On the Origins of the Battlegrounds…

Posted by Daniel On July 14, 2015 2 COMMENTS

I’m sure that by now you are all wondering how the Tournament Mages create such wondrous battlegrounds for our competitors to fight in.  Well, as it turns out, I have been wondering the exact same thing!  I was curious if they performed some sort of ritual teleportation, or created it from scratch… or where they got the inspiration for them in the first place.  So, I sent my trusty catfolk messenger Rissa behind the scenes to have a look.  Unfortunately, it seems that what they say about curiosity happens to be true.  Rissa was found face down in a gutter two days ago.  Let’s have a moment of silence for our kitty friend…

Anyway, not wanting to risk my very important self in what must have been an extremely intense and dangerous investigation, I obviously had to send someone else.  So, they drew straws, and Cul’vir turned out to be the lucky one.  He’s a valshari, so despite his complete lack of useful skills, I wasn’t worried about him in the slightest.

After his return this morning I spoke with him at length in regards to what he observed and any interesting information he was able to obtain.  If anything in this discussion is at all unclear, please remember that my messenger was exhausted when he returned from his adventure.  So obviously, any falsities or inconsistencies are completely his fault.  Now that we’ve been through the disclaimer, let’s start from the beginning shall we?

The Tournament Master is a very powerful wizard, skilled in many of the arcane arts, but none more so than divination.  Using the extensive magical resources at his disposal, Vass Zoland scries across the world in search of locations that fulfill his ever changing list of requirements for a battleground.  According to my source, he rarely actually travels to any of these places, only studies them through the use of incredibly powerful divination spells and tools.

Once he’s set his mind on a particular area, he studies it intensely, attempting to discover every possible aspect of the terrain he has chosen.  This period of study can last for months, though he seldom focuses on a single potential battleground exclusively for more than a week at a time.  The depth of knowledge he must have of this world is amazing!

Eventually, Master Zoland is satisfied that he has learned all he can about the area and makes a final decision as to whether to use it as one of the Tournament’s battlegrounds, or simply cast it aside as yet another fading point of interest.  Surprisingly, even this powerful mage uses a much less arcane art, but no less respected, to show his observations.  Each chosen terrain becomes the subject of a tome, filled with handwritten notes and detailed drawings, commonly scores of pages in length.  I’ve been told that the excruciating detail of these books is what helps the Tournament Mages create such marvelous, living battlegrounds; which is a good thing, since I’ve also heard that the Master is very meticulous about their creations.

After a period of study, both individually and as a group, the Mages begin to craft a creation ritual that will tie together all of the desired parts of the terrain.  Each leaf must have a key phrase, every stone a syllable, and the flowing river must become a continuous stream of arcane power, shared by every participating wizard.  These rituals are insanely complex, requiring years of experience in ritual magic to even attempt, let alone master.

I’m told that, with rare exception, each mage maintains a smaller part of the constructed field, yet the areas they are responsible for overlap, ensuring that if something were to happen to a single mage, the battleground’s formation would not falter.  When the construction is complete, they turn their attentions to the illusion fields that allow us to see the battles from a variety of viewpoints throughout the match!  But, that is another day’s topic.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but be impressed by the titanic effort that’s happening behind the scenes to make these battles possible!  It makes the Tournament of Souls all the more amazing!

But, gathering all of this great information has been exhausting.  As such, I think it’s time for me to head back to my not so humble abode for a well-deserved nap.  Don’t forget, later this week we’ll have the first battle of the semi-finals!  It’s the Blight Stalker against the Razor Fiends in… well it’s in the very same battle field we just saw a few nights ago!  Hopefully the Tournament Mages have something special cooked up to change it up a bit.  Until then, enjoy the celebration!


Messengers can be heard mumbling mumble something among each other… ungrateful?  Pretentious?  Egomaniacal?  I can’t quite make it out… but I’ve quite certain I can’t repeat that one!

2 Responses so far.

  1. preston purnell says:

    Very interesting. Where can alchemy meet these mages. Seems like they would be perfect for home decorating in his new castle.

    • Daniel says:

      HA! I imagine they don’t get a whole lot of off time during the Tournament. When not fulfilling their duties as Tournament Mages, I imagine most of them serve in various positions assisting in maintaining the significant magical works of the Illurian capital city.

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