• Closed • Grand Finale: Fury's Gauntlet

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Elisabeth Angelus
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Re: Grand Finale: Fury's Gauntlet

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Arc 721, 8 Zida


Elisabeth had her endurance training and Forged toughness to thank for being able to take the beating she was. The fighting part wasn’t working as well as she had hoped it would, and as a trophy for that, dozens of shallow wounds littered her body, blood soaking through her clothing and creating quite the sight, she was sure.

But she was still on her feet.

The daggermen were cutting her to pieces, but it wasn’t until the knife found her flank, blade breaking off inside her, that she allowed the pain to register.

Growling loudly as the knife found its way home, she tried to counterattack, but the men quickly retreated for reasons that would become apparent soon enough. Elisabeth felt the blade but knew better than to remove it right then. The pain was, well….acute. The young woman was no stranger to pain, having endured her fair share of it on Ishallr and beyond. She felt it, but she wouldn’t let it get the better of her. Not when there were lives at risk. Not when it was Syroa’s puppets that they fought against.

Syroa – the bitch who had killed Balthazar. The young mage wanted to give in to the rage, make them pay for what Syroa had done to him and what the puppets were doing that very trial to innocent people. Elisabeth felt the anger rise inside her. This wasn’t her first time dealing with Fury’s followers, having encountered them on Immortal’s Tongue, but it was the first time since learning what their precious Immortal had done to the man she loved. It was there, the desperate need to lash out.

But she didn't. She had given in to rage once before and learned. Elisabeth wouldn’t give Syroa the satisfaction of allowing anger in her heart and soul. If that made her less, then so be it. The most powerful thing she could do was deny Syroa’s minions her fury. She could only be who she was - Love. Light. Hope. Balance. Of snow and stars, and in service of others.

She would remain, in honor of those ideals, on her feet until she couldn't any longer.

The daggermen tossed throwing stars at her, deciding to attack from a distance. It didn’t make sense, their retreat, but she wasn’t going to argue it. The throwing stars were painful, but it was more like annoying bees right then.

Unexpectedly, both the Pillar and Orias rose from the arena floor, rallied by Balthazar when Elisabeth’s own direction failed. She couldn’t yell or provide guidance, her voice silenced by the blade in her side, but she could still fight. The two men went after the pair that were harassing her, allowing her to turn her focus to Balthazar.

Elisabeth had given what she could to bolster those defending against the mummers. By the divine grace of Qylios and Xiur, she had given people the best support she could. All that was left now to do was to fight.

The battle cry for Syroa went up, and Elisabeth was ready. Standing with Balthazar, she raised her sword, despite the pain, and waited until they were in range, conserving her energy until the moment she needed it, quietly speaking her own call to arms and indulging in the act of defiance. The Forging had taught Elisabeth the subtle power of saying ‘no,’ and the young woman carried the lessons of that trial with her.

“No. Fury has no place here.”

People that felt they had nothing to lose often held the advantage because of what they were willing to risk or sacrifice, but obsession had a price – mistakes. Elisabeth was as clear-headed as she could be in her condition, staring straight at the oncoming attackers. Tightening her core caused pain, but the mage knew she had to protect that part of her body best she could, and the moments of being loose and free with her movements were gone. It was time to stand and defend.

So, she did, calmly approaching one of the spearmen and striking out at him her sword. She repeated the process, aiming for hands, wrists, elbows, and arms. If people didn’t have those body parts any longer, perhaps they would stop being an issue. At least that’s what her mind rationalized.

Just focus on one thing, Elisabeth. Prae had taught her to meditate in battle, and it like a good moment to employ those lessons. Allowing all the noise to die away and focus on her opponent, she battled, keeping her sword in front of her and praying that good fortune would come to her. If something came at her, she struck out at it. If she saw an opportunity for a disabling strike, the mage took it. Focusing on one thing took her back to basics, but right then, that's what she needed.

Just one thing.


Magic Used/ Attempted Actions/Abilities
Celarion - Bound in Battle/Celarion - Bond (Moderate) - Active
Celarion - "Hold the Line" - Active
Takes on a spearman after the Syroa battle cry

word count: 876

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Balthazar Black
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Re: Grand Finale: Fury's Gauntlet


8 Zi'da 721
Striking the spear revealed a somewhat interesting thing but even though he had noticed it, Balthazar wouldn't consider what it meant until after the battle had passed. Things were not going as well for Elisabeth as they were for Balthazar, even when she did her best to support those around her in the battle. He could tell from the smell of blood and the sounds of fighting that Elisabeth's situation was worsening. The Glass Pillar and the Ladyman had joined the fray but it would only provide them with momentary relief from the numbers. Eventually the surprise would wear off if they did not crush the masked attackers while they had the chance. There were only four of them, but who knew how many other masks would come if they let the fight drag on?

When he had heard the masked man fighting Elisabeth shout 'Syroa's Blood' a small surge of anger rose inside the mage. Syroa. Elisabeth might have made the connection due to her experiences on Immortal's Tongue but Balthazar had been dead- or in the process of dying while Syroa played with him. He did not have as much experience with her followers as he had with the Immortal herself and as far as he knew, she was meant to be dead- again. He could keep his wits about him, but he felt the anger rise all the same when he heard the dead immortal's name. Elisabeth might have thought to avoid giving into her anger and fury but Balthazar chose to focus it. If they wanted fury, he would make them regret coming to him for it.

The horrifying shriek from beneath the arena did little to distract Balthazar from the fight at hand. He was aware that something must have been happening but in the current moment, all that mattered was not being stabbed and taking control of the arena. While the spearmen found their feet, Balthazar dragged his hands through the dirt, intending to fill them with sand but instead finding something a little sharper that had gone astray when the masked bladesmen (who were fighting Orias and the Glass Pillar), had thrown their sharp little stars at Elisabeth. Interesting. He kept it in his right hand and filled his left with dirt as he came back upright. He adjusted his hold on the throwing star in his right so one of the bladed tips was between his thumb and index finger. He didn't really know how to throw them but there were plenty of sharp edges that he hoped it would be intimidating enough to make the spearman drop his defenses for a trill or two.

The two with spears and the last one with a dagger attempted to surround the duo of mages but their numbers were not what they had been moments ago. Elisabeth's sword would fair better against the spear than Balthazar's hands but she was injured. He didn't expect things to go her way if she continued to exert herself but he knew she wasn't going to drop until she had to. If she did, they'd have a real problem. It was safer to let her focus on one opponent while he handled the rest. The spearmen and their blade-wielding brethren charged in and Balthazar went on the attack.

First he hurled the throwing star at the spearman with more strength than skill. He might not have known how to throw it but he had things working for him. He aimed center mass, his target was getting closer, and he could throw it really hard. He just hope the pointy ends did their job. Next he turned quickly, knowing it would have taken the one with the dagger longer to reach him, and he tossed the dirt in his left hand towards the eyes of the masked bladesman. His plan was to stall them both with the thrown obstacles just long enough for him to pick up a shield- so to speak.

With the dirt and star thrown, Balthazar moved on the bladesman. He attempted to seize the man by the wrist with one hand while lashing out to deliver a paralyzing strike to his free arm with the other. Balthazar had seen how swiftly the man could change his blade-hand already so this time if he attempted to do the same, Balthazar didn't want the masked man's other arm to respond to the call.

If he managed to get ahold of the bladesman's wrist, Balthazar would attempt to twist it and force it backwards to put the man in a standing hammer lock. It was a good way to put a body between Balthazar and the one with the spear. If it worked, Balthazar would push hard on the masked man's arm and drive him forward at the spearman Elisabeth wasn't engaged with. However Balthazar could deduce that these fighters had already given up hope of escape. What was to stop them from injuring each other in hopes of landing a fatal blow? A spear could pierce two people if shoved hard enough so Balthazar had no intention of actually getting that close.

If he got that far, he would stop a few feet short of the spearman's dangerous reach and shove the bladesman with all his might into his brethren. From that point, if it was reached, there was only one thing left Balthazar could think to do. He would charge forward in, hopefully, the chaos created by the throw and strike Syroa's followers as hard as he could until they went down and stayed down. He could hit very hard and at that point he would be looking to either render them unconscious or to break enough bones that they stopped fighting.

Of course there was also the slim possibility that somehow Balthazar's throwing star had done a lot more damage than he expected it to and it was possible the spearman might not have been a problem. Balthazar doubted it- he highly doubted it, but if that was the case then if he got the bladesman into the hammer lock he would charge the spearman fighting with Elisabeth instead.

Break the masks. Secure Elisabeth. Secure Orias, the Glass Pillar, and the Ground Pounder. Help with crowd control. To get to the last step you had to start with the first- break the masks.

AA = Attempted Actions
1a. Throw throwing star at spearman
1b. Throw dirt at bladesman
2a. Seize the wrist of the bladesman and put him in a standing hammer lock
2b. Paralyze the bladesman's free arm so they can't switch the hand he has his weapon in
3a. Charge the spearman with the bladesman as a human shield
3b. Throw the bladesman into the spearman
4. Attack the two masked meanies while their defense is hindered
word count: 1174

Mutations

  • Once Paradigm Is Removed: He glows faintly, his skin is warm and sometimes hot to the touch, and when he gets angry sparks literally fly off him. He's a the middle of a field of static electricity so every once in a while when you touch him, you get shocked. Fire leans towards Balthazar and droplets of water seem magnetically attracted to him. He has a series of cracks on his right pectoral that glow of soft emerald. His eyes and the cracks reaching down to his cheeks glow a dark blue. The etheric cracks spiderwebbing up his arms glow orange.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Re: Grand Finale: Fury's Gauntlet

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8th of Zi'Da 721





“No. Fury has no place here.”

Perhaps had there been a moment for the Syroan cultists to consider these words, and internalize them, they'd give a reaction to this statement. As it was, they were well prepared to kill and die for their fallen goddess, and moments away from doing just that, if their luck held. So stories and reactions would have to wait until after, if they survived. But they were prepared to die. One of the spearmen returned Elisabeth's engagement as Balthazar was trying to occupy the attention of the other two. And surely enough, they allowed her that reprieve of having only one opponent for the time being.

Elisabeth could swing a sword still, and though she hedged slightly, not giving into the edge her fury would surely give her, she was still a masterful user of the sword. Her defenses were easily capable of warding off the spear, and finding their way past it to cut at the mummer's hands, his forearms. At once, his leg was exposed and stuck out as he leaned forward. However, as she was somewhat lost
in thought
She didn't take the attack of opportunity, and so he withdrew. But not before shoving his spear into her left shoulder, weakening her grip on the blade.

Balthazar was faring slightly better, even though he had a bit more of a plan and wider view than Elisabeth seemed to at the moment, given her greivous injuries. He picked up the throwing star, and the dust along with it. Giving his skill at throwing defiance projectiles in other instances, it wasn't too hard to adapt that to the throwing of a star and by dint of his edged weapon skill he knew how to align for a cut. The pocket sand was as simple as throwing earth, had he ever done so before. The sand went into the eyeholes of the first mummer, while the star stuck in the gut of the spearman, finding its way past his disregarded defenses.

The thrown projectile stuck into the spearman's gut, and he groaned, rushing past Balthazar as he swerved to engage with the bladesman. The spearman checked the wound with his hand, and growled furiously.

The master mage was engaged with the bladesman now, and using his unarmed skills to their fullest. His paralyzing strike had the intended effect. This done, he grappled with his arms and swung him around, just in time to stop the spear from skewering him in the back. Instead, it found purchase in the abdominal artery of the bladesman, causing him to cough up blood in Balthazar's face.

Unfortunately for the spearman, he was having trouble drawing the spear out of his comrade's back. He tried to twist and kick and pull, but he couldn't extricate the polearm from his grasp. Balthazar followed up quickly to attack him. The spearman was forced to engage without a weapon, and though he put up a valiant attempt at defense, Balthazar's powerful blows cracked his fingers, and twisted his joints, and then pummeled him to the ground until he couldn't get up.

From there, Elisabeth was still holding out against the spearman. Yet, as she concentrated on trying to remain calm, he took more hits and gave some in return. It was a give-and-take between the two, and they were swiftly arriving at a stalemate.

Orias and the Glass Pillar were still fighting against the mummers, but now they were accruing wounds. Orias was the first to go down, and then the mummer with the Glass Pillar. Then there was the one mummer against the Pillar.

Meanwhile, the spearman was slowly taking Elisabeth down one cut at a time, and she him. Balthazar would have to choose who to help.

All the while, the audience wasn't faring much better, but the Lightning Knights had done away with many of the stragglers in the stands. Still, there were considerable casualties, and fatalities. Fastia had finally arrived, and with a fresh wave of Lightning Knights behind her, they all swept into action sweeping through the stands and killing anyone wearing a mask.
Off Topic
I want you guys to go ahead and self-mod the rest of the battle. If you help Elisabeth with her attacker, Balth, then you can both assume success. Likewise if you help the Pillar. Whatever you guys do, however, please play to skill levels and use skills properly.

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Elisabeth Angelus
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Re: Grand Finale: Fury's Gauntlet

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Arc 721, 8 Zida


She hadn't expected a reaction to her refusal to play into the puppets' game, but it didn't much matter to Elisabeth. Her words weren't for them. She was drawing a line in the sand, so to speak. They would not change who she was or what she stood for. Period.

Focus was needed, and as her injuries mounted, it was getting increasingly difficult to perform to the standards she held herself to. The young mage tried desperately to hold on, feeling like the battle had reached a tipping point.

And indeed, it had.

Elisabeth focused on a spearman and fought as best her body would allow. Tightening her core reduced maneuverability, and fighting despite relentless pain was just not something sparring with Balthazar could teach her. They fought, each taking pieces of the other until the spear stabbed Elisabeth in the shoulder. Letting go of her sword wasn’t an option, so she hung on with everything she had left. The sword represented life, and she clung to it with strength and determination.

Knowing that Balthazar was aware of her state didn’t ease her mind and soul, not wishing to distract him from his battle. Their Bellinos Love's Caress - Love is an important domain expressed by the Immortal and thus, is reflected within the abilities of those he marks. This ability is only found when a marked individual has acknowledged their true love and vise versa, allowing the two to telepathically connect to one another. This connection is soul binding, where the two may feel the emotions of the other, sometimes the physically touches of the other, or hear the thoughts of the other, depending on how focused the two are when attempting to communicate. No matter the distance, this connection will always provide communication between the two. However, this communication may be blocked or disrupted by certain magics and/or with meditation.] and Celarion links likely told him more than she wanted, but there was nothing she could do about that. He was faring better than she, which did provide her a small source of comfort and relief.

Orias was down, and while she wanted to get to him and see what the damage was, it simply wasn’t an option. There was one thing left to do, and one thing only – hold on. Elisabeth was possibly even stubborn enough to make that happen. Leaving her position meant exposing Balthazar’s flank to additional attack, which wasn’t happening on her watch.

Launching herself at the spearman, who was in only slightly better shape than she, Elisabeth managed a quick strike towards an exposed leg, catching it oddly across the thigh, causing him to step back a bit, gaining distance between them. She didn’t quite understand the tactic until the moment’s reprieve allowed her a quick trill to assess her severe injuries. Bleeding heavily from her side and shoulder and leaking from dozens of other various wounds, she didn’t have much time left – he was waiting for her to either bleed to death or fall unconscious.

Just then, she spotted Fastia and a few Lightening Knights entering the arena, and their presence gave her a brief, momentary surge of energy – enough for another attempt to disable her opponent. People were coming to help, and she just needed to hold on a bit longer.

Rushing forward, Elisabeth lowered as the spear came for her, knocking it to the side as it aimed for her shoulder again. The basic move opened the man’s defenses up for a split second, letting her aim her strike directly at the inside of his right shoulder, where it cut into the flesh deeply. As she withdrew the blade, she knew it wouldn’t be enough to stop him, but perhaps enough to slow down his movement with the spear, make him consider his actions since pain would now accompany them, giving her a chance.

Just hold on. Just a little longer.

Elisabeth was still on her feet, too stubborn to stop. Maybe she was more like the Rharnians than she thought.


Magic Used/ Attempted Actions/Abilities
Celarion - Bound in Battle/Celarion - Bond (Moderate) - Active
Celarion - "Hold the Line" - Active
Duels the spearman/manages to get a strike into his interior shoulder

word count: 735
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Balthazar Black
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Re: Grand Finale: Fury's Gauntlet


8 Zi'da 721
Well the image of the masked man coughing enough blood to get onto Balthazar face certainly was certain reinforcing the title of 'The Bloody Prince.' He had tried hard not to get covered in blood and now that it was too late- why not add a little more? The spearman's weapon was trapped in his ally and while Balthazar could lament over the death later, he had to seize every moment he had now. Balthazar went on the attack and the spearman dropped his weapon. Bathazar's assault did not end until he was hovering over the masked man, holding his body up off the ground by his shirt while striking hard with his free hand. When all he felt was dead weight and he knew the masked man was unconscious, Balthazar lowered him to the ground and looked around the arena.

Elisabeth was slowly losing her own battle but the Glass Pillar and Orias were not doing much better. The Ladyman was down and the Pillar was seemingly on the defensive. He'd beat one of the masked men but it seemed to take a lot out of him. Meanwhile Elisabeth was bleeding enough that Balthazar almost felt the pain. Every exchange came with a wound for her. If he took the trills to go save the Glass Pillar he would be risking more time for Elisabeth to be injured. He couldn't be in two places at once but that didn't mean he couldn't respond to two threats at once.

He didn't waste any time trying to pry the spear from the masked one who'd been impaled. Instead Balthazar picked up the dagger that he'd been attacking with and hurled it at the masked figure fighting with the Glass Pillar. It did not fly majestically and unlike the throwing star it did not have a plethora of edges to cut into the target with. It still had the same strength and the general direction, though. It hit the mummer in the back and fell to the ground. Balthazar was hoping that the momentary thud would be enough of a distraction for the Glass Pillar to seize the advantage. He didn't wait to watch.

Whether or not the Pillar succeeded, Balthazar turned to go help Elisabeth. Her opponent was more battered than the others that Balthazar had been fighting by virtue of being locked in combat with Elisabeth. He had gashes and grazes over his body that made him tired and slowed him down- just as the injuries he was inflicting were slowing Elisabeth down. Balthazar had no such problems. He was not unscathed but he hadn't been impaled either. Yet.

Balthazar moved wide around Elisabeth and the spearman, lowering himself slightly with the hope of getting out of the spearman's view while the mage came around behind him. The spearman had just been cut the inside of his shoulder by Elisabeth when Balthazar reached him. He must have been a little more perceptive than Balthazar expected because when the unarmed master moved in to disable the wounded spearman, his target seemed to realize he was getting closer and turn at the last moment. Not quite fast enough to stop Balthazar from being too close but still, better than most. The spearman turned and attempted to bring his weapon up into a guard but Balthazar kicked the inside of his knee to disrupt his footing. He caught the shaft of the spear and held it to ward off attacks then he delivered a sharp jab into the wound on the masked man's arm.

He struck the same spot two more times before managing to pry the spear free of the injured man's hands. Balthazar tossed the spear aside and even then the disarmed man did not relent. His bloodied hands surged forward for Balthazar's throat but didn't reach it before Balthazar kicked him between the legs and tossed him onto the ground. The mage did not loom or move slowly to intimidate. As soon as he tossed the masked man onto the ground, he was on him again, a hand gripping the back of his neck as he brought the mask up into the air and smashed it into the arena floor. Once, twice, three times because the dirt was soft enough and the mummer didn't pass out. Four. Just to be safe.

Balthazar let go and backed off, turning to find the bloody Elisabeth. He couldn't heal her now. Their battle was done and the situation was turning quickly, but it was not over yet.
word count: 790

Mutations

  • Once Paradigm Is Removed: He glows faintly, his skin is warm and sometimes hot to the touch, and when he gets angry sparks literally fly off him. He's a the middle of a field of static electricity so every once in a while when you touch him, you get shocked. Fire leans towards Balthazar and droplets of water seem magnetically attracted to him. He has a series of cracks on his right pectoral that glow of soft emerald. His eyes and the cracks reaching down to his cheeks glow a dark blue. The etheric cracks spiderwebbing up his arms glow orange.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Re: Grand Finale: Fury's Gauntlet

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8th of Zi'Da 721



In a battle, where blades were weilded with intent to kill and every part of the trill mattered, hesitation and mid-battle contemplation were mortal enemies. Elisabeth was a master with the blade, and knew all the tricks of defense and parrying. Defense with a sword was arguably one of her high points as a fighter. Yet had she ever taken a life with a sword? Felt the blade as it parted flesh and spilled blood, spraying all over her clothes? Had she smelled the release of her opponent’s fear as she or he died in front of her?

Yet Elisabeth learned more about what it took to take down a man in battle this day. She scored every strike she aimed past his defenses, as he was getting tired too, and his great skill could only hold Elisabeth for so long before that expertise gave way to exhaustion. And he was looking very exhausted, even with the mask.

Yet, there were still moments when Elisabeth hedged. Her eyes turned in the direction of the Lightning Knights and Fastia who’d arrived on their side, to clear out the rest of the Arena. She took her focus off of her opponent in a mortal moment.

Then he thrust his spear into her gullet.

Elisabeth felt the blade of the spear pierce her abdominal aorta. Blood leaked into the floor and sands of the arena. Elisabeth had fought masterfully, and defended when her attention was focused on what was of importance at the moment. She had tried to lead, and in her use of Xiur’s power, may have spared innumerable Rharnean lives.

But now, her knees sank to the ground, but as she did her arm still maintained an ounce of strength, and she lashed out against the masked man’s right shoulder, sending his spear out of his hand.

Balthazar had already aided the Pillar, in throwing the knife at his remaining opponent. It didn’t hurt when the hilt hit the masked meanie’s back. But it did distract him, to think that someone had flanked him. He turned fractionally, but that fractional turn and distraction was enough to give Pillar the opening he needed. He gripped the masked meanie’s neck under his arm, and with a superb wrestling move, leaned backward, driving his head into the ground underneath the Pillar’s armpit. From there, the Pillar pounded his head into the pavement. And that was done.

But Balthazar still had the fallen spearman, who Elisabeth had dispatched with her last ounce of strength. He began pummeling his head into the ground, denting his mask, cracking it open with the power of his fists. He could see crunched flesh beneath the mask as he continually pushed the man’s head into the ground. And finally, the spearman, the last of the Syroan cultists within the arena, went still.

The Lightning Knights were fast to gather up the remaining masked meanies, apprehending them where possible, and knocking the others out where they could. There were many hurt, and many dying or dead, when suddenly the Infirmary Doors opened with a loud creak and boom as the barricade was moved.

Faith was carried into their midst. Every moment seemed to pass with slowness as she was delivered to the center of the Arena.

Moseke heard Faith’s prayer, but without words assured her that she would be healed, and that her sacrifice would be the time lost. Moseke vowed to Faith that she would watch over her children in her absence, and then Faith felt a rush of peace and optimism as the Tree sprang from her core. A large willow grew to encompass the middle of the arena. The willow’s leaves shone with brilliance, falling like glowing down upon all of the wounded within the Arena. Some people who were even on the brink of death were healed completely, including Elisabeth and even some of the Mummers, who were swiftly apprehended by the remaining Lightning Knights in their senseless stupor.

The tree glowed brightly, growing to fullness within the space of a moment. And everyone in the Arena knew that a miracle had occurred.

Elisabeth was healed, Balthazar’s hurts were healed, Orias was back on his feet, albiet a bit shakily as Pillar helped him up.

Fastia rushed to Elisabeth’s side, as the Lightning Knights approached the Infirmary, to see what had happened there.

And the Willow Tree at the center of the Lightning Dome held the shape of Faith in its trunk, as she rested, and would be healed herself.

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Re: Grand Finale: Fury's Gauntlet

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Vivian suggested that she should leave the fighting to her and Faith smiled at her friend. There was no point to arguing with Vivian, Faith knew, because Vivian was right ~ at least as far as the Lightning Knight herself was concerned. However, the idea of not acting, of not fighting, of not helping? Faith couldn't begin to imagine it, let alone do it. So she said nothing on that and instead, assured her friend. "I'll be fine. You be careful, yes?"

Because there was never a time when she was quite done fussing.

The Knights carried her and Faith bit back a cry of pain as they did. There was nothing they could do except what they were doing, so she did everything she could to keep herself still and make their job as easy as possible. The pain was overwhelming, too much for her, and she was aware that she faded in and out of lucidity. Once, she started muttering about Shadow Beasts and then she pulled herself into lucid thought.

As a medic, she understood that the pain which she was in meant that she was in bad shape. As a medic, she knew that every movement she made risked permanent injury to her already damaged limbs. But Faith was aptly named by the cruel man who had owned her first. She had faith ~ a seemingly endless well of it which filled her with determination. They didn't want to do what she was asking, she knew, and as a healer herself she understood why. But she needed them to understand. She needed them to.

And then, she heard a voice.

“Let her through. She is a Champion of Moseke. If she says she can heal herself, she can”

That voice cut through the pain, and Faith smiled a genuine beaming smile. "Tristan? Oh, Tristan, thank you." She needed them to trust her and he did. He always had, she knew, and she had always trusted him. "He's my friend," she said, speaking to the Lightning Knight who she was quite sure was standing next to Tristan. But then, she realised that this Knight looked exactly like Tristan did. "Is that your twin?" How odd, she thought, as her vision blurred again, so she spoke to Tristan. "I won't pin him by his entrails, I promise." It might sound like she was mad, of course, or at the very least delirious - and in fairness she was looking at empty space where she believed a man stood because she was seeing double. But in fact, she was remembering a time, so very long ago. She looked at the Knight she was seeing and she smiled. "He's my friend and I am his."

They took her out of there, carried her further and she caught Tristan's gaze and smiled.

The light in the arena was brighter than it should be and she felt the adrenaline rushing through her body as she started to shake. PB flew above her, circling like a vulture over a corpse, but she knew that he was worried.

Placing her down was a study in pain, but Faith needed to be touching Moseke's blessed earth for this and so, she did and she prayed.

It was silent.

Faith had never had a mother, had never known the tenderness of someone who loved her unconditionally as a child. Until Tristan had bought her she had known only cruelty at the hands of others. There were those who were kind to her before that, of course. Nir'wei. Kura. Aeon. But as a child, she had never known a mother's love.

Then, one trial during Vhalar 716, in a place called Ne'haer, Faith had met Moseke. Faith remembered it well, the feeling of the Immortal touching her on the cheek. Little did Faith know it but as she had done that Moseke had healed Faith of her scars. Her back had been a mass of scar tissue from her time as a slave, as had her legs and now, her skin was clear. But that trial, Moseke had healed more than the scars on her back.

That trial, Moseke had taught Faith that she had always had a mother.

And so now, she gave herself to her mother and Faith did not go reluctantly or with fear. She fell into Moseke's arms and she felt the Immortal hold her, wrap her up warm and safe. As the tree grew around her, as Faith felt it's bark rise up her form, pushing her to standing and moving up her, tears fell down her face. But they were not tears of pain or hurt - they were tears of hope and peace and joy. They were the knowledge that all would be well.

And once again, Moseke healed her.

And once again, it was more than the scars and damage of her body which the Immortal repaired.

Padraig was behind the barriers. She had held it together, she knew what she had to do, she did - but it hurt her. It was complicated and confusing and it hurt and she didn't understand it or know what to feel. Just as she had those arcs ago, Moseke knew it, heard it, felt it - Faith had no need to speak, nor to listen. She was in the embrace of the all-mother, and all would be well.

The questions - oh so many questions - were unspoken yet Moseke heard them and answered them.
"What if I can't do this without him?"
But child, you can."
"What if he never comes back?"
"That will change nothing of your feelings, will it?"
"What if I can't do this alone?"
"Then, child, you will learn."
"What if I can't heal them all?"
"Then you will heal the ones you can."
"What if I fail?"
"Then what you do after that failure will matter."
"What if I'm not enough?"
"You are enough for me, child."

And so, tears fell down Faith's cheeks, but her expression was serene as the tree grew around her. The willow tree, the mark of Moseke which had grown on her chest, glowed so brightly that it remained visible even after the trunk had fully formed around her.

It was dark here, and it was warm. There was no pain and no expectation. There was just her, in the arms of her mother and Faith felt the kind of peace which she had been denied all her life. A child-like peace which meant that she could rest, truly rest. People would be healed, they would be safe now, she was sure and, eventually, she would leave this place and start again. Start anew, really, since so much had changed.

But for now, Faith allowed herself to rest.

To heal.

Because soon, she knew, it would all begin again. It would begin again and there would be constant demands and pressures, betrayal and love, life. There would be life. When it returned she would be ready for it, all the better for this time where she healed.

Body and mind. She would be ready.

word count: 1204
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

~ Rharne HQ
Dust Quarter Satellite Clinic ~ Order of the Adunih~Soup Kitchen & Community Center
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Elisabeth Angelus
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Re: Grand Finale: Fury's Gauntlet

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Arc 721, 8 Zida


Elisabeth fought and battled, doing the one thing she knew needed to be done – hold on. Her injuries were severe – no getting around that. And yet, on her feet, she remained, pushing as hard as she could, battling the spearman.

The moment she saw Fastia and felt hope surge was the same one where Elisabeth felt the spear rip through her abdomen. There was no stopping the blood now, and the young mage knew it, but that didn’t stop her from making one last effort to hinder the masked meanie.

Her body finally said enough.

Knees sinking to the ground, she used the fraction of strength she had left to disarm the spearman. Balthazar was there in a blink of an eye, but she couldn’t focus on what he was doing, mind whirling in a million different directions.

Bag. She needed her bag. There were things there, but where was it? Crawling, she lifted her head, looking around. Elisabeth was working on instinct now, and her instinct was to survive. There was more left to do - people to help.

Balthazar.

As the trills slipped by, her body was less and less willing to cooperate with her, but Balthazar was there. She knew that, feeling him in her mind through the Vri’s blessing. It was comforting and familiar – her Balthazar.

There was the sensation of activity around her, and somehow, whether her name was said or inferred, Elisabeth knew Faith was in the arena. There were Knights and others, and while she was aware of the activity, she just wanted Balthazar. There was something she needed to tell him.

“I didn’t fall….”

Time passed, and Elisabeth wove in and out of lucidity. In reality, only a few trills had passed, but somehow, it felt like a lifetime in the haze of her pain and injuries. There was a shout and murmuring….

….and the most incredible thing happened.

Elisabeth opened her eyes. The pain that had plagued her through battle was slowly but surely receding. Being lucid, she knew she needed to seize the opportunity, rushing to convey to someone the need for her bag while she could.

Something brushed lightly across her face, prompting a weak hand to raise and try to push it away. A leaf? Where had a leaf…..odd.

“Balthazar…my ba…” she began but suddenly realized that her pain was leaving because her wounds were healing.

Pulling herself into a sitting position, Elisabeth saw the tree. There was only one conclusion she could think of, and while she didn’t know for sure, she suspected Faith had something to do with it. “Where’s Faith?!?” The question rang out but went unanswered, people all around murmuring about the tree in the middle of the arena.

She rose, wobbly. Confused and a little dizzy over what had happened, she noted Fastia’s approach. “Are you alright?!?” It was essential to her that everyone was okay, and it seemed that everyone was. Balthazar was there. Another look went to Orias and the Pillar. “You both okay?”

Once she knew people were alright, her gaze shifted to the tree again, looking up into its branches and following it down to the trunk. There was a form there, and Elisabeth knew.

She just knew.

In Rharne, Faith had thrown herself into danger, whisking the flame soul thing that had threatened to escape the prison she had erected for it into Famula’s realm, receiving grievous injuries in the process. The woman had saved her then, and Elisabeth knew that her healing – everyone’s healing - was Faith’s doing too.

There would be time to assess the mummer’s motives and why they chose the tournament to sow their chaos, but now wasn’t that moment. There was something else that needed doing.

Closing her eyes, Elisabeth bowed her head. To Xiur and Qylios, she thanked them for answering her prayers and showing her the way. She always hoped that her actions reflected well upon them, although sometimes she feared she fell short.

There was one more thank you to give. It wasn’t clear to her what had happened or what would happen now, but none of it mattered at the moment.

Faith. Faith mattered.

So, Elisabeth prayed to anyone listening – for Faith.

word count: 736
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Balthazar Black
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Re: Grand Finale: Fury's Gauntlet


8 Zi'da 721
Seeing Elisabeth impaled did not make Balthazar lose his focus, but it certainly intensified his rage. There were just a few trills as he drove the masked face into the arena floor where Balthazar worried that in his anger he would kill the man. He didn't, as far as he could tell, but he didn't like the thought that he might have. Elisabeth needed his help. He abandoned the masked pulp on the ground and crossed quickly back to Elisabeth while the fresh Lightning Knights began to crush the masked menace left in the arena. A quick glance and he'd seen that the Pillar won the fight but Orias was still down and the Ground Pounder looked like a corpse across the arena where Balthazar had left her at the beginning of it all.

They didn't matter as much as Elisabeth. If he could only heal one (and he only could heal one) he would choose her. The mage knelt beside Elisabeth and placed his hand on her shoulder. Whatever was stopping his magic hadn't stopped his mark. Hopefully it wouldn't stop the ability the spirit had given him the last time he was in Rharne. Elisabeth said something to him, burning energy for the sake of wit. As he prepared to conjure the cold flames, the doors to the infirmary burst open with a loud creak and a boom. His focus was broken by the noise which pulled his attention to the people emerging. Faith was being carried out. What had happened in the infirmary? The champion was brought to the center of the arena where one of the stranger things Balthazar had seen happened- she turned into a tree.

The tree's leaves shined brightly as they fell over the arena and began to rejuvenate those who'd been brought to the brink of death inside. Balthazar's hurts fading was not nearly as noticeable to him as Elisabeth healing was. It took him a few trills to realize what was happening but when he saw the others beginning to rise as well, including the quickly apprehended masked figures, he put together that the tree Faith had become was healing them. His eyes darted back to the Ground Pounder, who still looked like a corpse on the floor despite the wound from the spear healing. He remembered the time he had set. One trial. He would have to physically end Death's Pallor to get her back on her feet and as soon as Elisabeth was secured, he would.

Fortunately the champion's tree had done just that for Elisabeth. He heard her weakly saying his name and then watched as she sat up suddenly and began looking around for Faith. Her question was met with a gesture from Balthazar towards the willow that had sprouted. Fastia was beside them quickly and Balthazar felt content to leave Elisabeth with the ithecal so he could help the Ground Pounder. Elisabeth seemed content with it as well because as soon as she was up again she began looking to see how everyone was doing. Balthazar crossed over to the woman he was meant to fight before the attack began and he knelt beside her.

The wound had been healed by the falling leaves so Balthazar attempted withdraw the fog of death he'd cast over the Ground Pounder to keep her from bleeding out. "We were attacked but it is under control now." Balthazar offered an explanation to the woman, knowing that from her perspective she had just been hit by a spear in the back and lost consciousness. Balthazar would offer her a hand to help her get back onto her feet but after that he went back to Elisabeth and Fastia.

He put an arm around Elisabeth, giving her a small side hug. "This is not exactly how I saw this going." He said quietly to her as he looked around the arena at the many who Faith had saved with her sacrifice.

She was everything the stories said she would be.
word count: 698

Mutations

  • Once Paradigm Is Removed: He glows faintly, his skin is warm and sometimes hot to the touch, and when he gets angry sparks literally fly off him. He's a the middle of a field of static electricity so every once in a while when you touch him, you get shocked. Fire leans towards Balthazar and droplets of water seem magnetically attracted to him. He has a series of cracks on his right pectoral that glow of soft emerald. His eyes and the cracks reaching down to his cheeks glow a dark blue. The etheric cracks spiderwebbing up his arms glow orange.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Re: Grand Finale: Fury's Gauntlet

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Player Name: Elisabeth

Points awarded: 15
Magic xp: none

Knowledge:

Athletics: x 2
Combat: Blades: x 2
Detection: x 2
Tactics: x 2

Renown: 20

Player Name: Balthazar

Points awarded: 15
Magic xp: none

Knowledge:

Athletics: x 2
Detection: x 2
Endurance: x 2
Strength: x 2

Renown: 20

Player Name: Faith

Points: Medicine Tier 2: 2 xp
Magic xp:

Knowledge:

Medicine: Healing an entire arena full of people with a prayer
Medicine: Leafing a good impression upon the healed.
Medicine: The healing nature of ... Nature.

Renown: 20
Notes: Wow, what a finale! You all did marvelous and I'm particularly impressed with the way you could pump so much volume into action posts. The final round of posts were especially emotionally poignant, and I enjoyed every moment of this thread. Thank you!!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this review, feel free to PM. Enjoy your rewards!
word count: 158
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