Finally, after much discussion and procrastination, the final thirty-two were decided on and can be found here: The Contenders. It's probably a good idea to go read that first or the rest of this post might not make an awful lot of sense (if there's any sense to be made).
The draw occurred sometime in March several thousand feet above Iceland and was a complex system of Long Jack picking numbers that Seismic Stan had assigned randomly to the contenders. There might have been a better method, but it passed the time en-route to Fanfest.
But now, amidst the Alliance Tournament, the time seems right to unleash these brave champions to engage each other in mortal combat to determine once and for all who is Champion in the the Battle of the Frigates.
Without further ado, here is the first round. May the best 'Frigate' win.
Probe vs Tormenter
The School Bully Tormentor is distracted from his daily administration of chinese burns to the nerdy by a fiery streak falling from the sky and landing at the top of the school field. Rushing to investigate, he spies the Viper Class Probe droid rising from the crater. School Bully fires off a conker from his catapult, but this only serves to draw the Probe's attention, who quickly opens up with a salvo of laser fire, incinerating the School Bully.
Vigil vs Worm
Once again maintaining his vigil on patrol, Captain Vimes' favourite boots are so worn from patrolling the streets of Ankh-Morpork that he can feel every cobble beneath his feet. The worm sees this as a potential weakness in Vimes' defences and attempts a full-on assault of the underside of of his feet. It fails and the worm is unsurprisingly crushed.
Executioner vs Rifter
The Grim Reaper is the ultimate executioner, being an anthropormorphic personification of the concept of death, he is invisible to the living. He simply arrives at the appropriate time to harvest an individual's soul at the end of their life only then becoming perceivable by the reaped soul. Poor Mrs. Jones the Seamstress didn't really have a chance. Fed up with having to rift 'er materials apart, she was looking for her lost scissors when her feet became tangled on a discarded ball of yarn, causing her to fall hard. Only then did she find her scissors. With her face. Reaped.
Comet vs Crucifier
Pontius 'Crucifier' Pilate watches the sky for his prey, his Pilum at the ready. He is a hunter and has studied his quarry, learned to understand how he thinks and now he waits patiently for his opportunity to strike. But Comet the flying reindeer is no mug and has also done his homework. Using Santa's magic to warp in cloaked, he manages to get close enough to flick some dung into Pilate's eyes before goring the floundering Roman on his horns.
Merlin vs Imicus
There the Imicus lads were, having a few beers at the end of a gig when some mad old fella throws a pint over the drummer. Giving the old coot the benefit of the doubt, they suggest it might be time for him to go home. In response the wrinkly chap bottles the bass player. This was the final straw and Imicus grabs hold of the old-timer, marching him outside and throwing him into the street before returning to their beers. As Merlin dusts himself off, he smiles as he mutters the words that send the entire Pub collapsing into a bottomless abyss.
Punisher vs Firetail
Your Mum (Punisher) isn't happy that you've been up all night playing World of Warcraft and frowns as you tell her you just need to kill one more Firetail Scorpid. She walks away, seemingly defeated by the fearsome sight of a low-polygon cartoon scorpion, but moments later everything suddenly shuts down. She cut the power! How can she cut the power, man? She's your Mum. Her victorious taunt comes from downstairs; “Play a proper MMO you loser and harden the fuck up!”
Slicer vs Tristan
Tristan is such a nice lad, he sees the innocent Meat Slicer sitting on the counter in his local Butcher's Shop and fails to comprehend that it is possessed by a dark power that has already claimed the life of Bill the Butcher. Oh dear, he notices it seems a little soiled with bits of blood and meat,and decides he'll just clean that up for Bill whilst he waits for him to get....bllaarZZZZZZZaaaargh -splat-crunch...drip....drip....drip.
Bantam vs Inquisitor
The Inquisitor wonders idly if animals have souls as watches the small bird pecking away at the ground. He suspects they must as they are all created by The Almighty, but perhaps they a lesser souls. The Bantam pecks the ground a little closer. The Inquisitor speculates about whether lesser souls are capable of sin and decides they must be, for all souls are sinners. The Bantam pecks enthusiastically at the soil beside the Inquisitor's boot. The Inquisitor suspects that the Bantam covets the soil under his boot and decides to cleanse it's soul with his bolt-gun. There is a brief flash and a cloud of feathers settles as the Inquisitor mutters a prayer for departing sinners.
Cruor vs Maulus
“Stormtroopers? Here?” exclaimed Threepio (Maulus) as he minced into a concealed annex in Cloud City. He barely had time to realise the amassed stormtroopers were ignoring him – after all he was just another protocol droid – when he slipped on a puddle of Ugnaught vomit (Cruor) and hit the ground with a crash. A startled Stormtrooper with a trigger-finger opened fire at the noise, ruining C-3P0's day.
Kestrel vs Magnate
Jim Morrison laid back in the bath, allowing the coloured threads of his magnificent trip wash over him. There was a fluttering at the window and he idly noticed a bird appear there. Woah. Wouldn't it be mad if he and the bird were like, spaceships in some big fight amongst the stars. That would be the ultimate trip, man. This is the end. My friend, the end. The Merlin merely watches as Jim 'Magnate' Morrison slips away into the afterlife, dreaming of internet spaceships.
Condor vs Navitas
Due to being a high profile figure who has a burning desire for the world to hate him less, Bill 'Navitas' Gates gets some legal advice about his match and discovers that the Condor is a protected species. Doing the gallant thing, he steps aside, allowing the Condor the progress to the next round.
Succubus vs Heron
The Heron does it's thing, standing stock-still in the water, which is a lot like being asleep. Not being much of an ornithologist, the Succubus is unsure whether the Heron is conscious or not so she decides to make her move. The Heron is startled by the sudden appearance of a naked winged lady and has a quick peck. The ethereal nature of the Succubus renders the Heron's attacks futile. The Succubus crushes the thrashing Heron quickly between her thighs.
Atron vs Incursus
Russell 'Incursus' Crowe charges into the laboratory and hurls his cellphone at the humming machine. The phone shatters on impact, causing no real harm. The Excessive Machine (aka the Orgasmatron) sits idle and Crowe realises after a few speculative kicks that the machine poses no real threat. Crowe wonders if there's any beer around and finds something that smells alcoholic in some test tubes. A few slugs later Crowe decides to take a nap. Where does he lay? You guessed it. At least he died happy.
Griffin vs Slasher
The hot match of the round, with the fight starting in earnest with repeated dive-bombs from the Griffin causing several serious wounds to Freddy Krueger with it's claw and beak attacks. Kreuger stood firm though and managed to cause a couple of bloody gashes of his own. After repeated jousts, both combatants begin to tire. Kreuger, having taken the worse battering, drops to his knees. The Griffin lands nearby, sensing his prey weaken. The Griffin approaches then lunges forward to finish the Slasher, but Freddy springs up and decapitates the Griffin. He licks his blades triumphantly.
Breacher vs Daredevil
An apparent mismatch, with the 72-ton tank surely outmatching a blind martial-artist, however the Breacher is hardly a quiet machine and Daredevil is able to use his super hearing to spring a trap. Catching the Breacher by surprise, Daredevil leaps out from the shadows and lands on top of the turret and begins to open the access hatch. Panicking, the tank crew fire the high-grade mine-clearing rockets causing an almighty explosion which effectively 'blinds' the Daredevil, who falls off the tank and is comically crushed under the caterpillar tracks.
Hookbill vs Dramiel
Dr. Amiel is a good man and does good work, but at the end of a hard day's brain surgery, he likes nothing more than to take potshots at local wildlife. The day the Hookbill came a-calling, the poor little bird didn't know what hit him and was pink mist before the round really began.
Tune in soon to find out what happens in the remaining rounds and which frigate will ultimately be crowned Champion in the Battle of the Frigates.
Next: Round of Sixteen