Author Topic: Death of Tileni of Luria  (Read 367 times)


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Death of Tileni of Luria
« Topic Start: May 26, 2017, 07:52:17 PM »

Rania was awake, as was her habit, long before first light. The sun rose at her back as She made her way to the town square in Outer Giask and was surprised to find a crowd awaiting her. Everything from brown rags to flashes of silk and steel. They grew silent at her approach, parting like fog to allow her forward. She'd never had an audience before.

It was eerie.

Tileni was already there, waiting for her. Her armor shined. Rania was not an expert on armor, the sandborn eschewed metal in favor of leather, and could not tell if the armor was freshly purchased, but she could tell that regardless of its origin, the Ranger had cared for it well, oiling the metal to a blinding sheen. It was presumptuous, and Rania felt that Teleni's undeserved arrogance required a lesson. It is what had been the initial source of the conflict between the two women, after all. Teleni had presumed to be Rania's equal, despite her low-birth, which had earned Rania's ire and started them down the wrathful chain of events that would bring one of them to their doom today. She affected a haughty smile as Rania stopped before her, the crowd closing in behind. Tileni was not a small woman, nor was she unlovely, but her skin had the weathered look and scars of a tough life lived. She was reminded that this woman used to slay monsters for a living.

Of course, Tileni had never faced any monster like Rania before...

Rania smiled.

Taking the smile for the challenge that it was, Tileni looked her up and down. "You're late, sandeater." A few laughs and a catcall or two rippled through the crowd. This was Luria Nova, after all. There was no love for D'Harans here. Rania expected insults, but what she did not expect was the coldness of it. It was not said so much in anger as it was specifically calculated. Something to throw Rania off balance. Rania revised her gauge of Tileni upward while the other woman went on playing to the crowd. "I knew I said I had a pig to spit, but I never imagined how closely you'd fit the image. I might have walked instead of taking a quick boat to get here. Then maybe you'd have had time for a bath!"

More chuckles, louder this time. Rania ignored them. Stripping down to her fighting leathers. She had changed into the only other outfit she owned, black and red leather armor, segmented for flexibility and named for a particularly nasty breed of scorpion back in the Desert of Silhouettes. The long, intricately braided queue of black hair was tucked into the back. If the outlandish outfit gave Tileni pause, she overcame it, readying another insult when the town official stepped forward.

"A Challenge has been issued and accepted," The old man rasped."Today, honor can only be satisfied by blood-"
"Aye, in the highest tradition of true knights of Luria," Tileni spat. Rania ignored them both. Stretching, working her shoulder sockets, bending her knees, cracking joints to loosen them up. Then stood absolutely still, watching with eyes that seemed to blink too much.
"By the power vested in me, By His Glorious Majesty Emperor Sholan, by the light of the-"

"Shut up old man, get out of the way and ring the bell." Tileni interjected. "Breakfast is waiting."

Intimidated, the old official scurried to the side, raising his hand to signal the tolling of the bell. And the moment the hammer struck brass, Rania aggressively leapt into action, momentarily surprising Tileni and forcing her back before she rallied and the fight was on!

Rania had not been idly waiting in Outer Giask. She had studied everything she could about her opponent. Reviewing Tileni's infuriating letters, seeking out information on her family, interviewing Lurian nobles. So she knew what a formidable opponent Tileni could have been. Just as she knew that Tileni's pride would be her own downfall.

Blades clashed in the dawn light as Tileni applied every trick she'd learned over years. The two women were evenly matched in size and speed, even in age. But armed with her knowledge of her opponent, Rania grew more confident of her victory with every strike and parry. Her research on Tileni had revealed one constant fact: The Ranger was a woman who believed she'd earned the right to arrogance. She was proud of her achievements, even more so of her skills in warfare. And to a swordsman, that means one thing. Any mediocre swordsman will tell you that their are a few basic forms of combat. The aggressive, the neutral, and the defensive. A more skilled bladesmith will have learned the overrun strategy, while true masters of the blade are so in tune with themselves and their steel that they can perform tricks of the blade that would leave an opponent stunned as well as dead. Tileni was truly a master swordswoman and, apparently hoping that Rania's bark was worse than her bite, had opted to display her most advanced skills. Unbeknownst to Teleni, Rania too was an extremely talented fighter, and she opted to forgo flashy displays in favor of simply getting on with it.

The crowed oohed and ahhed as Tileni went to work. Her blade a latticework of reflected sunlight. Her feints surprised even Rania.

Until Rania brought the Ranger back to basics.

Step, slash, step, stab, step, riposte. Rania countered Tileni's dexterity with vicious ferocity, forcing the other woman towards a wall. If Tileni was growing desperate, she did not show it, continuing to redirect Rania's thrusts at the last possible moment to buy herself some time.
Step, swing, block, step upper-slash, pommel strike. That last glanced of Tileni's pauldron harmlessly as the ranger spun to the side. Suddenly, Rania was perplexed to find a boot in her chest, propelling her backwards towards the center. She stumbled, keeping her sword in front of her as she tracked Tileni. Wincing. Tileni noticed and smiled a wolf's grin, somehow knowing that her kick had fractured one of Rania's lower ribs. She feinted high, drawing Rania's sword upwards, only to hook a foot under Rania's own, pulling the sandborn off balance. Rania fell. White pain stabbed through her chest as she hit the cobblestone. She rolled, just in time to hear steel strike the stone where she'd been.

"And now, desert vermin, I am going to crush you like the insect you are," Tileni taunted as Rania rose to her feet, her breathing labored.

"Come then, you well-bred bitch" Tileni scoffed, "Let me show you what the dirt is like.

Rania obliged.

Back to basics. Step, swing, block, step upper-slash, pommel strike. Glance off pauldron. Wait for it-

Rania performed the same aggressive attack combination, knowing how Tileni would react. Sure enough, the ranger went for a kick to the chest. The same trick-move that had caught Rania earlier. Rania pinned Tileni's leg underneath her arm, locking it there and lifting with her legs, throwing the other woman into the ground and, riding her momentum, Rania thrust forward with all her strength and ran the Ranger through armor and sternum. A cry went up from the crowd. Tileni's eyes widened with shock, legs kicking spasmodically as she struggled with lungs that refused to work around so much steel.

"I swore I'd teach you a lesson, Ranger" Rania whispered, breaking her silence for the first time into Tileni's dying breaths the rangers hands tearing at her armored chest. "Welcome back to the dirt."

Teleni's struggles grew weaker as Rania laid the other woman's head, curiously gently, respectfully, to the ground. Surgeons rushed forward, but it was already too late...

Rania staggered to her feet, turning towards the inn. She felt no elation of victory. She felt tired, her chest hurt like hell, and most of all, she felt...dirty.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 08:01:39 PM by JeVondair »
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