694: Twenty Warriors – Chapters Twenty-Two and Twenty-Three Part One

Title: Twenty Warriors
Author: Herr Wozzeck
Media:  Video Games/Comics/Movies/Cartoons
Topic: Skies of Arcadia/Fire Emblem (Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn duology)/X-Men/Punisher/Super Smash Brothers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Tales of Symphonia/Dead or Alive/Riviera: The Promised Land/Gears of War
Genre: Adventure/Fantasy
URL: Twenty Warriors: Chapter 22
URL: Twenty Warriors: Chapter 23
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck

Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome back for more Twenty Warriors! Well, this week, we get to see two chapters that are little more than an extended fight scene.

Yep, you know what this means: there will be lots of skipping this week. Yay!

Anyway, let’s not waste any more time. Let’s get down to business, shall we?

We open our next chapter with this:

Leo finally came to rest in a small area between two walls in an abandoned factory, Fina and Aika finally both letting go of the turtle as he landed on the ground.

Ah, nothing to set the mood quite like clichéd location number 74: the abandoned factory. Nothing quite like it at all!

The sun still had not come out, the moon reigning supreme over New York as the ladies both brushed some dust that had gathered on their clothes. Leo looked ahead to find a factory yard close by with several men wearing clothing that seemed to cover every inch of their bodies from the distance they were at. Leonardo gauged that it must have been two o’clock in the morning, so he took it upon himself to look to the girls.

*adjusts the purple prose glasses*

Thank God for these babies.

Anyway, after this, we get some dialogue about Fina worrying about the Shredder, Leo thinking they can do it, Aika affirming that they’re with Leo to the end, and the fic affirming that yes, it really is running with having The Shredder be one of the final bosses of this piece of shit. It’s not terrible, so I’ll skip it.

After this, they step out into the factory’s yard, and they see Splinter, Don, and Mikey all tied up and bound there. The Shredder appears, and then we get some dialogue with Leo and the Shredder.

“Hm,” he said, Aika and Fina both feeling chills run down their spines as he uttered his first words. “Where is Raphael? The conditions were that the both of you were to come.”

“I don’t know where he is,” replied Leo, the girls noticing a strange kind of hatred that they had never noticed in his voice before. “And if I knew, he wouldn’t be one to miss something like this.”

“Ah,” replied the man who was apparently the Shredder. “Oh well. I can make do with one of the brothers; I can hunt down the other eventually.

It’s really too bad that you’re an Awesome McEvil and you won’t get to live to see that happen, my good friend.

After that, we get some more dialogue where the Shredder notices that the girls are there. He asks them to state their business, and once Aika says they’re Leo’s allies, the good ol’ Shredder asks about the Moon Crystals, and the girls’ appropriately shocked reaction to this prompts Galcian to reveal himself.

Now, what one of these girls should have said: “Wait, how the fuck did you get to here!?”

What Aika actually says:

“Galcian!” cried Aika, surprise eminent in her voice. “What’re you doing here?”

“Why else?” asked the Valuan admiral, Leonardo throwing a confused glance at the two girls. “I come for your crystals.”

“I of course don’t need to tell you how I got here, ‘cause realistic reactions are for pussies!”

“You won’t have them!” shouted Fina. “If you try to take them, we’ll respond with force!”

“Hm, most interesting,” said Galcian as he rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “You’ve certainly grown quite a bit of bravado since I’ve seen you last. My question is, will you survive with it?”

“Of course!” said Aika, Leonardo beginning to realize what was happening. “We’re not going to lose to you two!”

“In a three against two match where neither of you have tested your strength?” asked the Shredder as he walked to Galcian, the two evil men facing the turtle and his two friends as Galcian tossed his cloak away to reveal armor suited for battle.

Well, they outnumber you, and Leo’s shown he’s your match at his greatest, so I’ll go out on a limb and say “um… yeah?”

Leo drew his two katanas, Aika following suit as she drew her boomerang from within a pouch in her clothes and Cupil unwinding so that it hovered next to Fina’s head.

Holy crap, Aika has just given the SDQF a tangible form! Ah!

“We Blue Rogues never give up!” said Aika quite bravely. “Didn’t Galcian tell you that? We don’t know until we try!”

“Yeah!” cried Leo. “You guys are going to pay for whatever you did to my family!”

Or I guess getting a bunch of clichéd lines about “NGUNS” and shit like that is also in order. I guess that works too.

Anyway, after this, Shredder and Galcian both draw their weapons, they stare at each other for a paragraph of purple prose…

And right before the fight starts, we get a scene change.

Meanwhile, in another part of the abandoned factory, Vyse, Serene, Lina, Ryu, and Largo were busy navigating buildings, the five of the trying to find where they were supposed to be. They were in one of the many buildings, searching hard for signs of coming conflicts and failing. However, as they had scoured the factory for any clues they had found quite a few things that could be used as weapons when used by certain people. After they had found these items, the group decided to take a break in another large area of the building they had taken to searching in, and so the group either rested against the old wall of the wide interior or stood up.


Oh, fuck, it’s the DRD! Quick, Gumdrop, release the army of dancing Zephyrs!

*looks outside, sees the DRD get knocked out be dancers*

Who knew the contretemps de gavotte could have that much kick in it?

“So, where exactly is this supposed to be?” asked Serene, leaning against the grey wall that was decaying with age.

“Don’t ask me,” said Largo with a shrug. “I don’t know either.”

“Lina doesn’t get it…” Lina said his as she laid her bow down on the ground next to where she was sitting by the wall.

“I hope we find them soon,” said Vyse as he stretched his arms out. “Fina, Aika and I have a lot of catching up to do.”


Dammit guys, switch to the Rigadoun! Now!

*ducks behind cover*

Soon enough, the DRD will learn to never, ever underestimate the power of Baroque Dance!

“Well, before that we do need to eliminate some other people,” added Ryu as he stood calmly. “I can’t believe I even got dragged into this…”

And I think Ryu has just channeled the actual reaction that almost all of these characters had upon realizing they were in this fic.

“Well, it’s not like it’s a bad thing,” countered Serene with a shrug. “I mean, your tracking skills got us this far, so we’ve got that to be thankful for.”

“It was probably fate,” said Largo,

Which is the fic’s way of “shut up, it’s what the plot calls for, now roll with it”. Really, there isn’t that much of a difference.

walking up to Ryu and giving him a nice pat on the shoulder. “We’re glad you’re with us.”

“And who knows?” asked Vyse with a shrug. “Maybe we’ll run into this Kasumi you talk about.”

“You’re right,” said Ryu. “Thank you all for–“

Yep, this is all boring dialogue as—

“Galcian!” cried a voice from far away, just faintly enough that everybody in the group could hear it. “What’re you doing here?”

There was a brief silence afterwards, Vyse walking towards the direction the sound was in.

“What is it?” asked Ryu plainly.

“That was Aika!” exclaimed Vyse, pounding a fist into his hand.


Did you just timesquiggle backwards so we could get someone else’s version of the events?


Well, at least it makes the coming Big Damn Heroes moment come from somewhere rather than from absolutely nowhere. It doesn’t make it any less stupid, but I’ll take what I can get.

Anyway, we get some more dialogue, some of which has Vyse ask the requisite question of “how the fuck did Galcian get over there”. Before we can get more lines, though, they ready their weapons and head off in the direction of the shouting.

And then, we cut back to Leo and his friends.

After a relatively long silence, Galcian was the first to move.

Oh, thank God. For a second there, I thought the fic was going to completely skip the fight scene again.

Anyway, after this, it’s basically a protracted fight scene that doesn’t really have much of note in it. Essentially, it’s the same as any other fight scene in this fic: it’s a lot of purple prose, some things are summarized then, they go on and fight, the usual. Leo and the gang fight Galcian and Shredder, they do so with plenty of purple prose…

Well, okay, there is one logic hole that’s worth noting.

Fina stood in the back, closing her eyes as a small magic circle formed on the ground beneath her. Her hair began to fly up from a strange force beneath her, and suddenly when one of Galcian’s sword strikes nicked Leo in the shoulder, the magic circle beneath her took on a greenish hue, and then the cut that resulted was healed up relatively quickly.

So wait, Fina is able to use green moon magic while in New York… despite the fact that it was established in the Underworld that Fina can’t do Arcadia-based magic away from the influence of the moons.

Right ‘cause that makes sense!

And then, of course, we get to the point where Leo and the gang are in a dark spot.

However, an error in one of Cupil’s movements gave the Shredder the time he needed to set up a move that could potentially mess up the other team.

As Leonardo went in for a kick, the Shredder grabbed the foot and quickly began twirling around. Fina only had enough time to fall to the ground before Cupil was violently whacked by the turtle, sending the creature flying so that it hit one of the ninjas that was guarding the exits. The Shredder let go of the turtle, and then Galcian jumped out of the way right before Leo collided with Aika, the two of them falling together in a heap with Aika on top.

Fina had barely risen from her stance to run away as quickly as possible before she found her arm being held by Galcian, the admiral glaring at her with anger ridden in his eyes.

“I must say that you and your friends put up a good fight,” said the Valuan Admiral. “But now your game is up! Give me the moon crystals and you shall live!”

And then it goes on for a bit after this, with the Shredder slashing at everyone and Fina not giving in. We get more stuff to do, and then… well…

We see this:

Galcian quickly rushed forward, but before the blad could hit anybody

*raises eyebrows*

Since when did Galcian start hitting people in the face with promotional materials?

the blade was suddenly blocked by a strange force.

Okay, so Galcian’s sword shapeshifts now. Sure, why not?

Galcian barely had time to turn around before a man dressed in all black suddenly sent a katana down on the admiral. He barely dodged it before a strange pain rose up in his other arm. He was barely able to see the ninja star that was embedded in his arm before suddenly, he was thrown to the side by the stranger in black.

Seeing this, Oroku Saki ran over to help, but he suddenly found himself coming face to face with the back of the head of a scythe. This sent the Shredder falling down, and before he could register anything else, he found himself being picked up by a large, muscular man who then proceeded to slam him onto the ground on the other side of him before throwing him right into where Galcian was.

When the two men collided, a fourth person came out, and with a pair of swords he slashed at their armor, finding the blow to be just a little futile. However, he then kicked the two of them away, and they fell onto the ground.

As they were slowly standing up, a girl was suddenly visible high in the air, a bunch of arrows strung in her bow as she let the string go. As the two men stood up, they suddenly found themselves assaulted by arrows, and they were suddenly down on the ground again as one of the arrows zipped past them, curved against the laws of gravity, and embedded itself right into the stake at the other side of the battlefield, thus freeing the two turtles and the rat from their bindings.


This may be the single most drawn-out Big Damn Heroes moment in the history of fanfiction.


Anyway, after this, we get—you guessed it—more fucking dialogue. Aika expresses pleasure that Vyse is back, but he rightly tells her that they’ve got more important things to worry about. (Whether he does it in an IC manner is another story entirely.) We then watch as Don and Mikey… well…

“Hey, you two,” said the large muscular man as he pulled the staff and the nunchuks from behind his back. “Are these yours?”

The two turtles looked at the large man incredulously as he held their weapons.

“Yes, but how did you get them?” asked the purple-masked turtle.

“We found them,” said the blue-clad girl as the large man threw the weapons to the turtles.

Wait, so the weapons that they found (an event that was clearly so important it was just skimmed over by the narration) happened to be Don and Mikey’s weapons? Okay, if that’s the case, how did they know to bring those weapons with them? And if so, how did they know who used which weapon? That strikes me as being awfully convenient. What, did the PCC print a note to them?

Mikey and Don caught their respective weapons, their gazes turning to the Shredder as soon as they found a feel for their weapons.

“There,” said the bulky man. “You’ll need them now.”

‘Cause nothing says ‘excellent fight tactics’ quite like getting people who have spent an undetermined amount of time being tortured/held against their will/underfed, amirite guys?

“Thanks, uh…” said the purple masked turtle.

“Largo,” said the large man.

“We’ll get introductions through later,” said the man in black quickly.

“So, three against two?” asked Leo. “Now it looks like it’s ten against two.”

“Cheaters…” snarled Galcian angrily. “All of you…”

*rubs chin*

Well, I guess that’s one way of putting it. Kinda funny like that, y’know?

“We are the caretakers of our destinies,” said the man dressed completely in black. “We simply followed the path set to us. And it is apparent you both must be defeated.”

“Of course, it can wait for after this pretentious declamation about fate that has no bearing on anything.”

The orange-haired girl sent a leery glance at the man in black.

“Geez, Ryu,” said the girl somewhat stragely. “Lina doesn’t like that stuff…”

And even the characters seem to realize just how pretentious that was. Damn, it’s really circling the toilet now…

Anyway, after a couple more lines of dialogue, we’re thrown right back into the fray, and this time it becomes a festival of Shredder and Galcian getting their asses kicked. I have no idea why the Shredder doesn’t just call in his ninjas as reinforcements, but that would require the use of logic, and we all know we can’t have that in this piece of shit. But anyway, they go in, kick their asses, and… well…

I’ll just show the death of Galcian:

The shinobi backed off quickly, but before Galcian could gather his bearings again he felt a strong pain surge through his midsection, and when he was able to focus his vision he found that one of Vyse’s cutlasses was embedded deep within his abdomen. As his vision began to swim around him, the Air Pirate shoved Galcian off of his sword and onto the ground as his life ebbed away from him.

And then that of the Shredder:

“Now, I am one for honor, and you know that,” said Leo as he exhaled deeply from the exhilaration of the past fight. “But this is drawing the line, stealing my family behind my back and using that as a way to kill us all. For that, you must die!”

Before the Shredder could say another word, Leo pressed the katana down on the Shredder’s neck as hard as he could, and the severed head of Oroku Saki rolled away from his body, Leo breathing harder and harder as he saw the head roll to a stop within the crater itself.

Yay to needlessly violent and bloody deaths! Woot!


Anyway, that is where Chapter 22 ends. Thank the Lord, skipping all that fight scene was an option. That’ll make our life so much easier, ‘cause guess what? Chapter 23 is exactly the same thing!

Well, with different characters, that is. So let’s get that over with, shall we?

We open the next chapter with this:

“What is going on there?”

“I-I-I don’t know, Ramirez! Calm down while I try to find out!”

“Oh, no you don’t! You won’t stop until I am satisfied. Now work faster!”

“Y-yes, Sir!”

Ramirez was quite angry with De Loco, who was trying to examine the warp gate to see what was happening on the other side.

Hm… Well, on the one hand I can see why Ramirez would want to make sure Galcian was all right (you know, what with Ramirez being so close to Galcian after a bunch of backstory-related things). On the other, this is still reinforcing that the dimension-travelling device exists, and the fewer reminders I get of that the better.

Anyway, we then get a bunch of prose where De Loco finally gets the dimension machine to show what’s happening on the other side. We get impressions of that fight, and it goes on long enough for Ramirez to see Galcian get killed.

It was when the blade was thrust into Galcian’s body that De Loco’s warp gate suddenly fizzled out from De Loco keeping the wire in place. With a spark, the entire gate stopped working entirely, leaving a dumbfounded Ramirez staring at nothing as the mad scientist found himself looking at the other admiral and hoping for some sign of mercy from the stoic man.

“N-no!” cried an enraged Ramirez quite suddenly, turning to De Loco. “Turn this gate back on!”

“B-but Sir Ramirez, I-I think th-this gate b-b-broke when I–!”

“I don’t want your excuses!” cried the Silvite, rage and spite flying in his voice. “I will avenge sir Galcian, by putting an end to those people that were there that ended his life!”


Okay, granted, Ramirez does have this attitude in canon when Galcian dies, but this line is still over the top and dumb, y’know?

“Not if we can help it!” said Snake with a smirk.

“And what do you plan to do?” asked Ramirez, who was suddenly very hyper and uncontrollable.

However, to this question, Snake had no reply. He looked to Enrique before shaking his head.

“Don’t make me any angrier than I already am!” cried Enrique. “If I had all the Crystals, I would summon the Rains of Destruction on this world, and the other if I can help it! And you two will be witness to that no matter what you do!”

Wait, why the fuck is Enrique shouting that? It seems odd that he would try to avenge the guy who symbolized everything he didn’t like about Valua, don’t you think?

However, the door that opened out into a nearby hallway was suddenly blown open by an explosion that sent fragments of the door flying very quickly.

Oh hey, it looks like group two of our heroes decided to use one of Link’s bombs to blow up the doorway. Not sure how that works on a wall without a crack in it, but hey, I’ll take it!

Anyway, after this, this merry band of heroes enter and start their engagement with Ramirez, who then jumps into the fray with them because the plot says he has to. They exchange blows, but… well…

I’ll just let the fic itself speak:

Before he could do anything, however, he heard what sounded like something sliding against the ground, and he looked behind him to jump out of the way just as an oversized turtle shell with spikes on it raced towards him, bumping against the altar on which the moon crystals were supposed to stand. He would have moved, but then a young grey-haired youth who was apparently riding behind the turtle shell poked his head out, raised a kendama in the air before the ground below him began to shake. He sidestepped out of the range of the stones that came flying up afterwards, but this caused him to walk straight into a roundhouse kick that was being performed by a rather large mutated turtle.

Before Ramirez hit the ground, he found himself suddenly getting socked in the jaw by a rather short man who apparently liked to wear a lot of red attire. As he was sent reeling back from this blow, he saw another female ninja approach, but he regained his balance quickly enough to dodge what seemed to be a bunch of razor-sharp cards that were swiping at him constantly. However, he felt a sharp feeling in his gut as he was sent reeling.

Yeah, he basically gets owned. What else did you expect with an 8-on-1 battle?

Anyway, after this, Snake recognizes Mario, Link, and Bowser, he asks how they got there, and they talk about how they’re there to help and all that jazz. So of course, they try to treat these guys after setting them free, right?

“We’re fine, thank you,” said Enrique as he gingerly brushed some dust off of his royal garnments. “But we’re unarmed here, and–?”

“Problem solved,” said a grey-haired woman who approached them holding a rapier and a lot of explosives in front of the group. With a nod, Snake took the explosives and a somewhat hesitant Enrique took the rapier.

Nope, ‘cause that would be logical. And as we’ve repeatedly stated, logic has no place in this piece of shit!

Anyway, after this, we get a bunch more dialogue, De Loco joins the fight, and then it just gets into an action scene that goes on and on and on. I won’t subject you to the whole thing, but basically, it boils down to “De Loco gets his head glass thing cracked open, Ramirez gets killed by a Raphael/Kasumi double team, and then the fight ends”.

Really, what else were you expecting?

So then they end the fight, and what do we see?

“Well, that wasn’t too difficult, I guess,” said Bowser.

“Wait, hold on,” said Snake, holding his hand up in front of the koopa king’s face. “Who the hell are these people?”

“Oh, I guess we didn’t have much time to introduce people,” said Link with a nod. “Sorry about that.”

“Don’t worry about it, honestly,” said the crown prince of Valua. “Now, who are you?”

Yep, it’s time for more fucking introductions. ‘Cause clearly, we haven’t had enough of those yet!

“The name’s Raphael,” said the mutated turtle with the sais, raising his three-fingered hand in the air. “I’d like ya ta call me Raph, though.”

“I’m Genis,” volunteered the youth, still with the older woman covering her eyes. “And this annoying lady holding her hand in front of my eyes is my sister, Raine.”

“What did you say?” asked the ruin maniac angrily, pointing her finger at him after removing her hand.

“G-gah!” cried Genis as he ran so he could hide behind the altar. “I take it back! I take it back!”


Well, it turns out that this fic didn’t need Frank Castle for bickering to exist, ‘cause these characters have found another way to bicker about bullshit for most of the fic’s running time. Yay!!!!


“Good lord,” said the woman in the blue dress as she shook her head.

Also, I was not aware that Kasumi’s clan subscribed to Christianity rather than to Shinto or any other Eastern religions. Seems a little odd to me, but hey, obviously Herr Dumbass was the master of that kind of bullshit!

So after a couple more lines of dialogue, Mario asks where they should go next. They then mention the dimensional traveler thingamabob, and one of them is all “let’s wake up De Loco or something”. Which isn’t a bad plan if he’s still awake, but… well, I wouldn’t think he is. The glass thing that his head was in… Um… Not sure that would’ve worked at all.

“We need to wake up the mad scientist,” said Enrique with a slight groan as he walked over to De Loco.

“Or not,” said Raine, suddenly distracted by the machine that was in front of her.

Before anybody in the group could move, the professor was already on the machine, fiddling around with it as Snake and Enrique both stared at each other before reaching for her.

“Raine, wait!” cried out the FOXHOUND agent nervously.

But before the two of them even laid their hands on the half-elf, the black mass that was the dimensional gate suddenly appeared again, and the two of them stared at it for the longest time before sighing in defeat.

“I guess she got it to work?” asked Bowser.

“Yep,” said Snake somewhat distastefully.

Wait, so De Loco, the guy who built the goddamn thing, has a tough time trying to get it to work earlier in the chapter, but Raine is able to do stuff with it when she has never fucking seen this thing before!?


“And what the hell is this thing supposed ta do anyway?” asked a rather peeved Raphael.

“It’s supposed to be a dimensional gate,” said Enrique as he looked to the mutated turtle.

“As in, we go-a through and-a meet-a more people?” asked Mario elatedly.

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” said Sheena. “Let’s go.”

“Got it,” said Snake, being the first one to walk into the portal.

“Yes, let’s enter the dimensional portal that goes into some place we don’t know that may have hostile enemies there and/or may be unsuitable to live in. Surely, that is a brilliant plan!”


Well, it would be par for course in this story, so you know what? It’s whatever at this point.

Anyway, Chapter 23 goes on beyond this point, but honestly, the final chapter of this fic is so short I can just tack the next scene of Chapter 23 onto it and it won’t affect too much. Either way, that doesn’t change one significant little fact: next week will be the last installment of this shitfest!

And thank God for that. I’ve been itching for new snarking material for a while, and now I think I’ve finally found it. So you’ll see what happens with that soon.

For now, I’m Herr Wozzeck. I’ll see you guys next week when we finally end the horrible, contrived mess that is Twenty Warriors.

87 Comments on “694: Twenty Warriors – Chapters Twenty-Two and Twenty-Three Part One”

  1. SC says:

    Leo looked ahead to find a factory yard close by with several men wearing clothing that seemed to cover every inch of their bodies from the distance they were at. 

    I’m having trouble convincing myself that there was a time where you were this bad at descriptive writing.

    Seriously, it hurts to try.

  2. SC says:

    “I of course don’t need to tell you how I got here, ‘cause realistic reactions are for pussies!”

    It’s okay, we all know that he hijacked the Bifrost.

  3. The Crowbar says:

    Good God, that poor table, Herr…

  4. SC says:

    release the army of dancing Zephyrs!

    That reminds me, I have a troupe of Lipizzaner stallions I need to make use of next time the DRD comes after me…

  5. SC says:

    So wait, Fina is able to use green moon magic while in New York… despite the fact that it was established in the Underworld that Fina can’t do Arcadia-based magic away from the influence of the moons.

    Right ‘cause that makes sense!

    See, this is why I don’t base magic off of lunar or solar influences that only work with CERTAIN moons or suns. It’s kind of a bitch to keep up with when you need it and find out later that it shouldn’t have even worked in the first place due to the circumstances at hand.

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      Unfortunately, that can’t be helped: the magic in the Skies canon is in fact tied to their moons. There it’s not so much of an issue ’cause, again, interdimensional travel isn’t even a thing in that canon, but still!

      • SC says:

        Yeah, if it’s all based in one world, then it’s not a problem. But when you have any element of dimension travel anywhere in the story, then it gets to be an issue, and so I try and stay away from it in that regard.

        Hell, I learned my lesson when that almost happened in my (yet unwritten, but plotted out in several pages of notes) final story in the Chronicles of Zeyr, where space travel and dimension warping had to be developed double-time despite only having quasi-medieval/steampunk-ish tech because the world was ending and people needed to get the fuck out NOW: my original notes almost had the story ending with everybody who knew magic being thoroughly screwed when they left because the magic was initially tied to the world, and so in order to not fuck over all my magic-users (who had literally no other strength), I had to reconfigure it so that the magic was tied to blood instead.

      • TacoMagic says:

        I go fully the other direction. In my primary universe there are two main magical systems. The first, and most common, is tied directly to any given planet. Specifically, it’s the ability of a creature tied to the life-net of the planet to tap into the life energy (Terminology varies by planet). You leave the planet, you lose the ability to use that magic because the life-net is out of reach. It actually becomes important quite often. Especially when you start introducing the demonic races that like to feed on this energy.

        The other magic is the far more rare soul magic which is based off a person’s own energy. The downside is that it requires decades of intense training in order to be able to use it in any meaningful way since it is a colossal drain on the user. Users of soul magic also tend to eat like crazy because it makes their metabolism go haywire. There are only a few species who learned to use it on their own, and all of those feature large and energy rich beings.

        Well, there is a third branch of blood magic that the High Elves used, but that requires bleeding out another sentient creature across a blood crystal to capture the energy. Once they started in on sacrificing humans it sorta kicked off a war that ended with the Genocide of the High Elves. It never really become popular after that, and the Terrans are more than happy to enforce that unpopularity.

      • SC says:

        I love when the conversation gets into magic intricacies, because it gives everybody a chance to brag about their systems.

        Like: Recently, for a large-scale, multi-series, world-building lore that I’m crafting, I ended up creating a continent where magic just flat-out doesn’t exist in people’s bodies or souls because magic-users of that sort never really traveled through the area, and thus never had any influence on the magic reception of the natives that live there. So, instead, they turn to an abundant ore known as Magicite, which is rich in arcane energy, to supplement this power.

        Magicite is typically used in one of three ways:

        1. The raw ore is taken and crafted into a smooth stone, which is then either ground into a fine dust and placed in rune-engraved capsules to be used like a bomb, or set into rune-engraved staves for a more traditional approach, or is placed on a chain and worn around the neck to stimulate magic abilities in the wearer, or liquified and turned into potions and enchanting salves.

        2. The raw ore is used to power mechanical constructs and provide them with magical energy, and those constructs are then rune-engraved to follow a person’s orders like a golem.

        3. The raw ore is liquified and injected in small doses into the body to artificially stimulate magic in the blood flow – which is highly dangerous and often poisonous to the health of the person who undergoes the procedure in good condition, but is curative and strengthening to those who are sick or wounded.

        Obviously, the first method – namely the magicite amulet – is the most popular method, and paired with a staff, it turns downright lethal for anybody stupid enough to fight somebody loaded up like that. The second method is used more for city defenses and whatnot, and the third tends to be strictly medicinal for safety’s sake.

      • TacoMagic says:

        And here I thought magicite was the crystallized Espur life-force that they leave behind after they die. ;)

        Now I’m getting all nostalgic for FF6. If only my SNES was hooked up.

        • Herr Wozzeck says:

          I was about to say, man. I thought that sounded familiar!

        • TacoMagic says:

          Given SC’s age, I’m guessing coincidence. Even so, it immediately triggered my 1990s video game nostalgia.

          I was 12 when FF6 came out and I played it through like 10 times. That would have been what, about two years before SC was born?

          The other games featured magicite a lot less prominantly, but it was core to FF6.

      • SC says:

        Curses! Beaten to the punch by a famous game series again!

        …Eh, screw it, I’m not changing the name.

      • SC says:

        Actually, Taco, I played FF6 hesitantly, too. I just didn’t even think about the ironic name of my completely innocent plot mechanic until you brought it up. XD

      • SC says:

        I played it frequently, even.

      • TacoMagic says:

        Yeah, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. It’s a pretty basic Portmanteau of Magic and ite (suffix for mineral). My guess is that any number of people have come up with it.

        And a lot more elegant than Unobtainium*.

        *Fun fact: Unobtainium was originally used as an engineering term for any element that was so rare that it would be impractical to try to use despite how well it would function. It was originally used mostly to refer to Iiridium, Indium, and Rhodium.

      • SC says:

        So, the Tesseract is just a fancy term for a glowy cube of Unobtainium, then?

      • TacoMagic says:

        Essentially… yes.

  6. SC says:

    We are the caretakers of our destinies

    I make sure to feed my destiny three oracles a day and take it for walkies so that it doesn’t crap on my floor. Damn thing can be kind of ornery like that.

  7. leobracer says:

    Whoopi-Doo, another day of nothin’ happening.

    *Claps slowly*

    How much longer must we suffer through this?

  8. TacoMagic says:

    *Walks into the lobby*

    So, what’s happening this morning?

    The sun still had not come out, the moon reigning supreme over New York

    *Falls to the ground writhing*


  9. TacoMagic says:

    “Why else?” asked the Valuan admiral, Leonardo throwing a confused glance at the two girls. “I come for your crystals.”

    *Watches as the confused glance misses the girls and flies off toward the horizon*

    Somebody might want to warn SC.

  10. TacoMagic says:

    However, as they had scoured the factory for any clues they had found quite a few things that could be used as weapons when used by certain people.

    Woohoo! Things! That can be weapons! To certain people!

  11. TacoMagic says:

    *looks outside, sees the DRD get knocked out be dancers*

    Arrr! Herr, ye be having a little pirate in ye this mornin’, says I. Harr-harr!

  12. TacoMagic says:

    just faintly enough that everybody in the group could hear it.

    Just quiet enough to hear? What the fuck is that supposed to mean!? Is that like something being small enough to see, or light enough not to float? GAH!

  13. TacoMagic says:

    Before the Shredder could say another word, Leo pressed the katana down on the Shredder’s neck as hard as he could, and the severed head of Oroku Saki rolled away from his body, Leo breathing harder and harder as he saw the head roll to a stop within the crater itself.

    That really lacks the simple dignity of being crushed to death in a garbage truck.

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      Well, Herr Dumbass was all about the pointless blood and gore, yeah? This was before I had seen the later Saw movies and knew that it could in fact be taken too far…

    • Isn’t a katana more of a slicing weapon than a guillotine? Pressing straight down wouldn’t be very effective.

      • Herr Wozzeck says:

        I assume it would be. Cue a Fraug interjection in 3… 2… 1…

      • SC says:

        Ghostie, recall that a Samurai who commit honorable suicide after failure in battle would often have a trusted standby on hand to cut off his head and end the pain for him quickly.

        In order for that to work, the katana would have to have some sort of guillotine qualities, right?

        Not to mention that a Samurai who didn’t fuck up in combat would have to cut off the heads of his defeated opponents and present them to his master in order to prove that the deed had been done.

        That’s about the extent of my argument for it, though.

      • TacoMagic says:

        Decapitation typically requires a full-armed swing rather than constant pressure. Very different cutting qualities. Lots of initial shock, shear force, and momentum in a swing, very little of any of those in a pressing motion.

      • Exactly. I’m not saying that it isn’t possible to decapitate Shredder with a katana, only that Leo is using the wrong technique. He’s treating the blade like a guillotine, where the substantial weight of the blade is focused on a small area and crushes more than it cuts; you can press your hand against a katana’s cutting edge relatively safely as long as you press straight down. Movement is the key to the katana’s lethality; the curvature of the blade focuses the power of the swing on a tiny area, making it much more effective. The way Leo is using it he’s more likely to choke Shredder than instantly decapitate him.

      • SC says:

        Oooh, so THAT’S why the bad guy always starts gagging when he gets pinned by a sword in the movies! I always thought it was because the thing was cutting into his carotid or something.

      • I think pressing down on someone’s carotid would cause them to pass out rather than choke.

      • Colonel deFraug says:

        A proper cut with a katana is delivered with an extended whipping, drawing motion. So yes, wrong technique. Not that you couldn’t kill someone with a katana by pressing it to their throat, but you’d not be taking their head off. Curved blades do focus force on a smaller area, as well as drawing themselves further through the wound for best effect. Really though, the guillotine example is a poor one. Given the blade’s angle and the great deal of force it possesses from the large weight and the fall, it’s pretty much making the same kind of cut as a sword. Completely different delivery, but the terminal effects are almost identical.

        In close like that, you could conceivably lay the blade against their throat and then push or pull with the blade to open the carotid or jugular which would be plenty lethal without prompt medical attention (and which would probably distract your opponent from doing anything other than clutching at their wound), but it wouldn’t decapitate them.

        As for the sword against the throat choke thing…eh. That’s a case-by-case basis determined by force and edge alignment. It’s possible to choke someone with a sword, but you’re liable to give them a Glasgow smile if you’re not careful.

        • Probably should have used something like a cleaver instead of a guillotine, I was picturing Leo doing a chopping motion rather than a slicing one and the only thing that came to mind was the guillotine.

        • Herr Wozzeck says:

          Wait, so you could give someone the Glasgow Smile by using a katana incorrectly? I wonder if that’s how the Joker actually got his scars…

  14. TacoMagic says:

    “Not if we can help it!” said Snake with a smirk.

    *Snake turns around to see a cardboard box on the ground behind him*

    “Hold on. I don’t remember passing that box on the way-”


  15. TacoMagic says:

    Surely, that is a brilliant plan!”

    It really is an awesome plan. And don’t call me Shirley.

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