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Gonna try to do some posts today. Work slammed me hard yesterday so didn't get as much done as I wanted on here while there. ><
Would love more plots for my Half-Elf Ranger, Vex'ahlia! She's really cool and has a pet bear /finger guns > CLICK!
hey psst, react to this for a text thread! (also comment if there's anyone in particular you're wantin')
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By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
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Private A Small Price to Pay

Matthias

Redwall
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Date: December 14th
@Cornelius
~
Several feet off the ground, Matthias was dangling with only a pawful of straw lengths to save him...!

A stout middle-aged woman was leering down the shaft of a broom at the little swordsmouse on the other end, having taken a few swings with the cleaning tool the moment the rodent was spotted tiptoeing across the planks of the tavern floor. The faces of a few patrons were gawking at the staredown, curious if the animal might fall from shoulder-height. Perhaps to a grave injury... But Matthias valiantly clutched his sword in one arm and clung to his bending handhold in the other.

"And ye swear ye ain't some kind of rat?" the woman persisted, her nose scrunched in disdain.

"H-Heavens, no!" Matthias squeaked, with a flurry of kicking feet. The shield of Martin on his back was weighing him down more than he imagined. He wished the ghost of the warrior in his head would have warned him of this encounter. All he wanted was an indoor place to rest! The winter nights were enough to freeze his feet to the grass. "Do I look like some pest who'd go through your larders, ch-chew through your wall?"

"Ya don't look like a fellow carryin' any money..." a half-lidded eye narrowed. And how could a creature four inches tall really stroll around with cash, one might argue? How many mice in the world could talk, anyway?

The ever-brave Matthias snorted, defiant for someone who could be flattened with a single broom swat. He supposed he made his point when Ratdeath slashed up some straw as he was dodging earlier. "If you can set out leftovers and water for the stray dog that lives on your porch, you can spare a few crumbs for me!" he sneered. "I can personally slay any rats I come across while staying a single night." He glanced down at the floor and swallowed hard. "You have my word as the champion of Redwall Abbey."

All the humans looked amongst each other and guffawed or snorted. Certainly not any place they had heard of -- what significance could that be? But the woman seemed to give Matthias the benefit of a doubt, blowing out a sigh and turning to an empty table in the middle of the area to set him down atop it.

And that was how Matthias came to nibble on a bread roll as big as him and a cracker about the size of a window back home. Much of the place had left him alone by now as he dined, seated on the round shield while Martin's sword was stuck in a gap between two boards of wood, the blade glinting with the light of many lanterns and the crackling fireplace. Somewhat weary from that scuffle, he was discouraged just how unwanted and disrespected he was -- it frustrated him to no end these days...! Chin in his hands, Matthias held a distant stare at the weapon and muttered. "I swear that no one in this realm understands what it's like to be this small, old friend..."
 
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Cornelius

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Cornelius had never actually visited anywhere like this until today, but already it seemed like a bad idea. Watching as what looked like a mouse (not unlike some of the clothed animals of his own world), getting struck by a broom, only to be left clinging onto the bristles for dear life, he watched as the woman on the other end leered down at the rodent. It was hard being small in a world full of much bigger people, especially those who saw the likes of them as vermin (though maybe a fairy less so). Deciding to stay hidden, unless of course he needed a helping hand (best not to jump in to soon and hurt the guys pride), Cornelius looked on as he seemed to talk himself out of his situation. The humans weren't exactly taking him seriously, a feeling he knew all too well. Especially during his time studying battle tactics at Schola. It was hard to practise when the only other creature there around his size was Buzz, his bumblebee companion. Now he knew why Thumbelina had been so happy to meet someone her size, but that might have had something to do with his charm and good looks too, of course!

After a while, things seemed to calm down as the mouse tucked into a bread roll and a cracker almost as big as him. Somehow, Buzz had managed to not fly off into the mass of drunken people and get himself swatted (again). Now that it was quiet though, it was getting harder to contain either of them for much longer. Especially after the fairy prince spotted the sword gleaming int the mouse's hands. He was no fairy, but maybe, just maybe, he was just like him, fed up with not being taken seriously. Now that it had quietened down, he thought that maybe he could use someone more his size to talk to. Granted, the rodent appeared to be a couple of inches taller than him, but that was still closer than most he had met in this world!

"Wait here, boy", he implored his furred friend, before flying down to the table on which the lone mouse sat.

"Well, you look like you could use some company", he spoke confidently, making no deliberate move to appear unfriendly. After all, even this mouse was bigger than him, but then that hadn't stopped him when he'd take on Grundel the toad!
 
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Matthias

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Matthias heard a voice that was close, but not jarring enough to have boomed from some larger creature. Though his ears perked, his whiskers lifted, and his head rose to the source, the mouse was confounded when his blinking eyes perceived... a small, winged human across from him. At least the warrior's first reaction wasn't to lunge for his sword handle; the long rapier-looking blade on the fellow's hip would probably be brandished if the mouse went that far.

So instead, what Matthias uttered was just a surprised little laugh. "Ha, perhaps I could use company, but somebody like you is the last thing I'd expect to see in this place. You can fly...! And you're... quite little like me." His furred head began to tilt as he studied those semi-transparent, shiny butterfly-looking wings over the man's shoulder. Certainly he had never witnessed a creature, friend or foe, that looked so bird-like, and yet... not so. The stranger was about half his height when the mouse shot up to a stand and did a polite little bow.

"I'm Matthias -- but just what are you?" he asked, somewhat slack-jawed. The closest equivalent the swordsmouse could think of was a stout little mole or a baby squirrel from his realm. How could this be the first time he was encountering a miniature person? And if there were others, maybe Pandora wasn't such a place of giants after all.
 

Cornelius

Thumbelina
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The mouse (or at least he presumed the furred creature to be such) seemed surprised to see him, staring slack jawed as he spoke. The reaction wasn't all that surprising, seeing as fairies were very uncommon here in Pandora. In fact, he had yet to meet any other like him in this world, and those he interacted with seemed to share the same. At least now, he knew that he wasn't the only small person (for the mouse was clearly sentient and therefore a person) in this world, although even he stood at around twice his height. At least though, they could make eye contact. Cornelius had almost forgotten how!

"Oh, everyone says that", he shrugged when the other announced that someone like him was the last creature they would expect to see in this world, "but sure, I can fly!", he added with a little flap of his wings, scattering a little fairy dust as he did so. Even when he hadn't been spotted in person, the stream of golden dust trailing behind him as he flew (as well as when he rode on Buzzbee) was a dead give away of his presence. Probably just as well, seeing as his teachers and fellow students at Schola were all so much bigger than him!

"So you probably know what it's like being so much smaller than everyone else here too", he responded to the comment about being small like him. "Though even you're taller than me!", he pointed, standing on tiptoe to try and make himself just that little bit taller. He then listened as the other introduced himself, before asking just what he was. Most people knew what he was, even if his kind didn't exist in their own worlds outside of stories. Still, if there was one thing his royal upbringing had manage to rub off on him, then it was manners, so he would humour him.

"It's good to meet you Matthias, my name is Cornelius", he introduced himself. "I'm a fairy, from the Vale of the Fairies", he added, "no one knows of it here, but then even in my world, besides us only a few animals know it even exists" Them and Thumbelina, whom he hoped had actually made it there. He heard her song, but neither he nor Buzz ever made it back to see her. At least, if she was singing, she was safe.

"You know, you're the first one like you I've met here too", he spoke up, before hearing a familiar buzzing sound. "Oh, that'll be Buzzbee, my bee. There's no need to be frightened, I can call him down here, if you don't mind?", he assured the other before asking. Some people in this world didn't car much fro Buzz, even though he was friendly enough, if not a little impatient.
 
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Matthias

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Fairies didn't ring any bells for the little warrior, as much as it seemed some animals had knowledge of them, apparently. Though he was content to know that even a being like Cornelius had some troubles being the size he was. Honestly, Matthias was still visibly taken aback that he'd met somebody that even he had a height advantage over. At least the winged man couldn't pose much of a threat...?

The conversation carried to that of bees, and Matthias tipped his head up to look at the rafters of the inn, squinting at the wooden ceiling to see if he could spy the insect. "Oh, me? I wouldn't be frightened of such a creature," he bobbed his head and assured Cornelius in return. "Where I'm from, Mossflower Wood, I lived in a great sandstone abbey that welcomed lots of friendly bumblebees. Haha, in fact, I had an elderly mouse for a friend that knew how to talk to them..." Matthias awkwardly itched the back of his neck and smiled to himself as he remembered the old fool gossiping in the Redwall meadow like a housewife with the flying beasts whose honey graced many a snack and dessert from the kitchens. It must be nice to have wings, and even better it was to reminisce thanks to this chance conversation.

"You'll have to tell me how you... well, survive in a world like this where everything larger than us can harm you...!" Matthias brought up in earnest. "How fast can you fly -- how fast can your friend? Certainly you're much better off being able to dart out of harm's way. All I have is a sword to fend off everything that my paws can't outrun." And he probably didn't need to explain to Cornelius that there was little a blade that size could do to the larger folk; he briefly gazed at the handle sticking up from the table. And by his assumption, how peculiar that even the sword would probably be too heavy and unwieldy in the fairy's hands.
 
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Cornelius

Thumbelina
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Cornelius listened as his new acquaintance informed him that not only was he indeed not afraid of bees, but the place he'd grown up had seen their fair share of the friendlier ones. Not only that, but he knew someone who could talk to them? While he himself couldn't understand Buzz word for word, he had learned over the course of their friendship to take cues in order to figure out what he could be feeling or thinking. Kind of like most people when it came to animals, he supposed, though being a fairy did give him an affinity toward those a little closer to his size. Though he'd grown up with many of his kind, here in Pandora he was starting to feel rather alone. he wasn't one to feel sorry for himself though, studying and learning more about this world may one day pay off in finding some way home. That, or at the very least it was a distraction. Problem being that he often got distracted from said distraction.

"Mossflower Wood? A sandstone abbey? They both sound amazing. I'd love to meet this elderly friend of yours some day, maybe introduce him to Buzz!", he spoke excitedly before remembering the point of the conversation. "Hey, Buzzbee, get down here!", he called out to his friend, who tentatively stuck out from the rafters, no doubt planning a safe route past the bigger people who usually did not wish for his company. After taking these few seconds, he took off, landing next to Cornelius as he patted the bee on the head.

"Meet Buzzbee", the fairy exclaimed proudly, before Matthias continued the conversation. How did he survive in this world? He had a point, it wasn't easy when everyone and everything was so much bigger. It didn't do him in favours in his battling classes either, his classmates all so much taller and so having to instead train against miniaturised dummies. No wonder no one seemed to take him seriously!

"We can fly pretty fast when we need to", the young prince explained, answering the second question before the first. "As for how we do it, well, it's not easy. This is the first time I've actually talked to someone in this world that I could make eye contact with! Well, besides Buzz!", he made sure to add as the large bee seemed a little insulted at being missed out. "Anyway, just watch where your going, and at worst, even this thing can startle someone bigger, if you poke 'em hard enough!", he added, tapping the handle of his rapier. Though he'd only had to use it once or twice, to them it would be like being stabbed with a needle, which while non life threatening, certainly stung enough to buy an extra few seconds! It was only now that he realised just how much of an advantage he had, being able to fly and all. It must have been awful for Thumbelina to be so lost in such a big world. Oh how he hoped his love was safe!
 
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Matthias

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Matthias caught himself smiling slightly as the fairy fawned over his flying striped pet. The pair must have a pretty unique bond, and it had to be quite convenient to be able to zip around the locales and out of danger, though the mouse also understood that any fighting for small folk like themselves was best to be avoided entirely; not many chances to practice and test the mettle of oneself at all.

Still, this Buzzbee was among the largest insects he had ever seen when compared to the bees of Mossflower Wood. Though Matthias was quietly in awe, he mellowed out when Cornelius sounded hopeful to meet the wise old mouse Methuselah. "Sorry, chum..." he began, toeing the wood of the table beneath him pensively with his footpaw. "My friend Methuselah could speak in many tongues to all sorts of woodland beasts other than mice, but he was killed by a young fox thief. Even if I discovered a way to go back to my home in Redwall Abbey, he won't be meeting me there."

The swordmouse's fists curled tightly at his sides as he remembered the lesson he learned that not every creature could be saved by his heroics. His mentor had a gifted mind and helped steer him towards the legendary sword that now stood point-down before him in the furniture. With such a fulfilled life lived, the young warrior knew that perhaps it was Methuselah's time that day.

Regarding the sword, however, Matthias' interest was piqued at how the fairy indicated that rapier hilt. Perhaps Cornelius had some expertise to share on how to use it. "Oh, I agree with you there," the mouse chuckled, stepping over a pace to the hilt of Ratdeath and plucking it with one hand. A neat twirl of the pommel stone handle pointed it upright. "Even though our chosen weapons are small, I doubt many of our enemies will be able to see us coming. Any scuffles you must have gotten into back in your home must have given you opportunities to hone your technique... Have you ever fought atop Buzzbee?" Whirling around and wheeling on a flying mount had to be exhilarating, even if the mouse was understandably afraid of heights. More importantly, he glanced about on the fairy's person for something protective to wield that'd compare to Martin's shield lying there by his food. "And... you don't have a buckler or anything to block with in your opposite hand?" Matthias blinked. "You really must be confident with your swings..."
 

Cornelius

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"Oh...", Cornelius spoke quietly upon the news of the death of Matthias' friend. "I'm, uh, really sorry to hear that", he added, scratching the back of his head and hoping that he hadn't offended the field mouse with his careless statement. Not that he was to know, but it seemed that Buzz was more focused on their new acquaintances awe struck gaze, puffing himself out proudly. Show off!

Thankfully, the conversation moved on to their weapons of choice, Matthias plucking the larger sword from the table and giving it a twirl. Cornelius had no reason to feel that he was in any kind of danger though, instead admiring the mouse's blade. It looked as though it was designed to be wielded with two hands (though he could be wrong), as opposed to his own rapier, light and designed to be thrust with one hand. He'd seen a few different weapons and fighting styles, even combat magic, during his time in Pandora, but sadly hadn't had much opportunity to learn much himself. Being tiny compared to most of the others at Schola really did have him at a disadvantage,

The mouse then had another question for him. Had he ever fought while riding Buzz? Oh how magnificent that would be, charging in brandishing his sword atop a noble steed!

"Can't say I have, but Buzz would probably freak out.", he responded, earning himself an indignant Buzz from his insect companion. "Okay, maybe not freak, but I don't know...guess it would be worth a practise some day!", he added. He had also asked about scuffles he had gotten himself into, though most of it had been training within the palace walls. Still, there was that time with toad. Maybe a story for another time.

"I've had chance to work on it, sure", he answered confidently, "In fact, I'm pretty sure I could handle myself if need be". He had with the toad, even though the 'scuffle' had ended with them both taking a tumble. Thank goodness for Buzzbee!

"Nah, I don't have anything like that", he answered when it was noticed that he had no shield or buckler. "My technique relies more on speed and concentration. Pay attention and you don't get hit!" At least, that was what his tutors had drummed into him. Fencing was probably the only lesson he really paid much attention to, back in the vale. Beyond that, he'd never really had a real battle. Sure, there had been a lot at stake with the toad, but he'd only had a stick to defend himself with! It was hardly a fair fight, but the fairy prince supposed that toad was bigger and stronger than he likely was. Whatever the case, he needed to protect Thumbelina, and he had at least fought as fair as he could!
 
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Matthias

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The fabled sword of Martin had a tinge of orange from all the glowing firelight surrounding it, but the shimmering silver-colored meteorite metal was shining through. ...It could still use a polish later. Whenever Matthias slipped the shield onto his less-dominant hand and took up Ratdeath, it often felt like the weapon was an extension of his own limb, wielded like it had been in his possession at the same time as a rattle. Would it be unbelievable to say to the fairy that he had the spirit of a warrior living in his head and it frequently seemed to bolster his fighting capabilities? Either through more confidence... or downright control of his movements.

Regardless, one could imagine the mouse's bewilderment that Cornelius ditched all defense to do everything with only a single sword hand...! "Dueling someone like you has to be a challenge to get through...!" he squeaked. "Well, tough for those who are just your size..." He didn't mean to be condescending in the face of all the confidence Cornelius exuded, but perhaps Matthias was just getting riled up about the possibility he could have a look for himself. Nobody in this tavern was bothering the two; an exhibition could be harmless, maybe just a little noisy if their miniature blades clashed together.

"I think we need to stage a test whether that style of yours is really impenetrable after all," Matthias said with a nod. "If Buzzbee doesn't mind standing aside for a while, we can practice against each other...! But, hmm, I haven't often tried combat without a shield before -- should I use it?" he seemed to debate himself, the sword down at his side while he glanced between his empty left paw and the piece of equipment lying there by his food. His pondering was over as soon as he took a brief nervous nibble at one of his stubby claws. "You know, I'd probably learn more if I just had my sword here to rely on. What do you say? Ready to take up a stance?" For one of the rarer times, he put both paws around the hilt of Ratdeath, just barely squeezing them into the space of the black leather binding as he raised the blade in front of his face. Oh, this was going to be awkward -- but at least it wouldn't be a real fight...? He needn't show his uncertainty; this was his status as the champion of Redwall that he needed to represent!
 
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Cornelius

Thumbelina
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"I should certainly like to think so!", Cornelius responded to Matthias' claim that to fight him would be a challenge. Even if that only really applied to those around his size. That could be a problem, although...

"At least when you're smaller and faster than your opponent, they have to find you and catch you first!", he assured the other, who seemed to suddenly grow quite excited for some reason. That reason soon became clear, as the mouse then went on to announce that he would very much like to see if his style really was 'impenetrable'. This would actually be the first time since his training in the Vale of the Fairies that he would be able to spar with someone around his size. Looking at the other's weapons, he could see that they clearly had very different styles. Still, he wasn't going to turn down a challenge like that!

"Ah ha, so you think you can best me huh?"
he spoke confidently, his usual cocky nature shining through as Buzz didn't need telling twice to fly back a couple of paces to give the soon to be combatants some room. Cornelius nodded at his friend, taking this as him not minding at all, though the bee did twitch his wings nervously, the characteristic buzzing sound ringing through his ears (though perhaps barely audible to those larger than them).

"Matthias of Mossflower Wood, I accept your challenge!", he declared, drawing his rapier and shuffling into stance. "You can use the shield if you like, by the way, but if that's what you want...", he added, though he waited to see what decision his new acquaintance came too, in that regard. He didn't mind either way, as while without would be easier, he wouldn't have minded seeing just how their styles compared. Also, just because he was a prince, didn't mean he wanted anyone to go easy on him!
 
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Matthias

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For one of the rarer occurrences in Pandora, Matthias found the corners of his lips spreading into an enthusiastic grin. He decided to make things fairer and rely solely on his swordplay; placing a footpaw on the shield behind him, he gave it a little push against its top to slide it a few paces further back. Can't risk tripping on that. He'd rather be backed up off the table's edge, but of course he'd rather neither of them come to any harm.

"Very well, Cornelius," the mousewarrior set his jaw and bowed his head briefly. He spread one leg back and shifted it behind the other, his blade straight up in front of his chest, handle in both paws. "I promise if I land a blow it'll only be with the flat of my sword." Better to get a slap on the wrist from a paddling motion than a cut across the body from a real strike by Ratdeath. He'd keep the double-edges turned away just to be safe, since one swipe could cleave off an animal's claw from its base, or take the whiskers off a wildcat.

In addition, he wasn't sure if the fairy's rapier could really hold up against a few strong slashes against a thicker, double-edged weapon. Only one way to test how sturdy the composition of its metal was... "Now, think fast!" Matthias hopped a step forward and swung like a baseball bat trained towards the other's weapon, intending to knock it aside or out of grasp!
 
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Cornelius

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Although Matthias knocked away his shield, this was still going to be a tough one. The mouse was taller than him and the sword so much bigger. He was still really at quite the disadvantage, but his pride wouldn't ever let him admit that! Nor would the chance to spar with someone far closer to his size than he had met previously during his time in Pandora. Even the flat of the other's blade could hurt if he was careless, a sentiment apparently shared by Buzzbee, as the insect landed next to the discarded shield and buzzed anxiously. Don't worry Buzz, I've got this, he wanted to say, but instead he gave his companion what he hoped was a reassuring nod before indicating to the other that he was ready.

Think fast, the other cried out as he struck, the larger weapon coming at him, aimed squarely for his own weapon. Deciding that he would return the favour of playing fair by keeping his feet firmly on the ground (well, table), Cornelius deftly side stepped the bow, attempting to jab his own weapon toward his opponent. He would need to be careful to not cause the murine warrior any real harm. Of course, there would only be so many times he would be able to dodge, and he would need to think fast and act faster if he was to not make a fool of himself.
 
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Matthias

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Matthias had missed and needed to react to a new angle of attack in a flash. "Huh?" he briefly gawked, and pivoted his body and shoulders the other way just in time to swing back and parry the jabbing rapier away, just before it prodded him in the stomach. There was a sharp twing as the mouse toddled backwards a step for a respite, the sound of their impact echoing slightly like table utensils had been struck together. Though it turned a few heads, Matthias ignored them for the thrill of swordplay.

"I say, you really are quick..." he smirked. It astounded him already that Cornelius wasn't going to use his wings to duck and weave -- what a tough time Matthias would have keeping up with a combatant that could fly...! No one in Mossflower Wood that he knew of had such a unique advantage. And yet, the little warrior clenched his teeth slightly as he thought, there weren't such thin, nimble, tiny creatures he faced before either. Fat rats and tall stoats, surely, but for this...? Hopefully he wasn't going to be swinging at shadows the whole fight.

"Hup!" Raising the sword high with both paws, he skipped a step forward and tried to bring the flat of the blade down like a club upon the fairy's head next -- an unorthodox, sluggish motion for a swordfighter...
 
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Cornelius

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Although it almost seemed as though his opponent had been taken by surprise, the mouse quickly recovered and was able to parry the jab aimed at his stomach. Of course, Cornelius was being really careful so that he didn't actually injure the other combatant, but it was inevitable that best case scenario there would be a few grazes or something. So long as no one got seriously hurt, then it was a good opportunity for the both of them to get some practise in. It was just a shame that their fighting style wasn't a little more evenly matched.

"Oh you've seen nothing yet!", Cornelius gloated as the other commented on his quickness. Not that he meant anything by it, it was just in his nature to get more than a little cocky at times. Perhaps a bad idea, considering that the mouse was getting serious, holding his sword high with both paws, looking as though he was going to slam the flat of the blade straight into his head! Again, he would need to be quick, otherwise sparring or no, that one was going to hurt.

This time, he managed to drop and roll out of the way (being careful not to crush his wings as he did so), hoping to come in from behind the warrior and attempt another jab from behind. Although he could also swing his blade if needed, he didn't want to risk causing any undue harm. That, and he wasn't sure if the rapier could stand up against a larger weapon. This was probably where his battle tactics classes would come in handy, but for now it was all in good fun. Just as well, given that they were starting to attract and audience.
 
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Matthias

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Matthias was punished for his mistake in a flash. With his eyes only tracking the fairy's dodge to the side, his arms couldn't keep up as she staggered forward. Perhaps the pair of them understood at this point that the rapier wasn't going to be able to stand up to many blows from Ratdeath -- that, and receiving blunt force impacts from something stronger than steel was probably best to be avoided...!

The mouse was unprepared for Cornelius' fiery spirit and deft movements; try as he might to sidle away from the oncoming jab, he took a prod in the side of the hip, and it might've nicked off some of his fur if the protection of his tunic didn't trail down below his waist. Matthias gasped and hopped away in the opposite direction, skidding to a halt. Even the onlookers at a nearby table "ooh'd" at the sight of "first blood" being drawn in Cornelius' favor.

"Best two out of three...!" the warrior snorted, clearly riled up to try even harder. It was time to get crafty. He knew of a hare who could box and do well with kicks and martial arts, and the Redwall squirrels were skilled at vaulting and wheeling around with wooden staves to launch them. While Matthias lacked the experience that measured up to such a level, perhaps he could improvise in an unexpected way.

He charged this time, and wielded his sword overhead with two paws. He brought the point down before he reached Cornelius and made it plunge into the table with a thonk! Wedging it there, still hanging on to the handle, he leapt and left his feet to kick out with them. Momentum was spinning him around on the sturdy blade to retreat even if he missed with the wild move, a battlecry let out for good measure...!
 
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Cornelius

Thumbelina
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Staggering forward, the mouse left an opening for Cornelius to jab with his rapier, glad that the blade had missed and not taken his head off or something. As far as he was aware, they were only sparring and were trying to avoid injuring each other too much. The jab caught at the others hip, causing him to gasp and hop out of the way of further assault. It was a good thing that his tunic seemed to be quite sturdy, otherwise he was sure he might have actually managed to draw some blood!

'Best two out of three', the other cried, and Cornelius flashed him a cocky grin as he once again took a stance, rapier out in front of him.

"You're on, mouse!", he cried, noticing that their audience was suddenly a little larger, as a few more patrons had been made aware of the miniature battle taking place on the otherwise unoccupied table. He guessed that this wasn't their usual entertainment, but right now the thrill of finally being able to spar with someone closer to his size than he had yet to see in Pandora was too much to pay the onlookers any further mind.

This time, it looked as if he meant it, rushing toward him with the larger sword held high. This was going to hurt if he didn't move, counter with another jab, or maybe a swipe this time. What did happen though, was unexpected. Matthias brought the blade down just inches in front of him, leaping from the table while still holding onto the handle, a loud battle cry emanating from the other warrior as he let momentum carry him and swung around with his feet outstretched. A move Cornelius had been completely unprepared for, the clawed feet connecting and sending him flying across the table with a grunt and some frantic buzzing from Buzzbee. Stopping just short of falling from said table, blade still in hand, the fairy prince began pulling himself to his feet, sore but otherwise relatively unharmed.

"A dirty trick...", Cornelius spoke, his words apparently abhorring the other's actions, but his tone and demeanor actually suggesting that he was quite impressed by the unprecedented move! He had always been taught to fight fair and with honour, but it seemed like he was going to have to up his game. "...but it's not over yet. Best of three, you say? En garde!", and with that he prepared to go in again, one last time.
 
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Matthias

Redwall
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Oh, Daniel Wing would've been so proud of the mouse's craftiness to use his strengths in unexpected ways -- Martin too, perhaps. But as soon as Matthias landed on his footpaws he had to yank his blade from the table to check it for any sudden damage, and raise it in time to continue the sparring match. He could've scoffed at the fairy's words if they weren't tinged with a bit of awe and amusement to suggest his tactics didn't offend that much. He decided to regard it with a sly little smirk.

"A dirty trick? You misunderstand, and need to brush up on strategy -- nothing's a bad move if it evened the odds...!" The rodent's beaming face slumped a bit when he briefly glanced at the surrounding audience. Their unusual-shaped faces (by his standards, anyway) continued to peer with increasing intrigue, some owl-eyed and locked into seeing the result of the exhibition out, others with hands cupping chins or gripping knees as if this tiny display was anxiety-inducing. Perhaps these folk had never seen a skirmish before in their lives. ...Did they understand this was just pretend?

Refocusing and feeling the momentum swinging in his favor, Matthias decided not to swing his blade much at all -- to change course from the practice's commencement when he had went on the offensive. As Cornelius advanced towards him with the rapier, the warrior mouse kept Ratdeath upraised in front of him, sidling backwards and around to one side. His footpaws kept him moving slowly and methodically so he was ready to lean away from any jabs, and block those that came close enough. He was prepared to use the whole arena of the dining table, daring as if to say: come and give chase! Tucker yourself out and extend too far, and then I'll just be a little prod from victory.

He thought he was doing a diligent job of rotating around the perimeter, and preventing himself from slipping off the table's edge, but his whiskers fell when he tripped on a small step behind him: the cracker he was eating before. And then his stumbling backed him right into the half of the dinner roll. Somebody across the tavern gasped as Matthias leaned against the spongy wall of baked bread; he had cornered himself on accident...!
 

Cornelius

Thumbelina
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Cornelius smirked at the mouse's words, expecting the very answer he had received. It wasn't how he had been trained personally, but then maybe that was why he was in an alien world studying battle tactics and strategy in the first place! Though he had been taught to fight fair, Matthias was right. Anything to get the edge was probably the best way to go. Besides, it wasn't exactly fair to take on Grundel with a sword versus a stick. To be fair though, the toad was bigger than him and Thumbelina was in danger. He had been pretty handy with that stick too!

He noticed his opponent's face fall as he too seemed to notice their growing audience. Whether or not they knew that this was just sparring and not a serious conflict, it seemed as though they had become quite enamoured by the spectacle being performed, the tiny sword fight apparently something that didn't occur very often in these parts, he surmised. He almost reached out the murine warrior, assuring him that they were of no consequence and likely would not intervene. They would have done it already, right?

Such intervention proved unnecessary though, as the other seemed to collect himself, raising his blade as he cautiously approached, his own weapon poised to defend himself. So far, this had been pretty good practise, and although he probably wouldn't admit it aloud, a good learning curve. There were lessons being learned here that would be difficult to replicate with his larger classmates at Schola, so this opportunity had been both enjoyable and fortuitous! At least, until his opponent tripped over what looked like a half eaten cracker and stumbled into a loaf of baked bread, cornering himself and leaving himself wide open! Approaching as both Buzz and the much larger audience members watched tentatively, wondering what he would do next. In a real fight, this would have been a good opportunity to end it, but this was just sparring, so there was no harm in helping him out, right?

"Two out of three, was it?", he spoke as he held a hand out for his opponent. Ideally, the mouse would take the gesture and that would be the end of it, but one thing he had learned from his time at Schola was to expect the unexpected. Best to be somewhat on guard, just in case. Especially with the mindset that 'nothing's a bad move if it evened the odds'!
 
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Matthias

Redwall
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Field Mouse
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Matthias leaned back up off the bread with his jaw tight and his brow furrowed. He didn't want to concede, because the fairy hadn't even landed a hit...! What would be the honorable thing to do, though, was to realize his missteps. In a real battle a costly stumble could be the end of the road. With a frustrated sigh to himself, he reluctantly sheathed his sword, and that seemed to clear the muddled air surrounding his thoughts.

"I suppose I have a lot to learn still. Very well...! That's your victory," he smiled. The mouse warrior extended an empty paw and exchanged a shake, and that lit up the tavern with relief. A few humans supplied some light cheers and politely clapped at the resolution to a captivating fight. Many returned back to their drinks. Perhaps Matthias would have to look into being a street performer or some such activity -- he supposed he could play pretend at heroics if there weren't going to be many fair opportunities to fight other creatures his size in the future.

"It's a shame though that I'm not that quick enough to connect my weapon with you normally..." he tamped his foot against the table. He survived a tiger attack and yet was bested by a thimble. "I simply lack the nimbleness. And there's no secret other than good practice, is there? Or just being born that way..." A little laugh escaped as he gathered up the shield from its resting spot. "But thank you, Cornelius! This has been the most fun I've had in this new land for a while. Your prowess as a fighter surely shows."
 
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Cornelius

Thumbelina
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Though reluctant, the other conceded defeat, perhaps knowing that in a real battle, that likely would have been the end. As it happened, Cornelius had no intention of seriously wounding his new sparring partner. instead pointing his weapon, poised to strike. Sure, it had been good luck on his end, but there were times when luck mattered as much as skill, perhaps more so! In this case, it had worked out in his favour, but rather than gloat (victory was still a victory, after all), he shook the mouse's paw, returning his own blade to it's sheath. A few cheers erupted, surprising both of them it seemed, but they quickly died down as people returned to what they had been doing prior to the miniature sword fight.

"You fought well, Matthias", he returned the gesture, a very happy (and relieved) Buzzbee returning to his side. "It's true there aren't too many opportunities like this, so you also have my thanks." Cornelius knew that he could easily have been overpowered, but in the end he had been able to outmaneuver his opponent. Still, it seemed that both of them could take something positive from this encounter, perhaps even friendship.

As Matthias retrieved his shield, the fairy prince thought more on their battle. What would have happened if he had been just that little more nimble? Sure, having a larger weapon meant sacrificing speed and agility, but it still have easily gone the other way.

"You've actually given me a lot to think about", he admitted. "I've been studying battle tactics and stuff at the school, which actually reminds me...", he trailed off, realising that he should probably be thinking of heading back there. "What will you do now?", he asked, genuinely curious as to what a warrior mouse could possibly get up to (besides sitting around in taverns).
 
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