the Rift

The Devil's Workshop;

Caneo Posts: 133
Hidden Account atk: 7.5 | def: 10.5 | dam: 2.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 16.3h :: 6 years HP: 61 | Buff: NOVICE
Ophiria :: Dragon Snake :: None kae

This place again.

Caneo finds today he prefers the endless mirror of this shallow beach to the empty honesty of that other one. When he ghosts through familiar places, he can't help remembering. And memory walks hand in hand with regret, with wasted opportunities and the terrible truth of his own poor judgment. He prefers the half-reality of dusk found here, where his shadow walks on one side and his reflection walks on the other. Both consider him with mild amusement; his features naturally fall in such a way. Even at rest, Caneo lies.

Irritated, he jerks his gaze up and away from his own narrow features. And there is nothing, nothing to keep a bored spy busy in this place — or in Helovia at all. His pale eyes narrow as he scans the space between water and sky. Perhaps.... Perhaps he could walk out to where the ocean deepens, lose himself, find something interesting. But he's too wary, too fond of life, to be that foolish. The small, blue voice in the back of his mind requests sanity, anyway, from where she hunts frogs between the roots of a gnarled tree. He decides not to disappoint her too badly today.

Instead, he swings his head inland. And the swinging catches in the rest of his body, and it all turns into a small hop, his damp fetlocks splattering his belly with cool liquid when he lands. When last he breached this place, he had found something interesting. He recalls the steps of their dance now, though he fails to recreate them. Restless, his eyes track the lonely marsh birds and the slowly spreading haze of yellow-orange bled by the sun. When the bravest of the feathered things skitters too close, he leaps after it. His toes kick up bright droplets of water like red and yellow jewels. Even the scattering of spread wings fails to entertain him though, and with a snort, the silver creature leaves them be. He isn't cruel, but he is bored, bored, bored — Caneo almost envies the soldiers and their relentless bravado.

we set them up all night
just to watch them falling

@Kitty would love a teaching spar if you have the time & energy :)
Post 0/3
WC: ##
Conditions: Halcyon Flats, early evening, clear with a slight breeze. Attack first if you'd like!

* violence & magic use always permitted *
Do not tag Caneo unless you are starting a new thread you would like me to see! Thank you!

Kitty Posts: 10
Up For Adoption atk: 5 | def: 8.0 | dam: 6.0
Stallion :: Equine :: 17.3 hh :: 7 HP: 62.0 | Buff: NOVICE
K itty

Kitty, too, is bored. He discovers new parts of this land every day, but with every discovery he is only more disappointed. Kitty wants again the excitement of the bone guardian in the woods, the odd thrill of feeling hunted by a creature with a gift. But no, in this new land that he has discovered Kitty is stronger than most. He is too big, too bold, too beautiful, to be hunted.

If you were strong enough you might rip his skin from his bones so you could dry and stretch it. He would be the finest leather, and from him you would craft delicate things that reflected his beauty. You aren't, though, so your violent obsession is no more than a daydream. You watch instead as Kitty lives and breathes, stepping along this shore and leaving hoofprints in the sand. Muscles resist and press against the confines of his body. They seem to be a cage for that soul of his, and perhaps that's why you can't see it.

You know that he must have one, for Kitty is truly the greatest being you have ever known, but it's just so... distant. It's as bright and shining as the dying sun on these flats, but when you look for it you only see what you see when you look down at that water. His missing soul is only this: a reflection so clear that it feels distorted, and a terrible haunting of sorts.

At the end of the day, the same end this one nears, you just wish he would see you. He doesn't, though. Kitty's eyes are on the prize; while you search for his soul he searches for something to quench his thirst.

For Kitty, too, is bored. He sees the other stallion--not small but smaller, not ugly but uglier, not weak but weaker, well no, maybe weak--and he approaches with a perfect and even stride.

"Don't chase the birds, boy!" Kitty calls this out wickedly, despite the fact that he is not much older than the stallion he sees before him. "The birds will only fly and leave you as dissatisfied as before. You want to catch something, feel something thick and hot against your skin?"

You want to. You want to catch him, but you're not the one he's talking to. He doesn't even know you're here. You just watch, perfectly numb as the world moves around him. Only there's nothing perfect about you, not you who watch but are powerless to act. Kitty will always operate on a higher plane.

When he moves it takes you by surprise, even though you watch so closely. He isn't fast so much as he is powerful, but you'd like to think he's the best in all aspects. You know what's coming, though, and you've seen this before. Kitty is about to strike.

"Catch this!" Kitty calls out like a war cry as he charges forth. It's more upfront than usual, more dramatic, but he's horribly, terribly bored. There's something special for you, too, to watch him act like this--to watch his faint dorsal stripe extend the line his hooves leave in the sand, to watch his silken tail fly behind him. It's as if he's exercising every right that he has to be magnificent, and it's wonderful to see.

As he gallops forth, sand both wet and dry flies behind him. The birds that he passes fly off in something like utter fear, or perhaps the knowledge that their king is drawing closer with every muffled hoofbeat. You watch as Kitty draws closer, hopefully facing the stallion head on, and feigns to his own right; the opponent's left. For a moment it looks as if he'll veer off and run beyond the unicorn and truly lead this white one on a grand chase.

Kitty, though, is not ever one to reveal what he truly plans. At the last second, just when he hopes to be just before parallel to the other stallion's left, he executes a perfect crowhop, lifting all four of his hooves off of the ground, and tries to pull his body to his left and slam it against the younger male's side. If he is successful, he will be able to use his bulk to throw the opponent off balance.

You know what it looks like when he wins. You've seen it before, and it's perfect.

WC: 732/800
AP: 1/3, 0/1
Notes: Good luck! I'm still getting used to writing Kitty, he's brand new, so forgive me if his style is a bit strange for now. I'll do teaching for you. :)

Caneo Posts: 133
Hidden Account atk: 7.5 | def: 10.5 | dam: 2.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 16.3h :: 6 years HP: 61 | Buff: NOVICE
Ophiria :: Dragon Snake :: None kae

A voice:

noise —


When Caneo turns, his mind conjures for an instant a gnarled horn upon the mahogany brow, eyes the color of storm clouds rather than those sharing the hue of old blood. Boy

No one has called that name in a long time.

Maybe Caneo was boy once, but the blue-eyed creature turning slowly to face this intrusion is nothing of the sort. It's a collection of knives in the shape of a horse. It draws up, up, up at the sight and the sound and the smell of another stallion, and thin and pale over the water, Caneo looks terribly frail. He stands juxtaposed with comfortably kept perfection: pale against dark, knife against hammer, blue against red. Caneo's long face tilts to one side, and though he stands on edge he appraises in silence. Of course, he fails to stop the smirk crawling across his face like a snake.

Something hot and thick — like you?

He can't bite back amusement at the bizarre choice of words, like fighting is akin to other bloodsport — like he finds anything about the larger beast attractive. He almost explains, in polite terms, how much he'd rather teach himself to throw up. Instead Caneo just snorts, and finds the stranger charging him with only the briefest, crudest, warning. Were the silver creature still a boy, he would run. Unfortunately, maybe, for the both of them, Caneo is older and colder and a little more like that new part of his soul every day. In the back of his mind is the snake; in the back of his mind is the primal brain tracking movement, scenting the heat of breath, chanting along to the beat of his heart wait, wait, wait.

True enough, water fowl make poor sport.

Now, several things happen. First: the gap shrinks as the strange stallion's hooves pummel it into submission. Second: Caneo seeks to revive the gap by crawling backward, thrusting all his weight onto his haunches in a very quick dance. Water sucks around his fetlocks, cold and failing to be beautiful as violence overtakes any whimsical desire for artistry. Close, close, too close! Caneo's tall body draws taller, and his crown heaves itself up above the stranger's as all that mud-colored flesh hurls itself recklessly in Caneo's direction. The silver creature forgets everything playful it ever knew. In the back part of its brain, the part now choking off all others, is the trigger: Danger. Narrowly avoided and still coming.

The response: now!

His ears pin back and his lips purse and his face forgets mirth. It remembers rage; it remembers the scent of blood and the sound of bone breaking and it promises, without words, that no such thing will occur to this body today. Caneo flails down, his forehooves churning wildly in an attempt to slam some part of the enemy with a blow. The attack falls swift and uncontrolled from such a precarious position, and already the silver creature curses his lack of forthought — his lack of raw intelligence when it comes to such a fast-paced screaming brawl. Go die, snarls the sudden heat in his blood. He needs time to think and yet there is no time except what he can carve out of the other's flesh.

"Catch yourself," he hisses between breaths.

we set them up all night
just to watch them falling

Post 1/3
WC: 550/800
Notes: Ran away backward from Kitty's charge. Reared as Kitty leapt at him. Tried to kick Kitty with his forehooves on the way down.

* violence & magic use always permitted *
Do not tag Caneo unless you are starting a new thread you would like me to see! Thank you!

Kitty Posts: 10
Up For Adoption atk: 5 | def: 8.0 | dam: 6.0
Stallion :: Equine :: 17.3 hh :: 7 HP: 62.0 | Buff: NOVICE
K itty

Neither you nor Kitty will be the first to admit that the white ghost of the enemy has something that Kitty does not. Neither of you will praise him for his speed when the clumsiness with which he uses it is so apparent. Neither of you will praise him for the great length of time that he seems to manage to hold himself up for when his inability to strike down with much force outshines this one talent.

Kitty, though, will admit that he is not perfection. Kitty sees and understands his own limitations, and he knows he has made a mistake. He should have pulled right, should not have hesitated to throw the entirety of himself against this weak challenger, but the beauty below you chose to pull left instead and spare some of his strength. Now he will pay the price for his mercy. Where you would tell him to press on and bite back, to turn his body towards the other in a flash of magnificence, Kitty knows this to be beyond his capabilities. The selle stallion is significantly stronger than he is fast--the opposite of his opponent. Even as he watches a white body fall down onto his back, forcing his feet to land faster than he'd wanted, Kitty does not attempt to dodge. It's far too late for that, and he'll just have to swallow the bitter taste of the medicine. He only has time to be thankful for the forgiving sand below him that cushions his rushed descent. You worship every grain in a holy ritual of thanks.

The hooves are not neat in their assault. Rather they scrape along Kitty's topline, and you watch with horror from above as the unbroken line of his dorsal stripe is interrupted with a red streak of blood. Whatever moment of silent solidarity you held with the earth, the ground, that unending mirrored coast, is gone in a flash. His pain is expressed with a harsh grunt that you don't expect, and it isn't beautiful or crafted the way that he likes to be. The sound Kitty makes is primal, which you suppose is pleasant in its own way, but it's still unwelcome given its significance. A sound like that means Kitty is hurt, and worse than he expected.

Of course Kitty's near full force would cause much more damage than this boy's would, but that doesn't mean the hooves don't do some damage. The cuts are shallow and the blood comes slowly, but beneath the flesh are large, weltering bruises that stretch from Kitty's back to the top of his right flank--the side he'd exposed when he'd mistakenly turned the wrong way. It takes less than a second, just one minor adjustment, for Kitty to grunt again. The sound is an admission of something that you are forced to understand: Kitty is hurt, and he's going to feel it for a little while longer.

So fight back! you want to scream. Pummel him, crush him, defile his pride! The words are some sort of violent cheer, and they are useless in their inability to be uttered, but they are all that you have. How else can you support him? You know he will find a way, and you just have to have faith in that. Faith for long enough to watch him succeed, to watch as his face loses all expression and he transforms into the strategist he is.

Kitty pulls himself away from the hooves but not from their owner. He continues the left-ward motion he'd intended, attempting to turn (albeit slowly) to position his hindquarters perpendicular to Caneo's left side. In all the chaos it's hard to see if the white one has landed yet or not, but you and Kitty both hope he's still lifted some in a rear. Kitty's powerful back legs bunch up as his forelegs sink into the sand; in a moment that seems slower than it should be, you watch as he tries to buck at the younger stallion's belly, or at least the left side of his flank.

The powerful beast you adore grunts again as his back strains but his legs, the cannonball he shoots, are fit and strong. If he strikes, you know it will hurt.

WC: 710/800
AP: 2/3, 0/1
Teaching Notes
+ Language: You write beautifully and your descriptions are divine. Just be careful, moving forward, that you are very clear at all times. Spar writing can have a bit more of a clinical bent than regular posts.
+ Considering the opponent: You did a good job of looking at how Caneo compares to Kitty. Don't forget to continue using this and remember that you can be a little more specific (thinking about their specific stats differences can help you!)
- Surroundings: You did mention the sand and water which is a good start, but you can take this a step further by talking about how it helps or hinders Caneo's movement. Some of these things might be an advantage to one character and a hindrance to others depending on their build, species, companions, or magics they might have, so this is a useful thing to consider for all fights that works hand in hand with other opponent comparisons.
- Positioning: I'll admit I was pretty lost here. This was the only part of your post that jumped out to me as something that really needed to be commented on, because I didn't really know what Caneo was doing. When you said Caneo kicked his hooves down I paused and went back and re-read most of your post, because I hadn't even realized he'd reared. Looking back I've pinpointed this as your indication of that: "Caneo's tall body draws taller, and his crown heaves itself up above the stranger's." Now the problem with this is it isn't specific enough. While it's true Kitty is a good deal taller and Caneo would have to lift up to get above him, "drawing taller" =/= rear, and I read this as posturing and tossing his head up, which could feasibly be above Kitty given his positioning. Don't hesitate to say exactly what you mean. If Caneo reared then just write rear, and write how. Was his position stable, were his hooves sinking in the sand, is he turning as he does it, is he rearing high or low, does it take him some time and does he narrowly miss Kitty or does he do it with time to spare since he's quick? All these are factors to consider and write about at length. Your attack was much better about this, but it never hurts to say what side of someone your character is /attempting/ to be on at the time, just as a good reminder for a reader/judge. Also as a note, judges don't read summaries so you can't ever rely on those to make sure it's clear what happened in the post. I stopped writing them because I found I was using them as a crutch to explain what I meant.
- Being thorough: By no means do you have to hit 800 words, and in fact many good spar posts are written under it, as yours is. That said, Make sure you've used all the words you need to in order to explain something. Your post's major problem could have been quickly fixed with some more words allocated to it, and you had plenty of words to spare. So be thorough, and say everything you need to to make things clear!
+ Character: This is a great example of Caneo's character and his personality comes across very strong. It makes the post enjoyable to read rather than something you just have to slog through, good job. :) You stuck to Caneo even though he's not in his usual situation.

Caneo Posts: 133
Hidden Account atk: 7.5 | def: 10.5 | dam: 2.5
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 16.3h :: 6 years HP: 61 | Buff: NOVICE
Ophiria :: Dragon Snake :: None kae

The punch of hooves into flesh is dull, a sick thud and a firm sensation rippling up the nerves of Caneo's long limbs. His ears want to go back, but they can't any farther. He wants to recoil, but momentum catches his body in her arms and refuses to let go. The two dancers — the two fighters — continue to move as if they exist outside of the silver one's mind. His body releases the hold of his thinking mind because the thinking mind moves slowly, clumsily, like a child struggling to keep up with the adults.

But his body moves.

Gracefully somehow, the bloodied toes touch down to the surface of the water once more. For half a heart beat, the silver body crouches poised above the water, and he might be a statue or a dream: too ethereal to be caught in such messy games, too immaculate to be perturbed by them. His eyes remain locked on his opponent, though. Any whisper of run flees with the burst of rage slinging through his heart and he wants to drive the stranger off, to remind him, whoever he is, that this body has survived worse things than this flailing. No pretense of spar exists in Caneo's being. He is killing or dying, fighting or fleeing.

He is about to be attacked again. At first he thinks the stranger wheels to get away, but the way muscle coils in those massive haunches is all wrong. It's the fuse to a canon being lit, and not the afterburners of some great engine. If Caneo doesn't go somewhere, he presents his left side as a massive target. If he doesn't go somewhere, those fragile bones threaten to shatter. Anticipating pain, remembering those cries under the sickle moon so many, many years ago, Caneo leaps forward and slightly to the left. It's like instinct, like muscle memory; he doesn't know what he intends to do from that position, except not get kicked. His long stride reaches out and swallows a chunk of ground, water droplets sparkling in the last light as they churn around his limbs. Though they were beautiful before, Caneo hates them now. They suck at even his slim legs and choke his distance running, and one pale eye cocks back in concern to see the haunches fire behind him anyway. Safe. For now. He knows, somewhere, his luck and reflexes will eventually betray him. For now, though? For now he wants to hit the other stallion until it relents. He was here first, after all.

A breath hisses from between his teeth as he leans onto his forehand, long face still half canted to offer him a view of that chocolate right side. It should lie behind-ish, he thinks, not quite perpendicular to him but farther still from parallel. Caneo is too strung out to coil a blow like the stranger did, but his hind end hikes up lightly anyway, the long legs flexing before they shoot out, swinging a blow at — somewhere. Caneo lacks, for now, the knowledge to hone himself to precision. Too much of this is blind flailing and desperation, but the longer he goes without dying, the braver he gets. He's learning he's fast, after all — fast enough to escape while the enemy prepares its heavy attacks. He can run. He can survive. He can, perhaps — win?

we set them up all night
just to watch them falling

Post 2/3
WC: 560/800
Notes: Leapt forward and slightly left as Kitty kicked, avoiding the attack and shifting himself to haunches-facing Kitty's right side, not quite perpendicular (if Kitty hasn't moved). Fired a somewhat haphazard kick of his own at Kitty's side. These keep coming out surprisingly short.

lmao I deleted a lot of.. actual description from that first post bc 'it felt clunky' only I never added back anything, apparently. At least I left some reference to his attack. (not to self: do not edit when that tired)

* violence & magic use always permitted *
Do not tag Caneo unless you are starting a new thread you would like me to see! Thank you!

Blu the Bootyful Posts: 443
Administrator atk: 99 | def: 99 | dam: 99
Mare :: Other :: 5'7" :: 25 HP: 99999 | Buff: TWERK
Kitty defaults to Caneo. Caneo earns 0.5 VP.
3 weeks time limit surpassed.
 HP: 1100

Helovia Hard Mode

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