The Elf stands with his left foot in front, toes pointing forward and his right foot behind, toes pointing to the right. His knees are bent just enough so that his legs can propel him forward or backward at a moment's notice. In his hands, he holds his oaken quarterstaff diagonally and in front of his body ... a defensive posture -- he's not about to take any chances with his opponent until he sees what she's capable of.

Apropos "opponent" ... her stance is a near mirror image of his own, but she holds her staff forward in an offensive posture. Neither she nor the Elf wear armor -- the Elf has a simple tunic and pants that go just below the knee. His opponent is in a light robe that should reach to mid-thigh, but she tied it at the waist in such a way that it cinched a bit higher; not to mention the deep V-cut in front. Under normal conditions, this might awaken certain non-combat thoughts in the Elf's mind, but her hard eyes, locked on his, belie any image save the desire to hurt, maim and kill -- even if it's just a sparring match.

She leaps forward amd swings her staff as she comes. There's a loud >CRACK!< as the Elf parries. He jumps left and swings his staff around on a perfect collision course with her head, but there's only a loud >WHOOSH!< as she ducks and counter-swings low. The Elf jumps high as her staff goes >WHOOSH!< beneath him. As gravity pulls him back to Earth, he swings on a vertical axis, aiming for her head, but is again frustrated when she rolls sideways and his staff harmlessly strikes the ground where she had been.

She regains her feet and they both reposition. Eyeing each other warily, staves raised, Elf and Girl circle each other. Then the Elf surges forward and attacks relentlessly, switches vectors lightning fast as she successfully parries each thrust and swing. >CRACK!< and >WHOOSH< blend with each other in a dangerous symphony, as the combatants repeatedly duck, lunge, retreat, spin and jump, their movements a dance that would be beautiful were it not so potentially deadly.

They finally separate again, eye each other, both breathing heavily now and covered in a glistening layer of sweat. Only their hair holds some semblance of order -- the Elf's long, blond locks in a ponytail and the Girl's in a tight bun.

"You're holding back," she says, still breathing heavily.

She is ranked 5th of six in the pack, just above the Elf, who is the most junior wolf. She's seen several more seasons than he, ergo she is stronger, faster, more agile and fit. In a normal sparring session, he wouldn't stand a chance. But for this one, she agreed to the staff, a weapon she doesn't use -- but the one in which the Elf specializes. Theoretically, the odds should be even.

The Elf smirks. "I want you to feel that you're doing well."

She snarls, a quite un-ladylike sound that fills the cave with an atmosphere of menace, shows teeth that are bigger and sharper than what a human lady should have. "Do not hold back," she says tightly. And springs at him.

Again the adversaries leap, spin, dance, duck and dodge, this time using the walls as well as the floor. Staves whirl, twirl, smack and crack.

And the Elf doesn't hold back. The contest is brutal, vicious, intense and not easy for him by any stretch of the imagination -- but his prowess with the weapon inevitably overcomes his sister's superiority as a fighter. His staff finally connects with her head, a blow that could well have been fatal had she not rolled with it so well. The Elf exploits the opportunity ruthlessly -- reverses momentum, comes up underneath her guard, slides his staff quickly along hers until it hits her hand. With her grip lost, it's a small move to disarm her and send her staff sailing through the air, bouncing off a wall, and finally clattering to the floor -- well out of her reach.

The Elf howls triumphantly and laughs. "It's over, Big Sister!" he grins. "You're beaten!" He shuffles his feet in a little dance and twirls his staff in a victory flourish. He knows he shouldn't overdo it like this, but he can't help himself -- he never beat her at anything! Restraining his joy and excitement is impossible.

"Do you admit defeat?" he asks, still grinning.

She simply stands there, glares at him from under her eyelids, lips pulled back in a snarl. The strike to her head had knocked her hair loose and the rich, red-brown locks hang down in waves all around her head, in her face and curl over her chest above the bust line, more visible now because her robe is dishevelled from the battle. She looks utterly alluring -- and utterly dangerous.

"Defeat?" she replies in a tone of voice all the more unsettling because of how calm it is. She blows a stray lock of hair from her face that promptly settles back to where it was.

Then she smiles evilly. "Little Brother," she replies, while her hands undo the knot at her waist. "Do you have any idea what a cocky little bastard you've become?" And with that, she yanks off the robe, throws it aside and stands before him with only a brassiere and thong for protection.

The Elf's eyes widen and he forgets to breathe for a moment -- a moment she exploits to focus her will inward, call upon the power of her eurus (spirit energy) and, with a final push, manifest claws of pulsing energy around her hands.

"But --" the Elf stammers. "That's cheating!"

She advances a step, raises her hands and smiles that unsettling smile. The Elf involuntarily steps back. "What's fair in love and war, Little Bro, hmm?" she asks in a voice all the more intimidating because it's so low and even. "Everything is!" And then she attacks.

Were there a bard to witness what follows, no doubt he would compose a wondrous ballad of the heroic stand the Elf makes, how he fights valiantly in the face of overwhelming odds, how he refuses to give in to the inevitable for as long as humanly -- er, elvenly -- possible.

And of course the Bard would sing of how the Girl ultimately disarms the Elf and sends his staff sailing through the air, bouncing off a wall, and finally clattering to the floor -- well out of his reach; how she knocks him on his back and pins him beneath her; how the Elf struggles on, his tunic shredded, his chest and its many scratches exposed; how the girl-in-underwear holds him in an irresistable pin, her hands-of-pulsing-energy on his arms, her legs trapping his in a vice, her pelvis grinding against his.

Perhaps at this point our gentle bard, recognizing the implications, would cease his singing and discretely excuse himself.

"Oh dear," she says with mock sorrow. "Are you still trying to win? Tsk-tsk-tsk." A pout. "Poor little wolf pup." A risqué smile. "Why don't you forget about 'winning' and think about--" she grinds her hips against his " -- something else?"

The Elf's heart leaps to his throat and he gasps. Part of him wants to, if he's honest -- there's no denying the physical response she's coaxing out of him. But he knows this is not a "seduction" -- it's a humiliation, payback for his cockiness. The Litany -- the body of laws that govern all Garou behavior -- strictly prohibits love and sex between garou. But much is open to interpretation and nothing forbids flirtation or "play". And that's all she's doing, he knows: flirting and playing in a way to shame him. But she's too strong for him to escape. And she's too good for him to remain ... calm.

She giggles and grinds herself against him again. "Soooo happy to see me, eh?" She laughs as he blushes.

The Elf sees only one way out of this mess and he decides to take it before Nature takes her course with him.


The telepathic plea goes instantly via pack talk to all members.

Big Sister recoils in shock. She still holds him down, but she stops everything else. "But --" she stammers. "That's cheating!"

Despite breathlessness and ... arousal ... the Elf manages to respond, "All's fair in what, Big Sis?"

She purses her lips together and stares at him balefully. Then she stands, extends her hand and helps him to his feet just as --

-- Shamaness enters the room. She looks at the Elf with a little smile and says, "Hello, my name is 'Help'. I heard you calling." And then to both of them, "Tell me, my Pups -- how was today's training?"

"Good, Shamaness," they reply in unison.

"Are you finished, then?"

"Yes, Shamaness."

"Very well, then," she smiles. "Let's clean up this room, shall we? And then I have some things for you to do, Young Lady. And Young Sir? I believe Keeper needs a paw or two. But before that, why don't you both take a bath?" A little pause for effect. "Separately. With --" her smile widens just a bit -- "cold water?"

The two glance at each other, blushing. "Yes, Shamaness."

The Elf and his Sister collect the staves and the remains of their clothing and depart the room, each bowing respectfully as they walk by Shamaness.

When they're gone, Shamaness smiles to herself. "Pups," she says, shaking her head and chuckling.

But now that she's alone, she lingers over the memory that the sight of the two almost-naked, sweating pups on the floor brought back. She closes her eyes, an unhappy look on her face, purses her lips together and forgets to breathe for a moment as the memory plays out before her mind's eye. She takes a sudden deep breath, clenches her fists. "No!" she says aloud.

The memory dissipates. Her eyes open, fists unclench. She's breathing harder than she needs to. A few deep breaths later and she is calm again.

She departs the room, leaving her demons behind for now.

Original post to Darkwind’s Garou Board as "Wolf Tales (8)" Wed 13 Aug 2003 16:14

Revised 09.10.2021

The Duel