Sunday, 3 April 2011

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

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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.


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