The Arena

Claidheamh (s01e01)
Sixth of Tarsakh

As usual, only a few cheered for me as I awaited the opening of the gates. I would think the mob would enjoy the way my steel dances. Heh, no matter, it’s not for their favour I go to that place. Even so, the people had more reasons to shout even less at me that day, “Something feels different”, I remember thinking, and I was quite right. In the moments before they lowered the gates I realised: there was a novice opposite of me. Fighting with novices is quite unusual these days, and my excitement grew. For some reason, the newcomer didn’t seem quite right in his head. For one, he was a Half-Orc… with a prickly bright rapier on his hand and a bag of shurikens on his belt. A queerest sight. The other two I knew well: Thoradin, a crackpot dwarf who worships two gods, and Aran, a Shifter whose claws he didn’t like dirtying, rather calling for the spirits of the wilderness. I am friendly with those two.

The gates came down. As usual, I moved first, without hesitation, as a wolf would. A wolf against a panther, the Shifter. He would be a nuisance were I not to take him out soonest. I never expected for the newcomer to know as much, but Thoradin should have realised it as well. How wrong was I… Thoradin, damn his bloodlust, engaged the Half-Orc, for being pierced by a little shiny star. And I knew, as the huge ethereal bear formed before me, that the spirits were for me, and me alone, to fight. As Aran didn’t understand that, he made one of his fiery hawks test the mettle of the newcomer, Ugarth was his name, and as ugly as his bearer at that. I was lucky for a time, needing only to dodge the bear and move toward his master, but Faerûn, Aran called him that, made the task harder. A fruitless effort, I tried my fangs on him, his presence barely in this world, and so I kept moving, avoiding his very real claws.

I could hear the clashing of metal and the splashes of the falcons, but I was kept too busy to watch that fight, the bear fading and reappearing even closer. I couldn’t get my steel much nearer to Aran, so maybe, I thought, I should fight him from a distance. I sheathed my fangs, got just far from Faerûn, and notched two arrows, loosing them toward the Shifter. A bad idea it was, for one of my arrows caught his attention, piercing through leather and flesh. “May your soul rest with the dead”, or such I heard him say. An orb made for my head and I was engulfed. It soon disappeared, but left me burning from within. On that moment I saw the fight going on the other side. The end of it, I mean. The crazy orc let himself be slashed to death by the war axe, just so he could prick Thoradin through the gaps in his plate. Though it was enough so that last hovering bird would take him down.

As I burned, I weakened. And it got harder to make away from Faerûn. I was then facing nature’s spirits all alone. Aran’s failcons hissing by my head. Not much else I could do, and as I burned, I was defeated.

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S01E02

A month had passed since Aran’s last show in the arena. People were starting to like him a little, mainly due to the special flair he gave the fail hawks. Ranged fighters are usually frowned upon by the audience, since they do too much running and too little smacking and bleeding, but he was hellbent on changing that.

Coach booked him against Claid and Thoradin. Again. Aran had followed a quite different training course over the last weeks, but now he wondered how he would fare against these two. He had lost some of his bulkyness. Tall and athletic, Aran was once quite resilient. But ever since Claid mocked his spirits, he suddenly changed to a different build altogether. He would spend one whole day speaking with Faerün, and another burning targets to cinders. They got more accurate, stronger, deadlier. Each bird now sported twice its previous wingspan. And to top it all, Katar, who from time to time speaks through Faerün, offered a deal she had just taken herself.

Bhhaaaa, sono.

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S01E01

The stands of the Arena roared as the gates were lowered. It all quieted down somewhat as the contestants came into view, as if the silence allowed them to better see the East one. A new Pit Dog! As they understand this, a whole new kind of excitement is felt. Because even if everyone has their own hero, the one they cheer for and love to see win, the smell of fresh meat has the power to bring out the inner bloodthirsty barbarian in all of you.

The four square off. The crowd chants, but, on the sand, none can tell exactly what. The Shifter smiles as he recognizes the cloaked creature. A tall person himself, Aran feels dwarfed by the dark-skinned giant. The others were a different story. A very different story, in the case of the dwarf he once took for Warforged scraps. He had held the dwarf’s helmet once. Good castle-forged steel it was, and not much room to stick your claws in either. And then there was the human. A very good fighter, no doubt about that. A great hunter, that posed many a threat to Aran’s friends; however, there, he seem’d to lack the power, or the will, to slay another. And so Aran worried not, for this day was his.

No winds”, he snarled. “With fire it shall be.” Aran readied his mind after seeing an iron star pierce through the dwarf’s plate. He held his palms together, and the bird flashed out of the totem with a small crack and zoomed in into Ugarth’s head. The fires spread as it splashed, and reunited again, circling the giant as vultures circle the dying. Faerun was holding the ranger. The human tried to circle the bear, and the bear to trap the human. And as they danced, the fight wore on.

As Faerun held Claid, Aran’s thoughts turned to the tide of iron clashing with iron on the east wall. Trying to go unnoticed, Aran decided to stick to the wall and call for the flaming sons of the Stormhawk. They seared flesh, burned leather, and cooked Thoradin in his fine steel oven. Some managed no more but to char the ground, or the walls, but even that seemed to be enough to distract the two, because they paid Aran no attention. The axe hacked at the giant’s legs, and the rapier stabbed between the plate slabs of the gorget; and even two swords weren’t enough to halt the might of Faerun. Or it was that Faerun would only use its might to halt those swords.

Thus the match wore on. Claid’s dance was nearing on Aran, but luckily the other fighters were too busy slashing at each other. In one of those moments when the clashes were at their fiercest, an arrow to the shoulder reminded Aran he was still not alone. “May the souls of the dead bring you to rest”, Aran muttered, as a small orb of eerie purple light raised from the totem’s claws and fluttered towards the man’s head. It flickered and whacked him on the side of the head, staggering him. And just as quickly as it appeared, it was gone. Gone, yes, but still burning inside Claid’s soul. It was just a moment, but still it was enough to make Aran miss the time when the orc impaled himself in Thor’s waraxe so he could better stab the other. A final bolt of flying fire was then enough to burn the dwarf out of his last breath.

Faerun was doing a great job keeping the last man standing at bay and burning. Little by little, his soul weakened, and it got easier to burn. “No getting the claws all soaked in blood, today”. And with a final piercing cry, the fire hawk struck Claid straight on the chest.

It was over.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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