Acolyte Tassk Adroc vs. Augur Vez Hirundo

Acolyte Tassk Adroc

Journeyman 2, Journeyman tier, Clan Odan-Urr
Male Togorian, Force Disciple, Marauder
vs.

Augur Vez Hirundo

Equite 4, Equite tier, Clan Odan-Urr
Female Mirialan, Force Disciple, Seeker
Comment

General Comments

There are few things ACC Judges enjoy more than battles that are easy to grade. Opportunities to judge former Combat Masters are one of those things. In this battle, I’m lucky enough to have both, and I’d like to thank the combatants for that.

More importantly, both members put out an impressive showing. Tassk has an impressive grasp on the ACC for someone who’s come to it so recently, and I’m sure he’ll only improve with time. As for Arch, I had high expectations (and some sympathy for the “first battle after being CM” ordeal), and he didn’t disappoint. Well done, both of you, on a battle that had surprisingly close scores for "newbie vs. former CM". I look forward to seeing more from you in the future.

Hall Duelist Hall - Ranked
Messages 4 out of 4
Time Limit 3 Days
Battle Style Singular Ending
Battle Status Judged
Combatants Acolyte Tassk Adroc, Augur Vez Hirundo
Winner Augur Vez Hirundo
Force Setting Standard
Weapon Setting Standard
Acolyte Tassk Adroc's Character Snapshot Snapshot
Augur Vez Hirundo's Character Snapshot Snapshot
Venue Kiast: Velastari Temple
Last Post 20 July, 2020 9:00 PM UTC
Syntax - 15%
Headmistress Alethia Archenksova Tassk Adroc
Score: 4 Score: 3
Rationale: Two errors in your second post. Rationale: A few errors between both of your posts.
Story - 40%
Headmistress Alethia Archenksova Tassk Adroc
Score: 4 (Advantage) Score: 4
Rationale: Excellent immersion and storytelling, and the foreshadowing was a pleasant surprise (which, along with the detractor in Tassk's first post, gave you advantage). Rationale: Excellent immersion and storytelling, with one detractor in your first post.
Realism - 25%
Headmistress Alethia Archenksova Tassk Adroc
Score: 5 Score: 5
Rationale: No issues, but see the comments for your first post. Rationale: No issues.
Continuity - 20%
Headmistress Alethia Archenksova Tassk Adroc
Score: 5 Score: 5
Rationale: No issues. Rationale: No issues.
Headmistress Alethia Archenksova's Score: 4.65 Tassk Adroc's Score: 4.3
Posts

Kiast: Velestari Temple

Perched on top of one of the many summits in the Or’ena mountain range on Kiast, only a few kilometers or so from the new Jedi Praxeum, the Velastari Temple is an old forgotten Vatali Jedi temple surrounded by mountain peaks on all sides. Thin wispy clouds and fog tend to linger around it when not otherwise blown away by the cold mountainous air channeled through the mountains. The hot suns of Kiast shine on this particular peak regularly, forming beautiful rainbows as the light reflects off the metallic surface of the Vatali structure. As a result, despite the temple’s heightened elevation, the Velastari Temple and its surroundings atop the peak are warm enough to not only support green vegetation, such as trees and grass, but also humanoid visitors, who can get by with a variety of layers depending on the season. In addition, the elevation makes the air breathable, the toxic fumes of the planet only residing in the lower atmospheres. Past the peak itself, the ground drops away quickly, forming dangerous ridges that travellers can use to travel from peak to peak.

Occupying a relatively flat portion of land on the summit, the Velastari Temple invokes the Jedi temples of old but with the classic design elements of the Vatali civilization and a few changes to suite the terrain. Hooded Vatali statues flank its entrance, the aged metallic stone having long lost its luster. The atrium of the temple is surrounded by four spiraling pillars and is filled in between with a cacophony of support structures, some of which include landing pads and storage. This once well-organized system of buildings has fallen into disarray, ancient machinery and debris breaking up any direct approach to the main temple itself. Long defunct droids, some partially scavenged, can be found throughout the atrium. As to the spiraling pillars, no one is quite sure if they are structurally sound, but they appear to have been watchtowers and may have possibly at some point served a secondary purpose due to the number of additional rooms within it.

Once one makes it past the atrium, the main temple itself comes into view, towering over the smaller spirals below. Like other ancient Jedi temples, it has many mysteries that will only reveal themselves to Force-users, unlocking portions of the temple one might assume didn’t exist. Its architecture is highly reminiscent of the old Jedi Order, though less grand in scale than its peers. Nevertheless, it has all of the remains of core components one would expect, such as a Jedi Council room, housing, a library, and training rooms. Few enter the temple itself unless undergoing trials and Odan-Urr does it best to preserve the Velastari Temple from further damage. This landmark serves as not only inspiration to the next generation of Jedi but also as a solemn reminder of the Jedi long gone.

Tassk had been preparing for this day for weeks. He was traveling along the ridge, with his master Teikhos towards the Velastari Temple. Today was another trial, one of combat against another student. Teikhos hadn’t told him anything about them, but Tassk hoped for a challenge. Just another obstacle to conquer, he thought as he took in his surroundings.

It was a perfect morning, the air was cool with a breeze, but with his fur keeping him insulated it felt refreshing. His air was crisp up here, with a sky full of soft clouds, complimented by cold sunlight filtering through. The ridge was steep and rocky, a journey he had made before, as had many others before him. Sprouting from the rugged terrain were fresh green sprouts of spring, a dash of color along the well worn path. Dwarfing all else around him, ahead was an object of majesty that amazed him every time he saw it.

Emerging from the ground, as if from a seed of moonlight planted by some colossal deity, were the magnificent spires of the temple. Long ago, they had lost their luster, but the towering structure was still a sight to behold. Once before, Tassk had been inside, a spiritual journey helping to fully immerse him in the wonders of the Force. This trip, things were different.

Collecting his thoughts, Tassk strode along the gravel path towards the entrance. He heard the leaves in the trees swaying against each other. He smelled the damp earth of morning. He felt the rising suns on his fur, a contrast to the chilled breeze. He was at home here, surrounded by the natural world. The Force flows through all living things, and I am but a conduit for that energy, he thought with his eyes set upon the open gate ahead. He walked up the steps, under the statues, through the gate. The trial was upon him.

He looked around the atrium, a beautiful space, only an echo of previous grandeur, yet still stunning. His eyes settled on an odd couple. There was an older woman, standing back, as a younger mirialan woman was scrolling through some sort of datapad while tapping her foot. Seeing her, Tassk faltered in his step. This woman, with pink dyed hair, decked up with electronics, was sorely sticking out amongst the temple, even with the more recent additions of various extra buildings. As he would later realize, just the first in a series of odd events.

Tassk stood there with a somewhat confused face as she spoke, “Oh good, you’ve finally shown up.” Finally? I got up at dawn, he thought. As this went through his head, he recalled seeing her in passing, never really taking much note of her. Remembering his manners, he spoke. “Hi, my name is Tassk, what’s yours?” he asked her, and she responded with a nonchalant answer. “Vez,” she said, looking down at her datapad, she asked a simple question, “are we going to start already?” with clear impatience in her voice.

Their masters moved to the side of the atrium, sitting together on a step leading into some other building. Tassk wondered about his odd opponent, then shut down his wandering thoughts, it doesn’t matter how she fights, now is the time to focus on yourself, as the sound of two lightsaber igniting filled the atrium, one gold, one blue.

General Seraine "Erinyes" Taldrya Ténama, 24 July, 2020 12:38 AM UTC

What Went Well

You did a great job of putting the reader into Tassk’s head with the level of detail you included in your descriptions. I also enjoyed how you turned Vez’s cynicism into brusqueness on the battlefield, like she was done with the whole endeavour before it even started.

Room for Growth

First and simplest, you had a few grammar oddities that cut into your Syntax score. The first was the use of “said” vs. “spoke” in the sentence starting with, “Tassk stood there with a somewhat confused face…” “Spoke” describes the act of speaking. If you’re referring to the content of someone’s speech, “said” is the correct word to use.

The second issue that earned you a detractor was the run-on sentence starting at, “Tassk wondered about his odd opponent…” There should’ve been a period after “shut down his wandering thoughts”, since the sentence goes from being about Tassk handling his thoughts to being about the thoughts themselves.

The other main issue, with the Story aspect of your post, is that while it was well-written and you had a lot going on, you didn’t quite get as far as actually starting the fight. The Story section of the ACC Rubric states that, “Every post should focus on the appropriate conflict, as specified by the combat hall or ACC event description. It is a detractor when this conflict is absent or minimized…” I often think of the ACC as the “martial arts movies” of Brotherhood fiction, in that while readers often appreciate a well-developed plot and imagery, most people are there for the action. Again, this isn’t a criticism of what you did write—I enjoyed your post, and I think you wrote it well. It’s just that, like in martial arts movies, ACC battles are expected to have the action take centre stage.

Suggestions

Story-wise, make sure to highlight the conflict between the combatants in each of your posts. This doesn’t have to be physical combat—the Rubric specifically uses “conflict” to allow for things like contests of wills (including, say, mental-manipulation Force powers like Illusion or Terror)—but it should emphasise how the characters are at odds with each other.

For Syntax, proofreading and/or reading aloud will help you catch “rhythm” issues like run-on sentences, and may help you notice incorrect word choices like spoke/said; it would probably sound weird for someone to use “spoke” in a conversation.

Another syntax-related suggestion is to start a new paragraph when changing to a new speaker in dialogue, such as the first interaction between Tassk and Vez. Not doing so didn’t earn you a detractor because it isn’t exactly a hard-and-fast grammar rule, but adding the line breaks does make it much easier for the reader to follow a conversation, so I’d encourage you to do so in the future.

Deep breaths. Happy thoughts. Vez squeezed the grip of the dinky training saber and kept her eyes locked on Tassk’s hands, trying not to think about the fact that one massive paw could smother her entire face. Vorsa hadn’t been kidding when she said this was going to be a fight to overcome nature. You might as well pit a nuna against a rancor. Vez was just glad she didn’t have the shakes bad enough to be obvious to her opponent.

“Alright, kids,” Teikhos said from behind Tassk. “Have at it.”

The Togorian raised his blade to his face in some sort of salute. Vez just lunged with a wordless shout and drove her azure blade into her opponent's shoulder before he even knew what was on him. He grunted and hissed and leaned back on his heels as the Mirialan gave up on any pretense of swordplay and swung her lightsaber back and forth like a piece of broken barstool. Leaning hard into the adrenaline and fear, she wailed on her opponent, scoring a few more hits and filling the air with the stench of singed fur.

People always want the big heavy guys to be slow, maybe out of some sense of cosmic fairness. In Vez's experience, they never were—but Tassk was on another level. Moving so fast her eyes could barely register he turned her own tactic against her, charging forward with one shoulder lowered. Even hunched forward, the hulking Togorian’s shoulder was about chin level on his opponent. Vez barely felt it when he clocked her—she had barely processed that she was flying through the air before she felt herself slam into the atrium floor a meter away. Her deactivated lightsaber clattered on the floor nearby and rolled to a stop.

She couldn’t breathe. Landing flat on her back had taken the wind completely out of her. Choking and gasping she flailed about, triggering the shield on her vambraces after what felt like minutes. The hulking Togorian floated into her field of vision, frowning down at her, and squinted. He simply reached around the shield and grabbed her upper arm with one massive fist, lifting her up into a seated position with no more effort than it would take to move a doll. “Sorry,” he grunted. “Calm down and try to catch your breath.”

The Mirialan glared at him the entire time, but took the advice. A bit of coughing later, Vez was on her feet next to the Togorian.

“Maybe try using it like a lightsaber next time,” Tassk said.

“If it was a real lightsaber you’d be dead,” Vez shot back.

The fur on Tassk’s face rippled slightly as he considered that. “I’ll keep that in mind next time.”

“Sorry, guys.” Teikhos said. “That’s not enough. You haven’t even begun to test each other.” The Zeltron Jedi was somber, a striking contrast for a man who was normally all smiles and who abhorred violence.

Vez swore and dove for her training saber.

General Seraine "Erinyes" Taldrya Ténama, 24 July, 2020 12:39 AM UTC

What Went Well

Short, but sweet. Your descriptions of both the environment and what was going on inside Vez’s head were vivid, and the characters’ dialogue and mannerisms really made them pop. The combat was fast-paced and interesting. I like your setup of what I think is foreshadowing in one of Vez’s offhanded thoughts. Bringing NPCs into the mix helped to liven up the atmosphere without detracting from the battle.

Room for Growth

No detractors per se (which, as you know, is rare), but one thing that did catch my eye was how you described Tassk as “Moving so fast [Vez’s] eyes could barely register…” despite Vez having Perception +4. With Tassk using the Force to boost his already-naturally-quick movements, it’s a plausible enough description (especially since she could “barely” register it instead of not seeing it at all), but it skirted close enough to a Realism detractor that I figured I should mention it.

Suggestions

Since I can’t even throw out my default “proofread” suggestion, I’m going to go with “go easy on the flash-stepping”. :P

Tassk didn’t particularly like where this was going. He had knocked her to the ground with ease, but that didn’t mean he had forgotten the searing strikes of her wild offensive. Uncertainty abound, the large Togorian furrowed his brow as his opponent dove.

Stepping away, Tassk saw his opponent rising, determination in her eyes. He leveled his blade, unsure what he should do. I could beat her. Or I could get caught up in all of this and fry her. Deep breaths, deep breaths, Tassk thought, focusing on the fragile figure ahead of him. Let’s take this one step at a time. Just a training match.

Caught up in thought, Vez rushed straight at him, lightsaber brandished, a scowl on her face. Ready, Tassk batted away a wild slash, hesitating, then stepping away. She slashed again, and Tassk kept his defense sturdy, still evading her. He saw the frustration in her features, and forgoing her lightsaber, she raised her wrist and fired a burst of opaque energy.

Tassk felt it him solidly, sending him staggering back and off balance. Panting, Tassk tightened his grip around his lightsaber, jerking it upwards to protect his exposed chest, but it wasn’t a lightsaber that was coming. Looking up, He was met with a punch to the jaw from the Mirialin, some knuckler on her hands. Tassk heard the crack and fell to a knee, and he could taste the blood in his mouth. That metallic taste settled on the back of his throat as he forced a swallow, too far.

Tassk stood up, wiping the back of the paw over his mouth. Looking around, he saw his master off to the side, his face impassive. More importantly, he saw Vez, standing in front of him. Her weight was back, the conflict at a pause. Her eyes were narrowed, scrutinizing him. It was like she was scanning him for any bit of information she could pick up. She stared at him, with her judgy eyes, and her smug little face. I’ll give you something to stare at.

Tassk let out a low growl, a challenge. He lunged forward striking at her, the motions ingrained in his head from hours of practice. With every step he left golden arcs shimmering in his wake, striding forward, faster and faster. Beneath his blade, he saw her fumbling, weakening. A step back, then forward, a change in the rhythm. He lunged, sweeping the blade from her delicate hands, spinning in a full circle in his moment of glory.

Not a moment of hesitation, his massive paw shot out landing a solid blow on her chest, forcing Vez down as she landed squarely on her rear. Tassk backed away and circled, swinging the dazzling blade back and forth. This time, he watched as she rose, an indignant look on her face. They stood there, face to face across the courtyard. Her saber was close, but was she returning to that disaster? A smile spread across Tassk’s face, all fangs. The massive Togorian stood, watching his prey.

General Seraine "Erinyes" Taldrya Ténama, 24 July, 2020 12:39 AM UTC

What Went Well

Your use of imagery in this post was just as good as in your first post. The combat was fast-paced and vivid, which kept things immersive and interesting to read. I also appreciate your use of humour in your characterisations; I genuinely laughed at, “She stared at him, with her judgy eyes, and her smug little face.”

Room for Growth

Syntax-wise, you had a few cases of using close-but-not-quite-right words, mostly involving verb tenses. “Uncertainty abound” should’ve been “uncertainty abounding”. “Not a moment of hesitation” should’ve been “without a moment of hesitation”.

Besides the word choice points, there was one spot where “Mirialan” was misspelled as “Mirialin” (which I know can be hard to catch when most word processors don’t have “Mirialan” in their dictionaries). Lastly, I think you intended to put a period instead of a comma into, “That metallic taste settled on the back of his throat as he forced a swallow, too far.” As it was, it came out as a run-on sentence.

Suggestions

All in all, this is a pretty solid post, and you should be pleased with yourself for that. The only thing I’d suggest (like I suggest in nearly all my battle comments) is proofreading. If you can get someone else to do it for you, even better; our brains tend to automatically fill in content when we’re already familiar with it, which can lead to missing mistakes.

The Mirialan met his eyes, glaring at him. She made no movement.

Tassk wasn't in any mood for waiting. He lunged, bringing his lightsaber across his body in a powerful backswing—but without drawing on the Force, he was too slow. Vez was gone, flames gushing from her heels as her jet boots propelled her up and away to one of the ruined watch towers that dotted the temple complex. Safe in her elevated nest, the Mirialan drew a blaster and opened fire.

No way, Tassk thought to himself, dodging by instinct before his conscious mind had finished reckoning with the fact that the crazed shutta was trying to take him down with live fire. His blade danced back and forth, swatting at the blaster bolts that were mostly landing on either side of him. He managed to bat one away, a second—but finally one bolt connected, igniting his thigh in an ecstasy of fire.

The Togorian howled in pain.

The blasterfire stopped for a moment. If it was a tacit offer of peace, Tassk did not accept it. He hurled his lightsaber, the amber blade circling round and round on its journey towards the watchtower's summit. Vez flinched but kept one arm out as the blade slammed into a small energy shield that burst to life around her first. The plasma blade thundered as it made contact with the shield, then careened off into the distance. Shaken by the impact, Vez teetered back onto a loose brick. The brick slipped free and tumbled from the tower, and Vez followed, screaming.

Tassk pulled himself to his feet, lumbering forward with a grimace. His wounded leg bore weight, mostly, but he found himself almost hopping onward.

Vez engaged her jetboots again. The thrust redirected her fall, but after a mere second the jets tapered off as she exhausted the meager fuel supply. She hit the ground hard, though at least she connected at an angle instead of dead on. The Mirialan landed on her shoulder and tumbled over and over, trying to keep her head tucked in. After what seemed like ages she came to a stop.

“Krif,” she grumbled, lifted her head up. Vez swore again as she saw Tassk shuffling towards her. She scrambled for her blaster only to realize she'd lost it in the fall. Remembering her vambraces, she reached out to fire.

Tassk didn't give her the chance. The Togorian howled in agony as he shifted his weight onto his bad leg, then channeled that pain into the arcs of lightning erupting from his fingers.

Vez's scream joined his, a morbid harmony that left them both gasping for air when the sparks finally subsided.

Tassk was barely able to stay upright, but he still towered over the smoking body at his feet. Vez fought her spasming muscles, forcing one hand to the electro-shock prod at her belt.

“Don't you ever learn?” Tassk roared, pouring what little energy he had left into his arm. One massive hand shot forth and clamped down on Vez's wrist. The bones popped and finally snapped as the massive Togorian, off-balanced and overexerted, fell forward without letting go of the Mirialan’s wrist.

"Just…” Tassk huffed, “just stay down” Vez squirmed underneath him, teeth gritted, and the Togorian grabbed her throat with his free hand. He squeezed. Even exhausted, the massive creature had no trouble crushing the life out of his frail opponent. Vez gasped and choked, eyes bulging.

Teikhos was screaming at them but neither being could hear his voice over the roar of blood rushing through their ears. Their eyes were locked on each other and they saw nothing of the world around them.

Tassk didn’t even see Vez’s free hand come up until it was pushing on his face. Even then he paid it no attention.

Vez’s throat, her lungs burned and blackness chewed away at the edges of her vision.

Then the vambrace’s flamethrower erupted and the Togorian was off her, screaming and blindly clawing at his own face. Teikhos appeared as if out of thin air, frantically beating out the flames before pulling a medkit to his side with the Force.

Vez collapsed on her back and sucked in as much of the cold mountain air as she could. Vorsa was there, towering over her, not unlike Tassk.

“Did… did I win?” Vez panted.

The ancient Jedi shook her head sadly. “No.”

General Seraine "Erinyes" Taldrya Ténama, 24 July, 2020 12:40 AM UTC

What Went Well

There was a lot to like in this post. The descriptive language was vivid; I definitely winced at seeing Vez bounce repeatedly across the paving stones and Tassk’s face being lit on fire. On a related note, the combat was plentiful and well-paced. :P Finally, your “fight against nature” line from your first post paid off in Vorsa’s reaction and made for a fitting wrap-up to the story.

Room for Growth

Two Syntax detractors: First, you misspelled “schutta” as “shutta”. I know we aren’t normally picky about the spelling of our fictional profanity, but this one is well-established enough to have its own Wookieepedia page. Second, you missed punctuation (I assume it would’ve been an exclamation mark) at the end of “just stay down”. Incidentally, I’d like to thank you for the joy that finding syntax detractors in one of your battles has brought into my life. I’m sure it’s eclipsed only by your annoyance at them being there.

On the “not a detractor but made me raise an eyebrow” front, just how high was that pillar that Vez flew up to and subsequently fell from? The ones in the venue banner all seem high enough that falling from them would’ve hurt an awful lot, even with the emergency braking, especially with Vez’s armour not being all that protective. It would’ve been nice to have some more clarity on that point, since it directly impacts whether she’d actually be able to zap Tassk with the shock prod.

Suggestions

Proofread, because this may be the only time I ever get to say that to you in battle comments, and I’m not wasting that opportunity.