Author Topic: opening act [Open]  (Read 1207 times)

Kingnoname1

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Re: opening act [Open]
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2018, 08:02:13 AM »
But that is exactly what your all or nothing way of thinking will lead you. You can’t always both stand up for others and keep them safe. I only hope you will learn that before it is too late. Saffron thought to herself, continuing the argument in her head. It had become completely apparent that there would be no full agreement and therefore no real reason to continue discussing. Although Saffron was very confident in her position she has experienced not being able to convincingly make her point before with both genuine debaters and people just trying to waste her time making her very sympathetic to Aurelia’s position. The Atlas student had enough experience with hard headed people to be happy with the small concession Aurelia gave them and who knows? Maybe some time alone to think will cause her to come around. One can always hope. But regardless that was going to be all from Saffron on the topic which had almost turned violent once, the last thing she wanted was to be involved in an altercation while she was a guest at Beacon. She didn’t exactly have a stellar reputation back at Atlas and there was a lot of pressure to disallow Saffron this opportunity. Some of that poor reputation wasn’t without justification, Saffron was a lot like Azure with being quick to anger in her early years. Such a temper never truly goes away but it was definitely something that Saffron had spent a lot of effort in correcting.

It did also make Saffron very sympathetic to Azure as well, only augmented by her personal experience in people doubting her abilities. It’s telling that for many Faunus consider being dismissed or being condescending to was one of the better interactions they would have with humans but that was never the case with Saffron. Becoming that same thing that caused her so much frustration did sadden Saffron greatly but she still tried to prepare Azure for her fight as best she could. ’You won’t win Azure, if that is why you are fighting then you might as well not bother. This is to learn; learn your limits, test them and feel comfortable at them. Because of that having some sort of barrier would be ideal, you never know, if you pull the upset of the decade you would lose much of the credit if you break that pretty face of hers.’ Saffron replied hoping the little savage joke at the end would soften her words somewhat as well as continuing to talk softly to hopefully avoid Aurelia detecting what exactly she was having to say to get Azure to agree. Smiling inwardly Saffron was enjoying her budding relationship with Azure as much baggage as it came with and it’s apparent downward trajectory at least in part because she saw so much of herself in Azure’s bravado. It stung to be on the receiving end of it, although karmatically justified, Saffron also knew how valuable it was to have someone stand up to her. And Saffron was going to do that regardless of what it cost their relationship.

Saffron was happy to have found a topic which Aurelia seemed to open up more within horse riding and would be perfectly willing to have her ear talked off on the subject but unfortunately, it seemingly wasn’t a topic that interested Azure. Maybe Saffron would have more luck looping it around to something surely everyone has had a little experience with, pets. ’Nineteen huh? Then she must be almost as old as you. Was she raised by your family? She should have a few more years left even if she is starting to slow down but that’s why I’ve always shied away from pets, can’t bear the thought of losing someone close to me. Maybe I should get a parrot, then it should be more worried about me dying and leaving no one to take care of it rather than the inverse. Actually out loud that doesn’t sound much better… Atlas has been working on some robotic dogs to help with the military, maybe I can ask nicely and get a prototype… a nice prototype… maybe not. What about you Azure? Have any pets growing up? Or something you’ve always wanted now you are free from our homelands arctic embrace.’ Saffron asked her jokes tinged with more dry bemusement than genuine annoyance even in regards to her homeland. It wasn’t like Saffron wasn’t wearing her school literally on her sleeve anyway, might as well have some fun with it.

As the trio continued to snake their way through the Beacon grounds towards the outdoor sparing rings Saffron was continually overwhelmed at how different the experience was from Atlas. The more casual nature of everything might be what everyone immediately thinks of but it was more than that, it was sheer chaos. Attracting a fair amount of attention given her Atlas uniform Saffron was the subject of quite a few stares and not all of them positive but many simply curious. ‘Why are you here?’ ‘How are you finding Beacon’ ‘Differences between Atlas and Beacon?’ Even offers to show Saffron around for the promise to do the same in Atlas, it was flattering in a way but it was also telling who came up and asked such. The sideways glances at Azure and Aurelia were subtle, far more subtle than Atlas but still present and still suggestive of darker intentions. Saffron could probably pass for a human more easily than almost any other Faunus and that combined with her uniform made almost everyone assume she was human as well as following several other worse stereotypes of Atlas. As a representative, Saffron could hardly dissuade them of these notions without making a scene and instead bore the boars as well as could be expected.

Finally, the trio made it to their destination, an outdoor sparing ring. A pair of fights was just finishing up leaving the ring empty but an audience nearby. ’Do you want to see if I can chase these guys off?’ Saffron asked, there was obviously no rule against watching sparring matches but there is a surprising respect for privacy present among most students and Saffron can be quite convincing when she wants to be. Stop laughing. Although initially, a fairly boring open plain the stadium did have the capacity for generating impromptu terrain by raising or dropping the cubes. ’Do you guys want some verticality or do you what to give each other as much room as possible?’ Saffron asked walking on the ring with everyone. It lacked the pristine gloss Saffron was used to associating with these fighting arenas but what it lacked in technological elegance it made up for in utilitarian durability making it the perfect ground for a rock star to fully unleash, or a knight.
No criticism is too harsh so hit me with your best shot.

Calen Shrike - ASTC - First Year Beacon.

Saffron de Cortez - SALT - Third Year Atlas.

Amarant Lovis - (formerly of)ACCE - Headmaster of Atlas Academy

Ramalia - RASB - First Year Shade

Azure Blair

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Re: opening act [Open]
« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2018, 02:16:22 PM »
Azure cast Saffron’s advice aside with a roll of her eyes. Of course she would win. She had to win. She had to prove herself, prove she knew what she was doing. She had to prove she belonged here. Azure had failed her first attempt to get into Beacon, and it’s easy to imagine what that would do to someone’s confidence in combat. Azure, upon failing, had grown skeptical of her skills, then, upon meeting the requirements asked of her, re-enrolled despite that. The fact that she had barely scraped by, barely gained entry into the academy, furthered her skepticism. She had taken said skepticism and used it to fuel herself. Maybe she wasn’t the best, but she had made it in, she had achieved one of her two life goals (the other being making it big in the music industry, which, while yet to happen, didn’t seem like too much of a stretch. Hopefully.) Now she just had to prove to everyone around her that she deserved the achievement just as much as they did, and winning a match against a girl like Aurelia, she thought, would be the perfect way to do that.

“Of course I’ll win. I’m a rockstar, I can do anything,” she joked. When needing to prove herself, she became a little too cocky and assured for her own good, even if was just an act; inside she was still uncertain she even deserved to be in the school, and therefore had to win to prove to herself above all others that she did. But she knew she couldn’t let her uncertainty show, thus the cocky persona she threw over herself. “And I don’t care what happens to her gorgeous face.” Gorgeous? Had she really said gorgeous? Great. It would be so much harder to fight someone when she was attracted to them. But damn the horse faunus looked like a literal angel. Sure, she was a snobby, stuck up angel, but an angel nonetheless.

As Saffron and Aurelia continued to discuss horses, Azure began debating whether or not she would actually manage in the match. Aurelia was a third year, clearly much more advanced than Azure herself. But Azure was hoping Aurelia’s formality would be a weakness. That was the main reason Azure shrugged off proper technique as much as she did, she found it limited what one could and couldn’t do. If she had to stand in a specific position to do a particular move, then would she really ever be able to use that move? What if a situation in which said move was necessary arose, but she had no time for proper footing or stance? Perhaps this wasn’t was using proper technique was really all about, but that was how Azure viewed it. Back in her old combat school, she had quickly grown sick of practicing moves over and over again, especially when a sparring match required that they only use the moves they had been taught. Azure had always found it much easier to improvise what she was doing than follow a set sequence. She hoped her spontaneity would throw the odds in her favor. If you can’t predict the next move of your opponent, it becomes that much harder to react to their attacks, and Azure liked being unpredictable.

“Alright, alright, we can have a limit of 15%,” she relented. Though she knew she would fight passed that limit, but she had to agree with the others to please them. Unfortunately for her, if her aura was to drop below the limit, she would be disqualified, even if she still wanted to continue. Any attacks she made after that would probably not count towards the match. But if Aurelia and Saffron didn’t have a way of reading her aura level, then maybe she could get away with continuing to fight...

Azure pondered Saffron’s question for a moment before answering. Yes, she had occasionally lived with families that had pets, but did she consider them to be hers? Not really, they’d just been one more member in a family that she was passing through. “No,” she answered, “I’d like to have one. Maybe a dog. But I’ve never had a pet before.” She looked around at the arena as they entered, it was a lot more simple looking than the ones she had fought in back in Atlas but she didn’t mind, it was practical.

“I think physical obstacles could add a nice challenge,” she said, eyeing the ring. Her fighting style wasn’t meant for any specific terrain, but if she had guess she would assume that Aurelia, with her perfectionism and formal nature, had a very specific fighting style, the type meant for certain types of situations. She was hoping adding in the uneven levels would throw off whatever Aurelia’s formal style was.

"And don't bother chasing them off," Azure added, "I like having an audience." Azure's desire for spectators was more than just her love of attention. While yes, she did enjoy people watching her and paying attention to her, and, given she fully intended to win this match, wanted as many people watching as possible when she did, she also had ulterior motives. Azure was an extrovert to the literal sense of the word. Someone who recharges energy by being around other people. For Azure, this was more than metaphorical energy. Her semblance let her draw strength from crowds; the larger the crowd, the stronger she was, especially if the crowd was interested and had high energy. Sometimes, the strength of energy and emotion mattered more than the actual size. A smaller cluster of enthusiastic people could have and equal, or perhaps even greater, effect on her than a large lifeless crowd milling about on the street. Azure knew Aurelia would have the upper hand in experience, she she had to manipulate the arena to play to all her strengths, and that meant keeping as much of as audience present as she could.
 
« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 04:23:42 PM by Azure Blair »
1st Year Beacon Student - Team CASA: Azure Blair

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Re: opening act [Open]
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2018, 02:24:40 AM »
(I heard y'all liked long posts)

It’s a long walk to the outdoor practice arena, made even longer by the frequent stops by students wishing to speak with Saffron.  It’s understandable, of course, an Atlas student in Beacon is a rare sight.  Aurelia has no problem with the interruptions, and patiently lets any student briefly converse with the foreigner.  She does notice the subtle glances directed towards her, the looks of petty racism and other such trivialities.  But she dismisses them, for they are meaningless to her.  Whatever opinions those looks hold, they were founded on nothing more than her heritage, something completely out of her control.  As such, the horse faunus would consider any complaint they might have as invalid.  Besides, she’s dealt with far more pointed stares back in Atlas, the looks in Vale are practically complimentary in comparison.

Still, those brief moments do put this recent “civil” discourse in perspective: not once did the subject turn to faunus civil rights.  The argument overall was on the matter of public security.  The discussion never veered towards anti-human or anti-faunus territory.  Sure, the threats that fueled the argument were most likely anti-faunus in nature, but the subject of discussion itself was how to handle it, not whether it was justified.  Aurelia ultimately disagreed with her compatriots, but the disagreement was founded in differing ideologies, rather than close-minded bigotry. 

That being said, she still finds Saffron and Azure’s viewpoints to be short-sighted and naïve.  She stands by her point that appeasing aggression will only invite more aggression.  That statement can be applied to everything from schoolyard bullies to international politics.  By ending her tour, Azure had shown that bomb threats were effective in silencing her.  The culprit may have been apprehended in this scenario, but who’s to say that will be the end of it?  What happens when someone of a likewise mindset sends a similar threat?  Will she end her tour again?  If so, then there’s a chance she’ll never be able to finish a tour in her lifetime.  Worse, it would encourage others to send threats to other artists in order to achieve similar results.  The culprit may have been caught, but his goal was ultimately accomplished.

Aurelia will admit her method would involve greater short-term risk, but she would take that risk seriously.  Besides, from the limited amount of information she gathered, she wagers she could build a fairly accurate profile of the perpetrator and plan proper security measures accordingly.  However, she decides not to pursue the subject any longer, as both other parties seemed to have dropped it for the time being.   

Instead she diverts her attention back towards horses, which seemed to be a much less divisive topic.  ”Indeed, she was born a short time after me.  She’s getting up there in years, but last I saw she was as lively as ever.  And, yes, my family raised her since she was a foal.  I’ve been riding her since she was old enough to carry me,” she says with a small smile, her tail flicking idly as she walks.  Reminiscing about her horse Little Lady brought a small degree of comfort.  However, her smile fades as Saffron shifts into the darker discussion of death.  ”I can relate to the sentiment.  I most likely won’t be there when she finally passes.  I can only be grateful my family will be there to take care of her when her final hours come to pass,” she says sadly. 

She remains silent for the remainder of the journey to the arena.  Fortunately, there was little distance left to traverse.  As they entered the amphitheater for the rings, Aurelia was surprised to find they were currently in use, though the fights seemed to be finishing up.  That was fine, actually: Aurelia still needed to change.  She wasn’t about to fight in her school uniform. 

”Let them finish,” she responds to Saffron.  ”I still need to gather my weapons, after all.  In the meantime, the console is over there,” she points to a podium off-stage, ”You may use it to alter the arena however you wish.  I assume it operates similarly to Atlas’s facilities, however if you have any questions, I’m sure another student will happily help you in my absence.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll return shortly.”  And with that, Aurelia about-faces and heads towards the lockers.

As she does, she considers the conversation Saffron and Azure had behind her.  She didn’t hear much of it, and the parts she did hear made it clear that it wasn’t meant for her ears.  However, Aurelia is not deaf, and she couldn’t help but overhear one line that will invariably affect her mindset going into the bout.

“Of course I’ll win. I’m a rockstar, I can do anything,”

Azure clearly intends to fight to win, not to learn.  As such, Aurelia must respond in kind.  She was never intending to hold back, of course, but there is a difference in mentality.  A fight for supremacy is ruthless, as combatants will use whatever means at their disposal to achieve victory.  A battle intended for teaching involves building upon strengths while exposing weaknesses.  There is overlap, of course.  A ruthless combatant will still take advantage of weaknesses, and practice matches are still meant to be won.  However, before hearing Azure’s bravado, Aurelia intended to charge headfirst against her in order to gauge her capabilities in order to provide criticism.  Now, however, the cavalier intends to pick apart every perceived weakness without exposing herself to any danger. 

That being said, perhaps in her absence, Saffron might still convince Azure to reconsider her feelings on the match.  Aurelia will give the first-year one more chance to decide what this bout will be for.  However, if Azure still decides to fight for victory above all else, then Aurelia will crush her with everything she has.

And judging from what she’s seen and heard, that will almost certainly be the outcome.  At full strength, Aurelia outclasses Azure in every relevant category.  In defense, Aurelia has her shield and aura technique, allowing her to defend against heavy blows.  On offense, Noble Steed provides power and mobility as well as an additional “weapon” under certain circumstances.  If Azure is a melee heavy opponent, then simply dashing around in a circle and taking shots at her with Dusk’s rifle form will easily be more than enough to cripple her.  If she prefers ranged attacks, she’ll have to outrun a horse or otherwise be stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place.

There’s more to it than that, though.  Aurelia’s no mind reader, but if she could read Azure’s mind, she’d criticize the first-year for dismissing formal training.  Formal training isn’t for specific scenarios, it’s something to fall back on in pitched battles where there’s little time to think.  The purpose of practicing one strike over and over again is to make the stance and movements reflexive, so a fighter wouldn’t have to waste time thinking about it.  And that’s not even mentioning that Aurelia’s career choice involves facing off against monsters that come in every shape and size imaginable.   

Furthermore, Aurelia’s first opponent in the Vytal Festival tournament also relied on surprising and catching her opponent off-guard.  Airi’s methods worked, mind you, but there’s a few differences that need to be considered.  First, Aurelia had to fight dismounted.  Second, Airi is also a third-year student with much more experience than her current opponent.  Third, Aurelia made a critical mistake that match in tossing her sword away, a mistake she does not intend to repeat any time soon. 

So, to sum everything up, Aurelia’s more experienced, has higher “stats” across the board, and has a better strategy prepared than “hope Aurelia’s formal training doesn’t give her a concrete base to fall back on”.  If Azure truly wants to win, she’s going to need to do better than relying on spontaneity. 

 As Aurelia finishes donning her armor, she places her shield on her back, straps her sword to her waist, and leaves the locker room.  As she soon as she steps outside, she stops and starts the process to summon her semblance to her side.  The construct whinnies, as it usually does when it’s summoned, but Aurelia takes a moment to observe it before riding back.

The armored unicorn glitters in the sunlight, its golden features attracting quite a bit of attention from surrounding students.  Aurelia pays them no mind, though.  She’s not interested in the beast’s appearance, but it’s behavior.  Judging from the casual way it tosses its mane and the way it paws the ground with its hoof, it’s agitated. 

No, that’s a silly observation to make.  It’s a construct of aura, it doesn’t have feelings or thoughts.  Its actions are simply the manifestations of Aurelia’s thoughts, both conscious and otherwise.  If it’s displaying agitation, then that means Aurelia’s agitated.  The cavalier sighs from behind her helmet, and takes a moment to get her thoughts under control and still the unicorn’s actions.  She won’t let herself be ruled by emotion. 

She takes just a bit longer to make sure the construct is completely under control before mounting it and heading off toward the arena. 
Smokey Emberstone Beacon 1st Year and the Immovable Gunslinger of Team BSSM
 "I've got more than enough firepower to beat you" "You've only got one bullet!" "Like I said, more than enough"

Aurelia Lumen Beacon 3rd year and the Warhorse of Team (TBD)  "Lay down your weapons, lest you wish to taste my steel!"

Wabul "Toast" Paka Shade 1st year and the Acrobatic Swashbuckler of Team (TBD)  "Hey, I'm gonna go jump off a bridge, who's with me?"

Kingnoname1

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Re: opening act [Open]
« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2018, 04:36:22 AM »
(Inversely my post but feel free to skip Saffron, for now, I’ll jump in if I think there is a reason)

Saffron thought to herself if she should give Azure advice. It wouldn’t do much to even the odds and she felt bad about sending someone into a fight blind regardless of their enthusiasm. It wasn’t her place and if this was truly to settle Azure’s nerves about attending Beacon, she would have to earn her place without Saffron eventually. Win or lose it was going to be down to Azure. Regardless Saffron couldn’t stay completely quiet and after setting up the arena. ’Remember any AoE orientated attack could hit both her and her mount but don’t be in a rush to bring it down. Being mounted is a big advantage in many ways but it leaves a few gaps, it’s harder to fight front facing meaning she will have to struggle to bring her entire sword arm around if you engage her shield side and vice-versa. That also means you can aim to reduce her attacks or defences by choosing which side to engage on. Keep light on your feet and out of the way from any charges. Best of luck.’ Saffron advised Azure taking advantage of the time Aurelia left to get changed. It was clear that nothing Saffron said would get Azure to reconsider this bout so might as well give her as best a chance. That’s not quite enabling, right?

As for the arena itself, it was a mostly flat affair with tall but thin pillars blocking sight lines and charging avenues. Although a person could easily fit behind on them would be difficult for Aurelia’s mount side on. To add some variety the centre of the arena was a raised flat area if the fighters wanted a more direct confrontation. As Aurelia comes back out Saffron finds her job mostly finished, offering the knight a warm smile before adding. ’Don’t go too easy but don’t go too hard, best of luck out there.’ Saffron remarked before standing off to the side clearly ready to launch into action if that was what was demanded but for now left the launching to Azure and Aurelia.
No criticism is too harsh so hit me with your best shot.

Calen Shrike - ASTC - First Year Beacon.

Saffron de Cortez - SALT - Third Year Atlas.

Amarant Lovis - (formerly of)ACCE - Headmaster of Atlas Academy

Ramalia - RASB - First Year Shade

Azure Blair

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Re: opening act [Open]
« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2018, 08:07:37 PM »
Azure didn’t need to change, she was already in her combat gear. That was one reason why wasn’t in uniform, she wanted to be combat ready at all moments. That, and the fact that she had always despised uniforms. Uniforms lacked one of Azure’s most valued traits: self expression. People couldn’t be themselves if they all dressed the same, it just forced everyone into an unrelenting sameness-- expressionless attire that left room for individuality. Azure had been given her uniform earlier that day, and had immediately discarded it. She wasn’t going to submit to the oppression of school uniforms anytime soon.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Azure mused, grateful for the advice. She didn’t want to feel nervous, she didn’t want to doubt herself, but when Aurelia came out on a horse, she couldn’t help it. Sure, she had gone up against Grimm three times the size and three times as deadly by herself, sure she had never been nervous during those fights--she was always too consumed by a dangerously large need for revenge to feel nervous, but this was different. Fighting people was always different. She had to hold back, she had to actually be careful, that would make it harder to win. Harder to prove herself. Maybe Aurelia was stuck up and annoying, but she was a person, as Azure had no grudge against people. Well, no grudge strong enough to yield results like that which could be seen when she fought Grimm. When sparring, Azure had learned to be more careful, make more precise strikes. Because when sparring, she had to make sure she didn’t actually hurt anyone; while their aura could protect them until a point, there had been multiple occasions where her and her opponent had decided to fight until aura levels had dropped to zero; or they’d gotten so engrossed in the match that they hadn’t been paying attention to their aura levels, leading to real injury as either her or her opponent’s aura completely depleted in the middle of the fight. She had a feeling that, despite the 15% limit that had been set, this fight would end up like one of those; with them too engrossed in the combat, too stubborn, to pull out when aura dropped beneath the limit. She had to be careful no accidents happened. Not again.

So when Aurelia came out on a horse--no, not a horse, a unicorn-- Azure realized that the only way she would be able to win this would be to give it her all. And she refused to give it her all in a match against another person. Needless to say, Azure was getting somewhat nervous about the match, only just now realizing what she had gotten herself into. Yet again, not thinking of the consequences of her actions until the hit her in the face. Typical. Her tail betrayed her steely façade, swishing slightly despite her efforts to keep it still. It was highly possible her semblance was leaking her anxities out into the crowd of other people in the arena, including Saffron and Aurelia.

It did give her some satisfaction, however, to be proven right. Aurelia’s fighting style was meant for specific situations, seeing as she seemed to revolve entirely around her semblance. It would be a lot harder to act as cavalry in a dense forest or deep snow, Azure determined. Aurelia was built for open plain fights. Azure glanced back at the pillars coating the floor of the arena with a smirk, she had been right to request the modifications. How rewarding.

Keeping her person layered over her nerves, Azure scoffed as she regarded Aurelia. “Knew you’d be terrain-specific. You may mock my informality but at least I can fight in any setting. A horse ain’t gonna be all that helpful in the ocean, eh?” As she spoke, she activated Rock and Roll before withdrawing Renegade from her back. The guitar jumped to life, the blades sliding out and the lights lighting up across the body as the faint black energy of the gravity Dust pulsed around the edges of the axe. A small beep indicated the axe had been paired with the bracelets. Azure spun the axe in her hand, before settling it into position as a guitar. In preparation, she slid a fire Dust crystal into the weapon. The strings began to glow red. Azure placed her fingers on the fret board and began plucking notes, charging up an attack as she stared across the space at Aurelia, daring her to make the first move.
1st Year Beacon Student - Team CASA: Azure Blair

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Re: opening act [Open]
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2018, 07:58:07 PM »
(Goin' a little off-script here)

Those within the sparring area would hear Aurelia before they see her.  The sound of hooves galloping would echo inside the amphitheater as she makes her approach, signaling the others of her arrival.  Clad in her shining silver armor and riding atop a glittering, golden unicorn, it wouldn’t be unfair to say she resembles a fairy tale hero.  At the very least, her appearance is very eye-catching.

As she finally reaches Saffron, the armored cavalier acknowledges her remark with a simple nod before returning her attention to the arena.  From an initial glance, the layout is somewhat inconvenient for Aurelia.  Pillars scattered about the arena serve as obstacles to her preferred methods of fighting, however it’s far from crippling.  She may not be able to directly charge her opponent in an environment like this, but this layout could be easily compared to the Emerald Forest. 

An open plain would have been the ideal battlefield for Aurelia, obviously.  Noble Steed’s speed would have been an overwhelming factor, as it would give Aurelia the ability to engage and disengage at will.  However, assuming her semblance is only effective in limited scenarios would be disingenuous.  After all, she would have been forced to train within the Emerald Forest, Forever Fall, and other such areas during her tenure at Beacon simply as part of the standard curriculum.  And then, when adding on her own over-dedication to training and self-improvement, she would start routing obstacle courses through the forests, aiming to traverse the densely wooded areas in as little time as possible.  She wouldn’t use the same course over and over again, either.  She’d route several courses and rotate through them throughout a given time period.

In summary, Azure’s scoffing only further shows her inexperience and naivety.  So, as Aurelia circles around the arena to map out potential charging lanes and cover, she turns toward her prospective opponent and says, ”Oh, is that what you think?  Perhaps a demonstration is in order.”

And without waiting for any sort of permission, Noble Steed hops into the arena on Azure’s side and races past her.  As it nears the first set of pillars, Aurelia and her mount lean hard to the left to make an incredibly sharp turn at speed.  The two zig-zag through the forest of columns, going from one side to the other over and over and barrel-racing through obstacles until they reach the center platform.  As the unicorn gallops to the top of the slope, immediately veers off and heads straight for a cluster of pillars. 

Just before the platform starts to slope back down, Noble Steed leaps into the air.  Meanwhile, Aurelia hops out of her saddle and lands on the unicorn’s horn, the creature itself bowing its head to make it level.  At the apex of its jump, the construct flicks its head back up as Aurelia jumps off of her semblance entirely, launching herself high into the air and landing on top of the 4-meter high pillar.  Noble Steed, in the meantime, immediately breaks off and averts colliding into the towers as soon as it lands and continues its zig zags around the arena.

Aurelia, now on top of the pillars, begins hopping from one pillar to the next, all the while tightly controlling Noble Steed’s movements.  Her movements are smooth as she traverses the battlefield, almost keeping in perfect concert with her semblance.  As she nears the opposite side of the field, she dives for the last pillar, drawing her sword.  She stabs Dusk into its side and uses it to start sliding down back to earth, before leaping off once again straight for Noble Steed, who at this time is charging straight for her. 

At the last minute, Noble Steed spins around, its hooves sliding in the dirt and kicking up dust, in order to receive its master.  Aurelia reaches out her hand and uses it vault over her semblance’s hind quarters and gracefully lands back in the unicorn’s saddle, as the beast rears up in the air and whirls back to face Azure.  When the hooves fall back to earth, Aurelia’s voice cuts through the air like a knife, saying, ”So, do you still believe my semblance is only useful on an open prarie?  You may claim ‘informality’ as your great virtue, but all you’ve demonstrated thus far is a severe lack of discipline.  Tell me, what do you hope to gain from this battle?  If it is victory, then walk away now.  You will not find it here.”

It was an intimidation tactic.  Aurelia wanted to show Azure exactly what she was getting into with this fight.  Quite frankly, the horse faunus did not want this fight, at least not under the current circumstances.  Azure has potential, she made it into Beacon in the first place.  That’s more than enough evidence to convince Aurelia she’s earned her place.  However, the most important lesson the first-year needs to learn right now is which battles to pick.

Of course, that kind of display wouldn’t work on someone who’s adequately prepared.  Saffron, for instance, would notice a few things about Aurelia’s performance.  For starters, while her movements on the tops of the pillars were smooth, they weren’t necessarily quick.  Rather, they were deliberate, fairly slow (compared to others of her level), and, frankly, predictable.  A particularly nimble and acrobatic first-year could easily outshine Aurelia in a contest of agility.  Even the unicorn’s speed wouldn’t come off as particularly surprising.  It’s definitely fast, racehorse fast even.  But all it did was dive in and out from some pillars and make a few sharp turns, nothing that would be considered extraordinary. 

However, the impressive part is that she did both of those things at the same time.  She ran two obstacle courses simultaneously.  She essentially demonstrated she can attack from two places at once, and that the two can separate and reunite at a whim.  Yes, a lot of her power stems from her semblance, but Aurelia is no one-trick pony. 

The real lesson, though, is that the terrain did not truly hinder Aurelia, but simply gave her a different set of opportunities.  By jumping on top of the pillars, Aurelia would gain a significant height advantage to use her rifle from.  With clever movement between the pillars, she can cover for Noble Steed as it makes its approach to attack.  Azure will come to realize the value of this way of thinking in time as she goes through Beacon.  But given that she assumed her opponent would have no way of negotiating the obstacles, it should be obvious to everyone present the first-year is, at the very least, severely underestimating her opponent. 
Smokey Emberstone Beacon 1st Year and the Immovable Gunslinger of Team BSSM
 "I've got more than enough firepower to beat you" "You've only got one bullet!" "Like I said, more than enough"

Aurelia Lumen Beacon 3rd year and the Warhorse of Team (TBD)  "Lay down your weapons, lest you wish to taste my steel!"

Wabul "Toast" Paka Shade 1st year and the Acrobatic Swashbuckler of Team (TBD)  "Hey, I'm gonna go jump off a bridge, who's with me?"

Azure Blair

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Re: opening act [Open]
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2018, 11:05:06 PM »
”I think I’ll find what what I’m looking for,” Azure replied, dusting an imaginary speck of dirt off herself as she leaned against Renegade, which was planted in the ground.

Azure had watched Aurelia’s spectacle. She had already accepted that the third year was much more skilled than her, but that didn’t mean she was going to give in. And she sure as hell wasn’t going to let anyone know of her hesitation. So instead of backing down, she kept her face impassive, a trick she’d learned from interviews. She may not be a international name, but she was faunus rock artist in the most conservative kingdom in Remnant; people found that rather interesting, and needless to say she’d been through quite a lot of interviews. She always had be careful when on live shows, or in front of a live audience; she had to maintain a certain image, a careless, laid back, cocky image. And now that practice was coming in handy. With her face unimpressed--almost bored--she arched a single eyebrow to regard Aurelia. “Showing off, are we?” She mused. And exaggerated sigh escaped her lips. Well if Aurelia felt the need to be flashy, she might as well, too. What could she say? She was born to entertain, born to be flashy, to keep eyes on her. And to be petty. Very, very petty.

Aurelia’s little performance had given Azure one specific advantage. All eyes were on the blonde girl, the attention of the audience focused intently on her, intrigued by her performance. That meant Azure didn’t need to focus the attention of the crowd onto Aurelia--she was already their focus, all she had to do was mess with the energy.

Azure clicked her tongue once, and the dragon ear cuff that resided on her right ear spiraled out into what looked like a headset, with the tail curling down to hover near her mouth. She adjusted a few dials on Renegade. “Alright,” she spoke, the same energy and fluctuation in her voice as if she were speaking to a crowd at a concert, the sound of voice much louder than it was usually as Renegade amplified it. “We making scenes, now? Well,” she laughed, “it appears you didn’t make much of an impression.” With that, she played a few chords from a song that gave her the emotions she was looking for. “Let’s hear the applause,” she sang. While singing did nothing to amplify the effect of her Semblance, it did make it work faster, as emotion was conveyed more easily in words than in instrumentals. “C’mon show me how much better you are. See you deserve some applause, ‘cause you’re so much better.” But the words were sung with a taunting sarcasm, with malice. Azure’s headset curled back into an ear cuff as she finished, her brief display enough to twist the energy of the audience, warp it, flip it. They would no longer be captivated by Aurelia, but annoyed with her, displeased. It was evident in the shift of attention, in the near palpable emotional environment in the arena. “Looks like they don’t like you.” Azure spoke with a smug, satisfied smirk.

She knew gaining the interest of the crowd wasn’t Aurelia’s intention; she knew her intention had been to intimidate Azure to some degree. But even so, she had to give her own performance. Aurelia had showed off her semblance, this was just Azure showing off hers. She knew it wouldn’t do much in the actual fight, but it was her way of showing Aurelia that the people sided with her, that her Semblance was more than a horse show. Azure knew she could be powerful-- or at least, had high potential to be. As soon as she could learn to use her semblance without the aid of music, she would be able to do just about anything she wanted. So she was showing Aurelia some of that power. Perhaps not specifically to be an intimidation tactic, but simply to show Aurelia who she was dealing with.

Her current goal was to give a warped vision of her Semblance. She had swayed the hearts of the entire audience, so how hard could a single person be? How would Aurelia know her Semblance worked solely with crowds of people? For all Aurelia knew, Azure could twist the emotions of any person she chose, and had been able to do it to all ten or so people in the audience at once, which would mean she would have no problem toying with just Aurelia.
1st Year Beacon Student - Team CASA: Azure Blair

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Re: opening act [Open]
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2018, 01:51:48 AM »
Aurelia is an introvert: her favorite pastimes include horseback riding and reading, activities generally considered “a-social”.  She generally dislikes crowds, finding the hustle and bustle far too noisy for her tastes.  That isn’t to say she’s unsociable or an ineffective leader.  In fact, some might say the opposite, that she’s diplomatic and a natural commander.  However, these traits stem from a sense of duty and a desire to get things done and done properly rather than any extreme desire to connect with people.  She’s far from a politician, put simply.  She generally ignores the idle chatter of the “peanut gallery”, so to speak.

So, when Azure begins to sing, the resulting hostility in the atmosphere catches Aurelia off-guard.  There’s a general rule of respectful silence during spars like this; this isn’t Amity Colosseum, after all.  But even then, the cavalier can feel the disapproving stares on her.  Combined with her own reservations against this fight in the first place, Azure’s performance leaves Aurelia more than a little insecure for a brief moment.

Key word being “brief”.

For the exact same reasons as before, along with an emotional “mirror” in the form of Noble Steed and a general background of dealing with veiled displeasure, Aurelia has plenty of tools to shake off the effect.  A simple stiffening of the ears pointed towards the crowd is all it takes from her mount for her to identify an emotional imbalance.  From there, all it takes is a bit of introspection, rationalization, and her general dismissal of public opinion to regain any lost composure. 

Given that Aurelia’s armor comes with a helmet that obscures her visage and that Azure has nearly zero experience dealing with horses, the first-year would most likely see zero sign of the crowd’s disposition having anywhere close to the desired effect.  Quite honestly, that’s a shame.  Had Azure saved her semblance for a more opportune moment, she could have exploited an undefended vulnerability.  However, as it is now, she’s merely tipped her hand to no real benefit.  It doesn’t help that Azure’s first instinct after her “demonstration” was to taunt, rather than make a move.  Had she even attempted to advance, Aurelia would have been forced to focus on the battle rather than analyze the situation.  Just another example of naivety.

Still, it’s not like that display alone explained the intricacies of Azure’s semblance.  But there are a few tip-offs to be seen, if Aurelia rationalizes carefully.  She does gather that Azure’s semblance is at least partly aided by music, and that it has an effect on disposition or emotion.  Since Azure’s entire appeal was to the audience and not at Aurelia specifically, it’s not unreasonable to think her semblance affects groups rather than individuals.  However, it’s also possible Azure was simply responding to Aurelia’s “show-boating” with a display of her own.  More data is needed before making a decisive conclusion.

With that said, if the knight’s suspicions are correct and Azure’s semblance involves manipulating crowds, then the first-year will find her opponent particularly resistant.  A hostile crowd might as well be home turf.

And since Azure seems determined to see this battle through, Aurelia’s course has been decided beyond a shadow of a doubt.  So, after an extended period of silence that bordered on uncomfortable, the armored cavalier responds to her opponent’s taunting with a simple provocation. 

”And?” 

It seems she’s unimpressed.
Smokey Emberstone Beacon 1st Year and the Immovable Gunslinger of Team BSSM
 "I've got more than enough firepower to beat you" "You've only got one bullet!" "Like I said, more than enough"

Aurelia Lumen Beacon 3rd year and the Warhorse of Team (TBD)  "Lay down your weapons, lest you wish to taste my steel!"

Wabul "Toast" Paka Shade 1st year and the Acrobatic Swashbuckler of Team (TBD)  "Hey, I'm gonna go jump off a bridge, who's with me?"