Shadowfist Tournament Report: Origins 2004

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Home > Tournaments > Reports > Origins 2004
[posted 2 Jul 2004; updated 2 Jan 2007]

Z-Man ran several tournaments at Origins 2004 (Columbus, Ohio, 24-27 June 2004). The winners were announced informally in a couple of postings to the Shadowfist Forum on Yahoogroups (thanks to Braz King, David Eber, Troy Duffy, and Peter Bakija), and also formally announced on the home page of (yay!).

Final Brawl (multiplayer, constructed): Rob Cruise [decklist]
Who's the Big Man Now? (dueling, constructed): Sean Henrickson [decklist]
Whirlpool of Blood (sealed): Paul Gerardi
Comrades in Arms (multiplayer, constructed, theme): Braz King [decklist]
100 Names (multiplayer, constructed, 1-each): Joseph Ferreira [decklist]
Who Wants Some? (sealed, convention-long): Steve Wampler
Faction Wars (constructed, convention-long): Troy Duffy [decklist]

The "Faction War", a tournament / live action roleplaying-ish thing first tried by the convention organizers last year at Origins 2003 made a return engagement. Braz King volunteered to run the event this year, to try to address some of last year's disorganization complaints. This was a convention-long event in which players represented different factions (and were encouraged to dress the part). The event culminated in a four-player final game with one player from each of the top four factions. Troy Duffy won that game for the Purists.

Lots of Origins 2004 stuff for you:

Pictorial from Braz King

Comrades in Arms tournament final report by Braz King

Final Brawl tournament final report by Braz King

Braz's Origins Journal by Braz King

Faction War fiction from Troy Duffy.

Originally posted to the Shadowfist Forum on Yahoogroups on 29 Jun 2004 by Braz King. Republished with permission. If you're a member, read the original in the archives.

The Origins 2004 Comrades in Arms final consisted of three players:

Joseph Ferreira - Path of the Molotov Cocktail ("Fire", Monarch fire/chi deck)
Rick Garman - Business Majors ("Student" multifaction)
Braz King - Rebels Rising (Jammer/Hand "rebel" deck)

Seating: (clockwise)
Joseph Ferreira
Rick Garman
Braz King

Notes, by player:

Braz - early in the game seized Joseph's Fire Pagoda with multiple Punks. This drew Joseph's attacks for a long time.

Joseph - Mouth of the Fire Righteous and Fire Mystic (which Joseph called "The Nose") attack together and get the first BfV. We called this the "Attack of the Mouth and Nose".

Braz - More punks attack and smoke the Mouth.

Joseph - Playing Mark of Fire, Drunken Stance, Claw of the Tiger, and other Fire "ping" cards is wreaking havoc with the two opposing decks in the early game as they are both playing out as "weenie" decks.

Rick - Decides he wants the Fire Pagoda as Braz has no characters in play. Negotiates with Joseph who allows the seize.

Joseph - On his next turn he plays Lord Shi and attacks the Fire Pagoda trying to regain it. Plays Mark of Fire and Claw of the Dragon. Doesn't get the site.

Rick - still in good shape plays many more students and a Sifu.

Braz - builds up lots of rebels with the Black Flag boost and Stand Together and attacks Sifu with a mob. Lots of death and destruction. Plays Deep Cover Rebels and goes for one of Rick's FSSs. More students throw themselves in the way but the site almost falls. Braz finishes with Buffalo Soldier to BfV Rick's ID Chop Shop.

Joseph and Rick - rebuilding, playing characters.

Braz - Damaged Deep Cover Rebels and the Buffalo Soldier attack a Whirlpool of Blood and nobody wants to lose more characters so the attack succeeds and Braz seizes it.

Joseph plays Fakhir-al-Din and smokes every character in play. The Deep Cover Rebels bring back a Violence Junkies when they go. Fakhir gets a Claw of the Tiger and attacks successfully but doesn't get a site.

Rick - during Joseph's turn gambles and plays two Bull Markets in a desperation move to cycle cards, gain immense power and go for the win. Joseph cringes as he has no characters to play, so it goes to Rick's turn.

Rick - Attacks Joseph's exposed Gambling House with a Sifu and some students and gets it despite Braz sacrificing the Violence Junkies as the lone interceptor. Plays another Sifu and more students and another ID Chop Shop. Makes the new Sifu a "student" and gets boosted. 2nd Sifu attacks Braz's FSS, revealing a Dragon Graveyard. With no characters in his way, Rick plays a Student of the Shark, just what he needed, and attacked Braz's damaged Dragon Graveyard.

Braz - Plays a 10 power Uprising to bring back Deep Cover Rebels, Violence Junkies, 2 Buffalo Soldiers and multiple Punks. Jaws drop. Student of the Shark dies. Braz plays his fourth FSS and attacks for the win.


This was a fun game with a lot of interesting deck interactions. The Fire deck was very strong in the early game as the weenie ramp ups of both opponents had no answer for it. But as the Students and the Rebels got into their mid-range characters, things evened out and the Bull Market-fueled Uprising gave Braz an unstoppable push for victory.

Further challenging the notion of "slow Canadians" Braz won three qualifying rounds in under 20 minutes each, and the CiA final in under an hour. :^))

Thanks to all for a great event!


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Originally posted to the Shadowfist Forum on Yahoogroups on 29 Jun 2004 by Braz King. Republished with permission. If you're a member, read the original in the archives.

Origins 2004 Final Brawl Championship Game Report

Players and decks:
Rob Cruise - Dragons (hitters + Golden Comeback + Fast as Lightning + Dirk Wisely's Gambit + Back for Seconds = holy crap!)
Yvonne Kelly - Peacock student/dojo/sifu deck
Braz King - "Hand Air" Red Masters and other superleapers + Puzzle Garden + Chinese Connection, etc
Peter Shah - Hand sword deck

Seating and play order:
Rob Cruise (1) Yvonne Kelly (2)
Braz King (4) Peter Shah (3)

Turn by turn summary:

Turn 1
R: Plays 1 FSS
Y: Plays 1 FSS
P: Plays 1 FSS
B: Plays 1 FSS, plays Buddhist Monk, attacks R's FSS (Dragon Graveyard)

Turn 2
R: Plays Redeemed Gunman, attacks Y's FSS (ID Chop Shop)
Y: Plays Dragon Dojo, plays Wah-Shan Clan Warriors
P: Plays 2nd FSS
B: Violet Med for 2, plays 2nd FSS, plays Little Grasshopper, attacks Redeemed Gunman.

Turn 3
R: Plays Hacker, plays Dirk Wisely's Gambit, attacks B's FSS. Buddhist Monk intercepts and displays his Iron and Silk technique.
Y: Plays 2nd FSS, plays Mathemagician.
P: Bypass power gen, plays 2 Little Grasshoppers.
B: Violet Med for 3, heals Buddhist Monk.

Turn 4
R: Plays Hacker, attacks Y's FSS, Wah-Shan Clan Warriors intercept, hit for 1.
Y: Plays Trade Centre
P: Plays Orange Principle to cycle hand.
B: Buddhist Monk attacks Y's Mathemagician, Little Grasshopper attacks ID Chop Shop bringing it to 6 body. Plays Red Master, attacks ID Chop Shop. No interceptors. R plays Final Brawl. Attack succeeds but does not take the FSS.

Turn 5
R: Golden Comebacks the Hacker. Take ID Chop Shop. BfP.
Y: Looks around the table, settles on Braz's area. Twitches her nose. Braz asks her what the nose twitch means and she doesn't answer. Braz asks her husband what the hell it means and he says it means you're in trouble. Plays Friends of the Dragon, plays Sifu, both attack B's Red Master and smoke him.
P: Plays 3rd FSS.
B: Plays Drug Lab. Explains this is how the Red Master can fly around like that.

Turn 6
R: Plays Steven Wu, takes Y's Disco and BfV. Plays Back for Seconds on Steven Wu and attacks P's FSS. It is a Nine Dragon Temple. BfP.
Y: Plays Kung Fu Student, plays Morphic Spirit (at 4 fight, tough:1).
P: Plays Master Swordsman, attacks R's damaged Dragon Graveyard. No interceptors. Plays Butterfly Swords on the Mast. Swords. and BfP.
B: Plays 2nd FSS. Plays Chinese Connection. Plays Shield of Pure Soul. R plays Thunder on Thunder. B plays Confucian Stability to cancel it.

Turn 7
R: Steven Wu attacks P's Gambling House. Master Swordsman intercepts but Steven is Fast as Lightning. R BfV the Gambling House. Braz makes speech to Y and P that we have to stop Rob now or never! Everybody agrees. Rob smiles and says nothing. Plays Ting Ting and attacks B's FSS. B reveals back row Hall of Portals and creates a portal to Y's Dragon Dojo. Sifu and a student intercept Ting Ting but she is Fast as Lightning too. Ting Ting hits B's Puzzle Garden for 3. Rob cringes that Steven didn't attack there, then let Ting take the Gambling House.
Y: Plays Jenny Zheng, plays Kung Fu Student.
P: Plays Sun Chen. Takes a FSS from Rob and BfP.
B: Plays Buddhist Monk (3 fight) and prepares to intercept on Rob's turn.

Turn 8
R: Plays a FSS for a power, with 2 BfV. Hacker attacks Buddhist Monk. Steven Wu attacks B's Puzzle Garden. Braz opens a portal for Sun Chen. Yvonne intercepts first with Jenny Zheng and a Kung Fu Student. Rob plays Final Brawl, Braz plays Confucian Stability, Rob plays another Final Brawl. Peter intercepts with Sun Chen and attack fails, Steven dies. Or does he? The Dragons don't let failure get them down and Ting Ting attacks P's FSS. Morphic Spirit intercepts leaving Ting to do 3 damage to P's Petroglyphs. R plays Golden Comeback on Steven Wu. Wu takes B' Puzzle Garden with no opposition.
Y: Plays FSS, plays Student of the Shark.
P: Plays Master Swordsman and attacks R's site. Ting Ting intercepts and P plays Festival of Giants, smokes Ting Ting. P plays Tiger Hook Swords, R reveals Diamond Beach but the Master Swordsman shows Steven Wu he can do that trick too, and takes it. BfV.
B: Plays Wind on the Mountain to get back Confucian and Violet Meditation. Will regret this very soon.

Turn 9
R: Plays FSS to get a power. Golden Comeback's Steven Wu. Braz regrets not saving a power to play the Confucian when it was revealed that nobody else had any denial. Steven and damaged Ting Ting attack B's Hall of Portals. BfV. Rob wins!!!

In summary, Rob gave his opponents a savage beating for which they had no answer. Fast as Lightning, Golden Comeback, Steven Wu, Ting Ting. What else can you say.

Congratulations Rob Cruise!!! And thanks to all who played in this tournament. It was a very competitive field and a LOT of fun.


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Originally posted to the Shadowfist Forum on Yahoogroups on 28 Jun 2004 and 4 Jul 2004 by Braz King. Republished with permission. If you're a member, read the original in the archives: part 1 and part 2.

Part 1:

Chapter One. On the Road.

Getting ready for Origins I hoped I'd play well. Having won the Saturday Final Brawl last year the last thing I wanted to do was to show up and, well, not show up. I prepared decks at the last minute though, working mainly on my "Hand Air" deck which I would play in the Origins orphan-of-an-event, Faction Wars, as well as the Final Brawl. Also modified my CiA-legal Jammer/Hand "Rebels Rising" deck from our last Proving Ground League. Threw together a 100 Names deck called "The Casting Circle" and left it at that. I would skip duelling as I don't feel I have a suitable deck nor do I generally have fun duelling.

I rolled up to Troy's place just after 7:00 am Thursday morning. Huge iced Caramel Corretto from 2nd Cup and Weezer blaring, the sun blazing down. It was going to be a day. Troy and I smiled at each other, happy to be heading out, happy to be together for a work-day length drive. We packed his duffle and Rhys outfit and off we went.

I remembered I had to mail my insurance payment for my motorcycle so searched out a Canada Post mailbox while Troy bought many coffees from Tim Horton's and poured them all into a Big Bruiser-size thermos. Off we went again!

We were in the Thursday morning cogs-in-the-machine traffic but made good time from Toronto to Hamilton then promptly missed a turnoff cause I was yap-yap-yapping as usual. Quick exit, illegal U-turn, people honking, me cursing and swearing out the window and suddenly we're back on track.

Seemed like a long time getting to the U.S. border. I would do the talking. Troy finds border situations not to his liking. I'm fascinated by the border agent act. She was a hard looking woman, full of hate. Prematurely arthritic I guessed. Lots of advil and coffee all day in the little booth, protecting America. I could never do that job. She stared at us, took our ID into her hut, jabbed fingers at a computer keyboard. Long pause. I chat with Troy casually about something irrelevant. She returns, asks us the same questions she had already asked us, then adds "what do you do for a living". Troy's should be easy. "Help desk," he says, leaning over from the passenger side to see her. "Help desk?" she replies like an alien learning earth-talk. "*Where* do you work?" she tries again. "TD Canada Trust. The big bank." She is trying to fluster him. I'm thinking about how the hell I will explain my "job" since I don't really have one but have several but not jobs so much as paths of personal exploration... "Consultant." I settle on. "I'm self employed and do consulting in the healthcare industry." I smile a smile that says "Hey baby, I know you're a U.S. border guard with a bad back and I'm an ailing hipster from the Great White North but why don't we slip into that little shack and teach the world to sing in perfect harmony." She sneers at me, rubs at her hip, hands me back Troy's passport and my driver's license plus my health card and gives me the "get the hell out of here" nod. We get the hell out of there.

We're driving my partner's car and I found out that morning that her A/C was kacked. I explain to Troy and apologize. It's getting roasty toasty in the car and we roll down windows. Well, we press little buttons and invisible gnomes in the walls of the car roll down the windows for us. It is loud and windy and I think about my motorcycle, my sweet little Sportster 1200 and wish I could ride it to Origins but where would I put Troy? I daydream that Troy has a motorcycle too and we're roaring along the QEW and when we get to Ohio we'll doff out helmets and I'll be Peter Fonda and he'll be Dennis Hopper.

We talk about our gaming friends, about last year's Origins. We laugh about stuff. We wonder how robin and Cavebear are doing in Europe. We miss them. We agree Cavebear seemed sort of sad when we saw him at Easter and hope he's okay. We marvel at Tim Linden's deck engineering skills and wonder if he's going to clean up at Origins like he does so often in Toronto, and we are glad that Rob Cruise is finally coming to school the world in Dragon beat-downs. We both hope we'll have fun but also confess to each other we want to play well and get our names on Stefan's website.

We eat at a roadside place and buy drinks for the road. I buy backwoods cigars for later. Some weathered cashier gives Troy a comment about buying a bag of chips and *diet* soda. It makes no sense. Troy's diabetic and the bag of chips was small. If Troy was really Rhys she's be tucked under the counter folded at impossible angles right now. I give her a disapproving look.

Troy has printed immaculately detailed maps from map quest, which is why he is the administrator and I'm the guy that drives fast and talks to border guards. He tells me where to turn and what signs to watch for. We make good time by finding radar bait, generally conspicuous consumption cars with a driver that sees speeding tickets as pleasure tax. We settle a few lengths behind and race through Buffalo, west, then south and hours roll by and soon we're in Ohio and Origins is coming up fast.

I clean out my tracheostomy tube in the can while a parade of alarmed passersby see what I'm doing and furrow their brows and wonder "Christ, does he put that thing right inside his throat?". I'm coughing a lot on the drive so when we get back in the car I decide to try and shut up to save my voice for the games. Troy accommodates me by unfolding the tale of his In Nomine campaign, from front to back. I listen and am entertained for over an hour and imagine this was what entertainment was like for thousands of years before radio and tv allowed us to be entertained by total strangers. I'm glad Troy is here in the car and my coughing settles down.

We pass a half dozen road kill deer carcasses along the way and I think somebody should clean that up. I wonder why I've never seen a road kill deer carcass before now. I almost crashed into a pair of moose in Vermont once, but that doesn't count.

Last year's Origins stories pass between us yet again. We've told each other these stories so many times it's like my kids watching Jungle Book on video. It never gets tired. I try to explain why Ben Stein makes me laugh so hard, how steamed I was about Andrew Sackett reburying me twice in the Whirlpool final, rant about how the 9-hour final from last year has labelled us as slow players. Troy recounts his Final Brawl victory and how his prizes were promos he already had and a t-shirt that didn't nearly fit him.

Columbus comes up quick, and Troy masterfully guides me through the city to the Holiday Inn Downtown. Laverne checks us in and I love her short dreadlocks. She's skinny with chocolate brown skin and I make some loaded comment about a wake up call and Troy shakes his head and laughs.

In the elevator I ask Troy what the Shadowfist schedule of events is and he patiently tells me again. I've already asked him about five times but that part of my brain is feeble. Then it starts to sink in. Factions Wars at 8, 3, and 9. Other stuff roughly at 10 or 11 am, etc.

We discover there is an Origins shuttle bus running all day from the hotels to the Convention Centre and we think that is cool. The bus has an "Origins" poster wired to the grill and the driver has a shirt that says "Fun Bus". He has about 14 tiny bandages on his right arm and I guess he had some troubling spots removed.

We enter the complex and get in line. We are there. We are at Origins. We know, it isn't GenCon, but YEAH! We're at Origins.

We get in the "Events" line instead of the "Registration" line and I bad mouth the organizers. Troy listens patiently and explains that we just didn't follow the expected route. I smile at that.

To be continued...

Part 2:

We register. I remember faces from last year among the staff. There is a Jabba-huge guy with a Fu Manchu moustache that rides a motorised scooter. I imagine he is a gaming Buddha, frivolously wise. Computers aren't working properly at registration. Staff are flustered. We wait. I scan the crowd. It's a sausage fest of course, and I wonder why I picked such a male-dominated hobby. I tell Troy, "next time let's go to a frickin' lingerie convention." He smiles and nods agreement.

Computer is fixed and suddenly we're done and wandering into the vendor's room. A Klingon with a prosthetic forehead is anything but menacing as he scans for our badges. God forbid somebody might SNEAK IN AND BUY SOMETHING!!! I whistle a "They Might Be Giants" song and recall opening for them a decade ago at a club near the Lakeshore in Toronto. Biggest crowd I ever played in front off. The headliners didn't speak to or look at us. I was fine with that.

I look up from my reverie. Troy is there and we are heading for Zev's booth. In Canada we inadvertently call his company Zed-Man and in the U.S. they call it Zee-Man for obvious reason. We try to correct ourselves when we can.

There is action at the booth. "Nice banner," I think. Four colour signage pushing the new Camelot Legends game. I see Andrew Parks and his special lady doing a demo. I'm gonna buy that cause I think the women who used to play Shadowfist will be lured back by great art of sexy knights and ladies. My great friend, Adrienne (of Adrienne Hart legend) has an Arthur fetish and maybe that's what is really motivating me. Big "Grave Robbers" sign and Shadowfist too.

The table is sideways leaving lots of play space but not showing the products too well, I think. Ideology boxes are stacked at the end of the table. We had fun playing that on my Urban Holiday a month ago. Good game. I remind myself to tell Andrew Parks.

Zev is talking business, all big smiles and listening attentively to a prospective customer. I like Zev. Paul is standing by a demo table gesturing large with his arms and relaying a tale I can't hear but I imagine is entertaining. Julian is playing cards with Michael, who's last name I always forget but is a chemical engineering student and great guy, and somebody else.

A burly long-haired guy in a red t-shirt with the sleeves torn off says "Braz? Good to meet you at last." I shake his hand and smile. I make a note that if I'm ever in a knife fight I want this guy backing me up. Maybe he's a biker? I look at his name tag and see "Steve Fritz". "Cool," I think. He's a writer.

I remember his post about covering the Yu-Gi-Oh world championship at Madison Square Gardens. I imagine Ali and Frazier under the huge lights throwing bombs surrounded by endless rows of banquet tables covered in Yu-Gi-Oh cards and the deafening chatter of preteens at war.

David Eber is there and I'm glad to see him. I used to think he hated me because of his terse emails and posts. In fairness, I realized at some point, I inundated him with hundreds of card ideas and rants about Egyptian sets and if I were him I'd be terse too. He is wearing a B-Movie t-shirt with something like Skippy the Wonderdog on it. He seems tired.

We meet and greet. Exchange smiles and shake hands. Troy and I buy our "Who Wants Some" cards. No Dark Future. I think that sucks but when its gone, its gone. Paul Geradi holds up the "Who Wants Some" button and the art is Jenaya. My jaw drops. Paul laughs. Troy says "oh no". I think, "Don't act crazy. Its only cardboard." I take my button like a normal person but soon I'm rubbing it against my nipples and dropping it in my pants.

I see Eric Lui, number one on the sign up list and I'm excited to meet him. I use his search engine all of the time and always love his posts. He has a unique way of starting his post right under the previous poster and using a HUGE indent. He always seems nice in his text.

I also see Steven Wampler and Ben Stein on the list and I'm very happy about that. Those guys always make me laugh and in 2003 Steve and I were in the Whirlpool of Blood final with Andrew Sackett. It was after 3 am and we were all tired. Sackett had reburied me around turn 7 and I fought back and was in the game thinking I could pull off a win and then he pulled a second Reburial out of nowhere and bombed me into the stone age. After that I did everything I could short of cheating to help Andrew lose. I was bitter and vengeful. Not my proudest moment. But Steve was a fun and friendly player and a gracious victor.

Troy and I talk up the Faction Wars event to people at the booth. Zev kinda shrugs and says its Origin's thing. I ponder how this orphan event ever came to be. But Troy and I have adopted it and do our best to promote it. We get faction buttons from Paul to give to players.

We confer and agree to build our Who Wants Some decks in the play area to see who is there and see if we can rustle up a Faction Wars game.

Entering the CCG room is like entering a concert venue. It is big, echoing with indecipherable chatter but full of anticipation and energy. Legends are created here. The weak are broken here. I laugh at my melodrama yet there is a shred of truth in it.

The 'Fist play area is roughly the same place as last year. Between AEG and something else with lots of banners and posters and big LED clocks and staff in official t-shirts.

The Shadowfist tables look like a picnic area. No tablecloths, no staff, no signage. A handful of Shadowfist players are there and the rest of the tables are full of other people's garbage, players building decks for other games, tired parents looking for a place to rest. "I'm gonna get a poster or something," I say and head back to the booth.

I talk to Paul. He says there is nothing. I can't believe there isn't even a poster I can tape up. He shrugs and shakes his head. "Not even a poster?" I ponder how this can be, then I shrug.

I walk quickly back to the play area eager to get the gloves on and feel that first tentative punch to the body, settle the excitement, get focussed, and lay some serious smack down.

To be continued.

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Originally posted to the Shadowfist Forum on Yahoogroups on 2 Jul 2004 by Troy Duffy. Republished with permission. If you're a member, read the original in the archives.

The final round of the Faction War Final, as told by the victors...

Rhys Engle sat, legs crossed, on the beautiful beach, eyes closed but more aware than most are throughout their lives. Someone ignorant may call what Rhys does meditating, but his sorcerers know better. They know he is likely accessing one of his greatest creations, the Memory Palace, a store of knowledge and insight more vast than any mind could contain at one time. As the scene unfolds, it can be seen that the entire beach is covered in turtles, crawling, sleeping, taking care of their young. Rhys opens his eyes briefly and looks down at one that has wandered close to him, and realizing there is a good chance that it won't be alive by the end of the day, he shows no emotion but simply whispers, "Sacrifices must be made to achieve perfection. It is the way."

Rhys has had much time to think and plan since his last big loss to the Dragons. He knew Concourse Godard wouldn't be around to oppose him, but that certainly didn't make the remaining Dragons any less of a threat. And he knew the Hand and those damn Monarchs would likely be back in the fray as well.

The assassin Dr. Celeste Carter has been his main weapon for some time. With those reality altering Mutators of hers, she was often a force of nature. Unfortunately, she had no subtlety. When she drew power from the magic around her, she'd glow like a beacon, drawing in every so called hero and rebel from under whatever rocks they were hiding under to oppose her. And as incredibly powerful as she was, they'd always gang up against her, and in the end, she'd lose. No, he needed something.sneakier. He needed subtlety, stealth and superior tactics. And in the end, he knew, if he was going to win this war, he'd have to do it himself.

To replace Carter, Rhys returned to the source of some of his greatest successes, the realm of spirit constructs. Afterall, if you can't find the allies you need, what better solution than to just make them yourself? Already the unpredictable Shards of Warped Reflection has performed remarkably well, and the Ordinal Spirit has turned out to be the perfect weapon against the Monarchs, all their powerful magics stymied by its pure mathematical logic. But probably his favorite new toy was his Geomantic Spirit. Nothing takes your enemy by surprise like summoning a spirit that regrows a previously destroyed powerful feng shui site, just as they thought you no longer a threat. Yes, he's won many battles with that one, in ways Carter never could.

Rhys' thoughts are then interrupted, as his newest agent Dr. Timbul Damiri approaches him, a look of wonder on his face.

"Rhys, I could see.everything"

Rhys looks up at him, "What are you talking about Damiri?"

"The Glimpse. It worked. I saw what we needed. What we needed to know to win this thing. Everything is in place."

Rhys looks pleased, "Well done Damiri. Tell Primus and Vicente to stay in position. We take the City Square in Kowloon tonight. And this time," Rhys pauses dramatically, "I'll do it myself."

Damiri looks concerned, "Well, I know the Hand in Kowloon have been pretty much reduced to defending their few remaining assests, but with the connections they have, they have done a good job of it. And what about the Dragons who are likely to intervene as well? What of Serena Ku?"

"I think the Dragon Graveyard has accumulated enough Entropy to take care of Ms. Ku," as he speaks, a small sphere a glowing energy rolls in Rhys' open palm, "Don't you?"

"Yes, that is true, but what about after that? Luckily we were able to wait out the Monarchs, their energies exhausted and forced to retreat to the Netherworld - and I don't think Li Ting enjoyed his brief time One With The Universe. So they won't be an obstacle on this final strike. But the dragons have many agents watching the Square, and the Hand are still defending it as well."

"Oh, we'll still have some surprises left for those who oppose us, Dragon or Hand."

Damiri gives a questioning look, "Surely they know by now that we have recoded the Blanket of Darkness for our own use? And that you have the ability to counter the Square's effects?"

Rhys just smiles, a small secret smile like he's thinking of a cosmic joke only he gets, as he scoops his hand into the sand, causing a turtle to scuttle off, letting the grains stream through his fingers, "Oh I wasn't refering to either of those. We still have one surprise they don't know about. And tonight, we take the Square. Tonight, we finish this."

[by Troy Duffy]

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