|Never Underestimate a Gnome|
Cue the arrival of Kotal Kahn, who always seem to have the uncanny ability to show up at the least opportune times. The statuesque Aztec deity enters the restaurant and side steps quickly as a fairly irritable looking fellow darts out of the restaurant. "Excuse you." Grunts Kotal Kahn whilst shaking his head. "Insolent mortal.." Never mind that Kotal is kind of a God and everything, he's also the director of TASK and people are still treating him like trash? A guy can get no respect around here.
Anyways, he makes his way to the bar and wouldn't you know it? He sits right next to Doommuffin. "Pulque please." The Aztec grunts at the bartender. "Rough day." He adds like he needed an explanation.
Doommuffin looks up... and up and up at Kotal. "My, you're a tall one," she says with an amused tone. "I see some draenei like characteristics in you, however your form far more resembles just that of a large, blue human. Might I inquire as to just what precisely you are?" Subtle as a tank, this one.
Kotal Kahn's expression is that of pure irritation when the tiny girl, is she some kind of fairy, starts talking to him in such a familiar manner, like if they were old acquaintances or something. Doommuffin might recognize that face actually, it clearly says 'why me??'. Still, just because no one has manners doesn't mean that Kotal Kahn will resort to savagery. He is a proud Aztec after all, the pinnacle of civilized brutality. "I am Osh'tekk." He responds simply and curtly to DM without even looking at her.
That drink of his can't get here soon enough.
Well that's interesting. Sadly while Gogron would normally interested in someone who, he'd swear looks like a member of the long lost Dwemer people sitting on some sort of a child's seat? He's distracted at the moment. By the need for some more of that fermented succulent, thing, that Kotal puts so much stock in. Pulque. Yes, that's it. Ah, bother. It doesn't work, this doesn't WORK he's tried alcohol, he's tried it. He... hasn't crawled back in, like the last time Kotal had saw him, but he'd been at it a bit more than he normally indulges. But it, helps, a little, and that's something, right?
A pause, as he looks up, his spirits lifting and a smile taking those odd-colored lips. "Lord!" And it's not a curse nor an oath but a greeting, simple and straightforward.
Doommuffin seems genuinely interested in that ever so slight bit of information from Kotal. "Osh'tekk? Hrm, I don't believe I've heard of that particular-" At Gorgron's shout she turns as much as she can to view him. "Oh... Great, an orc," she says with significantly less enthusiasm as her glowing eyes narrow.
Oh man, normally Kotal Kahn would be all up with arms spread singing the praises of his people the Osh'tekk. He'd tell tales of their ancient weapons, the influence they had on the Aztecs, their great buildings, culture, and their food! The way they stood up against invaders of all kinds and even their eventual downfall. He'd talk as much if not more than DM! To the point he might be the driving her insane.
But not tonight. Tonight is a night of quiet contemplation and he says nothing more to the little gnome.
At least until he hears a title that no one around here uses. His glowing eyes peer over to spot the familiar figure of someone who hasn't seen in quite a while. "Gogron!" He speaks the orc's name and what a jubilant sound it is. "Where in all the hells have you been??" Though it -sounds- like he's angry, this is just the way burly warriors greet each other. It's a fighter's salute.
He looks down at her, and his smile is the most condescending oh-my-god-punch-this-guy-in-the-mouth grin ever. "Oh, hey! Well aren't you the most adorable little girl." And then he's crouching down, his grin wide, his eyes a burnished gold, surprisingly pleasant in a rich olivine face. "You know, this one time? I had a contract to kill a little Nord girl at her birthday party. She asked me if I was the jester! So I said to her. "No, I am a messenger of death." You should have seen the look on her face! Ha ha ha ha! Anyway, she won't be seeing age six." A slow breath. "Hm. Good times." Well that was, creepy, and prooooobably conveyed something he had NOT intended. He pats her cheek, his eyes twinkling a little and comes up, grinning a grin that doesn't quite come all the way into the territory of the sane. "They're so cute at that age, aren't they?"
The smile he turns on Kotal is one step away from broken, a man who doesn't normally hold back the darkness finding himself at the door with both shoulders braced. And yet he turns his grin to the god of battle, and when he greets him he returns the greeting with a fierce smile. It's an ugly, losing battle, but he hasn't given up yet, even given the... slips. "Apparently in all the hells you guys have around here. I'd think I'd found me a fiery one but I think it was some measure of fever. One wakes up in, funny, places, at times. I could use a test of my arm, my axe, and just someone to talk to. The shadows get a little funny, if one is left with, idle hands."
All looks of amusement has completely been drained from Doommuffin's face. Gone is the cheerful, rapid fire voice, instead in its place is a lower, more methodical speech pattern in her odd, echoy voice. "You are now treading on thin ice, orc." The stein of beer in her right hand has now frozen over.
By now Kotal Kahn has gotten more than used to the madness that plagues this realm. It is even more insane than Outworld and that is saying a lot. Why, Kotal thinks that the deranged nature of Chaosrealm pales in comparison to Twisted, though that is a discussion best saved for another time.
When it's not tiny girls with ice powers, its raving orc lunatic raving about past kills. Kotal Kahn watches the exchange with no small sign of amusement on his face. Yes, this is exactly what he needs to get over his dour mood, a good old fashioned bout of Kombat.
Even now his tattoos and eyes glow brighter, the conflict strengthening him. Regardless if Gogron or Doommuffin know it, their fighting is a form or worshiping Huitzilopotchli and he's more than willing to let that happen.
Even if he's the director of TASK, he thinks he can indulge in one of his vices just -this- once. Besides, his job is protecting the peace, not specifically breaking fights. As long as he can keep this fighting contained everything should be fine.
"It seems to me you have a test of strength here already, Gogron." He says motioning to the gnome girl. Yes, he's pretty much egging them to fight.
He's... smiling more, his eyes narrowed faintly. "Well well well... isn't this, interesting. I've heard of Nord children being born with, unusual abilities. But you're, something else, aren't you." There's that grin, and despite the fact that his flesh actually greys out a bit as it draws along the edge, he fingers the axe blade, rubbing the killing surface with his thumb, his gaze one of naked, pure hunger, raw and starved. His tongue coats along the inside of one of those slightly ivorine tusks, eyeing her. His voice is low, easy, neutral, almost in a sort of gentle fugue, like he's in a meditative state. "Your ale's gone cold." There is none of that anger that Kotal had seen earlier, that frothing, inescapable rage- this is something soothed, and happy, floating in a warm sea and ready for the influx of blood to come. Perhaps keeping the waters warm. And yet he hasn't struck out yet. It looks like this might not be precisely what he needs. Fighting can help, it has in the past. But it's not what he needs this isn't what he needs. It's the means to an end, but he's not sure if that end, that ever-necessary end will even be achieved here. It might all come to naught. He could no more stray from this path then he could breathe water, however, and he steps towards the middle of the restaurant, cracking his neck.
Doommuffin laughs darkly. "You seem to be confused... Gorgon, was it?" She climbs down from the bar stool, taking in hand the runed sword that was leaning against the stool. A sword that seems a bit too large for someone of her three foot stature. A sword that she grips not like a child with a toy, but like the veteran she is. The ghostly cat that was hiding behind it darts behind her feet as she looks back up to Gogron. "I am not a child. And if you truly reminisce so happily about killing a defenseless child..." She shakes her head, almost sadly. "Then you have less honor than the scores of orcs I've already killed."
Aaah.. life could be good sometimes!!
As the two warriors square off, Kotal Kahn goes to do his duty to Twisted and to himself. What's that I hear you asking? Does that duty involve breaking up this fight? Why, OF COURSE NOT!! WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU ARE!? THE LAND OF SUNSHINE AND RAINBOWS!!? THIS IS THE USUAL RESTAURANT, SON!
Kotal gets up to do something alright, but that is to move the tables and the chairs out of the way and herd the patrons of the restaurant into a circle. Some folk leave, that's for sure, but most Twisted veterans are well accustomed to fights breaking out in the Usual Restaurant and stay out of grim curiosity. At least this time it seems more like a sanctioned match rather than a bar brawl.
"Clear the way for the fighters!" Comes the booming, commanding voice of Kotal Kahn, and though people still aren't entirely sure who he is yet, most have the good sense of listening to the 7 feet tall man carrying a serrated sword that is nearly as big as he is.
With the improvised arena set, Kotal takes a seat upon a stool as the impromptu referee and judge.
"Enough talk!" He says to both the gnome and the orc. "Let Mortal Kombat begin." Here it comes..
Minu pushes a long nutmeg brown lock of hair back over her shoulder as she stepped through the door of the UR. She paused at the sight before her and simply blinked owlishly. Pushing her new glasses up onto her nose further she stood for a long moment to watch Kotal push some chairs around and to find she needed to step out of the way as a few patrons of the res truant chose to flee instead of sit and watch what ever spectacle was about to take place. She peered at those clearly squaring off and frowned. It was a very small woman, and an..orc. Hmmm this was definitely not what she expected to find at the restaurant but seeing as Kotal was there she simply shifted for the first time in almost two weeks and became the elf owl. The tiny 5 inch tall owlet took wing and flapped silently over, circled Kotal's head and landed on his helm with a little hoot.
"You think that it's about honor..." His voice is oddly calm, like rustling leaves. "...That's funny." And then it's like some deep breath is taken, and then he's laughing, knocked from his becalmed state into something more lively, more, alive, his laugh deep and rib-aching and boisterous. "If I had indeed spoken that instead of merely remembering, it speaks poorly indeed. But this might well... help, a little." The axe is out, and then up, and he nods. "Enough talk indeed." But you just- talked, Gogron-
Either way he's taking a swipe, the muscles showing in his arms- he has a good handle of that bulky, hateful looking weapon, the evil gleam of it's enchanted blade singing towards Doommuffin. Not a heavy strike at first, should it cut or graze one might feel the strength and vigor easing from the flesh, leaving one with that not so lively feel, not to mention being chopped one with a large axe. There's that too. SWISH!
Doommuffin blinks at Kotal, the light of her eyes cutting off for those few milliseconds. "Wait, now? You want us to fight in here? But I like this place!" She brings up her own enchanted blade, her runeblade, up to deflect the attack barely in time, the cold aura around it intermingling with axe's draining one. "No talk? Really? What's the fun in combat without a little banter to go along with it? Do you want me to tell you about the first orc I killed? Or how about the first one I killed after I died, that one was quite the funny story." Disengaging the weapons, she takes a step back (really, it's not that much distance) and swings her blade in an arc low even for her, intending to sweep out Gogron's feet if not remove them. As she swings, however, the blade takes on a much more sickly, green tone, as if it were suddenly covered in disease.
"I said; FIGHT!" The order is repeated to Doommuffin as the Kahn demands that battle be joined tonight.
Already is Kotal smiling.. much like Gogron, whatever sour mood he had earlier when he entered the bar seems to have been magically dispelled as soon as Kombat ensued.
Kotal's glowing lines across begin to shine even brighter, being fueled by the display almost as much as if he was being powered by the sun. "Yes.." He reclines on his chair and just sort of basks on the indirect worshiping. No matter who they may be, or where do they come from, battle before the Kahn always energizes him.
Not even the arrival of a certain owl that perches on his head distracts him from the sight before him. As Minu perches on his helmet, all Kotal does is reach for his pulque and sip on it calmly whilst enjoying the show. "Outstanding."
Minu fluffs her feathers and clacks her beak as she settles in on the war gods helm. She looks over the combatants and recognizes the small woman as none other then Doommuffin, the gnome woman she had interviewed for her story. Alas that volume was lost to the explosion but she was working to rewrite it so she could add it to her new collection. Why was DM fighting the orc , she didnt know but clearly Kotal was fine with it.
A harsh, barking laugh. "First time you died? How often can you do it? Is that why your eyes glow? Fascinating! We had a skeleton wandering around cleaning the place, but he was no good for conversations, or drinking! Tried once though, went right through him. Literally." Another mild snicker, the cold radiating off the weapon somewhat blunted by the armor for all that it sucks it up and torments him with it. It might protect him, but armor with the heart of essentially a demon burned into it tends to come with at least a few flaws. He'd just clear the blade, not used to fighting an opponent that small who isn't one of the giant rats and huffing faintly, teeth showing. "Yes. Tell me. Did you get to look into their eyes as they died? Did you enjoy it? Did you watch the light fading from their eyes? Tell me, your funny funny story, TELL ME." Bared teeth now, and the eyes, blazing, taking another swing at her, this time working it lower then he's used to. Just like hunting rats, right? Yeah.
Doommuffin laughs as she sidesteps the strike. "Oh, no, that's a trick I can do only once. But yes, that is in fact a very astute observation! My eyes do indeed glow because I am technically no longer one of the living. But I assure you I am quite proficient in conversation and drinking." She swings the runeblade upwards in a diagonal arc to try to get a better swing in this time, her blade this time growing darker as she attempts the strike. "Well, to tell that story, you have to understand that I was raised by a being of undead whose power was akin to a god. He only wanted the strongest, the best. His lieutenants put us in pits to narrow the numbers. The orc I was paired off with called me a little muffin."
A booming laugh. "But really, does it matter? You can talk and drink and kill, that's the important thing, isn't it?" That fierce, wild grin is there, his attention more on the story than on the blade. Which is, needless to say, ALWAYS a mistake- and he feels the sparks as it glances, glances, dents- and then the nip and flare of it reaching flesh. He draws back- fighting is all well and good but it's basically taking what he loves and adding a lot of sweat and muscle aches and the chance of being hurt. Sure he loved wading into battle, he loved the feel of the weapon in his arms, the feel of the strength through his body- but it was the end that really made it all magical, and the rest was the journey, not the destination. But now he felt the slickness under his armor, the hot throb and sick pain of it, the burn against his ribs. Gritting his teeth, he aims for a pommel smash to the head, but knows before he even does it that he's not in his best form. "Well little muffin, you have sure showed him I am quite sure." The words trail off, however- what did she inflict him with?
Doommuffin actually ducks the pommel strike, narrowly avoiding the hit. It's not a tactic that typically would work for an overhead strike like that... but the fact that she's literally almost half Gogron's height makes this a viable dodge. "Oh, yes, quite. You see, I've never met an orc that can fight effectively when he or she doesn't have anything below the knees. He was no exception. It was laughably easy to become his Doom when he could no longer effectively move." She darts to the side, swinging the blade across at Gogron's knee height, her blade's energies seeking out the afflictions it earlier inflicted with intent on bolstering them. "That is how I became known as Doommuffin." Across from her earlier position, she whirles around, only her off hand now holding her blade... and her main now glowing a sickly, green color as she gathers raw necrotic power which then shoots across the gap between the two fighters.
The boots are considerable things, thick and built up, but there are edges, between shin and knee- and she clips said knee, making Gogron HOWL, and indeed he goes down, crashing to one knee and supported by pommel and sheer stubbornness. His teeth are bared- well bared more than normal, all a-snarl, and there is pain in his eyes. That terrible cold, strength sapping creep through his body speaks to him of poison, likely magical, the darkness seeming to slowly fill him, which only makes it SO MUCH WORSE when whatever the fuck the arc of horribleness hits him. He's holding his eyes closed, and though indeed, to fit the story, he too looks totally poleaxed and debilitated, his arm is remarkably quick, taking the opportunity at being this low to make a wide crescent arc of pain should the muffin of doom still occupy the space.
Kotal Kahn leans forward on his stool when he sees that Gogron has been seriously hurt. More than concerned, the Aztec's glowing eyes narrow like he doesn't want to miss a single detail of this exchange. "Bartender!! My mug is empty again!!" Looks like he's enjoying this battle waaay too much, and he's been drinking pulque non-stop too.
"Oh, no need to be so melodramatic, I didn't hit you that solidly," Doommuffin quips as she approaches the orc, her eyes glowing brighter. Too close, it seems, as she somehow still is taken by surprise by the sudden strike. She cries out as the axe blade catches her side, sliding up into the slight gap between waist and chest armor. She rolls with the hit, but the damage is already done to her side.
But there is no blood.
"I really should have seen that coming, I suppose," she says as she regains her footing and swings her sword in a fairly sloppy overhead arc towards the orc, this time the blade instead glowing a slight red of blood.
Okay he might've overplayed it. He's not feeling very good at the moment and he's not the most... stable, even normally. With everything that's been happening recently, can you really blame him for chewing the scenery a bit?
But the overhand strike is deflected by the axe, if only barely, for the moment going one handed, so that his other might leap forth, trying to catch her by the arm or throat. "SO, little muffin. Tell me this, then. If you do not live, then what keeps you here, what drives you still? Why do you fight?"
Doommuffin manages to leap in at the exact wrong moment. Yes, she avoids being grabbed, but instead she's effectively punched in the face. She cries out with an "OURF!" as she stumbles a bit to her left, spinning slightly. But she uses this new, unexpected momentum to swing around her sword. Down, in, up toward's the orc's chest, taking advantage of the outstretched arm. "I am sustained by the pain I inflict on others, if that is your question." The swing complete, she stomps on the ground with a foot... And the floor itself seems to seethe with necrotic energy, seeming to boil up blood from the ground. "But if you're asking what I find worth living for, that would be my hobby of tinkering!" She... was way to enthusiastically happy with that statement. She actually sounded almost cute again.
To be fair punching someone in the face with your fingers extended SUCKS, but gauntlets, amIright? It helps keep his fingers from breaking, just jarring them painfully as hand-becomes-fist impacts face. Down in up, towards the chest, taking advantage of the outstretched arm? That sounds like armpit territory, and that is SO VERY BAD- so very very bad. That's lung and artery area, so very badbadbadbadbadbad a place to be hit in- and the blade tip finds that one weak spot where only chain covers the area under several movement necessary hinges. The chain parts, and the blade tip sinks, cutting in. And then all hell breaks loose. Well- some sort of necromantical wonderland of terrible horror and the roil of blood. He's left gasping, and there's blood, so much blood now, and not all of it from the floor. His breath is weak and maybe just a little wet? Blood licks and dribbles at the edge of nostril and mouth. "...Tinkering. How do you mean that. By that. Tinkering." Is he generally interested? Maybe. His voice is sort of hurt and dull and distant, and a coughing wheezing sneeze spatters blood into the necromantic mess on the ground, leaving him shaking faintly.
Doommuffin's eyes glow brightly at the pain she has inflicted. "Well, you see, it's always been a hobby of mine to tinker! I am a gnome afterall... See, it involves taking mechanical devices and improving them! Making new and wondrous things! Finding out how things work! It gets incredibly technical, mind you, but... OH MY! I just realized we're going about this all entirely wrong! This is a bar fight! We shouldn't be using weapons! We should have only been using our fists!" With that, the death and decay on the ground vanishes. "Well, using chairs and tables and drinks would also be acceptable."
Blood drizzles from his nostrils and lips now at odd moments, the wet wheeze steadily increasing. "I'm afraid I'm not well, familiar, with gnomes. They sound somewhat, similar, to our dwemer. They uh." blood. "Lived in, the mountain fastness of their, under... ground, demesnes. And they, created, great, things. Great mechanical... ...wonders, and nobody knew why they..." What was he saying? The boiling blood vanishes, leaving only the spatters he'd left there himself, his axe making a clatter as it hits the ground. Surely he can reach out and grasp it and make it his own and strike her head off, surely? And yet his heart was as lead in his chest and his head drifted, the pain receding. He knew it was bad, but it was always hard to accept it, especially in the moment. "I'm afraid I'm... not in the best way." He'd made kind of a poor showing of it. Too long without proper food, sleep, with all of it? Perhaps. But maybe, he's slipping? Maybe. Blink. "I'm afraid I might um. Be up for a bit of a, nap. Just for a bit..."
Doommuffin walks over closer to the unconscious orc and pokes at him with an armored foot. "Huh... I guess I won... Darn it, and just when the conversation was getting interesting! I guess we'll just have to continue that line of conversation at a later date." She looks up towards Kotal Kahn. "You know this guy, right? Can you make sure he makes it home?" Well, home is a relative thing here in Twisted.
When Gogron finally falls, Kotal Kahn shows his clear biased by bashing his fist upon the bar's counter. It's not an intense SMASH that would split the very building in two, though it at least makes the whole thing rumble showing his displeasure. Hey, no one ever said he was going to be a fair judge on this one, it was pretty obvious he wanted Gogron to win.
He's about to stand to make sure that the little munchkin doesn't kill one of his warrior worshipers, when much to his surprise Doommuffin actually looks up to him and asks for the safe return of the orc to his quarters. The little one is showing mercy? He guesses he shouldn't be surprised.
"I shall make it so." He answers, though not before announcer the victor of the fight.
"The gnome wins!!" Says the Aztec to the clamor and applause of the patrons.
Wait what? Even Kotal Kahn looks surprised and confused he just said that.
Sometimes its inevitable that kombatants end up as friends after a fight instead of killing each other. Though not surprising, even to this day, it still irks Kotal a bit when it does happen. Particularly when he gets to witness it, makes him feel a little queasy.