Arriving at the Lynx I was greeted by a busier than usual venue. It seemed that half of Thanalan had turned out to watch. Descending the stairs I was greeted with a fight in progress. Quickly grabbing an orange juice and finding a seat I sat down to watch Gibbs versus the Limsan brawler Grehmel.
As I sat down I noticed Gibbs had ditched her usual greatsword in favour of using her fists. As far as I know Gibbs is not a brawler. Grhemel however is a known brawler, able to take on the best pugilists, also if she’s a capable fist fighter why not fight Talan hand to hand? Was she worried that she couldn’t win against him without it?
As i sat down Grehmel was attempting to grapple with Gibbs who with raw force managed to push her way out before bullrushing him into the wall of the arena, As Grehmel was slammed back he attempted to slam his elbow down hard on Gibbs exposed shoulder but to no avail, Gibbs would dodge out of the way and do a flip before charging back at her opponent with a heavy swing.
Unfortunately Gibbs punches would seem too slow to keep up with her nimble opponent.as her fist hit the barrier. Grehemel let out a bad pun about not enjoying knuckle sandwiches before delivering his patented headbutt attack, a move that had brought him victory many a time (although I do wonder how much damage his brain has sustained from doing so). Gibbs was prepared for this and grabbed the xaela by the horns figuratively and relatively speaking, Pushing Grehmel back before unleashing a haymaker attack towards the Xaeleas chest. Grehmel staggered back hugging the wall. Gibbs would once more throw another punch trying to counter but Gibbs powered through to throw another heavy swing. Grehmel was ready this time and proving that he was more nimble than the hulking roegadyn ducked under her attack and came back up with a thundering uppercut, Gibbs was so committed to her attack that she was off balance and barely had time to react before the strike hit. The blow narrowly brushes Gibbs cheek but that was enough as the announcer called out that Grehmel had won the match.
As the first fight died down I was able to get a chance to speak with Grehmel as he sat down for a victory drink.
“You just faced Gibbs to score yet another victory taking your success to four and oh. An impressive score just behind Talans. Would you say that Gibbs decision to not use her usual Greatsword cost her the match?”
“Aye. Might be. She be better using that slab o’ iron of hers.”
As I was about to ask a few more questions I heard the announcer call the next match. It was the eagerly anticipated match between the Golden Shield Rae Peak and the Iron Lynx very own Aiden mercer. So as I thanked Grehemel for there time I had to ask if he thought Rae could break her losing streak at the Lynx today.
“We’ll see, aye. Aiden isn’t a lightweight himself.”
With the brief interview out of the way i sat down to watch one of the eagerly anticipated matches of tonight.
Rae ‘the Golden Shield’ Peak Versus Aiden Mercer.
As my readers should be well aware by now Rae has had her share of misfortune after winning the previous Iron Lynx tournament. Currently her score stands at zero wins and five losses. She had managed to (I hoped) break this curse after her win at the EGF event held a few nights before but seeing as there two different leagues that doesn’t count for the Iron Lynxes scoreboard.
Her opponent Aiden Mercer however has had more luck in the Lynx fights. Currently sitting at a win loss record of three and two, he was not an opponent Rae could afford to take lightly.
The two squared off both brandishing sword and shield as the announcer commenced the match. Rae would make the first move, augmenting her speed and launching herself towards Aiden, moving past him and launching herself off a pillar back towards him looking to slam her shield into his face.
Aiden was unable to counter Raes speed and staggered back as the shield found its mark, but undeterred Aiden shook off the ringing in his ears and would lunge with a strike towards Raes’ now exposed chest. Unfortunately for Rae she did not see the strike fast enough and although she moved her sword to deflect the blow the sparks would fly as Aidens sword connected with Raes armour.
It was then that Rae obviously riding high from her previous victory decided to get creative or as she put it in her own words “Let’s do this a bit less straightforward, shall we?” Throwing her shield to act as a decoy before slashing with her sword however from her current position Aiden was out of reach. Not a problem as a beram of aetherial energy shot out from her blade towards our valiant swordsman. Aiden however would not be fazed, he sidestepped the attack and moved in behind rae to attack her exposed back, however Rae was ready for him. As she brought her sword up to meet his she held her left arm out as the shield returned to her arm. As the audience cheered for this spectacular show of skill and ingenuity Rae would thank Aiden for cornering himself as he had managed to place himself right in the corner of the arena, she would then jump in the air and let out what seemed like a thousand and one cuts towards Aiden who was now trapped and cornered.
With limited maneuverability Aiden would find himself only able to fend off a few strikes with his shield before Raes’ blade found its mark.
With desperatio nAiden would lunge towards Rae as she landed back on the floor but to little effect as Rae blocked it but putting her off stance. Before Aiden could capitalise however she would unleash a torrent of Wind Aether from her sword sending Aiden crashing into the pillar thus ending the match. Yes that’s right folks the Golden shields losing streak is officially over. Surely the twelve have smiled upon her this day.
With the fight over there was an announcement that a fighter had dropped out so a amd dash was seen heading for the announcers desk to sign up. Seeing my opportunity while the Lynx staff sorted out that mess I went and snagged an interview with the Golden Shield herself.
“This week has been a momentous one for you. Not only winning your first fight at the EGFs second event but also finally breaking your oh and five losing streak, gotta ask how do you feel?”
“To be direct, I feel great. I hit a small crack in my confidence ever since the losing streak started. While I am usually able to take stride in losses, the constant loss made me doubt my abilities, as if I were not keeping up with a rapidly changing world. A world that grows darker by the day. To know I am still able to take a victory feels me with an earnest joy”
“I am sure you’ll be able to keep up now. I would ask, do you intend to enter the Lynx annual tournament this year and do you have your sights set on the EGFs new champion also or do you have other plans?”
“To answer your question, I intend to enter the Lynx tournament, though time will tell if I will be capable. In a similar fashion, I do aim for the EGF’s champion title… but I will not forget I just had a losing streak and use that to motivate myself to keep training.”
As Rae spoke the announcers called for the next match, also seeing that Rae was accumulating many well wishers i decided to not eat up anymore of her valuable time. As such I thanked her for her tiem and wished her well in her future endeavors to which she replied, “No, thank you for your time, miss. I hope that this end of my streak of losing will encourage others to not give up and keep striving forward. Even if times are dark, we must keep moving forward, not just on the battlefield, but also at home… And I would like to thank fans, friends, coworkers for keeping my head on my shoulders, in more ways than one.”
Although it could be said for most of the fighters tonight that they are all good sportsmen and deserve our respect for the show they put on, I would say Rae Peak is one of the most inspirational of them all. I for one hope we see her move up the ranking in both the Iron Lynx and the EGF very soon.
But with that out of the way I sat down, finished my drink and prepared for the third match on tonight’s card.
This match I had no clue about either of these fighters. Especially our mystery last minute challenger. Regaled in an exquisite suit of armour what no simple gladiator could afford stood a man simply introduced as the pale knight of Ishgard.
Over in the opposite corner was a man best described as a vagabond in white coat wielding a gunblade. This man was introduced as the White Wolf who I would later come to find out his real name was Tyrdin Selmer.
As the announcer commenced the match the two would share some brief words. The White would offer a quick witted taunt at the Pale knight who would scoff at his opponent and would just explain how the white wolfs common ways insulted him. I could tell that this Ser knight was not going to be a gracious sport.
The pale Knight took the first strike slashing at the white wolf with a technique what looks like it would have been more suited to a samurai than a knight of Ishgard. The whire wolf would be quick on the draw, but not quick enough. The strike would hit, sending the White wolf spinning back. Quick with words as well as his blade the wolf would exchange pleasantries asking what house the knight belonged to before thrusting at the weak point between the pale knight’s chest plate and pauldron.
From this reporter’s stance I would say that the knight may have been acting too reckless, perhaps thinking his opponent beneath his notice, as the blade found its mark the Knight staggered back once more exclaiming he would not suffer any more of his opponents low born talk during the fight. As he did the Knight would lunge with his blade towards the Wolfs chest. It did not do him much good as a shot rained out from the white Wolfs gunblade that nearly deafened the crowd (especially me) that send both combatants flying from each other.
Another retort from the white wolf revealed that he too was from a noble house. Which one? No clue but either way the Noble White wolf was having none of his opponents boorish and standoffish ways. With a spin to add some drama and flair the White wolf would produce a revolver from his coat and take aim right between the eyes of the Pale knight.
The shot find its mark sending the Pale Knight reeling and most likely ringing his bell quitel literally. He would find his footing once more and begin to berate his opponent for use of a barbaric weapon. At this point it was either That the White Wolf had gotten under the Pale knights skin, or the Pale knight had no respect for an opponent who had proved he could keep up with him. I will say this folks if you are commign to fight at a event like this, come for a good time, don’t come here with something to prove and a polearm riding up your cheeks because it won’t make you any friends, just a lot of enemies.
The Pale Knight would charge towards Wolf feigning an attack with his left and whilst moving to deliver a right hook towards his jaw.
Holstering his pistol with flair the white Wolf would bring his npw free hand up to block the right hook. With a clang of metal on metal the knight would be bewildered as his attack was thwarted once more. Yes it seemed the White wolf was full of tricks with a prosthetic arm hidden under his gloved hands. As the wolf bragged about with a streak of twenty wins (This is so far unconfirmed weather or not this is true) he would tell ser Knight “Head high, Knight take it with dignity,” as as thrust towards the Pale knights chest.
It would seem at last the Pale Knight had managed to evade this time, spinning like a ballerina before demanding his opponent stop treating the fight like a bar room brawl (So far his opponent had done anything but treat it as a fight) and then proceeded to threaten to cut his other hand off. Which if anyone who has been to these events knows the barrier surrounding the arena stops that kind of thing from happening. This time he would come at the Wolf with a fully armoured spinning elbow strike. It would seem that the White Wolf was mesmerised by his opponent’s grace as he staggered back taking the full elbow to the face.
Dropping to one knee the Wolf had nothing but admiration for his foe, remarking on how enjoyed the fight before dropping his gunblade and pulling out his revolver and sending another shot racing towards the Knight’s chest.
As the Pale Knight charged towards his downed opponent too late did he see the gun being pointed towards him. To his knee he fell before the Wolf. He would remark even though it pained him to say he had lost the battle.
Gracious in his victory the White Wolf would ask that the audience would igve a round of applause to his opponent to which the Pale knight would scoff at the idea and depart his head held high.
At this point dear readers i do have to ask, do all Ishgardian nobility have those proverbial polearm rammed up there or is the Pale knight a special case?
With time to spare before the main event I took a moment to track down one of the fighters finding the White Wolf himself by the bar, he was happy to give a few words for our wonderful readers.
I had to ask the White Wolf right away if he felt his opponent had a chip on his shoulder, something to prove tonight? Also I asked if he thought the Pale Knight looked down upon all those of noble birth and how he felt about the Pale knights comments towards him.
“You must understand, we of the Fighter nature fight because it is in our Blood, I do not see him differently aside from the bite of his Sword, everything else matters not, and his bladesman work was nothing short of sublime. Yes, Cocky, but so was I, no?”
I remarked that White Wolf had at least the right mentality and sportsmanship for stepping inside a arena such as the Iron Lynx own, i also queried about his supposed twenty victories. As i had not seen his name on the leaderboard. Also I had to ask will he be gracign the Lynx again.
“The Lynx both as a Establishment and its Institution are the very core of the Duel Leaderboards across Eorzea, tis where the very best of the best compete, the Owner, Lady Litor herself is nothing short of a cunning Fighter as well. If it is not for that alone that makes stepping into the Ring here more appealing… what is?” He would then give pause. “I have faded to time, back in the younger days I was known as the Golden Gunslinger, my Mentor was more so notoriously engaged in the Duels here. “But I wish not to toot my own horn, Fights should be held to what happened today, not to what happened years ago. Veteran or not, even one that freshly steps into the ring, will triumph if they put their mind to it. In Fact I encourage it.”
Encouraging words are they not. I then had to ask with his respect and admiration for the Lynx and with his proclamation that the Lynx had the premiere leaderboards of the entire of Erozea what his thoughts were on the EGFs league.
“I think the Respite has great potential! The EGF hosted some of the greatest Warriors of all times, including a very fond friend and sister in arms, Alyx Greywind. I think the EGF is a more entertaining event whilst the Lynx will have its Veterans from Eorzea flock steadily. My advice? Both should exist in tandem, the Respite does well to put the Entertainment into their fights.”
With that I could hear the announcer preparing for the final duel of the night and i knew i had to make sure to capture every single moment of the fight. So I thanked The White wolf for his time and went to find my seat.
Yes dear readers this was a fight to behold but this story is already quite long so I shall conclude it in my next Article on the most hotly anticipated fight in Iron Lynx history. Talan Gelson and J’tohjo (Jojo) Tia.