Two Hands, Two Swords (Graded)

Ulric and Arthur continue progressing through the tournament.

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Two Hands, Two Swords (Graded)


11 Cylus 720 | Ulric | The Crescent Arena
The storm beyond the cocoon that Sintra had put up to protect the city had only grown worse as the tournament progressed. Hail beat against the webbed walls above the Crescent Arena and in the lull between matched when fighters were sent back to their respective rooms to prepare and await their next turn, people began to wonder if the hail might break through the cocoon she'd made. Ulric didn't wonder about it. The only thing that concerned him was the next match and the next match was coming soon. He was standing before the gate again. He was watching it slowly rise to reveal the arena and thunderous roar of the crowd.

For a brief moment, Ulric wondered how Arthur was doing in the tournament. They'd entered a separate individuals and had yet to encounter each other in the arena. If they both continued to win, they'd encounter each other eventually and when that happened they would have an incredibly uncomfortable time deciding who was going to take the win and who was going to lose. That thought made Ulric hope- for just a trill, that Arthur had already been eliminated. Ulric shook the thought out of his head and walked onto the arena sand for his next bout.

Ulric walked slowly out onto the sand, holding only the sword from the arena in his hands. He still wore his anchor on his hip but he wouldn't make the same mistake he'd made against the man with the hammer. One sword was better than two for the time being. Across the arena, walking out from the other gate, was a blonde swordsman named Caliban. He wore a thinner sword at his side with a less pronounced guard. It was an interesting blade but it seemed unconventional to Ulric and a little dangerous.

"So you're the dead man?" Caliban shouted across the arena to Ulric who shifted into a low guard, allowing his the tip of his sword to droop towards Caliban's feet. Ulric made a strange face at the attempt to start a conversation and he stepped towards Caliban who's reaction was incredibly revealing to the audience but not Ulric. When Ulric stepped forward, Caliban's hand quickly shot down to the hilt of his sword and he squeezed it with white knuckles. Caliban was confident, but his strength rested in defense, not offense. The crowd had sat through two of Caliban's fights where he did nothing but defend himself and provoke his opponent into leaving an opening.

Ulric took another step forward and Caliban took a step back. Coward. Ulric shifted his sword into a high guard, raising the longsword over his head till his arms were almost fully extended with the butt of the handle facing towards Caliban's head. Ulric shuffled a step closer and Caliban slowly drew his sword. The blade hummed a familiar tone as it slipped out of it's sheath and the dance of battle began. The two men eyed each other, waiting for the other to make the first move. Ulric's guard put his sword high and opened his midsection to an attack but Caliban didn't seem willing to go for it.

Ulric struck first, moving forward and swinging his sword down which was really the only direction it could go when he began in a high guard. Caliban brought his sword up to meet Ulric's-

Metal clashed, bounced apart, and two swordsmen took a step back, disengaging from each other before the real fight could begin. An uproar passed through the crowd at the prospect of the fight beginning but it seemed to quell when the two broke apart. Ulric's black voids narrowed on Caliban as he twirled his longsword in his hand and began pacing back and forth.

Caliban stood surprisingly rigid in place watching Ulric for a few trills before Ulric struck again. The ghost lunged forward, thrusting his blade out towards Caliban who swung his own sword around, batting Ulric's to the side before swinging his sword-arm over his head- bringing the blade around his body to slash at Ulric. Unfortunately Caliban had a lot of finesse and very skill when it came to shifting from a guard to a strike.

As soon as Ulric's sword was knocked aside he drew his arms back into a mid guard which he used to deflect Caliban's swipe to the left. The two broke apart again, disengaging to watch each other as they traced a circle in the sand with their footsteps. "You're fast. Not fast enough, but fast." Caliban taunted before Ulric swung at him again. Caliban was far enough away that he just jumped back a little to avoid the blade. "You don't talk much do you. What happened? Did you forget how to speak when you died?"

"You talk too much." Ulric replied as he unsheathed his second sword. Let's see you block two at once. He knew he wasn't much better than a child with two swords but Ulric was going to take the chance. Caliban's voice was grating and irritating and Ulric wanted the match to end so he'd do whatever he could to hit the man. Ulric moved in to attack again hoping Caliban would be as bad with a sword as he thought he was.

Unfortunately Caliban excelled at exposing weaknesses when other fighters made dumb decisions like Ulric had. Ulric thrust his left arm forward at Caliban's chest and Caliban smacked Ulric's sword further to the left before bringing his blade around and slashing it across Ulric's arm- well striking it. Had Ulric's arm been flesh the sword would have cut through but instead it bounced off the literally rock hard echoplasm and Ulric recoiled for just a trill before lashing out again in his fury. This time Ulric swiped with his right sword and Caliban leaned back out of reach of the the blade before moving in and swinging at Ulric's chest. The ghost was lucky he got his arm in front of the sword quickly enough to block it. The shock of the metal against hardened ectoplasm sent Caliban's sword rebounding out of his hand and while he ran to retrieve it, Ulric reassessed his position.

The trouble with the way Ulric was using the two swords, he realized, was that he was using them as separate swords. When he held a longsword with both hands it was supposed to be an extension of himself. Two longswords were probably meant to be treated with a similar spirit. None of the guard forms he knew worked exactly the same and Caliban could see all the flaws. He could see... Ulric was down two points, he couldn't afford to play fair now.

The phantom reached inward to the ectoplasm that comprised his body and commanded it to move. He'd been solid. He'd been stone. Now he would do the opposite. His ectoplasm began to vibrate and a strange tingling sensation spread over Ulric as his body completely disappeared from view. Caliban picked his sword up off the ground and turned to find two swords floating in the air.

"Oh now surely that is cheating!" Ulric didn't care. He moved closer to Caliban and suddenly the other swordsman seemed to realize something. Caliban grinned and slowly shifted his blade out to the side, adopting a stance Ulric had never seen before. It seemed incredibly open but if the fool wanted to expose himself then he could. Ulric moved in to attack, swinging his left sword towards Caliban's as it came up to block the strike-

The metal clashed and Ulric's left sword forced Caliban's down before his right sword came down and slashed Caliban across the chest. Tied. Caliban stumbled but he recovered quickly getting his guard back up faster than Ulric was ready to respond to. Ulric dropped his swords and backed away from Caliban. He was confident that without his swords to expose him, the other swordsman would have no idea where he was. It was a wonderful plan. Ulric would reach out with two tendrils to swing the swords... he'd-

Caliban pounced, rushing forward with his sword at Ulric. How did he know? Ulric reached out for his swords but there was no way he'd get them back to his hands before Caliban reached him. It was too late. Caliban swung his sword outwards, cutting through the hand comprised of invisible ectoplasm. Ulric's form fluttered into appearance, the shock having slowed his ectoplasm enough to bring it back into a semitransparent state for a moment before it slowed further and hardened into a flesh like state. Ulric looked at the gashes in his hands where blood should have but did not leak then he looked to the sand on the ground where he could see his footprints. Invisible. Not intangible.

It was ironic. Ulric had been worried he would have to fight Arthur if Arthur wasn't eliminated but now he didn't have to worry about that.
word count: 1545
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Re: Two Hands, Two Swords


Dual Wielding (Longsword x Longsword) x 2
Blades x2
Materialization (Flux): Invisible, not intangible
Stealth: Sand betrays invisible movement

Loot: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: 5, you lost, but the fight still attracted attention.
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: When I checked your CS, I noticed that you only have 2 two-handed knowledges. You need 3 additional knowledges at Novice (and another 3 knowledges at Competent) in order to be able to use both one-handed and two-handed swords. Also, longswords (if you mean the bastard sword type) are usually used with two hands.

Points: 10
- - -
Comments: This was an interesting scenario. I don’t think I’ve read a lot of threads where a ghost fights in an arena yet. You write combat well in my opinion. I had no problem at all understanding what was happening; and besides, the fight was exciting to read. I like that you incorporated the reactions of the crowd. When Caliban asked Ulric if he had forgotten how to speak when he died, I laughed. The ending was unexpected. It seems as if Ulric hadn’t considered that!

Enjoy your rewards!
word count: 189





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