Open [Tall Johnny's Casino and Cage Fights] Ode To Combat

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[Tall Johnny's Casino and Cage Fights] Ode To Combat

Postby Harman Dayis on July 18th, 2016, 7:11 am

Ode to Combat
2nd of Summer, 516 AV


There was no going back, Harman told himself. He didn't want to escape the cage, anyway - most of him didn't, that is. And the small part of him that wanted to flee from the arena, to run from the boxing match, and leave all the 'good' folk of Johnny's casino disappointed? Well, he could deal with it, he decided; the fear, the coward inside would keep him sharp.

Even now, as he stretched his legs out and dug his bare toes into the cold, packed earth under his feet, Harman felt his fear preparing him for what was to come. The young adult felt his eyes began to quiver and felt the familiar sensation of almost not needing to blink anymore - whether this was due to time seeming to slow from his standpoint, or an actual physical reaction, the fighter did not know nor care.

His core responded to the situation as well, his heart and his stomach began to float and suddenly he felt himself becoming very light. With every 'thud, thud' of his heart - a sound which he could now clearly hear echoing inside his skull - his body primed itself further for violence.

"Now, I know these aren't you favorite fighters folks, but they're tough boys," Harman watched a lanky man began to say.

Tall Johnny was slowly wrapping up his pre-fight introduction.

They'll all know my name someday, Harman told himself, as he glanced into the stands outside the cage. One day Johnny words will declare his greatness, he swore.

"I'll tell you what, though, this is even better than your favorite champions fighting! These boys are hungry! Can't you see it in their eyes? I'd bet you my purse that they'll fight like caged animals tonight, and it's all for you," the owner of the establishment continued.

And no one will remember him, the sixteen year old told himself as his gaze shifted to his opponent. It was nothing personal, outside the ring that is - inside the ring, however, Harman wanted the other boy to all but die. It was only a fight to knockout, but in the boxer's mind it was a death battle until his opponent hit the ground, or forfeited.

He was fighting an older boy, but a shorter one. The noticeable height difference both gave Harman hope and dread, in equal measure. Shorter could mean stronger, or it could mean he could pick his enemy off from a distance. It was the difference between bruised ribs for a quarter of a season, and a relatively tame bout.

"You heard me boys! I just promised these folks a show, and I wouldn't have done that if I didn't believe in you. Show them what an honest man I am, and what a fight really is!" Johnny finished and stepped from the center of the ring.

Harman took a breath.

There's the cue, he told himself.

His opponent moved slowly towards him, and he likewise stalked towards the other boy.

The two were coming closer to each other, and they were indeed moving forward, but there were constantly shifting angles to this forward momentum. For the fans, the fight was about to begin, but for the boxers it was already in full swing.

The two had thrown no punches, but their movements was a clash in of itself. Each one sought to gain an advantageous angle on his opponent, so he could win the inevitable first exchange of punches.

For each boy this meant different goals. Harman sought to place himself on the outside of one of his enemy's shoulders. From there here could hit the other boy and move away, with little worry of a strong counter - the body simply couldn't generate much force off to its sides when it came to punches. Harman knew this, in fact exploiting the angles of his and his opponents' attacks were the basis of his fighting style.

Harman launched a light jab at his opponent. It didn't connect, but contact had not been the point. There had been no force behind the punch, it had simply been meant to gauge the distance between its launcher and his advisory.

(OOC: Feel free to be a spectator, or to interact with npcs. If multiple people join, you could practically run a separate thread here until the match was over.)
Last edited by Harman Dayis on July 20th, 2016, 2:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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[Tall Johny's Casino and Cage Fights] Ode to Combat

Postby Soterios Bylikos on July 19th, 2016, 5:16 am

Soterios frequented Johnny's Casino quite often. In fact, with adrenaline and lust running high, it was one of his favorite dens of sin. Violence brought out the primal instincts in the crowds, and Soterios capitalized on that frenzy and made the most out of the time he is allotted. As he sat back in one of the seats, lazily casting his dark brown eyes around at the other spectators, his gaze fell upon the two men in the ring. With an amused smirk, Soterios raised his eyebrow and rose from his seat.

With a non-chalant murmur to the aging woman next to him, whom he'd be pretending to listen to for some time, Soterios sauntered over to the edge of the ring. He watched as one felt out his opponent, the game of cat and mouse starting in his favorite way: With figuring each other out. Fighting and making love, they were much the same, and in most cases, ended the same way. But for Soterios, there was something graceless about bludgeoning another with your fists instead of your sensuality that did not appeal to him. Perhaps it was that not all pain was good pain. Only the kind you want inflicted. A grin brightened his face, showing well cleaned teeth. Everything about the man spoke precise and careful grooming. It was something on which Soterios prided himself.

He vaguely noticed as a ruffian stepped up beside him, smelling of tobacco and rum. Without ever taking his eyes off the fight, Soterios acknowledged the man, letting him know that his presence was noticed, and that should he attempt to steal anything, he would not find it so easy. But the ruffian was not there to steal from him. Not immediately anyway.

"Oi, we're takin' bets, mate. The scrawny one or..."

With a lazy wave of his hand, Soterios cut the man off. His breath smelled like dead things, and it was off-putting to the clean-cut man. The ruffian looked at him with surprise in his eyes, not used to being cut short like that. His face contorted, but he held his tongue.

"Or the other scrawny one? I've no interest in wagering on two hungry dogs." Not that he was much better off, honestly. But that didn't stop him from being haughty. The ruffian shoved off and looked for another mark, leaving Soterios to consider the two men in the ring. He didn't care who won, whether they beat each other to a pulp or not. They were both only moderately attractive, and seeing bleeding men was not an uncommon sight in Sunberth. He was just hoping that they gave a good show. His success would depend on it.

So those two hungry dogs better scent some blood, because Soterios was starting to bore. And when he started to bore, he introduced a little anarchy into the boring day. He'd give it some time... But not much.
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[Tall Johny's Casino and Cage Fights] Ode to Combat

Postby Harman Dayis on July 19th, 2016, 8:18 am

The first jab hit air, but it came close to impacting flesh. Harman pushed his gloved hand quickly through the marginal open space between the two challengers, and snapped his fist back to float just below his left eye, just as promptly.

Quickly now, Harman told himself, as his left bicep clenched again. He knew he had to be fast, or he'd never win. He had trouble with speed though, and his reflexes were subpar at best. Before he could loose another jab, the elbow of his lead arm failed to block a piercing body shot to his lower abs. A numb aching quickly spread from his bludgeoned core muscles, to the lowest rib on the impacted side.

The crowd in the stands tensed, as the body shot caused Harman to falter for a split second. They could sense blood.

A startled Harman half chocked, and half breathed in a breath. His green eyes grew wide as his opponent's right shoulder began to roll up. Don't tense up, he ordered himself, it won't hit if you don't tense up!

A very 'tense' left jab hit the boy opposite from Harman, just in time to mitigate the right hand that had been seconds from landing. Still, despite scoring the punch from a position of being off balance, the firing of his left hand in such an ungrounded position caused Harman to stumble for his balance minutely. The sixteen year old stepped out slightly with his back, right leg to steady himself. This movement brought him slightly more to the right, just as his left hand was coming back to his face, and his opponent's head was snapping back to its default position.

Harman managed to pad his face from the left hook that collided with his head, the moment his movement had made him vulnerable to it.

Damn, the boy commented to himself as his head rang, my jab must have stung a bit, that was an angry shot - or it definitely felt like one.

From a position of blocking, he fired his right hand off his face for the first time in the bout. His shorter opponent had used his hook to take a step towards Harman, however, and the sixteen year old boxer found his right cross not coming off clean.

Oh shit, he commented to himself in the space of a second, he's too close for me to get the punch off!

His opponent's own right arm was much shorter, however, and while Harman's arm jammed up and did little damage as it collided, his hit Harman with the full force he was capable of.

The crowd erupted in approval and Harman hit the cold dirt.

Numbness spread through the floored teenager's body. Darkness danced about, and encircled the edges of his vision. He blinked, and for a moment his eyes closed.

Harman's opponent raised his hands in the air.

Harman's eyes burst open fully once more, as he heaved a breath deeply into his stomach. The fall had shot all the air out of his chest.

You're going to have to kill me, if you want to raise those hands, Harman commented to himself about his opponent. The boy climbed to his feet. Starved for air, as he felt his lungs tense with soreness, he sucked in another inhale and pulled his hands to his face.

His opponent slowly lowered his arms, and took an annoyed breath.

"Come on!" Harman taunted his opponent, and slammed his gloves together.

The other boy took his advice and charged, intent on ending an opponent that had to be injured in the current moment. Harman was indeed hurting physically, but his pride hurt more - it had taken him too long to get up, he had almost given in, and that was not acceptable!

A right hand focused Harman's self directed rage into his knuckles, and halted the predatory charge of his challenger. He fired off another hook, as he sucked in desperately for air. The hook was a solid one, but not enough to avenge the knockdown of the sixteen year old who had fired it.

Harman ate a jab after his hook landed, and a shot found its way to his solo plexus with brutal accuracy. The fight was beginning to look like a tit for tat exchange, as the two boxers stood and savaged each other with blow after blow. Then Harman threw another left hook and spun on the ball of his lead foot. His right foot touched down soon after, and brought him into another position, that was off to the side of his opponent.

The sixteen year old was invigorated as his saw his sweating enemy loose his balance, as he had not expected Harman to move. By this point in the fight, both boys were losing their steam, and were now putting a little too much into their punches - which had the effect of causing them to falter somewhat every time they missed.

Harman grunted in tired satisfaction, as a one, two combination from him caused his rival to loose his balance even further.

Now, or never, his heart screamed to him.

As the other boy fell forward, exposing his chin, Harman put everything into a left uppercut. The punch wasn't graceful, or quick, but it hit. He watched his opponent's head be pushed up by his gloved hand, almost in slow motion. As he pulled his glove out from under the boy's chin, he watched him fall to the uncaring dirt.

Harman observed for a moment, as his counterpart did not move from the limp ball he had collapsed into. Nothing personal, he mused, as he raised his hands into the air.

"Yeaaaah!" he screamed in a guttural tone to the crowd.

The shirtless fighter was quick to exit the cage, and to slump into one of the chairs of Johnny's establishment. He was dripping sweat, his lungs were numb as they could be, and he just barely kept himself from hyperventilating. He slipped his gloves off and slammed the mitts, tiredly down on the table in front of him.
Last edited by Harman Dayis on July 22nd, 2016, 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[Tall Johny's Casino and Cage Fights] Ode To Combat

Postby Soterios Bylikos on July 19th, 2016, 5:01 pm

The crowd was drawn more and more into the fight, screaming and gasping and guffawing at every punch, at every dodge, at every single drop of blood. They were in a blood frenzy, each blow that landed demanding more and more of the fighters as they continued. Soterios' grin grew wide again, this time at the elevated levels of adrenaline in the crowd. He could almost taste the palpable desire for blood, and that meant he'd eat well tonight.

His dark eyes followed the last bit of the fight with minor amusement. The uppercut was sloppy and should have been easily countered, but Soterios couldn't judge. He was not a fighter, and not all men were as pledged to their craft as he to his. However, the audience was roaring, screaming and yelling for more blood, for the money they'd just lost or gained, or for more drinks. Soterios sauntered his way through the throngs, affording them enough space that he didn't run any of them down. Many eyes turned his way, and he just shrugs them off with a sly look and half-smile. He did, however, quietly grab a tin cup of whatever disgusting alcohol one of the rabid fans was drinking.

It wasn't long before he found the exhausted Harman, sitting in a chair looking as if he'd just run from Kenash to Sunberth. It tickled Soterios to see how tired that one small fight had made him. Endurance was a big deal to men who earned with physical activity. But again, who was Soterios to judge? He was just here for his own pleasure.

"Good win." The compliment was short and succinct, and said in a voice deep enough to hear under all the screaming and yelling. The man in the ring was struggling to his feet, spitting out blood and what looked like a tooth. Soterios looked back with a smile.

"One step up, and one step down." Harman and his opponent, respectively. Soterios sat down in a chair next to Harman, his perfectly groomed eyebrows raised slightly. He studied the youth next to him intently, his eyes gleaning as much information as they could while the man still recovered from his fight.

"You must be exhausted. Care for a drink?" He held up the stolen drink, some sort of rotgut that smelled harsh and sour. However, after the fight, he was likely parched and anything is better than nothing. Soterios' smile was so disarming, it was almost as if he was being altruistic. Almost.
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[Tall Johny's Casino and Cage Fights] Ode To Combat

Postby Harman Dayis on July 19th, 2016, 5:28 pm

Ode to Combat
2nd of Summer, 516 AV



Harman watched the man approach, and once he had ascertained that Soterios meant to come up to him, he straightened himself in his chair.

"Good win," the man said in an amiable tone.

The young boxer nodded in appreciation.

"It'll take a while for it feel like one, at least until I only have the memories, and not the swelling," he laughed and then commented.

The boxer followed the well groomed man's eyes back to the arena, and saw much the same site as Soterios did. Poor sod, he thought, as he watched his beaten opponent shed a molar. While it was not visible, the sixteen year old was missing a back tooth from an exchange of fists that had ended rather badly for him, so he sympathized.

Soterios turned his charming face back to Harman, and offered a disarming smile.

"One step up, and one step down," he suggested.

As soon as the boxer had heard the metaphor, he had processed it - he wasn't all that punch drunk.

"Ha, I appreciate that. A lot of steps to climb though, if you know what I mean. Getting anywhere in this world isn't easy, and can get messy, but it's worth the fight," he mused aloud.

Harmon was feeling out the other man, and trying to see if he had a similar worldview as him, or at least a compatible one. In a sense, the boxer was glad to give the man his time of day, at least until he had determined if Soterios was worth it or not.

He took the drink the man offered with an honestly appreciate smile, and made little show of nonchalantly placing it down in front of him, as if in a promise that he would drink it later. In reality, he didn't take drinks from men - or women - he didn't know. Not in this town, he commented to himself regarding the decision.

"You here for the fights, the woman, the bets?" he inquired in a calm manner.

Or here to swindle coin away? He added innocently and without judgement in his mind. He didn't care who the man hustled, if he was indeed a conman or thief, providing he kept his hands off of him.

Harman was still sweating, but his wind had returned. He ran a hand through his hair, and pushed it to one side - causing it to look presentable, and messy no longer.
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[Tall Johny's Casino and Cage Fights] Ode To Combat

Postby Soterios Bylikos on July 19th, 2016, 8:35 pm

Soterios, with the practiced eye of a man who knows Sunberth and had for years, watched Harman set the offered drink down with a knowing smile. He leaned in, never taking his eyes from Harman, and took a small sip from the cup before setting it back down. If it were poisoned, it was not by him. Soterios was not a murderer, not by nature anyway. Assassins were too subtle with their methods. If Soterios were going to leave a dead body in his wake, he'd prefer to leave them nude and prone as well. A knife was not nearly so enjoyable as a passionate night.

When asked of his intent at the fight, Soterios smile grew once again. There was a playful edge to that grin, coupled with the glint in his eye. His mischievous smile was almost contagious.

"Oh, must I choose?" In truth, he was here for his own enjoyment. The fight, the wagers, the women, the men, they were all just bonuses for him. He enjoyed the revelry, the... lowered inhibitions of the spectators of sporting events. Men and women were more likely to do things they usually wouldn't, and Soterios liked that. He liked when people exceeded their self-expectations.

As he sat next to the boxer, Soterios smiled again, this one seemingly more polite and less mischievous. He swept a hand out, surveying the crowd as the next fight is being set up.

"Honestly, I enjoy the emotion here. Men and women are so interesting when they are not themselves, don't you agree?"

He looked at Harman, trying to sense the man's cognitive response to his question.
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[Tall Johny's Casino and Cage Fights] Ode To Combat

Postby Harman Dayis on July 20th, 2016, 8:18 am

Ode to Combat
2nd of Summer, 516 AV


Harman watched Soterios reach for the drink and sip it slightly. The boy chuckled for a breath, in a controlled, and not insulting manner.

He' showy, but he's not trying to drug me, the boxer thought and was amused.

A small smirk, born of interest, danced on the edges of Harman's mouth, as the man ranted about his fondness of anarchy and debauchery of the harmless variety.

"There might be a a few wives, and a few husbands that might have a different opinion than you, tomorrow," he said and then laughed again, "Could be a few wives and husbands regretting what they did together, come sunrise too."

The teen reached for the drink that his newfound companion had given him.

"But, that's not really our problem is it," he proclaimed and held the mug of alcohol in toast towards Soterios, and then drank from it.

"Honestly," he continued, still holding the drink, "it's more fun this way. I beat a man in the street and he stabs me. If I knock a poor sod's tooth out here, I might get a free ale - albeit a little backwash too, but it's better than poison, or no drink at all."

"It's strange what people think is okay, when it's done in the name of revelry and fun. Even if they don't think it's okay later, or for any other reason," he offered. "Now something tells me that you enjoy all these 'interesting' people a whole lot more than me, but I can relate at least a bit. I like people, but I like what they can give me a whole lot more."

Harman had pronounced 'interesting', as if he was quoting Soterios.

"Money, glory, even a punch in the face. We love what we love, and I've guess I've just got simple tastes," he admitted.

"This ale, however, is horrible. And don't look offended, I saw you swipe it," he jested, and nonchalantly splashed the contents of the drink into the floor over his shoulder.

He sat the empty cup down, and motioned for a waitress.

"Let me get something that doesn't taste like mud and cum, for both of us," he offered. "At least humor me, so we don't have to keep sharing the same damn cup."
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[Tall Johnny's Casino and Cage Fights] Ode To Combat

Postby Soterios Bylikos on July 21st, 2016, 11:06 pm

As Harman spoke, Soterios nodded along, polite but attentive. He didn't care about the decisions of the husbands and wives in the morning, or their regret. He cared about their mizas, and about the word of mouth they would spread about him. He didn't care what they said, as long as it was about. Fame was funny that way, and Sunberth had a way of spreading what it wanted.

As Harman ordered them more drinks, Soterios gave a gracious nod of his head, though his smile was more amused than grateful. He didn't mind sharing the cup with the fighter, but perhaps the fighter minded more than he let on. Still, courtesy dictated that he accept the drink, and so he did.

"Yea, I don't care much for mud..." His smile turned to a devilish grin before he leaned back in his chair. He found that he enjoyed Harman. The young man spoke with a candor many hid in their machinations, Soterios included. Even still, he wasn't as dreadfully boring as most honest people.

"Isn't it funny, what we do behind closed doors may get us murdered, but if we do it openly and in plain view of men and gods, we are praised for it? Is it not amusing how this game works?"

Of course, what Harman did and what he did were two different stories. And Soterios' definition of "openly" and "in plain view" were also up to interpretation, but that didn't seem to stop him. Finally, he realized that he hadn't introduced himself to the lad, and what good is meeting someone if you can't call upon them later, for one favor or another?

"I am Soterios, by the way. Though the few who know me intimately call me Sote."

He waited for Harman to respond before he continued, judging how familiar to be based on which name Harman called him.
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[Tall Johnny's Casino and Cage Fights] Ode To Combat

Postby Harman Dayis on July 22nd, 2016, 11:11 am

Harman ordered the two drinks and they were placed in front of the two.

"Yea, I don't care much for mud..." Soterios said, and then flashed a knowing smile.

Gods! Harman swore in his mind, and then fought down a devilish grin of his own, as it tried to creep onto the corners of his mouth.

"Isn't it funny, what we do behind closed doors may get us murdered, but if we do it openly and in plain view of men and gods, we are praised for it? Is it not amusing how this game works?" Soterios mused

"Hm," Harman hummed in a thoughtful manner, as his thoughts coalesced around the man's words.

The charmer introduced himself before Harman could respond, however.

"I am Soterios, by the way. Though the few who know me intimately call me Sote."

"A pleasure, friend," he said. "I'm Harman - don't know that I have any nicknames, though. Probably strange that no one has ever given me one, in all these years, but that's where that stands."

The boxer took a drink of the decently palatable ale that he'd purchased for himself and Soterios.

"I think they're scared of secrets, really," he said, right after he finished drinking. "People don't like when things can hurt them without their approval. As if their approval makes things safe, anyway. People die in the ring all the time, and they approved of being in it - for whatever little good it did them."

The boxer raised his cup.

"Ale is good, and people are crazy. Besides the philosophical musings, that's all I've got, Sote," he toasted. "And those gods you mentioned, well, they must be great, to let this big game of love and life keep going."

NoteIf you got that reference, I'm so very sorry. Ha, it fits Harman's character, and I couldn't resist paying homage to one of my favorite songs.
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