2 attacking posts each, 1 final defensive post – 3 days between posts.
One 2-day extension per person if needed
Attacks can be multiple things, i.e. Albert attempts to bite Rose's neck and then kicks at her knee. Counter-attacks and attacks are all counted as attacks.
Complete dodges are allowed, but for the sake of realism, be careful when using these.
No editing posts.
1,000 word limit.
Jamie posts first unless otherwise agreed upon.
SETTING: Normal Plains grounds. Mid-day.
Body Type & Height: Slim/lean, 16.2hh
Abilities: Shadow Creature, Fog Manipulation, Ghost Whispering
Body Type & Height: Warlander build, 15.1hh
Abilities: Equus viperus (venomous fangs, dislocating jaw, thermal vision), horn (broken)
He comes with the fog, renewed, hungry for power. He had feared the things he’d known himself capable of once, cowering in the shadow of the ruinous things he knew curled wicked in his belly, but he knows no fear now. His journey into the Afterlife had changed him and he lusts after the dark things, the things Beyza had convinced him live in the cage of his chest (death, violence).
The sun looms high above the treeless plain, heavy and bright, and the fog is his own creation. The fog is not as thick in the direct sunlight, but it obscures the light just enough to offer him some reprieve as he moves silently across the dry, cracked ground. The fighters will certainly kick up dust, he thinks, which will certainly agitate the lungs that already rattle something terrible when he breathes. Perhaps his opponent will think it a weakness and thus think him something unworthy.
He is young compared to some of the creatures who live here in Beqanna, some of whom have come here to prove themselves on this very battleground, but he is hungry. He is hungry for power, yes, but there is also some deep hunger to prove himself to his shadow-mother. Anaxarete had won the Alliance herself, hadn’t she? He’d heard stories, rumors and it had not occurred to him to hesitate before he’d volunteered to fight on behalf of Pangea. He has never been particularly fond of conflict, but this feels like something more personal.
He moves easily now, free from the pain and crippling weakness that had plagued him in his youth, and the fog around him dissipates just enough for him to study his opponent (and, in turn, give his opponent the opportunity to study him should she choose to). She is slightly shorter than he is, he notes, with a stouter build. He will not know if this will work to his advantage or if it will work against him until he really sees her move. Only then will he know if her stature makes her faster or slower. He takes note, too, of the broken horn, her scales, and the absence of any visible wings (but he knows the magic of Beqanna well enough to know that the power of flight is not always obvious). From a distance, she looks ordinary, if not slightly reptilian.
The fog thickens as he moves toward her and he hopes that it will conceal him from her. He doubts that any fighter will merely stand still and wait for their opponent to strike, so he gathers the fog thickly around him in hopes that it will disorient her enough to let him get close enough to strike. He takes several silent, ground-eating canter strides toward her before the fog dissipates again, allowing him to gauge Sabbath’s position.
Already the dust has begun to rise, mingling with his rapidly-disappearing fog. He can feel it gathering in his lungs as he prepares to strike. He might have felt some pang of guilt for it a year earlier before he’d ventured into the Afterlife and had the conscience stripped from him. It had been his guilt that had hindered his violence. It had been the guilt that had made him suffer, made him grieve, made him weak but the guilt is gone now and he allows himself to embrace his thirst for violence fully for the first time in his life.
He does not expect her to stand idly by while he attacks either, but he accommodates as he needs to and swings himself around quickly so that he’s facing her and perpendicular to her left side and lifts himself into a half-rear. He keeps his front feet tucked close to the underside of his chest, trying to protect it as best he can should she try to capitalize on the opportunity to strike the vulnerable flesh there. He shuffles his hind feet, trying to drive his knees into her ribs in hopes of knocking her off-balance. If his effort is successful, it won’t be enough to cause any considerable pain. At most, it will knock the wind out of her, but it will also increase the chances of his next attack being more successful if he knocks her off-balance.
He drops out of his half-rear, his feet dropping to the cracked earth for a split second so he can regain his own balance before he pushes himself into a full rear. There is no sound except his wheezing breath as he strikes out with his front feet in the hopes of striking her spine or, if she has skittered out of the way, at least one of the large muscles in her hindquarters. If he is able to land his blow, it will hopefully be with enough force to cause her tremendous pain and disabling her hindquarters (even if only on one side) would hopefully weaken the force with which she could strike out at him and hinder her from gathering a significant amount of power in her hindquarters on that side for the rest of the battle.
He pivots on his own hind legs as his front legs drop back down to the earth again, kicking up more dust in the process, his sides already heaving.
She has kept a decade of rage muzzled and chained, releasing it only on occasion. There is only minor apprehension at the idea of finally unleashing all that pent up anger. And when he arrives, it’s easy to view him as the manifestation of everything she’s grown to hate - his ink-black shape, his glowing eyes. He looks just how she imagines all the weak men in her life might, balled into one.
Her sage green eyes scowl. The fog grows thicker.
She watches the outline of his warmth, then, in the haze of fog that blurs him from her eyes. Sabbath eases into a trot that builds to a canter once they are roughly thirty feet apart. Her hooves find it much easier to run here on a flat surface than the obstacle-laden jungles of Tephra. The loose dust prevents a full gallop, however, and she makes note to reserve a full gallop only for emergencies.
Once he swings to her left, she turns herself to the right by perhaps forty-five degrees. There is no time to align her backside perfectly with him, she quickly realizes, and so she gathers her weight onto her forelegs for a brief buck aimed for his throat or perhaps his chest. There is little planning behind the movement, but she would like to bruise the muscles along his chest or his windpipe so his focus is on anything other than her.
Unlike the Jamie that entered into the afterlife, she feels no semblance of remorse - especially when she feels his hooves collide with her hips. She gives a wild yowl of pain and stumbles forward a few feet. Sabbath is surprised at how much his half-rear hurt, though she supposes she underestimated him due to his silent movements.
The serpent girl quickly turns left to face her opponent once more and she is punished by a sharp pain in her left hind leg. She sucks in a sharp breath and compensates by shifting her weight more to her right leg instead. When Jamie rears fully this time, she bites through the shooting pain to answer with a half-rear to keep her face safe from a full kick. Sabbath does not kick out, however. Instead, she lunges her head forward with a mouth full of sharpened teeth that are intent on finding purchase in his foreleg.
Venom drips from her curved canines in the seconds before they collide. Every drop is packed with a neurotoxin that she has often used to immobilize her prey. Whether she manages to inject any remains a mystery to her, however, as the next moments are a blur of raw violence. She is mostly aware of Jamie’s forelegs planting firmly into her chest and knocking the breath from her. Then, she is aware of the ground rising up to meet her when she loses her balance.
Their scuffle kicks up a great deal of dust that leaves her hacking and wheezing for breath. The viper staggers up and blinks to clear the dirt from her watering eyes as she tries to find him between the dust cloud and his fog. The throbbing pain in her hip and now her chest tell her she will not be moving very quickly from this point on.
He is too close and moving too quickly to avoid the buck she throws as he approaches. It catches him more off-guard than it should have, considering he hadn’t taken his eyes off her since his fog had dissipated enough that he could see her clearly. It is a misjudgment on his part, a failure to take into consideration just how light his opponent could be on her feet.
One of her hind feet glances off his chest, almost hard enough to knock the air out of him but not quite. He grimaces, flashing his ink-black teeth, but he has too much forward momentum to change course. The muscles in his chest smart as they collide and he is certain he will carry the bruise for days. There is a considerable amount of satisfaction, though, as her muscles ripple beneath her skin and she cries out in pain.
Again, he underestimates her quickness as she turns to face him and pushes herself into a half-rear to meet his full rear. He feels a sharp twinge of irritation as the dust begins to coat his lungs and burn his round, freakish eyes. His irritation is shot through with a heady kind of worry (brief as it is) as the two of them grapple for the upper hand.
He has heard rumors about the vipers and the venom they carry. He knows that a bite has the potential to disable a horse completely and his mind flashes on this as she rears back her head and then strikes. He watches as the fangs find purchase on his left shin and it is his turn to cry out in pain. His irritation compounds as he strikes out wildly despite the way his bruised pectoral muscles cry out in protest, attempting to dislodge her. He tears his flesh out of her mouth and there is some small part of him that hopes that his movements are sharp and sudden enough to rip the fangs out of her mouth, too.
His left foreleg has gone completely numb by the time she stumbles and falls. Still, his frustration pours out of him in waves and the dust makes it difficult to breathe and his freakish eyes are watering from the dust and the venom and the midday sun. It is so much like Pangea, but he has always preferred the caves and the shadows they have provided.
He has never known anger like this. It pulses with the bruise on his chest and with the heart that pushes the venom outward from the place where she’d sunk her teeth into his foreleg. He staggers on the temporarily useless leg as he sinks out of his rear, facing her still, and watches as she staggers to her feet again.
He sucks in a sharp breath and bares his sharp, ink-black teeth again. There is a split second where he merely stares her down, sides heaving. He is consumed with hate, a thing he did not know he could feel for a stranger. The calm lasts only an instant, though, before he lets loose a low, rattling growl and charges at her head-on, staggering slightly from the lingering numbness in his left foreleg (he can’t feel it, but it is still mostly functional for the time being). He is only feet from her when he calls upon his oldest and most-trusted magic and summons a portal of darkness, disappearing into it just before he reaches her. He emerges a few feet behind her, certain that his magic had only worked in the midday sun because he had only traveled ten feet at most. Any further and the magic almost certainly would have failed him. Alas, it serves him well here, as do his silent footsteps and his lack of scent.
He emerges from the portal still traveling away from her, so he stops short and pivots on his hindquarters to face her. He hopes that his silence prevents her from detecting his presence behind her and wastes no time in striking again. He tries to sneak up on her from behind, moving as swiftly as he can with the numbness in his foreleg, hoping to move up beside her so that they are parallel. He holds his breath so that the wheezing in his lungs does not give him away as he tries to sidle up next to her, waiting until his left shoulder is parallel with her right hip (staying as far back as he can for as long as he can in the hopes that she will not catch sight of him in her peripheral vision) and lunging. He fights against the numbness and the bruised chest as he tries mightily to sink his own razor-sharp teeth into the crest of her neck. If she lurches sideways, he can hope to sink his teeth into her shoulder and shred the muscles there if he can find enough purchase. If she leaps forward, he can hope to sink his teeth into any number of the muscles in her back and hindquarters.
It is not the most practical attack in terms of disabling his opponent, but at this point, he only wants to make her bleed. If he’s lucky, his teeth will find purchase someplace and he will come away with a chunk of horseflesh caught between his jaws.
His anger compounds the longer he suffers through the numbness in his foreleg and the more urgently the bruised chest pulses with its dull ache. He wants to watch the life drain out of her eyes, but he’d known he wouldn’t be able to sneak up close enough to sink his teeth into her jugular without being seen first. There is no guarantee she hasn’t seen him now.