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No title.
(2013-05-22 - 2013-07-10)
No description.
Aschere Childs The sands of Dalmasca are hot, and wide, putting ńschere in mind of continents she was never lucky enough to visit. She was lucky enough to have acquired a cloak in Rabanastre for her trek to the port; she would dread making the passage without it. The faint breeze is enough only to whip sand into her eyes, not to mitigate the still-baking heat.

It's all but sunset, now, because she was told that nobody walks during the day. The road, at least, is clearly marked, although for reasons of her own she is merely paralleling it, a few dozen yards off. In the distance, or sometimes not, she hears the cries of things she can only identify as 'probably hostile'. She turns back towards the road as she nears a waystation at a rather marginal oasis. Perhaps it's less likely there'll be trouble here.
Akari Seran Trouble, unfortunately, has a bad habit of finding people when they least expect or desire it.

The scorching heat of the Westersands shows no remorse to the poor souls forced to wander its massive expanses. Even as the sun begins to drift slowly and reluctantly down towards the ground the air shimmers with distortions that turn the horizon into a murky pool of colors that bleed together in browns, yellows, and blues. True to the word of her informants, not a soul can be found among the dusty dunes.

The oasis is a different matter. While still too early for the seasonal merchants to be making their rounds through the punishing desert, a lone figure can be seen taking shelter. A thick ragged poncho is wrapped about this person, covering their upper torso in dirty brown cloth thick with travel wear. A tall collar or scarf is wrapped about their neck and it obscures their face from sight save for their closed eyes.

Akari leans back against the lone tree that this small watering hole has nurtured to life in the midst of the barren wastes. Though she may not bear the dark tan that comes from a life in the desert, her Ifriti heritage has granted her with the know-how to brave such places without fear of exhaustion or dehydration. However, even her geomantic powers cannot protect her from the heat forever.

The sound of approaching footsteps causes her to stir slightly. Her head tilts towards the lone figure that draws near, blind eyes slowly sliding open to reveal the empty fields of white. She does not offer a greeting to this person. They are a stranger and she has no business with them. But her curiosity and perhaps a hint of lonliness urges her to atleast take a peek, figuratively speaking.
Aschere Childs The lone figure is tiny, wrapped in a cloak not even arguably less ratty than Akari's, finding her footing in the thick sand with the aid of a spear nearly twice her own length. She pulls her hood back as the sun finally retreats, revealing an islander's tan, and wide slate-grey eyes. She casts, it seems, a fraction of a glance towards the oasis' current occupant, before quickly inspecting the shelter.

The shelter proves admirably uninteresting, however. From below her cloak she... unsnaps, it sounds like, her pack, and pitches it into the far corner of the open structure. Stretching, then, she wanders towards the spring; it seems like she's anticipating not liking what she'll see, and unfortunately she manages to include Akari in that when she draws nearer.

ńschere hastily pastes on a smile, and gives her fellow traveller a nod. "Evening."
Akari Seran If the smile given her way is returned is it hidden by the fluttering mass of cloth wrapped about her face. No hint of such is evident in her eyes, however. Akari merely stares at the small girl for several long seconds before turning her head to the side to peer up at the sky... in the wrong direction to see the quickly fading sun.

"Is it? I hadn't noticed."

Her voice has a deeper timbre to it than one might expect from a young woman though not so much that it is displeasing or masculine. The joke likely falls flat as most people aren't able to pick up on ther blindness very quickly due to the fact that she plays it off very well. Her earth geomancy provides another form of 'sight' which makes this possible but only a few people are aware of this fact.
Aschere Childs Ash keeps her Eyes shut while her eyes are open, usually; she gets headaches otherwise. But blind or not Akari is quite alive, probably, so this wouldn't have helped. The light has not yet faded so far that she couldn't see Akari's eyes if she tried, but...

As it is, she just blinks at her a few times, watching as she scans the east for the setting sun. Well, her response is rational enough, if perhaps somewhat mocking. "Hello, I just meant. Are you headed to Rabanastre?" She stumbles over the unfamiliar name, just slightly, and fidgets with her cloak, out of nerves.

To ńschere, Akari doesn't entirely resemble the locals, and certainly aside from the cloak her style of dress is odd, even considering the vast spectrum that the trade city provided. "You are, aren't you?" She deduces it, and then announces it cheerfully, as though that were in any way going to endear her to Akari.
Akari Seran Akari seems to ponder something, her expression taking on a thoughtful mien. Her eyes squint a little and she glances around as if scanning the local area for something. Finally, she just shrugs and leans back against the tree again.

"Am I? I wouldn't know," she says with an exasperated sigh.

This person doesn't seem to be getting the subtle clues. That kind of annoys her. And now that she's dwellling on things that annoy her, the sand and the heat do as well. The ratty poncho she'd constructed out of some old tarp hadn't held up as well as she wanted and her body was practically soaked with gritty sweat. Ofcourse, she can't use the oasis to clean off. Even she's not callous enough to pollute the only source of drinkable water in what could be miles.
Aschere Childs This person was just trying to be friendly, and getting snarked at isn't really improving her mood either. "I don
Aschere Childs This person was just trying to be friendly, and getting snarked at isn't really improving her mood either. "...well, you're right, you don't have to be going anywhere. Definitely, if you said you were a wandering ascetic, I'd believe it." ńschere's tone is not mmmuch less friendly than it had been. "But if you come from, aa, Fluorgis? I have some questions about the road I'll ask you."

The sand must surely be bothering Chera as well, with those boots of hers. She taps a heel against the haft of her spear, tock tock tock, attempting absently to shake some sand off of one.
Akari Seran For someone who doesn't have sight to rely on, picking up on subtle tone shifts in voice has become something she's quite skilled at. That this small girl, she's taken stock of her general height and build by now through her geomantic means, is getting annoyed with /her/ because of her lack of wits only further starts to tick Akari off.

The slender woman slowly gets to her feet. The friction of being pinned between her body and the tree's bark is the last straw for the poncho and it comes apart around her as she rises, practically exploding into tattered strips that disentegrate further as they flutter to the ground.

Akari looms a good half-foot or more over the other girl and she doesn't hesitate in the slightest as she steps forward to confront her. The lone arm she possesses comes to rest lightly against her hip but the fingers betray her emotions as they flex and dig into the fabric. Dead eyes glower down at Aschere along with a faint scowl.

"Hey. You trying to start something, squirt?"
Aschere Childs Ah, the magic words~ "Squirt, was it?" A deaf man could have probably picked up that subtle tone shift, and this blind girl can probably spot the way ńschere's smile has gone a bit glassy. She gets a good look at Akari's face for the first time, and that hypervisory bit of her brain files away the fact that she actually is blind for use in the inevitable apology. Right now, though, it's all offense.

"I'm trying," she enunciates, even sing-songs, "to find somewhere I can sit down, and I was trying," she straightens her spear beside herself, "to see whether you were likely to bother me." The polearm rests easily against the little girl's shoulder, now, and she rises to her toes, just, making ready for the action.

"The latter, at least, I've done."
Akari Seran Akari snorts. It is not a pretty or diplomatic sound. She doesn't seem in the least bit put off by the shift in demeanor. If anything, it only makes her more aggitated. The taller girl leans down slowly, drawing her face right up infront of Aschere's. As the distance between them vanishes the scowl turns into a menacing snarl that bares her clenched teeth.

"The only thing you're going to 'see' in a few moments are stars."

Her head tilts back. There isn't much time to ponder what she is intending to do. Akari's forehead rockets downwards with the force of a sledgehammer, smashing straight atop the likely unsuspecting Aschere's crown as if she is attempting to drive her straight into the ground like a nail.
Aschere Childs Well, she asked for it, didn't she? Akari's opening salvo is a classic, straight out of the brawler's book, and just the sort of thing Ash has spent time training to avoid. That requires, however, that she do something. In fact, she's lost in trying to look hard; that 'squirt' comment must've stung. She's slow to duck aside, and Akari's brow meets hers, glancing down her cheek towards her off shoulder.

That clears her head, though. "Not for hours yet," she chirps, digging the butt of her staff into the sand and levering herself away from the larger girl. Stumbling slightly, she fights for separation and footing, then lifts the pommel clear of the ground and swings it, sweeping, toward Akira's lead foot. She can't even bet on quickness; she'll have to capitalize on range. Hopping back as the shaft finishes its first arc, she brings the other end around towards the side of Akira's head.

"Not that you would know!"
Akari Seran Akari stumbles as her attack fails to find proper purchase. Using her head as a weapon has several advantages in terms of surprise and providing flexibility but the downside is that such reckless action can lead to being thrown off-balance if it doesn't work. Like now.

Tilting forward as she takes a step to catch herself, Akari lets out a growl of frustration. It's a viscious cycle for her: her temper flares, she makes everyone around her mad, who in turn, do things that make her madder. Right now she's not terribly pissed just yet but the next few moments do much to change that.

The low spin catches the back of her extended foot cleanly but despite this it strikes with a dull thud and merely slides off. The blow to her head, however, gets much better results and the brawler's face snaps sideways as the lance smashes into her temple.

Akari shakes her head, trying to fight back the sudden disorientation of a minor concussion but she recovers near instantly. Instead of leaping straight to the attack, however, she plants her feet solidly on the ground in a martial stance and hunches over as her muscles flex. Earthen power flows into her through the bare soles of her feet. Strength the likes of which she could never attempt to muster on her own fills every inch of her body, hardening her skin as if it were granite.

More surprisingly, her right arm suddenly seems to expand and elongate as stone bursts from the stump to create a fresh limb. Despite being composed entirely of dirty brown rock, the fingers move organically and the perfectly sculpted muscles bulge as she flexes again.

"I'm going to ram that toothpick down your throat!"
Aschere Childs The ante has been upped significantly, hasn't it? Never start a fight you aren't willing to finish, Justin told her. He also told her that tricks like Akari's are quite powerful geomancy; Akari isn't just a brawler. Not at all.

Of course, that doesn't really change things at all, does it? "You might at that," ńschere reveals her admiration-- quite honest-- as she, too, takes this moment to square up and get on her best footing. Where Akari had rent her poncho to shreds, Chera unclasps her cloak and tosses it aside, revealing too much bare arm and leg, and a plate carrier vest of what might be a familiar Academy design.

"Come here then and take it~" Nearly at full lunge range, ńschere levels her spear at Akari, and steps in just far enough to prod her in the arm with it; the stone arm, as it happens. The blade rings with a sickening vibration, now, and releases one pulse, the exact inverse of a bang, drowning the winds out with its silence for a fractional moment. As it recedes, a chill follows after it.
Akari Seran The problem with dealing with weapons like spears for Akari is that they aren't connected direclty to the ground. She can feel the movements of her opponent as she thrust, sense every vibration of the armor's metal plates creaking and twisting with her body, note every subtle thump as her heart beats within her chest. But the probing tip of the spear is practically invisible to her.

Akari attempts to compensate, shifting her focus to reading the winds around her. She feels the air begin to move, displaced by the skewering tip of the long polearm but it's eminantly clear that the leverage and speed is too much for her to stop while relying on these lesser senses.

Gritting her teeth, she plants her feet, slamming one down particularly hard. The ground beneath them trembles with the impact, a hair-thin fracture splitting the earth as it races at breakneck speed towards the small girl. The sands begin to shift and heave underneath her with its arrival at her feet in an attempt to throw her off-balance or shift the course of her thrust but it's too little too late.

The lance strikes her solidly. Subsonic vibrations spread through her arm like the ringing of a chuch bell. Her bones rattle within her flesh, teeth chattering momentarily as she attempts to subdue the strange attack with her chakra but the odd vibration distorts her inner energy which, ofcourse, only makes her even more angry.

With a wordless berserker yell, Akari throws herself at the spearswoman, fists rearing back as she prepares to lay into her. The impact of her foot on the sand kicks up an unusually massive explosion of dirt, as if a mortar round had gone off under her heel, and the distance between them shrinks rapidly as she practically flies at Aschere like a cannon ball. Both of her fists wail away with incredible speed, each blow somehow both unnaturally powerful and blindingly fast.
Aschere Childs Spears are supposed to be the last word against charging opponents, right? You just get them in way of the head and let them do the heavy lifting themselves, right? It's that first part that's the problem, here. Or, rather, most things are the problem for ńschere, just as they should be. Receiving a charge requires firm footing, which Akari's first action was to deny her, and it requires the time to brace up and aim, which she just doesn't have.

"Saliru!" She screams it as Akari passes her guard, releasing another pulse of silence-- it's black if you can see it. Hell, it's black if you can't-- but it's too little, too late. Akari plows through it like it was nothing, spending a thousand pounds of momentum piecemeal against Ash's chest and arms. The smaller girl is borne backward several steps, knocked to the mud at the edge of the pool.

And yet, she rises. Winded, pale through her Levitani tan, she rises, and finding no spear in her hand, fills it with the long knife from her belt. "I've made," she says, "a wonderful," breath by breath, "mistake." She raises the knife to middle guard, and faces Akari, swallowing. With supreme effort, Chera takes a step towards her. "Saliru." It's focused, now. The darkness rolls toward Akari like a breaking wave, and Ash takes another step. "Midaduru sali." The tide of night is in. Three paces out from her opponent, ńschere sways to a halt, and throws her knife to the sand at Akari's feet. "Masadaru sali." This last incantation stiffens her, as the fading light of evening dims to storm black, and two blood-red bolts scream earthward, one for each of them.
Akari Seran The final strike that sends Aschere sailing away comes from Akari's flesh and blood fist. It slams into her breastplate like the fist of an angry god and when the power and momentum seperates the bony protrusion of her knuckles from the reinforced metal a wide circular indention remains behind. This may have been contributing to the small girl's difficulty breathing.

Akari plants her feet on the ground with another loud thump, both arms flexed at her side in the classic horse stance. Instead of immediately leaping to the attack once again, she waits and watches, allowing her opponent to rise once more. "That's right! Comon! Get up! We're not finished yet!" She waves a hand through the air in a dramatic fashion, sweeping it from one side of her body to the other as if to push aside the notion that their battle has been concluded so quickly. She's only getting warmed up. She wants more. She /needs/ it.

The darkness that rises cannot be seen by the brawler but it is certainly felt. Her expression shifts from amused aggression to concerned anger in an instant, lips peeling back in a snarl. She doesn't like darkness. It reminds her of the things that took away her home. The foreign words roll past her, their meaning lost on the brutal warrior. Their meaning doesn't matter. She doesn't care.

Akari screams in defiance as the first tidal wave of inky black slams against her body. Both arms flex, her entire body going tense as if the rippling of her taut muscles will somehow keep the magical surge at bay. And for a few moments, it looks like it just might.

Her feet dig into the soft sand as she is pushed back, her heels creating twin ravines as she attempts to keep her connection with the primary element of earth that lends her the overwhelming strength she draws upon. She loses ground for several seconds and the strain is clear on her face. But suddenly the momentum fades and she stops. Then she takes a step towards Aschere.

There is no time as the daggers embed themselves in the ground at her feet. No time to evade the coming explosion that rocks the desert oasis. Pain lances through her as she is lifted bodily from the sands, her muscles clenching in savage fury. A roar of agony escapes her unbidden and it persists until she slams heavily back into the dirt.

Akari groans. Dark acrid smoke wafts from her body like vapor. Spots of charred flesh can be seen on her nearly naked torso, small smudge of ashy discoloration against the pale white of her skin. She moves. Rising to her feet, the young woman turns to face her foe. The anger is clearly etched into her face.

But she does not attack. The blast seems to have sapped her strength if the heavy breaths she sucks in are any indication. Akari merely glares across the short gap at Aschere, fingers clenching audibly into tight fists.
Aschere Childs ńschere's breathing difficulty would probably be worrying, except that this has been by all appearances a duel with lethal force; she'd suppose that Akari was pleased by it, if anything. The effectiveness of her latest salvo seems to have heartened her, though. Still gasping faintly, she reaches up to unlatch the steel chestplate from her armored vest, and drops it to the sand beside her.

She luxuriates in the extra quarter of a breath she can draw, now, for a moment or two, before sighting on her spear-- well behind Akari-- and her knife, still at the geomancer's feet. Her options are limited, now. From her belt pouch she extracts a small vial, miraculously uncrushed, and...

...tosses it to Akari's feet. For whatever good it does, it's labeled as an ordinary potion, apparently local. She draws forth a second one for herself, but the bottom drops off, and it drips uselessly up her arm. Oh well. "For a moment," she's up to four syllables now, "can I think about this?"

An attentive geomancer will observe something dark, but quite low-key going on around Ash as she thinks about this, and despite her spilled potion she begins to looks at least a little better.
Akari Seran The glass vial crunches loudly as Akari takes a step forward, her foot coming down atop it. She glares angrily at the offensive object as her heel grinds back and forth on the broken shards but no blood is forthcoming nor does she seem to suffer from this questionable course of action. The precious healing fluids spill messily into the sand, wasted.

"What's there to think about?!" She growls at Aschere and takes another menacing step towards her. "All you need to do is fight! Immerse yourself in battle and let your strength determine your fate!"

Akari snarls as she feels the darkness bubble up around her opponent once more. The wayward lance and knife are both clearly noticable on the ground behind her as she casts out the web of her senses. Clearly this person is some sort of sorcerer and has fallen back on her fell magic in their stead.

She hates magic. More specifically, she hates the people who rely on it. She grew with nothing but her fists and her own power and carved her path through life accordingly. Those who lean on spells for a crutch tend to be weak, pitiful, reliant on others for their survival. Pathetic.

Having exhausted her capacity for words in her battle-lusted state, Akari goes on the offensive again. She lunges, explosively catapulting herself towards Aschere as before. Chakra flows through her arm, dense spiritual energy fueled by her rage welling up into a single point on her fist. She swings, another titanic hammerblow that feels like it could uproot trees and shatter mountains streaking through the air at the small girl. Others follow, a continous flurry of flesh and stone assailing her relentlessly.
Aschere Childs Those who lean on magic for a crutch are totally different from those who lean on it for a prosthetic arm, of course. This was what Chera feared. It was what she anticipated, too. So, she will let her strength determine her fate. She has let her strength determine her fate; her fate is to be ground into the sands, here. She braces herself, hopelessly, against Akari's new onslaught, but gives ground freely, leading the blind girl in a circle, stumbling, scrabbling, and crawling through the dust until her hand lights on her knife.

On its blade, as it happens, but we can doubt that she even felt it. She thrusts blindly forth with it at her blind opponent, winning a pause enough to get out from under her, and scramble back to her fallen spear.

With it, she... fails to pull herself to her feet. She barely manages to stay upright on her knees.

None of those magical imprecations were actually leveled at her; no, Akari demanded her to use her strength. ńschere's strength is surely not in enduring physical assaults, but she's passable at delivering them. Pained unto death, she levels her spear for perhaps the final time, and... releases it. No weapon travels towards Akari, but no true spell, either. The platonic ideal of a lance thrust speeds towards her.

ńschere collapses, now, her apparent last act being a petulant toss of her knife in Akari's general direction
Akari Seran Each impact of her fist against the soft flesh of her opponent sends a wave of pleasure through Akari. She revels in the sensation of the bones underneath creaking and bending in unnatural ways as the subtle vibrations travel down her arm. Even the short bursts of pain that come when her unprotected knuckles slam into hard metal, shredding them raw, are enjoyable. Each of these signs are reminders that she's fighting for supremacy, wielding her power in the way it was meant to be - to prove that she is the strongest.

Akari willingly rushes after as the other girl leads her in a circle, either oblivious or uncaring that she has managed to work her way back towards her weapons in the process. The knife lashes out and scores a direct hit against the utterly unprotected torso of the brutish fighter. It sinks deeply into her gut, grinding slowly through the augmented wall of her rock-hard muscles and she grimaces sharply, halting her attack for just a moment to glance down.

It seems that moment was all that Aschere needed to scramble away. Akari rushes after her, her aggressive instincts smelling the fear and sensing the inevitable conclusion drawing near. She has no intention of killing this girl, despite her rather monstrous demeanor, but the lancer has no way of knowing this. It is merely the thrill of the fight that drives her onwards and once this one has been settled, she will simply move on to the next.

But there is a surprise waiting for her as Aschere snatches up her spear once again. The polearm whistles through the air like a ballstic missile and with a sickening crunch, Akari runs into it like a bull rushing a matador. Her own incredible momentum drives the weapon through her body and the thick metal blade erupts clear out of her back as it drives upwards through her shoulder.

A wail of true pain erupts from Akari's lips. She staggers to a halt, blood spewing from the viscious puncture wound. It runs in thin rivers down her chest, staining the skin a dark crimson and dribbling down her arms to spatter freely on the sand. The knife hits next, knicking the stony surface of her fake arm but it is completely ignored in the face of the catastrophic impact.

But even this fails to stop her. She takes a step forward, teeth grinding together against the raging fire that flows like quicksilver through her nerves. Her empty eyes lock on the kneeling girl before her, nothing but pure unrestrained fury simmering in her twisted mask of pain. Her progress is agonizingly slow, each step forced despite the hideous wound. She doesn't even try to remove the spear. She just keeps coming.

After a few torturous seconds, Akari stands before Aschere, looming over her fellow warrior. Her fists clench into tight balls, the fingers practically melding together into a single blob of destructive power. And then, for a moment, she gets serious. Elemental power flows into the geomancer. Her skin hardens as a rippling wave of earth surges through her flesh and with a dramatic flex, four more arms of stone erupt from her shoulders.

Bent over nearly double by the pain of her injury and the weight of the rocky limbs, Akari gives her opponent a fierce smile. "Well done... your strength... is plain. But..."

All six of her arms draw back, rising upwards in unison in ominous portent like the blades of a guillotine. "IT IS NOT ENOUGH!"

And then they come down. The earth around them cracks. Sand geysers upwards in an explosion visible for miles. The world becomes pain.
Aschere Childs But, ńschere's world is always pain. She does Akari the honor of being conscious, to observe the form of her destroyer, but there is no more strength in her to react. Kali comes and unmakes her world.

The true form of Akari's attack is, of course, impossible to describe. Violence, of course, commeasurate with the kiloton-scale explosion it created; the shelter and its contents are blown to the four winds. The solitary palm bends nearly double, but in truth it's seen worse. The breeze whips away the fines, leaving the gleaming Westersands to settle like a comforting blanket over ńschere's still form.

Akari may not have meant to kill her, but perhaps that was before she put a spear through her g-- ah, but she moved! Maybe. It's a good think Akari cleared the skies or there'd probably be speculative vultures already.
Akari Seran When the dust finally settles only one of them remains standing. As it should be.

Akari slowly stands up. The spear hinders her movement so she casually reaches up with one of the arching stone arms and yanks it free in a single hard pull. Blood geysers outwards from both sides of the wound but it clots almost immediately as liquid stone bubbles up from inside of her to clot it like caulk.

With the battle now over, the bruiser allows her concentration to fade and the quintet of stony limbs crack and crumble back into clumps of raw sand and dirt. She looks down at the girl at her feet with something that mildy resembles worry. Akari is not a killer but her power is difficult to control. More than once there have been challengers who failed to ever get up again. Fortunately, this is not one of those times.

A grin splits her face and she leans down to scoop Aschere up in her arm, draping the unconscious girl over her shoulder. Despite her berserker personality in combat and the incredible durability she seems to possess, Akari's body is actually pretty soft and her grip gentle.

"Haaah... well then... we've had our fun. Let's get out of this damnable sun, shall we?"

She's not sure her words can be heard but she doubts there would be much protesting. Akari gathers up the fallen knife and sheathes it and tosses the cloak over her cargo's back to shield her from getting burnt. Turning towards the nearby city, she paths quickly over to the smoother surface of the worn road, using it to guide her along the unfamiliar way.

 
This scene contained 23 poses. The players who were present were: Akari Seran, Aschere Childs