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  1. #1

    EXP: 21,787, Level: 6
    Level completed: 26%, EXP required for next Level: 5,213
    Level completed: 26%,
    EXP required for next Level: 5,213

    Leopold's Avatar


    Leopold Rook

    Never Quite to Plan (Open)

    “I don’t like this. I don’t like this one bit.”

    Leopold surveyed the arena, tallying all the ways it was different from his explicit and nuanced description that he had given to the monk in the foyer minutes before. For centuries the Citadel was where one Leopold Winchester Rook came to test his mettle, find the measure of his manhood on loutish scales of debauchery. Not once in all those many years had they let him down quit as shockingly as this.

    “I mean, it’s not a million miles away from what you said dear.”

    The rook on the merchant’s shoulder cawed. Its spectral plumage flickered with unlife, ensorcelled to be the shape of its former self with a flurry of magic. It hopped from foot to foot, cocking its head curiously at the landscape around them.

    “Dear?” Leopold raised an eyebrow.


    “Much better.” The merchant smirked. “Don’t make me regret summoning you.”

    “Oh, never sir, nevermore.”

    “Poe quotes won’t get you out of it,” Leopold swiped at his companion and cursed as the bird leapt skyward. It did not bode well his reflexes were so sluggish.

    “No escape he says, but escape Jack does!”

    Leopold watched the rook flutter away to the boughs of the arena’s solitary tree. A skeletal oak stood indomitable at the centre, supposedly a forest all by itself. The singular tree was the first difference between what Leopold had imagined and what the monks had created. It was supposed to be a woodland, charred black by an inferno. Instead he got a 50ft circle of black sand with a singular sodding tree.

    “You know it’s a raven in that poem, right?”

    “Same thing!”

    “In the same way I’m the same as a cat I guess.”

    The duo stared at one another, intensity rising as the awkwardness swirled around them. Leopold stood tall and strode towards the centre of the arena. He wore a tan shirt, loosely buttoned up to his odious chest hair, and black trousers strapped in place with circles of blacker leather. Gone were his usual gold thread accruements and weighty layers in favour of really letting himself go. He conjured his sabre-spear from nothing, and it formed encircled with purple rings of light, of the same stuff Jack was formed in.

    “Ark ark!” The rook cried. “Not for me I hope?”

    “If you don’t get back down here it will be.” Leopold chuckled. “Or if my opponent doesn’t at least make me break a sweat.” The chuckle turned into a menacing growl. It was all the rook needed to take flight and spiral down to his master’s shoulder.

    “Nevermore cheeky, always sorry!”

    “I wish I’d never told you that bloody poem now,” Leopold spread his stance and let his weight fall onto his haunches. He readied his spear in two hands, tip low, butt behind him at neck height. It was a typical dragoon stance.

    “No poem, no audience, no magic.”

    “Yes. I noticed that too…”

    For once, the orbs that floated around the Citadel’s domes were absent. At least the monk got one thing right. Today, the exchange of heated blows and insults would be witnessed only by the participants themselves. Leopold was getting too old to flex his aging muscles in front of adoring crowds. His victory, or humiliation, would be for Jack’s eyes only.
    Last edited by Leopold; 10-31-2019 at 08:57 PM.

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