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Old April 15, 2019, 07:28 PM   #166
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Kalannar accepted the victory with modesty seeking to limit the rebuke of pride his victory had meant to Rilfest. He had no particular love of hate for Rilfest or his house, but as a great house it deserved honour and respect which Kalannar offered in abundance."until we next cross blades, fare well Ril'fest of house House Nil'Alin"

Diplomacy was a responsibility of all of the house. Minor members of a family cpuld inflame a feud and start a war and the champions showing ome another disrespect? That would be flat out outrageous.

Kalannar remembered this aspect of his duty well to the point that the ideals may have transferred to his alter ego but that was up to Faust and Karis to debate at a later point

Now Kalannar prepared for the next combat. His next opponent would not fall with such ease but he had trained for this. The moment had come where all he had prepared fr would be decided.

Karis could feep a build up of psionic energy in the air. There was a surge working the memory and those around it. The matriarch suddenly flared into proper view yet Karis couldn't pinpoint what, if any changes, the energies had made.

The memory felt, however, more like reality, more real. People snapped into view although whether or not they matches the right people was unclear unless Karis had committed to memory in the past each and every face in the large tournament area. A monumental feat of menory at the best of times.

With the surge of energy and the feeling of reality came another realisation. The more real it got the more malleable it was as the powers of imagination responded more readily to these changes. Karis felt one other thing in the air. Hard to describe and hard to state but the feeling of kalannar was stirring all around and everywhere
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Old April 15, 2019, 09:36 PM   #167
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The resentment in Ril’fest’s eyes dimmed somewhat as Kalannar graciously spared him from further humiliation . . . or worse. Proud though he might have been, the son of the Seventh House was no fool.

Until we meet again, Kalannar of House Kitrye’veresi,” the noble echoed. Defeated, Ril’fest nodded and slowly returned to his feet. He was already exiting the arena by the time the refereeing wizard appeared and announced Kalannar as the winner of the match.

Still sitting in the stands, Ka’ris turned her eyes away from the arena and surveyed the crowd again. Something in the air had her gaze settling upon Matron Kal’adriel again, whose previously-flickering image had grown more vivid now.

The psionic energy that she detected, presumably hers, was working furiously on Kalannar’s mind even as she personally intervened in his memory in an attempt to realign it. Slowly but surely, the crowd began to assume shape and form, although it was impossible for Ka’ris to know if these were the exact same faces that had been there those many decades ago.

Obvious individuals like Kal’adriel, Faust, and Kymril were easy to remember being present, but as for the others, she was uncertain.

Kalannar was starting to awaken . . .

It was the only conclusion that she could reach as she suddenly felt him everywhere, his presence made known through her senses. Please, Kalannar. Please, she silently begged. As a mystic she understood the power of imagination and its supernatural ability to create something from nothing. If Kalannar’s imagination was beginning to fill in the gaps of his memory rather than his actual memory itself, it could have devastating consequences when and if he ever roused to consciousness.

Should she intervene or simply trust that Kalannar would find his way on his own?

The former option could have a negative ripple effect on him in reality; the latter might never happen. What was she to do?

It was then that she saw someone emerge through the tunnel opposite Kalannar and into the arena. Even though it had been decades since she had laid eyes upon him, Ka’ris would never forget the towering figure that was V’nal Zaphir, son of Matron Zaphir of the Second House of Hon’elgg.

The match that had echoed for eternity in Vysstichi lore . .

V’nal stepped forward from the shadows, his body rippling with muscle beneath his resplendent black armor that was trimmed in gold. In his right hand, he clutched an enormous bastard sword as easily as if it were a dinner knife. On his left arm was a kite-shaped shield that covered nearly half his body. A haughty smile showed on his face as he regarded Kalannar, who was at least a head shorter. These two had been destined and groomed to fight each other since birth.

Even though Ka’ris knew how the outcome of the battle had eventually unfolded, it was hard for her to sit here and not wonder if the past would become a reality yet again.
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Old April 16, 2019, 07:14 PM   #168
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What would happen if Kalannar were to die in this arena? That answer was obvious but what about failure? How wpuld the imagination change the events and if so, would it still be enough to save Kalannar or would Kalannar no longer be the Kalannar they remembered eveb if they did?

The psionic energy focussed on two vortices and they were now about to face each other in battle. There was a clear indication of how important this event would be as Kalannar's consciousness started to wake from its slumber. It was harder and harder for Karis to hold her own in the memory with a growing force subconsciously trying to compel her toward the role she had played and only that role but as a seasoned mystic she had the ability to survive the current.

Kalannar looked toward his opponent, appraising the legend before him. He was stronger than Kalannar so as his Father had indicated he would have to make sure his speed and agility worked for him. The issue here was Karis could detect in the consciousness around her that there was doubt still seeded in the mind.

Kalannar offered traditional greetings to V'nal and took up his position to prepare for the fight to be declared. He was watching for and appraising V'nal's body and eyes waiting for that sign of the first strike. For whatever reason he had ceded initiative to his opponent and allowing V'nal the opportunity to offer engagement. Wheter or not starting in the defensive would work was unclear as V'nal was no Ril'fest and his training would allow for much better stratagems to be employed in the arena and no one ever won a fight at this level without at least at some stage having the initiative themselvs and dictating the moves.

Either way the crowd was fully engaged with this battle. It was literally the one everyone had ben waiting for. There had been no surprises until this point and everyone who was anyone had an opinion on how it would go. No one truly knew.
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Old April 16, 2019, 08:38 PM   #169
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Even though she was merely a magical consciousness intruding in Kalannarís memory, Kaíris could feel the sweat gathering in her palms as Vínal stepped into the arena. He radiated confidence from head to toe, and he carried himself like a seasoned killer. She remembered the son of Matron Zaphir being imposing, but this Ė no, she did not recall actually fearing for her friendís life. Perhaps it was because there was far more at stake now for Kalannar, or maybe it was because she was uncertain if this version of Kalannar would have it in him to win like he had those many decades ago.

Whatever the reason, she was nervous.

In the background, she could feel Kalannar rousing to consciousness, the pull of his mind stronger than it had been a handful of minutes ago. It meant that he was recovering, which was a promising thing as it meant that she had managed to save his life, but if he awoke before his mind was properly realigned, it could mean that he might remain ďSidhĒ forever, or worse, he might have no idea who he was at all.

Kaíris gritted her teeth as she remained in the audience, utilizing every bit of magical strength in her body to resist the external forces that were threatening to expel her from Kalannarís mind. She had to hold on . . . just a little longer.

As the crowd roared to life, Vínal accepted the clamor as his cue and surged forward with a measure of speed that defied his bulky size and heavy armor. Kaíris could not quite remember who had initiated the exchange back then, but whether Kalannarís deference had been purposeful or not weighed heavily on her mind.

Vínal led with his enormous shield in front of him, his entire frame deftly hidden behind it. As he closed in on Kalannar, though, that wicked bastard sword sprang out, his right hand guiding it in a diagonal slash starting from Kalannarís left shoulder and across his entire body. Vínalís shield, in the meantime, remained poised on his left side as if anticipating a counter to come from that direction.
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Old April 17, 2019, 07:06 PM   #170
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V'nal's speed was impressive. Poise, commitment to action, resolve. Had Kalannar been daydreaming he would have dreamed his last thought. Fitting in the current context but not the way Kalannar's mind remembered it.

Whether Kalannar was acting anew or by memory he was almost instinctive in response. He could parry the blow and accept the full force of the shield bash or he could deflect the blow and dodge. Whilst he could not rely on the same trick that ended the fight eith Ril'fest, he could still deflect this blow.

It was a strong strike and this battle would be about the blows and energy spent. Neither had infinite stamina. Kalannar had appraised that if V'nal continued to commit to power over and over this could create an opening. It did not on the first strike. If Kalannar wanted an opening he would have to create it.

First, steel sliding against steel, with such a powerful bow he had to commit both blades to the deflection, and had to use the force of V'nal's blade to purchase a wide enough dodge. He would be struck by the shield otherwise, giving an opening for V'nal's counter.

For now Kalannar shifted his footwork with the stroke to change the angle and to keep him facing his opponent attempting to let V'nal's momentum create that opening he needed. He also needed to counterstrike otherwise V'nal would merely maintain initiative and keep Kalanmar on the defensive.

Having blocked with both blades, he turned the momentum of his own longsword to deftly make a strike uoward, up and over the shield and toward the neck with enough force to force V'nal to action, the shorter offhand sword he used to limit the capacity V'nal had to raise the longsword again for its own counterstrike.

Kalannar's mind continued to develop stratagems on the fly. If he could force or predict V'nal's next move then this will allow him to steal the initative. A series of forced moves leads towards victory.

The next move Kalannar anticipated with a forceful blow driven by the momentum of V'nal twisting his body feeding the momentum into his longsword's strike. It would likely be a diagonally upward backhand strike followed by a shieldthrust to knock Kalannar off balance. He had try to purchase that extra space between them to limit the effectiveness of that strike. In anticipating this he had already maneuvred further away from both anticipated strikes. It had limited the force he had to use on his own counter but would give the required time to reset his sword stance if successful.

All awareness if the crowd had dimmed for Kalannar save for one remembered thought. watch your back
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Old April 17, 2019, 09:46 PM   #171
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If Vínalís arrogance had not been self-evident from the smug smile that he had worn when entering the arena, it had certainly been on full display during his initial attack. As Kalannar had predicted, his proud opponent had intended to end the fight sooner rather than later. Unlike gladiatorial fights on the surface, where entertainment took precedent above all else, the easiest way to win a dark elven crowd was to dismantle oneís opponent in the fastest, most brutal fashion possible.

Vínal Zaphir was a Vysstichi through and through.

Sparks hissed into the air as Kalannarís swords deftly intercepted Vínalís descending bastard sword and turned it aside. The son of the Second House of Honíelgg, however, was hardly surprised, and his shield rammed ahead of him to bash his opponent where he stood. What Vínal had not anticipated, though, was that Kalannar had already expected this counter, and thus, his shield slammed against a weightless wall of air.

For Kalannar had already maneuvered out of the way.

He barely saw Kalannarís incoming long sword in time to avoid being impaled, and it was only his quick thinking and the abrupt turning of his head that saved him from what would have been a lethal blow across his neck.

An impatient growl forming on his lips, Vínal executed the most intuitive counter that any trained warrior in his position would have done: he reversed the direction of his slashing blade as Kalannar had foreseen, bringing it upward and across in a wide arc to eviscerate his dual-wielding opponent.

The slight widening of Vínalís eyes betrayed his astonishment when the swift Kalannar was nowhere to be found, the Kitryeíveresi warrior having safely danced away and returned to a neutral position.

Vínal slowly straightened where he stood. A baffled expression showed on the huge warriorís face as he studied Kalannar closely, a newfound respect dancing in the manís red eyes. It was a momentary exchange and nothing more, though, as he lifted his sword and shield again in a guarded position and slowly approached the Kitryeíveresi once more.

It seemed that there would be no more hasty charges from Vínal again.
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Old April 18, 2019, 05:19 AM   #172
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Now the real battle began. Two warriors closing in on each other each sizing up their opponent calculating the list of moves well in advance of any action being taken. Likely the battle had been played out dozens of times in between each action. Karis could not help but to be subject to echoes of this combat feeding directly into her vision. She saw Kalannar fall a dozen times but between her every thought she could see again that it hadn't happened.

Kalannar would be the one to strike first this time, but the opportunity to strike at V'nal required Kalannar to disrupt his defense and this wasn't going to happen without proper execution and planning.

The shield covered most of the body leaving the sword to cover the rest. For Kalannar it was his offhand weapon to deflect blows and the longsword for strikes and that would be entirely expected by V'nal so Kalannar reversed this role. Committing to the attack, he moved forward switching his fopt work stance in the attack as he had trained to do with his Father, moving forwards he made an attack, a commitment of force to occupy the shield of his opponent to force it down to defend an upward blow, he moved to the side of V'nal deliberately leaving what he hoped would appear an opening for V'nal to strike at his side. He placed his weight and force into his offhand weapon letting his body meet with the shield that had already been occupied meeting his sword blow and committed to using his helmet full force into a headbutt. It was unconventional but Kalanmar had trained to take these blows. The aim was to stagger V'nal enough to force an opening across the torso allowing Kalannar to disengage his shortsword and thrust it underneath the plate of armour into the armpit of his opponent to deal real damage to the swordarm. There would be no time to savour the damage and the only defense against the sword strike would be that V'nal could not maneuvre the large sword to strike at such close quarters but Kalannar would also have no opportunities to strike so the moment he finished thrusting he would use his longsword as a fulcrum against the shield and push himself back to land on his feet and prepare for a counter. One could never assume success.
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Old April 18, 2019, 12:21 PM   #173
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Vínal was no stranger to combat. His reputation had preceded him for years. Since birth, he had been groomed to become the Champion of the Second House of Honíelgg, and he had obtained that status without so much as a modicum of difficultly. Even the legendary First House of Honíelgg, House Darkmyst, had oftentimes deferred to Vínalís leadership where surface raids were concerned, and he had made a name for himself through his cold butchery of the land dwellers.

And yet, it was caution that marked his movements as he engaged Kalannar Kitryeíveresi. The huge warrior from Honíelgg was famous for his violent rushes that oftentimes ended in his opponents being overwhelmed and obliterated in a matter of seconds, but he was seasoned enough to recognize the challenge that his current opponent posed.

His shield shot upward to intercept Kalannarís first attack, resulting in a loud clang as the two weapons met with tremendous force. When Kalannar shifted evasively to the side, Vínal recognized the small window of opportunity for him to strike, and so he sent his bastard sword thrusting towards the Kitryeíveresi nobleís side . . .

. . . only for Kalannarís off-hand short sword to deftly parry and lock against it.

Vínalís strength was incredible. That much was obvious as Kalannar pushed against him and his opponent did likewise. Kalannar would not have long before he was simply overpowered where he stood.

The son of the Second Houseís head reeled backward, then suddenly shot forward to execute a head butt of his own, but to his utter surprise, the shorter Kalannar, who had coincidentally enough opted for the same attack, aligned his forehead with the front of Vínalís face.

ďAargh!Ē A nerving clamor erupted into the air as Kalannarís headbutt struck true, sending Vínal stumbling backward, his vision undoubtedly filled with white light now.

To the huge warriorís credit, he recognized his immediate vulnerability and set his shield in front of him and swung his bastard sword in a wide, horizontal arc from right to left to keep Kalannar at bay. However, the counter was desperate and launched from unbalanced feet, leaving Vínal completely open if Kalannar knew how to take advantage of his enemy.

The crowd continued to cheer, and among them Kalannarís younger brother yelled, ďGet him! Get him!Ē
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Old Yesterday, 03:53 AM   #174
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Did Kalannar? Karis continued to have visions of probably future pasts. Kalannar knew not to lose his discipline because a wild strike was still a dangerous one.

An unbalanced warrior was one prone to tip but that didn't necessarily let Kalannar land any blows when a shield could defend most strikes in a prone position and breaking the shield with a strike was more a thing for those stout little dwarven warriors wielding great axes. Instead Kalannar would have to do something with more finesse. That was more suited to the twin blade style.

So that wild strike? Perfect opportunity to disarm the opponent to leave him with only a shield to fight with.

Kalannar watched the strike and the precise opportunity to rush in for that strike. He would have to engage with the shield even though he didn't have the advantage of bulk. Sending his main sword strike in another deft feint he went with an upward swing as V'nal's sword arc swung wide leaving his gauntlet and wrist to expose for a strike. Making his intended strike would place Kalannar low which in this case was where he wanted to strike from. Making a targetted strike for the sword hand Kalannar placed his faith in that thrust. Many warriors would attempt to go in for the killing blow but this would not do for V'nal. The warrior would most certaibly not fall for a killing blow but one seeking to disarm? Ot was a gamble but there was no sure fights saved for thise fixed in back alley gambling dens and this tournament was not that. Not even close.
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Old Yesterday, 11:35 AM   #175
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Vínalís desperate swing created the opening that most warriors would have tried to capitalize on, but Kalannar Kitryeíveresi was no ordinary warrior. Rather than surge forward and attempt to batter the off-balanced Vínal with a barrage of attacks that would hopefully bypass his shield and score a number of lethal hits, the swifter Kalannar opted for another tactic: disarmament. It was a risky course, but if successful, it would yield significant dividends.

Kalannarís feint drew Vínalís shield upward to deflect the incoming thrust. A ring of metal sounded in response as Vínalís block sent Kalannarís long sword harmlessly away from his head. However, Vínal had expected Kalannar to charge instead like most of his enemies would have, and thus, his shield remained poised defensively in front of him to ward off any future attacks.

Unfortunately, he had left his sword-hand unguarded.

Kalannarís blade slashed across Vínalís gauntlet, splitting the armor open and gouging into his wrist. A painful snarl erupted from the son of Matron Zaphir as he dropped his bastard sword and staggered backward, his wounded arm clutched awkwardly against his stomach as he kept his shield trained ahead.

Sweat gathered along his forehead and slowly dripped down his face.

The crowd fell silent once more.

To his credit, Vínal Zaphir stared defiantly at Kalannar, his visage locked and determined despite having no weapon. He was not stupid enough to lunge for it on the ground and risk Kalannar attacking him when he was most vulnerable, but even if he did manage to retrieve it, it was questionable whether or not he would even be able to use his wounded hand to fight with it.

Blood dripped profusely from his wrist, signaling that Kalannar might have sliced through a larger artery.

And so, he waited, that mask of confidence replaced by something else . . . fear.
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Old Yesterday, 09:06 PM   #176
Argon Shatterskin
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Kalannar did not immediately close the window for V'nal to try and grab the sword. To take that sword wpuld create an opportunity to strike that the shield it simply could not perfectly defend against. Kalannar appeared to hesitate at this moment unsure of how to close this battle.

V'nal was in a position to focus entirely on defense and it was at this moment a warrior, overconfident, could still lose abd even die to a disarmed oppoenent. It was also true that this was the ideal time to press the attack. A flurry of strikes against that shield forcing his opponent to open himself up would be the winning move.

Kalannar however, true to his ideals, gave V'nal an out

"You are too worthy a warrior to die here" Kalannar said "Our people need you to live"

He did not outright call V'nal to yield. That would impugn his honour. Instead he followed up his sentence with the flurry of strikes each seeking to force V'nal's defense open to allow shallow blows. A shield could be used to break a sword thus Kalannar focussed on light blows and speed as was his specialty. Though he hoped V'nal would yield he did not let up.... but how did this end? Kalannar's mind seemed intent on remembering this on a certain peaceful way but what did Karis remember? What really happened? What would the effect be if Kalannar's mind got its way in remember the resolution the way it wanted? Would his own mind be capable of doing so or would some kind of critical defense of his memory cause a far more adverse result?

Karis felt the forces of imagination strongly here but as a mystic powerfully present in Kalannar's mind she had the means to force a result one way or another but what would that mean? What would that do?
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Old Yesterday, 10:12 PM   #177
Faust Kitrye'veresi
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Confusion riddled V’nal’s face as Kalannar graciously offered him the option of surrender. As if to intentionally confirm his surprise, the huge warrior’s gaze shifted to the crowd, undoubtedly honing in on his mother. The pride of House Zaphir was at stake, and he was his family’s representative in the arena. To lose now would mean to dishonor everyone in his clan – that was simply not an option.

Rather than toss his shield to the floor and accept Kalannar’s terms, the wounded dark elf tightened his grip around his remaining weapon and kept it between him and his opponent. “You’re a fool if you think you’ve won,” he retorted, the venom dripping from his voice as he braced himself for Kalannar’s calculated rush.

From her seat, Ka’ris watched as her old friend delivered one blow after another against V’nal, forcing the mighty Zaphir backwards. Without the use of his hand, V’nal stood no chance – Ka’ris could see that as plainly as she could the spectator in front of her. And Kalannar was wise, too, not to overexert himself. Indeed, he was using just enough force in each attack to constantly keep V’nal on the defensive while never exposing any openings of his own.

But what was Kalannar waiting for?

The mystic recalled the battle ending a lot sooner. Kalannar had disposed of V’nal surprisingly quickly in reality, which was one of the reasons why his reputation had catapulted to a near legendary status following the tournament. She pursed her lips and glanced upwards, instinctively realizing that time was not on her side. Kalannar was rousing in the real world, which meant that the memory was about to end.

She had to make a decision quickly. Should she intervene or allow his own imagination to rewrite the memory to completion?

A spell on the tip of her tongue, Ka’ris was about to cast a discrete, psionic shock in V’nal’s mind to stun him long enough for Kalannar to deliver the final blow, but she suddenly desisted. Shaking her head to herself, the woman clenched her hands around her knees and simply watched. She could not intervene. Even if Kalannar did not dismantle V’nal in this version of his reality, was that such a bad thing?

Mercy . . . compassion . . . he was exhibiting traits that, while not smiled upon by the traditional dark elves, was something that made him, well, him.

If she intervened and Kalannar somehow caught wind of that fact – that he had only won because someone had cheated on his behalf – that could prove far more damaging to the integrity of his mind, body, and soul than anything else.

Or so Ka’ris had to convince herself.

Perhaps all of this meant that Kalannar would never completely reminder who he was or where he came from, but that was a far superior alternative than him never returning to them at all.

She watched and waited to see how the battle would end . . . and how he would awaken.
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Grandmaster Swordsman"Throughout Aelyria's history, there have been tales and stories of mythological warriors sometimes mistaken for blessed or divine entities. Godlike fighters, the Grandmasters are forever remembered for their valor and are known to break the physical limitations seemingly at will, capable of Masteries that lesser fighters can scarcely comprehend, let alone attempt. Often called one-man armies, Grandmasters are able to defeat countless lower-proficient fighters without much difficulty. Their physique is a testament to their life-long struggle to achieve this near-perfection; through enough conditioning and practice, a Grandmaster can withstand amazing amounts of physical pain and anguish. Incredibly fast and strong, their courage and valor enable them to seemingly perform miracles." - Arms Primer | Defender of MagicFaust can now sense any mage and their specific sphere within 100 yards. They do not have to cast or have any active spells/magic for this ability. - Charybdis | Glory of the Conqueror"The Aspect of Constantine infuses your words and actions; when you are engaged in armed or magical combat, commanding armies on the tactical battlefield, or planning a military stratagem for warfare, you will have a decisive advantage against a character of the same relative skill, all other influences being equal, and will be able to out-maneuver them." - Kaelon
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