Tournament of Champions 4 (The game has begun!)

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  • ah good point
  • Working on the event right now. It'll be in multiple parts, but I will announce when the time is right for the six traveling heroes to act!
  • Canonically weaponless rn!
  • Get him while he's defenseless!
  • Not defenseless, weaponless.  Get it right XD.
  • Chapter 15

    The day before.

    "These other participants are displaying incredible talent." Nartheus shook his head. "You'd better be careful."

    Sturgar nodded, kneeling on the floor, sharpening his many blades.

    "Certainly, you would have no issue besting many of them, but some of that magic, well, I'm not sure what it would do to you. No steel or fist could do you harm, but I just witnessed that young lady murder her opponent with what seems like magic."

    Sturgar nodded again, not sure where his employer was going with this.

    "I wonder if that magical blacksmith could provide you with some protection from the more arcane variety of assaults. He seems very competent."

    The duke produced from his bag an intricate, cylindrical object, roughly a foot long and covered in delicate golden filigree. He twisted it this way and that, and with a series of metallic clicks, pried it apart. From the small safe he pulled a diamond nearly the size of a child's fist, perfectly clear and cut to perfection. 

    "I seem to have spent the vast majority of the coin I brought with me already. Zordroth isn't cheap, but he isn't magical either." He looked knowingly at the dragonborn. "I do hope that spellsmith accepts precious gems as payment. He'd be a fool not to, this is worth nearly ten thousand ducats. You'd better get your money's worth." He tossed Sturgar the diamond, who caught in one hand.

    As Sturgar entered the forge, he was taken aback by the sheer amount of equipment and arms, most of which looked of arcane nature, scattered about the room. 

    "One moment." A voice called out from further in the smithy, accompanied by the ceaseless striking of a hammer on an anvil.

    Peering in, Sturgar saw Rezar hammering away at a shield of sorts. A myriad of iridescent sparks flew from the anvil with each blow, and strange runes glowed fiercely on the shield.

    "Alright. What can I do for you..." The spellsmith's voice trailed off as he stared up at Sturgar's eight foot tall form. "Hmm. Very impressive. Do you need something?"

    Sturgar wordlessly handed Rezar a sheet of parchment, signed and sealed by Nartheus. The smith read through it, nodding.

    "Easy enough. Antimagic runes are relatively simple, although the surface area I'd need to cover would complicate things slightly. This is going to cost you."

    Sturgar held out his open palm, displaying the magnificent diamond. The stone glittered in the light of the blazing furnace, projecting a spattering of luminescent shapes on the dragonborn's metallic body. Rezar's eyes widened. He raised his eyebrows, and seeing Sturgar offer the diamond, quickly took it and placed it in a pocket.

    "Well, then. Let's start immediately."

    For hours, the spellsmith labored away, etching and enchanting a veritable alphabet of runes all over Sturgar's armor. The intricate symbols, barely visible when disactivated, covered the steel surface of his armor from head to toe. Finally, as the sun began to set and the feast was beginning, Rezar stepped back, wiping his brow.

    "Well, I think that was worth the diamond. The runes will awaken whenever you're in close proximity to anything of magical nature. Most of them provide general protection from fireballs and the sort, but the ones circling your heart are a ward against anything which might attempt to penetrate your soul. I'm sure they'll come in handy in future matches." With that, the smith turned away, seemingly forgetting about Sturgar, who admired the numerous small etchings in his armor as he walked away towards the training grounds, intent on getting in some practice.
  • I'm seeing Tenebris make all these story cards for Toc but no new posts and I crave entertainment. 
  • edited May 2021
    That just means we have a grand post incoming... :)
  • With zombies!
  • possibly a random encounter!
  • Perhaps a homeless man selling us illicit substances under a bridge!
  • kinda wish I didn't go to malterra now lol
  • Yeah but like Conscience can probably afford every drug ever invented.
  • edited May 2021
    Conscience seems like the kind of person who'd do crack regularly and then be confused when other people don't
  • Snorting crushed diamonds
  • a. I wouldn't even pay, just force them to give them to me b. I mean yes and c. thats a waste of diamonds
  • edited May 2021
    Let's get back on topic, shall we?

    (ch 19, part 2)
    ---
     “Shall we play with swords now, mother?” Lyuben emphasized mother in a despicable tone. He felt his mother’s arms guide him as he repeatedly parried her attacks. He had learned everything about sword fighting from her after all.

    Hjordis raised her whip to attack Lyuben with another weapon, but Lyuben blasted it with dark flames again. Hjordis yelped as she dropped her whip. While his mother was distracted, Lyuben lunged forward, but she quickly regained her composure to the prince’s attack.

    I know how she fights. She taught me everything there is to sword fighting when I was young.

    Hjordis made a graceful cut toward Lyuben’s right arm, but he sidestepped and avoided her attack. She tried again from another angle, but Lyuben was able to evade the repeated strikes again. This time, he flawlessly transitioned into an off line attack to distract Hjordis. She fell for his bait. While their swords were locked, Lyuben let loose a blast of energy from his hands. Hjordis pulled away, and gracefully dodged the magic.

    “Darn it.”

    Lyuben advanced slowly on the queen yet again. He stomped loudly to draw attention away from his blade as he launched another assault. Hjordis wasn’t fazed at all. Their blades whirled and clashed in their air, merely silver blurs to anyone that looked on in the distance. With his aggressive attacks, Lyuben slowly pushed his mother closer and closer to the wall.

    I’m doing this. I’m winning this.

    Hjordis made a quick glance back at the wall before turning back to parry another one of Lyuben’s attacks. As Lyuben made a quick slash at the queen, she planted one foot on the wall and vaulted over Lyuben. His blade smashed into a set of fragile ornaments, causing tiny shards to spray across Lyuben’s face.

    “Aaargh!”

    The prince whipped around blasting dark power into the air at Hjordis. She twirled in the air, slamming back the purple magic at Lyuben with her shining sword. It crashed down in front of the boy and exploded. White smoke engulfed the battered hall. Lyuben could see almost nothing. He could hear Hjordis’s light footsteps echo through the room. An odd feeling crept up on Lyuben as the steps slowly grew louder and louder.

    Lyuben raised his sword up and lowered his stance, trying to prepare himself for a strike from any direction. He glanced nervously around him into the fog.

    T̷̫͌h̴͎̀ȩ̴̎ ̷̭̈ö̷̞́n̶͖̂l̷͊͜y̸̰͘ ̷͚̀w̸̗̐a̸̔͜ý̴͖ ̸̩̂t̴͓͐ỏ̶̠ ̸̦̉p̶̦̐ȑ̶͇o̸͔̽t̸̫̕e̸͈̅c̸̼̓ť̷̞ ̸̠͛y̴̗͗ö̸͙́ú̶͉ ̶̭́ḭ̴̃s̶̠͋ ̴̳̀ẗ̴͍́ḫ̵̃e̷̖̊ ̵͕͐a̷̙̽b̷͔̊y̶͖̆š̶̟s̷̺͗.̷̥̄ ̸͚̈Ṭ̸̈h̷͙̎è̷̡ ̶̨̈õ̷̟n̸̜̉l̶̠͛y̷͉͐ ̸̺̔ẁ̸͙a̵̻͊y̸̞̍ ̶͖̈́t̸̺͝ō̷̬ ̵̲́p̴̖̌ȓ̶̥ö̷̫́t̸̰̓e̴͍̅c̵̝͛ț̶̈ ̸̌ͅA̷̮̓y̶͇̕d̷̤͛e̷͇̕n̵͓͌ ̶̧̿į̷͋s̶͙͒ ̸͓͗t̴̳̃h̶͔̒ē̷͙ ̷̱̆a̶͕͐b̸͕̆y̷̭̾s̷͎̆s̴̼͒.̶̼͠ ̶̙̃Ŭ̵̘s̷͓͛e̵͚͠ ̶̫̊ï̷̤t̸̘̓.̸̲̅ ̴̣̉Ś̵̳h̵̦̾o̶̻̚w̵̢̑ ̸̰̀H̵̲͠j̴̝̓o̷̲͝r̶̼̽d̵̯̓į̴́s̷̨͠ ̴͉͛w̶̦̅h̸͖͑à̸̪t̴̡̅ ̸͍̂t̴͎̊ḣ̷͈ę̸͂ ̴̹̑a̴̢͗b̸̬̈́ẙ̴̤s̴̟͒s̸̻̄ ̶̗͝r̵̼͊e̴̗̾à̸̺l̷̝̃l̷̝͝y̶̡͘ ̷̺͌i̶͕͝s̶͈̔.̶̗͛

    Lyuben’s rose suddenly appeared on the ground next to his left foot. He gently picked it up, glancing at the blood rose for a moment before returning his gaze into the white nothingness. Then a silver glint caught his eye. He heard something clatter to the ground.

    Lyuben charged in the direction of the silver light. Nothing. There was just a silver dagger lying on the floor. His mother must have tricked him.

    “Wh-where are you?”

    A sword appeared out of nowhere. Lyuben yelped, jumping backwards, but the sword still managed to scrape his leg. He winced, but managed to strike back. Lyuben channeled abyssal energy into his sword as he did so. A dull black coat quickly engulfed the shining steel as their blades met.

    “Corrupted steel,” Hjordis whispered, “The signature metal of the abyss.”

    Versus silver… Lyuben thought, the abyssal bane

    Lyuben and Hjordis’s blades clashed in the air. The impact of the opposing forces caused a shockwave that fanned the white smoke out of the room hastily. Gold ornaments that lined the room shattered into tiny fragments as dual energies crackled around Lyuben and Hjordis.

    Time seemed to pause for a moment. Lyuben saw the sadness, pity, and sorrow all welled up in his mothers eyes. She seemed to know his bitterness. His anger. His own sorrow. But it was too late to understand each other. They were past that point now.

    Lyuben pressed harder and harder, allowing more magic to well up in his blade from the blood rose. He felt his mother’s grip weakening on her own blade.

    N̴̝̎ó̷̘ť̵̡ḣ̴̹ǐ̵̺n̸̳͌g̵̙͝ ̴̝̎c̶͚̃a̷̬͊n̶̠̕ ̷̳͂c̴̘̓o̶̦͝n̶͇̈́q̵̖̓u̸͈̅ë̵̬ŗ̵͝ ̷̱́t̸̟̑h̴̜̃e̸̝͘ ̵͎̆ǎ̷̬b̶̪̈́y̷͙͗s̵̝̈s̶̲̍

    Lyuben made one final push and twisted his blade slightly, causing Hjordis to yelp and drop her sword. She watched in horror as her precious silver blade clattered to the ground. She was defenseless now.

    “I- I’m sorry Lyuben.”

    “We’re past apologies. This ends here. Now!”

    “The abyss doesn’t give what it promises! You’re trading your life away, Lyuben. For once, listen to me! Please...”

    “No!” Lyuben’s hands trembled as he lifted his own corrupted sword high above his head.

    “I tried to save you...”

    Hjordis opened her palm. A violent red flash of light lit up the room, blinding the prince momentarily. Then, Hjordis was gone.

  • Twelve

    Dead of Winter - Part I

    Unbroken silence. The forest was covered by thick wet snow and the tall spruce trees pointed towards the grey sky. Fog stood still everywhere the eye could see, for not a single wind blew it away. A young woman with long ginger hair, donned in white jacket, short pastel-orange cape with white fur lining, and blue striped ribbon, breathed heavily as she ran through the snowdrifts between the shadowy trees. Each exhale let out a tiny mist cloud from her mouth that vanished within seconds. She looked back, and saw three large black creatures on all fours chasing her behind the distant trees, causing snow to fall from the branches above them. The girl gasped and tried to run even faster, but since the hindering snow was so deep in the forest, her running was more like making repeated exhaustive jumps.

    Art: Michael Handt
        In the middle of a forest opening, she slipped and fell next to a bush, then laid prone in the snow. The creatures were getting closer, their ominous growling made the girl turn supine and push herself up a bit. Her blue quivering eyes were wide open as she watched one of the Abyss Vanguards raise its monstrous left arm to crush its prey. Slash! The sound of a ringing blade and a splatter of blood. A young man with black ponytail hair leaped from behind the bush and used his longsword to cut a deep wound into the creature's muscular arm, causing it to back off. He was wearing a traveling noble's attire with leather reinforcements and a long blue cape with white fur lining. The Abyss Vanguard roared and its purple tentacles writhed as it prepared to retaliate. On that moment the girl stood up with a determined look, pointed her hands towards the monster, and with a few words, bright coils of light fell from the sky and dug into the creature's open wound. They spread everywhere inside the Vanguard's paralyzed body, and when the girl made a pulling motion with her hands, the coils tore the monster's body apart. Black blood splashed all around the forest opening: onto the snow, the branches, the bushes, the other two Vanguards, the soldier boy, and the wizard girl.
        The soldier quickly wiped blood away from his face and returned to his stance, pointing his sword at one of the two monstrous vanguards that surrounded him. He heard as the girl ran behind him, then she took a stance as well. Back to back, they calmly observed the dark creatures with their hands ready, until the two monsters suddenly roared before charging. The soldier swiftly cut a minor wound into one of the charging beasts' thick necks while ducking and the wizard conjured a disc of light which sought the fresh wound and cleaved the creature's head off with a shower of black liquid. It collapsed onto the snow at the same time when the last living monster flailed its right arm at the girl. She dodged the attack by stepping to the side, but another was already coming. Before it could connect, the soldier jumped and thrust his sword deep into the beast's left shoulder, hindering the arm's movements. While roaring, the creature opened its slimy mouth to bite the hanging boy's head off, but the girl cast a blue net of light around the beast's head that tightened and shut its mouth. It gave the soldier enough time to climb onto the creature's back, pull the sword from the shoulder, and with a shout, thrust it through the skull with his both hands. The Vanguard gurgled and fell lifelessly onto the crunching snow while the soldier leaned against the embedded blade's bloody hilt.
        It was quiet again. The only sounds which could be heard were the abundant bleeding of the dead beasts' bodies and the heavy breathing of the soldier boy and the wizard girl. They made eye contact a moment later, then the girl began to giggle, followed by the boy's chuckling. He pulled the sword from the slain monster's rapidly decaying head that emitted black smoke, then walked towards the girl with his arms outstretched. They hugged each other for a while before letting go, then the girl jumped while raising her right fist towards the grey sky. "Yes! Sienna the monster slayer is victorious once again! Not even three Abyss Vanguards stood a chance against my bright tactics! The most renowned wizarding colleges will send me hundreds of letters once they hear of my amazing feats!"
        "Aren't you forgetting someone?" the young soldier asked with a raised eyebrow while he cleaned the bloody sword with his cape. Sienna waved her left hand in a belittling way while smirking playfully.
        "Oh, Tadeo, nobody is impressed by sword-swinging men anymore who rush to the first war they smell from over the sea."
        "Like this poor fellow?" Tadeo asked as he sheathed his longsword and knelt next to a decaying monster's corpse. A metal gauntlet was sticking out from the slimy mush that was once a belly. The soldier picked it up and wiped it clean from the black liquid, revealing an engraving that depicted a winged spear surrounded by a halo. Sienna walked right next to Tadeo, her eyes widening as she looked at the symbol.
        "Lisakdonian," she sighed. "You don't think... they're here to...?" while Sienna was talking, Tadeo had pulled a tepid leather belt from the monster's corpse, which had many pockets. The soldier opened them all and shook them, dropping a couple of coins and a small rolled parchment onto the snow, which the wizard quickly picked up. She took the thread off and unrolled it. "Oh no."
        "What is it?" Tadeo asked, and Sienna showed him the parchment. An area surrounded by certain spiky landmarks was drawn on it with a dashed line path which led to an X.
        "It's a map, or more specifically, a copy of a map. Whoever that monster ate was probably a scout-"
        "-a scout searching for the same place as us," the soldier finished the wizard's sentence while he hurriedly opened his bag and pulled out his own map. Identical path in the same area was marked on it as well. Sienna compared the two maps back and forth before throwing the parchment away.
        "We must get there before they do," she said earnestly. "Where did you put our horses?"
        "This way," Tadeo whispered calmly while beckoning and jogging out of the forest opening with Sienna following right behind. They heard faint commanding shouts of a man in the distance once they reached the forest outskirts, but couldn't understand the language. Two white horses flapped their ears happily when the soldier and the wizard untied the reins from a fallen tree. After mounting them, Tadeo and Sienna put on their hoods and rode towards grey plains.
    Tadeo and Sienna
    #toc4_story
  • edited June 2021
    I don't want this amazing thread to die!

    I've had a pretty busy schedule lately, but if all goes well, I should have the conclusion to Lyuben's fight posted along with his new card!!!
  • Me neither! Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about this, even when life throws one obstacle after the next. I understand things have been pretty busy for many other players of this game as well, but I hope everyone has time to check by once I get the game rolling in its usual pace once more, which should happen very soon. I'm positive that I can get the event started tomorrow, as I'll have more free time after that day when compared to these past few weeks. Once the event is over, Round 2 will officially begin shortly after. 
  • I'm afraid I may need to drop out of the competition. I've spent very little time on the forums this past month and I have a feeling that won't be improving much for a while. IRL is just extremely busy with a lot of things I have to get sorted and in order, and while I've had a ton of fun with this and I've really enjoyed getting to update and write and create around one of my favorite old characters and to play with you all, life and responsibilities now are much more hectic and pressing than they were back in March.

    I may try to write a closing chapter of some sort or at least create a new card/segment so that my departure isn't too anti-climatic (especially for my next opponent) so that there's something left to work off of, but I don't think I'll have the time and energy to really commit to this at the level needed so that I and others have fun. I've loved reading everyone's stories, the characters are fantastic, and I'll try to drop in and catch up or read up once everything is said and done.

    I realize this is a bit disappointing, and I really do wish I had enough time to keep participating, but even if I tried right now I think it would be half-assed and I'd be quickly skimming peoples stories and and it just wouldn't be as enjoyable or interesting and I'd probably lose the next round anyways haha.
  • *sniff sniff*
  • @Red_Tower don't drop out yet! At least wait until stuff starts happening again...
  • Yeah, nothing's happening right now, so you don't need to be active.
  • Looks like this is dead.....

    At least temporarily.....
  • I think Tenebris is busy for a while.
  • so uhhh anyone wanna stage a coup?
  • The Abyss always welcomes new victims I mean followers
  • I mean at this point the next ToC will begin before this one ends.
  • yeah most likely
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