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Joined: 22 Jun 2003
Posts: 71
Location: Chaos Temple

 PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Logan entered the ring as the last of the goblins were scraped from the ring and their rank blood magically scrubbed away. The once roaring crowd grew silent as Logan strode to the center of the ring, helmet under his arm and spear in hand. Zither danced across the arena from the other side, leading a team of 4 Warriors of Discord and a pair of Cultists. Logan could only grin.

As the second team entered the arena, the cheering exploded as suddenly as it had stopped. They entered the ring and eyed Logan cautiously, or as cautiously as a bandof raving lunatics could.

"Introducing Team Fervor, led by Smiling Bunnypaws!" Zither announced to the roaring crowd and gestured towards the followers of Fervus. The crowd seemed to get to them and the WoDs bellowed back, their 4 voices somehow overpowering the entire crowd. Zither swung around and gestured to Logan, shouting out, "Versus Lord Logan Grim!"

The crowd hushed, or almost hushed, and whispers rippled around the stadium. Despite his well known status as a killing machine, Logan reputation as a soul snatcher preceeded him. The crowd hesitated and finally roared support to Team Fervor. They wanted Logan dead, no doubt about that. Zither backed out of the ring, signalling the fight had begun.

Logan stuck his spear point into the ring and put on his helmet. He grinned sadistically at the Cultists Smiling Bunnypaws.

"One hand." Logan put one hand behind his back, the other grasping his spear shaft. "Your souls shall be mine."

It is uncertain if the WoDs understood Logan's threat, but his voice seemed to throw them into a violent rage. While the Cultists remaind behind the line, the WoDs rushed forward with their scythes held at awkward angles. Logan stepped back and flung his spear forward, impaling one of the WoDs through the throat. He drew his sword and charged forward, his one hand still behind his back. The scythes fell around him in powerful strokes but Logan vaulted to the side at the last moment, slashing out with his sword and decapitating one of the WoDs. Half their number down, the remaining 2 grew even angrier. At the odd position they were in, one in front of the other, the one behind shoved the one infront and caused him to stumble forward clumsily and find himself with Logan's blade jammed up through his chin in out the top of his head.
Logan used the stumbling momentum of the WoD to rip out his sword and bring it around to face the final WoD. The mountain of muscle came bearing down at him quicker then Logan anticipated. He dodged the majority of the WoD's scythe but it still tore into his thigh, cleaving clean through. Logan gritted his teeth and slammed his elbow into the WoD's helmeted face, denting the helmet and crushing his nose. He followed through with a slash at the tender neck of the WoD, tearing his throat right out. The final WoD fell dead and Logan looked at the wound on his leg, then up at the Cultists.

SMiling Bunnypaws and his companion Happy Rainbow loked at each other, then back at Logan. They drew their daggers and spun them nimbly amongst their long fingers, taunting the warlord.

Logan tossed his sword aside and held out his hand, open palm facing up. A ball of blue energy, pulsing with black lightning grew steadily just above his palm.

"Die." Logan whispered as the ball suddenly flew at the pair of Cultists. They scattered but the ball followed Happy and struck him in the lower back. The Cultist barely let out a scream before he was ash.

"Fiend fiend. Die to your turn is now." Smiling Bunnypaws hurled his daggers two at a time at Logan, transforming into a massive hellbear as he did.

Logan ducked low, grabbing his sword and rolling to the side, daggers peppering his path. He was slightly curious as to how a such a small man could carry and throw so many daggers at once, but the matter soon left his thoughts. He continued around the ring, ducking and weaving until the Cultist ran dry of daggers and chargd him. Logan sidestepped the desperate rush and jammed his sword into the heart of the hellbear. He pulled his sword free and let the carcass of the now man fall to the ground. Logan returned to the first WoD he slew, pulled his spear from his throat and headed for the participant's quarters as the crowd roared at the bloodshed, regardless of the fact Logan lived.
Knowledge is Power
Power Corrupts
Go to School, be Evil
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"Well, Argon," said Jinex as they watched the ring being cleared, "you have seen your friend again. Is he as you remembered him?"
"Logan is not my friend," replied the daemonlord, ignoring the question. "He is a stuck-up warrior-class daemon who feels important because he once was called upon by Krypta. I must say, however, that I am happy to see him win."
"Why is that?" asked Jinex, amused.
"I made a bet with Lunarque that Logan would defeat all his opponents, excepting the Legendary Swordsman and, of course, Vorna."
"Do you believe that Zilmarrial can defeat a daemon?"
"I am unsure."
Jinex shrugged an rose from his seat. Stepping forward, he ordered a flourish of trumpets from his invisible staff.
"This ends the morning combat," he said, to sounds of disappointment from the crowd. He smiled, revealing his gumless teeth. "Yes, I know it was shorter than usual, but that is due to the fact that we have several skilled teams and solo fighters. A round of applause for the victors!" Except for the Minotaurs of the Ambermane clan, the clapping was sporadic. They had come to see blod, and could not care less about who won in the end. After the resounding bellows of Vorna's supporters died away, Jinex continued. "We will resume the battles at noon. In the meantime, feel free to do whatever pleases you, so long as you do not enter the tower or attempt to leave the Arena."
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 PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Zilmarrial had remained in the pit of the amphitheatre, watching Argon butcher the Fervans. As the daemon stepped down and headed back towards the barracks, the Legendary Swordsman hailed him.
"Good job," he called. "That was quite impressive."
Argon ignored him, continuing towards the barracks door. zilmarrial clicked his tongue.
"Uncommunicative, are we? Well, well."
At the sarcastic tone, Argon shot him a cold glance. "Do you have something to say, mortal?"
"Only that I like forward to fighting you. A good warm-up for Vorna in the finals, don't you think?"
"No, I do not. I require no practice runs or concessions. I would be perfectly willing to take both you and the Minotaur on now, if Lord Jinex would allow it. In the end, however, it matters not to me when you die, so long as it is by my hand."
"Really. Not lacking in confidence, are we?"
Argon did not bother to reply. He stalked past the Warrior, and entered the compound. Zilmarrial shrugged, and leaned against the wall, watching with rather bored eyes as Zither went to confer with Jinex.
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Raistlin Archmagus

Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Posts: 93
Location: Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas, Krynn

 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Well, they'd all lived through the first round. Nothing so exciting as thinking that, was there? Arydia observed the fights after her own party went, watching with a passive face, eyes calculating. Well, the Legendary Swordsman. That was interesting. Watching as he fought, she lifted a hand to her jaw, rubbing her chin thoughtfully. Not only physically strong, he was merciful. Not something she had expected to see in this tournament. Especially not from the Legendary Swordsman.
And Logan. Well. He made her think of Vorna, quite simply. And that Minotaur was scary, quite frankly. Arydia clenched her hands. No, no that didn't do any good. She turned, spotting Argoth. He'd pull this team right out from under her if she showed any weaknesss at all. Even if it was her who had been sponsored to gather the team.
She snorted as she watched him. He had spent the last two battles trying to sweet talk if the woman would even understand what sweet talking was. Honestly - didn't Argoth know the meaning of chastity? apparently not, though she'd done her best to explain it to him. But Wiola wanted nothing to do with the Warrior, and that only made him pursue him further. He probably wouldn't stop until the paladin broke his nose, following in Arydia's footsteps...which wouldn't happen. The woman was too focused on purging the world of evil to be interested in anything he had to say. Maybe Arydia could break his nose for her...Helia knows the first time had been amusing neough. She'd never heard a man - specifically this one - act so much like a baby.
The Solari's gaze turned to the Paladin. Wiola was xamining Jinex as he left, watching the notorious mage. Arydia could read her thoughts like a book by now: the bounty did not matter, the bounty was sinful, and so was this man - he was an abomination, and must be sent into Krypta's embrace, where he would recieve his just rewards. Hmph. Probably what she was thinking, verbatim.
Trelan lounged against the wall, glaring in her direction. Moon-following fool...She rolled her eyes to herself, lifting a hand and waving innocently. He glowered. She liked nothing more.
Hyjara and Alleran sat together, speaking quietly. The Healer was so gentle, Arydia sometimes wondered if it was wise to bring her into this. Seeing so much bloodshed would either warp her, or break her. Arydia hoped the ranger would help her to retain her soft nature...She was aptly named the Tender.
Which left Amelorn. Spotting the wizard not far down the wall, she smiled ruefully, wondering how so many fighters with names begining with 'A' had been gathered. The old man turned before she came to close, nodding to her. He always seemed so fatherly, Arydia thought, but none of them knew much about him. Save that he was quite powerful. "Hello, Amelorn."
The mage nodded to her. "Arydia." For him, quite the warm welcome. He turned back, examining the now empty arena. "Tell me, my dear, what do you make of this tournament?"
She blinked, turning to look at him. "I think we've got our hands full, but we can manage." Bravado. That's all that spoke, not her. She knew Argoth would have scoffed if she said anything else though.
Amelorn stared at her for a moment, as solomn as the dead, and Arydia wondered if she had said the reight thing. Then the corners of his lips turned upwards slightly, almost ruefully, and he shook his head. "You have much still to learn, young Solari."
That was a dismissal. She may lead the group, but there was no one Arydia held more respect for. Felling ashamed that he was disapointed in her - for she was sure he was - the young woman turned and left the mage to his examinations.
Drawing a deep breath, Arydia tucked a piece of dark hair behind her ear. She looked at the crowd, and shook her head. Nothing to do there, the bloodlusting fools...but...
She spotted Zilmarrial, and Loagn, and Vorna...she'd take her chances with the Legendary Swordsman. Walking up to the man, she nodded politely. "Looking forward to your next match?"
Raistlin Majere, Archmagus of the Hourglass Eyes

I will do this. Nothing in my life matters except this. No moment in my life exists except this moment. I am born in this moment, and if I fail, I will die in this moment. - Raistlin Majere
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 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"Most certainly." He said, pushing himself of the pillar he had been leaning on. "I hope it isn't as boring as the last round though. Except for the spell-casters, those Goblins had nothing worthwhile. What about you?"
"Am I looking forward to the next fight?" Arydia thought. "Probably. It's one of the reasons why we came, wasn't it? To enjoy the fighting?" She was testing him. If he noticed, he didn't show it.
"That's why they came, anyway." He jerked his head in the direction of the stoic daemon and the Minotaur, who was apparently gathering his team-mates together for a conference. "Me too, I suppose. Although really, I had been thinking about retirement. After my last battle I was wounded, and my fighting ability was impaired. You've heard of that match?"
Arydia nodded. "Most people have. They say you took on an entire army of undead single-handed. Afterwards you disappeared." She looked at him, a question in her eyes. "If your vanishing was caused by a crippling wound, how did you wind up here? You certainly didn't show any weakness in the ring."
"Well, as you no doubt heard, I'm this year's 'special guest'. My bodily well-being proved to be no obstacle to Jinex -- he completely cured me. Or so I suppose. I can't remember what happened, exactly." He shrugged, and changed the topic. "Tell me, have you settled on a wish, should you win? Not that it's likely." He winked.
Arydia tried to smile in return, but couldn't help thinking of Argoth. "Not really. What about you? Have you got a wish?"
"Certainly." He nodded. "I want Jinex to grant me immortality, so that I can go on testing my limits and improving forever."
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Raistlin Archmagus

Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Posts: 93
Location: Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas, Krynn

 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Arydia's eyebrows jumped. She was nearly on eye level with her, but she still had to look up. "Immortality?" Was he crazy? "Why would you want to live forever? If you've lasted this long - testing your limits, like you said - why continue?" Really, it seemed so...silly.
Crossing her arms, the Solari stared at him amoment longer, then shook her head. "You can't have much further to go," she said. "If you become immortal, then reach the limit, find no one else worth fighting, what will you do with the rest of your life? Forgive me, but I'm having a bit of trouble seeing you settling in the country to life a quiet never-ending life."
Oops. She hadn't meant to lecture him. Biting the inside of her cheek, Arydia shrugged. "Don't mind me," she muttered, shaking her head. "I guess you've at least got a wish lined up." She shrugged, and looked away. She'd better think on up quick enough, or Argoth would snatch up all the glory.
Glancing at Zilmarial from the corner of her eyes, Arydia turned back, one eyebrow arched. "If you don't mind my asking," she began again, turning back so a quarter of her face was facing her. "Why are you so hell-bent on improving?"
Raistlin Majere, Archmagus of the Hourglass Eyes

I will do this. Nothing in my life matters except this. No moment in my life exists except this moment. I am born in this moment, and if I fail, I will die in this moment. - Raistlin Majere
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 PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Lordon Bloodsteel and Lurk Grub wandered the arena, after some preparation

They watched the battles, and Lordon wondered if they could hold their own against such powerful beings as the Legendary Swordsman and Lord Logan Grim. He hadn't realized the power of the other contenders -- oh, he knew some would likely have some amazing abilities, but the way Zilmarrial and Logan cleared away the opposing team filled Lordon with more than a little awe and fear.

Lurk, however, seemed unconcerned. He was, a usual, hopping along cheerfully. "They only got magic and skill; we got intylygin-intelligence and ingine-ing . . . ingenuity," he said, stumbling over some of the longer words. "We got flame-throwers and explosives, and lots o' other gadgets."

"True. But is intelligence and technology enough to overcome enormous physical and magical capabilities? Technology requires more preparation, and likely won't work against any sort of magical defenses," replied Lordon, looking grim.

"What about trap? We could set up traps, and surprise them. They not prepare defense then."

Lordon rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Could work. But I believe that would be what's called rigging a match. And Lord Jinex's rules state: No tricks, no traps, and no escape."
"It simply doesn't happen. Period.
Why is that? Question mark."
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 PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Zilmarrial laughed. "Fighting's what I live for. I want -- hm, not to be the best, but to see how far I can go. I can't do that in my lifetime, or in ten. Forever looking for new opponents who can challenge me and drive to new heights -- that's the only thing I ever could wish for."
"But what if you reach a limit you can't overcome?" asked Arydia. "Or run what of challenging opponents?"
"I doubt that I'll ever run out of challenging opponents," he answered, grinning. "If I exhaust the opponents in one area, I can always go elsewhere. For example, I haven't quite mastered underwater fighting yet. As for reaching a limit -- I won't know until I've come to it."
"But if you do?" she pressed. In response Zilmarrial laughed again.
"Then I'll try something else to get around it. In the end, I suppose I don't believe in limits. Not to talent, anyway."
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Will the Spellcaster

Joined: 29 Apr 2002
Posts: 499
Location: Somewhere that I teleported too...

 PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

After making his excuses to his patrons, Jinex walked into the tower. Zither had assuredly seen his signal. He cast his spell, and materialized in the top floor to wait for her.
Several minutes passed. Impatiently he crossed his arms and stared at the doors. Still she did not come. Unmoving, Jinex sharpened his gaze upon the doors, apparently willing his herald to come. Perhaps it worked, for Zither burst suddenly into the room. She halted, and hastily saluted.
“Sorry, master, but I was delayed by the Monk and his raven.” She rolled her eyes. “He stopped me in the stands on my way up, and asked to know what god I worshipped. When I tried to answer with the fact that I don’t worship any of them, he persisted that I must worship one. When I tried to pass, he caught me by the arm and - " Jinex cut her off with a gesture.
“It doesn’t matter why or how,” he said, "let it suffice that you are late. I trust that next time you avoid such encounters.” Zither nodded and Jinex continued.
“Still, it is the matter of the raven for which I called you here. I have noticed that it has been flying around a great deal, more than is usual for a bird like itself. Well, more low flying than is usual. I think the Monk is up to something. We, or rather you, must be watchful around them.” Jinex glanced at the row of crystal panels, now dark. “I fear that the rules will soon be violated, and in a way that we never really expected.” He stepped towards her.
“Keep an eye on them, and if they start to go somewhere they shouldn’t, I want you to follow them. If they split up, try to follow the raven. Many people are interested in the Games, now, Zither, and not in a way beneficial to our survival. If we let our guard down, the Arena might not survive.
“I do not think either of us want that to happen, Zither. We each have our reasons, and besides being the only home we can ever have, it is also the only home for those I have rescued. We must not give our enemies any reason to act beond what they have already. You do understand?"
“Yes, Master. Perfectly." Zither nodded. "They won't go anywhere without my knowladge."
“Good.” Jinex smiled. "Now, let us return. The Games should resume, soon."

Last edited by Will the Spellcaster on Sat May 28, 2005 9:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Venstar Trailblazer

Joined: 27 Apr 2003
Posts: 600
Location: Harrisburg,PA

 PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The Insane family looked around their quaters for something to do. "I don't wunna get killed!" whined Galen, oblivious that no one actually cared. "Shut your yappers." scolded Clare.
As time would pass from the time they got to this dimension, the Insane family grew more and more dull and frail at the same time. "We need to take action and get out of this hell hole." Veti suggested. "I.... I agree with the miget." Bob chimed in. "Who in Fervus' name are you calling a midget? Atleast I stay to my culture, unlike you, you deadly monk!" Veti snapped. "Well, we're not going to get anywhere just sitting here. I say we deliberate a plan on getting out immediatly." Galen said. "Ok.... that was creepy. The more we stay here, the smarter Galen gets, the smaller Veti gets," Bob said, as Veti glared at him, "the weaker and less agile I get, and the more caring mother gets." "What do you suggest, I don't want to endanger us. I heard something about a sphere of Influence." Clare argued.
The family looked around, until Galen snatched the transport device used to get here, from Clare. "I'm not going to sit here and wait to die to the champions." he said. "So, unless any of you want to stay here and die, grab onto my arms." Everyone eagerly grabbed on, even the reluctant.
They saftley were transported back to Forminia and were never heard from again in this realm.
Gimli:Never thought I'd die fighting side by side with an Elf.
Legolas:What about side by side with a friend?
Gimli:Aye. I could do that.

Gandalf:Here at last, on the shores of the sea comes the end of our Fellowship.
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 PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Jinex frowned to himself. Zither, noticing, looked a question at him.
"Someone has violated one of the rules of the Games," he replied to her unspoken query. "One of the teams has escaped the Arena."
"But, Master Jinex, that's impossible! Only the gods could get someone in or out of your spell, and they've never interfered in our business before!"
"This was no ordinary teleportation," explained Jinex. "Whoever it was opened a gate to another Realm ... no, another world."
"What do we do?"
"Let it go, for now. We have more important things to do than worry about plane-shifting cowards ... such as getting on with the Games. Noon is only minutes away. To your post! We'll deal with the rulebreakers after the Games are over."

The next two battles were nothing spectacular. First a team of Ratmen lost to a Guild-sponsored team of four Wizards -- no surprise. Then a Gorgon fought a Priestess, and again there was no contest. After the Priestess' undead were pulverized by the Gorgon's summoned Medusae, the Gorgo turned her opponent to stone and shattered her.
While the rock shards wer being cleared away, zither stepped to the middle of the ring and raised her arms. This quelled the crowd, which had been murmuring in disgust at the lack of blood.
"Yes, I know it's been disappointing," Zither said in commmiseration. "We aren't here for magic tricks, are we? But next are a couple of teams that both spells and swords! Blood-letting aside, if they do use magic it promises to be quite catastrophic! I hope you all have anti-fire amulets! and now, I give you the Dual Knights of the Sun!"
After this lead-in, the crowd strained eagerly to catch a glimpse of the two fighters and walked towards the ring. They seemed to be Warriors, and were arrayed in gilded plate armour, with ornamental helmets shaped to resemble golden dragon heads. Black lacquerwork high-lighted the sleek design of their armour; on their the lacquer depicted a stylised solacranum on a golden field. Their swords, too, were gilded, and they kindled in the sunlight as the duo drew them from their lacquered sheaths. They were nearly twinned in appearnce; only fitting, as they were indeed twins. Elgos and Gilra were their names, a brother in sister who had trained together as Warriors over the objections of their townsfolk. They had dedicated themselves to Helia, and wielded fire magic enough to put any solarus to shame.
They nodded to Zither under their helmets as they entered the ring. She grinned back and returned her attention to the restless crowd. "Versus Team Tetrakon from Mayhew!"
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 PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Team Tetrakon was composed of four Wizards. Three were notorious as renegades, and were easily distinguished by their colourful robes. Thanos the Dark, whose blood-coloured robes marked him as a necromancer. Saureth the Battlemage, whose reputation as a master of destructive magic lent a sinister air to his black-embroidered white robes. Pelkent the summoner, who wore the green of chaos to remind his foes that he had all possible realms from which to call his terrible beasts. But the fourth, and apparently the leader, wore no robes at all. His clothing was that of a commoner, plain grey tunic and breeches. He bore an unadorned staff, his hair was light-coloured and nondescript. His only distinguishing mark was the patch over his right eye.
This unknown Wizard led the famous spell-casters into the ring, and stepped forward to talk to the two twins. "I am Alexon One-Eye," he said. "Leader of Team Tetrakon. Let us discuss the terms of our battle."
"Name what conditions you like," said Elgos, "but I and my sister fight together, and together, we will defeat you."
"Indeed." Alexon smiled humorlessly. "In that case, you should have no objection to my proposition. You will fight my three colleagues, one after another. If you lose in any round, you will surrender -- if you are still alive. But, if you defeat all three, I will consider Tetrakon defeated."
"What's the matter?" asked Elgos. "Are you too good to get your hands dirty?"
"You might say that." Alexon's eye gleamed. "But that is irrelevent. Do you accept?"
"We would be fools not to," and Gilra. "Choose your first Wizard, and bring it on!"
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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

After the Dual Knights accepted his proposition, Alexon walked way, leaving the other three to decide who would challenge the Warriors first. As he headed for the sidelines to watch the match, a solitary Warrior caught his eye. alexon turned slightly, and joined the Legendary Swordsman, who was leaning up against one of the columns.
"An unusual strategy," said Zilmarrial. "Do you really think you're too good for them, or are you just scared?"
"It most certainly is not that," replied Alexon blandly. "I told the truth; I am better than those two whelps. But that is not the real reason I declined to fight them."
"Mind telling me what the real reason is?"
Alexon waved a hand at the other three Wizards. They had aparently chosen Saureth, for the other two were stepping down off the platform. "I must test their abilities," said Alexon. "I know that I am superior to them, for I defeated each before the Games began. But I also know I will need their help to defeat Vorna. Powerful as I am, I cannot challenge that monster alone. If those three prove unable to even overcome these upstarts, then continuing in this tournament would be futile anyway."
"I see." Zilmarrial laughed quietly. "If they win, and you advance -- if you defeat Vorna -- what then? What is your wish? If you have no objection to telling me, that is."
"No objection, but first tell me your desire. Why do you compete in the Games?"
"I had little choice," answered Zilmarrial, and laughed again. "special guests do not generally refuse their invitations. Still, I would have come anyway. I never pass up a good fight, and besides, I do have a wish. I'm getting old. In a few years, my skills will begin to deteriorate. But, if I win, that won't happen. Jinex will make me immortal."
"Immortal?" Alexon raised an eyebrow. "And what will you do with immortality?"
"Keep fighting. My one goal is to become the greatest swordsman in creation, to push myself beyond all limits, but if that is impossible, then at least I will die in battle. Either will do, so long as I do not waste away in a bed somewhere."
"Such a simple ambition," sighed Alexon, with a touch of envy in his voice. "Very well. You have informed me of your desire. Now I will tell you mine. But," he added, eyeing the ring, "let us wait until after the issue. This looks like it may be diverting, even though I am certain, now, that Tetrakon will lose."
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 PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"So you're Saureth of Mayhew," said Elgon, eyeing the Wizard. "You don't look like much. Are you sure you want to go first?"
"Insolence!" cried the Wizard. "You young pup! You will choke on those words after i've defeated you and your sister!"
"We'll see who chokes." Gilra nodded at Zither, who raised her hand.
"Round one!" she yelled. "Fight!"
Saureth's staff, a smooth length of oak topped by a crystal orb, materialized in his left hand. He raised his right hand, energy crackling from the orb to his open palm.
"I shall finish this quickly," he declared, glaring at the two young Warriors. "Curse me now, while you have the chance! Double Energy Blast!" Two spheres of power formed above his hand and sped towards the Knights. The twins raised their shields, and the magical energy dissipated harmlessly.
"Is that all you've got?" Elgon asked. He and his sister began circling apart, closing in on Saureth.
"Insolent boy," he muttered. He gripped his staff in both hands, swung it in an arc. "See how you like this! Magical armour will not protect you from the heat of a Fire Blast!"
The flames engulfed the two. The crowd sighed appreciatively as the spell covered the ring in fire and smoke. Saureth smiled, and lifted his staff in acceptance of the forth-coming applause.
"Senile old man," said the unwelcome voice of Elgon, "we're the Dual Knights of the Sun. Did you really think fire-based spells would hurt us?"
The young Warrior broke clear of the smoke. The gold on his armour glowed brilliantly, and he was as he said unharmed. Saureth, stunned, barely managed to throw himself aside as Elgon stabbed. Pain shot through him, but he managed to retain hold of his staff. As Elgon raised the sword for the final stroke, the Wizard teleported.
He materialized on the other side of the ring, panting. He clutched at his left side, where blood pulsed out from Elgon's thrust. He stared at the scarlet stains on his fingers.
"You ... impudent ... " he gasped. He shook his head, focusing his thoughts back on the conflict. "Very well! You are immune to fire. How about ice?" He spat the incantation. The sky above darkened. All heat left the Arena. The crowd shivered in anticipation as much as from cold as they awaited Saureth's master spell.
The smoke dissipated. The Wizard's eyes narrowed as he saw the twins. They were once again side by side. Perfect targets.
"Now, freeze!" He raised his staff, forgetting his wound as the Ether Winds flowed through him. Shards of ice poured down on the field, crackin open the black marble of the ring. Chilling winds swirled down from the sky, blowing the icy blades towards the Knights. Saureth cackled. "Fools! Now you know the pain! With your fire-aligned powers, you are helpless against the freezing might of my Blizzard of Daggers!"
"No matter how cold it gets," cried Gilra, her voice driving through the wind, "the Sun is hotter yet!" Together she and Elgon raised their swords. saureth noted absent-mindedly that while Elgon was right-handed, his sister was left-handed. He missed the words they shouted, but he could not help but notice the effects.
Flames kindled on their armour and on their skin. They were enwrapped by fire, a fire that instantly melted all the icy shards and yet left them untouched. Saureth flinched away from the heat, but it only grew more intense. The audience, fearful that they would be gutted by the freezing daggers, now began to shift uncomfortably as waves of hot air washed over them.
"Impossible," murmured Saureth, his words inaudible even to himself over the roaring fire. He began to shiver, his body succumbing to the burning temperature. He knew that somewhere in his mind he had a spell to counter the deadly heat, but he was too faint to recall it.

Zither shook the sweat out of her eyes. She had darkened from white to nearly black as her fur absorbed the moisture pouring out of her body. She was hardly surprised to see the old human give in.
"And the winner of the first round are the Dual Knights! Now, for the love of Jinex, cool down that Fire Aura! Someof us have fur, y'know!"
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Zilmarrial quickly raised an arm to protect his face from the blast of heat. "Do you still think you could take 'em?" he asked of Alexon.
The Wizard smiled his dry smile. The wind stirred his clothing, but did not seem to bother him. "I've been through worse," he said. "Although, I must admit that if these two survive the Games, they will become respectable opponents."

Saureth was dead. The heat had been too much for his aged body. But, before his corpse could be lifted from the ring by the invisible servants, the second Wizard had taken his place.
"I am Pelkent the Summoner," announced the Wizard. He pointed at Elgos. "But you may call me 'executioner'."
"Tough words," replied Elgos. The Fire Aura had died down, but the Knight's eyes still gleamed. "But I doubt you can back them up."
"Enough talk. Herald, let us begin!"
"Right!" Zither jumped lightly back onto the platform, having precipitously run off during the inferno. "Round two, fight!"
"From the Northern Reaches I command you!" Pelkent's words rang out before Zither's voice had died away. "Crush these two before me!"
A circle of light appeared before the Summoner. Out of it stepped a colossal creature covered with long, dirty fur. The audience yelled in excitement.
"And Pelkent opens by calling a Yeti!" cried Zither. "This looks like a tough fight!"
The behemoth raised its fists. The Dual Knights sprang aside as the Arena trembled from the impact. Rock shards sprayed the audience. Elgos and Gilra landed, only to be swept aside by the monster's hairy arms.
"They're out of the ring!" shouted Zither. "But it looks like they're not giving up."
"Can you stop?" snapped Gilra as she sprang past the spirit cat.
"It's my job," answered Zither tartly. "What did you expect?"
"Whatever." Gilra rolled beneath another swing from the Yeti. She came to a crouch right beside its foot. She thrust with her sword. The monster howled, lost its balance. As it stumbled, Elgos attacked from the other side. He jumped high on the monster's flank. he grabbed a handful of the yeti's hair, and swung himself higher. The Yeti roared and swated at the annoying human, but Elgos fended off the massive paw. He was on the shoulder. Another leap, and he had plunged his blade into the Yeti's brain.
The monster shimmered and suddenly dissolved into motes of light. Elgos sprang clear and landed on his feet directly in front of Pelkent.
"Told you," he said. "Words are cheap. Now surrender or die!"
"I won't be doing either, boy!"
The Summoner vanished as Elgos' sword cleaved the air. The Knight spun around, looking irritably for the Wizard. "Not again. Now where is he?"
"Above you!" Gilra pointed. Elgos had just enguh tme to raise his shield as a stream of magical energy smashed into him.
"Amateurs!" shouted Pelkent. "Now perish, and trouble me no more!"
Still hovering in the air over the ring, the Summoner threw open his arms. Momentarily the sky darkened. A bolt of red lightning struck the centre of the ring. Scarlet runes flamed into being. Within their circle a dark figure rose up.
"Behold!" cried Pelkent. "I have summoned Morion, Minion of Shadow!"
"Shadow?" Elgos looked at his sister, and the two burst out laughing. "Have you learned nothing? Come on, Gilra, let's show him the power of the Sun!"
The two raised their swords. The sky once more became bright as the two chanted together. "O Helia! Grant us your light! Banish the darkness back to the depths! Burn away the demon!"
A shriek rose from within the circle of rapidly dimming runes. Spears of light thrust through the shadow that clung around the monster. Faintly an outline could be seen, wings and barbed tail writhing in the light, then it was gone.
"And now it's your turn!" Elgos shifted his blade to point at Pelkent. "Solar Flare!"
The air around the Summoner ignited. Small flames burst around him. Then, while he was desperately trying to counter the spell, a ray of light shot from the heavens. It struck the Wizard. There was an explosion which drowned out the Summoner's final scream, and it was over. Pelkent too was now dead.
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