The party walks down a long and dank brick corridor. They pass flickering torches. The corridor ends at a large metal barred gate. On the other side sits a large ring. The floor is covered in freshly packed sand. Surrounding the ring, a twenty-foot stone wall that holds up rows of seats that stretch back to an open ceiling. The sun has begun to peak over the eastern wall, illuminating a small section of the ring like a spotlight. A few birds fly over the large opening, creating the only blemish against the blue backdrop.
The gates are opened with loud chains that clang heavily against one another. The sound carries into the ring and bounces off the empty seats. The party moves forward to the center of the ring. Hands clench weapons tightly as eyes scan the ring for danger. There is none noticed, and they continue their trek slowly towards the center. Each footstep lands with a slight crunch, leaving behind sloppy imperfections on the sand. They pass by red blood stains that have since soaked into the sand and dents where hammers and other blunt weapons fell. On the walls, they notice the countless nicks and deep cuts that were never mended. There are bits of wall that are missing. The party moves forward.
When they reach the center, the ring remains silent. A large metal gate looks back at them somberly, unmoving. A door shuts loudly in the distance. It is followed by the faint sound of feet lazily shuffling over stone. About a minute goes by and Toula appears along the wall with a wine bottle in each hand. She makes wobbling trek along the edge to the center of the wall and plops down. Her feet dangle over the edge of the wall and she looks down the confused party. With out a word, she raises a bottle to her mouth and bites the cork off. She spits it over the edge. it lands with a silent thud a few feet away from them. She takes a big swig and her thirsty gulps echo off the walls of the empty colosseum. She stops and looks down letting out a satisfying burp before adding “Welp? Get on it”
With that, the large gate drops, bouncing heavily on the sand below shaking the ring. It kicks up a thick cloud of dust and sand. Grips get tighter. Eyes try desperately to look throw the thick dust and past the darkness. The dust settles and a feint sound of footsteps can be heard from somewhere in the darkness. With each passing second, the sounds get heavier. Small bits of sand start to bounce in resonance. It gets closer, but the tempo never changes. One step after another, closer and closer until the footsteps are accompanied by the sound of metal scraping onto stone.
Tal is the first to see it. A large metallic orb inching through the darkness with 9 long metallic arms reaching out to pull it forward. At its head sits a small metal helmet with no face but emotionless red eyes that illuminate the darkness.
“Well, okay then” Tal lets out trying to hide the anxiety from his voice. No one else sees what he is talking about. The metallic creature stops suddenly. It’s long claws dig into the stone around it and it begins to brace itself.
“Um, you guys. Something is happening?”
“What is it?” Jalila asks, half squinting, trying desperately to see through the darkness.
Before Tal could answer, the creature launches itself out of the tunnel. The sunlight shines off the metal, sending out beams of hot light into the stands. Instinct kicks in and the party scatters as the giant metallic orb lands, creating a large crater where they once stood. The metallic creature raises from the crater, towering over them at 15 ft it scans its surroundings. It starts to make its way towards Zarmir who is the closest.
“By the light of the gods, be gone demon” Tall says clutching the holy symbol that hangs around his neck. The small cross warms under his touch. A large purple beam falls from the heavens, engulfing the creature in blinding purple light. When the beam stops, the orb stands seemingly unaffected. The metal glows purple. The creature sets its glowing red gaze towards Tal and in the same second makes a run towards Tal.
Zarmir tightens the grip on his glaive and takes his first confident step towards the purple glowing metallic creature. Each step comes down quicker and harder as his years of training start to set in. He closes the distance as he feels streams of sand being kicked in his direction. When in range, Zarmir leaps at the creature, swinging his glaive at the creatures back. The iron glaive meets resistance. Sparks fly as it begins to cut into the hull of the orb. The metal rings that ornate the back of the blade jingle wildly as it starts to slowly cut through. Purple glowing metal starts to bend under the blade until it gives, leaving a the creature with a large wound on its back. A black ooze starts to seep from the wound. A claw swings at Zarmir in retaliation, but instinct kicks in and he deflects the attack. Zarmir takes his chance and swings at the joint between the claw and the arm. The blade catches and the sound of metal tearing fills the field. Zarmir’s glaive goes through and the offending claw lands lifeless besides him.
Zarmir doesn’t see the second claw attack. It moves too quick and swipes him at his side. Pain shoots through his body as he is lifted from the ground and thrown from his position. The armor below the claw bends and cracks as he tumbles over the sand leaving small clouds of sand and dust. He lands breathless. The side of his body hurts. He struggles to stand. His ears ring and his vision has blurred. It takes him a second to realize he no longer has his glaive. It takes another for his vision to return and find it lying halfway between him and the beast. He takes a step forward and a bloody cough escapes him.
The creature is upon Zarmir before he can take another step. It towers over him. The purple menacing glow looking down at a defenseless and hurting Zarmir. It’s arms stretch out for one final attack. Zarmir stands his ground. He lifts his left arm to try to ineffectively shield himself from the creatures final blow. The claw comes down quicker than Zarmir remembered. More precise. More deadly.
It lands with a heavy clank as it digs into Jalila’s metal kite shield. It scratches at the symbol of her holy order. Her arms start to shake. She mutters a small incoherent prayer. She clenches her teeth, digs her heals in deep into the sand before successfully swinging away the attack. She clutches her long sword and swings. The blade catches metal as sparks spray back at Jalila’s unflinching face. Her muscles begin to burn but she pushes on. The blade goes through and long arm drops besides the creature. It stumbles back a bit.
Varus sees the opening and fires his crossbow. The bolt flies over the sand in a loud whirls as it flies through the opening left in his back. There is a loud clanging sound as the bolt bounces around the creatures insides. With that, the creature’s arms retract within itself leaving behind a large glowing purple orb. It begins to spin, kicking up a large cloud of dust as it rolls towards the other end of the ring. The loud sound of gears reaches out from behind the cloud.
“You good” Jalila asks, her breathing has become labored and heavy. A bead of sweat runs down her forehead.
“Ye” is all Zarmir is able to let out before another bloody cough escapes his throat.
B.U.D with a clear line of sight claps his hands together. Under his breath he lets out “let the mother ship give you strength”
A calming warmth comes over Zarmir. The pain in his chest dulls and his breathing eases. His bleeding wounds begin to close. With his newly found energy he runs towards his glaive. This time there is no cough to interrupt his trot.
At the other end of the ring, 9 long renewed claws extend from the orb. The wound at it’s back has mended. It’s red glowing eyes scan the field, and it starts to speed forward. Again, making it’s way towards Zarmir.
“Let your light fill the darkness” Tal exclaims with his hand clutching the small tin cross around his neck. A purple light, this time originating from his free hand, shoots towards the creature like an arrow. The creature sees it in time. It drops its shape into a ball and the guiding bolt flies over where the creature was. It catches itself and continues forward. A bright blue beam catches the creature on its side leaving behind a deep darkened dent in the armor. B.U.D. stands at the other end of the beam’s trajectory, his hand extended with his two long fingers extended. Seeing that he hit the target, B.U.D starts to clap.
The creature sets his sights on B.U.D. It begins to take deep confident steps towards him, quickly closing the gap between them. It moves much more quickly now. It is clear that creature is out for blood.
Across the ring, Varus has taken aim. A bolt releases from his crossbow, hitting the creature in a reaching arm. It stumbles from the impact, but only for a moment. It continues forward. The creature turns it’s head towards Varus. It’s soulless gaze locking onto his position. A small hole opens up at it’s side releasing an arrow towards varus. Before he can react, the arrow lodges itself into his left shoulder. Pain isn’t foreign to Varus. His childhood was full of pain and this was nothing new. But Varus is also human and he can’t help but to wince as the arrow pierces his skin and digs himself into his flesh. He feel a warm liquid start to flows down his shoulder, soaking
The creature continues towards B.U.D. B.U.D closes his eyes and whispers a silent prayer as he reaches for his mace.
Zarmir rushes forward, glaive in hand. The rings on the end of the blade begin to jingle with each step. With a quick leap, he brings his glaive down, this time full of fury and rage. His glaive meets metal. His muscles burn, his breathing becomes labored as the glaive slowly makes its way through the creature’s arm. It falls to the ground; it flops once before it remains still. Zarmir continues, this time lunging at the creature. His blade pierces the creature, this time it meets little resistance as his glaive sinks deep into the creature’s side.
The giant purple orb stops moving and turns to Zarmir. Zamir watches as gears turn slowly within the beast. A claw comes down for another attack but this time Zarmir is ready. He raises his Glaive and deflects the claw leaving enough of an opening for a swift and precise strike. The claw falls to the ground and twitches before it lays there motionless.
A crossbow bolt flies over Zarmirs shoulder. The wind lightly tussles his hair. It pierces on of the creatures red glowing eyes and it explodes with small bits of glass. The creature stumbles back. Each step more unsure than the last. It uses its desperate moment to sends another desperate claw attack at Zarmir. Zamir deflects but one of the claws is able to leave a deep burning cut on Zarmir’s face.
A third claw comes down, but this time it meets the face of Jalila’s shield. Her heals dig deep into the sad as the force of the claw attack moves her back slightly. With the impact still resonating over her body, she pushes the claw away. Her forehead begins to cover with sweat. Her muscles burn and her strength begins to give. Rage fills her. It can’t end here she thinks as she makes a last desperate push at the claw, pushing it away. The blade of her long sword follows. It sinks into the creature’s metal armored arm, this time it cuts like butter. The claw lands creating a deep crater in the sand.
The orb tries to mend itself. It tries to run away but instead is met with two more guiding bolts, one at each side. It turns its head, searching for a source. A bolt comes flying towards the creature. It finds the other eye. It sinks in deeper into the skull of the beast. It digs itself towards the back and finds itself at the center of an expertly drawn magical seal. The seal erases under the arrow. The creatures yes go dark and it falls over, lifeless.
Toula claps and laughs loudly. Her hands come together for a slow clap as she jumps from her seat into the ring. She walks forward slowly.
“Well, you done it” she exclaims loudly “I am impressed”