The Bad Moon Bar
The watering hole of the worst of the worst, and the baddest of the bad. Located in the Clubs District, The Bad Moon Bar is usually overly full with jostling, boisterous, hair trigger people of all shapes and sizes. There is always a fight going on here, and if there isn't, you better look out-- or else YOU might be the next fight! The rafters are decorated with bloody remains of what appears to be a leprechaun, and the wooden walls are bare save a large, magical brass plaque announcing the fights and the bar rules, and a beautiful portrait of Queen of Hearts. The floor is hard wood, and bare, stained sticky and red with spilled blood. It's surprisingly difficult to get a table here, but that may be because there are very few tables left- they usually get destroyed when they get pulled into the fights.
The newcomers to Wonderland had been shifting about the Halfway house for just over a week when, as promised, the Gryphon returned for them. It had taken quite a bit more of discussion and prodding to get everyone together and moving in the right direction again, but somehow, he was able to do it.
As they all walked down the road towards their destination, Gryphon (who was in human form) briskly briefed them on the situation. "We're headed to the Spades District. It's not far from here. It's a bit rough and tumble, so you'd do well to watch your backs. You'll be needing to do that regardless. I'm taking you to a tavern, known as The Bad Moon Bar. It's- what I believe you would call a 'fight club'. You'll be holding the Impostor Queen's attention while the others members of the resistance perform an important mission. She
won't be there, of course, but she will be watching none the less. Many of you have spoken to wanting to know more about our world, and our situation. This is as good a place as any for you to start learning."
He stopped walking as a small village cropped up on the horizon. It was far from affluent, with a crooked cobbled path running through the center of town, and uneven, muddy roads branching out from it, a number of beaten-down and rough looking individuals trudging through the shadows. Most of those individuals were sporting either birthmarks or tattoos of irregularly shaped spades in various places on their bodies. In the center of the town, there was a pillory which was full. The individuals locked in the pillory mostly lacked the spade marking, though some had vaguely animal traits- hooves or long ears or wings, while others still looked perfectly human. Almost all of them were clearly suffering greatly, with open wounds from whips and worse and severe malnutrition. Those that weren't suffering were dead... some even well on their way to decay. It was not a pleasant sight.
"The Badmoon Bar is at the edge of town. Stay on the path, and you should run right into it. Try not to draw TOO much attention to yourselves. Follow the tavern rules, and for goodness sake, try
to survive? I am-- not welcome, else while I would accompany you. I will try to send in an as soon as I can, but I can make no guarantees. Most of those who are strong enough to be of assistance at the Bad Moon Bar are, as myself, no longer welcome."
Once inside the tavern a number of things became clear, very quickly.
If one wanted to find a wretched hive of scum and villainy, as well as a good drink, they didn’t have to look much farther than the Bad Moon Bar. The worst of the worst in Wonderland seemed to be congregated there. It was mostly standing room only, though there were a few scattered chairs and tables, as well as stools at the bar. As far as decorations went there was a large, brass plaque sporting many different names on it that seemed to magically change from time to time, as well as portrait of a painfully beautiful woman, with small, pointed features. Her eyes were a startling shade of blue, and her golden hair was piled on top of her head into two large buns, that, when combined with her pointed chin, gave her head the silhouette of a heart. It was labeled "Our Glorious Queen, Long May She Reign, Long May She Prosper" and hung behind the bar.
The other decorations were less pleasant. Above the center of the room was hung what appeared to be the remains of a leprechaun. If asked, the bartender would brag about how the fellow was referee to the fights. Or he had been, before the bartender had jumped the referee with a broken glass bottle and carved him up like a turkey. Poor little leprechaun had no chance.
There were also a list of rules posted, though without a referee (and no-one was clamoring for the position anymore, for some reason) they were more like guidelines than real rules.
1. If this is your first night at the Bad Moon Bar, you HAVE to fight.
2. One fight at a time
3. No one interferes with the fights
4. Only two guys to a fight
5. Fights will go on as long as they have to
6. If someone says stop, goes limp, taps out, the fight is over
As if by magic, as the Heroes entered the bar, their names appeared on the brass plaque, next to the name of the person who, apparently they would be fighting. Most of the names were too ridiculous to believe...
Remy - The Kraken ((a large, elephant sized chicken))
Lyanth - Contrary Mary (( a petite little girl with ringlet curls, one pocket full of dirt, and another full of seeds ))
Yalaa - Godzilla ((A smaller than average Jabberspawn))
Jake - Mama Snookums ((A little old lady with nine cats))
Soren - Killer Captain (( A former knight from the Chess kingdom ))
Jamie - Big John ((A large grumpy teddy bear))
As soon as each hero read their names, the plaques changed. Now, they listed each hero with a stage name, much as, one would assume, their opponents were using. Some turned out better than others, without a doubt. The fighting area itself was simply a large, open space that imperatively slowly drifted floor, fenced in only by the cheering and jeering spectators. The floor was hardwood, and stained with... well. Blood at least. As the cleaning crew picked up the remains of the last two fighters, they began to announce the next fight.
Jamie would have desperately like to have some words with whomever signed him up for all this madness. It was only the fact that he was pretty sure he would be stabbed to death if he lost consciousness that was keeping him from fainting. He was NOT A FIGHTER. He didn't know HOW to fight. And yet- here he was. It was madness. Pure and simple.
Edging forward somewhat he scanned the plaques for his name, feeling sort of sick to his stomach. "Big John?" He mouthed, as he found his name, and by extension, his opponent. He looked back, to be sure that he had found his name; he certainly didn't want to go up against "big" anyone! However, when he looked back, his name was no longer there. Instead, it had shifted to read:
Angel Face and the Choir
"What?" He muttered, searching over the names again, without much luck. He had a sinking feeling that he was now "Angel Face."
This place looked like it was going to be fun. Remy had spent many a nights in similar bars, ones where you always had to keep one eye looking over your shoulder to prevent a knife in your ribs. It would had been better if he had his own team he trusted to watch his back, but it was places like this which always held the best chances to get information, and normally the strongest of drinks. Hell, with some of the patrons of this bar he wondered what exactly was being brewed in this tavern to keep its customers all comfortably liquored up.
Clapping a hand on Jamie’s shoulder he followed the boy’s attention to his name change, giving a low whistle at what replaced it. “Well, could have been worse homme
, not sure how, but could be.” His eyes moving to try and spot what the magical plaques had come up for him.
One of his brows rose as he read the name replacement. Really? He had expected his normal ‘nickname’, Le Diable Blanc
, not... whatever this meant. Well... he had a guess what it meant, but he preferred the term ‘ladies man’. However, stealing was what he did, so he shrugged it off.
When Remy clapped Jamie on the shoulder, it was all he could do to keep from duping. In fact, he almost did, jumping about a foot, his image blurring slightly as there was temporarily two of him, but he managed to pull it back in before landing. He gasped. He had never done that before. But then again- he had never been shoved into Murder Bar to pick a fight with anyone either.
"Ahhoh. Oh. Yeah. Thanks." He panted, his voice tense, as his eyes glanced around. "...I'm going to die, aren't I?" He had only barely managed to leave his 'twin' back at the house, by faking injury. He was now unbelievably glad he had done that. At least one of him would survive the evening.
Soren had become still and completely silent upon entering the bar. He didn't seem affected by the sights, but since the others knew he wouldn't show an emotional reaction, it wouldn't have come as a surprise. He did pause long enough to look around for Jake, wanting to stick close to the bigger man. It was easier to connect his small form to someone else's. His eyes traveled over the plaques and he spotted where his name was. A blink later, and his name was gone. In its place was one of the most ridiculous monikers he had ever read.
Never in his life had he danced. And now, seeing himself named as such, his frown was firmly in place. It simply made no sense. His mood was quickly darkening, and Soren's fingers went to the edge of his book pouch even as he moved closer to Jake, a firm scowl on his face.
Jake put a hand on Soren's shoulder as the boy inched closer to him, meaning it to be a comforting touch, he cleared his throat. "Well, now. Ain't this just, uh, " he floundered, searching for a word or phrase to describe the bar, and finding nothing that wasn't overly rude. "Uh... somethin'," he finially finished. Peering over the heads of some of the others, and keeping Soren close, he squinted at the placards in an attempt to read them. Being mostly illiterate, situations like these, full of random, unfamiliar, and apparently changing words did him no favors. Luckily, he was familiar with how his own name looked, and was able to pick it out from the jumble of letters after some hunting. He frowned though, as it changed, resorting itself into his stage name.
Skip Loup Garou
After a few muttered attempts under his breath to figure his new name out, he gave up, looking instead to see who his opponent would be. 'Mama' was easy enough to figure out, and he started looking around for someone who might fit that description. "How you doin', Soren? You holdin' up?" The other boy, Jamie, looked like he wanted to faint, but Soren had more the look of a porkupine with a short fuse.
Unlike if someone else had touched him, Soren didn't flinch away from the hand that rested on his shoulder. Jake was only the second person in the history of people that Soren allowed to touch him at all ever. "It is barbaric," he said under his breath in response to Jake's comment. Looking over and up at the shifter, Soren blinked a few times and followed the man's gaze to the name plate. "Skip Loup Garou?" he asked, his nose wrinkling. "Are these names supposed to be some sort of elaborate prank?"
It was clear that Soren didn't find this place entertaining. "I do not want to remain here," came his final proclamation and decision. "However it seems we have little choice." Taking one last look at the board with the plaques, he let a sigh out of his nose and waited for Jake to decide where would be the best to head to in this worst than questionable place.
"I think y'got the right idea. Hangin' out around here seems like a bad idea, t'me. " He hunched his shoulders, being jostled by the drunken crowd around them. "That Gryphon fellow seemed pretty sure we should stay here, but I can't see as how anyone would miss us, if we just slipped out." Jake was unaware of the rules of the bar, having not read them. "If this is what the rest of this world is like," he muttered, "I can't see as how anyone'd want to save it."
Well this inn was certainly... interesting, and sadly it was the closest thing that felt like Azaroth to Yalaa, bar the copy of her room back at the house. This mix of individuals trying to drown their sorrows with alcohol wasn't too far away from some Drawf inns she had been to in the past, however she couldn't help but keep an eye over her shoulder, feeling like she had been thrown into a group of rogues. "Tasteful..." She sneered as her hooves clattered against the flooring with each step. Since this was a quest, more or less, she was of course in her armour, and felt very out of place for it. Too much light and shine compared to the scummy darkness of the surroundings.
The inclusion of her name with the rest of her party drew her attention, and she watched as it transformed in front of her eyes to her new nickname.
A sigh and snarl curled out of her lips at the replacement, feeling like she was the butt of some bad joke. It was a common term used for her kind, thanks to their arrival via a space craft on Azeroth, and the fact Draenei walked on hooves. Yalaa supposed it could be worse, but her pride had rather hoped she would had been linked to something more noble; her path as a Paladin, or a messenger of the Light, or the Alliance.
"I be sure ya can look after yaself." Remy hadn't said anything in the past week, but he had his suspicions of who exactly Jamie Madrox was. There was just too many similarities for him not to be the same boy that was a resident at Xavier's, or at least an older, alternative dimension version of the mutant boy. Jamie's 'twin' just reinforced this, the copy just too perfect, too similar. "Everyone got a hidden talent in them, hein
?" He would keep prodding at it, seeing what he could get out of Jamie without coming right out and asking if he was a mutant, but he would eat his non-existent hat if he was wrong about this.
"Since I am uncertain how these battles work, slipping out may be a poor decision," Soren said quietly as he looked around for someone in charge. There were so many question he had as far as how these things worked. "I highly doubt the remainder of the lands are like this. Our house, for example, is nothing like this. But we are mostly civilized." Spotting the main bar, Soren looked over the area for someone maybe serving drinks. But he didn't move from where he was standing.
Behind the bar was a large, grizzled man with only one eye, and more beard than he could know what to do with. 'Cleaning' glasses with a greasy rag that did nothing more than move dirt around and chatting with individuals leaning or seated at the bar, he occasionally paused in this activity to pour a drink, or fill a barmaid's order.
Jake shook his head. "I dunno. Not knowing how something works seems like a might good reason to not get involved." His own eyes were trained on the fight currently going on in the ring, between a bald, heavily tattooed woman and a professor in cap and gown but with no face. Both appeared to be fighting with magic, though the woman had the advantage currently, as she was also using her fists. "I'm really glad we're-- mostly
Jamie fidgeted nervously. This Gambit fellow made him nervous. He acted like he knew
about Jamie, and NO ONE was supposed to know that. How could he know? What had Jamie done to tip him off? It was just one more thing making Jamie eternally nervous, lately. "Not everyone. Not me. No talents here, just- fear. A lot of fear. Is fear a talent? Because if it is, I have that in spades."
Lyanth finally leaned in around the crowd. Even though Paladin Yalaa had been kind enough to duel with her over the past two days, she was still not confidant in her abilities again. She may have finally learned a single healing spell, but that might not be helpful in this situation at all. With a silent sigh, she glanced over the board. Her name swiftly changed to McShorts-alot
which only concerned her further. She didn't understand this new name, and that unsettled her even more than the unpleasant bar she was standing in. The smell alone made her want to want to give up on this quest. But she forced herself to take a deep breath of the filth-laden air, and to focus her frustration to the task at hand.
"Jamie, everyone has a useful talent, even if they themselves don't know it. Perhaps the best way to find out is to try? Giving up on yourself certainly isn't going to help the cause." She looked down on him, staring into his eyes, willing the beast within her to share its courage and strength. "I will go first, and demonstrate how it is done, should I have any say in the order in which we duel."
Jamie looked sidelong and a bit mournfully over at Lyanth. True, she wasn't as terrifying as Yalaa, but she was still intimidating. "Honestly... if my talent is something that's going to be the sort of thing I discover here
, I'm not sure if I want it."
A nearby patron, almost as tall as Lyanth but much wider, guffawed loudly, spraying some of his drink on other patrons, drops and foam clinging to his navy-blue beard. "You're gonna show us how it's done then, lass? Well get into the ring! No time like the present, you know!" Indeed, the previous fight seemed to have ended, the loser being dragged off for who knows what nefarious reasons, the winner swaggering over to the bar for a victory drink.
"I really just want to get this over with and go," Soren said as he approached the bar slowly, looking at the man behind it. This man would probably not take him seriously because of his diminutive size, but Soren's face was hard and his eyes harder as he looked at the bartender. "Do we just...go at it when we are ready to take part?" Soren asked the man, his voice cold. "Or do we have to wait?" His distaste for this place was obvious by his refusal to even be civil enough to wait for the man to turn to him and his avoidance of touching anything.
The bartender's good eye, slid over, looking Soren over acres of beard. Turning fully to face him, he snorted, then laughed, a full round laugh, though one might feel he was laughing at them, not with them from the tone of it. "Read the rules, boyo. One fight at a time." He grinned. What he lacked in a full set of eyes, he seemed to make up for by having far too many teeth, and not a one of them unstained or straight. He nodded at the ring, a glint in his eye. "Last fight just ended, if you're eager, I'd be more than happy to help you into the ring."
Jake was sticking close to Soren, not liking this crowd. When Soren headed for the bar, Jake followed suit, not wanting any in their group to be left alone, if he could help it. "I don't know we should be in such a hurry t'fight..." he muttered to Soren.
Bristling a bit at the bartender's comment, Soren shook his head. "I did read. It said nothing about a fighting order, so I wanted clarification." Without thanking the bartender for his less than helpful answer, Soren turned back to Jake and shook his head. "The sooner this is over with, the less time forcibly spent in this establishment." He looked over at the ring where the fighters were finishing up their bought and wondered vaguely if he could actually withstand any sort of fight. He did well enough back home, but this wasn't home. "I will go now. And hopefully you will not be required to carry me out."
"There ya go," Remy gave Jamie a smile as he raised a hand to motion to Lyanth. "Can watch 'n learn from the fille here." Stepping back from the boy, not too worried about leaving him alone in the bar as he headed for the bar itself. Remy was sure he could make his way back in a hurry if Jamie got in trouble, or the boy could multiple enough to save his own skin, provided he held his nerve against anyone trying to bully him. Pushing his way through the crowd, casting an eye in Jake and Soren's direction, Remy motioned for the bar keeper. "What ya got that's good?" Well, 'good' might be an over statement, but something was keeping the crowd placid here, so had to be something with enough kick to entertain these type of folks.
Eyeing the rules that hung from the wall, Yalaa barely nodded as Lyanth volunteered to go first, before showing more attention and offering her support. "Fight vell." She wasn't a big fan of arena type fighting, but had done her fair share during her time in Northrend, surely it wouldn't be that different. She was confident she could take on most things thrown her way, but questioned why such an event was important to their main goal. Oh well, was better than being sent out to collect items repeatedly. However, Yalaa was concerned for the younger members of the group, actually, she was concerned for all of them, still not a hundred percent sure of what they were capable of. Hopefully they would have no major injuries or casualties from this night...
The bartenders mocking guffaws followed Soren and Jake as they left the area of the bar. "Are we really being forced here, though? I mean- I know what that Gr--" Jake paused, remembering what the Gryphon had said about being 'not welcome' here. "I know what we were told," He continued on in a lower voice, "but I don't always do as I'm told. And- ah-- what are these rules then?" If he was going to be here, it might be good for his health to know them.
"Are we really doing this? I mean- Really?!" Jamie glanced between the two tall women. You could get killed out there!" He gestured to the ring, which was currently empty, but surely wouldn't remain so for long. "This is crazy. What possible point could this have?!"
The bartender was still laughing when Remy pulled up. Choking back on his laughter a bit, he gave Remy a bit of an up nod. "'Good' be in the eye of the beholder. But for a pretty-faced boyyo like yourself, I might recommend a spot of the Hatter's Tea." The name certainly was innocuous, but the tone with which he said it indicated that he was looking forward to watching Remy try and drink it.
"Well, not all of us can be as rugged 'n robust as ya, hein?" The bartender's attitude wasn't anything of concern for Remy, god knows those types were found in every world, but they were also the right people to get information from, and they were on a mission after all. "Tea? It come with lemon or milk?" He added his own smirk to the comment, taking the time to brush past a patron as they wobbled around the bar, pocketing the man's money and letting it vanish inside his own coat. If you were going to do business, had to have the coin to back it up, and Remy was guessing good old American dollars were not going to work in this place.
Soren walked right over to the board where the rules were hanging. "Would you like me to read them?" he asked quietly, uncertain if Jake wanted it known that he wasn't the most literate person. Looking over at the shifter, Soren's face wasn't even the least bit expressive as he awaited an answer. Really, he was strategizing for each of the people in the bar, should they be the one he was supposed to face. He couldn't beat anyone in a physical confrontation, so he was mostly calculating the odds of his spells actually working here.
"It can, it can," the bartender nodded, sizing Remy up with his good eye. "Course. Thems cost extra." He let loose with his overly toothy grin once more, leaning on the counter with both hands. "So what'll it be, then. A nice cuppa the Hatter's Tea?"
Jake didn't generally like to broadcast his illiteracy, but he had never been one to hide it exactly, either. He wasn't proud of it, by any stretch of the imagination, but there was no sense in lying about it. Unfortunately, the last person who had tried to teach him to read had ended up dead, which had sort of put a bit of a damper on the lessons. "Please, if'n you don't mind," he responded to Soren's offer, equally quietly. He was worried about Soren in this place. Yeah, the kid had that magic book, or whatever it was, but this still hardly seemed the place for him- or for that other kid Jamie. It was hardly a place for any of them, really.
She wasn't sure if Lyanth was hesitant due to the crowds' banter at her, or if she needed extra time to prepare herself, but the longer Yalaa thought about it, the worst the idea seemed to send the woman in first. She wasn't even armed! Let along still learning to adapt since her own powers had left her in this world. It was better she, a tank, a paladin, took first place in the ring. Hopefully the rest of the group would get an understanding of how the fights worked here by watching her, and learning from any mistake she may make.
Placing a hand on Lyanth's shoulder, Yalaa offered a smile. "Let me take first round, varm it up for you." Before she stepped into the ring and looked around for her opponent. "Let us begin diz!"
Well, his joking was giving him no extra information regarding what the hell 'Hatter's Tea' even was, so Remy dropped the act and decided on the direct route. "This drink actually be alcoholic? Don't really expect actual tea to be in such a settin'." Well, mostly dropped the humour. "Not that ya establishment not be a first class venue."
Soren nodded and read the rules in quick succession, watching Jake's face as he did so. "If this is your first night at the Bad Moon Bar, you HAVE to fight. I guess that's why we all have a fight. One fight at a time. No one interferes with the fights. Meaning no help from the audience I suppose. Only two guys to a fight. Fights will go on as long as they have to. If someone says stop, goes limp, taps out, the fight is over." He turned fully to face Jake again, his face clouding over slightly. "I am certain that at least one of our...acquaintances...will require medical attention before the end of the night."
Jake frowned. "I do recon you're right. What's t'stop us from, say, steppin' in the ring, and then just automatically sayin' stop? Pride? cause I can tell you right now, I don't got near enough pride for somethin' like that."
"You can try it, sonny," A nearby woman spoke up, apparently listening in on their conversation. She seemed to be overall very damp, as if someone had just dumped a bucket of water on her, and had a peg leg. More noticeable, however, was her head, which seemed to be made out of some sort of living wood. "Better than you have tried it in the past. It usually stirs up the crowd into a mob. Bartender loves it, dear, gives him an excuse to get out from behind the bar and really split heads and spill guts." She cackled to herself.
"We have 'actual' tea, if that's what you're after. The Hatter's Tea be made of much stronger stuff. 'ere." He produced a cup from somewhere under the bar top. It was shaped like a tea cup, though much larger, and muddy green in colour, with yellowish piping around the edges. There was also a mechanical eyeball imbedded in the side of the cup, turning and glancing about the room. A teapot was then produced, from the same set as the cup, judging by the colour and similar eye-motif. The liquid poured into the cup was a bright, caustic orange, and looked ever so slightly fizzy. Putting the cup into a saucer, the bartender passed it over to Remy. "That'll be five binds"
Very quickly, as soon as Yalaa stepped into the ring, her opponent showed himself. It was unclear where, exactly, he (or she, potentially. It was not exactly clear) had been sitting before Yalaa's call, but he wasn't about to ignore a call to battle.
After all. He was hungry. And bar nuts weren't exactly filling.
Cutting easily through the crowd, it hopped into the ring. Godzilla was what the locals called a Jabberspawn- a special breed of mindless dragon. Fortunately for Yalaa, Godzilla was smaller than average, being only about 5'6" or so. Unfortunately for Yalaa, this particular Jabberspawn seemed to have traded in its size to have a higher than usual intelligence.
He seemed to be made up made up mostly of legs and mouth. It's body was like a tube, with a long tail out back for balance. The other end opened into a gaping maw, full of row after row of nasty looking teeth pushing up against one another as if fighting for the best position. On top of it's head, instead of eyes or ears or a nose, there were a handful of horns, that looked not unlike volcanoes atop its head. Somewhere in the middle of it's body, it's legs protruded, rising up out of it's back towards the celing, before meeting the knee joint and bending down towards the floor. It's feet were large, and heavy, probably to help with balance as well. They also sported some nasty looking claws, and, if one looked very closely, the creatures eyes.
He roared back in response to Yalaa, and, without waiting for any further notice, it shot a blast of blue-white lightning square at Yalaa's chest from deep within it's mouth, small sparks emitting from the volcano-like horns on top of its head as it did. (( a Jabberspawn, for those who are unfamiliar: http://www.flickr.com/photos/americanmcgee/215854058/ ))
A dragonkin? Well, that shouldn't be too hard, at least at this size. But they were tricky beasts, capable of magic and with hard hides, and apparently fire for this one. Being hit by fire was never fun, and while Yalaa's armour could take the brunt of the force, it quickly flared up around her face and sent her wheeling backwards onto the floor. Dropping back heavily onto her backside, a hand falling back to brace against the floor, she barked out a cry of pain before a flare of light sprang above her forehead, calling on her Gift of the Naaru to heal what the fire had done to her.
As the burning subsided and her skin smoothed out from the scorch marks left by the attack, she lifted herself back to her feet, towering over the beast. It was a poor move by her part, she should had expected more. Swinging her tail up around her body, she snatched her helm from its place at her belt, taking it in hand and forcing it quickly over her horns to cover her head.
Those teeth the dragonkin sported were nasty, but if it wanted something to chew on, she would give it something. Dragging the shield from her back and clasping it tightly in hand, Yalaa leaped forward, planting herself solidly against the ground before throwing her full weight behind the shield, aimed directly at the beasts head, trying to throw it off balance as her other hand gripped her mace, pulling it from her belt. As her shield dropped away, she continued her momentum, bringing the mace against the same side of the head as her shield had landed. Lets see it get up after that.
Was he really going to do this? Drink a totally unknown drink, without having any idea what it may do to him. Remember that time you drunk that stuff you had no idea what it was in Egypt? No? That's why! Woke up two days later in Turkey! Remy's brain had a point, it was a stupid move. Yet this was now a matter of pride too, after all the BS trying to get a drink out of the bar tender, he would really hate to lose face so early into the game. The fact the cup was glaring at him too also put Remy on edge a little, not that he let it show.
Pride won out, along with curiosity. Hell, the drink could be good! Or kill him. Either way, it was going to be interesting, and damn if Remy didn't mind living life on the edge. Pulling out some random coins from the pouch he pocketed, he placed them on the bar top, assuming it would be the right amount before taking hold of the cup. "To ya beauty, mon good man." If he was going to die from alcohol poisoning, may as well go out with a joke. Raising the cup Remy took a decent mouthful, he talked it up, may as well back it up with a decent first drink to go along with it.
Godzilla's teeth scratched horribly against Yalaa's shield, sparking and making a wretched noise. His feet went wide, bracing back against her, and trying to work his's circular mouth to an edge of her shield, wanting to eat it. As he did, he shot that same blue-white lighting out of his mouth, point-blank, at Yalaa's shield, lighting it up with electricity.
This didn't last long, however, as Yalaa's mace connected squarely with the side of his head, causing the ugly creature to stumble awkwardly sideways, his long jointed legs tangling with one another, causing him to trip, landing heavily on the ground with an impacting grunt.
The bartender swept all of Remy's coins off the counter and spirited them away, either into some unseen till or into his pockets. Either way, the coins were gone, and no change was offered back. Between the Bartender's one good eye, and the single eye in the cup, Remy might feel very watched. For his part, the Bartender just guffawed again at Remy's toast, finding it in good humor. "You're too kind. Enjoy, boyyo! An' do let me know, when you're needin' another."
For it's part, the drink tasted somewhat of limes, somewhat of duck, and somewhat of mud. It was very slightly viscous, like drinking medicine, and the fizzing bubbles could threaten to make the drink go up one's nose. It did lack that very specific taste of alcohol. Given time, however, Remy would soon start to feel the effects of the drink...
Standing just beyond the ring and the crowd around it, Lyanth hung back by the young hume Jamie. While indeed she had been very eager to fight, there was something about the boy that held her back. As much as she tried to encourage him and show him that he was powerful, the amount of fear in his tiny body was overwhelming to her. It reminded her of the stories her hume friend told her of visiting San D'Oria as a child, how they were mistreated and run out of the city. She had never wanted to believe it when she was younger, but as she had traveled Vana'diel, she came to the realization that it was all true. This child needed her protection and encouragement, even if he feared her. Almost particularly so.
So when Paladin Yalaa stepped into the ring, she had nodded her assent. Raveen would have been proud of Lyanth, not jumping in before the others were ready. And honestly, it was spectacular to watch Yalaa work. The Paladin was certainly not holding back at all, compared to when they had "dueled". While she had learned that healing spell, Lyanth had learned nothing of Yalaa's power. And each sickening thud of the mace taught her more.
Lyanth loved learning new things.
Well, that was down right disgusting, however Remy took another mouthful of the drink, just to double check his first reaction. Yep, one of the worst drinks he had ever drunk, and it didn't even feel like there was any alcohol in it! What a waste. This clearly was not his type of drink. Placing the cup back onto the bench top, he wiped the remains of the drink from the corner of his mouth with his thumb. "Ain't worth it."
Leaving it behind him as he headed back to rejoin the group. Remy wanted to check on what was happening, yet he would be back to the bar. Bar staff was generally a great source of information, and who knew what he might be able to get out of the bartender, other than horrible drinks. Strolling up to to Jake and Soren, he raised a brow as he watched the giant purple goat-lady in the middle of the ring, but spoke to the two. "So, ya be up next?"
A jolt of triumph when through Yalaa as the Godzilla hit the floor after only two hits, surprised at how easy the dragonkin went down. However, as it switched its abilities from fire to lightning, the bolt flared up around her shield and bit into her arm. She wheeled back as the muscles in her arm refused to obey her command, and her shield fell from her hand and landed with a very heavy 'THUD' against the ring. Gritting her teeth as the pain flared up over her chest and down her torso, Yalaa stood semi-unsteadily on her hooves, looking down at the fallen Jabberspawn.
"Stay down Dragonkin, I don't believe diz iz your fight to vin." She still had one arm in use, and hadn't even tapped into her own magic bar her healing, so Yalaa was confident that victory would be hers.
Jamie had the poker-face of an especially expressive puppy. He flinched, jumped, and tensed up as he observed the blows being exchanged in Yalaa's battle. His large blue eyes fixated on the battle going on, he seemed to be muttering under his breath, "... gonna get herself killed... this is insane! Oh God, look out for the- Ahh...!" His hands nervously played with one another, as the crowed jostled and cheered around them, and he unconsciously moved closer to Lyanth.
Godzilla's legs kicked, somewhat uselessly, somewhat stunned by Yalaa's heavy mace hit, his horns sparking uselessly, as he tried to get his bearings. Growling, he somehow managed to get his feet under him, pulling his tubular body to the side, and popping back up to his feet with a screeching roar. There was a very dark red, almost black blood rolling down the side of his head-area, from where it had been hit. He gnashed his horrible teeth in her direction, his tail whipping angrily. So long as he had consciousness, he would continue his attempts to eat Yalaa. Crouching, he prepared for a leaping attack, building energy in his powerful legs, before springing across the ring at her, firing more bolts of electricity as he did.
Jake glanced at Remy, as he re-appeared next to him. "I'd druther not, if'n we can help it. Not all of us're fighters. Or should have t'fight. I'm still not clear what we're even doin' here." He shrugged his shoulders, slumping slightly. Learning about the world, distracting someone who wasn't even here-- he didn't like any of it.
You did not veally think it vould be dat easy, no? Well, Yalaa hoped it would be, but as Godzilla managed to kick itself back to its feet, she sighed in her helmet and tightened her grip on her mace. It was like fighting a stubborn animal, easy to destroy but she had no desire to kill it, yet it would keep coming after her in a stupid manner, not realizing that she could easily crush its skull in. Maybe she didn't have to hit it, just stop it.
Dodging out of the way of Godzilla's lightning bolts, and raising her mace above her head into the air, she swung it down in front of her. It wasn't aimed to hit Godzilla, instead a motion to active her Hammer of Justice and to stun the poor beast long enough to easily end the fight. While she was use to a transparent energy version of an ornate hammer appearing above her enemies' head when she used it, Yalaa was shocked to see an actual physical hammer appear out of thin air and 'bonk' Godzilla square on his head.
This was most unusual.
If it was unusual for Yalaa, then it was extraodinarily peculiar for Godzilla, as it snapped it's jaws, sliding to a halt where Yalaa had previously been standing. It whipped it's head around, it's tail cracking through the air behind it, turning to face Yalaa once more, just in time to be conked on the head by the sudden hammer. It swayed on it's feet, first one way, then the other, clearly very stunned by the attack.
Soren was looking back and forth between the match and Jake and Remy. Although he didn't say it, he was planning on stepping up and going next. He needed to get this out of the way. Whether that meant fighting some unknown creature or attempting to get away from one was yet to be determined. But Soren was perfectly aware of his own limitations and abilities. He actually gave Jake a somewhat apologetic look as he slid a step closer to the battle ring, one hand spasmodically stroking the book satchel at his side, knowing that the last time he had gotten into a one on one fight someone had to step in and bail him out when he got in over his head.
Grinning behind her face mask, Lyanth's eyes followed the staggering creature. It seemed Yalaa would finish it quickly, as it appeared to Lyanth that the Paladin wasn't one to show off. Which was good, as the beast inside her was itching for blood.
"Don't look like ya got a choice in the matter, all got to fight first time up, hein?" Remy grinned as he watched their first 'hero' smack the merde out of the lizard thing. The hammer appearing from mid air just made it all that more comedic, but didn't explain why there was a bunch of fuzzy, glowing lines now coming from Godzilla's head. Had he just fallen into a cartoon or something? Not knowing he was the only one seeing these lines, Remy did question why the ring was moving in front of him, its surface starting to create a wave-like motion of water. Closing one eye so to focus his vision through one didn't stop this, nor did it when he switched eyes. Neither of the other two seemed to have noticed it... what was in that drink?!
Yalaa's stunned form was struck still, almost echoing Godzilla' state, minus the wavering motion. That was not suppose to happen, at least not in that manner. Shaking it off, and cursing the time she had lost staring at the dragonkin, she swung her mace upwards, acting as an upper cut to smack the Jabberspawn off its feet and flat onto its back again. Stepping over it and raised her mace high once more, she aimed to bring it down on the underside of its jaw, hopefully knocking it out for the rest of the round.
Godzilla arched through the air, landing with his nasty clawed feet sticking up, looking not unlike a stickbug on it's back, with the way those long jointed limbs stuck up. There was a sickening ~CRUNCH~ as her mace came down on his jaw, and his entire body went limp, blood trickling out of it's mouth.
It was unclear if he was dead, or just unconscious.
Either way, the crowd surged forward, to congratulate Yalaa with cheers and slaps on the back, while many sticky fingers went to pull Godzilla out of the ring, his body quickly disappearing into the crowd.
Yalaa's mace-tacular execution of the dragon-thing left Jamie of two frames of mind. One- Thank GOD that dragon-thing was dead. Two-what if Yalaa did that mace thing to HIM. He gagged slightly, as his stomach rolled, and did his best not to throw up.
Jake was uncertain what Soren's look meant, not quite able to read his look while so much was going on. He glanced back and forth, uncertain of which to worry about-- Soren moving closer to the ring, or Remy's suddenly dilating eyes. "Uhh..."
In the end, he was pretty sure Remy could take care of himself, so he moved after Soren. Remy could certainly keep up, they weren't going far at all. "Soren, where y'going?"
"It appears that the ring is now open for the next...competitor," Soren said, not looking back at Jake as he made it to the edge of the ring. He turned his head so he could see the man out of the corner of his eye and nodded. "The worst that can happen is that someone will have to drag me out of that ring again, correct? So by that deduction, I should be fine."
With that said, he stepped up into the ring, watching for his opponent or for someone to stop him. Since those gathered, with the exception of his small group, seemed eager to see the newcomers fight, no one was really going to say anything. Unless they thought him a child...again.
While she was not intending to kill Godzilla, Yalaa was glad the fight was over. Accepting the congratulations from the crowd with a nod of her head, she allowed a spark of light to brush down her form, taking away the ill effects that the dragonkin's lightning had done to her, before moving to pick up her shield. She had no fear that it would be stolen and vanish into the crowd, it was bound to her very soul and would not work for anyone bar her, and be useless as scrap metal. Stepping down from the ring, she replaced her mace on her hip and her shield on her back, moving to slip her helmet off, letting it vanish into one of her bags. Rejoining half of their group, she frowned as she tried to see what happened to her opponent. "I hope I did not kill it, it vas not my intent."
The crowed shifted imperceptibly, as Yalla moved away from her fight. It now surrounded Soren. For a moment, he was alone in the center of the crowd, faces all around but none near by. Then, one side of the crowd shifted, as a tall, sturdy looking man stepped into the ring. Everything about him from his skin, to his eyes, to even his clothing, was jet black, and slightly shiny, like well polished stone. He wore very little armor, almost as if he had lost the full set, and was putting it back on as he found the pieces. He also carried a large, rather nasty looking broadsword. The blade was very basic, long and made of that same black stone he was, while the hilt was decorative, ending with the carved head of a screaming horse.
The Killer Captain bowed low to Soren, before adjusting his posture into a fighting stance, sword at the ready and aimed towards his opponent, waiting on his attack.
"I'm- I'm not sure if it was dead when you left the ring, but it may be soon," Jamie stammered at her, still too busy trying to see where the little dragon was dragged to, to notice Soren and his opponent in the ring. If he was noticing this, he would feel a sting on his pride, that this guy, this other kid was getting in the ring of his own freewill. Jamie was nowhere near so brave or manly.
"Zelgius," Soren muttered under his breath. This wasn't a killer captain, this was a black knight, reminding him of the general who had killed his adoptive father figure during the start of the war. His eyes narrowed and he pulled his tome from the pouch, letting it fall open. This man...thing...was big, and looked to rely on physical strength. Soren was just the opposite. He leveled his gaze on the knight and began his spell casting, hoping that the winds would be in his favor this time.
Before Lyanth had even a chance to step past the crowd toward the ring, the young Hume Mage was staring down his opponent. Instead, she nodded toward the Paladin.
"You did what you could, but I have a feeling this world is better without that creature in it."
As Jake rushed after Soren, Remy was still trying to piece together what that drink was making him see, and what was reality. It was rather difficult, especially considering the mixture of creatures inside the bar, although he was pretty sure the one who's head turned into a balloon animal and was floating towards the ceiling was not real... Following casually behind Jake, he spoke up as Soren stepped into the ring. "Ah, he be fine. Even if the boy hits the deck, we be close enough to pull him out, non?" He suddenly squinted at Jake, as if the man had something on his face.
As Soren began his spell casting, the Killer Captain made his move. Silently, he darted across the ring, sword raised over his head with both hands, intending to bring it smashing down on his small opponent's head. Or, failing that, perhaps chop the book in two. He didn't kow what the book was for, but it was in the ring, so that likely made it a weapon of some sort.
"Oui, but I'd really druther we didn't have to." Jake temporarily adopted Remy's Cajun, in place of his own Appalachian. He then did a double take. "Uh-- you know one'a your eyes is all-- dilated? An' the other's a pin-prick?" It was hard not to notice with the red-on-black look Remy sported.
There was nothing new to this. The larger opponent did exactly what Soren had expected. So the lithe spellcaster expertly ducked and turned a quick circle, eyes never leaving the page he was casting from. His robes flared outward for a moment as his feet brought him to a safe place just as he finished his spell. The force of the winds that hit almost sent him backwards as a being made of air appeared.
This one appeared angry, much angrier than the first did. And his features, barely held together by whatever force he was made of, contorted in rage as he saw the knight. He didn't even look towards Soren or ask for orders before rushing towards the knight, a chill filling the air of the bar as he hit the sword wielder with full force.
Lyanth's words were some comfort, as Yalaa watched Soren enter the ring. She didn't doubt his abilities, the Light knows if he was anything like any of the magic wielders from her world, he could hold his own. The fact he had elements at his call would not doubt aid in distracting his opponent as he could cast more spell. "Good vork, Zoren!" She called in support, able to appreciate Soren's ability to dodge out of the way. Strength, she had found, was indeed a great tool, but you had to be able to hit your target to make it count.
"You know ya be having a ghost wolf head over ya?" Remy shot back a little snidely to Jake, rather unconcerned, or not registering, what he said.
Stone-faced, Killer Captain felt an icy hit from a new attacker. Turning, he stepped to the side to asses this new foe. With a glance he deemed this a champion summoned by the boy, possibly through the book. Drawing his blade up, he decided to ignore the cold aching blow dealt him, and cut down the wraith first. Even if this injury were to persist, the boy should not take much effort to dispatch. With that, he lunged straight ahead at the champion.
The air god actually let out a wisp of a laugh as the knight attempted to lunge. He dispersed then reappeared off to the left, directly in front of where Soren stood. The archsage watched wide eyed before flipping to the back of the book, starting his second chant, this one a fire spell. The air god dove right back into the fight, his transparent form taking on a red hue as he swiped a hand at the knight, icy air spreading out from the ring and starting to chill even the spectators.
Gasping oh so slightly behind her face mask, Lyanth watched Killer Captain attack the summoning with little success. As she stepped closer to the ring, she felt the temperature drop, even as her heart raced. A small mage versus a larger warrior were never odds she liked. In her world at least, magic usually won.
It seemed impolite to him to laugh at one's enemies, but Killer Captain could not expect others to be as professional as he. Handily adjusting his grip, he flipped his sword around so as to block the brunt of the champion's attack. The wave of cold that followed did nothing to dull the pain of his wound. Taking a step to the right, Killer Captain hear the boy begin to chant. This would not do at all.
Charging forward again at the champion, Killer Captain was counting on one of two things happening: the champion would remain solid and take the brunt of the attack, or would dissipate like before and allow him close enough to knock the book out of the boy's hands with the tip of his blade. Either eventuality would suit him just fine.
A thin layer of ice was forming on anything the air god touched. That included the sword as it came in contact with his attack. When the knight charged, the god dissipated again, and Soren looked up just in time to see the blade headed right for his book, the one thing he never let get damaged, the most important thing in his life apart from his very closest friends.
Soren reacted quickly, pulling the book close and putting up his hand. Just as the tip of the blade struck his hand, drawing dark, inhuman blood, fire erupted from his hand, caught in the back draft of the air god's travel, and rushed up the blade of the sword as well as up Soren's arm. The pierced hand, hidden by the flame as it traveled, blackened and grew talons, only noticeable by the knight and Soren.
Jake ducked down and whipped his head around, turning in a circle, trying to see the ghost wolf. However, he saw nothing. He looked back at Remy. "You crazy. What did you take?" At least he HOPED Remy was crazy. The last thing he needed was to be haunted by other werewolves.
Zataria was lounging at the bar a few spaces from where Jake and Remy were talking. She wore a heavy mask that obscured her face against the strong scent of blood and gore that filled the air. Her golden eyes had been watching the fights with interest, were these the new champions? She scoffed, they wouldn't last a day in this hell known as Wonderland. Her silver hair was smoothed back with just a few strands around her face and the black leather armor she wore obscured her body and made it difficult to tell if she was male or female. The only thing that could remotely be used as a hint were her delicate hands and slender fingers that were tipped with black talons. Normally, she would've gotten up and moved on but she knew that this bar was one of the places where she wouldn't run into the Gryphon and frankly that suited her just fine since she blamed him for her forced relocation. A wolf? Her sharp ears picked up on the word and she turned her attention to the two men standing not to far away. She couldn't help it, she was still hoping that she might run into another werewolf in this strange land. They were extinct in her world but maybe some still lived on in this one. She stared at them intently, studying every movement with the unsettling intensity of a predator watching her prey, she simply didn't give a damn whether they noticed her or not.
"Some... horrible drink. 'ad a eye on the glass." Remy answered, still staring intently at the ghost wolf head that sat over top of Jake's own. Ghosts weren't that strange to him, and by Jake's reaction, him neither. "Tasted like duck a l'orange, gone wrong."
"You crazy. Crazy." He repeated. Who, in their right mind, would take some hallucinogenetic in a place like this, at a time like this. "Seriously, what possessed you t'think that was a good idea?"
The Killer Captain drew his sword upwards, slicing up and turning the blade to block as much of the flame as possible from hitting his face. Normally fire was not a problem for the stony man, but with the quick succession of icy cold blasts and blistering heat, his body was beginning to crack, like old cement. More distressingly, so was his sword. The world was not the same place as it once had been, where he could replace his sword if it was destroyed. Likewise, it would be exceedingly difficult to repair his own body should the cracks reach any deeper.
Quickly dodging back and out of the flames, taking a few steps to the right after moving several feet back, The Captain's eyebrows were raised. He had seen those talons. "Tell me, Tiny Dancer-- Whence hath a Jabberspawn learned to glamour? And your magic- so advanced. I am most impressed." He remained at the ready, looking for an opening to attack.
Soren turned his body away from the knight, his eyes going from the newly taloned hand, which didn't look to be turning back anytime soon, up to his opponent. The word sounded so much like the adversary they were to face, he recognized that clearly enough. "I am no relation to a Jabberspawn," he stated clearly. But the talons did look highly draconic, and his words seemed to fall flat. The knight did not know that flat was his natural tone, though.
Bringing his book up again almost immediately, the clawed hand now clearly visible to all who were watching, Soren concentrated on his spell again. The wind god rematerialized and blew and icy blast as the knight, taking a swipe at the same time, the heat of the flame quickly dissipating into coolness once more.
Well. These guys weren't going last long. Zataria thought to herself. How did they miss her? She knew she'd been staring rather obviously, were they blind? She didn't think so since they were having a pretty decent conversation and one of them seemed to be staring at a spot above the other's head. Her claws tapped thoughtfully on the bar as she tried to decide if approaching them would be a good idea but then decided "fuck it". She was confident in her abilities and these two did not seem that skilled; although she would admit neither did the boyish looking one in the arena and he was still alive. She finally stood up and walked the few feet to where Gambit and Jake were talking and butted in with her usual blunt and impatient demeanor, "So... are you guys stupid or just ready to die?" She asked as she crossed her arms and watched them with a golden-eyed stare.
Remy sighed, as if Jake was a complete moron. "Didn know it be a drug, though just alcohol, hein?" It made sense in his mind, as he raised a finger to poke at the nose of the ghost wolf, but stopped mid action as Zataria slid her way up to them. Staring at her a long moment, trying to keep her in focus, and understand her wording (not that difficult, since it was forming written words above her head), Remy gave her a once over before he grinned. "Chere, that all 'pends on who ya ask 'bout moi. Many will say both."