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COLONISERS Grandmaster Tournament
edited September 2021
~ Prologue - The Years That Came After... [Part 3]
A rustle through the tall grass as a large branch snapped under one foot of Vesper, then the other.
A jagged point impaled the sack of meat being dragged by the firm grasp of the jackal’s hand. He was in no rush, careless of the article behind him as he went the long way back home. Muck caressed the fur covered
, followed by sand and thorns. When Vesper eventually arrived at the temple on the next morning with his delivery, all of the officials had gathered in seats, weary from waiting. They actually seemed shocked he had arrived back so soon, however, but that wasn’t the biggest surprise. The bag of bones was hurled in front of the throne, the decapitated corpse of The Grandmaster being tossed directly before none other than Spire herself.
Silence filled the throne room for what felt like hours. Vesper stood waiting for recognition, a glint of hatred still in his eyes as his chest puffed up. Everyone could tell he was still eager to fight, much to their concern. The council sat, taking a bit too long to process things simply because they never planned for...
. They scribed on pieces of leafy parchment, some weakly, some desperately, trying to figure out what they
write. And Spire? She was emotionless as she just stared at the headless body. With no one speaking, Vesper walked forward, crushed The Grandmaster’s spine, and untied from his tail the head, the only part of the former ruler that was unscathed.
“Your weak, pathetic excuse for a ruler couldn’t even survive a simple duel,” the jackal growled out. “To think I was holding back.”
“Why are you speaking like that, Vesper?” Spire choked out weakly. “He was… he was your father!”
“And your husband? Yes, he
Relationships mean nothing when it comes to kingship, however.”
A tear fell from the druid Spire’s eye as she tried to hold back her anger, standing up. “This… has nothing to do with kingship! You killed him!”
“And am I not his successor?”
“It was in discussion, his successor,” one of the council members announced. “And this was your test. The Grandmaster was going to return and discuss with us whether you were worthy or not. By Genzian code, however, since we cannot get a result, the verdict is in default; Spire is next in succession.”
“Would you like to repeat that verdict?” The jackal challenged. “I can go all day…”
“I would also like to inform you that you are unfit for the role of Grandmaster; killing is only allowed as a last resort against an enemy that has resorted to lethal force. Therefore, even if you were next in succession, you would have been immediately tried for and found guilty of regicide. Additionally, we have yet to read the Grandmaster’s updated will, per his request. You may very well be-”
“I will not allow the dead to influence the fate of the living!” Suddenly, the scribe fell limp, a dart of magma having pierced his heart from the jackal’s outstretched hand. “Now! Does anyone else wish to challenge my rule?! I will have you executed!”
“You’re insane!” Spire screamed out. “Guards!”
“You cannot use my own guard against- meeeh...”
Before Vesper could react, a ballista fired through the open airway above the throne, a bolt covered in powerful sedative piercing the back of the jackal's neck. He prepared to fend off the next arrow, but turning left him open to attacks from behind, and in his arrogance, he had failed to bring any clones. Spire summoned her massive tiger to attack, pinning him down for a second bolt to strike him, then a third. In desperation, he punched a hole straight through the beast’s chest and stood up, now going for Spire. Suddenly, however, his body seized up in pain and paralysis, the bolt in his shoulder having pierced his heart. He fell to the ground, somehow alive, but not well at all as his body traded with a distant duplicate. He found himself in the middle of a field, and the last thing he saw before he collapsed was the exterior of the throne room as guards grabbed hold of him and dragged him away...
~ Three Days Later… ~
Vesper was still paralyzed as he woke up, seeing nothing but a stormy morning sky. Rain soaked his fur as he was taken heavens knew where, and he would be stuck staring for some time before he was brought into a small settlement. Relatively uncared for buildings stood ravaged around him, many still being repaired from damage that happened before Vesper was even born. This was a different civilization entirely, and the jackal’s heart began to pound as he realized he may very well be taken to his grave.
The movement finally stopped as whatever Vesper was laying on (he couldn’t feel anything) was set in front of what appeared to be an abandoned infirmary. He was lifted up and put onto a stretcher as he heard incomprehensible sounds he could only determine were voices; the sedative had done him in quite well, and it was a miracle he was even alive. He was carried through the dilapidated building and eventually transferred to a surgical table, a gasp leaving him as he could suddenly feel everything on impact… the poor positioning caused the bolt in his back to come off his disk, and he yelped out as his hearing finally came back.
“Worry not, Vesper,” a mechanical voice spoke out to his right. “We are allies.” Was that… some kind of magical automaton?
“Where am I?!” Vesper roared out. “I have to get back to-”
As Vesper shifted, the bolt went back into place, and with a weak squeal, he was once again paralyzed. A group of healers, led by folk in familiar clothes, tended to him. He was in Falun from what he could recall from his father’s tales.
was he here though? Either way, these people seemed to have some kind of need for him if they were going through this trouble.
A painstaking 16 hours of surgery later, the bolts had been removed, the wounds closed, and the sedative had been purged. Vesper was in a rush to get off of the table, but he was kept down by an especially interesting elf with a tattoo along her left eye.
“Now is not the time to go, but I am more than aware of your situation,” she spoke to him. “I will be assisting you with rehabilitation.”
“I don’t need re-HAAGH!” As the jackal resisted, he fell back, weak. His body spasmed as his head shook rapidly, the elf had holding his paw.
“Is that so? You’re so weak right now that simple magic works against you. For the time being you’ll need assistance.”
“I’m fine on my-” Suddenly, a jolt went down his arm, and his body spasmed again. He began to pant as his fur stood on end, and his head ached. “Ooooh… okay… let go of my arm. You’ve proved your point.”
“Good.” She’d let go, then put her foot up to keep him held down. “Now, if you’re done, I’ll introduce myself. I’m Koyusa. When The Witnesses went to war with Falun, I was a spy for your father. However, being told to keep things non-lethal didn’t quite cut it for me. Having to be peaceful eventually led to my capture, and when I was given the chance to defect I did. Now that the Genzians rule Skyfaoll, however, I’ve been keeping to myself, waiting for someone like you to come along. So, now that you’re here, I’d like to make a deal, from one rebel to another; are you ready to raise some hell?”
[To be continued...]
(Every previous iteration of Renshak)
(Art by Jakub Rozalski)
After the Scourge won over Edgerim, a time of peace was brought upon it, as devoid horrors grew and consumed the world of all life. This came to a close, however, when a futuristic interdimensional empire invaded Edgerim and wiped the Scourge out of reality. Renshak, the once indestructible god, was bested by technological weaponry so deadly it could kill the unkillable. On their journey to their home plane, Renshak's cold remains found themselves hidden in the cargo of one of the spaceships. Renshak then built himself from the ground up, basing his new form from his original. He slowly and surely consumed all life from the empire's home plane, all by himself, without the need of any followers, without any horrors, without the Scourge. Renshak grew past the need for the Scourge, and past the want to conquer planes. He no longer wished to be a ruler, but a devastator. He was whole again, without a Scourge to follow him. But nevertheless, he is now the
destroyer of reality.
(This is my official resignation from the grandmaster tournament. School has flooded my life, and I have sadly moved on to other hobbies. Good luck to you all.)
Shoot. Hate to miss you
. Good luck in your future endeavors!
When life steps in, life steps in. It's a shame to miss you, and I wish you the best of fortune with school and the rest of your life,
~ Prologue - The Years That Came After... [Part 4]
The snow piled up in corners around Falun as horses drew carriages of soldiers towards the docks. Eight months had passed since Vesper’s exile, and while he still bore the scars from his unceremonious dismissal, he had made a full recovery, growing greatly in power. Bearing the might of Falun’s militia, its network of spies, and his army of earthen clones, the jackal sought to bring a new dawn to the Genzi, even if it was the dead of winter. Many would see what he was about to do as a massacre, but he saw it as not just a reckoning, but the best thing for his people. There were other worlds beyond theirs, with resources and advancements they could only imagine, a banquet to sate even the most endless wanderlust. Knowledge to reach the most boundless depths of curiosity. And, deep within Vesper, in a forbidden part of his mind, he also saw power and possessions to fulfill his every whim… and people more willing to see eye-to-eye with his methods.
Falun’s navy had been ravaged in the attack by the Genzians many years back, and was still recovering to this day. While they had technically become part of the larger, plane spanning Genzian empire, they had kept interactions to a minimum, especially since they harbored the rebel Vesper. However, they had a fleet of merchant ships they could muster, which was at least enough to get the attacking forces across the ocean. Vesper and his clones, however, would simply float in the air in lotus pose, an intimidating fleet of glowing white, blue, red, and green earthen jackals 250 units strong, with Vesper in the center. It was like a dance of colors in the air, an aurora in the night sky. But this beauty would be overshadowed by the growl of the jackal as he approached the mainland, a simple vocalization that echoed through the leylines like an anguished battle cry. Even if Spire had tens of thousands of citizens on her side, the jackal had the world to himself already.
Three days had passed across the entirety of their journey, but after setting up camp in the mountains, they were ready to march into Genzi. Not only were the forces armed with superior infiltrators that went well ahead of them, but Vesper’s powerful influence had warped the minds of many who were previously unable to fight. In mere months of training, he had turned dozens of citizens into talented monks able to channel their rage into not just the earth itself, but into others…
As the forces approached, the earth trembled with each step they took, Vesper’s feet sending energy through the ground and causing it to crack. Soon they reached the outskirts of civilization and didn’t slow down. Koyusa didn’t join Vesper for the main raid; she was already inside the city, softening up the enemy and bribing officials to leave the throne room vulnerable. That meant Vesper himself was actually the one leading the raid, despite his nature to usually just sit back and allow his servants to do the work for him.
Citizens were shocked to see the jackal walking through town with an attacking force, too in fear to respond. Some shouted insults his way, but found themselves promptly having their mouths bound shut, either by magic or by the forceful hand of a clone. A group of guards would close in to block his advance, but he didn’t even slow, causing one of the guards to explode from a simple palm strike to the chest. Very quickly the guards dispersed themselves to clear the way, knowing they were hopeless to even stop one of the attacking forces, let alone all of them.
“My comrades… today begins a new era of Genzi. No longer will we allow ourselves to remain weak. No longer will we hold blows or turn cheeks. No longer will we show any mercy. Your orders are simple; kill anyone that doesn’t surrender or who opposes me. Even if they simply don’t agree with my way of running things, that’s resistance enough. I will be more kind in the future, but right now I want absolute insurance that none will defy me.”
With collective confirmations, the more living members of the army spread out and began terrorizing the town. Dragons, drakes, and monks flew across the sky, ravaging buildings from above. Mages burst open homes regardless of the occupants, and berserkers and militia men and women alike overran establishments. Any Genzian that even began to draw a weapon or attack was promptly executed. The sight was an absolute tragedy to those living there, but the forces didn’t mourn for them; this was a necessary evil...
[To be resolved in Part 5...]
~ Prologue - The Years That Came After [Part 5 - Resolution]
In the meantime, Vesper and his clones marched inward towards the divine city, set on reaching the temple. Not even bodies remained of anyone Vesper or his clones struck. “May not even a memory remain of your disgrace,” he uttered under his breath. “May you not even pollute the soil with your weakness.” His clones were a stampede, crashing through solid walls like they were nothing and moving with a blur, graceful but terrifying. Hundreds were dead in less than ten minutes from just hand to hand combat alone, and the temple was next…
It is here that the assault is finally slowed. Ballistas armed with far more dangerous bolts fire at the onslaught of clones, but it’s to no avail. Shots have no effect if they even hit, many instead being struck aside, shattered into splinters to use against the guards, or even caught and tossed back at the ballistas. Soon, they’ve stopped firing, and just as Vesper hoped, Spire charged out the temple gate on the back of her tiger steed, firing an enchanted arrow at the jackal. With a snap, it crumbled into dust as he leapt into the air, landing directly in front of Spire. He let out a growl, and took position to face her.
“So… you’ve returned to massacre my people,” Spire growled back.
“Wrong,” Vesper scoffed. “I’ve returned to right the wrongs of my people.”
“You’re brave, I’ll give you that. But foolish.”
“The fool stands before me, ready to fight, but not willing to accept that she will die.”
“I did not come out to talk…” The druid readied another, much more powerful arrow. “I challenge you to single combat. No clones, just you and me.”
“I was going to suggest the same thing,” the jackal responded, his fur catching fire as his eyes glowed red.
“Do your worst then.”
The druid feinted, making the motion to release the arrow before leaping off her mount and shattering the arrow into a volley of magic darts. Vesper blocked the attack with a magic field before launching a searing ball of fire at her. She dissipates it with a strike before flying through the air to kick him, faster than the speed of sound, but he counters with a well timed frontflip and a kick to her head. She crashes into the ground, cracking the road beneath her on impact, and she's barely able to dodge a follow-up strike. As Vesper landed, Spire sweeped his foot, only for him to spin around and counterattack. They each parried and dodged the other's kicks, occasionally mixing in a spell or two, until two kicks eventually met, causing them to both fly back into the nearest wall.
"I see you've learned well," Spire complimented.
"You're much more interesting than that so-called Grandmaster," Vesper snarled. "But are you able to take this?!"
The jackal's hand motioned forward as he would for an open palm strike, and Spire dodged, only to be skewered from below by a column of volcanic rock as his other hand raised. He went in for an open palm strike to devastate the suddenly overwhelmed druid, only for her to break free without warning and impale his wrist with a shard of the obsidian protrusion.
"Very interesting!" Vesper shouted. "So you're no pushover, I'll give you that. But I tire of you… you get to live if you wish to serve me. Otherwise, I won't risk that you're buying time."
"Why would I ever serve you?" Spire questioned. "You're a traitor, and you go against everything the Genzi stand for-"
Suddenly, Spire found her mouth sealed as stone began to cover her body. She fought back with leyline magic of her own, but found that the world itself was against her. As she was slowly immobilized, Vesper smirked at her struggle, forcing her head to face towards the temple. She was powerless as her body was moved against her own will, her actions not her own as she was led to the throne room, and with a nonchalant plop onto the throne, Vesper took the kingdom in the most unceremonious way possible. Spire was forced to bow to him, the last thing she did before her body was fully taken, solidified forever as a humiliating reminder of her defeat.
"Guards… take her to the mason. I want her to stand as a statue, a reminder to anyone who dares raise a hand against me again. I may have fallen once, but none shall ever oppose me again."
With the guards terrified, his orders were obeyed. Within hours, the Genzians were forced to bow to Vesper's fervent will. Across the coming years, the peace that the previous Grandmaster had worked so hard to establish would be traded in for power. While the last Grandmaster allowed the rest of Skyfaoll to live in peace after the war, Vesper used his incredible power to merge all of the continents into one massive supercontinent named Phoenixa. The Genzian species would be reborn from the ashes left by a thousand years of negligence towards what they could have been, a prosperous people, using their powers and leadership to rule a great nation... without holding back their powers. To this day, Vesper sits upon his throne, awaiting the chance to expand his empire beyond Skyfaoll...
edited October 2021
Alright. After serious writers' bloc I got everything done for the prologue! Meet
Leader - Vesper
Race: Genzian (Jackal)
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Hometown: Genzi, Skyfaoll
Blood Type: O-
Occupation: Phoenixa Grandmaster
Weapon of Choice: Clones of himself formed from powerful leyline manipulation
Favorite Color: Midnight Purple
Favorite Music Genre: Battle hymns, but he doesn't sing
Favorite Food: Steak
Favorite Drink: Wine
Interesting Fact: Slowest heartbeat in Phoenixa (46 BPM resting)
Born to The Last Genzian and Spire, Vesper is a killing machine. Surpassing his father before he was even 16, he was a natural fit for Grandmaster... until his personality was revealed to be incredibly self-centered. Seeking to better the Genzi (and doing what he actually feels is the right thing to do), he killed his parents when they refused to accept his ways of thinking, eventually taking over Genzi. Now in charge, he awaits an opening to set his cosmic schemes in motion...
Second In Command - Koyusa
Race: High elf
Alignment: True Evil
Home Plane: Ignisp
Blood Type: A
Occupation: Secretary, secretly a spy
Weapon of Choice: Longsword
Favorite Color: Cyan
Favorite Music Genre: Marching tunes
Favorite Food: Cottage cheese
Favorite Drink: Earl Grey tea
Interesting Fact: Parents are still alive and well
One of very few survivors from the initial Skyfaoll expedition, Koyusa was forgotten about entirely when she infiltrated Falun. There, she was captured after Genzian code left her unable to kill a group of guards preventing her from infiltrating the capital. Agitated, she defected, but the war on Skyfaoll ended mere weeks afterwards, before she could ever leave Falun. She wasn't completely hopeless, however; she became a secretary in a mere year, and when Vesper rebelled, she saw her chance to return to duty for somone more willing to take risks...
One of Vesper's Preferred Units, Fury Channelers are an excellent fit for Colonization, holding their own in both hand-to-hand combat and spellslinging
serving as both converters and claimers of the land.
edited October 2021
, as a fellow writer, though definitely not as skilled as you, I wanted to say that your writing is amazing!! Keep up the awesome work!
Thank you! I've been dealing with serious writers bloc lately, so I can really use all the encouragement I can get right now XD
I’m having a subtle feeling that
isn’t showing up, so as soon as
Signal their entry’s completion, the valve will start to spin.
To be frank, this is honestly more people than I expected XD
I’m ready to go!
I'm good. Sorry it took me so long
Only waiting for you two to fire the pistol, and then the game is afoot.
I'm ready. Initial entry was short, but that was intentional for...
Apparently haven't been active in a month, but that can't be right since they posted something two weeks ago.
I'll give until the weekend for them and/or
to rise from the shadows, but then we start.
The world waits no longer.
Anyone have any other ways of contacting them?
Depending how the forums work...two weeks ago was still September. That might display as a month ago because of that. As for ASubtleGhost, I thought I had their Discord or something, but if I do, I don't remember it.
I'm good to go!
Hot pizza bagles!
I’ll give the valve a spin…
Your first challenge is... *SHOCK* *HORROR* Not an exploration challenge. We are kicking things off a little differently this time.
Krystel has always been among the most beautiful of the COLONISERS planes. The most pristine. As your peacekeeping forces marched to its furthest edges, they found serenity. They found tranquility. As they gazed at the ever-blue skies, they became one with the world, and relished in its cold embrace.
As you bathed the skies in blood, they became, at least to you, ever more beautiful. As the pure world became marred by the corruption of your bloodline, you cried out and rejoiced, for you saw it as a new perfection. Your perfect little paradise - littered with forgotten artefacts forged by your vanquished enemies. Some of them will run again soon. Some will lay sleeping forever.
But there appear to be things buried in your world even you haven't been aware of until now. Reports of strange glyphs hurry back to the dynasty palace. Lady Kren, heed news of the return of ciphers, the return of mysteries. House Elta has Krystel. ...How would they like to have far more?
Your challenge is to make cards to aid you decipher these messages from afar. Genius researchers, nets of observations, mystical Enigma machines. Everything goes.
The Stargazers couldn't calm the Turmoil of Turmoil. They didn't try to. They simply charted it, like they charted the movements of celestial objects, marvelling at the beauty of it all. Is there such a thing as mindful chaos? It felt like they had found it. Patterns so indecipherable as to appear random.
Now Turmoil is still. The Stargazers have forgotten their names. They are now Zephiran. The world has forgotten its charge, has forgotten its wild nature. It works towards a single purpose now. Its movements are singular now. Its name is no longer Turmoil - how can it be? It is Zephiran.
Yet in this calmness, there is still a discordant sound. A drone. A gilded tower moves across the sky, appearing in the most distant lands at first, but moving slowly towards your civilisation. Towards the Zephiran of Zephiran. Reach for it. No one's scaled it yet, no one's touched it yet, but they haven't really tried, have they?
Your challenge is to try and bring the tower into your reality. Voyage into dreams, voyage into other realities, ...maybe physically voyage to the sky? Try what you may. Anything goes.
Flair's reign of terror and hellish revelry covered Mystik not only in mist, but also vapour and smoke. Lots of smoke. As his machine rolled over this strange plane, the winners tried to light the world with torches. Lots of torches. No use. Eventually, the machine ground to a halt. Flair gave up, and ignited, and blazed like nothing ever blazed before, and kneeled to the world's nature, covering it in ash, hiding yet more its secrets.
And while there is now more fog than ever, Mystik is brighter than it's ever been. Because of the light in its inhabitants' souls. From the bitter cinders a sweet-smelling forest has risen. Its denizens are hopeful for the future. Perhaps, with just a little courage, they could have so much more.
Deep, deep inside the forest, a new kind of life is blooming. Ig and his band and people know not where it comes from. They do not recognise it, not even slightly. To them, it could be alien. Maybe it is.
Your task is to investigate its origin, for beyond it lies treasure. And... friends! Sure, friends!
I've been exceptionally busy, but I'll be sure to submit by this Sunday at the latest. Or...should we be waiting to reply until everyone has their prompts?
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