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 Balrog's Bet [Laven & Menel]

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Menel

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Join date : 2018-05-07
Location : Nespa, France

PostSubject: Balrog's Bet [Laven & Menel]   Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:45 pm

A vent rent the cavern in two, steam rising up from beneath the cracked stone in a rush of heat hot enough to make anyone shy away from it. From end to end the cave was nearly the size of a football field but marked with broken stalactites and stalagmites that made it seem smaller. Steam poured forth from the crevice continually, coating the ceiling with white clouds seeking an exit that they could not find. They like the fires that burned only served to make the room hotter. The whole of the cavern was dark save where the vent offered up a dim red light from magma that could be heard bubbling below, and the flickering fires that died in the steps of the massive creature which dominated the space.

It was the balrog itself which drew the eye however. A demon with great black wings and spiked spines that left fire burning in its wake. The balrog was everything a demon was supposed to be, and so large that it left little room in the massive cave to avoid it in. It hissed at them; great whip cracking and slithering across the heated stone floor. Menel dodged to the side again, sweating from head to toe. It wasn't the exertion so much as the heat that was the cause. He watched the cat-like head swing away from him, the whip sliding across the floor held in one black-clawed hand as it struck out again - but this time not at him.

The distance was too great to see the strike, but he watched the party member drop off and knew he wouldn't make it in time to help his teammate. They'd gotten in too deep this time, and even all their preparation hadn't been enough for them to take the demon on. Fire bloomed across the distance and the balrog breathed fire to life across the floor. This attack was easier to avoid purely because it was expected, but he watched one of his teammates go flying into the crack that split the room and winced internally.

That left him... and Laven.

He took a deep breath and dashed in, slicing a long stripe along the balrog's thigh and dodging back just as quickly. The demon missed him by scant inches, but he was almost glad for the breeze of the passage made by its free hand as it went by.


"It's a tough one isn't it?" Menel couldn't help but laugh a little at his own understatement.

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-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.



You know it's true.


Last edited by Menel on Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Laven

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PostSubject: Re: Balrog's Bet [Laven & Menel]   Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:55 pm

"We're certainly made better choices, haven't we?" Laven rolled under the heavy swing of the balrog's wings as it swiped at Menel. His silver hair was dark with sweat in the cavern, and not for the first time since they had stepped into it's lair he was glad he had sacrificed protection for speed. It was keeping him just a tiny bit cooler in this literal furnace.

When Menel and Laven had been approached to join the raiding party it had seemed wholly within their skills to survive the boss fight. And up until the balrog's second phase he had been cheerfully spending time bantering with some of the other close range players and Menel. It had been fun and he had told Menel as much. The two of them didn't play with others as much when they were together and while they enjoyed each other's company it was a nice change of pace. The swordsman himself had even agreed.

But the second phase of the battle had caused chaos to take over, half of the party lost to the balrog's attack and the rest dropping before any balance could be found in the remaining players. Now it was just the swordsman and the assassin, both ill equipped to take on a boss monster  without support and Laven's ability to dodge the only reason he hadn't been tossed aside like a rag doll as well.

Now he took the opportunity while the demon was focused on Menel to reapply his poisons, tossing the empty vial to the ground behind him before beginning to bolt directly at the boss' back.
"Watch out!" Bounding up the spines of the balrog's back Laven dug his daggers into the soft space of it's ear, tumbling backwards and then using one of his few teleports to get closer to Menel and the cavern floor.

With a thunderous roar the balrog made the cavern shake, scratching at the wound that now seemed tiny i comparison to the rest of the creature's mass. Laven pressed close to Menel for a moment, his elbow brushing Menel's as he winced at the shaking room making his vision blur.
"I can't do that again for a while. Any ideas?"

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Menel

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PostSubject: Re: Balrog's Bet [Laven & Menel]   Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:19 pm

Menel glanced at Laven and smiled wryly. An idea? "I'd try kicking it in the face but I think it might eat my foot if I try." He laughed again, vision tracking back toward the balrog. It was clearly being affected by Laven's poison small though the wound had been. It itched and scratched at the wound while bellowing loud enough for Menel to have to resist the temptation to cover his ears.

Tough as this fight was, he could only imagine that it was harder for Laven. He was a fighter meant to be on the front lines, while Laven was usually backing him up. Not that he was particularly good at knowing what each of the classes was very good at. One of the reasons he'd picked something easy and familiar...

His thoughts were broken in two as the balrog's whip came back around and he stabbed his sword into it as it came by. With effort he pinned the weapon, muscles bunching with the effort of keeping it in place. The balrog was stronger than he was by far, but he could hold it here for a moment with Laven's poison still affecting it. How long did they have until the poison wore off?

Not long enough. The creature thundered toward them and Menel felt his heart race in his chest so hard it felt like it'd break out.
"I hope you have one!" He yelled the words, almost roared them as he did the only thing he could think of and activated his least-used attack sequence. Least used because it was as dangerous to the balrog as it was to him.

Menel threw his sword up into the air like a star falling back upwards into the heavens and pulled free the one he'd used to pin the whip. Like lightning he struck with it, driving the creature back even as he tossed that sword up after the first. Two daggers followed suit, each nicking the balrog as they passed by. Deftly he plucked the first sword out of the air as it crashed back down toward him, rolling his body so that it whirled toward the creature.

Slash, and back up into the air.

Every passing second the Great Sword Dance became more beautiful and more deadly.

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-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.



You know it's true.
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Laven

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PostSubject: Re: Balrog's Bet [Laven & Menel]   Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:37 pm

Laven didn't get a chance to respond to Menel before the swordsman was beginning one of his most complicated abilities, and one that could have easily ended his life many times over. Even though this was a game there was always a prickle of fear and something else down his spine when Laven got the chance to see that beautiful dance of death. Even as he watched the balrog get pushed back again and again he knew it wasn't enough. This wasn't a fight that two close range fighters alone were supposed to survive.

"Don't be silly!" Laven rolled under another flail of the balrog's wip, feeling the blazing tip of it whisper above him before springing up and chasing after Menel. With a grunt he pushed himself into a burst of unnatural speed, passing the swordsman and attempting to scale the boss's back once more. "There's no way we're winning and we both know this." he tried to swipe at the monster's head, falling off and landing like a cat when it swung it's wings to dislodge him. When one of the balrog's feet stomped down he sprang backwards again, panting and pushing some of the dust and sweat off of his forehead.

"But, I'll make you a wager." Laven spared Menel a glance and smiled, the corners of the elf's eyes crinkling in a warm manner that he seemed to reserve for the other man and no one else. "How does this sound? Last man standing gets to make a request that the other can't refuse."

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Menel

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PostSubject: Re: Balrog's Bet [Laven & Menel]   Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:52 pm

Menel moved like he was pulling lightning into his hands. Silver flashed above him again and again. Dancing downwards to a man who moved fluid. Pushing the balrog back and back again when by all rights he shouldn't have been able to. His hands were bloody with the prince of it though. Two of his many daggers in the air winking red with their steel. He never stopped in spite of the pain, because to stop would have left him pinned now under the weight of his own weapons if he was unlucky.

Laven's question distracted him coming out of nowhere, and he missed the next blade coming down. It cut his arm deep, but he kept moving as if it hadn't. A bet. He almost laughed but kept his breath for the answer.
"What if we both live?" A slim chance at that since running was no longer an option. They were too far from the exit and this thing was too fast for them to make a break-away. Unless one of them acted as a distraction.

Not that either of them would leave the other behind.

The swordsman glanced back, watching for only a heartbeat as Laven skittered away. He liked the thought though and he laughed. If there was one thing he loved, it was fighting. Fighting and...

His sword fell to his hand and he slashed into the demon again.
"Done! But you're going to buy me lunch when we both survive this thing!" And if he survived.

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-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.



You know it's true.
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Laven

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PostSubject: Re: Balrog's Bet [Laven & Menel]   Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:13 pm

Lunch. Of course that's what he'd wager. Laven rolled his eyes and almost missed the balrog swatting one of Menel's daggers away like an annoying gnat. The swordsman was running out of time. When the balrog roared again Laven grabbed one of Menel's discarded daggers and sent it flying at the boss. His aim was true, missing the balrog entirely but dislodging one of the hanging rock formations above it's head so that it landed on it with a crumbling crash. "I'll take that bet. Lunch if I lose."

The rock fall gave Menel a chance to regroup and gave Laven the chance to look away from the now aimlessly flailing demon. It was enough time to reach into his poison bag and pull free his last vial. This particular poison was different from all of his others. Much like Menel had his deadly sword dance, Laven had this. A last ditch effort. Popping the cork the assassin swallowed the entire vial, cracking the delicate glass when his hand clenched at the taste.


"Are you still in London for work?" Laven threw the vial and shot like an arrow at the balrog, the calm in his voice hiding the way he was sweating much more profusely. Now, he was the one that drew the attention of the demon. He was the annoying gnat that it couldn't quite swat away. Laven darted in and out of the creature's range, his blades slipping in and slicing at the hard skin of the fire-imbued beast.

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Menel

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PostSubject: Re: Balrog's Bet [Laven & Menel]   Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:28 pm

The reprieve that Laven granted was a wholly necessary one. Menel would never have admitted it out loud, but the sword dance wasn't something he could keep up forever. As it was he was scurrying away from his own blades as they fell from the sky. He managed to pick up his two swords on his way out from under the demon as it struggled under the rock that Laven had dropped on it's head. Breathing heavily he watched it for a moment and not without some small amusement; his hands still ached.

Laven dashed in like a meteor, beautiful and brilliant, cutting into the creature as it fought the stone. Menel helped, pinning the demon's weapon for a second time.


"Are you still in London for work?"

Menel booted the dagger holding the demon's weapon into place and unsheathed his sword, cutting its hand as it reached for it. Now it was forced to attack with its bare hands. Not that those weren't dangerous in their own right, but the range of those was much easier to deal with than the whip. Laven's question was an odd one out of the blue, but Menel cut into the demon's hand a second time to convince it to stop trying to pick up its weapon. It roared, clearly enraged between the two men's efforts. "Yea, for another three days anyway."

His plan to bar the demon's path to its weapon went up in smoke when it tried to grab him and he was forced to roll out of the way, but it had made for a good distraction for Laven's strafing run. "I hope this chatting means you have a plan!"

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-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.



You know it's true.
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Laven

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PostSubject: Re: Balrog's Bet [Laven & Menel]   Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:47 pm

"I have an idea, yes." Laven laughed breathlessly and slid under the balrog, his daggers digging into the demon's underside as he passed. It had been trapped by the fallen rock, the boulder pinning one of it's wings so that it couldn't move at them any longer. But for all Menel had tried to keep it from the whip the second it was back in the balrog's hands Laven's attacks became more urgent.

He had made a dangerous call, drinking the Fearless poison when there was no one left alive that could cure him of the effects before he lost all of his health. It would have to be enough. They were both going to die in here and if that was the only option Laven wanted to see how far he could go before he and Menel were killed.

The balrog had figured out that he was the biggest threat now, and was actively attacking him. So Laven was forced to dodge, running fast enough to climb and kick off of the walls when the demon thought it could take him out with a swipe of it's claws or snap of it's whip. After one last spectacular jump Laven ran towards Menel, feeling the blood beginning to run down his nose as the poison broke down his body even as it was making him temporarily overpowered.

He grasped Menel, panting and using the swordsman's remaining strength to stay upright so that he could say one last thing, smiling up at the man he'd become so close to a scant few months ago. He could feel the rumbling as the balrog readied an attack from where it was pinned.


"If I win, you have to let me come visit you in London. A date."

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Menel

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PostSubject: Re: Balrog's Bet [Laven & Menel]   Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:02 pm

As much as Menel tried he couldn't get the demon to put its attention on him once again. He found its tail and started cutting away, but Laven had done just a little too much damage. Frustration made him growl under his breath. Laven was going to lose the bet purely by virtue of being better at damaging the thing than he was!

Still, when Laven said he had a plan Menel felt a little swell of hope. A bright flash that bloomed under his chest even as he managed to slice the end of the demon's tail clean off. He turned toward the assassin and felt his breath go out of him. It was amazing as always to watch Laven work. To see how smooth and flawless his movements were. So fast that it was almost hard to follow with his eyes. Menel was fast when it came to swordsmen, sacrificing some of his strength for faster moves as he did, but he wasn't anywhere near as fast as Laven could be when he was really trying.

The other man ran by and Menel helped him stand. Both of them breathing hard and clearly on their last legs. He hated to see Laven like that, but he still had hope. Because Laven had a plan.


"If I win, you have to let me come visit you in London. A date."

Menel's mouth gaped open. He meant to answer, to say something meaningful. Anything at all really. However nothing came out. That wasn't a plan of escape. It was...

The whip cut into Menel from behind and every thought he had shut down around the pain and the sudden disconnection it caused. Immediately his avatar started to disinigrate rapidly and he managed a shaky smile. His lips moving slowly though the words didn't come out.


"I guess you win."

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-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.



You know it's true.
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Laven

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PostSubject: Re: Balrog's Bet [Laven & Menel]   Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:17 pm

Laven had seen the whip coming, counting down the seconds on his teleportation timer as it roared through the air and knocked Menel into him, sending them both flying.

Or at least, sending Menel flying. Laven felt the cooldown end and jumped past the swing, turning to see Menel's avatar already breaking down as he 'died'.

That was when the pain sensors kicked in, making him bowl over and clutch his chest with a groan. He managed to catch the words Menel was trying to form and winced, laughing brokenly.


"Sorry, Love. A bet's a bet."The balrog didn't even have a chance to turn it's whip on him, the assassin's knees buckling as the poison drained the last of his hit points. He was disintegrating at a rapid pace, the last thing he saw being the balrog reset it's health and cavern room. As if the whole event had never happened.

Laven still smiled, because he had gotten something he had desperately wanted. A date, with the man that ran Menel's avatar. It would be worth the repair bills he'd have to pay for this stunt.


~End~

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