Part 43: Fire

4 to Burning Sun, Inalis

Fire fire fire fire fire fire fire fire fire, haha! I don’t think my companions will be happy to see how absolutely pleased I am with how this event went. I guess it is because you and I used to play with fire all the time when we were children. Most children (or rather normal children) do not play with fire, but we did all the time, right? I’m not terribly scared of it, but I can see why so many people would think it is scary. The arena was very hot after this grand spectacle, called the Trial by Fire.

The arena was set up with a series of jets of fire, powered by some oil and magic mechanisms that would turn on and off periodically. While this was happening, the champions competing would be put against a number of increasingly powerful fiery monsters. We coaches were allowed to place a single spell on our champions before the event began. Briar and I each had the same idea: protect Rendu and Torag from fire. We placed a protection spell on them so that the fire wouldn’t burn them so badly. Clio and Lumi gave their champions, Actaeon and Shadow, a bit of speed with a haste spell. The other competitors were our friend Kano, the fan-favorite Spira, the amazoness Hatria, Leyland from Ellandyr, and the Leaguer Jorges. They each got into position and the game began.

The first wave of monsters were little fire mephits. These creatures reminded me of the creatures that had been pestering the Temple of the Oracle a few months ago when we first got together. Nasty little buggers! Torag and Rendu both quickly took one out. Hatria the amazoness tried to do the same but the creatures evaded and frustrated her. Kano and Spira each took one out. Shadow started firing arrows until one was defeated. Torag took two more out, and Actaeon got two as well. In the end, Kano was in the lead with Actaeon and Torag not far behind. Hatria and Jorges both did not score any points. In fact, Jorge had been very badly burned by a pair of mephits that had managed to surround him.

With the wave done, we coaches got to heal up our champions. Torag seemed in very good spirits and hadn’t been injured very badly. Actaeon, too, and that was largely due to his fire-proof armor. Rendu seemed pleased with the point he had scored. Shadow, too. Leyland had not survived the first wave. He had gotten surrounded and was soundly defeated, being taken away by the arcanists to some healers. Jorges looked very badly burned and injured already, too.

The second wave began with the release of a half dozen hell hounds. You know, those creatures Mother always told us about to scare us? She really did love a scary story, didn’t she? Well, as it turns out, hell hounds are a lot cuter than they look in that picture book. Literally, they look like dogs wreathed in flames. No matter how scary they look or how much they snarl fire, they have cute eyes.

Spira and Kano had both said something to Actaeon and the others, and soon the four Heroes joined up with them to back each other up. Torag later told me they had joined forces because that was the only way to survive the rest of the Trial by Fire, of which Kano and Spira were veterans. Hatria and Jorges decided to fight together with each other, but that ended up poorly for Jorges. In a flash of fire, he was removed from the field, defeated. Hatria did her best to stay out of the fire. Unfortunately for her, that left the points for Actaeon, Torag, Rendu, and Shadow. Torag held off two hell hounds by himself before they were defeated. Shadow and Rendu kept their distance, at least until Kano said something to Rendu and the two of them helped each other. Actaeon brought out the Axe of Xander and swung it wildly. The hell hounds were defeated after a bit, and seven champions survived to the next wave.

Rendu and Briar worked together to patch him up. Actaeon seemed to be doing pretty well, so Clio gave him a few healthy berries and a new haste spell. Shadow and Lumi each did some magic until Shadow was feeling totally fine. Torag, though, was looking really beat up. I did my best to heal him and he did some quick meditation, but I was very worried. My fire protection spell was holding up against the heat, but Torag was looking winded. Remember, Heath, he had been boxing all afternoon and was already pretty tired. I mean, so was everyone else. I’m just concerned about my champion!

Wave three began with the release of three fire elementals. These were a lot less attractive than Cindra. Which reminds me, I need to send a letter to her and Azorius to make sure those two are getting along. Anyway, the wave began. Torag got blasted by fire right at the start, but he rebounded with a powerful punch with his new silver gauntlet from Azorius, the Siege of Broken Wars. Sparks flew in addition to fire, and the fire elemental shrank back, stunned. Rendu pulled out Palladia’s Harp and quickly plucked a series of strings. Magic happened (amazing, I know!) and he summoned a gigantic snake that Torag dubbed ‘Better Jorges’. Better Jorges wrapped itself around an elemental, holding it down while Actaeon and Rendu slammed it with attack after attack. Spira and a now-invisible Kano tried to hold back the last elemental, but it moved forward and started scorching everything around it. Shadow managed to kill an elemental before he got overwhelmed. Torag was overwhelmed, too, but ended up vaulting himself out of the fire and slammed his gauntlet into the elemental wrapped up by Better Jorges, defeating it. The last elemental fell to a well-placed arrow from Shadow and Rare’s Thorn.

What an event! But honestly, this is super dangerous. We coaches were seated close to the field so we can run out and do our work between waves, and the heat in this arena is intense. There are so many children seated very close. Really, if we defeat the titans and bring peace to Ellandyr, the first thing I’m going to suggest is to abolish this event. It’s simply too dangerous.

Torag looked terrible after all of this, and my healing spells couldn’t help him much. The others were still doing much better than him, and their coaches got some healing on each of them. Kano remained invisible for the fourth and final wave. The champions made a game plan: the archers would stay back to fight whatever the final beast was, while the fighters got up close to hold it back. Whoever defeats this creature will win the entire event, regardless of the points scored earlier. I guess this struck a sour note for Torag. He thought it was ridiculous that Hatria, someone who hadn’t scored a single point and had barely even participated in the event thus far, could defeat whatever monster they were about to face and could win the entire event. He had a plan, and it was awful.

The fourth wave began and a Charrog – a large dinosaur-like creature covered in scales and magma – was summoned from the Plane of Fire. It was furious and started spitting fire and lava everywhere around it. Actaeon, Shadow, and Kano started with their ranged weapons, but they weren’t doing much against the Charrog. Rendu threw some spells at it to hold it back while Spira got in close with her spear. Hatria backed up immediately, seemingly intent on landing a killing blow instead of getting into combat early like the others. Torag had other plans. He transformed into his bull form and got behind her, nudging Hatria into the fight. Whatever look of anger was on her face didn’t last long. Better Jorges tried to wrap up the Charrog, but it exploded. Kind of. I mean, I don’t know. A lot of fire happened. When it was over, Hatria was down and Better Jorges dissipated.

Our weapons were mostly ineffective against this thing. Bull Torag kept the monster at bay while the others tried to fight from a distance. Whenever anyone got to close, they were punished by fire and a tail of spikes. Rendu and Actaeon were both pretty hurt at this point. Torag took too many hits and reverted back to his regular form. Shadow and Kano stayed back, and Spira was almost entirely ineffective. At this point, Shadow discovered a weak point on the Charrog. Underneath its arms were sacs of fire. Or something. I don’t know. What goes in sacs? Don’t answer that. Anyway, he told the others where to aim. Soon each of the sacs-


I’m a child. Sure. I admit it. I can’t write or say ‘sac’ without giggling. Whatever.

The sacs-

Ha ha ha!

The sacs were all popped-

Okay, Leef. Come on. Is it a funny word? Yes. Are you an adult? Also, yes. It’s not that funny.


I’m shaking! I’m laughing too hard! Briar is looking at me funny while I write this. I can’t help it.

Those things were popped-

Nope. That’s not better. Ha ha… Okay, I’m just going to finish a sentence.

The sacs-

You know what? How’s this. We defeated it! Actaeon got the final kill after the sacs HA HA HA HA HA were destroyed. Everyone did so great! Actaeon got the win, with Shadow in second place and Torag in third. Rendu would have probably won had it not been for Torag rushing in reckless again. But then again, if Torag weren’t rushing into danger, we would probably think he had been taken over by Khar’shan or something.

Everything stinks now that we’re back in the Starfall Estate. I can cast a repair spell on my friends’ clothes only so much. A lot of their clothing got burned pretty good so I think I’ll make some new apparel for each of us. Even Briar and Clio and myself, though we never got burned or hurt in any way today.

Everyone is resting now. I decided to spend the last of my magic today to send some messages. The first was to Mother. I don’t think she knows that I’m trying to contact her, or she’s hiding the fact that she’s hearing me. She just kept repeating the prayer for a Watching. I guess I can understand that, but I kind of wish she would have stopped and responded. I don’t think the Morninglord would be too upset if she interrupted the prayer to say, “Oh, Hello, Leef! Thanks for calling. Hope you’re well. I am-” and then she tells me where she is. But perhaps she is in danger and cannot speak freely, other than her prayers. I can’t fault her for that.

The second message went to Damon. We changelings have to stick together and watch out for each other! I told him as much, anyway. But I think he wasn’t expecting a call, because he just mumbled a response: “Oh. Um. Wasn’t expecting that.” And then, nothing else. Ha! Surprise, Damon! I’ll send to him again before the games are done. His existence in the Necropolis seems lonely. I’d like him to know that someone out there cares about him and hopes he’s okay. I mean, I barely even know him. But he’s a changeling like me, Heath! And he’s from Ylisse! That has to mean something, right? Maybe he knew my great grandparents or something. I doubt it, but I had a dream about it a few nights ago. I wonder what he looked like before he became all boney.

It’s late. Sorry this day went on so long, love. A lot is happening, and we’re only about halfway through the Great Games now. I’m going to have a cup of tea with Clio and Briar, then we’re going to sleep. Good night!