An evil Nature Mage (named Erilius) resides in a tropical forest where he has abundant access to local life (of which all the flora and fauna except people can be controlled by him) and where he has survived for 10,000 years through a combination of magic and his innate ability to control the minds of the sentient native cat people (to be known in the future as Felinus).

Note that Erilius is not human and is the last of a formerly benevolent humanoid race of sentient magic users who helped humanity by solving our lack of food problem. After humanity and the elves betrayed him and drove his race to extinction he fled across a great desert and built his tower in the Rainforest on the southern side of it. He vowed to one day get revenge and drive us all to extinction and has been keenly studying hundreds of thousands of scrolls and hoarding the knowledge of magic his people had achieved to keep it from humanity for the last 9,980 years of his 10,000 year life.

He has finally succeeded in uniting the too numerous to count competing tribes of the Felinus and has amassed an army of 3 million warriors (he united the entire race under his banner). He invaded the vast but disunified southern provinces of the human kingdom of Erial and has totally destroyed the Royal Mage Corps headquarters in the southern provinces.

The King (John the Wise) has amassed an army of 50,000 knights, 30,000 archers and 120,000 disorganized regular infantry armed with halberds, all types of sword, spears and pikes and 20 of the kingdoms most powerful mages (still weak compared to Erilius) and set out to meet him in battle on a great plain where the knights’ charge will be the most devastating. These soldiers are the combined allied forces of his kingdom and two other more northern human kingdoms. The elves, a magic-prone race are hesitant to get involved because they naively believe that Erilius is scared of them.

John, not wanting to trust his kingdom and all of humanity to the off chance that the elves would set out in force to aid him, sends his 19 year old magic-proficient nephew named Aran Strongheart and a small team of 10 of the Knights of Mordavia (a fearsome and devout knighthood that is loyal to the king and “the ten gods” only) to kill the Mage. They plan to lure the wizard into the virtually lifeless mountain caves in the dead center the barren desert.

The desert is full of giant magical worms resistant to the Mages persuasion power and will willingly devour him as quickly as they would out hero. The worms live underground in a massive tunnel system spanning an area under the desert as big as the continental U.S. On the trip to the location Aran uncovers a mythical magical sword know as the Flaming Sword of Türbrik. The legends portray that the owner of the sword will rule the entire world and will save his race from extinction (not to mention it has unlimited magical powers to create fire and control already existing fire). Word of this somehow reaches the ears of Erilius and he sends a group of thirty cat people, which our group destroys via a surprise attack from the flanks in an empty worm tunnel.

They interrogate the sole surviving Felinus and discover that he uses the eagles as eyes in the skies. They release it and head for the center of the desert. About ten miles from their target. In a small hardy village of desert dwarves they discover a scroll informing Aran how to call (attract) all the worms in a ten mile area with a whistle. When they reach the single mountain situated in the direct center of the desert they find the wizard waiting for them.

Magical Rules

Medieval tech level only

Erilius the Mage has the following powers:

  • Control all living things (both flora and fauna) within a 100 foot radius. He can cause plants to grow at near infinite speed if the conditions required for its survival and growth are met (i.e. Enough water and nutrients are present and there is sunlight).
  • He has telekinesis
  • He has limited telepathy (e.g. Those trained well enough can block him from their minds)
  • He can fly up to 10 feet off the ground for a max of 1 ½ minutes.
  • He can temporarily (think 10 minutes) assume the form of any known animal
  • He can control rock and change it into any type of rock or mineral(think turning coal into diamond, granite into coal, or rock into iron)(kind of like the earth benders in Avatar The Last Airbender)

Aran Strongheart our hero has the following powers:

  • He can fly like the Mage
  • He can use telekinesis within a 30 foot radius.
  • Use the Flaming Sword the Mage is after to make and control fire.
  • Resist mind attacks better than others.


Aran blows the worm whistle and dozens of hungry worms 60 feet in length and 20 feet in girth burrow up from under the mountain. Aran realizes this may not have been the best idea. Now both our Mage and hero are stuck in a duel on the mountain. The Mage has his own sword and gets into a duel with Aran while the other knights try to hold back the worms which are crawling up the mountain with their extremely small legs. How would both respective parties get away from this situation? Aran and at least 3 of the ten knights need to get away and the Mage needs to get away with many minor injuries.

Since the worms are somewhat resistant to the Mages mind control he can't simply order them to focus entirely on Aran and his fellow knights.


How to Defeat a Nature Mage

  • $\begingroup$ @SerbanTanasa 10,000 because humanity needs to totally forget Erilius' race. This makes humanity view him as an evil demon because they don't know why he hates them. I figure this is enough time for most original texts to be forgotten and for his race to fade into myth and legend. $\endgroup$
    – Jax
    Mar 25, 2015 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ He has been using magic to extend his life. $\endgroup$
    – Jax
    Mar 25, 2015 at 14:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I can't hear "the flaming sword of" without thinking of "Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire" $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Mar 25, 2015 at 15:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Honestly, this story would seem a lot more fun from the mages perspective than from the perspective of the human 'heros'. $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2015 at 15:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Someone needs to decree that the worms are on a diet. In the three days it takes for the Diet to be resolved, everyone can levitate and walk home. ;-) $\endgroup$
    – papidave
    Mar 11, 2017 at 22:23

3 Answers 3


This is going to be a LOT easier for Aran to get out of. Erilius is going to have to think fast to survive this encounter.

[the sword] has unlimited magical powers to create fire and control already existing fire

A sword with 'unlimited ability to produce and control fire' has already won at everything forever, unless opposed by another 'unlimited' force, or is opposed by non-flammable golems whose melting point is higher than the heat of fire the sword can produce. The only challenge is making sure you do not immolate yourself in the process. I'm going to add another restriction on the sword and declare that it generates the fire around itself, rather than being capable of remote ignition, otherwise this is way too easy for Aran.

Erilius needs to get out of here. As fast as possible. He is away from his domain of power, and is up against an unlimited supply of fire. We'll focus on his escape first.

  1. powder the stone around your feet and use your TK to fling it at Aran. If he cannot change the stone into powder, then change the stone into something like sandstone, which ablates easily against his TK. This will buy him time while Aran gets the dirt out of his eyes.
  2. Shapeshift into a Peregrine Falcon. You are on a mountain, dive off the side and GTFO. Put some physical mountain between you and Aran ASAP. A falcon can cover a lot of ground in 10 minutes, so he should be safe, assuming Aran doesn't do something stupid.

Now for Aran.

  1. When Erilius throws dirt at you, use telekinesis to push it away from you. Do NOT use fire, you may cause a dust explosion.
  2. Immolate the worms. I don't care how tough they are, 'little legs' won't hold up against unlimited fire, and if they open their mouths, pour fire down their throats. If that fails to kill them for some bizarre reason, maintain the inferno around each worm until it suffocates (fire consumes oxygen, worms breathe oxygen).
  3. Casually stroll home.

If you want to make this harder...or make Erilius vs. Aran into a fair fight, you're going to need to restrain that sword.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Correct with your extra condition. I thought it might be obvious :) $\endgroup$
    – Jax
    Mar 25, 2015 at 14:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Now that I think about it, he would be invincible....later in the story he will end up facing the Mage in the Rain forest where they will be more evenly matched. I am thinking of adding a simple spell system that you must know how to cast the individual spell to get what you want (e.g. Aran says a short incantation to make the fire do stuff) $\endgroup$
    – Jax
    Mar 25, 2015 at 14:42
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @DustinJackson Not necessarily. He could asphyxiate himself if he used too much fire in a closed space...but here is how to kill him with your plant mage. Wait til he starts winding up the fire, then shift the ground around him into coal dust and toss it into the air. Kaboom. He can control fire, but would be limited by how fast he can bring that power to bear. A coal dust explosion would be fatal before he could bring it under control. $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2015 at 14:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I figured he was the hero. But, either way... for Erilius to win, he'd have to fight dirty. Even if he can 'grow' plants at infinite speed, he'd run out of nutrition in the soil long before the unlimited fire ran out of ability to consume the jungle. And if the fire is intense enough, Aran is going to start glassing the jungle floor, making it inhospitable to plant life. $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2015 at 14:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think for my story I am going to add more limits to how Aran can use the sword. Thanks for the great answer and helping me to see this :) $\endgroup$
    – Jax
    Mar 25, 2015 at 14:56

I always thought it was a cop out, but you could go the old fashioned LOTR route and have giant magical eagles fly them to safetly.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Or giant magical Robin Redbreasts come and eat the worms. $\endgroup$
    – Oldcat
    Mar 25, 2015 at 21:50

Seeing as he is basically an Earth Bender he can just reform the stone around the feet of our hero's knight companions. The knights don't seem to be able to defend themselves against this kind of magic, but Aran might well be able to fight off the magic that is starting to surround him, especially with his telekinesis. After that Erilius can try to escape himself. In the mean time however he will have to defend against the magical flaming sword and the telekinesis attacks of the hero, which will surely lead to quite a few minor or even major injuries, just as asked by the OP.

As Aran is a hero he will surely try to help his friends if he has to decide between following the Big Bad Guy and trying to safe his friends. This makes for an interesting plot point, because you can show how Aran has to decide which of the knights he wants to safe - the easiest way would be to cut off the feet and at the same time burn the wounds so that they wouldn't die because of the blood loss, but he can also try to work with his telekinesis and sword to just destroy the stone. Again, the method makes for an interesting story and the draining on Aran's energy will make his escape harder.

Erilius on the other hand has to escape as fast as he can because he can't control the worms and the magical fire sword is a big problem in such a fight. He can try to fly away in the form of an animal and float around a bit to get ground between him and the hero. This should be easy seeing how the hero summoned the worms and if they cannot reach the tasty mage they probably won't pursue him very far. If they do he may have problems, but it shouldn't be too much of a problem for a skilled Earth Bender.

Aran on the other hand has to make some morally difficult decisions about saving his friends and eventually hurting them, which makes their escape more difficult. After that he basically has to fight alone against the horde of magical worms he summoned to his position and is forced to stay on the ground with his potentially injured knight friends. Some of them will surely die, because even with a magical sword that will guarantee Aran's survival, he is still only one person and cannot potentially fight such a horde of magical worms alone. The knights should stay close to Aran, but not so close that they will be hurt by the sword.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .