The Unspoken – Lockport Bridge
A mist swirls across snow-covered city streets. A forgotten channel flows into the south branch of the Chicago River. The prohibition-era mob favored these waters for their grisly and efficient disposal properties: a body dumped here submerges quickly and does not resurface.
The veil is thin in this place. The council approves its concealment and preparation. Introducing the Lockport Bridge Arena!
Icy drawbridges frame two home pedestals, each offering access to pillars with high and low vantage points. Spellcasters are in close proximity as the match begins, able to see each other clearly, all the better to predict their opponent’s next move. The victorious play their opponents like a fiddle–they manipulate expectations with feints.
Feints use the element of surprise to keep rivals on their heels. A hammer echoing in the night need not forge a spear. A summoned Chaos Skull is easily cancelled before it is cast. And a conjured deck of Wildcards moves along with an Arch-Mage, all the better to catch an enemy at a vulnerable moment. Advanced Spellcasters use deceptive movements to trick their opponent into teleporting prematurely, or diverting focus, or casting at an inopportune time. Every Ember is precious; so it is vitally important to maintain razor-sharp perception, in tune with an opponent’s true intentions.
Nothing compromises perception more effectively than the newly sanctioned Dark Tag Artifact! This spellbound spray-paint can, stencils mystic paint traps to obscure an opponent’s vision. A tagged spellcaster is exposed to deadly homing spells, unable to counter or dodge—the Dark Tag stacks well with every offensive spell.
Lockport Bridge is the most dynamic arena in the underground circuit. Freezing winds from across the lake form ice columns in the channel, changing the fundamental topology of this battleground. Pedestals with wide sight lines become sheltered coves, vulnerable from only a few opponent positions.
As the storm intensifies, and after every column is formed, a Summon Orb manifests beneath the bridge. Breaking it unleashes the spirit of a hapless victim, drowned long ago. Impossibly thin ice freezes around his extremities to form the Bridge Wraith—a vengeful grotesque hell-bent on entombing its victim in an icy sheath. If you find yourself rooted, your time on this plane is drawing to a swift and bitter end. Better luck next time.
From across the lake, the wind changes. Electric lights flicker. Spellcasters of a new cloak will soon join the duel.
Until then, remember: fortune favors the shrouded. Remain hidden!