The Battle Nexus
For as long as there have been sentient life, there have been those who, for one reason or another, take up the arts of battle, training themselves in the ways or war. And for as long as there have been fighters, there has been the need for them to test themselves against each other, to prove to themselves and each other who truly deserves the title of The Best. And for as long as anyone can remember, the Battle Nexus tournament has allowed the greatest fighters in existence to come together and answer that question.
The Battle Nexus tournament itself is a realm of many mysteries, though several things are known for certain.
First, it is ruled by the Ultimate Daimyo, a being of immense power, rivaling the Queens of Faerie themselves. His rule is absolute, but he is an extremely benevolent monarch, allowing violence only within the ring, and even then, the fighting is never to the death. When acting in his duties as host of the Battle Nexus, he wishes only that the warriors present are allowed to have a good, clean fight.
Second, the tournament itself occurs once every 3 Earth years, and is attended by beings from across many worlds, and apparently even a multitude of dimensions. Combatants have included human martial artists, ninja turtles, alien gladiators, beings from the Nevernever (the young dragon Drako, a giant four armed faerie named D'Jinn, and even some of Kirby's New Olympians), and even an anthropomorphic samurai rabbit, allegedly from an alternate universe. The Pavilion of Past Champions is simply IMMENSE, and walking through it is like wandering through a museum of the most diverse beings in history.
Third, to take part in the tournament, a warrior must have a certain level of martial arts skill. Raw physical power is not enough, and in fact, most of the fighters are so skilled that beings who rely on pure strength are swiftly defeated anyway. Furthermore, the Battle Nexus arena prevents the use of all magic, save for the spell that teleports a combatant out when he is about to receive a mortal or crippling wound. Since magic is drawn from outside of the body, it is not considered a 'pure' method of combat. This is why Drako, a dragon as powerful as any in the Dresden-verse, relied on purely physical might and martial skills rather than any mystical abilities (which would normally place him only a little under the Faerie Queens in power). Chi based abilities and similar internally generated powers are allowed, however, since they come from within the warrior and are almost always channeled through martial arts.
Fourth, combat is never fatal, or even crippling in most cases. Ever since the first Battle Nexus tournament thousands of years ago, no one has ever died in the arena. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, the Daimyo wishes all warriors to fight to the best of their ability. Many fighters are honorable beings who will not kill for sport. Similarly, if two friends face each other in the arena, they will hold back to keep from hurting each other. Knowing that they cannot kill their opponent allows everyone to cut loose and fight with all their might. Furthermore, by ensuring that everyone lives, it allows for the fighters to grow more skilled and return, ensuring greater battles. And finally, the Daimyo considers needless bloodshed barbaric. The tournament is suppose to be fun
, a place where warriors can get together, beat each other up, then get drunk and tell stories afterwards. Killing just spoils the fun.
As such, anytime a warrior is about to receive a lethal blow, they are teleported immediately to the Healers Pavilion just before the hit can land, and are attended by some of the best mystical medics in the multiverse. Crippling injuries usually cause the teleport as well, though there are certain instances where a fighter can refuse to withdraw. For example, during his championship match with Drako, Splinter's foot was broken, which was a potentially crippling injury, but not lethal, which called for a halt to the fight. Splinter was given the option of receiving immediate medical attention, tho to do so would require him to forfeit the match. Instead, Splinter opted to splint his foot with two nearby pieces of wood, and continue the match. While Splinter won the fight, his choice to not receive immediate attention (along with Drako's attack after the match) resulted in the mystical treatment being imperfect, forcing him to walk with a slight limp for the rest of his life. However, even relatively minor permanent injuries such as this are exceedingly rare, and almost all warriors return home hale and hearty.
For all that is known about the Battle Nexus, no one is entirely quite sure what it truly is tho. Most of the fighters and mystics that have any experience know about it, but it means different things to different people.
A trio of friends were accompanying their martial artist ally to watch him compete in the tournament.
The Wizard of the group proposed that the Battle Nexus was some part of the Nevernever, and that the Ultimate Daimyo was some kind of faerie with access to mystical power roughly on par with the Faerie Queens. As such, the stranger beings of the Nevernever were from different pocket realities that existed within the place, such as that weird realm where Feudal Japan was populated by talking animals.
The power armor wearing superhero contended that he'd seen the Daimyo's staff and he was certain it was some kind of advanced technology, and that the Daimyo is some kind of interdimensional being. As such, the staff allowed the Daimyo to pierce alternate quantum realities and bring people together from different universes.
The group's Scion, a descendant of Haphaestus, theorized that the Daimyo was some kind of god of battle, and that the power he wielded was so advanced that it was simultaneously magic and technology at the same time.
The three heroes had a chance to speak with the Daimyo about their theories, and asked him which, if any, were correct.
The Daimyo said, "Yes." And smiling behind his mask, left it at that.
The Daimyo's inscrutability aside, being able to compete in the Battle Nexus is considered one of the highest honors a warrior can receive. Many Wizards on the White Council consider it a pointless, uncivilized bloodsport, but a lot of fighters feel that's just because they aren't allowed to use magic in the tournament. Said Wizards turn up their noses dismissively, and then usually leave the room.
Important people in the Battle Nexus include-The Daimyo
: Ruler of the Battle Nexus micro-dimension, the Daimyo is, as mentioned, immensely powerful, owing to his unique nature as both a Scion of the Japanese god Hachiman (thus explaining the whole Japanese motif) and a Faerie, granting him immense personal power that he increased through long years of training and study. It's this unique breeding that allowed him to find and then control the Warstaff of Power, one of the most powerful artifacts in the multiverse
. This lineage was also how the Dark Ninja Assassins his son sent against him were able to nearly kill him. His divine heritage negates most of his vulnerability to iron (which is why he can wear so much metal so easily), specially purified and treated iron can still kill him, as it almost did then.
The Daimyo is the kind of ruler the multiverse could use more of. He's honorable, polite, but jolly and friendly, and is a perfect host to his guests. He also really likes children, going so far as to attend a Christmas party for orphans. He's also a warrior without peer, and someone only the most arrogant idiots would want to cross.Mitsudomoe, the Daimyo's Son
: Heir to Daimyo's throne, Mitsudomoe (or just "Mitsu" to his friends) is currently a young boy hoping to grow up to be an honorable warrior like his father. This was not always the case. Several years prior, Mitsu had been known as the Ultimate Ninja, an evil, ruthless shadow warrior who felt that his father's teachings were too soft for a true warrior. He grew into this man due to two influences on his life. First, when he was much the same age his is now, he witnessed the original Oroku Saki fight in the Battle Nexus. Saki won the tournament decisively due to the demonic power within him, though not even the Daimyo could detect it that time. Mitsu, however, did sense something within the warrior, and in his desire to be a powerful fighter like his father, sought to emulate Saki. This was why he chose to follow the path of the ninja, why some of his gear resembled the Shredders, and why he ultimately fell down the darker paths. He did not fall entirely on his own tho. The other influence had been the Circle, which had viewed Mitsu as a long term project that they could eventually twist to their whims. They sent him the Dark Ninja Assassins, they subtly encouraged him to continue to follow the darker paths, and like the Leanshe, they gifted him with weapons that slowly twisted his mind. It was only after he was merged with another member of the Circle, Drako, and feeling the power of both the Warstaff and the Time Sceptre, that his true personality was able to emerge, and feel remorse for the evil he had done. Now, returned to the age of a child again, but without the influences of either the Shredder or the Circle, Mitsu has a chance to become the man he should have been. Ironically, he once again has found a ninja role model, only this time it's the turtle Leonardo, one of his bitterest foes in his past life. This role model his father would heartily approve of.
Incidentally, I chose this name based on the symbol of three circling tomoe
that samurai adopted as a symbol for Hachiman. Given who I made the Damiyo's father and how the Daimyo's son wound up starting his life cycle over again, it seemed appropriate. Gyoji
: The Gyoji are a type of water faerie, focused on knowledge pertaining to rules, regulations, history and judgment. They could be pretty dangerous if they weren't such sticklers fro rules, and instead are quite happy to serve as transport to the Battle Nexus and officiate matches.The Warstaff of Power
: The Warstaff of power is the real reason the Battle Nexus tournament takes place. Back when the Gods of Myth were overthrowing Titans like Cronos and Ymir, it was discovered that imprisoning them was far preferable to killing them (since killing Ymir resulted in the Ice Age that nearly wiped out all life on Earth). The Titan that embodied Violence, Bloodshed, War and Conflict was given a most ironic prison, being shaped into what for most would be a simple walking staff. For untold years it rested and resented this form, going mad with nothing to do, the urge to destroy building within it. If someone had learned how to tap into that power while the staff was in this state, it could have shaken the world. Fortunately, it was the Daimyo that discovered the Warstaff, and decided that this was an opportunity like no other. Using the power of the Warstaff, the Daimyo fashioned the Battle Nexus out of a chunk of the Nevernever and some left over bits of interdimensional space that floated between realities, creating his own little pocket dimension just for him. Then, he dedicated the plane to the purpose of fighting, which the Warstaff enjoyed immensely. However, the type of fighting the Daimyo introduced was . . . . . different than the Warstaff had expected. It was about honorable conflict, friendly competition, and to win without truly harming your opponent. For several thousand years the Warstaff has been exposed to this kind of battle, and over time the nature of the staff has changed. Where once it was barely contained power constantly fighting to get free, it now sits peacefully, responding to the heart and soul of the person wielding it, which is the Daimyo. In effect, the Battle Nexus has been a several thousand year long therapy session for the Warstaff, as the Daimyo seeks change the very nature of war itself into that of a simple friendly contest. Reforming evil can be tricky, but Daimyo just might be able to pull it off.