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Grubbistch

MT3:3 Marshall vs Akiris

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It was the final round before the championship match, and Sir Marshall Gamesly grew ever more excited to obtain ultimate victory. Defeating his enemies had been easy, bringing great glory upon his fellow knights and his house, and now it was nearing new heights of martial recognition. Now all that stood in his way was a mercenary, one that would soon be regretful of ever stepping into this tournament, let alone facing off against the knight with the lupine form.

There he stood upon the forlorn docks of Casper, the sun having long since fleeted away past the horizon, with the moon holding dominion over their surroundings with its pearly, iridescent light. It shined brilliantly off his steel armor, giving a predatory feel off of the hound-shaped armor that he sported, his stance relaxed, yet ready for anything. Gripped in his hands was the steel pole of a halberd, wickedly sharp, perfectly balanced, and well suited for the fight he was about to engage in on this open space. Without warning, this eerie peace could be shattered in a mere moment, with the fight beginning in earnest between the two combatants. When it did happen, he would be ready for it, and when the dust settled, the true victor would emerge, while the other bled out into the open waters until dead.

That was the reality of things, and that was what the knight envisioned as the moment when he would become the champion of this tournament.

@Akiris

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This tournament was... Dare he say it? Actually fun. Unlike the vast majority of mercenary work Akiris had done over the course of his life, there was absolutely zero chance of him becoming horrifically injured or killed in the ring. The pain might be realistic but... Really? That wasn't really a real concern. If it went away immediately after the match then it was the same as bumping your shin on a low table. Annoying, but life went on without a bump. Never in his life could he say that he was this relaxed going into a fight. Sure the was the chance he could lose, But no one who was accepted seemed to be weak and there could only be one winner.

There was one other important aspect to note about this match. There was now only one opponent possible and therefore Akiris only needed to plan for that single opponent that he'd seen fight twice now. The werewolf.

Loading in had brought no immediate loss of abilities nor had his opponent displayed massive area of effect magics in his previous fight. Could the second round even count as a fight? Ah well. Loaner sword? It seems like I actually get to swing you properly this round. Honestly, the only placement that needed to change was one item that was far better tailored to this encounter.

Unlike last round, this time Akiris choose to face his opponent head on and emerged into the open area instead of moving tactically and trying to get a drop on his opponent. The guy was a furry. He had a nose to sniff things out that he'd likely go on and on about before going off on a tangent about his connection to nature. There was no sense in artificially drawing things out in such a way.

@Grubbistch

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He was sighted at the other end of the dock, a lonesome figure awaiting his opponent to make the first move. Such was the way of things when the prey knew there was no point in hiding. It was better to get the fight over with, so the true victor could be distinguished from the weak stock presented in this tournament.

At the sight of him, Sir Marshall charged, his feet moving quickly on the wood, the waves smashing against the shore with the same fury that bubbled within his inner self. Fighting in the jungles of Ursa Madeum, fighting in the nightmare lands of Yh'mi, and now fighting in the false realities of the virtual world, his desire to fight only grew, and that which was human seemed to ebb in response. Was he even really his normal self when not in the form of the wolf? It didn't matter anymore, all that mattered was victory, and the sweet taste of blood on his mouth, bone marrow sliding down his gullet.

Fighting with a halberd was straightforward. Thrust with the spiked end, chop with the blade, and use its length to your advantage. At several feet away he attacked, thrusting his weapon at the center mass of his opponent, pulling back in an attempt to cut into his skin with the bladed portion.

A low growl was building in his throat, the beast within demanding to be let loose, so it may bring havoc to his adversary. Soon, he thought to himself with growing hunger, he would be in his more comfortable skin.

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And here came the animal. Honestly, it was kind of refreshing to be faced with nothing more complicated than a bee-lining enemy and no mitigating factors. While Akiris had been able to compensate and work around those factors in his previous matches the fact remained that he'd never truly had a chance to cut loose. There was a hint of it, near the end of the second match. But even then the suppression hadn't quite lifted completely and whatever both combatants could have done to each other completely unfettered was left unseen. After two matches like that it was time for a bit of a shake up.

The mercenary didn't get creative, he responded to the charge and stab in the exact same way he'd done in his previous match.... BOOOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGG!

Except for the truly unnatural force behind Akiris' heater as he used it to parry the halberd stab. And it was unnatural. The effects of easily over a decade of carrying around indiscriminate magic absorbing gear couldn't simply be dismissed by removing said equipment. As a Terren, Akiris had inherent magic. All of them did. It made them naturally stronger, faster, and tougher, to the point where they were far from mere fodder for the so called superior races. In short, Akiris had exercised his magic and unknowingly tailored it to his skill set as he went about his daily, often violent life. The end result was far from flashy in the effects department. But it was very, very, functional.

Just like the other half of Akiris' parry.

Like the previous matches, there was an item concealed behind the heater strapped to the mercenary's left arm. However, this time there wasn't ercaniron. The substance was usually universally useful, but Akiris had a couple toys stashed away for the few times he'd be able to handle magical items without juggling around equipment that would simply drain it into uselessness. While this single use item had other functions, the best one was clearing furries out of the room this etched metallic sphere was tossed into. In this case, the mercenary had thumbed the activation runes early so it would go off in both of their faces.

Glitterdust. Or in this specific case a modified version of the glitterdust spell. Just one difference needed to be made in it's commission in order for this item to be truly satisfying to use. Silver. Not gold, but silver in a wide enough range to coat not only both fighters but the immediate area. One of them had a motorcycle helmet with a transparent face shield. One of them was a were-wolf.

How to hunt as a human? Well, you identify your preys greatest strength.... and turn it into a complete liability.

@Grubbistch

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The sense of danger came off in blaring waves at the sound of the item going off. Had he not being using a pole arm as his weapon, Marshall wouldn't have had enough time to jump backwards, avoiding the situation of having silver dust going into his eyes through the visor of his helmet. As it stood, his plate mail kept the rest of it from ever making contact with his skin, fueling the rage he felt for this human...no...this opponent. The knight had to remember that he too was still human, but how much of himself was there to be found within him? That didn't matter at the moment, all that mattered was victory, and the glory that came with it.

Whether or not the mercenary was aware of the weakness by connecting the facts hidden within the legend of Sir Sarvos, or just made a general guess through prior experience, the werewolf knew to be more cautious now. This one must hold a great deal of knowledge on how to fight back against supernatural creatures, and so may even have other means of which to exploit his weakness. As such, Sir Marshall understood the need for ending this encounter quickly, before he could pull out any other gadget capable of incapacitating him.

Charging forward once again, the axe head of the halberd went up, then downwards at great speed at Akiris. Such force could cause a jarring amount of force if blocked, even breaking through the defenses of weaker warriors if they weren't careful. All the while the inner beast raged inside, demanding to be let free, demanding to taste blood. Soon he said in an attempt to quiet the primeval voice in his mind, we will be free very soon.

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Backing off? No, that wouldn't do at all.

While he may have stood fast for the initial strike from the polearm, Akiris wouldn't be so polite as to repeat the performance for the rest of the match. It wasn't a difficult concept. It one fighter could hit the other without fear of retaliation the fight would inevitably end just like that.

So when his opponent scurried backwards Akiris raised his shield and charged bursting through the remnants of the spell as a silver speckled... Glitterdust was adhesive. In addition to an immediate attack, the mercenary had availed himself of the immediate opportunity to enhance his weapons and armor. All due to an action he would have committed to anyway.

Besides, why wouldn't he charge through a halberd swing and teach his opponent the definition of insanity? With his left arm braced in a triangle and heater angled to deflect the blow there was still a decent chance the the shield would be forced back, bumping into the merc's head. Meh, as silly as the motorcycle helm looked to everyone it was disturbingly effective at blunting blows. His terren toughness would handle the rest.

Besides. Akiris was dodging. Not hopping about backwards or to the sides. No, that never worked as well as it did in one's head.

The correct direction was forward. Crash his angled shield right into the polearms shaft as it came down and just like the parry just before use your own force to counter the swing.... And force your way inside to launch one of your own.

Sharp and hard are not abstract concepts. Simply placing the edge of a blade against something was not the only factor that need be considered in order to inflict damage. Likewise, a shield or armor doesn't negate all force on contact by dint of its identity. Rather, it is a contest of opposing forces where sharp attempts to put enough force into a small surface area in order to pierce hard.

Did that concept matter? It did. Full plate commonly had a reputation for being blade proof as the force required to pieces it's component metal plates was uncommon in this world. It was not, however, rare. And no one in this tournament was weak, entertainment demanded it.

The longsword shaped blur that stabbed toward the armored man's neck and the gorget that was likely present was one of those uncommon instances. Between the unnatural force behind the point of the sword and the silver spackling the blade, this wasn't a blow Marshall could afford to ignore.

But with Akiris' extremely aggressive tactics would he have enough time to respond? By charging in the mercenary had used the mobile cove of his heater to launch a near simultaneous strike!

@Grubbistch

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He was a strong warrior, this mercenary, but not enough to outdo a veteran knight imbued with the power of an ancient werewolf bloodline. At the contact between the shield and shaft, he shifted his weight to the side, riding the wave of momentum to pull his head to the shield side of his opponent. This maneuver continued into a full spin, in which his enhanced agility and speed put him behind his opponent, weapon in hand as his eyes blazed with rage. Now was the time for his counter attack.

Soon the world would know the name of Uldwar, of the Dogs of War, of Sir Marshall Gamesly himself. They were a warrior clan, trained beyond the breaking point of most humans, to greater echelons of valor and glory. Warfare was in his blood, it was bred into him, honed to a razor sharp edge by grueling training, inducted first into the ranks of fellow knights, then further elevated into the fold of his brothers in arms, the Dogs of War. He could not, would not lose to such a wretch like this.

With a heavy growl he dropped his weapon, arms linking themselves around Akiris' waist, then the knight lifted upwards, then backwards. Supernatural strength kept his grip hard like steel, nearly roaring in the humans ear as he moved to slam the back of the warrior's head into the hard wood that made up the dock. For every defense there was a drawback, and as he knew, the harder the helmet, the worse the ringing was when blunt force was slammed into it, sometimes completing stunning an opponent, perfect for slaughter...

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The scenario might have been beautiful in Marshall's head. But in reality, Akiris simply tripped the dumbass. Really, who the hell spins round and round right next to the person they're fighting? Guess who also has legs and zero compunctions about doing something when his opponents back was turned. Akiris naturally was that kind of person. And the thing was, it wasn't hard. By not committing to the blow Marshall rendered the difficulty in blocking his strike trivial and failed to threaten Akiris' own footing in the slightest.

This would put Marshall exactly where Akiris wanted him. Behind his current position. Not that it would grant the attack from the rear that the werewolf craved as the mercenary simply turned himself after the trip and reset his defense. There was simply a terrain disadvantage in that particular area that Akiris was more than happy to help Marshal reach. The audience could see it. Hell, children past the stage of infancy where the concept of object permanence became a reality could see it.

The glitterdust cloud. It was a simple spell cast by a single use item, not a simple bag of dust that could only be tossed. It hung in the air as the spell conjuring the silver material dictated and wouldn't simply settle to the ground immediately. Akiris may have followed his opponent out of the cloud in order to keep the pressure up. But if fluffles wanted back in? The mercenary was more than happy to assist in that endeavor and sent his opponent crashing to the ground right into the middle of the glittery cloud of suffering.

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In his attempt to trip up the knight, Akiris had completely canceled out Marshall's action of dropping his halberd, thus providing him a savior from the poisonous cloud of silver dust. Metal sunk into wood, with the Dog of War's anger nearly at it's limit. It was time something was done about this, and he knew just what to do.

Staying on the mercenary's shield side, he grabbed the offending leg that tried to trip him, lifting upwards and forward, pushing with all the unnatural might at his disposal. Surely a good dip in the ocean would wash away that pesky dust. 

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The problem with using your enemy's shield as cover was.... your enemy controlled it. They could move it as they pleased and in an instant that cover would vanish.

The problem with bending down to grab the leg of a man holding a sword... let alone one despite his thuggish demeanor was more than capable of precisely stabbing things with the pointy end? Well, He can stab you. He still has a sword.

As the werewolf bent down and gripped Akiris' leg, he'd find that the mercenary's left hand had a grip atop his helm that was no less unnatural. Of course the hand was free, the shield was strapped to the mercenary's arm after all and his previous matches had proved he was more than capable of manipulating an item in addition to the heater. But the real problem? That was in Akiris' right hand as he simply twisted his body slightly and stabbed for Marshall's visor.

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Time.

Time was the enemy of all plans, made in advance or on the fly. One never knew how much of it one truly had, making even the greatest of plans a mere guess of the right circumstances. Certainties went out the window in the blink of an eye, and all that's left is pure instinct. That was the very same instinct that Sir Marshall felt as he transformed into his new, true form, of the werewolf. 

Pieces of armor burst outwards in all directions, unable to mold themselves to the quickly shifting body of the lupine warrior. One piece went flying at Akiris' hand, disarming him as it collided painfully to his fingers, the rest of his body pummeled with other pieces of flying metal. All that was left upon Marshall's body were scraps of chainmail and cloth, hanging off the muscle toned body covered completely in fur. With his clawed hands still clutching his opponent's leg, Marshall knew it was time to end this.

With the incredible strength given to him by his new bloodline, Marshall slammed the mercenary's body into the floor of the dock, then picking him up and slamming him into the opposite side. Rage pushed the pain of the silver dust out of his mind, his only real desire being the elimination of his enemy. Twice more he slammed the humans body into the hard wood of the deck, creating a devastating hole where the body crashed it's way through. He manhandled Akiris as if he weighed nothing, finally grabbing hold of his torso with one hand, his other clutching his waist with an iron grip. 

Raising his enemy above him, he howled with great anger, pulling apart the body as painfully as he could. Finally there came a snap, the sound of flesh tearing filling the air as Akiris was split apart at the middle, organs and blood spilling out with wild abandon, bathing the feral knight in an ecstasy filled rush of adrenaline. Lapping up the red water that covered him, he felt truly blissful, feeling as if this was where he truly belonged. 

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