Step Into The Circle

April 14, 2016:

Making the Underwater city of Haverleigh, The Blue confront Wildings who insist they prove themselves

Haverleigh - Pacific Ocean


NPCs: Emmalina, Kaia, Liko



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Haverleigh is less a city and more of a sprawl. Cities usually grow up around a core, have an identifiable center and a few other things relating to organization. Haverleigh, though is more like a bunch of camps bunched closed together and made permanent. Rowan had set them down at the outskirts, left one of the Blue to guard teh cutter and gone in 'on foot' as it were. It's not going to be easy to find anything in the riot of color, noise and people that this place has become. It normally holds twenty, maybe thirty thousand Wildlings staying anywhere from a week to a season. There's ten times that here easily. The canyon's getting more than a little crowded.

Kukana had been left to mind the Cutter. The others accompanied Rowan and Ulani. "Well, Rowan. The reports didn't lie." The Blue Envoy is jostled as the crowd thrums. It's more than a little crowded.

Scanning the canyon, Ulani shakes her head "Given we're the only Blue here, I doubt we're really going to have to search for anyone. Word will get around soon enough that we're here." Still she guides them through the throng "Based on the previous Wilding Moots we've been too, I think we should head towards the center."

This crowd is unlike any in the surface world, mostly because surfacer crowds don't have three dimensions. There are dwellings built up along the sides of the canyon and some undersea craft have been lashed together in between in the underwater version of a 'raft town'. The result is that Haverleigh isn't just sprawling about, it's also sprawling up in layers. At present the Blue are moving through one of the lower ones toward roughly the center of the city. The noise, taken all in all, is almost deafening, baffled and broken only by the layers they're trying to move through.

"So tempting to just drake out here and push through." Maybe someone's seen Princess Bride. Rowan moves past a group of wildling children playing tag and glances around. There is just no evident organization until…

"Left. Take the next left. I saw warriors." Any place that's guarded is either an armory or somewhere that important people are doing important things.

"I'd say do it." Ulani is flanked by her taller squad members, she's not as tall as them - rather petite in comparison. "But I don't really want to deal with the fall out." Rowan going Drake in the 'city' would be … just bad. And clearly she's not seen or read Princess Bride. Someone might want to remedy that, one day.

At Rowans words, she turns the group to the left, working their way through the crowd. "Is is an armory or command center?" She really can't see where they're headed.

"It's a shanty town." Rowan grumps back as he makes the turn. He can't tell either. None of these buildings are purpose built, really. They're all temporary housing, their occupants shift and cycle throughout the year. This place would be bewildering normally. It's a maze now.

The turn, though, proves fruitful. They can tell they're making some kind of headway as the crowds begin to drop off and the banners along the waterways get more ostentatious. Two more turns and they're abruptly confonted with the sight of an ancient possibly salvaged Atlantean cruiser that's clearly being used as some kind of residence. There are a number of guards wearing different kinds of armor and bearing different arms but most of them are wearing green and silver 'fish scale' armor and bearing unusually surface like straight swords. These men are large and blue-grey skinned with battle scars and proud tribal markings.

These are Attuma's men.

Apparently there's a meeting of some kind being held here.

Ulani casts a glance to Rowan as he grumps, hoping he's not going to be too contrary today. Truth: Sometimes being contrary is what's needed, but she'd prefer to try honey before vinegar.

"Well, that's different." she murmurs, looking at the cruiser come residence "Someone has a sense of style, at least." She's just not going to comment on whether it's good or not. "Atuma's men." Maybe they've struck it lucky.

Drawing her party to a halt as they approach the guards near the doors, Ulani gives a salute - arm across the chest - "Well met, Warriors. I am Ulani of The Blue. We seek audience with the leader here."

"Blue…" They can hear the warriors mutter it as they approach. There's a lot of different styles in evidence here. Probably a meeting of Chieftans and warlords. It makes sense for a group this large.

"Attuma is not to be disturbed by weaklings." The largest of the gold clad warriors shoots back. Rowan glances at Ulani. He's being nice. See?

Ulani sighs and glances to Rowan. Seems his brand of diplomacy is going to be needed, after all - once they try her way.

At least the guards have confirmed that Atuma is definitely here. "Seems we're in the right place, then." the Blue Envoy notes before fixing the gold clad warror with a look, speaking directly to him. "Then you'll send someone to tell him we're here or just let us through." The implication clear - no weaklings here.

Liko, Emmalina and Kaia move restlessly, drawing themselves up, tensing slightly. They didn't take the insult well.

The Captain of the Guard chuckles grimly. "I'll do no such thing until I'm sure you're worth Lord Attuma's time. And if you want to prove that…" He makes a motion. The other guards spread out, making room in the courtyard. "Then you'll have to step into the circle of equals. Do you know why we call it that? If you can stay in it, then you're our equal. If you get knocked out…"

Rowan sighs. "Wildlings." Clearly he's had some experience with this.

"What's that, dandy?" A woman calls out to him stepping into the circle.

Rowan smirks and scales begin to crawl up his form as his face lengthens into a muzzle. "Say that again." He growls through knife sharp fangs.

"And if you get knocked out?" Ulani speaks quietly, nodding to Rowan. Yup. Time for his brand of diplomacy. "Does that mean your not equal? Will your squad mates refuse to eat with you?" she's taunting. Might be the Blue Envoy is itching for a fight … or maybe she's trying to unbalance them.

The other three Blue step up beside Rowan and Ulani, facing off against the Wildings. "Bring it, then." the Blue Female states calmly … "Us five against … " she looks around at the guards and sneers slightly "… you."

Three more guards step up to stand behind the woman and the captain. Rowan extends his spear and drops into a fighting stance. The woman squares off against him with some kind of bladed whip. The others pair off, meaning to fight as individuals. They're large these wildlings and most of them have quite a collection of scars. Veteran warriors, all of them.

The woman lunges. Rowan parries, his snake whipping back, catching the whip and pulling. The two close, locked together. The captain charges Ulani, straight blade held up high for a brutal overhead blow.

The Wildings might be veterans but so are these Blue. These Blue are trained and trained well… and they might like a bit of brawl.

As the captain charges Ulani, she smirks at him, seeing his arms rise high. Using her own height and speed to her advantage, she moves inside the strike, a water sword appearing in her grip. A water sword that slashes viciously across the Captains legs, seeking to sweep them from him.

Around her, the other three Blue engage with their counterparts. Swords and fists fly as the combat is engaged.

The Blue are as a rule smaller and not as strong as their Atlantean counterparts. They make up for this in the main by their affinity for the water, moving more swiftly, more accurately and turning the sea itself into a weapon in the way few wildlings or Atlanteans are capable of. And with discipline, in this case. Wildlings prefer, as Rowan has said, the attack above all other things. Militarily and culturally they are suited to little else. Even when defending their lands, they will attack. It's powerful and in a way terrifying, but it can make them predictable.

Rowan gives way to his attacker once they separate, slapping away her whip with his spear and making use of his reach. He takes a slash to the arm moments before the coral blade goes through the other woman's shoulder. Ulani finds that her attack spills blood into the water as well. Her opponent simply tries to bring his blade pommel onto her back and flatten her.

Ulani can feel the pommel descending, the motion transmitted through the water and it makes contact, forcing the woman lower … as she shifts into her water form, letting the rest of the blow pass through her.

Coming up and behind the man, forcing him to turn to attack her. She's quick, and she's water … how on earth is going to fight that? Well, fight that and fend of the pulse of water she sends at him, intent on knocking him down.

The Blue haven't fought the Wildlings of this world in several generations and the sudden shift to water form is unexpected. Off to the right similar tactics have disabled tow of the other Wildlings and Ulani's own gambit knocks the captain down. To her left Rowan has pushed his spear all the way through the woman's shoulder and used it as a lever, pinning him to the ground. He's got one serpentine foot centered on her chest. If this were a real fight, she'd be dead. "I think you are not our equals." He rumbles.

Ulani doesn't hesitate. Sending another wash of water at the Captain, pushing him from the circle, even as she descends on him, reverting to her normal form - water blade in hand.

"You couldn't stay in the Circle." eyes flashing, the Blue Envoy brings the blade down to rest on his throat. "Yield."

Kaia finally finishes her counterpart off with a simple Blue trick. She wraps them in water and holds them suspended.

There's simply stunned silence in the aftermath. Rowan pulls his spear out of his downed opponent, stopping short of just ripping it out. Still hurts, clearly. No one says a word or makes a move.

And then the captain starts to laugh. Everyone turns to stare at him as he gets up, dusts himself off, still bleeding and laughs a good, loud belly laugh.

"Maybe you have some stones after all, Blue. I'll tell Lord Attuma you're here."

"Ulani. Of The Blue." The hazel eyed woman corrects him as she dismisses her sword and lets the Captain up. She's … not laughing. This is such a waste of energy with what's at stake.

Gathering the others to her, eyeing Rowan for a moment, the Blue Envoy nods to the captain. "Thank you."

"Wait here until Attuma's pleasure is known." The Captain withdraws into the building and the guards give them some space. Rowan wipes his spear-blade off and collapses the weapon again, returning to normal. That draws some interest. Blue elite and the Dragon Warrior. Clearly word has gotten around judging by the looks.

Ulani's eyes flash just a little. They don't have time to waste waiting on someones pleasure. "If he's not back in 5 minutes. We're going in." she murmurs to the Dragon-Blue, eyeing those still looking at them.

She really hopes they don't have barge in. That would be bad. But she's nearly out of patience.

It's five or six minutes before the guard captain comes back and motions to Ulani and Rowan. "You two. Attuma will see you now."

Rowan glances at the other Blue… and takes a step forward, into the hall.

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