- Ebon Ilnaren
- Seasoned Adventurer
- Black Knight
- Posts: 417
- Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 10:08 pm
- Location: Stardreamer Manor, RhyDin
Slumping a little in the chair, shifting to a more relaxed posture, she eyed the man. Perhaps it was a tad more shrewdness than a moment ago. "So, what would you do, if you were me? As you say, you don't wield an Opal. You're ... safe." She'd hold onto the second half of his sentiment, it seemed, and not reply to that. Yet.
He reached out and plucked the Blue Opal from its resting place. Nothing passed between them--after all, Jaycy was its wielder, not Ebon--yet he could almost feel the stone sizing him up, a chill passing into his hand. Then he set it back down. "I'll be honest, I wouldn't mind facing you in challenge for the Tower; you're a wily opponent. I do have to ask... you've spoken of IceDancer, but what of the Celestial Tower itself? Is there influence there as well?"
Hrm. Her gaze had followed his movements, hint of the smile fading in almost a possessive manner but not quite there. Once it was safely on the desk once more, green-golds shifted back to meet his dark eyes. "Influence in which way? The Tower doesn't have the sentience of the Opals."
"Phenomenal power, no will of its own... I can see how that would tempt them." He gestured towards IceDancer. "What would I do, in your place? Do you fear your will is in danger? Your sanity?"
"Oh, more than tempt." A rueful shake of her head, then she paused, taking a deep breath in. The exhale and then she shook it again. "No, I don't fear for either of those. If this were a less serious talk, I would say my sanity is so long gone that I'm Tass' twin." There was some truth to that, though. "My concern has been purely on the physical realm and what an Opal can do with so much power at their beck."
"The fact that you're concerned about the issue, wary of it, speaks volumes."
Taking that as a compliment, she bobbed her head in grateful acknowledgement. "So... I either retire, and assure that IceDancer has no access, or attempt to defend, and if I do, take the risk. Because now that I know, if I commit to defending once, I commit to continuing to make that choice."
The smile returned, small. "... and of course there's the second half of the conundrum. You. You said you'd want to face me, and you are Overlord. Those weigh on this."
"I've enjoyed the rare times that we've faced each other in the ring, in any sport." Beat. "It hasn't happened that often, to my memory, and I don't recall ever facing you in magic."
True and wider, the pleased expression grew, and her eyes lit. "Same, hon." Slowly she breathed out. "I suppose I could, and should, defend. I do have a request, however. I know I can't really enforce this, but you'd said you weren't in any hurry to wield an Opal. I ask, if you win, that you not seek an Opal while you're Archmage. Please."
"You have my word."
There was no need to shake on it; she nodded confirmation. Subtly, some of the tension did flow from her and her expression cleared of the minutely furrowed brow. "Thank you," sincerely.
It took a moment but finally she leaned inward once more, to pluck IceDancer from the desk and, rocking on a hip, tuck it into her pocket. "I suppose all that's left is settling on a date and those other particulars."
"We can meet for lunch in the next day or so to discuss that. Lunch tomorrow?"
"That sounds like a plan. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me, and discuss all of this. I hope it's been as helpful for you as it was for me." Pushing to her feet, she smiled to him. "Twilight Tacos?"
"Oh, yes, I could go for some tacos. I'll see you then!"
"Excellent. G'night. Don't stay here too late with paperwork." A wink; she was entirely guilty of doing exactly that over in the Outback! Laughter echoed as she disappeared in a minor flash of rainbow light.
((from live play with Jaycy - she edited it together and posted it starting here... thanks Jaycy!))
Friday 22 September
Officers Shkula and Jons responding to reports of a violent assault. Upon arrival on scene, discovered one party deceased and another wounded and unconscious, latter identified as one Doran Ilnaren. His statement, taken the following morning at Riverview Clinic, follows.
"I was walking up from Eastbridge towards the Red Dragon, planning to head down to the Arena for a Round Robin match, when I got the sense there was someone following me. Their excitement was palpable, but at first that was all I could sense."
[Note for the record: Ilnaren is an empath.]
"Now being followed was not a new thing for me as, like many ranking duelists, I am sometimes recognized by fans. Usually they wave or take pictures, sometimes they ask for an autograph. Sometimes they get a touch overexcited. This felt like it might be one of those, at first." [cough] "Ow."
"Then the feeling, the excitement I was sensing, it grew darker. Heated. This wasn't a fan eager to impress, this was a hunter closing in on prey. Not wanting to give my imminent attacker any additional targets, I turned down an empty alley between two rows of three-flats, continued on for about 50 feet, and stopped to wait. I wasn't waiting long."
"The guy came around the corner, slowing his pace when he spotted me waiting for him. He was a good size, at least two inches taller than me and a half-dozen broader. Muscular build, close-shaven head. About 20 feet from me, the man stopped and cracked his knuckles, then gave me a sneer. 'You're Ilnaren's brat.' That threw me. I'd figured he was just a thug on the prowl for an easy, lone target, but-"
[Officer Jons:] You think he was after you because of your father?
"Pa has done a lot for this city, but he's pissed off his share of lowlifes in the process. This was not the first time someone had tried to get to him through me. Anyway, while I was still processing that revelation, he attacked and the fight began."
[Officer Shkula:] A security camera from one of the nearby apartments recorded the battle. Your attacker picked up a car and threw it at you.
"Yeah. I mean, it was a Mini, but still, he hefted it like it was nothing. I barely had time to dive out of the way, tucking and rolling and coming up on my feet. My spear appeared in my hands, but the guy had already rushed towards me and swung a meaty fist that would've taken my head off if it'd connected. I stabbed at his side, but my spear just kinda sliced into his shirt and then glanced off. The only thing that went through my mind was 'Uh oh!' before he grabbed my right arm and yanked."
[Shkula:] That's when he dislocated your shoulder?
"Oh yeah. That hurt, which in this case turned out to be a good thing. I took that pain and fed it right back at him, and the guy yelled out and let me go, snarling. I'd dropped my spear and was reaching down to grab it when he swung a backhanded fist at my chest."
[Jons:] That why you're all taped up?
"Uh huh. Would've crushed my sternum, but I've been trained to fight by some of the best. Pa, Sal, Kruger. One of the things they all taught me was that if I couldn't avoid a blow, roll with it. Minimize the damage. Even so, I felt at least two ribs crunch, followed by a stabbing pain, worse than before. So I sent that to him as well, amped up to eleven. His howl echoed through the alley. I backpedaled while trying to come up with a plan. Looking at him, I saw a thin line of red under the slice in his shirt. I'd cut him after all, and that's when it hit me. He wasn't invulnerable, just unnaturally thick-skinned. Now I'm lean and wiry, stronger than I look, but I wasn't strong enough to stab through that hide."
"He was, though." [Ilnaren chuckles, then coughs again.] "Leaving my spear where it lay, I kept backing up, putting some distance between us. The man was wary now, he'd been hit twice with waves of agony, and he seemed to be willing to wait until I collapsed before finishing the job. That would not do, I needed him to come at me. So instead of pain, I fed him something else I'd begun feeling. Rage. I poured it into him, watching his face twist into a furious mask, breath coming in deep heaves, stamping at the cobblestones like a maddened bull about to charge."
[Jons:] And then he did?
"Then he did, at a full run, roaring in a blood rage. And when he was almost on me... I called my spear to my hand, the butt end braced against the ground, the head pointed at his chest. I saw his reddened eyes widen with realization before he impaled himself on the spear and then crashed into me. I remember screaming, then nothing. Until I woke up here about an hour ago." Ilnaren winces, shoulders spasming briefly. "That's all I have. Now, I think the nurses want me to rest some more."
Ilnaren is in stable condition and recovering from his injuries, and is expected to be released from the hospital by Monday.
His attacker has been identified as Frans Dahook, member of the Coalfires, a gang based in western Old Temple. According to Watch records, the Coalfires have been inactive for over a year. It is unclear what Dahook has been doing in that time, or how he acquired his enhanced strength and durability, traits he was not known to previously possess.
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