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Website: Neo-Duelist League
aka: Neo-Duelist League
The NDL by its very nature offers nothing at all except a place to write and to read the writing of others. That's all we're about, and all that we have.
Fyrestorm

Neo-Duelist League is a humble sub-forum of Neoseeker, a computer hardware and gaming website. The Neo-Duelist League is dedicated to a specialized kind of role-playing. Members create original characters, who can take part in "Duels", friendly competitive role-plays where each person introduces his or her character to the chosen setting, then take turns posting to advance a conflict between said characters. Upon reaching a pre-agreed number of turns, other members of the League step in as judges to provide feedback and decide the winner based on quality of writing. The victor may then write out the conclusion of the duel as they see fit (with consideration for their opponent of course), which is traditionally used to depict their character triumphing over the other.

First created early in 2004, the NDL — as it is often called — has been through many changes in its membership, management and structure. It is built around duels, but has expanded over time to include other features, such as a thread for writing about NDL characters in non-duel situations, monthly writing challenges based on themes and use of same characters, forum games, and so on. There is no defined setting, universe or canon; every duelist is free to create their own plots, histories, mythologies, abilities, worlds and more, and to set their duels in any location they can dream up. The NDL serves as a blank canvas without limits, and with obvious compromise when agreeing to duel other characters, any member may acknowledge the work of others and seek to write together, or dismiss it to do their own thing as they please. After all, the NDL's creed is "Unlimited Freedom".

The NDL is a small and friendly forum, and a definite beneficiary of the There Is no Such Thing as Notability rule. Anyone can join, provided they have a Neoseeker account (which is free) and get a character approved (which is easy). If you like the sound of it, and what you read here, why not come have a look around (or maybe even join)?

Note: When troping specific events, rather than general recurring circumstances or character traits, please include a link.


This website provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: With so many sword-wielding characters running around, this one was inevitable.
    • Malali's main melee weapon, the sword Kaavel, can cut through "almost anything", depending on the strength of the wielder.
  • Achilles' Heel: In A Night of Death, as the Duelists fight the Deathknight, they begin to argue over whether or not he has some weakness. Malali contacts them telepathically to let them know this is the case.
  • Action Girl: Although often possessing other skills, a fair few female characters can mix it up physically.
    • Alarielle mostly uses magic, but her sword skills and demeanor make her quite the Lady of War.
    • Alexis Merryweather uses magic in handy situations, but mostly fights with her katana and her twin pistols.
    • The only reason Benny is still alive, as she possesses no other powers of her own.
    • Emote can most be likened to an Action Mom overall, especially considering how she saves Maitrey from Amadeth in The Real Us.
    • Malali is an all-round Action Girl, with melee, archery and some magic for support.
    • Ezra Frost can control almost all forms of machinery and make hardlight structures.
    • Raven also has a strong magical arsenal, but still frequently gets up close and personal with her sword, Nevermore.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Used by Crysis and Zone, who have more than once performed an air vent infiltration.
  • Anatomy Arsenal: The Executioner has about half the sub-tropes of this collectively on his body.
  • Ancestral Weapon: A fair few duelists carry heirlooms with practical uses.
    • Lucius Menucci's whip Angelic Requiem is a family heirloom.
    • Silvon's sword Kinistros.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Antonya Antonya - your terrible cooking kill your crush? No problem, deal with it and move on.
  • The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: Pretty much what it took to get the cast together for A Night of Death.
  • Are We There Yet?: As Basis and Emote travel home from Krad, two variations of this line are repeated several times.
  • Artifact of Doom: Lots.
    • The Carnifex Deum manages to be this as a character.
    • The Jewel of Omnity revealed itself to be this for Ret Herefit, who has kept it despite this.
  • Attack Animal: The Beast serves as one for The Writer.
  • Audience Participation: The Writer asks the audience if he should get some screen time, and threatens to kill them if they don't answer correctly.
  • Ax-Crazy: Blood is red, bruises are blue, I'm Dr. Erik Kauffman, I execute you.
  • Badass: Leo is a mostly playful and curious half-cat-person, but can kick some serious tail in a fight.
  • Badass Army: A Night of Death features Malali, Emote, Basis, Zerith Dathka, Tetrath, Crysis and Zone, Ret Herefit, Saint Pagan, Alarielle, Smikals Jeofreddy, Severein Auronis, Belatu, Origin, The Executioner AND a legion of alien soldiers armed to the teeth with guns, cannons and giant power-suits.
  • Badass Boast:
    Tetrath: "I hope you can hear this Deathknight, you who controls and taints the mind. You cannot taint the tainted. I am beyond your limits. Your worthless tricks mean nothing to me. When I find you, pathetic wretch, I will pound you into nothingness."
  • Badass Grandpa: Cade is an aged traveling mercenary who has lived long enough to see his past heroism exaggerated into legend.
  • Badass Preacher: Meet Gabriel Vanhanen: mild-mannered Catholic priest by day, magic-commanding holy warrior and monster hunter by night.
  • Badass Princess: Selena refuses to sit back and let Maxwell do all the work. She fights The Killer and wins.
  • Bag of Holding: Maxwell's pouch.
    • Blitzkrieg's mind and body hold an internal struggle between the One of Darkness and One of Light. (Original names, right?) He often tries but fails to balance them out.
    • Camo Man (Man Man Man Man)'s Jacket can have any number of things in it.
    • Silence's Plane Box serves as a container for his weapons, placing them inside another dimension for safe keeping.
    • Strongbeak, one of Skahrscherad's murder, has a make-lighter, make-smaller bag. He puts things in, they disappear and Skahrscherad can find them later.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Lanate works for people with this as their job description.
  • Beam-O-War: In "A Night of Death", Arimus fires a green beam at The Prince only to be matched with a yellow one. Placing all of his suits power into the attack, he triumphs seemingly]].
  • Belly of the Whale: A lot of characters have these moments, some more than one. If it wasn't for the fact most apply as backstory they would almost always be a Darkest Hour.
  • Berserk Button: A large number of characters have them, to varying degrees.
    • Basis: The worst possible thing to do is destroy a piece of his bubble wrap.
    • Clief: Don't withhold information about his past - he has a Goddamn dragon and he isn't afraid to use it.
    • The Executioner: Err... Exist around him.
    • Silence: Insulting his (dead) parents.
    • Tetrath: Being around whilst he isn't raping everything means you somehow forced niceness upon him, and for this he will make you pay dearly.
  • BFG: Popular with the more sci-fi characters.
  • BFS: Likewise, shows up among the fantasy-type demographic.
  • Big Bad: Some characters have stories including or revolving around one of these.
    • Malali's first story arc, concluding with the novel-length "A Night of Death", was pretty much centred around defeating The Deathknight.
  • Big Eater: Selig and Blitzkrieg in a fast-food restaurant leads to horrible, horrible things.
  • Biker Babe: Benny's sole method of transportation.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Can arise when both characters in a duel aren't of the heroic cut.
    • Ion is a poster child for this trope, so much so that many people have described him as evil even though he himself despises evil people.
  • Blood Knight: Several characters show tendencies of this. Some notable examples are Basis, Tetrath, and Emote's Anger form.
  • Blood Magic: Ged Tenshi uses this to fuel his magic and protect him from the influences of the '''Dark.'''
  • Blow You Away: One half of Alarielle's primary magical arsenal, the other being fire.
  • Body-Count Competition: Firine and Firinar have a competition to see who can kill the most undead Australians. By the time they're forced to stop playing, Firinar is at 26,880 and Firine is at 26,873 (of course, that's only because the big mook still only counted as one).
  • Body Surf: Being a ghost, Mazay Gorave needs a host to fight with, and may use several (though not at once).
  • Butch Lesbian: Malali. Aesthetically inverted, as she's an Amazonian Beauty.
  • Bounty Hunter: Carlyle makes a living this way.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The characters in Adventures in Hammerspace do this all the time.
    • Before his duel with Ion, Silence meets with Ezra. Who is browsing the forum that it was written on.
    • Silence physically meets with his writer in a challenge. Word of God has confirmed this isn't the last time it will happen.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The fallen angel Ged Tenshi's staff, Blood Lust, cuts the hands of its wielder and soaks up the blood in exchange for power.
  • Cats Are Magic: Half-Tail Mac takes the form of a cat (most of the time).
  • Celeb Crush: Silence has this for Malali.
  • Chainsaw Good: The Executioner packs a matching pair.
  • Chaotic Evil:
    • Akane, despite all outward appearences.
    • Basis' Third State has no concern for anything other than destroying what's in front of him.
    • Carnifex Deum.
    • The Executioner is a crazed, half-demonic Nazi cyborg. What else did you expect?
    • Garm Belias.
    • Ged Tenshi, when not hard at work stealing the souls of others, wants to destroy both heaven and hell.
    • Nameless only likes killing people. It's that simple.
    • Vittorio.
  • Chaotic Good:
    • Adena.
    • Alexis has no concern for rules and enjoys fighting, but is still a good person.
    • Audio.
    • Basis has a child's concern for rules - that is, very little at all.
    • Blitzkreig.
    • Carlyle.
    • Ezra.
    • Kalek has a very... loose regard for rules in most cases, but his primary reason for fighting is to protect people from the effects of the duellist's battles.
    • Luther, by the end of Dreaming the Sky, is not afraid to bend rules to achieve what's right.
    • Malali, despite starting off fairly Lawful, has slowly become more and more chaotic as her life goes on.
    • Niminda, when not overcome by her anger.
    • Selig.
    • Silence.
    • Zone.
  • Chaotic Neutral:
    • Chaos XXX.
    • Emote, as a sum total of her forms, averages out to this.
  • Chekhov's Gun: During A Night of Death, Arimus confronts The Executioner and considers using him against The Deathknight; ultimately he tells people that it would be too dangerous, and he wouldn't be used. Later it's shown that he lied.
  • Chosen One: Subverted. In "A Night Of Death", Arimus told Malali she was the only one who could kill The Deathknight. This was just a ploy to gather the much coveted duelist energy.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Basis is so out there he has a second personality that has to help keep him somewhat focused, albeit at the cost of being more ruthless.
  • Co-Dragons: Prince Tiger and Nae'blis, both powerful fighters to be feared, choose to serve The Deathknight during A Night of Death in search of strength and immortality.
  • Cold Sniper: Meet Carlyle.
  • Colossus Climb: In "The Antarctic Incident", Malali uses a combination of her arrows and the Firins to climb the Macross. Nae'blis copies this strategy later on.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Executioner has these.
  • Companion Cube: Saint Pagan's doll, Bella. He misses real women.
  • Cool Shades: Maxwell and Selena put these on as they prepare for their final battle with Nezia.
  • Cool Sword: Near the end of Adventures In Hammerspace, Maxwell's rainbow afro becomes one of these. It's cooler than it sounds.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Since most characters endeavour to be cool, this frequently happens.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • If the Executioner's plethora of rockets, guns, chainsaws and other weapons and pet hydra don't do the job, then his nigh-omnipotent demon possessor probably will.
    • Malali has excellent fighting skills, various magical abilities, a series of arrows ranging from standard to godly, a dragon-scale sword complete with dragon she can summon (under the right conditions), demon-possessed kama who have many higher abilities she can barter for, and a small vial of liquid which takes her Over Nine Thousand. Recently, she added a war-hammer which harnesses the sun and moon, and is testing alien guns to see which she will add to her arsenal.
    • Mortis Blackwraith has an alien bio-weapon which can turn into anything. Yes, anything. What more could you want?
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Clief has done such things as faint when delivering speeches and propose ideas such as 'cutting people' to what seem to be doctors, but let's not forget he annihilated almost two entire armies without even knowing it.
    • Maxwell, in spades, d00d.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Nezia is all too aware of what tropes are, and has built a room that inverts them so that his mooks are unstoppable.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Probably too many examples to list.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Malali has dark purple skin, works from the shadows, praises the moon and embraces the night. She also saves universes in her spare time.
  • David Versus Goliath: Although the presence of weapons/magic/other equalisers do balance it out, some duels still qualify.
    • Crysis and Zone (a pair of life-size rodents) versus The Executioner (an 8-foot+ tall demonic cyborg) may be the forum's Most Triumphant Example.
  • Deal with the Devil: One of several things that can be used to establish a character's backstory. Duelists have it rough.
    • It is discovered that consorting with the lower circles is what led to the creation of the Deathknight.
    • Provided you are willing to pay the price, Ged Tenshi is always willing to make a deal.
  • Death by Origin Story: Similarly, many characters have backstories prominently shaped by lost friends and loved ones.
    • Malali losing her family in her homeland led to her joining Tyrnealylth, becoming a fearsome warrior and later gaining her current name.
    • Likewise, Raphius losing his family and hometown as a child shaped his adult life.
    • Silence's loss of his family spurred him into seeking both revenge and answers about his origins.
  • Death Seeker: Izaiack was brought back to life against his will and desperately wishes to die again.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Some duels end with the combatants forming friendships post-battle.
    • Basis has grown quite fond of hanging around Malali and Emote, who uh, tolerate him in return. Mostly.
  • Demonic Possession: Where to begin?
    • The Carnifex Deum takes this Up to Eleven - the sword is the character, while the luckless soul it possesses is merely a useful tool, an ironic reversal of the typical roles of weapon and wielder.
    • Dr Erik Kaufmann, who isn't the most stable individual in the first place.
    • Raven has a complicated relationship with the demon Diablo, but it generally boils down to this most of the time.
    • Ret Herefit was possessed by an entity inside a gem he found - although he eventually fought it off, it remains lurking inside him, influencing him subtly without his realisation.
    • Severein Auronis has within him a being called Lucifer; during A Night of Death, Lucifer finally takes over.
  • Deus ex Machina: Lampshaded by Plot Convenience Man, who shows Maxwell how to get to his destination and gives him cryptic advice about the future.
  • Divide and Conquer: Malali leads Nae'Blis away from Prince Tiger to better her side's chance at victory.
  • Does Not Like Magic: Belatu, Druid King of Wolves believes that magic and those who practice it are evil, and it is his duty to destroy them.
  • Doomed Hometown: Not ironically, most of the time this relates directly to Death by Origin Story.
    • Malali's forest was attacked while she was young, leading to the massacre that moulded who she became.
    • Raphius' hometown was destroyed during his childhood, leading by steps to his wandering as an adult.
    • Silence's hometown was taken over by a daemon lord after he fled, triggering his quest for revenge.
  • Downer Ending: For Arimus in A Night of Death - the love of his life is dead, his original mission of sealing the void was a huge failure, and while he was possessed by Prince Tiger he destroyed his base. Then he transforms into some form of monster.
  • Dual Wielding: Another popular one.
    • Alexis Merryweather carries twin pistols, which are gold-plated, engraved, have extended magazines and are laser sighted for added flash and firepower.
    • Angus uses two short swords as his main weapons.
    • Malali's demonic twin weapons Firinar and Firine, a pair of kama, arguably count despite being linked by a chain.
    • Silence Templesmith has his bladed gauntlets, named Sin and Punishment.
    • Tetrath fights with his two swords, Oblivion and Ragnorak, and when he undergoes his transformation they become three times the size of a man.
    • The Green Knight wields two double-bladed broadswords.
    • Zerith Dathka carries no less than three pairs of knives.
  • Duels Decide Everything: Actually makes sense, since these are proper fighting duels, not card games or the like.
  • Dying as Yourself: Garm Belias got to do this after Nae'blis was soul-raped into being Not Quite Dead.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Tetrath emBODIES this. Often uses the term as a self-description.
  • Enemy Mine: Tetrath is admittedly evi,l but Even Evil Has Standards, and, "I'm not going to let this... pest, destroy my universes."
    • Malali, Nae’Blis, and the Executioner manage to ignore their desire to kill each other in the face of the greater threat that is the Macross.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: In The Antartic Incident, The Executioner assumes that the combination of a large power source and advanced robotic research means Grey Matter Industries must be trying to replicate and improve upon his work, with the ultimate goal of destroying Germany.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Selig is just so sexy even his creator can't help herself. He isn't homosexual, he was just very drunk one night.
  • Everyone Meets Everyone: Malali goes about recruiting the cast one by one for A Night of Death, eventually gathering them into one place; there's even a nice little scene in which Arimus summarises the basics of each character.
  • Evil Genius: The head of Grey Matter Industries, Glados, is this (with a side helping of Big Bad and Chessmaster).
  • Evil Overlord: The Deathknight, complete with an army of The Undead in A Night of Death.
  • Fallen Angel: Though apparently never an actual angel, Ged Tenshi has, through some sort of Black Magic, transformed himself into one of the Fallen.
  • Flaming Sword: Ret's sword can harness four elements, and his favourite of those is fire. When Alarielle focused her powers (also favouring fire) into it during A Night of Death, it was taken Up to Eleven.
  • Finishing Move: Featured in the July '10 Writing Challenge, and many of the characters use one in their victory posts.
  • For Science!: Mortis Blackwraith is a pretty amoral creature, but this seems to be his underlying drive, rather seeking power or simply doing it For the Evulz.
  • G-Rated Drug: Although never expressly stated as marijuana, the herbs that Blitzkrieg and Selig put on their pizza does have hallucinogenic effects.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: After Malali's sacrifice has saved the day, Basis wonders why this isn't happening.
  • Genre Savvy: Almost every character in Adventures in Hammerspace has some genre savviness. Sometimes though it can lead to being Wrong Genre Savvy.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon: Emi Pyra Goteki is a 14 year-old girl armed with a huge supernatural scythe. And a spear for back-up.
  • Give Me a Sign: Malali prays to her Deities for a sign of what to do about Severein. When Zerith Dathka arrives shortly after this prayer, she believes she has gotten her answer.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Zig-zagged in A Night of Death. The situation hasn't crossed the Godzilla Threshold, however if drastic measures aren't taken prematurely it would be forced upon the group later, thus even though The Executioner is clearly an evil machine of death and destruction (and though using him directly worsened the rips in The Void), Arimus accepts it as a necessity, so as to save power for later.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Characters can wield pistols, shotguns, rifles and rocket launchers. But because you can't kill your opponent's character, the worst a duelist generally gets to inflict on another is a wounding shot.
  • Guns vs. Swords: The first part of Carlyle vs Clief has this, although Clief cheated by bringing fireballs.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: There have been quite a few of these created over the years.
  • Hammerspace: Maxwell's entire stock in trade.
    • Camo Man has a similar ability, though he can only take things out of hammerspace, not put things in.
    • A slightly less obvious example would be Silence Templesmith, who has The Plane Box, an object that stores weaponry in another dimension.
  • Healing Factor: Kira is able to heal herself with some effort, and others by touching them. Alexis Merryweather can heal herself as well, and Emote's Love form is based around this ability.
    • The Druid Silvertonuge can heal from almost everything, due to a gift from The Troll Queen.
  • Hearing Voices: A Night of Death - upon observing Saint Pagan, Emote realizes that the man is crazy and speaks to his doll, (whom he calls Bella). Seeking to use this to her advantage, she pretends to be the voice Saint Pagan is talking to. He immediately recognizes her trickery, but is held back from his vengeance by the words he hears from his doll.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Both Ion and C show this.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The Deathknight's laugh is described as being able to leave a weak mind scarred and a poor soul broken.
  • Heroism Incentive: Several of the duelists have to be bribed to join Malali in A Night of Death. He'll destroy the universe? Sorry, I'll need more than that.
  • Herr Doktor: Dr Erik Kaufmann/The Executioner is a doctor, and is also German, obvious accent included.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Crysis and Zone (debatably).
  • Highly Visible Password: Arimus' passwords are spoken aloud and always have some stealth pun buried in the code.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Edison Carlyle Stayler is one of these.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Subverted - Emote and Malali hardly even seem to be trying to be discreet.
    • This also applies to Connor and his (deceased) partner Peter, for a male example.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Used to hack into The Executioner. Justified because Arimus' level of technology is far more advanced than The Executioner's.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: The main ability of both Camo Man and Maxwell. A duel between the two involved lightsabers, velociraptors, and everything in between.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Arimus manages to trick Prince Tiger who has taken control of his body into unleashing the Executioner in the hopes that the demonic machine will kill him.
  • I'll Take Two Beers Too: Johno Lazza really likes his beer - if he hasn't used these exact words yet it's just a matter of time.
  • Implacable Man: Selena quickly learns that the Killer is this when she fights him.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Stayler is a trained marksman. This trope is usually par for the course with characters who use guns in the NDL.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Chaeffer Muensun fights with a sharpened stick of frozen salami.
  • It's Personal: After being casually tossed aside by the Macross, Malali ceases to view the battle as one of survival, and instead feels an overwhelming need to restore her honor.
  • I Work Alone: Malali had tried to fight The Deathknight alone but failed. In A Night of Death she finally learns from this mistake.
  • Just Between You and Me: A Night of Death has a rare heroic example, with Arimus revealing to The Prince the secrets behinds his abilities.
    "Hah, you give away your secrets so easily."
    "I have no reason to hide them, after-all, I am going to kill you."
  • Killed Off for Real: Almost never happens, but at least one old character has been "retired" in this fashion.
  • Kill the Cutie: Poor little Sophie just wanted to find her mommy. Then she met the Executioner.
  • Knife Nut: A few.
    • Benny has a lot of knives. Even her shotgun has a knife attached to it.
    • Johno carries a complement of five knives, three meant for throwing.
    • Although his main weapon is a sword, Zerith Dathka also carries six knives.
    • Silence has a blade that steal's essence called "Vampir die Umarmung" (The Vampire's Embrace.)
  • Kukris Are Kool: One of Benny's main weapons is a kukri. The other is a machete.
  • Lame Comeback:
    Basis: You're gonna lose.
    Malali: Oh, really?
    Basis: Yeah, really!
  • Land Downunder: Johno (real name Jonathan Larswick) heavily embodies someone who walked straight out of this trope and into a shrimp-heavy barbecue.
  • Last of His Kind: Clief (subverted; he believed himself to be the last but there were other survivors), Malali, Malus Nupu.
  • Lawful Evil:
    • Amadeth: Despite her outward disrespect to all things lawful, since her first appearance she's had one goal, and one goal only: Ascencion. What exactly that entails is yet to be revealed.
    • Talbot.
  • Lawful Good:
    • Arimus.
    • Arthur Jayes, at least when not under control of the Camo Jacket.
    • Benny.
    • Chase. He has unwavering devotion to and faith in his Gods, and follows their orders to the letter.
    • Crysis.
    • Daevon has a strict personal set of morals, and makes sure to follow them.
    • Gabriel.
    • Kovu, far more serious than his more chaotic counterpart, Leo.
    • Remiel, in both his religion and his military lifestyle.
    • Shell.
    • Shin.
    • Siobhan, at least in human form.
    • Skahrscherad, despite living on the fringes of society, has a deep devotion to the 'right thing' after the accident that left him trapped in the first place.
    • Taura.
  • Lawful Neutral: Leo, Maxwell, Arca, Ion, Kira, Cam, Steven, Bróna, West.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Sometimes people like to throw in obvious references to other duelists or fictional characters with a Paper-Thin Disguise.
    • And sometimes they don't even bother with the disguise.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Basis has a tendency to ignore strategies and/or sum them up as "Punch 'em in the head, yup."
  • Leit Motif: Daevon Le Sanches comes with his own theme song, a rarity in the NDL.
  • Lethal Chef: Tonya's cooking isn't great.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Maxwell is a stuffed toy/Prinny with a rainbow afro and a daft disposition. His access to hammerspace, though unpredictable, theoretically gives him unlimited potential.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Often with a balancing shortcoming elsewhere.
    • Although probably a bit more brawn than speed, Angus is a towering mass of muscle who nonetheless is quite acrobatic. No ranged capability beyond some knives balances this out.
    • Basis is both superhumanly strong/tough and fast/agile - again, limited primarily to melee attacks.
  • Living Weapon: Mortis' bio-weapon.
  • Little Miss Badass:
    • 16 year-old Alexis, who is sometimes laid back, can quickly become this when the fighting starts.
    • Benny. She looks innocent until you notice the fact she's wielding a shotgun, complete with magic bullets, two big knives, and has enough hand-to-hand talent to take down a jujutsu master.
    • Emi is a 14 year-old girl who acquired supernatural powers and used them to violently murder other people around her age who had bullied/otherwise incensed her in the past.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Or more precisely, losing love makes you evil, isn't that right C?
  • Macguffin: Maxwell the Savior of Mankind's adventure into hammerspace is all to find Super Panties.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: It's a machine named Macross. It fires missiles. What more do you need?
  • Mad Oracle: Waking up in prison, Maxwell encounters Mr Squeegee, a man in a straight jacket who speaks gibberish. Luckily Maxwell's unique mind is able to use these words to trigger an epiphany.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Ion. Come find me, Nightelf. Never mind those tanks and kamikaze jets waiting.
    • Ged. Tenshi.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Crops up from time to time.
  • Man Child: Basis, although to be fair his body did stop growing during puberty, which in turn is a side-effect of being experimented on before he was even born. Takes the trope more literally than most.
  • Make a Wish: Daevon Le Sanches goes into a forgotten forest and finds a fairy. When asked what he wishes for, he says he wants power so that he might take his revenge. The fairy horribly burns his arm and he runs back to his castle. He later discovers the burnt arm can now control fire.
  • Making a Splash: Chase is all about this.
  • Meaningful Name: Quite a common theme.
    • Nae'blis inhabited the body of Garm Belias. Nae'blis = N' Belias. Inverted, as the character's creator completely forgot about it.
    • Malali means Shadow of War, which explains both her fighting style and a little about who she is.
    • Kira Storme's name translates to 'dark violent weather'. Guess what her ability is.
    • Basis was the first of the basis program, and the one they based the other three on.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Upon meeting each other in "The Antarctic Incident", Nae'Blis, Malali and the Executioner immediately enter one of these.
  • Memetic Mutation: Camo Man (man man man man) was originally only to have his name echoed by highly important characters in a bid to echo the way the camo jacket resonated with them, rather than just having it echo every time his name is said. His writer may continue this trend but nobody else will.
    • Once upon a time, Malali was called Mally by Basis. Now this is how almost all forum-goers, and even a few characters, refer to her.
  • Mental World: Sometimes referred to as a mindscape. Ion has entered Malali's, Clief's and part of Emote's, Emote has entered Ion's and Chase's, and Tetrath has entered Malali's.
  • Mind over Matter: Many characters use telekinesis as an ability.
  • Mind Rape: Some characters have ways of attempting to inflict this.
    • The Executioner's more demonic components can seemingly inflict this, but he usually prefers a more direct/bloody approach.
    • Ged Tenshi appears to be able to do this to common people, but less so his stronger-minded opponents.
    • Malali's Firins are capable of something like this with a subdued target, although whether it isn't simply outright torture on every front is hard to tell.
    • Zerith Dathka can cast a spell of sanity-shredding terror via eye contact that only the strongest of wills are able to resist.
  • Misguided Missile: In The Antartic Incident, Malali manages to wrap a chain around a lone missile and uses it to launch said missile back at the Macross.
  • Mordor: A Night of Death saw The Deathknight turn Australia into, well... A really inhospitable wasteland.
  • More Dakka: The Executioner.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Zig zags between characters; a fair number of physical powerhouses look the part, but others may possess comparable or greater strength, often due to supernatural talents.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Tetrath/The End Of All Things, Mortis Blackwraith, Der Scharfrichter (The Executioner), Carnifex Deum (The Executioner of God), Malali (Shadow of War), Maxwell.
  • Necromancer: Ged Tenshi, fallen angel, has this as his forté.
    • [[Spoiler: Saxionomie The Spirit Caller, though he is feared as a "shaman" in his village...]]
  • National Stereotypes: Johno is a barefaced Australian stereotype, written by an Australian author.
  • Nature Hero: Alarielle shows certain elements of this.
  • Neutral Good:
    • Clief.
    • Johno isn't afraid to break the law if he has to, as evidenced by his time in prison.
    • Kira.
    • Leo.
    • Other, while usually respectful of the law, will bend them if they get in the way of what he's doing.
    • Raphius.
    • Zander.
  • Ninja: A semi-popular character archetype.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Dr Erik Kaufmann/The Executioner is an 8-foot+ tall cyborg Nazi demon tank... thing.
  • No Fourth Wall: Some characters take their fictional lives at face value, some have Medium Awareness, and then some are like this.
  • Non-Lethal Warfare: Killing off characters in a duel is forbidden (unless the character is being retired by their author).
  • Noodle Incident: From Selig's profile: "I attended a school that taught me swordsmanship. Not well, mind you, but I did get a lot of practical experience. I later left that school for reasons I do not feel at liberty to disclose. I will simply say that to any person in that school reading this right now, I am deeply sorry and hope that one day I can make up for it all".
  • No Ontological Inertia: Without the Deathknight, his minions are no more.
  • Odd Friendship: Basis and Malali. Where to begin?
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Executioner, as the name suggests, pretty much just kills things a whole lot.
  • One-Man Army: Allowing for a loose definition of man, some duelists can enter this territory.
  • Only I Can Kill Him: Played so straight between Malali and The Deathknight in "A Night of Death" it physically hurt.
  • Only One Name: Several.
    • Alarielle.
    • Angus.
    • Audio
    • Basis.
    • Blitzkrieg.
    • Both Crysis and Zone.
    • Ion.
    • Raphius.
    • Tetrath.
  • Our Demons Are Different: In Silence's world, getting defeated by demons, who are bound by law, is an insult. Hunting and killing daemons, who aren't bound by law, is more of his style.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Zerith Dathka can walk in sunlight unaffected thanks to the heritage of his mother.
    • Mortis Blackwraith has genetically modified himself to not have to drink blood, and also is unharmed by sunlight due to not actually being undead.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: Malali and Arimus utilize these to speak to the other duelists, and bring them all to one place so that they can march against The Deathknight.
  • Outside-Context Villain: Since different characters rarely share personal story elements, pretty much every duel starts off with the other duelist being an Outside Context Opponent. How much and how well they integrate from there is a case-by-case situation.
  • Painful Transformation: Siobhan's switch into her werewolf form is... not pleasant.
  • Personality Powers: Emote's forms all use powers that coincide with the emotion she is representing. For example, Love is able to heal herself and others.
  • Playing with Fire: A common element in many arsenals, with some characters taking it further.
    • Alarielle uses fire and wind magic, with the former usually packing more punch.
    • Alexis is most proficient with fire magic, otherwise having some skill in earth and pretty much none in wind or water.
    • Likewise, Ret Herefit is most skilled with fire of the four classical elements.
    • Zander is all about this, even using it to teleport and change form.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: The newly resurrected Malali plans on serving her home world. Emote (and Basis) beg her to stay with them instead.
  • Plot Coupon That Does Something: The Hearts Of Sin, which Crysis and Zone are seeking, individually grant the latter new abilities on top of the far more potent, united power he's gathering them for in the first place.
  • Power Perversion Potential: So all over the place it actually rarely gets mentioned, probably because it seems too obvious.
  • Powered Armor: Arimus wears one of these, Malali thinking of him as a "metal beast."
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Plentiful.
    Emote: "Call me Emote, Hatred, or a jackass for all I care. But by the end of the day you’ll spill your guts and be glad to do it. You can’t even begin to imagine what I have in store for you.”
    Half-Tail Mac: “Come forth and prepare yourself for the storm, boy.”
  • Reality Warper: C and the other Writers exist(/ed) for this.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Ged Tenshi looks like a fairly normal human (provided you don't pay too much attention to his eyes). He's actually 2,200 years old.
    • Always ready to one-up, Blitzkrieg is 2,300 years old and looks around twenty-five.
    • Malus Nupu looks 8, but is in fact centuries old.
  • Real Women Never Wear Dresses: Benny has to be forced into one.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Tetrath transforms he gets a pair of these.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Basis/Other
    • Firine/Firinar
    • Milly/Azure
    • Tetrath/Credence
    • Fade/Inferno
  • Reformed Criminal: Johno is now out of prison and reformed. Probably.
  • Revenge: Many NDL characters have this as their primary or one of their main motivations.
    • When Daevon Le Sanches' father was fatally wounded in war, he became obsessed with gaining power so that he might enact his revenge.
    • Silence's life revolves around seeing revenge for the death of his parents'.
  • Running Gag: Did you know that Basis likes bubble wrap?
    • Perhaps you know of Clief's shockingly poor people skills.
    • "Some d00ds and lady-d00ds have certain speech tendencies, d00d."
    • "Basis has speechy things too. Audience may have notic- berightbackthere'sasquirellBasishastochase!"
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: Faced with her imminent death, Malali places her soul into the Deathknight's sword.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Arimus in his will instructs Malali to use a code to destroy his base so that the advanced technology inside doesn't fall into the wrong hands.
  • Sequel Hook: In the epilogue of Adventures in Hammerspace, Maxwell realises that he needs to find the Writer again in order to become the Savior of Mankind. We also get the revelation of who Maxwell's creator is, and all that implies.
  • Serial Escalation: Par for the course.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Subverted by Izaiack, who is wearing a suit that would indeed be classy, if not for the wear and tear along with the accompanying bloodstains.
  • Shock and Awe: Was Raven's primary element before acquiring the sword Nevermore, and seems to still be part of her arsenal after.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Glados, a human who doesn't really have any similarities to the computer from Portal beyond being in control of a large/shady organisation, but it's not exactly a common name.
    • Fade Prise, a time traveller, shares a body with a man named Inferno. Both have names from Claudio Sanchez's The Amory Wars, and in Fade's future, the planets are connected by a lattice of energy, similar to The Keywork.
    • To the same extent, we have The Writer, or "C," who has The Writing Well, as compared to The Willing Well. Not to mention a character in The Amory Wars is named "The Writing Writer."
    • In Normal Day, Malali is reading a book. The story isn't very subtle about which book it is.
    • A Night of Death has a minor Australian character called Zachary, who is not unlike a certain member of the forum, including their name.
  • Sir Swearsalot: Most duelists are rather tame in their use of language. This is not the case for Smikals Jeofreddy.
  • Sliding Scale Of Freewill Vs Fate: Emote and Malali have a discussion about where the world falls. Emote seems to believe in a combination of Type 0 and Type 1. Basically our genetic traits and environment mean that we will be a certain way and then Higher Beings decide when we will be born to try and maintain a balance.
  • So What Do We Do Now??: With the Deathknight defeated and her home world no longer in need of her, Malali wonders what is left for her. Emote suggests that she view Emote's world as Valahala, and Malali can be Batman.
  • Speech Impediment: Thelena, the latht printheth of Elinia, hath a thlight lithp.
  • Spider Tank: The Macross, designed and used by Grey Matter Industries during The Antarctic Incident.
  • Spoiler: This ends up being Nezia's weakness, and Maxwell unleashes a barrage of It Was His Sled moments at him.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Mr Squeegee disappears without Maxwell noticing. Selena then informs him that all cells were made for only one man.
  • Storming the Castle: A Night of Death was pretty much built around reaching and then storming The Deathknight's castle.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Dr Kaufmann, a quite insane Nazi when his Demonic Possession isn't making matters worse, is a walking tank with an arsenal large enough to give most superpowers penis envy. And yes, he has a jetpack.
  • Super Mode: Many variants, often with a catch to limit their use.
    • Alarielle can transform into powerful/dangerous entities out of desperation or fury, crossing this with One-Winged Angel.
    • Basis' third personality, with a hard-coded five-minute time limit to avoid permanently damaging his own body.
    • Clief can fuse his mind with Duegan, increasing his physical, mental and magical abilities greatly.
    • The Executioner's various transformations approach this, often taking some time to achieve and creating a new weakness, but giving it an immense boost to its abilities in one or more areas (speed/firepower/etc.).
    • Malali can achieve something like this by using a dose of the Tiaoro Strand Serum X5.
    • Raven being taken over by Diablo is pretty bad for her opponents, but when both merge to form Synn, the result is again somewhere between this and One-Winged Angel.
    • Tetrath has a form like this, explored in both his fight against Malali and A Night of Death.
    • During A Night of Death, The Deathknight erected a giant, black dome which spent a month absorbing magical energy. He then absorbed that, essentially making him able to brush off attacks from Tetrath.
  • Swiss Army Appendage: The Executioner has a few, though they're basically just built-in Swiss Army Weapons.
  • Sword Sparks: When Alexis Merryweather and Kushluk Shimazu crossed blades, the force was enough to produce sparks.
  • Taking the Bullet: Knowing that her attack might destroy the planet, Malali uses her stabilizer and transports herself and the Deathknight to the planet Krad, firing her blast as she does so.
  • Talking Animal: Crysis and Zone, a squirrel and hamster respectively (the latter is, if anything, not good at shutting his mouth).
  • Tearjerker: In A Night of Death, Laytra teleports herself to Europe to prevent a magically infused dead body from exploding and wiping out the continent. The Humans there, caught off guard by her alien appearance and already paranoid due to the events in Austrailia, open fire on her. She bravely rushes through the bullets and makes it to the body before teleporting it, and herself, to Mars so that it can safely detonate. In shock from her wounds, Laytra thinks that she'll just take a quick nap and go visit Arimus for a cup of tea when she wakes up. She never does.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Although unintentional, The Deathknight's attempts at conquest ultimately would have caused the destruction of existence.
  • The Fundamentalist: Saint Pagan believes in his cause. Strongly.
  • The Hunter: Silence exists for this, slaying daemons as vengeance for his parents' deaths years ago. The guild he's joined, The Huntsmen Guild, helps to further this ambition.
  • The Medic: Emote in her Love form, demonstrated well in A Night of Death.
  • The Multiverse: This is how Arimus ''tries'' to explain the many worlds the duelists come from.
  • The Nicknamer: Basis refers to Malali as both Mally and Challenge (which is a common name for Basis' foes) and Zerith Dathka (his self-proclaimed sidekick) as Number Two.
  • The Time of Myths: Half-tail Mac exists in one of these, although it's implied to be ending soon.
    • Chase was born in one of these but went into what is described as a 'deep sleep' when the deities began disappearing, and is now a part of the modern world.
  • There Are No Therapists: Oh boy, are there no therapists.
    • Lampshaded by the May '11 writing challenge, which was focussed around a therapy session.
    • Subverted by Ion and Emote's duel, where the latter went there with the express idea of giving the former therapy. It did not end well.
  • They Called Me Mad!: Glados' speech to his potential investors shows signs of this.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!:
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: Malali and Basis constantly find ways to fight, whether it's out of drunkenness or just plain for fun. Neither has conclusively proven themselves stronger, and Basis is adamant that they'll be fighting for a long time.
  • Tin Tyrant: The Deathknight.
  • To The Fifth Circle And Back: Malali journeys to the depths of Lar's underworlds to retrieve the war-hammer Eclipse in order to fulfil a not entirely stable prophecy. It wasn't a pleasant journey.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Malali and Emote respectively (at least when the latter is in her less volatile forms).
  • Tough Act to Follow: Ret Herefit is a direct descendant of one of the eight great heroes of the War of the Realms, and realises what that implies, but unlike most feels his destiny is something he must earn, rather than simply being entitled to it.
  • Trick Arrow: Malali's arsenal includes these, with blunt, sharp, poison tipped and flammable varieties, as well as others that make up her most powerful attacks, including a 'nuke' arrow.
  • True Neutral:
    • Lanate is a Type 5.
    • Mortis just gets on with his research, at least until someone interferes.
    • Noxequa upholds no stated moral code.
    • Suuri, although she wavers between Lawful and Chaotic.
    • Weg. He just does what he does.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: The entrie premise of a double-length writing challenge.
    • Subverted when a zombie-like infection started to spread through the group of duelists in A Night of Death - the already strained alliance crumbled to an all out brawl. Eventually the situation is resolved.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Poor Arthur Jayes (first name confirmed as a shout-out). He didn't ask for this.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Selig often has to butt in to set his own writer straight.
  • Variable-Length Chain: Malali's demon-possessed kama can do this, altering the length of the chain between the two weapons at will.
  • Video Will: Arimus leaves one of these for Malali to explain why he had to do the things he did.
  • Vigilante Man: When Stayler is hunting down criminals he does not aim to wound.
  • Villainous Breakdown: It's a long time coming, but The Deathknight finally suffers one of these in A Night of Death, complete with the symbolic loss of his imposing armour to reveal the withered being within.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Hyuga is able to fuse with anything near him and gain powers based off the property of the item he fused with. He is even able to fuse with God, but the stronger the transformation the harsher the consequences for his mind and body.
  • Warrior Prince: Daevon Le Sanches is the heir to his kingdom's throne.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    Emote: "I've heard what (The Firins) do in their alone time, I will not condone such things whilst you're within my city, do you understand?! I don't care how black these souls that they target are, if there is even a chance for change allowing what your pets do to them is not right and you know it."
  • White Void Room: The meeting room of the Antarctic Base in The Antartic Incident is designed like this. It is aptly named "the white room".
  • Witch Species: Kira is from a family of witches.
  • Words Can Break My Bones: Lanate's main method of attack.
  • World of Badass: Understatement.
  • Worthy Opponent: The reason Tetrath spared Malali's life, or so he says. Crops up semi-frequently between duelists.
  • Would Not Hit a Girl:Blitzkrieg would never hit a woman, as long as they are normal and not duelist level in power.
    • Subverted once, he hit a (mostly) normal woman but she WAS about to destroy his world so...
  • Would Hit a Girl: Given the number of badass fighting females in the NDL, it would probably be best to assume this is the case unless something in a character's profile indicates otherwise.
  • Your Head A Splode: When a regular soldier fires on him, the Deathknight calmly absorbs the shot then flicks his wrist and causes the soldier's head to turn into a red mist.
  • Your Mom:
    Basis (to Nae'blis during his metal phase in A Night of Death): "Your mama was so fat... erm... she married a space shuttle! Get it, 'cause she was metal, like you."
  • Your Soul Is Mine: The Deathknight, Prince Tiger, and Ged Tenshi. Hey, those souls were just sitting there anyway.

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alternative title(s): Neo-Duelist League; Neo-Duelist League
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