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"Burning Avalon has been in place for longer than I have held this office; it's a tradition that stretches back centuries, if not longer. Personally I find the whole thing a little barbaric, and it tends to incite unwelcome amounts of discord among my wards, but the tournament is a mandate set forward by an authority higher than myself. As I understand it, Burning Avalon is a compromise of sorts. History is rife with examples of brave heroes rampaging around in the underworld to bring back the soul of some passing fling or another, or some necrotic sorcerer seeking to escape from its eternal fate by disrupting the natural order of things. Burning Avalon provides a means for everyone to get a chance at this madness, while being organized enough for me to continue running an effective afterlife for those who have the presence to work within the system.

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The rules are simple. Wager your soul (or closest approximation thereof in relation to your own existence), cruise around the underworld collecting the souls of your competition (in handy pocket friendly form), and then trade those souls to me for the life of one mortal. Easy.

Of course, every system has it's malcontents and trouble makers."

Burning Avalon is a completed Original Character Tournament hosted on deviantART here.

In the Burning Avalon Tournament characters will hunt to underworld for the soul coins of their competition; hoping to trade the collected sum to Murdoc, God of the Dead, for one mortal life. Some participate in this adventure to escape from the afterlife, some seek to return the life of a lost loved one, and some seek more alien purposes. However, there is a price- those who lose their soul coins forfeit their soul to the underworld.

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The winner was Beanjamish with Melody (story starts here), second place going to Unknown-Person and Tickity-Tock with Huitzi and Akeyra (starts here) however, to get the whole picture, reading the other entries is recommended.

Character sheet can be found here.


This OCT contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Melody and Sada. Sono relies more on stalling, allowing her curse Apnea to drain her foe's energy.
  • Animalistic Abomination: Anxiety. Good god, Anxiety. It looks like a giant worm with a human torso and a wolf's skull for its head. And since he/she's part of a Terrible Trio, her "brothers" Sorrow and Anger can also be considered these.
  • Badass Normal: Huitzi is one of two petitioners without some kind of technological or supernatural power and he knows how to kick ass. Leona on the other hand is very hesitant to fight.
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  • Back from the Dead: The person who acquires the soul coins can resurrect a person for themselves. However, some of the competitors have more sinister purposes...
  • Beat Still, My Heart: Huitzi performs this as per Aztec tradition after knocking Clay out a second time.
  • Berserk Button: Do NOT touch Huitzi's helmet!
    • A lot of the petitioners have another- having their soul coin stolen.
  • Big Bad: There isn't really one at first, until the Ninth Symphony enters the underworld.
  • Bittersweet Ending: For a dark premise, the ending is surprisingly hopeful. The Ninth Symphony is defeated, and the soul coins were not sacrificed to Murdoc, therefore the petitioners that were still alive in the tournament can technically go free. However, much of the underworld was ravaged by the Nine, and those who died in the tournament stay dead.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Most of the petitioners' motives are either very self-centered or downright evil. Melody even points this out.
    "This fucked up story has no heroes."
  • Blown Across the Room: Melody's Amp Arms are made to do this to opponents via sonic attack.
  • Blue and Orange Morality:
    • Dretos. As an otherworldy entity he has little understanding of things like good or evil.
    • Ragdoll, who can only feel the emotions of others. His view on things is otherwise... weird.
  • Book-Ends: Melody plays AC/DC's "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" twice over the course of events. First during her Establishing Character Moment in the audition comic, then again during the final battle against the Ninth.
  • Breakout Character: Huitzi. Like Karl, he's one of Unknown-Person's characters.
  • Child Mage: Lil' Jack. Shaun may seem as this at first, being able to cast the same spells as Lil' Jack, but he's actually MUCH older. This is because Shaun is Lil' Jack.
  • Climactic Battle Resurrection: Partial example. The Soul fragments inside the Soul Coins take the forms of all the petitioners, and they defeat Nine by ripping him apart and sealing him within the Soul Coins.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Ragdoll's scarf changes colour depending on his opponent's (and subsequently his own) emotions.
  • Comical Translation: A justified Prank Translation occurs in Beanjamish's version of the last round. Melody and Huitzi have been captured by an army of angry spirits who want the rest of the soul coins they had. Unfortunately for the army, Huitzi doesn't have his coins on him or speak English. He does know a little Spanish, though, and Melody is bilingual (Spanish and English), so she can understand him. But since she wants to stop the army, she deliberately mistranslates what he says.
  • Cool Mask: Both Murdoc and Shaun have one.
    • Subverted by Ragdoll, his white "mask" is his actual face.
  • Crossover Cosmology: The land of the dead contains underworlds from different religions and mythologies. We have places like The Chinvat Bridge, the Sanzu River, Tartarus, Jannah, The World Tree, etc.
  • Cursed with Awesome:
    • Keeno's demon in his arm allows him to use shadow-like powers when in a pinch.
    • Lucifer's Satan arm. It's normally limp, but when he is desperate, the arm turns into a bony arm in purple aura that can use devastating attacks.
    • Evan was merged with a demon when it killed him. This gives him a shapeshifting arm with high offensive powers.
    • Sono was cursed with an curse that constantly drains her vitality and makes her feel tired... but if an opponent is nearby, it drains their energy instead and passes it to her.
  • Curse: Sono is cursed with an energy-draining curse that takes a physical form known as Apnea. However, it can drain the energy of others and pass the energy to Sono.
  • Cyborg: Melody, Semblance and Clay have varying degrees of cybernetic augmentation.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Almost all the petitioners have one to varying degrees of intensity. This is why they are here in the Burning Avalon tournament.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Ragdoll.
  • Deal with the Devil: The tournament itself.
    • Lucifer did this literally after he got badly injured in one arm and was about to die.
  • Demonic Possession: Various kinds:
    • Keeno has a demon sealed within his body. Unlike many examples, Keeno is in control of it and not the other way around.
    • Evan was killed by a Grell (a negative energy-eating demon) and it merged with him instead of eating his soul. Both sides have separate minds.
    • Later on, Lil' Jack tries to use Melody's gathered soul coins to bring back Jack. Although Jack is resistant to possession, it doesn't save him from being possessed by the Nine.
  • Deus ex Machina: The 16 soul coins trap the Nine inside them.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: After Melody gets attacked and curbstomped by the Ninth Symphony, it gives a speech on how everything is going to die. Mel's response?
    *flipping the bird* "Eat a dick."
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Subverted when Melody uses her 11th-Hour Superpower to overpower the Nine's minions... and the Nine promptly smacks her, destroying her equipment and her bionic arm, injuring her and knocking her to the ground. And then the souls from the 16 soul coins tear up The Ninth Symphony and seal it inside the coins.
    • Played straight earlier when Akeyra uses Huitzi's spear to destroy the soul-hungry god Loas.
  • Dramatic Unmask: After Lil' Jack loses his Soul Coins to Melody, Shaun explains to Lil' Jack about what will happen, then unmasks. It turns out that Shaun IS Lil' Jack after a soul reconstruction.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Ninth Symphony. A being of chaos and destruction that was once sealed by Melody's ancestor but has now broken loose. It's so destructive that both the entire underworld and Satan find it a massive problem!
  • Elemental Powers: Being a mage, Lil' Jack can use a number of them. He beats Dretos by using a powerful fire spell.
  • The Empath: Ragdoll, whose only emotions he can feel are the emotions of those around him.
  • Empathic Environment: The souls of the dead, Nidhoggr and other hazards attack a number of contestants mid-battle.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even demons dislike Dretos' methods of Mind Rape. And then there's the Judges- not evil per se, but they hate Dretos as he actually uses his mind tricks to play with them.
    • Satan himself says that the Ninth Symphony is worse then Hell itself.
  • Evil Brit: Lil' Jack isn't really evil (he's just a kid!), but is very selfish, spoiled, cocky and borderline sociopathic.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Underworld city of Avalon actually burns up when the Nine reaches it. Hence, Burning Avalon.
  • Expressive Accessory: Ragdoll's scarf changes colour depending on how he and his opponent are feeling.
  • The Good Guys Always Win: A quote used by Lil' Jack. Twice. The second time, Melody tells him that this story has no heroes.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Used when Anxiety attacks Sada and also a random person later on.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Ragdoll, a being made up of fragments of souls.
  • Human Sacrifice: Huitzi reluctantly performs a heart sacrifice on Clay after the latter refused to give up fighting him.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Minus the Extreme Prejudice part. Semblance gets unintentionally killed by a gigantic falling clock hand.
  • Ironic Echo: "I can make you squeal." In Beanjamish's take on the last round, it's first said by the leader of the angry spirit army to Huitzi when trying to make him talk. Huitzi throws his words back at him several panels later as he stabs him in the back with his spear.
  • Kill ’Em All: Anxiety kills at least one character in all her canon appearances. Even when finally killed in Huitzi's round, she still managed to kill Akeyra.
  • Kill It Through Its Stomach: This is how Huitzi kills off Anxiety.
  • Knife Nut: Lucifer, Ragdoll and Lil' Jack.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Semblance refuses to fight Melody when she was falling-down drunk, telling her to sleep and sober up for the following day's fight.
  • Living Shadow: Xenos, a demon locked within Keeno. It likes to piss off Keeno and try to make Keeno believe that it's in control.
  • MacGuffin: The 16 soul coins. The person who acquires all can use them to revive one person.
  • The Magic Versus Technology War: Melody (a cyborg) fights against Lucifer (a guy with Satan's power in one arm) in her first round and Lil' Jack (a Child Mage) later on. She beats both of them.
    • There's also Semblance (A cyborg) versus Keeno (A guy with a shadow demon sealed within).
  • Many Spirits Inside of One: Ragdoll is a patchwork of spirit parts. Dretos is a being partially merged with spirits stored inside him.
  • Mayincatec: Huitzi, a resurrected Aztec warrior.
  • Meaningful Name: Melody Fasola comes from a family of Magic Music users.
    • Lucifer has the power of Satan in his right arm.
  • Mind Screw: Whatever unintelligible stuff goes through Ragdoll's mind is left to the reader's imagination. Heck, most of his comic entries contain copious amounts of it.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Melody's reaction after killing Semblance, which is also the first time she had killed someone in her entire life.
  • Nice Hat: Huitzi's Tzoncalli. Don't touch it.
    • Melody wears a studded hat.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: A subtle one in Semblance's backstory. He killed an attacker that gravely wounded him and his girlfriend in an effort to save themselves. He starts out in Tartarus, the place where dead petitioners who have committed sins start out in. Winston even comments that Semblance isn't a bad fellow, but he screwed up big time.
  • Off with His Head!: Huitzi cuts off Ragdoll's head.
  • Oh, Crap!: Happens quite a number of times.
  • Ooc Is Serious Business: Huitzi acts calmly when Ragdoll takes off his helmet. This is actually part of a ploy to steal Ragdoll's Soul Coin, as Ragdoll copies Huitzi's act of taking something important.
  • The Quiet One: Semblance is the character who converses the least. Even Anxiety talks more often if Illas is counted.
  • Please Wake Up: Melody to Semblance after she unintentionally kills him.
  • Power Gives You Wings: In the finale, Melody's amp arms turn into wings as she channels her ancestor's power. Also doubles as Foreshadowing since Melody is the reincarnation of said ancestor.
  • The Power of Rock: Melody uses this at the end to destroy all of the Nine's minions. But this was not enough to beat Nine.
  • Red Right Hand:
    • Lucifer's right arm is normally limp until he calls on the power of Satan. Then it becomes this trope.
    • Evan's right arm is demonic, as a result of getting merged with a demon.
  • The Reveal
    • Shaun is Lil' Jack's future self
    • Melody is the reincarnation of Harmony Fasola, the woman who sealed the Ninth Symphony in the past.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Huitzi (an Aztec warrior armed with nothing but a spear) actually manages to beat Melody (a cyborg girl with four sonic-blasting backpack speaker arms) in their first encounter.
    • In his first fight, he defeats the augmented gun-wielding soldier Clay.
  • Sai Guy: Ragdoll's Weapon of Choice.
  • Showdown At 9:00 AM: Between Semblance and Melody.
  • Shown Their Work: Unknown-Person and Tickity-Tock did a good amount of research on Aztec language, culture and history and incorporated it into Huitzi's story.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Huitzi and Melody swear a lot more than the other competitors.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: Jack and Lil' Jack, Huitzi and Akeyra.
  • Symbol Swearing: Used frequently by Melody and a bit less frequently by Huitzi. Bonus points for Huitzi's having Aztec symbols.
  • Take a Third Option: Melody doesn't use the soul coins to resurrect anyone and decides to face off against the Ninth Symphony without needing to resurrect her ancestor.
  • Tears of Blood: Not exactly blood, but Ragdoll cries the weird black stuff that he's made of when he's sad or angry.
  • Terrible Trio: Anxiety, Sorrow and Anger. The Porter decides to send Anxiety first, and later sends the other two when Anxiety is defeated by Huitzi.
  • There Can Only Be One: Only one petitioner can use the 16 soul coins to revive a person of their choice. Subverted when Melody refuses to use them.
  • The Stoic: Semblance.
  • Translator Microbes: Huitzilin, the spirit parrot.
  • Two Beings, One Body: Evan, who has a Grell demon fused to him.
  • The Unintelligible: Ragdoll tends to speak in weird garbled sentences. He can speak normal language, however.
  • Use Your Head: Huitzi's headbutt attack on Clay.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: At one point, Melody stores Semblance's Soul Coin in her cleavage. Turned out to be a good idea, because selfish Lil' Jack decided to nab the rest from her and use them in a spell.
  • Villain Protagonist: Dretos and Anxiety.
  • Voice of the Legion: Ragdoll. However, he isn't evil.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: A number of competitors aren't above killing to get a loved one revived.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Huitzi calls out Akeyra once he finds out her motive for collecting the Soul Coins.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Dretos' illusions can cause physical damage as if they were real, once the victim is unable to discern between illusion and reality.
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