Noah - Tournament of Champions 4 - Saga Category

edited March 25 in Off-topic Chat
Just to better organize the characters' tales and not get lost in the details.

Same system performed for Aeryn
https://forums.mtgcardsmith.com/discussion/5385/aeryn-tournament-of-champions-3-saga-category#latest 

Please avoid comments on this topic. It would only be for the character's story.
https://forums.mtgcardsmith.com/discussion/5619/tournament-of-champions-4-the-game-has-begun/p1

It will always be updated days after what happens in the main saga.

Comments

  • edited March 25

    Welcome to Avelaide!



    Avelaide is a world created by Jonteman93, which he uses for a book project, though many things are different in the project when compared to the world we know from earlier Tournaments of Champions. (Names and history, mostly.)

    This world is very much the same as in the earlier tournaments. Avelaide consists of warring kingdoms, honorable knights, wise wizards, mighty beasts, ferocious dragons, godlike caretakers, and of course, abysmal monsters and the greatest of them all that rivals the gods: Septhis, who is imprisoned in the abyss.

    The abyss is a realm of ever-increasing, violent power that's sealed off behind a gate to the afterlife and guarded by a godlike caretaker of death. Souls which are sent to the abyss are doomed for an eternal torment. Neither living or dead, these souls sometimes overflow and tear a rift to the world of mortals. Some external forces also help causing these rifts around the world more often. Souls enter the world through these rifts as frenzied dark creatures. Most of the time they're undead; skeletons, zombies, spirits, but souls that have absorbed an enormous amount of the abyss's energy for a long time become horrifying monsters that have shed all resemblance to any living thing on Avelaide. These monsters are sometimes powerful enough to decay the land and corrupt creatures around them with mere presence alone. There are some groups and armies around the world whose sole purpose is to seek out rifts of the abyss, heal them, and slay any monsters that have escaped.

    Now, the place where the new tournament will be held...

    Welcome to Eviera!



    These western lands of Eviera are completely under the rule of a kingdom named Lisakdonia, though there are some wandering tribes in the wilds that are not part of the larger society. It has been in constant war against the Stelladorans of the east, as each side tries to dominate the seas that divide the two nations.

    Lisakdonia's history is filled with wars against Stelladorans, conspirators, and the abyss. Long time ago, a mighty abyss-risen dragon, the greatest that had ever lived in the world, emerged from the east and flew across the ocean to attack Lisakdonia's capital. When it seemed that Lisakdonia's end was nigh, the most powerful of the godlike caretakers, goddess of love and war, ascended from the sea, and fought the dark dragon until her spear penetrated the monster, destroying it and earning the reverence of the whole kingdom of Lisakdonia. Since then, the goddess has lived in Lisakdonia's capital. She hasn't been involved in the politics of the kingdom or its wars, but she has offered advice for the leaders and established her own order of knights, whose main mission is to search for rifts of the abyss and destroy its monsters whenever they appear in Eviera.

    At some point, the first tournament was arranged in honor for the goddess and her knights. Its contenders came from all around the world, and some even arrived from completely different worlds. During the course of the tournament, countless fighters entered many harsh battles until only one remained. This lone warrior had become the most powerful fighter in the land, and he was named as the first champion. Since then, these tournaments have become a tradition that bring people entertainment, hope, and a chance to find yet another powerful champion.

    Now, sixteen different tournaments have been held, and sixteen different champions have been named in Lisakdonia. The time for the seventeenth tournament arrived three years ago, but it was stopped by an army of abysmal monsters. The contenders met different ends, and the tournament was no more. The war against the abyss has weighed heavily upon the people of Lisakdonia, as the dark creatures of the abyss have become a commonplace. The number of champions has decreased, the war against Stelladorans presses on, and now there are those who seem to be leading the monsters of the abyss.

    The dangers of Eviera are greater than ever before, and the people's hopes are crumbling. But there are some who plan to reignite the seventeenth tournament again...

    So that a new champion may rise.

    By TenebrisNemo
  • The Loner and the Dream World - Part 01

    What would a dream be? An unconscious imagination? A mirage between emotion and reason? We could say for sure that this is a world parallel to ours. "The world is made through dreams", really! It is in this world that inhibition disappears and creativity is increased.
    We can enter this world through several gates beyond sleep.
    The moon ... look, we forgot about the moon. Take a deep breath. Everything in its time.
    Gods. Of course they would go into that story. Who was the first to enter this dream world? When it comes to creationism everything is clouded by questions, questions to "write nice".
    We are talking about the great nothing and unexplored universe, the god recognized as Greek Chaos, transmutation of the elements. His daughter Nix was responsible for the darkness of the night. Her husband, on the other hand, was Erebo, who was the darkness of the earth and the underworld. Wars and more wars ... we skipped that part considerably. Conclusion: Erebo imprisoned Nix within himself and destroyed the night. So would it be daytime at all times? No. Nix was a mantle, which when destroyed the primordial god Chaos appeared with his thousands of stars.
    Another leap in time ... When he realized the admiration of men for the stars that on the nights destroyed by Erebo, Chaos granted a young and beautiful daughter, Nova-Nix, goddess of the starry nights.
    However, the stars were not enough for the admiration of men, the inspiration to move on. With great effort and help from other gods, the imposing moon in its most attractive form, the Full Moon, appeared.
    Since then the moon has been part of our dreams. Its light expanded imagination, creativity, willpower and many other feelings during our visits to the parallel world of dreams.
    Our Solitary friend, on the other hand, is neither a god or a mirage (until proven otherwise), but a simple man with his spear and wearing a black overcoat, always complemented by brightly colored shirts and a cynical smile. Calm temperament, always lying, cold, sometimes gentle or aggressive. Everything arrogant he has, but he never let these defects harm anyone.
    It is not known for sure what he is, but in the world of dreams he can be seen wandering around the crescent moon and the magnificent full moon. On the new moon he descends from the moon in this fantasy world and interacted with the dreamers and their dreams. The certainty that one has about him are his senseless phrases is that they always end up freeing the dreamers who heard them, making those few minutes in this world decisive and unique to explore in a healthy way everything around him. A unique power.
    His admiration for the moon has always been because of the strength she carries, the grandeur that great inspirations bring.
    The moon in the dream world is positioned at the center of all creation, which is infinite in nature, on top of a large and infinite black precipice, a large black hole. The Loner wanders and moves on the moon as if there was an invisible asphalt to guide him. Today, there is no knowledge of what happens to those who fall into the abyss of dreams, but what many infer that is the end of sanity.
    After many drawn dreams and great confrontations, he finally managed to move between the real world outside of dreams, bringing with him all the power of the majestic moon. His goal is still a mystery, but the will to do right and bring freedom is still at its heart.

     

  • The Loner and the Dream World - Part 02

    We need to be cordial even if we don't know each other, so ... My name is Noah, your guide in this dream world of dreams. If you can't see it, we are far from the end of the world, in pure darkness and its illuminated moon of the true and eternal "day in the world of dreams". A city created around the precipice of the center of creation.
    Today, the streets are filled with the euphoria of the caravan, the collector of fears or disconnects. It doesn't matter, it's his job, cleaning up the world of small dreams and splashing a little fear in their minds. In fact, fear is a strengthening ... You once understood, especially in a world that the impossible can be reality.
    I'm talking a little bit about the charioteer and his burning purple horses, because he has his own precipice of oblivion. The caravan does not capture our dreams, we are the ones who entered them due to our despair and fear. Within the precipice of the Caravan there is another being who manipulates these destroyed and disposable dreams. Many like to lose their dreams, like a drunk drowns the hurt in the drink, to forget in the magic of the surreal. Strange, but it does not escape the reality of the infinite possibilities of this world.
    There is also a creature that runs below the precipice of the end of the world, a stone dragon that collects the destroyed dreams before they fall to the ground never recorded before. They say that the end would be the beginning on the other side of the dream world, and that would make gelatin of anyone's mind. Precipice or not, one thing everyone should know: regardless of the dream world or the real world, nothing ends, the end of life is just the beginning of another journey.
    I was even touched by those words, but ... The dragon is a fine person and helps the Caravan to collect these souls out of their natural reach, as this mutation of the sunny day is the limitation of the Caravan. So let's go to a quick explanation of this dragon creature.
    Let's see how I should start ...
    Not everyone sleeps only at night, the day is part of people's daily lives and daydreaming too. When the sun came up, it illuminated the end of the dream world, at that moment everyone knew that the dream world was finite and that was its end, but of course like any dream world, the infinite possibilities were in the dark core and dominated by all kind of fear and romance. The Caravan in a certain part of this new situation, began to lose a large clientele to this new precipice, incredibly the sun was expanding its brightness within the world of dreams. And for the world of dreams this is bad, it is clear.
    I don't know how the sunshine was contained, but the Caravan gave up one of its horses to enjoy (and die if it failed) and explore this sunny part. The horse's flames turned red and his skin turned to stone. The Caravan, afraid of turning into something worse, fled because it discovered its own fear, the light.
    He found a powerful magician that I remember, but I forgot his name. I promise I'll tell you next time. In the end the horse was transformed into a stone dragon in red flames and became the Executioner of the Day, bringing the dreams thrown in his new toy (I am referring to the precipice), for his master, the Caravan. The creature that they feed on the one and only precipice is a tale for another time, but know that every evil and goodness that these fantastic creatures do has to do with their service and curse. Don't judge them, don't judge them yet.
    I am open to any doubts you have and new tales that you consider listening to. Until then...
    Expect a new dream and live as many as you can.

    _________________________

    TenebrisNemo
    I made this way to break the fourth wall just in that introduction. I will come back with the ''normal'' theme so to speak to tell the story in the next ones.
    I read and reread it, but I don't think the translation was the best it could be this time. If there is no agreement, just let me know.

    I remade the card to make it a little stronger and more justifiable to be mythical. I don't have a premium, so I made a new one myself (I updated the other post too)

    Card based on Crystalline Giant and Channeler Initiate
  • The Loner and the Dream World - Part 03

    There is no mind capable of going to the world of dreams without having ever experienced a good and suffocating nightmare. Contract your body, sweat cold and wake up with astonishment and, why not, with tears. Daily stress weakens the mind, making reasoning seek its sanity in emotions and other available gates to make that fateful day a little better and with purpose.
    To replenish the energies it is necessary to invade the world of dreams. There was no better medicine than a good night's sleep, but there was nothing better than a bad, sticky nightmare to stir the senses and stay alert for the next few days.
    This is the real nightmare, the stress that invaded the mind and prevented the creativity already absorbed to dream on purpose. From this dreadful mixture the fears take over and create their own scenario. No fear has ever been able to absorb enough strength to personify itself and escape from the world of dreams, which is nothing more than one of the gates that link fear to its freedom (more freedom to relax than a visit to the real world, but it is not yet time to enter the world of fear). When we wake up with the sensation of the veracity of a dream, it can be considered the limit of the tiredness of the mind that led fear to an almost perfect interaction with the world, our world.
    Another peculiar way of having a nightmare is not due to tiredness of the mind, but the bad luck of having crossed dreams, when we lose part of our creative power and we have the feeling of being stuck in the same place and not being able to create anything in front of us. styled by someone else. When we are/we have the dominant dream in that of another, we call this effect "Delirium of Fântaso". (Someone very important in this story.)
    We cannot forget the bad luck of crossing, this time, the lateral borders where the weak are being collected by the Caravan of Dreams. As we are strong at that moment, carrying a great dream in our luggage, the Caravan does not have enough strength to capture us, so in that moment of dream it(s) take advantage of the weak dreams around to create, even if imperfect, our fears.
    How can the Caravan know our fears? Simple. For you to have crossed that border, it is because you are no longer a child in the world of dreams and certainly already experiencing some nightmares. Remember that nightmares are often the first thing children dream of when they let go of Hipnos' hand and guardianship. (but we'll leave that story for another time)
  • The Loner and the Dream World - Part 04
    Hypnos Castle

    Inside the castle of Hipnos the first steps and worlds of dreams are spilled out in order to grow and discover skills, attitudes and many others. In its various rooms, floors and corridors, it serves as the initial comfort of facing a world created by us, which passes from the fantastic world to the real world ... the famous "dreams of reality" (At least that's how Hipnos treats everything outside that fantastic world and its castle).
    However, before the children in that first contact cross the Lete River to face a world of devastation and joy, everyone passes through the wise hands of their impetuous sons and daughters.
    And why go through beings that instigate dreams?
    Simple, because Hipnos takes care of sleep, relaxation, meditation and enlightenment within dreams, while his children give him the tools to create and deal with new worlds, because sometimes dreams intersect, and even if they don't, they can bring hope or hurts.


    Storyline card

    The first of these is one of the best known, the son-god Morpheus. From it good dreams arise (as far as possible).
    Why limit the possible?
    Due to fate, then what is good for one is not always for another, remembering that innocence is only a phase in the mantles of Hypnos.
    Morpheus instigates children with smells and textures that can make the little ones create their worlds, even if it is a pink wall (newborns have no initial perception beyond a large wall in this world). Dreams are varied, just think of the most comforting dream you ever had as a child ... this fragment has a little Morpheus in it. Lete may even be the river of oblivion, but the gods find their way to good things.

    Another son, is little Fantasia, the daughter-goddess of fantasy beyond the possible. In this case, innocence is of little importance. It would be the goddess who frees minds from everything that can be judged, making dreamers believe that flying and casting lightning bolts through the eyes is real and natural. There are other dreams that Fantasia instigates, but Hypnos intervenes even if it is the natural course of humans and of any being. For that there is "your own world beyond the castle" always says Hypnos for dreamers that abuses the power of Fantasia.

    Fântaso is the twin-brother god of Fantasia, the god of inanimate objects. He ends up being the last god to give tools to dreamers, helping with the practice of playing archery with branches or with his own arm. He is also the god who makes good and bad dreams get stuck in memory, that is, he teaches dreamers to guard what is important or what may be déjà vu (subject for another moment).

    The last and very important one is the god that is in the basement of the castle, the god-son of nightmares Icelo.
    The only god of dreams that I managed to have a personification to invade the real world, and thus seek resources to torment dreamers. He usually instigates fears for the future or chases dreamers who will already leave the castle. In other words, Ícelo is an external god, a god who wants to seek people's fear.
  • Two

    The Chosen Contestants

    It had been three weeks since the tournament was announced. Since then, leaflets were spread across the worlds. They attracted the most peculiar guests to a city named Seastnan at the southern shores of Eviera's mainland.

    Art: Ferdinand Ladera

        Each day, new potential fighters entered a city hall, where the tournament judge and guards resided for the duration of the calling. Even though the citizens of the city were amazed by some of these strange travelers, the soldiers within the hall didn't show it. They were like statues, seemingly standing in their places without moving or blinking. Donned in heavy armors, winged helmets, and armed with halberds and greatshields, these guards watched each fighter's every move while they were within the hall, where they could register for the tournament.

    Tournament Guards

        The registration table was in the middle of the hall. It was a simple wooden table, with chairs of different heights surrounding it. There were also quills of three different sizes, which different fighters could use with ease to write their names into the list. One by one, day by day, each fighter wrote their name into the parchment with ink, and the tournament judge himself watched them while sitting on a high seat at the end of the hall. Leaning his head onto his left hand, he weighed the values of each possible contestant in his mind, observed them, and jotted down some important details into a small parchment with his right hand.
        One day, a man in a pompous tunic and ruff collar walked past the registration table and approached the judge. He stopped once he was within a talking distance with the judge. He didn't want to get too close, since the guards seemed bigger the closer they were standing. The pompous man bowed deeply before speaking. "Good day, your honor! My name is Brogan Kameron, and I have come here to join your world-famous tournament! I have a request, if I may! During these uncertain times, certainty is as valued as gold, silver, or any other treasures of the world. So hear this," he kept straightening his black whiskers with his two fingers in vain over and over again while talking. "Reserve a place for me in the tournament, and I will pay you most handsomely. Sounds good? I'll have a ridiculous sum of money once I get in, and I am willing to share it with you, judge!"
        "This tournament is a contest of skill and mind, not of fame or wealth," the judge said in a rough, dismissive tone. "Your attempts of bribery are wasted. I have no need for your coin."
        "Please, your honor," the man pleaded and took a step closer to the judge, who looked down on him. "Just put me into the game! I don't have the money right now, I made many a wager before coming here, and I need only to get into this competition! Let me fight in a match or two! Everyone needs money, who are you to reject my offer? Be sensible, good man! I'll give you twenty percent of the money! That's reasonable, right? Or would you rather have twenty-five percent? Fifty percent, final offer!"
        "Get this fool out of my sight," the judge ordered and waved his right hand. Two tournament guards next to the desperate man grabbed him and escorted him out of the building while the man, in denial, tried to get a position in the tournament by shouting offers to the judge even when he was no longer within the hall. The guards threw the man out, and after rolling down the street stairs, he fell onto the dirty road, and the people around him stared in wonder and slight amusement. He quickly left the city after that incident.

    Tournament Judge Gaspar

        Once the day of the deadline arrived, the tournament staff prepared to make an announcement in the city center. On midday, many citizens and fighters gathered around, and watched as a short, long-bearded dwarf climbed onto a tall, wooden pedestal. Everyone could see him as he cleared his voice and began to speak in a rather loud voice for such a short man. "Hear ye, hear ye! The time has arrived! Tournament judge has decided who will fight in the seventeenth tournament of champions! Many have come from far, yet only sixteen chosen contestants will have the honor to enter this legendary game! Citizens! Here are the names of those who will fight for the title of a champion!"

    #toc4_story
    By TenebrisNemo
  • edited March 25

    You have been chosen...
    (In no particular order.)

    The SoundweaverNoah the LonelyAiko Renegade SuccubusSturgar Alloyed Blademaster
    Lyuben the BittersweetConscience ReveeraArha Knight of the BasiliskIseabel Rathais
    Arn The Ageless PranksterKaigan of Kher KeepDr Cypherous Aether MageDamien the StoicHadid Portal MasterYtsix Lost ChronologistImilia Witch ConsulNilfi Blood Alchemist

    The Soundweaver - AxNoodle
    Noah, the Lonely - CassZero
    Aiko, Renegade Succubus - Fallen_Lord_Vulganos
    Sturgar, Alloyed Blademaster - theirintheattic
    Lyuben, the Bittersweet - shadow123
    Conscience Reveera - ChoyBoi
    Arha, Knight of the Basilisk - SpellPiper2213
    Iseabel Rathais - Jonteman93
    Arn, the Ageless Prankster - Tonysparks
    Kaigan of Kher Keep - DrakeGladis
    Dr. Cypherous, Aether Mage - WarriorCatInAhat
    Damien the Stoic - Lujikul
    Hadid, Portal Master - DomriKade
    Ytsix, Lost Chronologist - Tommia
    Imilia, Witch Consul - Usaername
    Nilfi, Blood Alchemist - Red_Tower

    After the announcement, sixteen letters were sent, one for each of your heroes, wherever they were at the moment of the announcement. The messengers of the tournament provided them for you.

    By TenebrisNemo
    Contents of your letter

    * * * * * * * * CONGRATULATIONS * * * * * * * *

    You are one of the 16 fighters who have been chosen to compete in the 17th Tournament of Champions! On the morning of the 23rd day of this month, you will travel with tournament guards and hosts from the city of Seastnan to the Werther Fortress, where you will fight until 8 contestants are left. More information will be given at arrival!

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

  • The Loner and the Dream World - Part 05
    Freedom and Motivation

    - HYPNOS! - shouted Noah on the banks of the River Lete, avoiding touching the soles of his bare feet in the calm descent of the waters. The spear was stuck in the lawn showing that he did not want to fight this time, but the scream did not show patience - YOU CALLED ME UP HERE NOW APPEAR AND GET OUT OF YOUR FANTASY CASTLE!
    The castle of Hipnos stretched on the banks of the river Lete until it was lost in the sight of any home. With four floors, the castle held many halls for many initial dreams and others to the god's liking. The sky in that region had reddish and purple tones, where the castle also stood out in purple, but clear, with many details in silver and gold. In the act of some towers, the dome closure brought alive designs, being dreams that were being initiated at that moment in the dream world, making each tower a sea of ​​constant animations.
    Hypnos had finally heard the Loner screams and left his castle through one of the thousands of doors. A strong light that was quickly muffled emerged from the River Lete. Sign of the god Hipnos entering the world of dreams. Hipnos was a tall god, hunchbacked in a tunic that covered his entire body, carrying a staff to support himself as he walked.
    Noah clenched his fists, feeling the blood boil when he saw Hipnos approaching the other side of the river. Never before had he summoned him in a truce tone and that did not sound positive. Whenever he fought against Hipnos he was defeated. Many times Noah tried to cross the River Lete, but he fell into oblivion and was forced to be rescued by Hipnos. The river of forgetfulness had that role and even though he knew it, he would do anything to confront Hipnos.
    - Let's go for a walk - said Hipnos on the other side of the river, already stretching for a walk. Noah soon followed - So many years and so many dreams that I don't remember our first meeting. Do you remember, Noah? Strange is this feeling of not understanding everything that happens and exists in this infinite and expansive world.
    - I don't remember either - said Noah.
    - But do you remember why we fought?
    Noah just lowered his head by sawing his fist further.
    - For freedom.
    Hypnos just smiled and disdained the staff with his free hand.
    - Freedom? It is a beautiful thing to fight for, but you have been part of this world since creation and neither I nor you know your real motive in this world. It is one of the reasons that I encourage you to fight and travel in this world.
    - Do you think you manipulate me? - replied Noah - I know I don't have a body in the real world, and if I do, it's already dust mixed with earth. You do not leave your dreams free and I still manipulate the beginning of the children's dreams in your nefarious palace.
    - You really do not understand how things work in this world - Hipnos said hitting his staff on the ground to calm the River Lete - This world goes beyond just dreaming the unimaginable of the real world. This world is also solid and has strong connections to the real world. In fact, what would be the real world here? I have said this several times, but it seems that you always forget everything when you fall into the river. I try to keep some memories and you still insisted on stubbornly insisting on everything. After all, why do you throw yourself so much into that river?
    Noah was reluctant to want to speak. Hypnos slowly kept hitting the staff with elegance, forming a wave of purplish aura that reached the Loner. That strength and magic entered Noah's mind not resisting the power.
    - I want a meaning to live - Noah shouted taking Hypnos by surprise - I do not make how many ages I am here, but there are many memories to carry that I prefer to forget and start from scratch. But you never let that happen, you bastard.
    At that moment the river became more violent and Hipnos did not bother to contain his fury. They looked at each other between the banks of the river trying to understand each other. Hipnos was thinking about what to say without forcing the anger that hung the Loner to force him to throw himself into the river again.
    - I need your help. I need you to go to the real world - Hipnos said feeling Noah be surprised and calmer, leaving the current of the river soft again - My son Icelo has corrupted the others and they are trying to bring me down and conquer the world of dreams and the real world. They want a unique world, with a unique aura. That would be the end of both worlds.
    - And why would I help? You forced your children to control the patterns of the dream and you always knew that Icelo could be personified in the real world.
    Hypnos stood up on his staff, standing straight and making the hunchback disappear. Noah felt the strength of that new personality of the god. Hipnos slowly began to walk over the Lete River, forming small floors of purple aura to cross without touching the water. Noah could not move and did not seem to want to struggle with that unique and never seen form of the god. As he approached he just pulled out a card that glowed in front of Noah.

    - This is an invitation that one of my subordinates got in the real world for a tournament of strengths and abilities. I wrote you and it was accepted. I want you to participate and find out what Icelo is up to in that region. Here is your purpose and freedom. I will not interfere with your actions. Just bring Icelo to me.

    - But I have no body - Noah grumbled, unable to face the god in front of him. His presence at that moment was beyond comprehension.

    - You will have a fragment of my existence and thus take part of the power you have here to the real world. Your body will be linked to my existence in the dream world. If you accept I will be able to throw you out of here and impersonate you as one of my children.

    - I accept - Noah lowered his head to accept Hipnos's strength.

    The Loner's body shone when Hipnos touched his forehead and emerged in abstract sensations and visions being catapulted away from the existence of dreams by the sky. The farther it got, the clearer the moon became at the center of creation, the infinite expansion of the world, the chasms and the frontier of the sun. Everything was new in that unique vision until his mind couldn't take it and simply succumbed to fainting.




    _________

    Noah woke up scared and soaked. He was on the banks of a river in a forest somewhere in the real world. His head hurt a lot in trying to understand those sensations. The air was different, the touch of water on the body was different. The stomach seemed to want to leave his body. Was that hunger? Noah thought, wiping the water off his face.

    - Wherever that bastard threw me, now I'm on my own again - he said, staggering to himself to try to get up - Where's my spear?

    The Loner searched the riverbank and around the trees without finding the weapon.

    - Hypnos, after all this still leaves me unarmed? - he spoke to the heavens ironically.

    And as a response from heaven, Noah felt two notes in his pocket that were intact. One was an invitation to the tournament and the other was a gunsmith in a nearby town, one of Hipnos' contacts.
  • Five

    Worthy Welcome

    The day and the journey continued peacefully after the battle. A couple of times the caravan had stopped for short breaks, during which the contestants were allowed to come out of the caged wagons to stretch, drink, eat, lie on a field, or take a short walk. The day was sunny most of the time, but the clouds and winds eased the heat of the journey. When the sun was starting to descend in the horizon, they finally saw it. An old fortress, which was standing tall in the middle of a lake. Its countless flags waved with the wind and uneven mortar walls reflected the orange rays of the setting sun.
    Art: Andreas Rocha
        Hooves clattered and wooden wheels creaked on the stone bridge, which was leading the weary travelers to the island. Patrolling soldiers shouted something behind the walls, then the sound of moving chains echoed while the gates were being opened. The riders, the carriage, and the four caged wagons went through the gates, then they slowly closed behind them. Countless lightly armored soldiers were waiting for the travelers in a courtyard. When everyone stopped in the middle of the courtyard, Sir Killian, Rodolf, and the tournament guards unmounted from their horses, then the soldiers led the steeds to the stables. Suddenly, the contestants in the first wagon heard a loud *BANG* right next to their ears. "Wake up!" *BANG* "We have arrived!" *BANG* "Move your asses!" *BANG* "The captain will be here soon!" Rodolf hit the metal bars of each wagon with a dagger's pommel as he walked past them. The fighters opened their eyes, yawned, then stepped out of the caged wagons one at a time. Everyone seemed more or less grumpy thanks to the long and slow journey. Gaspar stepped outside of his carriage, and he watched as a tall man arrived to the courtyard from the main building, then approached the Judge. He was wearing a finely crafted armor with metal plates which were painted in red. His short grey hair and beard were in contrast with his brown eyes. The man smiled as he greeted the Judge and the hunter knight by shaking their hands. The trio shared words with each other for a moment before the old soldier walked towards the contestants.
        "Welcome to our humble Werther Fortress, contestants of the tournament," the soldier said merrily to the diverse group while the carriage and the wagons were being put away by the soldiers. "I'm Captain Rheinallt, and I will be your host for the first round of the competition."
    Rheinallt Captain of the Fort
        "Sorry to hear that your journey here wasn't completely peaceful, but at least we can all be happy for getting here in one piece, eh? But, enough of that! I'm sure you're all hungry? The dinner will soon be ready, so please step in! Our servants will show you to your rooms," and as he said that, many young men and women came to carry the bags and items which the contestants had brought with them. Each contestant was being helped by two servants at least, and they asked the fighters to follow them into the main building. They stepped through the large wooden front doors and each contestant saw a glimpse of a great hall before they followed their servants into corridors of stone blocks and wooden logs, which were illuminated by torches, candles, and the daylight which shined through occasional windows.
        After climbing up the stairs, the contestants arrived to a four story wing of the fortress. Each floor had a long corridor, which led to four wooden doors. Behind each door was a room that was no different from the other; a feather bed at the right wall, a wooden table at the opposite wall from the door, and a simple wooden cabinet at the left wall. Couple of unlit candles were on the table, and an unlit torch was right next to the door. The room was illuminated by the setting sun, which peeked from a window right above the table. Servants put the contestants' luggage into the rooms, then they asked each fighter if they wanted to take a bath before the dinner. For each contestant who said yes, servants brought them a wooden bathtub, towels, scented oils, and multiple buckets which contained hot and cold water, so they could mix them according to their preferences.
        Once everyone was ready, the servants led the contestants to the great dining hall. They were welcomed by the sight and aroma of different tempting foods and drinks: meats, soups, spices, breads, fruits, vegetables, berries, milks, ales, and wines. Captain Rheinallt and everyone else who traveled with the contestants were within the hall. Sir Killian, Rodolf, and the tournament guards were dressed in more comfortable clothes which were befitting for any proud soldier of the kingdom. The heroes got to choose their own places from the long tables, and once Captain Rheinallt uttered a prayer to one of the caretakers of Avelaide, the feast began. People enjoyed the foods and drinks while sharing laughs and stories, especially about the recent battle with the abyss beast.
        Hours went by, and nightfall arrived. Each contestant eventually returned to their rooms, which the servants had emptied from all the bathing items. On the next day, they got to know the match positions.

    #toc4_story
    By TenebrisNemo
  •   
    Storyline cards

    The Loner and the Dream World - Part 06
    Preparing for Tournament Presentation

    The location of the gunsmith who indicated the card was on one of the cross streets in the center of a port city in Eviera. The place was not very busy, even though it was in the center of the city. People hardly used that street to cross the city. Noah found it strange, but nothing that would arouse a sense of danger. Already prepared, he opened the door of the shop and was announced by a bell at the top of the door.
    The store was neat and tidy with candles hanging from the ceiling. A very dark rustic wood adorned the walls. Some armored weapons and swords were in glass cases, while others of lesser quality were on display in the exterior windows.
    - Welcome friend, how can I help - say the salesman calling Noah to the counter - I have the greatest diversity of weapons ... But you are not an ordinary customer. Come closer please.
    Noah responded to the salesman's enthusiasm being fanned by the man's frantic hand. When he reached the counter, the man covered one eye with his left hand and looked straight at Noah, getting very close. He even tried to back away from the proximity, but the salesman stopped him by holding his hands.
    - Look at my pupil. Look carefully - The salesman spoke slowly, drawing Noah's attention.
    - I see - Noah said when he noticed the purple pupil with random details in gold - You are the contact of the god Hipnos in this world.
    - Definitely yes. I'm actually borrowing the body of this salesman to help him. As much as I am one of the guiding souls of Hipnos, we do not have a corporeal form in this world - said the salesman gesturing endlessly - Come here. I have a weapon made especially for you ... and armor, too.
    Moments later Noah was already very well dressed in light metal armor that didn't even seem to fit his body. He was a free lancer in the world of dreams and needed flexibility and comfort to achieve speed in the hits. The spear looked like an exact copy of the one he carried in the dream world, except at the top of the scepter, where there seemed to be a socket and a magic catalyst.
    - What exactly would that be? - Noah said training in the tight space of the store, but without breaking any glass or dropping any armor. He had a great sense of space.
    - It is a receptacle to add power. You do not yet have all the strength you had in the dream world and with this staff you will be able to absorb the strength according to the time for your bodily form here - he snapped his fingers - And you can also add some summoning if you manage to dominate. He always loves that part.
    At that moment the door to that room opened, bringing a young woman of at least twenty years old, well dressed with black hair and piercing eyes. The blue dress brought a unique light to the dark store.
    - Dad. Sorry, I didn't know you were with customers. I'll be back another hour.
    - Don't be silly little - the salesman looked at Noah meaning that he had to behave like a father without meeting that girl - This guy is not just a customer. He came to help you with your nightmares.
    - What do you mean? - Noah said, being cut off by the nice girl.
    - Really, Dad? This is great news. I don't know what else to do with these headaches at night.
    - It ends today, little girl. The healer will help, but for that we need you to sleep. Let's go to dinner and think about it later. Especially because I need to talk to the healer first.
    Noah did not express a reaction to the salesman's cynicism and trouble that he was putting into that girl's dreams.
    ----------
    In a more private room, they talked about the situation.
    - Many citizens of this land are having constant nightmares. You could at least enter into this girl's dream to see what's going on here - the salesman made a sad face - But I believe that will not be enough for her. Her aura is very heavy and I think the nightmares have succumbed to her at some point.
    - I have a sense of what's going on and so do you. It must be Icelo.
    - Yes, I imagine so. I received information from Hipnos about his children's revolt. Still, you need to at least ease those nightmares and take him to his dad. Nor would you have the strength to face Icelo here or anywhere else.
    - Well, let's see if the girl is already asleep to solve this. I need to report to the tournament in the morning.
    ----------
    Noah entered the room and took a wooden chair to sit next to the seller's daughter's bed. He crossed his legs over the seat and closed his eyes to try to visualize her dream.
    To access a dream through the real world was complex for wizards in the real world. Noah had obtained permission from the shallow layers of access from the dream world to be able to collect more information about Icelo.
    The dream location was a giant garden with giant roses, the size of trees and two-story houses. The aromas were fresh and brought back memories of childhood. It was nothing like a nightmare, just a forest with a giant rose bush. Due to the layers of the dream, the place was bathed in a fine pink fog.
    - I need to find her and understand the trigger for nightmares - Noah said, taking flight over the roses.
    Just ahead Noah spotted the seller's daughter in a normal field without the giant roses. She was on her back, touching some petals that fell from the sky. He slowly descended, approaching her, but before he could speak she turned and showed a deformed face trying to ask for help. The sky darkened and the field of roses melted, the earth cracked and began to expel lava. A shadow of a giant appeared on the horizon. Icelo.
    Noah woke up abruptly falling from the chair. The girl in bed did not wake up, but she was still breathing heavily. There was nothing to be done about dreams at that moment, he just wished she were strong for the next few days. Noah picked up his things and left the store.
    ----------
    The next day he arrived at the indicated location, and was surprised to travel in a cage. Strange, but he didn't care. In the dream world, some things are more disturbing than traveling in a cell.

    (I was late in the story, so I summarized it here.)
  • Six

    The Opponents

    Light of the morning sun reflected from the water surface of the lake and the walls of the island fortress, where the travelers arrived yesterday evening. Sir Killian stepped out of his room, and was on his way to the contestants' rooms, which were on the opposite wing of the main building. The knight was wearing a black gambeson with brown leather buckles. A sheathed shortsword was attached to his belt, and the greatsword which he used to battle the abyss beast was steadily hanging on his back scabbard's metal hooks. The sound of leather boots stepping on the stone floor echoed in the corridors as he walked up the stairs and arrived to the first door. He knocked each room's door a few times while saying audibly "Wake up and get some breakfast in the dining hall. Then come to the courtyard. Captain Rheinallt will announce the match positions." After knocking on the last door, Sir Killian went to stand right next to the stairs with his hands crossed over his chest. He said good morning to each contestant who walked past him, then watched them walk down the stairs as they were on their way to the dining hall. All except one. Someone was missing. Sir Killian searched the missing contestant's room, and noticed it was empty. Perplexed, he left the room and joined the others in the dining hall, which was much brighter than during last night's feast, since the morning sun shined directly in there through the countless windows. On his way, he greeted each servant with a smile, and some even mentioned that a knight such as himself didn't need to wake other people up, but Killian simply shook his head and said it was part of his duty to make sure they are alright now and then.
    Werther Fortress
        After eating the morning porridge, Sir Killian walked to the fort courtyard. Tournament guards were already there standing in a formation. Captain Rheinallt and Judge Gaspar were having a discussion next to a wooden podium, and Rodolf was leaning to the main building's wall, hidden in a shadow while sharpening one of his daggers. Killian approached the assassin. "A contestant is missing," the knight said immediately.
        "Removed by the Judge," Rodolf answered and nodded to the old man's direction. "That's all he told me. He won't give any other explanation. No need to tell the details to the grunts, apparently."
        "We need to find a replacement and fast. The tournament can't have any more delays!"
        "Take it easy, duty-bound knight. A new fighter has already been picked and is on their way here. It cost the Judge extra money, but what can one do when some things go wrong?" Rodolf patted Killian's shoulder and cracked a smile. "There will be much more trouble in the coming days, but luckily we are expert problem-solvers! Oh look, they're finally here." The assassin pointed at the group that had started to gather in front of the wooden podium. The Captain walked onto the podium, then he cleared his voice.
        "Morning, contestants! I hope you slept well, since you'll need all the rest you can get before your matches, which I will announce shortly! But there are two things which I should mention. Firstly, let me properly introduce you to the man who joined you during your journey yesterday," then the Captain beckoned the assassin to come in front of the contestants. Rodolf sheathed the dagger into a hidden scabbard in his left arm's sleeve, put on his hood, then walked from the shadow into the bright morning light. When he was between the podium and the contestants, he bowed deeply.
        "Rodolf is my name. I am a Blade of Champions. If some of you haven't figured it out already, my job is to get rid of anything that's in the way of current champions or new potential ones like yourselves," the assassin said cheerfully, but then his smile faded as he unsheathed his longsword. As it gleamed in the sunlight, the black stains in its blade were clearly visible. They were identical to the marks on his face. "I'm also skilled at putting freaks like you down, should you go rogue or pick wrong battles," he said in a serious tone. "And when I do it, no one will stop me as I hunt you down until you taste a death in my hands. People will cheer my name for a job well done, and I will be rewarded before your souls reach the gate of afterlife." He looked at each contestant's expression for a while as he pointed at them with the weapon, then a wide grin shined under his hood as he sheathed the sword. "But none of you look like idiots, so I'm sure we'll get along just fine! As long as you kindly keep the killings within the arenas, you have nothing to fear! Easy, right? Hahaha!"
        "Thank you, Rodolf," Captain Rheinallt said as he smiled a bit awkwardly. The assassin walked away while the old soldier picked up a list, which a tournament guard handed to him. "Ahem! Secondly," the Captain mumbled as he looked at the list. "Contestants of the seventeenth Tournament of Champions! We are sorry to inform you that there are only fifteen of you at this moment. We had to remove one of you, since the contestant who shall remain unnamed broke rules of the game. But we have a new contestant on their way here, who will replace the missing spot, and their name is..."
    Tika Dry Outrider Tiktaalik Diluvian Maw
    Tika, Dry Outrider // Tiktaalik, Diluvian Maw

        "Now the moment you have been waiting for... the randomly selected match positions and the opponents whom you shall face!"

    #toc4_story
    By TenebrisNemo
  • edited April 5

    First Round Match Positions


    Match 1

    Kaigan of Kher Keep VS Iseabel Rathais
    DrakeGladis - Jonteman93

    Match 2

    Hadid Portal Master VS Damien the Stoic
    DomriKade - Lujikul

    Match 3

    Lyuben the Bittersweet VS Ytsix Lost Chronologist
    shadow123 - Tommia

    Match 4

    The Soundweaver VS Imilia Witch Consul
    AxNoodle - Usaername

    Match 5

    Nilfi Blood Alchemist VS Noah the Lonely
    Red_Tower - CassZero

    Match 6

    Sturgar Alloyed Blademaster VS Arha Knight of the Basilisk
    theirintheattic - SpellPiper2213

    Match 7

    Tika Dry Outrider VS Arn The Ageless Prankster
    FourEyesIsAFish - Tonysparks

    Match 8

    Dr Cypherous Aether Mage VS Conscience Reveera
    WarriorCatInAhat - ChoyBoi

    A copy of the match position list is placed in a bulletin board for everyone to see at the start of the bridge, which connects to the island fortress. There's an in-game week preparation time for the fighters of the first match, then the second match will be hosted the day after, and so on until there are 8 heroes left. Each arena will be revealed on the day of the match. There are also some useful locations and people which your heroes should visit as they prepare for their matches, but I will reveal them later!

    The first match will be held on Sunday 4th of April!

    #toc4_story
    By TenebrisNemo
  • Sleepwalking

    [with character credit to CassZero - thanks for collaborating!]

    Hadid seldom dreamed. Sleep is respite for a restless mind so why waste it on nonsense? he would rib those who asked about his dreamless nights. It wasn’t as though he chose it, the silence and the solitude. If he had his druthers he would continue iterating spells through his sleeping hours.

    So when sleep finally came and Hadid opened his eyes to a vivid symphony of vibrant colors, he knew something was amiss. He stood in a garden of impossibly large roses with crimson petals the size of dinner tables. The gargantuan bushes spread out in all directions like a thorny hedge-maze, well-worn footpaths snaking aimlessly through them. The sky above was brushed with pastel clouds that slowly twisted around each other and a humid summer breeze rustled through the oversized foliage.

    Hadid glanced warily around the garden. His lucidity was unsettling. The heat of the air made his skin sticky and he felt the give of the rich soil underfoot as he took a cautious step forward. The sweet floral aroma palpably swirled past him as he began to walk, leaving pollen-heavy eddies in his wake. A gentle buzz vibrated through everything, an echo of organic sound like distant locusts.

    And so it went for a time - Hadid walked. Each path led to new crossroads between even more patches of rose bushes. There were no repeating patterns like an illusion or puzzle; it really seemed that he was in an endless maze of carefully cultivated flora. After several fruitless attempts to make discernable progress, he elected to orient himself toward a distant patina in the iridescent sky. The brighter glow was barely perceptible between the thorny foliage but he reasoned that it was far better than wandering aimlessly.

    Without any fanfare or apparent cause, the path finally, mercifully opened into a clearing of sorts. One of the giant roses towered above the rest of its bush at the clearing’s edge. A young man sat perched atop it, gazing intently at an unseen point in the distance, toward whatever setting sunlight - or was it a moon? - Hadid had been pursuing. The man’s long black overcoat fluttered gently in the hot breeze and an ornate spear rested against his shoulder. His easy posture suggested poise and expertise but Hadid didn’t perceive any hostility. At least not presently, he mused.

    Hadid softly cleared his throat and stepped closer. “Are we in your dream?”

    An almost imperceptible shadow of surprise crossed the young man’s face as he looked down. He regarded Hadid with an inscrutable expression. “No,” he said after a beat. “It’s not mine.”

    Hadid scratched his head in disappointment. “How troubling then that my mind is full of flowers.”

    “It’s not that either. It’s more like a memory.”

    “A good memory?”

    The young man looked back to the infinitely distant horizon. The insectoid buzzing sound lingered heavily in the air.

    Hadid shifted his weight uncomfortably. “Ah, well my apologies for the intrusion. I assure you it was unintentional. If you’d be kind enough to point me out...”

    “You can stay for a bit, if you’d like.”

    Hadid opened his mouth to protest, then stopped himself. He stooped down and sat cross-legged in the dirt at the base of the bush. What harm was there in waiting?

    Hadid’s breathing became slow and measured. The wind continued to rustle musically through the garden. Motes of light and pollen drifted by on swirls of warmth, dancing to the lilting rhythm. Kaleidoscopic light played across the turned earth, tracing mystic patterns across the clearing. The atmosphere was revitalizing without being invigorating. He felt energies flowing in and across his chest as he breathed.

    The young man’s voice floated through the tranquility of the moment. “You can’t cross into the world of dreams unless you have suffered a terrible nightmare.”

    Hadid pursed his lips thoughtfully. “I suppose I have at some point.”

    “You’re here, which means you’ve crossed the threshold before.”

    “Quite possibly. I’ve dabbled with a great many thresholds. It’s a special interest of mine.”

    The man looked down at Hadid from the rose. His eyes narrowed slightly as though scrutinizing a difficult text.

    “My name is Hadid,” he offered quickly. “I’m a scholar. Well, technically a teacher and researcher.”

    Seeming satisfied, the young man leaned back again. “I’m Noah.”

    “It’s… good to meet you Noah.” Hadid sighed deeply, watching a stray rose petal flutter by. Moments passed in meditative quiet before he spoke again. “Did you bring me here?”

    Noah shook his head slowly. “No. This is preparation.”

    “Ah, for the event tomorrow?”

    Another pause. “In part.”

    “I truly didn’t intend to interrupt.”

    “You haven’t. Sometimes company is helpful.”

    The two sat for some time, though for how long it was impossible for Hadid to determine. The soft humming continued to coax energies through his frame as his eyelids grew heavy. His next moment of clarity was waking up to slivers of sunlight peeking through the opulent curtains of the tournament quarters, feeling better rested than he had in several years.

    He sat up and stretched, considering the oddity of his experience. A terrible nightmare, huh? he thought as he pulled on a robe. I wonder what his nightmare was?

    By DomriKade
  • Noah the Lonely Conscience Reveera 
    Storyline cards

    The Loner and the Dream World - Part 07 (01/02)
    Conscience Reveera and Noah

    The day for Reveera had been exhausting but very productive. She didn't want to look tired, but going up those steps from the castle to her rooms bored her. She had already formally requested a cleaner and more accessible room for her duties, with no return until that day. Tresa had to resolve some pre-arranged matters, so she was on her own to go up to her room. Conscience Reveera pulled off part of her dress to keep from touching the slightly dirty floor and started up the stairs. One thing was for sure, she refused to take off her heels to go up.

    The climb was even smooth due to the tired status she was. Reveera felt stronger because he had not complained so much and survived the attack of that slippery enemy, the castle stairs. Gently she placed the key on the room door, turned and pushed it slowly upside down after picking up a letter from the door. The place was certainly the most decorated among all the competitors' rooms. Conscience Reveera would not accept sleeping anywhere, especially in a castle. The curtains were made of silk, the bed had been assembled with noble wood from the region, where she obviously had to pay some guards to carry out the assembly. A bathtub adorned the center and a table with chairs adorned in gold and silver were next to the bed for their morning and afternoon teas. A large closet for clothes and a small one for your various perfumes, jewelry and teas from all over the world.

    But it all looked different when she finally raised her head. The bathtub had overflowed with foam and the tea cupboard was open and clearly missing several of them. Horrified and preparing to scream, she looked at the table until she exchanged eyes with a young man drinking tea with his fresh wet hair.

    - You must be Conscience Reveera, correct? - said the young man.

    - TRESA, COME HERE NOW - he shouted knowing that he would not be answered - GUAR...

    The young man was startled and when he saw that she was going to continue screaming, he lifted a finger glowing purple to push and close the door behind her and emitting a small mist on the door to drown out more screams.

    - I didn't think it would be offensive to have come here - said the young man - My name is Noah, and I'm your colleague next door.

    - I don't care who you are - she said, overwhelmed by the situation. - How dare you invade my room. You have no idea who you are talking to and I will do everything I can to expel you ... what is this? My teas? Did you use my teas?

    Noah just lifted the cup to sip the drink he had made earlier.

    - I have to say that these teas are great - Noah said, taking a tap on Reveera's hand in the sequence, avoiding him from drinking and dropping a little on his lap.

    - Why my room, damn invader? - Conscience Reveera spoke in a dramatic tone.

    - Sorry, I was thirsty and the teas served here are terrible. Your room is so neat and cozy that I thought you wouldn't mind sharing it. I also needed to take a shower. Let's say I'm not used to some habits outside ... outside my kingdom - Noah spoke with a wry smile for not wanting to reveal about the world of dreams.

    - And you thought it was a good idea to break into my room. - Conscience Reveera came over to Noah, sniffing and noticing a familiar smell of bath salts. She then went towards the wooden bathtub with the foam already overflowing - So you used used my bath salts too? You will pay for all of this. This affront will reverberate in every corner of this castle ... take me seriously and stop drinking my tea.

    Conscience Reveera screamed again, while Noah just overheard his tea, seeming not to worry about the consequences. Reveera ground her teeth and tried to hit him to get him out of the table and out of her room. Noah didn't want to defend himself and just tried to dodge the blows by jumping from the chair without letting the cup spill the rest of the delicious tea. Seeing Conscience Reveera's increasingly angry expression, he pointing at her forehead.

    - A vein in your forehead popped out.

    - What? - Conscience Reveera put her hand on her forehead to hide her vein, getting a little calmer, but more worried running towards the mirror - You are consuming my beauty, insolent kid.

    - You look like a nice person. It would be interesting to dream about you - shot Noah, taking the rest of the tea.

    - Dreaming about me?

    - Yes - Noah said - I interact with the world of dreams - he let it out unintentionally, but avoiding some misunderstanding.

    At that moment the door was opened abruptly by Tresa facing the chaotic situation.
    - Reveera? Are you okay? - she analyzed Noah calmly - I will call the guards as soon as possible.

    - No - Conscience Reveera spoke quickly - Close the door. I have a better idea. Pull that insolent's arm. I will make a debt seal on it.

    Tresa nodding awkwardly to Noah for pulling his arm. He chose not to react. He was curious about the situation. Reveera made some gestures until a stamp from her family emerged as a kind of magic tattoo in green on Noah's wrist.

    - This is a debt seal of approximately, let me see, of approximately 500 gold ducatos - said Tresa - It is not a locator, but if you have in the same city as Conscience Reveera, she will know that there will be a debtor and will all for his subordinates cover his debt.

    - And for this debt - said Conscience Reveera - I hope you pay before leaving this castle and tournament, otherwise everyone will know what happened here and I will do everything to expel you.

    - But if I leave without paying, there is no reason to expel me from the tournament.

    Again Conscience Reveera blushed, but this time in anger at the insolence in replying to what she said. Seeing that she was going to deliver a new speech, Noah pulled two green stones from his pocket that had deer dancing in them.

    - Take this as an advance then - he held out his hands to Reveera - These are solidified dreams. They are not easy to achieve. When you go to sleep put one in each corner of the room. If you let me, I need to go now, and thanks for the hospitality. The bath and tea were great.

    Conscience Reveera preferred not to fight anymore and just shook hands with the two stones and let him go.

    - That was embarrassing - said Tresa. - Are you really going to leave it like this after all this mess?

    - I think so. I think so.

    (With authorization and help from ChoyBoi)
  • Noah the Lonely Conscience Reveera 
    Storyline cards

    The Loner and the Dream World - Part 07 (02/02)
    Conscience Reveera and Noah

    Later in the night, with a little insomnia for what had happened, she took the dream stones delivered by Noah earlier and placed them in the corners of the room to see what they could do.

    - Let's see what this dream thing can do.

    She sat on the edge of the bed waiting for something, but nothing happened. Time passed and nothing happened until sleep came too hard and she preferred to sleep.

    The dream was clean, lived and full of life. Reveera was a child in her childhood room. Plenty of toys and pleasant scents surrounded it. the silk curtain swayed by the cold morning air and behind her, in the varnished, her mother was lit by the sun with a beautiful smile on her face when she saw her daughter.

    Conscience Reveera woke up abruptly standing at the foot of the bed. She felt warm tears in the corner of her face, but she was at peace. They were tears of happiness and joy from yesteryear. Conscience Reveera felt refreshed by the dream.

    __________

    (Character limit. Lol.)
  • Exploration and New Acquaintances

    Each of your heroes prepare for their matches in their own ways as the week goes on. On some days, Sir KillianRodolf, and Captain Rheinallt each mention different people and locations that could prove helpful one way or another. The training grounds are known to everyone, but Werther Fortress and its nearby areas have places which are also worth paying a visit. Let your heroes see them with their own eyes...

    Healing Chamber

    Tournament Healer
    In one of the fort's chambers there's a place where the healers create medicine and treat the sick and wounded. Most of the time the patients are soldiers of the fort, who train daily and ensure that the surrounding areas and roads are safe from monsters and outlaws. People bound to such duty will always get an injury or two, and those who aren't too unlucky may wake up in one of the white beds of the healing chamber.
    All healers are old women, and they have practiced this skill for their whole lives. Now that the tournament is being held in Werther Fortress, the healers must focus on the contestants, even if it means ignoring other patients. They won't do so willingly, but your heroes are more important to the tournament than mere soldiers with simple lives.

    Chapel

    Kara Agent of Terrodus
    The small chapel is attached to the main building. As your hero approaches the door, they hear whispering from inside. When they enter, they see a bald man kneeling in the middle of the chapel, silently mumbling a never-ending prayer. Two braziers are placed next to him, and a strange colorless flame dances on both of them. The cleric's body is covered with black markings and his eyes are blank.
    "I am Kara," he says quietly with his bandaged hands in front of his mouth when your hero tries to greet him. "Servant of Terrodus, the godlike caretaker of death, and watcher of the abyssal gate." He tells how he is able to guide the recently dead back to life, so the hosts asked for his help with the tournament matches. Your heroes may try to ask for more information about the godlike caretakers of Avelaide or the abyss, but Kara doesn't always seem like he is aware of what's happening around him.

    Smithy

    Rezar Famed Spellsmith
    Sound of clanging hammer and flashes of blue light are common within the smithy that's nearby the training grounds. Inside your hero meets a vigorous man with long black hair. Whenever he tempers steel on a strange anvil, sparks of blue light explode from each strike, and peculiar markings appear on his left hand for a moment. His eyes glow with the same light whenever he uses the anvil, but he looks like a normal human otherwise.
    "Here for an order?" He asks your hero with a loud voice when he isn't working on the anvil. "My name is Rezar, and many have sought my services around the kingdom and even beyond! Recently I have lacked inspiration, so I decided to come here and work with the otherworldly tools, weapons, enchantments, and armor you and other contestants have. Since I am a master spellsmith, my works aren't usually cheap, but for a small price, I'll upgrade and modify your gear!"

    Tower

    Mimosa Witch of Concoctions
    If your hero is observant, they may have noticed colored smoke occasionally coming from the chimney of the fort's tallest tower. After taking the stairs and climbing to the top floor, your hero hears as someone is working behind the door; turning book pages, clinging vials, whispering incantations, pouring liquids, then starting all over. When your hero enters the room, they see a young woman in a neat black dress that's in contrast to the messy shelves and tables which are full of different objects; books, scrolls, potions, plants, animal skulls, trinkets, candles, ink bottles, and quills. A silver dagger, a chalice, a crystal ball, an hourglass, and a black cauldron that's placed on the fireplace seem to be the most important items for the witch. She glances at your hero with her light blue eyes.
    "Were you ever taught to knock the door?" She asks in an annoyed tone while still working on her project, but after a while, she stops and looks at your hero. "Mimosa is my name. I am a witch who specializes in potions, poisons, soups, and other concoctions. I get requests from nobles and farmers weekly, so if you also want something from me, you have to wait your own time unless you're willing to pay extra. So make it quick, then go practice for your match or something."

    Market

    Tournament Market
    On the other side of the lake that surrounds the Werther Fortress, there's a long dam, where people from the nearest farms, towns, and cities have gathered and set up a market. It's not uncommon to see merchants and profiteers gather around during big events, and the tournament is the most famous one in Eviera. The market is filled with different food places, trinket sellers, phony shops, and fortune tellers. If your hero tries hard enough and uses their wits, they might find something truly extraordinary from the sea of trifles, but usually on that point a pickpocket has already taken your hero's coins when they were not looking.
    If your hero requires money for a certain service, Captain Rheinallt is willing to give your hero a pouch of gold coins.
    You may use these characters and locations in your stories as you see fit. If you have questions about any of them, feel free to ask me through private messages. You may also contact me via Discord. My username is TenebrisNemo#6101.
    The matches are approaching, so now would be the best time to message me about your hero's tactics, skills, and their attitudes towards their opponent. Also, feel free to tell me if you have any specific requests for your match.

    #toc4_story
    By TenebrisNemo
  • The Loner and the Dream World - Part 08
    A Happy Easter - At some point in Noah's life

    - Is this serious? Easter Island! There was nothing more predictable.
    Noah spoke discredited for spending Easter on Easter Island.
    - Noah. Do you know how to differentiate a dream from the real world? - said a big, slender blue bunny to the irreverent Noah.
    - After hitting Santa with a cork and meeting Jorge New Year? I believe so ... So in the world of dreams the home of the Easter bunny is on Easter Island.
    The Easter bunny looked at Noah as if he had heard it in several summers, autumns, spring and winters, but he didn't like to talk much in the winter.
    - I don't even care anymore, but I'm a hare. H-A-R-E. This bunny business was a marketing ploy from your world. It's not even TumTum - the Easter bunny clapped his hands over one of the big stone faces on the island.
    - It's time to make some chocolate eggs.
    Noah wanted to know both Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, what was the relevance of creating gifts to present dreams? He asked, but it was clear that the answer would be to keep the great sphere of dreams and creativity always fresh. Even if people don't understand, Christmas and Easter gifts are simple psychological, for a world beyond comprehension. The World of Dreams.
    - Now, why chocolate? Couldn't it be a quail egg or gummy candy?
    - First they raised me as a Hare, not a bird, and then ... Gummy candy? Are you serious? Everything is related to the mind. Chocolate activates specific regions for the creativity and relaxation of the body. That is why hares are fast, but calm.
    - Because of the chocolate?
    - In the world of dreams? Yes. Look at me Noah. You are the bridge of our fables. They may not believe the true stories, but make them understand that all these characters that children and adults believe and stop believing are real, real in the right world to keep them alive and hopeful for the perfect harmony between emotions in the pursuit of unattainable happiness.
    - That was profound - said Noah.

    - Shut up and help me.


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    The Loner and the Dream World - Part 09 (01/02)
    One visit or another at the castle

    It was not very difficult for Noah to find the captain's office. Depending on the castle's premises, a line of guards funneled as if it were an arrow indicating the correct location. The guards at the entrance had to search him before release to speak to Captain Rheinallt. The visit was solely and exclusively for money. Noah arrived in that world without a penny and without knowing how the barter system in the real world worked.
    - You are not the first to come to me. I imagine it is for money - said Captain Rheinallt without failing to do his chores and gesturing to some soldiers - Take one of the bags on the counter. That's all you'll get in that tournament, at least for now.
    Noah took it and opened the bag and counted the coins in it.
    - I don't know if it's enough. It seems so little. Would you have 500 ducatos or something like that?
    Captain Rheinallt turned sharply, pausing one of his gestures to the guards to face Noah. He quickly scanned the competitor until he saw a magical mark on his wrist. Rheinallt rolled his eyes.
    - Another one who made debts with Reveera. These people keep getting in trouble - Rheinallt went towards him - So you came here to pay your debt to her?
    - Naturally, yes. They said you would give money if you needed it.
    - But not for that - he lowered his head shaking Noah's ignorance - That money would be for you to pack your weapons and the ingredients for the tournament. Let me talk to Reveera. I don't know what you got up to, but just take that money and get out of my way.
    The guards quickly escorted Noah to the door, not letting him stop to think what to say to the captain. Now it was time to make another visit to the castle.

    ----------

    Noah after a while of asking the guards which tower was right for conversation with the witch Mimosa, I finally find her whereabouts. He knocked on the door, entered cautiously. The witch just shot her gaze without taking her hand away from a potion that had been making the mixture for days. Noah just pushed aside a stack of papers on the main sofa and sat waiting to be answered.
    Time went by and nothing to call. Meanwhile, Noah just appreciated the way she handled the potions and supplies, pragmatically, but gracefully when she felt the potion or experiment would work. Sometimes he pulled a list of ingredients from his pocket that he needed to buy with her. Obviously, if she did.
    The time has passed.
    The sun was already showing signs of fleeing the horizon.
    - Pretty-face, you're really going to make me call you, aren't you? - Mimosa gently dropped a bottle she had just filled with a potion and paid attention to the young contestant.
    - Sorry ... I realized that you was very busy and did not want to disturb. Anyway, it was a beautiful learning experience.
    - I appreciate the disguised compliment, but I have a lot of potions to go ahead - she said clapping her hands and gesturing for Noah to get closer to the central table - Tell me what I can do for you and I will give you my best potions options or ... whatever you're looking for.
    Noah wandered over to the counter already extending his list to Mimosa. He hoped the castle witch could help with his problem. She looked intrigued by the ingredients, alternating her concentration between the list and Noah.
    - Are you sure this is what you need? - asked Mimosa in an incredulous tone.
    - Yes. I need to make a catalyst with these ingredients.
    Mimosa flattened herself and started to read some ingredients aloud.
    - Albino Velociraptor Fang, Incinerated Red Hare's Paw, Cyclops Owl's Eye and Unicorn Cipher ... well, the last seems more plausible, but the rest do you know that don't exist? - she paused waiting for a return from Noah, who just scratched the back of the neck not wanting to tell the truth - You need to tell me what's going on, because it didn't catch my attention, it just wasted my time. If you don't mind, I'll get back to my business.
    - Well ... - Noah tried unsuccessfully to get her attention - I'll tell you what I need, as much as I don't want to tell the whole truth, if you know what I mean.
    - Then unroll it, please. That will be better. I don't know who you are and what you're up to, but the less I know, the better for both of us.
    - I create a copy, an illusion, mine through the power of the dream world and I need to find some way of the power I have in the world of dreams to solidify in this world, at least part of it for my illusion to be stronger in this world - Mimosa he just frowned and puzzled, but still confused.
    - Dreams' world? These strange ingredients are not enough and come with this one. Sorry, but I can't help it. Have one last fight.
    - But...
    - Good night sir - Mimosa made a potion roar.
    At that moment Noah realized his illusion, already feeling the power of the dusk moon passing through the windows of the tower. The illusion was just a purple and blue spectrum. It didn't really seem to have much power, but it had complete autonomy in the movements. Mimosa watched trying to understand what that copy could do without using potions or singing skills. It was strange for someone to form a being without much difficulty, but still the story of dreams did not enter her head.
    - Explain to me more about that copy of yours.
    Noah took a breath to think what he was going to say.
    - Where I come from, this power of mine is called the "Anima effect". As if it were a mirror under my feet reflecting my being in the world of dreams or in the real world. Vice and versa in the case. The power of illusion is made through my connection with my being in the world of dreams.
    - But that would only happen if your original form was from the dream world, correct? So how do you do in this world? Are you really saying that you are not human? - Mimosa was now intrigued, left behind the counter and went to Noah slapping his chest while taking his hand to analyze - You look very real to me. What are you really, pretty-face?
    - A human. I am a human. Not as you know, but I am one and I am adapting to this new reality - Noah for a moment felt immersed in memories. He had no idea who he was in the dream world or how old he was. The various fights with gods and baths in the Lete River made him lose many memories, possibly painful ones.

    [To be continued - due character limit]
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    The Loner and the Dream World - Part 09 (02/02)
    One visit or another at the castle

    Mimosa had not noticed Noah's sad countenance, and sniffed her nose, closing her eyes to smell the scents around him.
    - Smell of new receptacle. A baby. A man in training. So it’s really a short time in this world. Fascinating. But I need more than a story. I need some tangible to study.
    Noah dropped Mimosa's hand and pulled another solidified dream out of his pocket, a green stone with a dancing deer inside it carved. She was fascinated and even smiled.
    - Finally something I know. I had heard stories of these beautiful stones, but I never imagined they were real. A great specimen for study. I have no idea what kind of power he brings, but it will be an honor to work on him.
    - So is it possible to do something to increase my power? - This time it was Noah's ethereal copy who spoke. Mimosa was slightly startled, but soon recovered.
    - Difficult to say - she didn't know who to look at, so she focused on Noah, not on the copy - If you didn't succeed and you seem to have more knowledge of this world, I will have more difficulty. However, as the intention and catalyze the power for this world, I have some basic notions that can help to decipher its enigma. Don't expect to be ready before your fight. If this is fundamental for you to fight, I apologize a thousand but it won't be ready until then, and we don't even know if it will work.
    - I really appreciate the help - Noah said greeted Mimosa touching both palms and bowing her. He turned and headed for the door.
    - Where do you think you're going? - Mimosa snapped her fingers making Noah calmly turn around - You haven't forgotten anything? - she said pointing to the money bag - Prepayment, pretty-face.
    - Oops! I didn't think it was true to be picked up by a tournament service.
    - I think it's wrong, now give me everything you have there. I know how much Rheinallt has set aside for the competitors and what I'm going to have to do with this catalyst is worth even more than he gave you.
    Noah stretched out the money bag and took out the coins to put on a silverware to the desk next to the sofa. He wanted to save the bag to better guard his dream stones and maybe more coins if he could.
    - That was not elegant, but payment accepted - MImosa crossed her arms, raising a hand to her chin in a disapproving tone.
    Before closing the door, Noah remembered another matter. Mimosa was already on her bench again making new potions.
    - One last thing. There is the possibility to use your terrace during your stay here ...
    - No way - she cut Noah even before finishing the sentence - Talk to Rheinallt that he will give a terrace in the east tower, but know that the competitors will not be able to do anything hidden, so everyone will know his whereabouts and will have free access for anyone of the castle.
    Noah smiled and just thanked her before leaving the witch alone with her witchcraft.
  • The Loner and the Dream World - Part 10
    Investigating the opponent

    Noah had yet to gain access to one of the towers with the captain. He just wanted the top to better perform his concentration rituals. The captain found the idea absurd, however much the local would have to be accessible to everyone, but being in a high tower the likelihood of most avoiding it would be high. Then while he waited for an answer, in his room he pushed the few furniture that adorned the place to make a symbol on the floor with the stones of dreams, forming a circle of protection slightly luminous. Noah sat on the floor crossing his legs in a meditation tone, took a deep breath and entered the world of dreams.
    Within the dream world, he needed to pull Nilfi's trigger. The intention was to bring your opponent to the center of all creation, the dark, central city of the dream world. But first he lay floating in the air in front of the imposing moon, his inspiration and his trigger of all mysteries.
    - One day I will understand your power, beauty and attraction.
    After brief contemplation, he used the power conceived by Hypnos to forge light purple mists to bring Nilfi to that part of the dream world. It didn't take long to be able to feel his presence. It was too late that night and Nilfi would hardly be awake. Noah's intention was not to confront, it was just to analyze and, why not, to scare.
    Now knowing that he was at the center of all creation, it was time to look for Nilfi among the city streets. It didn't take long for Noah to find Nilfi's fiery presence, who was very close to the abyss in the center, also looking at the moon. Noah was intrigued and didn't approach him, he just snuck up behind a short wall to watch.
    Flames broke out.
    Flames lit the place.
    Noah did not understand Nilfi's power within the dream world.
    - I am not so ignorant when I dream and I already mastered the conscious dream a long time ago. Whoever it is, you can get out from behind the short wall - shouted Nilfi causing some fireballs to appear behind the short wall forcing Noah to appear.
    - Okay, okay. It's me, your beloved opponent in the tournament - he said trying to get away from the sight of the fireballs with his hands raised - I have to say that I was intrigued that you discovered that this is a dream.
    - I'm an alchemist. I mess with all sorts of arcane magic. Dreams would be no different.
    They didn't have much time to chat when a neighing started to echo in the city streets. The Caravan was nearby and arrived early to smell an intruder and new dreamer, Nilfi. Noah looked around apprehensively trying to detect the Caravan. He didn’t expect them in the city so soon.
    - I must say that my goal did not go as planned and we need to get out of here .. or at least wake up.
    - Why? - asked NIlfi - Are you afraid of something? After all, isn't all this a dream?
    - Yes, but it doesn't mean you can't be affected here. This location is the center of everything. But I don't have time now to explain this world to a newbie. My goal now is not to let you die - Noah sighed upset - I don't want to be the person who melted your brain before the tournament.
    NIlfi smiled taking steps back towards the abyss. The flames increased as he opened his arms to plunge into the abyss.
    - What are you doing? If you throw yourself it will be worse - Noah couldn't get any closer by the fireballs preventing his passage.
    In the distance, the Caravan had finally found them. The black horse with purple aura and eyes on fire was looking fiercely in the direction of the intruder Nilfi. One of the horsemen who guided part of the carriage pointed at him, letting his scrawny finger show through the cloak.
    - You don't want to tell me about this world, well, so I don't need to tell you about my powers - Nilfi smiled as he threw himself into the abyss, bringing a great red flame that emerged in that part of the great abyss.
    It was time to wake up.
    ----------
    The next day Noah had realized that nothing had happened to Nilfi's mind. This only instigated and excited him more to face Nilfi in the arena.
  • Eliminated in the first match.
    @Corwinnn Is it possible to finalize this topic?
  • Finalization Initialized
This discussion has been closed.