Closed Sword and Sorcery (Sira)

Sira and Zhol test each other's mettle.

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The westernmost tip of Kalea, Wind Reach is home to an amazing group of people and their giant eagle mounts. [Lore]

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Sword and Sorcery (Sira)

Postby Zhol on March 13th, 2015, 5:07 pm

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19th Spring, 515
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Though it had been more than a year since he first arrived, Zhol was still struggling to become accustomed to the pace at which things happened in Wind Reach. To the Inarta, it was a rush, a scramble, to prepare themselves for the next Winter; to take advantage of the warm weather the instant it arrived. For Zhol though it felt the opposite. In Endrykas the whole city had uprooted and moved frequently, circling it's way around Cyphrus, chasing the seasons from one end of the Sea of Grass to the other. Spring had dawned five days ago, and yet Wind Reach still waited, the snow still too thick for the residents of Thunder Bay to begin migrating back to their coastal homes, the hunters waiting for the herds to migrate back to their summer grounds; Wind Reach couldn't spring into action until Spring had sprung itself.

Zhol had experienced Spring in Wind Reach before of course, but this year was different. Last year, the city had been licking it's wounds after the famine and the riots. Last year it had been strange, and different, and lonely, and uncomfortable. This year, he was just as much a coiled spring as everyone else in the city. He knew what was meant to happen, and he was eager to be a part of it; eager to get the jump on welcoming in the new year, and to experience it with Khara at his side. He didn't know what life would be like for the two of them during warmer times; didn't know how Khara's long days in the wilderness would change the time that they were together; but he was excited for it. Last year, he had waited and watched at the stables each night, for just a glimpse of Khara, his feelings kept secret, desperately hoping that she'd return in time for them to share a rare meal together. This year, he would wait and watch just the same, but when he saw her walking up the Sanikas Road there wouldn't be anything to stop him from sweeping her into his arms, and refusing to let her go until the next sunrise.

He smiled to himself as Solo made his cautious way down the frosty roadway. Today, she had work and he did not; Zhol hadn't quite understood what it was she was doing, but it had sounded like something to do with game trails, and memories of the time she'd let him tag along on one of her work days reminded him of how important such things were. He definitely missed her, the way that he always did when they were apart, but things were different now; that ache paled into significance beside the warm glow of realising that when she returned to the city, when she came home, she was coming home to him. No more nights alone was what they'd said; and a night with Khara in his arms was one hell of a motivator to help you make it through the day.

Zhol pulled back gently on Solo's reins, using his legs as well to steer the horse off the snow-covered road and onto the snow-covered trail that led the rest of the way to the Greco Hut. Zhol hadn't visited the cabin since the Fall; he hadn't been sure if Archeron had even been there during the Winter, though he hoped not. A welcoming coil of smoke rising from the kitchen chimney assured Zhol that he was there now, though; he picked up the pace, Solo's hooves crunching against the frost-petrified blades of grass, and squelching into the snow-sodden mud beneath. As he approached the familiar tree where he'd hitched his horse before, he vaulted effortlessly from the saddle, his nose wrinkling at the creak of squashed snow beneath his boots. His chilled fingers fumbled with the rope, securing Solo to the tree; more fumbling, with buckles this time, and he liberated a blanket from the horse's saddlebags, slinging it over Solo's body, covering as much of him as possible. Part of him wondered if he should start a small fire, something to keep his equine friend warm, but he decided against it; after all, Solo was an Inartan, born and bred, and was far less sensitive to the cold than Zhol was.

"Bet you get that from your mother," he speculated aloud, with a friendly pat of his hand against the side of Solo's neck. "Stay put. I won't be too long, friend."

The last few paces, from the tree to the door, were the worst. Zhol didn't know how the Inarta did it, tolerating the harsh north the way that they did; it took every ounce of willpower he could muster not to draw upon his djed and wreath his hands in reimantic fire. As he shuffled through the door and into the inviting warmth, for a brief moment his body sighed in relief, before the familiar ache of his frosty extremities being warmed by the air began to punish him for allowing himself to become so cold.

It took a few moments more for Zhol to begin paying proper attention to his surroundings; to his surprise, there were more familiar faces in the Greco Hut than he'd expected. The dour-faced Archeron was there of course, and his always-friendly wife Marlene; but so to was Sira, the kelvic Endal he'd met and fought beside a season a go. Various thoughts and memories flashed through his mind; in particular, an uninvited vision of the unannounced nudity that preceded her transformation into a wind eagle loitered in his mind, and if his face weren't already burning from the cold it surely would have started now from sheer embarrassment.

"Sira," he greeted, with a bow of his head, an unexpected wave of nervousness creeping through him. Sira wasn't the only Endal he'd ever met, but she was part of a very small number, and while working in the stables spared him from encountering his social betters all that often, it also meant that he'd never really been in a position to learn how to interact with them. Was he supposed to bow? Was there some sign of respect he was meant to be doing? Was this feeling how Khara felt all of the time? "I am nice seeing -"

He wrestled his anxiety into an imaginary box, and shoved it deep into the corner of his mind, fighting the urge to grimace at his appalling Nari. Why had he even tried speaking it at all? What was the point of trying to be respectful by speaking her native language when you couldn't even manage to string a single sentence together.

"It is nice to see you again," he finished, switching into common instead. His mind fumbled around for something else to say. Are you well? Did you have a good flight? Did you come inside as a wind eagle, or did you get transform into a naked person outside in the cold, and have to get dressed in the snow?

"I didn't realise you trained here. Should I -" He gestured over his shoulder, wondering if this was his opportunity to flee before he embarrassed himself too badly. "- come back later, and leave you to practice in private?"
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Sword and Sorcery (Sira)

Postby Sira on March 14th, 2015, 12:07 pm

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Sira floated lazily over the snowy white landscape, the smoke rising from the chimney of the hut marking her destination in the distance. Sira had never been to the Greco Hut before, though she'd surely heard of the swordmaster who lived there. He was an outsider, from Syliras, but had been in Wind Reach for a long time and had made the place his home. Sira usually trained at the Fighting Pit, but she was looking for something different. Most Inarta used the Talon Sword and Sira had a lot of practice fighting with and against such a weapon, but the talon sword was a weapon exclusive to Wind Reach, and enemies of the city would not likely carry such a weapon.

In truth, Sira had rarely used her sword in battle against an armed opponent, excluding those in the fighting pits. Most of the time when she used it, it was against wild beasts or monsters, and not other sentient creatures. She had little experience when it came to life or death battles against someone who carried a weapon. That was why Sira went to the Greco Hut. Supposedly the weapon master could teach one to use the sword, and other weapons. Sira had no interest in using the other weapons, but rather, she wanted to learn to fight against them, should the time ever arise. Also, she was bored, and just wanted a change of pace in her training. Learning to fight exotic weapons sounded interesting.

When she landed, Marlene was outside, and looked surprised to see a Wind Eagle touching down outsider her home, especially one that was riderless, but her surprise was soon doubled when that wind eagle vanished in a cloud of glittering smoke and was replaced with a naked, red headed, Inartan woman. Marlene composed herself quickly, wiping the surprise away as she watched the woman grab the bag she had dropped, and headed toward her. A name ran through her head, Sira, the wind eagle kelvic.

"Hello, Endal Sira. Come inside, you must be freezing. I'll.. get you something to wear."

Sira shivered slightly, the cold snow on her feet sending a chill up her legs. She hated shifting in the snow. Nodding to the woman Sira hurried toward the hut, already digging in her bag and pulling out her bryda. Archeron came to the door and Sira just missed the look of surprise that crossed his face while she was digging through her bag. By the time she looked up he'd already composed himself, and moved to let the endal inside. As soon as she was in Sira pulled on her clothes, wrapping her katinu tightly around her, and Marlene led her over to the fire.

"Thank you."

By the time Zhol arrived, all three were sitting at the table near the fire. Sira's bow was leaning against the door, and her sword was sheathed, laying across the table. She' just finished explaining what it was she wanted when the door opened, and all three looked Zhol's way. Sira recognized him right away, the horse boy from the stables whom she'd fought with last winter, the one who was in love with Khara. She noted his sword, which she remembered was not a talon sword, and was surprised when he greeted her in Nari. Not very good Nari, perhaps, but she appreciated the gesture, and did not mind when he switched to common.

"It is good to see you too," Sira replied in common. "This is the first time I have been here. You can stay."

After that proclamation Marlene greeted Zhol as well, and there went the usual hellos, and Zhol was offered some of the warm tea the three were already drinking. It was good tea, Sira admitted, and warmed her to the very core. Sira noted that Archeron remained quiet and stoic throughout the entire thing, and couldn't help but grin. She found such people amusing, and usually made it her personal goal to pester them as much as possible until they finally either opened up to her, or exploded at her. Sira decided exploding a weapons master might not be the best idea, however, and didn't say anything to annoy him. Endal or not, she didn't want to risk getting her head chopped off for her own amusement.

"So, you train here," Sira asked Zhol after he'd been situated. "I have been looking for people who do not use the talon sword to train with. You use a straight blade of some sort, right?"

Sira could not recall the actual term for his sword. She knew it in Nari, of course, but her mastery over common was not complete. Sira glanced at Archeron, trying to get a read on the man but failing, before turning back to Zhol.

"We could train together," Sira stated, more than asked, again shooting a look at Archeron before continuing. "I am interested to see how you fight against something that isn't a giant monster with more eyes than it needs."

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Sword and Sorcery (Sira)

Postby Zhol on March 14th, 2015, 4:23 pm

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"I would be honoured to train with you," he answered, hoping that he was applying the right amount of due deference and respect to make his words seem as sincere as they were. "Though, I am no swordsman. I do not know how much of a challenge I might provide."

For a moment he stood silent, considering what Sira had said; the difference she had drawn attention to between her sword and his. Briefly, he considered whether or not it was some violation of Wind Reach's culture and protocols for an Avora to act as if they were wiser than an Endal, regardless of how benevolent their intentions and desire to educate might be. He pushed those thoughts aside: Sira was an Endal, yes, but he knew her, at least a little; enough to know that she wasn't the kind of negative, worse case stereotype of the caste that his subconscious feared all Endals might be.

"This is a broadsword," he explained, slowly detaching his scabbard from his belt and held it in front of him, holding his sword up for scrutiny before carefully drawing it at a pace that was clearly not threatening. "Where I come from, in Endrykas, they do not forge their own weapons: it is a city of tents, constantly on the move from place to place across the Sea of Grass; blacksmiths and forges are not suited for that sort of lifestyle. A lot of Drykas use longswords from Endrykas, but this is -"

He paused again, fumbling through his vocabulary for the right words. It had been a long time since such things had been explained to him; and while his mother had always encouraged he and his twin to speak Common, his father had adamantly clung to the Pavi language, and insisted his son do the same whenever he was around. Had Sira been fluent in the language of the Drykas, he could have explained with the utmost ease; but finding the right words in the common tongue was far from simple.

He changed tactic, holding the sword out before him. "With a talon sword, there is a single sharp edge that cuts towards the ground. With my sword, both edges are sharp, and by twisting my wrist I can angle the blade vertical like yours, or level with the horizon. It is useful for on horseback: the basket hilt -" He hesitated, fumbling for a translation. "- the metal cage around the grip protects it from being knocked from my hand, and I can easily use it to fight someone on the same level as me, or against someone below me as I ride past, if I wish to -"

He trailed off again, drawing his hand across his neck from one shoulder to the other, not quite sure how to translate decapitate.

A slight wince tugged at his features. "Also, I am backwards-handed," he pointed out, just in case the Endal had not noticed that he had drawn the sword with his left hand instead of his right. He shot her a sheepish look. "I am an awkward opponent," he apologised, "But at least I have only two eyes, and am not quite so much taller."
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Sword and Sorcery (Sira)

Postby Sira on March 21st, 2015, 2:45 am

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Sira listened with genuine interest to Zhol's explanation of the weapon, noting the differences between the two blades as he described them. She briefly wondered if such a weapon could be used from eagle back, but quickly dismissed the idea as ridiculous, and almost laughed out loud at the thought. At his mention of being backward handed she cocked her head in confusion, that was until she noted he was holding the sword in his left hand rather than his right.

"If you are awkward, it only gives you an advantage. Take whatever advantage you can get in a fight."

Sira recalled the fight with the undead monstrosity once more, remembering the fire Zhol had created, and thought to herself that Zhol did indeed have many advantages in a fight, regardless of his actual skill with his weapons. She stood, picking up her sword still in it's sheath and approached, holding out a hand to Zhol and beckoning for the weapon he was holding. She offered her own in return.

"Let me see it. Here, you can look at mine too."

Assuming Zhol did not protest, Sira traded weapons and looked closely at the sword in her hands. She ran a finger along one of the blade edges, being careful not to cut herself in the process, and then took a few steps back, waving it experimentally through the air and frowning. She turned away from Zhol and thrust toward nothing in particular, then held the sword up before her once more, eyeing it suspiciously.

"Feels wrong," she commented, swiping the sword once more. "I think I like my sword better."

Sira's sword was quite the piece of work, if truth be told. The pommel was of an intricately carved howling wolf's head, gems of emerald studding the eyes, and the grip was wrapped with fine leather. The blade itself did not appear to be anything particularly special, though it was certainly well balanced, and there was not a scratch or nick on it anywhere to be seen. Magically crafted, though that was not apparent to any but those who could tell such things through their own magic, or perhaps the most skill of swordsman or blacksmiths, the blade's edge would never dull and few if any non-magical weapons could damage it.

"I can see the benefit of two edges, I suppose, but I prefer my curved blade."

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Sword and Sorcery (Sira)

Postby Zhol on March 21st, 2015, 10:09 pm

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It wasn't the first talon sword that Zhol had ever seen, but it was the first that he'd held, the first that he'd studied; all the others had been aimed at him, swung at him, and worse. Perhaps it was nothing - after all, the Inarta had little concern or sentiment for many things that Zhol had been raised to think of as importance - but he treated the moment with the reverence he felt it deserved, gently accepting the offered sword, careful not to drop it, or to let his fingerprints sully the blade.

It was heavier: that struck him instantly. No metal had been sharpened away on the back edge of the blade, the curve had more substance to it, and the hilt was sturdier; not light and ornate like on Zhol's sword. It felt exactly as it should; exactly like the kind of weapon you wielded with strength and swung with power, unlike the broadsword that you flourished with finesse. It was certainly more weight than he was used to wielding; he wouldn't even know where to begin with trying to use it, truth be told.

He studied the ornate carving on the hilt. Emerald eyes. His mother used to call him that when he was small. A faint tug of a sad smile disrupted his expression, but it didn't linger long, curiosity collapsing his brow into a frown instead.

"Why a wolf?"

Perhaps it was disrespectful to ask, especially of an Endal, but it was too late for that now: the words had already tumbled from his lips. Hopefully she wouldn't mind; he knew little about her, but from what Khara had told him, she wasn't quite the same as other Endals. Perhaps there wasn't even a story behind it at all; it simply struck him as strange, given the nature of Sira's kelvic transformations.
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Sword and Sorcery (Sira)

Postby Sira on April 20th, 2015, 6:14 pm

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Sira did not respond to Zhol's question at first, still experimenting with the broadsword. She swung it a few more times, staring at the blade thoughtfully, and tried to imagine herself using such a weapon in an actual fight. More importatnly, she tried imagining how someone else would use it against her. What angles of attack would they choose? What would be most effective against her own weapon? Sira had almost no experience at all fighting things other than talon swords, unless you counted the claws and teeth of wild animals and Zith. And you didn't really fight against an archer. You tried not to get shot while trying to shoot back, or tried to get close enough to stab them without taking an arrow first. After a moment or two she looked back to Zhol, taking note of the wolf on the end of her sword.

"Don't know. I got it off a man who was trying to kill me, so.. you would have to ask him, except that he's dead."

Sira recalled the day she'd acquired her weapon and shuddered. It wasn't a pleasant memory. So few of her memories were pleasant, it seemed. She sighed a bit, forcing the recollection to the back of her mind and focusing on the present. It wouldn't do her any good to think about the past. The past only made her feel bad. The present was what mattered, and at present, Sira was about to have a sparring match.

"So," she said, trading weapons with Zhol and returning hers to it's sheath, "We probably don't want to kill each other, so we shouldn't use these. Do you want to train with blunted steel, or wood?"

Sira preferred blunted weapons herself, wood no longer felt real enough, and it was more for beginners and yasi. Blunted steel could still do harm, but it felt just the same as using a sharpened weapon, and she didn't doubt that the weapons master would have an assortment of blunt and wooden weapons for them to practice with. He'd be a fool if he didn't have talon swords, considering where he was living, and if the master was teaching Zhol, then he probably had proper tools to train the Drykas with. Sira preferred the steel, but wouldn't mind if Zhol preferred to use the safer wooden weapons instead.

OOCSorry for taking so long and for the short post. We gotta get this fight started, lol.

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Sword and Sorcery (Sira)

Postby Zhol on April 24th, 2015, 10:08 am

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Zhol wondered if it really was as simple a choice as Sira's voice presented it, or if there was some hidden test involved. The Endal were known for their habit of forming quick and harsh judgements, and while Sira herself did not seem as callous or power-mad as some of the other Endals that Zhol had encountered, he couldn't help the voice of caution that resounded in his head. Perhaps Khara and her concerns about the higher castes were beginning to rub off on him.

What could each choice mean, though? If he erred on the side of caution, and select wooden blades, would Sira see that as a cowardly retreat from potential pain? If he chose blunted steel, would he seem too eager at the possibility of causing Sira harm? While they had met before, Zhol would not describe himself as knowing her well; she had seemed direct and focused, but then she had been fixated on an urgent task. How she would judge his choice, he couldn't guess.

Still, what was it she had said? Take whatever advantage you can get in a fight? That notion made the decision for him, a simple realisation forcing him to fight the urge to smile as he slid his sword back into his scabbard: wood was flammable; steel wasn't.

"Blunted steel, if that's alright with you?" he asked, as casually as he could manage. He paused a few beats, waiting for Sira's agreement before he made his way to the weapons rack. Thank goodness for Archeron's dazzling array of weapons; Zhol didn't even know the name of some of them, though he didn't allow himself any time to dwell and speculate. The broadsword he selected was far less ornate than his own - a simple crossguard, and a simple solid band of steel curving over the hilt, rather than the braided design of the weapon Zhol had inherited from his father - but it would be more than up to the task. The most important part was the padding, fabric wound with leather over the hilt itself, more added to the inside of the basket for comfort's sake, in theory - Zhol presumed - to protect one's knuckles from striking the metalwork. That wasn't why Zhol needed it though; he had a far more vital function in mind.

Wordlessly, Zhol stepped over to one of the flatter areas of the Greco Hut floor; a section that would actually be solid underfoot, rather than the various different terrains that other areas were designed to simulate. Idly, he let the broadsword swoosh through the air a few times, trying to get a feel for the weight and the balance. The blade was a little narrower than his own, and didn't taper to a point quite so swiftly; it was possibly longer, in fact, though Zhol would have had to compare the two side by side to be sure.

As he waited for Sira to ready herself and step into position, he lifted the blade of the not-quite-so-broadsword in front of him and closed his eyes, reaching into his mind, a slow meditative breath calming the thoughts and concerns that scampered around his mind like a startled flock. He focused on a single thought - a candle - and let the imagined warmth and light wash over him like a wave of calm; he felt the tension ease in his shoulders, the slight ache in his hips from having been sat in the saddle beginning to recede. Perhaps it was a trick of the mind; it didn't much matter, so long as they weren't there to distract him.

Last, he focused on the molten wax of the candle, feeling it pour over the edge, flowing down the bones of his arm, oozing beneath his skin. Res followed that imaginary trail, dancing like windmarks across his forearm and wrist until it pooled in his hand. His fingers slid across the surface of the blunted blade, the manifest djed left behind like oil on the surface. As his hand reached the blade's dulled point, his arms fell too his sides and his eyes opened, his attention focusing on Sira. She'd practically invited him to do this; she'd spoken of their fight with the cave monster, the beast that had only died when he'd immolated it with reimantic fire. That was what she wanted to fight, it seemed; and who was Zhol to deny the wants of an Endal?

"Ready?" Zhol asked; with a flick of his wrist, and a flick of will, the res-coated blade burst into flames.
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Sword and Sorcery (Sira)

Postby Sira on June 6th, 2015, 2:43 am

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Sira moved to the weapons rack, examining the swords available. If she had been testing Zhol, she had not mentioned it. In all honestly it had not been a test, and Sira had no idea that Zhol even thought it might have been. She'd given him a choice, plain and simple, and he just so happened to pick the type of weapons she preferred. Good. That was all there was to it.

Sira picked up one of the talon swords, flipping it in her hand, swinging it, and getting a feel for the balance of the weapon. It was.. okay. Not as well made or well balanced as her own finely crafted weapon. Sira frowned slightly and started to put it back, but then thought better of it. The sword was good enough, and she didn't want to get spoiled. She might not always have her perfectly balanced magic sword, and before she's gotten the blade, this one would have been just fine. Nodding to herself, Sira took the weapon and walked over to join Zhol.

Sira watched curiously as Zhol ran his hand across the blade. When the sword burst into flame she did not flinch, having already known that Zhol could create fire. She had never fought someone with a flaming sword before, but she'd dealt with more than her fair share of crazy opponents. Instead she grinned wickedly.

"Nice trick. Just don't burn the house down."

Sira had her own tricks, and if Zhol was going to bring the fire right from the get go then so would Sira. Not real fire, of course, but she focused her exceptionally keen eyes on the flames dancing along Zhol's sword, reached out with her mind to touch Zhol's, and rather forcefully sent him a real time, full detail moving image of those very same flames full force right into his mind.

It wouldn't hurt him, of course, and he would even be able to see her moving towards him through his own eyes just as he saw the flames through Sira's. It was a trick she had used before to throw her enemies off balance, and if one wasn't used to sharing such a connection with a wind eagle's mind, it could be very disconcerting.

Sira cut the link between them as she surged forward, slashing not for his blade, but taking advantage of the curve of her own weapon to stab in around it. Zhol would have to move quick or get a painful poke to the right side of his chest with the blunt tip of Sira's weapon. All the while the grin never left Sira's face.

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Sword and Sorcery (Sira)

Postby Zhol on June 23rd, 2015, 5:50 pm

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What the blazes was that?

Sira's mental assault left Zhol reeling, dizzy as his mind tried to comprehend which images were from his eyes, and which were elsewhere. He had barely recovered by the time Sira launched her attack, and all hope of a parry or elegant evasion was decidedly absent. He thrust his sword into the path of hers as best he could, pushing against her blade in an effort to deflect himself backwards, letting his weight shift onto retreating paces as he did so. His success was marginal - the blade glanced across the fleshy part of his arm, leaving a fledgeling bruise in it's wake; his retreating steps dissolved into more of a stagger, granting him the distance from her that he wanted, but leaving him struggling for balance once he got there.

Carefully, Zhol adjusted his stance, trying to prepare himself better this time, bracing his mind as well as his body for her next attack. He considered his options, and considered what he knew about Sira already, from his encounter with her in winter. That she was a Kelvic, a wind eagle in human form, was at the forefront of his mind. Zhol wasn't sure just how alike her animal form Sira was in this state, but it seemed unwise to rule anything out. There were her telepathic abilities, which Zhol had experienced already; birds of prey were known for their keen eyesight as well, so he would have to be wary of that. Eagles swooped, and soared, striking only when the opportunity presented itself; Zhol had seen how Sira struck for the eyes, seeking to do damage to the most vulnerable areas as swiftlly and decisively as possible. It didn't seem much of a stretch to suppose that her tactics with a talon sword might not be all too different to her tactics with talons.

Zhol knew that no matter how careful or cautious he was, he could not hope to sneak any motions past Sira without her noticing. He would have to be more subtle than that; allow her to see his actions without seeing his motives. Distract her. Misdirect her. He paced back and forth in a small arc, keeping his feet in motion, his weight shifting between them, sword swooshing back and forth idly ahead of him, flame trailing behind the blade. His res would only burn for so long on it's own, and with the prospect of mental onslaughts, he couldn't spare the concentration to keep it aflame the entire time. Better to make use of it while it lasted.

After a moment more of contemplation, Zhol surged forward, sweeping his sword in a broad upwards diagonal across Sira's body and towards the arm that held her sword. The attack was a feint however; if Sira moved to parry it, she would find it all too easy to deflect, and Zhol's arm would recoil back across his body, ready to be redirected into a strike down at Sira's leg. If she didn't parry, the blow would glance mostly harmless across Sira's arm, perhaps making things a little uncomfortably warm, but little else.
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Sword and Sorcery (Sira)

Postby Sira on October 10th, 2015, 12:03 am

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Sira didn't know a lot about magic, but she did know a few things about fire, and one thing she did know was that fire needed fuel to burn. A metal sword was not fuel for a fire. Perhaps a wooden sword would burn for a while, but the sword wouldn't be much use afterward. And Sira doubted Zhol would destroy a weapon that did not belong to him. That meant that the fuel for the fire must have been coming from somewhere else, from Zhol himself.. assuming that creating fire out of thin air followed any sort of logic at all, of course. Sira recalled that the fight with the monster in the caves had drained Zhol greatly after he used his fire. How long would supplying this fire take to begin to weaken him?

Sira knew the danger those flames possessed, and had no intention of letting them touch her. She didn't need to see through Zhol's feint to react. She blocked both attacks. Sira was an expert with her weapon, she could block his attacks all day if she had to, but the fire.. that gave him an edge. That made her nervous. Though she managed it, each block was faster, harder, and clumsier than it should have been. Zhol might not notice such a detail himself, but the weapon master watching them surely did, and kept a close eye on the pair. If Zhol kept it up, he might actually gain the upper hand. As confident as Sira seemed, the fire stirred something primal in her, an animal instinct to retreat. She was a Kelvic, after all. Her instincts were quite strong, and she had to overcome them to keep fighting.

Sira began to circle to her left, an unconscious retreat from the fire, though not an all out one. She just needed to wait it out. He would tire eventually and whatever was fueling the flame would run out.

..if he tires faster, maybe the fire will go away faster.

The idea brought a new thought into her mind. If he tires faster, maybe the fire will go away faster. Well, obviously, she needed to speed things up. Suddenly Sira launched into a series of four rapid attacks, all aimed not at Zhol, but at the sword itself. She was just trying to distract him. Once the fire went out, then she would worry about defeating him. All four attacks came at the sword, two from the right, two from the left, simple to block by themselves, but nearly impossible not to block considering she trying to hit the sword anyway. Maybe her attacks would damage the heated blade. She wasn’t expecting a full sundering, maybe if she had been using her real sword, but a hot blade bent easily, and perhaps she could ruin his weapon, ruining any chances he had of defending with it further.

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