Lewis the fighter
It was a quiet evening at the Jhelom arena. I
was standing on the walkway suspended above the grounds when a magical blue gate
appeared below and out stepped upwards of fifteen or so well-clad warriors. I
was astonished; this many warriors hadn’t set foot in the arena in a long
time. Peering down upon the group I noticed one of them was dressed in a gold
hemmed brown robe with the hood pulled close over his face.
The warriors were calling out his name, saying ‘Elder’ and ‘Seibh’. I
deduced his name was Elder Seibh. The Elder calmed the crowd and had them stand
in a line as he explained to them, and me, what was going on. I listened
intently. Apparently the Elder was holding a tournament of sorts to test the
skills of warriors. In my excitement, I nearly called out how I would like to
join, until realized my sword and armor hadn’t seen battle in a long time. I
figured I would remain a silent spectator.
I was reminiscing about the old times when I had come to this arena to fight
fierce monsters and even fiercer humans. Then I heard the name of some common
monsters that startled me back to reality. Elder Seibh had spoken the names of
five monsters from across Britannia. None of them were too tough and I wondered
how it could be that these warriors would test their prowess against these
denizens of the land. I noted that I had taken on such monsters in my younger
days with ease. Then I heard the Elder state the rules for this tournament. The
monsters he mentioned were: a corpser, an orc lord, a troll, a bone knight and a
lich, in increasing order of difficulty, I would imagine. It was the rules that
shocked me however. The rules he said were as follows:
· Contestants will fight monsters one on one and must stand adjacent to
their opponent at all times. Moving from your opponent will be considered a loss
of the match.
· Mages and archers are allowed so long as they stand next to their opponent.
· Only weapons and armor of grandmaster make and below are allowed. No magical
· Hiding and the invisibility spell are not permitted, the fights must be
continuous until either the citizen or the monster is dead. Citizens may safely
yield if they so choose.
· No poisoned weapons allowed. Poison via the spell is permissible.
· And lastly, most importantly, no healing during combat. Healing between
matches is fine. Curing is allowed during combat by whatever means possible.
I was baffled by these rules. No healing? No silver weapons to vanquish the
undead? Perhaps this was a greater test than I had previously thought. I
wondered why these warriors would commit certain death. Then the prizes were
· First place is 20,000 gold and a magical weapon
· Second place is 10,000 gold
· Third place is 5,000 gold.
I stood calmly by as I watched the contestants face their foes. The corpsers
and orc lords were dealt with quickly until their corpses littered the arena
floor. The trolls gave a little trouble to some of the warriors. Then came the
true test. A bone knight is a worthy foe even with healing and silver weapons.
To fight it otherwise seemed pure folly. But many of the warriors won and from
up above I applauded and silently envied them. Some of the warriors even
dispatched the knights with a flourish, as easily as they would slay an orc. I
was impressed. But the liches were to come and everyone knew how fierce their
spell casting could be. I had seen warriors perfectly healthy one minute and
dead the next. I was eager to see the results of this last round.
Six of the original fifteen contestants had made it through to fight the
liches. And to my surprise all of them won against the fearsome creatures. It
was then that I wondered how the champion of this tournament was to be
determined. Elder Seibh informed the victors that another lich would be fought
and the results timed. The warriors stood by, ready and determined. Two of those
who had been previously victorious had died the second time around. A nearby
wandering healer brought them back to life and I looked down as they gathered
their belongings from the burnt corpses. Three of the warriors were skilled
indeed. They dealt with their foe quickly and calmly, barely sustaining any
injury between the quick jabs and thrusts of their blades. I didn’t recognize
the three, but the others who watched spoke their names. They were Gilthas
Stargaze, Soulblighter, and Peacemaker.
Soulblighter dispatched his foe quickly, only taking 23 seconds. Gilthas and
Peacemaker tied with 20 seconds. Elder Seibh stated that they would fight again,
only this time would be something new. Something that wouldn’t wander in fear
after it was nearly dead. Something that could cast devastating spells and take
a fair beating. The spectators determined they would fight a reaper. The evil
trees grew in the arena.
Gilthas Stargaze was to go first. He stepped forward, somewhat reluctant,
muttering something about flamestrikes. He fought the reaper bravely. I leaned
far over the rail in my suspense. Gilthas had taken several of the more
devastating spells and lived. His armor was black from the heated flames. Yet in
the end the reaper fell to his axe. It had taken Gilthas 31 seconds to rid the
arena of the foul tree. Peacemaker stepped up with an air of confidence about
him. He walked steadily toward the reaper and engaged his foe. He withstood many
of the same spells Gilthas had. But in the end his quick katana and strength
proved the difference. Peacemaker dispatched the reaper in 28 seconds.
Elder Seibh handed over a check to each of the winners and passed on a magical
war mace of sorts to Peacemaker, telling them each ‘Well done’. They stayed
for a bit, chatting about various aspects of Britannia. And as quickly as they
had arrived, they were gone. I retired to my quarters to dream about the deeds I
had witnessed that night and reminisce about my old days in the arena.
Lewis the fighter