s who had died trying to keep them from their rightful owners had put up an extraordinary fight, and the Pharaohs were so drastically reduced in their numbers they barely had enough troops to guard the Crystals they had, much less go on further missions. The 116th Exploration Dynasty found a safe planet in which to orbit and was about to embark on a terrifyingly long journey back to the Miles when their scanners picked up something unexpected on the planet below: Another yield of Hex Crystals so large that it made the hard-won haul on which they were sitting look like a handful of dirt. And what's more, it was all gathered in one spot, as if daring its owners to come down from orbit and pluck it back into their clutches.
Further scans revealed, however, that it would not be so simple as that: The Crystals were kept in an enormous, well-guarded, underground prize vault for the worldwide championship of the local sport of Blood Ball, a full-contact sport played by all races on the planet below that was as much about scoring points with a ball as it was about sending opposing players off the field in more pieces than that which they had when they entered it. The vault was guarded by armies from every race on the planet, as they all had an equal stake in the Blood Ball championship and wouldn't let any one race make off with the riches before the Championship had concluded.
The 116th Dynasty spent many days deliberating the best course of action. A direct assault was out, as even with their primitive level of technology, the opposing forces guarding the vault had vastly superior numbers and the ability to wield mystical forces (which they called "Majick") that the Pharaohs had never seen before and were unwilling to test their technology against. Planetary destruction was out, as the crystals had already been cut and refined, so the risk of them scattering into space, never to be seen again, was too great. Trade was out too, as the peoples below seemed totally uninterested in any technology greater than a cart and beast (unless it came to Blood Ball, in which some races were happy to use heavily-armored combat vehicles if it gave them an edge in the game), and besides, the Dynasty had few resources with which to trade after their last engagement.
The deathblow for an all-out assault had come when, even with the help of four Overpharaohs, the finest combat minds in the galaxy, all calculations pointed to one grim conclusion: that, considering the forces needed to stay behind and guard the current yield of Hex Crystals, the 116th Dynasty could only spare 16 men for the job, and no more.
There was only one possible path to success: If the 116th Dynasty were to have any chance at getting access to the Hex Crystals kept safely in the Prize Vault, then the only thing to do was to draw straws, suit up, and win the Blood Ball Championship!
Iteru Deadshot Thrower: Nobody in the Blood Ball Rules Committee saw fit to ban optically-synchronized range-finding rifle scopes from assisting players with their passes, as nerve-dismantling sniper rifles were an invention at least a few thousand years away from the imaginations of said Rules Committee. Whether it assists the cyclopean Deadshots with their passes is anyone’s guess, but having him part with his Neural Dismantler was already hard enough. Let him have his toy, and besides, how hard can it be to throw a ball? Editor’s note: the author of this transcript was found with each of his nerve endings disassembled and his head all over the writer’s room. It is apparently very difficult to throw a ball.
This is a set of high resolution resin miniatures. Miniatures require cleanup.