the Rift

[JUDGED] light to dark [ Isopia vs. Rikyn Spar ]

Rikyn the Puppeteer Posts: 549
Aurora Basin Lord atk: 7.5 | def: 11.5 | dam: 4.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 16.3 :: 4 HP: 70 | Buff: SWIFT
Duir :: Royal Cerndyr :: Earth Spirit Bunnie
The Tallsun heat had eased into cool nights, and shorter days.  The weary heat that had held me down for months spirals up into a dark expanse, and I let my eyes follow its invisible path as I canter down the silvery curvature of the beach, the absence of stifling summer sun drawing from me a certain restlessness that I can’t ignore.  Overhead, the scant moon casts minimal light across the world, so that the shadows are pitch black, and the beach is pure and obvious.
Steady alongside me, the rhythm of the silver ripple of the sea is gentle.  I can’t help but feel the sound lull through me, trying its best to suppress a worry that is over neither the sea, nor the shore, but the fields about it.  This is the least grass I’ve seen about the wilds in all my life, and it makes a dark uneasiness bob and dance inside me.  Duir, only aware that the summer had been more harsh than normal because I’d told him so, has not an ounce of concern lilting through him, except, perhaps, if I planned to run all night.
He’d rather doze the evening away in some grove or another, the sort of creature to choose comfort over adventure almost any day of the week.  We differed immensely in this regard, and while I normally catered to the little deer, tonight, we were going to do as I wanted.
No sooner do the sheer cliffs of the Edge reveal themselves, however, do I put on the brakes.  A wave of sand rises and arcs out from the impact of my fores, my whole body dancing about so that the land of mist is forced to my back.  A nervous, angry sort of snort resounds through the air, one so sharp and savage that Duir puts on his brakes himself, looking over at me with his forest eyes wide with wonder as to what had gotten into me so suddenly.
I don’t say anything for awhile, and even go so far as to simply leave him standing there.  I prowl back down the beach, avoiding the brutalized, damp patches of sand where I’ve already passed, seeking to create new dimpled imperfections.  When I do say something, at last, it’s definitely nothing to do with this foreign anxiety that broils within me at the thought of encroaching on someone else’s borders.  The time before last, I’d almost died, and last time…
Last time meant I’d have to go beg at the Moon’s threshold for a place to stay, and not simply go home, if the wilds grew too barren and frigid for me, or my young companion.
"New Moon tomorrow," I attempt to distract myself with, looking up at the tiny sliver of light in the heavens, "I wonder if it hurts to disappear time and again like that."
The gold struck buck looks up at the twinkling sky and the remnants of the bright, silver orb, before looking back at me, and shaking his head no.

[ Setting:  Mid-evening along the Endless Blue.  The Moon is minimal and the lighting is not the best! ]
in every heart a hole
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Force/violence is allowed to be used on Rikyn permitted it does not permanently maim or kill him (PM me!).

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

But the unicorn and the little deer were not the only ones hugging the moonlit shore that evening. Well, perhaps it would be more apt to say hugging the moonlit coast, for the two who were about to enter the scene were airborne, and so not properly affixed to the shore ... ehhh, you get the idea: Rikyn was not alone.

Two sets of draconian wings beat against the cooling air. They flapped harder than they might have during Tallsun, for the thermals upon which flighted-creatures took advantage, were beginning to thin and wane because of this new season. Even so, the expertise of both flyers was obvious, and they had no trouble gliding over the blackened waters without the help of the missing warm air currents.

If Isopia still had her equine ears, rather than the flat scales of her draconian skull, she might have pinned them backwards bitterly upon seeing Rikyn. The emotional void left by Volterra had been filled in with a black bitterness, a sticky as tar and (seemingly) as permanent as concrete. Any semblance of happiness or love that she witnessed around her conjured bottomless feelings of disapproval and jealousy. Why should they be happy? her heart seemed to spit as her golden eyes watched the pair below.

>>Leave alone.<< Hubris whispered into her mind, flying off to the side somewhat, implicitly trying to make the much larger Isopia-dragon change direction. But this hadn't worked, for the vastness of Isopia's mind had already figured out how to justify what it was she was about to do.

She would attack, but it would be alright because ...

Well. Because she was doing him a favour, wasn't she? Did all creatures in Helovia not want to continue living? There were things far worse than she, many of which dwelt in the hidden depths of the ocean near which Rikyn walked, or lived in the caves lining the beach. They might attack him and end his life, whereas Isopia would merely attack,  and then perhaps forever more he would be on his guard when he walked these shores at night. Besides, hadn't she been encouraged to attack without warning, when she was given her seasonal duties in the Falls? Why should that mandate apply there, but not here? If the advice was sound, then it should be applicable in all avenues of her life, not just ones that revolved around the Falls.

Right? Isopia certainly thought so - or at least, was happy to accept the justifications her mind had spat out. It was easy to get away with murder with a mind as sharp as hers. She would know after all, she had done it before.

Folding her large leathery wings against her sides, Isopia banked towards Rikyn. Had she been seen yet? Her back was to the moon, and so likely her outline was clearly visible. But what of that? She was a dragon for gods sake, and despite the fact that she retained her equine-mass even in this form, it wasn't as though a giant flying lizard-beast was going to stay hidden for very long.

"The night is dark and full of terrors." Isopia called ominously, as she glided towards Rikyn, flying over the ocean and towards him. As she did, a creature stepped out of the waves. It was composed entirely of water, and looked like some bastard child of a bear and an octopus. With a silent roar, the watery thing ran towards the stallion and lunged, its body breaking into thousands of tiny droplets as it did so, aiming for his eyes and nose.

While this was happening, Isopia tried to glide towards the boy, and then dart to the side. She wanted to use the length of her draconian tail to assault whatever part of him ended up being pointed in her direction.

As this arcing attack came to an end, Isopia angled her body towards the sands, beginning the change back into her regular body. Large clawed feet fused together to create hooves which sunk into the moiste and frigid sand, and the wings on her back shrunk and became heavily feathered. The markings remained from body to body, as did the four horns that she sported on her head. Everything else however, was now decidedly equine. Isopia was taller than the stallion by a few inches, she could see that now that they were on equal footing. The demigoddess kept her wings splayed, as moving quickly on the sands was not something she was accustomed too, and while it would make her a larger target, it would also significantly help with her balance.

Grumpily, Hubris whistled at her and perched himself on a rock. He folded his arms across his scaled chest in a clear pantomime of I do not approve.

WC: 799
Attack: 1/3

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Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

Rikyn the Puppeteer Posts: 549
Aurora Basin Lord atk: 7.5 | def: 11.5 | dam: 4.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 16.3 :: 4 HP: 70 | Buff: SWIFT
Duir :: Royal Cerndyr :: Earth Spirit Bunnie
I’m still looking at the pale light spilling from the tiny sliver of the Moon. Duir’s been looking all over the place, from the stars to the clouds, and so, when he notices the dragon flying overhead, he’s interested. When the dragon seems to drift towards us, he feels a small knot of anxious worry bloom that, maybe, the dragon is coming to eat him. Deciding, almost instantaneously, that it was a ludicrous thought, he attempts to go back to simply watching her, and the sky. His worry blooms into full fledged fear as the beast pulls its wings back, dropping like a hawk from the sky.

Looking over in the general region of where he’s looking off at, I begin to talk shit to him for being so easily frightened (this is an almost daily event), before I even look for the arriving danger.

"It’s called night time, you pus-" the insult is cut short to make room for the sudden realization that, well, maybe Duir wasn’t a pussy after all.

That is a fucking dragon!

It’s golden body swoops towards us over the sea, a female voice ringing through the darkness, caught as I backpedal and attempt to find somewhere, anywhere, to escape having something that big landing on me. So, when the water broils up, I’m not even really looking at it, already partially turned to the left, in an attempt to escape the random violence.

Splashing against my left side, the droplets are almost sharp with force. They don’t amount to much though, especially when compared to the sensation of her draconic tail slamming into my left neck, chest, and face. A bruise rises on my cheek below my left eye, and others dapple my skin in the curved shape of her loathsome appendage. Without much thought, my teeth snap out towards the passing appendage, hoping to retaliate for the offense of being hit in the face.

Duir’s gone, darting wildly away from the entire situation in erratic patterns to evade chase. Some help you are, I think, and snort both out of frustration. Attempting to chase the pain and surprise away, I dance about to follow the path of the golden beast.

To my surprise, however, the dragon slowly becomes a mare as she descends.

I had heard of Mirage, the Queen of the Qian, and her dragon form, but this woman is not Mirage. She is too young, and not colored like the darkness, as mother had described her legendary foe to me. This was someone else entirely.

"Yeah, and you just smacked one of those baddies with your ass," cheekily arrives my reply, hooves spurring to life beneath me, eager to close the distance between us while she was caught in the throes of her transformation. Maybe I shouldn’t be so amused by the incident, but, alongside the slight anger at being hit in my handsome face, there is something about this that just oozes, “I am lady! Behold, as my hormones smash shit!”

I hadn’t done anything. I really doubt I can offend with my presence alone, though it would certainly be a neat trick.

I don’t notice Duir joining Hubris on his rock, the young buck amiable enough towards other bonded creatures, and eager to be with someone who wasn’t keen to retaliate against violence with violence. As the dragon folds his arms across his chest, Duir morosely settles alongside him, an equally disapproving expression forming on his face.

Meanwhile, I come in wide, hoping to keep her between the sea and myself, and hoping, also, to keep myself from being the one so pinned; sand flies from beneath my churning hooves, my tail a serpentine whip trailing through the air. That tail curves and arcs around my muscular body as I pull to a halt, tangled hair splaying wildly through the air; my chin tucks down, for support and defense, and I reach out towards her body with my horn’s golden point, hoping to land a blow on her chest, shoulder... anywhere, as she'll probably move, and she's a freakishly tall Amazon. Unlike some other fights I’ve had, the unprovoked nature of this one makes the attack unrestrained, an eager, gouging motion that cares very little whether or not she gets hurt badly or not.

Following the horn strike with a forward and leftward angled leap, I bring my front hooves together for impact with the sand. As soon as I feel the sand grip my feet properly, I kick out towards her with my hind-legs in a swift, sidelong motion, hoping I'll be fast enough to get out of this close proximity before she can pummel me with her powerful legs.

[ 1/3 :: 784 words ]
in every heart a hole
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Force/violence is allowed to be used on Rikyn permitted it does not permanently maim or kill him (PM me!).

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

That Hubris had opted out of this little exercise in releasing steam is not unexpected, though it did encourage the rising feeling of anxious frustration that had exploded within Isopia. It only underscored her feeling of being utterly alone in what she was dealing with.

Her frustration increased as she received not the scream of terror she had thought her water-creature would encourage, and not even an oooof as her tail struck against the unicorn's chest and neck. Instead, she got some smarmy, smart-ass reply that made her want to childishly grab a handful of sand and shove it down the throat of the one who was speaking. It was a petty response, one that Isopia normally would have thought herself so far above, but hadn't this buffoon just been assaulted by a dragon? By a creature that literally formed itself from the frothing waves, and then left the ocean to attack him? She wanted to use this pair as a way to displace her anger at Volterra, and to dress it up as a life lesson for the stallion, so that she wouldn't have to feel guilty about it. She had wanted to hear him scream the way Volterra never would, and she had been robbed of that.

And so, still with the mental image of shoving his nose into the sand prominent in her mind, Isopia blundered on, completely forgetting the meager amount of battle-training she had learned up until this point as well as her familiarity with unicorns and just what a spear-like horn could do. She was blinded by her lack of emotional intelligence, and was unable to cope with the rising bile of hatred she could feel in the back of her throat any other way. 

Though Hubris could likely have warned her that Rikyn's current trajectory suggested he was going to try and use his horn against her, he refrained. If she had forgotten so much of what she always professed to stand for that she would willingly attack someone just so she could feel better, then she deserved to reap the outcome all on her own. 

Because she hadn't folded her wings in to her sides, it was through her right that Rikyn's horn pierced. A few of her secondary feathers fluttered to the ground as the thin skin there was skewered neatly through, and then torn unceremoniously as Rikyn's horn followed the trajectory of his head. Pain tore through Isopia's frustration with a shocking white-hot slap to her senses. She hadn't been expecting that at all, and as blood, tinted black by the night sky, trickled onto the cold sands, Isopia's mouth unconsciously formed an O of surprise. 

However that O quickly became a scream of pain as Rikyn's hooves connected flatly against her shoulder and wing joint. He was nimble, she could give him that, but it had been her stupefied mind that had truly allowed the attack to happen. How could she have been so stupid? So riled by emotions? So thoughtless and senseless?

In a word? Volterra.

The contrast of needle-sharp pain in her wing combined with the aching muscle-deep pain in her shoulder and joint made the demi-goddess's eyes water as a warble of pain left her lips. Quickly she tried to stifle the sound, but found that allowing the pain to exit her body as a scream actually helped, and so she gave into the sensation, bellowing her disapproval at her own stupidity and lamenting the wounds that now blazed across her right side. 

Her golden gaze could only see Rikyn's leonine tail and retreating haunches as his legs retracted against his body. She didn't know enough about sparring or if/how the sand would play into his decisions, and so Isopia couldn't even hazard a guess which way the unicorn might go. She was out of her depth, and the feeling of ignorance that came with that realization only further stoked the frustration still neatly kindled in her belly. With the same childish impatience she had felt when the stallion had first taunted her, Isopia reached out for the ground beneath his hooves. She wanted to create a dragon out of the earth upon which he was currently standing, hoping to simultaneously upset his balance , but also to force that earth to rise, and try to strike him in the stomach. However her aim was admittedly poor, for while her reaction time was quick, her strategic consideration was just as fast, and was therefore uninformed. 

"Baddie isn't even a word." She breathed, wincing as she tried to fold her wounded wing against her wounded shoulder. Defensively, she tried to position her left side towards him, to try and give her right a temporary respite.

Clearly she wouldn't be flying away from this battle.

WC: 797
Attack: 2/3

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Rikyn the Puppeteer Posts: 549
Aurora Basin Lord atk: 7.5 | def: 11.5 | dam: 4.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 16.3 :: 4 HP: 70 | Buff: SWIFT
Duir :: Royal Cerndyr :: Earth Spirit Bunnie
I’ve run into most of my tiffs with the mindset that I would win, but for the few against opponents who so obviously outclassed me that I couldn’t pretend to be better than they were. This girl’s the sort of person that I approach with determination, victory already flooding my heart, even though the fight had just begun. So, when my horn drives into her wing and rips through the flimsy, feathery flesh, my prideful smirk curves into a even cockier smile, and Duir’s distant heart clenches tight with pity for her pain.

So I think, anyway. As the sound of her cry of pain at the rough impact of my hooves meets my back turned ears, I find myself lost in the youthful mistake of thinking myself already the winner, despite the occasional ringing in my head when I plant my hooves too hard from the impact of her formerly draconic tail. It’s that trail of thought that, as I pull back around upon realizing she’s not pursuing me, puts me in the horrible position I find myself in next.

As the water had before, the sand beneath me comes to life. Unlike the water dragon, I do see the beast rising out of the beach, and it, unlike its salty comrade, earns a frightened shout. Though my legs begin to run harder than I’ve ever asked them to before, it’s not fast enough.

Had Duir felt pity for me, knowing that she’d not take kindly to her wing being hurt?

He certainly does, now. All the breath is my body is rudely shoved out of my lungs with the direct impact of the sand dragon’s body and head against my gut and right lower ribs. The impact is so ferocious, and unexpected, that it launches me off my hooves, and tosses me leftward. Managing to find humor while mid-air, I think to myself how she must be making up for all her lost flights by providing me my own temporary one. Remembering how sore I’d been after Gaucho’d sent me spiraling into oblivion in a similar fashion, I tuck my legs against my barrel defensively, mere moments before my body strikes the sand in a dramatic wave of grit, and handsome unicorn.

Using the momentum of the fall to roll onto my hooves, I find myself standing, but still quite breathless. Wheezing in an anticlimactic way in comparison to my rather slick recovery, I stumble towards her warily, in eager anticipation of my breath’s return. When my lungs do decide to pull in a breath again, it is as wonderful as it is agonizing. Hot blades rise in my side, a few of my bruised ribs hinting at being spider-webbed with fractures, and, for the first time since I’d charged down the golden dragon (who was actually this hybrid mare with earthen devils rising at her will), I feel the trickle of fear begin to drip within me.

Like black oil it spreads over the wild oceans of my conscious. My near-death in the desert of the Heart, and the touch of Deimos’ magic and arsenal flood to my mind, flashing images that juxtaposition themselves between reality. I’ve come close enough to dying that I know I don’t want it to happen to me, and the pain along my side, and the ease with which her minion had cast me aside, trigger a never before experienced urge to run.

I’m far too stubborn for that though.

Growling to clear my head, I call on my magic, knowing that falling down means she’s probably taking the opportunity coming at me with the same wrathful, and confusing, vengeance she began the fight with. Reaching inside myself for the simpler, and faster, of my powers, I hurl it towards where I think she is, hoping it stills whatever assault she’s concocted long enough for me to get myself together.

Pivoting enough to face her, I grit my teeth against the piteous whimper that sounds as I bid my body towards her again. Hoping she’d been struck by my magic, and hoping she doesn’t notice the difference in my pace, I come at her with much less agility than I’d had before. Eager to even the score, however, I stab downward at her immensely long, left front leg with my left fore when I think she’s close enough. The weight on my right side is gingerly balanced, but still quite painful, and I grunt roughly despite my best efforts to be the epitome of masculinity. When I attempt to pull left and away, not daring to buck out at her as I should to defend my side, the terse grunt becomes a full fledged groan, the tears that had begun to well in my eyes streaking down my cheeks in heavy beads.

2/3 | 800 Words
[ OOC: cackling ]

in every heart a hole
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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

Hubris tried to reach out a comforting clawed hand towards the cerndyr, whistling a low note of empathy as Rikyn bounded unceremoniously upon the sands. The dragon released a tensed breath he had been holding, his face a grimace. He was very nearly ready to intervene and stop this madness that both unicorn and tribrid seemed happy to keep perpetuating, but the constant flailing of horns and bodies kept him in place. At least for the moment.

The only indication that Rikyn was actually more wounded by her attack than he had been previously, was the lack of sarcastic retort that the demi-goddess was coming to associate with him. She had fully expected to hear some relativistic linguistic prattle about how if it came out of his mouth it was a word, or that words were a convention, or why should we think the sounds that came out of our mouths were proper words at all. Probably not that well formed, but something along those lines was what she had anticipated. The way that he gasped for air, moaning and stumbling across the sands broke through the fog of Volterra-fueled coldness that she had been carrying with her, and she began to agree with Hubris that it was about time to stop.

As he turned towards her, Isopia opened her mouth to voice precisely that. Oh sure, maybe she'd reiterate her early warning about walking alone in the dark, but she hadn't meant her initial attack to turn into this. She'd ... she'd ... she couldn't even really remember. It was as though the emotion that drove her to attack Rikyn in the first place, the jealous, bitter, anger that had directed her movements, had left a wake of selective amnesia now that it was beginning to dissipate. Isopia couldn't remember what it was to want to attack the unicorn for no apparent reason, and now that the facade was breaking, she similarly couldn't believe just how readily she believed her own faulty reasons for having done so.

"S-" Stop, was abruptly cut off, as her lips tightened. Isopia felt both frozen in place, as if she was a prisoner in her own body, but also wildly disconnected from her own flesh. Perhaps those were really the same sort of sensation, she didn't know. It was the first time she'd ever experienced this sort of inability to control her own body. As her balance began to shift, she felt her legs jut out beneath her, clearly guided by some sort of automatic stabilization response. Her eyes always blinked away the dryness that was setting over them, and she could feel her lungs inhaling steadily. 

It was as if her body was running autonomously, responding to basic sensory inputs without any reference to her mind's wishes. Rikyn was coming closer now, and through her eyes (which felt more like windows that she was looking out of now, rather than organs she could control), she wondered what her body would do when it was attacked. Probably nothing, she thought almost with pride. Isopia had focused her training precisely on ridding her body of its basic fight or flight responses, to be able to endure pain without flinching, to disregard the chemicals that comprised the feeling of fear. If he attacked her now, there would be no instinctive retaliation from her limbs. She was more than confident of that. 

And so, locked in a mountain of flesh that was no longer hers to control, Isopia merely watched as Rikyn moved to attack. She felt nothing other than mild academic interest about what was going to happen next, mingled with slight disappointment that she hadn't called out her suggestion that they halt sooner.

And then ... her body betrayed her.

Rikyn's magic began to wear off roughly about the time his hoof began to scrape down her cannon bone. Perhaps it was the sudden introduction of pain that reassembled the connection between her mind and her body, but slowly Isopia began to feel her body around her, rather than merely being inside of it. The pain wasn't as treacherous as that caused by his last attack however, and so whatever speed it might have lent to her regaining her body, was slowed. 

Without realizing she was doing it (she considered it mutiny), her quad-horned skull lowered as she shifted her weight onto her right leg to move closer to the unicorn without further damaging the leg he'd just attacked. Her horns meant to graze whatever part of him was closest - his neck or shoulder - as retaliation for the bruising and small graze that had appeared just under her knee. The lunge was stiff, as her right shoulder was still tender, but her body's movements were decisive, regardless of her mind's wishes.

WC: 794
Attack: 3/3

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Rikyn the Puppeteer Posts: 549
Aurora Basin Lord atk: 7.5 | def: 11.5 | dam: 4.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 16.3 :: 4 HP: 70 | Buff: SWIFT
Duir :: Royal Cerndyr :: Earth Spirit Bunnie

Maybe I was just imagining it, but as I staggered towards the crazy woman, she seemed… sorry?

It was too late, even if she was, as my magic had already begun to take effect; invisible strings seemingly hunker into her body and hold her in place, and soon, I’m at her side, golden hoof shining as it strikes down towards her leg with a vengeance.

Why would she be sorry? I think as I begin to move away, the salty, night breeze cool on my tear dampened cheeks, she started it.

The next thought to cross my mind is mostly a plea to whatever God is listening, an ear tilting back to catch the rippling sound of her garments, and the subtle thud of hoof into sand: please, please don’t let her hit me in the ribs again. Glancing back as much as I dare, I glimpse her impressive arrangement of battering tools tilt towards my haunches, and, with another less-than-Knightly cry of pain at the complaints of my side (and now throbbing head), I skitter hard to the left. The maneuver is so graceless that the beach is torn apart beneath me in desperation to avoid any further potentially broken bones; sand flops against my lowly hunkered belly, leaving gritty ghosts of their impact on my dark coat.

Dark ruts remain where I was, my breath sucked in with sharp gasps as I assume running; not well mannered enough to thank the God who’d answered my prayer, I’m more worried about getting away from her. Pulling away from the ocean all together, and angling towards the midnight shrouded fields and forests which border the beach, I let the terror that had tried to overwhelm me, steel my resolve against the sheer difficulty of moving with my ribs in this state. I pivot about with a grimace as the sand begins to harden, the closeness of the clay beneath nearer and nearer the closer to the surrounding meadow I made it.

"Duir, say bye, we’re leaving!" is a rough, agony-laced shout in the direction of my companion, and the bronze dragon. Glancing at Hubris between his wide-eyed staring, he bobs his head in a friendly farewell to the kind bronze, an apologetic (albeit knitted with pain, also) smile crossing his face. Always optimistic, my idiot companion radiates with the glinting sensation of friendship through the general fear, worry, and aches that shine through our bond; for a moment, anyway, I’m so annoyed with him for being such a naïve twat, I forget my head hurts.

Using the moment of clarity to formulate a plan to help ensure she doesn’t chase us down to keep pummeling me, I begin to pull on my magic again. The sound of Duir's hooves scampering across the sand towards me fills my ears as I gather my final spell, my will hurling the mind-control spark back towards where Isopia had been. Flying through the air in the stomach clenching, weird way I always do, I hope to sink my Spark self into her mind and make her, quite literally, kick her own legs out from underneath herself.

Suddenly flung back into myself as the power of the magic wanes, I blink, and shake my head (which makes my head pulse horribly). Swallowing down the girlish whimper that threatens to escape my throat this time, I half stumble back towards the mainland as Duir arrives alongside me. His gold-flecked gaze broadens with surprise at the agony writ on my face, hauntingly illuminated by the sliver of the moon above, having never see me in this state before.

Sure, Deimos had knocked me around pretty good, but that aftermath had been more of an emotional one. This hurts, like she’d shoved me in a brick filled sack, then tossed that sack down a mountain, and thrown some jagged boulders down behind me to boot. The only positive I can find in all this is that, the last time I’d felt this bad after a fight, I’d almost died, and had most definitely not been conscious.

Not almost dying may not be a positive motivator for most, but it works, alongside Duir’s compassion, to numb my thoughts to the pleas of my body to stop, as I canter towards the trees. It’s the first fight we’ve had together that I’ve been in this much pain, and also the first I didn’t start, so he actually feels sorry for me, for once.

Glancing back at the mare and her dragon, he wonders what could possibly drive people like me, and that woman, to go around attacking people all the time.

Maybe she has a dark place in her heart, too.

3/3 | 782 words
[ OOC: Thank you for another wonderfully fun fight Odd. <3 ]
Uses his puppetry magic ~
:: [ Magic: DarkxSpark | Ability to manipulate electrical currents in the nerve system to control victim's bodies ]
:: [ Restrictions | Requires intense concentration, and only lasts for one attack or defense with the inability for mind control; lasts up to one post outside battle ]

in every heart a hole
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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

It was hard to say what part of Isopia won: her mind, or her body. Her mind wanted her body to remain still, to accept Rikyn's attack and allow the pain to wash over her. How else was she supposed to learn to dull her senses so that her mind could focus on things that really mattered? This sort of Buddhist-mindset was one she worked towards often, and given that magical hold Rikyn had just had on her body, it was the perfect time to exercise her control. Her body however had other plans. It (because rather than feeling as thought her limbs were an extension of her mind, it now felt like some meat-suit doing what it wanted, hence the pronoun it), lunged, and Isopia could feel her skull lowering as her body instinctively tried to retaliate by striking out at the retreating unicorn.

It, however - her body - failed spectacularly. Perhaps it was because the connections between her brain and her limbs were still re-connecting after Rikyn's blast, or perhaps her body had underestimated just how far it could go on its own, without her mind to guide it, but pain suddenly gripped her neck and shoulders, as a painful tensing knot of nerves balled up near her wither. The muscles she had just pulled sent flares of liquid fire up her neck and down each shoulder. The demi-goddess felt as though knives were digging into her flesh, and as if that flesh were turning to stone. Once again she felt as though she couldn't move, only this time it had nothing to do with Rikyn.

So who was the real victor here? Iso's mind? Or or her body? You'll have to stay tuned, for both were in too much pain to decide.

A shining thought began to radiate through the wall of pain (amplified by the fact that Iso's head was still turned downwards, and so blood was quickly rushing to it): this was a mistake. All of the anger had left her body, and she was left with a sinking feeling that she should have known better. She should have known better than to let her emotional outrage at Volterra dictate her actions. Look where it had gotten her: her companion was publicly distancing himself from her actions, and here she was feeling paralyzed for the second time in a matter of only seconds, and all because she couldn't manage her feelings thanks to some boy.

Distantly she thought she heard Rikyn speaking, but it was muffled by the bwub bwub bwub sound made by the blood pounding in her ears. Isopia tried to raise just her eyes, but of course her skull followed the motion slightly. Immediately pain gripped her, escalating and radiating in painful and powerful vice grips of fire. Despite wanting to scream, Isopia instead held her breath (and even this small motion caused spiderwebs of tension to descend down her shoulders). Just as she was about to try and mentally ask Hubris what the unicorn had said, she felt her leg and shoulder muscles begin to twitch. It felt as though her legs were being dragged out from under her body, despite any cues from her brain. 

She knew this must be Rikyn, and despite her body's inclination to drop out from under her, the demigoddess could only imagine what that would do to the growing knot in her back. Surely a drop like that would only further aggravate the wound, and cause it to tighten up more of the surrounding muscles? Time to make a decision (to try and fight Rikyn's grip or allow herself to fall) was growing short. Her hooves had begun to slide on the sands, and in that moment, the decision to fight against the control, given the pain in her neck and shoulders seemed impossible.

Isopia tucked her nose to her chest as her legs were pulled from beneath her body. Surprisingly that position took most of the pressure off of her shoulders, and the tension released. For the few seconds until she hit the ground anyways. As she assumed, the jarring motion of her body hitting the sand beneath her caused pain to flare anew throughout her shoulders, wither, and neck.

Unable to see where Rikyn was (and because Hubris was apparently still not helping her), Isopia was forced to scramble to a standing position despite the chorus of pain pounding drums of blood in her ears. Roses and stars flashed and bloomed before her eyes as she spied Rikyn retreating down the beach.

The Mountain groaned, and let her head hang low again so that it would release some of the tension on her neck.

"That was dumb." She muttered to her hooves.

WC: 788
Attack: Closing defence. Thanks Bunnie!!

Image Credits

Official Posts: 847
Stallion :: Equine :: ::

By my verdict: ISOPIA is the winner!

Realism [+3.5]
Overall very good! My first comment would just be to add a description of the severity of her injuries in your third post as that would have been good for my mental picture! Was it bleeding? Was the skin just scraped? Since he only rolled a 2, I would have liked to have more detail.

Emotion [+4]
Excellent emotion, especially regarding the reasons for the battle. For once, a spar intro did not feel awkward! Also, big kudos for really emphasizing Iso's limitations and inexperience in battle and using that as a reason for the big hit she took in your second post.

Prose [+4]
Post 1: " a sticky as tar" ---> as stick as tar
Very minor typos

Readability [+2.5]
Easy to read with great flow!

Finally tally: 14*2 +55 = 83 HP


Realism [+3]
I think you handled the physical/bodily realism of the battle very well, and what your character was doing was fairly clear. However, I would have definitely appreciated a more realistic approach in regards to the emotion! I did not take off on this score for that aspect! (see blow in Emotion).

In the critical hit, I, perhaps would have focused on a more detailed limitation regarding his injuries! A critical hit is supposed to be almost crippling, so I would have appreciated a sentence or two about how (maybe), he went to go in for an attack but faltered? Something that would add an edge of realism.

Emotion [+2]
While I appreciate that Rikyn is in his cheeky stage, I would have loved more genuine fear and discomfort, especially in the earlier posts. You did a great job of describing his terror internally but then that seemed to disappear entirely.

If you look at Iso's posts compared to yours, what makes Iso's emotion score that much higher is that she isn't afraid to write her character being weak in order to be realistic! I think some of us oldies get stuck in this mindset of trying to write our characters being strategically and ultimately "better", but this system is really about praising the honesty and full range of emotions in battle. Let the dice handle the severity and you write the most real response you can!

You recovered though very well in your final post! I enjoyed the detail's of Rikyn's thoughts and the explanation of his injuries!

Prose [+3.5]
Awkward sentences and repetitiveness: "Looking over in the general region of where he’s looking off at,"...
"It’s golden body swoops" ---> Its, since "It's" means "It is" and is not possessive.

Readability [+1.5]
Some awkward sentences and disjointed text makes the flow a little difficult to read. However, it was well thought out, and I appreciated the attention to detail!

Finally tally: 10*2 + 47 = 67 HP - 10 HP for leaving the fight! = 57 HP

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