Flashback: Time Trials

“Alright. Start the clock.”

Forty individual targets, moving independantly around the field. Sometimes they were rings, gems, coins, and in one instance giant red fruit. The spell had been developed as a video game substitute, then added to the Volst Magi Emergent Ranking and Illumination Tests. Under the conditions, the subject had a limited time to hit every target either physically or with energy. The fewer targets remained, the more intelligently they evaded. Continue reading

Unacceptable Losses

Lee stared down at the caster’s lifeless face before shrugging.  He didn’t recognize him, some scrawny kid who’d been invisible right before his shifters had ripped his throat out.  The white minion-variety shifters were walking in slow circles, scanning around for more enemies.  His new arm itched, and Lee scratched it without thinking.  Scent-tracking, or something, had paid off.  He wished he could remember adding that. Continue reading

Second Half Comeback

The audience was rapt with attention as the two mages ran around the arena. Peepers, in partial spellarmor and wielding a shimmering sword, was attacking Tom in a determined and constant manner. On the other hand, Tom was in his normal coat and clothing while wielding something that barely resembled a sword. It was, for one thing, orange. And the hilt was leafy and somewhat green. Continue reading


It was the next day and Tom had barely slept the night before.  He’d spent most of the night working on a few idle projects (including a small tribe of tap-dancing hippos made of paperwork) and it was something of a surprise when James knocked open the door to his room, knocking over the mound of discarded worndown crayons.

“Tom, I challenge you to the first competition!” James shouted and the Izzet planeswalker stared.


“The first competition.  Of the S-Ranks.”  James crossed his arms, and Tom held up a finger.

“Hold that thought.  Exposition!”  He waved his hand and the two disappeared from the room. Continue reading

Altering the Deal

As the B Rank games began, Peepers stepped out onto the tiled platform from under an archway. He was met with some pleasant cheering and he waved in response. As he walked into the sunlight, he conjured glinting spellarmor and a katana in one hand, sliding it into his belt. James sat at the announcer’s table, pretending to hold up a microphone and being amplified around the stadium.

Continue reading

Refreshingly Direct

Alex slammed into the campus office frantically and stared in disbelief into a crayon-yellow mass of… paper.  Half-formed, whatever was being created had brown spots and a large lump extending a lot higher than the rest.  The planeswalker walked around it headed into the next room.  Zach was sitting at a desk filling out part of a tall stack of paperwork.

“We’ve got a problem.”  Alex took a deep breath.  “Where’s Tom?” Continue reading

Advanced Development

Tom jammed his palm into the rock, closing his eyes.  It hurt, drawing mana this rapidly from the landscape, but he managed to gather enough to push some into the sandstone and yank part of the rock back.  He thought, slowly, about how dry the land was here; how every square inch of Shiv burned with red mana, and his hand smoldered.  Lines of script and symbols extended from his skin, laying on the surface of the rock, then slowly drew back into the palm of his hand.  Continue reading