"There are horrors beyond horrors, and this was one of those nuclei of all dreamable hideousness which the cosmos saves to blast an accursed and unhappy few." - H.P. Lovecraft, "The Shunned House"
In a single, infinitesimal pocket of reality, a single mote of dust in all existence (though there is one who might protest this fact), there lies an impossibly extravagant mansion, composed entirely of the rarest and most valuable gemstones in all the multiverse. In one of the magnificently enormous mansion's countless luxurious parlors lay a man, dressed in the most exorbitant robes imaginable, made from materials only found in universes which has long since ceased to be. The Extravagant sipped from a diamond goblet the finest wine all of reality could muster as he spoke in a booming, ever-triumphant voice with the one calling himself "The Fool".
"You would like me to host one of these 'Grand Battles'?"
"Would you be willing?"
The Extravagant gave a hearty laugh. "Why yes, of course I'll take you up on the offer! It will be a glorious spectacle! Let the Phantasmagorical Scrimmage begin!"
- - - - - - - - - -
Not all multi-dimensional beings were so accommodating as The Extravagant, though. Out in the dark void of eternity lay far worse things, things which would convince any mortal that there could be no good in the multiverse. And at the heart of the horrors of existence, at the fringe of reality itself, lay the Spire. A twisted aberration of a structure, the Spire bent and folded through space as if all established laws of physics were merely suggestions. The mere sight of it would drive mortal men to insanity; its mere existence was a stain upon the fabric of space. These descriptions would be very apt for describing not only the Spire, but its chief occupant as well.
The shadowy, constantly-shifting (though vaguely humanoid) form of the Tormentor strode down a distorted hallway, lined on either "side" with strangely normal, 8-paned windows. Scenes from across the universe could be seen in the first 19 of them, though three were now for the most part at a stand-still, simply displaying a certain three life-forms from across the multiverse. The rest viewed scenes from the ever-infamous Grand Battles as they progressed. The Tormentor's multitude of featureless red eyes were cast upon each, as he gave an overt look of boredom. His boredom changed to laughter at a scant few scenes: an immortal police officer's unending torture, a soul-consuming eldritch horror... the interesting things. Shortly after exiting the viewing hall, the Tormentor's face took on an expression of utter disgust.
"Boring! BORING! Is this all the Grandmasters have to offer? Is this their idea of entertainment?! Where's the good stuff? Fates worse than death! Emotional trauma! Utter hopelessness! TORMENTATION! They barely have any of it! All they're doing is standing around and then dying quietly! BORING! I could do better without even trying!"
The Tormentor stopped immediately. His expression slowly shifted into a massive, jovial grin before he broke down laughing hysterically, a terrible, distorted laugh that echoed throughout the Spire. He picked himself up from the ground, knowing exactly what he would have to do. And he would enjoy it quite a bit.
- - - - - - - - - -
"...and this is Zeta Chris, a man who is sure to give a good show out there! That stick of his? It can transform into any weapon in the multiverse! That's right, any weapon! He's wandered the multiverse for countless years searching for one worthy of challenging him! Will this battle give him his wish! I doubt it! But you're welcome to try if you like! Now, then, up next is-"
Before the Extravagant could introduce his next contestant, several overhead lights spontaneously exploded, and a dark, shadowy mass poured in from the ceiling before coalescing into an all-too-familiar humanoid shape.
"Excuse me for a minute, contestants!"
"Hey there, Extravagant! I see you've got a nice little battle going on here. The Phantasmagorical Scrimmage, hmm? Very interesting!" As was obvious, the Tormentor was entirely sarcastic, a tinge of cruelty surrounding his every word. His grin seemed even wider than normal, and his countless eyes were narrowed in an expression of utter sadism.
"What is it you want, Tormentor? Can't you see I'm busy? I don't have time for your juvenile pranks right now!"
"Heheheh.... Juvenile pranks? Is that all you have to say, Extravagant? I'm almost insulted that you would belittle my art so much!
The Extravagant gritted his teeth. "What. Is. It. You. WANT?!"
"Oh, it's a simple matter, really. You see, the Grand Battles right now are basically terrible! Nothing interesting about almost all of them! And, well, I just can't have that. I'm going to run one of these battles the proper way!"
"Well, that's all well and good, but you're interrupting! Can't you see I'm trying to introduce my contestants here?"
The Tormentor glanced at all of the contestants, seated in the Extravagant's rather... extravagant... drawing-room. He chuckled at the sight of them. "You've even got yourself nine contestants! What, eight weren't good enough for you? Then again, of course not! You're the EXTRAVAGANT! Have to go one step above!
"If you want to host, go talk to the Fool yourself. Now, get out!"
"Well, Extravagant, I'm not very into the whole 'waiting game' deal. I'm not going to sit around while more pathetic Grandmasters start even more pathetic battles while I 'wait' to take my 'turn'! And that's why I've come here, Extravagant." The Tormentor's eyes narrowed as his grin widened.
"If you want me to step aside so you can host, forget it! This is my battle, Tormentor! Leave!"
"I think you misunderstand, Extravagant. I always get what I want!" The Tormentor broke out in hideous laughter as a multitude of arms exploded out of his body at essentially random angles. Before the Extravagant could so much as respond, one arm shot through his chest, which offered absolutely no resistance. Several more surrounded him, and in an instant, crushed the Extravagant into nothingness. The Tormentor's laughter increased in insanity as more hands shot out and entrapped each of the Extravagant's contestants, pulling them into pocket dimensions for holding. With a final giggle, he snapped his fingers as the mansion collapsed in on itself along with the rest of the dead Grandmaster's pocket dimension.
- - - - - - - - - -
The Tormentor reclined in his throne room, a room which managed to be even more non-euclidean than the rest of the Spire. He figured he might as well tell the Fool of his takeover.
"Hey, Fogge! Fogge! Heeey!"
The Fool appeared on the Tormentor's fractal-esque viewscreen, able to display an impossible number of things at once.
"What is it, Tormentor?" The contempt held by the Fool was obvious. And of course it should have been, after the... incident.
"Oh, not much. I just killed the Extravagant in a hostile takeover of his battle is all. I'm thinking the 'Relentless Slaughter'! How does that sound?"
The Fool smirked. "That's certainly an... interesting way to start a battle."
"I try. But anyway, I have preparations to make. Bye!"
The screen shut off, as the Tormentor began looking over the contestants he had swiped from the Extravagant. "...You know, it'd just be so much more fun if I hand-picked them for this! These nine can wait for later or whatever, I don't care."
The fractal-screen began to light up and display countless organisms from across reality, all ripe for the taking. He swiftly began to pick and choose, narrowing it down to just eight contestants, eight perfect contestants, for the perfect Grand Battle! The Tormentor broke out in insane laughter, laughter which echoed through the subconsciouses of eight beings across reality before shadowy hands appeared to drag them through the veil between universes...
Yes, it's yet another Grand Battle thing, huzzah, jubilation, etc. You probably already know exactly how all this works, but I might as well lay it all down here for reference or something.
Eight players each submit a character to fight to the death over seven rounds, being thrown on their merry way across the multiverse with no advance knowledge whatsoever. At the end of each round, someone will die and the rest will move on to continue killing each other. Or not killing each other but inadvertently dying anyway.
Elimination of characters, as you probably know, is based solely on the quality of writing and the ability of the player to tell a story. Yes, this in theory means that a god with a poor writer could lose out to a turnip with an excellent writer. You are, of course, forbidden from killing another character; the player whose character has been marked for death will be given plenty of opportunity to write their own death post. If they take too long or decline, I will either offer the opportunity of writing the deathpost to another player or do it myself.
One of the mainstays of the battles, of course, is that you may write for any character and not just your own (though typically your posts should mostly follow your own character). Try your best to keep other characters in-character, and feel free to consult with the character's player if you're not sure what they would do in situation X. Godmoding is very much frowned upon without an especially good reason, and it's a good idea to keep track of what's going on to avoid plot holes.
Another important thing to remember is that you should never, for any reason, inflict permanent damage on another character (tearing off their leg, gouging out an eye, destroying important things such as legendary swords and the like, etc.) without permission from their player. If they have been marked for death, however, they're pretty much fair game for brutalizing if you are so inclined.
One last thing of importance, make it interesting! Sure, you can just make Beardy McSwordsman wander around and whatever, but if he does nothing interesting then his death becomes much more likely. Feel free to scheme with your fellow players in #grandbattle on Espernet. I may even set up a separate channel for RS if I am so inclined. Interact with others, take risks, do whatever it takes to really get involved in the story.
And please, if you're signing up, you are making a commitment to post at least every once in a while. Lots of characters die solely from inactivity, and frankly, that's just boring.
Don't forget, if you're working on a post, reserve! Just make a post stating you've reserved, and no one will post and screw up everything you're planning. There's no specific time limit anymore since really, no one actually finishes post in a couple of hours if it's not the beginning of the first round. Just don't take more than a couple days, and most definitely do not take a week without a very good reason. It just holds up the battle to the point of annoyance. Don't do it.
As an addendum, don't get too attached to your character. A horrible fate could befall them at any moment, after all. Have fun, kids!
And with that, signups.
Username: Why do we include this on sheets? Who knows? Just do it because I told you to.
Name: Your character's name. Y'know, in case it wasn't obvious.
Gender: If it's a nonstandard gender, be sure to make note of it. "Yes" is not an acceptable answer, nor is "no".
Race: The species of your character. This can quite literally be anything. Giant, sentient, infectious spaghetti dinner? That's fine. Straw doll with dragon heads for arms? Fair game. It might be a good idea to give a description of your race if it isn't something standard like human, though.
Color: The color you'll be making your posts in. Backgrounds are also acceptable, but #FF0000 on #6E0000 is not.
Weapons/Abilities: What wacky implements of death does your character carry around? What madcap shenanigans can they pull off? Note that you don't have to set in stone everything that your character can do; some players have made a point of revealing new abilities later on when it makes logical sense.
Description: A simple description of what your character looks like, as well as a description of their personality. Fairly straightforward.
Fears: A special section for this battle only, seeing as you've been chosen by what boils down to the personification of fear. In fact, the only real stipulation of this battle is that your character must have fears of some kind. Having trouble deciding? This site might help you.
Biography: Describe your character's life prior to being tossed into this battle. This is a very important section, as it tells me what exactly your character's like and how you'll be writing for them. I'll be picking the characters I like best, so it'd be a good idea to catch my interest here. Obviously, there's no need to give your character's entire life story.
cyber95: Rollo - brown
engineclock: Gannet - #345557
MalkyTop: Samael Corson - #6A8455
slipsicle: Vulm'mram'Vuul - #000000 on #F0FFFF
Wojjan: Dorin, Shik'skara, and guests - DodgerBlue, CadetBlue, and CadetBlue with italics.
Adenreagan: Lieutenant Matthew Zimmer - #C90A0A
Baphomet: Martin Holden - #888888
whoosh!: Ke - #D5CEC2 on #4D666F