the Rift

[JUDGED] I See You [Ashamin v. Isopia]

Ashamin the Clovenheart Posts: 426
Outcast atk: 8 | def: 11.5 | dam: 5.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 15.2 HH :: 5 [Frostfall] HP: 79 | Buff: NUMB
Lochan :: Plain Cerndyr :: Dark Mist & Rakt :: Common Cerndyr :: Starpast Jen
the haruspex

It was not as if the Haruspex was ever alone. Alone was a powerful word that he did not like to use, not now when he had so many on his side.

Ashamin had been alone, and he had suffered through cold, and this was nothing like that at all. This was just a lack of accompaniment, a temporary state of being that he could count on going away. He would at some point turn around and go home. There, tracing lines of charcoal dust on a stone ground, would be his companion. Ashamin would hang his sarong and necklace on the outcropping of ice that had stubbornly refused to melt, let his coil slide off of his tail, and he would rest. Eventually, all that would come to pass.  

So when he pulled his figure under the multicolored shade of the rotunda's vast and strong roof and found the space uninhabited, he was not crippled with the fear of permanent abandonment he might have once felt. He had met Cashmere here and worried about that feeling but come to the conclusion that with Lochan and his herd behind him, he would always have a home. Now, eyes wide in the hours of his nocturnal waking, he could think back to that safety and be assured.

From his painted figure hung a web of scars and trophies, recently attained. Amulets--the function of which he was still uneducated in--were clipped to the sarong that clutched his breast with warmth. His electric coils hummed faintly, occasionally illuminating his tail with faint blue streaks in the dark. The necklace, on which he wore the fang of the Bear God, swung to and fro as he wandered the rotunda. The warmth of the even floor beneath his hooves was a comfort, but the night itself provided too little cold in this season for him to really appreciate it. Such things as heat and cold were only distinguishable with contrast. Here, in the dark night that just barely shed patterns of color on the floor and the Haruspex's quad-colored frame, there was barely any contrast at all. Everything was shadow: the delicate absence of light in which the Haruspex saw best.

His black eyes were filled with pupil, not that anyone could have made out the difference in either light or gloom. He gazed with an absent sort of calm out over the faintly illuminated nature outside the Rotunda's scope. Ashamin wanted to lie down in it, stretch himself until he became indistinguishable from the roots and rotting corpses of too slow prey. The battles had tired him but still he longed for another fight, as if the constant discipline to practice was becoming more of a need. The urge, to fight and to maybe one day lose horribly, was difficult to quell.

He mused that once you had made up your mind to die, no matter how much changed and turned you from that fate, it became difficult to ever live without the thought of it. It was good that he wasn't really alone; someone needed to watch over his soul.

All Ashamin needed was the possibility of a rustle of a figure in the brush, maybe he had heard nothing at all. Still he called out, his voice steadier than it would have been just seasons before but plagued with the exhaustion of too much blood recently shed.

"Who goes? Come, show yourself. I'm seeking a challenge tonight."

PC: 0/3 AP, 0/1 DP
WC: 575/800
Timeline: Standard (3 weeks)
Setting: Night in the Ancient Rotunda. There is only a sliver of a moon, and light is very scarce. The only sounds that can be heard is the faint burbling of the water and the occasional rustling of wildlife. The rotunda's floor is faintly warm, still cooling off from the heat of the day.
Summary: Ashamin stands around in the rotunda, calls out. He has amulets, his sarong, his coil, and his mask with him.
Notes: Odd will be OOC teaching me for this spar. Thanks Odd! Also, this isn't a challenge, that's just how Ashamin talks. Odd, feel free to make the first attack if you would like.

See Ashamin's profile for more information about Lochan, Rakt, and his various items.
All magic and force allowed, barring death and permanent injury.
Do not tag me, please message on skype instead

Isopia the Mountain That Knows Posts: 780
Dragon's Throat Apostle atk: 6.5 | def: 10 | dam: 8.0
Mare :: Tribrid :: 18hh :: 3 - is now aging slowly HP: 90 | Buff: NUMB
Hubris :: Royal Bronze Dragon :: Shock Breath & Frost Breath & Babel :: Royal Gold Dragon :: Fire Breath Odd
barefoot on a summer's night

The rustle that he heard was surely some other beast, for the girl cloaked in a raven's body had not moved in some time. With a sterile and distant academic interest, she watched through large golden eyes as the quad-horned male moved into the clearing. His horn, deflated and impotent in appearance, only garnered a cursory glance from the earthen-girl. She isn't surprised when he calls out to the wind; she has been immobile for so long that her magic has completely entombed her avian form. Were he to look directly at her perch, he might marvel at how artistically the moss there had grown into the likeness of a bird. For surely it wasn't intentionally put there. Who would waste their time putting a moss-shaped mass into a tree? Then again, darkness had cloaked her just as stiflingly as her magic had, and so perhaps he would see nothing at all.

His willingness to invite danger drew her attention, and the raven-girl halted her hours-long meditation. Her ever-expanding mind shifted its focus from metaphysical examinations to psychological experiments. If a raccoon or some small rodent were to wander out, responding to his cry, what would he do? If he were monstrous, he might attack it out of boredom, but surely his demand for challenge was meant for whatever purported creature he believed lurked in the darkness? Surely something as small and innocuous as a rodent of the woods would not draw real effort from him.

Surely a bird wouldn't either...

But what..if...

Without moving, the girl focused her mind upon Ashamin until the world around her entirely dimmed away with the effort of her concentration. Magic began to swell in her veins, until her small avian form felt engorged with the blue-green hum of her gifts. Water appeared just under the crowning curve of the Rotunda's ceiling, taking no particular shape. Inside the Rotunda, the stones began to hum and move ever so slightly as her magic sung through them. Ashamin might have noticed that the floor was already warm - but it was about to get warmer. Isopia thought of the rain, and her magic complied. Droplets fell from the ceiling, pulling away from her make-shift clouds with considerable force. Where they struck her stones, they burst into steam - expelling hot air and water. A pale veil lifted from this simulated sauna, which the demi-god hoped would prevent Ashamin from seeing her take flight.

Gliding down from her perch - her mossy robe falling silently from her ebony shoulders - Isopia directed herself towards a small patch of moonlight in the clearing, just a few feet away from the Rotunda. With a gentle grace, the raven landed, folded her wings casually against her small body. Only her eyes - golden and cold - and her pale mask of death interrupted the mundane blackness of her feathers.

Silently she waited - a girl wearing the cloth of a raven, waiting to see what the quad-coloured unicorn would make of the abrupt attack. Would he blame the wind again? Or would his pride and surprise encourage him to blame a bird for his misfortune.  


No teaching comments, since your first post isn't judged - But all is set up well!

Attack: 1/3
WC: 519/800
Iso uses her magic to 1. Have water pelt down like rain from underneath the top of the Rotunda and 2. Make the stones on the floor heated, so that when the water hits it sprays and vaporizes hopefully causing burns as well as blurring his vision with steam.

Image Credits

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

Ashamin the Clovenheart Posts: 426
Outcast atk: 8 | def: 11.5 | dam: 5.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 15.2 HH :: 5 [Frostfall] HP: 79 | Buff: NUMB
Lochan :: Plain Cerndyr :: Dark Mist & Rakt :: Common Cerndyr :: Starpast Jen
the haruspex

When the rustle gave no reply, Ashamin searched for its heartbeat in earnest. Nothing but a fluttering, just the innocent fast pace of a rabbit. He saw the creature only moments later, timidly staring back with wide eyes, and scolded himself for such a brash call. No, surely he was alone. Who would come to the rotunda to spar on a night like this?

This was a night for lovers. Ashamin thought vaguely of his time spent in the secret grove. First with a filly, then in a dream. There hadn't been much there for him but death, either as he narrowly escaped it or longed for it, but he wouldn't be surprised if others were there now having a much better time. Meanwhile, he was in the ancient rotunda watching a rabbit flash its white tail at him as a sign of departure. He was, as usual, alone.

... Or so he thought.

The haruspex didn't have time to turn back to look into the rotunda before he heard the faint humming beneath him. He knew little of magic--he had only just discovered his own--but he knew that strange humming sounds should be avoided, supernatural or not. As soon as the first pitch sounded he bolted, swift as ever on his delicate deer hooves.

He would not be caught standing still like a fool again, not like he had been caught with Torleik or Rikyn. But Ashamin also couldn't stop curiousity from welling up, especially not when he felt a few stray droplets catch the base of his tail as he left the rotunda's shadow; who was the mysterious attacker who had sneaked up on him (surely from behind, Ashamin falsely presumed he would have seen anyone capable of this had they been ahead of him) and how come they hadn't announced themselves?

It was that unanswered question, that turned him around. His body swung as his hooves launched delicately from the stone, and he landed on the earth bordering the rotunda's floor. The buck stopped short, curled his lip in confused concern, and then made his grave error.

Ashamin, poor hopeless thing, turned to look back and opened his eyes, wide. Though he had felt the steam rising at his back--expanding his pores and quickening the beat of his heart as it struggled with the explosion of high temperature--it had not occurred to him that such a force could be blinding. The thick clouds of white evaporation clogged his senses and his coal eyes stung. They welled up with useless tears, and the haruspex thought of all the times he hadn't cried--the times more appropriate than this.

But as incapacitated as he was, chance was in his favor. As his body had halted, one poorly anchored amulet had flung itself from his sarong. Into the mist the adornment had descended, unleashing power of which the Haruspex knew nothing. If the God of the Spark's token, earned from Ashamin's victory over Caleb, did as it was meant to the strange attacker's heat might just burn the earth beneath them.

If Ashamin had known as much, he would have hoped fervently for such luck. But as it were, it was only his false knowledge--his assumption that the attacker had been behind him in the rotunda at the time of the attack--that inspired him to seek out a heartbeat like his own: one pumping harder, beating faster, struggling with the heat. Such electric pulses could perhaps give him a clue, if only he could find the right ones in all the sturm und drang.

It's one way... the buck struggled to think. The whole thought, whatever it had been, faded into the steam and settled into the air with a stagnant resilience. Ashamin wouldn't find the rest of it, he could only hope he'd not make too much of a fool of himself. He wanted to call out something in the mist, perhaps accuse his opponent of their obvious cowardice, but his mouth felt sticky and he struggled to still his motion. Ever since the steam had flooded his orbs he had been stumbling slowly backwards, and as a result he was unaware of the bird directly in his accidental path. Still he sought out electric heartbeats, filtering through the scattered pulses of the wildlife around him.

If only I could... Ashamin nickered with worry and furrowed the brow beneath his horn, trying to concentrate. If only I could find them!

And with that he lifted his left hind hoof and kicked backwards in frustration, his strike aimed (though perhaps not successfully and definitely accidentally) for the bird at his back. He just had to find the right heartbeat, and then he would know how comical that instinctive release of muscle and tension had been.


PC: 1/3 AP, 0/1 DP
WC: 793/800
Timeline: Standard (3 weeks)
Summary: Ashamin hears the humming in the stone and bolts, avoiding the worst of it. Hoping to find his attacker he looks back, getting hit by the steam and causing his eyes to sting and his vision to be temporarily compromised. When he swings his head to look back one of his spark amulets comes loose from his sarong and falls on the ground so it is activated, in theory sending the heat back to Isopia. He listens for a heartbeat that might be affected by the heat (IE, beating harder) like his is, to try and identify his attacker, whom he assumes is under the rotunda and thus also affected by the steam. In stumbling with obscured vision from the rotunda and kicking with his left hind hoof in frustration, he perhaps hits bird Isopia unintentionally.
Notes: It's getting hot in here :o

See Ashamin's profile for more information about Lochan, Rakt, and his various items.
All magic and force allowed, barring death and permanent injury.
Do not tag me, please message on skype instead

Isopia the Mountain That Knows Posts: 780
Dragon's Throat Apostle atk: 6.5 | def: 10 | dam: 8.0
Mare :: Tribrid :: 18hh :: 3 - is now aging slowly HP: 90 | Buff: NUMB
Hubris :: Royal Bronze Dragon :: Shock Breath & Frost Breath & Babel :: Royal Gold Dragon :: Fire Breath Odd
barefoot on a summer's night

Although her bird-beak could not frown in a way that others could identify, Isopia was indeed frowning. Unlike Ashamin, she could not hear the dance of the stones as they moved to her silent magical melody, but she assumed that he had, as he fled the inside of the grotesquely built structure. However as he flailed about, tears pouring down his bi-coloured cheeks, she wondered if he hadn't instead been bit by something. Whatever caused his distress, it was disappointing. She wanted him to see her in the moonlight, to question why rain had suddenly fallen upon him and why the stones at his hooves were so warm. Instead, he acted like everyone else: he let instinct overrule his mind.

Perhaps it was her own raven-like instincts that pervade her thoughts in this form, but her golden gaze was immediately drawn to the shiny trinket as it spilled off of Ashamin's body. Although the landing was soft, the item seemed to shatter and break apart as if by some unseen force.

Only the force didn't remain unseen for long.

Water rushed towards the moonlit raven. With Ashamin's back towards her, the girl completed a quick mental calculation, concluding that this magic must have come from the dropped trinket. A not-quite-shaped mass of water billowed her direction - and there was no mistaking that it was precisely the magic that she had just cast moments ago.

In order to try and avoid the water which would inevitably pelt her, as she had tried to pelt Ashamin, the girl took flight. Due partially to her lack of battle-prowess and strategic forethought, and due to Ashamin's prosperous happenstance, the girl would fail to avoid either oncoming attack, due to her desire to somehow avoid both.

Rising into the air - assuming that she could evade the water by simply flying above it - Isopia noticed that the unknown-Haruspex was now moving backwards towards her. Faltering with this new information, Isopia couldn't calculate quickly enough how to move backwards in a way which would avoid Ashamin and her traitorous magic. As valuable seconds were eaten up by her indecision, the likelihood of complete failure grew closer to certain. Without more time to accurately decide what to do, the girl allowed herself to unceremoniously flop back into her normal form.

In her spar with Abraham the girl had stayed small, reasoning that a smaller body would yield a smaller amount of pain. So as his dragons assaulted her, Iso stayed in a form 1/10th her normal size. Now however, she reasoned that the pelting water would cover 100% of her raven body, or only a partial amount of her actual body. So at the time she thought the decision to transform was a well thought out one.

What she failed to realize was that larger body = larger surface area for misguided kicks to hit.

As her large body sprouted like some bizarre time-lapsed monster from her raven form, Isopia simultaneously felt cold water pelting her back and wings, and pain exploding through her front left knee. For a moment, through the fog of pain, the girl wondered if something had gone wrong with the transformation. Had her knee remained with bird bones? Was that why there was such a sudden uproar of pain? Clamping her lips together to forbid the cry of pain that her body wanted to force out, Isopia stumbled backwards on three legs.

Her mismatched wings splayed from her flanks in an effort to maintain balance, as her golden gaze lowered to the blood that was dripping vigorously down her knee. She had wanted Ashamin to be rendered stupefied by the odd macabre raven sitting in the moonlight, and yet here she was mystified by blood - something so mundane in comparison. Her mind wrestled with the visual phenomenon - the gaping wound across the thin skin of her knee revealing the smallest hint of bone, the crimson liquid edging down her moonlit limb - with the disorienting and spinning pain that flooded her mind. Although it was only her knee which his hoof had struck, her entire leg felt paralyzed as she continued to keep it elevated. Even moving her head so that the water falling on her from the depleting water-cloud would stop falling into her eyes, sent hurricanes of pain and nausea through her system.

And all from one little misguided kick, because Isopia wanted to be seen as a raven. Hubris was a bitch.

Immobilized, Isopia's magic formed a gaping mouth of earth around where the amulet had fallen. It might have been pride that resulted in her bloody knee, but she was still none too happy about her magic being used against her. She wanted to see it disappear - even if it meant uprooting the rest of the earth around it.

Attack: 2/3
WC: 799/800

Iso shifts into her regular form - and gets hit by her own rain and Ashamin's kick. His kick hits her knee, cutting down to the bone. She steps back with her limb raised, and uses her magic to up-earth the area around the amulet as if to swallow it.

Teaching Commentary

Of course your writing was mostly flawless - no grammatical or spelling mistakes :) The only thing I would cation you against, is using phrases like the sturm und drang. Just like we would penalize a veterinarian for using language which is far too technical, so too you might be penalized. I would say the majority of readers would have to google this phrase - and if that's the case, your sparring score is usually better off if you use something a little more common/plain/in english :P But this is just a minor point.

The thick clouds of white evaporation clogged his senses and his coal eyes stung. - I thought this damage was inappropriate. Have you ever been in a sauna where they use actual hot rocks? It definitely doesn't sting your eyes - unless there is some other agent added (sunscreen falling into your eyes, a scent put into the water to make it smell better, etc). But this was just steam, not importantly different from what fogs your mirrors when you take a shower. So to have Ashamin #1 Take damage from it seems really unfitting and #2 To take damage so far away seems equally unfitting. I said her stones and water were only inside the Rotunda. He runs away and turns to look - but given that the setting doesn't describe a strong wind, I'm not sure how the steam billowed towards him, especially with enough density to cause the sort of teary-eyes that you described.

Careful, this: and as a result he was unaware of the bird directly in his accidental path. is really close to PP. I'm stricter than some of the other judges are when it comes to wording, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. I could easily have Isopia move, in which case she wouldn't be in his path - but the way you worded this says that she is - and this is something you cannot do.

Also, for what it's worth, since Isopia used two magical powers, it isn't up to you to decide which one the spark amulet captures/recasts - especially since you write it happening fairly accidentally. Just as an FYI.

Image Credits

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

Ashamin the Clovenheart Posts: 426
Outcast atk: 8 | def: 11.5 | dam: 5.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 15.2 HH :: 5 [Frostfall] HP: 79 | Buff: NUMB
Lochan :: Plain Cerndyr :: Dark Mist & Rakt :: Common Cerndyr :: Starpast Jen
the haruspex

Ashamin felt three things, and he felt them all at once.

First, he felt the cool patter of rainfall at his back. Second came the shuddering impact of another body's bones crashing against his errant hoof and the hot spatter of blood. Last, the release of the stinging hold of steam on his gaze.

So with that, Ashamin saw two things:

First, the shattered amulet on the ground and the earth rising to eat it up in a display of unnatural greed. Second, out of the corner of his eye, the sopping figure of the mare from the God Battles; more specifically, the traitorous one that had fought against her own god and hurt many helovians with her magic in the process.

Thus, he felt one thing:


"YOU!" pushed out from between his lips with a force so loud that he almost scared himself. But that was a milder part of him that showed fear--his warrior's side felt only anger, and it was a hot and energizing thing. Ashamin felt it fill him and his whole figure straightened with the realization of his opponent's identity. "Of course, of course it is you! Only one as faithless as you would have the indecency to strike me so," a sneer, so uncharacteristic of such a kind hearted beast, played across his features.

He turned to face her more fully, happy now that her blood soaked his hoof and her exposed bone shone even in the dim light. As he circled right to try and face her head on, he left her magic behind him so the earth shifted beneath no part of him and left him entirely unaffected. "First you fight my God like a coward," he crowed with ignorance, "and now you fight me!" A neigh like a roar erupted from his throat. He felt crazed--he felt like laughing.

Never before, not even against Rikyn, had he fought with such animosity. But this mare who had so blatantly betrayed the gods that had made, blessed, and guarded the very earth she walked upon, existed outside of his typical understanding of others. It took so little regard for the heavens to act in such a way, and so much cowardice! To any who would call defying a God brave, the painted buck would counter instead with heretical recklessness. Though Ashamin found religion to be healing more often than condemning, he felt himself blessed with the opportunity to strike down one so errantly proud of her disloyalty and sin.

For if there was anything he valued the most, it was loyalty. And he had seen this mare at other battles, too, seen her fight with more caution and religious care. So why had she fought against his God?

For a second, he held doubt and a fear for his God's moral code close to his breast. A second longer, and it was gone--replaced, as everything, with hate.

Ashamin knew it would be better to wait and see, perhaps, to think things through, but he was too fueled by that powerful hatred. It was so rare that he hated so completely, so foreign a feeling, but it felt good--undeniably, spectacularly good. He was standing up for something, wasn't he?

As the buck finished his circle and lunged (all the while teeth snapping with aimless fury for what he hoped was her face, her neck, her anything) he could not deny that fact. It felt so good. Even if he was foolishly throwing himself against one much larger and apparently stronger than he, it felt good. Surely, he didn't have to follow his own advice to be cautious always, did he?

He wanted her to feel, too, just how wonderful it was to face and wound the wicked witch that had warred with the God of the Spark. With something like a twisted glee Ashamin cast his heartbeat at her, hoping she'd feel the confidence he felt in her own chest and perhaps lose focus, or at least a clear sight of her own electric pulse.

That is, if she had one at all.


PC: 2/3 AP, 0/1 DP
WC: 680/800
Timeline: Standard (3 weeks)
Summary:  Turns around to try face her front and lunges at her, biting vaguely in the face neck area as he does. Sends his steady/confident heartbeat into her chest to try and scare/distract/throw her off.
Notes: Not great, sorry, I'm totally wiped. Thanks for your comments and sorry for the wait.

See Ashamin's profile for more information about Lochan, Rakt, and his various items.
All magic and force allowed, barring death and permanent injury.
Do not tag me, please message on skype instead

Isopia the Mountain That Knows Posts: 780
Dragon's Throat Apostle atk: 6.5 | def: 10 | dam: 8.0
Mare :: Tribrid :: 18hh :: 3 - is now aging slowly HP: 90 | Buff: NUMB
Hubris :: Royal Bronze Dragon :: Shock Breath & Frost Breath & Babel :: Royal Gold Dragon :: Fire Breath Odd
barefoot on a summer's night

Others might have appreciated the irony of the daughter of a God being called faithless, but Isopia did not. Nor did she even notice it. Instead, her vast mind was trying to determine whether his comment even made sense. Why did it take someone faithless, to strike out at an opponent who was looking for a spar? Unless the girl had mistaken his call? But no, she didn't think that she had. He had asked for this. So why was she faithless for having attacked? Or, was it that only the faithless could attack him? As she stood, large golden eyes blinking with a dull interest into his ever-growing-more-hostile features, her hooves and limbs continued to disappear into the moonlight terra. Only her raised and battered forelimb was currently safe from her magic. Though if she remained still for much longer, it would be eaten up by grasses and mosses soon enough.  

"I didn't touch you." She replied coldly, though not untruthfully. Only the nauseating pain which was still reverberating through her body caused her voice to warble with some semblance of emotion.

For however clever Isopia was, she had no idea what the crazed Haruspex was referring to. She didn't remember seeing him at any of the battles, even though he recalled seeing her. And without knowing which herd he hailed from, the God he spoke of could easily have been a Riftian one. Regardless, Isopia's sloping shoulders shrugged. She had fought Gods, yes. But never with cowardice. Isopia simply didn't have the software for that emotion.

Her death marked faced frowned ever so slightly with the lunatic sounds emerging from his throat. "You know nothing of my motives and intentions, yet label me a coward. You ask for a fight, run away from a little water, and blindly assault me. Neither your words or your actions make any sense."

Isopia's ears had pinned backwards against her skull during the entire duration of his rotation around her body. She was unsure if this was meant to be hostile, intimidating, or just the movements of a clearly intellectually-hindered mad-man. But her foreleg still demanded a reprieve, so the demi-goddess bore his circling patiently. However she had been in enough spars to know that it was his turn. Which meant he was going to attack, and not just with his ignorant words. 

Isopia's body was tense as Ashamin lunged her way. As he moved, her body tried to counteract his trajectory. She couldn't move left, as that would require putting weight on her injured leg - nor could she move right, as that would expose her injured leg to the brunt of his attack. So instead she moved up. The girl was already a good deal taller than the Haruspex, but as she leaned back on her grass-encrusted haunches, she really did become a giant.

Iso's wings splayed from her sides to aid with balance. As Ashamin's teeth found the blood-marked muscles of her neck and his body pushed hers backwards, she struggled to remained poised on two limbs, while simultaneously trying to keep her front left leg out of the way. The blunt edges of his teeth caused a sharp throb of pain to flow outwards from his bite, fading away into a dull throb. The demi-goddess rotated slightly to the left, trying to hit his deflated-horned skull away from her with her right front leg before returning to all fours. 

It was then that his magic seized her. Her heart pumped faster than it had previously. Isopia, even in the midst of battle, felt no real response to it. And because she was in relatively good shape, and because she buried her primitive instincts as best as she could, her own heart beat remained fairly level. 

But now it was pumping hard.

Adrenaline surged through her system in response to this cardiovascular event, and Isopia felt a breathless anxiety well up inside of herself. She felt like she needed to run, or lash out or do anything to expel the sudden frenetic energy that was inside of her. 

Or she could just eliminate the source of it. 

Still favoring her wounded limb, Isopia once again lashed out with her magic. Although this tactic had failed with Abraham and his dragons, she saw no statistical reason why it would not work now; Abraham knew his way around a battle. This one didn't even seem to realize that he had asked for one. Four knee-high pillars of stone formed and rose jaggedly from the earth. She intended them to rise below the Haruspex's hooves and lift him off of the ground, hopefully unbalancing him and causing him to fall against at least one of the jagged rocks. 

Wings still splayed, she retreated a step hoping to watch Ashamin tumble to the earth. 

Attack: 3/3
WC: 800/800

Rears up to try and avoid him hitting her wounded leg. He shoves her backwards and bites her neck. She tries to hit him away with her good leg before landing - being hit with his magic - and creating four pillars hopefully underneath his hooves to try and make him fall. 

Teaching Commentary

Beautifully written as always!

The only real comment that I have is about your attack. You write, As the buck finished his circle and lunged (all the while teeth snapping with aimless fury for what he hoped was her face, her neck, her anything) he could not deny that fact. Where is the 'finished' end of his circle? He originally began circling just to try and face her head on (As he circled right to try and face her head on...), and so I'm really unclear where the ending was - is it just slightly off centre? Intuitively I feel like it would be straight on? You had more words remaining, and because this is a spar, the judges are always going to be focusing on the actual attacks more than anything else. Emotion only gets you 3, but realism is 5; keep that in mind if you ever try to make your paragraphs proportionate (not saying you need to, but just as a guide). He lunged at her - did he want to hit her? I think he did, since you say that it's foolish of him to throw himself at someone so much larger. So if he IS trying to make contact, where?

A much lesser important comment, is that I would generally shy away from having your character fully circle another. Mostly because the time it takes to complete a circuit leaves a weird lapse of time. All I have to do is write Isopia walking forward while he's behind her, flying into the air, or any number of things, and suddenly his attack makes no sense - because there's no one there. Always be careful about 'writing too far ahead' because you've now written yourself into stone - Ashamin HAS to make an Isopia-sized circle and then lunge at it - but I don't need to remain there. 

Re-reading it again, maybe you don't even mean circle. Maybe you just mean 'trying to stand in front of her', but I find 'circle' a weird term for that, if that's the case. Either way, I was super confused. 

Image Credits

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

Ashamin the Clovenheart Posts: 426
Outcast atk: 8 | def: 11.5 | dam: 5.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 15.2 HH :: 5 [Frostfall] HP: 79 | Buff: NUMB
Lochan :: Plain Cerndyr :: Dark Mist & Rakt :: Common Cerndyr :: Starpast Jen
the haruspex

Overall, Ashamin was at a disadvantage. The mare towered over him, bore more powerful and destructive magic, and had composure he lacked. While she kept cool he burned, his whole body filling up with fire of uncontrolled and uninformed hate. Would he respond this way in a conversation instead of a spar? No. But she'd attacked him without honor, hiding in the shadows and ambushing him with arcane knowledge he'd no chance of grasping. I didn't touch you, she chimed like a child, as if Ashamin were too stupid to connect the mare to the magic. The water and heat had heralded the coming of another, he would have to be a horrible seer to not recognize that. But fine, she could understimate his intelligence as much as she wanted, he would still know where he stood. He had no sympathy for a fighter like that, even one who by all accounts could strike him down easily.

But he could stay standing; he could resist, persist. Whether it was his body or his mind that gave him this, he was thankful either way. And though she may have had a mind quick and clever enough to think of intricate attacks, her body did not follow. His teeth clamped on her neck and his body pressed forward. The success was enough to make his own heart beat faster, wherever it was.

And his eyes, too, were wide and always watching. So many nights spent searching the mirror had sharpened his vision in low light. His grip on her neck released to let him move freely, so as she reared so did he--not matching her height but tossing back his decorated head and horn down and to the right so it was safe from her kick. She could not catch him that easily.

Whatever she may have thought, he was no fool.

When his heartbeat found its way into her chest he could feel its energy fade in his own breast. He felt cool, relaxed, and focused--his warrior's spirit doing its work, too. Like a sniper he could strike between heartbeats for accuracy. After moving his head he snapped his teeth, striving again to bite but this time at her chest, and threw forth his tail like a whip. What sort of damage could his coil cause if it managed to make contact with this mare's exposed knee?

There was a beautiful irony in the idea. As he tried to bring the two gold coils in contact with the bloody white of her bone he thought of his God, the one whom she'd fought against. From everything she said, it became clear she had no clue who he was or what he was saying. He took it from a distant view, trying to decide if he should be sympathetic as he always was and give her some freedom, or if he needed to strike back even harder. What was right--the former--was very clear.

So just as he was about to suggest a reprieve for the both of them, her wide, winged body landed and the ground beneath Ashamin's two grounded hooves sputtered in warning. He should have landed and run then but he wasn't certain he had time. He wrenched his heartbeat from her breast, returning it to him fully, and let the surge send him unsteadily away from her magic. His muscles bunched and he tried to focus, to tuck his forelegs perfectly underneath and before his chest as his father had once tried to show him.

Like this, Asha, Veril had said tenderly. His father had never taken his eyes off of Ashamin, not for any second in one of those airs--or ever. But now Ashamin struggled to remember exactly how to move his body, now only slightly less awkward than when his father had failed to train him. Ashamin couldn't even remember the name of the maneuver, let alone exactly how to do it.

He felt young. The world seemed to slow as the ground rose up. The darkness of the night and the persistence of the black sky became the only things he could rely on. That, of course, and his father.

Too little and too late, Ashamin leapt forward and to his left in a mangled courbette. The moving ground beneath him wrecked his balance, and the hooves that had been positioned to leave from solid ground instead launched themselves off the edge of uneven pillars. He cursed as he landed--somehow on all four feet. But the front left ankle rolled ever slightly on impact, and though the Haruspex knew the strain on it was temporary it was enough to waylay him for now. He looked back on the scene, his body now drifting from hers as his stumbling landing faded into stillness. What was left now?


PC: 3/3 AP
WC: 800/800
Timeline: Standard (3 weeks)
Summary: Bite and push lands. Rears with her, lets go of neck, dodges kick by moving head to the right. Heartbeat lands. He tries to bite her chest, hit her exposed leg bone with his coil. Is still in a rear when pillars rise up, attempts a courbette maneuver to his left to avoid it. Lands on all fours to the left, rolls his front left ankle slightly, causing temporary strain.
Notes: Sorry for the delay and last posts' confusion--he was just trying to face her and I worded it poorly. Thanks so much for all your help! Sorry Ashamin didn't have a moment to talk to her here.

See Ashamin's profile for more information about Lochan, Rakt, and his various items.
All magic and force allowed, barring death and permanent injury.
Do not tag me, please message on skype instead

Isopia the Mountain That Knows Posts: 780
Dragon's Throat Apostle atk: 6.5 | def: 10 | dam: 8.0
Mare :: Tribrid :: 18hh :: 3 - is now aging slowly HP: 90 | Buff: NUMB
Hubris :: Royal Bronze Dragon :: Shock Breath & Frost Breath & Babel :: Royal Gold Dragon :: Fire Breath Odd
barefoot on a summer's night

Isopia was not only new to the intricacies of sparring, but was also fairly naive when it came to the anatomy of others. Given her self-proscribed asexuality (except when it came to Volterra), and her general disengagement and disillusionment from what might be considered an aesthetically pleasing body composition, the girl rarely looked at others. At least, not in a way that might give her insight should she pick a fight with them.

For instance, it was abundantly clear even in the moonlight-drenched clearing that they occupied, that not only was Ashamin's tail significantly longer than his body (nearly twice the length, Isopia guesstimated far too late), but it also harboured a tiny sparking thing. She had no idea what it was, as it whirled away from her body leaving a white-tingly-burning sensation in its wake, she just knew that it was there.

And it hurt.

Isopia gasped as her already wounded leg erupted into a weird amalgamation of adjectives. White, and crackle, and static all seemed appropriate. And then suddenly pain.

As Ashamin elevated and leaped off of her make-shift rocky platform, the shock (literally and figuratively) caused the girl to hop backwards. Yet as she did so, her ungraceful and gangly body became unsteady, and she was forced to lower her injured hoof to the ground to stabilize herself. The sting from Ashamin's shock-device and the weight her injured leg was suddenly forced to bear nearly made the girl cry out. And although spar-strategy still eluded her, at least her previous spars had helped her get some control over the reactive-movements her body wanted to force upon her.

It was then that the girl realized that the oddly anxious and exhilarating flutter in her chest was gone. Were it not, she probably would have vocalized the sting that her wounded knee wanted broadcast to the world. Keeping her lips promptly shut, her neutral golden gaze rose to where Ashamin was steadying himself. It was now that she had the opportunity to regard his long prehensile looking tail. Why hadn't she noticed that before? Why hadn't it occurred to her? Ignorance, her mind hissed darkly. And although Isopia hated being confronted with all the aspects of the world which still alluded her, her inner voice was right.

"Why do you think you know me?" She inquired, leaning back on her haunches to relieve weight from her injured leg, but keeping her hoof on the ground. Many recognized her. That was nothing new. But Ashamin seemed to have associated something substantive with his impression of her - something that suggested that he did not merely know her in terms of who her Father was, or having seen her around. He seemed to think he knew something about her, as evidenced by his accusing tone earlier. And this intrigued her.

She wondered vaguely what he would say regarding his accusation that she had attacked him unfairly. He had after all, asked for a challenge. So it couldn't be that she attacked him. Was it because she did so from a distance? Or had he, as she previously thought he had not, seen her as a raven? Was it something about her abilities to transform which entailed cowardice? Isopia cared little about being called a coward, such words did not penetrate her armor of apathy, but the concept itself seemed interesting, at least on the surface. However given Ashamin's general flailing on the battlefield, and his absurdly emotion-driven comments, she didn't hold out much hope that he would provide her with stimulating conversation. Especially since his only real battle prowess apparently largely accidental.

Closing defense
WC: 600/800

Gets hit by his coil - it stings and as she jumps backwards from surprise she puts weight on her injured leg which also hurts.

AWESOME SPAR JEN. Continue in a thread?

Teaching Commentary

More praise for your writing <3 Now onto the actual helpful stuff :P

I was REALLY confused by the timing in this post and I think what you wrote constitutes power-play.

In my post I write that
1. Iso rears
2. He bites her neck and pushes her backwards
3. She tries to hit him with her good leg before IMMEDIATELY returning to all fours
4. His magic hits her
5. She uses her magic.

You already wrote him biting at her neck and then using his magic. You cannot go back in time, and now have him rear while he bites her. For your time-line, that part is already done. However you go back and change the timeline of what I said happened too. You said that:

1. Ashamin bites Iso
2. The two rear at the same time
3. He avoids her hoof-attack
4. His magic reaches her

But that isn't what happened. She reared and then took his bite. He didn't bite her and then rear. In fact, he didn't rear at all.

Be really really careful. #1 You cannot change how your own timeline plays out, once you have written it. If you say A then B then C happen, you can't go back and say that B.5 also happened. #2 Be really careful about not responding in the wrong order to your opponents attacks. I get to decide when and how I take your attacks, and so if I say that Ashamin bites her while she's rearing, you cannot say that he bites her, and then she rears.

I also don't think you took enough damage. You evaded Isopia's hoof-attack, which means you're taking all of the damage from her magical-rising rocks. I rolled a 9, and the only damage you took was a slightly twisted ankle? You don't even really describe it, other than saying it was only "ever slightly twisted" and that it would be "temporary" . I know you were probably running out of words at this point.

Image Credits

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

Official Posts: 847
Stallion :: Equine :: ::
By my verdict: ISOPIA is the winner!

Realism [+2]
You always have a good grasp on realism, and you certainly posed an interesting challenge with your first 2 posts that were very difficult attacks to retaliate against, but it all tied in well with your character. It was disappointing how infrequently you utilized terrain and stat differences though - you used your magic to make steam in the rotunda, but didn’t exactly use the terrain otherwise, a bit of the moonlight for your raven at the start, and then a mention of Isopia’s height at the end, but otherwise the fight seemed to largely be taking place in a void.

Your second post had really great motivation and explanation with her transformation that was great to read, though I’m not sure why you chose to injure something so precious as your knee, much less to the point where bone was exposing, when you didn’t even roll a critical hit - it was a 6 damage granted, but even so it seemed too severe for what was really necessary in the situation (given the attack was an accident too). However it was not improper so you were not marked down for it, I just wanted to mention that it was more suitable to a critical hit.

In your second post your damage didn’t seem well described to me. You took the bite to the neck, but didn’t explain what the injury really was or how it hurt enough to constitute a damage roll of 3 (it read more as a 1 really) - you did also take Ashamin’s heartbeat magic, but since that didn’t really hurt her I wasn’t counting that as damaging. In your final post you also fail to mention Ashamin’s bite to her chest - even if it was a wonky timeline and shouldn’t have happened, it did and it needed to be mentioned - but the injury from his spark coil seemed proper.

Overall great work, just focus on matching your injuries with the damage rolls a bit better and explaining what exactly the injury entails, which you did well in your second and fourth post.

Emotion [+2]
It may difficult with how analytical Isopia is, to really get a sense of her emotion, but I did feel like I at least understood her purposes and her thoughts when she considered her tactics and her opponent’s.

Prose [+4]
Beautiful writing all throughout with powerful imagery and strong vocabulary. You’re very good at letting everything flow together well.

“ If a raccoon or some small rodent were to wander out, responding to his cry, what would he do? If he were monstrous, he might attack it out of boredom, but surely his demand forchallenge was meant for whatever purported creature he believed lurked in the darkness? Surely something as small and innocuous as a rodent of the woods would not draw real effort from him.”

“She had wanted Ashamin to be rendered stupefied by the odd macabre raven sitting in the moonlight, and yet here she was mystified by blood - something so mundane in comparison”

Readability [+2.5]
Very easy to read and understand, just the one typo below and an instance where a sentence included an equal sign. I assume this was a style choice, and though I didn’t mark points off for it, it isn’t correct grammar and if it continues to occur it will lose points. Otherwise well proof read with proper sentence structure.

“ remained poised…” (remain)

Finally tally: 51+(10.5*2)= 72 HP


Realism [+1]
Your realism in fights definitely has a marked improvement from some others. I really felt your attacks and defenses came in a lot more strategically and properly for a horse. For instance, having him be afraid of the magic at first was great! However in that first post, you write as being affected by the magic despite saying you’re outside of the rotunda when it was written as occurring inside. Furthermore you say the steam stings your eyes, but it should only be obscuring visibility and perhaps be too hot, but should not blind him. Aside from that implausibility the damage you did take from it was correct and well used to make his fumbling attacks. I really enjoyed your method of using the heartbeat magic to intimidate Isopia!

Your final post was really lacking in realism though because your timeline got rather loose. Isopia had already reared when he bit her, but you wrote it as him biting, and them rearing together, which didn’t and can’t happen, it’s too much back tracing for you. Also, you try to hit her with your tail’s coil, but his tail couldn’t be long enough (I then read his profile and see it’s length described, but that needs to be mentioned in the battle so that I do not have to hunt this information down, and if his tail is that long I’d expect to see it hinder him as well). Lastly you describe her magic as causing you to land unevenly, rolling your ankle, but this is not an anatomical term, do you mean fetlock? Ergot? Otherwise the damage seemed correct for a roll of 2.

To help bring in more realism, also try to utilize the surroundings and stat differences a bit more. Isopia was much larger than Ashamin, how did that change his tactics and affect his aim? It was rather dark (which was mentioned very briefly in passing) so how does that play into how certain tactics succeed or fail? What was the ground they were fighting on, because with all the description I read about it, it seemed like empty space. Otherwise keep up the good work!

Emotion [+2.5]
I definitely felt like I connected with Ashamin throughout the fight, particularly with that second post that was really feeling-heavy. I liked how you tied in past experiences, fighting or otherwise, to explain his motives and actions.

“Ashamin felt three things, and he felt them all at once.”

Prose [+3.5]
Really well written posts which were a joy to read. You had a great breadth of vocabulary, powerful imagery, and easy flow and transitions.

Readability [+3]
Easy to read and understand, just watch how often you start sentences with ‘and’ and ‘but’ as those are supposed to be contractions not sentence starters. Overall well proof read with proper grammar.

Finally tally: 46+(10*2)= 66 HP

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