The Call For Heroes (Open, Fantasy)

Re: The Call For Heroes (Open, Fantasy)

Postby Mari » Sat May 16, 2009 3:39 pm

Anani approached the ring, joining the small throng of those waiting that had formed to size up the competition. Jennar, the man from earlier, was making short work of his competitors. Impressed, she observed how agile the man was despite his size. Here was someone she wouldn't mind having at her side in battle. Schwiiiing. Chung. He swung the sword like it was an extension of his own arm, a kind of poetry in the way he stepped and chopped and stabbed and parried. The sun caught the swords every so often as the fight went on, casting small reflections onto the dusty ground amid the swordsmen's feet. Her reverie was only broken when the last man was finally hit, and the guard declared Jennar the winner of this round.

After another two rounds it was time for the last of the 'qualifiers', the round Anani would be sparring in. There was an interesting mix here. The last group seemed to be of either experienced people like Anani who had come from other tests, or else those too unexperienced and nervous to make their way here quickly. As they entered she weighed the potential risk of each. Her most competitive opponent would probably be the thief-looking character, a tall tan man wielding twin scimitars. The knotty scar running from cheekbone to chin could mean he was hasty, or could serve as a constant reminder for him to not be hasty ever again.

The officiator explained the rules. They included "no magic", which was a little bit of a problem for Anani. Not because she couldn't fight without Magic- no sane Swordmage would ever make swordsmanship and magic co-dependent in case one's magic was compromised- but because her sword was spelled. Nothing too fancy, just hardened to be nearly unbreakable and providing protections for the wielder. However, also couldn't be enchanted

She withdrew La'Anek from its scabbard and approached one of the judges, holding the blade flat against her palms. "Sir, my blade is spelled with fortifying and protectionary magic. It can't be magically dulled..." The guard understood, and they swapped swords. She took a few practice swings with the new longsword, testing the balance and weight. It was a good sword, but La'Anek was a fantastic sword. Ah, well. She would have to make do. It was a bit lighter, but that gave her a speed advantage. The weight was a little more forward though, which would take a little getting used to. She just had to hope the competition wasn't too stiff.

The blades were magically altered for safety, and the fighters organized themselves within the ring. The head judge gave the signal, and all hell broke loose. As Anani sparred with a woefully inexperienced young man, she observed the others out of the corner of her eye. The thief wasn't actually that good- in fact, Anani supposed he might have given himself that scar on his cheek accidentally, the way he was flailing those scimitars about. Another young woman was a standout though. Short and stocky, her longish blonde locks whipping out behind her as she dispatched attacker after attacker. Anani toyed with the young man for a bit; she could parry his predictable feeble swings all day, probably while asleep. It gave her a chance to observe the woman. She was woefully overconfident though, and tended to step to her right when dodging.

Anani was ready. She sidestepped the young man's latest attack and smacked his rump with the flat of her blade, then rushed to the other woman. She turned in surprise to see the black-haired leather-clad Anani running at her, sword held aloft, shouting. She smirked and sidestepped as Anani brought the blade down straight- a classic rookie mistake, she must have thought. But at the last second Anani twisted, bring her full force into a chop straight left and into the smug woman's ribs. The blade did not cut, of course, but it was still metal and it did still hurt. The woman doubled over, the wind knocked from her.

Anani spun to see who was left... just the thief, who readied to meet her charge. Unfortunately, he dropped one of his swords as he swung it stylistically over his head. It fell with a loud clunk, knocking him out.

The judge couldn't help but chuckle as he declared Anani the winner of her round.

"Anyone who wishes but has not taken the Archery or Magic tests is encouraged to do so now. Once the lines for those have been depleted, we will have the sparring championships," a guard announced. Anani was a terrible shot, and so she opted out of the Archery test. She trotted over to Moonlight instead, two apples (provided by the guards) in her hands. She ate one slowly, the cool juice dribbling down her chin. The other she offered to Moonlight, who ate hers in two bites. She looked at Anani as if to ask, "Is there more?" Anani patted the white star on her forehead. "Once we win this whole thing, I'll buy you ten apples. Every day," she smiled.
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Re: The Call For Heroes (Open, Fantasy)

Postby Kaye » Sat May 16, 2009 4:14 pm

Jennar raised his eyebrows slightly when the woman from earlier came forth. Anani was her name, wasn't it? Yes, he was almost sure of it. He crossed his arms over his chest and watched as she started in, swaping swords with the ring master before going all in and hacking her way through opponent after opponent.

She made good work of most of opposing members, but there was a man with a scar and a short blonde woman that promised to be an interesting fight. Both had certain tells, though, that anyone who knew how to work a sword would pick up on. And he was not disappointed: Anani seemed to pick up on the hints and used them to her advantage, dispatching them at last and emerging as the winner and onto the championship rounds.

Nodding in satisfaction and thinking hard on what was to come, Jennar clicked his tongue and Mannix followed him over to the archery range. Jennar never pretended to be a master archer, but he did hunt and knew how to use a bow and arrow all the same. It was a fairly easy-going match, to be honest. Just a bunch of men, women, and even some children who shot down the range at targets, hoping that their arrows were true and they were emerge the victors.

There were certainly better archers than Jennar, but he held his own. At the end, he managed to make it in the top portion of archers, but this was a backup since he could not use magic. He then went back to the sparring ring on time to see everyone else coming back for the championship rounds that were to take place shortly.
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Re: The Call For Heroes (Open, Fantasy)

Postby Mari » Mon May 18, 2009 2:05 am

As Anani sat munching her apple and reflecting on the swordplay of the day, she felt a sudden pressure at her back. It sent a chill up her spine- not necessarily unwelcome, as the sun was high and she was a little warm still from the sparring- but with a note of eeriness that made her uncomfortable. She hesitatingly glanced over her shoulder to see a hooded figure before the elder mages. A Black mage most likely, dealing in Death and the Dead. A powerful one, if she'd felt his spell from this far off. And a cheeky one, as she saw he had turned the rock into a flower, or rather, a sculpture of one. She began to wonder who the mage could be, but supposed if she ended up on this quest as she hoped she would find out soon enough.

Most of the soft white flesh of her apple consumed, Anani fed the core to Moonlight and returned to the sparring ring. The other lines had finally dwindled and those who hadn't left in embarrassment were gathered to see what they hoped would be a fine demonstration in swordsmanship. Anani pushed through the crowd to the ringmaster ("Excuse me, coming through, finalist here, trying to get to the ring, thanks..."), finally reaching him just as shouted for the finalists to enter the ring. Anani checked that the borrowed sword was still dulled (it was) and hopped over the wooden fence into the dirt circle. She was the first one in; she supposed the others were slowly fighting their way through the crowds still.
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Re: The Call For Heroes (Open, Fantasy)

Postby Kaye » Mon May 25, 2009 1:28 pm

Jennar pushed his way through the ever-expanding crowd, using his bulk to his advantage. It took rather longer than he expected, seeing as the crowd was tightly-packed and excited to boot, but he managed in the end. Anani, the girl from earlier, was already there, looking more than ready to fight anyone or anything that came too near.

The ringmaster continued to call the champions to the ring, and slowly but surely they arrived until there were several there. Satisfied, the ringmaster repeated the earlier set of rules as a reminder that everyone fight according to them and that sharpened blades were forbidden. Once the swords were all checked again to make sure the dulling spell was still in place, the ringmaster stepped back behind the fencing and shouted for the sparring match to commence.
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Re: The Call For Heroes (Open, Fantasy)

Postby Reineer » Thu May 28, 2009 4:56 pm

He was only slightly wearied from his efforts. Still, K’listan wanted to see who would be accompanying him on this journey. Where he tread, others parted for him within realizing why exactly. While others fought for seating or footing in the stands, K’listan merely waved his fingers and there was room. Soon, he was sitting very near to the Lords area in the large covered boxed section of the seats.

The day was becoming even hotter and he could smell the sweat of the peasantry as he stood behind Baron McGoun. A nauseating stench, K’listan never could stand the smells of the living – at least not for long, and the sheer size of this group of people was enough to sicken him for days. Nevertheless, K’listan knew that he had to be here, such was the calling he had received; so he stayed calm and cloaked. He watched.

The energy coming from the girl was impressive and K’listan wondered if she used her magick unwittingly during battle. Ahhh, but we shall see won’t we… He tittered without realizing it. When McGoun’s aides began to get restless around him, K’listan gathered his cloaking tighter around himself. This should be an interesting battle he thought as he watched a larger combatant stand in the center along with the smaller girl, two others entered from the northern gate; a humungous dark-skinned barbarian and a smallish oriental fighter with a large straw hat. A smile broke upon K’listan’s face as he created a motion above the Baron’s head.

Baron McGoun suddenly leaned over and whispered to an aide. The aide’s face took on one of shock as he nodded and stood. “By order of Baron McGoun… The proceeding match will be to the death! Only the two remaining combatants will continue on.”

A hush washed over the crowd as those watching sat in shock.
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Re: The Call For Heroes (Open, Fantasy)

Postby Mari » Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:48 pm

Anani whirled to face the Baron at his proclamation. To the death? Was he serious? Why kill off half of the finalists?

It appeared he was very serious. The guards stepped forward to remove the dulling spells; the guard holding La'Anek returned the spelled blade in exchange for his own. Its familiar warmth enveloped her arm, pulsed against her palm. Or was that her heart racing? She could kill, had killed when necessity called for it- but it wasn't really necessary now. Only by order of the Baron...

She turned to face the other fighters. The hulking barbarian stood squarely, his shoulders draped with furs and his mouth curling almost disturbingly. He looked at her hungrily; she shuddered and turned to the Oriental, whose large straw hat drew a shadow across his face. He wielded a long, thin blade- some form of katana, if she wasn't mistaken. And Jennar of Icebrook- a potential friend, now as equal a foe as the others. Her life might depend on killing him this afternoon- was she comfortable with that? No. But what choice did she have?
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Re: The Call For Heroes (Open, Fantasy)

Postby Kaye » Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:22 pm

Jennar froze. The Baron was declaring a fight to the death. What was going on? This was supposed to be a competition, one where all walked away, or so he had been told. Why switch the rules so late in the game?

No matter. To him, that was neither here nor there and it certainly was not his business. All he was concerned with was killing off two of these potential threats and make sure he was one of the two left standing in the ring when all was said and done. His eyes darted over to the hulking barbarian, sizing him up. He was heavily-built and had a powerful swing and his blows were made for crushing his opponents, but his footwork was not excellent and for that Jennar was grateful: that meant that he had an advantage. Then there was the straw-hatted Oriental, whose feet were quick and his arms were fast, but his slight size and stature might hinder him against Jennar and the others; they were all easily taller and had more muscle.

As for Anani...Well, he did not want to strike her down as far as that went. She seemed decent, though he supposed that a few words with her was no way to judge whether or not she was a friend or enemy. She was the only woman in the ring, but she was also quick and strong and could be a challenge to him, should she chose to be. He did not like the idea of killing her, but if that was what it took, he had shed blood before. This would be no different.
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Re: The Call For Heroes (Open, Fantasy)

Postby Mari » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:26 pm

Anani took a deep breath, centering herself. La'Anek glowed ever-so-slightly orange as her blue-white Elemental magic slid down the longsword, entwining with the brown battle magic imbuned in the metal. She was ready, physically and mentally. She locked eyes with the barbarian: let the games begin.

The Guard Captain puffed his chest and opened his mouth wide. "REDDAAAY... BEGIN!"

Anani broke his gaze for just a second to glance at the oriental. He would take it as a sign of distraction... or so she hoped. She was not dissappointed. "YAHHHH!" The battle cry ripped from deep in his chest. Anani clicked her tongue disapprovingly as a teacher would to a student not performing up to expectations.

The barbarian was charging at her, full force, his axe held high and ready for the death blow. Anani stood, seemingly ready to parry with just her sword... until the last second, when she slid to the side. Three hundred pounds of muscle moving that fast was very difficult to direct. He sped past her, catching himself before he hit the ropes making off the ring, but Anani was on him before he could turn. She sliced at his back, the point of her sword ripping through fur down to muscle from right shoulder blade to lower left back. Blood sprang from the wound and he howled, an inhuman sound amid the cheers of the crowd. La'Anek hissed and popped as the blood hit, self-cleaning spells already beginning to work, as Anani took these precious few seconds to glance behind at the rest of the fighters.
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Re: The Call For Heroes (Open, Fantasy)

Postby Kaye » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:45 pm

Jennar did not even flinch when he heard the ringmaster shout out the command for the start of the battle. He spun the sword in his hand, getting a good grip on it before pacing, watching and taking everything in before making a move.

Anani and the barbarian were deep in battle. That left the Oriental for Jennar to focus on. Two on two for both parties; this should be a quick match, and all Jennar wanted was to remain one of the last two standing. He needed the money, and this offered up a great sum. As such, his interest was locked and his focus was more intent than ever before.

The Oriental, as he had thought, was very light and fast on his feet. Jennar was a good deal heavier than he was and he struggled to keep himself turned so that he was facing his oppenent at all times. He had size on his side, but his oppenent had speed and that was always something that any warrior would agree upon as being a very worthy and dangerous thing to have.

Jennar barely heard the shout of pain from the barbarian as Anani made her move, striking him in the back. Jennar was deep in combat with the Oriental. He parried, post-parried, moved his feet, and put all of his strength into his blows, but he was still struggling. The Oriental was fast, faster than Jennar had given him credit for, but after a few more minutes of heated fighting, the Oriental made his first mistake: he dove, his sword extended, leaving his chest exposed. Jennar was all over it and as the Oriental drove down, Jennar slammed his arm upward, smoothly cutting through flesh, muscle, and bone. With a strangled cry, his enemy fell and, gritting his teeth, Jennar ripped his sword out from the man as though it was nothing.

Two down, two standing.
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Re: The Call For Heroes (Open, Fantasy)

Postby Mari » Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:19 pm

The crowd stood in complete silence.

What they had expected to be an epic swordbattle, with each of the four sides giving and taking ground for a good while before two emerged the victors, had turned into a five-minute laughable excuse for entertainment. The victors were barely winded. The onlookers glanced around at each other, unsure what to do, before one pumped his fist and shouted, "Hurrah!" At this the crowd erupted into cheers, realizing the great feat they had witnessed.

Anani inspected La'Anek, ensuring the cleaning spells had removed all the blood, before sheathing it. The blade slid neatly into the scabbard with a hissing sound as the crowd noise dropped. She motioned for them to quiet further, before turning to the Baron.

"We have done as you have asked," she stated. "What is this quest, and who shall accompany us?" She gestured to herself and Jennar.

The baron rose from his seat slowly, motioning to the head magician who whispered in his ear. The baron nodded, then addressed the crowd. "We have decided on three participants. Two are skilled in Magick, two in swordsmanship, and one in archery. Two stand before you- Anani the Tigress, mage and swordswoman-" Anani nodded politely- "and Jennar of Icebrook, swordsman and archer."

The baron deferred now to the head magician, an older man with navy robes and a thin but long white beard. He looked feeble, but his voice was clear and strong when he spoke. "There is a third who will accompany you, one whom we feel will be invaluable on the travels ahead. He is a renowned and very powerful Mage... K'listan."

Suddenly the crowd looked a little fearful.
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