The Lambswool team discusses their strategy for their match against the Spreezunft Destroyers, deciding to give the match their best even though they expect to lose. When they actually fight the match, it becomes much closer than expected. After knocking out the Destroyers’ three attackers (some several times), Hank eventually is able to carry their Lamb across the center line, and Vogelfrei unexpectedly wins.
Iris spends the rest of the day of her doubles match trying to come to terms with things, plotting or fretting in the stands about her team doing something dangerous. Marcella is essentially ordered directly to bed that night.
The next day is the 10th day of the games. Vogelfrei has their Lambswool match at 11:30. Amy and Marcella both want to get to the Arena early to find good seats.
Marcella plans to talk to her Lambswool teammates in the morning about the match, and asks them to meet up around 8 am, before they get on the bus. Zia agrees reluctantly. Fianna arrives for strategy discussion toting several breakfast foods from the kitchen’s morning offerings. Hank arrives blissfully unaware of the bloody events of the previous day. Marcella also has an extra roll from breakfast for Hank’s contract.
“Morning all!” Marcella greets as she walks up. She hands her extra roll to Hank. “Here, for that catch for your contract.” Marcella looks a little more tired than usual, but is completely healed. She has a thin black line running down her temple, which looks like it may be how her skin handles scars.
When asked how she is doing, Fianna grumbles vaguely about scars, but doesn’t elaborate.
“Good morning to you as well, Marcella. How were your events of yesterday?” Hank eyes her temple, but doesn’t say anything about it directly.
She grins fiercely. “Won both events, just barely. Iris saved my bacon in the weaponry doubles match.” She glances around at the group to make sure the whole Lambswool team is there. “I also wanted to check in with all of you about our match today.”
Zia says grumpily, “I’m here and I have the sword. It is very chatty.”
Hank eyes the sword with the same kind of appraising look he gave Marcella’s temple, but doesn’t say anything about that either.
“Huh. Chatty? Well, I’m glad it’s talking to you at least,” Marcella says, looking a little surprised. She hesitates a moment, then says, “So, our opponents today are the Spreezunft Destroyers. You know, Madoc’s team from Berlin?”
“Well, so much for that, then, eh? Shall we concede, or are you all very intent upon dying?” Hank asks.
“Yaaaay~” says Fianna. “Well that leaves aside my strategy from last time. No way I can play tug-o’-war with THEIR Lamb.”
Marcella chuckles as though Hank made a good joke, then nods at Fianna. “Right, that’s what I was thinking. They seem to depend on their Lamb to defend herself, so Hank and I should concentrate on getting between the rest of them and Zia while you go after Clota.”
Zia blanches and turns a light yellow, then it shifts to a reddish-orange. “I really don’t think we can win against someone who can cross swords with Kenna….” she says, “But I bothered to commune with your spooky sword so…”
Marcella glances from Zia to Hank, and her smile fades slightly. “It is true, we have pretty slim chances against these guys. They’re some of the best in Europe. Personally, I’d like the chance to go up against them and see what they’ve got, but I recognize not everyone talks with their swords the way I do.” She smiles ruefully.
“Her thing’s that crossbow mounted net, yeah?” Fianna says. “If Zia can use the ‘spooky sword’ to create that wall of wood like last time, that makes that useless. Dunno the breaking point on that, but she could also aim that at one of us, and take us out of the running as far as the whole protective/friendly kidnapping dealie goes.”
Zia mutters, “I’ll talk with your sword, alright, give it a piece of my mind.”
Hank smirks. “I suspect that she will be disappointed if she attempts to ensnare me in that net.”
Zia smiles at Hank, “I don’t think it is for you, fortunately for her. The bamboo sword seemed happy when I fed it glamour and I had more control over what I summoned then. I think I can make it at least kinda strong.”
“True, but if I’m the only one who’s making an actual go at her, and she gets ME….” Fianna trails off. “Iunno, I might be able to break out of it, but I dunno how strong the stuff actually is. Best case is it only puts me down for half a minute or so.”
Marcella smiles. “I’m glad you had a chance to practice with it, Zia.”
“However, I would like to save some of my glamour for destroying the weapons of anyone who actually picks me up and carries me across the field,” Zia notes. As Zia discusses destroying weapons, the color shifts slightly to purple.
“Yes, I think I should be our backup Lamb-pursuer if she manages to take you out, Fianna,” Marcella agrees. She hesitates, then says, “Our other option is to try and end this as quickly as possible, and have both Fianna and I go after their Lamb immediately. However, that leaves Hank and Zia and the sword standing against the rest of their team, and I don’t know that I’m comfortable with that. Not when we’re the ones that talked you two onto the field in the first place.” Her gaze rests on Zia as she finishes.
Hank shrugs, “I am willing to adapt to whatever strategy, as needed, depending in what Zia will be comfortable with.”
Zia sighs, “Do whatever you think is less likely to result in me being dragged unceremoniously across the field.”
“Well, if we want to make a strong push from the get go, I suppose Hank could toss me again. That’d shift their focus away from attack, and I’m pretty sure me flying through the air is too fast a target for that net-bolt to hit. Even if she does take the shot, that puts it out of commission for the rest of the match, and then Marcella can push when available. On the other hand, it is a strategy we’ve used before, and I bet they’d expect it.”
“True enough. Perhaps we should have saved it for a later match? Ah well, I thought our previous opponents would appreciate it,” Hank sighs. Fianna snickers appreciatively.
Marcella shrugs. “They’ve shown their hand with the net, we’ve shown ours with the trick Fianna and Hank did. I think we should go ahead and do that early in the match, and if it looks like Fianna needs the backup, I’ll make my own way over to their Lamb.”
“Sounds good to me. At least me trying to pull her somewhere will make it unlikely for her to use her net,” Fianna says.
Marcella nods. “Agreed.” She smiles and looks around their little circle. “Good luck everyone. Remember, no one’s going to get permanently hurt in this match, no matter what way it goes, and Zia, they aren’t allowed to put a scratch on you,” she reminds her, meeting her eyes. Then she grins wider. “Just try and have fun!”
Zia raises her eyebrows at the idea of having fun at this match. "Yes, let us go willingly to our doom…” and sweeps out of the room to the bus.
“Pah!” Fianna says with a wave of her hand. “Compared to yesterday, we’ll barely get scratched today. Meet you at the bus, I want to pick up some wrist tape from my room just in case.” She jogs out.
Hank blinks at Marcella, the only remaining person in the room. “Compared to yesterday?”
Marcella gets a slightly guilty look on her face and glances away. “Weeell …. Fianna kinda took a dagger through the collarbone in her match yesterday. But they patched her right up in medical, and she’s fine now,” she hastily assures him.
Hank pointedly looks at the temple that Marcella has made more obvious by turning her head. “I see.”
“C’mon, let’s head to the bus. I’ll fill you in on our matches yesterday on the way,” Marcella offers, heading the way that Zia went. Hank follows. She matter-of-factly includes the extent of her own injuries when giving Hank the full details. He is in impassive listening mode.
Marcella sends a text while they’re riding the bus, after she’s done filling in Hank.
Zia has already arranged with the bus driver to get her garment rack with the uniforms onto the bus. It is taking up the handicapped spot. Hank gives the rack the side eye, and studiously waits at the front of the bus for the entire duration of people getting onto it, making sure that there are no individuals who need the handicapped spot.
They all get to the Arena. They find moderately good seats, about center, opposite the monarch box, but not at the front of the free seats. Marcella settles into her seat, keeping a closer eye on the crowd than usual.
Zia sits herself down next to Marcella and informs her harshly, “Don’t be an idiot today, Marcella.” That wisdom imparted, she gets out her embroidery frame again, puts it together, and begins to work on it. Hank peers curiously at Zia’s frame from the other side of Marcella.
Marcella raises an eyebrow and pats Zia’s shoulder lightly. “I’ll try my best.” After a while she takes out her sketchbook and starts sketching the Arena, waiting for the matches to start. She actually does a pretty decent sketch, but it’s not of the Arena they’re sitting in. The center of the arena in her drawing is flooded with water, and there are two ships facing each other, tiny figures fighting each other on the decks. None of the crowd in her drawing have faces, but they don’t all appear to be human-shaped.
Amy sees everyone else doing crafts and decides to try embroidery, again. Amy’s embroidery is decent—nothing extraordinary, but fairly good. Amy is embroidering a castle in snow.
Hank spends the first part of the morning reviewing his notes on the Spreezunft Destroyers.
Fianna has no crafty things or abilities, and mostly just sits there twiddling her fingers.
Zia, studiously ignoring everyone in the lead up to their match, embroiders an incredibly complex scene of Queen Kenna and her Knights of Summer, each person showing their skills. She stitches incredibly fast and precisely, and the entire thing is done within an hour and a half. Being made in the hedge, it gives the bearer a +1 to dex, a +1 to Stamina, it and whatever item it is sewn into can shrink or get bigger, and if the bearer unravels one square, it will give the bearer 1 glamour. The last will eventually destroy the item. It is also worth lots of money.
The Lambswool team is due to be checked in at 11:00. A few minutes before 11, Marcella taps each of the team members on the shoulder. “We should probably head down.” She stands.
Hank nods, and stands. He’s tried to stay to the outside of the group, so that getting up won’t block the view of too many people behind him.
Zia shakes herself a little, almost as if from a daze, and frowns. “Very well, let us go,” she says.
Bored with all the crafty things, Fianna practically runs to the check-in room. Marcella follows Fianna down the now-familiar path.
At the check-in, the friendly man who’s been checking them in most days says, “Ah, Marcella and your team! I’m hoping to get above for your match today. You know who you are facing?”
“Certain and utter humiliation?” Hank posits.
Marcella nods, grinning. “We saw the Destroyers’ last match. It’s an honor to just get to face them.”
The man takes Hank’s statement as a joke. “Ah, I’m sure they won’t shame you! Madoc is a good man! In any case, just to clarify, how would each of you like to be announced?”
“Madoc is one of four and therefore outnumbered,” Fianna points out. “Still, I expect this will be fun.”
“Marcella Boneblade, same as usual,” Marcella answers. She leans over to Fianna and whispers, “So, are you going to take up ‘Starfist’? That’s what they were calling you yesterday.”
“Same as usual,” Fianna echoes flatly. “I’m not adding anything to my name until I think long and hard on it. Names are important—whether you use them or not.” Marcella nods.
“Ziazan will be fine,” Zia said.
Hank shrugs. “What was I announced as previous?”
The man ruffles through his papers. “Dr. Hank, I think.”
Hank makes a vague moue, but shrugs again. “That is acceptable.”
“Excellent! Then you are all set! There is a room set aside for your use and the clothing is already in it,” he says. “Good luck to all of you.”
Marcella thanks him cheerfully and heads to their room. This time she does not start changing in front of Hank. This time Hank waits outside of the room in the first place. She waves cheerfully as she goes in. “Sorry, promise we’ll be fast!”
Zia hands everyone their outfits.
When Marcella changes, Zia and Fianna can see that the naginata blow to the ribs left a pretty serious scar. It looks like a dark seam, as one might see on aged ivory, but it’s no longer an open crack. Marcella changes quickly. Zia tsks at Marcella’s scar.
Marcella can see that Fianna’s dagger injury has left no scar at all, and that the skin in that area looks like it hasn’t been touched. Fianna also changes quickly. Marcella notices Fianna’s lack of scar, but doesn’t comment.
Zia changes quickly, the colors as she changes switching to match their outfits.
Once Zia sees everyone changed, she opens the door for Hank. “All yours!” she says cheerfully.
Marcella dutifully troops out of the changing room. Fianna leans against the hallway wall to wait.
Hank also changes quickly, pulling on his cestus and his uniform, which covers the gloves. He also tucks a coin into his pocket. Once he is done, he reopens the door.
“Oh, here!” Zia hands him a chocolate. Hank accepts the chocolate from Zia. Fianna and Marcella have already offered him food earlier in the day.
After about 20 minutes, they are asked to come to the pre-walking out space and reminded to walk out when their names are called. Marcella has two swords strapped to her back, plus her dagger on her hip, and looks ready to be moving instead of waiting around.
Fianna has her fists freshly wrapped in boxer’s tape and also looks rather impatient.
“Darklings and Ogres, Fairest and Wizened, are you ready for one of the up and coming ducklings to face one of the most renowned small Lambswool teams this continent has ever seen? Folks, this may not be pretty, but it will surely be fun! For the second 4 on 4 Lambswool match of the second round, I give you first the Aachen VogelFREI!!!! Their fearless leader, now a veritable veteran of the games with all the times her blood has wet theses sands, the unstoppable bone shaker, please welcome Marcella Boneblaaaaade!”
There is distinct cheering and a group of people right near where Amy and Iris are sitting stand up and wave Marcella Boneblade banners. A chant goes up.
Marcella jogs out onto the sand, grinning fiercely as befits her introduction. She hopes someday she gets to meet this announcer. Marcella waves in the direction of the loud cheers, as well as at Iris and Amy.
Amy stands and cheers as loud as she can.
“Next, please welcome the spunky and violent shining star of the bunch! With her impressive punches and determinations, she is sure to make every opponent wish they could be on her team. I give you FIAAAAAAANa!”
Amy continues cheering loudly.
A group of about 20 people near the monarchs’ box chant, “Fianna Starfist, Fianna Starfist.” They hold banners and a large embroidered banner that looks like a larger, less complex version of some of the pieces Zia has been making. Amy recognizes it.
Fianna walks out, exuding confidence, and pumps her fist in the air, and sends a cheeky grin in the direction of Iris and Amy … acknowledges the banner wavers, and makes a mental note to talk to Zia later.
Marcella offers Fianna a fistbump when she gets close enough. Fianna accepts.
“Next, please welcome to the sands, an elegant brawler with quite an excellent bedside manner. He may be fairly new to the Arena, but I am sure that he will defend his team with every ounce of ability he has. Please put your paws, hands, thingamabobbies together fooooooor Dr. Hank!”
Hank walks out to join Fianna and Marcella. He is significantly less… enthusiastic than either of them, though he does wave at the banner wavers, and Iris and Amy.
“Last, but certainly not least, I have the honor of introducing the Vogelfrei Lamb, a Craftswoman with a love of all things rainbow who showed last match that her craft abilities do not stop with those lovely outfits everyone is wearing! Please welcome Ziazaaaan!”
Zia walks out like a queen, taking what cheers there are as if they are merely her due. She has both guns, the sword, and the trusty tool hanging off of her. She joins the rest of the team, giving them a cool nod.
“And now, for their opponents!” the announcers says with a bit of glee.
Marcella’s sharp eyes turn to the entrance their opponents will come through, chin held high, at least giving off the appearance of being relaxed and confident.
“From the capital of Germany, our Arena is pleased to be graced by the renowned Spreezunft Destroyers from Berlin! Their leader, a man so skilled in the sword that Monarchs from all over Berlin beg for him to teach them, the veteran of a thousand fights and a thousand matches. I give you Madoc, the Knight of HONOR!”
Madoc walks out onto the field confidently, waving graciously at that the cheers that erupt from the stands. He is decked out in full armor. He stands directly in front of Marcella and gives her a firm nod and a smile.
Marcella smiles and nods back, restraining her restless energy, but looking eager to get started.
“Next, I present to you a model of loveliness, but boy does she have a sharp edge! She is fast and you don’t see her coming until the knife is in you! I give you, Muriel Fawnheart!!!!!!”
Muriel Fawnheart walks out, a deer Beast who is small and slender, but with loooong legs. She wears a simple jerkin and has small sharp objects all over her.
The crowd cheers wildly for her. She ignores them mostly and stands next to Madoc, across from Fianna.
“It is my honor to next welcome, the Crimson Dragon of Berlin, the Summoner of Night, who needs no further introduction, Phthonos Nemesismaker!!!!!!”
The crowd cheers wildly, including a fanclub.
A man covered in crimson scales with tiny wings and golden horn with a gem hanging from it comes out. He bears no weapons but his claws, and wears an intricate black metal chain mail armor. He walks out proudly, smiling and stands in front of Hank, sizing him up and finding him wanting.
Hank gives him a nod and a wry smile.
“Finally, I give you the Lamb of the Destroyers! With her size, few teams have her so much as made her budge from the circle and boy, that is hard what with that club smashing down on your head. A giantess of the water, the immovable rock of the Lambswool circles, I give you Clota SEAAAAASKIIIIN!”
The crowd goes crazy as a very large woman with rough features and blue-green skin that appears to have been embroidered with a sea scene. She is wearing simple armor that covers her torso, shoulders, and reaches down to mid-thigh. She carries in a crossbow, a club, and has a brace of arrows on her back. She walks calmly, slowly to face Zia and hefts her club a little bit. Zia just smiles back at her, in head deciding whose weapons looked more loved. Those will go first.
Ritter Rime comes onto the field. “Do both teams promise to fight a fair fight and not harm the lambs?”
Marcella nods. “We do.”
Madoc nods, “We do.”
“You may now take your places.”
Hank snaps off a salute at Kenna, before the teams move. It is British style, with the palm of the hand facing away from the face. Vogelfrei, and probably a fair number of the other team, can hear Hank mutter, “Avē Imperātor, moritūrī tē salūtant.”
Zia glares at Clota for one more second, goes back to the circle, and takes the sword and sticks it in the sand in front of her. She then unholsters both of the guns and sticks them in the sand too. With a sigh, she takes up the sword.
Marcella positions herself in the center and farthest forward on her team’s side, similar to the place she took in their last match.
Clota goes back to her circle, rolls her shoulders and readies her club.
Hank sets himself up next to Fianna, further back from Marcella.
Fianna cracks her knuckles and waits.
Madoc positions himself a few feet from the line in the center. Muriel is off to his side about 10 feet back. Phthonos is opposite Muriel.
Marcella uses her seeming ability to add her wyrd to her health, and her skin thickens into bone plating. She draws her onyx saber, as well.
Ritter Rime eyes both teams, laughing to himself slightly about “upstart babies in the games.” Then he takes up the flag and dramatically brings it up, shouts, “BEGIN!” and brings down the flag.
As soon as Ritter Rime lowers the flag, Zia, holding the sword in her left hand, the laser gun in the right, focuses on the sword for a moment. Putting 2 glamour into the sword, a bamboo hut appears around her, sturdier-looking than before with several small windows to shoot out of. She shoots the laser gun at Madoc out of one of the holes. It goes right through his plate armor.
Fianna waits until Hank can toss her.
Madoc dashes past Marcella towards Zia, but does not get too far past her.
Muriel runs up and launches a handful of knives at Marcella with a quick toss. None of them hit her, but they are flying through the air around her.
Phthonos runs up to Hank and rakes sharp claws across his side.
Hank side-steps Phthonos and grabs Fianna, stealing her hat in the process. He grows until he is the size of a grizzly bear, and then throws Fianna at Clota.
Fianna sails through the air, long ponytail flapping like a banner, and lands with a ‘thunk!’ a short distance outside the opponent Lamb’s circle. In the air, she activates her favorite contract, gaining EIGHT extra dots of strength. Using her held action, she runs the remaining distance and lunges at Clota and attempts to grapple her. Fianna not only successfully grapples her, but manages to drag her a few yards outside the circle as well.
Marcella spins on her heel to chase after Madoc, activating her familiar bone shard contract as she runs. Her sword connects across his back, giving him a shallow wound.
Clota responds to Fianna’s presence by aiming her club at her. Fianna, who is not in fact large enough to get her arms around anything wider than Clota’s bicep, is a relatively easy target. Her gigantic club swings around and strikes Fianna in the side. There is a sickening crack that echoes throughout the arena, and Fianna is knocked off and sent sprawling several yards away. Clota strides nonchalantly back to her circle.
Zia gasps from within her little bamboo hut. “Oh you nasty troll. I hope you like your teammates because I am going to blow them up now.” Zia picks up the explody gun. She shoots at Madoc exceptionally well, placing the shot right at his torso. Madoc looks like he has been hit by an elephant tranq and falls over unconscious. Zia is very surprised.
The crowd gasps in shock and then starts cheering, chanting “Vogelfrei, Vogelfrei, Vogelfrei.”
Marcella looks slightly stunned, staring down at the prone form in front of her.
Fianna spends her entire turn standing up. She is even paler than normal, and obviously careful of her left side.
Muriel makes a dash past Marcella, straight at Zia.
Phthonos gestures at Marcella, but nothing seems to happen. He looks very frustrated.
Upon seeing Madoc go down, Hank gasps. Dodging Phthonos again, he sprints to Madoc. Activating the Cestus, he rips off the torso plate with the bomb attached from Madoc’s armor, throwing it at Muriel. Not only does it hit Muriel, it knocks her down with her stomach to the arena floor, and the piece with the explosive lands on her back.
Having recovered from her surprise at Vogelfrei’s sudden reversal of fortunes, Marcella heads for Phthonos. She swings as she runs, scoring a deep cut down his ribs. He hisses at Marcella as she runs past, both from the pain and from the sheer affront to his ego.
A large crossbow bolt slams into Hank’s right shoulder. Clota puts down her crossbow and begins reloading. Hank outright ROARS with the impact of the crossbow bolt.
The explosive on top of Muriel goes off, singeing her.
Zia shoots Phthonos with the explody gun. He is injured by the impact, and the bomb sticks.
Instead of moving back towards Clota, Fianna advances back towards the center a short ways, then grabs a pair of stars from her hair and tosses them at Phthonos. The first strikes the back of his shoulder, but the second goes wide and sticks in the ground a short ways beyond.
Muriel spends her turn standing back up.
Phthonos gestures at Marcella, and this time his contract works. She goes blind. Marcella freezes, a confused look crossing her face, but doesn’t say anything yet.
Hank, not realizing something has happened to Marcella, knocks Muriel back down, and also grapples her.
Furrowing her brow, Marcella tries to share senses with Phthonos’ skeleton. She finds it, and now knows where Phthonos is. Marcella raises her hand in Phthonos’ direction and yells, “Freeze!” She has her eyes closed, her sword lowered at her side. She wants his skeleton to stop moving. Phthonos is strangely not moving at all. Out of an abundance of caution, Marcella makes an exception for his head and ribs, so she doesn’t interfere with breathing.
Clota reloads her crossbow.
The bomb on Phthonos explodes, and he falls to the ground with a scream. Marcella winces when Phthonos screams, and tries to release the hold of the contract. She isn’t fast enough to let go before he goes unconscious, and she feels the concussive waves.
The crowd is again stunned at this development. “Well, my friends. Who knew? Two of the Destroyers are down for the count and only one of Vogelfrei has taken serious damage. This is certainly unexpected! And the little lady with the guns did so much of it!”
Zia decides to go for Muriel. She shoots Muriel with the explody gun, damaging upon impact, and it sticks to her.
Fianna moves forward, grabs two more stars from her hair, and aims them at Muriel. Both hit, low on her legs. Muriel manages to wrest herself out of Hank’s grasp—barely.
Hank hits Muriel, then backs out of range of the bomb that’s stuck to her. She takes the punch, but she looks ready to drop.
Marcella tries to activate her sense-sharing contract on herself to give herself a slightly better sense of her surroundings, but it doesn’t go off. She stumbles slightly, then stops moving and says, “Guys, I’m blind! Sorry, but I’m not gonna be much help!”
Clota aims her crossbow again … at Madoc. The shot fires, and strikes him right where his armor was ripped off. After a few seconds the bolt falls out, revealing a tiny, syringe-like tip … and Madoc opens his eyes.
Muriel’s bomb goes off, but doesn’t harm her. Zia shoots Muriel with the explody gun again. Muriel is blown back by the impact and falls over unconscious.
Fianna notices that Madoc has opened his eyes and aims two stars at him. They embed themselves in his chest. Madoc stands back up, sword in hand.
Hank thunders towards Madoc. On his way, he passes Marcella, grabbing the top off her crown (he now has two delicate hats perched on top of his head) and casts Gift of Warm Breath and Transfigure the Flesh. Hank is now as big as a polar bear. He tackles Madoc. Madoc staggers back, but is still standing.
Marcella tries her sense-sharing contract on herself again. This, time, it works. She can now “see” and is able to move more freely, but not well enough to attack as normal. Looking more confident than when she took her last stumbling step, Marcella runs after Hank towards Madoc. With an extremely lucky swing, Marcella not only misses Hank, but actually gets a deep cut in on Madoc. Her eyes are still closed. Madoc falls over once again.
As Madoc goes down a second time, the announcer goes, “Oh Wow!!! Madoc is down again! My friends, this is one for the history books!”
Clota spends her turn reloading her crossbow with another syringe arrow. Fianna moves back towards Clota.
Hank whispers to Marcella, “Shall I go for Clota, then? I … we didn’t actually plan this far.”
“Uh, I guess so?” Marcella mutters back. “I can see a bit with a contract, but only what’s directly around me. Why don’t you go back up Fianna, and I’ll keep an eye … er, I’ll guard Zia from any of these guys who Clota wakes up.”
Hank runs towards Clota. Marcella stays where she is, opening her eyes every so often to see if her sight is back. She uses a communion contract to sense all of the instances of her element within 20 yards, so that she can tell if any of the unconscious enemies around her start moving.
Clota shoots her arrow at Phthonos this time, and Marcella registers the subtle shifts in his bones that indicate he’s awake. She turns her head towards him.
Zia notices that Phthonos is awake and shoots him with the explody gun. Phthonos takes some damage, and the bomb sticks.
Fianna tosses two more stars at Phthonos, and hits him once. Her hair is now depleted of ready-to-go stars. The smaller ones that make of the majority of the lights in her hair are in the process of growing larger.
Phthonos gestures from the ground at Hank, presumably to blind him, but it doesn’t work. Hank keeps running.
Marcella moves over to Phthonos and stabs her sword down at him, running him through the leg. Blood sprays up at her, and Marcella registers that he’s bleeding more than he should be. Her eyes widen in shock.
After a moment Ritter Rime runs onto the field, “Pause!!! No one move! This man is being taken off the field for medical attention.”
Two people come onto the field, doing an evaluation. The wound is staunched and he is taken off the field. Within five minutes, Ritter Rime glares at all of them and says, “You may continue!”
Clota reloads. Fianna runs until she is just outside Clota’s circle, and outside her reach.
Hank continues running.
Marcella, slightly at a loss, moves a little closer to Muriel and Madoc. She gets between Zia and the two prone figures in front of her.
Clota shoots Madoc, who opens his eyes once again.
Zia sticks her hand in her pocket and takes out a length of very sturdy rope. She yells, “Marcella, rope!” then sticks her hand out one of the holes and throws the rope to fall at Marcella’s feet.
“Wh – for Clota?” Marcella asks, keeping her eyes and other senses focused on Madoc.
“Yes, I thought it might help,” Zia shouts back. Marcella nods, but doesn’t respond.
Fianna activates her strength contract once again and lunges for Clota in another grapple attempt. She again manages to drag her a few yards out of the circle by one arm.
Madoc stands up, and Hank notices. He reaches Clota and Fianna, and bodily picks Clota up and starts whipping her around in a circle, with Fianna still attached. “MANUEVER 7!” he bellows, and at the apex of the swing Fianna releases her grip, flies towards Madoc, and tackles him to the ground. In her little bamboo hut, Zia makes a little gasp.
Marcella blinks, unsure why there is a sudden Fianna, then uses this opportunity to lean down and tuck the rope Zia threw her into her belt.
There is a brief struggle as Clota attempts to break free, but she fails.
Fianna punches Madoc in the face. He struggles and attempts to get up, but fails. Fianna barely manages to keep him down.
Hank runs forward carrying the grappled Clota. He is getting close to the center line. Clota manages to get free, and lands on the ground.
Zia cheers wildly, but can’t do much else. She is very pleased with how Hank’s outfit is holding up.
Fianna punches Madoc again, and he falls unconscious.
Hank picks Clota back up…and runs her over the center line.
The crowd literally explodes.
Zia makes the bamboo hut go away. She marches right over to Madoc and checks on his health. His pretty armor isn’t very pretty anymore.
Marcella can now see. She blinks and looks around, a look of disbelief on her face as she realizes that they’ve won.
Fianna is breathing heavily, and after a moment gets off Madoc and brushes herself off. She refuses to acknowledge that her ribs are in pieces and simply stands there, grinning.
Then Marcella runs over to Zia and Fianna. “I’m so mad I couldn’t see most of that! Good job, guys!!” She ruffles both of their hair, then puts a hand under Fianna’s elbow when she notices her state of injury. Fianna gives Marcella a look, but doesn’t protest.
Ritter Rime comes out on the field and announces that Vogelfrei has won the match. There is much cheering.