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The Garden: An Arcadian Boneyard

Phyrexian Grassland

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a part of The Garden: An Arcadian Boneyard, by duramon.

Vast plains of grass and large fields were the norm at one point here near Kerris, but after a game with a Demon Lord the Phyrexian Grasslands are withered and barren waste-lands devoid of all but a tiny almost village area home to The Nameless.

duramon holds sovereignty over Phyrexian Grassland, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

369 readers have been here.

Setting

Vast plains of grass and large fields were the norm at one point here near Kerris, but after a game with a Demon Lord the Phyrexian Grasslands are withered and barren waste-lands devoid of all but a tiny almost village area home to The Nameless.
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Phyrexian Grassland

Vast plains of grass and large fields were the norm at one point here near Kerris, but after a game with a Demon Lord the Phyrexian Grasslands are withered and barren waste-lands devoid of all but a tiny almost village area home to The Nameless.

Minimap

Phyrexian Grassland is a part of Kerris, Northern Corner.

9 Characters Here

Tiotio [69] "Do not seek for the truth, only stop having an opinion."
Seriene Arvor [28] A devout novice battle priest of the Naaru and a once firm defender of Karabor.
Kaula Vee-Ryn [23] "I know who and what my father is, I simply do not agree with him." WIP
Dan Breeze [10] "Wanna scuffle! I'll scuffle! I'll scuffle right proper!"
Niko Neventelde [9] "What, you scared? Don't worry, I'll take care of it; why don't you just stay back and watch the house?"
Irina Neventelde [9] "I'm not just gonna listen to you, y'know. Idiot. Don't even try it!"
'Qwerty' aka Experiment 'Sludgepile' [8] The manic, battle-hungry, extra-gluttunous, senient pile of Plasmophlemge
Spindel Peridot [2] "when you spend a couple thousand years in hibernation, you tend to forget some things."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Aera Kirishima Character Portrait: Pravus the Grave Tender
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#, as written by Zalgo
"The darkness will claim this place, and the rest of the Garden. We barely make it by as it is and soon the demon lords will stop bickering and mass together. It's a matter of time before the Garden is overwhelmed and used as stepping stone for the rest of existence...what we need are capable fighters, those strong of mind and body, those with good morals. We need to be able to rise from the bottom, gain allies and defeat corrupted guilds until the Garden can stand on her own two feet and push back the demon lords." The nameless leader had expanded upon his deception by passing through the table as though he were immaterial.

"I know all about you, everything you know, I know. Keep this in mind for the rest of the interview and pay attention....this is the only advice I will give you aside from to remember, this is not a fight, you are not simply weapons."

Pravus waited, taking the man's warnings to mind as he awaited what this man had planned for them.

"Live."

At that moment magic took it's course, shifting the world around them. The floor became a large stone dais suspended over a seemingly infinite void which separated them from the rest of the world they were previously in and their interviewer who looked on past his desk with no discernible change in facial expression. A pair of dark hands grasped the ledge of their current platform, pulling the rest of itself from the black abyss. Up upon their disc a darkened shadow of his father climbed aboard, standing up in a bit of a swaying shamble.

The man looked quite similar to Pravus. Both of them were wearing the same hat and cloak, tools could be heard rattling from underneath the concealment of his father's cloak. His father's facial structure appeared stronger than his although Pravus's features were currently obscured by his unique mask, making a facial comparison between the two of them impossible for any onlookers. His father did possess a rather long yet straight and thin black beard, making him appear wiser. The man appeared to Pravus as he remembered him the very last time he saw him before he left home to join the military.

There was a sense of realism to this encounter but there was one factor which he didn't even know was playing into this scenario. His speech was short which gave his secret manipulators little time to work with. Even though the scenario definitely seemed real he still remembered that this was probably the efforts and product of magic, illusionary or otherwise. He looked from the leader sitting so close yet so far away in his seat to the very spitting image of his father wrought from the shadows pulled up from below.

"What shame have you brought upon our family name this time?" Were the first words to come from his illusionary father's mouth. Pravus saw what this leader was trying to do to him, to push him using his own memories against him and see if he breaks or not. Still, even with that knowledge in mind it's words still stung deep inside his still heart. He could feel no pain but what this feeling was for him was the closest thing he could come to that.

Still, pain was temporary and he had endured plenty of physical pain in life. As for emotional pain he had known and carried on through suffering which held no comparison. Driven by guilt spurred by his father's death to carry on the family name only to watch as each one of his family, his friends and anyone else he knew all succumbed to the black spirit's touch until only he remained for just long enough to watch the entire world end with him. Even after all that and being resurrected with the memories of it all still intact he carries on. He knew this phantom was not his father. He did not know how they conjured forth such a construct to take on such a familiar form but he still suspected deception even with the tampering of his mind from other entities involved.

"You wish to test me again?" He spoke, still looking towards the facsimile of his father but clearly addressing the leader of the Nameless. "You will listen here son." His father attempted to draw his focus back onto the hateful duplicate designed to degrade his willpower. Instead of listening to it's demands he turned his back to it, now facing their host.

"Are you willing to forsake what you care about, for the life of another?"

He heard the whisper in his ear, the source from no discernible location even though the speaker was clear. His eye's gaze pierced through the black holes of his mask, staring directly at the leader now. He could still hear his father behind him but he made a conscious effort to ignore it while he spoke to his intended audience.

"Must we forsake what defines us to defend another person's moralities instead of the ones we all have struggled so hard to forge?" He responded to his question with a question of his own. The leader wanted to see them all act as more than just weapons so unlike a sword or a cannon he questioned the hand which controlled him. A weapon does not ask why it needs to kill who it kills, a person does. Unlike the path Aera had chosen, he would see beyond the puzzle set before him. To question reality rather than simply accept it as what it is.

"I honor my word, I fight for my comrades as well as those who I owe my word to. Magic and other means may be able to twist my mind and cloud my judgement but I still remain the culmination of every experience, every trial, every hardship and every memory I still hold. Even still, I shall succeed if I need to. If that means proving my fortitude mentally as well then so be it but I will ask you this: I have buried my past once, I ask you to not force me to do so once again." He asked of the man nestled at his desk, his voice still polite and calm despite that calm being challenged by the words of his father, the salt in his wounds.

As he was done speaking the phantom of his father stepped up behind Pravus, standing directly behind him with almost no space separating them. He brought his lips up near his ear, whispering directly into it.
"Go ahead. Go become another lackey for some warmongering warlord and abandon your family to sicken and die.
You make me sick."


Still, Pravus stood tall and firm before the Nameless's leader and weathered the burning pain of his guilt eat away at him from within, waiting for a response while his father's phantom wounded him deeper and deeper.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Tiotio Character Portrait: Keres Leventis
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#, as written by Ankti
“....this is the only advice I will give you aside from to remember, this is not a fight, you are not simply weapons."

As the room faded away Tiotio’s first thought was of the food in her bag. If the whole thing had been some illusion, was the food real too? She stuck her hand in and felt the dried edge of a plantain. It seemed quite real. She lifted it out and nibbled at it. Like the bugs it, it had real taste and texture.

“Live”

A figure pulled itself out of the darkness, shadows peeling off it like flaking skin. The body the light revealed was misshapen, hunched over skeletal legs, its arms and hands pulled by painfully short tendons into twisted claws that rested against its chest.

No flesh clung to its jaw, and huge grey teeth dominated the lower half of its face. Everything above its nose, which was pockmarked with rot, was covered in filthy cloth wrappings. There were thin gaps in the cloth, enough for the creature to see out, but too small to reveal the features hidden within.

Its voice was like a murder of crows, all calling over each other in a mad cacophony of sound - “Hello friend.”

“Eitr!” Tiotio called, “You’ve come here too?”

The illusion of the room was forgotten in her delight at seeing her old friend. She imagined a doorway, like those she’d see the rabbit woman summon, opening before Eitr, allowing the man through to this place. And of course he would go through - Eitr was as curious and as eager to learn as Tiotio. She rushed toward him, ready to embrace him, her mind already full of a dozen questions.

Another figure emerged, and Tiotio stopped a few paces from Eitr. It did not crawl forward, as Eitr had, but took huge, lumbering steps. First a leg entered the light - wide, thick, made of mud and clay and sticks. As the golem entered the light, Tiotio brandished her bo. In an instant her memories returned, overwhelmed her mind, and she was not on the stone platform, but in alley were Eitr had died.

She hissed and screeched, threatening the golem. It had come for her that night, to rectify the crimes of a disgraced master. The man had taken Tiotio as a student, in direct violation of the rules of his order. The golem had punished him first, then come to erase his errors by destroying his student.

Eitr was innocent of this, his only crime was being friends with Tiotio, traveling with her and wanting to protect her. He was no fighter; his skills and powers were useful only for piece, for understanding nature. His skills with animals and plants were equal in proportion to his hideous form. Each rotten tooth, each atrophied muscle, representing a power to bring life and light to the world.

That fight had been the hardest in Tiotio’s life. She stood no real chance against the golem, which overpowered her with strength, and could not be harmed in any lasting way.

On the stone platform Tiotio’s hand shot to her chest, where one of the things sharp branches had pierced her, puncturing her lung. She’d lay on the alley floor, dieing. Then Eitr threw his shriveled body between Tiotio and the golem, clawed uselessly at the holes in the golem’s face that were not truly eyes.

“Go!” Eitr called, in a voice that sounded like the night itself, the darkness and the stars, were ordering her to run.

The golem took Eitr’s small head in its hand, mud and filth coating the cloth, grinding into the teeth. There was a snap, small and sicking, and Eitr’s head came loose.

Tiotio ran then, as fast and as far as her body would go. Blood erupted from her mouth, but she did not stop. She ran all night and into the morning, worried at each step that the golem was just behind.

On the stone platform Eitr came up beside her, tilted his head up to look at her. “We can defeat it,” he said.

“No, we run, it’s too strong to fight.”

And then she remembered the Nameless, their leader, the interview, Keres - all of it. This horrid thing, this reliving of that painful night, was all happening in the middle of the Nameless stronghold. Would they let her run, would they help her protect Eitr?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Tiotio Character Portrait: Keres Leventis
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#, as written by Ankti
The golem did not speak, did not breath, only stood still as if awaiting orders. Tiotio saw it in detail as she had not before, as she could not on the night it had killed Eitr. The mud and filth that covered it flowed slowly, rippling across the surface of its body. Its face was a mockery of humanity. Uneven eyes hung above a bulbous nose, and sticks protruded out of its head like wild hair.

Tiotio kept Eitr behind her, pressing the creature to back away as her eyes searched for an exit. She saw only darkness and across the expanse, the Nameless leader. She did not know if there was floor in that darkness, or an open fall into nothingness.

Keres was near them, between Tiotio and the expanse that separated them from the leader. She seemed unaware of the figures before her. Her shoulders were low, her alabaster face puffy red and stained in tears. It struck Tiotio that if her own feelings could be given form, her own fears and regrets about that night in the alley when she’d lost Eitr, they would look as Keres did now.

There was something more, something that seemed to hover in the air around Keres. An after image, blurry and impossible to make out. Not a true illusion, as the room where they’d had breakfast had been, but something that surrounded Keres like a storm. Something Tiotio might not have been able to see, even if she’d been staring straight at it.

She thought then of the maze, of the tests. She thought of the surface of the lake, hiding the truth within. The room, the question, that had been the surface. Now the Nameless stirred it up, looking for what lay beneath.

Keres was limp, as if about to collapse to the floor at any moment. A puppet with string about to be cut.

“Keres,” Tiotio called, “I don’t know what’s real. Come, help me.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane
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The man spoke as he stood up and walked towards Ivan and the demon to his side, walking through the table as if it never had existed in the first place. "The darkness will claim this place, and the rest of the Garden. We barely make it by as it is and soon the demon lords will stop bickering and mass together. It's a matter of time before the Garden is overwhelmed and used as stepping stone for the rest of existence...what we need are capable fighters, those strong of mind and body, those with good morals. We need to be able to rise from the bottom, gain allies and defeat corrupted guilds until the Garden can stand on her own two feet and push back the demon lords." "It would seem that whatever I have found myself to fall into might have consequences for Ancaria if they fail to push back these demon lords. While there are great powers within the realm if at all possible I would rather not have them measure their power on one another. In the end, if this all is true, it would seem that I have to pass these tests. If not to help protect Anracia, then to help these people." Ivan followed up in his thoughts. Then as the man stepped back and seated himself once more he spoke words of advice. "I know all about you, everything you know, I know. Keep this in mind for the rest of the interview and pay attention....this is the only advice I will give you aside from to remember, this is not a fight, you are not simply weapons."

"Live." The man said as the room turned into an abyss, a pure void with Ivan and the demon on a stone platform and far in the distance the man. They however were not alone on the platform, Ivan realised as he spied out a human figure in the corner of his eye. "Ivan." The figure said with a sharp and bonechilling voice. He had only heard this voice call out his name like this once before, but he recognised the voice immediately. He turned to see the figure who had called his name. Before him stood a man who was nothing more than dried and rotten skin stretched over dry bones, it's empty eyesockets gazed back at Ivan. Rotten cloth robes covered the undead miscreation as it stood with long cresent bladed daggers in his hands. "Well, I suppose I should thank the gods for the chance to kill you, personally. Finally I can vent all this resentment I felt towards you all those years. I bet you never even realised how I dispised you in all those years that you called me your friend." The miscreation said with it's jaw hanging motionless, with only the direction of the sound indicating it was indeed him who spoke. "To be honest, I always knew. It's one of the few reasons I could call you my friend, you never hid anything for me. You were always like an open book to me, and you didn't even try to hide anything. Even now I think of you as my old friend." Ivan replied to the undead before him who trew out a disturbing laughter almost emmidiatly thereafter as he spoke. "Yes, that is the kind of foolishness I remember of my mortal existance. But that friend you remember is long gone. His memories may still remain within this vessel, but his mind has been corrupted to form me. The foolishness of the living, to believe in friendship and trust... Especially when minnions under your full controll are so much better at following your demands."

The undead lunged forwards as best it could, however it didn't even reach Ivan. "Are you willing to forsake what you care about, for the life of another?" It was a cryptic thing to say, especially to Ivan. For him the case was very much black and white, or at least it should have been. It was obvious that the undead before him wasn't the friend he remembered, what was before him was merely a lich who's formed from the corruption of a mages mind. However even as the creature lay on the platform in front of his feet, Ivan couldn't bring himself to give a killing blow. It had been so many years since they had last seen eachother, and back he had killed his friend turned lich to protect the lives of those around him. He had been a powerfull mage, and thus a prime target for the liches, however when he turned into a lich to his surprise he couldn't use his magic anymore. His magic relied on muscle memory to cast his magic in melee combat, however the form before Ivan didn't carry a single ounce of muscle, making him like a fish on land, unable to cast magic or even just to move his body properly. At this point he was as dangerous as a toddler with a fork, making it even more tempting to just talk to him and let the melancholy take him back to the good old days. Before all of this, before he was forced to kill his friend and before the slaughter at Thylysium.

"Are you crying? You are weak, like all the living! You have me unable to even get this trashpile of a body of the ground, and yet instead to killing me here and now, you cry? You are even weaker than the last time, you weren't even affected when you killed me." The undead spoke as he noted a drop fall to the ground. "Back then the full weight hadn't settled in yet. Even if it wasn't your intention I thank you for pulling me back to the present, now to return the favor to my old friend." Ivan said as he took one of the blades out of the loose grip of the hand. He raised the blade aiming for the undeads neck and as he swung down for the decappitation he whispered. "Farewell my friend, we will never meet again." The decappitation wasn't clean, and the head was still attached by a layer of skin, but it was clear that the lich was dead as the body stopped squirming.

Ivan trew the dagger as hard as he could over the edge of the platform before turning towards the man in the distance. He knew that he hadn't really killed his friend, afterall he was dead already, but it didn't make him less angry. "Now, will you explain why this was necessary? Afterall you knew all about me, and thus knew how this would end. I took an oath swearing to protect others, he became a lich who'd murder a city to gain power, there is no chance of that ending without one of both dead. So why? What knowledge did you gain? Does this make you feel like you know better whether I am trustworthy better than before?" His normal calm voice was now somewhat disturbed as a mixture of anger and grief stirred his heart and tears flowed over his cheeks.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Tiotio Character Portrait: Keres Leventis
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"Live." The word echoed in his ears. The world fading away into the black, he found himself upon a stone platform, “That's not-' normal, he began to say. Turning his body half to Keres, and Tiotio but the words died in his throat, eyes going wide, as a lump formed in his throat.

A pair of figures approached him. Stopping just outside of arms reach. He could hear screaming, alongside the rapid beat of a hammer on an anvil, even as the buzzing from before became a keening wail in his head. His mind, screamed at him, his powers screamed at him. Impossible, fake, they're both dead.

His heart though, his heart clenched at the sight of the two of them together, of HIM, so close to her. The only person he'd ever cared about more than himself.

His talons extended from his fingers serrated and bleeding molten steel, with a sound like tortured steel, his teeth clenched so hard molten blood pressed out from the gums and spilled around the edges of his mouth.

“Impossible.' He growled, eyes literally alight with his rage, every heaving enraged breath shifting burning hot ash, and embers from his mouth. Every fiber of his being wanted to charge forward, and strike him down, but one thing stopped him, froze him in place unable to act his body locked in place. His Grandmother, standing so close the bastard could touch her.

“I told you I'd take away everything you cared for. Thirteen-thirty seven.' His voice was smooth as he remembered. He was just as Wayland remembered. A tall man wearing an immaculate suit. He had blond hair which was short everywhere but a strip just off the center. A curtain of it hung straight over one eye, rippling with each paced step of his Oxfords. His hands were clasped behind his back, gloved and firm. Smug bastard.

Why wouldn't he be smug? His mind asked, he has her. He has her! His thoughts raged at him, tore at the invading feelings, but the effort was ruined by him. He wanted this to be real, he would give anything for this to be real. If it was he could forget.

Everything around him burned, the world itself seemed to scream as power flared through him, a screaming roar of fire and death, the awakening of his power was violent, truly violent and everything around him turned to ash. Even his-

Banishing the thought he spoke through gritted teeth, hate evident in his voice as he looked at the blond man. “I killed you,' He stopped, twin beads of molten light appearing at the corners of his eyes as he looked at his grandmother, his voice softened. “I killed, both of you.'

“You did!' She screamed, her voice accused him, the man just smiled his condescending smile, nodding. “I loved you like my own child! Gave up everything for you, and you killed me!' She was practically howling at him then, every word like a physical blow, he stumbled back with each one, the rage at the man fleeing from him, replaced by liquid agony, that racked his body.

Retreating. His mind whispered to him, in a thousand different voices poised like a blade to his throat. He froze, an alien sensation running through him accompanied by the sound of a hammer striking and anvil. He could vaguely make out Tiotio, and Keres near him, as his tunnel vision began to clear.

“I did kill you. I'm sorry.' He said, voice weak, muffled, he couldn't bring his head up to look at them anymore. He was defeated, this was not a battle he could win. He'd faced these demons before, he would not do so again. Could not do so again. To kill her again, would be to kill himself, but he could not flee.

He did not know retreat. His essence rebelled against it. Everything that he was, could not flee, it was not in him.

“Keres,” Tiotio called, “I don’t know what’s real. Come, help me.” His mind latched onto the voice, a pleading lilt to it. He could not flee, but he could protect someone else. He turned and ran, and something inside him broke.

His backpedaling had taken him a ways away. It hadn't seemed like much at the time, but he was able to clear the distance in a few long strides. We are broken, he thought. As he saw them, Keres, and Tiotio. The two he had shared an interview with.

Tiotio, was pushing a person behind her, as she backed away from a great lumbering beast, made of mud, and sticks. Golem, his mind whispered. The thought, and the knowledge clicking into place, a nameless blade relinquishing the knowledge. Past them, Keres stood limp, as if broken, her usually proud posture bent as if by a great weight, face stained by tears, much as his was. He was a broken blade, but perhaps he wasn't the only one who had been broken by the ordeal.

He came to a halt, standing in front of them. His new allies, comrades even, after sharing something like this, Tiotio, the new person and Keres. He didn't know what he could do. Didn't know if he could fight something like this, but he would try. He set himself into a wide stance, talons at his sides. He had ran from one battle, had cast away a core belief because he could not stand the site of someone he loved.

He could not flee again. He didn't think he could be reforged from a break like that. He spoke then, scraping every last grain of his will together, picking up the pieces of his own broken self and hammering them into words, spoken with every last iota of conviction he had left.

“With you both as my witnesses, I will never run again.'

Characters Present

Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Aera Kirishima Character Portrait: Pravus the Grave Tender
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#, as written by Ankti
Azien's mind rested on each of them in turn, spending less than a second weighing each recruit before turning to another, then another. Each faced something that they both dreaded and longed for. They longed for love, for vengeance, for a chance to set things right, for kind words that would never come from the forms before them. Each confrontation happened simultaneously, they stood only inches from each other, but were blind to everything but their own trials.

As he watched, hands folded in front of him, many turned away from their trial, unimpressed with the subterfuge. He did not speak. He did not move. Their will was strong, but their resistance did not tell him what he needed to know. He knew he risked isolating them with is next choice, hardening them against him, but he must do it. If he did not test them, he would never know if they could be trusted to guard his chosen family.

He pushed his will out, a simple delicate thought, and it touched the mind of the one who formed the shadows, controlled the illusions of the trial.

Again, events happened in an instant, none of the recruits able to see the whole picture only the images the shadows formed in their eyes.

Aera Kirishima’s blade was still in the air, not even an inch past the now dissipated image of her master, when it clanged hard against metal. It was a shovel, in the hands of the gravedigger.

So sudden was this change, that she could not reacted before his arm was around her, wrenching her forward, throwing her to the ground.

“You would allow such a thing? This is how far my son has fallen?” The words were a harsh yell, shouted across the stone platform to where Pravus stood, his back turned, “A lifeless thing wanders the earth, stricken and in pain, and you do nothing to end her suffering? You abandon me, abandon your duty, fine! But I will not. I will put this creature to rest!”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane
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#, as written by Ankti
An itch, on his hand. Ivan looked at the hand as it twitched without control. A small spot, rotten flesh or hair that had flung upward as he’d driven the dagger through the lynch’s neck. It rested on his skin. Before his eyes it grew, slowly, almost imperceptibly, if not for the spreading itch he would not have known.

Then, in an instant, the back of his hand was a black, rotted mass. His viscera, his muscles, ached as they shriveled inside him. This was not as it had been, this was not how the undead had overtaken the living in his land, but still, it felt almost familiar. The rot spread through him, devouring flesh, severing the ligaments that held muscle to bone.

His mind filled then with a presence, dominating and yet welcoming. It had no words, no voice, only a warm calm that offered to consume him.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Aera Kirishima Character Portrait: Pravus the Grave Tender
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#, as written by Zalgo
Pravus did not recieve an answer to his proposal and yet the answer was clear enough to him. By the actions the stray phantom of his father it was clear that the head of the nameless intended on seeing this through to the bitter end.

“You would allow such a thing? This is how far my son has fallen?” His father's voice attacked him like an unrelenting hound, biting at him with each syllable uttered. There was no pain, his body was beyond pain but if there was a form of anguish that could exist purely within the mind then it would be the very symptom which ailed Pravus. In a smooth rotating motion Pravus slowly turned to face his father yet again, the old features of this memory brought to life contorted in a twisted frown of disgust and disappointment.


“A lifeless thing wanders the earth, stricken and in pain, and you do nothing to end her suffering? You abandon me, abandon your duty, fine! But I will not. I will put this creature to rest!” Pravus did not answer it. The visage spoke of her as though she were just another zombie mindlessly roaming the streets of Sed. It was clear she was not suffering, her will was most definitely her own. She will return to her afterlife when it is her time He silently reaffirmed.

He was not going to answer the phantom of his father. To answer it would be to acknowledge it's existence as another being and not just a mirage to be dismissed. If he needed to bury his past once more then so be it but he was not going to let it speak back to him as a person. His father died once before, even if he had returned this place was not where he belonged.

He watched the dismal phantom bring it's shovel up high, preparing to smash it down upon Aera's head. As the head of the shovel fell it met with his own shovel. He blocked the wrathful father's weapon as it was just an inch from Aera's skull. The sound of metal sheering rang loud with a nearly deafening screech. Saving her had come with grave consequences.


As they both brought their tools of the trade back to their sides Pravus's eyes could not part from what had become of his shovel. When the phantasmal menace's shovel hit his it had split it in two. The head of his shovel was back over next to Aera's face. Pravus was only holding the handle of his shovel now.

This shovel, his family heirloom, his most prized possession, the only thing left to remember his father by, the only reason he did not lose his own mind in face of the horrors that roamed Tiatha, was destroyed. He was not aware that
the damage inflicted was illusory, a falsehood designed to push him to his breaking point. He could only look on in horror as the only constant in his afterlife lie bisected in his own hands. His fathers words rang around inside his mind but he was too stricken to even recognize them as words.


"You don't even have a shovel to bury her with now. What hope do you have of ever fulfilling your duty?"

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Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Aera Kirishima Character Portrait: Pravus the Grave Tender
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#, as written by Ritnio
"MISTRESS LOOKOUT!"

Without any time to react, Aera found her self being thrown to the ground. She hit the cold, hard floor head-first. The world around her was spinning 'round and 'round. She saw the shovel...She heard Myon screaming...Yet she could do nothing.

"I-I can't....die here...."

It took just about all she had to roll out of the way. When she did, she heard the deafening noise of metal being shattered. Still dizzy, she jumped to her feet and drew Hakurouken, the shorter sword of the two. Pravus could be seen standing near his father but neither could be told apart.

Aera took a defensive stance with both swords, preparing to parry the next attack. Or at the very least, lessen the damage taken by it. Myon was the one who acted next surprisingly.

"W-We are not lifeless....We are not in pain....W-Who do you think you are to make judgments like that!? You're just a heartless bastard looking to quench his thirst for blood!"

In Myon's hands, appear ghostly copies of both Roukanken and Hakurouken. Unlike Aera, who can't tell who is who, Myon flew next to Pravus and stood by him. She then handed him the ghostly Hakurouken, knowing he can interact with things of the spirit realm. The usual shyness and child-like attitude of hers had completely disappeared.

"Take it. You can't stand against him without a weapon. I'll help too. I know emotions will cloud your concentration... I will not allow a comrade to die as I stand there and do nothing. I don't care what you say to me or Aera...but I WILL help you!"

With that she sheathed her ghostly Roukanken and prepared to strike using Battōjutsu, the art of drawing out the sword. When a katana is drawn from it's sheath, the sharp blade curves upward against the inside of the sheath. Thus allowing the swordsman to use more strength in drawing it without using that strength to aim or have extra control.

Since the path of the sword is guided by the sheath, and while being drawn the sword meets no air resistance. Overall, this allows for the attack to move two or three times as fast and deal severe, if not fatal, damage. Comparing it to a normal slash, where the slash makes a cut, this art severs. It is a difficult art to use, let alone master it like Aera and her Master did. Myon had never tried it before but her facial expression said otherwise. She was determined to help Pravus take this man down, or die trying.

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Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: River Saetyrix Character Portrait: Tiotio Character Portrait: Keres Leventis
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#, as written by Ankti
The smithy man stood between her and the golem. Smoke puffed out from him in a gentle rhythm, filling the air with a haze. The smell of him, like strong metal, filled Tiotio with resolve. His frame spoke of power and of a fierce energy, just barely contained.

Just one strong ally to help her protect Eitr, one friend, meant she was not alone, that this would not end as it had that night in the alley.

<b>“With you both as my witnesses, I will never run again.”</b>

Tiotio screeched her support, thrusting her bo threateningly at the golem.

The golem did not advance, did not give indication that it noticed them. The mud that rippled across its body flowed faster, swirling around, dislodging the sticks, picking them up like branches in a river.

It seemed for a moment to convulse as the mud changed direction and flowed to the ground. A pool spread before the creature as it oozed to the ground, its mockery of a face pulled into something horrifying as it melted.

Wayland could not back away fast enough as the mud surrounded his shoes. It crept up, caking the toes in filth. He realized too late that the mud was not rising, he was sinking, as cold wetness gripped his legs.

Then he was gone, like a stone dropped into a lake.

Tiotio was shocked into a still stupor. Her bo hung limp in her hand. Next to her Etir called, screeching out in his baneful voice that she should fight, run, do anything. She found her senses just in time to see a hand shoot forward out of the mud.

Its claws were the tips of treebrances, and its fingers lumps of mud that held her by the neck, lifting her into the air. Her bo dropped to the stone floor. She kicked and clawed uselessly to try to free herself. Filth coated her hands and feet as they passed through the mud.

On the other side of the platform Keres still stood, still stared forward. Whether she was still lost in her own despair, Tiotio did not know, but she used her last wind to try and call to the woman for help.


---


River was alone on the platform. The echo of Aizen’s words hung overlong in his ears, like a ringing. A discordant note.
The note seemed to stretch out, filling the air above his head, causing the darkness to vibrate. Then he was vibrating. It was not his own body, his own flesh, but the energy he carried inside of him, the souls he’d consumed.

A form condensed out of the air, a single white string, strumming to the now melodic sound. It was voices calling, drums beating, waves crashing. It was deafening and calming.

The string opened into a seam. It split wide to reveal white nothingness. Then there was a pull, a longing that tore at him from the inside. The souls, each one he’d consumed, each piece of essence he’d ripped away from its person, called in one voice to be set free, to be allow passage into this welcoming place.

With this tugging came a certainty, that if these souls, these spirits, found their rest through the light, the act would tear River to pieces. His own soul, his own being, would travel with them and vanish into the air, join them in their peace.

But a noise pulled him from this realization, pulled his attention from the light. A column of water, thick and round, suspended in the air, splashed stray bits of water onto the stone, and on to River.

Nothing seemed to be holding it in place, and even as small bits of it dripped and dribbled on the ground, the main body of the column stayed suspended in the air.

Inside the water was a man, one River thought he recognized from the trials, maybe the battle. His clothes, torn and stained from the battle, whipped around him as if pushed by some churning current.

In Wayland’s mind he saw ocean, the light of day on the surface, growing every more dim as he sunk further and further. The heat of his body, of his bones and muscle was leaking out of him into the icy water. He did not see the red haired boy who stood only feet from him, he saw dark blue nothing, crushing him from all sides.

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Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane
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Ivan watched in disbelief as the rot consumed the back of his hand, rending flesh from bone as the tissue shriveled and blackened. At the same time his mind flooded with a dark presence, calm and inviting, luring Ivan to go over that edge, to step into the dark. It all clouded his thoughts, this sort of mental assault combined with the physical pain that grew in his hand made him unable to calmly collect his houghts an think of a solution. He never experienced a conversion like this, normally they would corrupt your mind and then bind the soul to the body causing the body to stop functioning and become a puppet basically being jerked around usin th former mages magic to move the body even after flesh has begun to rot and the body is hardly more than a few pieces of rotting tissue hanging on the skeletal remains. What he experiened now was more or less the reverse of that process

"Even here, even here, the presence of the undead manages to grasp me, to try and consume me. Perhaps it was only a question of time, before I'll end up like all thse others. Turned into leutenants of the undead army on it's quest to consume the entire living world. Against their will forced to murder as their mind grows ver more twisted and evil." He thought as he watched his hand twitch as the black tissue spread over the back of his hand.

He then looked down at the ground where the copse of his former friend lay, almost embracing the fact that he would once again be able to talk to eachother without one of both having to die in the end, knowing that he could still return to the land of the living with a simple ressurection. But every grain of acceptance dissapeared as his eyes caught a glimpse of the blade on the ground. It was through tat blade that he had gotten into this mess, now it would serve as his way out. If he cut his hand off before the rot reached beyond, the influence would stop and he would gain a glimmer of a chace of surviving this without turning undead.

He picked the blade up with his one good hand and heated the blade up to the point where his hand was getting burned by just holding it. "This is going to hurt, a lot, but it's this or being turned into an undead murder machine." He thought as he raised the blade for the swing. He then swung the blade as hard as he could and severed the hand at the wrist joint just before the rot was going to reach beyond. The heat of the blade immediately cauterized the flesh, scorching any severed blood vein shut. Ivan then trew the blade away as the agonizing pain reached his brain.

As his shaken breathing slowly calmed down a bit he sat down a few meters away from the copse and the severed hand, holding the now handless arm with the singed hand. The pain was still bordering the unbearable as he, in his fading consiousness, thought: "If this is my time, so be it. But never will I give in to their murdrous and corrupted way. I'd be much happier in my last consious moments knowing that I won't be turned into a mass murderer."

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Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Aera Kirishima Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Pravus the Grave Tender Character Portrait: Keres Leventis
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#, as written by Ankti
For three the illusion vanished. They saw the room for what it was - neglected and worn. Gone were the ghosts of their past. The Nameless leader sat, hands still clasped in front on him, his face expressionless.

It was the same room where they’d taken breakfast, though so different from how it had looked then, that it could be mistaken for another. Furniture was broken, light fixtures covered in dust so thick it dampened the quality of the light. Aizen’s own chair had stained upholstery that was coming away from the frame in many places.

Aera, Ivan, and Pravus each could see this room now as it truly was. They sat where they had before the trial, still in the chairs. The feelings and sensations of a moment before lingered.

The others were there in body, but not in mind. They were still lost in the illusion, their trial incomplete. They too were in chairs, but their eyes darted back and forth, following unseen forms. Their bodies were tense, held motionless through magic.

Keres was unlike the others. Her body was relaxed, limp even. Her eyes stared unfocused, seeing at once the room before them, and the illusion built for her, where Tiotio’s mind was still trapped.

Aizen turned his eyes on the three.

“You are done. Welcome to the Nameless, I am Aizen.”

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Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Aera Kirishima Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Pravus the Grave Tender Character Portrait: Keres Leventis
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#, as written by Ritnio
"That was quite an interview Master Aizen. If that was the entrance exam, then this guild must be fairly strong. What of the others?"

Seeing that the previous situation had been dealt with, Aera quickly calmed down. She noted Aizen and his overwhelming presence and assumed that he is the head of the guild. Whether or not she was being overly formal didn't matter to Aera, what mattered was that she had passed and was still alive along with her comrade Pravus.

"Pravus, you're ok right? I want to thank you for stopping that shovel before it killed me. It wouldn't have been a pretty sight... I vow to return the favor someday. If you'll allow me to fight by your side that is."

Aera held out her hand to Pravus and wore an uncharacteristic smile on her face. She had finally made a friend.

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Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Aera Kirishima Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Pravus the Grave Tender Character Portrait: Keres Leventis
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#, as written by Zalgo
As he had stared at what had become of his shovel the world around him paused. He barely even registered what Myon was saying as she prepared to face down the cruel visage of his father. His mind had gone blank for all but a moment but in to him that moment was an eternity. Staring down at the headless shovel which served as the centerpiece of his guilt ridden existence he couldn't even form a thought to properly convey the emotion which struck him there. Too melancholy to be fury yet too hot and fiery to be despair. It could only be described as having his reason to exist and press onward struck down. As much as his desire of revenge filled him with wrath there was simply no point to it. What use would destroying this phantom be? Now that his shovel was destroyed he would still have failed his ancestors no matter how much revenge he exacts from it.

Before any real conscious thought could take place it had all vanished. The pedestal set out in the black void vanished around him leaving only the room he came into. This room had obviously suffered the wages of time which was probably why he had the room concealed in the illusion in the first place. That and of course to separate them from each other, all the other members now present along with him. He knew this was all an illusion and yet the level which it worked to try and confuse him into believing it was real ran deep. He was actually confused for a moment as he looked around, seeing each of the other members, most of which were still bound to their seats, their eyes following unseen images.

He turned his eyes back to his shovel, it's head still well secured to it's handle. If the intensity with which he stared at the shovels head actually generated heat of any kind he would of melted a greater portion of the Nameless headquarters with it. He placed his hand upon it, pressing to see if it really was there. The resistance his gloved hand was met with confirmed it's corporeality. It was all just an illusion...


“You are done. Welcome to the Nameless, I am Aizen."

He turned his dark gaze from his shovel up to the speaker. Aizen, the leader of the Nameless. Already did Pravus dislike the man. First he summoned him into some contest without any knowledge of what exactly he was being thrown into then an army attacks them. He would of bore no ill will over such an occurrence had Aizen not interfered in his duty by whisking him away from the field of battle, leaving the bodies of those who died unburied. Aizen had proven himself a character not to be trusted already and now he's gone even further to fan Pravus's ire.

His face could not be seen behind his mask which was probably for the best. His grimace pulled his mouth tightly shut, his brow well furrowed. He did not respond to Aizen's confirmation of their success. He would not speak to Aizen. There was nothing left that Aizen had to say to him which would agitate anything more than a nod of confirmation. Pravus's disdain for this person was great, that was true, but he would not allow his emotions to get the better of him. Pravus still had a shovel, he still had a purpose, a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of his ancestors and finish his duty. The bodies that still lay back upon the field he fought on needed to be buried. If he were to lash out or spurn Aizen then it was highly conceivable that he'd find his chance at getting back to the battlefield much less likely.


"That was quite an interview Master Aizen. If that was the entrance exam, then this guild must be fairly strong. What of the others?"

He looked over to see Aera free of the magic which entrapped them as well. He was puzzled by this girls attitude. Had she not just confronted her inner demons as I had? If she had then clearly they weren't very strong as she seems to be almost completely unphased by the test we were just put through. It was strange to him to say the least.

"Pravus, you're ok right? I want to thank you for stopping that shovel before it killed me. It wouldn't have been a pretty sight... I vow to return the favor someday. If you'll allow me to fight by your side that is."

She extended her hand to him. He nodded to her, accepting her offer to fight alongside him and shook her hand. Despite her bizarre absence of trauma she held no blame in what transpired. She had fought alongside him in the mental ring they were trapped in, just as much a prisoner as he was. He wasn't going to speak, even to her right now as any word spoken would be corrupted by his current state of mind. Though the injury was great, the damage this test had done to him was one of the few kinds that would heal in time. For now, a handshake would have to suffice.

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Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Aera Kirishima Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Pravus the Grave Tender Character Portrait: Keres Leventis
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As Ivan regained conciousness and his eyes adapted to the light in the room, he looked around to see the room where he had been interviewed by the guild leader. It was familiar in the sense that it had retained the same shape and size, however with how many there were in the room and the state of the room, it held no resemblance to the room he was previously in. He stared down at his hand, where midly the pain still lingered. It was attached to his arm and he could move it. Combined with the fact that the room has changed so much from what he remembered he came to believe that what just had happened was merely an illusion.

“You are done. Welcome to the Nameless, I am Aizen."

If Aizens previous words were to be trusted he would shortly explain the situation to them all. At last after almost a day in this world there would be someone to explain what was going on. He looked back at the other two who were moving in their seats, it seemed they had passed too. Beyond them there were a few who seemed to be held stationary, at least that's what he figured from the stif and somewhat uncomfortable way they were sitting. And then there was the woman from last night, sitting in a more relaxed fashion, but he couldn't feel the same as last night so Ivan figured she might not be here with her mind.

"That was quite an interview Master Aizen. If that was the entrance exam, then this guild must be fairly strong. What of the others?"

Ivan looked over to the swordswoman who spoke and let the words linger in his mind for a bit as she tried to connect with the masked man with whom she seemed to have been put in one illusion. As he gave the statement of the swordswoman more thought and made some assumptions based on what he had seen and experienced so far, he came to the realisation that things in all likelyhood weren't as they appeared to the girl.

"Somehow I think that isn't the case." He remarked to the girl as he turned his eyes back at Aizen. "Correct me if I am wrong, but that maze were we all were teleported to, that was supposed to be an entrance exam of sorts. But the attack changed things up and your hand was forced as to try and make the best out of the assests which were bold enough to go against the order to leave and managed surivive the attack. This, what we just experienced was merely a way of testing ones morals." He said while trying to switch his gaze from Aizen to the swordswoman and back, without looking like he was shaking his head.

"That and the fact that I don't scale myself highly as a mage, makes me believe that this all was more out of necessity than anything else. Afterall a strong guild has no need for a mage like myself, they would have gone for one of the arch mages that roam the same building, rather than the guy in charge of the libraries and labs."

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Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Aera Kirishima Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Pravus the Grave Tender Character Portrait: Keres Leventis
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#, as written by Ankti
“You are right Aera, to say the Nameless are strong, but our numbers are few. And, yes, Ivan, it is true that we are driven by necessity. But even in such times, I must know those brought into our fold are worthy to be in this guild,” the last word came out with a soft edge, as if he spoke of something much more personal than a league of soldiers.

A door opened and a small figure entered. He moved slowly, treating his limbs with care. It was the shuffling gate one might associate with the stiffness of old age, but this was a boy. He had dark brown skin, smooth and unwrinkled, black hair frizzy and long. Around his eyes were crows feet and deep black rings that spoke of a wearying amount of years. His eyes were a sharp black, bright and alert.

Behind him, holding his shoulder to guide him, was an old woman with skin the same dark brown. Her hair was long and white, and just as frizzy as the boy’s. Also like the boy, she had dark, watchful eyes.

She led him to a chair and helped him take a seat. His eyes were fixed on those still trapped inside their minds.

“Aizen,” the woman spoke, “he wished to be closer to them. One resets the magic, he wants to see how.”

The boy stared, intent on Keres, a frown pulling at the edges of his mouth.

“Very well.” Aizen cast his eyes across those still trapped inside the test, then he turned back to the three who had passed, “We are a poor guild. Our wealthy is long spent, our artifacts of power long lost to others.

“It was not always this way. We were strong once, maybe the strongest. I wish to see those days again,” his eyes lit bright white, then faded back to normal, “But I will not lie to you, it will be an uneasy battle. I would like to offer each of you a place in this guild, a chance to reclaim our glory. Here you would have a place, you would belong. Our resources would be open to you, those we have now, and those we will one day claim.

“Each of you were chosen because inside you is a spark of promise, a chance that you could become true champions in the Games. You have proven yourselves of superior character, and if you wish, you can call this your home.”

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Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Aera Kirishima Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Pravus the Grave Tender Character Portrait: Keres Leventis
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#, as written by Ritnio
"Thank you Master. I will not let you down. I swear it upon the graves of my parents and that of my own!"

Aera may have seemed unphased, but one look into her eyes show the fear and anger she forcefully suppressing. She gives a slight bow upon finishing her sentence. Standing up, she picks up her previous Master's sword and attaches it to her side.

"M-Mistress! Your other sword!"

Myon comes flying over, having been absent for some reason before. She seemed to be carrying the shorter sword which is usually strapped to Aera's back. It's a wonder how a ghost can even carry it in the first place. Upon returning to Aera, she begins to strap it on to her.

"W-Wah!? Myon! I-I can do it myself!"

She ignored what was said to her and finished strapping it to Aera's back. Once finished she went back to floating beside Aera in her ghostly form.

"Master....Aizen is it? Two question if I may.... First...What is this spark you speak of? And second, what do we do now?"

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Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Aera Kirishima Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Pravus the Grave Tender Character Portrait: Keres Leventis
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#, as written by Zalgo
Pravus did not speak.

He did have questions for the man but he did not ask them. There was a time to ask and a time to listen. If he did ask his question he might get an answer. Should he simply watch and listen he'd learn more. He'd ask his questions in time but he needed to familiarize himself with the world first, perhaps even gather power so the same traps he's run into thus far do not snare him a second time.


Myon's questions were quite valid. The first one to some more elusive extent while the other addressed a more immediate concern. He simply looked to Myon briefly before looking back to Aizen, awaiting his answer to her question. Ultimately it was Myon and Aera who he owed his allegiance. The rest, well, should it serve his ultimate purpose he would
fight alongside them too. He was only a grave tender though.

He had left the field of combat for the profession his father always wanted for him to be. This however was a chance to move on, to bury the dead in the hopes that someday someone may bury him. If he needed to wear the mask of a soldier once again in order to make that all happen he was able and ready to accept his new tasks.

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Character Portrait: NPC Sheet Character Portrait: Aera Kirishima Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Pravus the Grave Tender Character Portrait: Keres Leventis
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The ghost who had just entered the room to hand Aera her 'other sword' as she refered to it asked Aizen a couple of questions that Ivan would have asked in one way or another. However he had many more, perhaps more than Aizen could answer. And it wouldn't be helpfull if they flooded Aizen with questions, nor would it be nice to do it. The other one in the room, who sat there silently, would most likely have questions of his own.

"These games you talked about, are they similar in construction to the maze? And what makes them so important that you'd make this shot in the dark, taking in a group of strangers from whatever existances we came from?" He asked more or less in addition to what the ghost had asked Aizen.

It seemed quite strange to him that 'games' like the maze would hold such an importance that they could bring a guild to glory or to whatever you'd want to call the state that he could see all around him. On Anracria there were games that perhaps could be seen as similar to the maze they were trown into, to name one there was the yearly siege of Ancestor Castle where two groups of poeple would fight eachother with fake weapons with wet dye on the striking surfaces and dye bomb tipped arrows. Of course that hardly compared to the maze, as from that event you'd go back home probably sore from getting hit and covered in dye, but very much alive.