The Tournament

Two enter, one limps out

Early in the day the arena had yet to fill, it was not the grand arena, but a side arena for local games and trainer usage. Those in attendance were early comers who could either afford to not be working elsewhere, those who had no job to keep them from the arena, and lastly those who were desperate to make even a measly living selling their wares to those who had little or no money to offer. Its stone bleachers were bare more than they were filled, and half those in attendance were asleep, drunk, or both. That left the rare few who were here with purpose. Gladiator owners and traders looking for new blood, and those who were more thrilled to see first blood. The arena was not in full swing, but it was still in swing.

The fights today would be fast and without flare, these were inexperienced fighters mostly though the rare fighter did exist who was trained and potentially here of their own volition. The vast majority were young, born to slavery, or enslaved as punishment for some crime.

Certainly not the first fight of the day, this next fight was still early. It promised to be interesting however when the combatants entered the sand floor. A tan skinned elf from far away lands raised some eyebrows. Most slaves were human, orc, or goblin, the fairer races generally avoiding such a fate. His slender build a sharp contrast to most gladiators, including his opponent.

At the other side of the arena a most peculiar opponent stood still as a statue. Its body a mass of reeds bound by metal in a strongly built humanoid shape. Despite the oddity of the elf, whispers abound concerning this strange automaton called a warforged. Built to be soldiers and fighters, these reputadly intelligent golems were said to be tireless fighters. Their expense however limited them from being used as gladiator sport, remaining a rare and unexpected pleasure in the arena circuit.

Both combatants were armed only with gladius and buckler, the traditional gladiator uniform. Only the elf wore anything more, a simple loincloth. Though their was little attention to be had, these two rare combatants certainly earned it. Turning toward the traditional location of the lords box the two combatants bowed crying “We who are about to die, Salute you!” There was no special reason to do this, but failure would mean instant death. Structure was important in keeping such powerful and potentially well armed slaves in line.

Turning to face each other again, they saluted each other and the call was made: “Fight!”

Though recently animate, the warforged seemed to turn back into a statue, becoming ridged and still. The elf on the other hand advanced slowly, crossing almost half the stadium floor before stopping. The elf then proceeds to gesticulate in what appears to be elven magic, causing the warforged to spring in anticipation of the unknown. Its sudden charge taking many by surprise, the warforged clears the distance between the to combatants in the blink of an eye.

The elf smiles, and throws his gladius hand out in the Warforged’s direction, though what this was meant to accomplish no one discovers because without hesitation the warforged completes its charge and takes a mighty swing at its much smaller opponent. Hard pressed to defend himself, the elf bobs and weaves doing his best to avoid his opponents swings. Forced to back up the elf quickly realizes that he must not remain in the path of his pursuers momentum

With a quick step to the side he halts the press of his opponent. With a flourish he is also able to strike a few deep cuts against the reed and metal body. His maneuver is not without cost however, as the warforged is able to land a mighty blow of its own. Within a very short time the two combatants have already scored blood against each other, the excitement of the fight raising a few cheers from the stands.

A strange noise rises from the warforged, and the elf is the first to realize that what can only be described as its mouth is open. The hollow metalic sound issuing forth from its jagged maw, in what can only be described as a furious roar. Correcting its momentum the Warforged renews its press against the smaller elf, bearing down hard and strong.

The elfs quickness does not save him from a second mighty blow from the warforged. Its gladius opening a wide gash against his small frame. Taking advantage of the opening however, the elf steps in and strikes another two blows against his opponent. With a flourish he prepares for a third strike and stops only at the last second as the now inert warforged frame slumps to the ground.

A short battle, as these fresh fights usually are, both combatants badly wounded. But its excitement certainly picks up some attention, more cheering now as the elf is escorted off the floor than there were when the combatants entered. A couple of slaves enter from the other side of the arena to carry away the inert Warforged. Like the elf, it will be repaired, and will see combat in the arena again.


leopardeternal leopardeternal

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