I swear there was a ring announcer there calling the shots.
“Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the moment you’ve been waiting for! The mythic superfight one hundred years in the making is only seconds away! From the worn out Spellscar Desert in the Mana Wastes, this fight is brought to you by Gray Dragon Machinations and Golden Apsu Promotions.
Introducing on the east cliff, three undead heroes with a bone to pick and an axe to grind. They’ve waited one hundred years for this chance! Please give it up for the Captain of the Waybringer, by way of Cheliax, a Grave Knight with a passion for acid and equestrian games. Aerodus-I-can’t-believe-I-failed-Apsu Pavooooo! Next, be prepared to be bewitched by an undead witch that will light your heart on fire. The ghostly Linnnnnni! Lastly, a stranger with no fear of danger, Alkenstars very own. Camrad of the Wastes!
Now introducing the challengers on the west cliff, Apsu’s newest wunderkinds, the five living members of the Deep Sea Current. Hatched on Raptor Island, turned pirate, the gun toting kobold who never misses his target. Captain I’m-a-Real-Dragon Rrrrreskafarrr! Now you see him. Now you don’t. A foxman assassin not afraid to get down and dirty or a little bit flirty. The magnificent Myrrrrrrrh! There are stars, there are superstars, and there are chosen ones. This morning the Chosen One is with us. Chosen for what? Thats for you to know and him to find out! Meet the unkind undine, Aven! He may have fungus for eyes and a clock for a hand but logic dictates you won’t want to miss out on our next master of disaster. A tiefling magician with all the answers and none of the charm, Professor Goethe! Ladies you won’t want to miss our last competitor! He’s rich! He’s famous! He’ll swept you off your feet if you let him speak, but don’t ask him to take out the trash. Magnimar’s one and only, Lord! Vestin!! The Fourrrrrth!!!
With the whole world hanging in the balance, the stakes are higher than ever in this winner take all mythic showdown. So slap on your swim suit it’s going to be a blood bath!!!”
Ahhh! That’s more like it.
My trigger finger was getting mighty itchy. I looked to the other side of the gulch at the poor undead bastards who picked the fight. They had no idea what was about to go down! Goethe and Lorenz got the feather token and made all the right preparations and then some. They brought me a ghost buster of a musket, scrolls to cure what ailed us, a tower shield, holy acid, an appendix of contingency plans, and most importantly a case of sugarcane rum. After getting patched up, stone-skinned, empowered to fly, and rearmed, I felt better than my old self. The others were pumped up too. The communal anticipation had the dragonflies in stomach breathing fucking fire. I was red hot and fired up!
Tebrilith started playing. The announcer roared the play by play in a nasally pitched jibber jabber.
“We are underway! Graveman Aerodus and Camrad are taking the fight straight to the challengers chins on their phantom steed express. They just ripped through Aven’s tower shield with pulse pounding fury! This isn’t a cat and mouse game like most predicted, this is lions fighting tigers. And I love it!
Master Goethe just lost control of his arcane powers like a crazed bull in a china shop. Folks, primal magic is a harsh mistress! That unexpected negative energy bomb might end things before the blood and guts really start to fly. Myrrh and Aven are lying on the ground like lumps of steaming rhino stool. Everyone in attendance is shocked by the turn of events. Geothe, Reskafar, and Lorenz avoided much of the negative titty twister but can they really go toe-to-toe with the fully charged up Aerodus and Camrad? It’s not looking good folks!
Wow! Did you see that? Captain Reskafar just sent Camrad’s dusty bones back to the grave with a vicious brimstone volley.
By the look of it, Lorenz is hiding in a bush now. Wait! Lord Vestin is the bush! Is this the work of primal magic or a devious strategy? The invincible juggernaut Aerodus is closing in on the leafy Lorenz. I can smell Lorenz’s sweet scent of fear from my booth, it smells like elderberries. Can the bushman restore Aven and Myrrh in time before he is pruned by Aerodus’ great clipper?
Holy Quantium! In another unbelievable twist, Professor Goethe has reappeared with a pack of wild cerberuses. What’s that now? The albino tiefling just moon beamed a magic balloon full of black grease at Aerodus’s weapon. Holy Smokes!…Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies!…it hit!…it hit! Aerodus is fumbling his sword like it’s a bar of soap in the bathtub. He can’t get a grip! He looks mad as a hornet! Let’s see what he can do without his stinger. What a spectacular way for Goethe to redeem himself!
Down goes Aerodus! Down goes Aerodus! The revived unkind undine and sly fox did the impossible with their bladed teamwork. In 23 years of broadcasting I thought I’d seen it all, folks. But I ain’t never seen that!
Lini still won’t give up! Her witchfire and wisps got the little kobold captain looking for a hole to hide in! She sank into the ground. She isn’t playing fair. And I like it!
Dawn just broke! I can see the challengers surging with renewed energy! The ghostly Lini has her work cut out for her if she is going to make a comeback. Wait. I am getting a signal from the referee. Ladies and gentlemen it’s over! Lini through in the towel, she wants no part of the sun.
In a stunning upset, scoring the win by careful planning, quick thinking, and good ol’ dumb luck, the new heroes on the Obelisk of Myth. Please give it up for Reskafar, Aven, Myrrh, Goethe, and Lorenz! These guys need some butter because their on a roll!”
Ahhh! That’s more like it.
I gotta hand it to Goethe. His planning and quick thinking were our trump cards. Sure he almost killed us all by triggering that negative energy wave, but his magic was still the difference maker. First, his stoneskin spell negated many of Camrad’s bullets. Second, his cerberuses drew much of Aerodus’ ire. Third, that grease spell was fucking genius. It was hilarious watching that armored titan juggle his slippery sword! And that was Aerodus’ biggest mistake, he gave Goethe too much time to think. So I gotta hand it to Goethe.
We all stood around for a minute basking in the glory of a job well done. Eventually, Lorenz broke the silence, “I thought something was going to happen after we won”.
As soon as the words left his mouth, I was sucked into a familiar dream. I was standing above the clouds on the rocky summit of the Dragon Fang, the tallest mountain on Raptor Island. I felt a tremendous gushing heat from above, the heat evaporated the fluffy white clouds, revealing the awe inspiring landscape of my home. A shadow started to dim out the brightness and a bone rumbling bass cord started to drown out the quiet. I looked up slowly. An enormous falling star was rocketing straight for me. A familiar feeling of dread returned, back then it felt like the seas were coming to drown me, now it felt like the stars were coming to smash me. As the meteor grew nearer, it began breaking up into a fiery stone rain, the burning atmosphere sculpted the face of a great noble dragon in its center mass. The golden dragon spoke, “Fear not Reskafar, I have brought the heavens to greet you!”. I raised my hands to the air just as the falling star’s great dragon maw opened wide around the mountain. I didn’t feel a stars weight crushing me, I only felt a comforting closeness. I knew it this time, and screamed into the void, “I am Apsu!”.
I could feel myself being possessed by the Waybringer and I liked it. As Apsu, I spoke to my fallen heroes and my new heroes. I sent the fallen on to the next plane so they could finally rest. I bestowed the victors with a dragon’s voice to accompany their dragon hearts. I smiled as they each grabbed their throats in burning pain and fell to their knees. A dragon’s voice comes with a price! I warned them of the coming struggles as they writhed. Finally, deep in my heart, I felt a fleeting sliver of hope for the future then the divine connection faded.
“Was that something enough for you Vestin?”, scolded Aven after recovering, his voice echoed like a waterfall. All of our voices had changed. Myrrh’s voice whispered in the dark, Goethe’s voice scorched the air, Lorenz’ voice hung in the air like frost breath, and my own voice soured the air. We all looked at each other in disbelief.
Then the announcer chimed in again.
“What will our heroes do next? They learned the Dreadlords of Geb are possibly separating dragon spirits from their hoards. And that Gray Agents are seeking something in Katapesh’s night stalls. Will they follow the Infernal line? Who is Grulios? Will they take Camrad’s advice and retrieve the rest of their lost crew? Exactly, how much money is Lord Vestin IV on the hook for?