The tunnel leading away from all the boos was a welcoming one. Though dragging yourself in chains after defeating 3 foes and then a black dragon (though it be young) and surviving, is something to consider as the Trio‘s steps shuffle through the torch lit hall. Ragnarok was there. Waiting. With a look of pure disgust he yells out,"You tamed it?!??! The crowd wanted to see blood! And you tamed it! Fools! Now I’ll be condemned to spend more time training the like of you and your sorry lot! Begone from my sight! I would spit on you, but it would be too good for the cowards you are. Glory is not for the weak, you must take it with vicious hands and get bloody in the process. That is what shall happen when I step into that arena today. My opponent will feel the life drain from him as I relish in the carnage." And with that, Ragnarok roughly passes Ero, Drago, and Adiah through the gates that lead into the arena.
Cheers are heard even in the depths of the arena as Ragnarok steps onto the sandy stage. His opponent? A duo of elven archers from Ysta, a barbarian from the northern tundra of Howling Plains, a dwarf from the mines of the Emerald Citadel, and four human fighters of the desert lands of Al-hazard. The fight lasted longer than any other fights that the Dragonborn ever participated in. To their credit, Ragnarok was pressed badly and wounded from several places and even with a shattered arm, he slew the mercenaries one by one with unbridled fury and rage. The crowd for a second could not comprehend what they witnessed and they even forgot to cheer when Ragnarok was pronounced the victor. Silence and astonishment could be read from the faces in attendance, only the single clap from a robed spectator broke the uneasy silence. As they cheered, they chanted Ragnarok’s name in unison and commend his brilliance in the ring.
All but one man, Josiah Irons, stood there transfixed and enraged with the audacity of this gladiator’s resilience. “What will it take to end this monster,” pondered the Count. Unfortunately, the crowd was behind the gladiator and Josiah Irons would not want to play that political game with Ragnarok as long as it was he who held the hearts of those within the arena. If only those who fought Dormistos performed better to woo the mob, less attention would be granted to Ragnarok. “There must be a way. There must.” was all Josiah could think of in his frustration.
The stands of the arena lay empty. Custodians of the arena floor prepped the battlefield for the next time warriors stood on those bloody grounds, fewer guards patrolled the vacant aisles. Ravens sought out any nibbles of meat left behind from the battle. The stage was reset and done for today, but for the Count, he had more pressing matters to attend to in his library. There, the future of his city, citizens, region, and possibly all the Realms will be decided.
The next day proved eventful for Ero, Drago, and Adiah. They were visited by a familiar face. Shamis the gnome fashion exact duplicates of the keys that unlocked the chains that bind the gladiators after they finished a match in the arena. Plans were made for their escape and nods of appreciation were exchanged. Now all that the trio had to do was position themselves in the right spot, and all should go according to plan. Easier said than done it seemed. After witnessing the condition Ragnarok came back in, the trio could only surmise the intensity of the battle that he waged. Ragnarok was in no mood to humor anyone let alone the trio who failed him in killing a black dragon. “Cleric heal my wounds,” commanded Ragnarok to a nearby healer with familiar human features, but unfamiliar details. “And who are you and where do you hail from,” demanded the weaponsmaster. No response was given. Whether the cleric was secretive or just plainly in the dark of his own past, he would not want to share that with patient at the moment.
The nail knocked on the wooden post to secure the sheet of paper that held the roster for the next arena battle. Unfortunate for Ero, he was turned around to support the training dummy while Adiah just stood there transfixed on the dummy standing before him. “Hey! Are you gonna hit this thing or what?” questioned Ero to his large purplish blue friend. Snapping out of the trance, Adiah finally spots the paper and notified Ero to scribble their names for the appropriate spot on the list for the escape plan. Upon navigating through several new recruits, Ero is confronted by some orcs who appear to be signing up for the same spot was the trio were about to enlist for.
A scuffle arose and 3 officers got involved (Galore, Kadrim-sul, and Minharath) to side with the Trio against a group of orcs and one dwarven hammerer. In the midst of the confrontation, Ragnarok stormed away from Kadrim-sul as he was demanding that the weaponsmaster keep his gladiators inline.