Elemental OCL - Paliskobengar: Where the Forces of Nature Come to Play - Prelude to Round 3

Published Feb 17, 2023, 5:14:41 AM UTC | Last updated Apr 14, 2023, 1:28:28 PM | Total Chapters 4

Story Summary

Written entries for the Elemental OCL. In which Paiko discovers he can do less than he hopes but more than he realizes.

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Chapter 3: Where the Forces of Nature Come to Play - Prelude to Round 3

This landscape was from a place straight out of Paiko’s nightmares. A rejected reality winding down, unraveling, falling apart at the seams, much like the world he hailed from.

Even if he hadn’t possessed a seismically sensitive touch, there was no ignoring the fact that the very foundations of this island were disassembling. Apparently it wasn’t enough to have the external forces of wind and water punishing the land, punishing those who dared to stand on its perilous face.

This island was dying, cracking with open scars of molten magma and heaving up earth in its final shuddering groans.

“Good day to you!” 

Paiko looked up, spotting his opponent walking towards him. A rabbitfolk. Confident swagger. Wide grin. Tall ears. Round glasses. Fiery hair. Huge sword. 

“Fine conditions for a battle, wouldn’t you agree?”

“G-good day.” Paiko’s eyes flickered to the surrounding environment. “The. . . the weather has seen better days, I think.”

The rabbitfolk threw his head back in hearty laughter. “The Discorded Archipelago is where the forces of nature come to play. And today, so are we.” He extended a hand. “Sir Marte of House Raddiche. Rabbitfolk noble. Spellblade of Earthen Magics.”

Paiko shook Sir Marte’s hand while his brain raced to string together an introduction. “Paliskobengar. Paiko for short. Um. . . dimensional half-drakon. And aspiring adventurer. With Earth magic.”

“Earth against Earth. What a match-up! I’ve gone against two Fire folks thus far. Now this is a true test of elemental prowess. Very best of luck to you, Paiko.”

“Thank you. And to you, Sir Marte.”


“Your talismans, please.”

The hooded Scholar opened a large wooden chest, inviting the two contestants to place their items inside. “They will be safe here, and returned to you at the end of the round.”

Paiko stiffened, heart pounding, mind blank. His talisman? What did they want with his belt and trinkets?

Sir Marte lifted up his Mithral Blade but didn’t give it up just yet. “I like to know the reason behind this rule.”

The Scholar replied, “We want this round to be an accurate representation of your latent elemental abilities, without influence from a talisman or casting focus, or any such weapon that may give you a way to perform without using your elemental ability.”

A few moments of consideration, then the rabbitfolk nodded. “Fair enough. I suppose going against a rival Earth user warrants a special case for determining who comes out on top.” He smiled good-naturedly at Paiko, but the drakon’s mind was spinning out into panic mode.

“M-my belt is not a weapon~!” he protested, grabbing the gilded yellow fabric in his fists. “I cannot have it with me?”

“Do you absolutely need it?” the Scholar asked.

“Y-ye. . .well, not. . .no?” Paiko stammered, sensing a trick question.

“What is it for? Will it interfere with your elemental ability?”

The drakon shrank in on himself. “I-it is. . . for security. For protection.” He didn’t elaborate, he couldn’t elaborate. Where was Oromykah? He’d understand. He knew the reason why Paiko wore the belt.

From the unimpressed, subtle sneer of the Scholar, it was clear they thought Paiko had a childish attachment to something like a security blankie. “Can you fight without it?”

“Yes, but—”

“Then it is not necessary. Come on, in it goes. Unless you want to be disqualified?”

Sir Marte spoke up. “If Paiko would rather hold onto it, I have no qualms about letting him have it.”

A sideways glance at Sir Marte. “Do you want to be disqualified, too?”

The rabbitfolk closed his mouth and crossed his arms. He met Paiko’s gaze briefly with a shrug that said “sorry lad, I tried”. Paiko nodded a curt thanks. He unbuckled his belt and placed it into the chest with trembling hands.

There was a cold flutter in his gut. He squashed it down. Now was not the time. 

But it was ticking away, unraveling bit by bit. This round needed to finish quickly. Or else there were worse things in store than the threat of disqualification.

“Thank you. Contestants, please head down to the starting line at the shore.”

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