The 50th Overlord

Blindfold Proxy

The winner of the summer-cycle Warlord Tourney of 2002 was by no means new to the Duel of Swords, but to most he was still a stranger, recognizable only by his affiliation with The Blindfold--a middle-of-nowhere brothel turned casino and dueling arena infamous for its publicized death matches. Upon going undefeated in the tournament, he claimed as his prize the right to challenge the Overlord, which he utilized a few days later; however, it would be more than two weeks before Overlord Cletus Ganderfald and The Blindfold Proxy would meet in the ring. The small crowd in attendance that night witnessed three close, seesaw duels, of which the first two were settled in sudden death, and the third bestowed the mantle to the Proxy when he cut into the leg of the sidestepping Overlord for the 5-3 victory. The Blindfold issued a statement the following day saying that the new Overlord would be taking the next couple weeks to recover from wounds received in the match.

A side note: The day of the Proxy's challenge to Overlord Ganderfald, The Blindfold delivered as a "gift" to the Duel of Swords Arena a conjoined pair of statues depicting two duelists of differing cultural backgrounds, both holding their swords up at one another to cross blades. It was placed below the portrait of Gondar at the south-end wall.

Three weeks into his reign, The Blindfold Proxy stepped into the Arena to settle a challenge issued by Warlord Face Loran. Also in attendance that night was the Baron of the Thirteenth, Drachen, who had been all but unheard of in the Duel of Swords since attaining the title over nine months prior--and who, it was rumored, was presently taking up residence at The Blindfold. When the Proxy announced that Drachen would be administering a Test of Worthiness, the Warlord appeared surprised and, as no Renegade Barons were present, stepped into the ring to face the Test himself. Perhaps he was caught off-guard, or perhaps he was simply outmatched by the Baron; but not a round passed in which Face was able to avoid the twin-dagger onslaught; and only twice, in the third and fifth rounds, was he able to match it with a cut from his lightsaber. With a 5-2 victory in a brief five rounds, Drachen decisively championed the throne.

Throughout the Proxy's reign, failures of the Ward of Gondar were readily reported, the earliest by official Nycholas DeGyrlington who observed its weakened effects during Nicholas Tyme's challenge to Ticallion Carter for the Twelfth. These cases culminated in the death of former Dueling Forum official Charlie Jericho in a heated duel with fellow employee Alexandria Wells-Graziano. Many, for reasons undisclosed, began to suspect the new statues as the underlying force, and to accuse the Proxy for having them placed in the Arena for that reason. In a general statement to the community, the Proxy denounced all accusations as "preposterous" while at the same time questioning the Ward's "dependability" and the Arena's reliance on it, and also voiced that his position in Duel of Swords was no more than as a "publicity campaigner," so that he would not be getting involved in anyone's personal vendetta.

It was the thick of these accusations that helped fuel a challenge from Renegade Baron Cassius Maximus, who pressed his immediately after acquiring the Ninth. On the night of the match, the Proxy expressed his interest to test the Baron (which involved handing the official, Var Medici-Giovanni, an envelope formally titled "Surprise Tester"). Guesses were rampant as to who it would be, as his second Kaene the Black and two Loyals, Drachen and Jaycy Ashleana, were present that night--but the official announced the champion as Warlord Drey Starke, a man of public distaste for the challenger. As the Baron's intended champion was not present, Cassius requested the services of Baron of the First G'nort Dragoon-Talanador.

For a second time, the Proxy showed that he had a good eye for champions. Drey took the lead over G'nort in the first round and held it throughout to dispatch the Baron 5.5-3 in nine rounds. Cassius next stepped into the ring to meet the champion, who again took the lead from the start. Cassius only tied him once in the third round at one point apiece, after which Drey jumped out to a three-point lead eventually to win 5.5-3 in twelve rounds and preserve the Overlordship for the Proxy. The challenger then became the challenged as Drey pressed his right as a successful champion upon Cassius for the Ninth, but was unable to wrest it from his grasp.

Shortly thereafter, a challenge was served by the runner-up in the fall-cycle Warlord Tourney, Dalila, whose stated intent was to find clues for the Ward's failure. This time the Proxy was unable to call upon a champion, and the challenge was met in a best-of-three. Maybe his time spent out of the ring caused his skills to atrophy, but Dalila's cause guided her blade well, and after two duels she had secured herself the crown, winning 5-1 in eight rounds and 6.5-5 in twelve rounds consecutively.

As a final note, no further cases of the Ward's failure were reported after the Proxy's descension from Overlord, and the Proxy himself vanished from the Arena. The statues remain, but at some point following the challenge with Dalila the great slab on which they once stood, supposedly made of the same substance as the blades of the statues, had disappeared, lowering the granite figures to ground level. Their blades are still said to glow on those nights with the thickest dueling action.

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