Non-threaded

Forums » Creative Corner » Read Thread

Take part in collaborative works, share your short stories, poems, original artwork and more.

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
"God," said Darkspawn, weaving his way unsteadily through the barrio, the bottle of tequila in his hand disappearing steadily as he thought back to the events of last week. "I wish I could have dueled anyone other than that fat fuck." Now of course God works in mysterious ways, but it's possible that this time He was just trolling since instantly a ray of light parted the clouds, and a cherubic form appeared. It was Wizzy! "WEED LMAO!" he laughed. "What's bussin'? I'll duel you fr, duels are fire, I fought Ace once too btw, it was gas. Er, I mean he had gas." So they hurried back towards the arena together, and somehow crossed the border to CYStia without getting arrested or stabbed.

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
Story A: Mage Virimius soared through the air, standing upright. Anti-drag spell, imperceivable wind shield spell, and flight-plus-propulsion spell. The last was a personal innovation, developed after several years working over dozens of spells and finding incantations that could be combined. Conjunction conjurations were especially challenging to form without softening the effect of either spell—the grammar of the resulting chants was especially difficult, and sometimes rather tedious. Virimius had spent an additional two months simply trimming the length of the initial incantation, searching for any tiny syllable that he could enhance, allowing for the removal of a weaker link. He heard a roar: deep, so loud that even birds of prey fled, and prolonged. It seemed to reverberate throughout the valleys, bouncing off the peaks, dripping with hunger. It sent a shiver down Virimius’ spine, and a wince across his face. He could hardly tell where the still-echoing eruption had come from, but he had a solution: Soundtrace, a spell that had required magistrate approval alongside a military investigation. Virimius prided himself on the acquisition—had he waited seven or more years after the fateful night in his last year at the Rakke-Clemson Institute, he would not have been able to pass the extensive trial that the wallet-shattering purchase required. It had required discipline since his second year, alongside scrupulous budgeting, but it was so, so worth it. As Virimius banked upwards, remaining close to the cliff formation, he began his recitation. The words had been repeated to him by mouth until he’d remembered them; there was no written copy of it, and to write one would be a severe criminal offense. These words were consigned to the mage’s mind, and the confines of his audio distortion field. As he approached the tip of the mountain, he pushed a button located on a delicate sapphire necklace—cautiously peeking past his robes. The distortion field was now active. The spell was finished after 15 seconds of flight, and Virimius received a visual route, directly in his mind. He adjusted course immediately, rotating his right hand to direct his flight. He rounded a peak sharply, and immediately saw the target: an impressive stone fortress. Even from afar, he noticed that it had sustained some damage. A couple of the towers and a quarter of the battlements had been utterly destroyed. He soared onwards, and quickly reached the perimeter. He noticed a tower with a large chunk of the outward-facing wall missing, and he could see arrow slits on the opposite, intact side. He darted over, robes flapping, being careful not to expose himself to anyone that was within the castle. This required a low approach. He landed as close as he could, and quickly pressed up against the warm stone structure. As he took a quick breather, his mind churned. An option was quickly selected, and Virimius uttered the invisibility spell. As he surged up to the open tower, not bothering to stay out of sight, he took a chance to look past the walls, searching for the target. As he was about to step inside, he noticed it. The dragon. It was curled in a sleeping position, atop the roof of the largest building within the walls of the keep. Virimius entered the tower, and began examining the beast through an intact arrow slit, maintaining the invisibility spell—just in case. It was a beautiful specimen of a copper dragon. Each scale was shining: the lustrous body resembled a stockpile of the most refined copper and bronze ingots that could grace the mage’s eyes. As the dragon’s form undulated, shifting with every monumental inhale, the sunbeams danced across it. The dragon’s face was nothing extraordinary: a classic tapered snout, and overlapping scale formations; these formed plates of natural armor. From experience, Virimius knew just how sturdy this dragon must be. Overlapping faceplates developed at the one-millenium mark of a dragon’s lifespan. So this one was a proper ancient. Something about the dragon stood out. It had large, impressive horns. They seemed to grow out of the luscious brow-armor plates of the creature, spiraling out to a size that would have bighorn sheep blushing with jealousy. The mage sat down on the cold stone floor of the tower, and examined the interior. He quickly deduced that the battle here had been fierce. Beyond the fact that the wall had been imploded, probably via a spell or siege weapon, the room was in a state of utter destruction. Papers and books had been flung every which way, burnt beyond recognition. There was clearly furniture missing from the chamber, and arrows with singed shafts were protruding from various exposed surfaces. Virimius noticed a tome on one of the shelves, and withdrew it. A copy, albeit battered and bruised, of the Magus Lexicanum. One of the foremost introductory texts for a mage. Virimius flipped listlessly through the pages as he concocted a plan: he’d memorized nearly everything between these covers, a necessity for any mage worth their salt. Now, reading through the text brought him a sense of familiarity and comfort. These spells were intimate to him, close friends, rather than challenges to be bested. By the time Virimius replaced the tome on the battle-scarred bookshelf, he’d thought of a plan. Freeze spell, domination spell, and then the spell. He took another look through his improvised peephole. To his surprise, the dragon had roused from its slumber. It rested in a half-crouched position, sleepily blinking and inspecting the surroundings. Its eyes were giant pearls of amber, with pupils of piercing obsidian. Virimius did a mental recitation of the necessary lines, steeling himself. He clenched his invincible fists, checked that the audio-distortion field was still active (it was), and fell backwards out of the open side of the tower. The flight spell took over within a second, buoying his undetectable form with unseen air currents. Sparing no time, he sent himself soaring over the walls, straight at the target. As he flew, he began to chant. Slippery arcane syllables flowed over his tongue. The freeze spell was a tough one, but he’d used it so many times—it felt natural now. When he reached the last clause of the spell, he also reached the center of the stronghold; he floated less than 50 meters from the grand reptile. The dragon turned and looked straight at him. This didn’t faze the invisible spellslinger, who forged on through the incantation. What did faze him was the sudden narrowing of the eyelids, the focus of the pupils. Virimius knew that the dragon knew. Still, it wasn’t like it could act on— The dragon roared. It punched right through the audio distortion spell, blowing apart the spell, and Virimius was blown backwards by the resulting gale. As the dragon began to gather a majestic breath, Virimius weighed his options. He pressed the sapphire desperately: no effect. As the dragon opened its mouth, Virimius jerked his hand. The maneuver sent him sideways at a speed that would have broken a lesser mage’s neck. It was barely enough to dodge the beam of molten copper that sizzled through the air towards him. He watched as the liquid metal carpeted the overgrown floor of the stronghold with a hiss, consuming the vegetation and wooden structures unfortunate enough to be in its path. The dragon took to the air with two motions: a powerful flap of its wings, a leap that only hundreds of years of practice and power could give. Virimius began Plan B, casting as he weaved through the air. The only counter to the overwhelming power behind every claw swipe and tooth bite was maximum speed and agility—even so, each one of the dragon’s attacks came closer and closer. The gap between the lethal talons and Virimius’ bushy beard narrowed with every swing, every step of the dance. Finally, Virimius completed the recipe for the volume boost spell. Without further ado, he stopped his retreat; he turned towards the dragon, which was getting ready to release another high-velocity stream of glowing-orange copper. One word was all it took. The domination spell required the arcane equivalent of “stop, listen”, and uttered at a sufficient volume, it would have a pronounced effect on anything. This time, thanks to the mage’s previous spell, the arcane word came out at a deafening volume, on par with the fiercest thunderclap. The dragon winced, its own hearing under attack now. As soon as the wince withdrew from its features, it stopped charging down Virimius. Instead, it hung in the air like a pet, eagerly awaiting orders. Virimius smiled. He’d already found the perfect spot during his brief occupancy of the broken tower. His mouth may have been obscured by voluminous facial hair, but the command still came through clearly, “Forget the word you just heard.” The dragon didn’t move in response to this, but Virimius detected its eyes shifting, mental cogs churning. He continued ordering, “Great Dragon, land yourself in the spot of that destroyed tower, where naught but the stairs remain.” The dragon’s face contorted briefly, grasping at words that wouldn’t come. It obeyed. With just a few flaps of its wings, it was in position, sat on all fours like an obedient pup. “Perfect, now open your mouth, and set your head right at the top of these stairs,” Virimius uttered with unnatural confidence. The immense reptilian continued to obey. With every decisive motion, the mage could see a pained reaction in its eyes. Nonetheless, the dragon assumed this position perfectly, mouth wide agape, a dark, yawning portal at the peak of the stairs. Virimius landed at the base of the stairs, dissolving the flight and propulsion spell with a flourish of his control hand. He climbed the steps deliberately, aging knees threatening to buckle. All the while, he was speaking an incantation, firmly, loudly. The dragon could hear every distinct arcane syllable, but it no longer mattered. Virimius stood at the top of the staircase, looking into a dragon’s mouth: a first. The tongue was a rough, scaly organ, resembling an alligator. It carpeted the dragon’s tough blue flesh, and tickled the grandiose teeth in front of it. Each fang was as large as Virimius, and as sharp as any spear he’d seen. As he finished the last clauses of the spell, he peered down the throat, searching for the glow of molten copper. There was no sight of liquid metal, and the spell was finished. Suddenly, a horrific sound assaulted Virimius’ ears. The sickening crunch of bone, amplified to a volume beyond anything he’d seen, even in the gladiatorial pit fights. This was accompanied by the gruesome noise of flesh tearing, in quantities that even necromancers would rarely handle! As Virimius continued to peer into the depths, he saw something forming in the dragon’s throat. A pool. Draconic viscera. Deep crimson mixed with various other sickly colors, creating a purple cocktail of gore. Virimius took a few steps back, and checked that the head of the beast was still attached to the body. It was. He peered into the beautiful amber eyes of the creature. They were glazed over: frozen, showing the mixture of fear, pain, anguish, and great wisdom that had gripped the great lizard in its final moments. Without further ado, Virimius took a running start up the last several stairs, and leaped headfirst into the disgusting pool of sludge. He emerged into a sunny meadow, surrounded by kilometer high trees, so tightly packed that nothing could penetrate the sturdy trunks. At the center of the meadow was a fortress, just like the dragon’s but fully intact. Every stone was sanded down neatly, polished, and every tower and battlement was accounted for. The bricks on the roofs were bright, not reflecting any of the struggle that the real structure had suffered. Virimius spent the next several weeks getting acclimated to his new home. If his theories and calculations were correct, then a dragonblood dimension sourced from a millenia-old dragon would last for, well, millenia.

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
Story B: Hunger. This word had been swimming around inside the head of the New Tower’s master. Not actual hunger that he could satisfy with bread and cheese, but more of a primal conception of hunger that made him feel as if his blood was boiling and his skull tightening like a vice around his mind. It had started a year ago, and it had worsened drastically during this last month. Thankfully, these episodes were short and infrequent enough to not warrant too much concern. After all, mysterious ailments such as this were not uncommon for wizards who dallied with the threads of reality and the primal forces of creation. “Wizard’s Folly”, they called it. Its symptoms were as varied as its causes and ranged anywhere from hallucinations to mental collapse, and from physical malaise to spontaneous combustion. Wizards who delved too deeply into the mysteries that granted them their powers were invariably more likely to suffer this condition, and the master of the New Tower had certainly delved more than most. The discomfort seemingly passed, he left his seat and picked his hat up from the desk. His age slowed his stride, and he cleaned his forehead and the roots of his long, white hair of sweat with a handkerchief, putting his hat back on afterwards. He was already at the top of the tower, rarely descending nowadays, but still there was another set of stairs. Rounding a corner, he came to the section of the tower’s walls that had been torn down to allow him to magically create a set of stairs that extended out from the side of the tower’s top floor. And at the top, a gaping maw. Sword-sharp teeth, each one larger than the wizard himself. Scales harder and tougher than any armor ever forged by man or dwarf. Two horns that had broken thousands of men and women against them. Kezandax. The Burning King, The End of Times, The World Devourer, and many other colorful titles he was called during his time in terror or reverence. Harmless now, turned to immobile stone as he was. Every day he was confronted with the hateful being that once brought so much suffering to the planes, and every day he was forced to relieve their confrontation. He finally arrived at the mouth-turned-entrance and stepped inside. An action that would have once resulted in a quick death now instead allowed him to explore the inside of the old beast, magically adapted to allow the wizard to wander around Kezandax’s interior. After his defeat, frozen as he was, Kezandax had become an object of study for his enemy. The infernal machinery that fueled the dragon’s body was of particular interest. The fusion between creature and machine, and the infernal essence of the dragon itself had allowed the wizard to understand much of the lower planes’ denizens. Besides that, there was an undeniable air of raw magic all around the defeated dragon, which called the wizard like flame does a moth. These days, the study of the dragon was all that interested the wizard. The kingdom and the small town that had flourished around his tower all considered him a hero still, and even the elves and dwarves respected him and heaped their praises unto him. He cared for none of it. He had saved them all from Kezandax decades ago, and to this day the dragon interested him more than any of them. But Kezandax was not dead, merely dormant. And that simple fact worried the wizard to no small end. It did not escape him that the only thing binding Kezandax was his magic, and that when he perished so would the restraints keeping the dragon in place, leaving him free to resume his rampage across the world. He spent all his time setting up wards and fail-safes for the day his magic failed, and he studied ways to prolong it after his death. Before he stopped him here, at the place where the New Tower would be erected afterwards, Kezandax had lain waste to numerous worlds and vast swathes of this one. Risen from the Hells along with his ironclad legion of fiends, The Burning King brought the fires of his birthplace to the rest of the universe. Ash and bones were left in his wake as he made his way from world to world, consuming them in their entirety before moving on to the next one. The master of this tower, built next to the hulking creature, had been blessed with magic of a magnitude never seen before in the realms. Perhaps blessed by the gods themselves, some whispered, and probably not without cause. It was not unheard of for the gods to intervene in such indirect ways against a threat so great as was Kezandax and his Burning Legion. The day he faced Kezandax, he did so with an army of all the peoples of the realms and with a company of trusted magicians, warriors, and priests at his back. Most of the army was burned and hacked to pieces, and all his companions perished against the elite warriors of the Legion. But in the end, he managed to freeze the dragon in place by harnessing all his magic and that of his dead friends. The Legion, already weakened from the battle was thrown in disarray and routed by the remaining army of the realms. The wizard was hailed as a hero, and his companions as martyrs and saints of their respective races and churches. The threat had been ended. “But was it really?” The booming voice he heard in his head made the wizard flinch. He had heard it once before, almost eighty years ago. Could it be? “No…” he shook his head as he muttered to himself. “I must just be tired. Too much time inside this damn beast.” “Only one of those is true, little wizard.” Again. The deep, rumbling voice made his headache hurt worse than ever. He felt his body blaze up as if he was walking through the Hells themselves, and his stomach rumbled with an alien hunger that was not his own. “You have made yourself quite at home inside my body I see. Could it be that even after besting me, you yearned for power such as mine?” the voice continued drilling into his brain. “No, this is impossible,” the wizard mumbled as he tried to compose himself, “you are dormant. I defeated you.” “You trapped me in this void. But you were a fool if you thought you could keep me chained here forever.” In his mind, the wizard could almost picture Kezandax proudly extending his massive wings. “I am the ever-burning fires of the Hells. I am hunger made flesh. I am Kezandax, Eater of Worlds and I will not be denied.” The wizard saw the fires in his eyes, burning across all the world while the dragon soared above. He ran. Back to the stairs and down them. He tumbled down the last couple of them and rushed to his study, slamming the door behind him as though he feared the dragon himself would walk through it. Collapsing on his chair, his heart threatened to beat out of his chest. The dragon had spoken to him. The implications were severe. Either his spell was waning, or else the dragon’s… mind, was not limited to his body anymore. The wizard couldn’t decide which was worse. There was also the possibility, he considered, that this was some severe form of Wizard’s Folly. Regardless, he decided this merited further study and settled on resting now, to compose himself and to investigate tomorrow. A wizard’s greatest weapon was his mind, and his was not at its best right now. Sleep was uneasy, to say the least. Turning and tossing, rest evaded him as he heard the voice whispering in his ear and his stomach rumbling even though he ate before getting into bed. He awoke much earlier than he desired in a cold sweat and with a gaping feeling of emptiness inside him. Driven by something else, he ran to his small kitchen and began stuffing his mouth with different fruits and cheeses that did little to sate his newfound hunger. He needed something else. Some meat was hanged out nearby to dry. He salivated uncontrollably when he saw it. ‘I should cook it, shouldn’t I?’ he thought to himself. ‘No, no time.’ He grabbed the nearest slab and bit into it, tendon tangling in his teeth and red, watery liquid dripping from his mouth to his chin and below. He tore out a great chunk and chewed it wildly, finally feeling his hunger begin to recede. His human teeth, unsuitable to properly masticating raw meat, almost seemed to feel sharper and pointier. By the time he was done there was no meat left, and he felt satiated for the first time in weeks, promptly falling asleep again. In a strange limbo between sleep and wakefulness, he heard the voice again. “Now you feel it. The endless hunger. The first time you satiate it, there is no feeling quite like it in all the worlds. But every time after, it gets harder. Eventually, every time you gorge the hunger just grows.” The aged wizard was now wide awake. “What is happening to me?” he asked loudly, aware he was alone in the tower. Though he wasn’t, as he was coming to realize. “I told you before I will not be denied. I am not a conqueror, or a monster. I am hunger. Prophecy isn’t a suggestion; it is certainty. And I was prophesied to devour this world and all others like it. It is my destiny. And one human, impressive as he may be, will not stand in my way.” “I defeated you,” the wizard retorted, though he was less sure of the fact with each passing moment. “Destiny cannot be denied. You know it even now. When you expire, your magic will break, and I will be free to continue eating your world and those that follow. Kezandax will return, and he will fulfill his destiny,” he almost shouted at the end. And with that, he was gone. The next days were comparably calm. The master of the tower spent them hunched over books, and he spent the nights writhing in agony. Yet it seemed that Kezandax was right; his death would allow the dragon to return no matter what he did. The only glimmer of hope, he realized, was to find someone with a power comparable to his that could take over, so to speak, the maintenance of the spell. With that in mind, he was reading himself to return to the surface to share this with the leaders of the various peoples who had an interest in keeping Kezandax asleep. When he got to the lower floor, his body suddenly flared up in agony. Dropping to the floor, he put a hand to his face only to feel it hardening and segmenting as if it was covered in… scales? Bringing his hand to his field of view likewise allowed him to see it extending. The bone from beneath twisted and tore through the skin, curving into fierce talons. His entire being was shaking in pain, and the heat inside him, along with the pit in his stomach were greater than ever. Kezandax spoke again, though it was getting harder to differentiate it from his own thoughts. “I have decided that I do not have to wait for your demise. My old form had become too familiar, after all. It will be interesting to see what I can do with your power. The Burning King rises once more, and this time his hunger will not stop at anything.” Once the painful transformation ended, his mind was blank of all the lore, all the cantrips he knew once. Childhood memories, his adventures with his dead friends, all gone. In their place there was a single, all-consuming thought. Hunger.

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
Reply to this post for voting. I put this there to remove the confusion that happens when, like the contestants, the audience shows up to these events drunk or high.

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago

B

I skimmed through A and hated it. 

 

Hunger. This word had been swimming around inside the head of the New Tower’s master. Not actual hunger that he could satisfy with bread and cheese, but more of a primal conception of hunger that made him feel as if his blood was boiling and his skull tightening like a vice around his mind. It had started a year ago,

That's all I read of B and I like it more already. B do be my vote. 

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/27/2023 2:12:23 PM
Well, I don’t have a long and scathing commentary for this one. Oh, I’m not saying I couldn’t write one, just that I didn’t. It is a little different: I was actually able to read through both of these entries without too many confusing issues. I know, right, weird? Seriously, though, these were both good and readable. Starting off, if these were storygames, I’d be looking at the four range right off the bat.

The first one was an interesting story. It certainly didn’t end the way I would have thought, which isn’t bad. The dragon’s fortune sure changed quickly towards the end. The second was longer, obviously, and felt more complete. At the same time, it also went in a really strange direction and actually quite suddenly. That change at the end felt like it should have been more gradual, but happened right away, all at once.

I did like them both for different things. It’s a tough choice here. I’m going with A because there can be only one.

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago

B

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/27/2023 2:11:50 PM

B or A?  A or B?  Both were pretty well written.

Story A:  I enjoyed the detail that accompanied each spell that the Wizard used.  But the jump to the dragonblood dimension seemed to come out of nowhere.

Story B: I enjoyed the inner conflict between the wizard and the dragon, and thought it was developed well.  The twist at the end was a nice touch.  

Vote for STORY B.

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/27/2023 2:11:34 PM
(Copying this over to the correct spot, please delete my other post.)


Both stories were surprisingly good,.

Story A had more action and it was all well done. I could tell some real thought had gone into the specifics of the magic, but towards the end it felt rushed. I'm not even sure what ultimately killed the dragon, even though the flood of viscera was quite gnarly. The ending twist with the other dimension felt like it needed more set up too.

Onto Story B now, that also felt rushed towards the end, and intriguingly was almost the exact opposite of the first one in tone and in pace. Where Story A had a lot of action and little substance, much of Story B is a slow burn about creeping madness and doubt and reflections on a past deed.

I think ultimately this will come down to a matter of preference since there's no major flaws in skill level on either, but the themes and atmosphere of Story B just resonated with me more and so

STORY B HAS MY VOTE



Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/27/2023 2:11:16 PM
With a flourish of my control hand I used the copy and paste spells on story A, bringing it into my google drive tome. Using the Search Digital Document Spell I discovered 26 instances of the word Spell. Using the google chrome calculator spell I discovered that the word spell made up 1.3% of all words in the story. Incredible to think the mage had spent two months simply trimming down the length of the incantation. I don’t see why you felt the need to rattle off names. You should show us what the magic is doing, instead of telling us these oddly modern sounding and autodescriptive names.

I think the second story has some pacing problems. For example, we don’t need all the details on the battle with the dragon. Suffice to say that many mighty heroes and beloved friends sacrificed their lives to give the wizard a desperate chance to put an end to that bestial and ancient evil.

I vote for story B.

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
"Driven by something else, he ran to his small kitchen and began stuffing his mouth with different fruits and cheeses that did little to sate his newfound hunger. He needed something else. Some meat was hanged out nearby to dry. He salivated uncontrollably when he saw it."

#RELATABLE

I choose B.

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
My vote goes to Story B. From what I was able to force myself to read of A, I think the writer explains too much instead of telling the story.

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/29/2023 10:20:12 AM
Well I can't vote in these while hosting because the entrants aren't anonymous to me, but both sets of duels have ended up enough of a landslide that I think I can comment without affecting anything much. I genuinely enjoyed both of these and they both have their strengths, but my vote would have gone to Story B. I agree with Cyclonis that the entries were pretty much opposite in tone and some of this may be a matter of preference. But it just feels like Story B does more in terms of setting up conflict, and most importantly, the stakes. Story A has a lot of combat, and it's done well with a heavy emphasis on precision and detail which (along with the terminology) gives it a uniqely sort of modern or sci fi feel. There's also a couple of scenes that jumped out at me with some really vivid attention to detail. Peering into the dragon's mouth was one of them. But the plot is the weakest point that undermines the rest. Because it's like, a wizard is flying around, gets curious about a sound, picks a fight with a sleeping dragon, and then there's something about creating dimensions from dragon blood which isn't mentioned at all until the very end. The dragon isn't given much of a personality, while the wizard's main characteristic is how good he is at magic; and that's never an idea that's challenged even when up against a thousand year old dragon. In Story B, the protagonist's vulnerability is introduced right away, along with this concept of a creeping disease of the mind which only adds to the pressure of the inevitable release of the dragon upon his death. If anything, the biggest let down in Story B is that there wasn't space to play with the idea of Wizard's Folly a little more, and with the reader's perceptions of what was actually going on once the possibility of madness and hence an unreliable narrator was introduced. The wizard's hubris seemed to have began before the story did: dismissing the signs of things going wrong and waiting so long to think of bringing in people to take his place, while entire worlds were at stake. (Seriously, what if he had choked on a chicken bone 10 years ago?) And a setting so sweeping that it includes the forces of Hell sending out world destroying cyborg dragons that can embody an entire abstract concept is just metal af. The dragon is an ominous presence even when it's not speaking, and later it acts as a distinct and even more ominous character, which is another point in B's favor. Both endings did sort of fumble and show the signs of being rushed. (And given how close it was to midnight when I received them, that was already obvious lol) If it was an issue of word count, Story A had a few spots where tangents could have been trimmed to leave room for explaining the whole alternate dimension of dragon blood thing. Or it could have been as simple as making that a goal of the wizard's from the beginning, instead of a thing he just does at the very end after finding and fighting a dragon at random. But I'm with Ogre that the transformation in Story B felt abrupt. All the leadup until then had been in the form of threats to the wizard's mental state. I don't think physically growing scales was needed, and it felt more like the author was just hurriedly trying to wrap things up. Anyway, these are the best Thunderdome stories we've had in some time, I'm really happy with both authors for stepping up.

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/27/2023 2:10:53 PM

With story A I wanted to complain that I didn't know why the wizard dude wanted to kill the dragon so badly. Then at the very end I read the reason, it felt odd? To me this story reads like a pulpy webnovel and not in a good way. I have a feeling that the author was jerking himself/herself off while coming up with flashy spells that their teenage self would moon over. Aka almost like a child smashing their toys together while making sound effects during their imaginary play fight. 

Sure it was fun and it was very competently written, but there wasn't really any emotion, a central conflict/dilemma or an over emcompassing theme, which would have brought such a story to a new level. I never had the feeling throughout this whole battle that this mage would fail in his mission nor did I find the dragon very threatening. There seems to be a lack of tension within the story as a result.

Since we only have one human protagonist, I expected it to be more of a character study about the psyche of such a powerful wizard? It was very surprising to me that you didn't dig very deeply into his thoughts and motivations while you had ample time to do so. He was the only one with a speaking role after all. Instead, you kind of focused so much time on explaining the magitech where most of it didn't matter in the first place during the climax (only the command spell did really anything to the dragon lolol)

Even though site members like to shit on teenage girls, I think that this story was on par with the other two in regards to plot and theming.

Perhaps I do sound a little harsh right now, but I have to say that it's still better written than most things I've read in the Thunderdome, but I expected a lot more from Darkspawn or Wizzy.

Story B reads like a whole friggin novel. Somehow it manages to cram in so much information and world building and characterization in 2000 words while weaving the story with motifs, struggle and fear.

 

Of course my vote would go for story B.

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/27/2023 2:10:47 PM
The autistic design of the spells in A irked me. It would've been fine in a longer story game during a quiet phase, say a scene where the wizard prepared and studied and the narration went into detail about what exactly he was doing, but it felt wholy out of place among all the action. Moreover, the tone didn't settle. Everything went all over the place as if it was just the first draft.

I liked B's writing a lot better. The author had a mature style and was in command of the page, however, as most other commentators have said already, the ending felt off compared to the rest.

Conclusion: B

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
Wizzy put up a good fight, but Story A really took a savage beating here. Dark wins with Story B, not faced with even meme votes for the competition this time.

Both stories are the kind of thing I'd like to see more of in the Thunderdome, I hope you guys are avaliable in the future and that others capable of providing a challenge for you might step up too.

Anyway I'll have prompts up for the next duels sometime tonight, and I've got to get the main thread updated and points and comms handed out at some point too.

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
Congrats, @Darkspawn

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
Good job to both of you and congrats to Darkspawn.

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/27/2023 2:10:31 PM

Congrats to Dark! I knew from the moment I finished reading the opposing story that I had lost, but I didn't think it would be quite this bad. At the same time, I can't be mad: I would've voted for his story too. It was very compelling, with some interesting worldbuilding and lots of character. The ending was a little goofy, but my ending was equally rushed. I'm just glad that I lost to that and not some of the usual thunderdome-quality work done by 12 year olds!

Thunderdome 9: Wizzy vs Darkspawn

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/27/2023 2:10:37 PM
Thanks to Wizzy for showing up with a complete, decent story unlike a certain obese individual. Thanks also to all who voted and provided criticisms for my entry. As many pointed out, the ending was indeed rushed and could have benefitted from more time and wordcount, but such are the challenges of the Thunderdome and overall I am pretty content with how the story ended up, minus the ending. In any case, glad to have another win in the bag even if the first one was not so much a win as it was Ace just dying by himself because his sheer mass is incompatible with gravity and caused him to be flattened into a kilometer-wide puddle. I hope I can duel someone else again soon and see if I can get a legit streak going.