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  • Beqanna

    version 22: awakening

    COTY

    OCEANE -- Year 208

    QOTY

    "Because if she had not met him, she knew she would have been searching her whole life for the piece that he filled her heart with." -- Eva, written by Shelbi


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    [challenge] Noah
    #1
    Noah, Brilliant Pampas is very still and empty, and I haven’t seen you there in quite some time. I want to make it more lifelike, so I am challenging you for it’s leadership.

    Terms
    -If I win or you forfeit, I will lead the Pampas herd and I’d love for you to stay on as second in command. If I lose or forfeit, I will not challenge you again for a whole BQ year (but I hope you’ll allow me to stay)
    -Challenge will take place in the Plains since I don’t want to ruin the Pampas’ pretty fields
    -3 attack posts each, one closing defense post
    -if not otherwise agreed upon, Noah goes first
    -600 word max per post
    -post within 7 days; one 72hr extension is allowed for each, but no more than one (even if we end up not using it)

    If you want to negotiate instead let me know please, but please reply here in the next 168 hours regardless

    Aodhán

    Stats:
    Male
    3yo
    Knabstrup hybrid (baroque x draft physique)
    16hh
    Traits: icy appearance, fire mimicry, equus mutatio


    OOC: so I triple checked everything this time  Angel
    #2
    Noah would rather not do this, because she's not a warrior of any sort, but she won't give up the Pampas either so here we are. /shrugs/

    As for the terms, though, I don't agree to lowering the word limit. The 1000 word limit from the rules is already low enough. I'll do my best to keep my posts as concise as possible, but no promises. My first post will be up shortly.

    Stats:
    Noah
    Female
    Adult
    Hybrid (arab/pony influences mostly)
    14.2 HH
    Traits: Wings, Disease Manipulation, Flora Revival

    She comes to the Plains knowing that she certainly doesn’t have the upper hand. The little red mare is smaller than he is, and slighter, and her powers don’t lend themselves much to combat; and she never much took to fighting as a child either; but she is not completely untrained. She and Rhonen had led a rather nomadic existence, and she had been forced to fight her way to safety at his side more than once – not to mention the horrors she had faced in Carnage’s quest. Noah is quiet, and reserved, and prefers her flowers and her peace, but she is not a coward and she is not totally unprepared. Despite her relative inexperience, she knows he can’t be that much better off; he’s barely grown at three years old, and probably still slightly off balance from growth and development, and he can’t have much experience either. But far and away, her biggest advantage is her wings.

    The air rising from the Plains beneath her is warm – spring has just come to Beqanna, but the red clay has been gathering heat all day and reflects it back at them now as the afternoon peaks. Noah approaches him from the west, where the bright setting sun behind her will make it hard for him to watch her in return, and nearly impossible to see anything but her silhouette. There is no tree cover on the plains, but the sawgrass has already begun to grow, sharp and scraggly in the typical ugly way of plants fed mostly by blood and maybe some rain occasionally. She doesn’t find it ugly – perhaps it is not her beloved wildflowers, but she can see the beauty in every stalk of even this grass and her connection to it is just as strong; with every powerful wingbeat she feeds the grass with the forces that course through her and it grows wildly, mercilessly. In one moment it is fetlock deep, then knee deep, then belly deep, and still it grows; at the same time it grows broader leaves, longer leaves – an overall increase in size.

    The sawgrass in its natural state would have been barely a nuisance – short blades crushed underhoof with only the largest of plants even a tripping hazard. At this size, the blades become a painful nuisance, ready to slide between hair and slice into tender skin like a thousand stinging insects. The density and growth of the plants will also quickly become an issue, making him work much harder to move anywhere shoving through dense vegetation, tripping him up and tangling around his legs. She might have the physical disadvantage, but the little roan mare is willing to get creative to protect her Pampas. It’s going to be harder to move, but if he refuses to move he might find himself so entangled in dense greenery that he can’t move – and wouldn’t that be fun?

    It would be so easy simply to fell him where he stands without ever getting close – but she doesn’t reach for her other power yet. She can’t quite bear the thought of using it to cause harm to another being; she has only ever used it before to heal. The doubts and shame she had inherited from Rhonen in regards to the other power still course through her soul, a clearly drawn line in the sand that she has yet to cross. She isn’t sure she can cross it and still be herself. Instead she drops towards him, feinting at his head, but half-heartedly, and ready at any minute to pull sharply upwards. She wants to test out his range of motion, see what surprises he might be hiding; she hopes he might become encumbered by the still-growing foliage and trip. It would be a convenient bonus if one of her sharp kicks were to make contact with part of his sensitive head or neck, causing pain or even reducing his future motion or impairing his vision, but she isn’t holding her breath. She just wants to see what he will do – because first, father had always said, you must understand your opponent.
    #3
    1000 limit it is


    This was not according to plan, and, gritting his teeth all the way here, he went over his initial ideas and finally found out how naive he had been. Nevertheless, she could have handled things differently in his opinion - there’d been a number of excuses for her absence that she could have offered that he would have believed, so that he could forfeit the challenge. Instead, she’d just called him a loudmouth and said he wouldn’t fit in anyway. By then, he’d been called a number of things already, and so when she said she would see him on the Plains, he had agreed.

    But there’s that thing - he still didn’t really want to fight and hurt someone, even if she hadn’t been a good leader in his eyes. A challenge had been his only option, because climbing through ranks or even just being an official member, just wasn’t possible without a leader present. That’s how he felt at least, and what he wanted to make clear others could feel like, too.

    The Plains were hot at this time of year, because spring had been here for a while and was nearing summer, and the sun had been shining all day. The mixed grasses were dry, the ground loose and dusty; it might be easy to slip on, and thus, the sturdy stallion decided not to try running and cutting corners - at least not while in his basic horse shape. When he arrived, he nickered a greeting, but Noah didn’t say a word. If she had, perhaps he would have felt like explaining or stopping the fight - now, he reacted to her determination with an equally headstrong willpower.

    He took the time to study her but she came closer rapidly, winging towards him instead of trying to find footing (smart of her, taking to the air) and he started to try and back away, half in mind to grow wings and lift himself as well.

    Ouch! Stuck! That was what she had done? He glanced down quickly but found he had not much time to think, as the plants were still growing, and the roan mare still approached.

    His fire trait, even though it didn’t run in his family that he knew of, had been with him since birth. There were several uses to it, but the most battle-ready was the heat generation, and it kicked in more on instinct than by active thought. The grasses, newly grown yet already heated by the sun, caught flame quickly. Too quickly, for it scorned his own legs before he had freed himself of them.

    And the mare was readying a dive, for her silhouette grew larger fast.

    Think. Battle is all about being more creative than the other, dad would have said. Well, that and being quick. With Noah lunging into a dive now, his mind acted (again) more on basic instinct than he was being clever - and where once a white stallion stood who had just scorched his own legs, from where flames licked towards the other grass surrounding him, now there was a large pointy rock, made of white quartz.

    He’d been a rock before you see, so the choice was easy. This time, he would not be stuck, because he kept his mind and senses. A sensitive, sensible rock. The fire could not hurt him anymore, but he still knew it to be there, knew he was in battle. He considered trying a rounder shape, rolling away, but he did not think the grass would let him, and so he stayed a large triangle-like shape, pointy and with some edges: a tiny imitation of the Mountain in the distance.

    He wondered now, if she’d get away in time. Oh no, what if she broke or scraped her leg? What if she caught fire? So much for defending only - so much for not trying to hurt her. Though if she was quick enough she could still avoid both him and the flames, the rock was quite uncertain if it was actually a smart move at all... then again, it proved his point that he did not really want to fight, and it could perhaps be deduced that he was a stubborn rock-head, just like his father and sister. At any rate, he thought, it would come in handy that he was hard to fight and hard to hurt this way; though he suspected that the mare was not out of tricks yet.


    Tldr, Aodhán has no battle experience but may have picked up some advice from others talking about it. This is his first defence so he acts on instinct mostly; sets fire to the grass when he notices it (perhaps accidentally a bit too much), scorches himself a bit in the process, then shifts into a jagged quartz rock when Noah comes close. Stays that way for now.
    #4
    The sudden appearance of the flames surprises her, and Noah lets the grasses subside from their rapid growth for a moment – but then as she notices the flames lick at his legs, she changes her mind – opening the channel further, she encourages the sawgrass to revive again and again, feeding the flames into a growing monster rather than letting them subside like they would when the fuel subsided if it did not have her unnatural assistance. Thankfully the grass outside of her control is sparse and scraggly, forming a natural firebreak, which will hopefully serve to prevent a wildfire outbreak (that’s the last thing she wants).

    It’s truly unfortunate that in the next heartbeat, he ceases to be an equine. Noah stutters out of her feinting dive early, thankful that she had been prepared to do so, when Aodhan becomes a rock. A rock. In her utter confusion, she doesn’t pull up quite hard enough; her left hind hoof clunks painfully against the quartz and her right hind leg scrapes painfully against the sharp edges. The little mare can feel the heat from the blaze she is encouraging against the underside of her wings and belly as she does pull away, wincing, and finds a powerful thermal to lift her into the sky with a minimum of her effort. Sharp green eyes gaze downward and a frown is carved into the lines of her face – she can’t think of a single less offensive form to take than a rock. He’s immobile, stuck, and rocks aren’t animate things – he should have a minimum of awareness of his surroundings, though she can’t be sure of that last bit.

    To entertain herself, she lets the foliage grow more and more; if he doesn’t shift forms, it’ll grow over and around the quartz, tangling in itself, creating a cage of fire. Eventually she’ll run out of energy to renew the grass and feed the fire, but she spends most of her time creating elaborate flowerscapes at home, so that will be a long while. If he doesn’t shift, he can’t form any sort of counter-attack, and they’ll be at an uncomfortable stalemate. If he does shift, he’s likely to be burned again, at least to some extent before making an escape. Anxious to finish and return home, she grows frustrated of the wait, and feels the anger surge again. How dare he pull her away from her peaceful home, to this?

    Noah stops feeding the plants. They’ve grown quite full and green and new and will not burn away instantly, but they will die (she mourns for them already, but pushes those feelings aside); the anger unlocks that bit of her soul that she has locked away, and giving up on the green-magic, she reaches instead for the disease-magic she was born with. Remembering the plague, she images the worst of it: the cough, the delusions, the muscle weakness; the onset of deafness, and blindness, and the way the skin peeled off of the victims. She images all this and more, and she pours it into the last burning bits of her plants. It’s an airborne contagion, and it’s a million times faster-acting than the plague had ever been, it should take only minutes after inhalation, and it will be triggered as the fire burns away at the last of the greenery.

    The last part of her that is not engulfed in fury for her disturbed peace hopes he picks a new form that doesn’t breathe air. It’s not going to be a pretty disease.
    #5
    She hadn't hesitated to attack him.

    Feeling the vibration on his rocky surface, the sentient rock felt sorry. She'd hit him, hard enough for a rock to notice. He hoped it was her hoof, not her knee, for the latter would mean she’d have to continue to stay airborne throughout their skirmish. On the other hand, he strangely felt satisfaction: her own attack had hurt her, the way his fire had hurt him.

    For a while, the white rock didn’t notice anything else, and wondered where she had gone. It took him a while to notice heat and restriction on his surface, and then some time to guess what she was doing. Finally he figured it was the same as she had done before, when he’d set fire the first time - she’d fed the grass to make the fire rise higher, and this could be similar.

    A stubborn thought surfaced. Beneath the surface, where hopefully she would not see, the rock grew roots; feeding off the magical energy that he found there, he hoped to heal some of the fire damage from when he’d burned himself, and to store some energy.

    The rock grew larger due to his shifting abilities and the nutrients he greedily took; snapping the grass by using his sharp rock edges and the pressure of his growth. He became the largest fire-resistant plant he knew, with a twist since could alter his body any number of ways. Now, instead of a rock, a giant Baobab grew, but with bark made of solid rock - he kept that, because he didn’t want to be hurt by fire again. The process had been deliberately slow, so that he could take up the most nutrients and magical strength while he grew, and hopefully the grass would get a little less. Emerald eyes peered from the upper half of the tree’s stem, finding the red speck in the sky easily enough.

    Naturally, she stopped feeding the plants.

    To the tree, nothing seemed to happen for a while.

    Slowly the tree started to feel sick. He wasn’t breathing like animals would, but his leaves tried to filter the air to no avail, finding a sickness instead of the desired carbon dioxide. Leaves turning golden and dry, he had to let them go. Now he was glad to have taken the magical energy previously. He knew that he had to shift soon - any simmering ember could flare those leaves too easily for him to stay a tree safely, however much he was fire-resistant.

    He considered his options - to avoid the sickness, he would be best off being something inanimate, but that ultimately hindered his movement, thinking, and the battle as a whole. Besides, he’d been a rock already. That meant he needed to be something that could resist the sickness for long enough to survive this horror.

    The tree was replaced by a towering golden dragon, keeping the size. Not because he wanted to breathe fire at her -he looked at her defiantly and didn’t-, but the creatures are naturally resistant to magic (perhaps disease too?) and heat. Flying upwards immediately, the dragon’s wings stirred up the ground, embers, and airborne disease below. Yet he already found his head spinning and a couch itching in his throat, and knew it wouldn’t be long before he would come down one way or the other. And he didn't want to land on his still-sore legs.

    He knew this sickness now. He’d had it before, and he'd drank the Cure. It was that same magic that gave him the ability to change, that had negated his sickness, and now Noah had him sick all over again, if temporary (oh, how he hoped it’d be temporary). Such meanness was unexpected coming from her - and possibly made his shifting less predictable. He'd have to shift while he could.

    He beat his wings thrice. Up, up, up - and then he coughed, and a peregrine falcon chased the mare through the sky. In dive, he would be faster than any other bird - faster than a pegasus. Speed was the only thing that could save him from getting too sick to fight her.

    Another cough. He became as tiny as he could think of.

    The flea used his previous momentum to try and land on the coat before him, hoping to bite her and transmit whatever disease she had given him to force her to heal both - if he could catch it, she might, too. And if she was resistant, a drop of her blood might be enough to aid him in some way.

    It would only itch.
    #6
    She conserves energy by gliding up high, riding the thermals, trying her best to stay patient as she keeps an eye on the creature below. As much as she wants to be finished and just go home, Noah is starting to understand that this isn’t going to be a quick battle. She can’t fight Aodhan on his terms, and her talents aren’t those that can be utilized for a quick ending.

    Below her, the rock sits under the flames for some time before it grows, and isn’t that interesting? The part of her that had wandered the world with her father wants to know more about a creature that can affect its own appearance so much: is he a magician? She struggles to keep her attention focused, no wandering rabbit trails of curiosity, as he moves slowly. First, the growing rock breaks free of the grass (it’s at about that point that she stopped feeding the fire anyway), and then it becomes a tree. An interesting choice, the Pegasus thinks, given trees have no more offensive properties than rocks.

    What trees DO do is respirate, however unusually, and she is confident that Aodhan-the-tree will catch some form of the disease she planted in the wake of the fire. Still, he’s a tempting target this way, and she wonders how injuries sustained in one form affect his others. The fire burns at Aodhan’s base, but because he grew so tall, there is plenty of tree to target. While he waits, still and tree-like, Noah drops closer and closer, and when nothing happens, she strikes at a branch reaching up to the sky, hind legs kicking out powerfully. Somehow, she’s not surprised this time to have her hooves clang painfully against what feels like rock, even though it looks like tree. The impact ricochets up her legs, uncomfortable but not debilitating, as she takes back up to the sky in case he shifts again. She’s frustrated, irritable, and can only hope that the disease is doing its job because physically, it seems she can’t touch him.

    As she rises back into the sky, the fire slowly dies down around the rock-encased tree, leaving a large circle of ash in it’s wake. She makes a few lazy spirals at the peak of her flight, and then before her eyes, the tree becomes a dragon, and her quiet soaring becomes an active scramble again, as she maneuvers to do her best to stay out of range. Fire breathing, sharp teeth, talons – nothing pleasant here. Out of the corner of her eye, Noah can see that he is only a dragon for a few wingbeats, and then he is something much smaller.

    The rapid changes must be tiring, unless he practices them constantly, and she wonders if she could simply outlast him. At some point, would a shift be his last? She can’t be sure – but what she can be sure of, in this moment, is that the little falcon is more maneuverable than she is, and the last thing she wants is him getting close in this form and then changing – say, back to a giant rock and dropping on her from above. Her best answer now is to be erratic, and she is glad she’s been conserving her energy so she has the ability to be thus. Noah does her best to be unexpected, within her abilities; she goes side-to-side, up and down, pulls up sharply; it’s not enough, and she knows he is catching up to her.

    A sharp avian cough just out of sight gives her a brief, immense surge of satisfaction and then he’s disappeared. She cranes her head, circles as tightly as she can, but catches not even a glimpse. If he can be a rock and a tree, what else can he be? She doesn’t feel the flea land, but a single flea wouldn’t even be enough to make a horse itch, not unless it bit her again and again and again over time. For the purpose of this battle, she probably won’t even feel it. And it’s not blood that gives her immunity to the disease but the disease-magic, and so it won’t do him any good. Noah doesn’t know he’s there, but when he doesn’t start healing he’ll have to try something else.

    For her part, the little mare glides lower towards the ground, eyes searching for some sign of something unusual, or movement. She doesn’t want to give up her advantage of flight entirely, not knowing it takes more time and energy to get back off the ground than to stay aloft, but she doesn’t know how long it will be before he makes another move, and at some point she might want to rest. Her short burst of evasive maneuvers sapped energy. Unless perhaps he gave up, and decided to go try and steal another land out from under it’s inhabitants? She hesitates in the sky, as low as it’s possible to be without actively expending massive amounts of energy, and wonders to herself how she will even know this battle is over.
    #7
    Tired.

    He’d shifted a lot, recently, because he had only been discovering it last year, and every new encounter with another horse, environment, or literally any other creature had prompted him to either show off, explore his limits, or just match what he saw to enlarge his arsenal of ideas. Yet somehow in this battle, he’d used up all the extra energy he’d gotten off Noah’s magic while he grew in plant-form, and then some. Not all, but the Plague-symptoms he had were making all of it far worse, however slowly the disease was eating away at him.

    Right about now, nestled deep in her red-and-white fur (he’d never noticed how roans had both coloured and white hair dispersed, but now he knew), he knew he was safe from her movements through the sky.

    He also knew that he could not keep this up for long. Any new cough, and he’d be changing - involuntarily. So if he hadn’t thought ahead about what form he would take by the time he had to cough, all hell could break loose for the both of them.

    It made him wonder how long they could both keep this battle up -he’d been shifting a lot, she had been flying from the start of the battle-, and what could possibly come from it once it ended?

    The flea had bitten the mare a few times over the course of the last minute or so, crawling left and right over her skin. But the sickness stayed - no, it got worse over time. It had been a nice try, but apparently she had ultimate magical control over it, come with lots of experience no doubt - she didn’t get sick as he had hoped, nor did he get better. It was very well possible that she hadn’t even noticed him.

    It was a funny thought, to think that they’d reached this impasse - to imagine her flying over the Plains, looking for him while all along she carried him with her. But he needed to do something. An actual attack, not his defensive, evasive maneuvers from before… because their impasse would otherwise just continue. Or, more likely, he’d eventually succumb and die from this weird disease - since he refused to shift into, for example, a huge dragon and snap her spine. Maiming or killing her was not the intent of this challenge.

    Through his decision-making, the flea spasmed (it would have been a bloody cough had he been a horse, but the flea seemed to have different symptoms due to the different proportions). He became even smaller; Bacillus Anthracis - and quickly, purposefully started dividing himself on top of his latest flea-bite, creating spores as much as he could near the tiny breaches in her skin; they would be a direct access point for the spores to enter her bloodstream. They would probably reach the tiny veins of her lungs and infect her there; or, possibly, she wouldn’t notice in time and let it spread as far as her spleen. But he knew it was relatively safe to infect her with such a nasty disease; she would heal herself when she noticed, so he wasn’t worried it would cause permanent damage. It was probably only a distraction to her - but, at the very least she would need to focus on healing herself and not on accelerating his Plague. After all, anthrax would become a nasty infection should she neglect it.

    The Bacillus sp. on Noah’s skin spasmed similarly to the flea, and now he was a chameleon. His sticky paws stuck to her back, he looked around bewilderedly - he had no control over where they both went, and no idea where exactly they were (and, the hallucinative effect of Noah’s sickness started to take effect by now). With no clue about what he was doing, he didn’t stifle the next cough - he was a monkey, and had only enough instinct to grasp the nearest thing he could get hold of (a wing, her mane, a leg - it didn’t matter as long as he didn’t fall). The monkey shrieked and coughed as Aodhán’s magic reacted to the plague again, and a cat scratched at the mare wildly trying to gain footing, but ended up (possibly harmless to her) in the field below. On a base level, he knew it would take all his energy to keep on shifting, but at this point he was becoming too delirious to do anything about it.

    Cough. Cloud? Spasm. Hummingbird. Cough. Rhino. Cough. Sea-cucumber. Sneeze. Unicorn. Cough. Porcupine. Cough. Dandelion. WILL. Lizard. THIS. Goldfish. NEVER. Rattlesnake. STOP? Strawberry (but it doesn’t look edible at all).

    Oh, fairies. He’s in way over his head. And this for trying to revive a land. He wonders if this is what it’s like to die. Is he going to die? It certainly feels like there is no end to this energy-draining sickness.
    #8
    If she was anyone else, an anthrax infection could be a serious problem – fatal, even. But not at a speed to affect a battle. A cutaneous anthrax infection is, after all, the least harmful of the anthrax infections; nevermind the fact that naturally occurring anthrax can take - even at its fastest - one to seven days to start causing symptoms. Even if he regains some control over the spores he has multiplied into and doesn’t have to pull all of his own particles back together for the next shift, it will take time for Noah’s body to react to the infection. To be sure, Aodhan has infected her, but it will be an unpleasant surprise for the future, not a factor in today’s battle.

    Noah is just deciding to bite the bullet and land when suddenly there is weight again, faint but perceptible, between her shoulder blades. She banks hard to the side, the airborne equivalent of a spook, and stumbles the landing, a sharp pain in her left foreleg letting her know she’s not going to come out unscathed from this encounter. But it holds her weight as she spooks again, on four legs this time, when he becomes something heavier, something grabby. Noah can’t see him, still on her back, but she knows where he is as something pulls hard against her mane. She spins to the right, protecting her left foreleg as much as possible, and the momentum helps eventually throw him off the left side, minimizing but not eliminating the time that cat-Aodhan has to scratch at her shoulder and neck. Noah squeals in frustration while she moves, irritated by the sharp lines his claws score in her flesh, even through her coat (and thank the gods for her coat, she can only image what damage those claws would have caused on tender, unprotected skin!).

    After he falls the ground, Noah takes a couple more strides forward before turning, wide-eyed still, to watch him change, almost too fast to keep track of. Slowly, she backs away to give him more space, and the part of her that takes inventory of her injuries considers leaving him that way. He certainly wouldn’t be able to steal her home if he can’t hold a shape for more than a heartbeat or two – but in the end, she thinks of her father and the respect he had instilled in her for the disease-magic, and she knows she can’t do that to anyone. Noah closes her eyes and makes sure that the infection will burn itself out in a few more minutes. Perhaps just the knowledge of what she could do will get him to back off.

    If she was anyone else, an anthrax infection could be a serious problem – fatal, even. But not at a speed to affect a battle. A cutaneous anthrax infection is, after all, the least harmful of the anthrax infections; nevermind the fact that naturally occurring anthrax can take - even at its fastest - one to seven days to start causing symptoms. Even if he regains some control over the spores he has multiplied into and doesn’t have to pull all of his own particles back together for the next shift, it will take time for Noah’s body to react to the infection. To be sure, Aodhan has infected her, but it will be an unpleasant surprise for the future, not a factor in today’s battle.

    Noah is just deciding to bite the bullet and land when suddenly there is weight again, faint but perceptible, between her shoulder blades. She banks hard to the side, the airborne equivalent of a spook, and stumbles the landing, a sharp pain in her left foreleg letting her know she’s not going to come out unscathed from this encounter. But it holds her weight as she spooks again, on four legs this time, when he becomes something heavier, something grabby. Noah can’t see him, still on her back, but she knows where he is as something pulls hard against her mane. She spins to the right, protecting her left foreleg as much as possible, and the momentum helps eventually throw him off the left side, minimizing but not eliminating the time that cat-Aodhan has to scratch at her shoulder and neck. Noah squeals in frustration while she moves, irritated by the sharp lines his claws score in her flesh, even through her coat (and thank the gods for her coat, she can only image what damage those claws would have caused on tender, unprotected skin!).

    After he falls the ground, Noah takes a couple more strides forward before turning, wide-eyed still, to watch him change, almost too fast to keep track of. Slowly, she backs away to give him more space, and the part of her that takes inventory of her injuries considers leaving him that way. He certainly wouldn’t be able to steal her home if he can’t hold a shape for more than a heartbeat or two – but in the end, she thinks of her father and the respect he had instilled in her for the disease-magic, and she knows she can’t do that to anyone. Noah closes her eyes and makes sure that the infection will burn itself out in a few more minutes. Perhaps just the knowledge of what she could do will get him to back off.
    #9
    Welp, I dunno why that copied twice. Weird.
    #10
    Winner: Noah

    Challenge Rubric: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KuNUN4...a1gcoQkV2s




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