NFG Season Two - Odyssey R1 - Ritual Sacrifice? Already?!

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Description: Albert plays Agamemnon (in theory), who accidentally killed the wrong deer and has been asked to kill his own daughter by Artemis as punishment. Tanwen, in a pair of fake antlers, gets to do what Iphigenia couldn't and fight back! NOTE: Nobody is actually sacrificed

Tanwen Cadwallader had been excited about her upcoming match ever since it was announced. A diligent and studious sort of dragon, she had immediately gone on one of the Mermaid's shipboard computers to take advantage of the satellite internet and look up a picture of the place she was going to be fighting.

"Wow! Look, Winn! It's got columns, it has!"

The picture had shown a huge Grecian acropolis sitting atop a hill, surrounded by defensive walls and bathed in sunlight like a glorious temple.

"So many columns! I hope we don't accidentally knock any of them over!"

==*== PRESENTLY ==*==

Dressed in a green bikini top and a matching cloth skirt, a pair of ornamental antlers mounted on her head with a circlet of woven long-stemmed artificial flowers, and a fluffy white doe's tail stuck between her Venusian dimples, Tanwen clambers her way up the hill ahead of her arms-bearing Welsh counterpart.

"Come on, Winn! Only a little further past these rocks and I bet we'll get to see the Cadmea!" the excitable deer-agon girl declares as she climbs over one of the former citadel's many crumbled walls. She ascends her way up to the top, climbing up a ramp to the crest of the hilly remains, before shielding her eyes from the sun and spinning slowly to sweep her gaze across the area from her elevated vantage. It takes her a few moments to realise that she's already done a 1080 without spotting a single column.

"Where is the Cadmea, then?"

"I've been trying to tell you, Tan," Winn pants as he arrives with a gladius, buckler and picnic basket in his hands. "This is the Cadmea. You're standing on it."

Tanwen turns her eyes to her feet with a look of horror.

"Oh, no!" A beat passes. "Someone's only gone and knocked it down, like!"

"Tan -"

"Didn't they know I'm supposed to fight Saint Albert here? This is terrible, it is!"

"Tan! It's a ruin! It's been like that for two thousand years, hon!"

Tanwen's eyes go wide as she takes in this new information, then she suddenly breaks out in a smile. "A ruin? Oh, wow! That's amazing! Ruins are usually full of treasure! Maybe after we're done fighting, me and Saint Albert can see if we can find any priceless relics! How much do you reckon a priceless relic is worth?"

"I reckon it'd be priceless, Tan," Winn says, holding her weapon and shield out to the girl. "Here you are, hon. Now, you be careful not to play too rough."

"Yes, I know. It's just like LARPing, except we can smack each other with our swords, right?" Tanwen says, cocking her head to one side and causing her bronze hair to spill along her shoulder.

"And with no dice rolling," Winn adds.

"Not even for initiative?" Tanwen's eyebrows push together in confusion. "Shouldn't we roll a dee-twenty to see who gets to hit the other one first?"

On the opposite side of the ruins from where Tanwen and her guardian (attendant? butler?) have arrived, a... cloud of dust is rising up from the road. Rising, rising-- wait, no. Approaching? Is it a sandstorm?!

If it is, do sandstorm usually come accompanied with an energetic, continuing non-verbal yell of a young man, like some kind of marching band heralding the arrival of an invading army?

No, of course not. That would be incredibly silly. Not that the truth isn't that much... er, less silly.

No, as the yelling gets louder with the approach of the dustcloud, it becomes readily apparent that the source of it all is someone running at full speed along the road and sending all sorts of dust and sand flying about in their wake from the sheer, improbable force of feet kicking along the ground to keep going.

And it all leads up to a brief glint of light over the ruins, as a (fake-)armored figure leaps high up into the air, a blue hood fluttering in the air behind him like a miniature cape or a thick scarf.

"I AM HERE!!!!" the incoming knight-shaped comet declares then, before sweeping down from the apex of his leap down to land onto one of the ancient, knocked-over pillars with an echoing *THUD* as his (fake-)armored boots stomp down onto it. The knight's upper body does jostle forward for a second from the sudden stop to the immense momentum, but he doesn't stumble the rest of the way over. No, he is already starting to spring back towards being upright, while one hand reaches for the sheathed 'sword' at his hip.

"Albert Braendel...!"

As his form snaps to that upright form and one foot scoots a bit higher up along the fallen pillar, the sword is quickly pulled out in a snapping motion, held up into the air with the pointed straight for the heavens. With his head rising up, too, with a quick motion that sends his thick, light-brown hair sweeping along the air to frame his immensely, impossibly, sun-rivaling bright smile.


But, as triumphant as he had attempted to make his arrival, the moment Albert's eyes fall upon Tanwen, that smile suddenly disappears. He freezes in place. Had there been an actual theme music accompanying him, it would definitely be dying down with all the glitchiness of a record getting knocked ajar from the player.

"......What's with the costume?" He asks after a solid chunk of time spent just staring at the deer-agon, blinking several times over as he does. He still remains otherwise frozen in that pose still, though.

"I thought you were supposed to be a dragon?"

At first, when Tanwen turns her head toward Albert's approach, it's with trepidation written all over her face. Once he's come close enough for his identity to become visible, though, the literal deer-in-headlights look melts into a delighted smile. She even lets out a cheer as he officially announces his own arrival, bouncing on her leather-sandaled feet and flailing her arms - in both senses while Winn takes cover on the outside of the designated combat zone's perimeter.


She freezes a moment after he does, though, when he suddenly asks her what's with the costume.

"Oh, umm."

She tries to look up at the antlers on either side of her head, failing comically at the impossible task as her armaments drop to her sides.

"I am a dragon. But I'm supposed to be a deer for our fight, I am. Like you're supposed to be the King of Greece. Did you bring a crown?"

Her head cants to one side as her eyes fall back down to Albert, her lips quirking at one corner as if to show that she's already fairly certain of - and slightly disappointed with - the answer to that question.

The smile returns a moment later, though. "It's not a big deal, like! We can still have a good fight, we can." She tucks her sword into a thin belt that seems to be helping support her skirt, then fishes two fingers into a small pouch attached to the utilitarian accessory. She pulls out something small, wrapping her fingers around it as she raises her hand in a fist.

"Did you bring a dee twenty? Don't worry if you didn't; you can borrow mine. I get a plus one on initiatives because my dexterity is thirteen. Winn has my character sheet if you want it. Winn! Where did you go?"

Not spotting him right away, likely due to a failed Perception check, she shrugs her shoulders, then tosses the twenty-sided die on the stonework, where it rolls to a stop on the number 14. Bending over to look closely at it, she reports, "So, that's a fifteen. Your go!"

"...King? Crown?"

Albert frowns with obvious confusion at this revelation.

"But I'm... a knight. Knights aren't supposed to be..."

He lets out a faint little "hrmh" in the back of his throat while the thought runs through what brain capacity he can muster for this conundrum. The upward-raised sword brought down now, while his free hand bumps it's knuckles to the underside of his chin while he half-adopts the Thinkign Man's Pose.

"I guess there was that King Leonidas guy... he didn't wear a crown and he went to fight all shirtless and stuff, but..."

His hyperactive brain goes on to direct his attention right over to Tanwen again, and his eyes widen while he takes in the girl's costume again.

"Ah. Ah?!" A sudden fit of panic strikes him, and that free hand of his turns up to clasp at the side of his head.

"Were we acting?! Doing cosplay?! Was I supposed to-- ahhhh, I spent all my money on what I'm wearing now though! Aaah what do I do now?!"

The faux-knight even rapidly taps his feet in a further fit of panic along the column he's stood on, circling around while his poor overworked, panicking brain goes into overdrive to try and find his way out of this bit of trouble! He does start calming down once Tanwen offers her assurance that it isn't actually *that* big of a deal. Though even then he does end up sending a wide-eyed, puppy-like apologetic look to her way.

He bounces back out from that almost instantly when the deer-agon offers something completely different for his mind to question. Promptly perking up again and tipping his head to the side with another series of rapid blinks.

"A dee what?"

He does come hopping off the column now, so he can approach her, and lean down over to give a bemused look at the d20 rolled over the ground to present her Initiative score.

"Uhhh.... How do I know what my dexterity is scored at? Is... thirteen good? ...Is this something we're supposed to do? They didn't really tell me anything about that, but... I guess I did miss the whole king cosplay thing, too..."

Deciding not to think about that any further, or even what kind of bonus he would even get for his particular roll, he opts to confidently snatch the die off the ground. He might not have handled a die of this shape before, but he does seem to understand the concept enough to shake it within his fist a few times over before sending it rolling in the space between the two.

The die bounces off the corner of a stone once, then back again towards Albert from a more flat plane right in front of Tanwen's feet. It rolls along one corner several times before finally falling down, to display...

"Four," Albert observes, squinting at the polyhedron first, and then up at Tanwen. "That's.... not good, is it?"

Tanwen just looks a bit confused as Albert waffles on the issue of whether or not he can be both a king and a knight. Fortunately, the issue is soon glossed over, leaving the two to the competition that will demonstrate their skills: rolling a twenty-sided die (or an icosahedron, as they call it in Greece).

"Well, thirteen is okay for an Arcane Fighter like me. You probably don't need much higher since you fight in full plate," she comments, nodding her head at the heavy (?) armour that her opponent is wearing. "I didn't bring any six sided dice, or you could roll yourself a dexterity score now," she adds with a tone of mournful guilt, scuffing her sandals against the grass.

The die rolls back to a stop, and Tanwen bends down to confirm the result, scooping it up after Albert has stated the number aloud. "Yep! It's a four. So, um, is your dexterity... thirty-two or higher?"

She tilts her antlers questioningly to one side as she returns the die to its pouch, eyes turning up to Albert. "Or should I go ahead and take my action?"

She pulls the blunted metal replica sword from the band around her waist, holding both it and her shield up at either side of herself as she hesitates, her large amber eyes questioning Albert. "Maybe it would be easier if we just forget about rolling dice for now," she declares with cheerful uncertainty.

COMBATSYS: Tanwen has started a fight here.

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Tanwen           0/-------/-------|

"Gosh, thirty-two sounds like a lot!" Albert so wisely observes upon Tanwen's question, nodding his head thoughtfully at it. "I hope it is! That sounds like it would be good! And cool! ...Can I dodge bullets if my dexterity is thirty-two? I dunno if I can do *that*, though..."

Albert rubs his chin thoughtfully at this notion. *Could* he dodge a bullet if he really, really tried? If he put his guts into it?


He does peer at the deer-agon curiously then, too, considering their options on how to proceed.

"Probably better to let it be, yeah..." He suggests, scratching at his chin. "It seems kinda clunky! But, well..."

He does also spread out his arms, with his equally-blunt sword in his other hand. "You did roll higher, so I guess it's only fair!"


"...Am I allowed to defend myself, though...?"

COMBATSYS: Albert has joined the fight here.

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Albert           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Tanwen

Tanwen perks up when Albert agrees that rolling higher means that she gets to 'go' first. To be fair, this is literally the first fight that the dragon girl has been in that won't be resolved by the use of dice (or whatever conflict resolution rules are in place at a particular convention). "Tidy!"

Sweeping her shield arm toward her chest and twisting, she slips the plate into her hand like a discus and winds up before launching it directly up at Albert.


There doesn't appear to be anything actually magical about the missile that she's frisbee-tossing at Albert other than the magic of imagination, mind.

'...allowed to defend myself, though...?'

Tanwen's eyes go wide as the question comes in the midst of her enthusiastic outburst.

"O-ohh!! Yes, you can!!" she informs him before sucking air nervously through her teeth as she watches the outcome of her attack. The throw is intended to either bounce off of Albert or, if it's avoided, arc back around in a way that totally wouldn't infringe on the intellectual property of any multi-billion-dollar multimedia franchises.

COMBATSYS: Albert blocks Tanwen's Magic Missile!.

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Albert           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Tanwen

"Okay!" Albert declares cheerfully when it is confirmed for his benefit that yes, he is indeed allowed to defend himself!

Which does happen to be just about 0.75 seconds before the 'magic missile' is about to impact with him!

Thankfully he does turn and snap to bring his guard up the instant the word slipped out of his mouth, by shoving his arm in the way of the shield, so that it might bounce off of the limb instead of, say, his thick skull.

"Ow!" He winces out regardless, shaking said arm right after. "Wrong hand..."

...He meant to guard with his sword, didn't he? The sword on his *other* hand?

He springs right back up and out from that mental blunder though, by way of springing his body forwarward, too: a sudden mad dash that lasts for all of two steps before he is suddenly leaping forward. Feet-first, of all things, like he was one of those long-distance jump conctestants at the olympics!

"Let's goooooo!!!"

His legs do end up in the ground before he really reaches Tanwen fully -- but those plated(?) undersides of his limbs end up skidding there across the stonework, guiding his body the last two or so meters through feet-first at ground level for her legs!

COMBATSYS: Tanwen dodges Albert's Gutsy Slide!.

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Albert           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Tanwen

It's a good thing that Albert's block animation has such a short wind-up time, although his sprite doesn't seem to be quite as ambidextrous as most fighters' usually are. The discus-shield deflects off of his arm and ricochets off of a nearby wall before flying back in Tanwen's direction - if at a bit of a high angle. The deer-agon tenses in anticipation as she readies to catch the battle-frisbee, stooping just a little before leaping up to catch it...

...with her teeth. In much the same fashion as one might expect from a particularly exuberant golden retriever. She lands on the stone, looking very pleased with herself.

"Tanwen!" Winn calls from the sidelines irately. "What have I told you about catching things with your teeth?"

"Yrrr brrr ffhhh thhhgrrktgg, gwnn!" Tanwen replies, trying to keep her focus on the knight as the shield remains in her mouth, her sword held off to her side.

"Was that Welsh, Tan? I didn't quite catch it," Winn calls, his voice softening.

The doe-ragonette pulls the buckler from her teeth, slipping it easily onto her arm and turning her eyes to her guardian. "I said, you're being very distracting, Winn!"

"Oh, right," Winn says, frowning.

Turning back to Albert, she says, "He's right, though, he is. I don't like the dentist's, I don't. Oh!"

The low tackle seems a bit familiar - she's a big fan of the rugby, after all - and so she does what comes instinctively, leaping with surprising nimbleness over Albert to land on a pile of stones before teetering with fawn-like unsteadiness, holding shield and weapon to either side to regain her balance.

"This is tricky without me real tail," she declares, brandishing her weapon. "Alright! Look out, boyo! Here I come!"

Hopping off of the wall and descending blade-first, she attempts to strike Albert with an overhand slash of her replica weapon.

COMBATSYS: Albert dodges Tanwen's Power Strike.

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Albert           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Tanwen

The faux-knight slides right underneath and past the leaping dragon. Er, deer-agon. Do-ragonette. Something like that? But either way, Albert seems perfectly delighted by witnessing the girl's athletic ability. Although it is almost immediately followed by a sudden shock of realization that then quickly turns to shame in the split second he is directly underneath her.

The very next 1/10th of a second, his eyes have snapped shut.

Though once the slide reaches it's end and he is practically snapping up to his feet in a smooth roll much more graceful than would probably be possible if his armor was the real thing, he does open his eyes again -- and with just a *hint* of red at his cheeks.

"Please be careful jumping around, Miss Cadwallader!" He urges his opponent, even while she's coming for him with her weapon. "Your current garb--wah!" His half-pleading words cut briefly, just for the sake of letting him focus on sliding his way to the side and into a spinning step that carries him *just* out of the trajectory of the replica weapon, leaving the blunted blade swiping down past his side. "--It's dangerous for big jumps!! But also here I come!!!"

The very apex of the spin sees him facing just sidelong from her -- but his own weapon is twirled around in his hand, into a reverse grip -- one that he quickly uses to instinctively stab it towards Tanwen from a low angle. Well. 'Stab'. Really, it's just a rather sharp poke from the not-at-all-sharp club masquerading as a sword.

COMBATSYS: Albert successfully hits Tanwen with Quick Strike.
- Power hit! -

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Albert           0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0           Tanwen

'Boyo?' Winn mouths off to one side of the fight, a searching expression crossing his face before shifting to bemusement as vague recollections of shouting at the Saturday Night Fights broadcast with a can in hand and a tiny dragon curled up next to his shoulder on the sofa are excavated from his memory.

Meanwhile, sparks fly in the Cadmea as Tanwen's sword strikes the stonework where Albert had been standing a moment before. She teeters backward as the Newtonian force shudders back through her sword arm and into her short, slender frame.

"Oh, it's okay! I made sure me sandals are on very tight, I did," she assures Albert as she pivots to try to put the buckler between herself and Albert's jabbing bludgeon. Unfortunately for her, the unusual angle of the attack catches her out, the 'sword' slamming into her belly perhaps harder than even Albert himself will have expected.


Her eyes go wide and she lets out an involuntary squeak as she's thrown backward by the thrust, the faux fawn folding in half around her injured midsection as her bottom skids along the ground until it's stopped by a crumbled piece of column.

"That really hurt a bit, like!" she says, seeming surprised by the realisation. She places a hand on the column behind her to support herself as she pushes up to her feet, her face setting with determination as a hillside breeze seems to pick up, blowing her hair and skirt dramatically to one side. "Okay. I've tried pretending to be a deer, but dragons are better at fighting than deers! So, I'm going to be a dragon instead now!"

As she says so, protrusions start to grow from the sides of her head and her back. The circlet she's been wearing is quickly pushed off as a pair of twin umber-coloured horns curl into place. At the same time, a long, red, scaly tail slithers out from the back of her skirt, knocking off the fake deer tail that was attached to her waist. A pair of modest, vestigial (perhaps?) red wings fan out from her shoulder blades atop her bikini top. Red scale patterns form around her neck at the same time. Overall, with the tail and wings on display, the dragon-girl appears to be much more steady on her feet, confidence filling her returning smile.

"Okay! Ready!"

She leaps forward, a small flutter of her wings combining with improved balance to allow an impressive jump. Rather than leading with her sword, she spins forward in a backhand blow with her buckler aimed at Albert's face. If she manages to hit him, she'll attempt to follow up by grabbing hold of his head and pulling him around and backward, then slinging one leg over his neck, trapping him between her thighs, then kicking her legs out into a free drop that would smash the knight head-first into the ground beneath her hips!

COMBATSYS: Tanwen successfully hits Albert with Arch Dragon EX.

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Albert           0/-------/---====|>>>>>--\-------\0           Tanwen

"...Not what I meant, but good! I guess?"

Either way, after the stab/jab from his weapon has gone through, Albert's motion just keeps on flowing, to spring him into a continuing spin to bring him back to fully facing her again -- and consequently springing slightly back in case there's an ensuing counterattack! Though seeing as she was actually sent tumbling back onto her bottom, there's probably no immediate worry of that.

"Sorry!" The knight does even offer with that -- though the smile that he presents with the word is only half-apologetic, really. The rest is all excitement!

Excitement that grows even larger, mixed with obvious wonder, while he watches her partial transformation. There's no fear from having witnessed it, either. Only childlike sparkling of awe is to be found in those innocent eyes.

"So cool..."

Awe that only lasts until there's a buckler suddenly in his face. She managed to get in quick enough that he didn't really even fully realize that she had leaped there with the shield coming to bear before the damned thing was practically inches from his face. And at that point it was already too late to avoid his skull getting jostled and him snapping back with eyes squinted shut tight from pain.

And shut tight as they are, he of course doesn't see her hands coming in to yank his head down. It's only *then* that he does open them, wide as they can get, with a hint of panic over the realization of what is happening. "Huh?! Waitwaitwai--!" He tries to call out, as if he could somehow appeal to some reason at this point in the fight. THe very end of his attempted call might be getting muffled by her thigh, however.

"KHAKH?!" comes a sudden yelp of pain from underneath Tanwen to accompany the surprisingly dull sound of poor Albert's skull impacting the ground below. The rest of his body jolts from the shock, too, and for half a second, he already looks limp...

BUt then, quite abruptly, his free hand suddenly snaps up, the long arm managing to smooth itself around and past one of her thighs to grip tight onto the dragoness' bicep while she's still down there with him.


In a somewhat inexplicable display of core body strength, the german boy just as suddenly lifts his upper body upwards, to spring himself right back up onto his knees with just the support from the elbow of his sword arm and the leverage of his legs alone. And possibly ending up hoisting Tanwen right up along with him to be partially hung off of his shoulders.

"This is highly improper!!!" Albert complains, despite being at least 50% responsible for this current arrangement. But wether or not he acknowledges that much is of no consequence right -- at least not as much as his sword, still held in the reverse grip, getting swung back inwards now that his elbow isn't required to push him up again -- to jab the pommel in a half-desperate strike for the girl's side.

COMBATSYS: Tanwen interrupts Random Strike from Albert with Dragon Crown EX.

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Albert           0/-------/<<<<<<<|>>>>>>-\-------\0           Tanwen

"I should have been more careful lettin' a dragon watch the wrestling," Winn murmurs off to one side of the fight as he watches the assault unfold.

Meanwhile, Tanwen lets out another little yelp when she finds the knight's hand clamping down around her bicep and feels herself being lifted up into the air on his shoulders.

"Eep! ...Actually, this is a bit fun, isn't it?" she decides as she keeps her hands on his hair to try and keep herself in place.

'This is highly improper!!!'

"Oh, sorry! I didn't know!" Tanwen shouts back as she uses her legs to hold on like a rodeo rider. The sword jabs into the side of her hip as she tries to maneuver away from it, causing her to squeal in pain. She twists away reflexively, almost inadvertently causing herself to throw Albert back down onto a grassy patch in the ruins. She quickly scrambles to her feet off of him, then, seizing on the opportunity of the moment, drops back on top of him bottom-first - the added weight of her tail increasing the impact of her hips. Having imposed herself on him once more, tail flicking back and forth, she turns her head and asks, "By the way, what were you saying was inappropriate?"

Albert tumbles down, damn near flipping once over in the air before inevitably ending up down on his belly on the ground again.

And with a weight once again slamming down onto him. Tanwen dropping right onto him bottom/tail first makes him squeak underneath her like some kind of plushie toy, with air very much driven out of his lungs.

"G-guh... N-nevermind..." He decides to answer her own innocent question, seeming to decide it's best not to pursue that line of thought anymore.

Despite being pinned down in such a manner, the knight still persists. His free hand plants it's palm down against the stonework beneath him and with a rumbling, long groan of exertion, he suddenly pushes himself forcefully into a snapping motion to guide him flipping over -- and hopefully displacing the dragon off of his back!

Once on his back, though, a quick kick to the ground suddenly sends him pivoting with the help of the fake plating he's wearing to where his feet are facing Tanwen -- so that he might plant one boot against her, and give a good, forceful push of a kick. Meant less as an actual kick perhaps - though it'll hurt at least a bit like one if it connects - and more to use her as a springboard to send him flipping himself back into a roll across the ground again, ass over head first before he ends up with both feet braced on the ground again in a low stance, sword held up at the ready directly in front of him to brace his guard.

COMBATSYS: Tanwen blocks Albert's Evasive Strike.

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Albert           0/-------/<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\-------\1           Tanwen

"Oh, alrighty, then," Tanwen accepts Albert's declination to sate her curiousity. When he deigns to flip himself over, the dragon girl is sent tumbling away, the Littlest Dragon easily dislodged by the would-be Strongest Knight. She's just getting up and dusting herself off when the boot is suddenly planted against her body, sending her nearly crashing hard into a wall - but she just manages to flap her wings enough to deaden her momentum and the resulting impact as she hits it with her arms and knees. She pivots back around, wincing at the bruises that are likely forming on her joints.

"You're very strong, you are," she remarks as she faces her foe. "At least, I think so. But you forgot to bring a shield!"

And as if to show the folly of his forgetfulness, she sucks in a deep breath, cheeks and chest and diaphragm swelling as she gasps audibly and presses her lips together - before blowing hard, unleashing a torrent of blazing gas from within. The fire streams out like a flamethrower, seeking to envelop Albert from across the modest distance!

COMBATSYS: Tanwen successfully hits Albert with Dragon Breath.

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Albert           1/----<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\-------\0           Tanwen

"I couldn't afford--" Albert starts to try and declare, but...

IT just so happens that he very quickly gets to see his own folley in not bringing a shield to fight against a dragon.

"Hey wait no--!!"

He does try to leap off and away to the side. But he waffled about for too long, let's be honest, in trying to think of any *other* ways to get out of this. Maybe using his sword as a fan to snuff out the waves? No, even he figured that was too stupid to work. So leaping was the only choice-- except by the time he figured *that* , the flames were already licking at his skin.


He does leap, but his clothes have already caught on fire by then, and his jump ends in him flopping onto the ground and into quick rolls to douse himself. "Awawawah..."

Once he's no lunger at risk of burning alive, ALbert does prop himself up onto a knee with a huff and a kind of indignant look sent to the dragon. "...Fair enough," he mutters.

"But I'm not done yet!!!"

Springing up off that one knee, he comes running for the dragonesse, eyes narrowed with focus... and with a faint trail of ash left behind him from the scorched clothing peeking out from underneath his fake armor.

His rapid charge is so forceful, though, that for just a second it actually looks like he is about to outright go straight past her -- but just as he is moving along her perimeter, he is quickly turning into a dance-like pivot on his feet, one of them skidding along the stonework beneath after the fact to help carry him further through with a low, horizontal sweep guided from his "sword" for her left thigh.

COMBATSYS: Tanwen dodges Albert's Gutsy Sweep!.

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Albert           1/----<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\-------\0           Tanwen

Being a dragon, Tanwen doesn't really have any sense of how much pain her own fire can cause other people. She just knows that fire breath is usually good for depleting a hero's hit points. Watching Albert roll around on the ground to put out the flames, she silently decides that she'll have to try it again sometime. It seems to work even better than she thought.

"Oh! Tidy!" she replies to his declaration that he's not done yet. "In that case, I'm not done either!"

As he charges toward her, dancing with his blade through the air, she bends her knees and leaps, wings flapping to help launch her over his head, the blade passing beneath her. Her sandals slap back down on an elevated mound of grass, her tail swishing as she whirls back to face him once more.

"Umm, how do I tell when you are done?" she asks, her wings folding behind her as they seem to run out of steam, overexerted from the surges that the battle has demanded, though her tail remains pert and elevated. She seems to stoop a little, the prehensile member ondulating as she shifts her weight from hip to hip, head low and eyes locking on Albert as if she were a cat that was preparing to pounce.

"Oh, this is bringing out all her bad habits, it is," Winn worries from the sidelines, recognising the behaviour from past times where the dragon had, in fact, identified as a housecat.

COMBATSYS: Tanwen focuses on her next action.

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Albert           1/----<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\0           Tanwen

Albert actually stumbles at the very end of his dancing steps. AFter his blunt blade has swiped harmlessly just past her.

The knight pants for a few seconds, breath slightly hitched. He's even leaning over slightly, with one hand pressed to his other knee. He's sweating something fierce.

The poor boy keeps going at a hundred sixty all the time, without any brakes. Figures he might not know how to properly get the best mileage out of his body.

"When I'm... not standing and moving anymore...!" He insists, waving his sword hand briefly to Tanwen's direction before stamping the sword down against the ground for a moment of further support.

A slow, heavy breath taken there. His other hand going to wipe perspiration off his brow while staring at Tanwen preparing herself for the pounce.

"--Come on, then," he all but urges, smiling -- though not quite as brightly as usual, on account of the exertion. "I'm ready."

COMBATSYS: Albert gains composure.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Albert           1/-----<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\0           Tanwen

"Oh! So when you're sort of playing dead?" Tanwen asks, tilting her head a little to one side before righting it and nodding. "Okay!"

She places her weapons against the miniature hillock for extra power, gives one more wiggle, then launches herself forward - as if to tackle the knight off of his feet. Rather than plowing into him, though, she lands instead just in front of him, tilting her head up toward his face.


Her spell declared, she breathes up directly toward his face. Instead of fiery breath, though, a stream of black smoke escapes her lips, threatening to blind the knight if he doesn't avoid it. Then, following up the puff of the magic dragon, Tanwen swings both her arms in a wide horizontal arc, intending to clang them together against the sides of Albert's head!

It may be dazzling indeed, albeit without the use of spellcasting nor light implied by the declaration of attack.

COMBATSYS: Tanwen successfully hits Albert with Dazzle!.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Albert           1/--<<<<</<<<<<<<|====---\-------\0           Tanwen


Apparently even after breathing flames (you know, as dragons are wont to do), Albert *somehow* was not expecting her to breathe something into his face again. As it is, the best respond he can give to that is futile armflailing and a cry of "WHYYYY!" with his eyes squinted shut.

And that would be the correct time come bearing down on Albert. The dragonesse's arms collide onto his thick skull with dazzling force indeed. Does it kind of sound like there's a bell-like echo ringing out there too?


The Faux Knight grits his teeth there. Head twisting and turning to grind against the inner sides of Tanwen's arms while his feet skid along the ground. Knees bending, and then--


He suddenly pounces up. Leaping up to force himself into motion from between those arms. High up -- and he even flips in the air in a somersault before coming falling down upon her again by the pull of gravity, sword brought momentarily high only to swing it down with the further assitance of the gravity, aimed for her shoulder!

COMBATSYS: Albert successfully hits Tanwen with Gutsy Leap! EX.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Albert           1/-<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\1           Tanwen

Tanwen teeters unsteadily as she reverberates from rudely clanging her equipment against the sides of Albert's skull.

"Oh, sorry!" she says, biting her lower lip as she sees that her 'spell' has apparently caused some measure of suffering to her knightly foe. She even forgets that she was going to try and take advantage of his debilitated state afterward. "Are you oka - eee!"

Panic sets in as Tanwen suddenly finds herself on the defensive again. She turns her head and tries to raise her shield to protect against the falling sword, but soon discovers that not looking at your attacker isn't a sound tactical decision. The sword crashes into her shoulder, driving her down onto one knee.

"Erbyn y naw uffern!" Tanwen exclaims, her voice squeaking.

"Language, Tan!" yells Winn.

"Sorry!" Tanwen grunts. Then, gathering her feet beneath her, she springs backward, spinning as she does so that her long, red tail whips out at the knight as she tries to create distance - aiming to smack him across the face with the scaly end of the appendage!

COMBATSYS: Albert fails to interrupt Evasive Strike from Tanwen with Mighty GUTSY Headbutt!.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Albert           0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1           Tanwen

The Faux Knight lands after his somersaulting leap and the consequent strike from above with a nearly thundering weight when his boots land on the stonework.


And the moment he does, and sees Tanwen starting to spin around too, he's leaning his weight back, head practically rearing back right along with him.

The tail comes swinging in, and suddenly--

He snaps forward!


The roared word comes like a thunder rumbling all across the lands, as his head comes swinging down right in to meet the whipping tail. The scales inevitably smack in against the side of his face, digging into skin and scraping across while his skull pushes in--

Force against force, locked in for a split second.

%After the passing of that fraction of a second, he's snapping further forward. There might even be an illusion of sparks left behind from the momentary contact between the wannabe knight's skull and the scaley tail, before it continues swinging in like a cannonball for Tanwen's back.


He misses.

His skull comes plummeting right past her shoulder, swinging his weight all the way in and down to where the very top of his head slams into ground with enough force to send surrounding dust flying up in clouds, and leave a spiderwebbing of cracks formed across the stonework in a two-meter wide radius.

"Ghaaaah...", Albert breathes out in a long, rumbling sound when he goes on to lift himself right back up. Somehow the top of his head doesn't have any signs of injury despite coming into direct contact with thick stone like that -- but there is a very distinctly scale-shaped pattern pressed int the skin of his face in reddened bruising.

The air-displacing shockwave from the impact of Albert's head crashing into the stone sends Tanwen's skirt billowing upward as she's jumping away, causing her to widen her eyes as she lands on her sandals.

"Oh, that's cold, that is!" she declares, quickly tugging the garment back down at the back as she pivots to face her opponent, sword at the ready and shield soon joining it as her off-hand comes back around. "Are you alright, Sir Albert?"

She hops carefully over a low wall next to her, then jumps up onto a wooden ramp leading up to a higher vantage, circling the knight in the process. It only takes her a few steps to crest it before she shifts her direction to jump down at Albert, aiming to crash down on his head with her shortsword!

COMBATSYS: Albert fails to interrupt Crushing Strike from Tanwen with Gutsy Headbutt! EX.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Albert           0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1           Tanwen

"I'm okay!" Albert declares cheerfully to Tanwen. Though, well...

His knees might look just a *hint* wobbly if yo upay close enough attention. Either he's not aware of it himself, though, or he is absolutely masterful at playing it off.

Upon seeing Tanwen vaulting along the walls to circle around him, he does keep hsi eyes tracking on her. ANd when she comes leaping down, he's suddenly stepping forward again. Eyes locked not on the sword but rather on Tanwen's hand clutching onto the hilt there. He's taking in a deep breath with that step forward, and swinging his head in--

Too high.


His forehead comes smacking straight in the center of the sword instead of the dragonesse's hand. He does appear sturdy enough to not recoil from it at all first, and Tanwen might even find herself suspended there in the air for a second or so before laws of physics properly take control again.

And that's when he stumbles back. His other foot nearly tripping on the way back there.


Oh no, did he just get a concussion?

The knight's daring tactic of slamming his head directly into Tanwen's sword is certainly unexpected for the young dragonette. In fact, the power of the collision causes the blunted weapon to rebound violently off of Albert's cranium, Tanwen's momentum suddenly reversing as she's forced out of her forward leap into an unintentional backflip, clinging desperately to the sword as it spins wildly backward.


The tip of the blade grazes the ground steadily as it arcs back downward before sticking when it hits a stone, leaving Tanwen to finish her fall by brushing her knees against the soil before her bottom falls on the heels of her boots, causing her face to pull into a briefly pained expression.

"Oof! Gosh! I didn't realise you had natural armor, Sir Albert!" she exclaims chirpily as she picks herself up, dirty knees and all. "I think most knights would be wearing a helmet for that, they would! You're very tough!"

Unfortunately, Tanwen isn't familiar with the signs of concussion, though she does lurch forward and reach her buckler hand out as if to offer a steadying presence to the other sword fighter.

"Come on, then! I think we're nearly finished, we are!"

Unfortunately, she's not just intending to help Albert stay upright - if she gets a solid grip, she's intending to spin around with a burst of effort to gather speed before hurling Albert upward with all of her surprising supernatural might. If she manages to do that, she'll continue the spinning motion before slinging her buckler off of her arm like a fast-flying frisbee, another boomerang toss intended to bounce the buckler off of the bold boy and keep him aloft as she leaps up after him. Her intent is to catch the buckler in flight on her way up, spinning with her blade extended before arcing her weapon from above to accelerate Albert's descent back to the earth with a mighty chop!

"Hooorraaah!" she'll bellow with the effort, her draconic roar sounding more like that of a small child imitating the majestic creature she aspires to be.

COMBATSYS: Tanwen successfully hits Albert with Skychaser EX.

[                            \\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Albert           1/------=/=======|=------\-------\0           Tanwen

If Albert does actually have a concussion, that might very well be what is actually inclining him to reach out with his free hand for the one Tanwen is reaching with.

Big mistake, that one.

His vision is already spinning before she's even fully around him. And as might be expected, even more so when he finds himself swinging over the air too.

It is not entirely unlikely that he doesn't even fully feel the hits from the buckler anymore by the time they do reach in, with all the other abuse leading up to it.

It all ends with him landing onto the ground with such force that more cracks are added to the stone on top of the ones from his head impacting there earlier in the first place.

But then...

THen he rises up. Slowly pushing himself up to unsteady feet.

"G-guh... Not... n-not done..."

He takes one step forward. His sword hand rises. A second step.


And he falls over on the third step. Limp before he's even halfway down to falling onto the ground, face-first with an extremely ungraceful landing.


COMBATSYS: Albert takes no action.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Tanwen           0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Albert can no longer fight.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Tanwen           0/-------/------=|

A couple of seconds after Albert slams into the ground, a pair of sandals land lightly on the earth a few feet away, kicking up a small cloud of dust. Tanwen is panting as she drops back into her battle posture, buckler on one arm and sword held by the other to either side in balance with her tail as it stretches at waist height behind her, her upper body leaning forward slightly. She readies herself as her opponent rises one more time, slowly straightening and bringing her shield arm forward and sword arm back in preparation for defense against his next move.

'Not... n-not done... yyyeeeeet....'

"Oh!" Tanwen's eyes widen with sudden realisation. She turns her head over her shoulder, shouting quickly to deliver her urgent message. "Winn! He said he's not done yet, he did! You have to take a drink now!"


Tanwen's head snaps back around to see that Albert has collapsed just in front of her feet.

"Oh, deer."

Well, she wasn't making a pun intentionally. At least she doesn't still have the antlers on at this point.

As the victor of the match is announced, the deer-agon girl skips forward and tucks her weapon away, dropping down beside Albert on her knees. "Winn! Bring a healing potion!"

"You know it's just cream soda, Tan? He might not like cream soda," Winn says as he holds up a round stoppered flask of red bubbling liquid dubiously.

"Just come quick!" Tanwen says, trying to push Albert over on his back so that she can see his face. "Don't worry, Sir Albert! Winn's got a healing potion!" She frowns slightly as her face hovers above him. "Umm, does anyone how to do a Healing check for real?"

Log created on 11:38:22 02/15/2024 by Albert, and last modified on 04:49:48 02/27/2024.