#1 Edited by Barkins (440 posts) - - Show Bio

Ant Hill Ruckus

The second round of the tournament had commenced.

This conflict was scheduled to take place on the hill of a giant nest of insects, a breed that Christopher had not yet heard of. The object of the day had been explained as one that would require the utmost skill and finesse, destroy your opponent without being destroyed or infiltrate the nest and destroy the queen. While the second would probably prove to be the efficient the necromancer didn't necessarily want to opt for that as his first choice. With an affinity for summoning creatures of the insect world he had special ties with them, to destroy them when they could be used for pacts and summons seemed a highly illogical move to be made. Now, if forging a pact would be impossible them he would take the route of killing the creature and making it into a necrotic slave though he didn't think that would be necessary. So his plan would be to stop whomever his opponent was before they could destroy the resources that he wanted to command.

"It seems that it is time."

Having been in a tea shop in China he watched the clock with mild interest until the very second that he needed to arrive. Then he utilized his Rook to instantly teleport to the designated starting area, Vim and Vigor were held in his hands (right and left respectively) while the pieces to his game were in a small bag contrived of tendons and spidersilk, a commodity of the underworld that identified him as a necromancer. The bag that held his pieces was tied to the right side of his belt while the board was held in place at his side by a strap made of similar material, both of them were secured in a fashion that prevented them from falling off his body through his own movements. Christopher let the tips of his swords rest in the dirt while he looked at the area, he had not been allowed to preview it beforehand but it looked much the same as he had imagined. Sand was everywhere, the sun was high and... the soil was rather damp. His eyes narrowed as he examined it for a moment there would be tunnels nearby but he wasn't sure if he was excited about cave-ins, doubtless these insects would be at least as large as their rumors if not larger. Though that wasn't the worst of his problems, he needed to find out who his opponent would be.

Everything seemed to be large around here or else there was some effect on the area making people incredibly small, even the grass was as high as rain forest trees normally grew. Christopher shuddered to think what would happen if it actually rained in an area like this.

OOC NOTES

#2 Edited by ThisIsGonnaHurt (30177 posts) - - Show Bio

Darkness. Eternal void. Absence. Silence.

Thoughts began to form. Incoherent at first. The baby steps of progress.

Where am I? Did I die again?

Pain. Thousands of needle-like agonies sticking out from his skin, reminders of the avenged attempted genocide he could have carried out if not for the...the...

Ghost.

His eyes snapped open. Four restraints locked him in place. In the midst of a blinding white light, he could feel the cold steel wrapped around his ankles and wrists. He slobbered and blinked slowly. The drugs in his blood were still strong. He groaned in the hangover of his previous fight. Judging by the lamps in his face, he assumed they were in the midst of prepping him for another round. A voice from the obnoxious glow caught his dazed attentions.

"Good morning, Warsman," she said calmly. "My name is Anathyris Ljorskaa. You have a week to recover from your wounds and then you will be sent to the death world of Jundus Omega for your next tournament bout. I would suggest keeping from angering any more Xenos life-forms."

His retort trailed off into gibberish. He fell back asleep almost instantly and the operation continued.

---

One week later...

---

Hot. Damned hot. It took Warsman a second to realize that he had been asleep again. Opening his eyelids, he tilted his face under the protection of his arms. The five forever suns of Jundus Omega burned overhead, locking the world in a continuous loop of daytime. He struggled to his feet. A week to prepare...did I sleep that long?

No sooner had he started a groggy hypothesis than he began to comprehend the enormity of the danger posed by his surroundings. What he initially believed to be the canopy of jungle trees actually stood as thick blades of grass taller than most houses. A momentary panic set in. He always felt a phobia crawling into his mind, haunting his footsteps. Now it expanded into a cloud hanging over his otherwise purely tactical mind.

Footsteps. Six of them, in tandem.

Judging by the faint memories of what the doctor told him in the operating room, he started to visualize mentally what could be causing the ferocious cacophony. He felt his heart pumping in his throat. Shrinking into the shadow of a nearby fraction of the leviathan lawn, he curled into the chlorophyll wall. The sky went black for a moment. Hovering over him like a titan walked the native conquerors of Jundus Omega: the Ultra-formicidae.

Lowering himself cautiously into the folds of the grass-blade, he nestled close to the ground in a four-point stance. Even through his leather gloves, he could feel the beast sniffing the air. At least twenty feet at the apex of the thorax, a dozen tons - most of it the armored carapace. Each lens of its eye darted in curiosity. Each jagged saw-like protrusion of its jaw crackled hungrily. He did not recognize the scent it managed to follow. But he did not hunt his quarry any longer.

Exploding into a wall of muscle and thick scales, the Nazi shifted his humanly shape into that of a monstrous Tyrannosaurus Rex. Screaming a blood-curdling war cry, he slammed into the steel-hard shell of the ant-monster and bit through cleanly, exposing the insectoid blood washing over pulpy organs. The taste, while horrendous, exhilarated him. Blood, no matter what the source, flowed the same from any living creature. He chewed deeper, until his jaws locked and he tore out a chunk of bony flesh.

The ant tried to retreat, but the loss of nearly half of its thorax kept him from moving too far or too quickly. Roaring victoriously, Warsman bit again into the base of its head, cracking the enlarged glassy eye that watched him with a mixture of anger and horror. Now undeniably dead, the ant fell uselessly with the momentum of the gigantic T-Rex's charge as they broke cover from the grasslands and into a clearing. Satisfied with his meal, the T-Rex morphed back into the calm and collected Nazi mastermind. Wiping a handful of bug bile from his mouth, he looked around for his real, tournament-assigned, opponent now that he did not have the need to conceal himself from a potential predator.

His vision obscured by the colossal amount of dust kicked up from his monstrous duel, he gripped his head as visions implanted in his mind began to appear.

Kill...Queen...Win...

Eyes widened in purpose, his carnivorous sense of smell alerted him to the only other source of the infernal gore staining his lips: the royal birthing chambers, hidden deep underground. The scent faded quickly under the hundreds of feet of moist soil, but it still existed. Scanning the savannah, he finally managed to lock eyes with his second-round foe. He rose to his feet atop the disheveled corpse of the ant he slew, tilting his head slightly.

He would enjoy killing this one.

#3 Edited by Barkins (440 posts) - - Show Bio

That wasn't something Christopher saw above ground everyday.

The display revealed that his opponent was a shapeshifter but also that he was a wild one, rather was it a man that shifted into a beast or a beast that now looked like a man. This was round two of the tournament which meant that this opponent had already faced someone, unlike Christopher who had advanced because of a no show. It left him with little information as he hadn't the opportunity to live through a fight and gauge the kind of people that he was up against. He was fighting blind, something that he didn't appreciate at all so he let his hand rest against the side of his shogi board as the carnivore locked eyes with him. There was always a way.

On the outside his eyes appeared to glow for only a brief second.

He could see it all as if he were in the body of the man he learned to be called Warsman.

As if being born again, waking up through the eyes of another his view refocused. He could see and hear children screaming, running in all directions. He found his hands tearing away viciously at the inside of a costumed clown, savagely ripping every bit of the creature out. Christopher felt his eye twitch as he experienced the past. He could taste the cigarette in his mouth as things started to move faster, allowing him to experience things from the life of his opponent. The request for a gun, the best that he could lay his hands upon and then he felt his face twist with something from the inside bubbling up. Indeed, Christopher's opponent was no mortal man but a monster that willed himself to walk about in the guise of a man such purity of darkness rested inside of his soul that it was amazing to behold. It was like a child gazing upon an opened package of dry ice, one that was set out in the sun to slowly dissipate but then that child touched it.

Instead of pulling back that child would keep his hands upon it, feeling the inexplicible nature of the creation. The pure cold. He would raise it above his head with frostbite setting in fully, burning his skin and damaging his body but that child would savor the feel. Such a power was within this, Warsman.

Everything flashed by as a blur, only comprehensible to Christopher as he came crashing back into his own body and into his own time. The fight between Warsman and his late opponent on the strange planet was now locked within his own memories and experiences as something he could look back on. The abilities and nature of his foe were now made known unto him as well as the last thing that entered the man's mind before he had rose above the insect to tilt his head at him.

Fear.

Only for a brief second had his hand rested against the ancient game.

He raised his swords over his head and let them spark together for a moment as he summarized how he could best deal with an opponent like this. Christopher could discern a mentality and he knew what had happened to the last man that this creature fought but he was far better prepared than said individual. The best way to fight a predator was to acknowledge what they were and then refuse to be their prey, perhaps he could rely on the fear that this man exuded and start with the very thing he thought he had struck down. A shadow overtook the necromancer's form for just a moment as he put influence out onto the creature that had died. Near instantly it would spring to life, thrashing its' body around as it tried to spin and pin Warsman between its' legs. The jaws of the necrotic creature now aiming to try and ensnare the neck of its' killer, how iron that the insect would get a chance at revenge. Not only was it a fine opening but it allowed Barkins to ascertain the limitations of these giant insects, afterall he eventually needed to find out what kind of summons they were.

With that set into motion he started preparing himself to confront his opponent physically in the next stage.

OOC NOTES

@warsman

#4 Posted by ThisIsGonnaHurt (30177 posts) - - Show Bio

@barkins:

No sooner had Warsman accomplished a decisive victory over his formicidae foe when it challenged him yet again. Lurching forward past its substantial injuries, the six-legged monolith tried to take off the Nazi's head in a single lunging sweep. Red life-fluid flowed freely from an opened wound, but not on the Relic of Auschwitz's neck. Instead, he had wedged his forearms into the path of his gargantuan would-be eviscerator's horrendously-sharp oral protrusions. Pushing them apart, he wound up the muscles in his leg and let fly with a kick that shook the ground like an artillery shell.

Staggering, the ant fell down once more with its remaining eye having popped out of its head.

Then, Warsman understood.

The Ultra-formicidae had indeed died to the wounds inflicted by his T-Rex form, but it stood thanks to a darker purpose infused within its broken flesh.

With a pair of heated crimson eyes, he observed his humanoid opponent across the way. There could be no denying it now.

Like a mighty fortress of scales and teeth, Warsman exploded into his king of lizards form, roaring hungrily as his extended leg power pushed him forward at a pace greater than any his human form could achieve alone. A sudden scuttling, scratching sound caught his attention, however, and ensnared his tail in a strong pincer-like vice. Turning around, he locked eyes with the single remaining optical bulb hanging from the socket appointed to it. The ant-beast yet lived! With his massive weight advantage holding sway, the Nazi T-Rex adjusted his leg positions and sent the ant skyward in a single upward whiplash that brought it down into a mound of broken joints and twitching biomass. Satisfied, he stomped on its obliterated head until he felt insectoid brain matter under his toenails.

Screeching in victory, Warsman once more fixated his predatory gaze on his nemesis.

Jundus Omega, a paradise to the gigantic abominations ruling it, recognized a new tyrant among the beasts dictating life upon its surface.

A torrential downpour brewed to the west, creeping ever closer now. Considering the latest interruption in their duel, Warsman grunted and dug his massive feet into the moist earth, suggesting a charge.

Perhaps guided by fate or concern due to the sudden lack of pheromonal trails produced by their slaughtered comrade, a train of ants happened upon the two. The blood staining the T-Rex instantly alerted them to his threat as a predator. Snarling and hissing, at least a dozen of them began to surround the mammoth Nazi dinosaur.

He accepted their proposal to battle with a feral growl that became the precursor to a berserk rampage. Showing off his considerable jaw strength and leg muscles, he stamped and snapped his way through them one-by-one, keeping his gaze locked on the necromancer for the most part. The infinitesimally-sharp hinged blades belonging to the ants' perfected bite radius slashed him down to the bone in some places, but still he fought on. When at last he crushed the final ant into mangled paste, he blasted another roar of superiority as king of beasts.

He seemed to almost encourage the necromancer to try and bring them back to life, which could not have happened anyway considering their heavily-mutilated states. Rather than waiting any longer, the Nazi dinosaur pulled his weight toward the corpse-mage with his foot-long fangs leading the renewed stampede.

#5 Posted by Barkins (440 posts) - - Show Bio

A fierce display of power. A tremendous display of brutality and sheer dominance. A pure display of... predictability.

He's set us on a clock now. The more he destroys the more he will provoke from the nest. The tactical power of those creature lie not in their physical abilities but in their sheer numbers. Who knows how deep this next runs through the planet we are on? Such an arrogant fool. He has doomed us both. Well more himself and less me. I'll be making a pact with the Queen when I march an animated corpse to her nesting chambers as a gift.

The illusion he had prepared was perfectly crafted with intricate detail by the time that the massive dragon of old decided to deal with him. As soon as the form of Warsman and his pre-historic breath came within ten feet there would be a blinding light. Greater than the sun though only for the viewing of his enemy, the world would seem to erupt before him. A volcanic explosion would shake the ground as it sent the burning stench of brimstone and molten rock into the air. The bright light would be replaced by thick ash and immense heat that threatened to turn even adamantium to a pool of bubbling slag. A faux version of a full, volcanic eruption that was crafted to exude every detail of the real thing complete with the shaking of the earth. It would appear to completely destroy the necromancer as if it were a freak accident, or so it would appear to Warsman as the board held a sway over the mind to feed it whatever information that Christopher could craft. Everything was there down to the detail of what appeared to be the fleeing denziens of the insect underground, in droves they would scatter from their nest to outdistance their imminent doom. All deception.

The true art of warfare was based in deception and manipulation. While the Abstract shogi board influenced the mind of his opponent to see a natural disaster it had never changed from the peaceful day. Despite the inferno of destruction that was seen, felt and even registered with the sense of smell there was not even a blade of grass that was harmed nor turned to ash. Christopher would use the distraction to jump high above his opponent, somersaulting over the creature as the illusion provided him the cover of thick, black ash that would be impenetrable to the eye. Overwhelming the the cover with ash and heat would also allow him to hide his scent, nah even sound would be doused with his movement being through the air. Once behind his opponent he would begin another summoning ritual, this time of a breed of spider that he had learned to respect in the Egyptian underworld though it would take time to summon it.

While he gathered energy he would jump and spin with his dual blades, the thinner of them attempting to cleave the tail of the beast from his body. Despite the sheer size of the being his swords were made of a material beyond the mortal realm of understanding, he sought not to killing him outright but to cripple him by striking at the back. A being of such size would be unable to move nor to balance properly without a portion of its' tail, while it was not an answer to the situation it was another thing that could buy time. By the time of his spin the illusion would abruptly end like the waking of a dream, a risky scenario but one that was engineered to give him a tactical advantage. Warsman would learn to never fear giant ants again for the only thing worth fearing would come with a memorable name: Christopher Barkins.

OOC NOTES

@warsman

  • Illusion ability does not cause actual damage though any contact with the illusion will result in it 'feeling' real, akin to phantom pain. No damage can be occurred from the trick at all though it is considered abstract level hypnosis.
  • Illusion ends completely and abruptly when I go for my attack.
  • Gathering energy for a summon in my post as well.
#6 Posted by ThisIsGonnaHurt (30177 posts) - - Show Bio

@barkins:

Blood. Flesh. Meat. Food. Hunger.

For as long as he could remember, Warsman possessed the power of a Tyrannosaurus. It also came with the terrible curse of insatiable blood-greed. The lust to feed drove him over the edge sometimes, into a killing frenzy, like he had just undergone in front of his tournament opponent. The sensation of his razor-sharp fangs sinking into moist meat, the juices running out of his mouth in a vision of death and carnage! It always made him berserk with the necessity to obliterate life.

But lately, he began to understand the hunger almost to the extent of controlling it. Almost. It still plagued him, haunted his footsteps. But for the moment when he could be his own man - those were the times he truly lived for.

The blinding sensations and illusions sent him into no small panic. For his diminutive brain in the T-Rex form, the apocalypse unfolded before him again. Everything he knew and loved about the primal Earth he ruled disappeared in an instant. The rebirth of the world beneath his feet had begun. Awestruck, he did not pop out of the dreamstate until the blades sunk into his flesh, carving the tail from his body. Having already stepped in a turning manner to scan his own personal Armageddon, the off-putting sense of imbalance drove him to the side of his elephantine body.

With his equilibrium shot, the dinosaur tried to stand as his healing factor struggled to replace the valuable nerve endings that once occupied his extensively important fifth limb - but to no avail. Grumbling a quiet and confused gurgle, still not fully aware of the reality swimming around him, the bloodlust churning inside his mind fell to a dull roar.

Then, out of the blue, the flesh of the gigantic tyrant lizard exploded into a cloud of hot steam. Melting away, the formerly enormous king of beasts seemed to outright vanish and the battle seemed won for the necromancer. But that would never be the case, not while Warsman yet lived!

Stumbling from the rubble of his own ruined carcass, the Forever Fuehrer calmly asserted his renewed dominance of the battlefield with a hideous yellow eye shining out from the thick white smog. Sprinting, now, faster than he had ever done while in his comparatively monolithic body, the Crimson Terror had been unbound!

Leaving the decaying Tyrannosaurus, Warsman made his presence known in the most ostentatious of ways by throwing hunks of evaporating dinosaur flesh at the man named Barkins. His intelligence improving by leaps and bounds, he knew he wanted to decimate the necromancer's concentration above all other things. The meat of his previous Tyrannosaurus form would explode into steam before it even reached Barkins, splattering him in subaqueous reptile gore. That way, he could at least have some cover for when he flanked the corpse-mage.

Extending his adamantine claws and baring his razor-sharp teeth, the red humanoid lizard suddenly broke the straight line he had initially planned while aiming for Barkins' throat. He kept the secondary objective in mind. Somehow, he figured that the necromancer would have something planned in case of his own demise. Reaching the rim of the anthill, he clenched his fists together into a singular entity of muscle, skin, scales, and bone, and brought it down in a hammering motion. Striking the ground with a tremendous force, the resulting earthquake would not only pose a significant problem for Barkins but also as an indication of danger to the hive.

Ducking inside the farm itself, Warsman figured that the Tyrannosaurus form he had just shed would be the target for the ants to follow. The hypothesis proved true.

Combined with the fact that if Barkins would truly be coated in the remnants of the Tyrannosaurus flesh their comrades had tasted, then the ants would be drawn to him instead. Unbeknownst to Warsman, the arachnid summon also had the potential of tipping off the Ultra-formicidae to Barkins as their enemy. This way, he had a clear shot to the Queen as she sat on her throne in an endless cycle of childbirth.

#7 Edited by Barkins (440 posts) - - Show Bio

An explosion. A real explosion.

Christopher didn't have much time to back away, the hot steam rolled out to signify a victory that would only be revealed as an illusion. The monstrous body that fell to the ground left a cloud that would only be pierced by the eye of intent. All beings could master the art of intent. It was almost forgotten but for the practitioners among beasts and ancient warriors. It was used for many things: survival, intimidation and to make a killing blow. This eye just happened to be yellow and pierced the cloud like a beacon. The necromancer turned the flats of his wide swords to intercept the projectiles and was doused with a mixture of slime and steam instead, it was definitely hot but not to the point that he would be deterred from fighting. Though it seemed that the eye of intent had not been for a blow of death but rather a tactic of survival, the ground was shaken and the Warsman had departed.

Things were not going quite as planned.

The show of titanic force combined with all the other factors made the approach of the swarm an instant occurrence. Thousands upon thousands of feet all skittering with a single purpose in mind did not need any sound to announce their arrival as the vibration could be felt through the earth itself. A spike of anger passed over him, it was a good trick but the seller was that the Nazi had gone underground. If he went underground it could only be for one reason, to end the tournament by going after the secondary objective. When the first ant approached him he cleaved it in two haphazardly, across the face so that he parted even the mandibles perfectly. The top of the creature slid off easily like a sandwich that had too much mustard between the ham and lettuce. With the ending arc of his blade he let it hit the dirt and stick, his free hand grabbed the face of another as he crushed the exoskeleton inwards to imprint his digits perfectly. A blue glow passed over his eyes as he consulted the powers of his Shogi board once more to step into the past of the insect he had just killed.

  • He was suddenly on all fours, scratch that on all sixes. Moving at a speed that was rather phenomenal as he moved and jumped over many, many others that were the exact same as him. Not in the same way that people were the same but in the way that twins were identical. Smells, dim sights and a strange sensation of purpose. All of it quite wonderful though he let it all speed by him as he looked for one detail in particular, a location.

His eyes focused back on the real world, only an instant passed for his trance of information seeking. Anger was instantly replaced with control. Knowledge was the ultimate power and the one true source of wealth. While the Warsman had his beastial powers and his instincts to lead him it was inferior, Christopher had been there.

"Calamity upon Reservation." He thundered and summoned dark energy to his command. The ground around him being accursed and rotten as the ants dared not venture into the circle of his focus. It radiated with the energy of Death. In order to focus his power and execute it with greater speed for a large summon he spoke with words of command learned from one of the three underworlds of his travels.

"The rotten hands of an ancient foe now rise and bow under my words. Eighth circle of Dante's inferno, I command thee. Christopher Barkins, second of Grimm. Depart."

While his spoke a pair of giant skeletal hands shot up from the earth and wrapped their fingers together to form a hold around the necromancer. His voice became hollow and echoed out over the crowd of giant ants as they feasted upon the steaming flesh of the fallen dinosaur. He was hidden from sight and then pulled underground with alarming speed as he allowed the summon to carry him to the Queen's chamber.

OOC NOTES

  • Calling dibs for a response/reaction on whatever happens in the Queen's chamber.
  • Christopher originally spent time in three underworlds to meet Hades, Anubis and Lucifer whom he fought. He was considered to be a canidate to become the new grim reaper though was not picked. His reward was enough raw necromancer energy to be considered one step below the herald of death itself though not as refined as that of the gods.