Blood in the Crypts [RP] [1v1]

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By Sylphier
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Saoirse had not been on the battlefield for some time - after months of rigorous training with Odium to condition them both into something better, teaching him to channel his anger into controlled and calculated movements while she got the benefit of practicing against a well equipped and often unpredictable opponent to help her learn to improvise instead of relying on her original battle plan, she had needed a break. It was probably not the greatest idea to take a few months off from the sparring scene after working so hard to bring herself up to a new level of dangerous, but she had grown tired of the constant clashes and wanted to take the winter off to simply enjoy herself. So she had, though she still did twice a week practice bouts with Odi to keep herself fit and ready for her return. Now after several months of staying away from the monthly matches, here she was again about to step into the ring. She had signed up for a single bout instead of the two she had preferred before, and had almost breathed a sigh of relief when her partner match was announced - a name she had never heard, nor had Odi. Likely a new face in the competitive scene, and while that might be a bit of a wild card it was certainly better than being paired with some of the seasoned fighters who had spent the winter hard at work just as before while Sear had let herself relax and grow somewhat soft. Whoever this Hotaru was though, she would give him a battle to remember.

Such an unusual location for this months match had been given, but it seemed that no place was off limits anymore. Ulfr seemed to take joy is assigning their battle locations in the most unexpected or sacred places on the island. So when dawn had graced the sky, Saoirse had taken off from her home in the Vale of Whispers and headed towards the Shrine of Ragnarok. It was certainly not the furthest location that she could have been assigned, and so with some time and little trouble she arrived at the Shrine only to find it… empty? Not a soul lingered here, which was terribly unusual - there was often much fanfare around the monthly matches and she had expected at least a few to be present despite the taboo behind sparring at this particular shrine. Even more unusual, there was no marked off area where she was to first face off against her partner. Intrigued, she padded slowly around the shrine seeking any indication of where her battle was to be held - had she misheard the courier who had delivered the location of her match and the name of her partner? No, not possible…

She was almost ready to give up when she caught sight of a small flag driven into the ground on a spike behind one of the statues. Head tilting in curiosity, she padded over to it and found that it was marking a gaping hole in the ground that offered entry to a dark stone stairwell, with crumbling stone steps leading down into a dim corridor lit only by sputtering candles. There was no doubt in her mind that this is what Ulfr had planned for the matches today, he may have known about this tomb below the shrine for many years without saying a word, saving it for a day such as this. Sighing, the pale female ducked into the damp stairwell and followed the candlelight, noting that there were corridors branching off the one she followed but none were lit as this one was. Ulfr had planned well… The corridor eventually opened up into a large gallery where stone tombs were set into the very walls and urns, some beginning to crumble from age alone, set into decorative inlets in the stone. The space was empty… for now. She set herself at the back of the room, facing the corridor from whence she had come. All that was left now was to wait for Hotaru.

Deep blue fur nearly bristled with anticipation as Hotaru made his way from The village of Hearth to the Shrine of Ragnarok. This was a first for him and as the new head warrior he felt he needed to prove he was worth the title. Sure with his pack they had training and small sparring that helped keep everyone in shape, and there was a reason that Hotaru was named head warrior, but that didn’t make him feel better about this. He knew his peers, their weaknesses, the strengths. He trained them to be who they are, and trained with them to be who he is. His fur was standing on end again, a line down his back. Just the cold he tried to tell himself.

As he came upon the shrine, statues of Felvargs of the past lay in the depths beneath his paws. Hotaru had remembered what those back at Hearth had said about the place, and he rarely visited, not venturing to far from home unless he needed too. From the direction he was coming, it didn’t take him long to find a marker, letting him know this was the place he needed to be. It was still, the whispers of the grass in the breeze filling in his ears as he listened for anything that indicated he was truly at the place for sparring. He decided to sit and wait, from a distance, hoping he would see others arrive as well. It didn’t take long before he saw the shape of a pale varg, make their way… into the ground? This pricked his interest and he stood, giving them a minute before following. He had walked past here, how could he have missed the entrance? Shrugging it off, he proceeded down the damp corridor into what seemed to be a tomb. 

This felt like a strange place to spare, to Hotaru. In the crypt of others past? Maybe this was so they could watch from the heavens, judging their kin as they sparred. Hotaru looked around carefully as he entered a large opening, assuming this was where it was meant to take place. It was dim and the walls oozed even more dampness. Eyes scanning, he landed his yellow eyes on a pale female across the room. A dip of his head was all he acknowledged her with. He wasn’t one to talk much, rather using gestures to speak to others. Words were tedious and took too much time. A nod was all that was needed.

Sear had not been waiting long when her ears caught the telltale clatter of the loose stone shifting from the corridor ahead of her. Good, that must be her opponent. She had been somewhat worried that they would not find the very subtle marker above the crypt entrance - Ulfr did not make it easy for those new to the fights. As she stood with her eyes locked on the corridor exit from her position at the rear of the large room, a deep blue male emerged from the shadows of the opening and took up his position across from her. He locked eyes with her for a moment before dipping his head in a nod of readiness. So, he came prepared then. Nodding her head in return to that sign, Sear wasted no time in beginning to pace a small circle around the other as her eyes roamed over him carefully to get his measure. He was taller than her by just a touch, but otherwise they seemed of a size. Well muscled, though perhaps not to the extent Sear had been, he could probably match her now after the soft winter routine she had followed. She had to be careful with this fight, oh so careful. There was no telling what this stranger, so new to the matches was capable of. Her practice with Odi, improvising her battle strategy on the fly, would be much needed here today.

As she moved, she watched his paws to match any movements he might make and look for any telltale signs of him planning to attack. She felt that her circling went on and on with no sign of the first attack coming for her opponent - he was likely waiting her out. She fought the urge to grind her teeth - darn Odium, his bad habits were rubbing off on her! - as she made yet another slow, slinking circuit around the oblong room before she could take no more. She would not waste the day away and they measured each other up endlessly without either making a move - it was time for her to strike, even if it put her at a disadvantage by giving him a glimpse of her skill before he had shown any of his. In her mind she went over all the tells that Odium had pointed out, flaws in her movement that gave away her plan to attack before she was in motion… She forced her paws to stay in line, fighting the urge to twitch them into a more battle forward position and continued to lock her eyes on her opponents paws, breathing evenly and waiting. She would take an opening, when it presented itself.

A rumble sounded behind her, some of the crumbling wall of the tomb coming loose and rattling to the floor in the shadows of the room and she knew this was it. She didn’t look at his face to see if he had been startled or even twitched at the sound - she had to take the risk here and hope he would at least have the smallest moment of distraction by the sudden sound. In one smooth stride she was away, breaking her circled path in the grimy, dusty floor to rush at Hotaru in a few long paces, throwing herself at him when she was near enough. Her paws arced through the air and as she drew within reach she swiped toward where he stood, hoping to score a blunt hit if nothing else as she bounded at him before turning suddenly to rush back the way she had come, doing her best to avoid a retaliation attack if he chose to launch one. She was headed back towards that ring of clean that she had tracked through the room, hoping to fall back into her circling once more and prepare for any moves he might make next. .

As the female rose to her feet, Hotaru watched as she matched his nod in agreement - they were ready. He hated the anticipation he felt at the start of a fight, but was patient once he knew it had begun. The dance they began took them around in circle of the room. The sound of their foot falls matching pace for pace. Hotaru didn't need to watch Sear's foot falls. He heard them clearly and instead watched her face, hoping for the slightest tell that she was going to break into the first attack. 

It had seemed to the blue male that things weren't going to change if someone didn't make the first move, and yet he felt he should wait her out a bit longer. The sound of the walls creaking and tumble alerted him and for a moment he let his gaze wander from her face. Mistake. He knew that was a rookie move and yet it had happened. Claws connected with his shoulder and he gnashed his teeth at his attacker in frustration. Dangit! How could he falter?! He would need to be more careful... Gathering himself, the male lunged at his opponent as she made a run back to her position, hoping to connect a blow. She was fast… He would have to remember that now.

Sear heard claws scrape on the stone behind her as she was rushing to get out of reach, and then his hot breath was on her tail as he lunged after her to try and take revenge for the blow she had managed to score so narrowly. She felt his teeth catch in her tail and tried to tuck it out of the way before his jaws could close, but too slow. Fur ripped free and she fought back a snarl as his teeth snagged her tailbone as well as she desperately tried to flinch away from him. With difficulty she managed to free herself, less a few hairs and some of the thin flesh that guarded her precious tailbone but safe from the greater damage that had come so close to being inflicted upon her. Quickening her pace, she pushed herself to the other end of the room before she dared turn to look back - spinning her whole body around in one fluid motion to leave herself as few vulnerable moments as possible she readied for a block or dodge but he has not followed her - yet. Puffing slightly from the run - she never expected to be running in these fights, always preferring close combat - Sear locked her eyes on Hotaru once more and began to slink in a slow circle around him again.

He was a capable fighter, she had to give him that, but Sear felt she was still better. She just needed to shake off the rust from her time without a true match, get her gears moving in battle once more. She could hope to try and wear him down with small attacks, or try and go big to take him out sooner since currently she was more weary than he from having sprinted across the cavernous room to escape his attack. Now that it was over she felt almost ashamed at having run instead of turning to fight him head on. No more of that - she would show him she was a force to be reckoned with now. Half a circuit around the room, and she moved quickly in a tight turn to face him before rushing him head on with a loud snarl. Locking his position in her mind, she turned her head down to protect her eyes as she closed the last few strides between them, hoping to throw him off balance with her full body weight in the rush and ducking down to try sinking her teeth into his foreleg, teeth snapping forward hopefully.

Hair coated his tongue as Hotaru caught the she-wolf's tail in his jaws. A minor victory for the scrape to his shoulder. She was free and bolting quickly though, and without looking away the male spit hair to the ground. It wasn't quite the surprise he had hoped for but it was something to show her he wasn't without merit of being here. He did have to admit she was good, if not better. A varg that obviously took these battles seriously. It gave him mind of what he should tone on his tactics. 

The snarl that reverberated from her caused him to growl, teeth showing now, out of instinct. She rushed him and the male tried to side step, but was to late. Her jaw locked on his leg, causing a sound to come from his throat in one instant, almost a yelp but quickly deepening his growl. In retaliation the male reached to try and sink his teeth into whatever he could grab, in hopes she would let go, all while tearing his leg away from her grip. Eventually getting free of her hold the male backed up with haste, puffing air from his lungs. He had trained hard, obviously not hard enough, his leg now stinging with pain to remind him of it. Hotaru lowered his head once more, glaring at the female with mock hate and prepared for the battle to continue once more.

WC Sylph - 1,751
WC Ink - 878 
Total WC - 2,629

Collab with Inkasaurus-Rex 

Link to import/ID#: ID#2387 Saoirse, the Gladiator
Link to Tracker: Saoirse, the Gladiator's Tracker
Activity: 1v1
Location: Shrine of Ragnarok
Opponent: ID#573 Hotaru
Category: Open
Preemptive Heal: N/A
Additional Bonus Items:
Spooky Raccoon - Removes the ability for the Felvarg to sustain injuries when failing 1v1 encounters and provides a 10% chance to return a randomly rolled competition trait when failing any and all competitions. This companion comes with an import application possibility. 
Iron Fist - Your thrill for the kill increases the chance you will succeed in any 1v1 competition by 5%.
Warmonger - Your ruthlessness and skill in the art of war grants you a 5% chance to succeed while participating in 1v1 interactions.

Link to import/ID#: ID#573 Hotaru
Link to Tracker: Felvarg Activities Tracker
Activity: 1v1
Location: Shrine of Ragnarok
Opponent: ID#2387 Saoirse, the Gladiator
Category: Open
Preemptive Heal: Comment
Additional Bonus Items:
Moose - 10% chance to succeed in any 1v1 based competition.
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