TOURNEY: Bliss vs. Zebulon (Loser's Bracket Round 2)
June 12, 2018, 9:30 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Proving Grounds
Comments and Log
Isabelle, who isn't happy to be doing this arrives, following Niklas.
The field of the proving ground has been attended to, the grass cut very low and in the center of the field in a twenty foot wide dark circle cut into the ground. About six feet away from the circle on each side is a tall post with a lit torch flaring and crackling in the wind from the coast. The sky has darkened and is pregnant with the threat of a storm to come. The fire switches from left to right, buffeting by the moving air currents but not strong enough to extinguish them. Zebulon walks out onto the field and stands in the center of the ring, off to the right slightly and starts some stretching in his leather and steel mixed armor as he waits for Bliss to make her way out to the ring. As she approaches and the center left, Zeb stands up and cups his hands over his mouth so that his voice will carry. "Welcome, ladies and lords! Welcome to all the rest! We have quite the match for you this evening! It's going to be hotter than you've ever seen here in the Proving Ground! So get ready to cheer on your favorite champion and cheer them on! Are you ready for a fight?!?"
Lucita walks into the area with Quenia, her manner suportive of the Marquessa, an occasional pat on her arm given as if to reassure her. She finds a seat, an amicable smile given those nearby and a little wave toward those she knows better. Though she starts to speak, she falls silent as Zebulon starts to talk.
Renault, the mustachioed Lycene, 2 House Velenosa Guards arrive, following Theo.
Bliss has rolled a critical success!
Bliss checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 117 higher.
Waldemai calls down from the cheap seats, "Yes! Yes, we're ready for a fight!"
Cale, the Highhill War Hound pup arrives, following Seth.
Niklas has joined the Noble Seating.
Cedric has joined the Commoner Stands.
2 Grayson Guardsmen, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard, Valor, a small brown and white corgi puppy arrive, following Sabella.
"Goooooo Bliss!" Melody calls out from her spot, blowing a kiss to the Champion before dropping into a spot near the others. Draping one leg over the other, the Prodigal flashes a warm and honeyed smile for Bliss, wiggling her fingers out to the woman should they meet eyes with one another. And then she twists by her waist to the person beside her, her voice lowering into a whisper as she gathers her coinpurse to gamble... No pressure!
Theo makes his way up into the Noble Stands, dropping a few nods in greeting along the way. He selects a seat near Lucita, offering her a smile. "Baroness! So good to see you."
Theo has joined the Noble Seating.
Niklas stops off at the refreshments stand to get the Bliss v Zebulon souvenir mug, then makes his way up the steps to slide into a seat at the noble stands. He reaches into his jacket and pulls out a cigar, then sits back and, lacking any actual way to light it, just chews on one end while watching the match. He glances down when Melody excitedly cheers on Bliss, then nods and waves to the competitors. "Hooray to the winner! Also hooray to the loser! But mostly hooray to Gloria?" He's in it for the mug.
Sabella has joined the Noble Seating.
Walking out onto the sands after Zebulon, her cloak billowing behind her with the late autumn wind beginning to blow harder, Bliss grabs a torch off of the stand nearest her as she approaches, lifting the flame into the air as she begins to sing, her contralto clear, beautiful, and cutting right through the wind as she starts to sing. "Nebulous, tremulous Zebulon, did Messere Fatchforth send you to me because he just wants you to get a move along?" she wonders, beginning to toss her torch into the air, each time it comes back to her hand, throwing it higher, the flame wreathing and creating spinning arcs against the night sky. Soon, she is getting her other hand involved in the show, beginning to toss it in slow parabolas over her head. "What's wrong? Are you afraid of a steel kiss from Bliss after a night and day that were both so long, and what's that I see? Is it a tremble? Are we going to dissemble before this crowd and make them think this fight is quicker than might be, or will you pull your steel and face me, and let Gloria decide who is going on?"
Mildly curious about the event going on, Seth makes his way to the Proving Grounds to observe the going-ons. It looks to be a decent crowd, though as he looks for a place to sit, the shouting and cheers do distract, pulling his gaze in the direction of the ring. When he joins the rest of the nobility at their seating area, he greets a few faces with a nod of acknowledgement.
Seth has joined the Noble Seating.
Sabella comes rushing into the grounds, running late as usual! "Did I miss it again!?" She asks people as she climbs into the stands and heads right on over for Niklas with a big smile--that totally disappears when she sees the cigar. "I feel like if you give up drinking you're not supposed to pick up other vices instead!"
Pasquale is here for the fight. In dark silks and with an air of anticipation about him, as the duel readies. His green eyes scan over the Champions, pausing on Bliss in particular to offer her a cheer for good fortune, before he makes his way up to the noble seats.
Pasquale has joined the Noble Seating.
Lucita bows from her seat, a beguiling smile given Theo as he joins her. "Your Highness, it is good to see you too."
Quenia glances curiously around Lucita to Theo, then looks back to Lucita and whispers.
Waldemai applauds the show so far! "More fire!" he calls down from the cheap seats.
"I shaved my beard," protests Niklas at Sabella's genial scolding, plucking the cigar from his mouth. "And it's not lit." Not for a lack of trying. "At least it's not Haze." He glances at the cigar, like maybe that's not a bad idea. Sobriety is unpleasant. Still, he stands up and takes Sabella's hand, pulling her into the stands and gesturing for her to sit next to him. Then some straight up pyrotechnic shit is going on in the arena and he looks back toward Bliss, tilting his head toward Sabella to murmur, "Gotta get her in my next play. She can play the dragon."
Zebulon laughs loudly at Bliss's singsong taunting, walking over to the other torch and making sword-like swings and thrusts with it, the fire dancing and arcing in the ducky light of the early evening. "Mistress Bliss. I tremble only because I fear marring such beauty by accident while my sword is busy keeping you on the defense through the entire match." He makes his way back to inside the ring but closer to the circle this time and raises the torch high above his head. "I say, Bliss? Is it hot enough for you? Or shall we turn this up a little?" His hand swivels, the torch moving in lazy circles as he begins to slowly lower it from its high position. Zeb's head whips behind him to look at his opponent, an eyebrow raised.
Waldemai calls out, "Hotter! Hotttttttter!"
Cedric has left the Commoner Stands.
Ezekiel has joined the Commoner Stands.
Wylla doesn't belong here. But here she is anyway, in her paint-daubed Archlector's robes -- and there's fire. "... oh," she manages, a little stunned. Her gaze goes towards Niklas and Sabella first, as if they can offer some explanation of things. She looks vaguely nervous, her gaze flicking to and from that torch uncertainly, and she stands near the outskirts of the dueling ring, murmuring, "Don't anyone get hurt!"
Quenia's eyes widen slightly as Wylla calls out to others not to get hurt. She glances at the archlector, then over to the participants of the duel, and squints at Zebulon. "Should he be really doing that, with his luck?" she asks aloud, mostly to Lucita, who understands just how /bad/ Zeb's luck is.
Continuing her taunting with that impudent grin, Bliss continues to toss that torch into the air as she walks slow circle around her opponent studying, studying him. "Both leather and steel, and you feel the need to claim that you're in danger of marring beauty? Oh well, I can now tell that defeating you must be my duty. So draw your blade, and our match will be made - though not in your clothes, I fear. Come along, Zebulon, and we'll put on a show for all who are here." She seems to have a natural talent for moving in just the right place that the wind blows her cloak around to most impressive effect, her eyes protected from the wind by the rain. And with that, she tosses her torch almost lazily behind her, not looking. As it cascades behind her, it lands in a trench dug in a circle around both contestants, a wooden trough inside holding a liquid that ignites and begins to spread. She doesn't even look, and out comes her rapier, the Lycene Whisper shifting into a classic fencer's pose.
Ezekiel has left the Commoner Stands.
Lucita's gaze locks on Zeb and then moves toward Quenia. "Don't know how good an idea it is, maybe he used up all his bad luck in the last match, at least I hope so. He deserves a break now and then.
Waldemai hoots. "It's the ring of fire! It burns burns burns! The ring of fire! The ring of fire!" Now, THIS is a show!
"Zeb, you just moved into the house to offer better protection! You better not die tonight!" Yes, that's exactly Quenia's way of cheering right now, given everything!
Wylla tries to offer Quenia a reassuring smile. It doesn't quite work. "Should /either/ of them really be doing it?" she replies. "I mean, I don't know if he has bad luck, but you don't need bad luck to get hurt by fire. It's... fire," she states, as if that should be perfectly obvious. Indeed, she steps a little closer. "Um. Excuse me. Maybe we shouldn't have fire?" Well, it's worth a shot, at least, if a rather tentative one.
Sabella offers Wylla a wave from where she's sitting on Niklas' lap in the noble stands. "Archlector! Come sit with us! I don't think Lord Niklas can fit anyone else on his lap, but there's plenty of bench space!"
Niklas waves down to Wylla, points to a seat next to him, then points to Melody, then points at the seat again. Then, since subtlety and Nik are not good friends, he calls out, "C'MON UP, ARCHLECTOR! THE 'NOBLES' IN NOBLES SEATING IS JUST A SUGGESTION!"
Quenia glances over at Wylla, "Trust me, his luck is worse than bad."
Melody's lashes swept up and she blinked at Niklas. An easy, almost flippant lift of her shoulders followed, and then she flashed a warm smile to the Archlector. "By all means. It's worth mentioning that Sabella's lap is indeed empty. We could attempt to build a tower," she suggests all the while picking at coins in her coinpurse.
Theo checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.
The young Champion watches as Bliss moves around him, her cloak billowing for effect as if the Gods themselves deigned to make her every motion as dramatic and with as much flair as possible. Zebulon, for his part, doesn't even try to match that. Some masterpieces are best left alone and the Knight Captain is content to be the duller star in the night sky. When Bliss tosses her torch, Zebulon lowers his own to the darn trench and with a loud FWOOSH, fire catches in the fuel soaked timbers and rises a few few high while also growing in both directions to meet with its fiery mate on the other side. Soon, a wall of flame surrounds the combatants, brightly lighting the darkening night and pushing back the incoming clouds. He tosses his torch into the trench and turns to face Bliss and before pulling out his weapon in return, he pulls off his armored tunic and with a strong heave and a turn, he flings it way outside of the ring of fire. Taking a moment to flex his dark skinned muscles, he smiles wide and turns to Bliss, finally pulling his saber from his scabbard and taking a defensive stance. "Enough talking pretty, Bliss! Words won't win a duel!"
Niklas shouts down at the competitors, "Everyone stab everyone else!"
Without hesitation, Bliss moves in after that, and the fight is on.
A fight has broken out here. Use @spectate_combat to watch, or +fight to join.
Adjutant General Theodora, Alces the War Elk arrive, following Cullen.
Cullen has joined the Noble Seating.
A fight has broken out here. Use @spectate_combat to watch, or +fight to join.
Neb has joined the Commoner Stands.
Wylla looks between the commoners' seating and the nobles' seating. The invitations earn a smile, if a bit taken aback at the mention of sitting on someone else's lap, an aggrieved noise escaping her for a second or two -- but her gaze is on Waldemai, and sympathetic. Rather than move for the nobles' seating, she makes her way towards the smith. She does, however, call back to Quenia, "At least he threw the fire all right. So that's one bit of good luck he had." She slides into the stands, telling Waldemai, "You looked lonely here." Her voice is sympathetic indeed. "You're a smith."
Wylla has joined the Commoner Stands.
Quenia glances critically back over to Zeb when Wylla says he got the fire out okay, but then he's still /surrounded/ by fire. She tells Wylla. "Well he still needs to survive the fight!"
The first few strikes between the two fighters are quick and probing, Bliss grinning at Zebulon until she suddenly feels the slide of steel against her corset. But without pain, she doesn't seem too deterred by this fact, waggling her brows at her opponent. "That's the closest you're going to get all fight!" she says with a laugh as she begins to quickly move her feet, focusing on knocking the man's blade out of the way as it comes at her for now, watching him with an easily amused smirk as her own strikes come almost slowly, lazily, responding to his attacks as she waits to see what the man can offer. "Is this how you earned your knighthood, Sir Zebulon? Tickling pretty women? Perhaps it is. I had thought you had more in you."
Niklas waves to Wylla as she decides to sit elsewhere. "MAYBE LATER!" He then makes a complicated gesture whose meaning is really known only to him and his gods.
Wylla calls back, "He seems to be doing all right, though. If, um, we need a Mercy -- I mean, I don't know where one is. Is there one?" She looks at the commoner stands, apparently seeing no potential Mercies in their ranks, and then glances back to the gathering of nobles -- juuuust as Niklas is calling out as loudly as he is. She flinches, but casts a smile back to someone in the crowd, offering a shrug, as if to say, she's all right; don't worry about it. Her voice lowers for the commoners' stands.
Quenia has left the Noble Seating.
Ruby, a juvenile Oakhaven bloodhound have been dismissed.
Zebulon maintains a smile through the first few strikes and parries. His saber moving quickly and flashing in the light of the raging fire, but not finding any easy openings in Bliss' defense, not that he expected any after watching her fight before. He slashes forward, sliding off of her armor as his own takes a few casual pokes from Bliss' weapon. The both of them moving easily, if slowly, sizing eachother up in the opening minutes. Also, FIRE, so there is that to keep in mind as they move in the center of the circle mostly to avoid any accidental singes. "Actually..funny story, that! But for another time. I am starting to wonder if you place more faith in your mouth that your sword arm?" He changes his stance slightly, moving back a step as he sizes her up again.
Neb enters the commoner's stands and takes a seat in a less packed portion of them while watching the fight with a dull expression.
Melody has left the Noble Seating.
Melody has joined the Commoner Stands.
Bliss checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 63 higher.
With an exaggerated, skyward roll of her eyes, Melody departed the noble seating to go find herself a spot at the commoner stands before returning her attention back onto the two in the dueling ring.
"I've won fights with both - I've made Princes walk away, I've made people make stupid mistakes. Make an opponent angry, and he is yours to play!" Bliss says to Zebulon, and just as she does so, she manages to actually slip in between the man's defenses for a moment to just tap the tip of her blade right against one of his pectoral muscles, smirking as she pulls back, her speed growing with each movement as she watches the man fight, nodding a few times. "All this armor, though, what? Were you afraid I was going to get a cut on your arm, your legs? Don't you know scars are wonderful?" she teases as she flutters her lashes, scooting back in the sand. As she does so, she suddenly spins in place, sweeping her cloak behind her - apparently unafraid of the leather burning as she swoops it through, then sends the flames back out at the man, only in for less than a second as she steps nimbly away and back into the center of the ring. Now, she begins to one-handedly spin her weapon, the thin blade audible as it moves through the air, waiting for the man to join her in the fight again.
Parry, slash, parry. The fight appears to be fairly well-matched thus far, but Zebulon does mistakenly allow an opening and with is Bliss deftly leaves a small cut on his pectoral muscle. Just a scratch, mind you, but enough to trickle with the slightest, shiny red that easily mixes with the his salty sweat and causes his face to grimace with the sting. Laughing softer now, he nods his head to Bliss as he backs away from her, growing the distance as he heads directly for the flaming wall surrounding them and he raises his sword arm over his head and slices the sword down into the burning wood soaked in fuel and pitch and then slowly removes the blade, fire now dancing along the length of the metal. He walks swiftly back over and goes for a stronger attack this time.
That more aggressive stance from Zebulon is quickly taken advantage of by Bliss, the Whisper watching his blade and beginning to twist easily. As the strike comes, she shifts, parries it out of the way, then slaps the man hard on his stomach with the flat of her own, knocking the wind out of him rather than jabbing it through, and that lets her spin in place, her sword coming up /behind/ her this time to parry his next strike as she brings hers down again against the back of his thigh, the loud clang of steel on steel easily ringing through the air and to the crowd. "Faster, you have to be faster," she teases, using her cloak and the wind to create unpredictability in her movement as a crack of thunder sounds in the air above, rain beginning to come down onto the sand - and steaming as it hits the fire. That flaming blade? Hardly seems to have had an effect on her, and with the sand hardening under the water, she's finding better purchase.
Rain begins to fall but does it disperse the crowd as flaming sowrds and twisting champions are occuring? Well a couple people probably leave but Neb is not one of them. He simply pulls up the scarlet hood of his coat and lifts a gnarled hand to point at something in the fight from the commoner stands.
Zebulon goes on the offensive, slashing almost wildly at any possible opening that he can find, all for naught. Bliss is just too quick of body and blade to let him get in a single decent hit on her, flaming sword or not. The flames has died down on the steel already, only lasting a slash or two before the air blew them out, but it was very impressive for those few seconds! The downside to a heated blade is that it conducts heat all through the metal, which connects to the handle and about the time that thought process goes through Zeb's brain, his hand opens involuntarily and he drops the sword to the ground just as the rains begin to sizzle as the droplets meet fire and heated ground..and sword. "Well, shit." Slightly out of breath already, he tries to reach for the blade, but Bliss is too fast and he can only jump away from her and roll into a ball, coming up just a few feet out of reach of Bliss and his sword, his eyes moving from one to the other.
Zebulon checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.
Perhaps if this were a real fight, what happened next might be different. But this is something else entirely - an honor duel, and part of a tournament at that. Bliss looks at Zebulon, looks at the sword, then rolls her eyes and laughs. "By the Gods," she says with a grin. And then she brings her foot next to the sword, crouches, and grabs the weapon by the hilt. In the wet sand, the metal has cooled quickly, and she tosses it easily back to Zebulon. "You know, I had heard stories - I'm beginning to suspect this is less an issue of luck, and more one of judgment. I mean, you did decide to go up after me! Up on your feet. We're finishing this properly," she says as she takes a few steps back, waiting for Zebulon.
Zebulon checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 8 lower.
Sabella has left the Noble Seating.
2 Grayson Guardsmen, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard, Valor, a small brown and white corgi puppy leave, following Sabella.
Sure, throw the bladed object at the man with cosmic bad luck! Zebulon reaches for the blade as it spins end of end in a lazy circle, his hand open and reaching for the handle in what would have been a perfectly dramatic motion. One maybe even equal to those that follow Bliss wherever she goes. It's like the world slows around him, watching the handle as it would sink right into his palm, but for the coming storm and the wind catching the flat of the blade and pushing it just enough out of the way of his hand that the pommel strikes Zebulon right in the center of his forehead with a sound loud enough to ring over the thunder in the distance. It's now a race to see which one hits the ground first, sword or Zebulon! And in the end, it is a tie, the large muscular man hitting the hard, wet sand just as the blade politely lands beside him, uncaring of whatever it has done.
Wylla glances between Neb and Melody, uncertainly. "Lord Niklas should know better," she states, with a bit of reproach in her voice. Well, as much reproach as the woman can muster. It sounds like a storybook mouse trying to seek vengeance. But that look she gives the nobles' stands /is/ quite serious. She nods once at Melody's statement, before glancing sidelong at Neb. "I've never... I've never challenged anyone to a duel before. But Lord Niklas should know better," she repeats.
^ tt; please ignore!
Lucita says, "I hope there is a Mercy or a someone around who can check Sir Zebulon over."
There were many things Bliss was expecting from this fight. Many, many, many things. That was not one of them. As she walks slowly to Zebulon, she nudges him with her boot. "Sir Zebulon," she says, her voice calm and steady as a frown begins to grow across her face. The rain is pattering her hat. Her boot is nudging the man. It's not ... it's not helping. He seems to be out cold. "Sir Zebulon!" she says in a louder yell. No response. Finally, she just looks at the sky, sighs loudly, and turns to the crowd. "I really don't want to end it like this, but?" she asks, extending her rapier toward the man's chest. "Is anyone going to call me dishonorable if I just give him a little nick at this point and send him on his way to the Mercies?"
Theo slips out unobtrusively.
Theo has left the Noble Seating.
Renault, the mustachioed Lycene, 2 House Velenosa Guards leave, following Theo.
Lydia mumbles, more to herself than anyone, "Is that really necessary? He's out cold?"
Lucita considers what Bliss said for a moment and her expression goes... neutral, strictly neutral. 'Is it really necessary to add another injury to him if he is clearly unable to continue?
When others raise their voices, Seth simply sits back and observes what the winning Champion will decide to do next.
"No, it's not," Bliss decides as she hears those. "Alright. I claim victory by involuntary forfeit. Sir Zebulon Whitewake, everyone!" Bliss says as she motions to the unconscious man, her voice rising as she sheathes her blade, then lifts her hands in a slow clap, looking a bit disturbed, more than anything.
Waldemai cheers the fight and the fighters. "Well fought! Great show!"
Bliss is overheard praising Zebulon: A great fight! Even if the ending was ... well, very like him.
Lydia is overheard praising Bliss: Expertly fought against Zebulon!
Lydia is overheard praising Zebulon: Held his own against Bliss until his luck gave out!
Wylla blinks, shrugging at Melody's question in the stands. She glances towards Neb, as if he has the answer to it. But when Zebulon falls unconscious, she stares, uncertainly, and then rises from the stands. Her voice rises to carry, "I, um, I'll go find a medic!" And she's scurrying away without a glance back.
Melody doesn't fully understand Arvani culture. Her eyebrows knit together and she just watches Zebulon laying there. Unmoving. And then she brings her hands together in applause, unsurely, still looking down at the defeated Champion.
Cullen Clapping in approval of the showmanship and Bliss' decision at the end, Cullen beams a broad smile and calls out, "Good show, Champion Bliss, Sir Zebulon! Well fought!"
Melody is overheard praising Bliss.
Melody is overheard praising Zebulon.
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