Author Topic: Predatory Focus [Magic the Gathering oneshot]  (Read 3963 times)

RaikouRider

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Predatory Focus [Magic the Gathering oneshot]
« on: November 05, 2009, 05:44:16 AM »
This was a Magic duel between silence_dais and I.

---

"An outsider in Jund?" Ace observed from the top of Mount Worldheart, lava bubbling in the superheated crater below a large dragon's nest. "This will either be an easy meal or one of the most challenging hunts in some time. Come, Karrthus!" Concentric circles of black, red, and green mana surrounded the human, and the green-scaled tyrant of Jund descended from above the smoke-filled clouds. "To the wastelands of the Rip!" Karrthus let loose a fearsome roar before taking to the air.

"Jund truly is a savage land to live on," the human said to a black-winged angel accompanying him. "However I have to say I enjoy the sight of so many dragons here. It's the most I've seen on a plane so far and it's nice to see them not being hunted like on some planes. I wonder if there's a good one here to add to my collection."

Suddenly, a huge gust of wind knocked both of them off balance as a great dragon swooped from above, barely missing the two with his sharp nails. "I am Ace, Jund's ultimate predator, and you are the prey," Ace spouted.

Dais and a black-winged angel named Selenia opposed the green-scaled predator. Unlike most fallen angels, her wings and greatsword were completely intact aside from becoming a much darker shade. "Dais is much too powerful to be considered 'prey' for any living creature in the multiverse. I will throw open the gates of chaos, and the mingling of light and darkness will engulf whatever opposes us."

"I can see why Sarkhan liked Jund," Dais added. "It's a shame that your here to ruin it for me Ace. I accept your challenge if your looking for a duel but I will not hold back."

"I like prey with an attitude," Ace smirked. "It's a much more fun hunt. Let the hunt begin!" Karrthus sounded a loud war cry as both combatants began drawing mana. The Jundian was surprised to see a land-bound vampire dual-wielding small, curved blades almost immediately after the duel started.

"I told you Dais was not to be underestimated," Selenia spoke. Ace ignored her, continuing to draw more of Jund's primal mana. The vampire warrior made a small cut across his left arm, and Dais felt like the same was happening to him. In a flash of white and black, an ogre shaman appeared behind Ace and grabbed the top of his head before he could react. Images of an elf petting a great beast, a primal, axe-wielding warrior even more rugged than Ace, a powerful, fire-breathing dragon, and a gigantic lava flow materialized in front of the shaman, as though Ace's thoughts were being projected. After a period of Dais contemplating, the image of the primal warrior shattered, and the shaman vanished. Still dizzy from having his very thoughts projected, the muscular fighter was not coherent enough to defend against the vampire charging his way, sword drawn.

Shrugging off the blow after regaining his thought process, Ace continued to draw mana and do nothing more. His focus was narrow, but razor sharp. The vampire made a second notch in his left arm, and again, Dais felt it. He drew on all of his presently available black mana, and a large, red inkpen appeared in his right hand. A demon inserted a tube piercing through the freshly-created wound from the vampire, and that became the source of "ink" for the pen. He signed his name at the bottom of a devilish contract, and the demon whispered something in his ear before all of the materials involved vanished.

For a second time, Ace was completely unfazed when the vampire slashed at him. He didn't even flinch. Instead he dropped to his knees and cupped his hands outward. A circle of green mana surrounded him, and an elf petting a sleeping beast appeared next to him. The vampire bled himself and Dais further with a third cut, then charged Ace again. His only reaction to being cut a third time was heavier breathing. Afterward, a circle of black mana formed on the clifftop behind Dais, and another vampire, this one with small wings on its shoulders, dove off the top of the rock wall and took flight.

As Ace continued to do nothing but draw on large amounts of mana, Dais wondered what kind of big spell he had prepared. After folding his hands and raising them skyward, a heavily armored fighter riding a huge, armored lion joined the ranks of the vampires. The paladin's courage empowering the sword-wielding vampire, he charged at Ace with much greater vigor than before. The elf completely ignored the situation, tending to his own monstrous creature. By now, the pain of being cut multiple times began to sting, even for someone as physically tough as Ace.

"At last," the Jundian grunted through his pain. A vicious, red dragon leaped out of a nearby volcano's crater, splashing lava all over the summit. It spewed a stream of hot flames toward the smoke-filled skies, igniting some of the more unstable clouds. The great hunter dove down to the battlefield, joining Ace on the side opposite Karrthus.

Dais channeled white mana through Selenia, and she raised her blade into the air. A glowing rain of light surrounded the dragon, and it flew away without a second thought. With the fearsome creature out of the way, the cat-riding paladin charged forward, ramming Ace to the ground.

His blood boiling with rage, Ace chanted a powerful spell that caused the ground beneath the battlefield to rupture. The fissure spit up an enormous wave of lava, engulfing both vampires, the knight, and Dais himself. To add insult to injury, the elf left his beast long enough to whack him in the face with his staff.

Once Dais mustered the strength to stand back up, he replaced the lost paladin with a horseback one wearing almost entirely white armor. Ace could see Selenia's black mana lines weaving around her new ally, as if distorted by something.

Disgusted at seeing so many holy warriors, Ace climbed onto Karrthus and dug his heels into the dragon. It charged Dais in a furious rage, speeding upward after raking the enemy with its sharp nails. "Wahoo!" Ace yelled as his dragon mount looped high in the air and dove back near the elf.

"I can assure you that won't happen again," Selenia said as she helped Dais stand up. A circle of white mana materialized around Karrthus, shackling the powerful dragon in place, unable to attack or defend. With the terror of the skies out of the way, the paladin charged forward and raised his sword right underneath the dragon, a bolt of light cutting through Ace and causing him to fall to the ground.

With his dragon immobilized, the predator was out of defenses. Though a dragon-shaped mountain rising out of the ground behind him was impressive-looking, it didn't help his cause. A halfling knight joined the paladin, this one on the back of a woolly, goatlike creature known as a springjack. Accompanying the knight was a hooded man in a pitch-black trench coat. The horseback knight fried Ace a second time with a bolt of light, this one singing his skin more than the previous.

Ace was ground-bound and out of options while Dais' army continued to grow. Selenia wasted no time immobilizing Ace's last possible defender, imprisoning it in a floating pillory. With literally all of his defenses rendered useless, even the black wizard joined in the assault, firing a ball of light and dark energy swirled together. The springjack bounded powerfully, leaping faster than even the human's horse could run. It leaped high into the air, intending to crash down on Ace from above. "Become a fetid, rotting slave to undeath! Putrefy!" the Jundian cried. Just as Dais' other two attacks connected, the halfling knight's flesh began rotting away at an alarming rate, as did the flesh of the springjack. The zombified knight fell from her steed, and what remained of the fragile bodies splattered all over the battlefield upon crash landing.

A circle of black mana materialized in front of Dais while Ace was still reeling, and an unspeakable, human-shaped horror rose out of the ground, seemingly staring into the Jundian's soul.

Forgetting how much the vampire's cutting blades stung, Ace grunted in pain as he channeled every last bit of the vast amount of mana he had been storing up for one massive spell. A huge fissure opened up in front of Ace, and a massive, twelve-headed hydra rose from the ground, each head alone at least twice the human's height. Dais gasped in awe at the monstrosity. "This should hold off those knights," he muttered to himself.

"Ace has presented us with a devastating opponent," Selenia said, "but I am sure you can overcome it."

"I'm not sure how," Dais sighed as he conjured a giant mechanoid gripping human corpses in its claws ...well, what would be giant if it wasn't for the colossal hydra. The only thing giving him a glint of hope was the Krosan elf in the magical pillory--it was slowly draining Ace's life force away.

"At last, Jund's savage heartbeat is surging again!" Ace cried. Another volcano erupted, this one more distant. A hellkite spewed a stream of fire at Dais from behind, then lunged toward him. He barely dodged both attacks. "You may be able to deal with one dragon, but Jund's skies are full of them!"

"That is a problem, I never seen a hydra that big before...." Dais, lost his composure trying to remember something he saw in Ravinca. To his despair he couldn't, wait thats it! "Angel of Despair!" closing his eyes he pictured a pale skinned angel in leather with black wings, the design on the outfit had the Orzhov symbol on it.

She drew a sword bearing a sun-shaped insignia, and slashed toward the hydra. A pulse of light and darkness shot across the Rip, and a black hole appeared at the center of the hydra's gravity. Struggling against the spell's force, two of the hydra's heads spewed fireballs at the horrifying, human-shaped shade before the creature was sucked into the void. With the hydra out of the way, the holy paladin could charge underneath the hellkite and slash Ace again. He wasn't sure how much more punishment he could take, and actually gave a retreat some thought. "Dais is pushing me hard, but what would come of me running from a potential meal I've fought so hard for?"

With his newfound determination, he sent the hellkite charging into battle without a thought. As if the minds of the two angels were linked, the hydra slayer flew out of the way of the charging dragon, and Dais found himself on fire from the attacker's breath. Gleeful that he stood there just taking the blow, Ace added insult to injury by conjuring a javelin made out of pure fire and throwing it at him. Seconds later, the dragon-shaped mountain cracked wide open, and a dragon shaped exactly like the stone structure flew out of the middle of it. The now-ruined mountain was quickly replaced by a structure bearing remarkable similarity to the Bloodhall beneath Mount Worldheart.

The paladin charged underneath the two dragons and straight toward Ace once more. After his attack connected, [CARD=Damnation]acid-coated meteors rained from the sky[/CARD], eating away at materials even as tough as dragonskin. The shattering impacts opened up new craters of lava near the rift. By the time the rain settled out, not a single creature, save Selenia and Karrthus, were on the battlefield.

With Karrthus freed from the binding circle, Ace leaped back aboard and immediately charged Dais. Bleeding profusely after being clawed again, he could barely summon a vampire accompanied by bats to defend himself with. Ace wheeled his dragon around to charge a second time, this time accompanied by a pair of mating dragons. All three of Dais' defenses gave their lives saving him.

With his prey backed almost to death, Ace stared at Dais hungrily while Karrthus prepared another charge. Dais, though, had other plans. Breathing laboriously, he conjured a phantom hand that reached inside of Ace's left ear, racking his brain for the most vivid thoughts he could find. After both of them saw the image of an enormous fireball shattering, the mage collapsed, then vanished. "*Bleep*, so he was a planeswalker..." He paused to instruct Karrthus to fly back to the top of Mount Worldheart. "Oh, well, I don't get to have that kind of fun every day. It's worth losing a meal over."

---

A mere ten days after the Mending, a young knight of Valeron and a young ranger of Eos made a discovery that would change Alara forever.

Thanks to Spiderboy4 of High~Light Studios!