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  #31  
Old 03-11-2020, 03:09 PM
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Talia
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The deal made and set, Talia began pacing like the caged cat that she was immediately.
Once they started to move towards the arena, she shifted to her feline nature and a dagger was slipped into each hand.

She did her best not to focus on the crowd, but to focus on the job. Focus on the job, Talia! Focus on the job! The words came back to her from her earliest thieving jobs on her own. It seemed like a lifetime ago that she was trying to impress those backwater guild members. Now, here she was in a place where she was prized as something to barter with.

"This coin has teeth", she said to no one in particular after Ron's words. Then it sunk in what he said and she replied, "If I look dead, I'm not playing." And she meant it.

When their foe was revealed, she bared teeth and hissed, showing her fangs. "Damn she's got a big ass, but it's still four against one. I'll try to tag her."

And Talia was on the move. She dashed out and slightly to her right as she went around the column, going for cover.
But then she darted back in Move to halfway between two lower columns on mapbetween the two columns in a line closer to Radeni. She tried to use partial cover as Cast Faerie Fire to give advantage on attacks on Radeni - if it works.she invoked the magical powers she had become attuned to in the cloak she wore.

"You're it", she called out to Radeni, though she hadn't thrown a dagger yet.


 
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  #32  
Old 03-11-2020, 04:18 PM
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Verdigris
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Verdigris gaped in surprise at the audacity of Radeni's counteroffer. It was unthinkable. There was no way they could accept such a bargain. To hold mere death against such a cost for one of their own? But before he could compose himself to reject the Dao's words, Ron had already spoken. The deal was made.

Afterwards, in the pits beneath the arena, there was little point in discussing it further. They could only wait.

It was only later, as they stood on the sands that the entirety of the Dao's plan was revealed. No proxies here. She intended to fight them herself. If they killed her, would they even receive their prize? Or would her death release her of any bonds? Were they doomed no matter the outcome?

He sighed, and lowered his head, almost missing the changes occurring above his head. He felt a faint tickling upon his fingers and discovered the blossoms now sprouting from Melora's Blessing. Despite the briefness of the sensations that filled him, the blossoms remained. No matter where he was, he was not alone. They would fight. One way or another.

Ron and Talia had charged ahead, and he could only shake his head in bemusement. So be it. He surveyed their opponent. She was... quite large. Perhaps, they should tilt the balance. He walked forward, calmly, with none of the haste that Ron and Talia demonstrated, but determined all the same. He held the staff aloft in front of him and reached out to the magic.

The last time he had done this, he had been in Westruun. Despite man made structures carpeting that land, there had been a primal memory of wilderness to call upon. But here? This land had never been green. He cast about for a suitable form for the magic to take. The feel of hot sands beneath his clawed feet brought to mind vast, empty deserts. But they were only empty if you didn't know where to look. Life teemed in the nooks and crannies and beneath the baking surface...

Sands barely settled from Radeni's appearance began to stir once more, whipping up into a flurry as a shape began to form inside the swirling dust. Verdigris fought against the alien landscape pouring more and more power into the spell. To fight something like the Dao, they would need something just as large, or larger. Something to bind, to try and hold her back. The shape formed in his mind, the last step was to open up the doorway that would allow a spirit to slip through and give his creation life. Gehanna itself fought against him, seeking to twist the magic to dark ends, to call a dark spirit. He struggled for a moment, then realized that he no longer cared.

He let the hellscape have its way and the foulest spirit from the shadowiest corners of the feywild slipped all too easily into place. It was far easier for his magic to control a single foul darkling than to struggle against the plane itself. Besides, as it was, he didn't want to control it. Only to direct it. He pointed a single clawed finger towards Radeni.

"Crush."

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  #33  
Old 03-12-2020, 04:49 AM
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As Bellamy Hannan, priest of the Matron of Ravens and medic of the Seven Knaves, emerged unto the sands of the great pit, she had little on her mind except for one thing - survival. It was the same instinct that had allowed her to survive her flight from the orphanage. The long cold nights of hunger spent in the woods, the destitution of living on the city streets as a starving child who had to fend off those who would take from her even the nothing she had. Survival.

Her hand was raised above her head, not to shield her eyes from the infernal sunless light that filled the arena, but to shield her from the cacophony of monstrous noises that pressed down upon them from the stands. The noise threaten to wash her away for a moment, to overwhelm. But the half-orc shook it off. Survival. That is all that mattered. Hers and her friends. Talia had struck them a deal and through her feline tongue they now had a path back to Wrettis and the rest of the Knaves. Ron's foolish deal, while brave, was moot. She would never leave him here to an eternity of torture. And neither would she allow Verdigris to perish in this place, so far from the swamps that he quietly loved.

They would survive.

"The pillars have some sort of spigots in them. They are likely trapped. Don't move too close to them," Doc warned the others as they moved further into the arena. The gates on the opposite end of the pit were raised and it was almost a relief to see the foe that faced them. Radeni herself. It was not that Bellamy was under the impression that the demon was weak - far from it. The devil, Telantes, who watched her with wicked eye even now from the stands had broken her charm like a twig. And Radeni treated him like a pet.

Doc hefted the shield in her hand and moved forward with the others. She reached for her most potent blood magic, the bloodstone flashing red light as she reached out a hand towards Ron. "Quicken," She cried and rush of warmth and heat passed through her and into the thug. Ron's skin began to blush a deep red and steam began to curl off his sweat as the flow of his blood increased. Quietly, Bellmay spoke to Verdigris, who was nearest her. "Watch her pet in the stands. I doubt he will standby while we murder his master."


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  #34  
Old 03-12-2020, 06:57 AM
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Telantes, Radeni the CruelAs Bellamy imparts her divinely channeled power toward Ron, Telantes stands from his chair in the stands! His dark halo flares like a thunderhead as he sweeps his arm forward toward the battlefield in a gesture of dismissal!

Radeni laughs with the joy of battle as she bats aside the giant, angular head of the fiendishly twisted snake. The whirlwind of sand that carries her massive bulk twists around the snake, bearing to her right.

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The dao raises her hammer with both hands and then brings it down to the dirt floor of the arena with a thunderous blow! As it strikes, she utters a grumbling word in the Primordial language. Her hammer flares with dull light, like a geode held up to a flame! From the point where her hammer struck, a tremor moves through the earth with unnatural speed, past Ron and Talia, past Verdigris and Bellamy, building in intensity! Behind Bellamy, the ground explodes upward like a geyser of dirt and rock, which coalesces into a creature of pure earth!

The elemental roars an answer in the Terran language and brings it’s huge limbs of sandy stone slamming down on Verdigris and Doc! Each of the heavy arms connects with its target, bludgeoning the two spellcasting Knaves with pummeling force!

Ron and Talia hear the rupturing earth and heavy impacts behind them. But before they can move further, clear liquid sprays from each of the four central pillars of the arena! Streams of the liquid shoot inward from some of the brass fixtures protruding from the pillars. The smell is unmistakeable; lamp oil!


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Old 03-12-2020, 07:55 AM
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Ronald ‘One-Bone’ Devyn
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For a moment Ron isn’t sure if he should go for the hellish snake that appears out of thin air next to the big lady or the large woman herself, but when the reptile tries to wrap itself around the Dao’s legs he figures this must be magic from his friends. Good.

Less good is the fact that her hammer isn’t just for slamming people. Apparently, it can also hit the ground and call a critter out of the sand. As it speeds past Ron he figures he may as well give this a try, so he Let’s call this attack 1, which hits for 12 damageslams his hammer down as the sand beneath his feet ripples. It moves with unnatural speed, but somehow Ron can actually react in time. The air here must be doing him good, he feels faster than ever!

Sadly, as he’s trying to see where the creature under the sand is going, he Dex save was a 14 and so failsdoesn’t notice some foul liquid spraying over him until it’s too late. He’s half-expecting some otherworldly acid, but when it’s just oil he shrugs. Old Two-Tongue always advised him to oil up before fights anyway. It made it harder for his opponent to grapple with him and made him look shiny and nice. For the ladies, as Two-Tongues had put it.

Ron isn’t sure if there are ladies in the audience, and to be fair calling the women watching the fights in the ring back in Stilben ladies is a stretch anyway. What he is sure of is that the sand-thing is moving towards his friends, so he gives chase.

The creature is fast, but the enforcer from Stilben is almost as quick on his feet as he rushes back. As he gets close enough he leaps through the air, Attack 2 hits, doing 14 damagebringing Ronda down with incredible force on the stone-and-sand body of the summoned creature.. The leap was unnecessary, but Ron knows he needs to give the audience a show. The shouts from the stands tell him he succeeded, but they are slowly being drowned out by the stillness that takes over Ron's mind when he's fighting for his life. And for the life of his friends. He's never had people he could call friends before, and he's not about to let them die in this otherworldly arena.

The hit chips stone and sand from the body of the huge stone-person, but Ron isn’t done. As soon as his feet touch the ground he brings Ronda around in a massive swing from the side, passing right next to Doc before Attack 3 (thanks to the Haste) hits as well doing 14 damageimpacting heavily into the side of the elemental, chipping even more from its body.

Despite trying, Ron can’t really keep his face looking interested, or even present at all. His eyes are nearly glazed over as the eerie calm that always befalls him in battle descends. Yet again his life has been boiled down to the very essence of life from the start of time. Kill or be killed.

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Old 03-12-2020, 10:43 AM
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Talia
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The newly crowned Queen of Knaves was hard to pin down, and this was solidified by how fast she was pouncing around the arena.

She caught the spray coming down out of the corner of her eye as she moved and darted out of way, only getting a few drops of spray on herself. She had fought enough users of magic to know that you couldn't defeat them if you just dealt with what they threw at you. You had to cut the head off the snake. Well... not the actual snake, that was obviously Verdigris' doing, but she knew what she meant.

She moved just out of the oil spray area and closed next to a column, her hands flying in a blur as first one, then two daggers flew out from her hands at Radeni. 27 damage if they she doesn't have some kind of resistance.Both daggers Hit the large Earthen woman.


 
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:13 PM
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Verdigris
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Verdigris focused his attention wholly on the creature he had summoned. It failed its first attempt to wrap its coils around the Dao, but with that glow outlining her, it was only a matter of time before it would hold her within its grasp. How long it could hold a creature of such raw power was another mater entirely, but every moment would count. He watched as Radeni raised her hammer, not to strike at the serpent, but the ground and he frowned, uncertain as to her intention.

Then, suddenly, he felt a strike from behind and he stumbled away from the blow. In an instant, the snake was gone, falling back into the sands he had used to shape it. As the grains fell away, so did his hopes for this fight. What use was he? Snarling, he turned to face the elemental that had struck him. No use trying again until he was free of this beast. Green magical claws sprouted from the end of Melora's blessing and he raked them across the thing's stony hide to little avail. He simply found no purchase. He shook his head ruefully. He needed to get free. He gave a quick glance to Ron and Bellamy, hoping they would be able to persevere against this thing. "I'm sorry."

The mists of the ocean are a distant memory in this hot, dry place. So it was a cloud of dust and sand that temporarily obscured him from view as he slipped between the elemental's fingers and flew backwards over the sand. Once out of its reach, his normal form reasserted himself, and the dragonborn hustled towards the wall, pressing himself up against it directly underneath the chained angel.

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Old 03-12-2020, 09:04 PM
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Bellamy grit her teeth as, just as she predicted, Telantes tried to counter her magic from his place in the stands. This time the will of the Matron prevailed and whatever infernal enchantment Radeni's pet tried to weave was bowled over by the half-orc's quickening spell. Then again, Doc managed to maintain her focus when she suffered a blow to her gut from the summoned elemental.

"...Ung!" She grunted, spitting out a glob of blood. Bellamy raised her shield, warding off blows from the elemental as she backed away as far from the box that Telantes sat in as possible. She couldn't be sure she'd have the strength to resist his dispelling another time. Once she was as far as possible from him, she summoned the blood magic and reached for the scythe in the beyond.


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Old 03-13-2020, 03:38 AM
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The Dome of SoulsWith her off hand, Radeni the Cruel rips one of Talia’s blades free from her broad chest and tosses it to the ground. Dark sand pours from the wound to be caught up in the whirlwind that is the dao’s lower half! She stalks closer to the shifter, who looks like a child next to the large genie woman! "You will not survive this," she says grimly as she draws near. "But I will honor my word and send your corpse back to the shadow!" Her last words are shouted as she brings her heavy hammer around in an arc! The stone head of the weapon catches Talia full in the ribs, knocking her bodily from her feet! She falls hard to the side, prone beneath the pitmaster! Radeni brings her hammer up again as the whipping sands spray Talia’s face! The hammer falls, but Talia is just quick enough to roll out of the way as it smashes into the dirt!

Across the arena, the earth elemental groans in rage as Ronda breaks off chunks of stone from its body! At nearly twice Ron’s height, the living mountain swipes at the thug clumsily. But Ron benefits from the speed granted him by Bellamy’s spell, and he easily sidesteps the blow! The monster screams again and sinks into the sand, only to rise up again behind Ron. This time, the man is not fast enough, and a fist of solid rock punches the back of his head!

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The crowd roars their approval as the champions land blows against their mortal prey! The fiendish cheers build in intensity around Telantes as the chained angel stands up and spreads his dark wings! His eyes are locked on Bellamy as she moves to the far side of the arena. Stepping up onto the railing of his viewing box, Telantes floats into the air above the sandy floor of the pit! His shadow passes over Verdigris below him, but he pays the ravenite no mind as he flies toward the half-orc cleric! "There is no refuge! There is no sanctuary!" Telantes alights on top of one of the pillars, twenty feet above the ground. He holds his right arm aloft and a blade of raging fire forms in his hand!

As if in answer, the pillars spew gouts of flame into their midst, igniting the expelled and pooled liquid into a blazing inferno! The heat rolls from it like a solid wave washing over Talia and Ron and it seems to nearly suck the breath from their lungs to feed its hungry flames! From atop his pillar perch, Telantes’ eyes glow red in the reflected light of the fires as his gaze remains fixed on Bellamy. "I bring the wrath of the martyr down on you, priest!"


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Old 03-13-2020, 04:08 AM
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The demon had alighted from its perch and had entered the fray. No rules on the mortal realm would allow a bystander to enter into an ongoing match, but only a fool would expect the devils of this plane to respect such. And Bellamy was no fool. She returned its hateful gaze with defiance, her jaw jut out and glowing red-silver shield raised high as she roared back, "Bring your wrath! I wield the will of the Matron herself itself! Come demon, let us see which is stronger!"

Brave words. The battle did not go so bravely. Talia was downed by the pit master and though she had managed to roll away from Radeni's first blow, Doc did not wish to leave the shifter in such a position for long. Bellamy raced across the sands to Ron's side, her shield raised in defence. "Ron! Leave the rock to me - Talia needs you!" In response to her words, the scythe flew across the sands, its dark blade carving through the shoulder of the elemental as though it were little more than mud. "Go!"


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Old 03-13-2020, 05:04 AM
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Ronald ‘One-Bone’ Devyn
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Although he’s fought many strange things since leaving Stilben with the Knaves, this is the first time Ron fights a living mountain. He manages to evade one enormous fist, but then the elemental surprises him by sinking into the sand, only to emerge behind him and slam the back of Ron’s head.

Luckily the blow hit nothing vital and the enforcer continues battering the monstrous rock, swinging Ronda faster and harder than he’s ever done before. Two out of three attacks hit (one was a critical), doing 41 damageA couple of solid blows connect with the monster, pulverizing stone. It looks far worse than it did before being introduced to Ronda, but it still moves. A few more blows is all it needs.

Dimly, Ron is aware of Doc shouting at him. Something about Talia and leaving the rock to Bellamy. The enforcer doesn’t question the command and sprints away from the elemental. Seizing the opportunity, Attack of opportunity was a critical hit, doing 23 damage, reduced to 11the monster slams Ron’s back as he starts running. The blow could easily have shattered a lesser man’s spine, and sends the thug flying, but it barely slows Ron down. He rolls to his feet and looks for Talia. All he can see is the raging inferno in the center of the arena, and the winged gimp on top of the column.

Although something tells Ron he should remain with Doc and help her kill the stone monster, he is so used to following orders that he doesn’t question leaving his friend alone. Second Wind as bonus action recovers 7 HPAfter catching his breath for a moment he runs around the fire, looking for Talia.

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Old 03-13-2020, 10:09 AM
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Talia
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Talia was now empty handed, and it was probably a good thing for what she saw coming.

The giant maul swung down faster than seemed possible. Talia began moving, but she wasn't fast enough. The first blow feels like she may now have bruised ribs, even as she twists with the blow in mid air. It Uncanny dodge, damage halved to 8.could have been way worse if she hadn't seen the attack coming.
Still, she was off her feet. The twist from the blow continued, her arms going out and then coming back in so she spun faster.
At the last moment she landed with a thud on her chest, her arms and legs barely managing to soften the impact.
She was seeing stars, though her hands were moving in a blur as she curled up into a crouch, shoving her hat back on her head, and then launched herself at Radeni.
She thought to stabbing the monstrous woman and then darting away, but no... she'd go for the kill, even if it took her many tries.

Her first blade went deep, half of the blade's length going in as it slashed deep. She spun with the swing and then scored a vicious blow by embedding her other twin blade deep into Radeni.

As she knew 32 points damage. Unless the Critical should be more.she'd hurt Radeni, she spoke to her in a low voice, so only the Dao could hear. "I may not survive this, you B*tch. But, you'll never forget who the Queen of the Knaves is."



 
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Old 03-13-2020, 11:12 AM
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Verdigris
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Verdigris wracked his mind for something, anything to do in aid of his companions. The earth elemental, and now Radeni's chained pet were converging on Bellamy. It seemed so long ago, their trips into the K'Tawl in search of herbs. Largely silent, each according to their own nature. But somehow, the better for not being alone. In many ways, she was the first of his friends, the first of the Knaves to know the strange dragonman who lurked around the edges of Stilben. And now, when she needed him most, he could do nothing. He had come badly prepared for this fight, ready for the dark, crowded confines of Wrettis instead of this open arena. He could only think of one thing. If Radeni could be defeated... then he could unleash Ron on those who would threaten his friends.

The ravenite's gaze flicked towards Telantes, but the winged figure was fixated on Bellamy. He hated the gods so much, it blinded him to true power. Free of the elemental's reach for now, Verdigris raised Melora's blessing as he had before. The power came quickly to his finger tips, he knew what he was doing this time. The sands swirled once more and the colossal form of his snake ally rose between him and the Dao.

In his heart, he knew it was a twisted mockery of nature's grandeur. But here, in this instant, it was his and he would use it to wreak havoc upon those that would stand opposed to those he held dear. As the gigantic serpent coalesced from the whirling sandstorm, ebon and crimson band lashed out towards its stony prey. For the merest moment, it seemed as if Radeni would once more slip free, but the snake is deceptive. Coils writhed upon coils, until it was hard to tell where its body begin and ended, and which way it was going. The Dao fended off a feint, only to find herself wrapped into yet more snake from behind. Soon she was held firm and Verdigris found Ron and Talia across it's bulk.

"Kill her."

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Old 03-13-2020, 03:26 PM
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Dome of SoulsRadeni grunts and strains with the effort of fighting the gigantic snake as it constricts and tightens around her body! It squeezes tighter and the dao cannot move! She grits her teeth and turns her sight across the battlefield toward Bellamy. She hisses and her words sound like sand falling on stone. "You...gah...cannot...save them all!"

Even as Radeni speaks, the earth elemental rears up to its enormous full height, towering over Bellamy. In a rush of movement she would not have thought possible from something so large, the broken creature of stone slams its arms down on her! The half-orc dodges one blow but the other smacks her full in the chest!

Her vision is blurred from the pain, but Bellamy sees Telantes float down from his perch into the flames. The heat seems not to bother him at all as he strides purposefully toward her, his flaming greatsword held up menacingly! She looks into his eyes and sees the hate! But beneath that, for just an instant, she thinks she also sees pain and shame!

That thought is forgotten as the weapon of the chained angel slices through the air toward her, singing her hair as it passes within inches of her face! Telantes never slows the blade, however, as he spins and steps into the strike, carving a deep, burning arc across Bellamy’s chest! The crowd cheers wildly all around them and the scent of charred flesh fills Doc’s nose!

She nearly falls! That last crippling blow was almost more than she could withstand. But somehow, through the pain and the smoke, her eyes are still open and she still stands...barely.

At the gruesome sight, Radeni laughs, chokingly as her air is cut short by the tightening serpent. She looks back to Ron. "Someone will die here." She coughs. "Shouldn’t it be you?!"

Ron watches in horror as Radeni’s face shifts and warps in the red light. Red light?! Just like...no!! It can’t be! The broad features of Radeni’s face narrow and her dusky skin lightens. Her eyes turn a dim blue and that distinctive lock of hair falls in front of her forehead. Ron’s eyes widen as he looks up into her face! Her...face! Mother!

"Stupid, stupid boy!" It is her voice now, not Radeni’s! "It’s your fault I’m dead! It’s your fault she’s dying! It’s your fault they all died! Get out!" The shrill scream turns from words to a tortured scream of pain as Ron closes his eyes!


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  #45  
Old 03-13-2020, 05:52 PM
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Talia
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Talia notes that Radeni is ignoring her somewhat.

She says, "Bad idea", as she slashes with a blade. The blade glances off the tough exterior of Radeni, and Talia hisses.

She focuses and stabs her other blade into the underbelly of the Dao, damage 34embedding her magical blade to the hilt as she half yells and screams, Leave him alone!"


 
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