This thread is for the Swordmasters combatants to duke it out in honourable or dishonourable combat. For the convenience of the players, I've moved some basic things here too.
Here's a copy of how the battles work:
Here's the current bracket:
Here's the current battle:
Battle 3: Archer (CJ1145) vs. Artorias (IFS)
For what little it's worth now, the interest thread is here.
The LQ for when you're not fighting is here.
BTW, the arena is round and about 120 feet/40 metres across unless transformed. (Was originally 60'/20m, but that was too small.)
In order to ensure the integrity of its arena, the Supreme Sword decided to hold an exhibition match between two of its contestants. From out of the primal chaos, it drew forth copies of the fighters known as Orange Knight and Artorias the Abysswalker, and their swords. A small audience was also invited to watch the battle, to see how popular it would be. The two 'holograms' were not yet ready, though - they would take a while longer to create...
The Orange Knight hologram finished. It teleported in on the left side of the ring, his shadow making him seem large and intimidating. As he began walking towards the center, his true height became apparent. Orange was confused as to why the crowd thought this was so funny, he was one of the taller people he knew after all.
In an attempt to get the crowd motivated, he made fireballs in both hands, connecting them with a string of fire over his head. It made the crowd go wild, and Orange smiled underneath his helmet, clenching his fists and dispersing the fireballs. He drew his sword off his back, feeling its' familiar weight as he raised it towards the ceiling. His eye slits narrowed, noticing he appeared to be... Flickering? Orange was confused, but made sure to not show it.
The hologram of Artorias entered the arena, unlike his competition more of him was imposing than his shadow, though he knew this was hardly a measure of its foe. He stood towering over the Orange Knight, his Greatsword was at least twice as long as the knight was tall and probably heavier than him as well. Securing the towering Greatshield and testing the familiar weight of the blade the hologram turned and bowed to its opponent. The crowd seemed to have fallen to a murmur at his appearance, and now excited whispers darted about, though some sections remained as noisy as ever.
The hologram stared at its foe, settling into a combat stance, greatshield firmly secured to one arm and the massive sword gripped tight in the other. There was no reason to go all out in this fight, but nevertheless he would show his diminutive opponent the proper respect a warrior deserved. He knew this could not be real for the hologram could not properly portray the strange dark essence of the Abyss that lingered on his form.
Meta Knight walked to the edge of the Arena, having to stand on a crate to see over the edge. Much to his fears, it was a gladitorial match, with a screaming crowd, ready to see the fighters die. However, of the two fighters, one, a knight in dark armor, seamed to ooze some corrupting force. However, it felt different than the monsters that nightmare had created, which usually were heavily altered normal creatures. Sometimes they had accessories, he had never seen one completely covered as this suit of armor was. It hadn't crossed Meta Knights mind that other forces of darkness may also be trying for this Supreme Sword. It had seemed so long, it seamed that Nightmare was the only evil that existed in the world.
The other fighter must be a strange creature to everybody but Meta Knight. The cartoon proportions were simply normal for Meta Knight, all these humans is what he found strange. The only human Meta Knight had seen on any kind of regular basis was the salesman that sold King Dedede various monsters to kill Kirby/gain riches to pay off the massive royal debts/conquer land/do grocery shopping.
Meta Knight held his cloak close to his body. Even though they took away Galaxia, they didn't take the cape. If they didn't know of it's power, or let him keep it because he could technically make a literal part of himself, Meta Knight wasn't sure. Still, he would not dare use it's teleportation powers to interfere with the fight. Both these combatants had willingly agreed to the rules of the tournament, they both knew the potential consequences of their actions. Meta Knight thus couldn't help either of them, even if they are on the edge of death.
The Orange Knight fired up some flames to get the crowd rallied after they laughed at his "short" statue. Meta Knight didn't care how tall or small a person was, all that mattered in a fight was how much more reach they had, how much more weight they had, and how much more agile you are. Still, Meta Knight didn't approve of such crowd pleasing. The only person who matters is the one in front of you. In a dual, the audience should never factor in to the fight.
The Black Knight did something unexpected, he bowed. Meta Knight could all but literally see the stench of shadow dripping off the knight (Meat Knight could swear he actually did see the Black Knight drip some foul substance), yet gives such a sign of respect to his enemy. Who is the man and who is the monster in this fight?
Orange looked his opponent in the eye as he bowed, and the thought came across as condescending for a moment. Still, the crowd seemed as monstrously proportioned as this juggernaut. Orange bowed back, planting his sword in the ground momentarily. Looking at this large man(?), he could feel evil radiating off of him,l giving him a momentary flashback to his battle with the Necromancer...
As he got up, he snatched it back up and began circling his opponent, looking for weak spots. The humanoid seemed to be a good fighter, the stance told him that much. Orange always had the least trouble with these guys, although he usually had Bitey to help him out. Orange snapped himself out of his thoughts, settling to attack the universal weak spot of everyone, the face!
Orange sprang into action as soon as he had his hastily thought out plan, a geyser of flames pushed the little knight into the air, around head level for the giant. Orange winded back, ready to give one helluva holographic lobotomy with the flat of his blade.
The holographic Artorias watched as the Orange warrior launched itself into the air at him, not something he would have expected but it did afford his foe impressive speed and mobility. He reacted swiftly though, bringing up his shield and slamming it downward into his enemy as he flew at him, attempting to spike him into the ground.
He doubted the warrior would be able to dodge this as he doubted the man had much ability to steer easily or significantly once they had launched themselves into the air. Even if he did manage to dodge the shield covered him easily and any dodge's would result in the warrior missing him as well. For now he was perfectly satisfied to fight defensively and learn his foe's abilities.
Orange saw the shield coming, and did as any rational warrior would do when he saw an attack coming, attempt to block it with his shield. Orange raised his, the two clanging as they met. Unfortunately for Orange, who had momentum, Artorias had strength, plenty of it, or at least more than Orange.
Orange felt himself falling, rapidly, though had no time to brace for the inevitable impact. A small dust cloud formed upon his wonderful return to ground, and Orange had the urge to never move again. His instincts however told him he could get stomped on like that, so he rolled over, and stumbled to his feet. He still felt woozy, but raised his sword to his enemy, trying to focus on both him and the blue jay flying around his helmet, performing neat tricks around stars.
Artorias was somewhat impressed by the durability of the warrior, though he knew many humans who were capable of taking such hits, none were quite as small. Still he knew he should take advantage of the warrior's momentary daze, so he readied his sword for a simple but fast attack.
He swung in a fast but low double sweep, spinning in a full circle to strike twice, the first was at about head height for the warrior, the second even lower to catch him should he try to duck it, he ended the swings by reverting to his upright stance, and resting the blade's edge back on his shoulder.
Orange managed to snap out of his daze a few seconds before the first hit would've connected, the blades pass actually dinged off his helmet, causing the second revolution to aim slightly higher, about shoulder height. Luckily, Orange was ready, leaping into the air, and actually managing to get one of his feet on the blade. Although he was unsteady, he managed to make a fireball, pulling air from around him and causing a spark that graduated quickly into a deadly ball o' war, and aimed it center mass.
He was rather unsure of whether or not it hit however, as he fell off the blade as the giant brought it back to his shoulder, causing another delightful reunion with the ground and Oranges faceplate.
'Hello again, Blue.' Orange waved to the bluebird, wearing the helmet of his old friend blue.
"Get ready, your opponent aint done yet." the bird chirped in his ear, and Orange did his best to shake off the impact. It took more effort to pick himself up this time, and the use of his blade as an impromptu cane. He held out his hand, drawing in more air, this time a jet of flame erupted from his palm, aimed in the knights general direction.
As Artorias swung at Orange, knocking him off his feet again, the crowd seemed to go relatively silent. Most of them were on the edge of their seats, wondering if he would get back up. They cheered as he came around and blasted a fireball at his much larger opponent. There was something in the air around the arena that got the entire audience electrified, ready to cheer at nearly anything.
The first fireball grazed Artorias, his armor was more than sufficient to protect him from it though, and he felt only a momentary discomfort from the heat, nowhere near what it would take to cause him to flinch. The Orange quickly prepared to fire off another blast of fire, Artorias felt the corruption collect in his sword hand as a toxic ooze, and flung the blob into the path of the flame, the two cancelling out each other.
Artorias could not help but cry out a feral sounding snarl as he swung the blade in an overhead smash, the corruption oozed down the blade, splashing out around the blade as it smashed into the ground, rendering the small shockwave of the blow visible. He gripped his shield tightly, ready to bring it up against the inevitable counterattack should his strike fail.
Orange watched his opponent, it seemed he could use ooze to cancel out the trusty splash attack. Still, Orange didn't want to rely on physical skills, at least not against this monster. It would be best to sling spells from a distance. He remembered for a second he had a bow, then he remembered it was crap.
Orange prepared himself, sheathing his blade as the familiar flame geyser erupted underneath his feet again, launching himself in the air. He brought his hands together, forming another fireball, this time on target, and launching it. The force kept him in place in the air, and he did so again. And again. And again. Orange combo'ed 6 fireballs, before a small poof of smoke came from his hands, and he landed on the ground once more, this time with no pain! Minus the jarring pain to his ankles, of course. He could live with that, he thought, looking upon his foe to see the damage done.
Artorias leapt backwards from the rain of fire, keeping his shield raised over his head to block what strikes he could not dodge, the warrior was clearly a skilled pyromancer, but seemed to have exhausted his casting by the time he reached the ground. His spring backwards avoided a few, but he felt the remaining strike his shield, even through its protective magics he could feel some of the warmth of the blaze. At least one landed near his feet, splashing some of the fire onto him, he ignored the pain and how it singed the cloth parts of his armor.
"Impressive," Artorias remarked, trying to keep from descending back into animalistic snarling, he felt the corruption build up, this time oozing out of his feet, and he dashed forward, the ooze both leaving a trail in his wake and propelling him forward at remarkable speed, his blade extended before him, meaning to stab and possibly impale the smaller warrior.
Azure Kite was transported to a strange area and his weapons had been taken from him. Only once did he ever willingly give someone Empty Skies, nevertheless, that was a long time ago. He walked over to the combat arena, eager to start. But it he was in the audience, and two other combatants were in the arena. What was the Supreme Sword playing at? If this was a tournament, then his matches should start already. Nevertheless, it was best to acquire data on his opponents and he studied the two fighters. But what was this? He stared right at the fighters and bit his lip for not noticing it earlier. These combatants were merely data and would easily fall to a well-timed and well-aimed Data Drain. However, he was without his weapons and would have to settle to simply watching the rest of the fight for now.
Judging the demigod's annoyed grunt, not to mention his barely restrained scowl and stance, Augus was more than a little put-off by the circumstances. What was the meaning of this, putting him in the stands and forcing him to watch two other combatants go at it? He should be the one down there in the arena, wailing on his opponent until they could no longer stand! He was supposed to be in the fight, not demoted to a mere spectator! Ridiculous!
And to top it all off, the sheath slung across his waist was uncomfortably light. This Supreme Sword hadn't mentioned anything about confiscating Wailing Dark; it was all Augus could do to keep his fury from boiling over and going on a rampage. Stealing a warrior's heart and soul, just like that? Tch, if this was the sort of conduct he could expect, then perhaps it would be best to just destroy the stadium immediately, put a stop to it all before it got any worse.
...No, not yet. He had been promised exciting battles, and he would be damned if he left before he could sate his lust.
"Fine, you damn Sword," Augus growled, falling back into a nearby seat and directing his attention to the fight below. "I'll wait here... For now."
Meta Knight looked around the crowd, a few stood out as potential fighters. An odd looking man, covered with tattoos, not wearing a shirt, and having purely white eyes, appeared to be extremely annoyed and barely constrained from a rampage. Another Meta Knight could not allow to get the sword.
A bit away, a boy... a girl... Meta Knight couldn't tell the difference, and he knew Kirby's gender. The uncovered eye was moving fast, everything about this person's movements was a bit... off. Some almost perfect replication of smooth human movement. Almost.
Meta Knight turned back to the arena, and watched as the Orange knight barraged the Black with a series of fireballs to little or no effect. Corruption literally started to ooze from the Black Knight as the fire did nothing against that shield. A few managed to hit true, although at worst seemed to be a mild annoyance.
The Black Night suddenly burst forward at speeds that shouldn't even be possible.
Sephiroth materialized in the stadium,and sound was the first thing he regained, just as a wave of excited screaming began. Thinking that he had been announced, he stood with a smug look on his face before fully realizing that it was simply to a pair of warriors in the arena.
"Pitiful,"He muttered to himself,"Neither of these two can hope to stand amongst my glory."
With a look of derision and not a small bit of disgust, he looked around at his soon-to-be opponents, a strange creation hidden behind a mask that also served as armor for as small as it was, a...thing, whose eyes shot across the field and back, relaying the information to be processed, nothing worth his attention. But a curious individual caught his eye, a man with the physique more akin to an upright ape than a human, growling about being put in the stands, something he too felt.
Walking up behind the man, he spoke while keeping a bored eye on the fight, both, while unusual in their own way, were too predictable for his tastes, one cowering behind an antique, the other running around the field like an untrained child pretending to play with fire.
"A terrible day indeed when gods must slaughter the petty mortals to reestablish the status quo they so soon forget."
Orange smiled again, a much larger being attempting a charge? Where had he heard THAT one before. Still, Orange knew he was damaged, so it was best to make this a do or die, especially because this one meant more business than the Viking King. But perhaps not the Cat Fish. God, he hated the Cat Fish.
Orange waited for his enemies approach, shield up, until Artorias got close enough. Orange sprang into the air, and then did so again, a dust cloud forming underneath his feet as he did so, spinning his blade in a complete 360. If he was right, this would hit his opponents neck.
His eyes narrowed on the towering knight as soon as he saw the corruption burst from it. It was none other than a sign of an AIDA-PC. Azure Kite has found another AIDA target at last. But why here, far from The World? Did this world even follow the same rules? The place reminded the AI of the Arena on the Omega Server. But the arena itself did not look like anything found in The World. He filed away those questions for later and watched the fight continue. The little one seemed to be a gusty type, and unaware of the dangers of a spin attack. If the opponent blocked the blow, and bashed back, the one had was so keen on playing with fire would be knocked open. Though, Azure Kite would be disappointed if the giant knight was knocked out early. That one was his prey. Nevertheless, in contrast to the cacophony of calculations going on inside his head, the AI's face was as blank as ever, revealing nothing.
Near the bottom of the stands a white light preceded a human form taking shape. Archer took a step as his body completed its construction. The Servant leaned forward, resting his folded arms on the railing. His eyes darted back and forth watching what had to be an orange lawn gnome doing battle with a colossus. He scoffed watching the tiny thing play knight against a clearly superior opponent. "Not much to fear from the pygmy... But the big guy. He might be trouble."
He took note of the massive, oozing blade of the larger knight. That could certainly be useful. He soon lost interest in their duel and scanned the arena. Others stood out from the throng of spectators. A small, impish creature in a helm and cape. Archer was more worried about the gnome. Then there were a pair of men. Both possessed silvery white hair, and seemed beyond the others here. One projected an air of impatience and hot blood. The other of cold disinterest and condescension. He would have to watch for them. But then he locked eyes with another. A blueish-haired, androgynous creature with its face hidden save one eye. Archer's blood ran cold. His breath caught in his throat as a wave of inhuman calculation watched over him. Whatever that thing was, it was the least human of all these entrants. Archer quickly averted his eyes, careful not to look its way again.
The Servant leaned back from the railing, ascending to a higher section of the stands where he might better watch all the proceedings beneath. This tournament was shaping up well.
"Let's see how many other freaks we can pack into one stadium."
The first thing that Youmu noticed was the deafening sound of an innumerable crowd all cheering at something she couldn't see. Shoving her way through them, she finally found out what had them so worked up: a fight between a large knight in black armour, and a smaller warrior in orange. The orange knight had jumped into the air to try and reach at his opponent's neck, and the audience were practically all standing up and cheering. As she looked around, she noticed a few people who seemed to stand out, due to their lower enthusiasm.
When she saw how intently the nearby cyan-haired man was looking at the sword of the larger knight, she changed that thought - they were just as interested, but didn't show it in the same way. She looked down at it as well, and started to notice...something, coming off it. Unable to work out what, she resumed her scan of the audience.
There were a few people around with the same white hair as her own, though they were scattered around the place. One of them was smouldering in his seat, and the others were just watching without any expression. However, the one in red didn't seem to be watching the fight. Making one last sweep of the stadium, her eyes caught on another pair - glowing yellow behind an ornate silver mask. There was something about that stare that caused her to look away again almost immediately. She couldn't put her finger on what, but that one seemed to be the most dangerous.
In order to avoid making eye contact with those eyes again, she looked down into the arena, wondering what the two knights would do next.
Artorias was ready for the small warrior's attack, and as the man sprung at him he too hopped into the air, only slightly but enough that he could spiral in a sort of midair somersault, swinging his blade in a circle and into the smaller man. The force battered through the Orange Knight's swing and smashed him to the ground. Wasting no time the hologram of Artorias brought his sword up again and slammed it down at the knight, meaning to end the fight.
As he swung the blade he spoke, "You have been a skilled adversary, farewell," there was no malice to it, but there was a measure of respect. Still he felt a feral cry building at the back of his throat, like the roar of some vicious animal.
The opposing knight managed to find a gap in his spin, striking poor Orange to the ground with strength Orange hadn't seen before in his life. This time, the ground didn't like the idea of him getting back up, Orange felt like he couldn't move his damn legs anyways. The fact he could see them a few feet away probably explained that.
As Orange lay, bleeding holographic blood everywhere, his eye slits turned to X's and he shuffled off this mortal coil, the last thing he heard was a farewell over the overjoyed screams of spectators. His body began disintegrating immediately, and all Holo-Orange left the world was the biggest middle finger he could muster.
Youmu looked down at the fallen knight, and at the one left standing. The crowd had gone nuts over the kill, but something seemed wrong. The corpse seemed to be disappearing too quickly - if these fights truly were to the death, then that couldn't possibly work with the audience wanting to see the death...why else would they be there?
Well, no matter. She was already half dead; what could they do to her? Having seen what she'd come to see, she walked back into the crowd, her orb trailing like a light behind her until both of them blinked out.
"Was I right, or was I right?"
From near the top of the stadium, Archer watched the fight play out to its end. His body, it seemed, was of the same construction as the last one he'd worn. A Servant's body, not a human's. His senses had been adjusted accordingly, with eyesight to rival an eagle. He watched the tiny orange knight give up the ghost, predictably. That left the larger knight the victor. He believed the man in the armor was speaking, but with no lips to read and the roar of the screaming patrons competing with his voice, Archer could not make it out.
He'd seen the newest entrant appear in the arena. A young onna-bugeisha, by the look of her. Considering the musclebound gargantuan freaks that made up such a large portion of the entrants, Archer couldn't help but wonder what made her special. What made her worthy enough to stand among them? The thought made him rethink his stance on two other contestants as well. The imp in the cape, and the gnome that had just disappeared. That orange shrimp may have gotten the short straw, but that didn't mean it was helpless. If it was taking part in this competition, then it had skill and worth to stand among gods. And the one in the cape... the gnome was a joke by the looks of him, but even if he was small this masked knight clearly meant business.
I shouldn't misjudge them before I've seen them in action. Arrogance like that will get me killed.
Counting everyone that appeared so far seemed to bring him up short. Counting himself, Archer was aware of eight clear contestants. That seemed a remarkably small pool, considering the the title offered. Perhaps most had simply refused?
Maybe I'm just one of the only ones who's enough of a doormat to accept the offer.
Either way, the show was over. Archer could feel an urge in his chest, calling him somewhere else. He stood from his seat and stepped forward. A light captured his leg as he moved it, and the rest of his body disappeared in a blink as it followed.
Meta Knight saw another white haired man in the audience. The other was acting like some barely contained animal. This one also obviously wanted to battle. However, this this thin man wearing Black wasn't consumed with blood lust, but something different. Something colder. Vanity? What ever it was, Meta Knight didn't like it. When the man looked at Meta Knight, it was a look of confusion, and then dismissal, before heading up to the Man Ape.
It wasn't the first person to give him such looks. A man in red had given him a similar look, most likely do to Meta Knight's short stature and odd appearance, but looked to be filled with arrogance rather than actual anger, not even very interested in the fight. Still, Meta Knight would keep an eye on that one.
Meta Knight decided that above all else, this man in Black had to be stopped. The Black Knight below looked like he could be consumed to do horrible actions with the Supreme Sword, the Apeman would be extremely destructive. Something about the Man in Black, however, made what ever evils others could commit wielding such a powerful weapon, all would be preferable to what horrors that man would bring with such powerful.
A girl across the stadium briefly looked at those eyes, before turning away. Meta Knight stared at her for a bit. There was nothing dismissive in that look, but... fear. Was she another opponent? Maybe he could get her as an ally...
Meta Knight turned back to the fight, just as the Black Knight started to swing the killing blow. All the Orange Knight could do was some odd hand gesture that Meta Knight wasn't familiar with. Was it a gesture of accepting defeat or one last defiance in his lands?
The fight went almost just like the stimulation created from the gathered data. Judging from the lack of announcements, there was naught to do here. Azure Kite faded into data fragments and these reconfigured to create a ball of light. This sped across to the backstage area of the arena. For Azure Kite, the training room awaited. There was no point in talking to the others he saw in the corner of his eye as he watched the fight, or even in talking to the two combatants, as they had faded away to nothing. Nevertheless, all here had the same goal - win the tournament - and mere words would not change that.
As the audience waited for the two diminutive knights to appear, the Supreme Sword pondered on the best place to have them fight. After some deliberation, it decided on Meta Knight's Halberd. When the two had entered the arena, it would be changed to a similarly-sized area on the deck of the ship, right in front of the main cannon - which, obviously, wouldn't be activated. A force-field would also be placed around the edges to prevent either from falling down.
Now all that was left was to wait until they arrived, transport them to the area and watch the outcome.
Orange began trudging back to the teleporter room, hoping today was all out of humiliation. He doubted it, his enemy had to be skilled in some way, but Orange knew he could beat him. A battle of knights, one black one orange, he felt he had heard that one before. Still, Orange was a force for good, and they always won!
The knight looked around the arena he would be fighting in, it seemed to be in the air, a floating machine several thousand feet in the air. Behind him, a representation of Meta Knights face. If Orange had to guess, this was his home.
'Luckily, I'm quite good at smashing homes.' Orange grinned wolfishly, before his stomach growled. It seemed he had another reason to get this over with.
Having decided to tell everyone later about the hallway of doors where they'd be sleeping, Youmu decided to watch the next match as well. Again, the crowd didn't notice her pushing to the fore. Instead of the plain white sand of the previous arena, though, it seemed to be a projection of something else. A circle of metal, with a background blocking her view of the other side of the arena. However, she could still see through her part, and the orange knight inside - Meta Knight, clearly, having not arrived yet.
"Luckily, I'm quite good at smashing homes."
The audience laughed, and a few people wolf-whistled. Youmu didn't quite get the joke, but used the time to settle in.
Azure Kite appeared in the arena, but this time it had changed to suit the masked knight. He wondered what shape the arena would take for his fight. Nevertheless, he adopted the same stance as before and waited for the two to battle. Perhaps the firestarter would have another difficult match as before? Azure Kite couldn't tell. The parameters had changed, different arena, different fighters, different time... But it did not matter which one won. Both were simply obstacles on the way to the Supreme Sword, not like the targets he had marked out. However, that would have to wait. The orange said something and the audience laughed for some reason. One thing was sure - if this was a battle of puns, then Orange Knight had little hope of victory.
Meta Knight was teleported to the arena. To his shock, it was HIS ship, the Halberd, which he had spent years building in secret to better defend Dream Land from those of the stars who wish to invade. Or more obviously a simulation of it.
Luckily, I'm quite good at smashing homes.
Meta Knight didn't understand the joke, assuming it was just more knowledge about the Orange Knight than he currently had.
"Orange Knight, may you have good luck this day," Meta Knight said as he gave an honorary bow.
"Orange Knight, may you have good luck this day,"
Orange returned the bow, holding his blade aloft. He was trained to never speak in combat, and he'd follow that here, despite some choice trash talking bouncing about in his head.
Orange decided he had no frigging clue what this damn black ball of creepy was capable of, but it didn't look aerodynamic. For now, he'd stick with fireballs. Orange lit up his aura again, fireballs in both hands, ready to begin the volley. He'd wait for now, however, circling slowly around his opponent.
Meta Knight needed to get into close combat and stay in it. He knew the Orange Knight was skilled in ranged combat, hopefully his closer combat isn't as skilled. He dashed forward, cloak quickly forming into wings. Meta Knight jumped, spinning his body and becoming a flying drill, aimed straight at Orange Knight.