Dragon Forge

So... That Happened.... (Part I)

The day begins with the clang, clang, clang of dagger hitting iron bars as Ragnarok rouses the rest of the gladiators. The warriors who have survived their battles rise, some stretch out the fatigue from their bones to the new day. A day of battle and maybe a day of their death. As Ragnarok passes the Trio’s cell, he eyes each one but says nothing in any form of greetings. Ero, Adiah, and Drago shuffle out of their cell to receive their gear like the rest of the gladiators, until a gnome of an elderly face but with a strong compact upper body rounds a corner to catch up with the Trio. “Wait!” came a pitched voice. “The Count has a special battle for you today, you’ll be getting more than just the chicken scraps!” The old gnome smiled, “Time to suit you up in the Hen’s best pecked! Hehehehe." Kibel was a gnome of great skill, he was known within the region as one of the few masters of enchanting weapons and armor he produced with magic. As a long time friend of the Count, Kibel was granted Arms and Armor Master of the city.

“Don’t worry you three, it’s not far. Hehehehehe…,” commented Kibel as he rounded his thirteenth corner of the maze of corridors that make up the arena’s structure. After the fifteenth turn, the Trio with its six guard escort and Kibel arrived to a barred armory guarded by two soldiers that gave the group a quick discerning look and a quicker look at an impatient Kibel and stepped aside to reveal an ornate lock. Kibel studied the lock for a second and rifled through his pockets for the right ring of keys that he desired. The bars of the cage were enchanted with several runes as well as the surrounding walls that housed the weapons. After the desired key was found, Kibel looked to the bars closest to the lock and covered a sequence of runes with his left hand while his right hand inserted the key and turned the lock to several clicks and gear sounds that rivaled some of the most ornate clocks in the world. Second passed and the clicks stopped and Kibel presented his armory and smithy to the Trio. “Take whatever your fancy! But we must insist that these be around your wrist.” He produced six wrist-sized cuffs. The cuffs were etched with pale yellow runes along the perimeter and glowed with a faint hint of arcane power. “They’ll weaken the weapons while you’re not in the arena, nothing more," the gnome declared, “We would want ya runnin’ around the place with such powerful weaponry. Hehehehehe…”

As the Trio went about their examination, Galore snaps out of her reverie trance and begins her day to prepare herself for the coming event. The anxiety of the last event’s fiasco left a bad taste in her mouth that needed to be washed away by research. It was a few hours before the beginnings of the first matches and even then her rotation within the mages was further down the line to get a bit more reading done in the Count’s library. Walking the corridors, Galore passed several mages that hooted and made snide remarks toward her, but she ignored them and just kept to her destination. She hesitated when she passed the black double doors with gold trim and wondered,for the twenty-seventh time, what could be behind that particular door. It took only another second to break her out of her thoughts and proceeded to the nearby library. The guards posted there gave her no trouble as they were informed that she had full use of the library and could peruse through any of its contents. Galore reached for the handle and it suddenly retracted from her grasps as Count Josiah was leaving.

“Oh Galore, I was just about to send for you. There seemed to be a very curious book that I wanted you to look at before you went into your rotation,” greeted the count, “Well go on in, I would love to stay and see what you can decipher, but I must tend to other matters. Do not be too long in there, I know how deeply you research and if left unchecked you can engross yourself in no time.” With the proximity of the Count, Galore found herself flushed and a bit embarrassed to be caught off guard by the master of the Arena. She was a elf damn it! With a nod, the Count slipped by her and proceeded down one the the corridors that led toward the arena’s luxury box. Galore composed herself among the grinning guards and said,“Well you could have told me he was in there.”
“Hehehe… Well, to be honest, you didn’t ask,” laughed the guard. With that, Galore went into the library.

Kadrim-sul awoke to the same memory that haunts him and he finds himself in a sweat as the fatigue is erased from his bones. “But is it my bones that truly ache?” wondered Kadrim. He faced the mirror that was afforded him in his modest room and stared into the eyes of a man he barely knows. No amount of water could help with his ashy complexion as he doused his face with the nearby water bowl set aside on a table near the mirror. “What am I?” the words have escaped him often these past few days. Scouring his mind, Kadrim-sul could not obtain the answer to his questions. The memories that happened to him would flood in and wash out in the most random of times. He geared himself up to meet the coming day and began his daily ritual before events. Check on his guard’s duties, follow up on disorderly soldiers, conduct assignments with mages and position guards in strategic areas that were previously instructed to him by the Count himself.
“I want a full garrison on the next event captain.” announced Count Josiah two day before the next battle arena date.
“A full garrison? Do you expect trouble my lord?” wondered out loud Kadrim-sul.
“Let’s just say that my spies have intercepted certain information that has a possibility of arising during the matches” informed the Count.
“I will send for the extra soldiers immediately my lord. Should I know what to look for in case of such danger?”
“Don’t worry my friend. If trouble comes, you’ll know it immediately.”
Following his inspection of the many guards appointed today, Kadrim-sul entered the luxury box of the arena where Count Josiah would be entertaining noble guests and well noted merchants whom have come to watch the matches.
“Ah! Captain Kadrim-sul, so good of you to join us. Please let me discuss something of importants with the good captain. Please excuse me.” Count Josiah bowed as he and the captain adjourned to a waiting room next to the luxury box reserved for private meetings as the matches went on.

Up before any of the other clerics, Minharath finds himself preparing the several cots that would be needed in the coming battle. He prepared several rolls of gauze cloth for bandaging, needles with numbing liquids, and surgeon’s tools for more complicated procedures. The medical ward even housed a small alchemist table to produce potions of healing. He proceeded to make six potions to help ease the pain of the future patients. With the preparations finished, Minharath decided to venture out into the corridors and maybe chat with the other clerics before their important tasks were needed. He took one step into the corridor and immediately began breathing rapid breathes causing his lungs to store more air than they should. His blooded boiled and his concentration on his surrounding began to blur as his mind delve into a state of madness. He quickly stepped back into the ward and locked the door behind him. As soon as the door was shut, Minharath collapsed backwards and writhed in agony and laughed hysterically at nothing at all. Rage mixed with enjoyment mixed with pain circled his mind like a torrent causing him to blackout and lay silently on the medical ward floor.



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