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Fierach

The First Feast of Blades

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Jinsoku maintained his composure as the Raiju within growled in protest of the pack before them. He was ready to assist his host in not only defending against them, but also in dispatching them. Though the finger ushering the pack to stand down too warranted the placement of Jinsoku's hand over his belly. 'Daijoubu', he mentally reassured the spirit. The storm that was growing in his core had been quelled, though the Raiju remained standing and alert. Without much protest or hesitation, Jinsoku began to find himself a seat as Kenshi requested. As he did so, the swordsman questioned him most sudden and directly about the spirit he harbored within his entirety. Within his very soul!

"A guy like me?"

He repeated to himself. For a brief moment he was reminded of his youth in the islands of Ryukyu. Was Kenshi calling him out, just like the bullies of old? Was he speaking in terms of Jinsoku being a half breed? He sold his thoughts short and dismissed any accusations; Considering this was a world even further apart from the one Jinsoku was born on. He doubted those petty detriments followed so easily across two or three worlds spread so vastly apart through both time and space. Then again, he was here was he not?

"I'm not sure on how you perceive a guy like me, but to answer your question....Good or bad, I suppose I just call it a stroke of luck. Some think me to be blessed, others say I'm cursed. All I know is that one day while running, a storm rolled in. I just so happened to be at the right place at the right time and ZAP!!!~ I was struck by lightning! When I awoke with tattered clothing, my body had already healed itself, forcing me to question if it had even happened to begin with. Though obviously, something happened. Regardless of how or why, we are a part of each other. We are one."

He paused, snickering a bit as he shook his head.

"Forgive my manners, I am Sir Jinsoku Hayabusa, Knight of the Order of Force Majeure."

@Etched In Stone

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Forecourt of the Dawn Komturie

OOC Music

Spoiler

 

The Knight of Evening

HAhy9Fy.jpgKnights. Soldiers. Warriors. There was a word for every kind of combatant, from a street urchin armed with a stick to a paladin armed with a sword. When you curled your fingers in and raised a fist, gripped a hilt and raised a sword, held a haft and raised an axe; when you punched that fist, thrust that sword, swung that axe, you were in that moment a fighter like any other. 

Ser Victor Maylong had learned that lesson long ago, but he honed it over the years, sharpened it like a blade, always reminding himself that there was never an opponent that could not be beaten, including himself. If your opponent wielded a spear and you wielded a stick, if your opponent held a sword and you held a knife, if their shield protected their body and all you had was the lid of a pot, there was yet no such thing as guaranteed victory. No, victory was only guaranteed the moment that it was gained. 

In the open air of Predator’s Keep, standing before the Knight Commander, was his opponent. Neither man was armed unevenly. Where one had a sword and shield, so did the other. Where one lacked armor, the other did too. Their arena afforded no advantage of which to exploit, with concrete stretching around their feet, leading to the rest of the city or the citadel of the Dawn Komturie just before them. They were, then, not alone. The two combatants had a small ring of onlookers, passersby who had stopped and ogled, expectant and excited, curious and concerned, watching and wondering what would happen next between these two individuals who stared one another down.

They called him the Knight of Evening. He had been dubbed just so when the sword had tapped both shoulders and then his head all those years ago, and he had risen from his knee to become Ser Victor Maylong, a Knight of the Dawn. Though there was little sunshine to his appearance. His hair was long and as black as night, his irises as black as his pupils, and the man was dressed in black when he was not donning the uniform of the Dawn Knights. Today was once such occasion. In fact, this whole journey was.

The Knight Commander was the third-in-command of the Order of the Dawn, and it was as much his prowess in battle as it was his ability to lead that led him to both the rank he held and the company he kept. Lord Vadrian Dawnwood needed the closest lieutenant who could be spared from the Order while keeping the second-in-command back home; and, whether the Earl would admit it or not, he also needed one more bodyguard, and one more friend. Victor had to constantly prove himself to be both when it came to his master, and to do that right now he had to face down the man standing in front of him.

An older man, if not simply an old man, Ser Benjamin Oakheart had a face like a great cat’s. It wasn’t in the skin or the bone or the muscle, but the hair. Amid his white cloak he had a crown of gray-white hair around a balding, and thick muttonchops like large whiskers that somehow made his aging frown all the more menacing. He, like Victor, was a warrior, a soldier, a knight. Not just any knight, but a Dawn Knight, and the Order’s Master-at-Arms. 

“We’re so high up that I can taste the clouds.” Benjamin spoke as he stole a look at the sky, though there wasn’t much admiration to be found on his frozen features. Higher than any Orisian tower, yes.

“What do they taste like?” Victor asked, squinting as though his opponent were trying to cover up some hidden strength or weakness. Try me, old man. 

“Evening rain. Morning dew. Snow and ice. The River Myrth and Oakwind Falls.” 

Like home, then. Victor winced after he heard those words, for what followed was a smile that crept upon Benjamin’s furred face as slowly as a cutthroat in the night, and a cold gaze that stared daggers into Victor’s eyes.

“They’re clouds, boy.” Benjamin laughed. “They taste like little and less. And now my blade shall taste you.” 

And, like that, the great cat pounced. Oakheart rushed forward, his shield like a living wall and his sword like the claws and the fangs of a tiger. A flurry of stabs and slashes fell upon Victor, his opponent trying to drive him backward, but before the gawking bystanders could be backed into, the knight burst into action. He was leading this assault, not his attacker. He shifted aside like the wind, just in time for Oakheart’s sword to trail through the air some safe feet in front of the audience. There. Victor swung his sword right for the flank where his opponent had no shield, and where his sword-arm was bound up in its thrust.

His eyes were wide with prospect, and then panic, all in an instant. His sword had somehow struck the shield. His opponent hadn’t simply thrust forward, he had turned into his stab, as if predicting Victor’s reaction and pivoting for it. Bastard! Now it was the shielded side of the Master-at-Arms that faced the Knight Commander, and specifically the shield. Oakheart had swung it like a backhand, brushing the sword aside to open Victor up for another thrust. The old man rushed his sword forward. Victor raised his shield just in time, taking a hasty step backward, blocking the attack. In a perfect moment, the two men locked gazes, a sword and shield in either eye, and the dance continued.

Edited by Die Shize

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@Die Shize

Greeted by Vadrian, Dauner lifted his eyes of his food and grined. "It is important to always eat properly" he said grabbing some more food from his plate and forcing into his mouth.

Vadrian then proceeded to discuss about the next match Dauner was going to fight. Dauner had no idea who he was up against and it didn't seem to bother him much."A paladin huh? So he's a good fighter then" Dauner said seemingly uninterested. "Well i guess i'll ascertain that during tomorrow's fight right?" he said grinning to Vadrian.

It came as a big surprise to Dauner when Vadrian addressed his opponent as a she. Dauner looked at Vadrian astonished. He finished the food which was in his mouth and took a glass of water which he began to drink. He then spat out all the water in his mouth as if to say the shock had only just taken effect. "She a girl?" he asked in a rather loud tone. Loud enough for everyone in the room to notice though this didn't deem to disturb Dauner's train of thoughts.

It wasn't like Dauner looked down upon females. It was rather the opposite. He had respect for female fighters. But he had never fought or even hit a girl before unless she wasn't pretty. The effects of the curse which was responsible for his over-chivalrous behavior seemed to have died when he crossed worlds so it was safe to assume that he was now able to hit pretty girls though it wasn't an idea he liked very much.

Dauner was not very fond of the idea of winning a girls hand. He was someone who ran away from an engagement with the kingdom's prettiest maiden which was enough to support the fact that he was totally uninterested in any romantic relation of any sort. And besides, if Dauner were to get romantically involved with any girl for any reason whatsoever, that girl would become an assassination target of the sword princess.

"Well girl or not, i'll try my best not to lose this time" he said turning back to his food and launching great amounts into his mouth.

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[So sorry for the long wait! I am making the assumption that some time has passed -- not too long since the fight that Gabriela was watching did end in a forfeit.]

 

Unfortunately she had missed the glorious vocal talents of the strange creature named Cammy. She had been in too much of a rush to escape the overwhelming sense of crowding and the mounting anxiety that was building up just below the surface of the already fractured facade she was barely holding together. Distance -- she had craved it, yearned for it, and in the end, sought it -- regardless of the dirty glare that Ilyana cast in her direction or the small detail of servants sent after her to spy upon her actions. She was tittering a dangerous line, and like a choking-collar around her throat, she could feel how she was starting to strangle herself. Friends or foes? Guardians or jailers… Gabriela had run away from both Xartia and Ilyana the first chance she got, but her final destination had brought her no closer to the peace she so desperately desired.

The fight she ended up sitting in on had been pitifully short and had ended in a forfeit. Never in her life had she craved the pointless and barbaric pleasure of violence, but the hot blood in her veins, paired with the open wounds cut across her heart, seemed to call for the blissful release that came from seeing two men hack at each other without the slightest consideration to the heartache they might cause the women who birthed them into the world. 

Motherhood… was a sentiment that tasted as bitter as it felt settling in her stomach now that she allowed herself to think about it. The whole action of procreation, of carrying a thing so precious and birthing it out through the most despicable sort of violence to a woman’s body -- literally tearing it asunder -- and for what? Life was meaningless. All the hope and love, and the wasted time cherishing the a tiny new spark of life was just a monumental cosmic joke, a dark, cruel, and awful joke. 

Gabriele was still reeling from her short conversation with Ryzerus and not entirely because of the utterly unpleasant nature of his sheer existence. The things she had said to him, the things she had confessed…

He’d been the dark priest whom she whispered her sins to, and now that her awful truths were released from the dungeon cell that was her heart and the inside of her mouth -- given life through words and spoken in a trembling whisper among booing and screaming crowds -- now that it was out in the open, it all felt less sinful and more meaningful. She had been despairing since the moment Philippe died, the moment Roen abandoned her, the moment Raphael claimed her -- the moment he planted his seed inside of her. Despair had filled her heart, her mind, and her soul. And despair had led her to this place, where she had taken the life of her second child and put it on hold for another to carry, for another to love. 

Supposedly despair was a sin, but she had never felt more free in her life.

She hated everything and everyone, and she was certain now that there was nothing good in the world and most certainly nothing worth living for. Innocence, the one true virtue, was simply too good a thing to be brought into this miserable world. And she could stop it. She could put an end to it all. She could stop babes from being born and mothers from suffering the cruel cosmic tragedy of loving and birthing something just for the sake of sacrificing it to death. 

There stood Gabriela -- Isabella -- returned from the arena. She had not been gone long, and she was an image of human beauty, softness, and charm with her lovely, powder blue coat and her warmed cheeks, rosy pink in color, and lips that attained a shade of rose that she had never managed in her previous life. She stood at a distance, examining the scene set before her -- Ilyana and Xartia -- in the presence of a curious creature, all of them looking chummy as could be. 

“Hm.” 

Topaz colored eyes shifted from the three as they disappeared into some great celebration hall, or so she assumed. She was looking around, gathering her bearings before she sought to follow them in. Up, toward the glorious outline of the keep, Gabriela regarded the building with narrowing disdain. 

“Is this where you were conceived, my darling?” she spoke in a whisper to the memory of her infant son, “It will be the first place that I burn to the ground. The first pile of ashes I devour in your name.”

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Two new friends.  Dear friend from Hell's Gate.  New friends.  Dear friend.  Xartia.  Male.  Isabella.  Presumably female.  It is possible, then, that Ilyana is the odd one out, and Cammy likes those odds!  Cammy curtsies to Xartia as is customary, though her curtsy seems stiff and unnatural, a curtsy not of a courtier but of a person without a pedigree bound in multiple volumes, unlike, she muses, this Xartia, who introduced himself as though he is a nobleman or a prominent businessperson.  Xartia Something Something the First.

Hold on!  If this guy isn't your date...

Cammy spins around and walks back to her band's equipment.

Xartia can't be Ilyana's date, clearly.  He just...  The arm and...  Grr, that still ruffles Cammy's figurative feathers, but it shouldn't!  It really shouldn't!  Xartia offered Cammy an arm, thus signifying such behavior is not an indicator of romantic intent, but Ilyana...  She's just so - so casual about it like it isn't a big deal!  She's touching Xartia like - like for as much time, potentially, as people hold hands!  Unless you're a doctor, a tailor, or a relative, you aren't supposed to touch anyone for that long until you reach stage five of the courtship rituals!  Why does he get to escort Ilyana?

Cammy is jealous, and she has a plan to one-up Xartia.  Yes siree Bob, someday, she'll be the one Ilyana invites to parties!

Cammy returns about half-a-minute later with two black calla lily wrist corsages in translucent boxes.  She attempts to hand one of these boxes to Ilyana, who Cammy hopes will accept it as a thoughtful gift and a venue-appropriate accessory that matches her outfit.  She'll never have to know that Cammy, who had no idea that Ilyana would show up to this affair in a black dress, went out and bought about seven sets of corsages just in case.

I can give you this without anyone trying to hit me!

That's a worrying declaration for multiple reasons.

Again, Cammy steps over to her secret corsage stash behind the drum set, this time to discard any empty boxes in her possession.

Dear friend.  That's all she'll ever be, isn't it?  Between people like Aislyn and Xartia, she doesn't stand a chance.  Is it because she's short?

Cammy completes the circuit, arriving back near Xartia and Ilyana.  She stares at the arm offered to her, but she does not accept it.  Instead, she motions for Xartia and Ilyana to lead and follows them to the banquet hall.

I've never been to a feast before!  Well, uh, that's - that's not entirely true, but, um, you - you know - sometimes you have to send your enemies a message, and when some of them are vampires who've tried to feed on you - you'd - you know...

Yeah.  Not the best topic for a banquet unless you're on a diet and would die, just die, if you consumed too much food at the banquet.  Other topics Cammy decides to steer clear of are sanitation issues as they relate to food preparation and the slight possibility that Enrele eggs might have tainted the food.  That's why all House Glasmann personnel at this site were instructed to remain with their battle buddies, maintain constant contact with communications officers, and refuse all food and drink that is not served and consumed on House Glasmann vessels.

So, what brings you two to Predator's Keep tonight?  I was out collecting information on Coconino Marsh so I could compare it with information on Ponkapoag Lake and eventually Sidereal Lake to assess the conditions of Terrenus's watersheds and the distribution of certain invasive species and certain ritual sites where people once worshiped the old gods, you know, the ones the Gaians tried to exclude from this world.

Edited by The Alexandrian

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The second round was over and it proved to be nearly as uneventful as the first. During his time in Predator’s Keep, the mage had made a point to stay in his rooms, figuring that the man who had busted their queen’s nose wasn’t exactly welcome even if she happened to be missing in action. Arthur shook off his agitated trepidation, however, and made his way down to the feast on the evening after his second fight. Bathed and smelling of cologne, the mutant was seated near a corner of the feast hall with two of his companions. Arthur was dressed in a grey three piece suit, the subtle lines of a monochrome plaid pattern were spread across every inch of the fabric. Underneath his suit, he wore a white dress shirt and a dark blue tie with hundreds on tiny white dots stitched on. The outfit was rounded out by a black belt and same-colored dress shoes, while his black robes rested atop his shoulders in an intimidating blackened shroud. The mantle of black fur around Arthur’s neck and shoulders like the mane of a wolf’s winter coat. 

“I heard that the host of the tournament said that we would be tested,” Arthur relayed to his friends with mirth clear upon his voice between bites of his impressively extensive meal. A large wooden board functioned as a platter, nearly every inch of it covered with some morsel. The center of the platter was dominated by a Chateaubriand steak atop a hot plank and dressed in bèarnaise sauce. The steak was cut into three smaller filets, their centers pink, warm, and practically bursting with juices. The periphery of the board consisted of three boiled crawfish, a wedge of provincial cheese, a roll of dark bread, multiple roasted cobs of corn, and a portion of potatoes that were cut into quarters and roasted with chopped parsley on top.

“But I think this may be my first real test,” the mage joked, gulping down ale from his flagon eagerly.

@Gil @Spooky Mittens

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Cabbage sat happily in a little clay pot that hard been packed with fresh soil earlier that day.  His pot was plopped onto a chair at Arthur's table, and when Arthur had received his food so too hard Cabbage been given a generous sprinkle of water.  His leaves were vibrant and stiff and his spindly little root arms were nowhere to be seen.

However, he did seem to take to singing a bit, possibly as a subconscious display of joy.

"Heh behhh beh, heh behhh beh, heh behhh beh."

It was steady and rhythmic, but quiet enough that he wouldn't be disturbing to anyone in close proximity.

It wasn't until Arthur mentioned that he hadn't truly been tested this tournament, and that the massive chunk of beef before him was to be his first true test.  Cabbage had no idea what that meant, but he had learned to pick up on Arthur's tones and sense of humor over their time together.

"Heh heh heh.  Heh beh."

He feigned laughter, being unable to actually laugh.  Then he pulled his spindly little root arms from the soil and grew a stick from his face.  He broke the stick off with a snap and stuck the end in his mouth.

When he withdrew the end of his new stick, it had transformed into a very tiny replica of Arthur's pollaxe, metal and all, which Cabbage started to swing around.

"Hehhh BEH!"

@Voldemort @Gil

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It was an auspicious day.

The downtime after the second rounds of the Feast of Blades concluded marked a parade ceremony in which the Order of Force Majeure flexed its militant and technological might. Although the Knights and Custodes had been involved in many events in Terrenus and abroad thus far, they often didn’t give much away about their capabilities as they did so, acting in such small numbers or so subtly that it was difficult to tell if they had been present at all. Today however, their prowess would be on full display

Five of the ships of the Order of Force Majeure airfleet lay stationed overhead today in formation, one large cruiser flanked by two arcane, unique frigates, and two smaller destroyers. Brilliant lights played over their hulls as their shielding switched off in unison, and bay doors opened, dark shapes descending in the wake of their shadows.

A dozen dots there were, screaming down the air in perfect synchronicity despite their speed, moving as if they were formation dancers in a precision ballet rather than many tons of powered metal each. Even their eventual leveling out was done almost embarrassingly precisely, and any onlookers would be able to see the machines clearly now, heavy-set yet gorgeous in their chrome trim and rugged outlines, jetbikes of inspired design.

final_V3.jpg?width=975&height=563

As the newly unveiled bikes skimmed across the treetops of the forest, a flight of rider dragons joined them, rising up from the treetops. Native creatures of Terrenus, a group of them had been tamed and bonded to various Custodes. They weren’t used for outright battle as might have in most other nations or militaries, but as a link to connect with the common people.  They were a symbol of the Order of Force Majeure’s link to the nations of Fracture. Thrice the group circled the Dawn Komturie, and on the third pass they split off, the jetbike riders gunning their engines, and putting a true show of speed and agility on display, dazzling any audience with an aerial spectacle of twists and maneuvers. 

In times past, the Order of Force Majeure had to rely on more old fashioned means of transport, or on the equipment of the great nations of Fracture but now no longer. Not only had they the means to arrive as a warhost in their airships, but also the means to quickly respond to potential threats in a more measured manner. 

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Ilyana kept her smile painted, keeping her ambiguity intact despite actually finding amusement in how Cammy was acting and what she was saying. Her stance and expression would simply be interpreted as cordial which was how she’d prefer to be for the majority of her visit here. Her eyes slid over Xartia briefly before she slipped her arm away from him to fully grasp the corsage she had just been gifted. Sliding it on to her wrist, she lifted her hand that held that gaudy ring of hers and admired it while she started to respond to Cammy.

“What a beautiful gift...thank you Cammy.”

She wasted no time continuing.

“I was on my way back home to bring Isabella to come visit the Lady Glasmann eventually. Isabella decided she wanted to visit a friend to ask for help with something so I obliged and here we are. Xartia here graciously offered himself as an escort since he is well acquainted with this city...an offer I graciously accepted. I understand that Caeceila is participating in the events here so maybe we can cheer her on a bit.”

The Redeemer wondered what other purpose the Lady had for entering this tournament other than testing her own abilities, hoping that it furthered both of their goals and that it wasn’t just out of boredom. Granted, her ally was well within her right to do as she pleased with her time, but Ilyana would find this whole contest to be an inefficient use of time should it not be to assess how far the corruption of the Enrele had gone to this red city. Ilyana didn’t dwell too long on it, however, sliding her arm back to hook on to Xartia’s.

“I am sure you can acquire some seats worthy of your status here…lord Xartia. Lead the way.”

@The Alexandrian @Twitterpated

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Enid wrinkled her nose at the scent of seared meat. The witch averted her eyes from her dining companions, finding a point at the far end of the room and fixing on it with a vapid stare. It wasn't the meat that bothered her; she indulged on the rare occasion.. extra rare, as a matter of fact. There were just so few prepared foods that pleased her senses, and fewer still that her stomach found agreeable. She absently probed her fork into her salad and managed to skewer a sizable wedge of fruit and dandelion greens. She ate the morsel in bites before resting the utensil on the edge of her plate.

The seer dressed better, for lack of a better word, than she would on most occasions. Her dress was long and sleek, and had a layer of lace that was sheer about the neck and sleeves. It was black, like most of her clothes, and the lace pattern looked like shadows in a garden over her skin.

“Do you think it wise to brag, Wolf?” She responded to Arthur, “You might be conquered by dessert before you have a chance to face your next opponent.” Her flat way of speaking flattened her joke in turn. The one round she had witnessed was peculiar, to say the least. By that measure, it was difficult to say whether the next would prove a challenge for her friend, or if it would bring its own peculiarities. The two were not mutually exclusive, she supposed.

Enid looked to Arthur, then leaned forward to catch a better view of Cabbage's little display of admiration. “Hmm..” she took another bite of greens and pondered over the unusual creature. “Tell me,” she addressed Cabbage, gesturing at him with her fork, “are you all vegetable on the inside, or is there some meat to you?”

@Voldemort @Spooky Mittens

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She did not remember the place being quite so crowded and it was with a growing sense of lament that she thought of lost abilities -- her heightened sense of smell, sight, of sound. If she was still her old self, if she was still a vampyre, then finding Ilyana and Xartia would be a simple thing. But with things as they were, and herself as she was -- human -- she had only some very faint abilities to go on, and they were still so very new to her that she did not even think she was exercising them correctly. Now that she could hear less and see less clearly she found it very difficult to concentrate, she struggled to make sure everything she could hear and did see were things that she was hyper focusing on just in case they happened to be important. All in all, she must have looked rather comical, standing there with her eyes narrowed and peering into the crowd in an attempt to find a familiar face. 

 

Rather than find her friends, or even the Orisian noble she had come here to entreate into helping her (a distant memory of a mission now), what she did find was the oddly familiar face of the man she had just witnessed fighting -- well almost fighting. She saw Arthur sitting among a group of acquaintances, feasting heartily, perhaps celebrating his triumphant victory. 

 

Feeling more than a little foolish just standing around waiting for Ilyana to rescue her, Gabriela took the initiative to go and mingle. There was no way of knowing if the black-haired beauty was going to be complaint to Gabriela’s whims and fancies forever, and so it seemed prudent to start building a secondary support system. Once upon a time she would have scoffed at the idea of building networks of allies for any other purpose other than national interests. Gabriela was a three-hundred year old vampyre, of a pure and impeccable bloodline -- she had no need for companionship when traveling. But she was a human now, and a human with a likeness to the former Black Queen of Orisia no less. 

 

She had to accept her limitations.

 

She had to make friends.

 

“That was an interesting fight,” Gabriela said as she came upon the small group who was busy eating their supper. She glanced at Cabbage and arched an elegantly shaped brow at the strange creature -- pretty and curious, but utterly strange, and maybe even a little mad, and then turned her topaz-colored eyes upon the woman who was quite busy with a mouthful of salad. The woman was dressed in a neat, sky-blue coat, and she came to a stop before their table at a respectable distance. The last thing she wanted was to appear as a threat, especially to those who had already shown that they saw violence as nothing more than a sport to be enjoyed. Settling her sights upon Arthur once again, while her small hands dug into the pockets of her neatly fitted pants, she offered a small, teasing smile, “--or rather, lack thereof. What’s the secret of your success? Do whisper awful threats before the match starts, the likes of which cause your opponents to forfeit and turntail or are you just so outclassed that they do the honorable thing and leave because it wouldn’t be a fair fight?” 

 

Don’t tease him. Men don’t like to be teased. 

 

I have no idea what I am doing…

 

Be friendly.

 

“Of course, I am just joking,” she laughed, but it sounded more nervous than genuine, "you were quite brilliant out there, before things went south. Quite the bold entrance." 

 

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It had been long since Dauner had had a comfortable sleep in a comfortable bed in a large castle such as this one. The memories of the old days it brought back, the feeling. He hated it. It felt like he was back in that prison of a palace in which he grew up in. But he still didn't let that ruin his sleep. Almost nothing could ruin his sleep. How could anything ruin his sleep when he slept like a half dead man. A half dead yet deadly man.

Dauner had won a victory in his fight the previous day. It wasn't much of a very enjoyable victory seeing as he broke his rule and not just hurt a girl but also made her bleed. The fight was fun but the result wasn't very enjoyable. Yet he still looked forward to a time when he could face this opponent again in a fight where they weren't bound by rules and could use the full extent of their magic. A fight which in theory, seemed more fun that the one he just had.

He walked downstairs and headed over to the feast which seemed to never end. And endless festival of amusement, fun and most especially delicious food. What more could he ask for. The first thing he did was pounce onto the table where all the food had been displayed. He got himself a pretty big mountain on a pretty large platter and walked carefully to a free table while making sure his mountain didn't topple and fall over. He feasted himself wishing Gozen was there to feast with him. That reminded him that he had to meet up with Gozen later in the day. He took down every inch of food in a rather loud manner. To most he'd seem like a savage, to others like someone who didn't have the dignity of a gentleman and to others, like someone who didn't seem to care about putting up a proper behavior in public. All these opinions would be right. Dauner might have been brought up as royalty, but he didn't care much about such things as saving face. He was an adventurer first and an ever hungry swordsman second. Any other thing, could come in at the end of the queue.

The parade went on outside with Dauner wanting to go watch but only after he had finished his meal.

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Arthur watched his diminutive companion with an amused grin on his face, his hands holding a pair of utensils as he surgically sliced a chunk of saucy beef. Skewering the piece with his fork, the mutant brought the morsel to his mouth and chewed ravenously, enjoying the delectable taste of his carefully picked entrée. He swallowed and leaned across the table, seizing Cabbage’s pot and laid the receptacle on the table as a curious centerpiece. The mutant laughed genuinely while the leshen swung the tiny replica of his tournament weapon, cutting himself another piece of steak and deposited into his mouth. It was closely followed by a pair of sautéed potatoes. He scratched his chin as he pondered over the flavors in the way that only a skilled cook could. The potatoes could use paprika, the mage thought as he cleared his throat. 

“Show them how it’s done, Cabbage,” the black mage applauded, chuckling again as he grabbed  his flagon and washed down his food. “You’re already more skilled than the field.” 

Arthur’s gaze darted to Enid, grinning at the witch’s deadpan display of comedic wit. “Very wise,” the mage replied with a wolfish grin, “In fact, while I agree that sweets may prove a more difficult opponent than those provided to me so far. An appetite as monstrous as mine can’t be beat by any combination of Clafoutis, Crème Brûlée, Éclair, or a Croquembouche.” 

The mage’s eyes narrowed as Enid pointed her fork at the tiny leshen. Arthur extended his fork-carrying hand, crossing ‘blades’ with the witch in a manner reminiscent of their fencing duels. Fierce as they often were. “I thought fey were supposed to have an affinity for forest spirits,” Arthur responded, speaking for the leshen as Cabbage would have only been able to reply in some variation of ‘BEH.’ Of course, he rethought his words afterwards. The world of faeries also functioned on the principle of dog-eat-dog. It would prove a fun game in any case, whether Arthur was correct or not. “Perhaps we should do battle, Enid. Myself, in defense of my leafy friend. Yourself, in accordance to your strange dietary habits. It would be fun. After all, you’d win this tournament if you entered instead of me.”

With their forks trapped in an overlapping grip, comically suggesting a clash of sorts, they provided quite the strange sight for Gabriela as she approached their table. Arthur stared at the unfamiliar woman with a confused look on his face, though he didn’t retract his fork at any moment. The mutant hadn’t expected anyone to pass by, whether to deliver a compliment or otherwise. And yet, there she was. Speaking on the fight that apparently she’d spectated. That she was making light of... The mage set his fiery, inhuman gaze upon the dark-haired beauty, fixing Gabriela with an animalistic stare that people only received in their worst nightmares or in the wilds... through gaps in sylvan shadows. Arthur couldn’t help it, of course. His eyes were monstrous indeed. 

He would not pounce, however, as the big bad wolf often did. Though the stare persisted for a quiet, seemingly endless moment. Then the mage’s lips curved into a smile, emitting an amused snort which indicated that he took no offense at the Gabriela’s words. 

“The secret to my success, hmm?” Arthur hummed as he pondered on the joking query, keeping the prongs of his fork braced against Enid’s own. “I suspect that it might be my impeccable fashion sense. My opponents couldn’t bear to destroy such stylish garments.” 

Pausing in his own amused rambling, the mage enacted a spell which caused another sautéed potato to float up to the mutant’s mouth. He chomped on the hot morsel, humming at the exquisite taste. Annoyingly, he refused to let up in his childish game against Enid. “Enid, what would you say my secret is? Am I the strongest in Fracture, or are my opponents severely lacking?”

Arthur returned his stare to Gabriela and gave a tiny, irreverent bow. Of course, he didn’t know how odd that would be for the erstwhile Queen. She was probably used to a much more ample display of decorum from her subjects. “In all seriousness, thank you. It’s good to have admirers. Please, take a seat. I’m sure we’d all enjoy your company. I’m Arthur Uskglass. I’d shake your hand but as you can see... I’m locked in a life or death struggle with my friend Enid.”

In that moment, the mage locked eyes with the green-skinned witch.

@Spooky Mittens @Gil @Pasion Pasiva

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Cabbage was happy to continue swiping this way and that with his toy version of Arthur's weapon.  He didn't understand fancy parties or feasts or small talk, and Gabriela's assessment of the leshen creature's madness was rather quite accurate.  Of course when your brain was mostly cellulose and water, how sane could you really be?

Something caught his attention then, though.  Arthur's female companion had made some kind of Jan at Cabbage with her eating utensil.  He had seen her salad and noted that the fork was used specifically for stabbing plant life, and so he put up his tiny bitty polleaxe before Arthur came to his aid.

Something the woman said had really stuck in Cabbage's leafy head though.  Was he full of meat?  He stuck the pollaxe back in his mouth for a good while, at least long enough for Arthur and this woman to have their flatware duel.  When he finally pulled it back out the stick-turned-polleaxe had become a fully cooked chicken leg.  That is, if you replaced the bone with wood.  Cabbage still didn't understand that bones and branches weren't the same thing.

Cabbage started to waggle around his chicken leg.

"HuuuBEH."

@Voldemort @Gil @Pasion Pasiva

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@jaistlyn

The request for Volentia came today as well. It was coached this time as a true request however, insisting that she only come see the Master Knight when she was ready, and if she wished to view the air show of the Force Majeure, then it was up to her. It was curious that James was not taking part in it, although he had surely set up the whole event to begin with.

When the young paladin would find James, he would be once again in the Charnel House, the underground training arenas of the knightly order. This time she would find him in one of the arenas, next to a rack of weaponry of all sorts, swords, axes, polearms, shields, some of them distinctly customised or bearing arcane enchantments. He sat at a makeshift table and seat of one of the arena's obstacles, diligently maintaining a unique looking tachi with a flame-patterned blade.

He'd look up as Volentia arrived and motion for her to join him nearby. 

Edited by Fierach

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