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Duel 1: Arnold Vs Cruddhe


SOC-14 1K
An expectant hush falls over the crowd as Arnold and Ignatius Cruddhe take
up their positions. Arnold - the name is thought to be pseudonym - is an
unknown, though rumour hath it that he is a Navy officer, though he fights
with a heavy straight Sword rather than a more traditional "navy" weapon.
Ignatius is all Imperial Army, an RSM of indeterminate age. Neither has
fought in the arena before, but Arnold seems familiar from the competition
(sport) circuit, while Cruddhe seems to be more of a practical fighter. He
is certainly heavier and tougher-looking than Arnold. His stance is
crouched, menacing, where his slender opponent is elegant and poised.

The crowd goes silent. The buzzer sounds.

Cruddhe surges forward, seeking to close with his opponent. Arnold retreats,
his elegant footwork contrasted by the bull-rush of Cruddhe. The RSM surges
in, his left arm raised to grab is opponent but Arnold manages to keep him
from reaching close quarters. Unable to grab, Cruddhe makes a long-range
thrust. Arnold parries in Seconde swatting the attack down and aside but is
unable to bring up his point to riposte.

Still surging forward, Cruddhe draws his arm back for a mighty thrust.
Arnold suddenly stops, lashing a forehand cut at Cruddhe's flank. The crowd
draws a collective breath, expecting blood. They get it! Arnold's slash rips
across Cruddhe's unprotected flank, tearing his white shirt open and
instantly staining it crimson. Cruddhe grimaces in sudden pain, but rams his
blade forward. The thrust slides by Arnold's ribs, deflected just enough by
the cut of a moment before.

Instantly, Arnold is moving back again, seeking distance to use his longer
weapon. Cruddhe readies his blade. Arnold closes the line, ready to parry,
but it is Cruddhe's foot that lashes out, slamming into Arnold's ankle and
sweeping his foot out from under him. Arnold staggers, barely able to keep
his balance. His thrust at Cruddhe goes wild as he hobbles back in obvious

The crowd cheers as cruddhe surges after his limping foe....
Arnold hops back several steps and makes a plea to the judges, since he's under the impression that the duel is supposed to be a test of bladesmanship not a free-for-all.

Some of the crowd cries out, agreeing with
the naval swordsman.

The judges however, seem unconcerned and make
no sign that Cruddhe has done anything, untoward, causing the soldier to grin and
flex his blade twice in a gauche manner.

Cruddhe charges...halts, feints then delivers
a pair of quick slashes, forcing Arnold back
and to parry hastily.

Surprisingly the naval man steps close, ducks
down and rolls forward, slashing out with his
blade as he slides under a somewhat surprised Cruddhe.

The soldier's shirt jumps as it is caught by
Arnold's sword tip. The crowd jeers.

Has Cruddhe been cut? Has Arnold drawn blood?

[This message has been edited by Gadrin (edited 03 December 2001).]
Cruddhe crouches, ready to spring, then suddenly lunges forward, his Blade
thrusting out at Arnold. Arnold, who has been waiting, poised, for a fast
parry-riposte, begins a circular action. But Cruddhe withdraws his blade,
causing Arnold's parry to miss. Cruddhe surges in, left forearm raised for
a slam or elbow strike.

His blade out of position, Arnold frantically attempts to evade by leaping
backwards, but Cruddhe crashes against him, a crunching elbow strike
pounding into Arnold's cheek. Arnold's weak leg buckles and he is flipped
from his feet, crashing onto his back. Although he manages to keep hold of
his weapon, Arnold cannot make any reply.

Before his opponent has even stopped skidding, Cruddhe runs in and snaps a fast kick
into him. Arnold manages to get his sword arm up for a block, but the kick
sends the weapon spinning away and inflicts further punishment on the
bruised and battered Navy man. Arnold's desperate defensive grab at
Cruddhe's legs fails to achieve anything.

The crowd goes silent as Cruddhe's right foot comes up for a powerful stomp
down onto Arnold's recumbent body, but the Navy man's desperate response is faster. Rolling
onto his left elbow, he sends his right fist rocketing upwards, hurtling at
Cruddhe's groin like a PAD missile. The crowd winces as the blow crunches
home, but it strikes the underside of Cruddhe's thigh, and the RSM's size 14
combat boot comes crashing down anyway. The arena shakes to the blow, but
Arnold's punch, while ineffective in downing the vicious RSM, succeeded in
deflecting the kick. It pounds into the floor where Arnold was lying just an
instant before.

Arnold is in real trouble, and the marshals begin to edge in, expecting
imminent surrender. But his sword is just a few feet away and the honour of
the service has been challenged. The crowd waits with bated breath to see
what Arnold will do....
Cruddhe's boot comes up again, and Arnold twists away, rolling aside from the expected blow. His hand snakes out towards the hilt of his sword as Cruddhe's foot begins to move. But Arnold is not the target of the attack! Instead, Cruddhe totally ignores him and kicks at the sword, hoping to send it beyond reach.

Cruddhe wins the race, sending the blade spinning across the floor. Arnold desperately lunges after it, somehow getting two fingers to the hilt. He maintains his grip as he rolls onto his back, dragging the weapon clumsily into line.

Cruddhe then crouches, grabbing at Arnold's leg. His grip slips, sweat-slick trouser fabric sliding through his fingers. Arnold makes a desperate, clumsy thrust from the floor, missing the RSM by a good margin.

Cruddhe then slashes at Arnold's lower leg. Had he a good hold, the brutal tendon-slash might have been a foregone conclusion. Instead, he struggles to get a clear shot at Arnold's wildly flailing legs. Meanwhile, Arnold, still holding his weapon clumsily, makes a wild, flat slash that connects with Cruddhe's left bicep and chest. The cut is not deep, nor serious, but Cruddhe's chest explodes in a gouting of crimson as Arnold propels himself backwards along the floor. Some in the crowd laugh at his frantic pedalling, some wince at the effusion of blood.

Cruddhe's slash at Arnold's legs does not sever the Achilles tendon as planned, but the heavy Blade bites the Navy man's flailing calf muscle, causing a deep gash and drawing forth yet more blood. Arnold skids out of range as Cruddhe registers the deep, throbbing pain of his wound.

Arnold is still on his back, though he has his grip sorted out now. He has lost an enormous amount of blood and is clearly woozy. His weapon wavers in his shaky hand and he's clearly got very little left.

Cruddhe pulls himself upright and grins nastily. He's cut and bleeding, but more fighting-mad than devastated. A lesser man would be staggering from the wounds he's taken, but the RSM doesn't seem to have even been slowed down. Experienced watchers note the heaving chest and slight pause as he begins to move. Arnold may be a wreck, but Cruddhe is feeling it, too.
Cruddhe begins to move forward again, but amazingly Arnold comes to meet
him. The Navy man struggles to his knees, then hurls himself forward, all
but diving along the floor at is tormentor. The heavy sword slashes out as
Arnold dives.

Cruddhe's weapon spears out, hoping to stop-hit Arnold's weapon arm. But so
precipitous is Arnold's attack that he beats Cruddhe to the punch. Arnold's
wild slash connects! Cruddhe's trousers are stained dark as blood erupts
from a ragged cut across his upper thigh and abdomen. He staggers, his
stop-hit scoring by above Arnold's shoulder. The two men crash together,
Cruddhe somehow keeping his feet as Arnold tumbles against his legs.

Arnold makes another desperate close-in cut, but this time Cruddhe's weapon
spears downward. The stop-hit again misses as Crudde finds the finesse for a
thrust beyond his current state of balance and bloodloss-weakened
consciousness. But Arnold cannot connect effectively, either. His long,
heavy sword is at a serious disadvantage whilst entangled at close quarters.

Arnold tries to move out a little, supporting himself on his left hand as he
again begins a slash at Cruddhe's legs. What began as a feint becomes a weak
slash to the legs, tearing another huge cut in Cruddhe's body. yet the RSM
takes it, moving a half-step in to close with Arnold once again, and drops
his entire weight behind a driving knee attack.


Cruddhe's entire weight falls onto Arnold's supporting left arm, snapping it
instantly. The Navy man is driven to the ground, semi-conscious with the
pain and clearly out of the fight. Cruddhe delivers a couple of kicks to his
downed foe, but cannot muster the energy to really do any damage. The
Marshals do not so much drag him off as support him.

Arnold is rushed to the medical unit. Collapsing from blood loss a few
seconds later, Cruddhe joins him.

The President of the Arena declares Cruddhe the victor, and the first duel
is formally over.

Final Results:

Arnold: STR 1, DEX 0, END 0
Cruddhe STR 4, DEX 2, END 4


Very Close! Arnold has a big advantage in terms of blade skill, reach of
weapon (which helps decide who strikes first) and damage done. However, his
dice luck was appalling. Having failed a Tactics roll to detect Crudhe's
feint, he then Fumbled his hurried evade. Cruddhe also criticaled twice.

Even then, Arnold still almost pulled it off by using risky Rapid Attacks. A
successful hit makes it harder for the opponent to land his blow, though the
attacker gets no other defence. Cruddhe suffered from the difficulty of
trying to hit with a Thrust (harder to hit than using a Slash or Cut, unless
you have hold of your opponent, though damage is much higher).

Cruddhe took ruthless advantage of the fact that he was a tougher man than
his opponent (a lesser individual would have been on the floor in the first
round from the wound Cruddhe took) and pressed the advantage offered by his
opponent's fumble effectively, neutralising the Navy man's superior
bladework and forcing him to fight on terms that favoured the tough, vicious

Arnold's fall was probably the decisive moment of a fight that could have
gone either way.
As the two combatants finish their epic struggle, a KKree horde enters, weapons blazing. Choose from the following outcomes:

1) the K'Kree are defeated by the nobility and puissance of the mighty duellists and the audience. Energy weapons are no match for swords and skill! Huzzah! Have at you!

2) the idiots who think swordplay is cool in Traveller (and really would rather be playing 7th Sea instead) get barbecued by the Battle Cattle....
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by PinkSplice:
As the two combatants finish their epic struggle, a KKree horde enters, weapons blazing. Choose from the following outcomes:

1) the K'Kree are defeated by the nobility and puissance of the mighty duellists and the audience. Energy weapons are no match for swords and skill! Huzzah! Have at you!

2) the idiots who think swordplay is cool in Traveller (and really would rather be playing 7th Sea instead) get barbecued by the Battle Cattle....

3) The Vargr Corsairs (Who probably think they are playing 7th sea) swoop down from the rafters (swinging frome the chandeliers no doubt) upon the unsuspecting K'Kows cutlasses drawn and revolvers blazing.

I am increasingly of the opinion that RPGs are by the nature of their creation subjective phenomenon. due to the interaction between game designers, game masters, and game players all definitions, rules, settings, and adventures are mutable in acordance with the uncertainty principle as expounded by Heisenburg. This is of course merely my point of view.

David Shayne
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by PinkSplice:
the idiots who think swordplay is cool in Traveller (and really would rather be playing 7th Sea instead)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You never know when you will be unarmed.

Although what was not broadcast in the fight was the four body pistols that Cruddhe had tried to secret upon his person into the match

His ideal match

Arnold: En Garde (swish!)
Cruddhe: (BLAM)
Arnold: Wha!...
Cruddhe: (BLAM, BLAM, BLAM, BLAM, BLAM...chack...ping...rustle, rustle...clack.
BLAM, BLAM, BLAM, BLAM, BLAM, BLAM...chack) Whatever...
Tres cool. Bring on them Vargr. We could get the last barfight from Casino Royale (the David Niven Bond Movie) going...Now THAT would rock!

The concealed body pistol scenario works too...