Description: Out in the remote reaches of the Louisiana Bayou, mad science meets tyranny to see which malevolent force has the will to confine their foe to the swamp's sucking depths.
The swamp was unbearably hot.
Murky waterways wind languidly through the bayou, the surface smattered with algae. Tall cypress trees dressed in moss tower overhead, casting shadows over the boggy environs. In the shallower areas, dead logs and branches can be seen protruding from the opaque muck. Though stagnant and removed from civilization, the swamp teems with life; the sounds of insects and other wildlife hiss and buzz, and shapes move beneath the surface of the water. Noxious fumes cast the area in perpetual twilight, as the will o' the wisp dance above the mire.
For Relius, however, it was a fine place for dalliances.
Certainly, with The Descent taking place, his opponent would find his way here. Some Lord of the Land, another Land. The Engineer was a blonde-haired man, dressed in a gaudy purple and white ensemble, trimmed with gold in case it didn't look loud enough. Billowy white pants tucked over purple boots, with a billowy purple shirt over it. In case you didn't think there was enough purple, a grandiose purple cloak hangs over his shoulders. Upon his face is a golden mask. Where his eyes would be were covered by the mask, where a faint white glow flickered out of the eye holes. He was seated upon a velvet chair, positioned carefully on an island of dry land in between the fetid swamps of the bayou. In one hand was a book on swamp flora and fauna, something he was inspecting. In the other, was a tall mechanical woman, a doll that was demurely folding its clawed hands before it, as Relius placed his hand around its waist. He almost openly asks it, as he holds up the book.
"Hrm, but -is- the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker extinct, or is it merely endangered?"
The swamp grows hot, hotter than its ever been. Soft damp muddy ground glows bright red, lines etching across to create an intricate pattern...the symbol of Asmodeus. This circular patch of ground in front of Relius and his happy family glows brighter and grows hotter until it erupts in glowing energy. From here it is difficult to see fine details, but there are the fluttering of wings, black images of winged imps with their pitchforks, and the sound of something deep and powerful growling and uttering words in a Language humanity must never learn again.
From this Hellish gate rises a warrior, a philosopher and a king all in one. A giant in gleaming red armor, when the light fades Lord Mordread is standing upon scorched black earth, his sword slung lazily over one mighty pauldron. And although his eyes could not be seen, there was no mistaking the glare of hatred from beneath the black of that visor.
"Behold, for the Hero arrives with sword in hand. Who are you, to stand before a King?"
"AH yes, the 'Hero'"
Relius snaps his book shut. Peering up, he looks across, releasing his hand from his doll, and bringing it to his side, resting his cheek into his hand. And there, he watches the very gates of hell breach, with a sort of bemused detachment. "I suppose they are extinct... if this is who I think it is..." He chortles, as the light of the hellfire blisters at his waxy skin. Finally, the crimson knight breaks through, fully entering the Earthrealm, unabashed. Relius looks upon the majesty of the outsider, truths becoming revealed and absolutes forming at every second.
And then, Lord Mordread asks who he is.
"Behold indeed." Relius gives a flick of the wrist, and the book disappears out of sight. Uncrossing his legs, he rises up into a stand. The doll beside him takes a bow, and begins to take the chair. Grabbing it, she suddenly flickers out from sight, allowing Relius to stride forward with his introductions. "I am the esteemed Colonel Relius Clover, Leader of the Ten Sages, and leader of the NOL's Engineering Department. I will be your opponent, here. In this swamp. I have joined this tournament for the sake of my child, Carl. I was hoping to find him a suitable playmate." The engineer stops, hesitating to get too close to the hellish presence. No, he studies Lord Mordread, analyzing him. There was a faint smirk on his lips. Relius adjusts his gloves, almost half idly considering, and then he spies a speck.. There is a smear of mud on his white trousers. Reaching down, he pinches the stain, and peels it away in defiance of natural law. Tossing it to the ground, he gives a smooth bow to his opponent.
"It is Lord Deimos, isn't it?"
"This horrid swamp suits you, 'Colonal'. I care not for your witless sages nor the petty fiefdom that holds their leash. You will be the first of many sacrifices for The Seven, and your child shall be my new drinking gourd. He might even become my twelfth favorite!"
As he speaks, the massive armored juggernaut casually swings out his flamberge, the super-heated glowing red blade slicing through a nearby tree that sunk sadly. Glowing embers smoking in the hazy sky.
"Your superstitious soothsayers failed you. I am Lord Mordread, now stand and fight! So that you may fail to impress..."
He could talk a good game. Would any of this be backed up once the fight started?
COMBATSYS: Lord Mordread has started a fight here.
Lord Mordread 0/-------/-------|
The brazen retort actually stuns Relius.
It doesn't shock him, no, but it certainly gives him pause. The raw brutality, the ruthless cruelty. The defiant rebuttal seems to intrigue the Colonel, not offend him. Touching on his mask slightly, brings it to his chin. "How fascinating." And as the greatsword comes forth, he nods along, studying the deeper magics that are taking place before him. The pacts, the -power. "Yes, and the sword. You are a brutal man, but-"
A frown passes over his face. "Oh dear, that does mean the woodpeckers are not extinct." He covers his mouth, considering the ramafications. "Yes, yes, well, let me enjoy this at least, while I think. My apologies, Lord Mordread. Where were we. Ah yes, first sacrifice for the Seven, petty fiefdom, and the boy will be made into a drinking gourd, how precocious! I could see him having hours upon hours of fun. Have you met my wife Ignis yet?" He points at the tyrant.
"Ignis, introduce yourself to Lord Mordread."
There is sudden movement, a flicker as the doll returns. The stoic automation's hands were no longer folded. Instead, their fingers- well rather, talons- were fully extended, each like a knive. The doll suddenly charges at Lord Mordread, attempting to seize him by the swordsman's throat with one long lanky limb. Should she manage to get a grasp, she would turn her other arm into a drill filled with frigid -ice- energy, attempting to suppress the hellfire while she would try to drill it in the man's torso. The Colonel continues, bringing a hand over his heart in tender reflection. "Oh please treat this as a one on one fight. Hurt her if you like!"
"I assure you, she and I are of one soul now, till death to we part."
COMBATSYS: Relius has joined the fight here.
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Lord Mordread 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Relius
COMBATSYS: Relius successfully hits Lord Mordread with Geara Kaas.
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Lord Mordread 0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0 Relius
Relius is talking, but Mordread is walking, stomping through marshland in big stompy metal sabatons. The harpy stalks forward, grabs him, and the drill drives home, but the metal man never stops walking. He grunts in pain and discomfort from the drill impacting against red steel plate, and even past the chainmail and padded cloth there will be bruising and bleeding.
But it is not enough to stop his approach. And when he is close enough he suddenly flicks out that mighty blade while lunging his shoulder slightly forward, to add just that extra amount of reach. The glowing red-hot blade comes down just slightly to aim for the crown of Relius' head. But even just that quick movement would be enough to spill the brains of any lesser man.
"'Till death do you part!"
COMBATSYS: Relius blocks Lord Mordread's Headsplitter.
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Lord Mordread 0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0 Relius
Relius only gives a faint smirk as Ignis does her work.
As Mordred refuses to slow down, however, the smirk fades slightly. Ignis tries as she might to tear open the tin can, but as the knight closes in on the Colonel, he suddenly sweeps his arm. Ignis stops her drilling, pulling away from Lord Mordread, only barely obstructing his fiery swing. In turn, Relius's cloak billows open. A singular mechanical arm, like the boom of a digger, stretches up to obstruct the blade further. Pushing back against the swing, it comes short of slicing his head open.
But only short.
As Relius is shoved away, his boots land in the muck. BLood pours from his brow over his mask, oozing over and around his eyes. The wound is seared for the most part, and white bone is exposed from through the gash. His smirk endures, and he snaps his fingers. "Yes, yes, till death! Tell me, what are you? What are you the lord of?" Ignis is gone now, and the mechanical limb from around his cloak twists. Gradually, other limbs begin to stretch out and around it, growing as the icy magic infuses deep with mystic power. Snapping his fingers again, the limb lashes out, attempting to seize Lord Mordread by the throat. Should it succeed, Relius will snap again, and a second mechanical limb will surge out from the other side, of his cloak, attempting to -smash- the limb at the same spot where the drill had been working before.
To try and peel apart the metallic shell layer by layer.
COMBATSYS: Lord Mordread fails to interrupt Geara Manibus from Relius with Disemboweler.
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Lord Mordread 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0 Relius
The Lord was grabbed by the throat, his left hand immediately grabbing around the metal 'wrist'. He didn't answer Relius, on account of his throat being grabbed by a robot spider limb, but the way his eyes burned out from the darkness of his helmet, told a story. Mordread's left wrist slowly started to pry Relius' limb away, in a promise of pain.
And then the second lashes out like any good mace or warhammer, impacting against crimson plate and causing the Lord to recoil from the sheer impact. He didn't fall however, and remained standing in this position, alongside the scientist standing across from him.
"What's wrong? Cat got you- oh of course, hm, how ridiclous of me."
Relius snaps his finger again, and Mordread is released, the arms draws back from behind the alchemist's cloak. "How can you answer if I am wringing your throat? I feel like my brains are just spilling from my head." He places a glove on his forehead, touching on the wound with his finger tips. Looking at the tip, he inspects the blood carefully.
"Now, what are you?"
Relius takes a sucking step out of the mire, his boots completely clean, his white pants still clean. An unnatural abberation in this swamp, even as the shapes of great, horrible creatures begin to rise and fall in the water of the mire. "Yes yes I know, my death, my doom, my etc, etc, etc. But what are you the lord of? And where do you come from? And most of all..." He looks past his finger tips, staring across at the unstoppable, impossible swordsman who had managed to overpower even Ignis. PAst his shell, past his flesh, down to his very hellbound SOUL.
"Why have you come to this world?"
COMBATSYS: Relius looks deeper.... deeper...
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Lord Mordread 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0 Relius
"You ask what I am Lord of?"
Relius relinquishes his grasp, but if he was expecting gratitude or even a moment of hesitation, he might be disappointed. The second Mordread has an opportunity, the armored juggernaut lunges forward with his left hand, grasping at the family man's throat in an attempt to lift him into the air.
"I am Lord of all I survey. I am king by divine right, my bloodline royal, blessed and divine. I am a Conqueror Born, a paladin chosen by the angel Asmodeus. I bring harmony and peace to my subjects, and everything I've seen of this sad little ghetto, tells me that it is in -dire- need of harmony and peace. Now to give you the baptism you truly deserve."
With that said, he slammed Relius downward, aiming his face for the mud and muck. Then slammed him down again, and again, and again...
COMBATSYS: Relius blocks Lord Mordread's Repeated Slams.
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Lord Mordread 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0 Relius
Relius lets out a full throated laughter that is cut short the moment the towering man lifts him by the throat. Immediately, a claw comes out, gripping the arm the same time, just barely keeping enough control and strength in place to prevent his neck from being crushed. There is a chittering sound, as a shell stretches over Relius back, almost preempting what is to come. He grits his teeth, staring back at the man- no, the THING that declared himself a king by divine right. He wanted to scoff. As he is sent down, he immediately begins to speak out. "What right do you have with false-"
He is interrupted as he is slammed into the muck. "I said-"
He is interrupted again as he is slammed into the muck. "If you would-"
He is interrupted again as he is slammed into the muck. "I- why- you-"
As he is interrupted again, he finally ceases his talking as he gives a desperate snap. "Ignis! Get him off me-"
As Relius is interrupted again, the puppet teleports nearby, the lanky form of the doll stretching her claws out remorselessly. Claws blazing with energy, she attempts to dig the claws into the towering swordsman, to peel him off. Should she succeed, she would begin to rip and tear into the swordsmen, attempting to slash and rend as much to tear through his armor... as well as distract him long enough for Relius to recover and rise up. His shell was is shambles, his outfit- his outfit was legitimately covered in mud now. But he might have a chance to get up...
As well as give him a chance to start talking again.
COMBATSYS: Relius successfully hits Lord Mordread with Id Zain.
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Lord Mordread 1/-------/=======|=======\=------\1 Relius
The puppet rips and tears, and interrupts Lord Mordread in the middle of his righteous monologuing. And though the armor holds, she catches little weaknesses, here and there. Blood trickles out, sizzling as it hits the murky swamp water and causing plumes of malevolent smoke. It is so distracting that Mordread immediately spins around, completely ignoring the downed scientist so that he can throw out a left-handed backhand to the face of the killer doll. A gauntlet of steel versus a face of porcelain, which would prevail?
COMBATSYS: Lord Mordread successfully hits Relius with Palm Smash.
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Lord Mordread 0/-------/=======|=======\===----\1 Relius
"Yes. Right. Then. As I was- NRRGH!"
Relius was about to continue his rebuttal of divine authority, and really, the whole nature of the divine in general. He had these great big truth bombs to dump on Lord Mordread's head, you see. The problem was, as Ignis was doing her dance with the king, the king made his own move. Ignoring the downed scientist, the gauntlet is punched squarely into the automation's face. There is a hideous cracking sound; in a flash of an eye Ignis was gone, disappeared in a flash. There wasn't a clear glimpse of the damage, only a flicker.
That same could not be said for Relius.
Relius's face was... shattered. That was the best way to describe it, with the thick cracks and fissures stpread across his face. Blood oozed from the wounds, as if they were surgical slices. But worst of all the state of the flesh; the engineer's flesh was held together like it was made of the same material as the doll; the mask and the flesh both sharing the same deep fissure lines. He draws his hand across his bloodied face.
He was not grinning.
"It seems, Lord Mordread, your divine favor was stronger than expected." The alchemist states with bitter contempt. He strides towards the king, walking briskly with a much different presence than before. He was tracing sigils in the air, alchemy symbols as the swamp begins to churn. Pillars of earth begin shooting up, swirling with muck and mire. Slamming his hand upon the sigil, a hand of molten sulfur boils out, reeking of the stench of eggs, the shimmering substance reaching out with a singular palm strike almost the size of the man; far weaker than the mechanical limbs from before, but boiling with the energy deep within the swamp.
"If you would be so kind, I would like to experiment on your power... and your soul."
COMBATSYS: Lord Mordread interrupts Medium Punch from Relius with Not Entertained!.
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Lord Mordread 0/-------/-----==|=======\======-\1 Relius
"Ah yes, alchemy. I learned this as a boy in his nightgown. Then I learned to stand and walk, and outgrew this child's game."
Relius steps forward, and Lord Mordread confidently steps into the nutty professor's space to take the punishment. It is painful, but necessary to smash Mordread's sword crossguard into the face of Relius. That was all the Lord needed as an opening to throw out a volley of attacks, quick slashes and stabs that burn hotter than Hellfire delivered with great prejudice. And through it all, the Lord sneers.
"I have an experiment for you, court wizard! Shed your clothes and your titles, and crawl through the mud like a fish with legs. Let yourself starve while you search for food, and watch as bullfrogs and dragonflies steal away your unborn, unhatched whelps. Watch as serpents coil around the throat of the beast low enough to mate with you. Now when you do that, this is the important part:"
He interrupts his monologue to throw out another backhand, this time to Relius, to launch him high into the air as the armored lord readies his sword, and prepares the timing like a baseball player ready to hit a home run.
"When you imagine yourself as this miserable creature, Relius, you will have finally imagined your equal!"
Then when Relius comes down, the big swing hits, launching the scientist away. Perhaps he'll land safely. Perhaps he'll break his neck against a tree branch. Either way, Lord Mordread isn't overly concerned.
When Lord Mordread walks into the sulfurous fist, the gashed brow furrows from the alchemist.
He saw what was happening. He needed to shift the entire reality around to stop it. But there was no -time-. The crossguard smashes into his already broken face, and Relius is forced to grab it. To -keep- it all intact. Magic was already going wild around him, all while the Lord truly gives the harrowing rebuttal. The slashes tear across his body, Relius body becoming rended by the brutal assault. He backs up, more and more, nearly falling back into his chair in the beginning. Stopping right in front of it, he barely gets his footing as he removes his hand from his face. Just in time for the backhand to send him into the air. When the final blow comes, it sends him -straight- into his chair, launching him across the swampy land and smashing into flinders into the mouth of a mangrove tree.
Wait, the mouth?
Relius barely drags himself from the maw of the tree, crawling like a fish with legs as it snaps blindly upon the remains of his velvet chair. Relius grunts and groans, struggling to rise up into a stand. His mask was still shattered, his clothing was rended and seeped with blood, filth, and slime. Calmly, he steadies himself, lifting a hand forward definiately. "Court wizard..." Relius chuckles mirthlessly. He struggles to snap his finger; it is wet with blood and slime. "You underestimate this world. Magic may be a worldly effort in your realm, oh king. But here, on Earth?" He reaches out both hands, touching the air around him. His fingers dance, tracing sigils across the air as a vast, mother of pearl orb begins to shape around him. Pulling it in, he concentrates it into a beach ball sized structure in front of him. Normally he needed Ignis to deliver the payload, but he grits his teeth. The stray attack had damaged her too much to risk a second attempt.
"Magic is the world."
And Relius lunges at the knight. A long pincher limb surges out, attempting to capture the knight once more. Should he seize him with it, he would hurl the magical orb at the hellknight. Sigils swirl over it's surface, as it begins to expand, attempting to absorb the fierce warrior into it's bubble. Should he become absorbed into it, he would find himself falling, falling through an open portal. To send him deep through the swampy, swirling mire, the all-encompassing portal through it. Into those churning gears, blazing with the same scintillating energy of the sigils, to grind and churn him, to crush and break him down- before the orb would explode, detonating back into this reality. Powerful magic, and dangerous magic. But Relius was working hastily. The knight has already shown his contempt for his magic.
And showed he was more than capable of enforcing that contempt.
COMBATSYS: Relius successfully hits Lord Mordread with Vol Tedo.
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Lord Mordread 0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0 Relius
Mordread could talk a good game, but the truth was, he was tired, and most likely suffering from injuries. As a warrior he was used to them, even revelled in the struggles of battle and warfare. But he knew he couldn't keep going for much longer by himself. Little did he know, just how true that was.
The orb hits him, and he shrinks and expands and travels through universes and machines, and suffers from their cruel machinations. Through it all, he feels one emotion, even through the exhaustion, even through the misery.
When the orb explodes, Relius might notice it turn red, flames dancing along the inside. Mordread leaps from it like a man possessed, forcing himself back into this world as he swings that sword like an absolute madman to aim it at opening he could. Until, eventually, the final upward swing aims to split Relius' face in two, or perhaps just launch him into the air, if Mordread hits with the flat of the blade...he isn't being terribly precise, on accound of his vision filling with blood and the fog of defeat choking his brain.
COMBATSYS: Lord Mordread can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\ <
And then, the Helknight collapses, like a sinking ship of steel.
COMBATSYS: Relius blocks Lord Mordread's Power And Violence.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\ <
How was he still alive.
As the remains of the hellknight is ejected out from the churning human mill, the remains some how remained. As he throws himself straight out from the erupting magic, Relius groans as he drags his mechanized arm up. It rips apart, the sweeping blade tearing it apart the arm after only so many swings. Without his arm left, without many other tricks, the final upwards swing comes up, and Relius finally lets out a snarl as he traces a sigil in the air. The blade swings, smashing through the sigil and knocking Relius hard on the face, the flat of the blade being the only reason he ultimately survives the final attack. Falling backwards into the muck once more, the white outfit of the Alchemist in totally and completely soiled. Relius touches his face briefly, and then, reaches into the muck.
He pulls off a piece of his face, and forces it back on.
Rising up from the slime, he turns, ready for the swordsman to be upon him- and yet, he was down. Defeated? Relius rubs his neck, and then smirks. Striding forward, boot sloshing in the mud, he stops above Lord Mordread. "Hm hm hmmm... too close for comfort. You are a fascinating specimen, O King. I would love to begin an experiment or two..." He extends a steady hand a moment, considering the defeated lord. And then, he sweeps his filthy cape around. "A pity your soul belongs to another. Thank you, O King! This data may prove to be fruitful!" The engineer strides off into the swamp, walking deeper, deeper, deeper into the muck.
Until he disappears entirely beneath the surface of the slime.
COMBATSYS: Relius has ended the fight here.
Log created on 22:22:03 07/07/2022 by Relius, and last modified on 08:59:53 07/16/2022.