Palestra Trials 5122/Day 1

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Opening Day

A row of trumpeters calls a fanfare.

Schalyne recites:

    "We begin the trials of the Palestra!"

Schalyne walks about the arena until she reaches a box filled with those wearing insignias of state.

Schalyne recites:

    "Glory and Honor to the Patriarch!"

Schalyne bows.

Schalyne nods.

Schalyne recites:

    "Tonight, each candidate will have the chance to demonstrate their skills in their weapon of choice."


Schalyne recites:

    "I present Candidate Dhairn."

Dhairn lets out a cheer!

Schalyne nods at Dhairn.

Dhairn waves.

Schalyne takes a few steps back.

Dhairn quietly says, "Here goes.."

Dhairn slowly empties his lungs..

(Dhairn walks out to the center of the viewing area. He pauses and gives his sheath a sharp glance.)

Speaking quietly to his ebon fishnet thigh-sheath, Dhairn whispers aloud, "Not yet. It's just me. You guys all come out later."

Dhairn turns an ear toward a small-weave ebon fishnet thigh-sheath.

Speaking harshly to his ebon fishnet thigh-sheath, Dhairn asks, "No! After you hear Ghezresh, mkay?"

Dhairn clears his throat.

Dhairn slowly empties his lungs.

Dhairn grabs a bright eahnor faceless mask from a small pocket inside of his ebon leather duster.

Dhairn raises his faceless mask to his face, and it leaps toward the exposed flesh.  After a brief struggle, the mask attaches itself to Dhairn's face.

Dhairn boldly begins, "I possess..."

Dhairn removes an eel-encircled ghezyte gauntlet-sword from in his ebon fishnet thigh-sheath.

Dhairn removes an eel-adorned ghezyte slasher from in his ebon fishnet thigh-sheath.

(Dhairn immediately slashes three times with his gauntlet-sword at an imaginary foe with lightning speed, and crosses his slasher from top left to bottom right before sheathing both. Did you blink and miss it?)

Dhairn put an eel-encircled ghezyte gauntlet-sword in his ebon fishnet thigh-sheath.

Dhairn put an eel-adorned ghezyte slasher in his ebon fishnet thigh-sheath.

Bakarus just opened a jagged finger bone reliquary.

Dhairn quickly crows, "The speed of Tonis!"

Dhairn loudly declares, "I am called:"

Dhairn's indigo eyes slip closed and he issues a gentle summons to the spirits of water and moisture.  Flashing around him, the spirits respond and leave trails of their power upon his faultless obsidian skin, which he then channels and sends outward into the surrounding area.

Dhairn gestures.
Nothing happens.

Dhairn coldly resolves, "The Avenger of Chesylcha!"

Dhairn fiercely claims, "I've mastered!"

Dhairn removes an eel-encircled ghezyte gauntlet-sword from in his ebon fishnet thigh-sheath.

Dhairn removes an eel-adorned ghezyte slasher from in his ebon fishnet thigh-sheath.

Dhairn smiles before slowly allowing his teeth to gnash in an angry grimace. He draws again, and double crosses his weapons at his imaginary opponent... ending the wicked display by thrusting his slasher forward at neck height.

Dhairn furiously upbraids, "The fury... of Vtull."

Dhairn stoically booms, "I have..."

(Dhairn walks slowly in a circle around an imaginary foe. He stops suddenly, and brings the hilts of his blades down onto the invisible enemy's head in a twin hammerfist!)

Dhairn draws back his arms to casually flex in his sculpted body armor, sending snakes of muted ebon ethereal energy surging over his sculpted body armor.
Dhairn severely thunders, "The strength of Kai!"

Ethereal bearded-dragon eels coil to life around Dhairn's arm and chest, writhing and riding hidden currents to form a chelioboros above his gesturing hand. They fade away while his voice becomes but a whisper.

Dhairn gestures.
The magic fizzles ineffectually.

Dhairn appears to be less clearly focused.

Dhairn threateningly claims, "I wield..."

Dhairn smiles as he displays his katars in turn by flipping them end over end into the air! He barely touches the slasher as he guides it back into his thigh-sheath, and holds out his right hand as his gauntlet-sword lands to be inspected. Dhairn runs his left thumb down the length of the blade, a violet flame erupting from it's edge as the digit passes.

Dhairn beseeches his ghezyte gauntlet-sword, causing violet flames to spring to life around it!

Dhairn icily reprimands, "The bane of Marlu."

Speaking in Faendryl, Faylorn quietly says something you don't understand.

Dhairn diabolically confesses, "I exude."

Ethereal bearded-dragon eels coil to life around Dhairn's arm and chest, writhing and riding hidden currents to form a chelioboros above his gesturing hand. They fade away while his voice becomes but a whisper.

Dhairn gestures.

Dhairn ominously warns, "The TERROR of Sheru."

A blast of heat explodes from Dhairn's ghezyte gauntlet-sword as the violet flames surrounding it gain new life.

Dhairn put an eel-encircled ghezyte gauntlet-sword in his ebon fishnet thigh-sheath.

Dhairn put an eel-adorned ghezyte slasher in his ebon fishnet thigh-sheath.

Dhairn steadily begins, "My strikes..."

As Dhairn reaches for his kunai tattoo an ethereal hilt protrudes from its center.  He grabs the hilt and pulls a glowing ethereal kunai out.

(Dhairn stares at a point in space directly in front of himself, and flicks his wrist!)

Dhairn tosses his ethereal kunai forward then quickly grabs an ethereal chain hanging from it to pull it back into his hand.

Dhairn clinically proclaims, "The precision of Onar."

A series of ethereal chains lashes out from Dhairn's kunai tattoo as his ethereal kunai seeps back into his tattoo.

Dhairn ominously asserts, "I hold."

Dhairn takes a step forward and glares as muted ebon ethereal chains whirl about his sculpted body armor before dispersing.

Dhairn renders a sharp hand salute.

Dhairn dutifully reports, "The decisiveness of Unsenis."

Dhairn cryptically cautions, "I embody."

Ethereal bearded-dragon eels coil to life around Dhairn's arm and chest, writhing and riding hidden currents to form a chelioboros above his gesturing hand. They fade away while his voice becomes but a whisper.

Dhairn gestures.

Dhairn smoothly lifts a hand near his sculpted body armor, letting a tendril of ethereal energy coil sinuously around his extended fingers.

Dhairn tonelessly growls, "The Avatar of Ghezresh."

Dhairn quietly begins, "I am..."

Dhairn smiles as the expected interruption comes from over his left shoulder. A shadowy, ethereal, and unmasked echo of himself manifests. He looks rather bored, and is holding a small scotch glass and a cigar. He rolls his eyes and says:

Dhairn nonchalantly offers, "No no no. I am."

(Dhairn watches the shadow as it glances over its shoulder to the left and exhales smoke from its cigar... another apparition of Dhairn appears from the smoke squatting low to the ground, it's billowy appearance bringing the Dhairn count to three. His kunai are both poised for a stealthy strike as he speaks:.)

Dhairn discreetly whispers aloud, "Me. I am."

Dhairn smiles and chuckles as the new ethereal Dhairn is met by yet a third, this one standing tall with a confident smirk on its translucent visage. The now four-Dhairn procession begins to face each other as the newcomer asserts:

Dhairn pompously boasts, "No. I am!"

(Dhairn watches as yet a fourth Dhairn manifests from the ether, this one dancing a circle into place to the left of overconfident Dhairn...)

Dhairn playfully laughs, "I believe I am?"

(Dhairn stares incredulously as the dancing Dhairn splits into two, the fifth Dhairn taking his place quickly to complete the circle of ethereal Faendryl. He snaps to attention, and salutes with his gauntlet-sword high and to the right:.)

Dhairn dutifully reports, "I am."

Dhairn smiles mischievously at each of the five copies of himself in the circle, and draws ghezyte. He scans the lot of blurry ethereal imposters before glancing around at the gathered audience.

Dhairn removes an eel-encircled ghezyte gauntlet-sword from in his ebon fishnet thigh-sheath.

Dhairn removes an eel-adorned ghezyte slasher from in his ebon fishnet thigh-sheath.

Dhairn amusedly admits, "Looks like we are."

(Dhairn unleashes a flurry of blows on the latest addition, and begins working his way clockwise around the circle. Each spectral Dhairn feigns a look of surprise, some bringing weapons up to futilely block the fury of the dark elf's attacks. Four.. three... one remaining. With a wink and a bow, the original doppleganger pours out his ethereal scotch glass and vanishes in a puff of inky smoke. Breathing a bit heavier, Dhairn thanks his blades in a whisper.)

Dhairn kneels down.

Dhairn impassively declares, "We are."

(Dhairn plants the blades of both of his weapons firmly into the dirt.)

Dhairn decisively announces, "Ascended."

Dhairn hangs his head.

Dhairn closes his eyes for a moment.

Dhairn stands up.

Dhairn put an eel-encircled ghezyte gauntlet-sword in his ebon fishnet thigh-sheath.

Dhairn put an eel-adorned ghezyte slasher in his ebon fishnet thigh-sheath.

Dhairn bows.

Schalyne nods at Dhairn


Schalyne recites:

    "I present Candidate Tayler"

Tayler smiles.

(Tayler takes a few steps foward, glancing towards the booth where the shimmering robe clad figure sat, he bows deeply, and intones "Honor and Glory for the Patriarch.")

(Tayler reaches up to his neck and untucks a robust silver chain from his shirt, exposing a fist sized white orb of metal swirled with veins of pale grey. He grabs the orb and tugs on it, the orb detatching from the chain as he brings it down to his side, clenched tightly in his fist.)

Tayler tosses his coraesine orb up into the air, and the pale grey veins upon its surface ripple and undulate in response -- causing it to simply hang in the air and circle around Tayler's head for several moments while emitting a soft humming noise.  It slowly floats back down to Tayler's outstretched palm.

Tayler twirls his finger around the coraesine orb, and it suddenly becomes shrouded in a hazy white light that ripples with undulating waves of power.

After a moment, the coraesine orb lashes outward and forms into a massive coraesine sword wrought with a spiral of incarnadine sigils.

Tayler idly runs a finger down the blade of his coraesine sword, tracing the outline of a jagged, thorn-shaped sigil.

The coraesine sword is suddenly shrouded in thousands of tiny mist-thorns, their barely-visible silhouettes coalescing around the sword in a sinuous dance.

(Tayler begins to work through a series of one handed sword forms, cutting at his imaginary opponent in carefully controlled strikes intended to disable, followed by grasping the hilt with both hands and striking in two handed killing blows. His movements and slow and controlled, intended to showcase the sword forms and his mastery of them.)

(Tayler speeds up his sword forms, displaying speed and control as he works through series of martial katas, each movement increasing in speed as he builds up to a quick tempo.)

The misty thorns whirl faster around Tayler's coraesine sword, their hazy silhouettes blurring the air around them.

(Tayler begins to fall back, acting as if he is being pressed by a skilled opponent.)

Tayler quickly whips the ebon Faendryl pavis off his shoulder and onto his awaiting arm.  The surface of the pavis pulses with white and black energy.

(Tayler raises his pavis to block an imaginary blow, pulling back momentarially to gain momentum as he shoves the pavis forward and strikes with his sword in a swift thrust from underneath the pavis, pulling his exposed arm back behind the cover it provides right after the blow lands.)

Tayler's coraesine sword is cast in a pale blue glow as the misty thorns encircling it in a tight vortex pulse and hum with power.

(Tayler blocks and parries many imaginary blows as he seems pressed by multiple opponents, moving his pavis to intercept blows from the back as he strikes out in retaliatory blows, his blade swinging around in wide, curving arcs, each slice faster than the last. He suddenly drops his shoulder and rushes forward, dipping low and rolling across his shoulder, coming to his feet behind his imaginary foes in a ready position, shield up and his blade foward, pointed towards the heart.)

Tayler thrusts his coraesine sword forward and suddenly becomes a blur of movement as he moves with the swiftness of a viper -- his fluid strikes cleaving elliptical arcs through the air as they merge into a single furious storm of intense, wicked strikes and harsh slashes that contort the air around him.

(Tayler slowly winds down from the flurry of blows and slashes, coming to a stop facing the crowd.)

Sliding his legs together until his heels and rolaren leg greaves with fan-plated poleyns click, Tayler bows low at the waist, his azure eyes cast downward beneath his visored rolaren armet with an ornate comb topped with a lor crown.  He brings his coraesine sword respectfully against the front of his plate with a faint clank, the motion drawing attention to his rolaren vambraces with ornate couters.

Tayler deftly twirls his coraesine sword around his finger and stuffs it in his leather sheath.  Fancy!

Tayler shrugs a shoulder and slides the ebon Faendryl pavis against his back.  The once energetic surface of the ebon Faendryl pavis visibly darkens.

(Tayler takes a few steps back into the line.)

Schalyne strides a few steps forward.


Schalyne recites:

    "I present Candidate Alanisse"

Schalyne takes a few steps back.

Alanisse pushes the hood attached to her garnet organdy cowl off of her head, allowing its ends to hang down her back.

(Alanisse steps forward, casting an appraising glance about the gathered crowd. With an acknowledging tilt of her head, she pauses briefly.)

Touching her forehead, her lips, and then her throat through the fabric of her garnet organdy cowl, Alanisse offers a solemn greeting.

Alanisse simply says, "I must take a moment to clear my mind before I begin."

Alanisse removes a thin teak meditation mat from in her cinereous pack.

Alanisse unrolls her meditation mat and places it on the ground.

As Alanisse moves to settle herself on the meditation mat she adopts a calm demeanor in preparation for spending some time in contemplation.

Alanisse closes her eyes for a moment.

Alanisse tilts her head down.

Deep in thought, Alanisse laces her fingers before her.

Alanisse breathes very slowly and looks much calmer.

(Alanisse kneels silently on the mat and begins to take slow, cleansing breaths. As her breathing slows to a near imperceptible level, her seemingly interminable mediation comes to an end.)

Alanisse tilts her head up.

(Alanisse slowly opens her eyes, gazing into the middle distance as she moves smoothly to her feet.)

Alanisse stands up.

Alanisse retrieves her meditation mat from the ground and carefully rolls it up.

Alanisse put a thin teak meditation mat in her cinereous pack.

Alanisse runs her hand over the wide skirts of a charcoal grey silk bliaut cut to fall in gradually fading layers front-split over some gathered tulle underskirts, gently adjusting the fall of the fabric.

Alanisse reaches inside one of the containers hanging from her suede underbust harness and grabs some cinerous leather gauntlets.

Alanisse tugs on her leather gauntlets before raising her hands and clenching them into fists.

Alanisse strides a few steps forward.

Alanisse equips a white-runed twisted steel tiger-claw hanging from one of the straps on her suede underbust harness.

Alanisse bounces lightly on the balls of her feet and adopts an aggressive stance.

Alanisse's twisted steel tiger-claw hums gently as she runs her thumb over its blades.  As Alanisse pulls her left hand away from the tiger-claw, the quiet humming suddenly stops.

(Alanisse raises her tiger-claw before her, her feet shoulder-width apart, and once again gazes across the assemblage.)

(Alanisse draws the twisted steel tiger-claw to her chest, dodging to the left as she throws a quick right jab.  She tucks into a roll, then returns quickly to her feet before twisting to peform a low punch.)

Alanisse takes a few steps to her left.

(Alanisse weaves right then left, bobbing and ducking before rising to the balls of her feet and issuing quick jabs with both fists.  She pivots to the right, lashing her left leg out with a knee-level kick, her cinerous sandals seeming to alight into flames before diminishing just as quickly.)

(Alanisse continues her deliberate and calculated spar, repeatedly punching and jabbing, brandishing her twisted steel tiger-claw expertly.  Her visage is devoid of malice, exuding what might be considered an air of confidence.)

Alanisse drops all defense as she moves into a battle-ready stance.

Alanisse smoothly moves into a ready position, her hands up before her.  A quick punch is followed by a short jab to the air in front of her, before she returns to a more relaxed stance.

(Alanisse quickly pivots on her right foot, producing a roundhouse kick with her left, maneuvering effortlessly in her grey silk bliaut. As she relaxes her stance, the grey silk bliaut billows around her briefly, the effect not unlike floating on a dark cloud.)

Alanisse re-settles into a stance suitable to unleash a flurry of blows.

Alanisse works her way methodically through a series of punches and jabs, alternating between the two.  Reaching the end of her training routine she raises her hands up to chest height and slowly cracks her knuckles before lowering her hands.

With a flick of her wrist, Alanisse draws the blades of her twisted steel tiger-claw parallel to her body.  The air around her churns gently and a look of perseverance crosses over her features.

(Alanisse takes a measured breath as slashes with her tiger-claw, adding a quick jab at the last moment before backing away and ducking low as if anticipating swift retaliation.)

Alanisse moves into a defensive stance, ready to fend off an attack.

Alanisse nods slightly, the folds of her garnet organdy cowl briefly hiding her lower face.

Alanisse hangs a white-runed twisted steel tiger-claw from one of the straps on her suede underbust harness.

Alanisse takes a few steps back.

Alanisse inclines her head.

Alanisse tugs the hood attached to her garnet organdy cowl up onto her head, easily hiding her face in its folds.

Alanisse folds her hands.

Schalyne nods.


Schalyne recites:

    "I present Candidate Vaeldrys"

Schalyne takes a few steps back.

Vaeldrys nods.

Vaeldrys strides a few steps forward.

Vaeldrys takes a few steps in a small circle.

An ebon-tinged blood red sandruby stippled with golden motes on Ketsimney's forehead catches a brief flicker of starlight and glows with a luminous brilliance.

(Vaeldrys readies himself, bringing his fists up, one slightly ahead of the other. Settling his feet in a narrow stance.)

(Vaeldrys slides his back foot to the forward position, slowly at the start and then finishing the step with incredible speed and snapping his lower fist forward into a jab.)

(Vaeldrys repeats the explosive movement with deliberate purpose again and again, picking up speed, each strike accentuated with a growl and greenish-black light.)

(Vaeldrys's stance widens as he slides his back foot in a wide arc - in towards his other foot before sliding out to support the powerful crossover punch to the arm of his imaginary foe that follows.)

(Vaeldrys steps again, this blow aimed at his invisible opponent's other arm.)

(Vaeldrys steps twice more, these attacks aimed at each leg.)

(Vaeldrys braces for a moment after finishing the prior movement, before rocketing forth with a final spear-hand aimed to the heart.)

(Vaeldrys raises his hands in front of him, palms open and fingers slightly stiff.)

Tilting his head back, Vaeldrys slowly inhales, causing an array of greenish-black lights to rise from his silver gauntlets in time to the rhythm of his breath.  As he exhales, the bright motes burst outwards in a flurry of incandescence, briefly forming into the outline of a wolf before winking out.

(Vaeldrys moves into a series of dodges and strikes, his form flowing like water from one to the next.)

(Vaeldrys hands lash out in rapid, repeated jabs to the head before ducking an imaginary foe and replying with a spinning kick to the head.)

Vaeldrys wheels around in a spinning kick, one of his griffin hide boots flashing at head level.

(Vaeldrys hand quickly forms a claw, tears the throat and turns, parrying with an inside block of his forearm before responding with a spear-hand to the eye.)

(Vaeldrys continues his dance, his face becomes serene as his gauntlets and tunic manifest a massive greenish-black wolf and raven that move in tandem with his movement. Bursting against imagined foes and reforming.)

Defensively raising his balled fists in front of him, Vaeldrys strides cautiously forward a few steps with a rustle of deep green and silver bourde from his bourde tunic, his stormy grey eyes alert.  Greenish-black sparks whirl from the tunic, spiraling in his wake.  The tiny motes of light merge together into the ethereal form of a massive raven as it glides behind him, its bright eyes agleam with intelligence as it scans the area around it.

Clenching one of his silver gauntlets into a fist, Vaeldrys flicks the other in a decisive gesture.

With a resounding howl, a massive wolf made of greenish-black light bursts from the gauntlets and runs forward a few steps before lunging, hackles raised and teeth bared!  It moves off into the distance and dissipates into an array of bright greenish-black motes that scatter into the air.

Clenching his hands into fists within his silver gauntlets and holding them against his chest, Vaeldrys bows low.  Greenish-black light seeps into his body from the gauntlets, a brief ethereal image of a wolf overlaying his face in a temporary mask as he straightens up.

(Vaeldrys steps back into line.)

Schalyne nods.


Schalyne recites:

    "I present Candidate Khobra"

Khobra breathes very slowly and looks much calmer.

kKhobra strides a few steps backward.

(Khobra gazes towards the booth where the shimmering robe-clad figure and humbly responds with  "Honor and Glory for the Patriarch.")

Speaking in Faendryl, Khobra softly greets, "Greetings and the humblest of salutations to all who have gathered here on this lovely and most enchanting of evenings."

Speaking in Faendryl, Khobra softly continues, ""Mistress of the Dark."

Khobra places her hand on the katana hanging from her hip-slung swordbelt, and drums her fingers.  She surveys the area with a hint of malice in her eyes.

Khobra removes a black ora no-dachi with a dark emerald pommel from in her ebon longcoat.

Speaking knowingly in Faendryl to her black ora no-dachi, Khobra hisses, "I am the apprentice draconically called "Kee-hO'BeeRa" she states while slowly moving to glance upon all who have gathered."

As Khobra raises her black ora no-dachi, the shadows swirl upward and race off of it and ascend high above, darkening the sky.  After a moment, they recede and return to the no-dachi, which flickers with pulses of greenish-black essence.

Speaking in Faendryl, Khobra knowingly continues, "Antiquarian of Maelshyve I have become because of my experiences held there.. while we all ventured within and about Maelshyve."

Khobra touches her black ora no-dachi hesitantly.  The shadows swirl and wrap around her hand in a familiar caress.

Speaking in Faendryl, Khobra knowingly states, "A Captian of the Eastern Defense and Citizen of the Mistic Harbor spawned from Faendryl's bloodline and the apprentice under Palestra's guidance to become a Blade."

Khobra runs a finger down the shadows enveloping her no-dachi.  The shadows writhe and surround her hand in a macabre embrace, then recede to surround the no-dachi.

Speaking softly in Faendryl to her black ora no-dachi, Khobra concludes, "Returner of Nightbringer."

Khobra takes a few steps back.

Schalyne nods.

Schalyne strides a few steps forward.


Schalyne recites:

    "I present Candidate Yardie"

Yardie strides a few steps forward.

Yardie takes a deep breath.

Yardie slowly empties his lungs.

Yardie raises one foot, then the other, checking the soles of his dark leather moccasins for any rocks or debris.

Yardie politely introduces, "I am called Yardie."

Yardie continues, "Member of the Faendryl Enclave.  Nominated by Blade Arku to endeavour on this path."

Yardie leans over and blows down at his dark leather moccasins, then reaches down and brushes them off.

(Yardie adjust his ebon leather gloves, takes a few deep, frantic breaths, and then closes his eyes.  Suddenly, piercing orbs slip open with slow deliberation, a calm sea of violet in his gaze.  He enters a fighting stance, left foot and hand lead forward in a light, nimble bounce.)

(Yardie steps on the light foot, shifting in and out of the shadows. dark leather hunts shimmer in and out of the light, the only hint of a form visible. Fists ball lightly as his movements become hard to discern.)

Yardie adds, "I am a Shadow Dancer...known by some as the Panicky Phantom."

(Yardie appears from the shadows, circling the imagined stunned foe with a calm menace, eyeing body parts for weaknesses.  With a quick shake of the head, he dashes out of sight.)

Yardie leaps up into the air and kicks out one of his dark leather moccasins in front of him.

Yardie wheels around in a spinning kick, one of his dark leather moccasins flashing at head level.

Yardie flips gracefully backward, hugging his knees for an instant before meeting the ground with silent feet.

Yardie drags the toe of one of his dark leather moccasins along the ground to create an imaginary line.

(Yardie peppers the air with a few measured jabs to gauge his opponent's distance, then throws up his hands and commits a more egregious, dirty strike.)

Yardie wheels around in a spinning kick, one of his dark leather moccasins flashing at head level.

(Yardie shifts into a crouched stance, legs coiled like a mamba, ready to strike.  His leg whips high, the kick snapping at the air ferociously.)

Yardie coughs loudly into his fist several times, then opens it to reveal a narrow vultite knife with a coiled onyx raven feather pommel!

(Yardie brandishes the vultite knife, then engages in a few slashes at an imaginary opponent.)

Yardie flips his vultite knife confidently into the air, where it spins several times before dropping smoothly back into his hand.

Yardie confidently sets a narrow vultite knife's with a coiled onyx raven feather pommel point on his index finger, then gives it a little spin!  As it rapidly twirls, he carefully walks it from one finger to another, never disturbing its balance, before finally flipping it up and catching it deftly by the hilt.

Yardie pops his knife into his mouth and smiles.

Yardie removes a vultite katar from in his ebon leather thigh-sheath.

(Yardie whirls his body, the arm snapping out like a whip, then dips low, back arched forward, and thrusts the katar in the air, his hips twisting into the strike with a vicious snap.)

(Yardie disappears into the shadows for a few heartbeats, then returns to view from out of the shadows, the swaying nimbleness of his fighter's bounce leaving umbral trails of his silhouette with each sway.  Finally settling to a stop, Yardie takes one last exhale and dusts himself off.)

Yardie bows.

Yardie takes a few steps back.

Schalyne nods.


Schalyne recites:

    "I present Candidate Anru"

Schalyne takes a few steps back.

Anru strides a few steps forward.

Anru equips a long-hafted black iron mace hanging from one of the straps on his leather bandolier.

Anru equips a gold-studded pale ora mace hanging from one of the straps on his leather bandolier.

(Anru pulls a pair of maces, one black iron, one pale ora, from his bandolier, and strides forward, swinging them in wide, interweaving loops, leaning into the swings with his step as they sweep forward.)

(Anru spins to the left, pale ora mace leading black iron as he whirls low, and gradually rises in height with each rotation, maces lashing out with increasing speed, until suddening stopping after three rotations.)

(Anru spins to the right now, black iron leading the pale ora head of the maces in series of spins from low to high, again, stopping sharply after the third rotation.)

Anru rolls to the right, then springs to his feet, ready again for action!

(Anru now charges forward, maces crisscrossing ahead of him with his steps, until he launches into the air, both maces raised, and brings them down hard before him in a simultaneus downward strike, ending with him on one foot, one knee, maces pointing forward, towards the box taken by the patriarch.)

(Anru spreads his arms wide, maces now pointing to the sides, and calls out clearly, 'Honor, and Glory".)

Schalyne nods.

(Anru rises, and steps back to the line.)


Schalyne recites:

    "I present Candidate Ketsimney"

(Ketsimney steps slowly forward glancing about the arena.)

Ketsimney draws a midnight black nagimaki in the beauteous name of Zelia from her vaalorn scabbard.  The nagimaki traces an arc of glittering silver moonlight in its wake.  A peal of unhinged laughter fills the air for a moment.

Ketsimney concentrates deeply for a moment.

Ketsimney beseeches her midnight black nagimaki, causing violet flames to spring to life around it!

Ketsimney bounces the nagimaki around some, then whirls it around.

Ketsimney moves into an aggressive stance, clearly preparing for an attack.

(Ketsimney gets a determined look on her face and makes a series of alternating slashing motions as she advances forward.)

A wisp of smoke rises up from Ketsimney's midnight black nagimaki as the violet flames surrounding it are extinguished.

(Ketsimney crouches low and sweeps her nagimaki in a wide arc across the ground. At its completion, she flicks the blade and draws it up in one swift motion.)

(Ketsimney rises to her feet, switching her nagimaki to one hand. A twist of the wrist allows the weapon to twirl in her opposing hand, the blade a blur in her grip as it moves towards the sky and quickly back to the ground.)

(Ketsimney raises her nagimaki above her head, slashing gracefully towards the ground before quick wristwork slices the blade skyward again with ease.)
Ketsimney moves into a defensive stance, ready to fend off an attack.

(Ketsimney back steps as she demonstrates tightly controlled pivots of her nagimaki to parry imagined weapon attacks.)

Ketsimney's eyes suddenly flash with a silver glow.

Ketsimney drops all defense as she moves into a battle-ready stance.

(Ketsimney grips her nagimaki with both hands charging forward slightly, before coming to a stop and thrusting forward three times in quick succession.)
(Ketsimney changes her grip on her nagimaki, pivoting the blade in a sharp, aggressively executed upward slash.)

(Ketsimney twirls her body letting her momentum swing her nagimaki out in front of her before coming to a stop in a defensive posture.)

Ketsimney raises her nagimaki into the sky and cries out for vengeance!

Ketsimney invokes the beauteous name of Zelia as she stows her midnight black nagimaki in her vaalorn scabbard with a flash of glittering silver moonlight.  A peal of unhinged laughter lingers briefly in the air.

The blood red sandruby on Ketsimney's forehead flickers softly, causing ebon-shaded sanguine flames to briefly flare within her eyes.

Ketsimney bows her head slightly as she drops into a deep, respectful curtsy.

(Ketsimney steps back into line.)

Schalyne nods.


Schalyne recites:

    "Tomorrow, the candidates will further demonstrate their skills in the arena."

After which, the assemblage retired for tea and cookies.

Editors note: There was no tea nor cookies. Wine and Cheese, however, was in ample supply.