Tournament of Champions 4 (The game has begun!)



  • “Should we stay the night in your-”
    “No, we should get going."

    Lmao try again next time Ayden

  • He tried and that's what matters
  • Dang, I need to make a new card for Tika
  • @shadows123 - Good job on the story segment and the new card for Lyuben!

    @Faiths_Guide - I never forgot your impressive scheming in this game! Those cards bring back some nice memories.

    @Everyone - I think it's convenient for all of us if I post status updates here more often, even though I don't have game material ready for posting yet. I'm attending a birthday party on Sunday, so if I don't get the event finished and posted during Saturday, then I will most likely get it out on Monday. Just a little more patience until the game continues.

    Also, don't hesitate to bombard my profile with messages when you have questions or when you feel like I hadn't shown up here in a while! I check cardsmith a few times during a day, but I'll answer your messages more quickly if you send them via Discord, where my username is TenebrisNemo#6101.
  • @TenebrisNemo Thank you! I'm looking forward to reading your part on monday!
  • I would also love to continue this; school has been taking up most of my life, but I definitely would still love to keep writing and making cards to finish this off.
  • edited September 2021



    Midday sun blazed over the vast wilds, its bright rays sieved by countless branches of a lowland forest until only dim light shined upon its tangled grounds. A flock of crows flapped their wings in the distance, followed by echoing caws. One of their black feathers slowly descended upon a small puddle, gently landing on its surface. For a while it floated there until a horse's hoof stepped on it. Splash! Muddy water splattered onto the black mare's already dirty legs as it kept walking through the woods. Its rider, Elidyr, looked around with focused eyes, then whistled sharply when he spotted a suitable pathway through the dense thicket.

    Art: Michael Handt
        "We can get through here!" he shouted and kicked his steed lightly, which then began walking towards the said direction. Seven other horses and their riders followed from nearby striped shadows: First were Hestia and Tika, who were riding on the same white horse with black spots. Behind them was witch Imilia, elegantly riding a black horse with white spots. Sir Killian and Kaigan were right behind, riding the Hunter Knight's trusty brown stallion. Fourth horse, a grey one with black spots, was ridden by portal mage Hadid. Following him was Nilfi the Vampire Alchemist and his white horse. Finally, Rodolf rode on his brown mare with white spot on its head. The Assassin was also looking after a riderless horse, which reins he had tied to his steed's saddle. The brown horse with golden mane was meant for soul mage Conscience, who had gone missing when the party left Werther Fortress.
        The riders had been following their guide since dawn in the same formation, and the uneventful journey continued normally until the group caught up to Eli, who had stopped his steed in the middle of a forest opening. It's been many hours since the party had stopped for a break, and many were feeling hungry. But they wondered why the guide hadn't ordered them to dismount. Sir Killian rode his horse right next to Eli's while Kaigan's stomach growled.
        "I'm hungry," the Kobold complained. "Shouldn't now be a time for a break?" Sir Killian saw the tense look in the Archer's face as he kept staring between the woods in front of him.
        "No... We can't rest here," Eli said in a worried tone. The guide didn't move his gaze away from the woods when he answered. Kaigan looked at Sir Killian, and the Hunter Knight didn't seem calm either. They both stared at the shadows ahead, and so did Kaigan.
        "I don't see anyth--mmph!" Sir Killian put his right hand in front of the Kobold's mouth quickly, yet lightly.
        "Shh," the Hunter Knight whispered. Everyone was silent, and the contestants further behind wondered what they were doing. Wind howled silently above the trees, then a silent snap was heard from the direction where Eli and Killian were looking at. Someone's shadow quickly moved there to hide behind a tree at the edge of the forest opening. The Archer picked his crossbow from his back, loaded a bolt with a sharp tip into it, then aimed it at the tree with his both hands.
        "We know you are there!" the young guide shouted with a voice that almost cracked. "Show yourself!" After a few seconds, the humanoid person walked out of their cover, and stood in the shadows of the woods. They were wearing a long black robe with a large hood that covered their head and eyes. They didn't look armed, which is why Sir Killian became even more cautious and gripped the handle of his greatsword.
        "Come here with your hands raised and identify yourself!" the Hunter Knight shouted with his audible low voice. The person raised their hands but didn't step out of the shadows. When Killian heard faint whispering, he unsheathed his greatsword and raised his voice. "Utter one more word and we will put you down!!" Eerie gray mist flowed from the woods into the forest opening, and then the person put their hands onto the ground. No more whispering was heard, yet even more mist gathered around the party and the mysterious person. Air grew colder and the horses neighed nervously.
        "Shoot them, Eli!" Sir Killian ordered, and the Archer shot the crossbow bolt into the shrouding mist, at the direction where the shadowy person was last seen. No screams of anguish were heard after.
        "I don't know if I hit them," Eli said and began loading another bolt into the crossbow. "Should we check--" Suddenly, Eli's black horse neighed and rose to its back legs in panic, causing the archer to drop the bolt onto the ground, where a humanoid hand was moving. "By the Gods!" Another hand emerged from the ground and grabbed the mare's hoof. The Archer put his crossbow aside and pulled the reins. The steed jumped around a couple of times until it was free. A dead person's severed hand held tightly on its hoof, so the horse kicked the air a few times with its leg until it fell off. Everyone had been watching, and the hungry ones lost their appetite. Unsettling sounds were heard as dozens of dead soldiers dug their way up from the ground. Smell of rot filled the air as the moving corpses surrounded the party from all sides.
    Return of the Lowest Ranks
        "To arms!" Hestia shouted valiantly as she closed the visor of her helmet and unsheathed her ringing longsword. Everyone prepared their weapons, except Kaigan, who hadn't taken his spear with him for the journey.
        "Kaigan, I'll leave you with Eli," Sir Killian said as he rode Rusty right next to the Archer's black steed. The guide had managed to calm it down.
        "B-but a weapon would be nice against those... things!" Kaigan stuttered while the Hunter Knight raised the tiny Kobold with one hand and put him onto Eli's horse. "Killian, can you lend me your shortsword?"
        "No!" Killian shouted, which startled Kaigan. "That blade is dangerous for the untrained. Eli will give you his shortsword. I'm going after the warlock. Stay here until I return!" Sir Killian kicked Rusty's sides, and the brown stallion galloped into the woods while the Hunter Knight held the greatsword's blade at his side, cutting every undead in its path until they were out of the forest opening.
  •     Sir Killian looked for signs of the warlock while the others fought the undead. First he found Eli's crossbow bolt, which was sticking out of a tree trunk. Then he quickly spotted the warlock's tracks: Broken sticks on the ground, bent leaves of bushes, and branches that still wobbled a little for being pushed aside during a hasty escape. The Hunter Knight encouraged his steed into a gallop and followed the tracks for a minute until he reached forest outskirts.

    Art: Andreas Rocha
        Killian found hoofprints nearby a birch tree, then he quickly noticed marks of tied reins on the tree and a fresh trail which was left behind by an escape horse. "I was too late," he sighed, then he looked for any other clues on the ground, but didn't find any. After a short moment, the Hunter Knight heard as someone rode to his direction. He easily recognized the hooded person and the white spot on the head of his steed.
        "Got away, eh?" Rodolf asked while breathing heavily. "Well, we can't go after them and leave the others behind. Let's go back." Sir Killian nodded, and then the Knight and the Assassin returned to the forest opening, where the mist was dissipating.
        The battle was over, and nobody had suffered any serious injuries: Elidyr was pulling crossbow bolts out of corpses. A bit shocked Kaigan was cleaning the bloodstained shortsword he had gotten from the Archer. Hestia and Tika were cleaning their own swords while the Ashen Knight complimented the Elf's initiative. Imilia summoned her undead flies back to her jar. Nilfi laughed at how those walking corpses were far easier than the earlier ones he had encountered. Hadid noted down the lethal falling distance of zombies. All the horses seemed fine as well. Rodolf unmounted, knelt down, then inspected the rotting corpses. "A squad of our soldiers... from over ten years ago." Crack! He pulled off an arm which was covered by a padded sleeve, then waved it around. "See the coat of arms on this? They stopped using this color in it after the sixth Tournament. Those damned ceremonies of the Demon Champion, I tell ya."
        "We need to identify who they were, and who was their Captain," Sir Killian said. "Look for any signet rings, and we'll bring them to the Tournament City." Without a murmur, Rodolf began inspecting the numerous rotting hands like a scavenger. Before everyone had calmed down, they heard as something large was getting closer from the direction where the party had entered the forest opening. Everyone lowered their weapons once they recognized the four-armed figure.
        "Sturgar! You missed all the action!" Hestia shouted as she opened her bloodstained helmet's visor, but then she noticed the Metal Dragonborn's weapons were bloodstained as well. Sir Killian unmounted from Rusty and walked in front of Sturgar with his right hand raised.
        "No wonder it took you this long to catch up," the Hunter Knight started with a small smile. "Did you fight undead as well?" Sturgar nodded, then he pointed behind him with one of his weapons. Hestia, Killian, and couple of others looked at what he was pointing at, then they saw as a long-bearded person walked into the forest opening. His antlers, thin wings, and large wooden instrument weren't the only strange things he had with him. The Old Faerie walked next to Sturgar, and looked at everyone.
        "Ahh! Finally I found you!" The bearded minstrel exclaimed jovially and waved his left hand. Sir Killian didn't seem very happy.
        "Who are you?" The Hunter Knight asked surly, and the Faerie's expression changed quickly. Hestia placed her hand onto Killian's shoulder.
        "Sir, he was the best minstrel in the feast of Werther Fortress. He performed in the hall before you joined us." Sir Killian looked at Hestia with a raised eyebrow, then at the old Faerie, who nodded a little.
        "She speaks the truth," he said with a raspy voice. "My name is Hesiodos, and I'm just a simple wandering storyteller. We've been following you ever since you left Werther--
        "We!?" Sir Killian asked angrily and placed his right hand onto his head. Hestia raised her hand awkwardly as she tried to say something in vain. Rodolf and Elidyr arrived to see what the commotion was all about.
        "Umm, yes," Hesiodos said while stroking his beard nervously. "Me, my Lady, and her escorts. When we were attacked by the undead, I told them to escape while I caught the living corpses' attention. After leading them away from my friends, your metallic warrior here cut them down like a hurricane!" The old minstrel patted Sturgar's back with his prosthetic right hand and smiled.
        "When and where were you attacked?" Elidyr asked urgently.
        "Only a few moments ago. I'll show you the spot. Will you help me find them after that? I want to make sure they made it out unscathed." Hesiodos, Sturgar, Hestia, Elidyr, and Rodolf looked at Sir Killian. The Hunter Knight wiped his face slowly while sighing.
        "Alright. Let's find them before anything else finds them first!" Then everyone prepared their horses and mounted them. Rodolf gave Conscience's horse to Hesiodos, and the old Fae mounted onto it easily with the help of his wings.
        "This way, heroes!" the old minstrel shouted as his horse galloped out of the forest opening. Everyone followed him in the same formation as before, with Sturgar jogging through the cloud of dust the horses left behind.
  • edited September 2021
    @Everyone - There's more text than I first anticipated, so I think it's better that I post some now than pack everything for later. I hope this'll prepare you for what's to come!

    The event will begin on the next part, and I'll probably have it finished and posted on Tuesday or Wednesday. We'll see!

    Edit: Had busy days in school, so I think I'll get the event ready during the weekend!
  • I'm happy to wait. Reading this is so fun!
  • @shadow123 - Unexpected visits. The weekend when I was supposed to get the event posted (24th - 26th of September,) my friends decided to come over. We spent those days playing tabletop games and paper Magic. It's been a while since the last time we had such gathering! Had so much fun that I had to recover and clean up the place last Monday - Tuesday (27th - 28th of September.) After those days I had to prepare to go to my childhood home in the countryside for the recent weekend (1st - 3rd of October) to look after the dogs there while my mother was away. She wanted to visit her boyfriend whose father passed away recently. Good times and sad times. Life happened, as always! 

    I'm back at my apartment home from the trip, and ready to continue working on the event until I get it posted, hopefully before Thursday! 
  • That's fine!  Life happens.
  • You know what?  I'm bored.  So I write
  • Sounds good @TenebrisNemo ! Thanks for the update
  • Kaigan stared at the sword in his hands.  The skirmish had been fairly swift.  It wasn't even like those... uh.  Things.  Were people anyway, right?  Well, they were before they were dead... but then they died and then attacked.  So it was alright.  It had to be.  He was in the company of official people who were there to protect him and they did it too. 

    He turned back to wiping the blade down, cleaning off the loaner sword.  It felt weird in his hand.  Even as a shortsword, it was bigger than what he had originally trained with.  The balance wasn't bad, but it felt off in his hands.  Swinging it he felt the difference, and while he did alright in the fight, Kaigan felt like he could have done better with his spear.  Unarmed blows would have done little, but he regretted letting his weapons be traded out by the smith now... at least until after the trip.  So far, each time he was on a journy, he had come across some sort of waylayment.  Bandits, monsters.... these... creatures. He headed over to where Sir Killian was, but before he could get there to ask just what these things they had just fought were, the knight and his associates had turned back to remount and continue.  He handed the now-clean borrowed sword off and looked again for someone to ride with.  The knight seemed put out, and was also trying to handle the new members of the party, so Kaigan went over to one of the people he hadn't really spoken to yet.

    "Uh, excuse me?"

    The person in question had a lot of clothes on.  More than would be comfortable for riding for sure, unless they were also cushioning the rough saddle.  It was a dark outfit, matching her hair and eyes and contrasting quite well with her skin.  She had been quite powerful in battle, seeming to command a swath of insects out of basically nowhere.  Someone so close to nature, in his mind, had to be rather nice even if she was a witch.  She had quite the beautiful horse too, a big black stallion with white spots.

    Imilia looked down on the small figure, her face inscrutable.  She recognized him from his fight, having rethought her opinion of him as just a random kid here.  His fighting was rather good, even if he didn't seem to have any magic.

    "Yes?  How can I help you?"

    "I'd like to ride with you if you don't mind.  Sir Killian seems grumpy and has important things to do, and besides, I thought it'd be a good time to get to know you."

    Kaigan's earnest smile got a suspicious look from Imilia.  She didn't quite trust the little lizard-person.  He reminded her of a feral animal.  Cute, mostly harmless, but can still pack a bite if not handled well.  However, it was quite true that Sir Killian seemed a bit miffed, and it's not like the horse didn't have room, and perhaps this was a chance to manipulate someone else too.

    "Alright.  Need a hand I assume?"

    Without waiting for a response, she used a little magic to levitate him up in front of her on the horse.  It took Kaigan by surprise and he let out a fairly cute little yelp as she did so, causing her to smirk gently.

    "This way, heroes!" the old faerie man cried out, and they were off again.  Imilia rode well, and Kaigan too after a bit of guidance.  There was still plenty to go on the journey, and after about an hour Kaigan broke the silence, questions burning within him.

    "So what exactly were those things that we fought?  They weren't like, people, right?"

    Imilia was surprised a bit by the question, but latched onto it eagerly.  While she was more of an expert in necrometry, it's lesser cousin necromancy was not left out of her studies.

    "The simplest answer I can give you would be that they are Undead, specifically Zombies.  However, that would be derivative of-"

    Kaigan timidly raised his hand and Imilia paused.


    Her tone was mildly miffed, being cut off before she could begin to talk.

    "Well... what exactly are undead?  And what does being a zombie specifically mean?"

    "Oh... I'm gonna have to start from the beginning then.  Okay.  An undead is a creature that either died, was made from something that died, or in rare cases never was truly alive but had the semblance, that means the looks, of being alive.  That creature was then animated, meaning made to move again, by magic.  There are many different types of undead, and zombie is one of them.  A zombie is the body of a creature that died and was then animated with crude magic.  It can take simple directions from it's maker, but cannot understand anything besides the painstakingly literal."

    An idle thought of the kobold having similar traits passed through Imilia's head, but she shakes it off for now, funny though it may be.

  • "The magic animating them is usually strong enough that a zombie doesn't need it's maker to constantly protect it and feed it.  Rather, it can feed itself by eating the living.  There are many different types of zombies too, depending on what specifically they were made for.  These ones, according to what Sir Killian said, were probably driven by a twisted sense of personal motivation to attack us.  Not that they specifically wanted us dead", she interjected, anticipating the kobold's next question, "but rather that they wanted something in life that we have now.  Probably something to do with either our position or that of our escorts.  I expected you to know some of this though; your opponent in the first match was using a zombie to fight you."

    This little information dump was quite overwhelming to hear, and it took a few minutes of quiet to parse.  Finally though, Kaigan thought he understood enough.

    "So, if you don't mind me asking, how do you know all this?  Is it something all witches know?  Because I'd never learned any of this."

    A quiet alarm bell went off in Imilia's head at that question.  Was the little scamp trying to pry secrets from her?  If he was though, he was really good at hiding it.  She debated how much to tell him... it's not like she hadn't shown what she could do in combat already.

    "It's not something all witches know.  I worked hard to learn all of this actually.  I do something that is sort of vaguely similar.  You know all those insects I controlled in my match, as well as back there?"

    "Yeah.  I thought that was kind of like, druidic."

    Imilia can't help but let out a chuckle at that.

    "Oh no, it's nothing as boring as what druids do.  The bugs are dead flies, and I control them using a proxy, my marionette.  It's a very difficult piece of magic, and since I'm controlling them through a proxy, instead of simple Necromancy it is actually Necrometry.  I don't have the patients to explain all of the differences to you though, just accept that it's more complicated."

    Warding off yet another string of questions, Imilia decided to turn the tables a bit.

    "I think it's time I ask you a few things actually."

    "Oh?  I don't know if I could teach you anything."

    "Actually, you can.  I've not seen anyone like you before.  What species are you exactly?"

    "I'm a kobold."

    Well.  That told Imilia something.  Whatever Kaigan was was, he wasn't from here, as kobolds weren't a species native to Avelaide.

    "Very interesting.  I've not heard of your kind before.  So tell me, what exactly brought you to the tournament?"

    This line of questioning continued for a while, Imilia trying to find something she would be able to use for her advantage.  Kaigan wasn't able to hide too much from her questioning, not suspecting anything of it and instead believing that she was just being friendly.  However, by the time the ride was over, Imilia hadn't actually found anything she could use as leverage against him.  Puzzled by the strange creature, she watched him walk off to his room, her curiosity somewhat piqued.
  • Thank you @Usaername for allowing me to use Imilia!  If there are any corrections needed, I'll make them posthaste.
  • edited October 2021
    on November first this will have been ongoing for eight months 


    that's twice as long as the ENTIRETY of TOC3, but get this: said entirety was only 22 pages. This is at 25 already.
  • I mean it has been on a few long hiatuses. 
  • @DrakeGladis - My old computer is starting to have its toll. With each update, storage space keeps decreasing and reaching its limit even though I keep deleting tons of old files. If this gets worse, I'm planning to buy an external hard drive for the Tournament content and other cardsmith stuff so I can use them on someone else's computer.

    Once I get this event started, I'll have to buy Premium for the remainder of the Tournament so I can keep publishing new important story cards for upcoming Rounds. I don't have much money, so I gotta work quickly on getting us to the finals before my Premium expires again. Otherwise I have to contact income support and send them copies of bills for the umpteenth time.

    On more lighter note: I'm able to finish the story of the event in a couple of days. After that I'll have to work on the actual event, meaning, I need to construct the post into this discussion. It shouldn't take too long anymore, and I think all will be ready on Wednesday, 27th of October.
  • I'm sorry to hear that!  My brother has a external hard drive too.

  • Wednesday has come and gone.  I don't hold this against you Tenebris, but I will ask that you please do something.  My heart aches.  I love Kaigan.  I want him to have a full story.  So many sagas are passing on...
  • I don't want a lot for Christmas
    There is just one thing I need
    I don't care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree
    I just want TOC4 to resume
    More than Tenebris could ever know
    Make my wish come true
    All I want for Christmas is for TOC4 to resume
    I don't want a lot for Christmas
    There is just one thing I need (and I)
    Don't care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree
    I don't need to hang my stocking there upon the fireplace
    Santa Claus won't make me happy with a toy on Christmas Day
    I just want TOC4 to resume
    More than Tenebris could ever know
    Make my wish come true
    All I want for Christmas is for TOC4 to resume
    TOC4 to resume, baby
    Oh, I won't ask for much this Christmas
    I won't even wish for snow (and I)
    I'm just gonna keep on waiting underneath the mistletoe
    I won't make a list and send it to the North Pole for Saint Nick
    I won't even stay awake to hear those magic reindeer click
    'Cause I just want TOC4 to resume tonight
    Holding on to my writing skills so tight
    What more can I do?
    Oh, baby, all I want for Christmas is for TOC4 to resume
    TOC4 to resume, baby
    Oh-oh, all the lights are shining so brightly everywhere (so brightly, baby)
    And the sound of children's laughter fills the air (oh, oh, yeah)
    And everyone is singing (oh, yeah)
    I hear those sleigh bells ringing
    Tenebris, won't you bring me the thread I really need? (Yeah, oh)
    Won't you please bring my favorite thread to me?
    Oh, I don't want a lot for Christmas
    This is all I'm asking for
    I just wanna see my favorite thread popping up in my inbox
    Oh, I just want TOC4 to resume for my enjoyment
    More than you could ever know
    Make my wish come true
    Oh, baby, all I want for Christmas is for TOC4 to resume
    TOC4 to , baby
    All I want for Christmas is for TOC4 to resume
    All I want for Christmas is for TOC4 to resume
    All I want for Christmas is for TOC4 to resume
    All I want for Christmas (all I really want) is for TOC4 to resume
    All I want (I want) for Christmas (all I really want) is for TOC4 to resume
  • Great! Now i'm going to have this song stuck in my head All Day!!
  • edited September 17

    Well, I'm back and active now! I said I'll finish this, and that's what I've come here to do! Since some of you have noticed my recent publications of story cards for this Tournament, I figured it's time for an announcement.

    First of all, I apologize for leaving and not posting any updates about what's been going on. I simply couldn't log into Cardsmith or continue writing for months after my last post in this thread (October 2021). I was burnt out, stressed about my new school, and my grandfather passed away only weeks before my birthday. I couldn't continue my projects or do things I used to enjoy doing. It was the gloomiest Christmas and new year of my life, sprinkled with existential dread. But as I slowly began to return to my hobbies and projects at the start of this year, only then I realized how much I've missed them.

    With an intent of continuing this Tournament, I checked on Cardsmith somewhere at the start of last February. That's when I noticed @shadow123's Tournament of Champions 5. I contacted them during that time to discuss about the future of ToC4 and how we would host our contests. In order to reduce confusion between two Tournaments running at the same time, we decided that I'd continue ToC4 once @shadow123 has completed ToC5's semifinals. The Tournaments don't have as much traffic when there are fewer players left, so it's easier for @shadow123 ;to manage the rest of ToC5 and continue the story of their champion here in ToC4.

    Since then, I've been visiting cardsmith once in a while, keeping up with ToC5 while also re-reading the previous Tournaments. I also thought of a way to improve my writing for ToC4. Writing on laptop all the time felt clunky, so in June, I bought a notebook with hard covers, pencil holding strap, and about 190 pages. I carry it in my backpack wherever I go and I've been writing story, events, and characters of ToC4 into it whenever the time has been appropriate. It has helped me think about the plot more often and solidify the coming scenes of this Tournament, and it's been therapeutic. I should have done this a long time ago, but better late than never, right?

    What makes sure that I will stay this time and keep on hosting? I don't know if anything would happen again in the future that'll prevent me from doing this. But I do know that my conditions are better than last year (I've been working out and meditating more often). School started again and I've scheduled my weekdays so that I have time to work on this Tournament, its story, and its cards at certain times. Carrying a notebook where I write the Tournament's story has also helped surprisingly lot, and it's been more fun than typing on my old, slow laptop. I see my old Tournament material in its folders, and I'm excited to finally get to use them as I restart this competition and get it running again.

    Once ToC5 has finished its semifinals, I'll continue this from where I left it off, and proceed as planned. I have finished the story for the upcoming event, but before we get to that, I need to check which players are still active and willing to continue playing in this Tournament. After that, I'll propose a solution for each remaining Champion whose players are no longer active. I'll do that in an upcoming post soon.

    This has become a bit of a passion project for me. I'll keep hosting this even if none of the players want to play anymore, and I'll judge each match with materials that've already been posted into this competition. But it would be much more fun if players and their Champions continue on in this game and react to the upcoming events which I've planned! I know some of you want to keep playing, and I hope we'll make merry.
  • Welcome back, @TenebrisNemo!

    Sad to hear about your struggles, but I'm happy that you seem to be in better condition.

    I am eager to hear what stories you have been cooking up :)
  • Glad to have you back!

    I can't speak for everyone, but I definitely intend to keep writing. I'm happy that you're feeling better.
Sign In or Register to comment.