Episode 17

 Warlock Episode 17: Pillar of Strength

Mendel: Moonstone and the two instructors stood absolutely still for a brief moment, hovering in the air on the side of the Tower while the cold winter wind whistled around them. In the blink of an eye, Xarion and Moonstone clashed, flanked by Saskia. The air trembled with their power.

Nova: This is incredible. What spell is Xarion using?

Lady: It’s a veil. Myst covers the body allowing for increased power and speed. You might not remember this, but you’ve used a veil before.

Flashback to Episode 9

Lady: It’s a very powerful, but very dangerous technique. Over time, it starts to put an unimaginable strain on the body. Xarion might seem confident, but the fact he is using one right now tells me he isn’t sure if he can fight Hugo for long.

Nova: C’mon Xarion, you can do this.

Mendel: Xarion flew upwards, his body a blur of motion as he launched himself at Moonstone. With his left arm outstretched, he prepared to strike, but before he could make contact, a massive tendril of blood shot out at him. Xarion tensed, ready to absorb the blood, but just as the tendril was about to reach his palm, it splintered into a dozen more, maneuvering around his arm with a deadly precision.With a sudden jerk, the tendril wrapped around Xarion's wrist, sending him crashing to the ground with a sickening thud. He felt the impact reverberate through his bones, sending jolts of pain shooting up his arm. Suddenly, Saskia tackled Moonstone down the side of the Tower, slamming him into a balcony.

Saskia: You’re not so tough, but let’s see how you handle this!

Mendel: Saskia reared back her fists, focusing her energy as she prepared to strike at Moonstone. With a powerful shout, she brought both hands down on him hard, but her fists were met with a sudden shield of hardened blood that materialized before Moonstone. The shield shimmered and grew spikes, attempting to pierce through Saskia, but her skin was tough as nails and didn't even leave a scratch.

Nova: That’s amazing! I’ve heard about her technique, but never seen it in action. To think she can make herself that tough with just her myst!

Lady: I'm curious how Hugo obtained a new legacy. There aren't many beings capable of doing so.

Mendel: Saskia began a barrage of rapid blows to the shield of blood until she managed to break it apart.

Saskia: Here’s ten percent of my myst!

Mendel: Saskia's fist connected with a resounding crack, the force of her blow sending Moonstone hurtling through the air like a rag doll. Then, with a crunch, he slammed into the courtyard wall far below, the impact sending up a cloud of dust and debris that engulfed the area in a choking haze. Meanwhile, two sorcerers on patrol from a nearby block ran over to investigate, their eyes wide with surprise and alarm. They had heard the commotion and rushed to see what was happening.

Xarion: NO, STAY BACK!

Mendel: The two sorcerers seized in horror as two sinewy tendrils of blood shot out from Moonstone's outstretched palms. The tendrils writhed and twisted in midair, like serpents seeking prey, before lashing out at the two sorcerers with lethal intent, draining them of blood.

Xarion: Twinned Spell, Vortex Warp.

Mendel: Xarion snapped his fingers and two dimensional whirlpools opened around the two injured sorcerers, teleporting them to the other side of the courtyard. Two massive blood tendrils remained, made larger by their stolen blood. 

Nova: I’ve got to help those two hurt sorcerers, I can’t get down there fast enough. 

Saskia: Stay here, Nova. Or better yet, head inside and get help! 

Mendel: Saskia leapt down from the balcony to where Moonstone stood, colliding with him with a powerful slam.

Nova: I can’t just leave them! Zenith!

Mendel: Zenith zoomed out of the Headmaster’s office down to the balcony.

Nova: Look, I know we just met, and I’ve been asking a LOT of you, but can you please help me fly down to help those two?

Mendel: Zenith didn’t move, Nova’s face glowing from his light, eyes full of resolve. He slowly floated towards her, extending the handle towards her.

Lady: Zenith, how interesting.

Nova: Are we connected now?

Lady: No, but he’s warming up to you faster than I expected. He is trying to decide what kind of person you are.

Mendel: Nova grabbed on to the handle tightly as Zenith flew her down to the ground as quickly as he could. Nova landed and immediately ran over to them.

Nova: Healing light!

Mendel: Two beams of light radiated from her palms, stabilizing them. Their wounds began to shut as color returned to their faces.

Nova: There, that should help a little bit. I’ve got to make sure no one else interferes. 

Mendel: Nova began running across the courtyard as beams of energy from spells crackled in the air, followed by concussive blasts from their tremendous blows. As Nova reached the gate leaving the campus, she saw Xarion flying above with Moonstone in his grasp. Suddenly, Xarion’s concentration was broken from a blade of blood slicing across his back. They both fell to the ground on the city streets.

Nova: Xarion! Why isn’t he just absorbing the blood?

Lady: You may not be able to see it, but I can. He’s trying to absorb it, but Hugo is maneuvering the blood around his palm too fast for Xarion to be able to grab it. He’s on a whole other level than your instructor. They’re being toyed with.

Mendel: Nova could hear screaming from a few blocks away.

Nova: I’ve got to do something! 

Mendel: Nova followed the sound of the fight to a busy street, townsfolk heading to dinner and walking the cold winter evening. They hid behind carriages and in storefronts, watching as Saskia came slamming down from her leap. Xarion struggled to his feet.

Xarion: Saskia, we’ve got to get these people out of here.

Saskia: I’ll buy you some time, go!

Mendel: Moonstone pulled all of the blood into his own body, causing his muscles to burst through his sorcerer uniform. The giantborn instructor appeared to be the size of a child in front of him. As if it was filled with blood, his mask changed from white to dark red.

Xarion: Be careful.

Mendel: Xarion began teleporting people away from the fight as Saskia took a running start towards Moonstone. 

Saskia: Alright, let’s try fifty percent!

Mendel: She tackled Moonstone, but he didn’t budge.

Saskia: What?

Moonstone: My turn

Mendel: Moonstone's punch connected with Saskia's jaw, sending her hurtling down the street. Her body slammed against the cobblestones, scattering debris in all directions. With a slow, menacing pace, Moonstone approached her, his eyes glowing with an eerie red light. Nova frantically scanned the area for a place to hide. Her eyes locked onto a tailor's shop, and she dashed inside. The bell above the door chimed as she entered, and she quickly made her way to the back of the shop, her heart pounding in her chest. From her hiding place, she could hear the sound of Moonstone's boots echoing on the pavement outside.

Nova: I keep feeling so useless, I don’t have any spells left.

Tailor: A sorcerer! What are we supposed to do?

Mendel: A few people peeked out from behind a counter.

Nova: Stay calm, two of the strongest sorcerers I know are out there. Just, keep away from the windows. We’ll be ok!

Mendel: A woman clutched her young child and tried to keep her from crying. Nova saw the young girl’s eyes peering out at her, wide with fear.

Nova: Hey! Do you want to see something awesome?

Mendel: The young girl nodded.

Nova: Watch this!

Mendel: Nova’s mage hand appeared and picked up the girl’s stuffed bear.

Nova: I didn’t know your teddy could fly! That’s amazing!

Mendel: The girl gave a small smile as she watched her stuffed animal float around the room.

Nova: He must be a sorcerer, too! Is there a back room, a closet, anywhere they can hide?

Tailor: There is a small closet behind that curtain. 

Nova: Why don’t you follow your teddy?

Mendel: The woman and young girl slowly crawled towards the closet, keeping out of sight of Moonstone. Once they were inside, Nova turned to the tailor. 

Nova: Thank you.

Tailor: I’m just glad they’re safe.

Mendel: Outside, Saskia dusted herself off as she stood up.

Saskia: Ok, I’ll admit, that caught me off guard, but I won’t let that happen again. Let’s go up to 75%!

Moonstone: You're a fool to not use 100% of your power against an adversary. Especially one who has barely used 25% of his.

Mendel: Tendrils shot out of Moonstone’s arm into the shop where Nova and the others were hiding, one searching for the tailor. 

Tailor: Help!

Mendel: Nova instinctively fired an astral beam at the tendril, severing it in the middle. It recoiled as the tailor scrambled back away. Blood splashed to the floor.

Nova: He needs to be connected to the blood to control it! Saskia, he-

Mendel: Moonstone ripped the front of the store open as he approached Nova, but he was thrown off guard by Saskia slamming into him.

Saskia: Run!

Nova: Got it!

Mendel: Nova helped the tailor to his feet as she scrambled down the street.

Nova: Get out of here, I’m going to get the others to safety. 

Tailor: Thank you, I can’t…thank you.

Nova: Saskia, he can’t control the blood unless he’s touching it!

Xarion: I can’t believe I missed that, nice work!

Mendel: Xarion walked up behind Nova, clutching his side in pain.

Xarion: I’d tell you to run, but you wouldn’t listen, would you? You’re a Ravenwood, alright.

Nova: I want to help.

Xarion: And I think I know how.

Mendel: Saskia leapt back to Nova and Xarion.

Saskia: Fog cloud!

Mendel: Saskia exhaled a huge plume of moisture, obscuring them from Moonstone.

Saskia: What’s the plan?

Moonstone: This has been fun, but it’s time to end this. Either give me the orb, or I destroy this city block and everyone in it. Your choice.

Mendel: Xarion once again activated his veil.

Xarion: You ready?

Saskia: Let’s do it.

Mendel: The two of them dashed towards Moonstone, splitting to the left and right of him. As they approached, blood shot out from his hands at both of them, creating two shields.

Nova: Astral beam!

Mendel: A beam of light fired from Nova’s palm struck one of the tendrils. Once it became separated from Moonstone, Xarion absorbed the blood into his left hand and created an iron spear in his right. Saskia reached the blood shield, but she slipped through, as if she wasn’t there.

Saskia: Got you!

Mendel: Saskia’s major image illusion disappeared as she grappled Moonstone from behind. Xarion used the opening to slice the blood away from the shield, spinning around to absorb it.

Xarion: Nice work!

Nova: Int) Perfect, if we get him to run out of blood, he won’t be able to use his legacy!

Mendel: Spikes came shooting out of Moonstone’s back, one of them piercing Saskia through the shoulder. She flipped forward and grouped up with Nova and Xarion.

Saskia: Damn, I’m running out of Myst. I can’t defend and attack at the same time anymore.

Mendel: Moonstone stitched his wound closed with blood, scanning the area for anyone he might desiccate. He spotted a man hiding behind a carriage, frozen with fear. He stretched out his hand towards the man as blood shot out.

Xarion: Vortex warp!

Mendel: Xarion snapped his fingers, but nothing happened.

Xarion: I’m running out of myst, too. Saskia!

Saskia: I can’t get there fast enough.

Mendel: The blood connected with the man’s chest, but slipped off him, almost as if oil met with water. A figure crouched behind the man zipped to the trio, the man stuck to his back.

Rick: Hope you all are a-okay! Looks like we got here just in time.

Xarion: We?

Mendel: Moonstone Lifted the carriage over his head, preparing to throw it at them, but another figure stepped in front of him.

Cerulean: That looks heavy, why don’t you drop it?

Mendel: Moonstone released the carriage and it came crashing down on top of him.

Cerulean: Are you all having some trouble with this man in the unfortunate mask?

Mendel: The carriage splintered apart as Moonstone emerged from the debris. He lunged at Cerulean.

Cerulean: Enough, you’re embarrassing yourself.

Mendel: Moonstone froze in place, his body unable to throw a punch at the merfolk sorcerer.

Cerulean: Are you all going to just stand there? Get these people to safety. 

Xarion: Rick, can you handle that?

Mendel: Rick bounced by with people in each arm.

Rick: Alllllrrready on it!

Mendel: Saskia gave moonstone a side kick that sent him flying into a nearby building. From the debris, a whip of blood came lashing out at her, but a wall of water sprung from Cerulean, causing the blood to dissipate. Meanwhile, Rick zipped around the street, almost too fast to be seen, as he carried the citizens of Oakvale to safety.

Cerulean: Come out of there slowly, we just want to talk.

Mendel: Moonstone lunged at Cerulean, who was barely able to dodge his powerful punch. 

Cerulean: This is bad. Stop! Halt! Calm yourself!

Mendel: Moonstone continued his attacks on Cerulean, with Cerulean moving gracefully out of the way of each strike, as if almost in a dance. 

Cerulean: Int) Damn, he must have broken through my glamor, it won’t work on him for another few hours. Ext) I can only distract him for so long!

Mendel: Saskia and Xarion joined the fray, all three of them attacking Moonstone at once. Moonstone created two extra arms out of blood, blocking and striking the three and he maneuvered down the street away from Nova.

Nova: Oh no, he’s heading to the market district! It’ll be full of people. 

Mendel: Despite her exhaustion, Nova sprinted down after them, warning everyone she encountered to stay indoors and hide. The fight accelerated far ahead of her as she began to run out of breath. Crashes and booms followed in their path as Moonstone fought with reckless abandon, blood destroying the city as he moved through it. She forced herself to run harder and faster until she reached the crowded market district, people in shock at the explosive battle above them. The sorcerers all hovered in the air. 

Saskia: Surrender now, Hugo, before anyone else gets hurt. The Headmaster will show mercy.

Moon: Mercy? You still don't understand. I am beyond redemption, beyond mercy. You have no idea what true power is.

Xarion: Your blood magic won't save you now, Hugo. It's over.

Moon: (chuckles) You think I'm powerless? I've been preparing for this moment. I have more than enough to take you all down. Would you like a demonstration?

Mendel: Suddenly, Moonstone’s body began to convulse. Beneath the surface, bones and joints realigned, aching and twisting to reshape his body into something altogether different. The transformation was not painless, as Moonstone let out a guttural cry as his body contorted. After a final shudder, the transformation was complete. Moonstone was no longer bulky or heavy, but instead lean and graceful, almost delicate. Massive tendrils of blood extended from his back at least 30 feet. 

Moonstone: There, I can move more freely now.

Mendel: In the blink of an eye, Moonstone had appeared in front of Xarion, too fast to even comprehend. He delivered a powerful blow to his stomach, with Xarion’s veil dropping and him falling to the ground below. Moonstone’s movements were graceful and fluid, like a dancer or an acrobat, but with a sense of otherworldly power that made them almost unrecognizable. For those watching, it was like witnessing a blur of motion, a streak of light that darted across their vision before vanishing again. In an instant, he dispatched the other two sorcerers with whips of blood, slamming them into nearby buildings. He hovered about the stunned crowd below.

Nova: No! 

Lady: I told you he was holding back.

Nova: Now’s not the time to say I told you so.

Moonstone: Nova Ravenwood! I know you’re here. I can sense you. Your blood. Give me the orb and I will spare their lives. If not, their deaths will be on your head. 

Lady: Nova, you can’t give it to him. That orb is our only lifeline to Rayna. If he finds her, she’ll die.

Nova: But if I don’t, these people will die.

Mendel: People on the street began to run, but Moonstone blocked the streets with massive streams of blood. The blood coalesced into solid impenetrable walls that glowed with crimson myst.

Moonstone: Last chance.

Nova: Wait! I’m here, I’m here.

Mendel: Nova watched in amazement as Moonstone gently floated down from the sky, his body seemingly suspended by the thick, red blood oozing from his back. It was a grotesque sight, one that made Nova’s stomach turn, but she couldn't look away. Nova stepped forward, holding out the orb in her hand. It glimmered in the dim light of the city lamps, a small but powerful object that could mean the difference between life and death for them all.

Nova: You promise you’ll let these people go if I give you the orb?

Moonstone: Yes, now give it to me.

Mendel: Nova hesitated for a moment. She held it out to Moonstone, her hand trembling.

Nova: Here, now just leave us alone.

Mendel: Moonstone grasped the orb, his fingers closing around it. He peered into its depths, studying its every facet with a cold, analytical gaze. Suddenly, he raised himself back up into the night sky, his body surrounded by a halo of blood that blocked the cobblestone streets below.

Nova: You promised, let them go!

Moonstone: You are naive. I need to replenish my blood, these people will do nicely. 

Mendel: Nova recoiled in horror, her mind reeling with the implications of his words

Nova: Liar! 

Mendel: Nova fired a beam at Moonstone, but a whip of blood deflected it away. He suddenly pulled a sizable amount of blood overhead, creating hundreds of razorsharp tendrils.

Moonstone: Do not fret, Ravenwood, you will be spared. Blood moon forbidden legacy: Rain of Blood

Mendel: The blood tendrils hurtled towards the crowd below with frightening speed, their razor-sharp tips poised to strike. The people scattered in all directions, screaming in terror as they sought shelter from the deadly onslaught. Nova watched in horror as the tendrils swooped down like daggers, their blood-red color casting an eerie glow over the street. But just when all hope seemed lost, the tendrils froze in midair, their speed halted by an invisible force. The people below looked up in amazement to see a swarm of shimmering, translucent hands hovering above them. The mage hands interlocked, forming a shield of magical energy that protected the citizens from harm.

Headmaster: This is quite a reunion, Hugo, but I'd prefer to take your grievances up with me.

Nova: Headmaster!

Moonstone: Professor Quietwater, I expected you sooner.

Headmaster: It appears I arrived just in time. Ms. Ravenwood has an exam in the morning, and as Headmaster, it is my responsibility that she gets adequate rest. Which means dealing with you quickly.

Moonstone: I would like to see you try. My power has increased tenfold since I left Oakvale.

Headmaster: You think just because you aren’t here that we stop pushing ourselves? I am not just Headmaster, you know. I am the Pillar of Strength. And you know what that means.

Moonstone: Enlighten me, old woman.

Mendel: In a flash of crimson, Moonstone flew at the Headmaster, a bloody blade protruding from his arm, but it was halted by a dozen magic hands protecting her body.

Headmaster: It means I will protect these people with every ounce of my power. You will not harm them.

Mendel: Suddenly, hundreds of hands appeared behind her, crackling with energy. 

Headmaster: I'll wring every ounce of stolen blood from your body.

Mendel: Nova watched in amazement as Moonstone desperately tried to defend himself against the onslaught of magical hands. He leapt and twirled with graceful precision, his movements almost dance-like as he evaded the fists. But despite his agility, the mage hands closed in on him, surrounding him in a whirling vortex that made it impossible to find a way out. Moonstone's bloody swords sliced through the air, but the hands intercepted them with ease. The tornado of mage hands spun faster and faster, whipping up a powerful wind that made it difficult for Moonstone to keep the blood in his grasp. Nova stood in awe as she watched the Headmaster's incredible power on full display. Her eyes widened as she saw the mage hands overwhelm Moonstone, their relentless attacks battering him with an unyielding barrage. With a final, ferocious assault, the hands grabbed Moonstone and flung him to the ground. His body was battered and bruised, and he struggled to stand as a spectral fist made of dozens of hands descended upon him. As the dust settled, Moonstone lay unconscious on the ground. 

Nova: That was INCREDIBLE. 

Headmaster: Now, to deal with this mess.

Mendel: The Headmaster stood at the center of a damaged street, rubble and debris scattered everywhere. Despite the destruction, the Headmaster remained calm and focused, raising her arms and summoning her mage hands. The hands moved with incredible speed and dexterity, picking up chunks of stone and shattered glass, sweeping away piles of rubble, and mending broken buildings. As she worked, her face remained stern and determined, her eyes darting around as she assessed the extent of the damage. Yet, there was also a sense of compassion and care in her movements as she meticulously cleaned up the street, as if she was personally invested in restoring it to normal. Despite the chaos and destruction that surrounded her, the headmaster's mage hands worked tirelessly until every last piece of debris was removed, and the street was left looking almost as good as new. The mood of the scene shifted from one of destruction to one of hope and restoration, a testament to the Headmaster's remarkable powers and unwavering dedication to her people. Rick dashed to her carrying a barely conscious Xarion.

Rick: Sorry I couldn't help more, but it looks like you had everything under control, Boss! I've set up a healers station in the Tower courtyard to move anyone who's been injured. 

Headmaster: Excellent work, Professor Rivers. 

Nova: Xarion! Are you ok?

Mendel: Nova ran down the street to meet them.

Xarion: I'm glad you're safe, Nova. Thanks for your help, we couldn't have done it without you.

Headmaster: I have a lot of questions for you, Ms. Ravenwood, but that can wait. There are people who need help. 

Mendel: The Headmaster’s mage hands carried a battered Moonstone behind her, restrained with anti-magic shackles.

Headmaster: I will escort you to the Tower, this foolish sorcerer needs some time in the dungeon. 

Nova: I can help heal them! I just…I don't think I can right now, I need rest.

Xarion: Don't push yourself, Nova, you have a test tomorrow. You need to be taking it easy.

Mendel: Saskia and Cerulean limped over to the group.

Saskia: We can handle it from here, go get some sleep.

Cerulean: It's important that Sevrina beats you fair and square.

Mendel: The merfolk gave her a sly wink as they walked back towards the market district, the Headmaster to the Tower. Nova was left alone, the sound of people filtering down the street to their homes.

Nova: I'm tired of feeling useless, there has got to be something I can do.

Mendel: As she made her way back to the Tower, she saw a steady stream of people heading towards the great hall, seeking aid. Despite being drained of magic, she didn't hesitate to leap into action. Determined to help in any way she could, she sought out Rick, who was impressed by her eagerness. He quickly put her to work, showing her how to use the healer's kit to tend to the injured and soothe the suffering. As the night wore on and the work became more grueling, she persisted, never faltering in her mission to help those in need. But eventually, her exhaustion caught up with her, and she knew she needed to rest.

Lady: Nova, you're pushing yourself too hard. You need to rest.

Nova: I know, but there's so much left to do.

Lady: I understand your urgency, but you won't be of any use to these people if you exhaust yourself. Rest for a little while, and I'll teach you a new spell that could help them.

Nova: Really? That would be incredible.

Lady: Of course. But first, you must allow your body to recuperate and build up more Myst. Only then will you be able to wield this new power to its fullest potential.

Nova: Alright, I guess I could shut my eyes for a minute or two.

Mendel: Nova found a quiet spot to shut her eyes, all while Zenith hovered around out of sight, watching her. Having seen enough, the golden scepter vanished from sight with a hum and brief flash of light.  After an hour of rest, Nova felt slightly more rejuvenated, the feeling of Myst returning to her body. 

Lady: Listen carefully, Nova. Cure wounds is a powerful spell that requires a lot of Myst. However, its benefits far surpass those of your healing light, which means you'll only be able to use it a few times.

Nova: Got it. Let's give it a shot. I know just the person who could use it.

(Cut to Xarion)

Xarion: I'm fine, really. I just need a good night's sleep and I'll be back to my old self.

Nova: Cure wounds!

Xarion: Scratch that. I feel like a million gold!

Saskia: Nova, your healing abilities are incredible. I've never seen anything like it!

Rick: I heard about how you saved those two sorcerers who were bleeding out. That's one impressive trick. I have a few other people who might need your skills, can you help me out?

Nova: Sure thing, I’ll do the best I can!

Rick: That’s what I like to hear! I know it’s getting pretty late, and you’ve been such an important piece of this tonight, so I’m going to talk to the Headmaster about waiving the tournament for you. You can take it easy for the rest of the day.

Nova: No, I’ll be ok, I don’t want to miss it.

Rick: (Int) For her to be able to do so much with so little rest, it’s impressive! She might even surpass her brother some day…

Nova: Now, who needs my help?

SFX: Bells/Transition music 

Briar: There she is, Nova!

Ren: Twinkles, are you alright?

Xarion: Shh, let her sleep, she fell asleep about 5 minutes ago, she’s exhausted. She spent all night taking care of these people. Me included!

Briar: I’m just glad she’s alright. As soon as the Tower locked down, we feared the worst.

Ren: Ha, we should have known she was at the center of it all. I’m glad she’s in one piece. 

Xarion: The Headmaster is giving her a passing grade for the tournament portion, so she can just rest instead of fighting.

Ren: What? That’s ridiculous, Twinkles has been dying to fight!

Xarion: Well, if she wakes up and gets to the arena in time, she can fight. Otherwise, she’s out for the count. C’mon, let’s let her rest and get you two ready!

Mendel: The three made their outside to the arena, a fresh layer of snow on the ground. Although the city was dealt a terrible blow the night before, citizens were pouring into the gates, some hopeful to see the lavender haired girl who helped save them the night before. The Tower's arena was a sight to behold, the outer walls made of gleaming white stone, intricately carved with images of legendary sorcerers and mythical creatures. As they stepped through the gate, they found themselves in a sprawling plaza filled with vendors selling all sorts of magical trinkets and delicious snacks. The air was filled with the smells of roasting meat and sweet pastries, and the sound of lively music and cheerful chatter. The seating area was enormous, with tiered rows of comfortable seats that seem to stretch on forever. Each was decorated with intricate carvings and magical runes that glow softly in the dim morning light. A voice called out to them. 

Astrid: Ren! Briar!

Briar: Mrs. Ravenwood! We only have a few minutes before they reveal the first fight, Nova is ok, but she might not make it to the tournament to compete.

Astrid. I stopped by the Tower last night to bring food to her and the others. I'm proud of her, even if she doesn’t get to compete.

Ren: Oh, she’s gonna compete alright, don’t you worry.

Briar: Ren…

Ren: Let’s just say I’ve been talking to Xander about all of our chances, and I have a feeling that-

Mendel: Suddenly, a booming voice echoed through the arena, causing everyone to turn and look. There, in the center of the massive colosseum, stood Rick, his voice amplified by magic that reverberated across the walls.

Rick: Good day, students and spectators! I can feel the excitement in the air as we gather here today for the midterms. It's time to see which of these gifted youngsters will rise to the top! We'll be using a simple bracket system, with students being eliminated if they can no longer fight or are knocked out of the ring below. And don't worry, students from the same class won't be forced to fight each other, unless they happen to be the last two standing in the finals. Now, who's ready to see some action?

Mendel: The crowd roared with excitement as Rick raised several ornate scrolls into the air.

Rick: These scrolls contain the names of the first students who will be competing in our tournament.The order of the fights will be selected at random, the competitors already know who they are battling first. Are you ready?

Mendel: Suddenly, a gust of wind blew through the arena, and out of one of the huge torches emerged a dragon made entirely of smoke. The crowd gasped as it swooped down towards Rick and snatched one of the scrolls from his hand with its sharp claws.

Rick: Well, that's one way to choose the first match! The dragon has spoken! Our first competitors are... Delta Quicklight of Class Gold, and Briar Nightshade of Class Red!

Ren: Good luck Mosshead. You got this.

Mendel: Delta stepped forward onto the arena, a confident smirk on her face, while Briar looked more reserved, but determined. The two students faced off, eyeing each other up and down as the crowd watched with bated breath…

Next time, on Warlock! After the excitement of the previous night, the students begin their one on one elimination battles! Just how far will Class Red make it? And will Nova wake up in time to make it to her first match?

Episode 18: Let the Tournament Begin! On Warlock!