July 15, 2018, 06:14:37 PM

Author Topic: An Arena match written in story format  (Read 1959 times)

Keystone

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An Arena match written in story format
« on: August 12, 2016, 02:10:07 PM »
Hello,

long time reader, first time poster. Used to play a lot in Octgn last November-January.

Got an inspiration to write one of my matches from this week in story mode. Never really written anything resembling a fiction before, and English is not my first language. Bear with me.

*******************************************************************************

As the great gate slammed shut behind me, I knew there would be no turning back now. The doors were sealed with powerful magic, and would not open until there were only one mage standing on the Arena floor. Of course, as per the Mage Wars Accords, the duel would not be to the death per se, but as with most Arena duels, the stakes were high, and failure would not be an option.

I donít have time to get into the details about the background of the duel, but sufficed to say I had a strong feeling that the opposing faction was going to choose a druid as their champion.  With that in mind, I had made some final adjustments to my spell book the evening before, then meditated on the new spells the remaining night in preparation for the coming duel. I wasnít overly concerned, as many of the minions of the druidic mages were inherently weak against fire.  And fire, naturally, was one of my specialities.

It turned out I was correct about my opponent. A young woman, with nothing covering her body but leaves and moss. If I had met her in another time and place, I might have introduced myself. Ugh, wrong place for daydreams, these kinds of thoughts will get me killed.

A loud gong-like sound was heard, and it was time to make some money. I had formulated a plan earlier, and I chose the first two spells from the beginning of my spell book. Druids were not known to be fast duelists, and they usually were very durable opponents. The duel could possibly take a while, so for my first spells I chose two magical crystals, designed to enhance the mana flow of their caster. With against almost any other opponent, this kind of start would be risky, because the initial stress to the casterís mana reserves is quite steep, and could prove to be a weakness against mages that rushed their opponents right at the beginning.

I walked a short distance and conjured my crystals in the two corners of the arena. At that moment I realized I might have made a grave mistake. The druid made a small move with her left hand, and a tree started to grow quickly through the arena floor tiles. A typical move, but that was not the problem. She didnít cast anything else, but started running towards the center of the Arena. Towards me. What kind of druid is this?

I had only moments to plan my next move, and one thing was clear: I had to prepare to defend myself. Too soon, I thought. The crystals were working though, I felt a more powerful flow of mana accumulating inside me. I needed a creature to protect me and to give me some breathing room. If I would choose a powerful minion, I estimated I would still have enough in my mana reserves to cast some simple protection on myself. I summoned the two chosen spells from my spell book. They vanished as smoke from the pages of the book, their essence flickering between my fingertips.

Before the druid could get any closer, I cast my first spell and summoned a pair of boots, meant to anchor me to the ground in case of pushing effects. I wasnít born yesterday, I wasn't going to be pushed through some Taranis-forsaken bush right at the beginning.

The druid was getting closer now, but it seemed that pushing me around wasnít her plan after all. She conjured a strange, razor-sharp looking sword from thin air while running. Apparently one sword was not enough for this girl, as a second one, this time a flying sabre, appeared from nowhere.

I stuck with my plan and muttered the words that activated my second prepared spell. I created a magically constructed copy of a female vampire from the deepest Darkfenne. A great minion, one of my favorites.

I quickly chose new spells as I felt my magical reserves filling again. As the druid advanced, I crafted a spell matrix around her and mentally commanded the vampiress to move between the druid and myself. The druid attacked towards the vampire mercilessly, but before she could land her swords, I poured mana through the matrix. The curse activated and the druid screamed in pain. The blows were left without strength and the vampiress suffered only minor wounds. The vampiress struck back with unnatural speed, her wounds healing quickly after getting a good bite in the druidís left arm. The druid didnít suffer major wounds either, as she revealed an enchantment as well. It was a strange one, her skin transforming to something resembling bark.

There was no hurry now, the lady vampire protecting me. I conjured a large runestone from the ground. I had learned this conjuration from a johktari beastmaster in exchange for teaching her the aforementioned curse. The runestone would disrupt any metamagic aimed at dispelling curses or other enchantments. I had plans to cast plenty during this match, and these would cause the druid to pay dearly trying to get rid of them.

Not surprisingly the druid regenerated all of the damage she had suffered. No matter, this was to be expected. There was not really even a point to make a dedicated attack against the druid this early. I would stick with my plan, getting my defences up and dismantling hers the best I could before launching a real attack against her.
While the druid was still occupied with the vampire, I conjured a second runestone like before to discourage her dispelling my beautiful curse blunting her attacks. The druid stopped attacking the vampire after noticing the underwhelming results and started conjuring a large plant creature from the ground. While the druid was casting her summoning spell I started to make some space between us and moved towards her end of the arena. I commanded the vampiress to follow me closely. While on the move I cast upon myself an enchantment granting magical armor. I revealed it instantly so it would be more difficult to the druid to get rid of.

There was no need to make rushed decisions, so I decided to keep building my defences. The druid attacked my vampiress again, this time inflicting some deep wounds despite still being riddled with the curse. Within the same breath she cast a spell matrix upon the vampire. Nothing I could do about that now. Before the vampire could strike back, the druid activated the enchantment. Pain struck the vampiress and her attacks were left powerless. That blasted tree-hugging plant-shagging bush-loving hag! Using my own tactics against me! She will pay for this.

No matter though, seeing the freshly summoned plant as an excellent target for my next curse, l created a life-siphoning link between us. Good luck attacking me now, I would siphon the life from that plant until all thatís left are some dried roots.

I transferred a small amount of mana to the vampire so she could fly away from the new plant. This was because with her weakened attacks she couldnít heal efficiently.  In any case it was useful to get some threat near the Druidís tree. I knew that if I could manage to destroy that thing, my foe would be greatly weakened. At this point I was under attack from the plant, but the abomination couldnít hit effectively through my armor enchantment. The damned things can uproot themselves and wobble around attacking things! And they call dark magic unnatural!

I wasnít prepared to dispel many enemy enchantments with this spell book, so instead I chose to cast a strength-increasing enchantment on the vampire to counteract the weakening one. I also cast a basic protective enchantment upon myself, meant to counteract almost any non-attack spell or enchantment. This was in preparation for some equipment I had planned using soon. During this time the druid had summoned a new plant creature so I commanded the vampire back to the front lines. After making a furious attack against one of the weeds, the vampiress seemed to be in a better shape again.

The druid was summoning more of the frustrating wobblers, so I conjured myself more armor and a surprise in the form of a hidden enchantment. The vampiress was occupied wrestling one of the plants, she seems to be having fun, could later do some research regarding the mating habits of magically created vampire clones, so another plant got to me. It got some nasty lashes across my forehead, but could not back off fast enough when I revealed my surprise. A great ring of fire surrounded me, engulfing the salad in its searing embrace. The plant scurried away all ablaze and I couldnít help but chuckling at the situation.

The battle (and especially one of the plants) was heating up now, and after casting a regenerative enchantment on myself, I prepared my next spells, only one of which I planned to use. I was quite satisfied to see the plant that had attacked me burn to a crisp before my eyes. I love the smoke of burning plants.

Before the druid or her creatures had time to react, I created myself a lash formed of pure hellfire (except the handle, for obvious reasons). The plant that I assaulted was no match for my weapon, and the vampire quickly finished off the plant I had cursed earlier. She had suffered some hits, but seemed to be breathing yet. Do vampires breath? As the plant died and the life-linking curse upon it started to disperse, I used my knowledge of the Dark Arts to draw its essence back to my spell book. The words and symbols containing the spell appeared back in the empty page.

I was moving closer to the druidís tree when I felt a slight tremble in the handle of my weapon. An acid spell, I presumed, but the caster had made a rudimentary error. The enchantment I had cast earlier flickered to life, drawing a small amount of mana from my reserves and devouring the attempted spell whole.  I turned towards the druid, she looked surprised and frustrated, evidently having put a lot of power behind that spell and spending her whole reserves for the moment.

I didn't have more similar protections in this spellbook, but I sensed the Druid didn't have enough mana accumulated to try that trick again at the moment. Instead she cast a new plant near her tree. I moved away from the tree as it seemed to me that the new plant didn't have the ability to move and I wanted to force the druid to spend more of her limited reserves if she wanted to make the other plants chase me.

Still not feeling the need to hurry, I cast the Death Link again to keep myself defended against surprises. As I finished, roots sprouted from the ground and restrained me. The remaining plants attacked my vampiress, and though she was gravely wounded, recovered quickly by absorbing the life force of her victims, and regenerating from the enchantment I had prepared for this moment.

I was unable to move now, having planned attacking the tree with my lash. This mattered not though, because I had accumulated a lot of reserves. Without thinking it any longer, I prepared two fireballs.

The tree exploded like a drunken goblin bomber once my fireballs hit home. With the beautiful inferno blazing beside me, I sensed my foe greatly weakening. There were only couple plants left now, but my vampiress had suffered greatly. I ordered her to fly to safety, and followed by teleporting myself back to the middle of the Arena. It was too late though, as I had forgotten about the Druid's flying sabre. The druid chased us down, and her flying sabre spinning through the air cut down my vampiress.

Even though I was left thinking I should have protected her better, she had served her purpose.  The druid was possibly running low on creatures, but more importantly keeping up both the sabre and the barkspell was straining her mana reserves. It was almost time to finish this. With both her tree and many of her plants done for, all that was left was to shut down the rest of her self-healing ability and then start the final assault. I prepared the first spell I had learned under my old master, a nefarious curse that turns the victim's blood to poison. There would be no salvation for the plant girl after that. As my second spell at that moment, I felt the time was right to use my Dark Pact and summon a Bloodreaper. If the beginning of the duel would have been different, I probably would have summoned him earlier.

The druid had no defences against the curse, but before I could do anything else, I felt my weapon trembling and burning in my grasp. I let go of it and the handle dissolved into black liquid, the flames flickering and dying. Another acid spell, as expected. She thinks she's got me now.  Her smile died quickly when a Blood Demon appeared from a temporal portal. As per the Pact, I relinquished part of my life force to the demon. What is a few short years of my life next to the glory of an Arena victory?. One of her remaining plants had moved past us, apparently fearing my Circle of Fire, and started tearing down one of my Wardstones. It's too late now.
Next thing she did was to teleport the unmovable plant next to me. Unexpected, but I really didn't see it as that much of a threat. To her dismay I conjured up a new lash of hellfire; one hit and the druid girl's hair caught fire.

 I cursed the druid again, to keep the flames burning forever, and destroyed the plant with my lash. The last remaining plant succeeded in tearing down the second Wardstone, before being dispatched by my demon. As the demon ripped the plant to shreds, it was his turn to make good on the Agreement. I felt new life pulsing through me, healing the wounds that the druid and her plant had caused.

The druid had apparently had enough of my armor, she cast an echantment that started rusting my equipment which I quickly dispelled, before throwing two balls of acid towards me. The strong magical acid ripped me of my armor and most of my clothes in seconds. Good idea, but I still have more than enough regeneration.We were both hitting each other left and right, my demon doing his part, but it was truly the girl's turn to taste the renerative abilities usually reserved for Druids. Between my lash and the Circle of Fire, the Druid was as ablaze as a Flaming Hellion in his bachelor party. A beautiful sight indeed.

The battle had been long, but my plan had worked as intended. I had some deep wounds and my armour had been corroded away, but I was still regenerating through my enchantment. Additionally my Demon was transferring life energy to me with his every attack so I could keep going for hours still. But I knew there would be no need, as the same could not be said about my opponent. She had fought well, but it wouldnít be long now. For her honor I have to mention that even though the unavoidable defeat could be seen in her eyes, there were no fear, only defiance. Be that as it may, I knew I could prepare my final spell before she had time to defend herself. As flames erupted from my fingertips, she yelled the Rite of Surrender. The arcane wards woven through the Arena walls sprang to life, surrounding her with impregnable defences, protecting her from the flames washing over her. As the crowd cheered in thunderous unity, I turned my back to her and started walking towards the great gate I had entered from. I had won.



Edit: typos
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 06:47:54 AM by Keystone »
"So what are you going to cast? A Tanglevine? A Stranglevine! Tanglevine's cousin!"

-Alwinkristen, as I used Stranglevine for the first time

Sailor Vulcan

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Re: An Arena match written in story format
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2016, 04:43:00 PM »
nice story! a few things I would like to point out:

1. "the duel would not be to the death per se" "Ugh, wrong place for daydreams, these kinds of thoughts will get me killed." This is a blatant contradiction. As far as I can tell, most Arena duels *are* fought either to the death or to surrender, whichever happens first. That being said, your idea of Arena duels having a rite of surrender like you described suggests that you already know and understand this. It makes a lot of sense and is now my new head canon. Therefore I suspect that the first quote listed above is a mistranslation.

2. It is possible to recover life, not just remove damage. There are spells that can do that. I strongly suspect that the Grand Arena in Victoria, the capital of Westlock and the heart of competitive mage dueling in Etheria, employs a decent number of qualified healers to patch up mages after their duels.

3. "time to make some money" did you mean this literally? you did not establish in the beginning of the story the actual reasons why your character is fighting in the arena. Is he doing it for money? for glory? to make a statement? Because someone wronged him? Or simply because he likes fighting? What is the reason? You need more exposition.

4. I have no idea what sword the druid was using along with her dancing scimitar. To be honest I would have expected her to use her vinewhip staff, not a sword. You didn't explain why she was using a sword of some kind instead of a vinewhip staff, and it wasn't really clear what kind of sword it was. Was this a mistranslation?

5. "Flaming hellion in his bachelor party" I think this is supposed to be a joke but I'm pretty sure the meaning of it is somewhat lost when it's said in english. I mean, it seems like it's saying that the flaming hellion would be blushing or something at his bachelor party. But why would he have a bachelor party in the first place, and why would being at his bachelor party make him blush? I'm lacking the cultural context to understand this joke.

6. the phrase "pay dearly" generally means to pay something that is very personally dear to the person who is paying it, such as their life, or their sanity, or their integrity, or the well-being of their friends or loved ones, or it could also be paid by being inflicted with pain, etc. It does not make sense to describe the function of enchanter's wardstones with the phrase "pay dearly"

You probably also want a better title for your story.

Hope that helps!
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Ravepig

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Re: An Arena match written in story format
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2016, 10:19:59 AM »
Hey, Keystone- great story! I've never put my matches to story, but they sure do play out like this in my imagination. It was a fun read- thanks for sharing!
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Donovan

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Re: An Arena match written in story format
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2016, 11:11:16 AM »
I liked it too. That is the fun part of Mage Wars. Very imaginative.
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Keystone

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Re: An Arena match written in story format
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2016, 06:02:28 AM »
Thanks for the feedback guys!


Sailor, good points, here are some thoughts regarding them:

1. You are correct about the contradiction. I thought about it, but just left it as it were. The reasoning was something along the lines of "the warlock is having random thoughts, and exaggerates things while shaking himself back to reality". Referring to the official lore about the Mage Wars Accords, I though most legal duels were only to unconsciousness or to the rite of surrender. It may actually be even specifically mentioned in the lore threat about the Accords. Anyway, I thought this was the case so they don't run out of duelists :).

2. Are you referring to the dark pact? I wasn't actually thinking about that too much, just wanted to write a bit about summoning a bloodreaper -type demon pet has its cost (life energy, years to live or whatever).

3. Figure of speech, probably. This was indeed just one arena game after which I had an inspiration to try to turn it into a story. Didn't have the energy to establish a full backround, character story or similar things.
Just had a simple thought about the warlock possibly being some sort of greedy mercenary type, that some faction had hired to win a match against other faction (I got this idea from the Mage Wars Accords -thread).
Nothing more to it.

4. As mentioned above, this was based on an actual Arena game in OCTGN. The opposing player got me completely off guard by casting a Vorpal Sword (promo I presume) and a Dancing Scimitar and rushing me. Happily the Vampiress guarding me was quite an effective counter. If this was a story based on pure imagination, the Druid would probably have cast her signature Vinewhip staff, as you expected. Though Mage Wars teaches us to expect the unexpected :D.

5. Yes a joke. A really bad one. I was thinking something along the lines of the Hellion being a fire demon, thus usually on fire (according to the art), and while having a party (because why not, it's just a joke), he would be even more "on fire" (ablaze) than usual. This referred to the many burn markers on the druid.

6. Have mercy good sir! Maybe a misplaced figure of speech, I just thought that dispelling against the wardstones would put the druid severely behind manawise, and it could possibly be said that in Arena being left behind in many cases means losing, and storywise that would be a great personal defeat. I dunno, didn't think that far ahead.

And being based on a game match, I thought the name of the story (thread) was more of a description.
"So what are you going to cast? A Tanglevine? A Stranglevine! Tanglevine's cousin!"

-Alwinkristen, as I used Stranglevine for the first time

Ravepig

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Re: An Arena match written in story format
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2016, 10:57:45 AM »

6. Have mercy good sir! Maybe a misplaced figure of speech, I just thought that dispelling against the wardstones would put the druid severely behind manawise, and it could possibly be said that in Arena being left behind in many cases means losing, and storywise that would be a great personal defeat. I dunno, didn't think that far ahead.

And being based on a game match, I thought the name of the story (thread) was more of a description.

I think most probably took your story for what it is: fan fiction on a forum. It's not like you're sending this out to publishers or anything. I liked it.
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Donovan

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Re: An Arena match written in story format
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2016, 11:31:15 AM »
And even more appreciation because English is not your mother tongue!
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Sailor Vulcan

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Re: An Arena match written in story format
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2016, 11:44:47 AM »

6. Have mercy good sir! Maybe a misplaced figure of speech, I just thought that dispelling against the wardstones would put the druid severely behind manawise, and it could possibly be said that in Arena being left behind in many cases means losing, and storywise that would be a great personal defeat. I dunno, didn't think that far ahead.

And being based on a game match, I thought the name of the story (thread) was more of a description.

I think most probably took your story for what it is: fan fiction on a forum. It's not like you're sending this out to publishers or anything. I liked it.

@Keystone
It is strongly recommended that you give it a title to distinguish it from other such short stories on this site. I didn't say you absolutely had to. Losing a lot of mana from enhanter's wardstones while trying to dispel enemy enchantments could make the difference between winning and losing. So could practically everything else. The way you have it worded makes it sound like the wardstones cause the opponent to "pay dearly" as something specific to the wardstones' abilities. For newer players who are reading this it could be confusing. That being said, it is quite impressive since English is not your native language.

@Ravepig
You seem to be seriously stereotyping fanfiction. Fanfiction isn't any lower quality than original fiction. It's just that bad original fiction gets refused by publishers while bad fanfiction gets posted on the web whether or not it's crap.

And like I said the story in the OP was enjoyable and fairly well written. My review pointed out how it could be better in a constructive way, and you seem to be implying that my review was unfairly nitpicking because it is for a fanfiction.

Online publishing is still publishing. Even if the whole world isn't going to see it, any Mage Wars player who likes to read fanfic on the forums will. And if you still think fanfiction is lower quality than original fiction, I can recommend you quite a few different fan novels to you that are better than the originals that inspired them.
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I am Sailor Vulcan! Champion of justice and reason! And yes, I am already aware my uniform is considered flashy, unprofessional, and borderline sexually provocative for my species by most intelligent lifeforms. I did not choose this outfit. Shut up.

Ravepig

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Re: An Arena match written in story format
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2016, 12:37:34 PM »

6. Have mercy good sir! Maybe a misplaced figure of speech, I just thought that dispelling against the wardstones would put the druid severely behind manawise, and it could possibly be said that in Arena being left behind in many cases means losing, and storywise that would be a great personal defeat. I dunno, didn't think that far ahead.

And being based on a game match, I thought the name of the story (thread) was more of a description.

I think most probably took your story for what it is: fan fiction on a forum. It's not like you're sending this out to publishers or anything. I liked it.

@Keystone
It is strongly recommended that you give it a title to distinguish it from other such short stories on this site. I didn't say you absolutely had to. Losing a lot of mana from enhanter's wardstones while trying to dispel enemy enchantments could make the difference between winning and losing. So could practically everything else. The way you have it worded makes it sound like the wardstones cause the opponent to "pay dearly" as something specific to the wardstones' abilities. For newer players who are reading this it could be confusing. That being said, it is quite impressive since English is not your native language.

@Ravepig
You seem to be seriously stereotyping fanfiction. Fanfiction isn't any lower quality than original fiction. It's just that bad original fiction gets refused by publishers while bad fanfiction gets posted on the web whether or not it's crap.

And like I said the story in the OP was enjoyable and fairly well written. My review pointed out how it could be better in a constructive way, and you seem to be implying that my review was unfairly nitpicking because it is for a fanfiction.

Online publishing is still publishing. Even if the whole world isn't going to see it, any Mage Wars player who likes to read fanfic on the forums will. And if you still think fanfiction is lower quality than original fiction, I can recommend you quite a few different fan novels to you that are better than the originals that inspired them.

 ;)
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