Friday, 29 April 2011

The Curious World Of Pete: Portal Meets Pete

Introducing: The Curious World Of Pete

I'm making a new series called 'The Curious World Of Pete'.
I carefully chose the music and ident imagery based on Pete's own...erm let's just say...somewhat nefarious inner workings of personality...yeah.

The first episode is due out at any moment. I have to say after watching it back in the editing suite post post production this made me laugh more than 'Duz Andy Know?'

I don't know how many of these I'll have a chance to do just yet. It may end up as a one shot or as several more. It depends how much Pete himself lets me film I suppose.

Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think!

Coming Soon - The Collective Gateway Project

It all started with the video I made on YouTube, 'What Got You Into Gaming?'. I have had replies, both text and video format to on there. I also posted that question on a number of Warhammer forums and I've been reading the many replies on these too. 
Soon, when I believe that all has been said by as many people as possible, I will link all of these sources together as one big project, posted on here so you can read all of the sources replies. I will also link all of those sources to the post I make of it. 

Look out for that at an upcoming time: Project Collective Gateway.
Pass this on to everyone you know, get them involved, if they too are a gamer.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Their Fated Travels..."Go Animate" Character Versions

EDIT - Now I've done it as a VIDEO on YouTube as well!
Here it is:

My friend Lory has used his YouTube (Google) Go Animate account to build the TFT party in animated cartoon form (I was present to help the design process) but the options in the animations are rather limited. 
It's come out really good though and should give you all an idea of how they all look. 

They are from left to right: Maestro, Tordrad, Dieter, Tobias and Rissandrea.


What Got You Into Gaming? (Community Question)

I have produced a new video on YouTube. Check it out here.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Their Fated Travels...Chapter 33 - The Fighting Pit Round Four

Read it at Fan fic here -

or as always read it below right here at the blog -

((Don't forget to vote for your favourite character in the poll. It's still running))

Their Fated Travels…

RPG Party events as told By Robert James Freemantle

Chapter 33
The Fighting Pit
Round Four

   These fights were all happening on the same day. Because of this, the fighters taking part were truly being pressed hard. Some were having an easier time of it than others, but even now, winners would have to contend with a final round after this one.

   The next match saw Dieter come out, resting his weight and all the troubles in his world upon his walking aid, as he normally did. He was looking a little sheepish, around at the cheering crowd. He had suddenly become quite aware of how animalistic he had come across in the previous rounds. He would have to be wary of this. He had an image to retain on the surface. Even though this was an underground fighting hall, news of him might travel overground. The less that groups like the witch hunters knew of him the better.
   As usual, Dieter twirled his hands and produced a scythe from thin air.
   Just then, his opponent was announced. It was Tordrad! Dieter visibly commented, “I’m screwed.”
   Tordrad smiled at Dieter with joy. He respected the small crazed man.
   Dieter bowed respectufully to his allied foe this day. Tordrad saluted back, with the sign of the bear hunter warrior.
   Just like the other rounds, Tordrad was not wearing his helm. It was too hot down here to do so. Dieter would have felt more comfortable if he had. He had to stare at the warrior man’s face, a gleaming grin of self confidence in the upcoming battle. He had seen this glint in his eye before. It wasn’t that he belitted Dieter – far from it. He just knew what he was capable of.
   Tordrad internally resolved to be as careful as possible with this fight. He did not want to permanently injure his team mate. He certainly wanted to win though. He would find a good balance he decided. He knew Dieter was a strong and brave enough man to take some punishment and not complain.
   Dieter at that moment almost considered trying to flee from the ring. All of his hard work up to this point though would have been for nothing. But he knew that a straight one on one fight with the Kislevian warrior would mean defeat, at the very least. Then he remembered that this point of reasoning had applied to nearly every fighter in the ring he had bested so far. Each far outmatched him in combat skill.
   The one element that Dieter had going on his side with all of them though was the little care he regarded for his own safety when trying to win. He would pull any surprising trick it took to gain the upper hand, even hurting himself to do it. Then he confidently reasoned that this fight would be no different. Perhaps he did have a chance if he outsmarted the man. Though Tordrad knew him, he knew very little about who Dieter was truly deep down, deep inside. That though was another element that concerned him – what if this fight went too far, if his life felt endangered and “the other” emerged? That would be bad, especially as Tordrad’s death would shorten his own life expactations dramatically, due to the curse marks that had been burned onto his chest all those months ago when they first set out together as a group. Morr really did have it in for him. He knew he mustn’t forget that.

   The horn sounded and Tordrad as usual was not backwards about coming forwards.
   His hand weapon and shield were at the ready. He ran forwards with a charge and bashed outwards with his shield. Just before it made contact though, Dieter had picked up some of the sand and sawdust enriched dirt from the ground and threw it at Tordrad’s eyes.
   Not very much made contact but it did enough to have an effect. It burned and made tears run a little, blurring the shield bash accuracy somewhat.
   The shield still contacted Dieter though, squashing his arm against his body painfully. Tordrad shouted with might as he pushed with most of his strength. Tordrad pulled the shield round again and forced Dieter to duck a shield slice aimed for his head. His team mate was trying to render him unconscious, he knew.
   At last the shield struck Dieter, but elements of darkness emerged from the smaller man’s body, as if his shadow had until now transparently been wrapped around him, only now showing itself enough to push away the offending shield. It visibly looked as if it was being pushed back.
   Dieter counter attacked and Tordrad easily sidestepped it. His vision was at last clear again. His shook his head in mock disapointment and wagged his finger at the small curly haired man. Obviously Tordrad had considered the attempted blinding move to be too dirty, but he smiled at the cunning anyway.
   Dieter tried to attack again, but Tordrad grabbed his forearm and kicked him away again. Dieter held his shoulder where the boot had met it. That blow had been really strong, but the man didn’t look like he was putting his weight fully into it!
   To make matters worse, the severe effects of magical mishap he had suffered in the previous rounds had meant that Dieter’s access to the winds were now wavering. He was able to channel far less energy than he normally could.
   This was the danger of being an untrained hedge wizard in this way. Even some hedge wizards though had instructors, masters. Dieter never had anyone – or at least that was as best as he could remember.
   Tordrad struck with the handle of his weapon, trying to smack Dieter’s head with it. The trainee doctor de-summoned his scythe and raised both hands to stop Tordrad’s one arm! It took both just to grab the blow in time as he then reached out while casting a spell under his breath.
   Dieter’s palm touched Tordrad’s ear and side of his head just as a shocking electric jolt of aethyric magic ran from it. It zapped the Kislevite man, but his arm with shield had already been coming in to stike its target. Dieter pushed his shoulder up and took the blow into his side as he saw that his shock spell had worked, stunning Tordrad in disorientation for a moment.
   Just as a precaution Dieter struck the Kislevite man with another shock spell, this time to the other side of his head. The man’s medical knowledge was shining through. He stepped backwards and re-conjured the amethyst scythe, swinging it the moment it appeared. It sliced into Tordrad’s arm, cutting through the armour in one place. A small wound had occured. This was significant though for Dieter had taken first blood. In the tradition of Kislev, this meant that Tordrad’s opponent was to be respected at all times.
   Dieter swung the large scythe once again, this time in a more undisciplined dangerous arcing path but Tordrad had snapped out of his lull just in time to parry the magical blade and swing with his shield as a counter blow. This time the full force of the shield’s centre struck Dieter in the torso, winding him and sending him backwards up against the arena wall. He almost fell over, bent double in pain as he tried to catch his breath again.
   For just a moment, Dieter swore he could see lightning crackle in the eyes of his large foe. “Perhaps”, he reasoned to himself quietly but out loud, “I am awakening his seemingly strange latent power. I have seen lightning elements about his person before. I had forgotten that...”
   Dieter didn’t worry about speaking aloud here because Tordrad couldn’t understand him anyway.
   Just then, the trainee physician looked down and saw blood on his hands, dripping from his mouth. The massive kite shield’s shape had obviously impacted deeply somewhere in his body and caused some harm. He growled low in his throat, feeling the old rage building in him again. He couldn’t help it or control it at that second in time. He flash stepped with the aid of his magic and ended up quickly behind the large man. He lashed out with his scythe.
   Tordrad though had fought with Dieter long enough to have seen his way of fighting many times before. He knew that a strike was coming from behind and stepped forwards while turning with his weapon in hand to return a blow back at the smaller man.
   Dieter’s scythe did no damage to Tordrad’s armour this time. Only the end of it crackled against the shining plate where it made contact.
   Dieter was forced to jump backwards to avoid the long hafted blow. This left him wrong footed and Tordrad ran at him to take advantage of this.
   Dieter lashed out awkwardly with his scythe to keep the warrior man back. This worked for a few moments but then Dieter was forced to concentrate his blows into something better, forcing Tordrad to repeatedly parry him.
   Dieter kept wondering the same thought to himself, is he toying with me?
   Tordrad stepped backwards and counter-swung with his weapon.
   Dieter and Tordrad for a few moments in time were unable to hit one another, each dodging away from the other’s attack.
   Dieter decided to throw caution to the wind and run forwards. Tordrad didn’t know what to do with this sudden change of attitude – all he did was bring his shield up about him to stop the blow. Dieter simply used a shock spell from his fingertips as they made contact with the metal!
   The electricity pumped through the shield and into both Dieter and Tordrad. Dieter’s translucent black shadow covering his body saved him from the brunt of electrocution however, but Todrad had no such protection.
   For mere moments, the larger man was stunned on his feet, his body still shaking from the currents passing through it.
   Dieter used these few seconds to lash out with his scythe, It struck Tordrad’s right arm, the one carrying his scimitar. A small opening in the plate armour had appeared. Dieter considered there must have been some damage underneath it too! The man could actually be hurt. Barely, but hurt none the less.
   Tordrad shook of the stun once more and laughed out loud. He enjoyed the fact that the small man had some guts enough to attack him. The pain refreshed him. He stared in some confusion though over the strange swirling darkness that manifested across his body.
   Tordrad used his height advantage to strike from above with great velocity. Dieter did not even attempt to parry it. He would have had no chance against the larger man’s strength of position. He instead rammed his stave outwards into the man’s face. This struck him in the eye. That would definitely bruise!
   In the moment of confusion, Dieter moved quicker and more decisively than most experienced fighters might! He dashed close and slashed with his scythe across Tordrad’s shield arm. Again the plate gave away to the aethyric blade edge and blood trickled from the opening.
   The overall desired effect though had not come about. Yes both of Tordrad’s arms had been wounded but still the big man held his weapons easily as if they were toys.
   The most Dieter could do was whittle him away slowly. Tordrad however packed great  power into each blow he delivered. The few strikes Dieter had received had already taken their toll on him. He was feeling dizzy and nauseus. He knew he would have to fight off that feeling quickly because Tordrad was coming again.
   The Kislev man swung his scimitar across towards the trainee doctor. Dieter part parried the blow but the rest of it still passed through, slowed down from its first contact. As it struck his chest, the dark swirling mass again showed itself on Dieter’s body and seemed to absorb the damage. Whatever was truly inside of him, it knew that if Dieter died, it too would be trapped with him in a cursed afterlife.
   Tordrad saw this and struck again, fascinated by what might happen. This time the blow struck Dieter’s arm. Again the damage was mostly absorbed.
   Tordrad swung around with his shield and smacked it against Dieter’s upper torso before slicing again with the scimitar, this time causing massive damage to the smaller man’s left arm.
   Dieter dropped his stave at once, clenching and unclenching his fist where it felt like he was losing feeling along with the sustained damage from the blow. The wound in his arm was quite bad and blood loss woud soon be an issue, he reasoned. Dieter knew that he had very little time left to attempt to win this impossible fight.
   Tordrad had realised he was going to have to take the fight seriously. He determined that he would continue to use the scimitar and shield in combination until the small angry man came to his senses and gave up – either that or lost his senses and get declared unconscious.
   The two men stared at each other intensely for a few moments. Tordrad saw darkness in his companion’s eyes. A terrible secret lay somewhere deep inside the man, he could see. The question in Tordrad’s mind though was: is it a secret that he even knows?
   Dieter felt freed by the resignation that this fight would be un-winnable. This allowed the fear and adrenaline to recede away again to let cruel calculating thought take over once more. He secretly reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of his battle putty. As he quickly palmed it, he incanted an ill fortune curse into it. This was a common battle trick by the man. It made foes more likely to miss or blunder their attempts at pressurised physical actions. He tucked this back into the pocket of the jacket.
   Dieter’s first jacket had been blown up in round one. Luckily for him, he had paid an urchin child to steal one for him from the arena floor. The man who had lost his jacket, didn’t even realise that the one he was staring at now was indeed his own. He had taken it off because of the body heat generated down in this place. This jacket too was filled with medicinal alcohol bottles that also contained bullets, poisoned herbs, ignition oil and trace acid. Because of acid being used in the mixture, they would have to be made and used freshly. Dieter couldn’t count how many of these he’d had to throw away over time because no one had come along to offer themselves up as a sacrifice to him, while travelling the dangerous lands. Because he was at a push for supplies, he included the granola bars he used for his “headaches” amongst the inner pockets. These after all also contained gunpowder...The final trick to it all was that the jacket’s external leather covering had been previously coated in oil.
   Dieter touched the jacket with his palm as he commanded a small lick of fire to appear in his palm. That had been enough!
   The very jacket Dieter was still wearing suddenly went up in flames as he ran towards Tordrad screaming and laughing wildly.
   Dieter could feel the fire moving into his internal pockets. It was almost time now. He quickly pulled the jacket off of himself, ignoring the searing pain to his gloved hands from contact with flame –and he then spun it around in a backwards heading circle that arced towards a deadly frontal momentum. As Dieter faced Tordrad once again, he let the jacket go!
   In that one moment as the jacket reached its target, Tordrad slashed out with the scimitar, batting it down to the ground in front of him. A weak attack that Tordrad was surprised at. He thought Dieter could come up with something better than merely lighting a garment on fire and sending it weakly sailing towards him. Now Dieter was even less defended than he was before! Todrad shook his rolled his eyes and decided to end the fight now so that the angry small man could have a lie down in the medical area. He certainly looked like he needed it.
   Dieter simply stood with his arms out wide, as if inviting Tordrad to come finish him off. Tordrad stepped forward to do just that. Dieter’s eyes narrowed as a blinding flash errupted almost below Tordrad! The jacket had exploded! The result of the explosion threatened to kill both men! Dieter closed his eyes and allowed the explosion to do what it would.
   Flames shot upwards as Tordrad took the worst of that and Dieter was subjected to heat damage by proximity. Pieces of flaming jacket flew everywhere! Even people in the audience got burned by stray pieces. The two men took damage from this. Acid contained inside the bottles burned and hissed where it landed, including through Tordrad’s armour and shoes and Dieter’s trousers. Pieces of glass fired in all directions and impailed themselves wherever they met skin. Both men were coated in multiple small shards. Bullets had caught the blaze and fired in all directions, themselves coated in a nasty poison as all of the gunpowder reacted at once.
   A huge explosion tore upwards into the air, peppering both men with wounds. All of this happened in the split seconds of the blast coming about. But strangest of all was Tordrad’s actions within those few seconds – For he was armoured and able to take the blows better than his small companion. He jumped forwards, throwing himself onto Dieter. This shielded the trainee doctor from the rest of the blast as Todrad’s plate armour was tested and bested above and behind.
   Tordrad lost consciousness.
   Dieter panted and breathed painfully from the massive deadweight of the man on top of him.
   The adjudicater with the horn saw Dieter trying and failing to push the larger man off and the horn was sounded. As Dieter passed into blissful unconsciousness, he heard his name declared as winner of the bout. He wondered if there had been some mistake...then all was black.
   Maestro stared agape as Tordrad was carried off of the field. He could still hear a heartbeat, reassuringly enough.  
   He wondered why Todrad had done such a thing. After all, he was only being paid to keep him alive, not anyone else. Maestro worried that if Tordrad was filled with bullet holes from now on, what if something shot at him later down the line? One of those bullets could pass right through the afore-made hole, out of the other side and into him! Of course, he realised that idea was ridiculous. He knew more Kislevian meat would grow over and fill them in in no time. He relied on his Kislevian companion to die instead of him were the need to arise. On their adventures together, it seemed that the need had arised several times – it was just that Todrad hadn’t quite grasped how to die. That was a useful trait to be ignorant in, considered Maestro. But on the matter of the here and now, he remembered that he was now down quite a lot of bet money, thanks to Dieter...

   In the last round, Maestro had stepped out of the fighting area to relieve himself. He had missed a truly unusual fight indeed. The wounded slave doom bull had faced the mutant.
   The doom bull had managed to win, tearing the poor suffering man apart with his horns and teeth – however, the mutated organ had also been cut. Some of its vile liquid had made contact with one of the minotaur’s open wounds. Only now, as the doom bull came out into the arena to fight did the result of this reveal itself.
   As the pit fighter came out to face him he stopped in horror, seeing a pulsating liver coloured organ pushed out of the creature’s back like a large hump. It swelled with blood or whatever foul substance it was filled with and then fell again. It did this every five seconds or so.
   The parasitic chaos organism had successfuly taken a new host.
   The large creature swiped out to defend itself against the pit fighter’s attacks, as the man struck right and left looking for an opening. Some of these attacks were already cutting the creature’s arms. This did not slow the beast down.
   The doom bull saw the man charge him and grabbed his arm in response, taking a slash to the chest. He threw him into the built up wall behind him, with a swing around to follow through with the man’s momentum.
   As the pit fighter staggered forwards, the doom bull charged the man. One of the horns impailed his lower left stomach and the rest of his built up form collided with the man, knocking him down once more.
   The man was wounded and dazed, but still he climbed back to his feet. He was used to being in this state, but as soon as he was standing once more, he was grabbed by the hair and lifted off of the ground by it!
   Quickly the man brought his short sword up and cut his own lengths of long hair as he dropped from the creature’s control. With that, he slashed the doom bull about the body, this way and that, cutting it open expertly in places and still it was not slowing. It ignored every deep gash it had sustained. The massive hump like organ was seemingly pushing him to further and further internal extremes.
   As the pulsing organ quickened, so did the reaction speed of the monster. Suddenly, with lightning quick speed, the creature’s hand smashed into the man’s face. His eyesight blurred. As his vision cleared he could no longer see the creature.
   The doom bull had jumped into the air, above the man’s visual descerning point.
   From this high jump, gravity did its work and the doom bull came down right on top of the pit fighter, bringing him to the ground with his mass bulk. There he proceeded to smash the man’s head against the floor multiple times until the horn was sounded.
   The minotaur creature did not want to let up on the man’s nearly dead form. He wanted to feast on him but the slave handlers came in and lashed whips against the creature’s body. One such whip wrapped around its throat and that was that – it was powerless, lest it being choked again. The scars on its neck showed that this had happened to it before.
   It decided to let the humans get on with it. While it was injured and malnourished, slowed and weakened, this new strength it had found would be the tipping balance to help it escape its captors, soon. He would just have to wait a little longer, get a little stronger...He bided his time. He would kill the man in the final, next round and then make his bid for freedom in the confusion.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Mantic Games Feature My Unboxing Video On Their Official Blog

Mantic Games after watching my recent unboxing video and liking it have very generously decided that they would feature it on their official company blog. You can see the video and read their article about it here -

Here's the link to the video's YouTube page

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Their Fated Travels...Chapter 32 - The Fighting Pit Round Three

or below right here at the blog

Their Fated Travels…

RPG Party events as told By Robert James Freemantle

Chapter 32
The Fighting Pit
Round Three

   The tension in the crowd was at last beginning to tell. The hairs on the back of Maestro’s neck stuck up at the testosterone around him – even though he didn’t know what testosterone was. But he knew it was lots of men confined together who were too loud for his ears, too smelly for his nose, too close for comfort and too tall to see over properly. His tip-toes were beginning to hurt.

   The first combatant to be announced for round three was Tordrad. His opponent was the dwarf Grimdal DalDuraz.
   As the handlers unstrapped him, and applied the mad cap paste to the wound in his arm he was simply held resting there, against the wooden structure.
   The dwarf had barely any clothes and he was bare chested. He held little in the way of weapons – simply two hammers, the tools of his trade before he was captured and enslaved...But, he had another trade too, for he had just been promoted to a member of the hammerers of his hold. All of that seemed so long ago now...
   Tordrad was the polar opposite to Grimdal. He was so large that he would dwarf other humans, so the size difference now was immense. Then there was the way that Tordrad was armoured so heavily. He wore thick plate and bore a shield with main weapon.
   The horn sounded once to indicate that the bout had begun. It would not sound again until the match was over but Tordrad remained hesitent to move in on his opponent yet. He realised from the state he was in and the way the handlers had dealt with him that this dwarf was their slave. This couldn’t be allowed surely? But then he remembered that this fighting arena was illegally run. He would have to do something about this he noted. He would try his best to find and free that long as he didn’t kill him here and now.
   Grimdal was still partially tied to the wooden pallet, even at the neck. The handlers were too fearful to finish the job properly. Still the dwarf did not move.
   Tordrad wondered if his opponent was alright and he carefully began to make his way forwards. The dwarf did not move a muscle. Tordrad wondered if he was even alive. He shouted something in the Kislev tongue up to the overseer wizard above him. The wizard got the gist of what Tordrad was saying because he lowered his listening device below him to check for a heartbeat. He could not hear one at first...then he thought he did hear one. It sounded like they were very far apart though and getting slower by the moment! Grimdal’s body was beginning to give up on him and shut down from all of the punishment he had endured up until now.
   Tordrad continued to step closer by the moment.
   The overseer wizard strained his ear intently to the trumpet like device and heard another faint heartbeat at last and then nothing again.
   Perhaps even the mad cap mushroom paste going through his bloodstream would not be enough to move him now.
   Tordrad remained about ten feet away from the dwarf, looking on in concern then upwards to the wizard again before returning his gaze to the dwarf once more.
   The slave driver had pushed one of the dwarf’s handlers through the crowd and shouted at him to sort his “merchandise” out.
   The handler was about to jump into the ring when the dwarf who sat up upon the high rafter shouted a warning down, his gun aimed carefully at the cowled figure. The figure looked back to his master whom he feared more than a dwarf with a gun and still motioned to jump down anyway. The dwarf with the rifle opened fire with a shot aimed for the man’s head. Suddenly, an intervention seemingly from the slave driver’s direction saved the cowled man’s life. The bullet that had been aimed for the handler’s head impacted through the cloth of the cowl with a metallic sound.
   A magical spell had coated the handler in metal skin! This much was clear from the parts of his body that could be seen.
   The bullet that had been intended for the handler ricocheted off of the metal surface, pinging upwards towards the wizard. It struck the platform he sat on, very close to his listening device. The shock of this had startled him with a jump and he had dropped the thing.
   Quickly the wizard scrambled to reach down and catch it so it didn’t fall into the arena. This was an expensive piece of kit. A one of a kind item. Were it to break, he didn’t know what he would do.
   This mad scramble to catch the listening device resulted in the wizard losing balance on the platform and falling into the arena! He fell right onto the dwarf! Though he had succeeded in catching the trumpet like device.
   “Gosh” came Maestro’s response. Of course, he wasn’t worried about the wellbeing of the wizard as half of the crowd had been. Nor did he want to see some fun with the dwarf and wizard in the ring together like the other half of the crowd did. No, instead he was concerned about the trumpet instrument. He began to push his way through the crowd at once! That meant getting up close and personal with very many big smelly people...
   Meanwhile, inside the ring, Grimdal’s eyes remained shut but his body kicked into action. His body was acting on instinct. He grabbed the wizard by the throat and began to throttle him. Tordrad took a step back in alarm!
   The wizard reached his hands up to Grimdal’s arm as he tried to pull them free. He also tried to speak but couldn’t due to the choking. The dwarf simply grabbed the wizard’s nearest hand and broke it at the wrist with a sudden snap. He then bit the wizard’s neck tearing a chunk of flesh away with his teeth.
   The frightened robed human fell backwards onto his backside clutching the wound in panic.
   Grimdal had been given a shock to the system, forcing a burst of adrenaline to course through his body. Adrenaline was what the madcap compound interacted with! It was a potent recipe indeed.
   Maestro had at last reached the ringside, still up amongst the crowd. He shouted something to Tordrad. The Kislevite man missed it the first time, his mind focused on the horror unfolding before him as the dwarf continued to attack the wizard. At last Tordrad heard his employer speak, “Tordrad, don’t let the listening device be damaged! Throw it up to me!”
   Todrad looked quizically at Maestro, not understanding a word of what was said except for his own name and “me”.
   Maestro pointed multiple times in short stabbing motions at the trumpet on the ground, “That, I want that. Rescue it my good man!”
   Tordrad saw this and wandered across to the strange object. He picked it up and listened at the large end. He heard nothing coming from it. He then listened from the other end but had the input receiver end pointed at the audience! So many sounds came through at him at once! It was overwhelming and frightening. Even through the cacophony of noise that drenched his ears, he couldn’t escape the wailing tone of Maestro shouting to him and gesturing his hands towards himself.
   Tordrad walked towards his employer and realised that Maestro wanted the instrument. He could have it, thought the kislevite. Horrible loud magical thing. So he chucked it at Maestro.
   Maestro stared in alarm as the trumpet spun towards him, through the air. He knew he’d have to catch it, no-matter what.
   If one could have listened in slow motion one would have heard a series of sounds as it travelled through the air. As the receptor turned to face him, the listening end could hear Maestro’s thudding heart. It spun a little more in the air and for a moment, the crowd’s own noise reflected back on them, making many of them jump in fright. At another stage of its travel path the listening end faced the dwarf and wizard, as Grimdal pulled the man’s arm out of its socket so that he would have something else to scream about, along with his broken leg and shattered eye socket. Every gruesome sound that came from that direction could be heard through the device, but all of this happened so quickly that nothing could be seriously discerned or singled out. Just a rush of fast changings sound forms.
   Finally the trumpet reached Maestro. This was the moment! The moment he had waited for since he had first clapped eyes on the device. It was about to be his! He figured this because he couldn’t see the old owner surviving the punishment he was going through. He peered back at the carnage just to be sure. Yes he thought, it will be mine.
   All Maestro needed to do now was catch it. He concentrated all of his efforts into catching it. He reached out with both hands, ready to scoop it out of the air and bring it tight about his chest, like a mother hen might with her prized eggs soon to hatch.
   He reached out with a grip as ready as he had ever been and...still floundered with poor co-ordination, missing the instrument as it slipped through his fingers and clattered to the ground noisily. This created a massive feedback effect and the audience held their ears in pain.
   Grimdal was about to finish the wizard off. He looked up to his security and shouted, “Stop him, kill him if you must. Get me out of here. Get me to that shallyan girl backstage.”
   The dwarf on the upper area with the gun opened fire at Grimdal. He hated opening fire on one of his own kin but he had no choice. His employer was about to die and by all accounts as he had heard it anyway, this dwarf was a kin killer! He had killed many of his own to be spared. The dwarf with the gun felt that any decent dwarf would have taken his own life long before allowing such a thing of himself. What he hadn’t been told though was that these killings were in fact done under the forced influence of drugs by his captors and that those of his kin that he slew were also under the effects of chemical drug highs. If he hadn’t killed them for their sick slave master’s amusement, they would have killed him. But that side of events had indeed not been explained.
   Meanwhile, Maestro messed about with the various pieces of the instrument on the ground, trying to put them back together again. He tried to figure out what piece went where. Of course this was a perfect engineering jigsaw puzzle for him, but he also knew he was pressed for time. After all, this matched needed adjudicating and this trumpet was the key to that. Tordrad was in the ring after all. He didn’t want his bodyguard and the bet of a sizeable three figured sum of gold franz coins to be put in peril any longer than it had to. Soon he would have it put back together. Or close to how it should work at least, he reasoned.
   The dwarf gunner bit his own lip, realising that if he pulled the trigger he would be no better than the slave dwarf.
   He knew what he would do. He would fire a round into the dwarf’s back, knocking him down. He would aim for a non lethal position, to the right side where the heart wasn’t placed. He took aim, and gently began to squeeze the trigger...
   Just at that moment, Maestro had affixed a new piece to the instrument and he spoke quietly to himself, “Right, that might have sorted it. Now to test it!”
   The problem was, Maestro had fixed all of the pieces together, but now the trumpet was working in reverse! For the words he spoke quietly had amplified in a shocking decibel.
   Everyone present had jumped in fright at the ghastly high pitched voice that rang out across the entire area. Though the fighting arena was located underground inside a warehouse, even the birds in the trees outside jumped in fright, as did the predators that crept up on the birds in the trees ready to eat them. Even the prey of the birds in the trees, the worms and insects stopped and looked, just for a moment. Maestro had that effect on everyone in the world around him. His presence was a truly chaotic thing anywhere he went.
   The one significant thing that did happen as a result of this loud noise though was the gunner dwarf’s shot. He had fired at the same moment the sound rang out. The sound had made the gunner jump in fright too, sending his shot well off course. The bullet still hit Grimdal though, but it instead embedded itself right into the dwarf slave’s skull!
   Grimdal stumbled backwards and fell against the wooden platform, still standing, perhaps being propped up by the structure. Blood ran down his head. He had a bullet lodged in his skull and partially into his brain. Surely this would be the end of him. It was a test of how thick dwarf skulls were that the rounded ball hadn’t passed right through to the other side.
   He stumbled forwards suddenly and dropped to one knee as the security staff pulled the overseer wizard out of the ring at last.
   “What have I done?” said the gunner.
   Then Grimdal roared and his eyes opened for the first time.
   The gunner saw this and commented, “I’ve woken him up and pissed him off, that’s what I did!”
   Grimdal tore forwards in a charge. He did not see a kislevite warrior before him. In his hallucinating state he instead saw a troll. Tordrad was so large that it made sense for his mind to adapt an unreality in that direction.
   He lashed out with both hammers, Tordrad ducked under one and side stepped the other. He brought his shield up to stop the first hammer’s next attack and thrust his own weapon forwards to carry the second hammer off away from its mark.
   The speed and intense ferocity took Tordrad by surprise. He felt sorry for this dwarf too but started to realise that the competition might come down to he or his slave opponent’s life. That then would be no contest. He had a duty to the wizard and to himself after all.
   Tordrad tried to dodge the next wave of hammer attacks. He managed to avoid one but the second hammer caught him in the head.
   Tordrad was bent over backwards and pulled his body upright once more, a visible red mark on his forehead. While the blow had struck quite hard, it had done very little damage to the large man. It had annoyed him though. So much so that he stowed away his shield and hand weapon and drew his axe. Meanwhile, Grimdal circled him, looking for the next opportunity to slay the terrible troll that threatened his very existence.
   Grimdal lashed out with his hammers, testing the Kislevite’s armour in several places. Still it held true. Much of the man’s money had been spent on expensive repairs to maintain it to its very best. His armour was a thing of pride. It carried the sigil of the bear of his people. Though blows would cause bruises, none managed to penetrate. Tordrad was able to do little to stop these attacks too. This also disturbed him, that his foe was so fast even in this state of apparent dying.
   Tordrad went on the attack with all out determination, swinging his axe with martial prowess in diagnal arcs that would be hard to defend against.
   To Grimdal’s vision, the Troll was simply clawing with its hands as the dwarf looked for an opening. He saw no opening and attacked anyway. He jumped forward to strike with both hammers at once – as Tordrad’s axe made contact in its upswing, striking and partially entering the front of Grimdal’s skull. There is stuck for a moment. Blood ran from the wound but still the dwarf raged and roared in defiance.
   The blood loss though took its toll on the dwarf, as Tordrad proceeded to pull his axe free from the bone it had lodged into. How this dwarf’s skull had remained intact from an axe and bullet was a miracle, a very terrifying one. But Grimdal fell to the ground, bleeding out all over the floor. Tordrad put his weapon away and called for help to assist the dwarf. Medical personel came on and assessed his condition. Tordrad stepped back away from him to let the doctors do their job.
   Maestro at last had fixed the machine and was pointing it at the dwarf as it poured out the sound that indicated an unconscious state. 
   The great battle horn was sounded to indicate that the match was over.
   As Grimdal slipped away into darkness, he prayed that his life was over at last. He prayed that he would drink with his ancestors now. He remembered though, that by dawi law he was a kin killer. He would have no honour, no glory. He would only fade to bone and dust. Now though was not his time to die, for the machine that Maestro held still started to register a faint but continuing steady heart beat.
   Tordrad didn’t stay to soak up the adulation from the crowd. He felt terrible at the events that had occured. Seeing the dwarf soak up so much damage and still live too, shook him up deeply.
   Rissandrea herself attended to Grimdal’s injuries, doing her best to patch him up and save him from long term damage. Her healing hands glowed. Her skill was becoming impressive to behold.

   By the time the next fight came about, it was decided that the overseer wizard was in no condition to keep monitoring the bout so the position was offered to Maestro for a bit of coin. He accepted enthusiastically, saying that he would do anything to get to have the trumpet instrument. They explained that he would not be able to keep it though. Maestro replied that it was understood. He understood alright but he still planned to take it anyway. He would slip it in his robes when the bout was over. It would be his, to tinker with as much as he wanted later on.
   And so it came to be that Maestro was sat atop the platform overlooking the ring as the new overseer.
   A surge of new uncomfortable magical backlash energy told Maestro who was coming down to the ring next. Dieter made his way quickly and quietly into the arena. Picking up some of the bloody sawdust and tasting it.
   He was already holding his conjured amethyst scythe in one hand. Again the magical influx backlashed against him, this time throwing his gauntlet weapon out of his hand and onto the ground. There was no time to recover it though as his opponent arrived: A pit fighter champion.
   Both men came at each other, exchanging shots, their weapons impacting each other. As Dieter’s scythe struck against the metal sword, magical sparks flew off to the sides, setting the sawdust somewhat alight for just a moment.
   The pit fighter though began to overcome the would be doctor, with better martial training showing through. His blows began to send Dieter onto the defensive, stepping backwards. It was clear that he was trying to figure out a way of dealing with the situation. Before he could decide, a decision was made for him. The pitfighter suddenly raised his sword and brought it down with both hands for extra strenth in a full power chop!
   Dieter only just managed to dive out of the way of this attack and stumbled with his limp as he tried to get back to his feet before the fighter was upon him again. Dieter once again forward rolled, sweeping his stave up to not get in the way.
   These actions confused the pit fighter who saw the doctor walking with his limp, requiring the aid of a stick to stay upright, yet here he was performing acrobatic manouvres. It didn’t make sense.
   As the pit fighter reached him again, Dieter was on one knee. Dieter lashed out with his walking stick, sweeping the legs of the man. This knocked him too to one knee. He reached for Dieter and the trainee doctor attempted to pour a spell from his hands into the man’s body. He relied on the spell to push the man back but at the last moment the spell did not work! The man struck his blade across Dieter, from arm to neck, cutting him open.
   Dieter had pulled back in time to not take the full extent of the damage.
   The pit fighter came on again, sensing weakness in his foe, he was close to being beaten. He had seen this look of stress, of strain on enemy faces many times before. This man fought for a living. Dieter was merely a doctor...and perhaps something more.
   Just as the man brought down his killing blow Dieter spoke, “I refuse to quit! You’ll have to kill me! Unless I kill you first.”
   The pit fighter’s weapon swept through the air that Dieter used to inhabit. He had sidestepped with a magic spell, travelling quickly through the hedge to a position on the far arena. Every time he entered this state, he was in danger of encountering “the other”, but he had no time to worry about that right now.
   Dieter appeared in real time almost immediately after disappearing in front of the fighter. His next move was to pick a bottle of pure medicinal alcohol out of his jacket. The bottle had a rag already poked inside it. He focused his miniature scorching spell from the palm of his hand, which set the soaked rag alight.
   The pit fighter saw this and started to dodge, to move out of the way. Dieter read this and threw the bottle at the ground where he was going to run. It shattered and flames coursed up at him.
   The pit fighter shouted in pain as the skin on his exposed legs blistered from the heat damage. However, the heat did not spread any higher than his thighs and the fighter quickly regained his composure again to charge Dieter.
   Dieter nodded impressed at the man’s obvious veterancy to being dealt pain. He figured he would need to think of something the fighter hadn’t yet experienced. He would work on that next...
   Dieter slid out to the right hand side to trip the pit fighter up. The champion fighter did not fall for this ploy though and stopped short ready to gut the smaller man there and then.
   Something strange about Dieter’s shadow on the built up back wall of the pit put the fighter off for just a second. Somehow it looked like it was shifting even though Dieter himself was not. This distraction was all Dieter had needed. He scowled with joy as he channeled a spell and unleashed a shock spell from his fingertips against the man’s forehead. This left him disorientated to the spot.
   Dieter however was troubled, for the winds of dhar kicked up around him once again this time causing a massive gust of aethyric energy to blow through the ring. Everyone in the audience felt uneasy suddenly as if some evil had been unleashed about them. It had! The spell Dieter had cast had been touched by chaos itself! Raw presence from the daemonic realm had been unleashed upon the mortal world. All of the plant life that grew on the edge of the river outside of the warehouse instantly began to shrivel and die. Small animals, the like of which were kept in poeple’s pockets such as mice inside the building suddenly died too, all at once. All of the ale the men had been drinking suddenly turned foul and noxious. People were spitting it out across the floor and coughing. The barman saw only thick black sludge coming from his ale taps. But worse than all of this combined was the threat to Dieter. Though nothing had happened to him yet, the doorway to the chaos realms had opened directly inside his soul and whatever foul thing was on the other side of it had affixed its eyes upon him. One more mistake, such as a miscast and it might have its opportunity to come through!
   Dieter could feel the presence inside him, his brother screaming in terror at the daemon watching him internally. Good, thought Dieter, you can keep whatever daemon has arrived distracted while I finish this fight.
   Dieter’s scythe amidst all of the confusion, had disappeared. He spent a few moments re-calling it into his hands magically. He almost expected this spell to go wrong as well, but it didn’t. He didn’t like how out of control his magic was in this place...
   The trainee physician began to cut at the stunned fighter with the amethyst weapon, slashing his body in two places. However, because Dieter was untrained in actual combat strokes, he couldn’t turn them into a killing blow.
   The fighter came back to his senses enough at last  to step forwards. As he did this he struck his sword out at Dieter. This took the the trainee doctor by surprise! He didn’t manage to dodge the blow very well, but it didn’t matter because the man was still somewhat stunned from the effect he had just been placed under.
   Dieter drew his kris knife from its holder. The leather container that folded over the handle and buttoned down has been pre-filled with a dark oil. The blade was covering in it. Dieter snapped his finger aross the blade tip and encanted a minor spell of flame which ignited it. He held this in one hand as he lashed out awkwardly with the scythe in his other hand, only managing to keep the fighter back from him with the slash.
   The pit fighter swiped at Dieter, still a little unsteady on his feet as he returned a shot, missing his opponent.
   At this point Dieter had had enough of it all. He brought the scythe round and curled it downwards into the ground. It impailed the man’s foot, going through the boot and sticking through the sole into the ground below it. He did not let go of the weapon for it was conjured and would disappear otherwise, but he stepped forwards, using the shock of the last attack to thrust his flaming kris knife into the man’s head, straight through the temple. He shuddered and bled ferociously as Dieter snarled and pulled the scythe free, before swinging it one more time and cutting the man’s stomach open so that the internal contents were free to spill out onto the ground before him.
   The man fell over backwards dead.
   Dieter fell to his knees, still growling and gnashing as he began to devour some of the intestines and other bits. His eyes had turned black again as he did this. He was in real danger of having “the other” take control of him once more but after a great internal struggle, with him holding his own head and shouting expletives there was no posession. Dieter calmly wiped the blood from his mouth onto the dead man’s clothing and then stood up and walked back towards the dressing room. The attendants had rushed on. Dieter grabbed one of them and wiped his char blackened bloodied kris knife against the man’s clothing. He fearfully yelped and Dieter ignored him after this, just continuing to walk back where he came from. At that moment in time, the audience would have believed him were he to say he came from some hell.

   Next to fight was a Middenheim mercenary versus Taros the wizard.
   When the wizard stealthed as was usual for his style the mercenary concentrated his senses all around him. He waited for the battle honed sense of danger, the hairs on the back of his neck to rise as he swung his huge greatsword around him in a circular motion.
   The huge blade cut the wizard open, as he re-emerged into being. His hands shook with fear at the pain his body was now subjected to. The cut had tore open his arm, shoulder, some of his chin and a chunk of his neck. He quickly concentrated all of his energies into the wound, to stop the bleeding as best as he could. He realised that with his magic, he could focus power into the wound strong enough to hold the bleeding back for as long as was needed, in theory. But maintaining this spell would mean that he would not have been able to use magic to fight, nor his hands, for they were clamped across his neck staunching the flow of crimson that tried to escape through his fingers. He considered his options and submitted at once.
   What had seemed like such a formidable foe had been stopped at last with but one blow from the right sort of opponent. This man who wore a wolfskin cloak had fought wizards before, especially grey wizards. All of this had simply been bad luck for Taros...or had it? For Taros had entered the competition to win money for himself, but a man of such power sometimes would have powerful enemies too. A man like Taros entering such a competition might well find that a rival to him may have hired a specialised wizard killer mercenary just for the job of knocking him out of the tournament. Not that a fellow magister would ever allow such evidence of these things to ever get out, but Taros already began to suspect it. He decided that if he lived (and he was sure he would, with the shallyan woman on hand to help) he would pay his fellow magister Tyrell a visit and recount old times and perhaps present times too, with mention of how a mercenary came to fight him in Nuln...His next step though would be to capture and interrogate the man. He just hoped that no one killed him in the next round!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Their Fated Travels...Chapter 31 - The Fighting Pit Round Two

You can read it at fanfic here -

or below on this very blog -

Their Fated Travels…

RPG Party events as told By Robert James Freemantle

Chapter 31
The Fighting Pit
Round Two

The next round started with a local pit fighter champion up against the dreaded doom bull captive. Even though it was weakened from its recent months of enslavement it was still a powerful enemy.
   The pitfighter wasted no time by sticking his spear, part thrust part throw into the belly of the massive creature. It seems that this only angered the doom bull, as it raised its large weapon and brought it down towards its foe.
   The pitfighter managed to dodge out of the way but had to abandon his spear in doing so. The offending weapon was still sticking out from the creature’s stomach.
   The doombull then snapped the spear in half as if it was a stick, leaving one end still lodged into it and threw the other at the quickly side peddling fighter. The man was agile and aware enough of this situation. He moved out of the way easily dodging the attack and readied a new weapon to fight with.
   The doom bull lowered its head and snorted a bellowing challenge. The pit fighter roared back, less an attempt to intimidate his foe (as he knew he had no chance of doing that) but more to enforce his own courage.
   The bull creature came at him full charge! It wasn’t going to give the human a chance to decide on his next weapon with care.
   The man reached out instinctively and grabbed the creature’s large horns as the momentum of the beast pushed his feet into a slide backwards along the ground towards the built up mud wall that was quickly closing in. He had no choice in the matter. He didn’t have the strength to repel this thing so he jumped off of the ground, leaving his body prone and picked up by the horns.
   The doom bull had the man over his head, hanging on as best he could while the great creature shook this way and that to get him off.
   The pit fighter reached for his short sword. One quick stab to the creature’s head would likely finish it he hoped, but this was not to be. His lapse of concentration in his reaching for the weapon allowed his grip to be free just enough for a sudden lunge of the creature’s head sideways to send the man flying off.
   The pit fighter ended up in the crowd! He stood to his feet, half of him eager to get back in and fight, the other half considering submitting right now. Before he could decide though, the great horn that meant the end of a fight sounded. The doom bull had been declared the winner by “ring out”.
   The human quietly considered this to be a good thing, while outwardly playing up his disaproval and upset, just for the sake of his sponsor who watched in dismay from the audience, tearing up his betting slip.

   Next came the strange mutant creature. It had been seen in the last round, and everyone was interested in seeing the strange pulsing organ on his back again.
   His opponent was a local Nuln man who fought bravely. He even managed to scrape his weapon into the mutant’s face, deep enough that it exposed its cheek bone.
   The mutant’s organ began to show beneath the ripped shirt, for it began to grow in size!
   The man ran at his foe to dispatch him quickly. The mutant fell low into a duck and bit into the man’s shins, digging his teeth in and biting deeply to the bone.
   The man stared down in horror at the pulsing liver coloured organ that grew in size up towards him. He screamed as the primal part of him that didn’t understand what it was desperately wanted to get away. He submitted at once but the mutant didn’t care about that! It carried on biting the flesh on the man’s legs.
   Heavily armed brawlers arrived in the pit and struck the mutant with a club until it let go. Then they cudgeled it and it fell to the ground, squirming.

   While the attendants did their best to clean up the mess and lay new sawdust, a sqeeking sound of rusting sticky wheels caught everyone’s attention. The audience went quiet. They remembered what happened the last time they heard that sound - who came into the room. It was the dwarf again, Grimdal. He was once again strapped to the wooden platform and pushed into an upright position.
   The attendants saw this and fled from the ring as fast as they could.
   Grimdal was moving, straining to free himself from the bonds that held him. This was different from last time, but what made this all the more unusual was that his eyes were still very much shut – as if he was having some sort of bad dream or internal hallucination!
   His opponent was the favourite to win the competition: The sewerjack. Such men would come from all walks of life. Criminals would sometimes even be permitted to join the organisation so as to evade a jail sentance. Some might consider this wrong, but the job they were doing was frightfully dangerous and no one in their right mind would find themselves willingly wanting to be a sewerjack, patrolling the under passages day and night, rooting out threats that lay down there, both human...and otherwise.
   Just like the last time, the shady looking slavers cut open a fresh wound on the dwarf’s arm and like before applied the drug paste.
   The sewerjack did not have a clear shot to his foe. The handlers were still busy untying him. Instead he ran forward and thrusted with his sword to finish the dwarf before the attendants could fully free him.
   Grimdal’s red bloodshot eyes snapped open just in time to perceive the incoming threat and he roared with battle lust. The blade came in fast but one of the dwarf’s arms was already free and he raised a hand to stop it, palm outwards. The blade impacted through the dwarf’s hand and came out on the other side, but, it was now stuck!
   Grimdal laughed, with froth beginning to form at the sides of his mouth. He pulled up a hammer with his one free hand, while the other by way of impaling was still holding the sewerjack’s sword in place, and brought the stone hammer down on the man’s arm. The bone crunched and broke at once. The elbow jutted at a terrible angle.
   He did not dare let go of his weapon though, he struggled to free it. This only gave the maddened dwarf yet more openings of opportunity.
   The human grabbed a dagger from his belt and slashed at the dwarf’s face with it. A mad cut had been made across its eyebrow, lower eye socket and some of the cheek.
   Grimdall took one step backwards and swung the back of his hand low, like a swipe might strike someone about the face. Of course this was the hand that had the sword stuck in it and as the blow made contact with the sewerjack’s hip, it impaled at the blade end!
   This forceful blow had lessened the weapon’s length of entry into the dwarf’s hand. The jack screamed in pain and grabbed his sword. This time a strong tug pulled it free from the dwarf who fought like he was posessed.
   Grimdal surprised his opponent once again – this time by spitting a huge gobule of mixed saliva, phlegm and blood into the man’s eyes. As he desperately wiped it clear from his face, his vision cleared just in time to see both hammers in the dwarf’s hands at last. He was gripping it as if there was no injury!
   The sewerjack could only watch in horror as the dwarf’s muscles bulged as he brought both hammers together to meet at the man’s head, one at each ear! They impacted and sent him spinning in disorientation with massive external injury already visible. Then Grimdal swung them again, like two massive chiming components striking a bell. This time, what little fractured skull held the man’s head together gave out! His head collapsed like a watermelon in an explosion of blood! Grimdall roared and continued to strike at the man’s body, venting much of his pent up frustrations on it...
   This time the dwarf would not calm down easily. His injuries were helping to sustain the anger in him.
   Finally, the handlers emerged at the ringside through the crowd and fired blow darts into their crazed captive. His swings became slower and his roared senseless chatter became slurred until he collapsed.
   Twice in one day, this dwarf had been drugged and fallen unconscious. There were limits to what a body could take, even a hardy frame of a dwarf...

   The next bout was one of mutual respect. The unnamed Kislev born warrior came up against Tordrad.
   Each competitor saluted one another and some words were spoken in their native tongue. Nobody else present could understand at all what they were saying. In actual fact, Tordrad had called to his opponent for a simple fight to first blood. A simple Kislev sparring tradition that friends and comrades in arms would even employ upon one another to train. His opponent agreed and then they were off.
   They weaved and dodged one another carefully and even ended up in a blade lock using axes! From the test of strength that this called for, Tordrad was the stronger as he pushed his opponent backwards against the arena wall. There he brought his axe around in a swipe. The other man raised his weapon to parry ready for a counter to slide off into an attack, but Tordrad had already read the man’s stance – for his own blow had been a feint! He pulled the axe into a new arc and as it sailed skillfully past the other man’s guard range, it did some minor damage across his off arm.
   The crowd began to boo and hiss as Tordrad’s opponent lowered his weapon, saluted in the kislevite manner and submitted to the officials.
   Tordrad was victorious, but based on the jeering of the crowd, he decided not to stay around and celebrate his victory for long –so he retired quickly to the locker room once more where he waited in silence for news of his next opponent.

   Next out to fight was the grey wizard, Taros. As he walked out he was already casting a spell, calling for the shadows nearby to wrap about his body like a cloak. As his opponent the pit fighter champion made his way out into the arena, the wizard then disappeared. He was invisible!
   The pit fighter shouted in complaint. His sponsor shouted back down to him to stop complaining and keep his concentration but it was too late. Taros had seen his opening appear so soon and took it.
   Taros re-emerged from the shadows behind the other man, sword first like a trained assassin.
   The pit fighter perceived the threat in time and swung around with his sword. Had the wizard been using a short blade or dagger, he would have killed the pit fighter with one blow. But Taros’s thrust took too long. The man took the blade in his leather side armour instead. It pierced and did some damage indeed, but he was not dead.
   In response, the pit fighter brought out his gladiatorial style net to further disadvantage the wizard’s slower weapon. This was proven correct when he caught the wizard’s sword in his net and countered with his own short sword in a stab motion. It went through the form of the wizard. It had to have been a killing blow! It had to! wizard dematerialized moments before impact, as if he peeled away from reality somehow.
   Now the pit fighter raged in frustration at his awkward foe, but within seconds the wizard had re-materialized again, to the man’s side in a running strike, it slashed the man’s shoulder, the one that had no armour pad upon it, in a deep gash and as the wizard passed by he once again faded into nothingness.
   The pitfighter began swinging his sword around him desperately as he clenched his shoulder with his other hand, to try and stop the bleeding as best as he could.
   Suddenly the shadows from the side began to pull themselves over to a position behind the pit fighter. This caught his attention as they formed up and the wizard appeared once again. This time the pit fighter was looking over his shoulder and slashed around quickly with his sword. The weapon cut straight through his foe, seperating the two halves...but instead of bleeding normally and falling apart, the two pieces of the magister simply hung in the air – and where the split into the two halves had been made, instead of seeing gore and blood, there was a smoke like substance, as if a cloud had been cut in half...
   Just at that moment the real wizard re-appeared on the other side of the fighter and brought his sword round to the man’s throat, pulling his hair hair which force his head back – thus exposing his neck entirely to the blade.
   The first version of Taros had been a visual trick, a clone of smoke somehow. The wizard spoke sofly and calmly, “You have only one chance. I do not spare fools. Do you relent?”
   “I do.” Came the pit fighter’s reply. With that, he was pushed forwards and fell onto his face. He did not care though, for he had his life.

   Next was the noble man to fight a second time, the Countess Emmanuelle’s cousin.
   About half of the audience gave a cheer when his opponent was announced: Dieter De’ath.
   Dieter came out with a shimmering effect visible about his person, a protective arcane armour. He was holding a magically conjured amethyst coloured scythe. It was obviously not real and instead made of magic, based on the way that it was semi transparent. Smoke appeared from Dieter’s hands too, at the site of a previous miscast spell moments ago draining some of his physical and emotional energy. He dared not show any of this as weakness to his opponent however. That would not do.
   Dieter relished the idea of fighting again. The rage that had built up inside him had a place to vent and he had a chance to win some money into the bargain. What he didn’t relish however was the concern that were he to kill this pompous spotty faced twerp, the Countess might seek him out for revenge...It didn’t have to end in death he reminded himself...but what if he couldn’t help it? What if the other took over? What if?...His line of questioning was interrupted as the posh youthful faced man spoke in a self assured manner, “Just who are you supposed to be? You don’t look like a fighter.”
   Dieter snarled, “I’m a doctor.”
   “A doctor?” came the young man’s reply, “you look more like you need a doctor!”
   Dieter forgot all about his concerns at that moment and channeled the winds of magic into his hands once more. These were the lower castings of magical essence, or the “lesser” lore as it were, but without the correct training of a magister, this was still more dangerous than it needed to be. Dieter was used to this by now however. He had lived in constant danger all of his life.
   The doctor in training moved through the air in a haze and seemed to disappear for a mere second, confusing everyone present, including his opponent, before appearing again behind him, from this a flash step type spell.
   As Dieter plunged forwards, he sliced downwards with his conjured scythe, stripping the clothes and flesh off of the man’s back with a deadly diagonal slash. He fell to his knees as he tried to clutch himself.
   Dieter spoke, “If you want to quit, then go ahead and quit, boy. But if you do have a spine then try to come at me. Though with that first strike I think I can see part of your spine already.”
   The man yelped in panic and screamed for help. He was only used to duelling, not such maniacal downright dirty combat as this. He truly didn’t belong in such a place, but his opponent, truly did. In fact, for all of Dieter’s academic results and learned stances, a foul den of depravity where the lust of combat can be fulfilled was one of the only places he could let himself go. The headaches subsided here.
   The man slashed out defensively with the rapier, telling Dieter to stay back, to not come any nearer. Dieter was listening for the golden words of the man submitting but he did not hear it. Nor did the overseers as the match continued!
   Dieter walked towards the man who lunged in panic at the oncoming doctor. Dieter ducked under the first swipe but the next were very precise indeed. The rapier slashed across Dieter’s chest, slicing through the arcane protection too. Dieter was cut.
   The would be doctor gritted his teeth together and charged. The man brought the rapier in again, a lunge for Dieter’s face as Dieter had his face low in the charge.
   Dieter used the scythe handle to knock the rapier up and away from him, creating an opening to the man. He turned the motion of this rounded move into momentum and carried it around the long way. The man could barely bring the weapon back up in time as the magical scythe tore straight through the rapier’s blade and continued on, beheading the man almost completely. As his body fell, the head hung on by the merest pieces of flesh.
   Dieter did not give up there. He cut the head off completely and held it up to the audience, who cheered fanatically at the bloodletting they were experiencing. This man they hailed as a hero to their entertainment needs.
   Dieter spoke to the head, “Do you give up now?” before throwing it up into the crowd.
   As the crowd parted to make way for the projectile, Maestro ducked as the head almost hit him. He spoke aloud rather impassionately, “Though you can’t see me in the crowd, I could almost swear you were aiming at me!” Maestro had already been witness to much of Dieter’s darkness and rage. He knew how the man could get. As for the wizard’s proximity to such gore, he always reasoned it as such: If it is not my head flying along seperate to my body, there’s nothing to fear, and that’s all there was to it.
   Dieter then dropped to his knees before the body, produced his surgical impliments and began to cut the man open. Very quickly, he mutilated the body, pulling the heart out and there before everyone he took a bite out of it, chewed and swallowed as blood dripped down his chin. The wildness in him was alive again. Only when others were dead did he feel most alive.


((Don’t forget to vote in the favourite character polls, being hosted at and several warhammer forum story sites))

RE: The TFT Tourney fights

For those of you reading or watching Their Fated Travels from chapter 30+ I'm sure you've been enjoying the tourney that the party have found themselves competing in.
   I do want to point out that when we ran these fights, we actually had all names put into a hat and drawn out randomly, for each and every round. So it was truly mad what might happen on the day in combinations.
   All of the players who took part fully played their characters too, rolling dice for these 1v1 bouts. The session was recorded via a PC microphone and then played back later by me when I came to actually write it all up. There are some places where I had to craft some realism onto the combat, here and there, but aside the odd inevitable embellishment, these matches and their results happened pretty much true to how you the readers/listeners experience them.