ForumsArt, Music, and WritingThe Way of Moderation has ended (page 566)

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Alright, an update:

1) All the preliminary scenes, including the all-important IC feedback, have been written, with one exception.

2) I have yet to draw the accompanying pictures but there aren't too many.

3) I have to draw up the round rules in a way that they are perfectly clear. There aren't at all many, but they are very strict and will be pretty challenging! Also, there is a wicked twist of fate that has yet to be played out.

That's all for now. Expect some scenes to come out either tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, and the round to commence one day after that.

5,844 posts

The Day After Tomorrow

Bad film >_> looked good though.

Sounds good Strop I kinda realised I hadn't posted here in a few pages so I'll just stick my head in lol mmm.... "wicked twist of fate" sounds ominous! :O
3,717 posts

nahh day after tommrow was worse than 2012, what about taken? (great movie :P)

5,844 posts

No, it was better then lame 2012 >.<

Same thing..... I got pissed with a few friends the other day (we'd been at Scarborough all day lol) and we got back to York and watched Finding Nemo, Up!, Toy Story, Wall-E and 2012 (spot the odd one out) all I remember about 2012 was that it had a plane sorta failing to take-off and then dodging something 3 times >_> it was ridiculous..... lazy writing.
1,745 posts

(spot the odd one out)

2012 isn't by Pixar. And it's the only one without happy characters who have happy lives.
1) All the preliminary scenes, including the all-important IC feedback, have been written, with one exception.

Will that person be automatically disqualified?
2) I have yet to draw the accompanying pictures but there aren't too many.

Too bad, I was looking forward to seeing Strop draw manga... Or cartoons.
3) I have to draw up the round rules in a way that they are perfectly clear. There aren't at all many, but they are very strict and will be pretty challenging! Also, there is a wicked twist of fate that has yet to be played out.

Will these (Or some) rules to cameo users? Or are they not affected by them?
That's all for now. Expect some scenes to come out either tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, and the round to commence one day after that.

I'm guessing tomorrow, unless you miss my online-times.
13,720 posts

Will that person be automatically disqualified?

If it is what I think it is, it is just a load of bother, and we might need to cut through and kick their butt and tell them they missed a chance and we are unhappy about it, and they should know to check their email.
Considering that Strop is the one writing these things, it would be stupid to disqualify him from his own OCT.

Too bad, I was looking forward to seeing Strop draw manga... Or cartoons.

Like the ones that fill up the Archive? I am kinda glad there isn't as many images anymore. It delayed it.

Will these (Or some) rules to cameo users? Or are they not affected by them?

Generally tournament rules are for victestants. Cameos are not in the tournament, thus it should not affect them in any way, especially not when their story has been written in already.
4,545 posts

I'm gonna assume I'm the exception. D:

Sorry, I've only got my phone to use! my phone's internet connection is awful. Just know I've got sloth on the task, though!

4,545 posts

I hope I'm an unlockable character!

72 posts

Who's the one who hasn't given any feedback or response? It wasn't me D:

10,822 posts

I think all the feedback is up to date. I will be releasing the majority of the preliminary scenes quite shortly (couple of hours), because there is a lot of reading (not if you just read the section relevant to you), so really there was a lot of writing (5000 words thereabouts).

Manta, I'm aware of your poor internet, so we'll make do the best we can.

I am kinda glad there isn't as many images anymore. It delayed it.

Aloooooooot >_< Even if I drew them really badly, I simply needed to find the time to sit down and nut out fifty pages... too hard.
5,433 posts

I will be releasing the majority of the preliminary scenes quite shortly (couple of hours)

and I will have to wait till tomorrow afternoon to truly read it all most likely....oh well.
10,822 posts

Alright. I did it. My software wasn't working right, I had a pounding headache, but I've put this together. I really hope it fits, because I do know there is a limit on how large a post can be... I could never fit my free-rider 2 map into one post >_<

Panding on the door

Jointly written by Strop and Ulimitedpower

Dead of night. Perfect for covert operations. Perfect also for interrupting star-gazers. With no other leads, Strop was going absolutely mad from not knowing how to begin conducting his defense for the alleged shooting of Chill, because he didn't know what would be required of him.

Perhaps some divination was in order.

And so it was that Strop came to a strange brick house that belonged to a certain Ulimitedpower. Normally he would not rely on a practice not supported by evidence (okay, who was he kidding on that one), but desperate times called for desperate measures. Taking a deep breath, Strop rapped on the door.

Inside, a booming voice echoed, "Don't you people notice that days like these happen once in a thousand year? Coming! ." A moment later, the door opened and Strop saw a mass of black and white. Then it stooped and a panda's head popped through the frame. "Hello there."

"Good evening. My name is Strop. You must be Ulimitedpower," Strop said.

"Why yes, I am, but I have to let you know it's not Unlimitedpower, it's Ulimitedpower. People think that somebody made a typo on my birth certificate, but I'll have you know that's not the case!"

"But I said Ulimited..." Strop got the feeling that the hapless panda copped this a lot. After all, why in the name of all that was good would anybody be called Ulimitedpower!?

"Oh. Well in that case I should tell you that it was a typo on the birth certificate. Nobody in their right minds would call somebody Ulimited..." The panda chuckled, and Strop wondered if he was slowly going mad. "You better come in before the planets align over your head."

Strop was really cold, so he quickly complied. Ulimited shut the door and shuffled into the lounge. "What can I do for you?"

"Well", Strop explained, "I'm in a bit of a pinch and I'm not sure what to do, so I thought I would ask for some help."

Ulimitedpower leaned forward slightly. "And how is it that I should help?"

Strop twiddled his thumbs. "You're an astrologer, right? You should have access to an observatory-"

The panda blinked. "What did you just say I am?

"Uhm, an astrologer, right?"

"I can assure you there is a giant difference between a stupid-crystal-ball-staring loser and an ASTRONOMER!"

"What is the difference?" Strop inquired.*

"Say that again?..."

Strop, caught off guard, missed the tone of voice and thought Ulimitedpower must be old and deaf.

"What's the difference between..." Strop was abruptly interrupted by a loud noise.


"Excuse me?" Strop replied.

"Get out of my house, I don't have time for superstitious simpletons," Ulimitedpower's mood had shifted from friendly host to generally pissed. Strop too could barely control his rage and anxiety of this not working, but he knew he had no time to loose. "Fine" he breathed and strutted to the door, but not before giving a glare (and suppressing the urge to say something rude about chocolate cups). He opened the door and stopped, thinking of how he could turn the situation.

"Hurry up," a voice said behind him.

No, the situation was doomed. The door banged shut as Strop left the house.

Only a miracle could save him.


"Sheesh, that guy should get a psychologist" Ulimitedpower thought, "He seemed so nervous, as if what he wanted from me was important." It did not occur to him that perhaps what Strop had wanted was important. Instead, he filled his jug from the cocoa machine and looked at his 'Do To List' to see if he'd missed anything. Cleaned the dishes? Check. Read the newspaper? Check. Repaired the roof? Errr... Tomorrow. Then he saw something scribbled in the corner, as if he'd been in a hurry. 'Get an autograph from Strop'. The Panda's blood went cold. What was that funny pony's name again?


Ulimitedpower grabbed the house keys and ran for the door, almost spilling chocolate everywhere. He grabbed the door knob and... Damn it, he'd done it again! Pulled the knob out of its socket. Ulimitedpower sighed, put the cup on the floor and lifted his hand in a fist.


When Strop heard the 'Cling' of metal being torn apart, he'd whizzed around to the source and realized it was coming from the door he'd just gone through a minute ago. Needless to say, what happened next:

a) Surprised Strop
b) Shocked Strop
c) Looked plain wrong

The door crumpled under the force of a truck, and Strop half expected a giant to step out, but nooo, it was a giant panda. There was a glint in his eye, of madness or genius Strop couldn't tell, but he hoped the latter.

"Stay where you are"
"Yurrr..." Strop still had to get over the shock of watching two hundred pounds of meat destroying doors.
"I'll do what you asked"
"Really?" Strop's surprise got over his shock.
"Yeah, but in return, you'll have to do something for me, got it?"
Strop stayed still, weighing the deal. What would this bear want from him? Hopefully not something embarrassing or something he couldn't give.

"Unless your brain has melted or you've lost motor functions, you'd better come inside."

Strop walked stiffly to the door, into beckoning light.

A miracle had happened.

* btw, I do know the difference. Strop, however, seems to have forgotten.

If a Sai spots a ninja...

Written by Cenere

Strop stopped on a rooftop, spotting the open window on the second floor in the next building. It couldn't have been easier, and it could actually mean he would be able to catch Cen for once. Ever since he had gotten himself a lady, he had been near impossible to contact. Near impossible here meaning "Could have left a note, but didn't care". He grinned behind the soft cloth mask, and sprang downwards to the windowsill and entered in a somersault. He stopped short in the landing, staring at a girl sitting on Cen's bed. She sat stunned by the sight of him, Strop imagining it was his awesome entrance, thought it seemed it was more the "he was a ninja, she could see him, thus he was not a ninja, but he looked like a ninja, so he should be a ninja, but she could..."-paradox that had baffled her.
Cenere looked out from the kitchen, silently observing the scene of a ninja horse in a landing pose staring at a girl with a confused look on her face, before shrugging.
"So, Strop, are you staying for dinner?" He nodded towards the pony with a calm, questioning expression, but didn't stay to hear the reply. The comment pulled both out of their amazement.
"So, you are..." Strop looked at the girl, who turned her gaze towards him again.
"I'm Sai, Cen Cen's girlfriend!" She smiled sweetly, about the same time as a loud noise was heard from the kitchen.
"Sorry, pan. Lost grip."
Sai giggled a bit before once again turning her attention towards Strop. "And you must be the wannabe ninja?"
"It's rock star ninja, actually." Strop snorted, glaring towards the kitchen.
"But Cen Cen said..."
"Dinner's ready!" Cen shouted shrilly, as he entered the room with a big bowl.
Strop raised his tail a bit, remembering the matter of which he was there to discuss. "Cen?"
Cenere raised his head a bit, looking over the rim of his glasses. "Yes."
"There was a lot of trouble with the last ro.."
"I left a note and the papers for you to pick up. But obviously you can't see the note when it was stuck on the door which you never use." He sent him a glare.
"Uhm, yeah, so you are busy now, I guess I will come back later!" Strop jumped to the windowsill. "When you are done being grumpy." He mumbled under his breath before jumping off to the nearest building.

The Verdict

Each of the following was written by Strop


And it was cold. Freezing cold. Strop had no idea how high he was, but even if the tower was the tallest physical structure in Armor Games, this construct he had climbed up and up and up until the tower itself was a mere speck below the clouds was simply transcendent. But that its various ephemeral planes were joined with an icy staircase told him everything he needed to know about who was maintaining it. Strop also knew from his geography classes that the normal lapse rate for altitude gain was 6.5 degrees Celcius for every thousand metres of gain, but since he had no idea how far he was up, that trivia was useless. All he knew was that it was the middle of the night, it was a frosty winter, and he was freezing his butt off, and that he was really feeling the shave job that (probably) Manta pulled on him.

At last, he spotted the lone hooded figure, shooting ice with one hand, mug of tea in the other. Now Strop knew why his name was Chill.


Tranquilly, Chill turned around. "Nice night isn't it."

A draught blew through, causing the structure to sway. Strop clutched his shoulders and shivered. "No, not really. I'm not supposed to be talking to you for, uhm... legal reasons. But it's my duty to hand you this." Strop produced an envelope, bearing an official wax Seal of ArmorGames on it. Chill took it and cracked it open.

"It's an invite to the next round." Strop explained, unnecessarily. "I look forward to seeing the extent, and perhaps more importantly, the use of your powers."

Before Chill could respond, Strop poofed. It was, after all, intolerably cold.


Business as usual, and as the days wore on, Crimson went back to his accustomed practice of waiting. On this day, however, as he emerged from Aristocrat Way, it was Strop who was waiting for him.

"Good morning, Crimson," Strop said, surreptitiously handing him an envelope with a fancy wax seal on it. Silently, Crimson took it.

"Good morning, Strop," Crimson said, not opening the envelope. It would be best to open something like this in the privacy of his own keep.

"I still do not know how you feel," Strop remarked, "as a veteran who sees the generations come and go. Or what you might do when challenged by the young and ambitious."

Crimson, shrewdly, felt it better not to speak.

"But is the time for waiting ever over? I guess we shall find out." Strop shot over his back as he began walking away. Silently, Crimson watched him go.

A man of few words could only be known by his actions, after all.


Frank was minding his own business, kicking rocks. But minding your own business wasn't really an option in a land like ArmorGames, oh no.

In this case, Frank heard a sput sput noise, and the whinnying of a panicking horse. Instinctively, he dived for the pavement, and not a moment too soon. Immediately overhead, a hoof brushed his hair, and he looked up just in time to see a ninja horse strapped to a portacopter. His portacopter. Careening wildly and flying directly into the fence not ten yards in front of him with a mighty smash.

When the smoke cleared, Strop was standing in front of Frank, dusting his suit off.

"Nice dodge," Strop said.

"...thanks," Frank replied, not really sure whether to yell at Strop or sock him one for crashing his portacopter. Only if he tried to yell at Strop, he would probably have a sock stuffed in it, and if he tried to sock Strop, Strop would probably beat him blue and yellow.

Fortunately, Strop ended this awkward stream of thought by handing him an envelope, bearing a wax seal of ArmorGames. Frank took it, and turned it over suspiciously.

"I'm curious to know the similarities in the way of one who is indifferent to authority, to the way of one who is authority," Strop remarked cryptically. "Oh, and you might want to tune that 'copter up," he said, gesturing with his nose to the plume of black smoke from beyond the fence. "You'll be needing it."

And with that, Strop left.


"I see the curse has been occupying you."

Gametesta didn't understand it, just as with other occasions. This time, he had been minding his business in the wilderness when a giant wave of doom came crashing down on everything, and suddenly he had to run through the treacherous mountain pass just to try avoiding it.

"I tried flying but my wings suddenly don't work!" Gametesta yelled. Underneath him, the ground crumbled away and he barely scrambled onto the next ledge. Beside him, Strop kept the frantic pace until they hit a ramp and went soaring into the sky. Panting, Gametesta tried to catch his breath.

"The problem is, Gametesta, you're not going to be able to finish the moderation tournament like this," Strop remarked as they belted through the clouds, the wave still looming over them. "Is that thing ever going to go away?"

"I... don't know!" Gametesta gasped as he fell through the cloud and back to the seemingly endless mountain pass. "Probably when I die, which is how it always works!"

"Gee, that sucks," Strop mused, now sliding over an oil slick. "I suspect the tournament isn't exactly a priority for you in that case."

"I only joined so I could get closer to NoName, anyway!"

"Yes, I remember that." There was a pause as they both jumped to hurdle a rock which had been sadistically left in their way. "But I should tell you. Nemo is no more. He's currently trapped as a she, known as Nill."

Gametesta almost fell over- an event that would have carried a fatal outcome, at least for the time being. "What!?"

"So yeah, it's probably not Nemo, but we'll keep looking into it. Good luck." And with that, Strop flicked out a surfboard and slid out the side of the wave.

Darn it all. If it wasn't Nemo, then who was it? Caught in his preoccupation, Gametesta didn't see the rock he tripped on, and the next thing he knew, the wave reared up and swallowed him whole.


"You didn't turn up to your interview, Goumas." Strop folded his arms, and waited for Goumas to reply. Pensively, Goumas fidgeted, his own hands skittering along the table in the corner of the now rebuilt and newly refurbished Flippo's Boulangerie (with 30% crustier baguettes!)

"Sorry. I was... attending a job interview."

Strop's ears pricked. "What interview was this?"

"It was for the position as a soccer coach. But I didn't get it, because they wanted somebody... bigger. The game isn't about technique anymore so much as strength," Goumas lamented.

"Ah, I see," Strop said, gnawing at his (butter-less) rosette. There was a pause before he continued: "What did you want out of the tournament anyway?"

Goumas pursed his lips momentarily, before replying: "I wanted respect. All this time, I wanted to be a scientist but I was stuck as an alchemist. And I want to teach, and coach soccer, but nobody would hire me because I don't have a reference..." Goumas hung his head.

Strop thought about this, before placing a hand on Goumas' shoulder. "You know what, Goumas. This tournament probably isn't for you. The kind of respect that a man like you seeks may not be the kind of respect you gain as a moderator. But you have shown your character to me, throughout this tournament so far..." Strop pondered, before resuming. "I think there is a vacancy at the Armor Academy. I could support your application there as a referee, if you wish."

"Really, you would do that?" Goumas perked up instantly. The Armor Academy, the single best (and probably only) school of the land of ArmorGames? He had not dared to even think of applying to such a prestigeous institution, for he figured that they would instantly turn him down, especially what with that scary looking Dean...

"Yes. I can't promise you'll get the job, Goumas, but I am sure it is worth a shot."

Goumas squared his shoulders and drew himself up straight. Yes, if moderator Strop had confidence in him, then surely there was some hope after all! Since he was compelled to enter this crazy tournament in the first place... perhaps this might truly be a new beginning for him.


Strop sat across Kingryan. He was asleep. At least it was the library, where Kingryan spent most of his day asleep anyway.

"Kingryan," Strop said.

"Huh? Wuzzat? Who goes there? You young'ins spamming on my lawn again!?" Kingryan jerked upright and flailed briefly before adjusting his glasses. "Oh, it's you Strop. What do you want?"

"Well, Kingryan, I was wondering whether you remember the interview?"

Kingryan scratched his head. "What interview?"

"Nevermind," Strop said. "You do remember the Way of Moderation Tournament?"

Suddenly, Kingryan's eyes lit up. "Oh yes, yes, I do remember that! I was going to be showing them young whippersnappers a thing or two about brains over brawn!"

"I'm impressed," Strop admitted. "But I'm afraid there's a problem... see..." Strop dug around and pulled out a very large file. "This is your medical record," Strop said.

"Are you sure," Kingryan quavered, peering at the stack of folders, all bound together to make a megafolder. "I don't remember having that many hospital visits."

"I did the best I could to streamline your medications," Strop said. That in itself had been a pretty daunting task. Not only was he on an anti-cholinergic for urinary incontinence, but then somebody had put him on a cholinergic for the resulting urinary retention, and to top it off, an anti-Parkinsonian agent for the tremor (a side-effect of the anti-cholinergic). Then there was the morphine which Kingryan had required for a bowel resection (it had herniated and become incarcerated, causing much bother), which was never withdrawn (Strop blamed a certain 'surgeon' who no longer worked in ArmorGames) which meant that nor was the coloxyl and senna (and that was all he was going to say on that matter), and then there was the hexamine hippurate which was there for no real reason at all other than "all old people have UTI until proven otherwise"... and this was all before getting into the cardiac medications. Strop was not surprised that KR's creatinine was somewhere in the three hundreds, but he was sure surprised that KR was not either comatose, completely incoherent, dying of renal failure, or dead from respiratory depression.

"But the real concern for me is your echocardiogram." Strop pulled out a separate report.

"Echo what?" Kingryan said. Strop pointed to an impossibly small number printed on the report. "I'm talking about your aortic stenosis. It means if your body needs more oxygen, your heart is not going to keep up and you will faint. I have to say I didn't realise it was that significant because you seemed to be getting along fine."

"I was!" Kingryan exclaimed, not liking the technical words and the morbid nature of this discussion.

"But the problem is that upon closer examination, we've discovered that your stenosis is serious enough to warrant consideration for surgery."

"What? I thought I already had a pacemaker..."

Strop rubbed his head. "That's for arrythmia. This is for a valve not opening wide enough... but the point is, if I let you continue in the tournament, the medical board would almost certainly have me deregistered."

"Oh..." Kingryan stroked his beard. "So I'm not going to be continuing in the tournament then?"

Strop bowed his head. "I'm sorry, Kingryan, but I can't allow it."

Kingryan leant on the table. "I see. I guess moderation isn't for me, then."

"I didn't say that." Strop shuffled the files off the table, replacing it with another folder. "Just that your path in the tournament will differ. There are things that require your expertise."

"Such as?"

"Your skills as an archivist." Strop was fairly sure that he was breaking a record for the amount of time Kingryan had ever stayed alert, so he was keen to wrap it up as soon as he could. "Read through this folder. It will tell you all you need to know." Strop rose to leave.

Kingryan opened the folder, and adjusted his glasses as he stared at the image on the front.

"I've never seen this before-" Was as far as he got before he fell asleep again.


The tavern, a place for one to tell stories that nobody really wanted to listen to. Where you could ramble and not even make sense and it would always look like somebody was listening, either because it was so darn crowded that their ears really couldn't go anywhere else than next to your mouth, or else you could quite easily reach out and hit them if they didn't look like they were paying attention.

Leon was telling his umpteenth story about how his umpteenth hyena exploded, while downing his umpteenth drink (he didn't know what it was, but whatever it was can't have been good for him, which was as much as he could expect from a tavern), when he felt the attention shifting away from him. It seemed that somehow, people were clearing out. Was it that this drink was giving him bad breath? Or even gas? Annoyed, Leon snapped out of his rambling reverie and snapped: "Hey, what's your problem?"

"That's not exactly relevant now, or is it?" Leon blinked and turned his gaze upwards, finally realising that the reason for the crowd's desertion was Strop. Striding purposefully towards him. With his banhammer, Thor, in both hands.

"Is that supposed to intimidate me, Strop?" Leon growled, slightly intimidated. Sure it didn't look nearly as nasty as his flail (it looked laughably ridiculous, in fact), but it had to power to ban, while Leon's flail only had the power to... brutally and grotesquely maim.

"Actually, no." Strop tossed the banhammer aside and it magically poofed into smoke. "I wouldn't have had to do that if my bow was still in my possession, if you know what I mean." Leon could have sworn that Strop's eyes turned an icier shade of blue, but then again that could have just been the drink kicking in.

"Uh, sure. I know what you mean. If you... had your bow you wouldn't have had to use Thor," Leon answered obliquely. Strop glared at him a moment longer, before shaking his head and producing an envelope, which he flicked at Leon. Cagily, Leon eyed it.

"All you need to know is in there. And all I will say for now is that it's not our job to point you in any direction. In this tournament, you'll be meeting many who already have direction. Or try to. What you do when you meet them..." Strop trailed off, and started shoving his way back through the crowd.

Leon chuckled, sliding a claw under the wax seal. "Looking forward to it," he said, now to nobody in particular.


The sounds of fists and feet slamming into bags echoed throughout the gym. Hair slicked back with sweat, Manta worked another stinging combo, danced back and shot forward, sinking his knee into the bag, but this time, it didn't even budge. Surprised, Manta spun around and tried a spinning back kick, but suddenly the bag was replaced by a ninja horse and his foot was neatly caught in the palm of the ninja's hand.

"Do fishmen have nuts?" Strop wondered, "Because if they do, you'd be a goner in a street fight."

Spluttering, Manta sprang back. "This isn't a street fight you a**! And I'll have you know- actually, nevermind." Was this why Strop had been asking him about his underwear? What a pervert.

Strop laughed, catching the boxing bag on its backswing and leaning against it. "Easy there carp boy. I'm just wondering if you've had a chance to have a real fight since you got here."

Manta blinked fishily. Come to think of it, he hadn't. "Come to think of it, I haven't," he replied. Kicking balls around and destroying entire neighborhoods was fun, but it wasn't quite the same thing.

"That's what I thought," Strop said, fishing around in his ninja suit before producing an envelope with a fancy wax seal on it. "I'll be honest. You're young. And perhaps a little naughty." Strop's eyes narrowed slightly as he said this, and Manta had to try very hard not to bust a gut laughing. "But you're fit, agile, and you remind me of me a little."

Manta had to think about this one a bit. After all, where Strop was suspiciously interested in jewels, Manta was primarily interested in globes. They were very much not the same thing, so perhaps it was just as well that Strop mentioned "a little".

An awkward silence ensued while Manta thought this over.

"Anyway, you'd better practice up." Strop nodded before sauntering over to the boxing ring. "Get some gloves on and hop in."

"What," Manta blinked, "You're actually going to spar with me?"

"Oh, no no no," Strop said. "That wouldn't be fair for all of us. But I know just the guy who could help."


All the lonely people, where do they all come from,
All the lonely people, where do they all belooonng,

Pixel was in fine voice, for he was home alone, curled up on his very plush couch in front of the very nice warm crackling fire with a very VERY nice cuppa tea and a book. The weather was getting colder, and the people getting older, and...

"Ironic that a recluse would be singing Elanor Rigby," a muffled voice echoed.

Pixel jumped, almost spilling his tea all over his couch. "Who's there!?" he burst out.

Just at that moment, there was a clatter, a loud thump, and something landed in Pixel's fireplace. Directly in the fire. Then a rather sooty ninja horse scrambled out of the fireplace, spraying embers and smoke everywhere.

"IT BUUUUUUURNS!!!" Strop screeched, flailing about, his tail on fire.

"MY CARPET," Pixel yelled. And with that, there was general chaos and mayhem in Pixel's loungeroom until somehow, Pixel's tea was splashed on Strop's tail and then all that remained was Strop moping over the singed ends of his tail. His grooming really had suffered since the start of this tournament.

"Well, sorry about that," Strop said, dusting himself off. "I didn't want to break your window, so I thought..." he trailed off when he realised that this was one of those it seemed like a good idea at the time moments.

"Couldn't you have knocked?" Pixel asked dourly, wondering how many AP it was going to cost to get the carpet cleaned. And he was now short one cuppa tea. Strategically, Strop completely ignored the question.

"Well, anyway, I just came here to give you this." Strop pulled a now-slightly-sooty envelope from somewhere inside his ninja suit, bearing a shiny wax seal of ArmorGames on it. Pixel gingerly accepted it.

"It is man's destiny to clash, for man has a will," Strop said. "I've seen you dance like a butterfly, Pixel, but can you really sting like a bee?"

Pixel didn't have any time to answer, for Strop suddenly bowed and disappeared in a poof of black smoke. Pixel sighed. Couldn't Strop just have done that too?

The Bullman

The snow piled up thick, the brown soil of the wilderness blanketed in white. Through it, The Bullman lurched, wondering how the darned Horseman could ever walk in it without leaving tracks. If he so much as touched it, an indentation would instantly form.

"Fancy seeing you out here, The Bullman," a familiar voice called to him. He whirled around, nearly losing his balance but somehow managing to recover himself with aplomb, or so he thought.

"Just taking a little stroll," The Bullman sniffed with a little disdain. "What do you want?"

"Ah." Strop waggled his finger a little, digging around in his suit before flicking a rectangular object at The Bullman. The Bullman, somehow, caught it neatly between thumb and forefinger, as befitting a hero of his caliber.

"It's not a matter of what I want, so much as what you want." Frowning at Strop's riddles, The Bullman looked down at the envelope and noticed the official seal of ArmorGames on it. His heart quickened ever so slightly. Surely this was going to be the next step to his destiny?

Strop continued: "I can see your motives. But here is where we shall test your actions. How you identify the bad guys, and how you will deal with them. This is essential to moderation."

"Very well," The Bullman said. There wasn't much else to be said, for the ninja horse had disappeared into the thick of the snow once more.


There was something particularly soothing about the combination of glowshrooms inside Thoad's little caven and the snow falling outside. Inside, Thoad was reading fine literature (haha, fine, right) and trying to formulate his latest and greatest plan to cut zombies down en masse. That was, at least, until a silhouette blocked out the view of the snow through the manhole.

"Hi, Thoad," Strop said.

"Oh hello there!" Thoad exclaimed. "What brings you here to my humble abode?" It was at this moment that Thoad remembered what happened the last time Strop paid him a visit, and promptly reached for his shotgun.

"No no," Strop said hastily, "Nothing like that! I just came to give you this." He dug around his suit and dropped something, which fluttered about in the air until it landed at Thoad's feet. It was an envelope bearing the official ArmorGames seal.

"Is this... an invite? YOU CAME TO INVITE ME? YES! I AM SPECIAL!" Thoad tore open the envelope, ready to bask in the glory of opportunity and thus a step closer to victory, and hopefully, glorious, glorious moderatorship!

"Uh, anyway," Strop said. "I just wanted to give you that." He looked at Thoad, now in the throes of a spazz of Strop proportions. Then Thoad realised that Strop was staring at him, and he calmed down. "Sorry," Thoad said. "Go on?"

"That was all, really," Strop said. "But I should tell you... growth is one thing. The journey it becomes is a long, tortuous one that should only end with your death."

"Right, death. Torture. Got it." Thoad nodded. Strop looked at him briefly, before turning and leaving. In the glow of the shrooms, Thoad lay back and smiled. Nothing would stop him now.

Dealing with the Dean

The heavy oak doors and the heavy brass plate with the inscription "DANK: DEAN OF ARMOR ACADEMY" were undoubtedly the most formidable doors in the whole of the institution. All throughout the administrative corridor, the other staff would tiptoe for they feared the surly dwarf, not only because he had a formidable knowledge of the cirriculum, but because his banhammer happened to be the only genuine hammer of all the moderators of ArmorGames. Now, nobody dared exit their offices, for not only was another moderator visiting, but this moderator had appeared to set Dank off on one of his agnry raeges.

Dank slammed his armored fist upon the table, causing another crack to appear in the woodworks. In his other fist he held a now-scrunched-up piece of paper.

"What is the meaning of this!?" he growled. Opposite him, Strop sat, his chin barely propped on the desk, for while Dank was sitting on a stool, Strop was sitting on a kiddie-chair. Office rules.

"Uhh, well, we had a chat and I thought it would be nice to give him an opportunity-"

"I can't let any Tom, Dick or Harry teach whatever at this institution! Have you seen the CV? It's pitiful. Alchemist!? What kind of credibility can one garner from that poppycock, you tell me!?"

Strop rubbed his ears. "It's not like he's seeking a teaching position in that anyway. He wants to be a chemistry teacher, and a soccer coach, and I'm pretty sure your secondary education programme needs somebody like that."

"Hrrmph," Dank rubbed the crack on the table, and it magically reformed as new. "But I still don't think he has sufficient qualifications."

"Be that as it may," Strop countered, "I trialled him during the Way of Moderation tournament, and found his motives and character to be well-suited. He only left the tournament on my personal recommendation to apply here."

"Right. Then YOU tell me how you propose to make this work?" Dank fixed Strop with a glare that implied that if he didn't like what he heard, Strop would suddenly have a lot more done to his hair than just a bleached mane and tail.

"Well, you could employ him in an on-the-job training position. That way he can work his way towards a certificate, and if it works out, you've done two things for the price of one!" Strop leaned forward and gave Dank his best colt-eyes look.

Dank was mildly disturbed. "Well, uh, fine. I'll think about it. Now if you excuse me," and with that he hopped off the stool and stumped towards the doors.

"Hey, wait, I had something else to ask you!" Strop started after him.

"Be quick, I'm a busy dwarf," Dank shot over his shoulder. He was walking so fast down the corridor that Strop actually had to jog to keep up with him.

"It's just that I need somebody to be on the panel for the elimination rounds of the Wa-"

"No." Dank's reply was as resolute as it was brief.

"But I didn't even finish my sen-"

"I'm not going to be around. I have business elsewhere, starting now." Dank stepped out of the front entrance of the main building of Armor Academy, put his fingers in his mouth and whistled. An instant later, a penicorn bounded up the drive, Dank leapt on, and whisked off in an arc of rainbow.

"Rats," Strop said. Looks like he'd have to go back to option A.

The opening of the 8th round is next!

4,198 posts

Nice Strop... that folder...

*rifles through contents...*

5,844 posts

Kingryan opened the folder, and adjusted his glasses as he stared at the image on the front.

Is the image just for the WoM or is there something going on with AG as whole?
10,822 posts

Is the image just for the WoM or is there something going on with AG as whole?

I'll let you turn that one over in your head...

To the people watching this thread: All further applications to join the WoM will close at the END of this round. ETA 9 days.

The other thing I am now doing is stickying the WoM archive.
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