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Writing Contest: Round 3 Fight A
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Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 2567
Location: USA

Posted: Tue May 23, 2006 7:45 am    Post subject: Writing Contest: Round 3 Fight A  

Aldran the Mystic versus Rilian

This is an open invitation for any registered user at IF to write an arena contest for the Battle to the End. Entries will be accepted through 9 June.

The roster for Round Three is posted. Contestants are matched and scheduled to appear in the arena. Failure to appear for a fight constitutes immediate elimination. Four elimination rounds are scheduled, with a Final Round pitting the top three mages in a Qualifying Battle to gain entry into the Lyceum.

Authors may play out the battle in any manner they wish, and decide a winner based on whatever criteria the author chooses. At the end of the submission, authors must name one clear winner. Please post your entry in reply to this thread. If no entries are received for this fight, then a winner will be determined by random selection, and move on to Round Four. If one entry is received, then the submitting author will determine a winner. If more than one entry is received, a public poll for the best-written fight scene will be held, with the winning author determining who advances to Round Four.

The author with the winning entry will receive a prize of 200 fables, and the distinction of having guest-authored a fight for the Battle to the End.

Round Three, Fight A features Aldran the Mystic in the arena with Rilian. Battle continues until one contestant renders another incapable of combat by either unconsciousness or death.

Be creative, have fun, and enjoy writing this particular battle to the end.
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Shady Stoat

Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 2950
Location: England

Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:22 am    Post subject:  

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the pleasure of announcing our two fine contestants. Step forward… Aldran the Mystic.”

A ripple of laughter swept through the audience as Aldran made his way into the arena. As usual, he seethed at the indignity of it. Red-haired and balding, he was little more than four feet tall, for all that he was pure-bred human. He knew he looked ridiculous, but to be constantly reminded of it by the spectators was maddening.

Well, they would see – and then they would be convinced. His chin jutted out as he waited for his opponent to be called forth.

“… and his not-to-be-underestimated opponent, Rilian!”

He had heard about her before this, but never seen her. Despite the rumours, he was surprised by her childlike features. She was tiny and fragile, with pale blonde hair and a muslin dress of insipid blue. Irritation piqued him anew as the audience gave a universal ‘awwww’ of appreciation.

From what he had heard, this Rilian dealt with illusion. She could choose how she looked, gain the sympathy of an ignorant audience through cheap parlour tricks. Well, such devices would not work on Aldran the Mystic. He seethed as he prepared his first runes and waited for the battle to begin.


Those were the words he had wanted to hear. Without hesitation, he released the two glowing spheres from his hands and watched them begin to drift towards Rilian. But by then, he had problems of his own…


Rilian was ready as the fight commenced. A bright burst of light flew from her clasped hands, dazzling the little man for a second or two. By the time he opened his eyes, there were five images of the little-girl Mage, dancing off in different directions.

She loved illusion, she loved the applause from the crowd when she used it. Such simple tricks, such dazzling results. The ridiculous yellow-capped fool peered round, trying to see which of the images was the right one – as if he could see that with his unaided eyes. He began to back away, resisting her attempts to encircle him with the four shadow-illusions and herself.

Rilian barely restrained the impulse to laugh. The idiot! What did it matter where the illusions ended up? The fact that he was paying so much attention to them made him susceptible to other attacks.

She began to draw out one of her throwing stars, gradually, carefully. The four illusions were difficult to maintain realistically. Distractions had to be kept to a minimum. The metal star felt cool in her fingers. It glinted in the sun, reflecting the glow of…

She looked up into the pulsing ball of light that Aldran had thrown. It hummed with a hypnotic rhythm that vibrated through her throat and her ears…


Aldran gritted his teeth and tried to conjure the hypnotic orbs faster. His fingers flew, but the rate of his magic was finite. Only one of the Rilians was real, but which one? Unless he knew, he would have to fight all five of them. The light-spheres only worked when they were close to their target.

The little girl was clever – but not clever enough. He would simply have to modify his techniques, that was all.

He backed away, keeping all five images within his range of sight. It wouldn’t do to let one get behind him. He wanted to be able to see her attacks as they came.

He played with the worrying idea that she might be none of the five illusions, instead sneaking up on him invisibly. It was possible, but not likely, he decided. First, she had got off to a rapid start. A light-burst and a quick illusion were all she had time for in the opening few seconds. Invisibility as well would have been asking a lot. Second, she probably didn’t think he was worth the effort. Everyone underestimated Aldran the Mystic.

Well, no more. It was time to fight back. He released the third energy ball and gave up on producing the fourth. Instead, he concentrated on the movement of the three he had. Instead of allowing them to drift randomly around the arena, he motioned with his arms, directing their path; sending them shooting from one image to the other in rapid succession.

If he could just distract the right illusion, even for a second or two, he would know where she was, and he could attack.

The five images were closing on him when it happened. One of the orbs buzzed down low, startling the second Rilian from the right. As she stared at it, the other four shadow-Rilians flickered and became fainter. He could see right through them. He knew where his enemy was!

A second light-sphere began to approach her, building up its throbbing volume as he added more and more mana to it. When there was enough stored energy, it would burst in a fiery stun-blast that would end this competition once and for all.

‘Just keep staring, little girl,’ he thought, maliciously.


Rilian’s eyes were glazed. There was something… she… was supposed… to be doing. Something very important. The colours were so pretty, and she felt close to sleep. Perhaps this was a dream then? She edged the worry to another corner of her mind, her lips curving into a slight smile.

It looked just like one of her illusions. The warning voice sounded in her head again. She hovered, trying to resist, wanting to give in to the lull of the sleepy, peaceful orbs. Her muscles clenched in response to her inner turmoil. She felt pain. Sudden sharp pain in her fingertips.

Suddenly, the world cleared again. She looked down at her hand, dripping blood from the throwing star’s sharp edge. The buzz of the sphere lured her, but the pain had brought her back –for now.

She needed a new defence – and quickly. Her next manoeuvre was instinctive, one that she had used many times before. Swirling her hands in a rapid pattern, she produced a new illusion. A mighty swarm of bees, writhing and humming as they fled towards the gnome-mage.

He wanted buzzing, did he? She would give it to him!

Fleeing to a new corner of the arena, she waited to see what Aldran would make of her swarm.


The moment the girl-mage had broken away from her trance, Aldran had known he would have to produce something beyond his usual tricks to defeat this little charlatan. The trouble was that his attacks were all slow and gentle – a build-up effect, devastating when it took, but a definite disadvantage when the competitor resisted!

He was still thinking when she handed him a boon. From the gestures of her magic came an angry swarm of bees, flying directly at him.

The stupid little girl! She had used this same trick in the last arena round. Illusory bees could not harm him, although it may seem at the time that they could. Besides, he had kept bees of his own for two decades. They held no fears for him!

His mind raced. This had to be turned to his advantage. If Rilian believed she had the upper hand, she would be slower in conjuring up her next spell. He could buy himself a few seconds by pretending to panic.

A few seconds! Would it be enough?

As the bees hit him, he began his preparations, masked between much flailing and yelling. Nothing was held back. If this didn’t win him the match, he was finished…


The crowd was laughing, soaking up the atmosphere as the ugly little dwarf hopped and danced and screeched to the tune of the Bee Fandango.

Rilian took a moment to savour the atmosphere. Her fingers throbbed where blood still dripped freely onto the arena floor, but now she could finish this off any time she liked. One good throw was all it would take.

Ignoring the pain in her hand, she hefted the star and took aim. A tiny pinprick of light began to glow behind her, humming high off the range that human ears could hear. She was unaware of it as her eyes narrowed on the target. She drew her arm back and hurled the star.

Just at the very last moment, it slipped in her bloody fingertips. The aim was slightly off. She almost stamped her foot with frustration. No kill this time, only a wound. The dot of light behind her was the brightness of a miniature sun now, and still she could not see it. With no hesitation, she drew another star from her belt. At last, the piercing hum of the pinprick became audible, and she half turned.

The tiny orb exploded, ravaging half her face with a blast of intense heat. She screamed, dropping the star and clutching at her cheek. All her thoughts were eaten by the consuming pain. She stumbled blindly, unaware of the fight, unaware of her opponent, unaware even of the audience gasping at her plight.


Aldran looked down at the metal imbedded in his gut. His world was greying, washing in and out like fog on the tide. Blood stained his yellow clothing. His blood.

Ohhhh, it hurt! His hand reached to try to ease out the weapon. He stopped as the wound blossomed into huge blooms of agony. The star would have to stay there, if he wanted to win.

He breathed shallowly, sweat streaking his skin. Oh yes, he still wanted that victory. The little-girl Mage was going to pay for her trickery. She would bleed too, before this day was out!

He let rage take him beyond the limitations of his agony. Step by stumbling step, he closed on the girl, feeling the pain tugging at his guts with each movement. The grinding of the knife against his organs made him want to vomit, but he held it in check, fearing what damage he would do himself.

She seemed miles away. Was he getting any closer? Would Aldran the Mystic taste another victory, or would he die here, on the sandy floor of the arena? What was death like, he wondered, dreamily. Would it be banquet tables with the Gods, or a time of peace and reflection, or an endless supply of naked houris to cater to his every carnal whim.

In a dream, he took his final steps. The trickster mage was whimpering, one hand over her face, the other covered in blood. Her eyes were rolling, obviously fighting unconsciousness. Down… but not yet out.

Knowing that he would pay for it later, knowing that this would hurt like hellfire, he nevertheless took great pleasure in swinging his fist into her face, as hard as he could.

He remained conscious just long enough to hear:


And then the world faded to black.
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Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 2567
Location: USA

Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 6:22 am    Post subject:  

Thanks for the entry Stoat! You receive the 200 fable prize for this round, and Aldran the Mystic advances to round 4.
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