Swiftshadows vs. the Magma Serpent

Posted by Daniel On July 26, 2015 1 COMMENT


Caer Holineth is filled with excitement this evening as we await the last semi-final battle.  The victor tonight will face the twin Razor Fiends in the final showdown as they attempt to claim the coveted title of Grand Champion!

Tonight we have the distinct pleasure of watching the Swiftshadows, the very pinnacle of stealth and speed in a construct, battle against the sheer elemental might of the Magma Serpent!  This evening’s fight is going to be taking place in the battleground known as the reef, which creates a number of obstacles for both sides.

The Swiftshadows were obviously not made for underwater combat and movement.  Though their speed and magic might make up for this to some extent, they’ll still be hard pressed to outmaneuver their opponent in an environment that it seems much more suited for.

On the other hand, the Magma Serpent is a creature empowered by the element of fire!  Its serpentine form is much more versatile, and thus able to move in an undersea setting, but the heat of its body will likely cause boiling wherever it is, making it very difficult to take any form of stealthy approach.

The good news is that none of the combatants should be harmed by the coral this time around, as their bodies of mithril and stone should protect them.  According to the odds posted this morning, it seems most citizens are betting heavily on the Magma Serpent, but only time will tell who the true victor is!

As with last week, the battleground was already formed before the first member of the audience ever set foot in the arena.  Apparently the tournament mages want to waste no time getting to this incredible event.  I’ve even heard that some of them have placed bets on the outcome of this match themselves!  Is that even legal?  I mean, they can alter the battleground itself right?  That’s a discussion for another time though, as something is happening down on the arena floor.

All six of the deep crevices scattered throughout are boiling fiercely, and the heat seems to be growing in intensity with every passing moment!  An angry red glow emanates from the depths of each one, like lava waiting to burst from the bed of the sea!  Tremors have begun rocking the very foundations of the arena, and even the water of the battleground is sloshing about in waves!

Simultaneously all six of the crevices explode in a plume of ash and fire, the ferocity of the eruptions sending cooled magma high into the air above the crowd, only to vaporize before it impacts!  As the ash clears, a single figure remains, floating just above the suddenly calm sea.  The Tournament Master has arrived! He sure knows how to make an entrance!

“Greetings to all, and welcome, to the semi-final match of this year’s Tournament of Souls!”

The cheering of the audience is deafening!  Many members of the crowd are on their feet, applauding at the Master’s words.

“I’m sure you’re all as excited as I am to see the outcome of this battle.  Last week, we saw the Razor Fiends prove their worth against the formidable abilities of the Blight Stalker, and claim their place in the final battle.  Now, they need a challenger!  Who will it be?  Which of these great creations has what it takes to rise up and reach for the title of Grand Champion?  Let’s find out!”

“In the northwest, the Swiftshadows!”

Their now customary globe of darkness appears, fading slowly to reveal the pair of black mithirl figures standing at the ready.  The light of the moons glistens off of their freshly sharpened armblades as they await those well-known words from the Tournament Master.

“In the southeast, the Magma Serpent!”

Magma Serpent

Gliding smoothly through the water, the serpent of flame and stone swims in through the entrance gate, its inner fires blazing despite the quenching water all around it.  It coils its body up, assuming a position of readiness much like its opponents.  This will be an incredible match.



Immediately the competitors race off into the maze of coral walls.  The magma serpent heads north along the edge of the arena, while the Swiftshadows split up, one going up high and to the east, while the other brazenly swims through the center of the arena!  As we’ve seen in several battles already this year, splitting up has not been a very successful tactic thus far.  But perhaps the Swiftshadows have something else in mind.

Without warning, the crevice on the southern end of the arena erupts in a blast of steam, and all of the others begin to bubble angrily, as if waiting for a chance to vent their rage!  As if drawn to the fiery fury of the vents the magma serpent bolts through the water, taking cover in the one closest to it.  Perhaps it seeks to mask the steam bubbles coming off its own body amidst the vent!

The hidden swiftshadow moves stealthily along the northern coral walls, concealing itself more than twenty feet above the terrain floor.  If the serpent meant to hide itself, it seems to have failed because the construct assassin obviously has its eyes set on the fires of its opponent!  Meanwhile, its companion continues to move confidently through the arena’s center, turning north amidst the maze and heading in the general direction of the serpent.

Another vent blows off a great blast of steam, this time to the southeast, near the starting point of Lady Ignatia’s snake.  I can’t imagine what might happen if the vent concealing the serpent itself were to blow!  Despite the risk, it remains within its hiding place, moving only enough to keep itself afloat and seemingly unaware that it has been spotted from above.

This is an ambush in the making, and not for the construct of flame and stone.  One of the assassins swims high above the vent, crossing to another coral wall behind it and perching, ready to launch itself at its prey down below.  Its partner plants its feet firmly on the arena floor and approaches its opponent menacingly, making it clear to all present that it too is aware of the creature’s hiding spot.  Not only do they have the magma serpent flanked, but they’ve both activated the same phasing magic that allowed them to triumph over Thrasher!  This may be a much shorter battle than I first expected, and an incredible upset if the shadows manage a victory!

The ground begins to rumble as the far western crevice vents off an incredible burst of steam!  The hidden shadow remains motionless, its eyes trained on its target, which in turn has its attention fully focused on the approaching swiftshadow!  With a burst of movement, incredible for a construct not built to fight underwater, the shadow charges across the sea floor, seeking to slice off a chunk of stone from the creature before it!  As it lunges the fiery construct snakes out of the crevice with blinding speed, dodging the attack and clamping its jaws down firmly on its attacker, picking it up off the ground a bit before releasing and chomping down again for a firmer  grip with its stony teeth!  The mithril shadow writhes madly, beating its captor about the head with its armblades in an attempt to free itself, but suddenly the whole area is surrounded in a sphere of utter darkness!

Thanks to the magic of the illusion fields, the crowd is able to see through such magic, as are the shadows apparently, as the one that has been waiting up on high has launched itself down towards with battling snake!  With all its might the assassin thrusts its armblades at the stony creature, but fails to penetrate its magically enhanced hide!  Instead it clamps its black mithril legs around the snake and holds on, preparing to make a deadly strike on its spiny back!

Yet another vent looses a jet of amazingly hot vapor as the quakes seem to intensify.  Teeth of cooled lava grind and tear at the captured swiftshadow, as if its feeble attempts to break free from its captors’ jaws were only making its situation worse!  But the magma serpent has not forgotten the hidden assailant clinging to its back.  With the flexibility only a snake could possess the creature whips its tail around, snapping it into the shadow behind it with such force that it flies free and sails through the water for more than a dozen feet before its feet gain purchase on the ground once more.  Instantly the shadow bolts back into combat, one of its blades finding a gap in the creatures’ hardened hide and biting deep into its lava core!

The chasms in the floor are venting off with ever increasing intensity and frequency, as if some great fire elemental below were boiling the whole of the battleground like water in a kettle!  Yet the combatants seem undeterred.  Riding its opponent like some manner of devilish stallion the shadow stabs its armblades into the creature, causing its magma life blood to ooze out of the wounds, cooling instantly in the cold water, before it is flung away once again.  The magma serpent grinds its teeth and bites down hard, splitting the swiftshadow in two!  Slowly, deliberately, it turns to the remaining assassin as its jaws open ever so slightly, to let the mangled pieces of its companion’s decimated body fall from its jaws into the crevice below, and with it, the sphere of concealing darkness.

Whether or not this intimidating sight had any effect on the swiftshadow is difficult to discern given the watery terrain and the perpetual silence that surrounds the creature.  However, the standing threat doesn’t stop the assassin from charging in once again, slashing and stabbing with lightning speed at the rocky form of the serpent.  There is a flurry of movement as the two battle, exchanging blows but neither landing a solid hit… until the vent beneath them explodes in a ferocious geyser of superheated vapor!

Both combatants are thrown up out of the crevice to the upper waters, each trying to get their bearings before the other, and land an attack in the aftermath of the sudden eruption.  It is the fiery snake that rights itself first, snapping its tail out with such power that the blow launches the swiftshadow through the water, and sends it soaring into a wall of razor sharp coral!  But it doesn’t crash through the barrier, instead phasing through it!  Righting itself, the shade finds a shadow along the wall and does its best to disappear, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

The steam exploding out of the nearby vent intensifies as another, this one a bit further away, unleashes its fury into the near boiling water, and yet again the power of these explosions does little to distract these powerful constructs!  Without hesitation the serpent slices through the water like an arrow, blazing through the searing steam of the vent and slamming through the coral wall in search of its prey!  Shards of the wall fly everywhere, floating down slowly as it turns, looking for its final opponent.  Apparently unseen, the assassin silently climbs higher up the wall, seeking an advantageous angle of attack against the powerful creature.

Another vent explodes with fiery fury, but none can match that in which our combatants fought!  Lava, the molten rock of the earth is spewing out of the vent and cooling quickly in the sea water!   In the tumult of the shaking earth and worsening eruptions the shadow launches itself at the serpent, hoping to pierce its back with a hidden attack and claim victory.

With amazing quickness, the snake turns, opening its maw wide and unleashing a blast of steam rivaled only by the vents below!  Undaunted, and seemingly unaffected by the blast, the shadow slices down hard, again failing to penetrate its enemy’s natural armor!  Despite the failed attack, it seems luck is with the darkened construct, for as the gaping jaws attempt to clamp down it phases through the serpent’s very head, solidifying once more as it rolls down the snake’s rigid back  and lands on the ground below!

As the lava spewing chasm plugs itself with cooled magma, others erupt with an intensity that rocks the stadium and sends water, coral, and stone, alike soaring into the air above the battleground!  Pushing hard from the ground, its armblades leading the way, the swiftshadow attempts to charge in and impale the elemental.  With swiftness possessed only of serpentine creatures, its opponent twists its body to dodge the attack, wrapping its back half firmly around the mithril construct and squeezing hard!  For what seems like an eternity it struggles to be free, until a single, ferocious snap of the serpent’s jaws puts an end to not only the last remaining swiftshadow, but to the battle itself!  The magma serpent claims its final victory as it jerks the head from its defeated foe, letting it float down the arena floor alongside its crushed torso.


Immediately the tremors and eruptions cease and the Tournament Master once again appears, seemingly from nowhere!

“Now THAT, was a battle that will be remembered!  Congratulations to Lady Ignatia Kul and her magma serpent for taking their place as our second finalist, and claiming their right to battle for the title of Grand Champion!”

The crowd erupts with a force near that of one of those lava vents, as every citizen stands, shouting and clapping for the victors, and the glorious battle we just witnessed!

“As many of you know, it is tradition to allow the second finalist a minimum of two weeks to repair their creation, so as to ensure that it is at full capability for its final battle.  As such, and the fact that several of the eruptions managed to damage portions of Caer Holineth’s understructure, there will be plenty of events and celebrations, but there will be no tournament battle in the coming week.  I hope you all return for the championship match!  I know for a fact that the emperor himself will be in attendance, so don’t miss it!  Not to mention, our surprise battleground has traits many in this world have never seen, nor even heard of…  I leave the rest to your imaginations!  Until then, I bid thee fare well and enjoy the celebrations!”

Tournament Brackets - 6th Match

One Response so far.

  1. preston purnell says:

    Amazing fight. Congratulations Ignatia. Ee will see you in two weeks.

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