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[PP-F24] Valentines Day Tournament - Round 2 - Fight!

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Round 2 Bracket

Baldur Stats:


Baldur | HP: 900/900 | EN: 124/124 | DMG: 23 | MIT: 78 | EVA: 2 | ACC: 5 | BH: 45 | AA | BRN: 56 | | KEEN: 1 | REC: 4
Level 32, Paragon 58

Rules: (Nothing Different from Previous Thread)


OOC: I will update this as it becomes required.
This is essentially a rock-paper-scissors format for the duel. You as a player are free to describe the round however you wish, but the RPS will determine who "hits" and gets a point for that round. In the interest of moving things along, other than the first (and perhaps the last) attack, you will make 2 RPS "throws" per round. It will look something like this
Round 1: Player A chooses Rock/Paper/Scissors and PMs it to Baldur*. Player A then writes there post describing the start of the fight and their first attack (success unknown)
Round 2: Player B chooses Rock/Paper/Scissors and PMs it to Baldur. Baldur lets Player B know if they were successful or not. Player B then chooses Rock/Paper/Scissors again and PMs it to Baldur (success unknown). Playbe B then writes the post, resolving Player A's attack and the results of that clash, narrating the scoring (or tie) of the first point, as well as their counter attack.
Round 3: Player A chooses Rock/Paper/Scissors and PMs it to Baldur. Baldur lets PLayer A know if they were successful or not. Player A then chooses Rock/Paper/Scissors again and PMs it to Baldur (success unknown). Player A then writes the post, resolving Player B's attack and the results of that clash, narring the scoring (or tie) of the second point, as well as their counter attack.
Round 4: Player B chooses Rock/Paper/Scissors and PMs it to Baldur. Baldur lets Player B know if they were successful or not. This may be the final (3rd point) or it may not. If it is, player B writes the resolution of the fight based on the final point. If it is NOT the final point, then the above continues until one player has scored 3 points.

First player to score 3 points wins round 2. Later rounds may raise the point requirement based on feedback from round 1 & 2.

Upon scoring 3 points, please let Baldur or Jomei know so that they can update the bracket. At this point, until the round is complete for everyone, you may RP in the observation thread. Even if this is the post match "good game, well played" please use the observation thread, just to help with the orderliness of the combat thread.

Once round 1 is complete, Baldur will update the bracket and assign everyone round 3 duels.

*Baldur, IC, is the tournament organizer, but has others helping to judge the duels, as multiple duels will be going on simultaneously. Each duel, IC, is judged by 2 people. These can be faceless NPC players from the Jacob's Ladder guild. OOC you can DM Baldur in the discord with your RPS, Jomei is also available for duels. If both players agree on the judge, another judge may be used for the players to DM their rock/paper/scissors results to. Said judge should reach out to Baldur and make sure they understand how this should be run before agreeing.

IC, all players are wearing equipment provided by Baldur. This equipment makes the duel safe, and prevents anyone from using system enhanced abilities to deal damage. The use of a <<Training Weapon>> means that your crystal color does not change. It does not activate reflective damage, etc. All damage dealt is 0. No one will take IC damage from the duels.  Shenanigans that happen outside of the official tournament duels should take place in the observation thread, or another thread of your choice. Baldur's home is not within a safe zone. That said, he is wandering around keeping an eye on the matches, and may intervene if something irregular happens. Please DM Baldur on discord if you feel something happens which he would notice and intervene.

The number 1 rule of this tournament is to have fun. Please be a good custodian of your partner's 

Round 2 Observation Thread: https://www.sao-rpg.com/topic/21291-op-f24-valentines-tournament-arc-round-2-observer-thread/

Once the participants had all come over to gather around Baldur having partaken in any snacks or refreshments they had chosen, the Gaijin Samurai informed them of how round 2 would be slightly different. Due to the odd number of players, some drop outs and corrections the tournament needed to make, Baldur was pulling in a pinch hitter to even up the round in the form of one of his students, Takumi. The boy they had all met whom ferried them over, came forward with only the briefest moment of shy hesitation, but he held himself tall and confident as one of Baldur's pupils.

oMxcxmg.pngThe boy... young man... had changed from his more simple attire he had worn ferrying the guests to the island into something a bit more personal. Still in the equipment of the tournament, but more appropriate. 

Baldur gave Takumi a fatherly pat on the shoulder and then turned to face the rest of the participants, explaining the special rules, and role, that Takumi would be involved in this round.

"I appreciate you all being willing to work with me as we make this adjustment. As I said before, if Takumi wins, that pair will both drop out, but if Bismuth wins, he will advance to the next round - a round robin format."

Baldur proceeded to give each of them directions to their respective match rings and the schedule of how they would be fought, with several going on at the same time as in the previous round.

"Best of luck to everyone. I hope you all have very satisfying match ups, fight to your best ability, and forge new bonds of respect for one another. May the honor, strength, and determination displayed here be carried with us out there."

Baldur gave a bow to the group, and then walked back to his little table setup where he could watch and count points for all the matches.


Edited by Baldur
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The girl had been happily chatting away when the call came to start the next round of fights.  Unable to help herself in her own excitement, she gave a little cheer despite herself, even as Baldur began to speak to the next round.  Of course, Astreya had been curious as she had seen the number of victors that had gone on that there would be nine total, and she had no idea what they'd planned to do in order to deal with that.

However, it seemed that Baldur had come up with an idea that seemed fair to her.  A mystery tenth fighter arrived, that being one of Baldur's students, and she recognized him as the boy that had ferried her across the water to the tournament itself.  "What?  Can he fight too?" she asked aloud, even as she moved a little closer to see as the new brackets were put up.

Her eyes opened a little wider as she realized then the fights weren't going to be the same as they were before.  "Nari, looks like it's not Alkor!" she called to her friend, before she looked back for her name- realizing it was right at the top against someone named Morningstar.  Like... the medieval weapon or the devil?  She glanced around, not quite sure who that was, but all the same, she was excited nonetheless.  This meant she didn't have to fight any of her friends!

"Good luck @Astralin, @Nari-Lanreth, @Bismuth!" she called to her three friends before she began to move toward the ring specified by Baldur, readying up for her opponent.  


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Nari stepped into the sparring square, glancing again at the board for opponents. She had expected to fight Alkor – a man who seemed to contain an absolute essence of pure fighting spirit. She had wondered how she would fair against someone like him. But instead…

Astreya had been the one to point out that she wasn’t to face Alkor. Instead, she’d be facing someone else – someone whom she felt she had a vendetta to settle with. She wondered if somehow word had gotten around… ‘Likely Koga’s doing. Although…’

She couldn’t imagine Koga doing something like this – well, not intentionally at least. It didn’t seem his style… then again, how much did she really know the man?

She glanced across at the small girl that she had recently shared dinner with. A loathing in her chest, one built of pure anger – and possibly a mild amount of hatred – sprang to life. Swinging her bokken in her left hand, testing its movement and reaction to her own control, she glared at the girl.

Ignoring the normally respectful bow she would give to an opponent, Nari leapt forward as soon as the girl had taken her position across from her, releasing a scream and swinging towards the girls head with her sword. Her eyes carried a violent light to them, and her face was set in an appearance of fury and determination.


Word Count: 229


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The attention from the crowd directed by Baldur's words plucked at Takumi's ribs. His posture remained tall, his expression held a confident but pleasant smile, and he kept his hand on the wooden sword slid through his belt. Once finished, the young man's eyes followed his mentor to where he would watch the matches. As Baldur sat, the weight of expectation settled on Takumi's shoulders. Both of his brows settled low and the fledgling samurai turned his attention toward his opponent. It felt unusual to be matched against one of the people he ferried to the island not too long ago. A part of him felt like he was about to assault a guest, but he remembered the teachings of his mentor. In combat, your enemy is not to be feared or hated, but respected. The way of the sword revolved around respect, discipline, and determination. Or at least that's what he remembered.

Takumi formally bowed to @Bismuth.

"I know we've met briefly, but it is my honor to share this duel with you." The young man straightened himself. His footing squared up against his opponent and slid about a shoulder's width apart. With his left hand against the belt which held the training sword in place, his right hand gripped the weapon high against the hilt and he drew it in a fluid, linear stroke.

"May the best of us win." His left hand joined his right hand on the blade and it settled the weapon rigidly in front of him. Takumi took in a breath, locked eyes with Bismith, and his grip tightened.

"On your guard!" Takumi bent at the knees, then lunged himself forward. The attack telegraphed cleanly. His blade rose high over his head then swung diagonally down like he remembered from so many tatami mats. Takumi thought of his mentor and hoped to meet Baldur's expectation with his practiced form above some of the fancier moves he tried alone. Speed and precision would let his strike land, but offered plenty of opportunity for his foe to act. Takumi hoped to glean some information from his opponent's reaction. Then, the fight would truly begin.





Edited by Snow
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last minute changes. in accordance, so too did night switch her gear.

a spear.

because she wanted nothing to do with the distance between herself and her opponent. nothing to do with the violence that was to be inflicted. as she clutched the length of the weapon held fast in her hands, she could only gaze down the field.

this wasn't a match.

violence that beget violence that beget

this wasn't a fair fight.

night had only once used a spear. the weight of it was uncomfortable -- too fast, too accurate. when she swung her sword, she put her entire body to the motions, following through. no hesitation. she would bear the weight of her consequences if it ever came to it.

and she'd only seen how such a weapon would be used in combat. never against her, not with ferocity. a few times for her, but not in totality. not yet.

something in her gut tightened. a hesitant expression.

night was not half the woman her other might know her to be.

so it was a ghost that plodded onto the grounds. a stone in her throat. shaking knees, a dull pain in her stomach. she didn't even assume the proper form for the martial weapon.

with two hands she clutched it, like a child holding a toy.

and when the monster struck--



-- she did her best to save herself.


 | Lv. 111 >> P. 79, Lv. 32
 | Status: 可怕。



NIGHT | HP: 940/940 | EN: 132/132 | DMG: 21 | ACC: 3 | EVA: 3 | MIT: 44 | LM: 2 | HLY: 8 | PHASE | LD: 5 | BH: 38 | Stealth Rating: 6


  • Orgoth's Legacy
    ACC, PHASE, HOLY (8)
  • Tracksuit of Unfathomable Fashionability
    MIT (24), LM II
  • Silver Crescent Necklace

battle-ready inventory

  • //



mod count: 5/5

  • 2HSS | RANK 5/5
    • focus, stamina, precision
    • shift: aoe
    • athletics, nimble
  • SEARCHING | RANK 4+1/5


    • blindside, untraceable, vanish, surprise attack-t




  • MOTHRA | +1 EN Recovery
  • TANOS | +25 MIT
  • MORETSUNA | +50 HP
  • OROCHI | +1 LD


  1. - - -
  2. - - -


  • Lv. 5 | Gain additional col equivalent to 15% of EXP earned in that thread.
  • Lv. 10 | +1 LD to looting.

sword arts


en cost matches multiplier unless stated otherwise. shift underlined.

  • ST | x12 -> x15 | x20
  • AOE | x15 -> x18
  • TECH-A | x12 | STUN | 13EN
  • TECH-B | x12 | DELAY
  • TECH-D | x12 | SHATTER
  • TECH-G | x12 | BURN




  • Dimensional Backpack, Item Stash
    | +2 Battle-Ready Inventory Slots.
  • Well Rested
    | -1 EN for the first three expenditures of each combat. 
  • Relaxed
    | +(5 * Tier) HP per out-of-combat post. Full energy restoration occurs after two turns out of combat.
  • Squeaky Clean
    | -25% DoT damage taken from the first DoT applied to this player in a thread.
  • Skylight: Searching
    | +1 Expertise to declared utility skill. Cooldown of 30 days to reassign.
  • Multipurpose
    | +1 LD/Prosperity/Stealth/Detection to one post per thread. Can be applied after a roll.
  • Filling
    | +1 T1 slot to a food consumed by this player in a thread. Can exceed Cook enhancement caps.
  • Col Deposit
    | +5% col from loot-minimum mobs, +10% col from treasure chests.


  • Greenhouse
    | +2 G.EXP, +1 CD&LD to gathering attempts.
  • Familiar: Profession
    | +2 G.EXP
  • Demeter's Cornucopia
    | +1 CD to gathering attempts. 


the wooden sword slid across polished wood. a hard cut; in all real circumstances, that draw should've left a dent. but it didn't in cardinal's favour, and even further still it didn't, because the weapon continued pushing through.

deeper and deeper. intentionally to make night afraid.

a lean backwards was instinctual. further and further, until that edge was almost at her throat. nari could've punctured it in, if she'd wanted.

(she did want to. up this close, ren could sense all violent intent. hatred. darkness.)

(she gave way to a squeak under the pressure.)

night toppled when she couldn't be pushed any more. right at the edge of the mat. she almost crawled out of safety, slow, bumbling, so it was by miracle that she'd even slid through her opponent unscathed. scratches where her joints hit the ground. night paced backwards in that same stance, gripping onto the spear for her dear life.

a prayer. always praying. she didn't believe in a god to save her. she wasn't going to call out for something tangible.

the quick nip to nari's feet as she tore herself from the woman was enough to earn her a point. that much she heard. that much she didn't care about in the moment, too focused on (Run. Run. Run.) and knowing an incoming strike was due,

she turned around and ran.

but she was expected to retaliate, no?

she couldn't get away this time. not yet. not yet because they said she couldn't but she didn't want to but she couldn't

,she lowered her weapon, the arm shaking in her hands. a pace backwards, a mouse backing itself into a corner.

a mistake.

the jab she returned couldn't be any further from that truth.

NIGHT: 1/3
Nari: 0/3

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Nari felt the strike against her, barely registering it. Her face was locked into a scowl of absolute hatred as she stepped back, giving herself space for what she knew would be a reckless attack – but she didn’t care.

Rushing forward, she watched as the spear lashed out, almost expertly handled in its attempt to strike her as she approached – but Nari had long ago learnt the ways of the polearm, something she had been trained in with her days of Aikido. Kicking off at the last second, she twirled around the spear’s reach, bringing herself twisting towards her right side, allowing the bokken to flow through the air and sharply smack NIGHT’s side, before Nari herself collapsed to the ground.

Rolling across the ground, she sprung to her feet, letting out a wild roar as her wide eyes locked onto her target. ‘Now.’

Her body moved, almost without any real interference with her mind. Although the rage rolled through her – her heart was somehow calm, the ferocity in her fighting paired with that cool-combat feeling that always took over her. Her strikes may have been wild – her actions dangerous, but her sensations and physical control were all…normal. There was no tremor in her arm as she pulled her bokken back, ready to plunge it forward. There was no hesitation in her eyes, no shaking of muscles that came with unnatural fury – she was fury incarnate, ready to strike out at what she saw before her.

Nari Hits!


Nari 1/3


Word Count: 246


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a sharp hit against the shoulder. she remembered when she could feel pain, that pain, her body following through in a stumble. nari had gotten in close -- too close, too close -- and ren remembered when the edge of that knife dug in through her skin, the pierce of red, the horror the horror the horror

i'm sorry i'm sorry i'm sorry

and she couldn't help but cry as she pushed back. further, further still, farther than she had been able to reach, she forced the arm of the weapon out to hold fast against her opponent -- nari -- not nari -- help -- and it was everything in her power to reason, to rationalize, to i promise i didn't mean to and i'm sorry i didn't mean anything by it. to what did you to do me? and i think i'm going to die here and this is the reason why she doesn't love you. why [|||] doesn't love you. why everything that happened ended up being your fault and help i don't want to die here.

the warmth fell. fell across her cheeks from eyes growing puffy, from the edges on her face now reddened, now stinging. it was hard to breathe -- it had been hard to breathe -- and everything in her [||||||]'s eyes had been reasoning you don't deserve to live. you brought this upon yourself. why hadn't you been paying attention?

this is why [|||]left us.

and in the gap, as ren felt her shirt go sticky with sweat [and blood and fear and all of the will of her life], there was something missing that made the moment last longer, longer than it had any right to exist.

she could barely remember the words.

her bottom lip shook, just as her whole body remained paralyzed.

the tap of the wood on nari's shoulder counted as the second count against the competitor.

NIGHT: 2/3
Nari: 1/3

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Nari felt the strike against her shoulder this time, causing her to twist and turn. She knew that she should reset herself, to ready herself against the chance that she may recklessly take herself out of this tournament. Everything within her collided, the combat between reckless fury, years of training, and the anger of a woman scorned.

Something snapped within her. A sudden change in her stance – the fury on her face gone, replaced with the stoic, emotionless battle appearance she wore when fighting. Everything suddenly calmed, her heart slowed down, the emotions in her mind receded. She could feel…something was different. Pulling the bokken towards herself, she shifted her left foot backwards, levelling the training sword perpendicular to the ground, holding it at shoulder height.

Silently she moved forward, ducking under a thrust she released was more animalistic than truly skillful. Dodging around a backwards lash, she danced for a moment, letting the woman stab, slash and jerk the spear around – ‘this weapon, she’s not familiar with it.’

With that knowledge, Nari side-stepped around another unsuccessful stab forwards, bringing the bokken flying forwards, she jabbed hard into the girl’s chest, catching her just below the neck, barely missing what would be the windpipe on a real human being. She held nothing back, her eyes empty of emotion, of thought, of everything as she unleashed a strike that would kill most people. “Have you made your peace, with Death?”

The words came as a whisper, leaving Nari’s lips before she had even truly thought them. Stepping back into a ready stance, she levelled the blade perpendicular to the floor again, her right hand extended outwards, open as if to block an incoming strike with her palm. Her eyes remained empty, her face emotionless as she watched her opponent, waiting for the opening that would let her rush forward and lash out, the killing strike readying in her body.


Nari Hits!


Nari 2/3


Word Count: 318


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The time had come for the next match.

Astralin took a deep breath. Yona was down, so Astralin found herself with the daunting task of having to fight for her cause as well. Hey, Astralin needed to try and be a good friend to the panicked woman, even though she'd so confidently challenged the player whom Astralin had defeated earlier...what was this whole thing even coming to?

Whatever the case, she made her way over to the sparring arena. Another male opponent waited for her there. Honestly, if Astralin was to defeat all the male players she came across in this tourney, maybe Yona wouldn't have anything to flip out over, right? If it was indeed the men who Yona was worried about, then maybe...well, this should be relatively easy, right? Maybe Astralin might end up facing Astreya in the finals!

Well, one way to find out for sure!

Astralin looked her opponent up and down. "Well, I don't think we've met. I'm Astralin" She began. "Regardless of who wins, let's give the audience a good show, shall we?" She requested with a smile. With that, she took position and prepared herself to fight. Her opponent seemed to be waiting for her action, so she had to be clever if she was to avoid being countered. She advanced suddenly, then she proceeded to take after a trick she saw while viewing a fight last minute. Hopefully this tactic she saw would prove useful. She would attempt a chop, but pull it back before a block could be tried. She attempted this once more, before she would make an actual attempt to strike, a right hook towards the opponent's torso.

Astralin was trying with new tactics, she didn't know what her chances were....but in the end, every decision in moments like these were risks that all counted.



Stats and Equipment:


Level: 32

Paragon Level: 0


Battle Stats:

HP: 640

Energy: 82

Base Damage: 23(MA Rank 5[7], CM: DMG[12], MA Ferocity[2], Athletics[1])

Mitigation: 0

Accuracy: 3(Amulet of Aknossoth, Zero Degree Chill)

Evasion: 2(Alkarina's Resolve)

Loot Die: 0


Additional conditions:

[None Yet]



[T3] Glowing Embers(Burn)

[T3] Zero Degree Chill(Freeze, Accuracy)[Equipped]

[T1]Alkarina's Resolve(2 EVA, 1 REC)[Equipped]

[T3]Amulet of Aknossoth(2 ACC, 1 REC)[Equipped]



(3) Starter Healing Potions (Heals 50 HP)

Teleport Crystal x1




Martial Arts Rank 5(30 SP)

Combat Mastery: Damage(13 SP)

Cloth Armor Rank 5(30 SP)

Quick Change(8 SP)


Extra Skills:

First Aid Rank 5(30 SP)




Athletics(4 SP)

Energize(5 SP)

Barrier(6 SP)



Martial Arts Ferocity(6 SP)

Martial Arts Stamina(4 SP)

Nimble(6 SP)

Field Medic(6 SP)


Edited by Astralin
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she didn't know when the anger trailed out. in fact, she didn't think it ever left her [|||]. it was always buried, buried deep, 6-feet-under-and-a-little-more-dead yet it came back to life like a zombie. like a phoenix, undying. like a ghost, ever haunting.

it lived on in ren. followed her like a puppy. sank its teeth into her neck, like a hound.

but this time, she felt bone crash into flesh right at the center of her chest. she felt it stop, right before where she believed it should've gone. deeper. she'd felt it before.

it didn't matter. ren screamed.


she did everything in her power to fight back.

like writhing prey, it was all she could do.

ren had even forgot she was in a fight. perhaps so too did night. but in that struggle, she lived in that moment again. a different one. one less terrifying, but just as haunting as her own.

the void.

her weapon had been nothing more than paper mache.

and just before she struck out, as though pretending her strike to be a sword art when such wasn't possible -- no, it hadn't been but cardinal thought otherwise -- the blunt of her spear had been whirled around to the front, and a light swing, seemingly brutal now, came crashing down against what they called a monster.

the contact of her weapon against the side of nari's neck counted as a third. force, all of a sudden, with no intent further than disablement.

the audience wanted a fight. so she had to. she had to.

night just wanted to be free.


in her last moments before the world went to black, ren remembered the cries she once buried, buried deep, 6-feet-under-but-now just as undying as her anger. and she felt it weep, a ghoul, a child locked frozen in one time in history.

she felt it in her stomach. her bone cracked on metal.

why did this happen to me? what did i do wrong? why does it hurt so much? what did i do that wasn't good enough?
it hurts. it hurts. i don't want to die. i see blood.
[||], do you hate me?
i'm scared.
why am i not good enough?


night thought back to the echo, the one query shot back to her, the only words she'd been expecting in light of that moment now only a trickle, a pipe dream.

“Have you made your peace, with Death?”

she felt the rest of her body crumple, letting the spear fall from her hands. death? had she been afraid of death?

the last thing that fell from her mouth was in a whimper, a strangled croak from choked back tears and anger and fear.


night attempted to flee the field after that.

NIGHT: 3/3
Nari: 2/3

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Morningstar's fingers wrapped his ankles as he gave his hamstrings a stretch. He didn't know his next opponent or what they were like. He stood up straight. The gradual buildup of stress and excitement before a fight was something he was unaccustomed to. He observed the remaining players. Nine had become ten with the addition of the boy who had taken the swordsman to Baldur's estate: Takumi.

"Interesting," he mumbled to himself.

He stepped towards his adversary, sword in hand. She seemed familiar. He'd seen her once or twice in the stands prior to the second round. Straight dark hair flowed below her shoulders, tumbling over her white and blue kimono. He didn't mean to stare; she was pretty. He moved into the ring, meeting the girl's eyes.

"Astreya, right? I'm Morningstar," he beamed, "let's have a good fight."

Morningstar's grip tightened around his training sword. His weight shifted from one foot to the other as he considered his opening move. He took an offensive stance, before lunging at the girl. His movement was off, but he committed to the attack.

He felt out of place, like he wasn't meant to be there. He had no combat experience; what right did he have to be in the second round? He was an actor, performing a role even after being separated from his old life. He swung low.

Morningstar: 0/3
@Astreya: 0/3

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As the man came down to the arena, Astreya could tell that he was someone who had a certain presence in their step.  Nothing overt or aggressive, of course, but just a certain sense of having a practiced sort of movement.  He was also, to her, somewhat familiar in an odd way.  As if she had seen him before in passing a number of times but never actually really committed to learning who he might be.  A neighbor or perhaps a schoolmate- someone that has enough instances of presence to be remembered, albeit not intimately.

Of course, none of that was on her features as she greeted him upon his arrival.  "Hey~!  Yeah!  Like, good luck to you too!" she called cheerfully, adopting her own usual stance of defense as she readied herself for the fight to start.  However, as he judged his own stance for a moment, Astreya had a sudden flash of memory through her mind.  Something about the way that she saw him move reminded her of something.  But before she could really commit to it, or fully remember what she'd seen, the boy was moving.  

Unlike Freyd, he wasn't really having fun with it.  Not to say there was unrelenting aggression or cruelty, but he was at least taking it serious.  Between that and her sudden flash of remembrance, she was ill-prepared for his strike, feeling his weapon clack against her leg even as she darted backward.  "Hey... do I know you from somewhere?" she asked, arching a slim brow as she altered her own stance, using the question as both an inquiry and feint, following it through with an arced strike toward his midline on the non-dominant side.

@Morningstar 1/3
Astreya: 0/3

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Bismuth smiled, a tired demeanor permeating his whole body, normally he was gripped with fear in combat, but the respect that his opponent was showing was representing his culture nicely, though the confidence quickly subsided, because he knew that looks could be completely deceiving, and that despite the man before him seemed his younger, that did not mean he was not a superior combatant, because Bismuth could barely hold the wooden curved blade that he carried for most fights.

Bowing respectfully at his opponent, Bismuth also drew his blade, longer than the dagger he had used last time, this sword was a more proper curved blade, one that Bismuth was hoping would help him more than the small reach of the dagger. "It is truly an honor." Takumi lunged forward soon after their brief words, his attacks may have been easy to read, and telegraphed, but that didn't mean that Bismuth had the speed to be able to dodge it, or the well trained footwork of someone, like Takumi, who had put real effort into training there craft. Bismuth tried to bring his blade up to block the diagonal swing of his opponent, but his new blade was much different from anything he had used, and it took more time than he was used to to bring it up, feeling the thwack of the wooden sword reverberate down his body as it hit his shoulder Bismuth grimaced, trying to focus on the person using the weapon not the weapon itself, jumping backwards Bismuth sent a horizontal slash at his opponent, hoping that he would be able to increase some of the distance between the two in order to formulate a plan, which was becoming harder and harder as he felt the fear slowly crawl through his body like a snake.

1/3 @Snow

0/3 Bismuth

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His next opponent was a player that went by the name of 'Astralin'. It wasn't one he had heard before but the fact that she had beaten Calrex... it was worrisome. Not only had Calrex been someone the blonde had looked up to but he was also the first student that Baldur was said to teach. That spoke more in favor of the girl than anything else. He would need to be a bit more careful with this one. There was a good chance he wasn't fooling around with an amateur any longer. 

Stepping into that stage, he would become faced with a blonde-haired girl who was only a tad shorter than himself. She would introduce herself as Astralin to which he would reply, "The name is Jonathan. I don't care too much for the audience as long as we are having fun." 

Green eyes squinted as he realized something. The girl wasn't carrying any form of weapon. A Martial Arts user? Was that even legal in this tournament? It honestly would give the woman quite an advantage. While she didn't have the reach if she attacked relentlessly there wasn't much he could do. Taking a wide stance, he would grasp both sheath and handle with his hands. He would need to counter an attack and then keep the momentum on his side. 'Fourth Form...' 

Astralin would charge forward, a powerful right hook aimed right at him. A twitch of his right hand would see his weapon released a move to strike. 'Lightni-' The woman pulled back one fist to strike with the other. "Shit!" he would curse just before her fist would strike his torso. 'A faint?' he thought. That was something the last contestant hadn't attempted. Leaping backward, the pommel of his weapon would hit its sheath. 'Third Form...' A man dash would send him flying towards the girl. Spinning horizontally, his weapon was aimed to strike at each of her limbs. 'Torrent!' 

@Astralin 1/3

Morgenstern 0/3

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The question came as a surprise. He'd landed his first strike, but the girl's counter came quick. Where would she know him from?

He nearly stumbled backwards, eyes shifting from Astreya to her blade. His left was completely unguarded; he'd made a mistake. Morningstar pivoted, his right foot planted steadily on the ground. As he repositioned his arms, her sword clashed with his. Maybe she'd seen him around previously that day and didn't realize it. Their blades bounced, giving him a chance to step back. Morningstar didn't go to raids and normally quested alone. The chances that they'd met in some random town in Aincrad were slim.

That left the real world. His gaze softened. He wasn't going to start by asking the girl where she'd lived or went to school before Aincrad—that would be weird. 

"Were you much of a movie person growing up?" Morningstar relaxed for a moment.

She'd probably seen him in a film at some point. It made sense. They'd never met. She'd seen him on a screen once or twice and now his face seemed familiar. But now, so did hers and he couldn't tell if it was because of the tournament or because they'd met some time before. He returned an attack, this time lifting his blade high and aiming for the shoulder.

She'd gotten in his head.

Morningstar: 1/3
@Astreya: 0/3

Edited by Morningstar
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The force of the blow against Bismuth echoed down the length of the weapon and through Takumi's hands. It spoke the gravity of impact delivered to his opponent and despite Baldur's teaching, the young man felt sympathy for his opponent. The tatami mats fell to the floor in shards. His opponent, on the other hand, continued to persist. Perhaps this is the same feeling Baldur felt when his bokken struck Takumi during their lessons? The youth recalled Baldur's calm, unflinching expression.

No... Master Baldur-dono was beyond sympathy. I have to be better. The young swordsman thought to himself as his opponent's feet told him their next move-- distance.

"Always watch the feet," Takumi mumbled to himself as a reminder. Yet, his gaze never drifted from Bismuth's eyes. The lad focused on the eyes but kept his peripherals trained on the feet. Bismuth tried to create distance. His sword arm moved to the side and so did Takumi bring his blade to match. As Bismuth swung, the ferryman stepped into the blow, caught his opponent's weapon against his, and let the momentum slide along his bokken as he carried the strike high and over his head. Takumi moved his wrist to swat the movement clear from him while simultaneously snapping the length of his blade sharply against Bismuth's neck-- a clean riposte.

Confidence now swelled within him. Takumi wanted to glance to his master and see what expression he wore, but his focus remained on his opponent. The match continued and to ignore your foe out of pride would be a great insult.

Takumi stepped back from the blow but kept his blade high near his head. Instead of a sweeping strike, the apprentice samurai again stepped inward against Bismuth and thrust his blade square toward the middle of his foe's chest. Would this be the decisive attack?

2/3 Takumi

0/3 @Bismuth

Edited by Snow
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Astralin was prepared to put up with a difficult opponent.  She knew she had to win, not only for her sake, but for Yona's as well. She knew that she'd be facing powerful rivals and skilled veterans....

What she wasn't ready for, however, was a trick similar to the one she'd just used. A flurry of attacks at a rapid rate. Astralin's sidestep could only dodge so many, but couldn't dodge them all.

Astralin jumped back after getting struck. Her eyes were now focused on her opponent. In a fight where hits counted more than strength, an agile opponent was dangerous, for such an opponent could dodge quicker and strike more effectively. This wasn't the first time an opponent turned the tables against her, and she doubted it would be the last. She just needed to get the lead back, and keep it, too. Any sudden movements would be trouble for Astralin. She kept her guard up, ready to jump back or strike at a moment's notice, as she slowly walked around her opponent. She knew he'd keep turning to face her, but that wasn't the point of this. She lunged halfway in the direction she was going, then bolted the other way, before rushing in to attempt delivery of a swift chop to the target's side before hastily retreating a few meters.


Astralin: 1/3

@Morgenstern: 1/3

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Lessa, Guardian of Aincrad
Level: 31
Paragon Level: 47
HP: 800/800
EN: 118/118

Damage: 28
Mitigation: 142
Accuracy: 4
Battle Healing: 44
H.M.: 8
HLY: 8
REC: 8

Equipped Gear:
Weapon: Arcael's Might (T4 THSS - DMG DMG DMG HLY)
Armor: Empress Armor (T4 HA - HM HM THNS THNS)
Misc: Neutron Star Necklace (T4 TRINKET - ACC ACC REC REC)

Straight Sword R5
Heavy Armor R5
Battle Healing R5
Fighting Spirit

Active Mods:
Emergency Recovery
Justified Riposte

Iron Skin

Active Extra Skills:

Battle Ready Inventory:
Teleportation Crystal x5
Mass HP Recovery Crystal x2

Housing Buffs:
Well Rested: -1 energy cost for the first three expenditures of each combat
Clean: The first time you would suffer DoT damage in a thread, reduce damage taken from DoT each turn by 20% (rounded down)
Relaxed: Increases out of combat HP regen by (5 * Tier HP) and decreases full energy regen to 2 Out of Combat Posts.
Col Stash: +5% bonus col from monster kills and treasure chests
Advanced Training: +10% Exp to a thread. Limit one use per month [1/1]
Multipurpose: Gain +1 to LD, Stealth Rating, Stealth Detection, or Prosperity to one post in a thread. Can be applied after a roll

Guild Hall Buffs:
Helping Hand: Lowest-leveled guild member receives +10 bonus Exp at the end of the thread. At least half of the thread's participants must be guild members. Limit one use per month, per character. [1/1]





Lessa wasn’t sure if she believed in fate. There was certainly a kind of comfort in the concept, and the idea that some actions were simply out of her hands. Plus, weren’t the fated events generally good things? Fate brought people together, and uncovered ancient secrets, and exposed beautiful places. Fate might help someone secure a job of their dreams, or a fortune, simply because they were in the right place at the right time. Stories didn’t tend to feature individuals fated to die, or contract an illness, or lose their property. No, fate was romantic, and beautiful, and inspiring; poets, musicians, authors, and artists all considered it the perfect muse. Of course, believing in fate did have its drawbacks. Sometimes, the relationships that fate had so carefully planted and tended to simply withered and died, and that opened a whole new can of worms. Were we fated to break up, or did we mess up somewhere along the line? Did fate give up on us? Does fate even work that way? No, Lessa wasn’t sure if she believed in fate. But whatever it was that controlled the cosmos had a pretty sick sense of humor.

Gazing across the mat, the Guardian regarded her opponent with silent curiosity. He had changed since they had last faced off. His inky black hair had brightened to blonde, a shade nearly identical to her own, and the traditional uniform was a far cry from his long, edge-lord coat. Even more significant, she knew, were the changes that she couldn’t see. The years had transformed them both, like rocks shaped by the pounding of relentless waves. But the desire for victory remained unchanged. It was a duel, after all. And damn it if a small part of her didn't want that sweet redemption.

“Here we are again,” she stated, voice bereft of emotion as it shattered the silence between them. Fights raged all around, the crack of wooden swords like gunfire on Baldur’s pretty battlefield. Lessa had eyes only for Alkor. Finally, a slow smile drifted like smoke across her lips. “This time, there’s a date on the line. It’s a shame you won’t be able to treat that perky little Astreya to dinner.”

As she spoke, Lessa slowly slid her right foot back, settling into a combat stance with the easy grace of a dancer. Her lake blue eyes, as intense as twin fires, caught and held his. Energy seemed to sizzle like electricity, sparking between the pair, and raising goosebumps along her bare arms. Her entire body hummed, taut as a bow string, though casual observers would see only calm. I’ve gotten better at controlling my emotions, and that’s only the beginning.

She led with the comment,

“But I thought you only dated girls with pink hair."

And followed up with the fight’s first attack.

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The instant he saw her name opposed to his, Alkor paused.

Around him, the world was silent, frozen, a glassy replica. The myriad sounds of excitement and anticipation drowned as the air thickened around him and his heartbeat became prominent in his ears. There were emotions in the abstract that he still did not understand, and perhaps he might never understand them. He felt like he was choking again, the familiar tugging inside his throat that threatened to close it when he looked at the expectations thrust on him by his parents. What was this? They aren't here. 

He took a breath, his thoughts on his sword and nothing else. Just another obstacle, he reminded himself. He assured himself.

The images were still there. Overlapping Lessa, overlapping the crowd, jeering, haunting. He saw their faces scrutinizing him and filled with disdain. "Shut up," he muttered. He hadn't meant it toward Lessa, or toward anyone else. The words came shakily out, and as he clutched his forehead, Alkor closed his eyes and tried to push the crushing sentiments out of his mind. You're a failure, the masculine voice railed into him like a landslide. He felt his grip slipping, the control he worked so hard to gain falling away like his word had been for nothing from the very beginning. He clutched the bokken, facing not Lessa, but the reproachful and overwhelming presence of his father.


“This time, there’s a date on the line. It’s a shame you won’t be able to treat that perky little Astreya to dinner.”

He heard Lessa's words. They broke through, and for a moment, he was drawn back to the present. He saw her, saw the movements. It would have been easy to respond-

A date? You? You've never given a woman a second glance. He brought his weapon up and parried- or he thought he parried- no, damn! Lessa hadn't even moved yet! He was swinging wildly, clumsily, lashing out at the voice. "Focus," he spoke more loudly now, his voice a low growl.  He had to bring himself back from that place, from the void that threatened to drag him farther away, down from the pinnacle he had aspired toward. 


“But I thought you only dated girls with pink hair."

By the time his weapon was up, Alkor had already been struck. He felt the impact, if not the pain. With a loud, frustrated yell, he punched himself in the face.  "Stop fucking with me!" he yelled. The voice receded for a moment, but he felt the leering gazes still. The weight of them made his body feel sluggish, clammy, and chilled. He wanted to focus, not on anything else but the fight. There was nothing that could have warned him, nothing that could have stopped this outcome. Lessa had become important in his mind, a figure he looked up to, someone who cared about his growth. Someone who he could let down, just like his parents.

His cheeks were on fire, flushed as he took deep, heavy breaths. This had been about getting stronger, it had been about proving that he wasn't a failure, and now in the midst of that turmoil, he found himself failing again.

Look at you, panicking. All it took was the smallest amount of pressure, and you cracked. You've always been such a disappointment.

He gripped the training sword with his head down, shaking his head. It shouldn't have come to this.

Alkor was looking at Lessa, but his eyes were staring through her toward something else. He was looking at the apex, the place that seemed farther away now than it ever had before. He wanted to scream.

"Your point," he muttered, his gaze dropping to the ground. At this point, it was all he could do to manage to stand and fight. He wouldn't run away. Not again. Never again.

This was the best defiance he could manage. 

To lose with dignity.

Alkor: 0/3

Lessa: 1/3



Level 32 // Paragon 30

780/780 HP  114/114 EN

23 Base Damage 30 Mitigation

5 Accuracy 3 Evasion 

32 Blight Damage (20 Mitigation loss for duration) 

48 Bleed Damage


42 Battle Healing 

Survival (10% increase to healing effects applied)


Witchfang : Tier 4 Demonic One Handed Straight Sword // CURSED / BLIGHT / BLEED / PARALYZE

"Forged from the fang of a Black Dragon, this blade promises ruin to those who are struck by it. The blade's edge is fashioned of Obsidian andinvested with a myriad of afflictions."

Cloak of the Wanderer : Tierless Perfect Light Armor // EVASION / EVASION / EVASION

 "Tattered from the wear of many battles, this cloak was once worn by a warrior who faced the trials of the Castle and through the flames found the strength to walk again."

Eye of Osiris : Tierless Perfect Accessory // ACCURACY / ACCURACY / ACCURACY

"A pin fashioned in the style of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, depicting the eye of the god Osiris."

Skills, Mods, Addons:

<<One Handed Straight Sword>> rank 5
<<One Handed Straight Sword>> Ferocity Addon  
Stamina Addon 
Precision Addon 

<<Light Armor>> rank 5 
Meticulous Mod
Resolve Mod

<<Battle Healing>> rank 5
Emergency Recovery Mod 

Combat Mastery: Damage   
ST Specialist Combat Shift 


Extra Skill: Survival


Edited by Alkor
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The instant Alkor lashed out at her, the smile fell from Lessa's face. "Jesus," she breathed, concern carving trenches across her forehead. Gone was the cocky playfulness, and the taunts she had prepped to throw him off his game. Either her first slap had worked better than intended, or Alkor had never been on his game to begin with. The latter worried her immensely. For a man who had prided himself on perfection, he swung with all the precision of a drunk frat boy. She had thought she would feel jubilation landing the first hit, but none came. Instead, horror slammed into her as Alkor plowed his own fist into his face, and howled at a decibel entirely out of place in such a tranquil dojo. 

Lessa dropped her weapon, and as it bounced soundlessly against the mat, she rounded on him. "What the fuck, Alkor?" she snapped back, though fear twined with anger in each word. Her own cheeks flushed, though not nearly the same dark crimson as his. "It was a joke. If you can't handle a joke, about Mari of all things, what are we even doing here?"

The words were out before her mind could catch up, and only seconds after did realization dawn. Why would he have punched himself if he were angry with her? That was the action of a petulant child, not the cold, calculated soldier she had come to know. In fact, nothing she had seen so far bore any resemblance to the man she called a friend, or the first battle he had fought against Koga. This was altogether different. A melt down. A let down. He's mad at himself, not me.

Though the understanding worked to quell the immediate rage, the unease remained. Alkor had always been a mystery to her, as distant and incomprehensible as far-off galaxies. She had never, and would never, succeed in predicting his actions. But this Alkor? So filled with fury, and fueled by some insatiable need? A different beast entirely.

She wasn't facing a lion.

She was facing a caged lion.

As he stood there panting, beads of sweat prickling across his forehead, she tried to catch his gaze again. Maybe, just this once, she could see into that impenetrable mind of his. All she found was a reflection of herself in wide, unfocused eyes. He didn't even see her.

This isn't about me at all.

"Your point," he mumbled, and she gave a curt nod. 

"If you need us to stop," she told him in a voice just above a whisper, "you need to tell me. Do you understand?" Then she stooped down, retrieved her sword, and squared off once more. But if the fight is what you need, I'll give you that, too. All I've ever wanted to do was give you what you needed.

Despite her overwhelming instinct to do so, she did not hesitate as she drove the sword into him once more.

Alkor: 0/3

Lessa: 2/3

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