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 Post subject: How It's Really Done
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:12 am 
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Phaw, elves and their sparkles. Why were they all so fond of throwing around balls of magic instead of getting their hands dirty. Even the men preferred to throw around sparklies instead of getting their hands dirty. Didn't they know it practically made you a woman if you didn't? Hell, even some human women were more likely to get their hands dirty than the elves. He had one such woman in his clan. Beautiful was quite the woman, she was an exceptional swordsman and down to earth, though her general distaste for drink made her less amazing in his mind than she could have been.

Unfortunately, even with Beautiful in the group, she did not make up for the two sparkle-flinging elves that had somehow become part of his clan. Tiam was mulling over the state of said group when one of those sparkle-flinging elves walked into the bar and sat down next to him. It was Pretty. She was good-looking for an elf, certainly good looking enough to make him consider a romp with her despite her race, hence the name that he had given her.

A few moments of silence passed and Dirk slid her a mug of her usual drink before going back to serving other customers. "So Ellia," Pretty was a name he only used for her in his own head, "I was wondering: How do you get by in battle just by slinging spells? I mean, that staff isn't very good for inflicting a lot of pain. What do you do when a person gets up close?" Tiam sipped at his mead, taking it easy after his first night with the group.

"Well, the last time," Pretty said before taking a drink, "I broke the guy's ribs. With a spell." She gave Tiam a pointed look.

"Well, said Tiam as he returned Ellia's look over his drink "That guy was an idiot then and clearly deserved it." He waved his hand idly, "He clearly had no experience fighting sparkle users." The bandit placed his mug down on the bar. "How about this. Lets go spar. We'll see how you hold up against someone who actually knows how to fight a mage.

"Think of it as a way to gain some valuable experience. It'll be good for both of us." Tiam stood up, his stool sliding back noisily along the wooden floor. "I'll even let you pick the place for us to spar, then you can see how it's really done."

Tiam slid his foot under the spear that was resting in the dim beneath the bar and hoisted his harness of javelins onto his back. He had been out earlier, searching for some information in the marketplaces. He had made a point of avoiding the particular marketplace in which his altercation with the divine judge had occurred. He had been lucky with that encounter. His clan mates had been nearby and a boy had gone to retrieve them. They had come to his aid against the one that Beautiful had called Josh and he had relented, not liking the odds of a five to one battle. As far as he was concerned, Tiam owed his life to his brothers now.

"So, what do you say?"

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 Post subject: Re: How It's Really Done
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:47 am 
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When Ellia made the decision to join The Brotherhood, or at least show up interested in doing so, it was largely due to the summary she had been given of Tiam. Dirk had informed her that the man held traits that would certainly irritate her, but also a few that she was interested in acquiring herself. An individual whom she could detest, learn from, and benefit from was exactly what she wanted to be around. Though the others showed promise as well, expectations of them had yet to be drawn, for she had only their meeting to consider; reputation and other's opinions of them had yet to reach her ears.

She was interested in Tiam, which was why she was shadowing him when he got into a scuffle in a marketplace, a task made quite easy from the number of people milling about. That he was willing to be a cut-purse during his downtime was neat, but it was just as interesting staying in the crowd to see how the man handled himself when his would-be-theft didn't work out as planned. Not that she was eager to jump in the fray to help out anyway - the judge seemed eerily well-informed. If he had information on her too, well, she certainly didn't want to give him a reason to talk about such matters with the spectating crowd, nor her bandit friend.

It wasn't long before the encounter was ended, but she did get to witness something a bit more interesting than how quick he was on his feet and his two weapon fighting ways. He had shouted at his foe, and it had much more effect than simply being loud. Magic or otherwise, she had never seen such a thing in her life. She wanted to talk to Tiam about it, and when she saw him sitting at the bar alone, she was eager to discuss whatever he knew about his talent. The idea that forceful sounds could be made into force was interesting, but the witch was much more interested in exploring other uses of such abilities. Perhaps she could use the same talent for coercion, persuasion, and the like. Such a thing, could it be true, would be worth spending a lot of time learning and exploring, time that the elf certainly would have.

By the time her drink had arrived, Tiam had struck up a conversation, curious about battle tactics of casters and sparring. She had a few sips of her drink while they talked, disappointed in how quickly the conversation went from a topic that could be moved into the topic of voice related abilities into a challenge, one that the man seemed rather keen on having. The drink wouldn't stay down forever, few things ever did, but it was so much a habit it was hard to quit, and it was much easier that idling while Tiam ran her plans into a wall. He likely wanted to see what she was made of, something that would be handy when they started taking jobs as a group. Learning of his shouting would probably only happen after the bandit trusted the elf some anyway.

"Not quite what I had in mind when I came over, but that's fine. There's someone I'd like to best in combat, and he isn't the type to give quarter either. May as well learn to deal with that. As for place..."

She didn't want to go far, but she did want to be away from people. A battle in a room would be okay, but it'd be quite cramped with beds, spells, and spears all working together to make the floor space seem lacking. She pondered for a moment, wondering if there were any in town locations that would provide both room and privacy. Though there were likely many, she had only been in the city for a short time, so her knowledge of the local areas was quite limited.

"There is a mausoleum with a basement floor about a twenty minute walk from here, seems to not get any traffic. We'll fight down there, so only the dead will hear you shout."

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 Post subject: Re: How It's Really Done
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Someone that she would like to 'best in combat'. Well, that was just sufficiently vague enough to pique interest, but not specific enough to give the whole story. Tiam thought about asking her about it but decided against it. She would mention it when she was ready. That was one of the codes that he had learned rather early on as a bandit, and one that was reinforced as a pirate: you don't ask questions. A person's past is their own business. If they want to tell you about it that was fine, but god save you if you ask them about it. That was why he never knew more about Braytz. The man rarely talked about his past - Tiam only knew what he could assume from the man's abilities and the way he was.

Tiam waved to Dirk as they walked toward the door and Ellia offered her suggestion for their battleground. There were two interesting things about Ellia's suggestion. First off: a mausoleum? What the hell was she doing in a mausoleum to know it well enough to suggest its basement in the first place? And, secondly, she knew about his ability to amplify his voice. That was interesting.

"So you know, huh?" Tiam said as they walked out into the street, "I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. You could probably hear that shout two blocks over from the marketplace. Well, I suppose that my advantage is gone." They walked a short distance down the street and Tiam was stewing over her suggestion of the battleground. Before they made it to the end of the street he couldn't take it anymore. "So... a mausoleum? How the hell do you even know this place? Are you a necromancer or something? Tiam stopped and looked at her squarely.

"If you're a necromancer you can leave now and never come back. People shouldn't be bringing the dead back to life. I will not stomach anyone that tries to overrule the gods." He paused and gave her a hard look, searching for an answer in her face, "Now if you're there for another reason, say... grave robbing, then that's alright. Stealing from the dead is pretty low and way too easy if you ask me, but it works for a quick buck or if you're learning the craft." He looked at her again. She certainly was deserving of the name Pretty, particularly with that porcelain white skin. There was something particularly exotic about flesh that pale.

He shrugged and turned to continue down the road again satisfied by what he saw - or what he assumed he saw - in her face. She wasn't a necromancer, that much was almost certain. "Just make sure that there is plenty of light down there. I know that some of your kind can see in the dark, but I sure as shit can't."

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 Post subject: Re: How It's Really Done
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 2:21 am 
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Strangely, the man seemed more interested that she knew of his shouting than the odd request for a combat area. She almost expected he would have rejected the idea outright, it probably came off weird and creepy, perhaps even disrespectful, if he cared about such things. The given reason wasn't very convincing either, at least in her eyes.

"Surprisingly, shouting like that isn't the most discrete of abilities. I'm surprised more people aren't giving you odd looks."

It had been many years since the elf had been in a city the size of Jadra's Gate. Though the population size seemed about equal to her hometown, the bustle on the street was quite foreign, given that there seemed to be no special occasion of any sort. Regular activities, and thus, a regular day, seemed responsible for the congestion. Even though she stuck out with her pointed ears and especially fair skin, few seemed to do more than cast a single glance before carrying on with their activities. It seemed that within the port-city, one didn't even need to fit in to fit in. Being someone that didn't want notice from the locals, at least without respect and fear, the feeling of anonymity that the place radiated was quite comforting.

Ellia was torn from her gaze watching when Tiam resumed talking, which was fine by the elf; she was already satisfied with the lack of care or attention she was receiving. He finally got around to thinking the mausoleum was a weird suggestion and asked about it, making a fair connection between a people who used the dead as tools and wanting to be around such material for combat. She herself had issues with necromancy despite her benefit from something similar, though it wasn't out of respect to natural life nor the gods.

"I am certainly not a necromancer. Their reputation for cruel experiments and poor intentions are really disturbing, and though I try not to place much stock in reputations of groups or people, it seems most magic is built on study and trail-and-error. Even if modern practitioners are only using old research and being content with their abilities, which seems very unlikely, I wouldn't care to benefit from such misery and ugliness. If anything, I'd want to see more of an effort in tracking these people down."

It was almost difficult to remember the way to the soon-to-be battlegrounds. She had only been there once, and the city looked quite a lot different in the daytime with people milling about. Given that she wasn't even paying much attention to where she was going the last time she was at the place, remembering how to get there was even more challenging.

"As for why I know the place, well, I've taken an interest in shadowing people who think it an okay idea to walk around at night by themselves. One particular person got a bag of coin lighter during their visit to our destination."

Given how readily he proposed her leave their group for an unwanted characteristic, she made the call to not going into more detail about that particular event. It was certainly true that there was a person, and that she now had their coin, but she had left out the part where there is an extra permanent resident in the place. What Tiam spoke was truth; stealing from the dead was way too easy.

"There will be plenty of light. As far as I am aware, it's only our supposedly cruel cousins from the underground, the drow, who can see in the dark, at least among elves."

Though it took more than twenty minutes, the mausoleum did come into view, and it seemed to be generating the same amount of traffic that one would expect for a house for the dead during the day. Hopefully no one authoritative looking would be inside, waiting for someone to turn up to become a suspect with that silly 'returning to the scene' noise. Once the two reached the basement to find it empty save the expected residents, the elf sighed in relief and went about lighting the numerous candles on the small floor. The basement was smaller than the room above, being about 40' by 30'. There were six stone pillars, each ten feet apart, sturdy and tastefully carved, spanning the room. Unlike the main floor of the place, this floor seemed to be the resting ground for those with less means and the more practical; their coffins were shelved into the walls and were plain, cheap wooden boxes.

"Mind lending a hand?"

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 Post subject: Re: How It's Really Done
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:32 pm 
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The elf's disposition toward necromancers was welcomed. It was good to know that at least one member in his new band felt the same way he did. He hoped that the rest of them felt the same way, though Beautiful's feelings on the matter were the only ones that he really cared about. The ladies were far more important than the men, after all. One could always find more men, but finding women - attractive women in particular - to drink and adventure with was much more difficult.

She explained how she knew the place after she resumed their walk. Her response made the back of his neck prickle and he cast her a sidelong glance. At face value her response was something that Tiam was fine with, and actually encouraged - mugging a person, perhaps roughing them up a bit more so they don't tell the guards, and making off with the spoils. Or at least cutting their purse from the shadows. Either one was a good reason to be stalking someone at night in Tiam's books.

However, there was a tone to her voice that hinted at something more. That something more was something that Tiam understood - he had been around enough killers in his day to have become accustomed to the idea of killing innocents for fun - but it was not something that he partook in. The idea just didn't appeal to him. He wanted his targets to fight back or at least struggle some, and his intent was never to kill, only to batter and steal. If that was how she got her fun, well, she would just have to keep in quiet and not bring any trouble to the group.

He was suddenly more wary of Pretty and her intentions. She was taking him to a secluded place where 'nobody would hear him scream'. Well, if that was her intention then she was in for the hardest battle of her life. He wasn't about to turn away though, lest he offend Pretty and have her leave. She was an elf to be sure, but she was still nice to look at, and perhaps have a stray fantasy about involving her and Beautiful. It didn't even occur to him that any number of men may have had a similar thought before they were taken to their doom.

At least there would be light - her words cause him to recall similar information gleaned in his early days of banditry from on of their band. He had been an elf and had gone to some length to distance himself from the drow elves and their cruel ways, saying that they had "demons eyes that could see in the dark" or something of the like. Demon eyes or not, that was something that would be incredibly useful, and something that Tiam wouldn't mind having in a heartbeat.

The mausoleum only had a few visitors, and the basement was found to be abandoned. Tiam let Pretty go first, preferring to stay bathed in the light filtering down from the stairs. He kept a hand near one of his javelins - preparation just in case things went south. It was only when she started lighting extra candles to bolster the otherwise incredibly dim light of the basement that Tiam was able to relax. This was a place of cheap burials, Tiam saw, not like those in the many burial chambers above. That was unfortunate, he was hoping to make off with something worth some coin after this trip. Oh well, at least fun would still be had.

"Mind lending a hand?" Pretty said as she continued to light the candles. He supposed that he should help, since this was as much his idea as hers... and moving further in would prevent him from looking like weak-kneed child that was too afraid to step out of the sunlight.

"A candle-light date huh?" Tiam said teasingly as he picked up a stray splinter of wood and began lighting more candles. "Do you think that the others will be jealous? I bet the other elf will - he seems to have taken a bit of a fancy to you." He laughed and continued down the line until the room was lit well beyond the dull glow of before. It wasn't the greatest light, but it was certainly an improvement.

He strode to the centre of the colonnade, drew his spear, and then turned it around. He would use the blunt end for this fight. It was a sparring match, for fun and training, not meant to harm and kill. He drew a javelin and did the same, though he would still have to throw it normally. He hoped that it wouldn't have to come to that - marring that porcelain skin was the last thing he wanted to do. Suddenly he wished that the strange old man that got him to test people's combat skills was around. That would make this non-lethal bout so much easier to undertake. "That's alright though, we just won't tell them about it our fun down here. It'll be our little secret." Tiam gave Pretty an exaggerated wink and took on a loose combat stance.

"I'll let you go first - it's only fair after all."

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 Post subject: Re: How It's Really Done
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 4:37 am 
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Ellia had caught a quick glimpse of her company after she lit her first candle, just long enough to watch Tiam visibly relax. It was pretty easy for her to guess that he was previously on edge by the shift in body language, especially after noting a lack of response to anything she had said. That he initially chose to stand in the light, too, suggested at unease. She wondered, while continuing her quest for fewer unlit candles, if the man had started picking up the same feeling of apprehension that seemed to cause many animals and insects to leave her be.

Then he mentioned 'the other elf', Vius. She froze for the faintest of moments, recalling their meeting, and his behavior, colouring it to the tune of Tiam's suggestion. She fancied the idea of having someone close, someone that would aid her in her goals, while accepting her current state of life. If genuine intimacy was to be a part of the package, she wouldn't complain, but such a person wasn't likely to exist. Such a person, should they exist, was not likely to be met. A slightly cold, undead lady with a less-than-desirable diet wasn't likely to kick infatuation into something more meaningful, and if they were, she'd be forced to be concerned with their state of mind.

"You think so? I was under the impression it was just the drink. It's not as if I handled Dirk's comment or my conversation with Sutera with grace."

The basement looked so much brighter with all the candles lit, especially with the sun lighting up the stairs, than it had the last time she was here. There were only a few shadows remaining, all of which were too small for an adult to hide within, which made the place seem much more peaceful and normal than her last experience. Thankfully, the scent of death was only faint within the room, likely due to the many scented candle and perfumes that greeted visitors.

She watched Tiam approach the middle of the room while she walked to the middle of the wall that held the staircase, letting the light from above fall around her. She felt it would be a good idea to address the prior unease of her companion before combat by being frank; there was no need for him to be concerned, and straight truth seemed like something that would actually ease the mind of the bandit.

"You can relax, Tiam. If my intent was to bring you harm, I wouldn't have made such an odd request of location. Chances are that you would have turned down my suggestion and become suspicious of my character, which would make it considerably harder to pull you away from everyone else. It'd be much easier to just visit you in your room at night after you had a few drinks, right?"

She readied her staff with a smile, though the smile quickly melted into a frown. With the dim lighting, she hadn't instantly noticed the backward hold on his spear. She was certain it was intentional; the quick combat in the street had shown he wasn't inept in combat. Sparring to many meant non-lethal force, so she should have expected it, but she'd need to correct his form. She shook her head and spoke firmly, the tone much more serious than the one used prior.

"Turn your spear around. I was subject to non-lethal sparring before I came to DI for, well, probably as long as you have lived, with little to show for it. One terrible lesson stuck from those days though; taking a hit isn't so bad. If I'm to get any benefit from this exercise, it's going to have to be a little more serious then getting prodded by the comfortable ends of your sticks."

Still, she decided she would take his suggestion of going first, if only silently. She began pulling mana forth to enchant her robes with a strength much like leather. She watched the man bounce around in response to the man-in-the-market, having some form of protection to his eager javelin arm would be welcomed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ghost Armor, charging, 1 of 2 remain.

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 Post subject: Re: How It's Really Done
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 5:14 pm 
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The elf was right, for the most part. He supposed that it would be easy for even her elvish self to climb into bed with him after a few tankards of mead - he wasn't about to tell her that though. One had to keep up appearances after all. "That's just assuming that I would take you! You may be nice looking, but I do my best to stick to human flesh - anything else doesn't really suit my fancy." That was true for the most part - the animalistic races and dwarves were all too hairy for his liking. Orcs were too green, halflings too short, undead too... dead (the mere thought disgusted him). Elves... they were nice looking, and he had bedded one or two back in his younger days. But now, though he might give it a second or third thought, he wasn't about to do that. Well, maybe he would, but not before a few more thoughts! They were likely to be just as haughty in bed as they were everywhere else.

Resolving to make sure she stayed out of his bedroom while he was in his cups no matter how many thoughts he gave the idea, Tiam finished lightning the candles, strode to the centre, drew his spears, and turned them around. His next words to her went unanswered and instead his flipped spear and javelin were met with a look and words of disdain. She had been training in melee combat for how long? And she still sucked at it? Maybe this woman was beyond help after all.

A stray thought crept into his mind involving prodding her with the comfortable end of one particular stick despite all of his earlier resolutions. but he did his best to shake that from his mind and carry on. He reluctantly flipped his weapons around - now he was going to have to be careful and pull punches. The woman had no idea what she was getting herself into with this fight - she was barely going to have time to breathe if Tiam had his way, which he undoubtedly would given her inability to stop him. He probably weighed nearly twice as much as her, a fact that was only going to make her situation worse. Well, she would learn soon enough.

She also didn't seem to be taking his suggestion to make the first move. What the hell was wrong with this woman? Was she seriously that confident in her abilities that she was just going to stand there and wait for him to make his move? Phaw, he would give her five more seconds before he started doing something, it was only fair.

He counted the seconds slowly in his head as he gave her a puzzled look. By the time seven seconds passed - five by Tiam's count - she still hadn't done anything. "Well, I guess you had your chance. It's my turn now." Tiam's feet kicked up a small cloud of dust as he pushed off the ground in a head-long charge. Normally such a charge would be stupid, but he had something that most other people didn't - a way to cover his charge.

[Boom!]

Tiam hurled a javelin on his second stride, using the forward momentum of his step to add power to the throw. It streaked through the air and emitted a blast of sound around mid way between the two. The sound was loud enough to make Tiam blink despite himself, the close walls and ceiling serving only to amplify the already greatly bolstered sound. The blast of sound was only a distraction however - the javelin was still the real danger. He was counting on the tactic to give Pretty pause and force her to dodge the deadly projectile that was streaking right for her, thereby allowing him to traverse the distance unmolested.

That was the plan, anyway. Pretty probably had something up her sleeve to stop him, but he needed to close the distance, and this was the fastest way. If it failed, perhaps he would try a serpentine charge next time - it all depended how he felt at the time. For now though, the charge continued without breaking stride neither for the throw nor the loud burst that came after.

Tiam cocked his spear back as he charged, ready for his next attack.

[Boom!: 2/3 remain]
[4 Javelins remain]

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 Post subject: Re: How It's Really Done
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 3:27 am 
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Under regular circumstances, Ellia hated the moment of calm that proceeded a battle, even when it was intended to be more about practice and learning than maiming or killing. Combat, especially that of the martial variety, was always an uphill experience for the elf; what warriors thought was a natural game of action and reaction, she instead had to think and plan. Tiam, judging from the market scuffle, didn't suffer from such drawbacks. If anything, the man seemed much more comfortable and professional with his chosen weapons than a bandit likely needs to be. Comparing his fluidity to a proper warrior wasn't a stretch in the slightest.

Still, Ellia wasn't experiencing her normal battle anxiety. She already got a great view of his recent bout. His jumping about in controlled and meaningful times showed he was light on his feet and had a good mind about caution. In the situations where mobility and control weren't enough to keep him safe, he would drop his unique gift: his voice. He wouldn't be repeating that battle here though. He claimed to know how to deal with 'sparkle users', which meant he knew he had to apply the pressure, rather than respond to it like he did with the judge. Instead, he would use his mobility, reach, and disruptions to prevent any powerful spells from being formed. She noted the need for faster casting, at least until the man wore himself down. It was almost weird that he allowed her to idle as long as she did pre-battle; she expected he'd have caught on, if his claimed knowledge was as true as he made it sound.

"I've heard that before, from others. It rarely takes long to convince them that a single exception isn't such a big deal. Can't blame you for your preferences though; elves are a rather irritating race."

Energies intangible now flowed through and along the entirety of her robe, an obvious sign to her that her spell was complete. Tiam signaled his will to get moving by suggesting that he hadn't caught on to the charged spell, obviously thinking the witch had passed up her chance for first go. She thought over her expectations again. He'd keep up the pressure, and he seemed to love using his javelins for such purposes the other day. Even when he began his charge, the witch still expected that to be his next move; it was comfortable and effective. She moved only the slightest bit, turning to her left to minimize Tiam's target, then took a single step back to dodge the thrown weapon with as little energy as possible. She had always been taught to do such if an attack was predictable enough, since it was effectively wasting the foe's energy.

Though she was aware of his unique voice and his fondness of throwing javelins often, she had no idea he'd use them together. She tensed up unwillingly, automatically reacting to the perceived threat, and stumbled backward far more than she wanted to. She cursed under her breath upon realising something that should have only warranted a flinch caused her to retreat an extra bunch of uncontrolled steps. Where she could have been throwing spells at him to punish him for such a reckless charge, she only managed to move closer to a corner, the last place she wanted to be. Maybe he knew what he was doing after all?

Still, a botched start was far from defeat. She recollected herself and began sidestepping, moving herself to a position where a pillar could separate the two for a moment, figuring it'd be fun to show the man how cover worked, or failed to, when the caster in question was able to bend her spells, and still have some power behind the quickly conjured magics. With the distance between the two, the spell would be able to avoid the pillar while making its way to Tiam, so long as he didn't move closer to the pillar too quickly. It wasn't long before lilac coloured glass collected in the open palm of the wizard, glass which then sped towards a so-called bandit. It wasn't strong enough to pierce armor like usual, but she added a weight to the material, helping to compensate for the lack of normal force. [Denouncing Linear Magic + Weight of the World]

{Magic Shards 0/2/3}

"Watch your face."

She hoped that she could then press him back, but she didn't expect it. She took a quick note of exactly where she was in the basement, to keep environmental awareness, and prepared for Tiam's next step.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Magic Shards used, 2/3 remain

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 Post subject: Re: How It's Really Done
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 7:25 am 
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While Pretty knew about his voice, she didn't know about Tiam's ability to manipulate any sound. That was good, though it was too bad that he had to show it so early on in the battle. Still, the blast of sound from the javelin - which clanked off the wall harmlessly - certainly had its desired effect and set Pretty staggering. She recovered quickly though, so Tiam wasn't able to capitalize on the opening, and the stagger put her in prime position behind a thick pillar. That meant that she was defended from him, but he was also protected from her. He took the extra second afforded to him to draw another javelin and take stock of the situation.

Though she put the pillar between them, Pretty had also backed herself into a corner - definitely not good for her once her sparring partner got in her face. In truth, the choice of the mausoleum was not good for her. An area outside, or a round room, or something with a lot of room to run, would have been a much better choice. Somehow she had managed to doubly tailor the room to his fighting style, though perhaps she just didn't know it yet. The pillar also didn't cover her body fully - he could see her shoulder just around the pillar, and he craned his neck to see more.

What he saw was a spell flying right at his face! Tiam reflexively threw his left hand up and stepped to the side, the spell drifting slightly with his movement and sticking a shard of mana-glass into his arm just below the elbow. The rest of the small storm left a small cut and a few scratches on his arm. He gingerly plucked the glass-like substance from his arm and it crumbled into dust between his fingers, fading away. That would have hurt if it hit him in the face, luckily he was at a far enough range to react in time.

"That hurt!" Tiam cried in mock dejection. Well, not entirely false."Anybody ever tell you that you're a bit of a bitch?" Seriously, what the hell? How had the spell managed to go around - through? - the pillar? And wasn't he out of the path of the spell when he stepped to the side? That was certainly weird, but Tiam knew that weirder things than that had come out of magic. At the very least, he knew that she had some way to get spells to him and avoid obstacles put in her way; that little tidbit made getting in her face even more imperative than before. Well, there was no time like the present.

He took a step to the side to put Pretty in his sights. Tiam wasn't about to let that pillar obscure his vision of her again - better to see what was coming than to have it suddenly be thrown - quite literally - in your face. He was closer this time, having covered about half of he distance between them before he had aborted the last charge. The charge would be straight-forward again, and this time without a thrown javelin to cover him. That was the plan though, he wanted her to send a spell his way. He was confident enough in his agility to feel that he would be able to get out of the way of an oncoming spell. Then, before she could conjure another one, he would be on her like a sailor on a wench - pun definitely intended - and the rest would be easy.

"Well, here we go,"Tiam muttered to himself as he took his first step and started to charge.

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 Post subject: Re: How It's Really Done
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 4:42 am 
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Lilac fragments of a material that could easily be mistaken as glass curved around the combatant-separating pillar, completing a wider trajectory that strictly required. Though Ellia was able to bend her spells to her need, it was far from a perfected ability. Were her target to have taken even a single sizeable step back, there wouldn't be a way for her to steer the shards back. Unfortunately for Tiam, the information that his cover wasn't going to actually cover him came too late; some of the pseudo-glass bit into his arm. The witch almost wished she had used her more powerful Energy Ball, such damage to his elbow area could have made one of his arms notably less threatening.

Heh, 'bitch', she thought, if only he knew.

"Think of it as a way to gain some valuable experience," she replied, mimicking his tone from earlier, "Since you already know how to handle sparkle users, I figured you already had a good grasp on the basics. You won't learn anything if I stick to that."

He probably knew to keep applying pressure in this fight, and his actions thus far suggested this was true. Finding out that cover wasn't going to shield him as well as expected should enforce that idea; keeping back now meant losing reaction time without any solid benefits. Great. Being in close quarters with the man for any period of time would certainly end poorly. She knew that even were she to cast all of her spells at point-blank with as much power as she could, there would be no realistic way for her to trade punches with the man and come out ahead, and she just gave him another reason to make such a scenario a reality. On the other hand, if she could force him back and tie him up in a ranged battle, things would be in her favour. She'd need to convince the man to keep away.

{Vibration, 5/0/0}

To do that, she'd need to show him how she managed to break the last samurai she fought's ribs. Her plan was to push any sense of confusion Tiam had regarding the twisted column-dodging spell with more surprises. As far as she knew, her opponent had little way of knowing her robe flowed with protection, which would hopefully offset some of the damage she was likened to take while she prepared for Tiam's second charge not by fleeing, but by taking a defensive stance with her staff. If she was able to have magic armor and also punch like someone quite a bit stronger than she, mixed with a bit of verbal magic, the Bandit-Pirate might be a little less eager to carry on with his offensive game. With a corner only a few paces behind her, she'd almost need him to hesitate on his following plan.

When Tiam was busy plucking crumbling glass from his wound, and the short period of down-time afforded directly afterwards, the elf tried to piece together the 'exploding' javelin, which seemed still rather intact when it banged off the wall behind her. Did he shout as he threw the weapon to give that volume? It didn't seem so, but with the less than stellar lighting, and her attention focused on where the javelin was headed compared to where she was, she didn't really get a good look at what the man was doing with his mouth. She figured it'd be handy to know what he was capable of, not only for this particular sparring match, but for her curiosities about it's potential. If he was manipulating sound and only shouted to have a source to work with, his gift would likely be quite flexible, but not quite what she was looking for. She promised herself to watch closer next time.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Vibration used, 1 of 2 remain, currently charging.
Ghost Armor, 2nd post active, 3 posts remain

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 Post subject: Re: How It's Really Done
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:41 am 
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The only thing that could have possibly been more disconcerting ,in that moment, than a flying spell was the lack thereof. Tiam had fully expected Ellia to throw a spell in his face and open herself up for a counterattack, but she went ahead and decided to forgo that course of action. That she did so meant that she was smarter than she looked, and probably had more experience fighting those of his disposition than she had originally let on. Of course, if she knew about his gift, then it wasn't a large stretch to assume that she knew something about his combat style as well. If she knew anything about military and weapons theory (which she almost certainly did, given her previous statement and the fact that she was a know-it-all elf), then she probably guessed his fighting style.

Of course, there was always another option as well; her earlier words rang loudly in his head as he continued his brash approach. She said that she had broken the man's ribs, but had not specified how. She had almost certainly not done it with the stick that she held in her hands, not unless she jabbed him with the end as hard as she possibly could. The elf was a veritable twig in comparison to Tiam, so he highly doubted that such was the case. That only left a spell as her other option for offering up such force, and that did not bode well. Tiam did not know enough about magic or wizardry - she had said that to Tiam as if it meant something to him, which it clearly didn't - to make a comfortable assessment of the danger.

Still, there was no point in aborting a second charge. If this battle was going to go his way, he was going to have to get up close and personal. He reckoned that the sooner he got there, the better, so what better time than now when he was already well on his way? There wasn't one that Tiam could think of, unless a few seconds ago was an option. No use musing on the past though - there was only forward. He would leave going backward and other such time shenanigans to the gods.

(Concussion)

Pretty definitely still had some tricks up her sleeve, and she already knew about this particular trick, but there was no reason it couldn't be a surprise. The shout that Tiam had mustered against the judge had been much more powerful than this one would be, but there was still quite the element of surprise involved when she was expecting something else.

Tiam was just outside of spear range when he suddenly lept forward, thrusting violently with his spear in the direction of pretty's torso. The thrust was just misdirection, however, and was wide to the right. The real threat blasted right intoPpretty's face when he unleashed a powerful, gift-enhanced shout at her from close range. The blast manifested in the form of a short-range concussion wave that would catch Pretty full in the full in the face and torso if she didn't dodge it - and quite likely with enough force to knock her over if it did. And, if she did manage to avoid the shout, chances were that he would be able to just charge right through her and bowl her over. Such was a disadvantage of being such a wisp of a woman against an opponent of his size.

Hopefully she would learn something from this and eat a few sandwiches, or maybe a whole pig, when this was over with. That would certainly ruin her figure - maybe? Who had ever heard of a fat elf? - but at the very least it would make her less assailable in combat. A weighty opponent almost always had that effect. That was why orcs were so damned intimidating.

(Concussion, 2/3 remain)

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 Post subject: Re: How It's Really Done
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:33 am 
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Expectations about Tiam's charge were clear and favourable. He, thinking his charge was about to go off without complications upon seeing a lack of magical energy heading his way, would continue forth. Soon after, a spear's tip would be close enough for her to swat away, and while he was recovering, she could drop her charging spell somewhere painful. Whatever his reaction would be, whether it was a tackle, complete recoil, or a strike from his javelin, she'd be given time to react accordingly, so long as the man paused from the spell a bit. Once the spell hit home and she was in the temporary clear, she wanted to say something along the lines of, "I've been thinking about becoming a judge too. What do you think?" Such a vision was tore in two, however, when Tiam acted with appropriate caution when his own expectations fell flat.

He jump-started the melee encounter, though not in the straight-forward nature the elf planned for. Ellia watched as his thrust forward with anticipation and excitement, happy to react and block a what seemed to be a powerful lunge that certainly would end the match if it hit. She swung her staff from her right to his without extending herself in an attempt to bat his spear far enough away from his centre of control to create an opening, a success that came about entirely on it's own, due to the strike being little more than a distraction. She caught on to the obviously intentional miss and moved her gaze upwards, expecting a stab from his javelin to take advantage of her compromised defense. Instead, she watched the clean-shaven skirmisher open his mouth for a shout. Little could be done; she was already twisted out of place from his feint and leaning in for her own spell-fuelled attack.

(Quickened Mind)

Though there was no time to dodge away, nor enough time to land her Vibration spell on her opponent, the witch didn't want to simply get knocked away so she could be trampled. She'd need to buy some time or, even better, punish the man for getting too zealous. Either event should give her time to recover, so she went for it. Her left hand dropped from its place on her staff, and reached out to tap the top of an offending spear, the weapon that was likely the single largest threat the man presented. Just before Concussion connected, her supercharged Vibration was released on the wooden tool of war, a spell variant that nearly doubled the force of a strong punch, plus a bit of extra force from her own capabilities. The idea wasn't to break the spear, as the wood should easily absorb the blow, but to drive the tip of the weapon to the floor. If the action worked out and the tip of the weapon got caught in one of the many recesses in the cobbled floor, Tiam may very well bounce backwards if he continued running forward, perhaps even damaging his weapon in the process. If he stopped the charge instead, time would still be bought.

She barely saw the spear dip when the sound-based ability slammed into her frame. Much like a comparatively large person standing behind someone and pulling them to the floor by their shoulders, the wave of force sent the slim elf back and down. Her face tingled from the impact, but most of the annoyance came from the fall. Even with leather-level protection, her fragile bones whined about being tossed backward onto the hard stone flooring as quickly as they had been. Soft blonde hair met the floor beneath as well, the fall being too forceful to avoid hitting her head off the floor entirely, though the impact wasn't as bad as it could be, and only dazed the woman for a moment. Not expecting her spell to stall her foe too long, the elf rolled to her left, then used the nearby pillar as partial cover as she popped back up on her feet.

"That's... really irritating. I'm surprised, really, about your choice of occupation. A loud voice, solid talent, and a nasty trick that could easily save your -or someone else's- life... I could easily see you leading men into a battle. Something above and beyond a bandit raid or our group of friends."

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 Post subject: Re: How It's Really Done
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:47 am 
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The misdirection worked perfectly, and the attack that followed went off without a hitch. Pretty's words were true when she said that she wasn't very adept at close combat. Any skilled combatant would have been able to see that the thrust was not on target and would have instead punished Tiam for his brash and reckless charge. Tiam couldn't deny that he was taking advantage of Pretty's lack of skill, but that was what real combat was all about, and since this was supposed to simulate real combat Tiam wasn't about to hold back.

Pretty fell flat and hard on her back exactly as was expected. All that was left was to pounce on her, put the javelin to her throat, and call checkmate. After that they might call it quits, start again, or maybe someth- no! None of that.

Tiam was bout to carry out his plan when his spear suddenly caught on a cobblestone and slid violently down his palm, causing irritation and no doubt leaving a sliver or two. Tiam exclaimed in surprise and his charge paused for just a moment - all the time that Pretty needed to roll out of the way to the nearby pillar. After that the confused pirate took a few quick, hard steps to bring his charge to a halt before he ran face first into the corner of the room. That gave pretty enough time to stagger to her feet, and she was spouting words at him about leading men in an army or some rubbish like that.

"Phaw! That's how you get yourself killed! And the pay sucks worse than stealing from merchants and travelers, so why the hell would I want to do that?" Tiam doubted that she could even hear him properly with the way her ears were ringing - probably couldn"t even hear herself, thereby explaining the nonsense that she just spouted. There was no doubt in his mind though that she would hear whatever she wanted to hear and base the rest of the conversation off of that. Elves seemed to have an almost universal habit of doing that just to make things go their way, and he doubted that Pretty was any different.

His hand was throbbing dully, and spiked slightly when he clenched his hand on the shaft of his spear. How the hell had that happened anyway? A dull ache in his wrist indicated a sudden and violent change of direction, but he hadn't even processed the change before the spear plunged into the cobbled floor and put him in his current predicament. It must have been some sort of spell - that was the only explanation. Perhaps it was one that she had been preparing for their close encounter - maybe even the spell that had broken the ribs on a previous assailant. If the spell had enough force to move his spear that fast, there was no doubt that it would have hurt if it had connected. It appeared that Tiam had taken the right course of action.

He readjusted his grip on the spear and planned his next move. There was no way that another charge would work right now - she would just duck behind the thick pillar as before and foil it once more. Besides, the range was too short for any proper sort of momentum. She was just out of spear range too, so that made things even more difficult. A javelin throw was the best bet, but it would need to be fast.

If only he could break those pillars somehow. Sure they were thick as a tree and made of solid stone, but there had to be some force out there able to break them, it was just so far out of his reach that it might as well be in the heavens. For his puny mortal self, well, he would just have to deal with the pillar problem in another way - keep her bloody well off of them... something certainly easier said than done.

He contemplated throwing a javelin at pretty, but there was no point. Even a sidearm throw wouldn't work - it would be just as likely to his the pillar instead of her. Instead he opted for a quick-stepping advance, watching for any sign of a spell being cast (not that he really knew what to look for, he was just assuming there would be sparkles) in order to close the few steps between them and keep the pressure on. So far though, with all these pillars in the way, he was finding that to be much harder than he had anticipated.

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 Post subject: Re: How It's Really Done
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:06 am 
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Conversation certainly was an easily accomplished feat when one side of the conversation sounded little better than muffled voices in an adjacent room. One could only press their ear so close to the wall to eavesdrop, and even were they talking loudly enough to be heard, some fool just happens to stumble into your space to demonstrate a collection of bells. Most of Tiam's response was muted or distorted, leaving only the few emphasised consonants willing to claw through the beating chime in her pointed ears.

"Kill...hell...that?"

Not so difficult to hear was the obvious negative tone. Whatever the man responded with, it was definitely not along the lines of how great the suggestion she made was. She certainly could respond to a generic and simple response like "no." Whether his issue was something based around the expectation to kill, or the chance to be killed, which was really hard to tell from what she thought she heard, she could still try to persuade. Keeping the man talking was desirable while her ears restarted, as the somewhat dim lighting gave hearing a larger role than the norm in reaction time.

"Could you imagine being an important person in a successful and aggressive army? I doubt it'd be so hard. Doesn't seem like there are many power-struggles or standing armies in this land. The idea of walking down a street and having the common man either respect or fear you enough to cater to your whims, unwilling to oppose or hurt you for fear of your backing... certainly that'd be worth being uncomfortable with the job at first. I'd love to be able to truly call a city my own only a short period of time after deciding I liked the place, wouldn't you?"

Her response ended up a bit longer than she had originally wanted it to be, blasted imagination grabbing the reins of her train of thought. Thankfully, Tiam didn't pursue immediately, allowing the witch some time so kill before combat resumed. Since she couldn't properly see what Tiam was up to, she had no real way of knowing if his pause was due to her previous spell or not, but she expected his pride would prevent the break to drag on for long. Action was to be taken! While she thought it was a tempting idea to conjure up some more magic to toss in the man's face, she recognised an additional advantage Tiam would be able to claim; sustainability. She had already burned through a number of spells with little to show for it, while he was likely just getting warmed up. Unless she was as lucky as she was last battle, she'd run dry before the fight was won, and even last time, she had a feeling that she only got out 'alive' because her foe wished it be. So she'd need a way to keep up with the bandit without burning through all her reserves.

The human approached quickly, a signal that battle was continuing, but not one that she was sticking around for. She backed up just as quickly as he approached, twisted around, and headed for the candles. While she was telling the truth about not being able to see in the dark earlier, she figured having pockets of darkness would add another complication to the basement battle, something that she may be able to take advantage of, and so began swatting lit candles down with her quarterstaff. Melted wax spilled onto the floor after each swing, dimming down the total light in the room, the small flames unwilling to commit (much to the disappointment of the elf) to burning the larger fuel that was her staff, satisfied to instead die among the dead. Still, while her hearing was impaired, the witch did so while continuously checking around her, unable to discern the actions or position of Tiam until he entered her line of view.

She was forced to take a break after only a few swings, however, when her head gave her a gentle reminder that she actually had hit the floor a bit harder than she had immediately noticed. A dull throbbing drew her attention as her fingers found themselves dancing over the contours of a swelling lump on the back of her head. It was exceptionally tender; even the light pressure of curiosity sent a telling message to not touch again. A second spell of daze washed over the girl. She needed to do something easy and productive while the gap between herself and Tiam was longer than a spear, and she wanted less candles to give off light.

She waited for Tiam to show his face. She then tossed a candle at it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ghost Armor, 4th post active, 1 remains.

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 Post subject: Re: How It's Really Done
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:39 am 
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More haughty nonsense came from the mouth of the elf, as was expected by now. She had clearly not heard what Tiam had to say, nor had she ever worked in any sort of underground organisation before. Sure, a great general might receive respect and admiration for what he accomplished on the fields of war, but a respected gang leader garnered no less. The streets were as much a battlefield as the actual fields of battle were - the war just wasn't fought quite as openly.

Indeed, being a well-known gang leader might lead to even more safety than an esteemed general. The common street urchin would likely not know the general and might try to knife him for the pretty pin he wears, but that same urchin wouldn't step within five feet of the gang leader. Hell, that urchin might be working for him. And the guard was little problem for anyone deserving of such fear and respect - he would probably have them in his pocket to begin with.

Tiam might have said as much and more to her if he thought it would make a lick of difference. Instead he just laughed softly - he could do that too! - and shook his head as he continued his advance. The elf quickly turned tail and fled across the room as quickly as her lithe form could muster. Tiam gave pursuit, though he was not as quick as the fleet-footed elf. In the few spare moments that she possessed Ellia swatted down a number of candles with her staff and deminished the light in that particular area quite significantly. She kept looking over her shoulder to keep track of him, obviously still unable to hear him.

When he drew near she spun and threw a particularly hefty candle in the direction of his head. Tiam was ready though - expecting a spell as he was. He quickly ducked under the flickering candle and the majority of the hot wax, feeling a few droplets splatter harmlessly against his brown hair. She was going to have to try much harder than that to keep him out of spear's reach.

Tiam rose from his duck with a spear thrust to Ellia's abdomen, this time making the strike real and very much a threat, though not totally fatal. He would pull the strike at the last moment if she failed to block it so that it wouldn't do quite as much damage to her as normal. He didn't want to kill her, but he supposed that avoiding marring her skin would no longer be an option.

This time there were no tricks or gimicks. This time he was actually going to test her.

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