Asgardians (2): Fandral the Fair, Hogun the Horrible, Volstagg the Voluminous, Thor, Lady Sif

Excalibur (10): Captain Britain, Meggan, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Nightcrawler

“Curse you, Beyonder!” Thor lamented as he surveyed his next opponents, for across the arena there stood stalwart friends of old, the heroic mutants of Excalibur! He addressed his fellow Asgardians, “I know these heroes of old! I beg you, friends: dispense with them gently.” With a whirl of Mjolnir, he took to the air, followed by Captain Britain.

“Pick your targets carefully, you lot! They’re Asgardian but they’re not invincible. Pete, you take the big one quick as you can; you’re on Thor if I fall. Kurt, don’t let Sif get the drop on you, her sword lets her teleport!” With that, Brian took to the sky after Thor.

Kurt strode towards the Asgardians nonchalantly. “Friends! It appears you are overburdened by weapons. It so happens I am a fair-to-middling swordsman of the Deutsche Schule! Perhaps one of you could be so sporting as to lend me a blade…?” The blonde man with a passing resemblance to Errol Flynn, Fandral by name if Kurt remembered correctly, blinked at him, nonplussed. “Er… certainly! Why not?” said the Asgardian, and tossed him an extremely lightweight, well-made kurzeschwert with quite interesting Nordic (or pre-Nordic!) markings along the hilt and down the fuller! “Danke, Fandral! En garde!” And with that, the dance began!

Fandral was grateful for such a pleasant diversion. Last round’s warriors had been so… serious. It was enjoyable to take a few moments and just trade remarks and ripostes with this jovial dark elf! But what’s this? The blue devil had teleported behind him and attempted to surprise him! A new challenge! What fun! As they danced, the elf’s movements across the battlefield became somewhat predictable. I attack here, he teleports there. He teleports there, I block here. And so on, and so on. “I’m sorry, my friend, but this has become boring,” Fandral drawled, and turned away from Nightcrawler, holding his sword out so that– *BAMF!* “Argh!” –the elf teleported onto Fandral’s sword (in a nonvital area of course). “Better luck next time. Tschus!

Hogun the Grim was displeased with his opponent. She would not stay still or fight back! This diminutive Midgard maiden was some sort of ghost! His mace passed through her without doing any harm, no matter where the blow may fall! “Sorry, Hagar the Horrible! Gotta be quicker than that!” the foolish sprite said as his mace whistled through the air again and again, sometimes right through her face! Hogun chased her across the arena as the disrespectful human ducked away from him again and again, until he found himself right behind his sworn companion, Volstagg! Then the fool stuck her head through Volstagg’s back, and stuck her tongue out at Hogun! This indignity could not be borne any longer! He reared back and swung with all his might, connecting with– Volstagg! Who, distracted by his fight with the metallic man on the other team, turned at the feeling of impact and lashed out with his staff– connecting with Hogun’s face and knocking the Grim Warrior out for the moment. “What– Hogun?? Why did you hit me! I’m sorry, old friend! Oh no–”

Colossus, familiar with Kitty’s tactics, took advantage of Volstagg’s distracted mistake and put all his strength into a devastating right cross, dropping the gigantic Einherjar with the red beard. “Thanks, Katya! This one had me tied up for a while. Where do we stand?”

“Kurt’s down but breathing. Brian and Thor are duking it out up there.” She pointed above the arena, as if Piotr needed to be told that the bursts of light a hundred feet above him were related to Thor and Captain Britain– besides Ben Grimm and the Hulk, perhaps two of the only others in the world who were stronger than himself. “Looks like Meggs is trying to keep Sif from using her sword to teleport. And here comes–” she broke off as the blonde man in green Piotr had seen earlier rushed towards them.

“You defeated my sworn brothers of the Einherjar! Have at thee, metal golem– urk!” the swordsman fell beside his brothers, victim of another haymaker punch from Lake Baikal’s champion boxer. The Asgardian’s blade did not break on Piotr’s skin– in fact, it poked him, such that he actually felt it! But neither did it break his skin. This metal of the gods was no joke, Piotr mused.

“Do you think you can take Thor if he takes down the Captain?” Kitty asked. Piotr thought for a moment.

“Probably not,” he said quietly. “But we will see.”

Apart from the fiasco with the Warriors Three, Sif was also having problems with her mark. This is no mutant or human, she thought, this is a fairy from some other realm! No matter how she attacked, this Meggan moved at the last second, or diverted her sword with a blast of force, or used some petty earth magick to unsteady Sif’s feet so that she missed! “Sorry, milady!” said the fairy in a mocking tone, “but Excalibur doesn’t fall to lesser swords!”

Sif paused, and looked to the sky, just in time to see a flash of light and a human-shaped figure begin to fall… one not wearing a cape or bearing a hammer. “Look you to the sky, fairy,” said Sif, and pointed. “Long ago did your isle fall to the power of the Norse. Aethelred fell to the Danes; now see Merlin’s champion fall to Mjolnir.”

Meggan watched with horror as Captain Britain plummeted to the ground with a resounding KROOMM. “Brian!” she cried, and as her attention was diverted, Sif’s sword fell. She was merciful, and its magicks merely hurt her instead of killing her.

“I’ve done as you wished, Thor,” she muttered, observing the unconscious forms of the Warriors Three. “For all the good it will do…”

Kitty and Piotr stood tall as Thor and Sif approached them. “Thou hast fought valiantly, Xavier’s children,” said Thor. “Stand down, for I do not wish to hurt thee.”

Kitty and Piotr exchanged glances, and then moved as one toward Thor. A flash of lightning enveloped the arena, and as the smoke cleared, the two X-Men lay at Thor’s feet.

“Valiant to the last,” Thor remarked to Sif. “Valhalla would welcome them!”

WINNER: The Asgardians

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