AA Ladder: Talos vs. Khaer - Round 1
The air was crisp and cold upon the plateau of the Citadel. It was eerily quiet in the courtyard, the familiar silence of dawn that seemed to sap the energy from anyone unlucky enough to be up at such an hour. The vivid hues of daybreak were somewhat sullen this sunrise, though; drained by the thick dark clouds above. The customary moistness of morning added a cool humidity to the climate inside the courtyard’s low walls, but it did little to wet the dry throats of the three Arconans perched above Estle. The courtyard was a picture of beauty: luscious grass, marbled walkways and flowerbeds that decked the opening to the Citadel. All of it a wonderful façade for what went on behind the onyx walls.
Wuntila stood in front of the Citadel, garbed in a heavy black cloak that fluttered mildly with the breeze. Talos and Khaer looked at their Proconsul and knelt, bowing their heads as they did so.
“You are both here because you chose to look fate in the eyes. Remember the rules, don’t get ahead of yourselves and fight like Arconans.” Wuntila turned on his heel, his cloak billowing, and disappeared into the shadow of the Citadel.
Both fighters looked at each other and rose. They marched off in opposite directions and faced each other, waiting in anticipation for their signal.
They didn’t have to wait long.
“Begin!” The Proconsul barked. The two combatants heard the heavy stone doors of the Citadel echo across Estle.
(Talos to Post First)
Talos’ opponent, the Protector Khaer Sordar, may have been learning from Marick Del’Abbot, who was one of the most calm and collected strategists and warriors in the entire Clan, but Khaer was still a Zabrak. And when one was relatively new to the ways of the Dark Side, racial tendencies often overrode training….
As such, Khaer Sordar was charging across the Citadel’s courtyard mere seconds after the Proconsul had ordered the combat to begin, the white blade of his Clan-issued lightsaber igniting with a snap-hiss. But by the time that the Protector was within striking distance of the Obelisk Templar, Talos was already gone; having gathered the Force within him since arriving at the beautiful garden, the Erinos leaped high into the air [LEP] and gracefully flipped over the Zabrak as the one-horned alien brought his saber down in a vicious arc.
“Face me…fight me!” Khaer growled as he spun around to face Talos, who had landed behind him.
The Galerian Aedile merely shrugged and smirked, something he had picked up from Sashar Arconae, his friend and Family alor’verde*, before unclipping his own lightsaber and letting the crimson blade flare into existence.
“If you insist” Talos replied and he strode forward, his hands slipping into the proper grip for Form I. He knew that all he needed to defeat the Sith Protector was a show of brute saberplay, rather than the more “flashy” aspects of Forms III or V.
The two Dark Jedi met in the center of the courtyard with a shower of sparks as Talos’ crimson blade collided with Khaer’s silver and pair found themselves in the briefest of bladelocks before the Erinos’ superior strength won out and he pushed Sordar away.
Pressing his advantage, Talos dipped into the Force and sent a torrent of Force-wind [WWD] towards the Protector and, expecting the Journeyman to be picked up in the whirlwind and tossed out-of-bounds, he began to turn towards his cerulean Proconsul.
But a glint of silver and the sound of exertion made Talos Erinos stop and turn back towards Sordar…and when he saw that the Zabrak had only been driven back a handful of steps and was still standing, his jaw dropped open.
“Well, it appears that I underestimated you, Protector Sordar” Talos said dumbly, ignoring a dry chuckle from Wuntila.
Khaer opened his maw and bared his rows of pointy teeth in a feral grin before spitting out a smug reply:
“Yeah…Master Del’Abbot said you might do that. Your mistake, Templar Erinos”
With that said, the one-horned Zabrak broke into an all-out run towards the Aedile. Realizing that this wasn’t just a piece of underpowered fodder like many of the Brotherhood’s recruits were, Talos braced his feet and brought his lightsaber up to guard.
'This may actually make me break a sweat…damn' the Erinos thought as the orange Zabrak closed the distance between them.
* alor'verde - The Mandalorian word for "commander", which Talos uses when formally referring to Sashar Arconae, the Patriarch of the Erinos Family.
As the Zabrak closed the distance between him and Talos, he was aware that he would not be able to keep up with an obelisk Templar’s lightsaber skills. He also hated fightingin close combat, it was messy and primitive to his eyes. The Force was the Sith’s real weapon, and he wanted to show this to the Obelisk.
When he was about to attack, he focused his emotions and commanded the Force to boost his celerity [BOS]. The protector launched a fast blow upwards from the floor, aiming to split his opponent in half. Talos, well trained in lightsaber combat, found it easy to parry the attack. The human wanted to end the combat quickly, fights against journeymen are not usually challenging. He delivered a powerful blow, a perfect example of Form I combat, to the superior guard of Khaer. The sith could not match his strength, no way he could block that, but power blows had a tendency to be slow and predictable. Khaer saw the attack coming to him like slow motion, he dodged the attack spinning his body to counter attack with a wide circle movement.
Talos had to roll over his shoulders to evade the attack. He stood up just in time to evade the zabrak’s next attack coming down to him. Then blocked a fast blow aimed at his right side.
For a moment the two dark jedis were face to face. the buzzing sound of the two beams making contact was the only thing they could hear.
The obelisk pushed his body forward making Khaer step back. His speed was causing trouble and with a growl the human reached the Force and enhanced his speed [BOS].
He started a renewed series of quick attacks that Khaer was finding hard to block and dodge. Talos was throwing blows from one side to another, just random attacks that the inexperienced Zabrak would not know how to deal with.
Khaer started to walk back as he parried and dodged. He was overwhelmed by the Templar’s technique. He didn’t see any open space to counter an attack. It was like if Talos had eight arms. He lost concentration and the obelisk saw an opening in Khaer’s lower guard. He launched a precise blow to the zabrak’s leg.
Even for a zabrak, it was a painful injure. A deep wound opened in his leg from side to side a couple of inches above his left knee. He yelled in pain and grasped his lightsaber hilt in fury. He felt the dark side demanding revenge for the damage done to his body.
The Sith launched himself forward, towards Talos, the tip of the lightsaber beam left a burned path in the floor as he ran and lifted his weapon, determined to cause serious damage to his opponent.
It was a fast, powerful blow, just brute force, that’s why it failed. Talos found really easy to predict the outcome of the attack. With a solid move, he blocked Khaer’s attack outwards, so the zabrak was defenseless. The obelisk lifted his leg and landed a kick in the protector’s chest, who lost balance. The Templar lifted his weapon and Khaer lost grip of his lightsaber. The silver beam coming from the hilt disappeared as the weapon flew from the zabrak’s hands and landed some meters away.
Talos grabbed Khaer by his neck with the left hand, while his right hand was preparing a fatal blow to the journeyman. The Sith was not going to escape. The Templar reached once more to the Force to inflict more pain to Khaer [EHA].
Khaer reacted quickly, this was not the way he intended to get close, but it worked anyways. Obelisks love to finish their opponents with his weapons. Khaer's weapon was the Force. He focused all his pain and anger and tainted the Force flowing from him to the solid arm holding his neck passing all that dark emotions in form of sickness to the Templar [MAL].
The Obelisk suddenly felt a strange dizzyness, he released Khaer stumbling back spitting and bent over in pain. The Zabrak used this advantage to get free and run towards his lightsaber. Khaer felt some kind of safety when his lightsaber ignited.
The attack Khaer did to him was enough to make people throw up their intestines. Talos, however, seemed to numb his body to the effects [CRE]. They both grinned. It was getting interesting.
"I should have known better than to underestimate an apprentice of Marick."
Khaer lifted his lightsaber and settled into a defensive stance as he plotted his next move.
-- Deathpost --
The old adage “When one knows the book, you change the book” was more than just a wise saying…it was the mantra of at least 17 different intelligence agencies spread throughout the galaxy. Whilst Talos was powerful in his own right, he had no doubt that this adage had saved his life countless times, from back when he worked intel in the Imperial Remnant to the jobs he did for his beloved Clan.
'When one knows the book, you change the book,' Talos thought, 'and Khaer Sordar knows the book indeed. Time to show him that there’s more to the Obelisk than just muscles, weapons, and a fetish for the color blue'
The Erinos finished his thought, smiled at the Qel-Droman Protector, and then made a beeline for the garden that ringed most of the courtyard.
His opponent, expecting the continuation of the brutal barrage they had just exchanged, let his mouth drop open in surprise; by the time Khaer decided to give chase, Talos was already swallowed up by the well kept, but thick, vegetation.
“Why do you run, Templar?,” Sordar demanded, the Sith cautiously following after his target, “I thought the Obelisks were the guardians of the Brotherhood…the Ministers of War. All I see is an adherent of cowardice!”
‘Ah, well he’s got the Sith’s classic taunting down’ Talos thought as he peered out from the rutolu bush in which he concealed himself in, watching the one-horned Zabrak scan the area with careful scrutiny.
When Khaer was busy inspecting a rare everlily bush, two plots down from his location, the Templar picked up a large stone, used for decoration by the Citadel’s gardening staff, and hurled it towards the center of the courtyard.
The stone hit the marble pavers with a satisfying “clunk” and as Sordar turned towards the sound, Talos leaped from the bush and tackled the Protector, dirt flying up as the two muscled bodies hit the ground. The next few seconds resulted in an undignified scramble, as feet, hands, elbows, knees, and heads were all used as weapons in an attempt to gain dominance.
In the end Khaer won the scuffle, landing a vicious blow to the bronzium plate that covered Talos’ head wound from years ago, and while the wound was 8 years old, the flesh around the area was still tender. Roaring out in pain, Talos tried to roll away from the Sith, only to have a booted foot pressed against his throat.
“Yield!” Sordar demanded as he applied pressure, Talos’ world starting to get fuzzy at the edges.
'When one knows the book, change the book' the old adage zipped through Talos’ pounding head and gave him a second wind.
So Talos did just that, he changed the book; in a cry of defiance, the Galerian Aedile reached out, grabbed a handful of soil and tossed it upwards. Now it was Khaer’s turn to feel the pain and the Protector, temporarily blinded, backpedaled, the distance made further by another of Talos’ whirlwinds [WWD]
The Mandalorian was on his feet in two seconds, his throat as red as the haze that had descended over his vision.
“Enough” Talos growled and in a snap decision, he decided to show the Journeyman just how Obelisks used the Force.
Raising his right hand, the Erinos clenched three fingers and rotated it to the right; almost instantly, Khaer gave another shout of surprise as a web of dark energy appeared and crawled over his body. [OSS]
The Zabrak’s yellow eyes widened in disbelief as he tried to call on the Force and found that, while he could feel it, his connection to the Force was deeply muddled.
“Wha-what..did you do?” Khaer asked, half in anger and half in fear.
“Nothing…yet” was Talos’ gruff and mysterious reply.
What he meant wasn’t a mystery for long though, as Talos’ right hand was brought up again and his gloved fingers clenched into a fist.
Defenseless against the attack due to the Force-sapping Snare, Khaer Sordar could only yell out in pain, rage, and surprise as he felt his nose shatter [OBL]. When the noise finally subsided, Talos released the Protector from the energy web and watched him slump to the ground with a mixture of satisfaction and regret.
Nonetheless, he activated his crimson lightsaber, angled it at the Zabrak’s throat, and looked up at Wuntila Zratian Entar, who was still standing some yards away his expression unreadable.
“I think he conceded…” Talos Erinos said.
Talos Erinos looked up to the sky, it had only been like 5 minutes, but it felt longer than that. The battle could not continue for much time anymore, he was unwillingly teaching the young Sith how to fight against him. That had to end now. It was time to show the journeyman how to fight for real.
He looked at Khaer’s eyes and showed a smile. “Show me your training Protector Sordar, give me your best shot”. And he unlit his lightsaber, assuming a neutral position, defenseless.
Khaer looked at him in disbelief. How can he say that? He was not a kid to be playing around with. But the pain coming from his leg injury woke him up. He wanted revenge for that wound. He’d never been able to be healed fully in bacta. That wound was gonna leave a scar. For that the Obelisk had to pay.
The sith was about 3 meters from the Templar. In a fast rush he threw his lightsaber at him, and with a single gesture, used the Force to give the weapon speed and stabilization [TES]. He aimed for the human’s upper body, and the blade was going direct to it.
Talos could not believe the Sith fell for that. Khaer lacked more training it seemed. He already knew what was about to happen a few milliseconds before, he saw it coming [PCG]. He quickly stepped aside and, lighting his lightsaber, destroyed the hilt of the flying blade coming at him. The silver blade vanished as the pieces of the hilt scattered on the courtyard floor. Khaer staring in horror as his weapon was reduced to nothing.
Talos unlit his weapon once more. It was time to old style fighting. He focused his power to enhance his speed [EQS]. And charged against the surprised zabrak.
For almost half a minute he launched strike after strike with his fists against the unprotected journeyman, who poorly tried to block the brutal punishment. He launched heavy punches against Khaer’s upper body, focusing on getting his ribs and face. Talos had to make more effort than usual due to the zabrak’s natural resistance against pain. When he felt that the rush of speed was about to end, he launched a powerful kick against Khaer’s left leg. Just where his wound was still in open flesh.
The zabrak let out a loud shriek. But the Templar interrupted him with a single blow to his head, that made him lost balance. The zabrak fell to the floor spitting blood. Talos standing just above him looking down.
“See? that’s what happens when you guys get so attached to your sorcery.”
Talos’s words hurt even more than the wounds Khaer sustained. He recover himself quickly with the Force [CRE]. And stood up. Looking fiercely at the Templar, he assumed the classic position Tu’rek fighting style.
The human looked at him, he was amused. This zabrak was actually wanting to fight him in his field. But Khaer was already weakened for the beating he took. The battle was over, but he hadn’t noticed yet. He reached the dark side and started to choke the zabrak [CHK].
Khaer was not trying to break free, he had lost the ability to use the force. He fell to his knees gasping for breath he was not receiving. Talos released him with a gesture and kick him in the ribs.
The protector landed on his back. With no strength to get up he said. “It’s… enough. I can’t… continue.” And close his eyes to get some rest.
Talos looked at Zandro. The battle was over at last. He looked down at the journeyman. He had given him a few surprises, he was talented. Then left the arena hoping to meet the zabrak another time, maybe fight him again. Once Sordar gets more experience.
“That should be interesting…”