Tag Archives: Towers of Doom

The Towers of Doom: Chapter 2 – The Draft

“Mcreedy!” the Grave Keeper yelled, turning to look over the low wooden back of the chair he was occupying. “Where are the reports?”

“Here they are, sir,” the peasant replied, scurrying up with a pile of papers. “Full bios on every member of the ‘Heroes of the Storm’, including names, abilities, talents and success rate.”

“About time,” the Raven Lord chuckled, lounging back in his seat. “My servants brought me the files half an hour ago.” Indeed, the section of the table in front of the Raven Lord was piled with papers, which he had casually been flipping through as the two Nexus Lords waited for Mcreedy.

“At least you have servants,” the Grave Keeper shot back, “When the Nexus carried away my mines, I lost everyone but Mcreedy. In addition…”

“Please, sirs,” Mcreedy interrupted hesitantly, “Stop arguing. You have a draft to attend to.” The Grave Keeper gave his servant a nasty look, but he shut his mouth, choosing instead to snatch the papers that Mcreedy was holding.

“So, how are we doing this?” the Raven Lord asked, “Do we each just want to choose five, alternating between each pick? I think that’d be the easiest.”

“I don’t think so,” the Grave Keeper declared, shaking his head vehemently. “We should alternate in some strange way, so that we both get to pick equally. Also, I want to be able to ban a ‘Hero’ or two, so I can ruin whatever composition you’re going for.”

“A bit forward with your plans there,” the Raven Lord chuckled darkly, “But I agree that we should have bans, one at the beginning, and one in the middle. That way, we can remove any potentially troublesome ‘Heroes’ and mess up each other’s plans.”

“So we’re both agreed,” the Grave Keeper nodded. “So, I’ll ban first…”

“Not so fast!” the feather-cloaked Nexus Lord exclaimed, “I’m the ruler of this land—I’ll go first!”

“Um, sirs,” Mcreedy broke in, “If I may make a suggestion—how about you toss a coin? That way, it’d be completely fair.”

“You want us to toss a coin?” the Raven Lord looked incredulous, “I’m not sure about you, but I don’t rely on luck for anything! The very fact that you’d insinuate–”


“Touché,” the Raven Lord admitted, momentarily embarrassed. “Well, servant, you win—flip your coin.”

Reaching into his pocket, Mcreedy withdrew a small silver coin. “Okay,” he said, holding the token out, “Heads will be the Raven Lord, and Tails will be the Grave Keeper. Ready?” The two Nexus Lords nodded, and the peasant flipped the coin.

For several seconds, the small metal disc hovered in the air, but then it came down and landed on the wooden table with a soft clunk. “Tails!” the Grave Keeper announced triumphantly, “I go first!” Looking down excitedly at the papers he’d spread out on the table, he announced, “I’ll ban Chromie!”

“Chromie?” the Raven Lord asked, barely holding back a laugh of surprise, “You want to ban Chromie? Chromie is useless—I wouldn’t draft her even if you hadn’t banned her!”

“Oh…” the Grave Keeper sighed, looking back down at the paper, “But her damage potential seemed so good…”

“Well, too bad for you,” the Raven Lord chuckled, “Now, it’s my turn. I’m going to ban Zarya. After all,” he continued, giving his opponent a snide look, “She currently has the highest success rate out of all the ‘Heroes’, and I wouldn’t want you to snatch her up before I could.”

“Zarya?” the Grave Keeper asked, feigning incredulity, “You think I wanted to pick her? Don’t be silly.” As he said this, the Nexus Lord quickly scratched Zarya’s name from the top of his pick-list. “Anyway, for my first pick, I’m going to choose Malfurion.”

“You’re first-picking a healer?” the Raven Lord scoffed.

“Yeah,” the Grave Keeper replied, “After Zarya—who I wasn’t planning to choose, by the way—Malfurion has the highest rate of success in encounters like this. What would you have chosen, an assassin or something?”

“Of course,” the Raven Lord replied, “Which is why my first pick is going to be Kerrigan, and my second pick will be Jaina. Two ‘Heroes’ with a very high success rate, who won’t have any trouble ripping Malfurion apart.”

“Kerrigan and Jaina?” the Grave Keeper snarled, “Don’t make me laugh. They’re both incredibly squishy without a proper healer—which is why my second ban will be Lt. Morales. Have fun watching them die without the heals they so desperately need.”

For the first time in the entire drafting process, the Raven Lord seemed upset, as he furiously crossed off a name from his pick list. “Fine,” he eventually sighed, still a bit peeved by this loss, “I’m going to ban Tracer, so you can’t constantly bully my ‘Heroes’.”

“Whatever you say,” the Grave Keeper replied, hiding his glee at the fact that he hadn’t even been considering the perky British time-traveler. “Now, I’m going to make my second and third picks.” Quickly surveying his chart, the Grave Keeper declared, “For my second choice, I’m going to take Kael’thas, because his Flamestrikes will synergize quite well with Malfurion’s Roots.”

“Kael’thas?” the Raven Lord chuckled, “That wimpy blood elf doesn’t stand a chance against Kerrigan. The Queen of Blades will rip him apart!”

“You’re right, they would,” the Grave Keeper agreed, “Which is why my third pick will be Johanna. She can pull Kerrigan away from Kael’thas, and then he’ll light her up.”

The feathery Nexus Lord snarled, as he realized the weakness in his plan. “In that case, my third pick will be Sonya. With her Leap, she’ll be able to jump on Kael’thas as well, and there’s no way Johanna can keep both her and Kerrigan at bay.” A slight look of horror crossed the Grave Keeper’s face as his foe continued, “And for my fourth pick, I’ll take Kharazim. He can follow Sonya and Kerrigan into the fray, and he’ll be able to get them back out with his healing.”

With a sharp curse, the Grave Keeper scratched a pair of names off his list and leaned back in his chair, frantically trying to come up with a counter to his opponent’s composition. He’d originally wanted to draft another ranged assassin—however, they’d just get torn apart by the Raven Lord’s team. No, the Grave Keeper realized, if he wanted to win this fight, he’d have to get unorthodox.

“Ok, then,” the Nexus Lord declared, “For my fourth pick, I’m going to choose Arthas.”

“A second tank?” the Raven Lord asked with a smirk, “Are you sure?”

The Grave Keeper nodded. “I won’t be able to defeat your dive composition with another ranged assassin, however, the roots Arthas supplies will force your ‘Heroes’ to stay back.” The Raven Lord’s face remained impassive as his foe concluded, “And for my final pick, I will take The Butcher. His self-healing is unparalleled among Melee Assassins, and he will easily deal with Sonya and Kerrigan once they’re Rooted.”

At this announcement, a look of perturbation crossed the Raven Lord’s face. He hadn’t expected his dive composition to be countered so thoroughly—now, he’d have to change his strategy. “In light of your…unusual strategy…my fifth and final pick will be Raynor. He is a premier tank-buster, and since you have two tanks, I think this will end quite well for me.”

The Grave Keeper frowned slightly, but wasn’t too worried. Even with the Raven Lord’s acquisition of the Ranged Assassin from the StarCraft Universe, the Grave Keeper’s line-up was far superior. Surely, victory would soon arrive, and the Towers of Doom would be his!

The Towers of Doom: Chapter 1 – A Chance Meeting

“Look at this place!” the Grave Keeper exclaimed, spreading his arms for emphasis. “The dark towers—the haunting smoke—why, it even has a large underground tunnel that allows you to move around unseen. What do you think, McReedy?”

“I don’t know, boss,” the diminutive peasant replied, scratching his head. “It actually looks a bit spooky to me, and I’m not quite sure about the location.”

“Nonsense!” the Grave Keeper declared firmly. “This is prime real estate, unlike those dreadful Mines.” The cloaked figure shuddered at the mention of his former home. “No, this is where we’re going to live.”

“But, Sir…” McReedy protested.

“Now, I think I’ll have my Grave Golems build a statue of me here,” the Grave Keeper mused, ignoring his servant, “And then I’ll scatter some bones on the ground other there, to give the place a homey look…”

“But, Sir…” the peasant tried again.

“And of course, we’ll want to clear away those trees so we can get a couple lanes going. After all, nothing spruces a place up like a few good lanes.”


“And then we could build a fort or two, and…”


“What is it, McReedy?” the Grave Keeper asked, turning to his assistant in frustration. “Why do you keep interrupting me?”

“Because, sir, you’re forgetting a very important detail,” McReedy replied, cowering before his master’s indignation. “This is Raven Court.”

“So?” the cloaked figure asked, unsure what this information had to do with anything. “The Mines were in Raven Court, too, and that wasn’t a problem.”

“Well, yes,” McReedy admitted. “But the Mines were near the border, and—to be completely honest—they weren’t that interesting. This place, however, could be considered desirable, so that means…”

“It means that it’s already been claimed,” a new voice broke in. “By me.” Turning in surprise, the Grave Keeper and his servant beheld a mysterious stranger clad in a cloak of black feathers.

“The Raven Lord,” the Grave Keeper snarled, his voice seething with rage. “What are you doing here? Don’t you have a Hollow to attend to?”

“I could ask you the same thing, Grave Keeper,” the Raven Lord replied, his voice calm but threatening. “What, did you get tired of your Mines? Oh, wait, I forgot—they don’t even exist anymore.”

The Grave Keeper grimaced, remembering the terrible storm that had torn through the Nexus and ripped the Mines—his Mines—out of the world and hurled them into oblivion. The Grave Keeper and McReedy had survived the storm, but now they were homeless (which is why they were looking at real estate in the first place).

“I may have lost my Mines,” the Grave Keeper growled, “But this place—these Towers of Doom—will belong to me!”

“Please, don’t make me laugh,” the Raven Lord replied with a dark smile. “This is part of Raven Court. Naturally, it belongs to me. Now please, get out of here—I need this area cleared so my men can begin setting up my fortifications.”

“Sir,” McReedy whispered, tugging on his cloaked master’s sleeve. “We should go. I’m sure there are plenty of other places we could…”

“No!” the Grave Keeper exclaimed, pulling his arm free from the peasant’s grasp. “The Raven Lord has already cheated me out of so much—I will not let him take this from me as well!”

Reaching into his cloak, the Grave Keeper withdrew an intimidating black scythe and held it at the ready. “Now, Raven Lord, I’ll give you one chance to leave my new home, or else I’ll kill you!”

“So much bluster,” the Raven Lord chuckled, withdrawing a massive broadsword from beneath his feathery cape. “Let’s see if you can back it up.”

Roaring, the Grave Keeper leapt at his foe, swinging the scythe in a wide arc. Raising his sword, the Raven Lord easily deflected the wild slash before lunging forward with a devastating strike of his own.

Caught off balance, the Grave Keeper failed to dodge in time, and the sword sliced through his cloak and into the dark figure’s side. Crying out in pain, the Grave Keeper swung his scythe again, and again, the Raven Lord deflected the blow.

“Please,” the feathery-cloaked swordsman laughed, shoving the Grave Keeper’s weapon to the side, “You know I’m the best duelist in the entirety of Raven Court. Do you honestly think you can beat me in a fight like this?”

“No,” the Grave Keeper hissed, spitting out a gob of black ichor, “I’m just keeping you distracted.”

“What…” the Raven Lord began, but then he was interrupted as a fist the size of a small house slammed into the back of his head. With a pained grunt, the Raven Lord crashed to the ground, stunned by the powerful blow.

“Good work, Graves,” the shadowy Grave Keeper said, looking up at the monster of wood and bone that had defeated the Raven Lord. “I knew I could count on your help. Now, all we have to do is dispose of this body, and everything will be just fine.”

Turning, the Grave Keeper began to walk off…but he was stopped by the sound of a massive explosion, followed shortly afterward by a cry of pain. Spinning back around, the cloaked man’s jaw dropped in horror, as he witnessed the shattered pieces of his once-powerful Grave Golem.

“That was quite clever, actually,” the Raven Lord chuckled, rising to his feet. “Distracting me long enough for your pet to get in a blow or two. Still, you really should have finished the job yourself—after all, Grave Golems are quite susceptible to a well-timed curse.”

“You…you…monster!” the Grave Keeper roared. “I’ll kill you!” Raising his scythe once more, the shadowy warrior swung his scythe at the Raven Lord in an effort to decapitate his opponent. Startled, the feather-clad nobleman nearly failed to block the devastating strike, only bringing his sword up at the last possible second.

For several moments, the two combatants struggled with each other, pushing with all their might in an attempt to break the deadlock. “Back down, fool,” the Raven Lord hissed through clenched teeth, “And I might still let you live.”

“No chance,” the Grave Keeper shot back, “In fact, I think you’re the one who needs to surrender!” Shoving the Raven Lord back with a mighty push, the Grave Keeper raised his weapon in preparation for a devastating smash. Before he could finish the attack, however, a new voice broke in.

“Everyone, stop!” the wheezing voice proclaimed, “Please, before someone gets hurt!” Confused by this interruption, the combatants turned to see McReedy standing there, hands outstretched in supplication.

“What is it, McReedy?” the Grave Keeper asked, angered by the interruption, “I’m in the process of slaying this cretin!”

“Um, Sir,” the peasant replied, “You should probably look down.” Confused, the Grave Keeper did as the peasant was saying—and saw with surprise that the Raven Lord’s blade was pointed right at his exposed chest. “See, Sir,” McReedy continued upon witnessing his master’s shock. “If you continued fighting, you both would have died.”

“So?” the Grave Keeper asked, “I’d rather die than give up my land to a haughty wretch like the Raven Lord.”

“And I,” the Raven Lord added, “Would prefer to pass from this mortal coil before witnessing these pristine lands under the tyrannical hand of the Grave Keeper.”

“Oh, I’m sure you would,” McReedy replied, looking between the two Nexus Lords. “But this suicide pact of yours would leave me unemployed, and I have children to feed, so that just won’t do.”

“Then what should we do?” the Grave Keeper asked, still holding his weapon at the ready in case the Raven Lord got any ideas. “Because we’re not just going to give up on this land without a fight.”

“Of course,” McReedy replied. “However, why do you two need to be the ones fighting?”

“Because we’re the only ones who care!” the Raven Lord interjected. “And I can assure you, there’s no one stupid enough to risk his life in an absolutely meaningless…” The Nexus Lord’s voice trailed off, as he suddenly realized what the peasant was getting at.

“McReedy, you mean…” the Grave Keeper added, catching on as well.

“Yes,” McReedy confirmed with a nod, “We need the Heroes of the Storm.”