We are once again victorious – but really, is anyone surprised – having won the second fight in the Wasteland Championship or Something of That Ilk. We entered the stadium bashing our weapons together, badassery flowing through our veins. Unfortunately, two minotaurs, a Medusa-spawn, and three spear-wielding monks had already descended from the steps near the Velucian podium and zeroed in on us with bloodlust in their eyes.
Faster than one could say, “Oh, fecal matter,” they were upon us. Garik, Gilda, and Junior ran to meet them head on. They clashed with the minotaurs in a flurry of spark and steel, axes and swords bashing together in a deadly storm. I sprinted for the nearest column and climbed the vines to the top.
The minotaurs’ greataxes were devastating. They swung hard and heavy, our dodges hindered by the flying points of the monk’s spears. The snake-woman dodged in between the pillars on the other end of the arena, letting arrows fly at Marcas and I. I screamed down to Marcas, “The bridge! Flank them!!!”
He drew his sword and charged out onto the bridge with a bloodthirsty battle cry. Unfortunately, a gust of desert wind then blew across the stadium. The bridge rocked and Marcas fell flat on the ground.
“Spirits help us,” I muttered. I rolled my eyes and struck the tips of my flame arrows against the column. Moments later, they were flying into the chaos of flying dust and steel. The minotaurs’ fur ignited, sending them reeling back from shock in the already-sweltering desert heat. Behind them, Junior leapt up onto the arena’s edge and brought his dragon bastard sword down with an almighty swing. The strikes hit home, driving the beasts back toward Gilda, who struck out in a frenzy of furious swings with Narwen and her axes. As they turned their backs, Garik hammered them with even further strikes. We had them cornered!
Meanwhile, Marcas tried to get up again and fell.
Medusa and the monks ran for the melee. They were fools to try. Nothing could save their group now. The minotaurs fell in a plume of thick smoke, out of which our warriors burst with their weapons brandished. I pelted the enemies with covering fire as they entered my sights and ran around the corner towards our warriors.
Then the ground shook. An almighty roar sounded from within the deepest bellows of the earth. The very dust shifted on the ground, forming curlicue patterns on the worn tile and making the very pebbles rattle against the quieted stands. The monks froze. The snake woman backed up toward the Velucian podium, black eyes roving the stadium suspiciously. Our warriors stopped in their tracks, weapons still raised high to meet the impending threat. All that could be heard was Marcas’ silent cursing as he struggled to right himself on the rocking bridge.
A purple worm burst from the ground beneath the stadium. The crowds shook the air with their screams as the gigantic monster reared a huge, ugly head filled with teeth. Just as the roaring reached a zenith, we all watched as an axe curved through the air to lodge in the monster’s side. Gilda was the first to charge forward. She dodged the worm’s clumsy attacks, sliding a fire opal down its’ throat as she slid by. Junior and I covered her charge, laying down fire against the remaining fighters. Garik ran forward to grapple with the snake woman. Marcas was still laying on the bridge, somehow managing to simultaneously roll and wave his sword while on his back. It was all very impressive, really.
The monks fell in short order. One escaped my notice and scaled my perch, forcing me to trade swing for swing as we dodged each other’s attacks. Our fighter heard the Medusa-spawn begin to breathe her last breaths and turned their attention to the worm. We would have ALL the glory today, or none. Gilda threw fire opal after fire opal, watching with glee as fire creatures hatched inside the bewildered worm. Junior flung arrows at the worm and the remaining monk in turn. Garik cradled the dying fighter in his arms. I could see a bottle of healing potion in his hands – I swear to the androgynous elven spirits that that man was not given the spirit of a ruthless battler but the build of one, and is therefore proof that the planes have a sense of humor.
The worm tried to escape, meeting only steel and arrows each time. I barely leapt to the ground and scrambled away before it burst out of a hole next to my perch. But eventually, it retreated back into its’ lair with barely a heartbeat in its’ body, fire creatures still clawing out of its’ hideous maw. The arena lay deserted. Marcas had finally crawled off of the bridge, his face white and his heart palpitating with the thrill of his adventure. Gilda and Junior walked away with large, deep gashes and even deeper victory cries. The Velucians rewarded us well with much glory and many riches, including the company of the snake woman who Garik revived and has now claimed as a liege. We have tasted the wine of gold and glory, having triumphed all but the largest opponent in the Wastes. The battle will only last for tonight…it CAN only last for tonight…and the crowd is calling for more. I think we are actually going to see this insanity through to the end. Some of us are on the brink of death and we all know it – I can only hope that our bloodlust will lead us not to the end, but to more greatness and the horizon of the Hraken empire.