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The appointed time has come. As the sun sets, Rovash the Infinite waits patiently for Markuran to arrive. The fae polishes Love's Seventh Ocean idly with six hands as he waits for the Solar.

<Zahara> "Markuran," Zahara says thoughtfully, "You had said before, that you were interested in a bigger challenge, correct?"

  • Markuran steps into the forest clearing as the sun's last light bleeds from the clouds. The white jade of his armor catches the sunlight, turning Markuran into a man suited in blood and fire. The Armsbreaker in his grasp is a spike of burning fire. The image is spoiled slightly as Marku frowns, turning to peer down at Zee. "Yes.."

<Zahara> "And Rovash, you had said that when you fight our kind, you do not use.. glamours, correct?"

<Rovash?> "We have... some such tools that we may use to distract or irritate a foe, but in straightforward combat... no."

<Zahara> "I would be most interested in watching a straight contest between the two of you, no Essence or Glamours, or tricks of that sort."

  • Zahara gives Rovash a challenging look, which she then turns on Markuran. "What say you?"
  • Markuran shrugs. "I would not mind such a battle. Though Rovash has the advantage, having dreamed his body into being. I will retain my swordbreaker and armor, but I agree to foreswear magic."

<Rovash?> "I shall agree to do so as well, if it pleases you."

  • Zahara seats herself on the thronelike chair she had the servants carry to the 'arena' "It would please me, yes." she smiles, "Go on, then."

<Markuran> "I challenged you, Rovash. You are the one who sets conditions. Zahara is merely able to ask a boon of you."

As the duel's preparations precede, Zahara finds herself once again irritatedly remembering Cerin's continued unexplained absence: ever since he set out to follow Herons from the Sunlands, a week pervious.

<Rovash?> "In that case, Markuran, I shall set the conditions: I may fight as I am, embodied, while you may fight with your armor and weapon; but neither of us shall use any Essence. We shall fight to five wounds, or surrender."

<Rovash?> "Shall we begin?"

  • Zahara shifts her sight into the realm of Essence, pausing a moment to reconcile the two in her mind. She has only recently learned this trick, and it is another reason for her impatience for Cerin's return.
  • Markuran nods. "The terms are accepted and the duel begins." Settling himself, the big Solar smiles broadly at Rovash and waits, fairly certain the fae is a great deal faster then he.
  • Rovash carefully draws out Love's Seventh Ocean and holds it with six hands -- then, as he pulls those hands apart, a single copy of the sword journeys with each of them. He stands immobile for a moment -- then, with a quick ferocity, he swings into combat, striking viciously and swiftly with the watery blades.
  • Markuran drops into a crouch as the razor-edged water flashes toward him. Crab-walking forward the barbarian raises turns around, facing the same way as Rovash. The Armsbreaker comes up, sliding through a watery blade to confuse the Fae as it knocks away the two attacks. Completing his turn, Marku tries to wrap the smaller Wyld Lord in his powerful grip

Rovash grabs Marku's oncoming arms each with two hands of his own, and gudes them away from himself, lifting them upwards and outwards. Meanwhile, his other arms move swiftly; bearing Love's Seventh Ocean viciously downward against Marku's exposed legs.

  • Markuran frees his arms from Rovash's grip easily and drops his stance slightly, clamping Rovash's six arms under his own. The watery blades still move for his legs, until Marku hops up over them, replacing himself with the blade of Armsbreaker as he releases Rovash
  • Markuran glances over his shoulder at the fae, trying to get turned around fast enough to attack the Fae before he too reorients to Marku's new position behind him
  • Rovash is surprisingly perceptive, and brings one blade whipping backwards quickly, nicking Marku's leg in the process.
  • Zahara watches with a measured gaze, noting that they are both indeed playing by the rules.
  • Rovash leaps forward, more daring now. He stabs a single blade into the ground, then steps lightly upon its hilt and springs off, flying over Marku's head while raining down blows on him underneath.
  • Markuran shakes his head in annoyance, glowering sullenly at Zahara for her interferance in his duel...As the fae's second slash moves to bloody his chest, Marku grips the Fae's wrist tight, deflecting the attack. A third blow rends his back before Marku hauls the flying duelist to the ground, pinning him with superior size and strength. Marku's blood tinges the swords as they lay useless in struggling arms
  • Zahara smiles back, looking innocent

<Markuran> "Hopefully you will be able to fix your ribs before your lover finds you, Rovash." the loud CRUNCH that follows Marku's words underscores them as his massive arms hug the Fae tight, breaking the icy bones within his watery body

Despite vigorous flailing and kicking, Rovash is unable to free himself from the barbarian's rock-solid grip. As the clinch grows tighter, Rovash thinks over the matter and finally taps thrice upon the ground with his three lowest hands, conceding defeat.

  • Markuran releases his grip easily, rising to his feet and offering the Fae a bloody hand to rise. "You fight well, Rovash."

<Markuran> "I'm sorry if I was too forceful. I think I may have done more damage then I intended."

  • Rovash shakes his head. "It is no matter. I can discard this body and build another, if I so desire. You are an impressive combatant."
  • Markuran smiles broadly. "I am glad that my muscles still answer as well without magic as they do with. I was afraid I may be growing soft, relying on the Sun to win battles for me."
  • Rovash retrieves his weapon and resheathes it, elegant even in defeat. "Have I now completed the necessary demonstrations?"

Unless you would care for a second fight, with the use of Essence," she says, sending the Sesseljae over

<Rovash?> "I believe my battle spirit is sated for today," he says, as the strange demon crawls towards him. "Shall we return to the Cascade?"

  • Markuran nods. "Do you need help? I think I heard your spine crack."

<Rovash?> "I shall be alright."

  • Zahara nods
  • Zahara is now known as Zahara

The group returns to the manse, where Rovash indicates the -- currently empty -- room which he must journey to.

<Zahara> "not yet."

<Rovash?> "What tasks remain for me?"

<Zahara> "First we must study your reactions to various elements."

<Rovash?> "If it is necessary."

<Zahara> "Then we shall test your patience."

  • Rovash stands ready.
  • Zahara leads the way back to the dungeon area, where she has her nice tools. She is well-prepared to test the effects of ice, fire, poison, acid, and cold iron on the flesh of the fae-who-lost
  • Zahara spends several hours doing so, the multiple arms being quite useful, as she can test different things on different arms
  • Rovash suffers through the painful treatments.
  • Zahara makes copious notes, noting the way his essence flows react

<Rovash?> When the experiments finish, Rovash sits up, several arms crossed tightly over his chest. "That should fully satisfy your curiosity."

<Zahara> "There is but one more before you meet your love, Rovash." She smiles sweetly. "For the last, you will prove the depths of your love by doing one simple thing. Waiting."

<Rovash?> "....and just what shall I wait for, my... fair... Zahara?"

<Zahara> "A year and a day, in The White Room. On that day, I shall free you, and escort you to the room where you may call your love, personally."

  • Rovash blinks, three times.

<Rovash?> "I could not survive such an ordeal, Zahara."

  • Rovash pauses.

<Rovash?> "Having studied my Essence for this time, I suspect you realize that."

<Zahara> "I thought you could not be killed, unless by the hand of one such as me."

  • Zahara smiles slightly. "Would such a death be permanent?"

<Rovash?> "More permanent than any your kind shall ever know."

<Zahara> "That would be tragic."

<Rovash?> "It would indeed. I do not imagine I would ever forgive you."

<Zahara> "I believe that point would be slightly moot"

<Zahara> "However, it was not my intention to kill you, this time. Instead, we shall see how long you can survive, and I shall let you out before you perish.

  • Rovash 's eyes narrow.

<Zahara> "Purely in the interests of science, of course. You may feed before you enter."

<Rovash?> "I have debased myself to great lengths for you, Zahara Zhan. For Injara, I have made myself victim to terrors far beyond reason. But I have seen into your soul, Solar. I will not trust you to lock me in such a room, for a year or a day."

<Zahara> "Indeed, I shall entrust the keeping of time unto Markuran, then. Or you can go home."

  • Rovash pushes open the door, where Markuran stands, unhappily fuming.

<Rovash?> "Are you party to this, Markuran?"

  • Markuran blinks. "What is she trying to do now? Did she ask to cut your arms off and hang you from a wall or some such thing?"
  • Markuran glowers angrily at Zahara, suspicious of her in a closed room with anything alive-ish without supervision.

<Zahara> "Nothing of the sort. I merely asked him to wait."

<Zahara> "I have healed all his injuries in the meantime, anyway."

<Markuran> "Wait for how long?"

<Zahara> "I suggested a year and a day, but Rovash seems to think he may expire from waiting so long, so I agreed to shorten the time period."

<Markuran> "What sort of waiting would kill him?" Dark eyes move back and forth between the Fae and his Circlemate. Oddly, he finds himself far more ready to trust the wyld-monster then the woman he has known for years.

<Zahara> "Waiting in The White Room."

<Zahara> "To an immortal, a year and a day is but a blink of time."

  • Markuran snarls at Zahara, clinching his fists. With deliberate movements, the big warrior folds his arms across his chest to keep his fists under control. "He has agreed to your trials so far and held honorably to his agreement. If you wish to torture a wyld one, find one that is doing harm to our people. Rovash has done what you needed. Either hold the agreement fulfilled or break it cleanly. You are twisting his words and intent to

<Markuran> "You are twisting his words and intent to suit your gnawing hunger for suffering."

<Zahara> "This task is simplest of all that I have asked of him."

<Markuran> "You do not deserve the power given to you, Zahara. Be honorable for once and do as you said you would. This is a travesty."

<Zahara> "I fail to see what part of our bargain I am not keeping to."

  • Markuran leans down, his face a mere hair from Zahara's. "The very *spirit* of the bargain. He has done all you can reasonably ask. Now. Let him do what he came for."
  • Rovash coughs.

<Zahara> "You are weak."

<Markuran> "You are a blight."

<Zahara> "You are a useless prat, too caught up in your high and mighty views to bother learning anything."

  • Rovash coughs a little louder.

<Markuran> "Your learning is murder, torture and perversion. It was the agreement that Rovash would allow you to learn from him, not to torture and murder him. You can not simply justify torture and murder by calling them experimentation. Hold yourself to at least the honor of the lowest fish-theif or whore, Zahara. Let him summon his lover and *leave*."

<Zahara> "I do not intend to murder him."

<Markuran> "Just take him as far as you can without killing him, yes?"

<Zahara> "Of course." she does not seem to think that a bad thing.

<Zahara> "I believe the exact phrase was, "I will be only too glad to subject myself to whatever exquisite torments you might devise. No torment is too great for me to suffer, it it will bring Injara back to me"

<Markuran> "Only you would use love to drag someone who has never harmed you to the edge of death and smile all the way. You disgust me. If Rovash is not allowed to summon his lover by sunrise five days hence, you will suffer in his place, Zahara Zhan." with a final snarl, Marku leaves the Fae and the black-hearted Solar to argue about Rovash's fate

<Zahara> "It is the Fae themselves you have to thank for my compassionate heart, Markuran. They are not humans, to care for and protect."

  • Zahara turns to Rovash, "So you see, your kind have brought this on you."
  • Rovash nods, rubbing his chin with three hands.

<Rovash?> "I will subject myself to your... white room, now that I feel confident I will be let out once again."

<Zahara> "Four and a half days it is, then. I appreciate your willingness to help me in this."

<Rovash?> "Your argument was very... invigorating. It has revived my sense of adventure! For my darling Injara, I shall do this thing." With that, he strides valiantly into the White Room.

Tags: (:tags Rovash the Infinite, Injara, White Room:)

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