the Rift


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
Continued after this thread

Unsurprisingly, the Mountain had a poor sleep. Despite her emotionless response to what some might have considered to be a fight between she and Alysanne, it was the actual debate that kept her mind from finding the dark cornes of sleep. Fighting was not something she was unaccostomed to. She had been assigned, and had volunteered for a number of spars during her life, and while she was no expert, she had come to understand the mechanics. (More or less). But she would not fight if there was some flaw in her logic, and so, during the hours that passed between when she had left Alysanne and when she had awoke, she had pondered their discussion carefully.

Pondered, and studied the amulet given to her by the tree.

"Alysanne is confusing fairness, success, and custom." Isopia said at last, her eyes dull in the darkness of midnight. Hubris regarded her fully, giving this matter his full attention just as his bonded was. He nodded in agreement.

"She said that her spectar did her job well, and worked hard at her theivery." Isopia continued, staring at the bronze dragon. "But a murder can be committed well, and might require hard work. Any action can be praised, any task can require effort. These things to do not map onto fairness." Again, Hubris nodded in agreement. "On the point of fairness, the queen gave no satisfactory response, merely tried to trap me with hypocrisy that isn't present. The Falls does not steal for nominal gain."

Isopia stared at the stars, and then back at the pendant that Hubris was clutching in his talons. It pulsed a soft, but steady, stream of white light. Isopia trusted her intellect more than this magical stone, but it was nice to know that the stone aligned with her thinking.

"I can only conclude that, though the Edge thought they were not agrivating any of their alliances by stealing from an outcast, now that Cowboy is part of the Falls, that alliances is aggravated. The most we might say is that this spectar is not deserving of blame for her actions, for it was done in the line of duty. But now, when all parties have admitted that a theft occurred? To demand payment for an item never paid for?" Isopia shook her head, still perplexed by Aly's irrational suggestion. "The Edge has benefited from their crimes already, and yet still think they are owed compensation?" Echoing her thoughts, Hubris too whistled a note of confusion.

>>If you say yes to trade, there not be any tension though.<< He breathed into her mind. Isopia nodded, it wasn't that she disagreed, but nor did she think extortion was an appropriate response to requesting that stolen property be returned to its rightful owner.

Isopia returned once enough light had filled the sky, that she judged the terrain appropriately lit for what was about to transpire.

Having breathed her first breaths here, much of the land was familiar. The demi-goddess was not put off by the mists that veiled the cliff faces, nor the way her steps echoed out around her. And, because of her intentional negligence when it came to emotional growth, the thought that there might be members of the edge who would show up and root against her, not only did not occur to her, but if it had, wouldn't have been worrying. She was not hear to sway hearts or minds. She had presented a question to Alysanne and was ready to have her views swayed on the matter of the ownership of the bag. Aly had failed to offer a coherent argument, and so, the demi-goddess concluded that her own reasoning was to be implemented. Such was the way of the world after all. We believe the earth is flat, until we are shown reasons to believe otherwise.

"I have returned as promised, to challenge Queen Alysanne or her Champion, for the stolen herb bags the Queen wears. I issue this challenge as is customary in Helovia." Isopia paused. The academic and sterile echo of her voice bounced back to her several times, before dissipating entirely. Her cloak billowed dramatically behind her, as a cool breeze tugged back her mane. "The Hidden Falls acknowledges that this item was stolen while one of our members was an outcast, and we offer no blame. However as he has joined our ranks and his grievances become ours, I stand here now requesting his property be returned. It is our position that because no compensation was given to him for the bags, no compensation is owed to the Edge for their return."

Totally up for settling this via rap battle ;)

@Alysanne (or whoever subs in) challenge! Isopia is challenging to have Cowboy's stolen bags returned. Raeden stole the bags and gave them to Alysanne. 2 IC months have passed, and so knowledge that Aly had the bags was passed to Cowboy. Cowboy told Isopia about the bags in this thread. (Just for IC clarity :D )

WC: 772
Setting: Border of the Edge just after dawn. There is enough light to see by. The air is cold. They are not fully on the cliffs of the Edge, but where the meadowy/fields area starts to merge into rock. Lots of mist.
Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.
Image Credits

Abandon all hope, ye who enter 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
“I have returned as promised, to challenge Queen Alysanne or her Champion, for the stolen herb bags the Queen wears.”

The proclamation rings clearly and loudly in the early, misted air. But the King is already awake. Despite his new and improve sleeping quarters alongside Rexanna, sleep still evades the Elephant; and so he stands at the edge of their alcove, peering down at the crashing waves obscured by the fog.

Black-rimmed ears tilt back as silence falls after the demigoddess’s longwinded declaration, punctuated by a lone gull’s keen. A deep sigh expands his vast chest before gusting out of his dark nostrils. His head swivels back to look back at their cave where Rexanna slumbers and then to the smaller opening where Kiada is curled in sleep.

Then, he turns to walk southward along the cliffs, heeding Isopia’s challenge. Though his mind is not on battle tactics, as the cliffs drop steeply to his right while forests sprout to his left. No, in this early morning mist, his mind searches for the little he knows about this mare (ironically, given her monicker). He vaguely recalls the that she was the one to deal the final, fatal blow to the Tiger Goddess in the Isles (the claw-marked skin of his right shoulder twitches)… and the Earth God had spoken to her as a daughter. But beyond that, the Elephant King knew little; his attention had (naturally) been distracted by the death of Mauja’s daughter. That had been the day he ascended to regency, crowned in a child’s blood.

He shakes his head slightly to clear it as his heavy steps along the white, wreathed cliffs finally bring him abreast of the rocky ground that blends into a meadow at his left. Navy eyes glance momentarily to the left, gaze attracted by the bright billowing of her red cloak. Idly, the general in him notes that such a garment is a useful handle for leverage in battle. But then he looks fully to his right, staring blankly into the mists as he gathers his thoughts.

The Mountain’s words, while verbose, still lend the King to thought. He will protect the rights and property of the Edge, because that is his duty, and therefore just and fair in his eyes. However, he knows there is more beneath this superficial, overarching assumption…

Pursing his thick, black lips, he swivels on his haunches towards the waiting Mountain. The Mountain of Knowledge, of thoughts, of logic and long tautology that provokes others to think about their actions. There is much to be said for inspiring (or inflaming) reflection, conversations, and questions. But the Elephant King, despite his stint as leader morphing his mind towards diplomacy, is still a stallion of action.

So, with navy eyes settling on her bright gold, he approaches her—and surprise laces through him that he does not have to lower his gaze. There were some that were nearly his height in Helovia, but she is the first to stand truly even with him. Though he faces her head on, he is not so stupid to approach from the middle of the clearing. Instead, his long limbs take strides that hug his right side along the meadow’s treed edge. That, at least, would limit the expanse from which her aerial attacks may come.

“It is a dangerous precedent to set, Mountain that Knows,” his low voice rumbles clearly in the opaque air, “To absorb the long-standing rivalries of new herd members.” He pauses, studying her dark and tooth-marked face; the pale markings reflecting the bite of the words she spoke. Then his brows raise as his deep voice rings again, clearly, “If you are to rectify all past grievances with your current leadership, then have you ensured there are no stolen items in all of the Falls?” His mind turns to the many trinkets of his herd members—did he know which were stolen and which were not?

His eyes, again, are drawn to the billow of her red cape and gentle shine of her golden pauldron in the slowly rising sun’s muted light. “I accept your challenge, Mountain. But know that the repercussions of your actions as Czarina are far reaching.”

Mbwene, awakened by the anticipatory adrenaline pulsing from her bonded, stirs from her nest of leaves and feathers. Slowly she rises to her feet, sleepy mind assimilating the sudden influx of information from Tembovu. And then she is running, full-tilt, towards the meadow where the two leaders face each other, grumbling through her bond about hard-headed Elephants.

WC: 764
A: 0/4
Damage tracker: --
Summary: Tembo comes into the clearing with his right side along the trees and talks to Iso.
the elephant king

image | coding


Rap edition:
Early in the morning, what’s making that racket?
Oh, just the demigoddess, ready to hack it
out on the battlefield— per usual,
didn’t she learn from the last funeral?

But, ya know, gotta do ‘what’s right,’
day after day, fight after fight.
It’s is a mighty large load to bear,
and it only gets heavier—the price of warfare.

I hope you’re ready for a long, lonely life.
Justice’s warriors are a target for a knife
in the back from those that we love,
Even if it fits, do you want this glove?

Please tag Tembovu.

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
Isopia didn't expect to see Alysanne appear through the mists, for the queen had already indicated that someone else would accept the challenge in her stead. Odd, Isopia had thought previously, that she would argue rights to ownership, but not defend those rights herself.

The demi-goddess watched the king enter the clearing. Although her knowledge of tactical positioning was quite limited, she knew enough to see that he was doing something tactical, even if she didn't exactly know what. Nor did Isopia need to conclude that this would be a taxing fight; she already knew that it would be. Though they stood eye-to-eye, Tembovu appeared bigger because of his impressive bulk. Despite the fact that Isopia had trained to increase her strength, she still appeared almost dainty in comparison.

Her ears carefully cupped the words that he offered her, and she began to formulate tentative assumptions about the king's character, given that this was their first real meeting. While she approved of the fact that the things he said to her were at least intelligible, she loathed his sweeping assumptions and generalizations.

"I wouldn't call the theft of a bag a long standing rivalry, nor have I ever implied such." She called back, voice clear and confident. "What use a czarina, or queen for that matter, if not to serve her subjects? But as you note, the theft occurred prior to Cowboy's relocation to the Falls. Thus, my request of Alysanne, and this challenge, are not proffered in anger. If stealing is a legitimate and potentially blameless means of obtaining an item, as Alysanne noted, due to its widespread use across Helovia, then by that same logic, surely challenging is an equally legitimate and blameless means of obtaining an item as well." Her golden eyes shimmered with interest, as they were want to do during intellectual discussions. "As for the hypocrisy you warn me of, you may well be correct, and I shall set about rectifying my house upon my return."

What was likely meant to be a threat rather than a warning, received only a nod from The Mountain. It was as she said - if sleuths may blamelessly steal, because it is a compulsory aspect of their rank, then the same might be said of leads and their right to challenge. That this matter should somehow extend to politics in the future seemed ludicrous to the newly crowned czarina. The outcome of this challenge would settle the question of ownership, and that would be that. If the Elephant meant to bully her by his words, he would find himself poorly mistaken, for mountains could rarely be moved.

"Then let the challenge to decide the property rights of the stolen bags, commence."

Given the distance between the pair, it was not as if the suddenness of an opening attack would catch the Elephant off guard - space gave him the time he would need to respond to her actions. But perhaps surprise would be an advantage she could utilize, especially if Tembovu was ignorant of her magic. Before valuable seconds slipped away, Isopia began the shift into her dragon form. Although she was roughly the same size in both forms, as a dragon she could fly faster as she was more aerodynamic, and she had teeth and claws rather than just horns in her arsenal. Changing her shape kept her rooted in place for what felt like an eternity, but as soon as the transformation was complete, the dragoness jumped into the sky. Flapping her powerful wings, she tried to angle herself directly towards Tembovu, if not slightly towards his left side. She was wary of his horn, but she would be moving quickly with her leathery skin to protect herself against superficial attacks from his blade (or so she thought). Leaning backwards in the sky, she tried to reach out her powerful hind-legs to grab the meat of the Elephant's shoulder, wither or neck. Her aim was obscured as her eyes and forelegs focused on his eyes, batting at his skull with her talons.

If she could wound him early in the battle, then perhaps his energy would be taxed faster and she would leave this fight with all of her limbs attached as well as Cowboy's bags.

Duty fuelled her movements, and all thought of herself and whatever pride was on the line were tucked in some silent part of her brain and forgotten.

Trailing behind Isopia was Hubris. He watched Mbwene uncertainly, wondering if she was planning on engaging with his bonded, or with him. He trilled a friendly greeting, which sounded dissonant compared to the words Isopia and Tembovu had spoken to each other. Though the dragon agreed with Isopia's actions, he was in no hurry to partake in this battle. But he would if necessary.

WC: 799

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.
Image Credits


Hey there Elephant King, yep you're right, I'm at your borders
and shit's about to get real, so I hope your brought your camcorder.
You really should open your ears to the logic that I'm preachin'
or even stop by the academy cause ethics is a class that I'm teachin'

Just cause something is don't come close to making it right,
And that lack of comprehension is the reason for this fight.
Right and wrong, good and bad, and the things that deserve our praise
All exist separately, maybe you'll get that one of these days.

And you keep talkin' about battles and all this warfair,
But I'm just here searching to find your logic somewhere,
'cause in the things that you've said and the things that you do,
It isn't making sense, and so all I can conclude-

- is that you need to get sorted in what it is that you believe
because your philosophy is wack and I think you misconceive
just how morals, laws, and precedence actually work,
So maybe think this over now before you get hurt.

Abandon all hope, ye who enter 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
The Mountain’s voice calls back, clear and confident—surprisingly so for one whose youth still clung as vestiges to her neck and chest. His brows raise slightly, sending a crease around the base of his thick horn, as she continues. Anger would change the nature of this challenge, she claims? Navy eyes narrow slightly at her contradictions: words the preach cold logic with their adherence to justice interspersed with allusions to emotion, anger, and blame.

Lips purse slightly—where the Mountain is long-winded, he is not inclined to lecture. She is too stuck in her beliefs to hear the King; he has seen such obstinance in young, Dorobian recruits. Though her argumentative nature and stalwart stance does not, initially, lend her towards the Elephant’s good graces, some semblance of concern lances through his features as the newly crowned Czarina claimed that she will ‘rectify’ the hypocrisy he has alluded to.

Though the King has not spent as long as others in the leadership position of a herd, he does knot that a ruler who immediately alienates their people is not a ruler that will last. Despite the misunderstanding that soils his initial perception of the demigoddess, it is clear to the King that she is attempting to right by her herd. To the Elephant, that, alone, speaks volumes more than any of her verbose proclamations.

So, the stallion simply states, “We exist as much to serve as to guide, Isopia,” his deep rumble is clear and level, “You lead your herd. They do not lead you.” There is no anger or condescension in his voice; though some part of him hopes she will heed this small proffer of advice. For all that he disagrees with her, he cannot claim to wish failure on her fledgling reign. Perhaps it is because the appearance (and disappearance) of his children has rekindled the strong, paternal instinct in the King—and thus it is transferring to the the woman with a god, rather than a mortal, for a father.

Regardless, his muscles slowly stiffen beneath the influence of adrenaline, preparing for battle. Despite her willowy frame (at least, in comparison to his heavy build), her massive wings, size, and quad-horned skull will be a challenge. The King does not even know what types of magic run through half-divine blood—

The thought is quickly answered, causing the Elephant’s narrowed navy gaze to grow wide in surprise. He has seen others within Helovia shift; some into other horses and some into creatures. Yet, never has he seen another transform into a mythical beast—a dragon. Despite his training screaming at him to move as she swiftly approaches on black, leathery wings, he remains still and staring for long, critical moments. It is only when he realizes that she is much faster as a dragon than any other pegasus he has fought, that he begins to shift into his equally large, elephantine form.

Yet he has waited too long and has (with the mist) misjudged the time it takes her to reach him, and thus he is frozen in transformation as the gleaming talons on her hind limbs reach out and tear through the half-buckskin hide, half-wrinkled grey skin of his left shoulder. A painful, mangled half-trumpet, half-stallion’s bugle bellows out of his chest as the dragon’s talons rake deep furrows through his flesh. The longest of her claws just barely clips his scapula’s spine. Pain travels in white-hot tracks from his shoulder, up his neck, and shimmers as a distorted film behind his eyes; and it sits there to haunt him for the remainder of the battle. His demons are split between cursing and clapping; they relish the Elephant’s pain, but could they eke out more mental torture from this fight if he has all his mental acuity?

Once his transformation is complete, his trunk snakes out with speed belying an elephant’s plodding gait. The long, shockingly dextrous and strong appendage seeks to grasp any part of the dragon’s body and swing her to smash against the thick, ancient tree trunks to his right. Despite their strength, he knows from his fights with Elsa that wings can be delicate, easily broken things. His gnarled, stocky haunches squat back and down to act as an anchor for potential leverage, should his trunk successfully snag the flying dragoness. Truthfully, the backward rock of his weight also offers relief to his throbbing left shoulder, as well.

Mbwene, upon reaching the cliff’s rocks as the fight begins, looks from black dragon to elephant and finally to the hesitantly friendly bronze dragon. Though her trunk lifts in greeting (she is not inclined to join this fight), her large ears pin back as her bonded’s pain pulses to her.

WC: 795
A: 1/4
Damage tracker: Gnarly, deep left shoulder wounds, yo;
Summary: Iso's attack hits his left shoulder while he is frozen in transforming to and Elephant; Once elephant, he tries to grab her with his trunk and slam her into the tree trunks. Mbwene waves 'hi' to Hubris.
the elephant king

image | coding


Rap edition: (My whitegirl is showing... I think there's a drop in the middle)
Well now, Mountain, these are mighty big claims:
‘Morals,’ ‘laws,’ — weren’t you just playing foal games?
It takes a lifetime to really know ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’
Just ‘cause daddy’s a god doesn’t mean you can zoom along

the path of ‘knowledge’ or ‘righteousness’ —
Or would you prefer ‘piousness’?
I can’t tell, what with all your condescension,
you’ll learn much on your ascension—
To what? Infamy, if you so choose.
Take care, Iso, before your abuse
the power in your veins, and confuse
it with morality.
Remember half of you is pure primality.

I won’t tell you to back down, it’s too late for that.
But I will say, as a diplomat,
You have much learn.
I hope this, at least, you can discern?

You can’t catch flies with vinegar, so next time try honey.
Maybe then we’ll have a discussion that doesn’t turn bloody—
And you can affect this moral change you desire,
without the diplomatic backfire.

Please tag Tembovu.

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
The demi-goddess couldn't help the slight bristling of her muscles as she raced towards Tembovu, as he addressed her as Isopia. Every time anyone other than Zero spoke her private name to her, she felt another cog in her mind turn against her Father for so carelessly blurting it out before all of Helovia so many seasons ago. They said elephants never forget, and this elephant it seemed, was no different.

Later Isopia would reflect on the rest of Tembovu's words. Perhaps she would even ask him about them. Her promotion had not come with any emotional baggage, and so pride would never be a deterrent to the advice the king offered. Some vaguely democratic facts in her mind wanted to press against the king's words, but the majority of her thoughts were elsewhere, (as they should be). But perhaps after all of this there would be time for conversations about politics.

Then again maybe there wouldn't be.

The only thing Isopia's draconic claws had ever held in them had previously been Volterra - and now that that memory had been taken from her mind - the feeling of clutching flesh between her talons was an entirely new sensation, unlike anything her equine-body had ever experienced. Though she wasn't able to deduce muscle from flesh from ligament, she could tell by the king's warbled elephant-equine screams that her attack had been painful. As in most things, Isopia took no pleasure from her early advance in this challenge, nor from the pain she had forced into the king's body. This was merely procedural, and for Isopia, it was almost as if she was merely a pawn, moving dutifully around the battlefield awaiting the verdict which would render the bags hers or not. She did not view herself as a champion for Cowboy - or for anyone for that matter. The czarina had issued her reasons and her challenge, and now it was only time that stood in the way of declaring a winner. That's how removed Isopia's mind was from the emotionally messy implications of this battle. She was merely doing her duty - a duty, which the king had suggested, might not even be hers to bear.

Isopia's upwards trajectory away from the Elephant was interrupted by tension against her back left leg. Her balance was offset by his powerful elephant's trunk, and Isopia felt herself becoming re-directed towards a thick knot of tree branches. Beating her leathery wings down, the demi-goddess tried to move upwards with enough force to knock the elephant's trunk loose, and also to clear the top of the tree. However the unexpected nature of this type of attack left the Mountain's mind searching for options, and thus she was only capable of executing one of her goals successfully.

The dragoness felt Temobuv's trunk release from around her leg at almost the same instant (or so it seemed), that the branches of the closest tree seemingly rose up to envelope her in a hug. What felt like spikes and spears of wood pressed against her body, knocking against her scaled legs and the lower part of her sensitive belly. For all the perceived sharpness of the trees's boughs, Isopia hadn't received a visible wound from the wooden embrace - though in the days to come a few bruises would likely appear on her painted skin.

Hubris returned Mbwene's wave with one of his own, before turning his eyes back to the fight and wincing as he watched Isopia crash through the tree. He whistled a long, slow note of appreciation for her pain, before sighing. The imagery of the situation was lost on him - a small dragon and elephant sitting together watching two larger nearly mirror-images of themselves fighting. His thoughts were on Isopia and her ceaseless philosophical quest. Though the Mountain didn't subscribe to this particular vein of social political thinking, might makes right seemed to be a tenant of Helovian culture. For that the dragon was sorry, but like Isopia, he thought Alysanne's logic was flawed, and saw no other option available.

Meanwhile, Isopia had to fight to regain her aerial balance as she swerved to the left, trying to leave the clutches of the tree. Worried that Tembovu would exert some other elephant-related ability that she would be unprepared for, she hastily reached out with her magic. She meant to create a pillar of earth beneath him; a rocky spire which might collide with his stomach and shove him off balance. If that was the case, then perhaps she'd be able to reach the ground without incident. And if she was really lucky, the mist would cloak her actions while the king was distracted, and she'd be on the soil facing him, before he could leverage another attack her way.  Just another mountain-shaped shadow in the mist.

WC: 799

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.
Image Credits


You're wrong again, Tembovu the Elephant King
It doesn't take godly blood or a lifetime to learn these things,
Ethics ain't that hard when you take pride out of the equation,
I've got a PhD in this stuff, you wanna read my dissertation?

Maybe not, I understand that philosophy isn't everyone's favourite
But just because I'm Earthy's daughter don't mean that I'm a plagiarist,
I think my own thoughts, make my own calls, and learn from all I can see,
And never once have I called on my Dad to defend or justify me.

And I tried to use honey - I was as sweet as I could get,
But Alysanne declined and said we owed some sort of debt
But how could something be owed, when you took those bags for free?
I tried to understand, but instead of offering logic, your queen just disagreed.

So stop using my lineage or the years I've spent on this earth,
as a way to justify all your thoughts about my worth -
and whether I'm right or wrong in this challenge about property
I'm just tryin' to fix somethin' that I see as an atrocity.

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
Though his trunk successfully twisted around the Mountain’s clawed limb, he underestimated the strength of dragon wings. Their large, aerodynamic, sail-like spread harnessed power more efficiently than the feathered appendages of those he had fought thus far. Not only did the powerful flapping twist of dragon-Isopia’s mismatched wings strongly buffet his body, but it also wrenched the scaled skin free of his grasp before he could put any true leverage into the downward arc of his swinging trunk. A deep, guttural grunt of annoyance at himself rumbled from his elephantine chest—but he could only hold this heavy, wrinkled body for so long.

Given his immobilization during his transformation and the snapping of tree limbs that marked Isopia’s brief, thrashing pause in her aerial pursuits, the Elephant King opted to take advantage of his opponent’s brief entrapment with the tree boughs. So he shifted his weight to his right to relieve the pressure on his injured left shoulder while he was frozen in transformation, and slowly began to morph back into his (still large) equid form.

The pounding, deep ache of his shoulder—amplified greatly has his rippled muscle and clipped bone reshaped itself—briefly caused a single note of discord to flash through his mind. He was fighting this battle as a King with the thoughts of his old, General self. Yet, he had left the warm bed of his lover, the mother to his children. He was a father now again, as well as a lead to this herd. Though he felt he owed it to the Edge to be their Champion, what did he owe his family? The dark skin around his eyes creased in a combination of pain and unsettled thoughts. All of this over a set of leather bags? Where it seemed Isopia’s youth had her mired in principles (he had once destroyed an empire on the basis of principles…and some vengeance), the Elephant was no longer as blinded by them.

Yet, the earthen demigoddess had not revealed all of her magic. So the King was yet again frozen (although only partially, this time) as the rocky earth beneath his barrel suddenly erupted into the soft flesh there. However, the slight right-ward lean of his changing mass caused the mound of magicked earth to cut into his left flank, rather than opening his barrel and eviscerating him on the spot. A low, rumbling groan ripped from his throat as the sharp edge of rock opened the softer skin beneath his flank before ripping into the oblique muscles that spanned between his ribs and hip. He was stuck, grappling for the earth with his right side in his half-frozen state. The pain burning from his left flank and bounding from his left shoulder hindered him using them to stop his awkward, off-balance jostling.

He did not know know where the Mountain was, her reptilian body masked by mists that were as much of a boon as a burden. Mbwene’s trunk twisted anxiously in the air before her as she watched the very earth upend her bonded, a distressed chuff pushing out of her wrinkled lips. She may not wish to join or approve of this fight, but she still concerned about her Elephant. Her sharp, worried, pained blue gaze darted to Hubris accusingly. Her mind, in its anxiety and (relative) youth, displaced some of this fight’s blame onto the bronze dragonet. She tooted a short, brassy trumpet at him before turning and giving him her viciously twitching, tasseled tail.

Then her gaze widened as she searched the skies for her bonded’s opponent. Isopia was well hidden in the mists, a mountainous shadow in the opaque, white soup. However, mountains didn’t move—or, at least, the ones that studded the Edge’s cliffs did not; and there was a vague shadow moving in the skies (or so she thought). She sent the image and location of the misted body to her bonded. There, she tacked on the word, but still remained on the sidelines (much to Tembovu’s relief).

Thus, while regaining fully-equid limbs beneath him and severely favoring his doubly injured left-side, the King’s mind grasped onto the fiery, enraged magic that forever burned in some crevasse of his chest. He sent out the silently trumpeting, molten rock elephant from his breast in the general direction Mbwene had shown him. Its angry, magma eyes blindly searched for an opponent to explode upon, compelled to charge forward by it magical make-up. The King hoped his wrathful magic would somehow find its mark—or else both Mbwene and Hubris needed hide behind trees (the first) or take to the skies (the latter), for this magic his had no preference for morality, right, or wrong.

WC: 793
A: 2/4
Damage tracker: Gnarly, deep left shoulder wounds, yo; ripped flesh on left flank;
Summary: Iso's earth-rock-mound rips open left flank. Mbwene tries to show him where she thinks Iso is, and he sends a magma elephant in that general direction.

the elephant king

image | coding


Rap edition:
Woah there, Isopia. Hold up, atrocity?
There you go again with your verbosity.
Perhaps some perspective is what you need,
A real reason for us both to bleed.

I can’t claim a PhD, or any fancy schooling,
All I know I’ve learned from life and ruling
a herd that’s large and now prospers.
Will the Falls grow with your “righteous” offers?

It seems all I say falls on deaf ears,
Reasoning and excuses offered for years.
I’d try to explain emotional attachment,
But I think your understanding is absent.

And I’ll ask: if all of us are so far beneath you,
Why even bother trying to break through?

Please tag Tembovu.

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
Her attack must have worked, because the dragoness had ample time to land without retaliation from the king. Although it would have been easier and advantageous to remain in the sky, likely out of range from Tembovu's arsenal of magic, Isopia didn't want to give anyone from the Edge more ammunition about how unfair this whole process was, by spending it airborne. 

Tembovu's magma-facsimile wasn't the only thing to careen towards Isopia out of the mists. There were also the (mostly) unfamiliar voices of the members of the Edge who had gathered to watch the challenge. Previously Isopia had thought that their words wouldn't have any effect on her - she could take their cattiness, their (obligatory?) support of what their herd leaders were trying to do, which by default meant condemnation of her own position. But what she couldn't abide, what ever fibre of her being suddenly screamed out against, was their unchecked hypocrisy.  More than once she heard judgements of Cowboy, that he should be here in place of Isopia. That Cowboy should be forced to fight, and Alysanne shouldn't, was a contradiction that made Isopia's ears burn. Despite the fact that this point had been raised by one of the assembled Edger's, the demi-goddess could only assume that the herd would bend to Alysanne's logic; winning was what was important. Not logic.

Though she was often accused of being emotionless as a stone, there was little else that rattled her as strongly as poor logic and ignorant minds. If it was just that, she might have been able to keep her mouth shut and her mind focused on the battle, if not for Alysanne. Perhaps it was because Aly's voice had been one of the first she had heard once she was born, perhaps it was even because she bore a resemblance to her own Mother. Or, maybe it was just because the acoustics of the Edge were such that the mare's voice easily came her way, but come her way it did.

She didn’t even try asking first.

Isopia felt time slow as her cheeks grew burning hot, and then icy cold. She felt her legs threaten to start shaking as a hostile burst of adrenaline deep within her gut suddenly exploded. She had asked. It was the second thing she had done - the first being asking Alysanne how she was doing. That was the Isopia-equivalent of showing up with baked goodies and fawning over the queen for hours. 

Isopia turned wide, stunned eyes into the mists, expecting Tembovu to somehow emerge and set things straight. Despite their difference in ideals, surely the king wouldn't abide his queen blatantly lying to all those assembled? Hadn't many of them heard the conversation between czarina and queen for themselves? They had been loud and had made no effort to speak in isolation. 

Did the queen believe her herd was stupid? Or did she just expect them to fall in line?

Temporarily blinded by these thoughts (for Isopia's eyes instead saw flashes of the horses she imagined were gathered away in the mists, rather than the magma-elephant heading her way), Isopia wasn't able to evade Tembovu's attack as she should have done. A warm glow had pulsed through the mists giving her plenty of time to react to the king's magic - time that she had instead wasted on thinking about Alysanne and her lies. So instead of evading Tembovu's elephant, Isopia tried to engage with it. Conjuring a water-thing (for it was largely without form), she hurled it towards the fiery creature, assuming the water would put it out. For her efforts, Isopia was greeted with a burst of hot steam, spraying in all directions. A plume of steam shot towards her, causing Isopia to shut her eyes against it and scramble backwards. Iso was even less graceful in this body, than her equine one, but she managed to retreat far enough from Tembovu's attack (that she had helped amplify), to have only received superficial burns on her nose, and chest. Even so, the scales that covered her body in those areas suddenly felt tight and tender, and though those parts of her body were a pale tan, in her mind they were coloured a blistered-pink. 

"ALYSANNE, YOU LIE." Isopia bellowed, allowing the pain her body felt to uncharacteristically colour her voice. She wanted to say more, but to do so would likely invite a verbal battle that she didn't have time for.

Trying to force her rattled-thoughts back to the challenge, the dragoness lunged forward through the mists, trying to find the king by going the direction his magma-elephant had come from. Thinking she spied him ahead, she conjured a rock-dragon and thrust it towards were she thought the King's left shoulder was.

WC: 797

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.
Image Credits


Hold up King, you need to get your house in order,
cause there's Edgers in the mists, I can hear them on the border -
all in an uproar, making unfair accusations, 
and your queen is lyin' about the details of our negotiations. 

Just cause Cowboy isn't here, ya'll label him a disgrace,
but no one has a problem with you taking the queen's place. 
Maybe that’s because all Alysanne cares about is winning, 
maybe that explains all the lies that she’s slinging - 

Like when she said I never asked for the bags back, 
Well let’s get the instant-replay and we can watch the convo flash-back, 

“Hello Alysanne, remember me & how are you, 
I’d like those stolen goods returned, but I’ll hear your point of view.”
(This is the part where your Queen Alysanne is out of her league, 
and what meagre logic she has at hand, well, it starts to fatigue.)
"We can’t even agree to disagree on the subject of this imbalance,
so if it’s okay for spectres to steal, then it’s okay for me to challenge. "

This is your queen’s logic, I’m just playing by her rules.
I beg you, think it through Edgers, and stop acting like you’re tools-
-of the Queen, and her attempts to disguise and hide her greed,
by letting it come to blows, over bags she doesn’t need.

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 Elephant King, given the mounting pain from the rapidly multiplying injuries he was acquiring throughout this battle, had either disregarded the growing murmur of voices in the mists or had simply not heard them at all. Either way, his attention was wholly focused on his magma elephant as it blazed through the mist in the direction Mbwene had showed him. His left side spasmed once as he waited, uncertain if he truly wanted to hear the sizzle of flesh or if he would rather hear the rushed, evasive woosh of wings. Regardless, he widened his stance, hooves far apart, as he steadied his injured left side’s weight onto his right.

One black-rimmed ear remained trained on the fiery path of his magical, blazing incarnation while the other continually swiveled and twitched towards the heavens—just in case Mwbene had been wrong and the Czarina was still in the skies. The King shifted his haunches slightly, a painful ripple undulating his thick and bleeding hide, uncertain if he should wait for confirmation of his elephant exploding or seek to launch another attack at the logically-minded Mountain.

His indecision was rewarded by the explosive hiss of steam, vague warmth billowing back to him through the burned holes in the thick mist. Wait, steam? Though he was wreathed in water vapor, there was not enough mist to provide that quantity of steam. Confusion wrinkled the skin around his eyes as their navy irises constricted to pinpoints, searching the opaque white air for the Mountain and the source of the steam.


Instead of seeing her, the shouted words answered his searching ears, causing them to pin against his neck just as his body stiffened and began to shift forward, towards the source of her yell. Though, for the first time, anger began to smolder beneath the cold sense of duty and warm sense of paternal protection he had nursed throughout this challenge. (When had his mere thoughts of the mare needing father morphed into that?) His anger came from the fact that she could turn her attention away from him, her opponent, when it was she who called for a battle.

A deep snort rumbled out of his nostrils, “YOU FIGHT ME, MOUNTAIN. NOT MY QUEEN.” His body rippled with an elephantine appearance as his bellowed roar swallowed the murmuring noises of others around the fighting Mountain and Elephant. Then, softer (though still loud enough to be heard across the field), “Focus, Isopia. Words are for after—” but his forward moving, limping body was cut off with a deep grunt as a rock dragon erupted from the earth and barreled into his chest. His great body abruptly halted, spasms of pain spreading through pectoral muscles as the first layer of skin peeled away in some areas. Though it wasn’t the missing hide that hurt the the King—no, it was the contused muscle and many, broken vessels that would happily turn a myriad of vibrant shades in the next few days.

His great skull dropped, seeking to relieve some of the tension on his chest, navy eyes blinking hard once before they searched the mists for the mare of many earthen magics. Thinking he saw her shadow in the fog before him, he swung his haunches to his right in an effort to keep his injured left side away from any more of her magical (or physical onslaughts). Then, with a pained grunt (because his body ached beneath the onslaught of injuries and protested against still fighting), he stiffly ducked his right shoulder, tucked his chin to his throbbing chest, and used mostly his right haunch to propel his massive horn in the general direction of where he thought he saw the Mountain’s shadow.

It was a physical attack, rather than a magical one, because (despite the magic that now laced his veins) beneath the weighty pain of his wounds, his old training sought physical combat instead of magical attacks. Perhaps not the wisest of choices, but when one is in discomfort, they rely on what they know.

Mbwene whimpered softly at the pain the roiled through their bond, trunk twisting into her chest as she felt her bonded’s wounds.

WC: 702
A: 3/4
Damage tracker: Gnarly, deep left shoulder wounds, yo; ripped flesh on left flank; Bruised chest.
Summary: He starts towards Iso, gets hit in the chest by her rock-dragon, then uses his right side/horn to attack her.

the elephant king

image | coding


Rap edition: (this is bad and rushed ;-;)
Okay, Mountain, what am I supposed to do
when all my focus is on you,
But your attention is on another,
Is it because you need a mother?

Someone to guide your zealous soul,
To help you channel and control
All this power and emotion
that explodes with any notion

That you perceive of wrong doing
Perhaps there are other things stewing
Beneath your logical facade...
Perhaps it's your soul that's flawed.

Please tag Tembovu.

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
The king's words greeted her before his body did. Although she unconsciously stiffened at the sound of her name leaving his lips (thanks a lot Father), her mind was open to his advice. Although some might have chalked up her willingness to heed Tembovu's words to some misappropriate needed for paternal guidance, it was much less Freudian than that. Although many viewed Isopia as a self-righteous condescending asshole (a portrayal she would have denied, if asked), she was always up for learning new things and always welcomed having her point of view challenged. In this case, she offered no retort to the king. He was right after all; this was between them in this moment, and she did need to focus. 

His words were cut off by a grunt, and Isopia veered her body towards the sound. Directional hearing might not have been her forte, but she wasn't a fan of playing hide and magical-seek in the mists any longer. Perhaps it was a trick of the light, or perhaps Isopia's youthful days lived in the Edge were really so far behind her now, but Tembovu's body appeared out of the dense atmosphere much faster than she would have thought possible. Though her dragon's body was impressive in many ways, Isopia didn't spend much of her time in it. Thus when she tried to slam on the metaphorical breaks, her clawed hands found no hold upon the stony ground. She received bruised palms, but no real reduction in speed, and her body continued to hurtle forward in a way that her equine one would likely not have done. 

Tembovu's horn found the gentle swell of her right shoulder, and rather than hugging the muscular curve there, it went straight through. Despite the scales that lined this body, his horn punctured the muscle of her shoulder, driving forward and then tearing to the side as Isopia instinctively pulled away from the pain. STUPID, she screamed mentally to her body, above a new maelstrom of agony. She knew pulling away was the wrong thing to do. Had she retreated instead of shying to the side, his horn might have come out the way it went in. What her body had done was against all of her training, all of the hours she had devoted to trying to overcome her instincts and be better than just the animalistic set of preferences that lurked inside of her. And she had failed.

Blood flowed steadily from the wound at first. Then as her already blood-coloured cloak brushed against it, the cloth stuck to the torn flesh. Although this helped hide it from the cool, biting air, there was still enough loose skin hanging from the wound that every time her cloak shifted, it renewed the wound's cries of pain.

Isopia wanted to cry out too (somewhere deep inside of herself, the emotional part of her soul craved the opportunity to scream or even sob - it whispered that it would make her feel better and lessen the pain), but Tembovu's words echoed in her mind; focus Isopia.

And so she did.

The demigoddess's breathing was shaky, indicating her need and want to release the torment welling up inside of her, but she refrained. She had awkwardly skirted away from the Elephant's right side, moving to her left. Physical attacks might have been his default setting, but hers was still magical. Reaching inward for the magic given to her by the Falls, she doused her wound with mental magic that helped numb the pain enough that she would only have to deal with the literal fog around them, rather than the mental fog Tembovu's attack had added.

Isopia tried to put some distance between them (but not enough that he was once again swallowed by the haze around them), while nursing her right shoulder. Luckily as a dragon, it was much easier to move on just three limbs. Once she judged she was far enough away to turn back to face him, she leaned back on just her hind-legs, sitting there in a way that equines couldn't sustain for long. With a grunt of effort (there was only so much her warrior's spirit magic could do to dull the pain), Isopia threw yet another amalgamation of rocks Tembovu's way. Though these stones were without form, they weren't without heat. They were aimed mostly defensively, to bar him from getting too close and skewering her again. But if she could return some of the pain he had just given her, she wouldn't have minded.

Absentmindedly, Hubris rubbed his own shoulder, wincing at the pain he felt through their bond. He looked imploringly towards Mbwene, trying to discern how much longer this was going to go on for, and if there was anything they could do to stop it.

WC: 800

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.
Image Credits


Alright King, this challenge here is almost at an end.
But I think even if I win, it'll still be me who stands condemned.
So I'm going to say my piece just one more time and see if it gets through,
After that it's out of our hands, and we'll wait for the judicial review. 

Right and wrong, good or bad, lets put all that aside for a minute, 
And talk about how Helovia is and the way things work within it.
Your Queen Alysanne said stealing is just the way things are, 
It's part of what a sleuth does, to say anything else would be bizarre.

If we accept that that's the case (and I never did say otherwise),
Then let's look at our job descriptions - and this is the part to emphasize,
Leaders are supposed to be the champions of their subjects, 
advocating on their behalf, cause anytime they do less -
They're hauled out of office faster than you can say Kisamoa
So i'm just here doing my job, that's all I'm tryin' to show ya'. 

This here challenge wasn't meant to start an uproar.
This is just about some bags, I'm not trying to start a war.
On the sidelines I hear them talking about me burning bridges down, 
But they've got it all wrong,
this is just one little battle, it don't matter that we wear a crown.

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
It would be a lie to say that there was no primal and trained satisfaction that bloomed in his barrel as his massive horn cut through the impressive, tawny scales of her left shoulder. Some part of him had wondered how his plain, non-magical, Dorobian-borne horn would fare against the mythical demigoddess’s scales, and he was pleased to find her blood spilled just as his did. And he was bleeding. Copiously.

A split second was spared to thoughts and decisions in the heat of battle—what more could his battered and beaten body take? What could he ask of it and expect it to respond? Though he was a King, he was no longer the battle-hardened warrior of his younger days. As if to expound upon that point, his left side shuddered once as a briny breeze whipped over the raw, exposed flesh of his left shoulder and flank.

His ears tilted back as he realized he needed the strength and weapons of his elephantine form once again. Then, his black-rimmed ears strained forward in time to hear the Mountain’s shaky breaths, the sound causing contradictory unhappiness in his chest. He was triumphant to have landed a blow, but dejected by the Mountain’s audible pain. His body once again became immobile while he shifted into his heavy, pachyderm skin. His torn flesh shouted in white-hot pain as it was forced to transform into a new shape—apparently mangled muscle did not appreciate magical transformations. He hoped that the wound he had inflicted on the Mountain would stall her long enough for his transformation to be complete before she launched her next attack—being immobile meant being vulnerable in battle.

The King was only partially lucky in this respect, as he was just finished shifting and thus able to shuffle out of the way of her newest rock formation. It seemed that the demigoddess truly was of the Earth—both his seed and his magic. The Elephant (both in name and shape, now) then rose on his stocky haunches (it was so much easier to balance on the large round feet of this form than in his equid form). His forelegs reached out to perch on the top of her amorphous rocky creation, with only a small spasm of protest from his bruised chest. His long trunk extended and aiming to grasp for the billows of her bright red cape. He sought to use the garment as leverage to pull her dragon body onto the sharp, long ivory points of his tusks (if he was successful in grabbing her)—hoping that the cape’s fastening around her neck would bring her side or back into close quarters of his face rather than her sharp talons.

However, he did not realize that Isopia’s rock amalgamations contained heat until halfway though his attack when his round forefeet settled onto her stones’ hot surface. A brassy, partly pained and partly shocked trumpet sounded from his reaching, grasping trunk as the heat transferred from the stones to his skin, leaving superficial burns that would likely be more of an annoyance than anything else in the days to come. Awkwardly, he tried to lift his front legs off of the hot stones while still reaching to attack the Mountain.

The blood flowed freely from his wounds (any clots were entirely ruptured by his shift) began to dry and grow sticky between the many wrinkles of his thick, grey skin, causing his thoughts to briefly turn inward. What was this battle accomplishing, beyond the spilled ruby liquid and discontented murmurs that carried across the battlefield? Large flaps of ears waved once, before slapping against his gnarled, silvered neck. Mbwene mirrored the action as the King’s thoughts flowed freely through their bond.

The Mountain would have her bags, regardless of the outcome of this fight. The Elephant King was surprised that this thought had already cemented itself in his mind—when, or perhaps how, had that happened? Especially given that he had made such a decision without speaking to his Queen or Specters. Also that he had made a decision while enduring such a bloody battle. Thus far he had lived in blissful ignorance of those his sneaks targeted—as long as they protected the Edge from other untoward advances and did not risk the herd’s alliances. Perhaps he (as well as his Queen and Emissary) should pay closer to attention to their eager (and adept) Specters. The thought of stopping their stealing entirely did not escape his fleeting, half-formed thoughts… But that would be a thoughtful discussion for another day.

Regardless, this fight and the Mountain’s words with coupled actions left the Elephant King with much to think on… Navy eyes grew dark as the battle drew to a natural end.

WC: 799
A: 4/4
Damage tracker: Gnarly, deep left shoulder wounds, yo; ripped flesh on left flank; bruised chest; lightly burned soles/frogs of forefeet/hooves
Summary: He shift into an elephant, shuffles backwards from the hot stones, but then burns his front feet when he perches on top of them and tries to grab Iso's cape with his trunk and pull her onto his tusks.
the elephant king

image | coding

I know there were some aspects about this challenge that weren't so great, but thank you for a creative and intellectual thread <3

Rap edition:
Okay Mountain, I’ve not much left to say,
I’m not sure what we accomplished here, today.
These bags, they’re trifles; just a symbolic catalyst—
I don’t think either of us wanted to add this to our battle list…

I mean, yes, you’re right: we’re our subjects’ defenders.
We fight to protect their property rights from any offenders.
I can’t say there are no hard feelings ‘cause there’s more for us to discuss:
Like truces and treaties, some might call it ‘superfluous’—

Yet I know that it’s not and there’s deeper meaning to this fight
Than declaring a victor and the looser acting contrite.
But I’ll save that further discussion for another time,
It’s your self-imposed vilification I’ll address in this last rhyme.

There’s right and there’s wrong, we can all agree this is true,
And we can talk about the nuances of each ’til our faces are blue.
It’s not the talking or the logic or the reason or the cause—
Please hear me out before you begin preaching moral laws—

The words—they don’t matter. Few will be remembered;
It’s the feelings and emotion that, over time, will be treasured.
So maybe use your logic to determine morality on your own,
Then come to others with the solution, instead of with the rational drone.

Or, if you need other’s input to your intelligent thinking,
Perhaps some humility and reservation would avoid you sinking
In other’s esteem, respect, or favor… If it’s something you crave or
Maybe it’s not. This battle has shown me only that you do not waver

On matters you think you know to be true.
And, for that, I bid you a honorable adieu.

Please tag Tembovu.

Blu the Bootyful Posts: 443
Administrator atk: 99 | def: 99 | dam: 99
Mare :: Other :: 5'7" :: 25 HP: 99999 | Buff: TWERK
Isopia has exceeded the time limit and defaults to Tembovu. Tembovu earns 0.5 VP and keeps the bags.
 HP: 1100

Helovia Hard Mode

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

Realism [+3.5]
I thought you did a very good job translating the dice rolls to damage, especially given that a lot of Tembovu’s rolls were low until later in the fight. I also thought it was creative how you gave Isopia damage to her feet from skidding on the rocks. Good job!
You incorporated the surroundings in this fight enough for me to understand what was happening. I would have liked to see Isopia’s tactical mind use the mists more, but I understand that there is a limited word count and focus in a challenge.

Emotion [+2]
For as emotionless as Isopia is by nature, you write her well interacting with that part of herself. You are talented in going beyond ”Isopia felt nothing.” by explaining why she is that way. I was thoroughly captivated by Isopia’s reaction to the untruth she heard, and equally as captivated in her wanting to still learn from Tembovu despite fighting him.

Prose [+3.5]
Your posts were well written and equally as well proof-read. I only found one grammatical error. Excellent job!
P1: "What use a czarina, or queen for that matter, if not to serve her subjects? – Missing “is”

Readability [+2]
Your posts were clear for the most part. I only had to re-read one sentence with a set of parenthesis.

Finally tally: 45+(11*2)= 67 HP


Realism [+3.5]
As a whole, you did a great job in realism! I thought you did well at taking dice rolls and applying them to damage. You were creative enough in it that even with Isopia’s very hard hits, Tembovu still received an appropriate amount of damage.
Good mentioning of Tembovu’s past experience with Elsa propelling him to try and damage Isopia’s wings. This is the kind of thing I would like to see more of in spars!

Emotion [+2]
I really enjoyed reading Tembovu’s paternal thoughts on Isopia transform as the battle went on. You also did well in incorporating Tembovu’s thoughts and feelings on his position in the herd. Good job!

Prose [+2]
While your writing is beautiful and enjoyable to read, your posts were littered with grammatical mistakes. I recommend you taking a little more time to proof-read each battle post before publishing it.

P1: “words the preach cold logic with their adherence to justice interspersed with allusions to emotion, anger, and blame” :: that instead of the

P1: “ knot that a ruler who immediately alienates their people is not a ruler that will last” :: know instead of knot

P2: “amplified greatly has his rippled muscle and clipped bone reshaped itself” – as instead of has

P2: “She may not wish to join or approve of this fight, but she still concerned about her Elephant” :: was still concerned…

P2: “compelled to charge forward by it magical make-up” :: its

P2: “for this magic his had no preference for morality, right, or wrong. “ :: of his…

P3: “he swung his haunches to his right in an effort to keep his injured left side away from any more of her magical (or physical onslaughts)” :: (or physical) onslaughts.

P3: “Mbwene whimpered softly at the pain the roiled through their bond” :: that

P4: “The blood flowed freely from his wounds (any clots were entirely ruptured by his shift) began to dry and grow sticky between the many wrinkles” :: Reads awkwardly, missing a word such as: The blood that flowed…”

Readability [+2]
Your posts were clear for the most part. Rarely did I have to re-read anything for clarification.

Finally tally: 30+(9.5*2)= 49 HP

Based on the verdict Tembovu's 0.5 VP becomes 1 EXP instead.

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