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In the darkness of three hours before dawn, Markuran stands a few feet off shore, washing himself and stretching in preperation for the duel to come. Reaquainting himself with movement in water-heavy armor and the feel of the wet air weighing him down, the big man seems depressed.

  • Zahara moves through the darkness quietly, watching the big man's movements. She stands with her hands clasped behind her back near the shore and waits to be noticed. It shouldn't be hard, given that she's wearing some sort of sparkling dress that shows off her assets nicely.
  • Cerin stands to the side of Zahara, far less visible in his red armour, though he isnt actively trying to hide.
  • Markuran turns, catching sight of the two reflected in the lake. Dark, sullen eyes glitter with reflected starlight. "What do you two want?"

<Zahara> "I came to see what you were doing. It was quiet inside."

  • Cerin nods "Birds left earlier."

<Markuran> "I'm getting ready for my duel." his normally passionate voice is flat, unhappy. He starts doing a few simple stretches as he talks, arching his back until it pops, touching his feet

<Zahara> "I thought you'd be excited. You get to duel, isn't that romantic?"

  • Zahara observes his depression clinically. "You don't look happy though."

<Markuran> "No. It is a waste. Birds..did not mean what she said. But she has challenged and I must accept."

<Zahara> "I think you were the one that challenged her, actually. You have such a temper." she observes.

<Cerin> "You did swing at her, but no matter. It does not have to be a wasted duel, and nor do either of you have to get hurt, you do not have to specific firstblood as a condition"

<Zahara> "You could play chess instead." she smiles slightly.

  • Markuran frowns. "I am challenged, so I may decide the rules. But I can not fight her any other way then this" he raises a fist "that I know gives an honorable chance to both."

<Zahara> "There is more to life that your fists, Markuran. Violence solves many problems, but not all. You've seen that, haven't you?"

  • Markuran goes back to his work out, sitting on the lake's bottom and doing a series of body curls while hugging a large rock to his chest. "No one leads who does not know that. Should I challenge her to hunting? Birds could not find a rabbit if it bit her in the ear. Or craftsman ship when she can not hold a hammer the right way? Or shall we bake our disputes away when the only food I can make is roast eel?"

<Cerin> "It is rather good roast eel, mind..."

  • Zahara wrinkles her nose, "Eel aside, you could..have a poetry contest." she ponders that for a minute, "But I'm not really talking about the duel."

<Markuran> "Then what are you talking about?"

<Zahara> "I'm talking about what led to this."

  • Cerin nods "You need to get some control"

<Zahara> "You need to start thinking before you do things, or else this Circle is going to fall apart. I've mentioned before the maltreatment of messengers, and anyone else who disagrees with you. Punching them is almost never appropriate. Diplomacy is not all raising the masses to a frothing mob. Do you see what I'm trying to say?"

  • Markuran sighs and pauses in his exertions, wiping a few beads of sweat and spray from his face. "I don't just punch people that don't agree with me. The only time I have was Birds."

<Cerin> "You're come close though, and any one who disagrees with you, you treat with disdain. Only Birds is one person too many. She is your circlemate for sun's sake!"

  • Zahara nods, her voice calm and eminently reasonable. "I know, but it's the attitude behind it. It escalates to wars and dissent. Your impetuousness will not only cost YOU your life someday, like it almost did with the Lava portal. It may cost others their lives, as well."
  • Markuran opens his mouth to deny the acusation, then nods slightly. "Maybe. I was not so bad before, I listened to people and issued just commands. People brought their arguments to me and I decided fairly. I am not what I was. Everything angers me and it clouds my judgement."

<Zahara> "I think you are right. When we met, you were more reasonable. Do you feel threatened? Like you need to prove yourself to us?"

<Markuran> "You say things I would ignore, but they burrow into my mind and writhe like sunfish in a net. It is like having a lightning eel in your pants."

  • Zahara chuckles, "Perhaps we should make a deal then. I will try not to antagonize you, if you try to be less impulsive."
  • Cerin raises an eyebrow at the metaphor Marku chooses. He nods to Zee though
  • Zahara does wonder if he's had a lightning eel in his pants
  • Markuran has. Has scars.

<Markuran> "I will apologize to Birds after the duel."

<Zahara> "You could offer an apology in lieu of the duel." she suggests

  • Markuran shakes his head adamantly. "I was challenged. I accepted. There is nothing more."

<Zahara> "It is your choice."

<Markuran> "I have accepted. There is no choice. And it would not be honorable to turn her down. She had every right to challenge."

  • Cerin sighs softly "You should apologise anyway, even if you do still fight in the end. It does not need to come to blows of any kind"
  • Zahara puts her hand on Cerin's shoulder, "He is right. Birds of Trinity is the only one who can decide to call off the duel."

<Cerin> "I know that, perhaps if he offers her apology she may."

  • Zahara nods. "It would be wise, either way, Marku."

<Markuran> "I will try to find her then. But you said she has left already.

<Zahara> "I'm sure she shall return before the duel begins. Perhaps you can speak then."

  • Markuran nods. "I will look for her."
  • Zahara nods in return. "Hopefully this will end up being a good thing, after all." she muses, slipping her arm round Cerin's waist and leaning against him lightly.
  • Cerin smiles and slips his arm around her waist "I hope so"
  • Markuran eyes the two. "I'd be honored to bless your sons, Cerin."

<Zahara> "What about mine?"

  • Cerin tenses a little against Zahara "I shall bear that in mind, Marku" he manages to say

<Markuran> "And your daughters, Zahara."

<Zahara> "They will need blessings. This is a dangerous world we live in." she says mildly.

  • Markuran sits back on the lake edge and peers out across it, not looking at anything. "I feel a little better now. Like I've found a way to make the lightning eel stop biting me as well as shocking me."
  • Cerin glances up at Zahara in a 'he was serious about the lightning eel?!' sort of way.
  • Zahara shrugs and gives him a look that says 'he's MARKURAN' and then disengages herself from Cerin long enough to go walk over to the barbarian on the shore and place her hand on his shoulder. "I'm glad."
  • Markuran nods at her. Shifting his posture slighty, Markuran scratches idly at his lower back and buttocks. "Now my scar hurts.."
  • Zahara retrieves her hand quickly as he starts scratching his ass. "Um. yes."
  • Cerin shakes his head slowly.

<Markuran> "I assume the two of you will be cheering Birds."

  • Zahara retreats back to Cerin's side, "Quite possibly, if we can find her. Although I'm not sure she needs cheering, so much as calming."
  • Markuran is now known as Don`Fortaleza
  • Don`Fortaleza is now known as Markuran
  • Cerin nods, slipping his arm round her again "I suppose we should go and find her..though if Marku is going too.."
  • Markuran shrugs. "I will stay and prepare.

<Zahara> "You should meditate. It will do you good."

<Markuran> "This is my own sort of meditation."

  • Zahara nods.

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