Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
Kazelia really does keep her word on the first taunt and prepares for the fire breath, only to get totally thrown by the lasers. They don't hit quite as hard as a full on dragon claw or breath attack and she has the presence of mind to dodge out of the way at the last second and channel a bit of her magic, so it will only bruise a bit. If you're paying attention, you might notice that her magic is a little different than before. Not the instant ice but instead more like flowing water that swiftly hardens as it reaches its destination, pulling and misdirecting all but a few of the lasers, which do make her wince. Well played gambit!

She comes out of her roll and tucks her arms and legs, bracing for the follow up blow that would have sent her flying halfway across the arena, but it never comes, and that's when she has the same realization that Helya once had. When your follow up does come, she lets the tail get hold of her and uses the momentum of the pull to lift up her staff. She's nowhere near as strong as you are, of course, but she's strong enough to hold a stick of wood firm as a full strength dragon pull causes it to careen right into your lower jaw, knocking your head upward. Your advantage is that even with all this, indeed with a blow struck using your own strength against you, the best Kazelia is really getting here is a bit of a dazed moment before you recover. She doesn't really have a way to seriously hurt you, not without pulling her lance out or using the kind of heavy duty magic that would be seriously inappropriate even for an all out sparring match like this. If you were in a joust or some other contest with points, Kazelia would have struck a decisive blow, but if we're talking about an endurance match, you've got a near-certain victory.

Also, on the subject of the new lance, it's something of a question mark. It's crystal, obviously magical, but it doesn't look as sharp as Kazelia's old lance. As she sees you recover, she looks a bit curious and decides to unsheathe it and see what happens. She shouts out to you. "Hey, I'm going to use my lance this time. If I actually hurt you at all, do that mind shout thing at me to stop, but up to that point I'm going to go all out. Don't do anything stupid, okay?"
+Ahah... ahhh,+ Adila rolls her jaw, feeling the jarring impact in her teeth. +You... you think that I need a safe word?+ she thought. +Well, don't! You got lucky once but it's not going to happen again!+

And that was the second weakness of Princess Adila in battle: It was extremely easy to get inside her head. An unexpected blow and a well timed taunt was enough to get her full attention and provoke her into an all-out assault. She brings everything she has out all at once - a sudden flash of fire along the ground like a wall, and then a blast of air from her wings to send it menacingly forwards. She then abruptly drops to her stomach using the fire as a veil and then strikes out suddenly like a snake from the reeds, pushing the attack as intensely as she can, trying to pounce and grapple Kazelia into submission.

But you've seen this too, Kazelia. She's fighting with her heart now instead of her mind, determined to finish this before you get to try to do whatever it is you're planning to do with your lance. But she's not holding anything in reserve and isn't pacing herself at all - like a new recruit goaded into a full offensive. The only thing that stops it from being inexcusably bad form is that you're not clear exactly what her limits are, or if you can last long enough to force her to hit them - but getting results off the back of her natural abilities rather than hard work is Adila's fighting style in a nutshell.

Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
Alina's giggles fill the room with almost the same brightness as her lights. Or Adila's, for that matter. Little droplets of warm water shake off of her in every direction. They drip on her nightstand, her mirror, her chair, and a little bit might even manage to spray Adila on the chest. Her eyes flash too, their own little attempt to join in on the mirth, but it's a bit like someone laughing because her friend is even though she doesn't understand the joke.

"Oh sister, you don't know the half of it."

Her hairbrush winks out of existence. Alina yawns and stretches in her chair, which lifts her pajama shirt up high enough to expose her stomach for a moment. See? You two match! All exposed and vulnerable and open in ways you're normally not. You're beautiful, the both of you.

"You don't really get used to them, do you? I kind of hoped they'd have... softened, I guess? By now? But it's kind of like having a tattoo on my face, isn't it? Oh well, it's not like I don't deserve it."

She shrugs, accepting. Her smile is as bright and warm as it's ever been.

"So! This is a sleepover now, right? You want me to do your nails while we talk?"
+I'd like that a lot, actually,+ said Adila, setting one of her foreclaws on the table. It's remarkable how... blunt they are. Dragon talons are supposed to be sharp and scary but Adila's have the points completely worn down from years of walking across stone streets. You can tell she's generally taken good care of them outside that, though - looking closely you can see the hints of a matte varnish she's applied to avoid chips. The little claw on her left hand actually has a variety of colours on it already - orange, purple, pink, white, glitter-gold in a strange and discordant little rainbow. +Oh, I was trying out a few different colours to see which I liked best,+ she explained when it was noticed.

But her attention was really still on Alina's eyes. +You know...+ she thought in that absent Adila way which was more like thinking out loud than deciding to say something specific, as much image as words +I think that they'd look really good if you did your eyelashes up a bit to match.+

Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post

“Is that really all you have? Some flowers? A handful of stray cats?” She raises her good hand to her cheek and laughs condescendingly, all ohohohoho!

Then she jumps! Her dress billows like the petals of a flower around her as she alights on a table, letting her look down at you (a sensation you’re not particularly familiar with, after all). And now she’s holding a serene devil mask in front of her face, all closed eyes and mocking smile. If she wasn’t holding her corrupted arm close to her side, you might think her invincible, a figure of sudden strength.

“No, no, I can do something much better. Cats are out, now rats are in! You’ll enjoy the exquisite squalor of the Fen much more, I promise. And I have this idea for a maze of rocks and winds, all I need is to fold Feloria on top of itself to serve as fertilizer, and that’s barely an afternoon’s work. I made them, after all, so I get to decide what to do with them. What right do they have not to be used as raw materials for my new vision? I get bored so easily, you know.”

This sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Something pricking at the back of your skull, seeing that devil-mask and that line of reasoning— but you can hardly be blamed for finding it hard to be pinned down, not with the fate of all of Hyperborea resting on your shoulders!
I made a mistake I trusted her and now it's lead me to this, and the only asset I have is a single panicking dragon let this be a lesson to never trust ever - the panic Adila was feeling was accelerating faster than her ability to keep up with - they trusted me and my decisions and now it's too late I've let the Watch down, I've let everyone down -

Her heart was beating wildly, unable not to take every word seriously. She was thinking about fighting, about - about protecting. She'd spread her wings in an instinctive attempt to make herself look bigger and was thinking about pouncing Ourania - oh no, oh no, she was actually doing it now, like some part of her mind had pushed her into committing the unthinkable before she'd even thought about the alternatives and now she had to just roll with it and blurt out the one thing that she could say without freaking out and melting down.

+I won't let anyone hurt my friends! Not even you!+