"Who dares summon the creator and destroyer of life!?" boomed a loud voice.
White-hot fire doused Dunsparce's ceiling. A massive creature made of living fire and covered in molten armor and chains appeared in the summoning circle.
"My allies fear me as much as my enemies," the creature growled to Dunsparce. "You are foolish to call me into this plane, puny mortal! For what purpose have you summoned the one called 'Fire Demon'!"
"There's a Cookie War going on," said Dunsparce, holding a fire extinguisher. "My name's Dunsparce. Berserker, I require your mighty powers to defeat my enemies."
"Oh," said the creature with a quieter voice. The flames mostly dissipated to reveal a stocky man made of calmly flickering living fire. "Well, why didn't you say so? That makes perfect sense."
Dunsparce sprayed his ceiling with the fire extinguisher until the flames were gone.
"Those flames weren't actually going to burn anything," said Fire Demon, annoyed. "They were just for show."
"You can create illusions too?" said Dunsparce. "I thought you were a mindless brute of unending destruction?"
"Ha!" laughed Fire Demon, and his fire grew for a moment. "Destruction is just the beginning of my legacy! I was a skilled chemist named Kaidart before I fused with a demonic creature and overtook it's mind. I promise you, I have the most diverse skill set of any Berserker out there!"
"Really?" asked Dunsparce. "None of that is in your Biography in the Cookie Series. You're a powerful hero, for sure. But you're just raw destructive power. Kind of a min-maxer. Good to know you're even better tha-"
"History did not note my greatest attributes!?" bellowed Fire Demon. This time, the heat was real. "Show me the records, immediately!"
Dunsparce went to his computer and opened the Cookie War game. He clicked 'Roster' to view the selection of heroes.
"Intelligence of 7!?" yelled Fire Demon. "I discovered the demonic plane and advanced medicine by generations! I did the former while drunk, too!"
"This is good," assured Dunsparce. "This means everyone will underestimate you. We can-"
"They mention the mackerel, right?" asked Fire Demon. "Or the prized chalice I stole from a foolish king? They can't of missed those."
"Little is known of Fire Demon's human life," Dunsparce read from the biography. "However, historians believe he was an abhorrently evil person who drew the attention and admiration of demonic entities. He-"
"I took two samples from the market, one time!" yelled Fire Demon. "How do I find the dead men who created these vile lies!?"
"What's important is that our enemies don't know you're so...diversely skilled," said Dunsparce. "Let's just focus on the War, and after that we can-"
"Ah, there's a 'Contact' section!" said Fire Demon, pushing Dunsparce out of the way. "Give me your device to contact them!"
Dunsparce opened his mouth to protest, but a tendril of flame reached from Fire Demon into Dunsparce's sweatshirt pocket and took his phone.
"This won't take long, mortal," said Fire Demon, placing the phone to his ear. "I'll win your War soon. But this! THIS! Is important!"
Dunsparce sighed and grabbed the fire extinguisher.
Headmaster Recon tapped his fingers nervously. The last time he sat at the Adventurer's Clubhouse table, Mael and Artist were with him.
"Not many friends left to lose," muttered Recon. "I won't let the War end that way again."
The doors to the clubhouse opened suddenly. A woman with short hair and dark robes entered, as well as a thin man with glasses and a civilian suit.
"Blooky, Druby," said Recon. "Please tell me good news."
"All six servants have been summoned," frowned Blooky.
Recon slammed his fist on the table.
"But," said Druby, setting a folder down next to Recon. "We confirmed the identities of all servants and masters."
"Were you spotted?" asked Recon as he studied the folder contents.
"No," said Druby. "Had a close call with Easy, though."
"Good," said Recon. "The Academy must play a neutral role, so we cannot interfere. But the strangeness of this War necessitates we act as a secret guiding force."
"These guys are all novice mages," said Blooky. "Before long, Stealthy will be calling the shots in this War. His interests largely align with our own, even if he is a cheating prick."
"Stealthy will help keep magedom a secret to civilians," said Druby. "But Dunsparce and Fire Demon are our wild cards. We'll need to monitor them closely."
"An expelled student, commanding a mindless demon of fire," said Recon as he read the report. "Fantastic."
"Have you found a replacement master for Kratour?" asked Blooky.
"Yes, thankfully," said Recon. "A former professor, Requiem, has volunteered. He has a very clean record. It will just take him a day to arrive."
"Req's good," said Druby. "If anyone, he'll be able to handle Assassin."
"Well you can tell him to cancel!" said an excited voice. Two men entered the clubhouse.
"TC!" yelled Recon. "You're supposed to be guarding the final catalyst!"
"I thought, why not use it instead?" smiled TC. "I figure you'd ask me to be Assassin's master sooner or later, so I thought I'd take the initiative!"
"Uh, TC?" asked Druby. "Th-"
"You can thank me later," interrupted TC. "Everyone, meet the world famous Assassin, Machiavelli!"
TC gestured to the man standing next to him. He waved.
"TC," sighed Druby. "That's not a servant. That's a man wearing a hot dog costume."
"Hey Jeb," waved Blooky.
"Hey Blooky," waved Jeb awkwardly.
"TC, that's a mascot for a food truck!" said Recon. "Why do you plague me with your foolishness?"
"No, this is a famous assassin," corrected TC. "Machiavelli."
"Machiavelli wasn't an assassin," said Druby.
"Uh, yeah he was," said TC. "I mean, he hung out with them all the time."
"Are you thinking of Machiavelli from the Assassins Creed series?" asked Blooky. "Because he was not an assassin in real life."
"Umm..," said TC, blushing.
"And what's with the hot dog suite?" asked Druby.
"Hot dogs are Italian," said TC. "Right?"
The group sighed.
"Blooky, please wipe that man's memory of seeing the Academy," said Recon calmly.
"Hey," said Jeb, turning to TC. "I'm still getting paid for this, right?"
"O-okay, so I couldn't figure out how to summon a hero for real," said TC. "I'll just uh, I'll get back to your office and do my job."
"That won't be necessary," said Recon calmly. "TC. You're. FIRED!"
A massive line of code burst from Recon's palm and struck TC in the chest. It threw him out the clubhouse doors and into a mud puddle. Recon closed his palm and the code returned to him. The doors to the clunhouse slammed shut.
"Druby, keep an eye on Berserker's master after you run the news," grumbled Recon. "Blooky, you oversee the war and offer support from the clubhouse. I'll return to the Academy and prepare for Requiem's arrival."
If my abilities don't involve using words solidified into weapons, I'll be shocked. Like, sound waves from my voice and numerous clickity clacks of keyboard keys all molded together impossibly into the shape of a weapon (dude, keyblade, just give me a dumb keyblade made of "words"). That would be the dumbest and best thing ever.
But then again, as all of these things go, TC knows best, so just do what you want, friend! I'll try to catch up and read the rest of the series soon!
Jeroth walked into a large white room with a vaulted ceiling.
"Here we are," smiled Jeroth as he walked into the center of the room. "Chocobo Academy's mana storage facility. The third largest in all of magedom."
"Let's knock it out of the top ten," said Tirin, appearing by Jeroth's side.
Tirin scanned the room. The walls were lined with shelves, each containing several rows of round canisters. They glowed blue. Tirin picked one up and dropped it into his dimensional cape. The canister floated away into an abyss of time.
"On account of my achievements, I have access to this facility whenever I want," said Jeroth, casting a minor spell. The image of a filled canister appeared on the shelf where Tirin had taken one. "By filling out a few papers, this resource is at my disposal."
"Heh, papers," scoffed Tirin as he picked up a second canister. "The papers, and your need to cover up this deed show me you are a slave of this institution, not their guest of honor."
Jeroth scowled, and Tirin paused.
"We don't have long," said Jeroth bitterly. "Take what you need."
Tirin placed the canister back on the shelf.
"Someone's coming," said Tirin, fading away into an invisible spirit-form.
"Jow is standing guard," whispered Jeroth. "He'd let me know if-"
Jeroth detected it too. Despite the mana that surrounded him, a distinct magical presence had entered the room. He turned around.
A bald man with a beard entered the room. Jeroth did not recognize him. He smiled at Jeroth.
"Is that a...hockey stick across his back?" thought Jeroth.
"Hi," said Bob, looking a bit surprised as well. "I need to pick up a few canisters for Professor Requiem. The uh, front desk guy isn't there. Do I need to fill out a form or anything?"
Jeroth studied the man. His magical aura was far too weak to be what Tirin had detected. But his lie indicated he may not have come alone.
"Sorry, do you not work here?" asked Bob, a bit nervous at Jeroth's silence. "I'll just grab a few canisters and leave a note at the front desk."
Jeroth chuckled, and Bob looked confused.
"We are men of action," said Jeroth, smiling and adjusting his stance. "Lies do not become us."
"I'm guessing Requiem retired?" shrugged Bob, adjusting his own stance.
"Yes, a few years ago," said Jeroth. "Last I heard he was finally taking a break, doing alright."
"I'm glad," said Bob. "Req's a good guy. I was afraid he'd get caught up in this Cookie War."
Easy and Tirin materialized alongside the mages, weapons ready.
"Hey Archer," said Easy. "Nice cape."
"Hey dead man," said Tirin. "Gay gauntlets."
Easy cocked his head and smirked. He looked at a watch on Jeroth's arm. It ticked one second backwards. Easy braced for impact as Tirin was suddenly in front of him, charging for a kill.
Please pick "Rock", "Paper", or "Scissors" and send your message to me in a PM.
I am going to roll some d20s to determine who "wins" an action round. The greater the difference between the two rolls, the more successful of a round for the player with the higher roll. However, winning the rock paper scissors match results in a +5 bonus for that d20 roll, which can turn the tide.
If y'all want to agree to be gentlemen and use the same RPS move you are welcome to, just don't be surprised if your opponent does not keep their word. RPS choices will be publicized, so everyone will know if you a sneaky one.
Easy pumped full power to his gauntlets and stopped Tirin dead in his tracks. The time warrior's sword was an inch from cutting him in two, but Easy just laughed. He held the time warrior's sword-hand in his left gauntlet, and had his heart in a death grip with the other gauntlet.
Tirin moved time back a moment and cut Easy in not two, but three pieces. Only...time didn't flow for him. He was stuck, and Easy's laughter grew more annoying.
"I didn't think you'd take the bait," laughed Easy. "An Archer who charges. For an alleged time lord you're second-rate."
Tirin tried to pry Easy's gauntlet off his torso, but the strange metal closed only tighter around his side.
"Yeah, I know your time tricks," said Easy. "I thought you might try something like this. Joke's on you though, I have a heightened perception. How do you think I do so well in the ring?"
"You're well-read," admitted Tirin through gritted teeth. "This is the first time I've underestimated a mongrel."
"I've heard of you, Tirin," said Easy. "A powerful mage who manipulates the very time in his blood like it was mana. Doesn't do you much good if that blood's not pumping."
Easy tightened his grip on Tirin's heart. Tirin tried to think of other options, but time wasn't moving fast enough.
Bob wasted no time either. He drew his hockey stick and swung it against the ground while muttering a spell. A conjured puck flew through the air with explosive force. Jeroth dodged it just in time, and the puck exploded into icy shards at the back wall, knocking over some mana canisters.
Jeroth kicked off the back wall and charged for Bob, lowering his torso to create a smaller target.
"Ha, moron," thought Bob. "He's running in a straight line. This next shot won't miss."
Bob conjured a second puck and sent it for Jeroth's neck. Jeroth didn't avert course and quickly gained ground. Bob smiled, only for Jeroth to quickly blink through the puck at the last moment. Bob didn't realize his error until Jeroth's concussive kick cracked one of his ribs.
Bob hit the back wall and grunted. The hockey padding he was wearing spared his life for at least a few more seconds.
"Most mages don't specialize in hand-to-hand combat." grunted Bob, as Jeroth approached him.
"I am not most mages," beamed Jeroth. He readied a death blow, but felt a wind to his side.
Easy felt shame. Dawdling during victory was a hallmark of his career in the arena, but had no place in a Cookie War. His master was in danger!
Easy triggered the rockets on his gauntlets. One threw Tirin off of him, and the other flew towards Jeroth.
Jeroth jumped backwards, and Easy's rocket-gauntlet sailed through the space where he had stood. This gave Bob an opportunity to stand up and grab his hockey stick, and gave Tirin a chance to recover his zeal.
The red-hot gauntlets boomeranged back onto Easy's fists, resting themselves on his hands with ease.
There was now some distance between Easy and Tirin.
At a distance, Tirin smirked and raised his falchion. The tip of his weapon cut a hole in thin air. In the fabric of time itself.
A cloud of vorpal energy leaked from the tear and swirled around Tirin's weapon. He lowered his sword and pointed it at Easy. Tendrils of energy vibrated around the sword. Half a second in the past, bright balls of purest energy shot at Easy with lightning speed.
Easy charged forward with his gauntlets raised, dodging the energy blasts or deflecting them with his gauntlets as needed.
"Almost closed the gap," thought Easy, readying a punch to wipe the smirk off Tirin's face, literally.
Then Tirin stopped teasing, and increased the rate of fire tenfold.
Easy defended his body with his gauntlets as endless streams of energy projectiles struck him and the area around him. Tirin laughed as the energy scorched the floor and battered his opponents' means of defense. He scowled when he sensed Jeroth's mana running low.
The barrage slowed down enough for Easy to effectively recover. He shook some sweat from his forehead and glared at Tirin. His gauntlets were in bad shape. Easy's strength alone could kill a man with one punch, but a heroic spirit? Possibly. He considered his options.
Bob ignited his hockey stick with magical flames. It did little to slow Jeroth's advance.
Jeroth delivered several quick jabs and kicks. Bob dodged or deflected them all, barely. He breathed heavily.
"That broken rib is slowing him down," smiled Jeroth. "He hasn't been able to attack at all, only evade."
Jeroth's energy-enhanced fist bounced off the hockey stick again, and Bob adjusted his footing. Jeroth seized his opportunity.
Bob smiled as his plan worked. Jeroth kicked him hard in his broken rib, only Bob had cast a spell to harden his hockey padding in that spot. Jeroth's deadly kick struck hard iron, and the victory in his eyes was replaced with fear. Jeroth kicked off of Bob, but he did not fully escape Bob's swing. The hockey stick shifted from flames to iron and hit Jeroth with a sickening crack.
Jeroth quickly recovered, but staggered back to assess the damage.
"Whelp!" ordered Tirin. "Break open one of those mana canisters. Watch closely, as these strains are erased."
Jeroth quickly popped his arm back into socket. Fortunately for him, Bob's attack had thrown him right next to a shelf of canisters. Before Bob could react, Jeroth pulled one down from the shelf.
Bob readied a puck to shatter the canister.
Jeroth saw something on the shelf. One of the canisters in the second row was empty, and filled with a different substance. It suddenly darkened as Jeroth looked at it, and he noticed a timer.
"Bob, get down!" shouted Easy as he sprinted for his master.
The force of the explosion destroyed the facility instantly.