do not, and he also has an acute sense for it, having held the stone that the infection came from for some time. As quickly as the crisis comes, Josleen gets it under control with her boob and The Rage Knight can fully focus on the brawl once more.

Brennia Smyth takes a seat, umbrella in hand and fan in the other for she is covered in a turtle neck, black leggings, black gloves and a large sun hat. Uncharacteristically taking a seat alone and watching Hildegarde, her heart racing and possibly fangirling. Giving shout of support and accidentally sending those cheers all over the stadium to mix with everyone else's with the use of magic in growing her voice. Gloved hand clasped over her mouth nearly knocking her large dark as night shades off her face and dropping her fan. She's really hating the sun.

Orikahn is free! So his claws meet stone rather than flesh, and he scrabbles wildly for traction, making utmost haste to put a little distance between himself and the silver. Orikahn knows it is imperative he escape close quarters. Perhaps Hildegarde knows this too. A startled yowl echoes over the crowd as the dragon's foot comes down on his tail, and the hair clean down Kahn's back stands on end in an agitated line. This yowl of surprise is interrupted. The arm around his neck closes like a vice, and he doesn't have time to gasp. Eyes wide in shock and fear for his mortality, his arms raise to clutch at Hildegarde's hands, arms, head and neck, reaching around and behind himself, trying desperately to shred and rip at foreign flesh wherever he finds it, to hit an artery if he can. Already, the edges of his vision are tunneling, blurring into a distant gray as the oxygen is choked from his brain. He is caught--badly caught--and his only hope now is to force Hildegarde's retreat, and quickly. Orikahn's seconds are numbered.

Alvina can’t speak. She doesn’t see Harper, Luna or Hudson by the men’s room. She doesn’t see anything but Orikahn and Hildegarde as they are locked in combat. “This might be it, folks.” She mumbles, her heart pounding as the tunnel vision and rage aura empowers her to keep her eyes trained on the combatants with no fear of blood or bone. No fear of death.

Lionel paces to an old oak tree near the edge of the courtyard with autumnal red-orange leaves, where he leans against the bark with one legged propped and crosses his arms and sighs. Two young soldiers of the Frostmawian Army come quickly to join him -- a bulky native Frost Giant and an uncommon dwarf -- but he waves them away quietly. “I’d prefer to be left alone.” Lionel’s azure eyes stick to the fight instead of addressing them directly, but his tone is soft, not stern. They bow deeply, the Frost Giant bringing herself almost down to Lionel’s height in so doing, and depart. Orikahn’s gambit prompts Lionel to raise his chin with concern.

Macon tenses and takes a step forward with Orikahn caught. He is preparing to step in should Hildegarde take advantage of this opportunity to end the fight.

Hildegarde might just get rid of her poaching problem entirely if she chokes the life out of Orikahn right here and now! That little hint of rage seeping into her is all the more incentive, in fact, she has the mighty tempting feeling to just rip that tooth off and jam it through that hideous third eye of his. That is until Josleen exposes a breast and Hildegarde’s intense feelings of protecting Josleen’s modesty, honour, dignity and reputation surface and she is caught by the cat. His claws a-swaying, they nick near her eye and she can ill afford to lose it! The superficial cut streams blood, framing Hildegarde’s face in red as she does her best to keep hold of the cat only to find her hand slipping on the saliva pouring from his maw; her hand cutting against the fang she gripped and forcing her to let him go from this position. Not before she tries to plant a rather vicious kick between his shoulder blades. Frostmaw’s justice was not kind. Was this a fight to the death? It could well be. Hildegarde can feel a slight burn at the very bottom of her lungs; a heaviness in her arms.

Hudson is being hounded by - and therefore ignoring - his children, who it turns out have NO APPRECIATION for blood sports at all. Their mother is here, they "have to" go see her, is basically the only thing they know. Hudson's seat-neighbor/new BFF is yelling some things Hudson would really rather small ears not hear/repeat ("AWWWW YEA! The cat's getting his tits lit!!!"). To keep the peace, Hudson buys some peanuts. It's super effective!

Gigi begs for peanuts.

Hudson feeds Gigi a few peanuts, to keep the peace. Everybody, eat peanuts, stop yelling. Let Hudson watch the sports. Thx.

Gigi starts barking wildly at the cat. He had somehow missed Kahn in the crowd, being very short, but now the wind turned, brought the cat's scent to Gigi, and the poodle WILL KILL IT.

Gigi tries to break into the ring, will leap over the low barrier unless stopped, will run past Macon unless stopped, will bite Kahn's tail. Guys. Gigi is going for it.

Luna produces some very helpful color commentary, clearly her mother's daughter: "Gigi is going crazy, Daddy!" Harper is eating something she found on the ground, Hudson only catches her in the middle of this. It appears to have been a hot dog.

Aira is slowly realizing that she may be one of the few Orikahn-supporters in the crowd, but that doesn't sway her any. The huntress does her best to keep the brawling pair in sight, weaving her way through bigger men who simply step into her line of vision. She has to resist the overwhelming urge to give them a swift kick behind the knee and send them sprawling to the ground. The elf is growing agitated now, at her lack of ability to do -anything- as she watches Kahn engage in the fight. Aira lets out a noise somewhere between a huff and a growl, that vulpine tail puffing up and creeping out from under her cloak and brushing against anyone near, probably startling them.

Hudson shouted, "Dog on the field!"

Kreekitaka is neither for nor against either one, though if he were forced to pick one it'd probably be Orikahn.

Lionel mutters the words 'nine hells' underneath his breath.

Brennia heard Hudsons shout and good judgment illudes her when the unbrella drops and she swooped down over the dog, scooped him up and then leaped back up in the stands. Her face breaks out in hives from the sun.

Orikahn looks rather as though his eyes could bug right out from his head. With pressure building inside his cranium and every instant bringing him that much closer to oblivion, his salvation comes from the least expected of places. A boob. Never shall Orikahn know that an immodest glimpse was his salvation in the ring. Scarcely aware, the cat is suddenly free again, and his unthinking limbs carry him hurriedly away, though not hurriedly enough to escape escape Hildegarde's kick altogether. It's a mixed blessing. Tumbling in a ball of fur, fangs, and tail, Hilde's foot sends Orikahn rolling a healthy distance away where he can pant, stand, and regain his bearings. A cold flush of awareness washes over him as the breath returns to his head. He backs away a pace, rubbing at his neck, watching the Silver and remembering how to focus his eyes. Keep on your feet, cat. Don't let her close on you. Don't let her close the distance. It's a lesson he'll never likely forget. Gradually, cautiously, his circling resumes.

Josleen shouted, "Gigi! Come here!"

Gigi does not 'come here'.

Brennia looks around for someone to take the poodle. Anyone, please. Sun - it burns

Gigi is scooped up by Brennia and goes absolutely berserk. A BIRD PERSON is making him -fly-. He's scratching at her arms and squirming, trying to get free despite the height. Josleen shouts for Gigi to calm down. Brennia bring him here. Guillem unlatches and starts screaming again. Josleen scrambles to pull up her dress, but not before plenty of people get the full boob view.

Hildegarde has focussed her eye upon Orikahn and is already thinking of how best to get close to him without getting viciously cut to ribbons by his sharp claws. As Gigi comes yapping towards the pair, Hildegarde turns her head to look at the princely dog – thinking she might need to save it from their fight! – only to see that Brennia has swept him up safely. Good thing she had that umbrella! Of course, Hildegarde has lost a valuable moment here and is rather exposed by her compulsion to save the dog if necessary.

The crowd roars appreciatively for the Gigi-nterference and rescue ... and the Josleen Janet Jackson event. Luna pulls on Hudson's shirt, tells her father, "Daddy, I need number two." He says, "Can it wait, bear, this is a really bad time."

Brennia heard Josleen shouting for the pup and started to make her journey to the Queen. Shades protecting her eyes at least from the sun and small red bumps continue to spread across her face. Luckily by the time Brennia made her way over to Josleen her wings block the view of anyone trying to peek at royalty goods and a subtle hum of a calming spell for the babe and the dog. Luckily she was wearing sleeves today and the dog wasn't doing too much damage, “your majesty.” She returns the dog to Josleen with a smile despite the painful sun.,

Josleen thanks Brennia and invites her to sit with her. Alvina had mentioned to Josleen that the avians were suffering from an allergy to the sun. She cringes sympathetically then signals for shade to be provided. How? Doesn't matter, she's a Queen, get to it Roald. Josleen would make conversation with Brennia, but Guillem is still wailing. Instead she tries to soothe the baby by pointing at Macon in the ring and whispering in baby voice, "Look! There's Daddy! Say Hi, Daddy! Hi, Daddy!" She waves Guillem's little hand at Macon, who is focused on the fight. It sort of works. The wailing quiets down to restless noises and fussing.

Gigi is restrained by a Larketian Guard. His barking grows hoarse from the tugging on his collar. His eyes are singularly focused on that damn cat. Just let The Geeg at 'im, people!

Lionel is still at his tree, having watched an avian almost burn to a crisp saving a peculiarly-groomed little canine from its own stubborn tendencies. In another life, he might have swooped in to save the avian, but she was flying, and she seems okay now. Okay is a relative term if ever there were one, which is reflective of the fierce grudge match combat occurring between the Queen and a very catlike creature. Lionel considers the etymology of the word ‘okay’, mumbling to himself here and then about its linguistic roots and the various versions and replacements found in other lands. Another Frostmawian recruit almost walks up to him for conversational purposes, then thinks better of it and samples the peanuts.

Orikahn watches Hildegarde... bleed for a moment. Briefly, his attention sweeps around the ring, trying to gauge the crowd and seeing a lot of rukus. Well, Orikahn sighs, that probably means he'll have to finish what he was sent here to do, won't it? Steeling his convictions, refeshing his lungs, and baring the claws of his fingers, Orikahn dares to redouble his advance, and barring some unlikely intervention, Hildegarde may soon pay for her moment of distraction. Pay in blood, that is.

Brennia sits with Josleen and makes conversation about her son. Luckily her larger sun hat was large enough to cover her face for now she just makes sure to pull it so it continues to sit low. Keeping an eye on Hildegarde and her intense match with a large cat while admiring the Queen of Frostmaw’s ferocity. Brennia continues to subtly hum a lullaby for the prince and making sure only he would be about to hear it so no one else falls asleep. A glance to a man under a tree who would have saved her if he could have, but fear not, this birdy is feisty - tweet, tweet.

Macon , between Gigi trying to get into the fight, which the king of Larket would have found to be against the rules, and both fighters beaten and ripped to shreds, and short on breath, is about ready to hand this fight over to the smoking hot judge. Had Orikahn not been saved by that smokin’ hot boob, he would have jumped in and called the fight already. Instead he allows for one last exchange, initiated by the feline again, before moving in to break things up, placing himself between the dragon queen and the hunter. Maybe he catches a claw or a boot or something in the process, but “That's enough! Well fought!” He shouts, pushing a hand against each of their chests, sending them back away from each other to opposite ends of the open courtyard.

Hildegarde is glad to see that Gigi is once again in safe hands! In all the commotion, she had lost track of Orikahn and only turns in time to see him nearly close in on his approach. If it weren’t for Macon, she likely would have taken a rather nasty slice from the big cat! The Silver stands at the ready, though, just in case the cat decides to go rogue. Cats have no respect for rules, after all!

Guillem looks at Brennia unblinkingly when she starts to sing. He's never heard such a sound before, or seen an avian before. Frostmaw has been eye-opening for him, and scary. Eventually, his lids grow heavy and he nods off in Josleen's arms. Josleen mouths 'Thank you' to Brennia and focuses back on the fight. Both combatants look battered, but Kahn looks worse for wear in her esteem. Macon breaks up the fight and she waits to see if either combatant (*cough*Kahn*cough*) will violate the ring marshal's order.

Hudson is feeling dad-nnoyance. They were JUST in the men's room! He doesn't want to do this again! "No. I want to go now," Luna is saying, though. "You didn't need to go number two earlier?" Hudson responds, as if having this conversation with his daughter/pointing out that she had a chance earlier is going to somehow negate the problem. He sort of feels like she's exaggerating how badly she needs to do this because she's annoyed that her mother is not presently accessible. Man, he is trying. "No," answers Luna, tersely. "OK, fine," Hudson has to capitulate. Because what else can you do? You can't roll the dice on a poop situation. Everyone has to get up and file past everyone, again. Except for some reason the nearest men's room is now CLOSED due to a toilet flooding. Traffic is now being directed to the portable restrooms erected elsewhere. There is one by Lionel and his tree. A-ha, a person he knows. Hudson is a very tired parent. He parks Harper in front of Lionel. "Please watch my child," he says, taking Luna into the rest area. Harper looks at Lionel, blinks, and then asks, "I'm Harper. What does 'getting his tits lit' mean?"

Lionel has a rough time watching Macon push Hildegarde. It’s harder seeing this than any manner of savage cunning Orikahn enacted upon her. It’s an old wound, and it stings, and he sighs all over again. It is what it is. His presence is probably expected, so Lionel kicks off from his chosen tree and squeaks through the rabble to maintain a close proximity to the Queen. He’s on-call and dedicated should she require aid. Something tells him she won’t.

Lionel is being followed by a very young person all-the-while, as it happens, and so 'what does getting lit mean?' is now a question posed for Hildegarde as well.

Gigi tires himself out, finally, and resigns himself to standing tensely.

A woman near Lionel overhears the question posed by Harper and interjects. "It's when a cat screams very loudly." The woman, of course, has no idea that Harper has a pet cat at home and will now be informing everyone she knows every time Aria has screamed "Aria's getting her tits lit."

Orikahn spots Macon approaching, and the cat blows a blast from his nostrils, part in exasperation at having been interrupted, part in relief at... having been interrupted. To make some kind of macho point, he lets his momentum carry himself into Macon's waiting hand, bumping his chest into the outstretched palm to make sure Hildegarde knows that it was the official who really stopped him. Eyes still glaring, ears slicking angrily back, the massive cat rolls his shoulder and neck again, trying to shake off the dawning soreness that promises to follow their hard-fought match.

Brennia holds out a piece of jerky for GiGi to tempt him over to her so she may hold the little poodle price and give him some attention.

Gigi is easily won over by Brennia, his new best friend. (Sorry, Hudson, but you were warned.)

Hudson returns from dealing with Luna (#fake news) and to his great alarm Lionel has disappeared, with his child. His heart seizes up with terror but then he spies Harper with Lionel and Hildegarde. No doubt Alvina will come over to them too. Fine. Everything is fine. He picks up Luna and moves in that direction.

Macon , after giving a stone faced look at the two combatants that says, ‘don't you dare start up again after I said it's over,’ moves towards Josleen and Brennia and the Prince. Hildegarde is definitely more bloody than Orikahn thanks to the extensive claw use, but The Rage Knight wants to make sure his wife understands that she should be looking past the flesh wounds to decide the winner. He's subtle though, in his simple and singular ‘expert’ breakdown of the fight, “She could ‘ave killed ‘im there, at one point.” Not that Josleen needs very much nudging towards awarding the dragon the win over the cat anyway.

Josleen is all smiles as Macon approaches, but the smile fades as it becomes clear that her husband has come to 'helpfully' explain the fight to her. "I know," she says in a couple places in a slightly peeved tone. #Men She hands the sleeping Guillem off to Macon and makes a show of pacing away, deep in thought. The bard's instinct for performance comes naturally. She turns suddenly as if she were swayed by a counter argument in her own head. 'Such a close call!' her body language screams. At last she enters the ring, turns towards the crowd, and announces in a clear and bardically augmented voice, "Aramoth has spoken! Hildegarde wins. Orikahn could not defeat his guilty conscience, nor evade his guilt! This trial proves Orikahn is guilty of poaching and neglecting his post! As agreed beforehand, Orikahn must submit to Frostmaw's authority in the wilds, respect the hunting laws, and resume his role in Frostmaw's governing office with immediate effect. Should Orikahn fail to adhere to these terms, another trial by combat will be scheduled. Should that occur, it will be to the death! Long live the Queen!"

Alvina shakes her head, spellbound by the fast pace event. While looking towards the combatants she happens to see Harper hovering near Lionel and Hildegarde?? She looks around in mild alarm at Hudson, who is rushing in the same direction. Her face is pinched in apology to both the bloody queen and the Knight-Commander while she scoops up Harper in one swift ‘mom’ motion and plops her onto her hip.

Hildegarde was a little miffed when Macon pushed her back, but it was expected in a fight situation like this so she can’t hold it against him. Her people are more annoyed than she is, really. As Josleen announces the victor – righteously chosen by Aramoth – Hildegarde offers a little dip of her head and looks to Orikahn. She offers him a look as if to say she’ll honestly, swear to Aramoth, kill him dead if he crosses her and Frostmaw again. “Clean yourself up,” she tells him in a low voice, the kind of voice that is laced with deeply suppressed anger. She will wait and watch, waiting for Orikahn to walk away and go clean himself up (hopefully by more humanoid means, she doesn’t want to walk into the fort and see him cat cleaning, ya know). Once the cat has left the courtyard, Hildegarde breathes a little weary sigh. It’s as if the aching of her body has suddenly flooded her.

Orikahn looks down to the petite Josleen with cool expectation, then over to the bloodied Hildegarde and the many red striped he'd left upon her, most of which still bled. Though the cat has no faith in civilization or its so-called "justice", some glimmer of hope remains that the Queen of Larket and Thane of Frostmaw may yet recognize the obvious; one contender is a lot worse off than the other. So, it is with a dry snort and a flattening of his ears that he accepts, begrudgingly, fatally, Josleen's ruling. Ah well. Meeting Hildegarde's gaze again, he raises his paw to his lips and licks a bit of blood, HER blood, daintily, deliciously off his fur.

Lionel has a lot of paperwork to fill out now in the wake of today’s trial-by-combat, which is not a conundrum an even slightly younger Lionel would have ever expected to encounter for anything combat-related. Alvina swoops in like a sun-scorched Brennia and retrieves her child from her place near two bloodied and sweat-addled fighters. Lionel, in the meanwhile, is instructing a soldier to find the accountant who’d been expected to record the conditions of Hildegarde’s victory. When last seen, the accountant was frolicking overlong at the bathhouse, which is typical of Cenrili accountants as far as Lionel is concerned.

Macon growls low when Josleen gives him an annoyed 'I know' and hands off Guillem. He holds the baby at eye level in one hand at his bottom, allowing the prince to grab two full handfuls of beard and pull, hard, while cackling madly.

Aira moves towards the edge of the circle, unsure if she is free to approach Orikahn or not. Her eyes flick towards Macon and Josleen and then the latter as she walks away in deliberation. The huntress knows the outcome even before it is spoken and nothing will ever convince Aira that this was a fair judgement. An expletive or two leaves her lips as favor goes towards Hildegarde and only then does she finally approach the feline, her scowl even more pronounced (if it was possible) then before.

Hudson would agree with Lionel's appraisal of Cenrili accountants if he were privy to it. He gives Alvina a grimace that's supposed to double as a silent apology. Luna has put her thumb in her mouth, is resting her head on his shoulder, has now stopped behaving like a demon.

Eleanor would have agreed too, had she been present. She's not, though. Nope. There's not some shadowy blur in the corner somewhere.

Alvina sighs, her bardic magic still broadcasting her voice or she's have a lovely conversation with Hudson here and now. "And there you have it folks!" She gestures with her free arm skyward. "Queen Hildegarde, not only our beloved rule but the Champion of this battle!" Josleen has already announced the terms, so she doesn't feel obligated to repeat them. The courtyard erupts in cheers for their Queen, some crazed fan throws her top into the ring, it lands in a bloody puddle. Impossible to tell -whose- blood it is at this point. "Thank you all for coming out to support this trial by combat!”

Josleen glares at Orikahn's taunting then joins the bloodied Hildegarde. "You fought well," she says as she squeezes any part of Hildegarde's hands/arms that don't look wounded. "That cat did a number on you, the brute, but nothing Eleenin can't heal." The Queen is swarmed by a couple of healers and other Queenly supporters and well wishers. The Thane disengages, knowing she'll supp with The Silver tonight and joins her husband and son. She places a chaste kiss on Macon's cheek and smiles up at him, pleased with his participation today in a trial in the city at which she is Thane. "It's just about his nap time."

Hildegarde grunts at Josleen because she only feels pain at the moment. Also anger. Much anger.

Hildegarde 's grunt was definitely a friendly grunt, Josleen will know it's a nice grunt from Hilde. It's a friend thing.

Brennia claps and cheers happily after placing the care of GiGi with a larket guard. Pulling her floppy hat down to secure it while she makes her way to Hildegarde, or attempts to. If she gains the gracious presence of the Queen of Frostmaw she would be inaudibly humming a song of healing or rejuvenation just before smiling at Hildegarde, “marvelous fighting.” Gloved hands attempting to keep her hat down and one of the hands touch her own blemished face caused by the sun, “excuse my appearance, yer maj-” a gentle clearing of her throat, “Hildegarde.” She suddenly felt foolish and continued to smile, “congratulations on the win.”

Josleen is well versed in dragon grunts.

Lionel departs in the world’s quickest stride that could ever still be called ‘casual’, chances around the bend toward a group of professional healers who as fate would have it should be spectating today, and flicks his wrist subtly. This alerts them, and they’re not very good at hiding it, so it might seem to any onlookers that the flick of Lionel’s wrist is a great and terrible thing in the eyes of the healers. “Steward,” one of the healers gasps, “it occurs to us that we would seek the honor of helping our Queen Hildegarde. Would you grant us th --” Lionel cuts them off impatiently. “Yeah.” They hurry forth, the eldest and most skilled of them happening -- what luck! -- to come upon Hildegarde and offer services.

Hildegarde offers Brennia a grateful smile and a relatively polite grunt in reply. It’s warrior talk for thanks. The knight manages to wearily toddle over to the nearest bench and sit herself down as the summoned healers – both by Josleen and Lionel – make their way to attend her. It is fortunate Brennia has rejuvenated a tad of Hildegarde’s strength with the song, otherwise she might have needed to lean on someone for support. Who had truly won the fight…? Was it her or Kahn?

Orikahn sees the crowd rushing the ring, and he takes a step back from the action, glad to be out of the center of public attention. Again, his hand raises to rub at his neck, testing the tender skin there and wondering if Hilde's chokehold would leave a bruise. Just then, his eyes make contact with Aira's, and the two exchange glances. He moves to the edge of the improvised fight ring and starts pushing into the crowd, much to the alarm of some. "So you saw," the cat's basso greets her, perhaps more gruffly than usual, "how that turned out, then." The vulpine elf can tell by Kahn's more-annoyed-than-usual tone that he's not entirely enthusiastic about the outcome.

Macon knows 'nap time' to be a code word, on top of also meaning nap time. As such, he looks to get his crown back from whoever Roald handed it off to, and to get out of here with Josleen as quickly as possible.

Brennia helps the healers that are tending to Hildegarde if permitted.

Alvina ceases the magic that broadcasts her voice and turns to Hudson with an expression that says a thousand things, mostly 'we need to have a TALK' as she leads what she assumes is a family charge out of the courtyard.

Hudson awkwardly clears his throat around Alvina. He knows that she is going to have a lovely conversation at him, but is sort of waiting for the bardic broadcast to be over. He jerks his head to the rim of the courtyard, presumably if she can leave they can carry it on in the coded language of irritated parents.

Gigi follows the Larketian Entourage back to the fort. He too will nap, ideally curled around Guillem.

Lionel remains on-call and close beside Hildegarde, as discreetly as he can ever muster, which is to say adequately but not optimally.

Aira wrinkles her nose upon finally greeting Kahn, her eyes doing a quick sweep of his body as if to assess the most severe of his injuries. "Of course I saw, I've been here the whole time," she says, finally pulling her hood down now that the crowd is beginning to disperse. "Next time," she says fixing the prime hunter with a stern glare that clearly says 'and there better not be a next time'. "I would make sure you secure an actual impartial judge."

Orikahn looks up to the fort with a little bit of dismay, the only time he'll let anyone see that he's defeated, personally, by the outcome. His eyes snap back to Aira. He remembers his stony, cavalier countenance. "There might have to be a few changes in our routine, that's all." The feline's mind swims back to the days before the Yule Ball and his busy errands for the crown. "It wouldn't have mattered. It's all their rules, Aira. They have the strong hand here." An indicative nod is thrown to a cluster of guards, several giants that stand grinning and laughing and making coarse jokes, high on the general air of the fight. Despite their boisterous merrymaking, their assigned purpose is clear by the weapons and insignia; Frostmaw has claws of its own. "Call it a setback," Kahn growls and looks thoughtfully down, eyes landing on nothing in particular.