THE STORY SO FAR – CHAPTER 5: ELDER’S WAR | Marvel Contest of Champions

Siblings have a tendency towards jealousy for one another. particularly when the other’s “toys” are involved. Elders of the universe are no exception. En Dwi Gast, or “The Grandmaster as he is more commonly known, spared subtlety when he came to The Battlerealm; instead interrupting the Collector’s new tournament face to face, claiming The Battlerealm his own and his younger brother a fraud. Working with Loki, he began to subvert The Contest, destabilizing what structure there was, and using honeyed words to convince the Summoners to betray their steward. He presented a compelling point: Had The Battlerealm not been a place of chaos under The Collector’s watch? The Universal Gamesman presented a world where The Contest would come to an end once completed, should he have his way. It was a convincing argument, made only moreso by The Grandmaster’s great reveal: He had been stealing the energy of the ISO-Sphere all along. Now equally matched, the Grandmaster began to sway The Battlerealm in earnest. At first he simply poked and prodded at the weaker sinews of the Collector’s dominance. As the Summoners and Champions fought, more and more found themselves drawn to the Grandmaster’s side. As the Collector’s house of cards began to falter, he aligned himself with criminals and began to mind control or crystalize any of those that would defy him. He was overrun by the Grandmaster’s plotting, just as the Gamesman had intended. The Grandmaster used a certain Summoner the one who had defeated the Maestro to bring his brother to his knees. He encased the Collector in a crystal, and let loose his claim of ownership to The Battlerealm: The games had begun. Shortly, the denizens of The Contest learned they had traded a meandering despot for a focused one. Those who had sided with the Grandmaster found little in the way of kindness or advantage, simply placed first in line for the suffering. In response, heroes and Summoners found allies in each other and worked to disrupt the Gamesman. A unique crystalline structure was discovered, dormant power in interlinked splinters, believed to be part of the first brick laid in The Battlerealm’s construction: The Cornerstone. While the Summoners played along with the Grandmaster’s game, distracting him from the efforts of the heroes, Doctor Strange and Voodoo set to collecting the cornerstone splinters with their allies. With most of the pieces collected, the Summoner came face to face with the Grandmaster. He posed a final game: Defeat his Champion and he would permit the Cornerstone be reconstructed by the Summoners. Fail, and it would become the Grandmaster’s weapon to use as he saw fit. Ultimately the Grandmaster’s hubris would lead to his defeat, but he would not be so easily swayed from his position. Dismissively, he let the Champions rebuild their Cornerstone, but its reconstruction revealed that it was not an object… … but a person.

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