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The Ultimate Test of Strength (True Lycalo vs TMITM)

True Lycalo

Member
High in the cloudless afternoon sky soared a grandiose warrior over miles of desert. Dark brown wings with an immense span of 20 feet pushed the individual forth with impressive speeds. A collection of white rectrices at the end of a lengthy composite tail acted as a rudder to retain balance. Keen golden eyes rested upon the immense coliseum out in the distance. Reaching the center and hovering over the open arena with rhythmic flaps of his flight bearing appendages, he began surveying the structure. Its dilapidated nature was a definite indicator it had long been abandoned. No contest of bloodshed had taken place within those walls, likely for centuries. A nostalgic sigh escaped the nares of his yellow rostrum as he reminisced about the many times he entertained a packed crowd with his might.

The large round pupils of this combatant grew in size to obtain a much clearer view of something in the middle of the battleground itself directly below him. Perhaps this is what he sought. He had heard of a man with overwhelming power that had been seeking challengers. Following a thirst to grow stronger and put his abilities to the test had brought him here. Suddenly his wings ceased and he began plummeting to the ground, though they remained unfurled and added a fair amount of resistance. Soon he'd make quite the entrance about 15 yards from the awaiting figure. The stone flooring would crumble and the layer of sand above it would stir up into a temporary billow of dust. After a swift flick of his wings it was dispersed and he was now fully visible.

The white feathered head stood nearly 7 feet above the ground while upright pointed ears of an identical makeup just past that height. His stoic expression and angled ridges above his eyes lended to a sharp visage. Wrapped around the bottom of his neck plumage and resembling a scarf of sorts lay a mane of fur. Noticeably well groomed, it was primarily russet with streaks of golden yellow and black. The physique of this creature was sufficiently robust and covered in khaki brown medium length fur. Both hands and feet were sizable paws with deathly claws sheathed within. The wings that carried him through the air had folded along his back not unlike a cape. Feathers of a near identical hue lined his legs from his hips to just above his knees to finish the clothes-like aesthetics of his appearance and appear as a set of trousers.

This amalgamation of avian and feline attributes formed the one designated Tharraleos. One with the right knowledge would make note of this hybridization as belonging to the beasts of legends known as Griffins. This particular one hailed from a shape-shifting subspecies called the Metallaxi. More often than not existing in restrained bipedal forms like how he was now, these inhibitors could be relinquished under various scenarios to unleash titanic quadruped monstrosities with berserker mentalities. After serving for hundreds of years under a sinful sorcerer, the nomadic combat hunter aimlessly travels the globe seeking to harness his strength. In recent years he had reached a plateau and shortly after, stagnation as he seldom had the opportunity to even go beyond his Suppressed Form. This had the possibility of changing with the being before him.

"You there." The heraldic hybrid called out with booming vocals that had a faint growl to them. "I surmise you are the one they speak of who seeks a challenge?" He inquired with a raised brow. His articulation and proper inflections betrayed his bestial exterior as he spoke. His paws remained at his sides as if braced for action at any given point and his stance shifted subtly. He had a feeling in his gut this was about to be the confrontation of a lifetime and he much anticipated it.
 

TMITM

Megalomaniacal Arbiter
We're All Mad Here
@True Lycalo
"I̶ ̷a̷m̷ ̴h̴e̶.̶"
Indeed, the Man had seen the griffin approach, and felt the mythological power coming from the being, although not enough to warrant any sort of alarm from the Man - yet.
The Man in the Mirror was curious about this being, this foolish, foolish griffin who had decided to face him. Looking up and down this entity, to be honest, he'd expected... more. This lion/eagle hybrid had much to learn if he wanted to face the Man in the Mirror. And much more power to gain.
But, the Man supposed, this wasn't the worst he could do. He was definitely no slouch at combat, the Man could see that much, and was ready for a fight, not underestimating the man too much.
There was also a healthy amount of reverence and fear, which the Man appreciated.
"W̸h̵o̶ ̵a̶r̵e̷ ̵y̵o̷u̶?̶"
 

True Lycalo

Member
Upon hearing this confirmation, the warrior's beak subtly twisted into a grin.

"I am Tharraleos." He responded, placing a paw to his chest with an heir of grandeur. "Allow me to showcase the might of the Metallaxi." The way he carried himself denoted a sense of hubris. The Man would likely be able to detect something inside Tharr. Something sinful. Dwelling within the Griffin was a semi-sentient essence of pure Pride bestowed by his former enslaver. It formed a sort of symbiosis with its new host and by feeding off his inherent ego, it gifts him an ability it believes suits him best. As he spoke the gold of his eyes flashed a vibrant purple momentarily and would pulse a couple times almost like a heartbeat. These were reserves of power being stored for later use.

Tharraleos would begin pacing back and forth laterally as if analyzing his opponent; his eyes locked on intently. The pressure he felt emanating from this individual was suffocating. His heart began thumping within his chest and for the first time in recent memory the thrill of battle began to envelope him before a blow was even dealt. It was an invigorating sensation and he was hoping the skirmish would live up to the hype. Facing such insurmountable odds so headstrong certainly invoked a feeling of self admiration which acted as a morsel for the Sin essence and caused his irises to illuminate a few more times. Normally he'd take a more methodical and defensive approach to battles at first to determine one's strengths and weaknesses. This however was an exception. In a nice change of pace he had to prove himself to his foe and he was all for the challenge.

Crumbling the stone beneath his feet, Tharr abruptly made a beeline towards the Man with surprising speed given his sizable frame. Each step closed a significant gap and trembled the earth every time. Assuming his target didn't move he'd be within striking distance in a matter of seconds. Planting his left foot, he'd stop and send a pretty basic right armed punch. The momentum from his charge gave it a fair amount of strength; far more than any human could ever achieve and he had yet to apply any genuine effort. He'd attentively watch the reaction of this person, prepping himself to react accordingly.
 

TMITM

Megalomaniacal Arbiter
We're All Mad Here
The Man recognized it all too well, the poison that would eventually be this being's downfall. Pride was a thing that was best left untouched, in the Man's experience, unless it was reasonable pride, pride in your accomplishments, pride in your own strength, not something that was born to you. Pride of knowledge. That was what warranted pride. Not inborn ability or social status.

Nevertheless, The Man just smiled at Tharreleos as he paced in front of the Man. The Man knew that He was feeling it, the bloodlust and the battle rage. It was expected of someone of his upbringing and makeup - this being was literally born for battle. Bred for it. Similar to the Man himself. This is what they both lived for.

Metallaxi? Must be his race or something.

Anyway, the Man doubted it mattered now.

As the man watched Tharreleos, almost in slow motion, run up to him, the Man was acutely aware of the purple pulses in his eyes, like a heartbeat. He could almost feel the ka-thump of it, the beating that flowed blood through this physically impressive creature's veins. He could almost feel it speeding up. He could almost taste it.

Oh, what the Man would give to feel that beating again.

Tharreleos must not have expected that punch to connect, or even do anything, because it didn't.

The Man dodged the blow easily, spinning to Tharreleos' right, (I'm assuming he used his right hand) his footing like an intricate dance around Tharreleos to his back, pulling his cane out of his sleeve, something that couldn't possibly fit in there, and bringing it down on Tharreleos with one hand, not really expecting that to hit either, more just testing the griffin and giving him a small taste of the Man's strength.

The Man had experienced this before, the slow buildup that happens when beings don't know the others' abilities, this slow dance that eventually broke out until one being ended up more powerful than the other. Like a sacred ritual, with either side adhering to the unspoken rules. The Man had fought demons, he had fought nightmares. He had fought gods. Tharreleos couldn't be serious, starting out like this.

But the Man would be patient. He would be lenient. He would make do. Right now, he needed his combat fix, and this griffin, this... Metallaxi ... would do.
 

True Lycalo

Member
In an unsurprising development, Tharraleos' strike missed its mark. He lurched forward somewhat, rooting his right foot in front the other to stop his momentum. This Man had moved so quickly and it was almost like he teleported at the last second. The counterattack came just as swiftly and Tharr would barely have time to react. He couldn't even evade and had to face it directly.

Pivoting his body, he'd begin initiating a half rotation while straightening his body out. Simultaneously, something began to manifest around his left forearm. Donning the same purple glow his eyes took on moments before was a small ovoid shield with a 2 foot diameter. Aptly dubbed the Buckler of Brilliance, this was part of his vast hidden arsenal that the essence provided. Composed of hardlight and physically resembling glass, the damage and durability of these is dependent on the amount of reserves designated to it. With 5 garnering average statistics, this particular construct utilized 3.

In a backhanded strike, the Man's cane would collide with the sinful construct. As Tharr predicted, the attack was dealt with way more force than how it looked. The barrier nearly shattered on contact, sending shards all over that would wither away after a few seconds. Numerous deep fractures were seen throughout as well and it looked as if it was close to crumbling. Undeterred and hoping this would at least cause some semblance of imbalance, Tharraleos would send the bottom of his foot towards the Man's midsection in a swift, powerful kick. He'd be left relatively vulnerable if this missed, but still with the chance to retort if he was quick enough.
 
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TMITM

Megalomaniacal Arbiter
We're All Mad Here
As the brilliant buckler shattered under his might, the Man couldn't help but smile. This Griffin had a few tricks in his bag. That was good.

More.

The Man in the Mirror was feeling it. He felt the power radiating from this being. He felt that he had more to give. More power. More fight. More of that delectable mortal determination.

Show it to me.

The Man in the Mirror saw the foot coming, but he didn't believe it, he didn't believe a griffin, skilled in combat, would do something this unwise. It was apparent that this griffin hadn't fought anyone more powerful than him in a while, maybe ever. He had been relying on brute strength for a while now, rather than skill.

The Man in the Mirror dodged, quite easily, actually, before spinning into a crouch and swiping at his one remaining leg that was on the ground, albeit a little halfheartedly. He didn't actually expect it to hit, he just wanted to reprimand the griffin for making such a mistake.

Even if the Man's attack didn't hit, the force of the swipe alone would kick up a lot of sand.
 

True Lycalo

Member
Tharraleos was certainly a master tactician to the point of seemingly having some precognition at times. The rudimentary kick he delivered was somewhat of a fake. If it connected that would have been satisfactory, but he was hardly counting on it. He was testing his adversary and seeing just how uphill of a battle this truly was. So far this Man had not disappointed at the slightest.

Ever impressed with his footwork, Tharraleos reciprocated with his own movements that were graceful, precise and calculated. Even maneuvers that seemed last minute were executed as if it were the plan all along. This was no exception. With his right leg now extended above his opponent and the other rooted to the ground, his options seemed limited as the Man went for his strike. In a bizarre move that he somehow made appear majestic he bent the knee that supported him and leapt upwards. In tandem with this, his other limb slightly veered to the right then kicked to the left. It all required finite concentration on very specific muscles and even with all his flexibility he felt the most mild of cramps setting in his groin. Hardly anything significant and really only a temporary annoyance.

This not only allowed his leg to narrowly evade the attack, but it gave him just barely enough leverage to initiate a counterclockwise twirl of his own with a pull of his body. His right foot would reunite with the stone first about 3 quarters the way through. His hips and torso would twist to complete the rotation while his left foot planted itself on the ground close to where it was before. All the while Tharraleos' right fist would be careening down towards the top of his opponent's cranium. But it wasn't a bawled up paw like it was before. Instead something was enveloped around it.

Taking the form of a giant, fist shaped gauntlet, the Supercilious Cestus made its appearance next. Not only does it expand the area of his strikes for further damage, but the inside nullifies concussive impact to protect his paws. The Griff was indeed a crafty one and had many more tools at his disposal. The Man perhaps would make note that this 4th strike was oddly faster than the 1st. It wasn't particularly a matter of effort either. The Metallaxi have individual methods of increasing battle performance in the midst of a skirmish. The body of this hubristic hybrid acts as a natural kinetic dynamo. Each mighty swing enhances attack speed and strength by 5%; rising up to thrice his base power. While it was remarkably unnoticeable at the moment, its full effects would reveal themselves over time.
 

TMITM

Megalomaniacal Arbiter
We're All Mad Here
The Man watched, having stood up swiftly after the slash, as Tharreleos careened above him in a smooth arc, the Man putting his cane away in the same way he brought it out; storing it in his sleeve - something that wasn't naturally possible, thinking about Tharreleos' avoidance of this simple problem. The Man almost laughed. Didn't Tharreleos have wings? The Man, who wasn't visually able to fight in the air, might be at a disadvantage. Tharreleos couldn't have just launched himself into the air and then dive-bombed the Man in the Mirror?

In this way, as Tharreleos flipped above him, he laughed as he saw this move exactly how it was - fancy, of course, - but completely unnecessary.

The Man simply raised his hand, pointing in the direction of where the griffin would land/attack, and released a powerful gust of telekinetic power - something that would hopefully shove Tharreleos back, seeing how he wasn't very grounded, again, with one foot on the ground. The Man smiled. This seemed reckless.
 

True Lycalo

Member
The subsequent burst of psionic energy was enough to send Tharraleos hurtling backwards perpendicular to the ground. What was left of his shield as well as the gauntlet were destroyed entirely from the impact and would send purple particles to scatter about. The wings of the warrior would reveal themselves at this point to dampen his momentum. The outer remiges appeared to "grab" onto the stone floor as well to not only slow him further, but to ground himself while he regained his footings. He would come to a stop about the same distance he started this skirmish while his flight bearers remained outstretched to the sides. Thrice his height, they occupied a fair amount of space and were easily the most resilient part of his makeup.

"I see." He began with an audible, close beaked chuckle as he stood upright. "It appears fighting you as a man will prove fruitless. I shall fight you as a Griffin now!" He declared with vigor as more reserves were added to his stockpile. His maw would open and his signature battle cry would erupt from him. The piercing screech of an eagle would resonate throughout the abandoned arena. This would transition into the booming bellow of a lion that almost seemed to threaten the structural integrity of this place. His left wing would bend into a makeshift fist and slam into the ground in front of him. Even with its impressive span TMINT was still way out of reach. But a direct strike wasn't the intention.

Tharr's wing landed with such force and precision that it created a fissure of splitting earth that was sent towards the ambiguous figure. This wasn't intended to cause any damage, but rather disorientation. The Knight of Hubris would watch the reaction intently while prepping his other wing and retracting the other. With a lofty lateral swing, the air around his appendage would create and release a crescent-shaped construct of pressurized wind that would be unleashed in accordance to the Man's movements. Nearly invisible and moderately sized, these have been known to carve through steel. From here he would determine whether or not to continue this ranged assault or make another attempt at close quarters
 

TMITM

Megalomaniacal Arbiter
We're All Mad Here
The Man watched as Tharreleos slowed his momentum, the griffin coming to a halt reasonably far from the Man in the Mirror, the Man satisfied with the distance he put between them - this would slow him down a little.

The reveal of the griffin's wings did not surprise the Man, nor did it make him feel as if he was in danger. the only thing the Man felt was a semblance of sadness, as sad as a being who cannot feel grief could get, looking at the Griffin's wings. Oh, how he wished he still had the use of his.

The prideful griffin chuckled and then babbled on about his power for a little bit, honestly, the Man in the Mirror wasn't paying attention. Something about fighting him as a griffin, not as a man. The Man almost laughed. Tharreleos was hopelessly optimistic that it would make any sort of difference, but the Man would humor him - for now. This griffin's pride would have to be stomped down eventually - this griffin was getting a little too big for his britches, and the Man in the Mirror had the power to correct that.

The Man appreciated the creativity Tharreleos using his wings almost like a second pair of arms, slamming one into the ground to create a fissure aimed at him. The Man simply dodged to the right, pivoting on his right foot to dodge the fissure entirely. The Man didn't really know what his opponent was trying to achieve with this attack, but the Man guessed it didn't matter. The griffin had shown that he was more interested in showcasing his power than actually fighting the Man in the Mirror before, so the Man in the Mirror assumed it was the same here.

The crescent-shaped vestige of wind didn't escape the Man in the Mirror - in fact, he noticed it instantly, and quickly spun on one foot to generate torque, crouched down to intensify it, and then jumped above it, his body spinning perpendicular to the crescent-shaped object, then landing lightly on his feet, in a slight crouch, before standing up again. The Man chuckled.

"W̷e̸l̴l̸,̵ ̷g̶r̷i̵f̶f̷i̸n̴,̷ ̶" He said, smiling. "M̴y̶ ̶k̸i̵n̵d̴ ̴s̸e̷e̷ ̵w̸i̷t̸h̴ ̸m̵o̷r̵e̴ ̷t̷h̷a̸n̵ ̴e̴y̵e̶s̸.̶"
 

True Lycalo

Member
As the Man landed and stood upright, he would see a volley of 3 small arrows flying right at him about a second apart. Behind these bolts was a sprinting Tharraleos with significantly more velocity than his previous approach. Which was more attributed to elevated effort rather then an ability. Both wings were at his sides curled for bludgeoning while each of his paws dual wielded another of the essence's constructs.

The Crossbow of Complacency functions similarly to a pistol with comparable grip and firing mechanism. With individual resources needed for the bows themselves and the subsequent bundles of 5 for the bolts, this exhausted a good deal of his reserves. 2 for each component meant damage wasn't the priority, but rather as a nuisance to deal with while the Griff capitalized on potential openings. First he would attempt to get within striking distance for his feathery limbs before adding winged punches to his barrage of arrows. He launched 3 to start, but his digits hovered over the trigger and his eyes narrowed at the obstacle ahead.

"Sight beyond my understanding I am certain." Retorted Tharraleos as he pressed on. His teeth and fangs had instinctively revealed themselves with a beastly grin as he felt himself becoming immersed in this battle even more. Combat adrenaline began coursing through him and being so overpowered was almost euphoric. He could feel it. The inhibitors binding him to this humanoid guise were waning rapidly. Soon a whole different monster may manifest.
 
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