I’ve come to think of this place as Death’s playground. Between the void an reality it exists, to dramatize the lives of demons, angels, and men without bias. Persuaded away or stripped from their homes, combatants come from every corner of the universe. They are here for one purpose, to risk the entirety of their lives against the sum of another's, in the only possible way, combat.
Though the name suggests war, the tournament has always been fought through one-on-one duels. I suppose the title ‘Way of the Warrior’ refers to the code fighters live by. Some by honour, others by cunning. What I’ve come to believe is that the only true recurring aspect in all these codes is the will to fight and die.
Upon entering this blood bound realm, I was greeted with a much familiar sight. Portals. Waypoints binding the many worldly and unworldly spaces together. Always did these contraptions amaze me. A circular container centered around an amorphous magical aura large enough for a 7ft werewolf to walk in and out without crouching. Each of these portals has been built to face the front desk, where a lovely young human once worked the counter. Behind her were hallways leading to a variety of resource stations. Where we would start, our location would be known south. It is from this location that we enter the tournament, and every match onward using these magical portals.
Personal quarters fit to sixteen combatants were located at the west end of the large dome-like building. This is where I was for a majority of my stay, deep in meditation for the upcoming struggles. Each room came equipped with televisions, bathrooms, and beds, and everything else you would find in a high quality hotel. Peace if you could find it, away from the constant bickering and sabotage attempts of the more cunning competitors. If you were hungry, there was a cafeteria to the north, serving free food and beverages from across the galaxies. From lasagne to sautéed space worms. By the twists of fate, had you been removed of a limb or lacking the favour of some magical entity, restoration chambers had been built to the east, where medics and altars had been built to heal wounds both physical and metaphysical.
Behind the chaos lives a mastermind calling himself Liaison. A neutral yet sadistic deity who empowers the tournament through his own will. In truth I had never met him face to face until after the semi-finals, where he abused his spatial magic to take control of our bodies. Displaying us to a crowd made up of revived past fighters, and anyone else intent on seeing blood and sweat. Like a large child playing with two toys, pitting them against each other. My opponent, Liaison’s other ‘plaything’ was a pale beast-man, inherently stronger and faster than I could ever imagine to be. And though he lived by an archetype warrior code, he could not best the primal forces of nature under my discipline.
Victory came as a surprise to me. I had not slaughtered any of my foes like the champions before. And yet I still outlasted them all. Somehow, my battle for self understanding and equilibrium titled me ’The Warrior.’ I now stand as proof that this title is not just a symbol of glorified death. As I stood last, Liaison approached me once more, and told me this:
“Your reward is your life. A life you can live to fight another day. There is another tournament calling for a warrior like yourself, with greater rewards, and stronger enemies.”
To shock the face of a deity. I declined his offer of continued bloodshed, and instead passed on the privilege to my opposing finalist. In truth, the man I fought, known only as Lyzan Fury, was more a warrior than I, and in his eyes I could sense the will of battle.
Now a new cast of might be warriors now cling to their hopes and weapons, for the chance to claim the title I once had. Having found who I am, no longer will I stay in this place. My respects have been paid to the fighters, and the master of this dimension. Now it is time for this old man to step away from the battlefield.
As he spoke, in a way that we could all understand, he pointed out several features. We each were afforded our own rooms, for rest and relaxation, to the west, as well as a place for free food, to the north, and something called Restoration Chambers, to the east, wherein after battles we could go and restore the majority of our damage back to a respectable state. As you can probably imagine, the toughest of the men didn’t like this notion and threatened to harm Liaison for insinuating such a thing; he promptly told them he could not be touched and demonstrated why -- The Man was nearly a God, he truly could not be touched. There were also Teleportation Devices, to the south, in place to take us to our battlefields; they'd drop us off in different places, just not far from our opponent.