Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. MOVING TO NEW FORUM!

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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby PicksUpSticks on Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:59 pm

Donskies

EDIT: $%&@ F5!
Threads of Reality
Picks The Plan - Goblin Warrior
Level 1
Tower Game
Zombie Picks Up Sticks - Zombie Shaman
Cantrips/Inflict - 1 | Debuff/Buff - 2 | Suggestion - 3
Clan Rampage
Breaks A Leg - Goblin Knee Basher
Alive and stupid.
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby Dusk9 on Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:18 pm

Done, and SUBMITTED!

No proofreading, done mostly in the last six hours, the ending was a rushed piece of crap that skipped the 1000 words neccessary to make it make sense, and 15 minutes past the deadline.

Yeah, you've probably beaten me here M0rt.
Probably :shifty:
Threads of Reality
Hears-Disembodied-Voices
Lvl 1 Berserker ~ Exp: 9/10 ~ HP: 6/6 ~ Atk: 4 (+1~Rage) ~ Def: 4 (+1~50%) (+1~Rage)
Traits: Automatic Combat Rage; Jekyll and Hyde
Tower Game
Dusk ~ Lvl 2 Wraith Rogue ~ Exp: 2/3 ~ Atk: 2 ~ DEX: 1/4 ~ CON 6 ~ HP: 2/8
Skills: Stealth (1DEX/turn); Sneak Attack; Detect Trap (1DEX, R2)
Lair of the Mountain King
Eaten-By-Rabbits ~ HP: 3/5 ~ Atk: 1 ~ Def: 1
Capture the Flag (CTF) ~ on hiatus
Runs-into-Hard-Surfaces ~ Lvl 8 Trainee Attacker ~ Exp: 46/52
Feats: Sprint Awareness 3; Improved Dodge 2; Nimble 1; Sprint Endurance 1
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby PicksUpSticks on Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:21 pm

2,400 words...

I set a new personal record.
Threads of Reality
Picks The Plan - Goblin Warrior
Level 1
Tower Game
Zombie Picks Up Sticks - Zombie Shaman
Cantrips/Inflict - 1 | Debuff/Buff - 2 | Suggestion - 3
Clan Rampage
Breaks A Leg - Goblin Knee Basher
Alive and stupid.
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby ArcticTornado on Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:32 pm

P'shaw. 3650 words. In before the deadline, almost entirely un-proofread, and I mainly worked on it from the hour of 11pm to midnight.
Chief Gets to the Chopper
2/6 HP :: 0/12 Inf
4 Atk :: 5 Def


Inverted Luck
ATK: 4-6 (+2 Brakeblade, +1 Thief Blade, +0/+1 Thief Armor (25%), +0/+1 Short Blade Specialty (50%))
DEF: 6-7(+1 Goblin, +1 Thief Armor, +1 Thick Skin, +0/+1 Leather Helm (50%), +1 Iron Bracer, +1 Iron Bracer)
HP: 5/5
Pack: Very Pointy Pencil, 78 gold pieces, Leather Armor, Dagger, Challenge Note, Random Book, Short Rope
Abilities: Renew (+1 HP, Major Action, touch), Lady Luck (double % chance to most items/abilities, passive).
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby Dusk9 on Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:40 pm

4,898 words.
The non-rushed version would probably have hit 6,000. Maybe even 7,000.

...........I should really be getting to bed - it's quarter to one in the morning here, and I've spent the last 6 hours typing furiously.
Threads of Reality
Hears-Disembodied-Voices
Lvl 1 Berserker ~ Exp: 9/10 ~ HP: 6/6 ~ Atk: 4 (+1~Rage) ~ Def: 4 (+1~50%) (+1~Rage)
Traits: Automatic Combat Rage; Jekyll and Hyde
Tower Game
Dusk ~ Lvl 2 Wraith Rogue ~ Exp: 2/3 ~ Atk: 2 ~ DEX: 1/4 ~ CON 6 ~ HP: 2/8
Skills: Stealth (1DEX/turn); Sneak Attack; Detect Trap (1DEX, R2)
Lair of the Mountain King
Eaten-By-Rabbits ~ HP: 3/5 ~ Atk: 1 ~ Def: 1
Capture the Flag (CTF) ~ on hiatus
Runs-into-Hard-Surfaces ~ Lvl 8 Trainee Attacker ~ Exp: 46/52
Feats: Sprint Awareness 3; Improved Dodge 2; Nimble 1; Sprint Endurance 1
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby vid20 on Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:30 pm

And so it is done.

All entries in, so the round is coming to a close. Here we go. Semi finals.

Edited with the full submission of Mortimer

Semi Finals
How to Host a Murder
M0rtimers SerV3 vs Dusk9s Simon Emrys Lex’Ander
m0rtimer wrote:A light drizzle was pouring down on the path, illuminated ever so slightly by the moon. SerV3 had been surprised to find a path this far north. Sooner or later he would have to find what could be referred to as the “edge of civilization”. No living thing beyond. Well, okay, no living thing that wouldn’t want to shred you to bits beyond that point.
But for now it appears that the golem could enjoy the luxury of travelling on the road, towards whatever city awaited. Something far more appreciable then crossing through treacherous mountain halls, peeling potatoes at the bottom of an airship or crossing an active volcano.
In a certain sense, SerV3 was… should be… happy. He got this far. Perhaps he actually stood a chance.

And yet, he was not. A steady march towards that stone, as if as soon as he’ll arrive everything will be different. Maybe it would. Maybe it wouldn’t.

In any case, he would let nothing stop him from finding out.

“Good day sir.”

SerV3 came to a halt, instinctively grabbing for his battleaxe- He had not noticed the small figure standing alongside the road, dressed in black and holding some kind of construction, a thin tube stretching above him, where sheets of some material, also black, kept back the rain. Humans don’t like rain.
The fact that the black clothes apparently were some kind of suit, and not supposed to enable the man some kind of sneak attack however, settled SerV3 a bit. Nevertheless, he was startled. Should be more careful. Another moment of weakness like that could mean his death.

“Please, no reason for hostilities.” The man said as he saw the golem clutching for the weapon, yet still managing to keep his voice perfectly calm. “Oh, right.” Was the only reply the golem gave him before releasing his grip.

“Who are you?”
“Oh, how rude of me. The name’s Jeeves. Personal assistant and housekeeper of our benevolent king, Christopher the Third. And, if I’m not mistaken, your name is SerV3, or as you mostly prefer, Sen. Correct?”
“… Yes.”
“Good. Sen, I hereby present to you a formal invitation, to the feast that our king has prepared. As an honored guest.”

SerV3 accepted the document. Text written in golden, elegant letters, a big stamp with the royal insignia; it sure was the real deal. To that, the golem could only say one thing.

“I’m sorry, but I will have to decline.”

Jeeves kept his appearance as cool as he had the whole time. Though the slight delay in reply gave away that he did not expect such a reply, or at least was hoping it wouldn’t be.

“And if I may inquire as to the reason for that?”
“I’m sorry. I cannot waste any time. Each second lost is a second wasted. And something tells me you know that.”
“Oh, of course. I know of your quest for the stone. It’s why the king wants to see you!”
“Somebody that managed to get this far, battling with some of this world’s greatest warriors; you made quite the impression! It is a true honor!”

“I know. Give your king my utmost apologies.”

“Sen, I can tell you with my best of assurances, that you would not regret going.”

“I have no doubt of that. But still, I refuse.”

Now, the golem continued his march, deciding that he would not hear any more of the man’s persuasion. Whilst SerV3 appreciated the offer, he felt no need to take it up. What would he do there anyway? As if he could eat anything, and whilst he never tried, he is pretty sure he would make a horrible dancer. As Jeeves continued talking however, SerV3 did stop in his tracks.

“But you might regret it if you do keep walking.”
“… Is that a threat?”
Jeeves' calm face could not conceal an ever so faint grin. Though presented in such a way as to achieve the goal of hopefully comforting the person he was talking to, it didn’t help.

“All I’m saying is that my master is a very powerful man. And he has been looking forward to this for some time, and grown so excited. I’m not sure how he would react if he were to be disappointed. What he would be… capable of.”

As thoughts began coursing through SerV3’s mind, thinking of all the paths he could take from hence on; knock out the messenger, get off the road. Jeeves continued.

“And trust me when I say that our king will not slow you down. In fact, you might even find him willing to help. So, if I may now politely request, your final reply to this invitation?”
“…”

The guards at the gate momentarily turned aside, gave a light bow to the golem, before turning back straight in front of them, guarding for whatever fool would actually try to enter without allowance. The castle itself was completely lit up. Guards with torches lit up the outsides, and from inside came a warm, inviting glow.

Of course, his arrival couldn’t just be something simple. Just mark off his name from the checklist and be done with it. No, as honored guest, ten men on each side of the hallway have to begin the playing of the horns, in a melody that has been practiced for hours up until the point of perfection, whilst a jester does his very best to make you laugh and two damsels come to escort you to the feast hall.

And as he entered said feast hall, all the bells and whistles faded into silence, as the door was closed behind him. Before him stood a large banquet, and a chair designed for a giant of his size. But the most surprising thing of all would be that there was no one else, except for the man sitting up high in his throne, king Christopher the third. Sporting his most expensive ensemble, yet each article somewhat clashing with the others, and gently tugging his goatee out of excitement, he spoke up.
“Welcome! Welcome, welcome, to my humble abode!”
The king stood up from his throne, clapping his hands a few times- Which was apparently the sign for the orchestra to begin playing.
“Please, sit down, enjoy the feast!”
SerV3 decided to play along, figuring that doing so would be the fastest way to get back on the road. Nevertheless he couldn’t resist pointing out the obvious.
“I notice I’m the only one here.”
“Oh, yes, yes, it appears our other guest is running late! I had arranged that both of you’d enter at the same time, but it appears my servants failed to live up to that. No matter! Their fault, not yours. Just enjoy the party.”
“Yes. You’ve delivered quite the feast.”
“Indeed I did! Best chefs from throughout the land, all under this roof!”
“It’s a shame I can’t eat.”
“Oh, I know.”

SerV3 was taken by surprise as he felt something on his right shoulder. As he sprang upright, the man behind him clumsily dropped the tool on the floor, as SerV3 tried to feel what the man had done to him: and feeling a new piece of plate armor, hanging onto a single bolt.

“You look battered as if you came from a war boy! And what kind of host would I be if I did not make sure my guests are in perfect health? Even if they would require a rather unusual doctor.”
“T-This really isn’t necessary.”
“Nonsense! Sit down! This is the least I can do, and by God I am doing it.”
SerV3 didn’t really know how to react to such enthusiastic behavior. Except for the obvious response of going along with it, as SerV3 sat back down upon the chair, and the smith continued his work. A few bolts later, the first shoulder plating was completely reinforced, after which the smith- Or whatever he was, a smith didn’t use tools like that- Continued to pry of a battered plate on his left shoulder, so that one could be reinforced as well. The king in the meanwhilst, seemed nervous about something. His missing guest.
Of course, the king considered himself too good of a host to blatantly show something like that to his guests. So instead of worrying about the fact too much, he tried to strike up idle banter.
“Anyways, what do you think of my castle?”
“It’s very nice.”
“It is, isn’t it? I mean, I am no bragging man, but who else but me possesses a place such as mine? For starters, the very chair you are sitting on now costs a fortune! Decorated with gold and jewels, in case you had not noticed.”
“I thought that was replicated.”
“Hah! No. And that painting for example, is it not a work of beauty?”
The king gestured towards a large painting on one of the walls. On it, a picture of himself, sitting leisurely in his throne, whilst straddled around said throne laid various things of wealth and power. It looked like the painting had been created in such a way as to give the impression he was swimming in wealth. SerV3 probably had it on the right end of what it was supposed to achieve.
“Erm… Yes, very chic.”
“Yes, yes…”
The king was probably about to say something again, no doubt concerning one of many other pieces of interest he had collected over the year, when a familiar sound was heard. That of the playing of the horns, in a melody that has been practiced for hours up until the point of perfection.
The mechanic, who had finished most of the plating, finished bolting the chestplate on, quickly took up his tools, and exited the scene. From a little back door, Jeeves entered, apologizing because the guest had evaded him and the guards. Numerous times.
Christopher waved the argument away, as he rushed back onto his throne, and sat down just as the door opened.
“Welcome! Welcome, welcome, to my humble abode!”
“You must be Lex’ Ander, the Mechman.”

SerV3 almost blew a fuse when he heard, and not a moment later, saw that. There was a brief moment of recognition between the two of them, and for a moment it seemed like the two of them would grab for their weapons, even if just to prevent granting the other the first strike.

“Lex’ Ander, your seat.”

That train of thought was broken as Jeeves pointed him to his seat. After a slight hesitation, he took his seat at the appointed place. Which just happened to be straight across from SerV3.

“Well, now that we are all here, we can begin the feast! My utmost apologies to those amongst us who cannot enjoy the food…” King Christopher said, his head hanging down as he said the last part, but after a short pause springing back up.
“But to those of us who can, enjoy! Finest dishes from throughout the whole kingdom! There will be entertainment, music has already arrived, and then there will be what I hope to be a grand finale. Now, let’s not let this get cold, shall we?”

As attendants came in to deliver the food, (even serving for the golem, for politeness’ sake) everyone in the room silent, one of the attendants whispered something into Jeeves' ear, who fondly raised an eyebrow at what he heard. And as the servants left the room again, and The Mechman carefully began eating what he was served, Jeeves informed his master of whatever was transpiring behind the scene. The king’s face, who first had been laughing silently, suddenly turned grim.

“Please excuse me for a moment. I’ll be right back.”

And on that note, the king left the room, followed on foot by his personal assistant.

The golem and The Mechman were left alone.

“… So. Si ‘The Mechman’ Lex.”
“Yea. And you're SerV3, right?”
“Yes. But call me Sen. Look, I think we can both agree that now might not be the best time for this.”
“Agreed.”

There was a moment of silence, as if both warriors had agreed to wait for their dispute until this “party” was over. Yet, not much later, the golem’s nemesis spoke up again.

“Okay, look, we don’t have to fight.”

This took the golem slightly by surprise. He had always heard that the Mechman was a man of action- not words.

“Well… That’s honestly something I would like to say as well. I’d rather not fight if given another choice. So what were you thinking?”
“I was hoping you would surrender.”
“No. I did not come all this way to bow out by surrendering.”
“Okay, but loo-“
“NO!”
“Let me finish! Look. The point is, I really don’t want to kill you. But I’m not sure if I can. I mean, if it really does come to us fighting, I’ll try, but can you even get knocked out? Or would you just keep fighting until something vital breaks? I couldn’t repair you there, and there’s no guarantee I could come back to fix you.”
“You're speaking like you are guaranteed to win.”
“Not guaranteed. But even with that fancy new plate you have, I’m pretty sure that I have the better odds.”
“Wait… Fancy?”
“Sure. That plate has some kind of lion image on it, right?”
“Lion ima- That guy is using me as advertising space?!”
“What?”
“That king had this guy that… You know what, never mind. No deal. I’d rather face the odds than just give in like that. But thanks for trying not to kill me. I promise I’ll do the same.”
“Okay, before you make your final decision, look.”

Simon raised his right arm. And with doing so, showed that it was a stump. Whatever had happened, it appeared it had cut off his hand. Part of it atleast.

“So you can only use one arm. I’d actually go ahead and say that gives me better odds.”
“The… person that did this, took of my whole arm. It has almost completely regenerated in the meanwhilst.”
“… Your joking.”
“No. I’m not. I’m pretty sure that after this meal and a little bit of time, I’ll be able to use both my hands again.”
“Regeneration says nothing about combat skill.”
“But it sure gives an idea of what it might be like, doesn’t it?”
“Maybe it does. So I will have to make revisions to what I said earlier.”
“Thank you.”
“I’d rather face bad odds than just give up.”

The Mechman didn’t know what to say to that anymore. So instead, he just resumed eating. The silence lasted for a few minutes, before the golem got bored of it.

“That king and the creepy guy sure are taking a long time.”
“…”
“Did you also get… “requested” to come here?”
“Yea. There were guards everywhere. I didn’t like the looks of it so I tried to go around them, but eventually they spotted me. I thought it would just be best to go along with them.”
“So did I. But I didn’t see any guards.”
“They were well hidden.”
“Anyways, what’s his deal anyways? Inviting only the two of us to this party? I’m going by the assumption he’s crazy, but it’s odd.”

And that’s when the king returned. At least, his voice did.

“All right, the jig is up!”
“Sir, may I point your attention to the fact that one person stating that it’s a little bit odd they were the only people invited does not necessarily mean they are onto what we are doing here.”
“Please Jeeves! As if after that it would take long for them to reach conclusions! Besides, they’re more intent on having chatter than moving this along.”

“What the hell is going on here?”

“Isn’t it obvious now boy? I pride myself on having the very best of things. I have the best assistant, the best knights, the best musicians, the best chefs. But ah, I seem to be missing something in my set.”

The hidden passage behind the painting opened, the king and Jeeves jumping out, as the king scurried up to his throne and sat down.

“I miss the very best champion. And oh, when I heard of the two of you, I knew I had found my champion! But who? My bet is on the Mechman, but who knows how good that golem can be if he actually had a proper caretaker? So how do I decide? Very simple. You two fight, and the victor will become my champion. I will have an army follow you towards that stone. It will be glorious, if I do say so myself!”

“And if you really want to be pansies, from what I heard… sure, there don’t have to be deaths. I’ll make sure of that. But now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Don’t mind breaking anything at all, just go wild!”

The king sat in his throne like a little child about to get a treat. The golem and the Mechman wished each other good luck, before they both stood up, their weapons at the ready.
And then with a simple nod, turned.

Suddenly, the king looked like a little child that wasn’t getting the candy he wanted.

“What the hell do you think your doing?!”
“We’re not interested in becoming your champion.”
“Do you have any idea of just what I’m offering you? What honor? The privileges? I could grant you more than just that stone!”
“Sadly, I won’t be anybody’s soldier for any gold in the world.”
“Stupid fools.”
The king grabbed for something behind the throne. A glowing sword, crackling with runic energies, was pulled forth. Jeeves in the meanwhilst, had similarly pulled forth two blades: though neither the golem nor Mechman had seen him doing so.

“Do you think I am stupid? I know all about the both of you! I know of the accident that created you Simon, and I even know that that suicide actually wasn’t a suicide after all. As for you golem, I know how you work from the inside out. I’ve seen your schematics. I know your story.”
“So, you don’t want to be my champion huh? Then the only good use for you is scrap metal!”

The king swung his sword wildly in the air, a bolt of lightning being released from it, striking the ground near the two allies. SerV3 was knocked back, charred from the blast, but the Mechman remained standing, barely affected.
Of course, the king knew he would. And that is why the very best of servants was given the task of dealing with him, as two blades came flying at the Mechman at incredible speed, resorting to him only being able to parry. Especially with only one arm with blades to fight with, as the other blade had not yet fully regenerated.
The king meanwhilst, had his eyes set on the golem. Another bolt of lightning flung through the hall, hitting the golem again, straight on the plate wearing the insignia of king Christopher: the lion. This time the blast slammed him into a wall, which certainly wasn’t good concerning the damage he was taking. But it gave him a little edge on getting upright quickly again.

“It’s a shame. I could have fully decorated you! That’s one upside to being made of metal like you are I guess.”

The king fired off another powerful surge of energy. The golem now began making an effort of trying to dodge the blasts, but it was hard.

“I bet you're feeling sorry for pawning off that gun of yours now, don’t you? How much easier would this be if you hadn’t!”

Another blast of magic. But the golem now being fully upright again, had enough speed to manage to dodge the blast. And to start making his way to the king.

“I’m also betting you feel sorry for killing your own parents.”
“Wh- SHUT UP! I DIDN’T KNOW!”

And in that moment of rage- of weakness, as SerV3’s axe swung at the king, he dodged. In the golem’s rage, he had lost his eye for accuracy.
And when the king got in his counterattack, the sheer blast was enough to make even the king fly away a small bit. The golem crashed on the ground, lifeless.

“Sen!”

The Mechman was still locked in his own battle. He had tried various things, from trying to knock him over from going as far as flinging the closest objects at him, but that monster, with his same, expressionless face didn’t budge. Like he was fighting a foe that already knew all his moves.

And in a second, the king would have recovered from that blast and joined the fighting as well. So he needed to think of something quick- He had to think of something that he had never done before.
He retracted his two blades. Jeeves expression remained monotone as usual, though Si Lex knew that he wasn’t expecting this. He was forced to take the first hit to the gut. But as the second sword came, he grabbed him at the upper arm.
Now he had a hold of one arm, he quickly tried to wrench the sword out of the hand, as the tiny blades hidden in his fingernails pierced the flesh of the arm. The housekeeper refused to let go of the weapon, but the Mechman wrenched himself into a position where he was at the man’s back. And then he released the two blades again.

The blades pierced Jeeves upper torso, probably hitting one of his lungs. Any moment now, he would fall unconscious, and then Simon could-

His train of thought was broken as the blast swung him away.

“Jeeves, you're all right?”
“Y-Yes sir.” His assistant replied as he took a little red bottle that had been concealed on his belt, drinking it.
“I just require a healing potion.”
“Good.”
“Then let’s end this.”

The Mechman looked up to see the two enemies closing in. This might actually be it. With only one arm, he could only parry all of Jeeves attacks, and with him knowing all his moves, would have a hard time getting in any attack. And whilst the king's sword might be magical, and hardly effective against him, sharp steel would still cut, and the blasts destabilize him.

The Mechman stood valiantly up, ready for what might be his final battle.

And then an axe flew through the air. The kings face turned white as it hit its target. He was dead the moment the axe had struck.

The assistant turned around to see eyes burning red. When the king had slashed at the golem’s new chestplate, he had slashed straight at the neck of the lion, a clear scar now showing there: and from his back, the surge of magic has blasted a gaping hole.
But he was still standing, somehow still operational. And it had appeared that he had lost all reason.
Jeeves now tried to focus on the already wounded and unarmed golem. All his strikes connected, scraping, once cutting the armour. But SerV3 ignored it, and as the man tried to back away, he got a hold of his head. And then lifted him up and slammed him into the nearest wall. Seeing the man drop his swords, either unconscious or dead, SerV3 dropped the body.
And then he went for the Mechman. He collected his axe from the king’s corpse, holding the weapon ready in his left hand.
And then extended his right hand to the Mechman.
“You're okay?”
“Yeah. I am.”
The hand was accepted, and shaken in a somewhat clumsy way. It’s not easy to do a proper handshake when the other’s hands are at least twice as big after all.

“There’s probably going to be guards everywhere.”
“You think they’d form a problem?”
“You mean if they are hostile or if they aren’t? Since it's the two of us, the answer is no to both of those.”

And so the Mechman and the golem left the castle together. The guards were suspicious, obviously. But none of them dared stand in their way. And SerV3 could swear that, as the two of them walked further and further away from the scene, he could hear a shout of joy when they found out the king was dead.

But there was still one point left unfinished.

“I guess this is the part where we will have to do battle then.”
“Yeah. About that.”
“No. I’m still not surrendering.”
“You don’t have to. I will.”
“You what?”
“I surrender.”
“Why?! I mean, not that I mind, but-“
“It’s… Complicated. I had a run in with this… person. The same person that caused me to lose this arm in the first place. And when that happened, I realized that I’ve been a fool. I’ve been trying to get to the stone for selfish reasons. But after fighting that guy, and having to kill him… I realized that’s not what I want to do.”
“Then what do you do want to do?”
“To help people. And I was thinking of starting that by making sure that people would stop dying for this stone.”
“I see. That’s a noble cause. But I don’t see how you're going to fulfill it if you choose to quit here.”
“I see it like this: I could fight you, win, then continue to the stone, and I’d achieve that goal, presuming I manage to make it.”
“But then I’d leave behind at least one more victim. Whilst I think that victim, which has no ill intent, could get that stone as well, use it for something worthy, and that’d be one less possible dead.”
“You… You think I could actually win?”
“From what I’ve seen? Yes. Of course, there’s the pride and a lot of action I’ll miss out on… But you got to make sacrifices for matters you care for. And I care that this trail of blood for that stone gets stopped, and I’m sure you can do that.”
“I’m badly wounded, in need of repairs, and no money or time to do so. The only reason I am continuing at this point is because of some… some need for purpose. I don’t even know what I’ll do when I get to that stone. No idea what I’d wish for.”
“Would you wish for something bad?”
“No. Never.”
“Then I leave this in your hands.”

And on that note, the Mechman turned about, knowing that this was the right thing to do.

The golem stood puzzled for a moment, watching a… friend walk away. And then he turned back, and continued his journey.

Now more determined than ever.



Dusk9 wrote:Though he’d only been travelling for a couple of years, Simon Lex had experienced more than most people would do in their whole lifetime.
He’d walked across vast deserts, the baking sun cooking his flesh almost faster than it could repair itself. Crossed volcanic mountain ranges, lava running in rivers only a few metres from his feet. Even sailed down a waterfall once, though that was more an error in map-reading than anything else. However, in all his travels, he’d never seen anything quite like this.

By most standards, the city was quite ordinary. It was only about half the size of Archopolis, the metropolis where Si had been raised, and like most cities it had been founded near an easily accessible water source. However, while Archopolis was located next to a lake, with well-used roads spreading out from it to all four corners of the map, this place was a little more……remote.
The south section of the city was bordered by swampland - the waters of the Fog Falls running down and collecting into a vast, flat plane of placid water. To the north, a mountain range greater than any Si had ever seen - one moment the land was completely flat, the next it shot up at least a mile in height. Separating these two terrains was a mile wide river, constantly fed by waterfalls from the mountains and streams from the swamps.
And positioned along this river, at the very heart of the landscape, was the city of………erm………….

---------------------------

Mordanfall
That’s what the city’s called - Mordanfall.
At least, that’s what the sign by the gate had said. Walking down the main street, Si ran through the mental checklist of things he’d probably need, something he referred to every time he entered a new city:

1) Bed for the night
2) Food
3) New clothes


Stopping, he glanced down at his current garments. Streaked with mud and blood from his time in the Fog Falls, he looked like a beggar that had tried to drunkenly wrestle a freshly butchered cow carcass. No wonder everyone had been avoiding him.

1) Clothes

Turning his attention back to where he was going, Si began to search the nearby buildings for something resembling a tailors. He spotted a suitable one rather quickly; however, before he could go into the building, he was knocked clean off his feet by a sudden impact from behind. Momentarily dazed, it took him a few seconds to pull himself upright, by which point his attacker was already halfway down the street. The man had barely glanced at Si as he’d pushed past him, far more interested in his conversation.

“Hey! What’s your problem, jerk!”

The man stopped and turned, eyes narrowing in disgust. Pulling himself up to his full height, he moved closer, until his face was just a few centimetres from Si’s.

“Are you talking to me, dickhead.”

Now that Si had got a good look at him, Si realised that this wasn’t exactly an ordinary asshole. The insignia on his chest marked him out as a member of the city guard. However, unlike the men Si had seen guarding the entrance gate, who had been wearing steel chainmail, this guy had a steel breastplate coated with gold-leaf. He could tell it was only gold-leaf, and not pure gold, from the fact that it had plainly been in a few scraps - multiple chips and scrapes uncovered the silvery steel below. The man’s friends were kitted out in much the same way. They also had swords strapped to their waists.

“So what if I was. What are you going to do about it, Big-nose.”

“…..heh. You’re new round here, aren’t ya? Let me give you one piece of advice - don’t fuck with the Royal Guard!”

His fist was very fast. It practically blurred as it raced towards Si’s unprotected face. From Si’s view though, it might as well have been frozen in time.
The man’s wrist went first, followed by his elbow, and finally his shoulder. By the time he realised what had happened, his entire right arm was a broken mess. Howling like a dog, he collapsed to the ground, cradling his ruined arm as his friends drew their swords and charged…...

Halt!

The commanding tone of the voice - combined with the streams of magic that flowed from its source - stopped the guards in their tracks. Following the trails of magic, Si found the perpetrator - a young man, dressed in rich dark blue robes, who seemed to have appeared from nowhere. Si recognised immediately that he was a mage, and a strong one at that - his aura was one of the most powerful he had ever seen. Most of it seemed to be focused around his neck - an amulet, probably. Si had heard of mages that used such things as storage for their magic, channelling the energy directly to save time.

"Leave."

As one, the guards unfroze and began to walk away. Si watched, amused, as the one with the broken arm tried to ignore his pain and keep up with his friends.

“Mr Lex’Ander, I presume? Cyrus, Royal Magician. We weren’t expecting you to arrive until later.”

“How….how do you know my name!?”

“Heh…..we heard of your passage through the Fog Falls on your way to the Stone, and assumed you would end up passing through our fair city. If you made it through the fog, of course - many travellers never succeed. Though, it appears your journey was not without incident.”

Yet again, Si became acutely aware of how he must look.

“Oh, yeah….I was just about to by some new stuff, actually.”

“Yes, I would recommend it - we can’t have you arriving at the palace like that, can we? Incidentally, I would like to offer you an invitation to a feast tonight at the Royal Palace - His Royal Highness is very interested in meeting you.”

“He is? Well, as much as I would like to come, I am in sort of a race, and-”

“Did I mention the free food and drink? Prepared by the best chefs in the kingdom.”

“…….I suppose one night couldn’t hurt. I’ll be there.”

“Excellent. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an appointment by the West gate, and I’m afraid I cannot miss it. See you tonight, Mr Lex’Ander.”

As the mage continued on his journey down the street, Si looked around - the place was completely deserted. In most cities, people would have been crowding around any sort of confrontation, but here, everyone seemed to have run away.

Weird.

---------------------------

Very weird.

As Sen walked through the Palace gates, the setting sun casting low shadows on the ground, he couldn’t stop thinking back to the peculiar nature of the invitation that had brought him here.

He’d come across the river after leaving the volcano - at least a mile wide, the very possibility of crossing it had seemed absurd. Instead he had followed it, walking for hours until he had reached the western gate of the city of Mordanfall.
And there the human mage had been waiting for him.

At first Sen had been wary - too many times had he been turned away because of his appearance. The invitation to a meal with royalty had taken him completely by surprise.
Of course, there was no option but to accept - refusing would likely have got him barred from the city, and he couldn’t afford to search for another way across the river.

He just hoped the King wouldn’t be offended by him not eating anything.

None of the guards that escorted him through the halls seemed surprised by his size - no doubt they had been told beforehand what to expect. Stranger still, nobody attempted to relieve him of his axe.
This King have been confident that Sen meant him no harm. Or that he posed little risk.

The hallways towards the centre of the castle were windowless, and lit instead by small, floating orbs of yellow light that were placed at intervals along the corridors. The mage’s work, no doubt.

Finally, they reached the feasting room - it was smaller then Sen had been expecting, with just a single table in the centre of the room. Sitting at its head, in a large, regal throne-like chair, was what had to be the King - dressed in a long, flowing robe of bright red, he looked every bit the majestic king. Next to him, in a slightly smaller chair, sat the mage, still in the same blue robes as before. And next to him…….

Sen stopped dead in his tracks, eyes changing from a pale yellow, to blue, orange, then red in quick succession. His hand was already reaching for his axe, eyes locked on the blue-eyed human watching him from the table.

---------------------------

Si was bored.

His Royal Highness, King Darius II, had been droning on and on about his amazing royal stuff for ages now. He was currently describing the difficulty of having a proper yacht made in this part of the world. All most people knew how to make were little river boats around here - he’d had to import proper ship-builders to construct his royal yacht. It had, apparently, taken three hundred men six months to put it together, and could go faster than any other ship its size.
Fascinating.

Things had almost become exciting when the golem had entered the room - the way he’d looked, Si could have sworn he was going to attack him right there. The King had put a quick stop to that, though. ‘You are both my guests, and will refrain from any violence in my home’.
Old windbag.

Si turned his attention back to the golem - SerV3 or Sen or something. The construct had been watching him since he’d entered the room, completely immobile on his specially reinforced chair. He hadn’t even touched the food in front of him - though it hadn’t lasted long once Si had finished his portion. Hours had passed and he was bored and nothing was happening and had someone just asked him a question?

Jerking out of his doze, Si focused on the King, who was watching him expectantly.

“Errr…..sorry?”

“I said, what happened to your equipment?”

“…….equipment?”

“Your sword! Your armour! After all, you can’t have made it this far without some way of defending yourself.”

“….yes! Of course! I, erm….lost them. In the Fog Falls. I was actually planning on getting some earlier, but I was distracted by your invitation.”

“You should be more careful with your equipment, young man - you’ll need every advantage if you want to get a prize as sought after as the Wishing Stone. You too, my metal friend. Strong armour and a large axe will only get you so far.”

“I’ve been meaning to ask, sir - you know that we are both after the Stone, and that we are rivals in this endeavour. So, why invite us both here. You must have some reason for it.”

“Heh….I was wondering how long it would take you two to ask that………very well, I shall explain my motivations.”
“My kingdom is wealthy. And strong. However, it is also very small - besides this city, we have only a few outposts in the mountains and swampland. The very terrain that makes us so strong also isolates us from the rest of the world. Most traders must come by river, but the rapids further downstream prevent larger boats from passing. If we ever want to expand beyond our borders, we need a way of changing nature itself to allow our passage.”

“So…..you want us…..to get the Stone………..for you?

“Correct, my boy. You are a smart one, aren’t you? Yes, I need you two to fetch me this ‘Wishing Stone’. It’s just what my kingdom needs to thrive, and expand. You’ll be suitably rewarded, of course - virtually unlimited use of the Stone, as well as a position of wealth and power within my new kingdom.”

Si glanced at Sen, gauging his reaction - the golem’s eyes had turned a bright white, tinged with yellow. Si could almost see the gears turning in his head - literally, in fact - as he contemplated the offer. Slowly, the yellow morphed into a pale orange.
He seemed to have made his decision.

“I’m sorry, sir, but I cannot accept your offer. Use of the Stone in such a manner would invite abuse of its power, and I’m afraid I cannot allow that.”

“I…see……..”
“And what of you? Do you accept my offer?”

Si was much faster at reaching a decision - grinning, he inclined his head towards Sen.

“Sorry, your highness, but I agree with Patchy here - that Stone is far too dangerous to leave just lying around.”

“……….I must admit, I am extremely disappointed by your answers…….”
GUARDS!

At almost exactly the same time, Si and Sen stood, seats crashing to the ground as a small wave of previously hidden guards charged into the hall, silver armour and drawn swords flashing in the magical light. Immediately Sen reached for his axe, eyes flashing red in anger at the betrayal - however, before he had a chance to use it, he was hit in the chest by a blast of magical energy that sent him tumbling to the floor. Si tensed his arms, ready to unleash his blades and start slicing.

CEASE!

As quickly as it had begun, everything stopped.
The guards had formed a ring around Si, weapons pointing inward at his torso. Cyrus was busy inspecting the unresponsive golem slumped on the ground - Si now recognised the magical energy as a type commonly used in particularly strong stunning spells. Sen would probably be unconscious for a few hours, at least. The mage appeared to have reached this conclusion as well - calling out to a group of golden armoured men near to back of the room, he began to gesture at different parts of the body, instructing them where to grab in order to safely transport the golem.
The King, meanwhile, was focused on Si.

“I know what you’re thinking. Don’t bother. You’re unarmed, outnumbered, and would be cut to pieces in moments. Surrender peacefully, and I may even let you live to see tomorrow.”

Yeah, right. We’ll see who gets ‘cut to pieces’, Darius

Alright then, plan of attack: go for the guys on the left to start. Don’t let them box you into a corner - get into the corridor as quickly as possible to channel them into more manageable numbers. Aim low - their knees don’t have as much armour as the rest of them - and-

“Wait!”

Twisting, Si focused on the new arrival - another guard, this one helmetless and sporting a rather impressive grey moustache.

“I’m sorry to interrupt Sire, but…...are you sure about this? I mean, do we really need to expand the kingdom in such a-”

“YOU DARE TO QUESTION MY ORDERS! You forget you’re place Colonel.”

The rage in his voice surprised Si - as did the fear on the Colonel’s face.

“I...I’m sorry Sire, I just thought-”

“YOU DO NOT THINK! I make the plans! I do the thinking! YOU follow MY ORDERS!”

As the King ranted, SI watched the reactions of the men around him - most looked ready to wet their trousers. In fact -sniff-.....some of them already had?!
These men weren’t soldiers. They’d probably never even been in a fight before in their lives.

“YOU, MEN. Take this unarmed fool to the dungeons. At least that golem was smart enough to bring a weapon.”

.....these men aren’t my enemy. They don’t deserve to die on the orders of this insane King.

As a couple of the terrified men practically ran up to him, Si put his hands up in surrender, allowing them to grab him and drag him out of the room.

...........this damn conscience is going to get me killed..........

---------------------------

Golems are very durable beings - as you’d expect from a race made of pure metal. However, many other races take that to mean that they are incapable of feeling pain. That they don’t feel anything.
This isn’t true. They’re just better at ignoring it. Usually.

The pounding in Sen’s head was immense. A hammering that drowned out everything.
Even his thoughts.
Slowly, the great thumping receded, replaced by a whirring noise as the machinery inside him struggled to reboot. Random lights flashed across his vision, eventually forming into a coherent image - dark grey walls, illuminated by a number of bright white lights. And a shadow. A human silhouette.

“Ah, your systems have restarted. Excellent.”

That voice. The mage - Cecil? No...Cedric? No…....Cyrus. That was it.

“I must admit, I was afraid that the spell had been too powerful - but then again, better too strong, than not strong enough.”

“You.....what.......where am.....”
The words where difficult to form. His voice box still lacking the power to properly function.
The mage ignored him.

“Do you know how rare a fully functioning golem is? Normally, I’d have to pay a small fortune for just an undamaged limb. The opportunity to dismantle a whole one of you is……well, it’s like a gift from the gods.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll try to be gentle.”

---------------------------

“Has he still not moved!?!”
“No, he’s just been sitting there for hours.”
“What do you think he’s doing?”
“Probably wishing he’d just accepted His Highnesses’ offer - did you see how angry he was?”
“I know! I’ve never seen him so-”

The gossiping guards were interrupted by an unexpected arrival. The Colonel.

“Sir, what are you doing down here!?”

“I’m here to see the prisoner. Is there a problem with that?

“N..no. Of course not. Go right ahead, sir.”

Walking past his steel armoured subordinates, the Colonel entered the dungeons. Unlike the palace above, these corridors were lit by small torches, the spluttering flames struggling to cope with the damp air. The two Royal guards posted at the next door eyed him with suspicion, but stepped to the side without attempting to stop him. Good. Nice to see he still commanded some respect, even from those lawless mercenary’s.

The next part of the dungeon was much like the last, the only difference the thick metal bars that crossed the room, separating him from the man who sat on the cell floor. The prisoner, his eyes closed, didn’t react as the senior guard entered the room. At least, not at first.

“What’s your name?”

The question caught him off guard, but only for a moment.

“Colonel Erikson, Master-at-Arms.”

“………”
“…can I call you Erik? Excellent, Erik it is. I assume you’re the one in charge of the steel armoured guards, correct? What about the golden guys, who’s in charge of them?”

“Err….the Royal Guards answer to King Darius himself. They are his men, and are charged with keeping him safe from all harm.”

“They aren’t from around here, are they? Let me guess - hired mercenary’s, probably sailed up from the southern deserts looking for easy work. You don’t like Darius, do you?”

“I…I don’t know what you mean. His Highness is my life, the ruler of my home - would give my life to save his. He is-”

He’s a tyrant. His ‘Royal Guards’ strut around like they own the place, terrorising the people for fun. It took me a while to notice, but that’s why the streets are so empty - people are too scared to go outside, in case they end up as the next ‘dissidents’ who’re locked up for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“And you hate it. Don’t you?”

The young man’s eyes were open now - the pupils boring into his, irises almost glowing, such was the intensity of the light within.

“I…I don’t….”

“But, if you hate it so much, then why put up with it? The Royal’s may be tough, but you outnumber them ten to one. Unless…..……the mage? Of course - there’s no way any of you could take out a magician that powerful. Well, not unless you caught him by surprise, and that would be very difficult. And risky.”
“…….you know something, you may just be in luck. I could be just want you need. Let me tell you a secret - I didn’t lose my stuff in the Fog Falls. I don’t use weapons - I am a weapon. And, fortunately for you, I specialise in taking on mage’s. So, I’ll make you an offer - if I kill the mage and King, and chase off those mercenary thugs, you’ll let me and the golem go?”

“You….but………..…….even if I wanted to accept your offer, and I’m not saying I will, but, even if I did -I don’t have the keys to your cell. And these bars are solid iron. I’m sorry, but there’s no way you can do what you claim.”

The figure was unresponsive for a few moments. Then, he grinned.

“Oh yeah?”
Just watch me.

He moved faster than anything the old Colonel had ever seen.
One moment, he was sitting on the cold stone floor.
The next, he was standing, arms tearing the iron door to pieces as if it were nothing but paper.
And then he was out, twisted metal littering the floor around him.

The wooden door burst open, the two outside Royal Guards alerted by the sound of ripping metal.

They never stood a chance.

As the bodies stopped their death spasms, another group entered the room - the city guards Erikson had passed earlier. Before they could attack the man, they were stopped by an order from their Colonel. Confused, they watched as their commander tuned to the escaping prisoner.

“The other Royals will figure out something is wrong soon - they have to check in every few minutes using those pebbles on their belts. Cyrus enchanted them to allow instant communication between squads, though the normal city guards weren’t considered important enough to get any. The golem will have been taken to Cyrus’ quarters, in the centre of the palace - only Royal Guards are allowed within that part of the building, as my men have strict orders to stay out in all circumstances, on pain of death.”
“Good luck.”

---------------------------

Now, this was more like it!
Tearing through a royal palace, slaughtering evil assholes without a care in the world.
Beautiful.

As Si charged through the corridors, leaving nothing but death in his wake, he felt more alive than he had been for a long time.

Alas, it couldn’t go on forever - he had a job to do.

Refocusing on his surroundings, Si continued his search - he’d sensed it before, on a lower floor, but had lost the trail while facing a large group of Royals.
Wait, there it is!
Following the trail round the next corner brought him to his target - a large, solid oak door, the room beyond practically overflowing with magical energy.

---------------------------

The bastard had been gone a long time.
Not that Sen was complaining - he wasn’t really missing the whole dismantling thing. Not particularly.

He couldn’t stay here. He had to escape.
But……how?
Whatever his bounds were, they weren’t natural - most ordinary metals would have buckled under his immense strength, but these ones held fast. They must be magically reinforced. Damn.
And even if he could break them, with the state he was in, he wouldn’t make it ten metres.

The golem was broken out of his unhappy thoughts by what sounded like a tree falling over in the next room. Soon after, he heard another sound - a repetitive thumping from the other side of the laboratory door. Then the door gave way with a mighty crack, and in walked the last person Sen had expected to see.
The human, Simon Lex.

Except, he wasn’t human. Not fully anyway. Sen had suspected for a while that there was more to him then met the eye, and the blood-soaked blades sticking out of his arms only served to confirm those suspicions.

“Hey there Mr Metal. Miss me?”

“…..are you here to finish me off?”

“What!? Of course not - why would I want to do that? Weren’t you listening during that feast - I want that Stone destroyed, and it sounds very much like you want something similar. So, why kill a potential ally? Now, let’s get you free.”

Walking closer, Si got his first proper look at the golem. Or at least, what remained of him.

His entire left arm had been removed, along with a number of plates from his chest and abdomen. These pieces lay in a pile nearby, along with quite a few internal bits and pieces.

“Wow, he’s certainly done a number on you, that Cyrus.”

“Oh, it’s not as bad as it seems, really. He was surprisingly gentle.”
The lights in his eyes flashed red, his anger threatening to boil over.
“I’ll make sure to show him the same level of compassion when I return the favour”

Breaking the remaining restraints with a slash of his blade, Si helped the almost completely immobile golem over to his dismantled parts.

“Are you going to be alright?”

“Yes, I’ll be fine - nothing was damaged, so it should only take me a few minutes to repair myself. Don’t wait for me though - you should hurry ahead after the ones who did this.”
“Though, I’d appreciate it if you left the mage for me.”

“Heh.”
“No promises.”

---------------------------

The corridors were practically empty.
All the Royals must have either run away, or retreated to protect the King.
Not that it mattered - Darius was dead either way.

Finding the King’s royal chambers hadn’t been hard. Neither had breaking down the door. No, finding the occupant - that was the hard part.
Sighing in exasperation, Si scanned the deserted bedroom. Where were they? It was then that he heard the noises outside the window. Looking through the glass, Si realised he’d climbed higher than he’d thought - the King’s chambers seemed to have their own tower.
He also saw where the King was - boarding his yacht the large boat moored at the riverbank behind the palace.

As Si tried to figure out how he would get down there before the boat left, a door below him burst open - even from one hundred metres away, the red-eyed golem looked imposing. Snatching for their swords, the Royals nearest the door charged, and were promptly chopped in half by the construct’s massive axe. Sen had barely noticed them, all of his anger directed at the blue-robed mage 40 feet away.

Unfortunately, golems aren’t exactly known for their speed. The fireball hit him in the chest, blowing his half-repaired arm clean off. The force knocked him backwards and onto the ground, his metal armour buckling under the strain of the impact.
Before the mage could approach and finish Sen off, he was distracted by the shattering of glass.

Hitting the ground with the force of a cannonball, Si’s body struggled to hold together - ligaments straining, metallic bones splitting. Unable to balance properly on his weakened legs, Si was flung backwards by the blast of magical fire. Slumping to the ground, he watched, dazed, as Cyrus ran for the yacht, desperate to catch it before it set sail. Struggling to his feet, Si gave chase, tearing through the multiple golden armoured guards that tried to block his path.

Digging his claws into the wooden surface, Si began to climb the rapidly accelerating boat as it moved out into open water. Reaching the deck, he dodged the lightning bolt, seeing the magic coming before the spell was even fully cast. Running forward he lashed out with his blade, hoping to take the mage down before he could cause any more problems.
The metal sliced smoothly through the air, only encountering the resistance of the mage’s amulet, which split instantly.
The resulting blast of raw magic catapulted Si backwards, the last thing he saw before he hit the cold water.

---------------------------

Sunlight.
Rushing water.
Wet grass.

Opening his eyes, Si looked around - he was a rocky mountain path, standing on one of the rare patches of grass that seemed to spring out of nowhere. A waterfall cascaded down the rocks nearby. Turning, he looked back down the way he’d come - steps cut into the rock itself marked the path back down to Mordanfall.

The boat had been destroyed by the blast of magic - both King Darius and Cyrus the Magician presumed dead, as the wreckage had sunk to the bottom of the river.
Colonel Erik had come in soon after to clean up the mess - apparently, the city had always had a contingency plan in case the monarch had ever died, though he’d never wanted to put it to use.
Sen had survived the magical fireball, but not without injury - his left arm was beyond repair, and he found it very difficult to walk properly. While he wasn’t exactly happy about it, he had conceded that going after the Stone was impossible for him. He’d made Si promise to destroy it before letting him go.

Speaking of which, there wasn’t that much further to go.
Last edited by vid20 on Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The Ratings War: Be Careful What You Wish For. A forum game that's a bit different.

Destiny of the Stonetear Clan
Wields-two-shields - Goblin maiden
HP 5/5
ATT: 3 (1 + 2 short blade)
DEF: 5 (2 + Frostward: +2 DEF Melee attacks made against the wearer have a 25% chance to freeze the attacker, making it inactive for the next turn. + 1 light wooden shield)
Back pack
skull - just be glade it's not you
Skeleton key
Leather Armor +1
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Escape from Brassmoon
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby vid20 on Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:30 pm

Tranquillity
PicksUpSticks Jimmy one arm vs ArcticTornados Inti
PicksUpSticks wrote:The Showdown

Ok, lets try it again... Pooches, hide!

Jimmy bent down to one knee and straightened his shoulders as the orange feline made a quick cut and darted towards his backside. Jimmy waited to feel the pressure from the cat entering the large tear in the side of his bag before dropping his shoulders and taking off into a twenty yard dash before coming to a stop, setting his bag on the ground.

That was the best one yet buddy, come on out were almost at the town. Warm milk and warmer beds are waiting for us.

Mrow? Mrrrrowww

Oh common’ Pooches I am sure that there is no one who wants to kill us here. It’s not like were adventurers who keep randomly stumbling into story relevant situations at every possible chance.


Jimmy reached into his bag and tried to fish out his friend, instead, his hand found book he had permanently borrowed from Aloysius. Jimmy’s curiosity finally got the better of him, he pulled out the book a good shake, immediately throwing it to the side and diving for cover when pages started falling to the ground.

Sorry about that Pooches, I randomly decided to shake that book and some of… the…


Mrow.

Oh shut up, and get out of the bag. They probably will have no meaningful effect, this is no way, whatsoever, relevant to our journey.

Pooches poked his head out of the backpack as Jimmy walked over to inspect what surprises Aloysius had left for him. There was a moment of confusion before Jimmy collected everything and turned to his friend.

It’s a bunch of blank envelopes all sealed with random silver symbols… Well except for this one, it’s sealed in gold. Stay over there, I am going to open a silver one.




Oh…. Wow.





Jimmy could hardly believe how deceptive the town looked from afar. There was an unfathomable amount of people, far more than could realistically be housed, the streets were packed with people as he approached the outskirts. A genuine sense of joy, the first in a long time, overcame him as he got close.

It looks like there is some major event going on Pooches. We may not find a place to stay, but at least we wont be noticed, and may even have some entertainment.


Jimmy felt his shoulders spontaneously relax, his cat keeping close to his side as they tried entered the town without any suspicion.

They're here! It's Pooches and Jimmy!

Before he could react Jimmy was surrounded on all sides, he could barely grab Pooches before he was swarmed by a mob of people. He was able to place Pooches in his backpack while being forced forward by a wave of support. Encouraging shouts came from the mob as Jimmy desperately tried to figure out what was going on.

You can do it Jimmy! We love you!

Do what?

You can win this Jimmy, show Inti what a normal human can do!

INTI?! You what was that about Inti? Hold on one second!


Jimmy where is Pooches, your magical cat?

The cheers were becoming less and less coherent as he was pushed forward, they were chanting another name, but Jimmy couldn’t make it out over the chaos. He turned his gaze upwards as he saw a giant banner hanging between two buildings, before he even finished he was reaching into his bag for a potion.

Don’t Miss the Fight of the Century!

Jimmy One Arm v. Inti the Duskwalker!

Don’t miss your opportunity to watch the Bladeslinger and the Thief fight to the DEATH!



To hells with this, I am not fighting him.

Jimmy quickly drank his potion of invisibility and vanished from view. He quickly worked his way through the crowd towards the center of the town, as the way back was too congested with people.

How in the hell did he know I was coming here... Damn it Pooches, I should have listened to you.

Jimmy made a quick cut towards an open gap on the left side, breaking into what appeared to be a clear shot to the other side of the town. He was about to break into a sprint when he caught a glimpse of a golden figure emerging from the sea of people in front of him.

Oh Gods, let me get out of this. I can’t win this fight.

Jimmy quickly turned around only to find there was no one around him. A mob of people formed the edges of a circle; he could feel their eyes eagerly watching him. Jimmy stopped in his tracks and looked at his arm, watching the effects of the invisibility potion fade away.

Well… Shit.

Jimmy slowly turned to face Inti, avoiding direct eye contact while grabbing a handful of pills from his bag in the process. The golden warrior stood on the other side of the large circle of people, the dark purple crystal around his neck was pulsating with raw power. Inti raised his hand and the crowd fell completely silent.

So you are the one they call Jimmy; I will assume your tardiness is a result of a failed trick. I must admit I am rather disappointed to see that the one who challenged me is no more than a simple boy with a backpack.

Challenged you? I had no idea that you were here, why in the hells would I want to fight a fabled warrior with magical powers?

I do not know. I was told to be at this location, at this time, to answer the challenge of another seeker of the stone. I have had time to learn of your deceitful ways, so I apologize for not believing you didn’t plan this fight.

Jimmy swallowed the handful of pills.

I do not want to fight you.

Nor I you, give up your quest for the stone and go home. You reasons are corrupt and selfish, it is not worth your life.

I… I can’t. I won’t, I have come too far.


Then you are my enemy. The items in your hand tell me you are not yet ready, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Take your time to prepare yourself; there are people here with high expectations from you.

Jimmy sat and closed his eyes, trying desperately to remember the stories of Inti he heard long ago.

He has that magic flying sword, two forms of sand and gold, can create magical wards… I think he can breathe fire…?

Hey Inti… Can you breathe fire?

No.

Jimmy pulled out his obsidian dagger, drank a blue potion, and swallowed a few pills. His obsidian dagger was coated in a black vial. Finally, Jimmy pocketed a few metallic orbs before standing up and walking over to a small girl in the crowd. Reaching into his bag and pulling out Pooches.

Here girl. Can you take care of my cat if I don’t make it out of this, his name is Pooches. Just don’t let him go during the battle.

The girl smiled and nodded, taking the reluctant Pooches. Jimmy turned around to face Inti, his molten gold skin had been replaced by a exterior of sand and earth. Jimmy reached into his bag and palmed two compact bombs and a pill while Inti drew his sword. A moment of silence hung in the air before Inti spoke.

May this fight not be remember by the actions of the winner, but let this fight be remembered as a story of the honorable final battle the defeated.

Inti raised his sword and pointed it at Jimmy.

Whenever you are ready.

Inti watched the thief as he slowly brought his hand to his face. He saw the faintest of smiles before disappearing entirely from view

Jimmy felt the invisibility pill take effect as it shrouded him from view. The instantaneous roar of crowd seemed dull as he watched the crystal begin to pulsate. The thief grabbed his smoke bomb, and tossed at Inti, and pulled out his dagger.

Inti watched the thief drop out of sight, he raised his sword to a guard as he waited for the crystal to take effect. As the bomb appeared in midair, Inti’s protective seal was made almost instantly. He side stepped as the small metallic object exploded into a large cloud of smoke. Out of the corner of his eye he caught the outline of the thief running in the opposite direction; Inti calmly turned and acted like he didn’t notice.

Jimmy’s heart leaped as watched as Inti turned to face the smoke, exposing his back to the thief. He raised the dagger, preparing to strike into the warrior in the side of the neck.

Inti waited patiently with his back turned until he felt the thief begin his strike. He effortlessly turned and parried the attack with one hand, and completed his seal with the other. A burst of energy struck Jimmy in the chest and sent him flying across the ring. An uproar of approval came from the crowd.

Jimmy landed hard on his back, scrambling back to his feet. When he turned to fact the warrior all he saw was Inti’s sword hurling towards his chest. With little time to react, Jimmy lurched sideways in an attempt to dodge the weapon. He felt the sword connect with his backpack, tearing it into pieces.

NO!

Inti watched at the thief’s backpack almost explode off of his back. An assortment of potions, weapons, papers, and random tools he has never seen before started spilling from the pack. His hand quickly formed a seal as he recalled his sword back to his side. Inti began to break apart as he transformed into a whirlwind of sand.

This was not the battle I expected, seems you really are just a boy with a bag of tricks.

Jimmy threw the backpack off his shoulder as he hit the ground, he watched as Inti begin to break apart into a whirlwind of sand. Jimmy quickly drank a pill of iron-skin from his pocket; and while he felt his skin harden it was still not enough to negate Inti’s wrath.

Jets of sand cut and dug into Jimmy’s skin, Inti controlled himself as he attacked from all different angles. He was surprised at his resilience; as such an attack should have killed a normal human outright. A hit to the back on the head sent Jimmy to his knees as the crowd roared with approval.

Jimmy hit the ground yet again, the pain from the cuts was too much for him to handle. He looked down at his hand, seeing it on top of one of Aloysius letters. The thief grabbed the letter and ripped it open with his teeth, and was once again knocked back by a blast of force.

Inti watched as Jimmy tore open the letter, and immediately regretted allowing him to do so. The letter instantly erupted in a violent tornado. Inti tried desperately to reform himself as he could feel himself being taken away by the storm. The once cheering crowd was now running for cover as the tornado formed in the middle of the town.

Jimmy watched as everything was sucked away by the deadly winds. Inti, along with all of the contents of his backpack was absorbed and taken out of sight. The thief sat in silence for the entire duration of the spell, when its effects finally ended there was not a singe sign of Inti.

The entire town sat in silence as they tried to comprehend what had just happened, it wasn’t until Jimmy’s belongings started falling to the ground that the mob mentality took over. A riot erupted as everyone attempted to get a souvenir. Jimmy sat in silence watching everything be taken from him, his eyes fixed on the skies.

In the clouds miles above the town a small ball of sand began to form and drop back to the earth. As Inti felt his power return and more of his body accumulated.

Back on the ground citizens were running for cover as the lighter bombs and potions came crashing to the ground. A few citizens continued to search for some of Jimmy’s equipment, but the majority had fled the area entirely. Jimmy, however, was oblivious to all of this; his attention was focused on a humanoid figure slowly transforming to a molten gold. It wasn’t until he heard a familiar call that he turned his gaze.

Mrow!

Pooches! We have to go, NOW!


The thief turned and watched Pooches dart across the town, dodging falling objects along the way. Jimmy got up and ran towards his friend, looking for the fastest way out of the town.

The last of Inti formed together as he finished transforming into molten gold. He reached to his side and pulled out Flack’s sword, forming a seal with the other hand.

Jimmy was only a few yards away from Pooches when Inti finished his teleporting seal. The force in the impact crushed the ground beneath him. The force knocked Jimmy off his feet. He quickly recovered to see Inti in front of him with his sword drawn, beneath him was the crushed body of his only friend.

Pooches! No! Gods damn you!

Inti looked down at the corpse of the cat, he recognized it immediately from the tales he heard. When he looked up Jimmy was inches from tackling the warrior. The force of the impact was far greater than he expected from someone the thief’s size, the sword flew from his hand as they both hit the ground

Jimmy struggled as one of Inti’s hands grabbed his neck, the molten skin burning his flesh. Jimmy kicked Inti's other hand as it tried desperately to make a seal, pinning it with his foot after. His hand drew the obsidian dagger, and before Inti could react he forced the tip of the dagger into the warriors throat.

Inti felt cold blade enter the side of his throat, the poisonous coating seeped into his body draining him of his magical abilities. He felt his grip on the thief loosen as his body went limp. Inti’s head fell hopelessly to the side as he watched the thief get off of him and recover the body of a small orange cat.

Jimmy ignored the severe burns on his body as they scarred his flesh. He ignored the dangers of the items falling around him. He ignored the body of the defeated warrior next to him. Jimmy simply sat in the middle of the town holding the body of his friend.

Pooches, I am so sorry… But don’t worry, I will bring you back. I promise.

Jimmy reached down and took Inti’s small pouch of holding, putting Pooches and whatever else he could find in the bag.

As he walked away from the now deserted town, Jimmy watched as a single envelope fell from the sky and directly into his path. He chuckled to himself as he turned it over, seeing the gold seal. He put it into his pocket as he walked away.

Well Pooches, I guess you were right.


ArcticTornado wrote:Farhold. The final gateway. Beyond its’ walls lay the wastes surrounding the opening to the very heart of the world. And yet, against all logic, it thrived. No trade routes ran through it, it was not an adventuring base, nor a mining town, nor a centre of magic or innovation. It simply thrived in its own little bubble, untouched by war, or hardship, or excitement. So, when two great adventurers were said to be heading straight for it, it caused a bit of a stir...

Inti walked up to the great gates of Farhold, a heavy travelling cloak obscuring his face. He was manifesting the storm, dark blue skin being harder to spot than gold, and slightly less distinctive than skin of sand. They would have seen his coming from miles away, but he had little choice in the matter. He knocked hesitantly on the door, his head bowed. The doors were pulled back at once, releasing a roar of excitement from behind them. People rushed forwards and dragged the cloak from Inti’s shoulders before he could react, and some kind of garland was placed on his head. Everywhere was a whirlwind of colour and excited babbling faces. “What?” he managed to say.

“It’s your party of course! We all want to hear all about your adventures! Especially some of the young women, eh.” A man to his right hollered in his ear, nudging him in the ribs.
“I’m ma-“ started Inti, but the man was whisked away by the crowd.

The crowd pushed, almost carried Inti to a stage in the centre of the town, where a table was covered in food and drink of all kinds, and a group of bards was playing to the huge crowd that had formed. The sides of the street were lined with tables from the local pubs, ready to serve to the brewing party. Inti was propelled onto the stage and more or less forced to sit in one of two huge chairs at the table. His eyes lit up at the sight of the whole roast chicken in front of him, and he grabbed it with both hands and took a ravenous bite out of it. Someone in the crowd started to cheer, and this way quickly taken up by the rest of the crowd as Inti demolished the chicken. He had not tasted food this good in months, and his frame was becoming unpleasantly lean. A tankard of mead lay close at hand, and he grabbed it and washed down the remains of the chicken in one long drink. Next he grabbed roasted carrots, a bowful of soup, a rabbit leg, freshly cooked bread, anything and everything in reach. He spent the next few minutes in bliss, eating as much food of as many different types as he possibly could. Finally, when he had to stop eating or vomit, he leaned back in his chair, and let out a truly impressive belch. This met with wild approval from the crowd, who seemed to be enjoying the show. He picked up another drink and downed it, thoroughly caught up in the moment. He got clumsily to his feet, his stomach weighing him down. This was Inti’s guilty pleasure. He could never resist the chance to make a show when people were looking for one.

“Helllllllllooooooooooo Farhold!” He called out, loudly. “Are you here for tales of death, danger, and foreign lands? I have stories that will chill your blood, warm your heart, make you howl with laughter, or weep with sorrow! But first, I see the bartenders are looking glum! Why not lighten their mood along with your pockets? We have many hours of merriment ahead of us!”

The next few hours were a happy blur of odd moments: “And then, I snuck up behind him, grabbed him, and, CAW! CAW! CAW!”
“The stolen ring was hidden in the very room it was taken from!”
Half the town performing an orc rain dance he had taught them...
“’That’s all the same to you’ said the duchess, ‘but what am I to do with a lycanthrope in the pantry?’”
Staging a mock duel atop the table as dusk fell, with much over-dramatisation and one-liners...

It was dark now, but the party continued unaffected. Huge braziers lit the street, heedless of the creeping clouds beginning to blot out the stars. “Hey, put this on, and I’ll teach you all an elvish war-dance.” Inti called, tossing small containers of war-paint into the audience. He smeared two lines of it across his cheeks in demonstration. Then he spotted a small knot moving through the crowd, the silhouette of one a one-armed man visible against the braziers.
“Jimmy! Jimmy! Jimmy!” came the chant, as the man was pushed onto the stage next to Inti.
“A fellow adventurer!” He boomed, drunkenly. “Wha brings you to this beautiful town?” He grabbed Jimmy’s one hand and shook it, enthusiastically. “Wha’s that they were chanting? Jimmy? Three cheers for Jimmy!” He put his arm around Jimmy’s shoulders and gave the crowd three enthusiastic bows.

Jimmy could hardly believe his luck. Not only was this fool unaware of his purpose here, but he was drunk out of his wits. As Inti bowed, Jimmy’s fingers worked quickly, placing a razor wire noose around Inti’s bag of holding on the first bow, and poisons on his sword hilts on the second and third. So, wha’s your story, Jimmy?”
“Oh, I heard there was a pair of magical rings nearby that would give the wearer the strength of a dragon and the magic of an archmage. I mean, I’d only be able to use at once, but still, it’s a prize no sane man would pass up... I was hoping to find someone to help me get them here.” The trap was set, and now the bait was placed. It was quick work, but the old ring story had worked before, and he appeared to be outwitting a drunkard. Just lure him away from the town... “I s’pose it’s a good loot for a newbie like yoursel’. Me, ‘m going after the most powerful artefact in all existence. Lotta madmen want it, ‘m gonna stop them. Can you imagine what you’d do with somethin’ like tha’?”

A vicious look crossed Jimmy’s face for a second, but Inti gave no sign of noticing. He looked down at the empty tankard in his hand and sighed. “’M gonna call it a night, people. Jimmy here can entertain you fer a while. ‘m gonna go sleep, we should do this again some time.” Inti ambled towards the inn, leaving Jimmy the centre of a still very eager crowd.


Inti staggered up to the door of his room at the inn, and more or less fell through it. He shut the door, steadying himself on it, then straightened. He quickly set a series of warding glyphs on the floor, before lying down on the bed fully dressed, and sleeping in the most comfort he had for weeks.

Sure enough, he woke to the sound of a slamming door, and hurried footsteps. Inti did not hurry. He got up from the bed and looked out the window. The stars were obscured by thick cloud, but it was still definitely night. The party seemed to have broken up. He crossed to the door opened it cautiously. A hastily-scrawled note lay on the floor outside the door.

Inti
I need your help to get the rings. You can have your pick of either of them if you help me. Meet me on the central stage to discuss.
Jimmy

Inti read the note, then stepped out of his room, closing the door behind him, and walked through the silent inn to the street outside. The braziers had died down now, the light form their embers casting long shadows on the ground. Inti climbed the stage, but there was no sign of Jimmy. Until, that is, there came a faint breeze on his neck, and the whispered words “don’t do anything sudden.” Damn, he was good.

Jimmy stepped out from behind Inti, circling round him like a duelist. He held the dagger at just the right height to be knocked away by a sword, an open invitation to Inti. “So, you’re the dustwalker. The man we never met. I can’t say I’m impressed. An arrogant drunkard is all you are. Did you not believe a cripple could pose a threat? Now here you are, alone, at night, my weapon at your throat.”
A few drops of rain hit the stage, and Inti replied. “What do you want, Jimmy? You could have killed me before I knew you were there.”
“No. There were too many unknowns. It was possible you were ready for me. Now I know what you know.”
Inti nodded slowly, then replied “You have me at your mercy then. What do you want?”
“Answers. I have done my homework on you, Inti. I know you had a wife at home. I know you abandoned her to face almost certain death miles away from home. Why? Why would you do that?” Jimmy blinked. He was getting too into this, he just needed to provoke Inti into drawing his weapon.

A pained look crossed Inti’s face, and the electricity in his eyes dimmed slightly. “If there were any other way, I would take it. Believe me, Jimmy, there is no place I would rather be than home. But I had to leave, so that there would be a home to return to. You see, one day I had a vision of the stone, and the world burning. My home burning. Quilla burning. I tried to ignore it, I tried to tell myself it was just a dream. I discussed it with Quilla, we agreed to do nothing. It would not happen, we would defend ourselves if it did, the stone would be taken by a good man. But then, of course, there was you. I left because of you, Jimmy.” A look of shock and hurt crossed Jimmy’s face, and Inti struck. He stepped forward and headbutted Jimmy, hard in the nose. Thrown off balance and taken completely by surprise, Jimmy fell backwards, landing hard. Inti’s hand shot to his bag of holding, and ripped off the razorwire trap. Then he reached in, grabbed a small bottle of potion, and poured it over his sword handles, neutralising the poison Jimmy had placed there.

Rain began to fall heavily as Jimmy scrambled to his feet, and Inti drew his favoured sword. The two circled on the stage, Inti looking fearsome with the warpaint still on his face. “I heard you were after the stone. That you intended to resurrect your dead master, just to kill him again. I asked myself, what kind of man would do that? I struggled to imagine the depraved mind that would do such a thing, so I looked into you. You killed your master with a spork, and took his backpack of holding. Both understandable. But then you kept the backpack, and the spork, though you knew both would make you easier to find. Sadly, one-armed beggars are not rare, you could have disappeared easily enough. It became clear to me why you did this, however, when I learned about your fighting style. You manipulate things so that your opponent is defeated before the battle even begins. You outwit them, best them, and then leave them. But most tellingly, there are easier methods of resurrection. You could accomplish this without going after the greatest prize in the world, and you know this. But here, I think, you saw a chance to chance to prove that you were better than everyone else. That’s what you want, isn’t it Jimmy? To prove to everyone, and maybe to yourself, that you are better than them.” The stage was slick with rain now, the wind was picking up. Jimmy’s was a perfect poker face. Inti struck, lightning-fast, but Jimmy was just in time to block with his obsidian dagger.

“What would you with the stone, Jimmy? I’m sure that revenge would be enough at first, but then what? You start doing the same to people like your master? Then people who could’ve helped but didn’t? Then the rich? Then the less rich? Sooner or later, you would take revenge on the whole world, I think. Your ego demands it.” Inti struck again, and again, driving Jimmy back. “And that is why I left. Because I knew that if a man like you got the stone, then everything I love would be destroyed. And I cannot allow that to happen. I knew that most people would stand no chance against you, Jimmy. You are too clever, too quick, for them. But I knew you. I knew your means, your motives, your weaknesses. And I knew how to beat you.” Inti had driven Jimmy back to the very edge of the stage now. “You came here prepared to defeat a foolish drunkard. Instead, you found me. And your preparations, though clever, will not help you now.” Lightning struck nearby, and Jimmy jumped backwards in shock. He fell backwards off the stage, landing in a puddle and cracking his skull open on the stones. Blood mixed with the water, but Jimmy was unfazed, his brain luckily failing to register the pain, just like the thousand other bruises and dysfunctions within his body he simply wasn’t aware of.

“It comes down a match of skill now.” Called Inti, as Jimmy got back up and backed away. “I can’t be sure who will win, but this is the best hope I have.” Jimmy furiously grabbed potions from his backpack and downed them, backing away as Inti jumped down from the stage, not quite running to reach him. People began appearing at the edges of the street, alerted by the noise and the sight of the two adventurers fighting. Most of them still had their warpaint on. “Rain dances,” noted Inti “never underestimate them... you do know there’s a limit to how much magic the human body can take, right?” He said, as Jimmy drank his fifth potion. Jimmy hurled the empty bottle at Inti, who simply blocked it with a ward. “I’d be dead if I didn’t.”

Jimmy leapt at, over Inti. He passed within inches of his head, striking three times in the split second he was in reach. The first hit broke Inti’s ward. The second met his sword , and the third, only partially deflected, cut a long furrow in the skin of his head. Jimmy flew across the stage, landing next to the growing crowd on the other side, skidding in the water. He didn’t register the pain, but his arms and legs were badly bruised and shaken from far exceeding their usual limits.

On the other side of the stage, Inti touched his hand to his face, one finger on each streak of warpaint “Os! E! Theh!” in front of Jimmy’s eyes, the appearances of the crowd shimmered and warped, taking on the appearance of the genasi.
“Shit, pooches. I need a potion of true seeing.”
“I know it’s risky, but I’ll just have to not use any healing potions.”
Jimmy downed his sixth potion, and the faces returned to normal, aside from a red tinge creeping in at the edges of his vision. He turned and ran back towards Inti. He jumped over the stage in one leap, time seeming slow as his mind and body worked at dangerous speeds. He saw Inti standing there in a cloud of spray whipped up by the wind, noticed how the edges of the dark blue form were diffuse, trailing into the writhing mists around him. Inti’s sword shimmered with raw magic, and lightning was coiling itself like a serpent around his left hand. Jimmy glided silently through the air toward him, his wet clothes pulled back by the wind, his dagger held ready. Inti was too slow, and Jimmy’s slash of the dagger hit Inti in the side, cutting him badly, barely slowed by the leather armour. Then the coiled lightning leapt from Inti to Jimmy, wrapping around his legs, scorching and binding them. His legs trapped, Jimmy crashed down onto the cobbles, bounced, and slid along his front, coming to rest at the feet of the crowd.


Ribs were broken, he could feel it. Jimmy coughed up a red goblet of blood, and the crowd jumped backwards in disgust. He got unsteadily to his feet and looked down at his front. It was a bloody mess, layers of skin were simply gone in some places, his right leg looked dislocated, and he might have broken his jaw on a stone. He glanced at Inti, he was seemed busy was with his own wounds. Jimmy gritted his teeth, grabbed his leg with his hand, wedged himself against the uneven stones, and pulled. The leg popped back into place easily enough, the pain barely more than a dull burning to his damaged brain. He quickly prodded himself, finding that nothing more seemed to be broken, though the back of his head was slick with his own blood.

Inti fell to one knee, clutching at his side. His breathing was fast and shallow, but he forced himself to breathe normally, calming himself down. He ripped his armour off, exposing the deep cut to the wind and rain. Then, he pulled a potion of resistance to poison from the bag at his side, and drank. As the rain hit the bare skin, it seemed to smudge, the edges becoming indistinct, Inti’s skin becoming more mist than solid. The two halves of the cut mingled together, and gradually started to disappear.

Inti turned slowly to face Jimmy. From the waist up he was wreathed in dark blue mist, making it almost impossible to say where he ended and the storm began. The lines of electricity that criss-crossed his body were writhing, arcing, yearning to be free. The tattered remains of his armour flapped wildly in the wind, and his ancestral sword was shimmering electric-blue. Jimmy stood with his dagger held high, bloodied but ready.

Inti took a step. His stride was deliberate, unyielding. Then another. He approached Jimmy inexorably, his arms at the side, not even in a combat pose. One last step, then Jimmy struck, his dagger shooting for the genasi’s heart in the blink of an eye. But Inti was gone. He ducked around the dagger, moving with, as, a gust of wind. His sword swung out under Jimmy’s outstretched arm, slicing down the right side of his chest. But the real damage came from the magic on the sword. Inti hadn’t refined it, but simply allowed a load of raw magic to run into Jimmy’s body. Normally it would just diffuse harmlessly through him. But with enough magic already in the body, it would simply overload it.

Jimmy stumbled from his missed lunge, almost falling, but somehow recovering despite the hit from the sword, staggering forward a few feet. Then his arm spasmed, throwing his dagger away into the dark. Shivers ran all over his body, with an all-too real sensation of his flesh crawling. His legs gave way, twitching and jerking of their own accord, and he collapsed.
“Sorry Pooches, I have no choice.”
Jimmy forced his shaking hand into his backpack, and pulled out a healing potion. The red had almost reached the centre of his vision when he managed to force it to his lips.
“No!” Inti roared “It’s only going to knock you unconscious! Do you have – Shit!”
Jimmy had swallowed the potion, and the effects were instantaneous. His skin lit up bright yellow, shining through his ragged clothes, his skin bubbling sickeningly. “Of all the potions, you had to use healing!” Screamed Inti “The damn thing’s designed to mess with your body in the first place!” Jimmy’s nails sprouted into long, thick talons, the muscles in his legs and arm swelled up. He turned around to face Inti, blood leaking from his eyes, ears, and nose. Inti shouted at the top of his lungs to get the crowd’s attention “RUN! THAT THING WILL KILL YOU ALL!”

Inti sheathed his sword and drew Flack’s, now that there was no hope of a non-leathal outcome. The magic would burn out in a few mintues. Jimmy’s brain would burn out about a minute before. The beast let out a horrible half scream, half roar, driving the crowd back to the safety of their homes.

Inti stared down the remains of Jimmy, waiting. The longer before it attacked, the greater his chances of survival. No sooner had this thought crossed his mind than the beast attacked, making fast, evidently powerful blows. Fortunately, it seemed to recognise the power of the sword Inti held, and avoided coming into contact with it, pulling blows short to avoid it. But all too quickly, a hit got through. It wasn’t much, Inti had almost managed to dodge it completely, but he caught a nasty punch on the side of the head, sending him reeling. Then a second punch caught him in the gut, sending him crashing down onto the stones. There was only one thing left to do. Inti hurled Flack’s sword straight at the thing, which was too surprised to dodge, and it flew straight through its’ shoulder, severing the remaining arm, and slicing a hole in the side of the backpack.
“Mrrrrow?” Pooches slid out of the bag onto the floor, and the beast turned to look at it in surprise.
“Ches?” growled the beast.
“Mrrow.” The thing that was Jimmy knelt down, and rubbed his forehead against the cat, tears mingling with the blood running from its eyes. Inti turned away, leaving Jimmy his last moments in private. He retrieved his sword, and walked out of the city, into the wastes beyond civilisation.


SPOILERS:that's it, judging has now begun.. only one more round to go!
The Ratings War: Be Careful What You Wish For. A forum game that's a bit different.

Destiny of the Stonetear Clan
Wields-two-shields - Goblin maiden
HP 5/5
ATT: 3 (1 + 2 short blade)
DEF: 5 (2 + Frostward: +2 DEF Melee attacks made against the wearer have a 25% chance to freeze the attacker, making it inactive for the next turn. + 1 light wooden shield)
Back pack
skull - just be glade it's not you
Skeleton key
Leather Armor +1
Jar of Blue Energy

Escape from Brassmoon
Kritanta - kobold rogue. -died turn 135 RIP
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vid20
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby knucklekraken on Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:41 am

Wow. I will be voting Inti... and I'm not sure about the other. Is that m0rt's whole story?
Avatar by arles.

Member of the Irregulators. Reticulating splines since 2011.

Here are stats for a player race I created, compatible with 3.5 D&D. Please steal.

SPOILERS:Tasty People
+2 Charisma: Tasty People have strong natural pheromones.
-2 Wisdom: Tasty People have a racial predisposition for making bad decisions.
When faced with an encounter involving a predatory creature, a Tasty Person must make a Charisma Check. If the DC (15) is met, the creature will attack the Tasty Person to the exclusion of other targets who are not also Tasty People who have met this DC. The DC should be modified for monsters with a strong sense of smell, I leave this to your discretion as a DM. The monster is not forced to attack the Tasty Person if doing so would cause it to take an attack of opportunity.
A Tasty Person's starting class should be treated as his favored class.

Tasty People speak Common.
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby ReadsVoraciously on Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:23 am

No, the majority of m0rt's story is not posted.
Current Games:
Clan Rampage - GM - Come check it out!
Capture the Flag - Nose-In-A-Book
The Awesomesword Wanes - Thinks Twice - Teller/Heal-Bitch
The Clan of the Connected Mesh - Casts the First Stone
The Lost Chapter Clan - Follows Tracks - Lvl 4 Ranger
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby m0rtimer on Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:47 am

Woah woah woah. Crap. I somehow managed to fail-paste my final submission. :nervous:

Anyways, without further adue, have the actual full story: (will edit later if Vid20 fixes it. My fault, sorry! :nervous: )

edit: it's posted up above now. Thanks Vid!
Last edited by m0rtimer on Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ME JAM STICK IN STONE. ME CREATE LEVER.

goblin heroes - Completed
threads of reality - in progress
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby PicksUpSticks on Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:15 am

Anyone know that feeling you get when you re-read the story and you catch all the simple mistakes and irregular sentences you made when quickly trying to re-edit?


Waiting on M0rts second half of the story before judging.

I like the evil selfish interpretation of Jimmy, and how we both had some common themes in our fights :lol:

I had the longest debate about how to defeat Inti, I really wanted to capture his head in his pouch of holding as he tried to turn into a sandstorm... I just couldn't get it to work out properly.
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby Dusk9 on Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:05 am

I just finished reading M0rt's (full) entry, and I've got to say: I loved it!

The dialogue between Si and Sen was exactly how I imagined it to be, and very similar to what I was planning to put in mine (with the obvious difference of Sen being the one to give up on the Stone, unable to continue because of the damage caused by Cyrus the Mage). And I like how we both had the same idea of putting the King and one of his men in the role of common enemy to both Si and Sen. I'm pretty sure that even my fully completed, non-rushed version wouldn't have been good enough to beat your entry.


As for the Inti vs Jimmy fight - I thought they both had good and bad points. And I actually found them to be quite similar in terms of enjoyment and grammer. But, in the end, I'm going to go with Inti.
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Hears-Disembodied-Voices
Lvl 1 Berserker ~ Exp: 9/10 ~ HP: 6/6 ~ Atk: 4 (+1~Rage) ~ Def: 4 (+1~50%) (+1~Rage)
Traits: Automatic Combat Rage; Jekyll and Hyde
Tower Game
Dusk ~ Lvl 2 Wraith Rogue ~ Exp: 2/3 ~ Atk: 2 ~ DEX: 1/4 ~ CON 6 ~ HP: 2/8
Skills: Stealth (1DEX/turn); Sneak Attack; Detect Trap (1DEX, R2)
Lair of the Mountain King
Eaten-By-Rabbits ~ HP: 3/5 ~ Atk: 1 ~ Def: 1
Capture the Flag (CTF) ~ on hiatus
Runs-into-Hard-Surfaces ~ Lvl 8 Trainee Attacker ~ Exp: 46/52
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby m0rtimer on Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:00 pm

Just read all entries. My vote goes to Inti, though more commentary down below.

Firstly, Dusks entry. Don't beat yourself up Dusk, if anything we're on equal footing here, and you might win just as well. I only have two negative things to say about it:

1: character: Don't get me wrong, your characters were good!But they seemed to be missing... Flavor, if you get what I mean. The mage just seemed to be a powerful plot device, the evil king was just an evil king, etcetera.
To point at my work, I think I managed to catch the "crazy eccentric king" look well. Though that's just me saying that, you be the judge. (PS: To complete the picture, picture everything he says in the voice of Sheogorath from Oblivion)

2: The rushed ending: alas, you said it would be the case.

Now, review about Jimmy and Inti. It's a hard decision, and I don't really have anything productive to say to be honest. Either could win in my case, though I believe to be what Arctic delivered to be just that inch better. However, I do have a single question/complaint.

In all if not most of your entries so far Arctic, the enemy is always portrayed as the bad guy. And in this case, it wasn't just bad, it was bad cheating bastard that causes his own doom in a horrible manner.
Now, on itself that wouldn't be so bad, if they actually were that evil. And whilst I see what you did with the character, I believe that the intent of the character was and always will be "The lonely thief with a tragic past", which would either end up in the end becoming evil after all, or having a change of heart. Considering what happened to Pooches, my guess is the second thing.
So, what I'm wondering is, is this because you have trouble with lampshading a character, and still making it look as to what your own character does is justified, or is this writing style just what you do best? (Not entirely the question I guess I want to ask, but the best way I can phrase it.)
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby Dusk9 on Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:32 pm

m0rtimer wrote:1: character: Don't get me wrong, your characters were good!But they seemed to be missing... Flavor, if you get what I mean. The mage just seemed to be a powerful plot device, the evil king was just an evil king, etcetera.
To point at my work, I think I managed to catch the "crazy eccentric king" look well. Though that's just me saying that, you be the judge. (PS: To complete the picture, picture everything he says in the voice of Sheogorath from Oblivion)


Yeah, the ending wasn't the only thing I rushed - I was planning on having the scene jump back to the King and Mage repeatedly so we could see what was happening from their view as Si chased them through the Palace. After the jail escape scene we were supposed to see them talking in the corridors (Mage chattering excitedly about how amazing the golem's systems are; King angry that the Mage couldn't find any way to control the golem and that the human prisoner wouldn't be any more use then a normal guard), before they are attracted to the sound of fighting and see Si killing a bunch of Royal guards in a courtyard below. Then, after Si saved Sen, it was supposed to show them retreating to the bedchambers and trying to contact the Colonel with one of the magic stones, then the King's reaction when Erik ignored his orders. Finally, there was going to be a scene where Si climbed in through one of the boat's portholes as it sailed away (instead of onto the deck) and confronted the King directly, before the Mage interrupted by blasting a hole in the boat as Si destroyed the amulet.

So, as I said, quite a lot had to be cut for me to finish in time. Though it was really my own fault for not finishing it over the weekend :grumble:

And yes, you did catch the 'eccentric mad king' feeling very well :D
Threads of Reality
Hears-Disembodied-Voices
Lvl 1 Berserker ~ Exp: 9/10 ~ HP: 6/6 ~ Atk: 4 (+1~Rage) ~ Def: 4 (+1~50%) (+1~Rage)
Traits: Automatic Combat Rage; Jekyll and Hyde
Tower Game
Dusk ~ Lvl 2 Wraith Rogue ~ Exp: 2/3 ~ Atk: 2 ~ DEX: 1/4 ~ CON 6 ~ HP: 2/8
Skills: Stealth (1DEX/turn); Sneak Attack; Detect Trap (1DEX, R2)
Lair of the Mountain King
Eaten-By-Rabbits ~ HP: 3/5 ~ Atk: 1 ~ Def: 1
Capture the Flag (CTF) ~ on hiatus
Runs-into-Hard-Surfaces ~ Lvl 8 Trainee Attacker ~ Exp: 46/52
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby ArcticTornado on Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:38 pm

Hmm. Excellent point M0rt. I think it's always been a trait in my writing to exaggerate characters attributes, to make them more entertaining for me to write and more memorable. In my defence, I don't just make shit up about the other characters. I look at things they've done in their bio, traits mentioned in passing, and build on them, possibly taking them too far. Jimmy genuinely does intend to resurrect his master just to kill him again. Necromancy and murder makes someone pretty messed up to begin with, and if you give such a person infinite power, Inti's deductions about what might happen are fairly logical. I didn't say that widespread destruction was Jimmy's intention now, just that it was likely to happen if he got the stone. I did try not to take it too far, like I did with Flacks.

Inti as a character has to be able to justify his actions for me to able to write him, as well. If he can't justify his actions to himself, how can I explain them in the context of the story?

So, in summary, The answer to your question is a bit of both, and I think I need to improve my use of character arcs as well. My previous entries have been the continuation of both character arcs, since both protagonists survived. As an ending, this probably deserved more thought.

Ok, so I have now read all three other entries. Stick's was entertaining and enjoyable, I thought, probably the lightest entry this round.

Choosing between Sen and Si is really difficult, partially because both entries are quite similar. I will say, though, that I ended up reading Sen's entry as canon, so I might cast my vote that way. Not sure though...

Unfortunately, if I make it through this one, I'm going to need an extenstion on the time to write the next round, since the deadline falls in a week of hugely important exams.
Chief Gets to the Chopper
2/6 HP :: 0/12 Inf
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ATK: 4-6 (+2 Brakeblade, +1 Thief Blade, +0/+1 Thief Armor (25%), +0/+1 Short Blade Specialty (50%))
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby vid20 on Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:42 am

Results are in

Semi finals!
How to Host a Murder

M0rtimers SerV3 defeats Dusk9s Simon Emrys Lex’Ander


Tranquillity

ArcticTornados Inti defeats PicksUpSticks Jimmy one arm

so it's ArcticTornados Inti vs M0rtimers SerV3 in the finals.

Arena and time frame to be posted shortly. I'll just give you all a bit of time to absorb the fact that this is almost over.
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby Dusk9 on Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:37 am

Can't say I'm really surprised by that outcome :grumble: :P

Congrats M0rt, the better writer won - just do me a favour and show that Sandman (Inti) who's boss :evilgrin: :lol:
Threads of Reality
Hears-Disembodied-Voices
Lvl 1 Berserker ~ Exp: 9/10 ~ HP: 6/6 ~ Atk: 4 (+1~Rage) ~ Def: 4 (+1~50%) (+1~Rage)
Traits: Automatic Combat Rage; Jekyll and Hyde
Tower Game
Dusk ~ Lvl 2 Wraith Rogue ~ Exp: 2/3 ~ Atk: 2 ~ DEX: 1/4 ~ CON 6 ~ HP: 2/8
Skills: Stealth (1DEX/turn); Sneak Attack; Detect Trap (1DEX, R2)
Lair of the Mountain King
Eaten-By-Rabbits ~ HP: 3/5 ~ Atk: 1 ~ Def: 1
Capture the Flag (CTF) ~ on hiatus
Runs-into-Hard-Surfaces ~ Lvl 8 Trainee Attacker ~ Exp: 46/52
Feats: Sprint Awareness 3; Improved Dodge 2; Nimble 1; Sprint Endurance 1
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby m0rtimer on Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:18 am

Image

I will regret this later at an yet unspecified time.
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby PicksUpSticks on Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:36 am

Guess Jimmy's bag is out of tricks.

I am not surprised that I lost that game, one again I feel as if it was to the superior writer (Sorry Reads).

For someone who is horrendous at writing; I am proud to finish in the top four. It has given my level of confidence in my story telling ability quite the boost.

I didn't think I would be this bummed out now that Jimmy's tale is over. I got quite invested into developing him, and its sad to know that his tale ended as a selfish monster on the street.


So with that said, I am officially pulling for M0rt... Avenge me!
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby m0rtimer on Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:41 am

Oh my. High expectations. :gonk:
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby Dusk9 on Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:50 am

Yeah, it's a pitty Jimmy died. But look on the bright side - Pooches was alright :D

Also, one of the reasons I'm not bitter about M0rt winning is because of the exit he gave Si - I've already got some new ideas for his future, and M0rt's ending makes it much easier to bring him back in another RW than, say, RandomMerc's ending (where he died).
And don't worry, the ideas I've got for him turn him into a very different person, so I won't just be re-using the exact same character - that would be boring :evilgrin:
Threads of Reality
Hears-Disembodied-Voices
Lvl 1 Berserker ~ Exp: 9/10 ~ HP: 6/6 ~ Atk: 4 (+1~Rage) ~ Def: 4 (+1~50%) (+1~Rage)
Traits: Automatic Combat Rage; Jekyll and Hyde
Tower Game
Dusk ~ Lvl 2 Wraith Rogue ~ Exp: 2/3 ~ Atk: 2 ~ DEX: 1/4 ~ CON 6 ~ HP: 2/8
Skills: Stealth (1DEX/turn); Sneak Attack; Detect Trap (1DEX, R2)
Lair of the Mountain King
Eaten-By-Rabbits ~ HP: 3/5 ~ Atk: 1 ~ Def: 1
Capture the Flag (CTF) ~ on hiatus
Runs-into-Hard-Surfaces ~ Lvl 8 Trainee Attacker ~ Exp: 46/52
Feats: Sprint Awareness 3; Improved Dodge 2; Nimble 1; Sprint Endurance 1
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby m0rtimer on Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:55 am

Part of a story I forgot to write:

Suddenly, dragon. The mechman easily manages to kill it, but not before a giant gets pissed at the whole scene, and flings him five miles high into the air, instantly killing him.

THE END.

/jk. :shifty: :lol:
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby PicksUpSticks on Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:08 am

Dusk9 wrote:Yeah, it's a pitty Jimmy died. But look on the bright side - Pooches was alright :D

Also, one of the reasons I'm not bitter about M0rt winning is because of the exit he gave Si - I've already got some new ideas for his future, and M0rt's ending makes it much easier to bring him back in another RW than, say, RandomMerc's ending (where he died).
And don't worry, the ideas I've got for him turn him into a very different person, so I won't just be re-using the exact same character - that would be boring :evilgrin:


Pooches is a survivor, I have complete faith that the little guy will be OK.

I had the same idea for Jimmy, but he would be coming back with two arms, no backpack, and be more of a "thief for good". Still scrawny, using tricks, remaining hidden in a crowd, and have pooches on his side. But much more into using his abilities to screw up the plans of evil leaders and <bad people>.


So question... Who was the one character you wanted to fight but couldn't?

From the moment the first fight finished, I wished I got to fight Virta. I always had this idea of a battle in the open field, with Jimmy being helplessly taken into the sky. There pooches falls out of the bag into a freefall. Jimmy lets go of his bag after him, and randomly grabs a single potion in freefall (Steel-skin). Jimmy gets Pooches, Virta goes below Jimmy and attempts to eat him, Jimmy drinks the potion and crushes Virta.

FIN.
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Tower Game
Zombie Picks Up Sticks - Zombie Shaman
Cantrips/Inflict - 1 | Debuff/Buff - 2 | Suggestion - 3
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby ArcticTornado on Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:22 am

Dammit, looks like I'm the bad guy.

Looks like there's only one story left to tell...

I know I did, but I really wanted to fight Vrita. The idea was that she would corrupt Inti's manifestations and turn him to evil, then he would betray her and continue his quest. But the arena I ended up fighting in didn't really fit that from my point of view, so it panned out differently. I'm pretty happy with who I got to fight, except when my opponent didn't submit an entry. Mainly, I'm glad I didn't fight Bruce. Although, I would've loved the chance to meet Kane again.

This should be interesting...
Chief Gets to the Chopper
2/6 HP :: 0/12 Inf
4 Atk :: 5 Def


Inverted Luck
ATK: 4-6 (+2 Brakeblade, +1 Thief Blade, +0/+1 Thief Armor (25%), +0/+1 Short Blade Specialty (50%))
DEF: 6-7(+1 Goblin, +1 Thief Armor, +1 Thick Skin, +0/+1 Leather Helm (50%), +1 Iron Bracer, +1 Iron Bracer)
HP: 5/5
Pack: Very Pointy Pencil, 78 gold pieces, Leather Armor, Dagger, Challenge Note, Random Book, Short Rope
Abilities: Renew (+1 HP, Major Action, touch), Lady Luck (double % chance to most items/abilities, passive).
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Re: RW I. Be Careful What You Wish For. SEMI Finals!

Postby Dusk9 on Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:36 am

PicksUpSticks wrote:So question... Who was the one character you wanted to fight but couldn't?


I didn't really want to fight anyone in particular, but I had fights planned out for Vritra, Scott, Book-Guy (can't spell his name from memory, sorry), and Inti. Nothing concrete, but the general layout of the battle was pre-planned, based on their powers/abilities and backstory, so I'd have less to do when it came to actually writing it up.
Not that it really helped - of the ones Si ended up actually facing, Sen was the only one with any planning beforehand, and I had to scrap that to make proper use of the whole feast invitation thing (plus the gun had originally played quite a big piece).

Also, Arctic - how would you have portrayed Si had I beaten M0rt? I'm interested in what he would have looked like from Inti's point of view.
Threads of Reality
Hears-Disembodied-Voices
Lvl 1 Berserker ~ Exp: 9/10 ~ HP: 6/6 ~ Atk: 4 (+1~Rage) ~ Def: 4 (+1~50%) (+1~Rage)
Traits: Automatic Combat Rage; Jekyll and Hyde
Tower Game
Dusk ~ Lvl 2 Wraith Rogue ~ Exp: 2/3 ~ Atk: 2 ~ DEX: 1/4 ~ CON 6 ~ HP: 2/8
Skills: Stealth (1DEX/turn); Sneak Attack; Detect Trap (1DEX, R2)
Lair of the Mountain King
Eaten-By-Rabbits ~ HP: 3/5 ~ Atk: 1 ~ Def: 1
Capture the Flag (CTF) ~ on hiatus
Runs-into-Hard-Surfaces ~ Lvl 8 Trainee Attacker ~ Exp: 46/52
Feats: Sprint Awareness 3; Improved Dodge 2; Nimble 1; Sprint Endurance 1
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