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You have dimmed my boundless light. What power of death do you mortals wield...?
— Sephirot, the Fiend

The Adventurers are a part of Eorzea's peacekeeping forces. Made up entirely of volunteers, the Adventurers have a guild in all of the major cities of Eorzea. They perform all manner of tasks, from creating items, to delivering them, to combating monsters, Adventurers wander the realm to find and aid those in need. A small subset of these Adventurers have the Echo, and are called upon by the Warrior of Light when they need backup fighting Primals, the local physical manifestations of gods.

The Adventurers are the only branch of Eorzea's military and peacekeeping forces not beholden to any nation or chain of command. As such, they are free to cross borders and help anyone in any way they wish, with the only real oversight being other Adventurers as well as the guild. The Adventurers have also contributed to the restoration of several destroyed cities, such as Revenant's Toll and Idyllshire.

They are also expected to participate in the upcoming campaigns against the Garlean empire, having successfully retaken the fallen city-state of Ala Mhigo as well as the foreign nation of Doma. The Adventurers are currently part of the allied Eorzean forces fighting Garlemald to a standstill.

Battle vs. Hawke's Party (by Leolab)

Prologue: Fuck Sebastian

“We will meet them here,” Hawke says, casting Pull of the Abyss to clear away some pews, “The Chantry is the most defensible part of the city. Merrill, Varric, Sebastian – head up to the dais in front of the statue. You’ll pelt them with ranged attacks. Anders, go up to heal them…”

“No,” Sebastian says, “I will not let them breach this place.”

“Come on, Choir Boy,” Varric says, “You may not like all of us, but…”

“I’m sorry, Varric. I… I can’t. We should not fight within the Chantry; it is not just,” the man says, taking p his bow and walking out the door, “Please, help me defend the steps.”

“Let him,” Anders sneers, “I could do without his preaching in my ear.”

Hawke sighs dramatically, and continues directing his crew in preparations.

“For a bunch of Voidsent and their summoners, they’re dropping pretty easy,” Aldwyn Lancebane says, pulling his axe out of a young, blonde-haired Templar.

“Aye,” Aurifort replies, dislodging his lance from a mage with a three-headed staff, “Makes you wonder why the Guild asked for the eight of us.”

“We’re just lucky they don’t have any Crystals. I’d hate to see this ‘Maker’ they pray to be summoned as a Primal,” Argarar says, parrying a Red Lyrium-enhanced greatsword strike from a female Templar and impaling her on his own sword. “That would be bad, wouldn’t it, Leo?” The group turns towards their Black Mage, who stoically nods. They continue towards the Chantry, and look at the massive set of stairs.

“The righteous stand before the darkness, and the Maker shall guide their hand,” a man in white armor chants, as he aims an arrow towards Helala. The White Mage swiftcasts Stoneskin on herself, and the arrow is halted in its tracks. A’libo draws and aims an arrow at the attacker, letting it loose just as a fireball erupts over Sebastian’s head. The clergy member collapses in a smoking heap, dying instantly as the arrow whizzes through where his head was and plants itself in the notice board behind him. A’libo flicks a slightly annoyed glance at Leo, who nods.

“You ready for this?” Argasar asks, “This is the last fight. It’s been easy so far, but let’s not get too cocky.”

Aldwyn roars his approval and hefts his axe, prompting a few looks from his crew. “Yes,” he says sheepishly.

Hanagin draws a card from her deck, and smiles mysteriously. “I am.”

“As am I,” Aurifort says, leaning on his spear.

“And me,” Helala says, finishing a Stoneskin II cast.

“Ready,” Artur says, swiftly flashing Mudras to cast Huton.

“I’m ready,” A’libo says, smiling.

Leo stoically nods.

“Let’s go, then!” Argasar says, and the group storm the Chantry and fling open the doors.

Phase 1: Deus Non Vult

Argasar immediately raises his sword, cleaving a Sonefist cast in half. Hanagin barely has time to use an expanded Balance on the party before the scene devolves into chaos. Argasar uses Plunge to try and get into Unleash range, but the melee has quickly spread out. He looks towards Hanagin and Helala, who both gesture confidently while engaging their foes.

Fenris scythes towards Aurifort, who leaps over the sword swipe and attempts to stab the broody elf on the way down. Fenris barely dodges the blow, and swings at the Dragoon as he dislodges his spear. The sword is stopped short by Stoneskin, while Aurifort slides around him and strikes at his flank. Fenris brings his sword around in another slice, catching Aurifort in the gut and sending him flying. He lands, wounds taken care of by a spell, and launches a Geirskogul at him. He jumps back into the fight, launching a flurry of stabs at his foe. Fenris dodges most of them, taking only superficial wounds.

The elf activates his Lyrium tattoos, attempting to phase through Aurifort’s armor and rip the man’s heart out. Aurifort jumps back to elude the strike, also dodging a Stonefist from Merrill that would have taken off his head. The projectile shatters against Leo’s Manaward, and the Black Mage summons a massive column of ice at Merrill’s position. Merrill evades most of the strike, and uses Firestorm. A massive volley of fireballs rains down on Leo, but they fizzle ineffectively against his magic defenses. Leo swiftcasts Thunder 3, and Merrill cries out in pain as a core of electricity sends shocks throughout her body.

Going for the kill, he summons a massive ice crystal above the blood mage’s head. As he lets it drop, however, a knife slices into his left arm, throwing off his aim. Artur throws several knives around the mage, revealing Isabela in stealth with blood on her daggers. The Ninja charges in, flicking through Mudras to cast Suiton. Isabela coyly steps out of the geyser, as Artur does a flip over her to launch an attack at her back. The pirate cartwheels out of the way, aiming a kick at Artur. He deflects it with the flat of his blade, and she follows up by dropping a flask of smoke. Artur throws several knives, trying to figure out where the elusive woman went. He stops in shock as two daggers sprout from his chest, and Isabela leans in to his ear.

“Sorry, love,” she whispers, “you shot too soon for me.”

As the ninja bleeds out, Helala casts Benediction. She then casts Medica 2, sending a wave of succor out across the battlefield. Hawke casts Group Heal as well, mending his own allies. Helala casts Stone 3 at him, and Hawke ducks, barely dodging the rocks that erupted where his chest was.

“Why do we have to fight?” he asks, trying to buy time, “Why did you attack us?”

“The Guild called, we answered. You and your ilk did something to threaten our home.”

“Well, you’re razing mine,” he says, “And I kind of like it here,” Hawke unleashes a Telekinetic Burst at the last word, sending the diminutive Lalafell flying. She crashes into a pillar, and falls to the floor. She casts Tetragrammaton on herself, healing the broken bones, and grabs her staff to see Carver bearing down on her, sword ready to strike.

Aldwyn sweeps the blow aside with his axe, in a state of furious ecstasy. He rained down blows on Carver, swinging his axe in reckless abandon. The Grey Warden countered the furious swings with precision, riposting towards the Warrior’s weak points. Aldwyn presses forward, his rage that someone would dare harm his teammates blinding him. Carver sees an opening, and stuns Aldwyn with a swift pommel strike. He unleashes the Maker’s fury on the dazed man, launching blow after blow against him. As he was about to throw the final strike, however, a projectile hit him in the back of the head, distracting him long enough for Helala to restore Aldwyn to health.

He turns to see Argasar continuing his duel with Aveline. The Dark Knight uses swift, sweeping strikes to force the guard captain on the defensive. She attempts to strike back, stabbing her blade forward, but her focus on defense left her offense slow. Argasar deflects the strike and lands a kick on her shield, and nearly impales her as she staggers. She swipes at him with her shield, and focuses all her efforts on offense. Argasar, however, had used his inner darkness to improve his defenses, lessening the blows he did receive. He does a quick Souleater combo, and feels a card slapping against the back of his armor.

Hanagin looks back towards Anders, having nudged fate enough to ensure Argasar wouldn’t get hurt too badly. She draws and channels Aether from the stars, and uses her magic to materialize a clump of it within the apostate. Anders switches to Panacea, letting healing energies from the Fade flow through him. The magic halts the advance of damage, but Hanagin shoots a clump of aether at him, while he retaliates as best he can with his offensive spells sealed. Hanagin waltzes around the attempts at barraging her with small elemental bolts, performing another speed Tarot reading, this time for A’libo.

The Bard feels a card hit her side, and the Aether within made her limbs feel lighter. She rapidly drew and fired her bow at Varric, who sprayed bolts from Bianca at her. A’libo starts to hum the Mage’s Ballad while she fights, and the jaunty tune helps her allies regain mana. She fires off two arrows in rapid succession at Varric; the first contains a potent poison, and pierces most of the way through his armor, but only nicking the flesh. The second one had a blunt tip, and struck the first square in the back, pushing the venom into the dwarf’s blood stream. She then ducks behind a pillar, shielding herself from the flurry of bolts as she scans the battlefield.

A’libo catches Argasar’s eye and moves her finger in a circle. Understanding the gesture, he activates Living Dead and throws all notion of defense to the wind. His teammates take note as well, and draw their enemies towards him. Healala, noticing that the mages and Varric were still engaging at range, casts Fluid Aura on the latter, who gets knocked into the crowd. Argasar uses Unleash several times, and Hawke’s companions focus their energies on him. Aveline shouts as she pierces Argasar’s heart, a fatal blow. The Dark Knight, however, continues to fight, nearly taking off her head in reprisal. “Merril, Anders!” she shouts, “Help us kill him!”

At her request, Merril breaks off her duel with Leo and charges towards Argasar, who just used Salted Earth. Hawke’s companions kill the man several times over, yet he keeps fighting. Fenris rips through his armor, bisecting him at the waist. Argasar simply turns and slashes at him. Varric puts a bolt through his eye, only for Argasar to cast Unleash, forcing the party to avoid spikes erupting form the ground. Merrill rips out his blood while Anders hits him with a fireball, but to no avail. Hawke’s Party continues trying to kill Argasar in vain, barely noticing the rain of arrows, fire, and other attacks from the Adventurers.

Roasted, impaled, and frozen, Hawke’s Party drops like a bundle of stones. Anders swiftly changes to Panacea and casts Regroup, bringing his allies back from death. He switches back to Vengeance in time to see Argasar flying towards him, sword in the air. Hanagin casts Essential Dignity on the Dark Knight, fully repairing both flesh and armor, just before Argasar lands, turns, and rips Anders in half with his sword. “Do you really think you can kill us all?” Hawke yells, trying to intimidate the Adventurers.

Leo stoically nods, and swiftcasts Freeze, binding the rest of Hawke’s living companions in place. Aldwyn stuns Carver using Brutal Swing as the Black Mage plants his staff into the ground and throws his arms out.

“Wait!” Helala yells, “I think that might-” Her plea fell on deaf ears, however, as Leo finishes casting his Limit Break.

Outside, the non-combatants of Kirkwall look up in horror as the sky opens above the Chantry. A massive meteor casually falls on top of the building, reducing it to rubble and sending a shockwave through the city. Within, the Adventurers frantically dodge pieces of the collapsing building, as Hawke’s Party gets crushed by the debris. The Adventurers look around, confirming that they survived. The group of eight gathers together, and Helala casts Medica, closing their wounds.

“Please don’t drop meteors on buildings again,” Aurifort says, looking at Leo, “Or at least promise you’ll only do so as a last resort.”

Leo stoically nods.

An explosion under the rubble, however, interrupts the group’s victory celebrations. Hawke, battered and broken, stumbles out from the wreckage of the Chantry, his Healing Aura curing his wounds as he walks. “Well,” he quips, “Since you’ve saved Anders the trouble, I guess he should thank you.” Hawke then raises his staff and casts Revival. He casts Group Heal right afterwards, as his party claws its way out of the rubble. Both teams square off, and start to fight again.

Phase 2: Slaughter

“Can we just kill the healers first? Please?” Argasar asks, to which the team agrees. Argasar uses Provoke and Unmend to draw in Hawke’s other companions, while the rest of the Adventurers split up to strike down Hawke and Anders.

Anders left Panacea as Aurifort leaped, intending to impale the healer. He dodged the downward strike, and cast Stonefist at Artur. The attack hits, and disrupts his Mudras; his Ninjutsu summoned a small rabbit on his head. Cursing, he charged in with his shortswords, the rabbit balancing perfectly. The pair strike in unison, with Artur ducking in for a stab as Aurifort swipes just over his head – the rabbit jumped – but Anders sidesteps both blows.

He then stops stock still as several stony spikes erupt from his chest. He has just enough time to spot Helala casting Stone 3 again before the spell fades; he falls, bleeding, to the ground. Hawke turns, intending to aid his bleeding ally, when he feels his consciousness start to fade. A’libo, taking advantage of Leo’s sleep spell, shoots an Aether-infused arrow. The arrow causes spikes to erupt from within Hawke, killing him.

“Ma vhenan! No!” Merril yells, breaking off from Argasar to try and engage A’libo, only to be roasted alive when Leo casts Fire 4 at her.

“The mages are…” Fenris says, also looking away. Argasar takes off his head for his concern.

Artur tries his luck against Isabela again, raining strike after strike against her. She still dodges out of the way, twisting left and right as if dancing. He finally scores a hit, grazing her leg; she drops another vial of smoke in response, vanishing. Artur swiftly channels his Mudras, casting Doton. The Ninjutsu saps Isabela’s strength, and she drops out of hiding.

“You’re getting better,” she wheezes.

“Aldwyn! Stop her!” Artur yells, and the Warrior obliges, slinging a Holmgang at the pirate.

“Binding’s a little much for the first time,” she says, “You know you don’t have to tie me down to get it in, right?”

Artur simply stabs her. “You’re not my type,” he says, cleaning off his blades. He flinches as Aveline’s shield soars past him, hand still attached. Aldwyn finishes off the guardswoman, panting an axe through her skull. The group then starts to converge on Varric, who pelts them with bolts from Bianca. Snarling, he tries everything to halt the Adventurers’ advance, but to no avail. A’libo finds an opening, and shoots him through the eyes.

“Wasn’t there another?” she asks. She’s answered with a clatter, and the group turns to see Carver bearing down on Leo, having just knocked the staff from his hands. The initial stab is blocked by Manawall, and Carver brings the sword down in an overhead strike. Leo dodges the blow, and astonishes everyone by throwing a haymaker at the Grey Warden. He hits, square in the face, and launches into a flurry of punches, kicks, and jabs. Carver, unprepared for this avenue of attack, gets knocked flat on his ass. Leo then repeatedly hits him in the face, splattering blood, brains, and bone.

“Was that…” Aurifort says, “Did you train with the Fist of Rhalgr?”

Leo stoically nods.

“Why? You’re a Mage, you shouldn’t need to…”

Leo stoically nods towards the weapon that had been knocked from his hands.


“Well, now that we’ve finished that, should we get going?” A’libo says, “I’d quite like a pint at the Quicksand.”

Leo stoically nods as he picks up and stows his staff.

“Hah, I agree as well. Let’s see if we can get free beer for our stories,” Aldwyn booms, and the group makes their way out of Kirkwall.

Expert's Opinion

Individually, all eight members of both parties are extremely powerful, able to deal, sustain, and heal incredible amounts of damage. Where the Adventurers shined, however, was that their party worked better together, compensating for each others' weaknesses.

To see the original battle, weapons and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Inquisition (Dragon Age) (by Leolab)

Prologue: Seriously, Fuck Sebastian

“So,” Josephine says, the candle that somehow never melts firmly attached to the board she carries around, “Since the three of us are the only Inner Circle members here…”

“It falls to us to run the place. And receive ‘guests’” Cullen grumbles, looking at an impatient man in armor, polished to a mirror gleam.

“Any volunteers to talk to Prince Shiny?” Josephine asks, noticing where the commander was looking.

“I’ll do it,” Leliana says, “We have a history, and he should be easy to control.”

“How so? He is… quite stubborn,” Josephine says, “Even came here in person after the Inquisitor ignored his requests to help annex Kirkwall.”

“He’s easily fooled by appearances and soft words. Even now, he still thinks Elthina was a force for peace. Anyone looking at her actions would realize she was anything but.”

“Go, then,” Cullen says, “Maker knows I can’t stand the twit.” With a nod and a smile, Leliana turns and walks towards the man in question, Sebastian Vael, the Prince of Starkhaven. He looks up, and his eyes flash, recognizing the woman in front of him.

“Sister Nightingale!” he says, breaking out into a sad smile, “It’s been quite some time.”

“Indeed, it has. Pity the Grand Cleric didn’t listen to my warning.”

“Yes. That cursed apostate… I wish your Inquisitor would listen to reason and support my annexation.”

“He seems to be… ill-disposed towards Starkhaven,” Leliana says, “Something about a payment dispute when he was with the Valo-Koss. I’ll try to convince him, but it will take doing.”

As Sebastian opens his mouth to reply, an explosion rocks the mountain fortress, followed by a messenger sprinting into the throne room.

“Report!” Cullen says, sparing no time.

“We’re under attack from some… flying… thing. It’s using its canons to break the bridge as we speak. There are people inside.

“The Maker shall provide,” Sebastian mutters, just loud enough for Leliana to hear. “Come, men,” he shouts, waving his guard, “We will help defend the fortress. Ready your bows.” He and his men trot towards the gate, making a show of coming to help.

The Adventurers line up in their airship, a trio of Dark Knights at the fore. The archers on the other side fire volley after volley, but the arrows simply clatter off of the shielding they create.

“All right,” one of them says, holding a horned helmet in his arms, “As we discussed. Once the third Blackest Night pops, we charge in and create a beachhead with Quietus. I call the shiny one.”

The other two nod in agreement and pick out their own targets, separating along the deck, and a Monk and a Paladin step up behind the knight in the center. The Paladin looks slightly nervous, while the Monk is doing warm-up stretches.

“You don’t know the meaning of tense, do you, Tee?” the Paladin asks.

“Hey, I get to punch things,” the Monk replies, “I’m cool.”

“You’ll do fine, Marshal. There’s, what, 300 of us?” the Dark Knight says, resting his greatsword against his thigh, “Someone will pick up your slack.”

“I’m more worried about you, Leo. You sure you don’t want to swap to a healer?” Marshal says.

“I may swap here and there,” Leo says, putting on his helmet, “but I’m gonna start off as Dark Knight. Shield’ll drop soon; get back.” He stabs his sword to the sky, activating Darkside, and uses Dark Arts to boost his next attack. The snarling man in shining mail looses another arrow, which finally makes the shield drop. On cue, the three Dark Knights that made the van use Plunge, diving towards the mass of archers.

All three hit their targets, the two on the edges cleaving straight through Starkhaven’s finest while Leo impales Sebastian. The prince, still living, attempts a last, desperate strike, but is quickly flung off the blade as Leo flicks it behind him. The three Dark Knights all use Quietus, spinning their swords in a lateral circle, causing several small explosions of magic along the arc. Starkhaven’s soldiers get thrown backwards or off the gatehouse, slamming between the mountains as they fall to join their prince. A few slashes and spells later, the Adventurers take a landing point. Their airship comes closer, and the mass of Adventurers pours into Skyhold.

“So much for that,” Cullen mutters as he runs across the walkway to the tower that served as his command post. “Inquisition! Fight for your lives!” he yells, putting some more heart into the soldiers. A raven swoops past him, and leaves a note on his desk as he slams open the door. Leliana had already sent word to the Inquisitor, so they only had to hold out until the Inner Circle returns.

Part 1: The Breach

“Vanguard! With me!” Marshal yells, as he charges into the gatehouse, activating Hallowed Ground. The other five members of his group sprint to catch up with him as he draws the attention of the mages and archers within the gatehouse. A Roegadyn pauses for a second to grab her Greatsword from Leo before plunging in, impaling one of the scouts as she leaps to her friend’s aid. Marshal draws attention away from the large woman as she’s joined by other adventurers. An Elezen ninja quickly flashes through Mudras before launching a fireball at one side of the room, and uses Shukichi to move in its wake.

She tosses several throwing knives at the cluster of foes, injuring some, before vanishing as a Lalafell Black Mage launches a trio of flares on the other side. The gatehouse cleared in a manner of seconds, and the Adventurers start to stream into Skyhold. One Samurai charges in ahead of the rest, forgetting he’s not a tank, and gets impaled by an Inquisition soldier waiting behind a corner. Another Adventurer gets snagged by a warrior’s chain and hauled to the top of the wall, here she gets stabbed in the back by a scout and tossed over towards the gap. The Miqo’te does not fall for long, however, as Leo uses Rescue, bringing her plummeting into the stone gatehouse.

Leo draws his personal weapon – a long, thin sword with no guard – and uses the pommel’s focus to cast Benediction, fully restoring the bard to normal. She charges back into the breach with a nod of thanks, and Leo follows, the arcane geometries on his sword and armor flashing as he channels mana to heal his allies, along with the occasional spell to harm his foes. He ducks around an Au Ra machinist firing at any Inquisition targets she can find, and tosses a shielding spell on her as he moves to the front, using Plunge to slam his sword through another opponent and land next to Marshal.

“Their main chokepoint is that arch,” Marshal says as Leo falls in beside him, “I’ll use that against them, you keep them off my back.”

Leo flips his sword around, holding it like a staff as he applies a rapid succession of protective and regenerative spells on his friend, topping the mass of magic off with an Enhanced Bole and Celestial Opposition to ensure those spells lasted for a longer time.

“I’ll see if I can help us take the other side,” Leo says, “Rally the other healers towards you.” Marshal nods, and Leo casts Aetherial Manipulation in rapid succession to cross the growing bubble of Adventurers storming the courtyard.

“Come on, look alive!” Krem yells as he deflects an arrow from a bard, who follows the attack up with a fireball, which he swiftly blocks with his shield. “Dalish! They got one of you!”

“Aye,” Dalish says, and the elf casts Dispel Magic to cut off the longer attack the Bard was about to do. The horned man barely has time to grimace before the Inquisition’s scouts turn him into a pincushion, and the large man falls back into the mass of his comrades. Krem frowns, having seen that their foes possessed near-miraculous healing magic. The troublesome mage would be back in short order.

“Templars!” he shouts, grabbing the attention of the handful of soldiers Cullen had trained, “See if you can disrupt their mages. They have a bloody army of them.”

The Templars rush in at his request, covered by the few Champions on this side of the castle. They use their abilities to dispel magic, and all the Adventurers around them falter. Their swings are now simply swings, not the aether-manipulating techniques they normally are. One of the fighters winces in pain as the punch he thought would be enhanced slams into the unyielding steel plate of his foe, breaking his hand.

The Inquisition rallies in that brief lull, finally forming a defensive line and killing a few of the Adventurers while their ire turned towards the Templars. The valiant warriors were swiftly targeted and slaughtered by the Adventurers nearby, and their corpses were pulled behind enemy lines to deny the Inquisition’s mages the ability to revive them. Their purpose was served, however, and the Adventurers now faced a proper battle formation. The line pushed forward and back a few meters at a time, neither side holding an advantage for long.

Krem wipes the sweat off his brow, and notices a raven swoop in, delivering a message for him.

Good job stabilizing that line. We’re having trouble holding the archway on the other side of the courtyard; work your magic there. -Cullen

Krem sighs and dips his finger in the blood running freely at his feet, and uses that to pen a reply.

Work your anti-magic. That’s what helped here. – Krem

That done, he passes command over to the remaining Champion and gathers the Chargers, moving up the wall and behind the expanding ranks of Scouts and Mages filing in to pepper the Adventurers from above.

The Adventurers’ line parts, admitting a massive Roegadyn male, covered from head to toe in plate armor. The human soldier swallows at the ten-foot lump of muscle and steel, but calms down when he notices that the man is unarmed. He activates Walking Fortress, and catches the man’s attacks on his plate, unharmed. A strike at his foe’s face is dodged, the fighter moving at a speed which belied his bulk. The champion is barely able to attack, taking all he can do to hold his ground.

Then, sensing that his ability to block his opponent’s attacks is running low, he dodges a hook. Rather than pull back, however, the Monk throws a straight, catching the Champion directly in the chest. He is thrown back as his armor crumples, breaking his bones and stabbing into his flesh. The soldier bleeds out quickly, lamenting that the Inquisition never thought to learn healing magic.

With their commander broken, the Inquisition soldiers only put up a token resistance. Leo activates Hallowed Ground and charges into the hole the monk opened up in their ranks. He uses Swiftcast to cast Holy, blinding the Inquisition soldiers unlucky enough to get caught nearby. A quick spin kills or knocks them back, giving the Dragoons space to leap in and the other mages softer targets for their spells. In short order, the soldiers in the lower courtyard retreat to other positions or are massacred, the pelting from above doing little to slow their advance.

“Good thing Moerfian was there,” Tee says as he finds Leo, cradling his hand, “I don’t think we could have beaten them back otherwise.”

“He is a hard man to stop, yes,” Leo says while casting Cure to fix up Tee’s hand, “The question is where we go from here. Marshal’s blocking the upper courtyard, so we can go through along the wall or inside the castle itself.”

“From what I can see, that tower along the wall is their command post,” the massive Monk says, walking towards the pair, “But the tower there is where all their communications go through. That’s probably the better target.”

“Yes… that is reasonable. Tee and I will take… half our forces,” Leo says, “The rest of us should hold this area and rotate out with Marshal. Don’t have him fight everyone by himself.” “Looks like we can get to that tower from two places,” Tee says, “I’ll take top, we pincer them?”

Leo gives a fierce grin at this suggestion, which is hidden by his helmet. He nods, and the Adventurers set about splitting up their forces.

Part 2: Light Remains

“Let’s go!” Tee says, as Leo charges up the ramp to the lower door. He grabs a spear, and leaps. He gets nary a meter in the air before he lands back on the ground, confused. One of the Dragoons grabs him by the shirt and executes his own Jump, scaling the entire tower in seconds and ramming his spear through the throat of the soldier looking below. The Dragoon lets go as he returns to the courtyard to ferry up more of his comrades, letting Tee roll on the ground, surrounded by a knot of Inquisition soldiers.

He quickly leaps to his feet and uses Arm of the Destroyer, letting a swift burst of aether flood the ground, knocking his foes off balance. He kicks off of the breastplate of one of them as they stagger, using the height to polish off a small group with Elixir Field, directing another blast of aether from his palms toward the ground. He activates Perfect Balance as he lands, and finishes off the rest with a flurry of Rockbreakers, the shorter-range blast pulverizing flesh and bone as easily as its name suggests. As a pair of Dragoons ferry two White mages up, he directs one final blast at the door, blowing it off its hinges.

Across the room, Leliana lets loose a pair of arrows, which hit home in Tee’s throat. He gurgles as the blood runs down, pulling the arrows out. Both White Mages offhandedly use Regen on him, one following up with Tetragrammaton and the other using Divine Benison to erect a barrier around him before going back to ferrying up more Adventurers by using Rescue. Satisfied that he was healed and protected, Tee vaults the railing and uses Shoulder Tackle to dash across the empty core of the tower and slam into Leliana.

“The righteous shall stand before the darkness…” she mutters, drawing her bow.

“Eh. Darkness has never been my thing,” Tee says, as the arrow falls out of the air, “Don’t suppose you could surrender for me?”

“Magic exists to serve man, and never to rule over him,” Leliana says, hiding behind scripture as she leaps out of reach of a punch.

“I’m not a mage, though,” Tee says, shrugging as he ducks under a knife swipe. He returns the attack with a kick, but Leliana jumps out of the way and draws her bow again, aiming an arrow at his groin. He barely dodges the shot as she activates Mark of Death. Another punch misses, and she grazes his arm with her next shot. The Adventurers stream in through the door, as they fight, leaping down to the lower levels and taking the fight to the Inquisition.

Growling in frustration, Leliana throws a knockout bomb at Tee’s feet, making the monk fall asleep where he stands. She draws her dagger and activates Hidden Blades, lacerating him in several places. She wipes the blood off her blades as Tee bleeds, confident in her victory.

Tee uses Second Wind, curing enough of his wounds to stand. He circles to Leliana’s side and executes the Forbidden Chakra, sending a powerful uppercut Leliana’s way that catches her under the chin. The force behind it lifts her up in the air and over the railing.

She screams as she falls, the sound cut off by the wet thud as the stone floor at the bottom of the tower breaks her fall and her skull. The Inquisition falls silent for a brief moment before being cut down in a rout, attempting to flee the site where one of their commanders fell. A raven lights off her body, and flies over the heads of the Adventurers still fighting in the courtyard.

“Marshal, move!” a Roegadyn woman yells, pulling the Paladin out of the way of sword strike.

“Thanks, Askwyb,” Marshal says as he staggers next to Moerfian, the massive monk having made his way to where the fighting is. Moerfian holds up his right fist, and the gem in his gauntlet glows purple as he casts Flare, the Black Magic spell knocking back several of the defenders. He extends his left fist towards Askwyb, and the small panel of wood within that gauntlet glows white as he casts Regen on her, the White Magic spell invigorating the Dark Knight.

“You can make an opening, Wyzwilfwyn?” he asks her, and she nods. She activates The Blackest Night, shielding herself as she dives into the fray, impaling a soldier behind the lines as she does so. A flurry of wide sweeps creates a pocket for her to move in, and Marshal and Moerfian attack the Inquisition soldiers who turned to help their comrades.

This is enough to shift the tide of the battle, and in short order the remaining section of the courtyard is taken and held by the Adventurers. “With me!” Moerfian yells, and the shout directs the swarm of Adventurers up the stairs towards the throne room. The Inquisition attempts to defend from the frontal assault, but that leaves them open to the flanking strikes from Tee and Leo.

Leo charges into the room, using Tri-Bind to root a knot of Inquisition soldiers in place before casting Foul, the explosion of energy sapping their lives. He detaches the focus from his sword’s hilt and spins in a circle, discharging some of the mana stored within in a flash of enchanted swordplay. He leaps in, using shielding magic on himself, and uses Triplecast to start spamming Holy, the massive outflow of unaspected aether stunning the Inquisition while slamming past their armor.

The other White Mages in the group follow suit, while the Black Mages cast Flare and the Summoners use Painflare to enter Dreadwrym Trance. The massive outpouring of magic saturates the throne room in its deadly energies, and the Inquisition falls within, the bodies unable to decide if they’re charred, withered, or simply pulverized.

“Fall back to the towers!” Cullen bellows, getting the attention of the remaining Inquisition soldiers, “I want at least one Templar and one Knight Enchanter per building. Per floor, if you can! Go!”

As his soldiers rush to follow his commands, the Templar picks up his lion-shaped helmet and slips it on, fastening it tight. He draws his sword and unlimbers his shield, and finally looks to a small wooden box on the table.

“Maker, my enemies are abundant. Many are those who rise up against me. But my faith sustains me; I shall not fear the legion, should they set themselves against me,” he says, speaking the beginning of the Canticle of Trials as he pops open the lid. The hateful blue Lyrium shines from within, the very blood of the stone giants that provided Templars with power. He had sworn not to use it, but the need was dire.

“Maker, though the darkness comes upon me, I shall embrace the Light. I shall weather the storm,” he says, bringing the vial to his lips. He drinks it contents in one swig, and smashes the glass against the ground.

“I shall endure.”

Part 3: The Maker Has Turned

Marshal hacks and slices his way up the stairs, smashing the occasional straggler out of his way. The constant shielding output by the group’s Scholars rendered most of the Inquisition’s attacks useless, breaking through the enemy mages’ and templars’ abilities to dispel magic through sheer brute force. Marshal reaches the top of the ramparts without much difficulty, and a shield swipe from him and a couple broad lashes from Askwyb clears a path for the rest of the Adventurers to stream up. They split into two, Moerfian and Askwyb charging towards the Mage’s Tower while Marshal makes his way towards the towers flanking the gates.

He smashes open the door of the first tower, and a White Mage slips in as he bashes the Inquisition soldiers within aside. The Lalafell uses her short stature to sneak into the crowd and swiftcast Holy, blinding and stunning all the soldiers inside. He steps to the side, making way for a Warrior to barrel in, yelling in fury. The large, sweeping motions of his axe battering aside even the heavily-armored Inquisition soldiers. The burly Miqo’te does what the Adventurers do best: overwhelm with skill of arms. The small pocket expands to a channel, letting Marshal smash his way through the door and onto the final stretch towards the gatehouse.

On the other side, Moerfian and Askwyb lead the way, their massive frames smashing and slicing apart their foes. A Knight Enchanter tries to stop them, but his mana blade shatters on Askwyb’s own magic shield. As they reach the tower, a shout draws her attention above. She parries Krem’s downward slash, while the other Chargers pile onto Moerfian. The narrow ramparts pin the rest of the Adventurers down, forcing them to take temporary cover.

The first casualty is Grim, when Moerfian uses Black Magic to materialize a pillar of ice around the silent man and smash it with a haymaker. Krem parries one of Askwyb’s slashes, only for her to let go of her sword and cast Dark Passenger. A quick-thinking mage uses Dispel Magic, saving the Tevinter warrior and allowing him to draw blood on his foe. Another quick exchange gives him a second opening, which he takes without hesitation.

Askwyb uses Living Dead to survive the stab to the heart, and headbutts Krem. He loses his grip on his sword, which the Dark Knight rips out of her chest and tosses aside. He leaps back into action, tackling the larger woman to the ground. He then straddles her and slams his shield into her face, yelling with each strike. She laughs in his face, spitting blood while Living Dead keeps her from dying. As he brings his shield up for one final blow, Askwyb manages to right her sword and plunge it through his bound chest. One of the Astrologians behind her heals her, reversing time so that her injuries never happened.

Krem coughs up blood as Moerfian punches through Dalish, and uses the other fist to smash Rocky’s skull. A quick Blizzard cast stops the dwarf from exploding after his death, and Krem finally pulls the sword out of him. Askwyb retrieves her blade and stands over his kneeling form, and he sighs.

“Well, shit.”

And a stroke of the blade later, the last of the Chargers fell.

The swift pulverizing of the cream of the Inquisition’s crop of soldiers demoralized those within the tower, making them easy prey for the first wave of Adventurers to swarm in. They attempt to rally, but are in no state to fight, and the Mage’s Tower is taken in short order.

Cullen stands before the first Adventurer to make it past the guard tower, sword drawn and shield at the ready. Marshal takes his own stance, and Cullen lets out a war cry as he charges. Marshal blocks the first sweep, attempting to get a strike in as well. Cullen uses his Templar abilities, which saves his life as the blow glances off his shield. The pair locks shields, putting their full weight against each other. They strain, evenly matched, until Marshal raises his arm, thunder flowing into his sword. He uses Requiescat, the simple overhead strike rending Cullen’s helmet and sending him reeling.

Marshal then brings his hands before him, sword pointing up, as if mimicking a prayer. Cullen raises his shield just in time for him to cast Holy Spirit, the blast of magic pushing him back, and the following four send him reeling into the tower. A machinist fires behind Marshal, and her projectile glances off of Cullen’s shield, killing one of the men behind him. Marshal runs to close the gap, sending a quick stab Cullen’s way. The Templar parries the blow, and launches a strike of his own, which skitters off of Marshal’s shield.

After a brief flurry of exchanges, Cullen activates his Templar abilities again, and hews through the aetherial defenses of his foe. A momentary lapse due to surprise allows Cullen to slice through his foe’s neck, and Marshal staggers out, and is pulled to safety by a Scholar, who patches him up. Cullen lets loose another cry of victory, heartening the soldiers in his tower. The last bastion of the Inquisition rallies, secure behind their walls.

Leo stabs the last Inquisition soldier in the castle’s garden, the soil drowned in blood and caked with gore. He nods to the Miqo’te Machinist, who uses a Linkpearl to inform the rest of the Adventurers that the garden area is clear.

“Looks like that tower’s the last holdout,” she says, using one of the horns on Leo’s helmet to turn his head, “They’ve got one of those blue glowy soldiers at each entrance. One killed Marshal, but my sister brought him back. Let’s go help.”

Leo grabs her wrist, clamping down until she lets go, and sighs.

“You’re thinking small, P’fhiroh. With all the fighting that’s been going on, we can just destroy the tower.”

“That… feels like overkill.”

Leo just shrugs, and uses Aetherial Manipulation to teleport to one of his allies in front of the throne room, followed by a Plunge on one of the defenders who had sallied forth to the bridge connecting Cullen’s Tower to the throne room. He plants his sword-staff hybrid into the ground, and channels the energies of his party members through it. A pair of Paladins intercept the Inquisition’s attempts to dispel Leo’s magic, and the spell completes. He draws his sword out of the ground and points it dramatically at the sky, causing the Inquisition soldiers to look up in confusion.

The massive meteor bearing down on the tower quickly turns confusion to horror, the chunk of rock tearing through the once-sturdy stone tower, killing everyone inside.

Tee strolls into the wreckage and slams the standard of Ul’Dah into the rubble, causing his footing to crumble and sending him flat on his face, to the general mirth of his companions. Mission complete, the Adventurers file over the rubble to board their airship, leaving the blood-soaked castle for whoever manages to find it next.

Expert's Opinion

Overall, the Adventurers had more versatility and power to their attacks, as well as the all-important ability to heal. Lacking this, the Inquisition was able to be whittled down while the Adventurers could replenish their stamina and cure their wounds.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.