the Rift

[JUDGED] Mud Wrestling [Tembovu v. Mauja]

Tembovu the Elephant Posts: 805
World's Edge Captain atk: 7 | def: 9.0 | dam: 7.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 18hh :: 10 HP: 77 | Buff: SWIFT
Mbwene :: African Elephant :: Ashen smitty

The titan approaches the mist-shrouded cliffs, he was up with the sun. The chill had awoken him- though it was nothing compared to the icy freeze of Frostfall. As his giant, sweeping strides brought him closer to the Edge’s edge, a grumble rose in his throat. The chill had his muscles tight, the sinew clearly standing stiff beneath his silvered buckskin coat. The black and white banding forming a topography of markings in his coarse hair.

He halted, heavy hooves sinking into the slush that the slowly melting snow was becoming. His hooves were in cold sludge, his coat was layered in cold mist, his chest was expanding with cold air- “I hate cold.” The deep mutter grouchily fell flat in the thick air.

At least the sun was attempting to warm the great stallion, as muted yellow light gently cut through the mist. He snorted harshly, roughly shaking his head hard, sending his buzzed mane and thick crest slapping the sides of his neck. He needed to do something to warm up and make his taunt muscles more pliable. He needed Rexanna with him at night- he cut this thought short at the pain it brought him. He stomped a massive hoof, sending a spray of dark mud up his leg- though he paid this no mind.

He knew what would warm him. He knew what he needed. He had played arts and crafts, nice guy, welcome-lady, for too long. His body was stiff with disuse. So stiff- he wondered if the creaking joints even knew how to move in combat anymore.

Crossly, he pitched his voice as he did in the battlefield, “Mauja! I’ll take you up on that practice, now!” The low sound cutting easily through the mist. His bellow carried well over the Edge- most likely awaking many at this early hour. Though, quite out of character, he didn’t currently care. In his foul mood he half-reared, once again slamming against the ground, attempting to force limberness into his taunt muscles. More cold mud sprayed up his legs. “Damn it all.” He snorted and twitched his wiry tail.

WC: 355
Summary: He’s chosen a clearing near the cliffs. It’s a misty and cold morning, though the sun is quickly burning the mist off. The ground is quite slushy and muddy from the melting snow.

image credits
- table by Niki -

Please tag Tembovu.
Ascended Helovian

Mauja the Frozen Light Posts: 1,392
Outcast atk: 6.5 | def: 10.5 | dam: 7.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 17.2 :: 14 HP: 79.5 | Buff: HUNTER
Irma :: Snowy Owl :: Terrorize & Diego :: Eurasian Eagle-Owl :: Rage Neo

i am the vanguard of your destruction

No, no, NO.
The Doctor is OUT.

“I’ll take you up on that practice, now!”

I'm still out. I'm still out. I'M STILL—

In the moist morning air his sigh was just another facet of the fog, white smoke rising towards the first pale haze of the spring sun. It was a slow thing, the water droplets drawn upwards before dissipating—disappearing into thin air. When it wanted, where it wanted.

There was something vaguely hypnotic about it, something.. calming. Because it simply followed its own pace, its own rhythm. Didn't give a fuck about the time of day, wars, heartache, and whatever else plagued the mortals of this cursed realm.

Didn't care how empty your heart was. As long as you kept breathing the white smoke puffed out. Rose. Disappeared.

He had promised. A long time ago, he had promised the behemoth a spar to hone his skills and work the rust off his edges. It was the only thing that tore the white queen from his perch amidst the dew-laden spiderwebs. Honor.

Mauja had realized that he hated violence.

(But he swallowed that, now. He had a duty to do.)

Duty was the thing that ever drove him forward: what made him lock his heart up, and simply perform.

The familiar Edge terrain flashed by in its muted morning glory as he sought the source of the call, knowing him by the timber of his voice, and the weight of the promise laden in those words. Tembovu. Tembovu, calling in his blood oath. Mauja snorted, white legs moving at a rapid trot; pale sunlight caught the dew lingering at the tips of his hairs and making him shimmer (ghost).

Warmth came to tired muscles. Warmth rode with the quiet song in his blood; once, it had been full of war drums and battle hymns, but now it was a dirge.

He just didn't know yet what he was mourning.

"Tembovu," he greeted him; blue eyes full of false light, dark lips curving into a smile that denied how soulless he felt.

Not even the great Glazier seemed untroubled—it was just something in his eyes, the angles of his face, the edges of his movements, the cold muck splattered on his belly and legs (the dreary muck had browned the edges of Mauja's ample feathers, too). Just, something was off in their little clearing, and it certainly wasn't the rising sun, because the light between the sparse trees and the fog was just divine.

Mauja halted some ten paces away, black-rimmed ears flicking forward once before settling into neutrality; head raised, a sense of wariness clinging to him like uncomfortable clothes. Here he was again, at the scene of a peaceful battlefield, and his greatest challenge was not in attempting to defeat his (friend) but in conjuring enough emotion to give him a proper go at all.

"Come at me, then," he said crassly, because it seemed to be the only thing he could say.

[ @Tembovu || 0/3 ]
angels, they fell first, but I'm still here

Tembovu the Elephant Posts: 805
World's Edge Captain atk: 7 | def: 9.0 | dam: 7.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 18hh :: 10 HP: 77 | Buff: SWIFT
Mbwene :: African Elephant :: Ashen smitty

Ears prick forward as his King- no, his Queen- appeared from the mist at a ground covering trot. The dew clung to his already white coat, and he glistened in the muted yellow rays. Ethereal, almost. Already, Tembovu could feel his foul mood melting away now that he was facing an opponent. A ripple runs across his thick this hide as he rolls his shoulders slowly. He can feel the fascia begin to unstick, a thrum beginning in his chest as he feels his muscles loosen.

Deep blue gaze studies the spotted glacier approaching. The usual cold, impassivity covered his face. Was there a glimmer of reluctance- of distaste behind that icy stare? Disbelief pulsed through him. How could he not be keen for a spar? Friendly exercise without the fear of death or conquer. Sounded ideal to the elephant.

Sweeping his incredulity aside with a broad, lopsided grin, “My good Queen! How magnanimous of you to show,” he booms to Mauja, bad mood now entirely forgotten as cheerfulness rolls off him in waves. Inclining his head slightly, he watched the stallion slow to a halt before him. He sees him smile- a small, tight smile that seemed appropriate, yet lacked enough warmth to meet the rest of his face.

The large beast snorts softly to himself. Would he ever melt some of his King’s/Queen’s ice? Another project. He smiles to himself, then shoves these musings away. Still watching Mauja closely, he realized that he was about to fight an unknown opponent for the first time in years. His battles in Dorobo had been planned skirmishes against known enemies. He knew their powers, their weaknesses, their weapons, and their fighting styles.

With Mauja, he knew nothing.

So he studied the stallion, ears perk and twitch as his crass words. The elephant barks a deep laugh. “As my Queen commands,” his low voice rumbles through his laughter. Though he waits moments longer, perusing the large body for a plan of attack.

Yes, the snowy stud was large, nearly as tall as himself. And built sturdy, though not as an elephant like himself. His mane was long: a possible handle. But would this really come to hair-pulling? His horn was spiraled, point sharp. And his muscles stretched the spotted hide, clearly in better fighting form than himself.

Ah, to hell with it.

With quickness that belied his heavy form, he lowered his massive, right shoulder while lunging for Mauja’s left shoulder with it. Aiming to use his mass (for that has always been his advantage), he tries to slam his momentum against the white queen, wanting to use Mauja as a physical break as he swings his haunches around to his right. His colossal wall of muscular hindquarters direct their power to slam against the stag’s haunches. His right hind leg is raised, coming down as he completes his forehand pivot, targeting the front of his opponent’s left hind hock and cannon bone.

As he attacks, his head tucks, heavy horn slanted towards the glass one. Not to attack, but to parry away any slashes towards him at their faces and chests come so close in his charge. “Surely we can elicit some excitement from you, my friend,” his low grunt escapes as his body intends to smash into Mauja’s.

Mud flies in clods from his gargantuan hooves. This was going to get messy. He grinned.

WC: 566
Summary: Temb throws his right shoulder against Mau’s left, slamming all his weight against him. He then continues his momentum as a pivot on his front right leg, swinging his haunches around so that they hit against Mau’s haunches (and so that they are side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder). He tries to kick Mau’s hind left leg as he slams against him.
Ugh, I hope this makes sense. ;-;
image credits
- table by Niki -


Please tag Tembovu.
Ascended Helovian

Mauja the Frozen Light Posts: 1,392
Outcast atk: 6.5 | def: 10.5 | dam: 7.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 17.2 :: 14 HP: 79.5 | Buff: HUNTER
Irma :: Snowy Owl :: Terrorize & Diego :: Eurasian Eagle-Owl :: Rage Neo

i am the vanguard of your destruction
Pretty faces never won wars, and ghosts had already lost them.

And he was a ghost, god dammit—the ghost of a King who had fallen in the flames in this place so long ago, the lingering echo of a memory between the trees. He could see himself in the corner of his eye, dancing between the trees, fog swirling around him like a cloak (like a lover—). Between the ghost-bars of his ribs blue fire smoldered.

Mauja was his own ghost.

Nyx had charged him straight-on, ice and electricity crackling along the silver of her skin, and he hadn't done anything but close his eyes and brace.

And perhaps that was how he had died—he had let life ride him and reap from him every ounce of faith, and leave him hollow.

(But the light that smolders between his ribs is still there, he just doesn't know, doesn't see, how it is golden instead of glacial.)

And he felt so foul, stuck in the grime, staring at Tembovu and nearly hating him for the joy, for the mirth, for the greeting—for the grin and the words and saying it was magnanimous of him to come.

He knew—he knew, and somehow could trust it—that Tembovu meant nothing by it. He knew it, and yet, he hated that, too. How mocking it almost sounded.

Queen Mauja the Great, the tarnished, mud-splattered ghost of the World's Edge; the memory of a time past, the embodiment of fallen from grace, the.. the... Oh, blast it.

He wanted to say he had been a brilliant general and had overcome armies, won wars—truth was that he was a failed soldier turned mercenary executioner turned King-who-lost-it-all. He had only won a war once.

Fortunately, Tembovu didn't give him much more time to mope around, charging with a surprising burst of speed over the mud-slick surface. Again, for all the fucks that Mauja gave, he just wanted to close his eyes and remain in place. Wait for the impact. What use was there in moving away? What use was there ever in escape; defense? It never worked for him anyway. And if he should accidentally be trampled beneath the oncoming giant .. well .. at least everyone would know what kind of failure he was at heart, beneath the armor of ice and confidence.

In the end, it was an odd kind of pride that had him moving out of the way—vanity, maybe, the deeply rooted desire to not be bested. “Surely we can elicit some excitement from you, my friend,” Tembovu was grunting in an intimate kind of fashion, calling him friend and simultaneously shattering his heart. His paper-thin soul folded in on itself and drifted out sideways.

(How could anyone see anything in me—)

But if "excitement" meant bruises it had to wait. Mauja had bolted forward a few steps, fresh spots of mud cast upon his legs; large hooves sailed past his ass, and he abused the lousy traction to slide to a gentle stop, head turning to watch his opponent. Lines of tension stood out beneath Tembovu's tan-and-black hide, his muscle mass obvious even in the hazy light.

Damn. He would have to start thinking if he wanted to get out of this on top—he was used to being the hunter, the one with the power, the one with the teeth, the one who drove the smaller, quicker prey down the bottleneck and clack—closed the trap.

Here, he was the prey. It was an odd thing to realize, an odd feeling spreading through his veins as his heart finally picked up its pace.

Here, at last, was a challenge. Something new. Something different.

With a casual flick of his white, mud-weighed tail Mauja reached for the simmering forge of his flames, stoked it gently, gently, teasing those temperamental birds of fire into life; two eagles, broad wings and powerful bodies alight, formed in the space behind his ass and sailed towards the taller, thicker Glazier. He guessed Tembovu was still far enough away to just catch the edges of their bursts, because even if the edge of darkness had crept into his eyes and into his smile he wasn't all that interested in charring his friend (thankyouthankyouthankyou—) into a blackened, sad mess.

[ 1/3 || @Tembovu || 715 words. ]

* I'm going to start by saying I haven't taught anyone in a while so forgive me for being a bit rusty! Ahem. *

PROSE: I've threaded a bit with you before, and I feel like you sort of.. fell into the whole "ah shit it's a fight I have to remember to include all the details and all the things and ALL THE THINGS" and that usually means a sacrifice in writing quality. Try to, for a moment, ignore that it is a fight. Find your same flow; you have beautiful writing and in this post it felt crippled by your desire to get the "realism" aspects of the fight down.

Also, watch your tenses! You swapped a bit between past and present. Always proof-read! It enables you to pick out odd wording, grammatical errors, tense changes, etc. It also gives you a fair idea of if you have a flow or not.

When I write a fight post, I just write. I try to think realistically about it. The ground is slippery, so, of course, there's gonna be some slipping! But I don't slip "because the rubric judges terrain mentions". When I proof-read I usually edit in little tidbits to clarify direction, a specific action, etc. So for me it's more of an afterthought, which usually enables me to retain my flow. I had a period when I got super technical and it just killed all emotion for me. I've decided to sacrifice some Realism score in order to write better posts that make me feel better as a writer. :P

But it's great that you include terrain and breed differences! I'm not saying "don't do that" I'm saying "do that but try to get it as a part of your natural flow".

DICE ROLLS: Pay attention to the dice. I got lucky and got a full dodge here, but the damage rolls actually matter (which I sometimes forget...). If Mauja is charging you with his horn and I roll a 1 in damage, you should just get grazed - if even that. If I roll a 6, you should get speared pretty bad and lots of blood etc. So this is just a heads-up for your next post (unless I miss lol ;D) so you try to find some realistic balance between your damage taken and the dice roll.

THE ATTACK ITSELF: I actually had a bit of a hard time following it, mainly because I think you messed up left and right. The only way I can read your attack as making sense is, Tembovu charges Mauja from ahead, tries to slam shoulder to shoulder, pivots against Mauja, and attempts to ass slam/kick his hind legs. When you meet head on like that, it's always right shoulder to right shoulder, or left to left. But you said you came with Temb's right for my left, which means you had to be facing the same way as Mauja from the beginning, which would make the rest of your attack not make sense. If you find left/right difficult take like, two sheets of paper. Write "L" on one side and "R" on the other and an arrow for which way the horse is facing. Then you can pit your paper horses against one another and never be confused about direction! :P

There was a certain flow to your attack, because it happened in a narrow time frame, but generally I advocate sticking to one, maximum two, attacks in a post. For example, I'd say, don't rush me, buck in passing, run off, then run back in for another attack in the same post. It's difficult to manage that kind of timeline. Just rush me and buck in passing and then don't run too far off because for all you know, I might buck right back and shatter your hock and suddenly you can't run anymore! (Extreme example but again it's more to simplify my theory/stance on it. ^^) You've already tasted a bit of it here - Tembovu is trying to slam into Mauja, pivot, and kick at him. But before he has even slammed into him Mauja has already moved away; why would Tembovu then pivot and kick, when his opponent has already vacated the immediate premises? If you see my point. :)

So.. my biggest advice is actually this: put your writing first, and all the details second. I know I know, there's a reason I don't get as high realism scores as I could theoretically get, and I shouldn't preach for you to get worse scores!! What I mean is, I think that if you relax in your writing the rest is going to come naturally, and you'll be left with well-balanced, well-written posts that include what you need without having sacrificed writing quality and emotion!

angels, they fell first, but I'm still here

Tembovu the Elephant Posts: 805
World's Edge Captain atk: 7 | def: 9.0 | dam: 7.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 18hh :: 10 HP: 77 | Buff: SWIFT
Mbwene :: African Elephant :: Ashen smitty

Large hooves slip in the muck, thick columns of front legs sliding as the leopard lead shoots forward and away. The giant collides with air— which, as it turns out, is not very good at stopping momentum. Particularly an elephant’s. So he scrambles to find balance in the ice-like mud, flinging some if it airborne as he rights himself.

Thick nostrils snort once in annoyance at himself. Amateur hour. He stands, legs slightly splayed and neck stretched level with his withers as a result of catching himself from falling in the sludge. Azure gaze sharpens on his Queen, who stands a bit before him, aloofly smiling. Though his smile is different now— unease trickles into his thick barrel as the white stallion makes no move to physically attack him. What was he doi—


Flaming phenixes erupt in the air. Dark blue eyes widen. Why did they have to be fire? The hellish creatures flew straight towards the mammoth. Black tipped ears pin flush with his skull as he struggles backwards in the ooze. Taking one sidestep, he is forced to halt his vain attempt at escaping the fiery eagles as his large hooves feel the unsteady limestone threaten to give beneath them. Though he his not extremely close to the edge, the crumbling cliffs cannot support his gargantuan weight.

His head turns. He clamps shut his eyes, gritting his jaw. The heat comes, scalding the broad, buckskin expanse of his right shoulder. A hiss escapes from clenched teeth. But it is not the raw skin or seared nerve endings that elicit such a pained response from the antelope stud. It is the smell of burnt flesh.

His eyes snap open, dark and accusing. His hurt, haunted gaze bores into Mauja. Though the other stallion does not— cannot— know the depth of pain he had just inflicted. There is no good humor in his face now, no smile warming his thick muzzle. The cheerfulness has fled the large stud. Only strained lines crease his brow. Ringing deep, anguished eyes robbed of their previous light.

The fire birds have burnt a clearing in the fog between the two stallions. Though it only serves to highlight the black edging into his vision. He pins his ears harder against the echoing crackling of flames and phantom screams. No. He does not want to fall down his hellhole. He does not want to see charred, unrecognizable bodies.

He stamps his right forelimb, hard, hoping that the physical pain from his scorched shoulder will keep the mental torment at bay. He feels the limestone shudder beneath his large hooves. “Keep your fire birds to yourself, Mauja,” words are terse, his low voice is thick, hoarse, and heavy with unexplained anguish. But it is clear there is more pain beneath his words than what stems from the burn on his hide.

He takes a few, slow steps towards his lead, not caring that it allows him to prepare for his next attack. He needs firmer footing— even if the ground is slick everywhere. His mind is no longer in this spar. It wants out. It wants darkness and solitude— to dry to dig its way out of the hole its descending. This fight is a diversion, now. Something his sinew needs.

So, almost carelessly, he throws himself once more at his friend. Is he a friend, still? The white stud did not know how deeply his scars ran. But, in the hazy pain of his demons, the elephant finds it difficult to overlook this.

He tucks his chin, forelimbs raising in a half-rear. His thick, massive horn searches to clash against the deadly, crystal beauty of Mauja’s. His gouging hooves seek the tender tissues of his forelegs.

His accusing gaze stays open, staring into light blue, despite the pending impact.

WC: 636
Summary: His right shoulder is burned by the birds. He launches himself, head on, at Mau, horn to horn, while his front legs slash out.
ooc: This got so much darker than I expected it to. I guess that’s why it took so long to write it ;-; Sorry it got so intense for a teaching spar D:

image credits
- table by Niki -

Please tag Tembovu.
Ascended Helovian

Mauja the Frozen Light Posts: 1,392
Outcast atk: 6.5 | def: 10.5 | dam: 7.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 17.2 :: 14 HP: 79.5 | Buff: HUNTER
Irma :: Snowy Owl :: Terrorize & Diego :: Eurasian Eagle-Owl :: Rage Neo

i am the vanguard of your destruction
Oh shit.

As quickly as he had found it, he lost it, in the ashes of his own flames; the pieces of his heart shattered again, crystal fragments falling to the sidelines like roadkills along a highway. The dark smile froze in place upon his lips, and the winter in his mind grew deeper—colder—eternal.

He had always been sensitive, perceptive, tuned in to the small shifts in atmosphere. Sometimes, it was a blessing, enabling him to sense how his words were received; sometimes, it was a curse, because he felt just how deeply he had cut.

A phoenix was reborn from its own flames—it burst into fire when too old, too haggard, and came from it renewed.

But when the flash of fire faded this time...

Mauja's lips were as stiff as his frostbitten heart, legs locked in the death-grip limbo of his soul.


He swallowed. The Tembovu he had seen before the blaze had bitten his eyes had been smiling, jovial, calling him friend and trying to tease him back into life—the Tembovu that stared at him now was dark, closed off, his eyes an eternity of accusation and pain. And Mauja's soul, shaken to the core, kept trembling in its chains of ice. He barely even saw the singed skin, barely even felt the smell of lightly cooked flesh—like the prey he had become he was trapped in Tembovu's eyes.

I did this

His heart was fluttering like a butterfly, lost and confused, adrift in a darkness so deep he barely even remembered light.

Oh gods, I did this

He didn't even hear him over the staccato roar of his pulse, didn't even see those black lips moving. His world had been reduced to the nauseating shame, and the darkness of his friend's (pleasepleasepleaseplease—) eyes.

I fucking did this to him

And like fucking prey he would keep fleeing, backpedaling in the muck as the giant approached. Coward, he sneered at himself, digging his hind hooves into the mud and pivoting right. Tembovu's hooves hit the ground next to him, sending up a rain of foul slush, and his horn lanced the air. With his shattered heart somehow pounding out a coherent enough rhythm to power him he leaped forward one step, frosted hooves sliding into the soft earth.

I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry

Oh gods forgive me

But he had to fight it out. (I can't even fix him later.) He had to keep going. (You gave me something beautiful and I ruined it.) He had promised, hadn't he? (I told you, Elding, I'm a soulless fucking monster—)

Tembovu was a powerhouse, but somehow Mauja had dodged him twice, and he had to make do with what he was given—and no more fucking magic.

He was too tired to mask the light of agony in his pale gaze, too tired to smooth out the lines of guilt marring his eyes; simply kept moving in an arc to the left, back in towards Tembovu. No magic, no horns, because hadn't he done enough already? He locked his jaws tight together. The Glazier might be taller, but Mauja was by no means small, or thinly built. He would put the goddamn man through his paces, because it was the least he could do now, so he mustered what force he could from the shitty, slippery ground and threw himself towards the Glazier's haunches—hopefully, his left shoulder would connect with Tembovu's left flank, and push him enough off balance to make a retaliation from his hind legs come a little slower. Mauja had no desire to catch a blow to the head, so he would do what he could to keep the titan from kicking him to hell and back..

.. not because he didn't deserve it .. because that he did .. but he couldn't apologize if he was dead.

I'm sorry, he thought again, bracing, head low and to the right. I'm so, so sorry.

[ 2/3 || @Tembovu || 665 words. ]

PROSE: Much, much better this time! You kept to the same tense throughout the post, and you had what felt like a more natural flow—without missing out on terrain details! There's only a few minor things I have to comment on:
  • You still had a few spelling errors. They weren't "incorrectly spelled words" but rather you slipped on keys and didn't catch it, for example it says "his" instead of "is", and "dry" instead of "try".
  • I don't know if this is intentional in your style, but sometimes I feel that you could've used transitions more, such as commas, semicolons, and hyphens/dashes. Your post reads in a staccato fashion, and like I said, I don't know if it was your intention or not, but being a very flow-y person myself I would recommend trying to string more sentences together. A few examples:

  • The fire birds have burnt a clearing in the fog between the two stallions. Though it only serves to highlight the black edging into his vision. Could've been one sentence in my opinion, with a comma instead.

    A hiss escapes from clenched teeth. But it is not the raw skin or seared nerve endings that elicit such a pained response from the antelope stud. Could've been one sentence, and the next coming one: "It is the smell of burnt flesh." would've had a bit more impact for me.

    Like I said if this is your way of stylized writing ignore me! I am just going off what I feel, and such. Staccato-ish writing can be really impacting but as with all things, it needs contrast. :)

    Otherwise, you did well with terrain damages (???? I literally wrote that, I think my logic went terrain is bad > damages your movements, I guess I meant "terrain effects" really...), and given that you considered their breed differences in the first post it's not big deal that you didn't this time around much, but if it doesn't come naturally in the third post either I would consider seeing if I could retrospectively add something about it. Doesn't have to be much, really, you don't have to be Captain Obvious about it in my opinion. But.. I'm not a judge. <_>;

    DICE ROLL/DAMAGE: I believe you could've spent a bit more time describing the damage. You touch a little upon it, "scalded skin and seared nerve endings", but there's no real mention of how bad or not-bad it is, or how it'll affect his movements. Will he limp, because moving his right shoulder is going to cause him pain? Etc. But I do think it was appropriate damage taken given that Mauja specifically tried to not give him a full blow of it, I just would've liked a touch more about it. Giving damage enough space in a post is super hard, and you're talking to someone who sucks at it. xD

    ATTACK: This attack made much more sense! Maybe because it is very head on, there isn't really anything to get confused about, and I love that you ended it on the open note of the attack. Given the situation it's a fitting attack. However, as I mentioned above with damage, rearing up a little and striking out would probably trigger pain if his shoulder is burnt, as he would rotate it when striking. Just something simple as "he struck out, but the reach on his right was shorter, the pain crippling his motion/reducing his reach from its full potential", or if you're going Terminator on Mauja's ass, "he struck out, snarling [within or outside] as he forced his right limb to strike to its furthest despite the agony wracking his nerves".
    angels, they fell first, but I'm still here

    Tembovu the Elephant Posts: 805
    World's Edge Captain atk: 7 | def: 9.0 | dam: 7.5
    Stallion :: Unicorn :: 18hh :: 10 HP: 77 | Buff: SWIFT
    Mbwene :: African Elephant :: Ashen smitty

    His lead retreats out from under his crashing, punishing horn, sliding backwards in the mud. His long, thick, and loosely spiraled horn whistles through air as his attack, again, met no resistance. Though, this time, there is no accompanying annoyance or irritation at himself— no, his mind is too busy forestalling demons to care that his haphazard and distracted strike has missed its mark.

    Cold, thick mud flies up as his hooves crash down to the earth, the sucking sludge squelching loudly. A deep, coldly azure stare continues to bore into the light blue, now anguished and guilty, eyes of Mauja. A rough snort escapes his flared, thick nostrils. He appreciates the apology that is written so plainly on the pale and inked spotted face of his Queen— yet he doesn’t. His hide is blistered and his shoulder sings in agony with the raw flesh ripping in the face of his rough attack. The smell of burnt hair and flesh is pungent in the close quarters of the two large stallions— a smell so emotionally repulsive to the elephant.

    These parts of Tembovu appreciate the apology.

    But the other parts of the giant scream for distraction and action. He wants to spar, he does not want to be coddled nor pitied. He had spent a long while pitying himself and his misfortunes. Then he had committed himself to revenge. Now he was committing himself to justice and a future.

    He drags a thick, pale hoof in the mud as he paws with his injured shoulder once. The flash of pain, he hopes, will clear his mind of emotions as the adrenaline spikes. But he is wrong, for the pain does nothing more than fluster his already distracted head.

    His thoughts are a jumble as Mauja mounted his next attack. Fear, anger, irritation, confusion, forgiveness, blame— all these things swirl as the vaporizing mist around them on the cliffs. So, the white leopard stud’s attack hits true. It is thankfully (blessedly, wonderfully) fire-free. But the mammoth, mentally unable to brace for the (rather kind) offense, feels Mauja’s sternum sink deeply into his soft flank like a blade.

    His haunches slip in the oozing earth from the impact of the large, muscular stallion. He can feel the deep bruise already spreading through his flank, bursting blood reaching behind the ends of his ribs. The silvered buckskin darkens immediately as the skin begins to hue bluish from the broken vessels. The impact shoves a breath loudly from his chest, stealing any words or expletives he might have cursed. His hind limbs scramble to right themselves, forgoing the opportunity to strike at the white skull that is within their kicking range.

    He catches his balance, a deep ache emanates from his left flank from the impact and scrambling motions he has taken to stop himself from falling. His right shoulder continues to sing its displeasure. A low sigh escapes him and he feels— for the first time in his life— a twinge of displeasure at needing to mount an attack. This was so much of his past, of an angry and vengeful soul so keen on destruction.

    Darkened cobalt eyes that had closed against the crash of titans open and peer towards his lead. A confused misery paint their depths and soak his masked face— a misery stemming from deeper than his exterior battle wounds.

    Half-heartedly, he rises once more on his haunches, angling his thick neck to reach across the broad, speckled back of his opponent. Thick columns of forelimbs aim to strike out against his pale barrel while his bared teeth seek to grasp the flesh above Mauja’s withers. His right limb does not move nearly as much as his left as they strike through the air, his shoulder already beginning to tighten.

    It was an awkward attack, as his body was curved to left with his left flank hurting so deeply. But his heart was no longer in it. His body was- for his attack was full-force. His mind was- for it needed the distraction. But he no longer wanted to be the hardened, political general of his past. Were his demons haunting him, or was he haunting his demons?

    He didn’t know.

    WC: 711
    Summary: His left flank is deeply bruised from Mau’s attack. He rears and bends to the left to t-bone Mau, strike his barrel with his hooves, and bite his withers/neck base.
    image credits
    - table by Niki -

    Please tag Tembovu.
    Ascended Helovian

    Mauja the Frozen Light Posts: 1,392
    Outcast atk: 6.5 | def: 10.5 | dam: 7.5
    Stallion :: Unicorn :: 17.2 :: 14 HP: 79.5 | Buff: HUNTER
    Irma :: Snowy Owl :: Terrorize & Diego :: Eurasian Eagle-Owl :: Rage Neo

    i am the vanguard of your destruction
    Things broke so easily—too easily. The entire world was fragile glass, a beautiful prism refracting the sunlight, but then—but then

    It was just shattered edges, blood-smeared and sharp, reminiscent of an old dream in which the world ended in his wake. He had never understood if he had run from it, just barely outpacing it, or if he'd brought it with him—and he still didn't understand. The acrid, repulsing smell was thick in his nose. Had he broken things this time around, or had it just coincided with his presence? Had the spark to the flame been an unfortunate error chain, or was it so simple, that it was just his fault?

    Tembovu was warm against his shoulder, a kind of wet collision with all the fog and the sweat—

    (I'm not worthy to touch you.)

    He could sense a pulse somewhere beneath all that muscle, a story behind all those scars, and he began to stagger away—began to disappear, ethereal, just like a memory come to haunt, come to dance. It was what he always did. He hit, and he ran, and the world came to ruin behind him.

    Somewhere between the squelching mud and the world-shattering and Tembovu's speed it didn't add up this time. Somewhere, someone said, you shall not run again, and his frosted hooves slid in the muck even as he knew that that voice was his own, telling him to stand the fuck still and take it—but it wasn't all his fault. It wasn't all his masochistic bent for taking what he deserved. They were two in this, after all.

    His stalling didn't make it better, though, Tembovu's unforgiving shadow falling on him like judgment

    The world slowed.

    And then, it sang—a pure, resonant note, like a sterling vibration growing stronger and stronger, as the sunlight fell like spears to the ground.

    In its eye was that shadow, rising, rising, and it was beautiful

    The song turned to a screech, a myriad of bells going off in his skull as nerves and bones took a beating; thick hooves collided with the curve of his chest, descending in a merciless rake, and teeth locked on to his withers held him in place.

    He couldn't get away.

    It was hurting, a tide of red along his ribs masked by an unbroken skin, and it was hurting to have strong jaws holding him by the the neck, and—

    At least he wasn't screaming.

    But before he knew it, he was throwing himself into Tembovu's mouth, to jar him, to push him back, and his head swung in a senseless arc to the left—a wildness to the motion as the tip of his horn sought to find skin, and to tear its way up Tembovu's left shoulder. He wasn't even sure what he wanted—what he hoped to achieve, as he slid in the muck trying to worm his way in for the kill (—escape). He just knew that it hurt, and he wanted it to stop, and—

    He wasn't screaming, but he wasn't breathing either, eyes blank and mind dreaming of a giant wolf standing on top of him.

    He had been afraid then.

    He wasn't sure what he was now.

    [ 3/3 || @Tembovu || 541 words. || The dream thing is from here: the lanterns won't go out at night and the wolf memory is from here: seven days to the wolves. ]

    PROSE: I feel so evil. First I tell you to try and write in a way that is more 'you', and then when you do, I tell you to do fewer run-on sentences. Sorry. :C I didn't mean to be inconsistent I am simply trying to offer what pointers I can in how to make your writing have more 'impact'. And the only/best way I know for that is contrast.

    Now, as I said on Skype, I'm not in the brightest of moods or mental states, so forgive me if I overlooked something here. But as far as tenses and spelling/grammar errors go, there were none that stood out to me. Which is a great improvement from the first post, which contained both of these! You don't have to overwork spar posts, really, just proof-read them to make sure there's nothing you've missed when it comes to language, because it's such a shame to lose points for something easily rectified. :)

    DICE ROLL/DAMAGE: I think you did what you could given the surroundings and die roll you got. You also mentioned the injury from the fire a lot, which I think is good, because with such a major injury it is bound to affect everything - taking injuries into account is my Achilles heel, I think it is super difficult and awkward for flow, but I think you managed it nicely. As for the damage you took from the flank bash, this is probably not something you'll get docked for BUT I looked it up because I was curious! And "bruises", as we think of them, really take a lot longer to start to form than we generally think; redness of the skin and swelling is almost instantaneous because you received a blow and d'uh, that hurts xD But the actual blue/purple "bruise color" doesn't set in until after a day or two or so. It's got to do with when the hemoglobin gets cut off from oxygen :)

    ATTACK: For the most part I think this attack was clear! The only thing that strikes me is how Tembovu got his forelimbs in place, because if they are standing close side-by-side in this fashion he would, I think, have to lift his torso over Mauja's ass to get in a t-bone position... But hey, it works. :) Also: " .. to t-bone Mauja ..." sounds like a bad sex thing.

    Anyway! Now it's just the closing defense left. :) Woop woop!
    angels, they fell first, but I'm still here

    Tembovu the Elephant Posts: 805
    World's Edge Captain atk: 7 | def: 9.0 | dam: 7.5
    Stallion :: Unicorn :: 18hh :: 10 HP: 77 | Buff: SWIFT
    Mbwene :: African Elephant :: Ashen smitty

    Suddenly there was too much in his mouth— too much hair, too much skin, too much wither. The spotted stallion was heaving himself up and against the elephant, straining his jaws past their hinges. He grunts, forelimbs pawing for purchase as he tried to rise up and away to free his mouth. His back flexed and haunches tensed as he lifted his rearing forehand further— but a stinging pain sung through his left shoulder as he dislodged himself from Mauja. The coldly crystal horn scored a thin, red streak along the elephant’s hide.

    Another low grunt escaped his thick, flared nostrils as he wrenches his large body to the right— away from the sharp, frigid spear. His right forelimb awkwardly reached laterally to catch his large, falling front-end. His scalded shoulder throbbed as he slammed to the muddy ground, clumsily scrambling regain his balance while still favoring his bruised left flank.

    Finally regaining his footing in the muck, he looked toward Mauja. He let out a slow, long breath while his dark blue eyes stared at his leader. His mind was struggling to find the same equilibrium his body had found. He had called Mauja for this fight to clear his mind and remind his muscles of their training. Instead, he found that his body was weary of fighting and his mind… Well, his mind was a mess of anger, doubt, demons, and blame.

    Blood beaded to the surface of his thick skin where the spotted had drawn his horn. The shallow, ruby red line was bright against the buckskin of his shoulder, skin twitching as a single drop lazily and haltingly trickled down. The monumental head, which had started at his great height, had fallen, his poll even with his withers. And his unblinking gaze, still, never left Mauja.

    Defeat was etched on his black-marked face and hardened his glassy, cobalt eyes. It was not defeat from being so thoroughly attacked in the this fight— no, that was something any soldier becomes accustomed to. Instead, it was from the realization that this was not his life anymore. He was not a general of an army, he was not leading and manipulating troops to destroy others. And, what’s more, he hadn’t enjoyed it. He usually found excitement in sparring— but here, in Helovia, it would be a necessity for protection. Not a pleasure.

    His vast sides move in a long, low sigh and he shifts, collecting his sprawled legs beneath himself. “I’d thank you for the spar,” his voice quietly rumbles, “But I am not certain that I mean it.” He gently moves his right forelimb against the itch of serum that oozed from the burns, before realizing that his words nearly sounded petulant. His ears tilt back as his gaze flicks away from Mauja, “No, I do mean it. Even if I’m much worse for wear from it.” A hesitant, small, and lopsided grin tugs a the corners of his thick, dark lips. He was many things, but a sore loser was not one of them.

    Summary: Mau's horn scrapes his shoulder.
    WC: 509
    image credits
    - table by Niki -

    THANK YOU NEO <3 I learned SO MUCH from this!!

    Please tag Tembovu.

    Official Posts: 847
    Stallion :: Equine :: ::
    Mauja automatically wins due to 20+ HP gap.
    1 VP to Mauja +1 for teaching
    1 EXP to Tembovu.

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