Ever have a chat with Death?

Posted by Daniel On June 23, 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Greetings once again, and welcome to Caer Holineth, the home of the 101st Tournament of Souls!  While the battle between the twin Razor Fiends and the Arachast isn’t until later in the week, we have the distinct pleasure of being able to sit down with last year’s Grand Champion, the Horseman of Death!  Hopefully we can get his take on the tournament, both past and present.  Welcome sir!

Image by Matchak

Image by Matchak

“It is an honor to return, even if I must be brief. My duties compel me elsewhere during this time, but I would not miss the Tournament completely.” Pale lips stretch in a rare, brief smile. “I confess, I have looked forward to the competition.”

I and many other citizens of our fine empire can’t help but agree, but since your time is limited let’s get right to it.  For those who missed last year’s competition, your creation, the Caustic Shades, fought through all of the other competitors to emerge victorious at the end of the tournament!  How did you master the necromantic arts enough to create such a Creature?

“I am Death.” Simply stated, without emotion. “My station is as it ever was, the end of all things, and knowledge of all that might await beyond. It is the way of things, and I must oversee the end of the cycle.”

And who can argue with a statement like that?  What school of magic could hold a candle to a being who is now, and forever will be, the physical incarnation of Death itself!  I can imagine that in your position you see a lot of creatures cross your path.  Given that, and your experiences last year, what do you think of this year’s competitors?

“A formidable array, make no mistake. I see that constructs are slightly more heavily represented this year, though Nox’s entry makes classification difficult. I should think your citizens are in store for an event that will command attention, and memory.”

We can only hope that to be the truth.  I’ve personally got my money on the Magma Serpent, but only time will tell who the real victor is when all of the battles have been fought!  Now let’s focus a bit on your particular area of expertise.  There are several necromancers among the Creators this year. In your expert opinion, do any of them have what it takes to be the Grand Champion?

“I see great potential in these offerings, certainly. Several of your entrants identified corrosives as a universal weapon against both classes of foes they will face, though I will be surprised if no one took that into account when creating their champions. My early favor fell upon the Blighted Stalker, and as we see that has been borne out.” He pauses. “Although, the Chord Caster nearly upset the stalker. It was a bracing battle, and Mistress Volanthik has earned my respect. I see many worthies among the ranks, and though a necromancer may well claim victory, it will not be an easy task. Keep a close eye on Alchemy’s Razor Fiends.”

And so we shall.  The variety of elemental energies at the disposal of the Fiends certainly makes them a force to be reckoned with, but the road to victory is never easy, and I agree that it certainly won’t be again this year, regardless of whether necromancy or artifice rises to claim the coveted title.  Now, there are some things that are different from last year.  Some of the battlefields have been modified, while others have been replaced altogether!  If the reef is any sign, the tournament mages seem to have gone all out in their creations yet again this year!

“The battlegrounds can certainly swing a match, no doubt. The aquatic field is an intriguing addition. It would have been interesting if Lady Kul’s creation found its way to the lava caverns, alas. I am most interested to see what will come of the arctic waste. I find the rumors of the location compelling, and I hope that subtlety and wit on the part of the creations will yield an advantage.”

I’m sure it will, especially for those creations that are more focused on stealth and cunning rather than sheer power.  I know you’ve got a wide array of business to attend to, so only one more question if you would.  Do you have any advice for this year’s Creators or those who might want to enter the Tournament in future years?

“As for this year’s competitors, your work is done. Now the fruits of your labor shall be put to the test. To any who wish to compete in future Tournaments, understand this: The unexpected rules the day. An automaton or mindless revenant is worth little more than its weight in metal, or the knife stroke that ended its existence. Regardless of what capability for destruction you lay into your champion, it must be able to react to the unexpected, to be, itself, unexpected. Be flexible in your thought, and without mercy in your execution.”

We can only hope that future Creator’s take your words into consideration, as I’m sure there are some already hard at work for next year’s competition.  Thank you sir, for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us this evening, you honor me.

“It has been my pleasure. But sadly, I must depart.” At that, a deathly pale horse fades into view, mid step. The pale rider with dead-blank eyes swings himself effortlessly into the gaunt creature’s saddle. “Until next time.” The horse rears and starts forward, fading away to nothing as quickly as it appeared.

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