Tumbler vs. Magma Serpent

Posted by Daniel On July 12, 2015 1 COMMENT


Hello once again from Caer Holineth, the center of activity in all of Illuria for this year’s Tournament of Souls!  We’ve got quite a matchup tonight, with the massive stone golem Tumbler battling against a construct of stone and fire, the Magma Serpent.

According to the information we’ve received, Tumbler is a ten foot tall construct, carved of gray and black granite, one of the hardest stones available in the region.  It would appear as though this creation, like the Thrasher from last week’s battle, is a powerhouse of physical strength.  Yet unlike the minocore, there seems to be little more to it than its might.  Our sources in the tournament tell us that the creator, the dwarven stonesmith Gor-Kar, traded all of the magical enhancements and elemental abilities we have seen in the other creations, undead and construct alike, for sheer physical power.  If that’s true I can’t wait to see what the Tumbler is capable of!

The magma serpent, on the other hand, is an amazing blend of two of nature’s most powerful elements, fire and earth.  While its abilities seem relatively straight forward, we’ve gotten word that there is much more than meets the eye to the construct.  According to the testing, the ashes of a phoenix were somehow involved in its creation, though there is no information here about what that might mean, or why its creator chose such a particularly rare component.  I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what happens tonight!


Here come the tournament mages, entering the arena from every door as those gathered here find their seats.  Throughout the seating area, we can see almost two dozen wizards, robed in the ceremonial garments of the tournament.  We’ve not seen this many of the mages at one time since the battles took place on an active volcano several years ago!  What could they possible have in store that would take this much arcane power?  According to the combat brackets, this battle is supposed to take place in a jungle terrain similar to the one we saw last year, but if memory serves, they didn’t need half the resources they are displaying here this evening.  I can see that I’m not the only one filled with curiosity and excitement.  As the mages raise their arms and begin to chant, half of the audience begins glancing around, almost frantically, to see what’s going to happen!

A glimmering light suddenly appears on the western end of the arena!  Over the next half minute it expands until it’s fully six feet across, shimmering like moonlight off of the surface of a lake!  The whole crowd is in awe at the beauty of this… whatever it is!  It hovers in the air for just over a minute, almost hypnotizing any who would look upon it, before the tone of the chanting changes, and with it, the wondrous… thing.  I hate not having a proper name for it…

Without warning, water explodes forth from what must be a gate of some sort, spraying halfway across the arena and soaking anyone near enough to get caught in its path!  Slowly the spray lessens, and the intense water flow reduces to a swift flowing river, still sparkling under the light of the moon, and disappearing into a similar portal at the eastern edge of the arena.  Something seems to be leaping out of the flow… I can’t see it clearly but they shine with an obviously metallic reflection of the light, and they appear to be in the shape of some manner of fish…  Perhaps these are the adamantine piranhas that we’ve heard rumors about!  I imagine neither of tonight’s constructs will be interested in staying in the water for too terribly long with those things swarming about them.

The ground is starting to rumble, shaking the very foundation of this grand structure!  Suddenly, trees of a sort I haven’t seen since last year’s tournament burst from the ground, rising more than a score of feet into the air!  Immense fronds form a canopy that allows only the slightest amount of moonlight to reach the ground below, but it seems the creators of this grand battleground are not through yet!  Vines sprout up from the ground all over the arena floor, weaving their way through each other, creating a virtually impenetrable field of undergrowth!  The mages have at least designed some footpaths into this terrain, for the vines stop short of the walkways; and a ford across the rushing river rises from the waters for our combatants to easily reach each other.

“Tonight, we once again bring to you the mysterious jungles of Cylthia, lands far removed from our own.”  The tournament master’s voice echoes through the stadium as his shadowed form rises up from amidst the trees.  “A rushing river, immense trees the likes of which most in our lands have never seen outside of this arena, vining underbrush that thrives despite the canopy above… and all of it, as intensely dangerous to our combatants, as it is beautiful to you now.”


The crowd is silent in anticipation as Master Zoland pauses in his introduction.

“Look to the shadows during tonight’s battle my friends, and you will learn that in these competitions, even the battleground themselves demand respect.”

Silence reigns supreme for several moments as every eye in the arena delves into the secretive mysteries of the jungle shadows attempting to puzzle out the riddle presented them.

Master Vass breaks into joyous laughter as he rises a bit further above the ground.  “But despite its beauty, the terrain is not the highlight of our battle tonight!  To the northwest, a greater boulder has been shaped for battle!  I give you… Tumbler!”

The enormous construct, resembling nothing more than a fifteen foot tall elemental formed of stone and earth erupts from the ground, the floor shaking as it plants its massive feet!  A thunderous roar, like a lion in an immense cavern rises from its throat as it takes its place on the battlefield!  The crowd bursts into applause, but while some are exuberant in their excitement at the golem’s entrance, for many it seems rather half-hearted.  If both the gambling odds and the audience’s reaction are any sign, Tumbler is not the favorite in this match up.

“And to the southeast, an amalgam of fire and stone… The magma serpent!”

The wall at the base of the arena glows red hot, and then begins to melt away!  Through the gaping hole left behind crawls a ten foot long serpent of stone, the fiery red glow of hot magma can be seen in every joint, or break, in its rocky skin!  The reaction from the crowd is tremendous!  Cheers thunder through the stadium as one fan tries to out shout another, but the creatures roar, accompanied by a huge gout of flame spraying up from its mouth silences them all!

“Remember the vines and the shadows my friends.  Now, let the battle begin!”


The serpent slithers off down the path with all haste, turning north at the first opportunity trying to find its foe, but it stops short as the path comes to a deeper section of the river.  Piranhas seem to surge in the water, as if anticipating the construct’s presence!  Tumbler, on the other hand, simply plods straight through the jungle, tearing through vines and knocking down trees with every titanic step it takes!

Apparently, the snake thought better of its path, for it has circled back, heading further west and up the footpath to the ford, where the devilish fish seem to be relatively absent!  Meanwhile, the brainchild of the renowned dwarven stonesmith continues to push through.  Out of the shadows, three vine-like tentacles fly out, wrapping around Tumbler’s left arm as it moves!  Surely this is one of the entangler creatures we saw last year.  They were crafted to be incredibly strong, and dangerous to even the most stalwart of constructs.

Hearing the commotion across the river, and not far away, the magma serpent stops to listen, trying to discern what is happening, and from what direction its adversary will approach.  Seeking the falling trees, and hearing the annoyed sounds of the angry construct, it seems to have decided on a more stealthy approach, sliding into the dense vines itself and awaiting Tumbler with a cunning not possessed by most creatures.

Annoyed by the delay, Tumbler stares for a moment into the darkness, eyes locking on the entangler.  A smile, if such a beast can be said to smile after all, crosses the constructs face as it wraps its arm around the gripping vines and grabs hold!  With a roar it yanks hard, pulling the jungle creature straight out of the ground and, using its own tentacles as a sort of grip, slams the thing down hard on the jungle floor at its feet!  Without another thought it steps forward, crushing the entangler and pulling its arm free as it continues its plodding course towards the river.

Just thirty feet from the ford, the construct reaches the flowing water, and starts to step in despite the danger.  The ferocious fish swarm its legs, biting hard into the stone and rending rock from its limbs as they feast!  After only an instant, the construct leaps back to the shore line, roaring at the deadly fish in anger before heading toward the ford.  There seems to be something beneath the stone of its legs, revealed by the attacks of the swarming piranhas… but I can’t entirely make out what it is… a metal of some sort I think.

Without pause the creature turns to the ford and begins to cross, apparently not thinking twice about the damage its legs only recently endured, stopping half way across, and roaring out a challenge for its adversary!  Despite everything we’ve seen, there must be some measure of intelligence in this beast, to call it into an area of flowing water, rather than battle it amidst flammable plants and Gods know what else!

The seconds pass, both entrants waiting for the other to make their next move, if I only knew how long this break in the action would be I would have set up some form of advertising!

In a rush the magma serpent bolts out of its hiding place, unleashing a blast of fire from its lungs as it rushes in!  Scorched, but unafraid of the creature before it, Tumbler sets its feet and receives the charge with a thunderous right cross followed swiftly by an uppercut with its mighty left!  The stone of its fists breaks away from the heat to reveal… I knew it!  Tumbler’s form is reinforced by adamantine, giving it extraordinary resilience to physical attacks and an incredible ability to damage materials even as formidable as stone itself!

A large splash and a blast of steam fills the air as the serpent crashes down into the water, but it isn’t done yet!  In the blink of an eye, it rights itself, coiling its body up before launching through the air, clamping its jaws down on Tumblers shoulder, and slamming its tail hard against its chest.  While Tumbler’s construction seems to have protected it from the majority of the physical damage, the sheer heat of the snake’s body has fractured stone and left char marks in their wake!

Outraged by the attack, the giant stone construct grabs its opponent by the tail, forcefully pulling itself free from the serpent’s clamping jaws and whipping it through the air before smashing it down unceremoniously to the ground in another blast of steam!  The momentum of the movement continues, as Tumbler leaps into the air, twisting itself into an almost perfect sphere before landing squarely on its foe and rolling straight over it, from tail to head!  Upon reaching the southern shore it uncurls itself, developing into its 4 limbed form once more.

Seemingly in a daze, the injured snake rises up out of the water, steam surrounding it as its perpetual heat is cooled by the flowing river.  Its head and body, obviously damaged by the onslaught given the shattered stone and pieces falling from its form, begin to weave back and forth slowly.  I’ve seen movements like this before in certain rare snakes, and it never bodes well for those who attack them.

Unintimidated by the dance, Tumbler strides in, sending waves of water to the sides as he does so, and swings hard with its titanic fists once again.  Dodging the first blow, the fiery snake bites down hard on Tumbler’s arm as it passes, leaving deep tooth marks and scorched stone behind.  Unfortunately for the serpent, it stayed in one spot a split second too long, as the other fist of its foe comes across, striking it hard on the side of the head, and sending rock and lava alike flying, to land steaming in the river over a dozen feet away!  Undeterred, powerful jaws lunge in and tear away stone and metal from the thigh of the elemental construct, its tail whipping up to strike Tumbler’s hard in the face!

A great hand descends on the desperate snake, grabbing it by the body and yanking it angrily away from its attack.  Tumbler’s hand is scorching, and the metal within glows with the heat of holding so tightly to its enemy as it swings its other hand in what could be a crushing blow, and defeat for the magma serpent!  At the last second, the snake’s head rear’s back, avoiding the blow by a hair’s breadth!  As it comes back forward, it unleashes a scorching blast of fire once again, sustained for longer than should be possible!  Stone cracks, the hardest metal known melts away, and the magic binding together Tumbler’s form finally gives way under the fiery power of the magma serpent!  The earthen construct collapses into a pile of metal and magma, melted by the serpent’s intense breath weapon!


The crowd takes its feet as a victorious roar echoes across Caer Holineth!  The magma serpent has won!  Whew, and here I thought I made the wrong bet… there are some very unsavory characters that wouldn’t have been happy with me…

“Congratulations to the victor, and its creator, Lady Ignatia Kul!  What an amazing battle we’ve had here tonight!  I’m certain many of you are anxious to claim your winnings, and attend your celebrations.  Remember, this was the last of our quarter final battles.  Our next grand fight, will be a semi-final match between the Blight Stalker, created by the foreign necromancer Chuliror, and the Razor Fiends crafted by a second time entrant into our Tournament of Souls, Alchemy!  I look forward to seeing you all here to find out which one of these incredible creations will be our first finalist!  Until then, let the celebrations begin!”

As the crowd begins to shuffle out, the tournament master’s form is wrapped in shadow, then dissipates into the night, as if it were never there.

Tournament Brackets - 4th Match


One Response so far.

  1. preston purnell says:

    Wow. Simply wow. That was a well fought fight. The tumbler realy surprised me. And that magnificent serpent. Wow would it be nice to see the razor fiends vs the magma serpent for the championship.
    Congratulations to both creators for your ingenuity and craftmenship.

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