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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> Land of Xenophobia
Parent thread: Land of Xenophobia
Related thread: Gauging Interest for Land of Xenophobia
Related thread: Q & A ~ Land of Xenophobia ~
Related thread: Land of Xenophobia
Related thread: Last Call for Xenophobia
GM for this game: Hammer
Players for this game: Dragon Mistress, Brianna, Nomad D2, Hammer, ShadowDragon, Abraxis, CirroWolf
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    Messages in Land of Xenophobia
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Hammer
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Land of Xenophobia

Prelude to Land of Xenophobia


Warning: This adventure may contain Intense Graphic and/or Mature Adult Content that may be offensive or unsuitable to some readers!

Please proceed with caution!



Six Months Ago

The Black Hooded Guards brought the new prisoners into a special containment chamber and unceremoniously forced them to sit awkwardly on the roughly hewn stone floor.

Each prisoner was clad in a simple white pull-over, ankle-length sleeveless shirt that bore the insignia of a small black hood above two crossed black battle axes [much like the skull and crossbones of earth's pirate days] imprinted on the front and back to signify their status as the sole property of the battle arena attendants.

Their ankles were bound with a small chain that allowed them barely enough space for marching where they were forced to go by the Black Hooded Guards, while their hands were tied behind their backs with silk ropes and their mouths were gagged with a black cloth that prevented the prisoners from uttering any audible sounds to their captors.

Towering before the prisoners and the Black Hooded Guards stood a massive 7 foot Giant Dwarf with long silver hair and silver beard. His fiery red eyes were unable to hide a grim look of pity for the prisoners that lay before him on the stone floor.

There was an unmistakable hint of respect by the Black Hooded Guards for the Giant Dwarf, even though he was also clad in a similar, but extremely larger white garment that bore the identical insignia of the black hood and two crossed black battle axes.

The major difference noted by each prisoner as they gazed upward into the fiery red eyes of the Giant Dwarf was that the monstrosity made no effort to confront the Black Hooded Guards. His hands and feet were free and his mouth was not bound like the other prisoners were confined. Surely he could easily overpower the thirteen guardsmen that had delivered the prisoners into his presence?

The leader of the Black Hooded Guards stepped forward and bowed respectfully before the Giant Dwarf, then snapped back to attention and boldly decreed:

"Oh Mighty One! Sentence has been passed upon these new foreign intruders by the Dark Arena Consortium! They will join you in your quest for Emancipation in six months time! It has been decreed by the Dark Arena Consortium that in honor of your past accomplishments in the Dark Arena, you may have a few private moments with these prisoners, to inform them of their lone opportunity for Emancipation from the Dark Arena!"
Again the leader of the Black Hooded Guards bowed respectfully before the Giant Dwarf and then ordered his twelve subordinates to exit the chamber, leaving the prisoners to listen and learn of their unexpected and unfortunate fate.

Searching the eyes of each prisoner, the Giant Dwarf gently stroked his beard and sniffed the air before declaring:

"Welcome to the Land of Xenophobia! This Dimension has a Deep Dislike for Foreigners! Any Foreigners! You have the Smell of Foreigners! You are Not of This World and Not of Any of the People that are Known here in Roxas Isla! You May Be Similar, But You Are Not the Same!"

"You are Prisoners in the Human City of Nefaria and were sentenced to Fight in the Dark Arena by the Dark Arena Consortium. There is No Escape! Only the Emancipation Sand Dance will Provide a Way of Escape! Death is Your Only Other Alternative!"

"You Have the Look of Angry Confusion and Defiance in Your Eyes! That is Good for You! There is No Smell of Fear! That is Why Your Lives were Spared for the Dark Arena! That is Also Good for You! Now You Have Me for an Ally!"

"My Name is ThunnGarr the Mighty! My Sentence from the Dark Arena Consortium was for 10 Years to Fight in the Dark Arena Before Any Chance of Consideration for the Emancipation! My 10 Years Sentence Will End in Six Months! Just in Time for the Emancipation Sand Dance! The People Have Grown to Love Me! The Authorities Respect Me! They Have Granted Me Approval for My One Opportunity for Emancipation! We Will Fight Together for Our Freedom! How Fortunate It Is for Each of You that Your Own Opportunity for Emancipation Now Coincides With Mine!"

"I Was Born to the Under Mine Dwarves! Yet an Obvious Quirk of Nature Made Me an Outcast from My Own People! From My Own Mother! I Was Driven Away By Their Fear of Me! Their Loathing of Me! Their Disdain and Deep Dislike for Foreigners! Any Foreigners! Even Seeming Foreigners Who were Obviously from Their Own Blood and Family Origins!"

"I Was an Immediate Outcast that was Hunted and Feared by All Races! Somehow I Managed to Survive! Mercenary Slavers Tried to Capture Me! When They Failed They Offered Me a Position to Fight Against Many Who Fought Against Me!"

"I Learned to Adapt and Bided My Time Among Them! Then I Was Hired as a Body Guard for a Group Seeking a Legendary Place Called The Sanctuary! The Sanctuary is a Place Where Foreigners are Free to Live in Peace! The Whispered Legends Speak of a Haven of Tolerance and Harmonious Community Living Where Racial and Deity Differences are Embraced for the Good of All Living!"

"Our Journey was Blocked by the Under Mine Dwarves! I Was Ordered to Slay Them! My Own Mother Was Among Them! I Refused to Kill Those Who Had Turned Against Me! Instead, I Slew Those Who Ordered Me to Exterminate My Own People!"

"I Left the Under Mine Dwarves and Pursued the Surviving Group Members! But One Escaped and Managed to Find His Way to Nefaria! He Told Tales of My Great Prowess to the Dark Arena Consortium! A Reward for My Capture Caused Multitudes to Seek Me! Finally, I Grew Weary of Fighting and Hiding! So I Surrendered to the Black Hooded Guards and a Life of Fighting for the Crowds in the Dark Arena Became Mine!"

"So You Sit There Wondering What This Has to Do with Any of You? Because You All Need a Reason to Survive the Dark Arena! Your Clothes and Possessions Have Been Incinerated and All You Now Possess Is Your Faith In Your Abilities and Memories!"

"Long Ago was the Time of the Rabid Revolt that Changed the Course of History Here on Roxas Isla! There was a Museum of Miscellaneous Mysteries that was the Recipient of Everything Foreign! From Time to Time Strangers Similar to Yourselves are Randomly Deposited in the Land of Xenophobia and the Museum had Contained Their Confiscated Possessions!"

"The Dark Arena Was Well Established and a Band of Strange Foreigners Fought Their Way Out During an Earlier Emancipation Sand Dance! When They Raided the Museum of Miscellaneous Mysteries and Claimed Their Baubles and Weapons They Nearly Destroyed the Dark Arena and Nefaria!"

"They Managed to Escape Beyond the Reaches of the Dark Forest and Legends of Their Journey are Obscure and Diverse! But the Whispers of Legend are Pointing to a Secret Place that was Established as The Sanctuary! A Place for Seekers to Find a Haven Free from the Fear of Tyranny and the Violent Remains of the Prevailing Xenophobic Society that Became the Foundation of the Dark Arena that Imprisons You Now!"

"The Dark Arena Consortium Rebuilt the Dark Arena and Made Sure an Invisible and Impenetrable Barrier was Created to Separate the Spectators and Gladiators from Attacking Each Other with Any Weapons or Magic of Any Type!"

"They Also Abolished and Razed the Museum of Miscellaneous Mysteries to Prevent a Recurrence of the Rabid Revolt that Almost Eliminated Their Way of Life in Nefaria! When Strange Foreigners Appear, The Dark Arena Consortium Makes Sure All Their Clothes and Possessions are Confiscated and Exterminated, to Prevent a Rabid Revolt from Ever Occurring Again as a Repeat Performance!"

"Some of You May Harbor a Few Courageous or Desperately Conceived Thoughts or Hopes or Dreams of Fleeing or Escaping from Roxas Isla? The Truth of the Matter is That the Known Territory is Bordered on All Sides with Sheer Cliffs with No Known Bottom that are Surrounded by Impenetrable Mysterious Mists!"

"Your Only Hope Is Surviving the Dark Arena! Then You May Seek a Way to The Sanctuary! Some Legends Even Whisper of an Artifact in The Sanctuary that is Capable of Returning Displaced Denizens to Their Home Worlds!"

"Survive the Dark Arena! Win Your Emancipation! Help Me Gain Freedom! So I Can Point You in the Direction of The Sanctuary and the Dark Journey You Must Undertake to Get There!"

Almost on cue the Black Hooded Guards returned to escort the new prisoners to another section of the Dark Arena where each prisoner was assigned a small room for the duration of their existence as gladiators in the Dark Arena.

Meanwhile, the Giant Dwarf was free to roam about in the confines of the Dark Arena complex, choosing to frequent the tranquility of the flower garden before returning to his own cramped space.

As the Giant Dwarf disappeared from view and into the flower garden, the leader of the Black Hooded Guards turned to the remaining prisoners and sneered:

"ThunnGarr the Mighty is Crazy! The Sanctuary is Nothing More Than a Fantastic Fantasy to Entertain Children!"


Posted on 2008-06-29 at 16:42:59.
Edited on 2008-06-29 at 17:08:16 by Hammer

Hammer
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Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts


Bard in the Flower Garden

Six Months Ago
The eerie tones of the Bone Flute fluttered in the stillness of the Floral Garden as ThunnGarr embraced the tranquil moments afforded him.

"ThunnGarr the Mighty is Crazy! The Sanctuary is Nothing More Than a Fantastic Fantasy to Entertain Children!"
Those words would have burned a black hole of discouragement in a lesser man, but ThunnGarr the Mighty was a Barbarian born ... not a mere Human ... but a Giant Dwarf ... an anomoly well suited to his present environs!

Soothed by the tones of the Bone Flute, ThunnGarr made his way to the Great Stone where his closest friend in the Dark Arena ... one Half-Orc Bard by name of Ollie Gory ... clad in similar attire while awaiting that Great Day of the Emancipation Sand Dance ... ready to help his Barbarian friend gain his long sought freedom ... composed another ballad for the momentous occasion:

"ThunnGarr the Mighty is Crazy they say
For dreaming the path of The Sanctuary way

Yet a mere six months and ThunnGarr has the chance
To follow that dream after the Emancipation Sand Dance

The Dark Arena Consortium will unleash countless foes
Against the Mighty ThunnGarr and the other world heroes

Who will form a bond of allegiance to survive
Against their opponents from the Dark Arena hive

The scheme is to prevent them from emerging alive
But the dream imparts courage to win and deprive

The Dark Arena Consortium from executing the displaced
Who will turn the tables with their talents so graced

By the Dark Arena spectators shouting their cheers
To inspire the other worlders to conquer their fears

So prepare them well oh ThunnGarr my friend
These other worlders must prove themselves faithful to the end"








Posted on 2008-08-16 at 22:12:44.
Edited on 2008-08-30 at 15:08:23 by Hammer

Hammer
Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts


Dark Agenda

Six Months Ago
The Black Hooded Guard made his way to a back table at a local Nefaria watering hole for a private conversation with a certain local merchant who dealt in weapons, treasures and exotic trinkets.

This particular merchant nurtured within his mind his ever-growing concerns regarding the delayed arrival of his expected shipments of exotic wares from the secret stores hidden throughout Roxas Isla.

These things took time to acquire and even more time to transport back to his place of business, not to mention the high cost of investing in trustworthy adventurers to procure, secure and deliver the exotic merchandise in a timely manner to be able to turn a greater profit for all in his employ.

The enormity of the potential profitable return from each of these endeavors, although admittedly fraught with untold dangers, far outweighed the price of blood and lives that it took to procure the priceless prizes!

Now with the Emancipation Sand Dance a mere six months away, this merchant was considering investing in a band of potential victors who could in return aid him in solving the dilemma of his disappearing or delayed shipments.

The key was convincing one ThunnGarr the Mighty to agree to enlisting the potential prospects, for the Giant Dwarf Barbarian certainly had an eye for the talent required to finance such an expedition into the unknown beyond Nefaria.

Even now the merchant was secretly selecting certain of his exotic treasures as a pre-payment to equip such a select band of adventurers, to ensure they would have a greater chance to survive the rigors of the Emancipation Sand Dance, which would undoubtedly in return make the surviving beneficiaries agreeable to helping solve the unknown problems that were currently besetting their as yet unknown benefactor-to-be.

Now the Black Hooded Guard would provide the means to meeting with ThunnGarr the Mighty to set the merchant's elaborate and extremely expensive plan into action!

He motioned for the Black Hooded Guard to have a seat, but was soon shocked to learn that a recent decision made behind the closed doors of the Dark Arena Consortium were threatening to spoil the plans already set in motion by the merchant regarding ThunnGarr the Mighty!

"The Dark Arena Consortium are quite displeased by the thought of losing their champion ThunnGarr the Mighty yet six months hence at the Emancipation Sand Dance!"

"All they see is the loss of the revenues they have gained the past ten years from the spectators who come to see the Giant Dwarf battle in the Dark Arena!"

"Now they have secretly decreed that the entire Emancipation Sand Dance will be to the Death against Special Opponents who have the sentence of Death passed upon them!"

"These Special Opponents will be offered the opportunity to Live and Be Set Free if they manage to Kill Every Gladiator who seeks to be freed from the Dark Arena during the Emancipation Sand Dance!"

"ThunnGarr the Mighty is in jeapardy of losing his life! You will have to dig deep into your treasure horde to equip the Giant Dwarf and his teammates if they hope to emerge from the Dark Arena alive!"

"The Price of Admission to this Emancipation Sand Dance Death Fest is costing the spectators more than ten times the gold they have ever paid to witness such a spectacle!"

The merchant merely grunted a reply to this unexpected news, growing more determined than ever to dig even deeper into his hidden treasure coffers to supply ThunnGarr the Mighty and his selected teammates with the means for victorious survival, with the promise of a more profitable adventure awaiting them once they fought their way to freedom from the Dark Arena!




Posted on 2008-08-31 at 20:02:38.
Edited on 2008-08-31 at 20:09:14 by Hammer

Hammer
Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts


Fresh Meat for the Dark Arena


A Strange Series of Events
Leading Up to Six Months Ago


Bumble Brew had never seen The God of Great Hope in person, but it was her faith in this deity on her home world in the Realm of RannGorr of the Triple Suns that gave her hope that the curse upon her family would in her lifetime finally be broken.

It was the curse of the Bumble Brew.

Her great-grandfather was an apprentice to the mighty Wizard of the Dark Elves and one fateful morning SomeWhere Far Ago and Long Away the elf maiden’s great-grandfather had the dubious misfortune of stumbling and bumbling his way in the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Wizard of the Dark Elves while on an errand.

The result of his stumbling and bumbling was the overturning of countless potions of unknown origins that were concoctions of his Dark Elf Master, resulting in a swift and cruel punishment from his Dark Elf Mater who was instantaneously scarred and granted immortality from the noxious fumes that greeted his nostrils upon entering his Sanctum Sanctorum.

The clumsy apprentice had quickly sealed the windows and doors and made a hasty exit to procure some cleaning agents, but upon his return he was cursed by the Wizard of the Dark Elves to ever bear the name Bumble Brew.

Instantaneously the curse of the name Bumble Brew was cast upon her great-grandfather and his wife and was magically transferred to each of his descendants and their families who were also cursed to carry the name Bumble Brew, they and their spouses and children, until such a day as a member of the Bumble Brew lineage were to successfully ascend through the power ranks of the path of Wizardry and free one living relative at a time per level of Wizardry ascension.

Bumble Brew’s great-grandmother, 3 great-uncles and 2 uncles all died in a matter of days trying to remove the curse as apprentice Wizards, but the Wizard of the Dark Elves spared the father of Bumble Brew and struck a bargain with her great-grandfather that prior to the 100 th birth year of his grand children, they could make the choice to walk the path of Wizardry or continue to serve the Dark Elf Master until someone braver chose to walk the path of Wizardry in an attempt to remove the Bumble Brew curse.

Her 3 older brothers chose to remain unmarried so the Bumble Brew name would not be passed to their wives or unborn children, choosing to end the curse with their deaths, because the Dark Elf Master was unable to force them to marry.

Bumble Brew took no such course of action as she decided to help free her family, especially her sister who had dreams of a normal life with a family of her own. Her sister was 10 years younger and often prayed to The God of Greater Hope to deliver her from the curse of the Bumble Brew name.

Bumble Brew also prayed to The God of Greater Hope and began secretly researching the forbidden tomes of the Wizard of the Dark Elves, but when the Dark Elf Wizard caught her one day he mysteriously extended her favor and began to personally train her in the ways of discovering how to walk the path of Wizardry in her quest to free her relatives from the Bumble Brew curse.

It was then she knew that The God of Greater Hope had answered her prayers and she gave herself whole heartedly to learning the fundamentals of Wizardry under the tutelage of the Dark Elf Master.

Upon reaching her 100 th birth year she declared her intent to walk the path of Wizardry in quest of freeing her family from the Bumble Brew Curse.

The God of Greater Hope answered her prayers rather unexpectedly as the Wizard of the Dark Elves announced that his gift to her on this special occasion was the granting of the removal of the curse from her younger sister as Bumble Brew was awarded a First Level Position along the path of Wizardry for her faithful service to the Dark Elf Master.

Bumble Brew chose to name her sister HOPE in honor of the answered prayers from The God of Greater Hope, knowing that the rest of her family would be encouraged to also pray to The God of Greater Hope and expect that Bumble Brew would be able to succeed in freeing her entire family from the Bumble Brew curse.

The Dark Elf Wizard further announced that he would banish Bumble Brew to another Time/Space/Dimensional Plane where she could begin her quest to remove the Bumble Brew curse from her family lineage.

Her progress would be monitored via the arcane knowledge of the Dark Elf Master with the understanding that he did not have the ability to bring her back from wherever she was banished to and that no one else from the Realm of RannGorr of the Triple Suns would be able to assist her in her quest to free her remaining family members from the Bumble Brew curse!

Apparently this spell of transference or banishment would only serve as a one-way ticket, because she would have to be in his presence for a return trip and the Dark Elf Master steadfastly refused to abandon his domain in the Realm of RannGorr of the Triple Suns on the slim chance of the hope that Bumble Brew would be able to break the curse!

Bumble Brew was given one week to decide if she was willing for the Dark Elf Master to send her on a journey into the unknown.

She enjoyed the company of her newly-freed sister HOPE and together they prayed to The God of Greater Hope for proper direction and guidance in this matter and for the well being of their entire family.

They both agreed it was the thing to do for the sake of their family and Bumble Brew said her tearful goodbyes and admonished her family to trust in The God of Greater Hope to aid her in her quest to break the Bumble Brew curse.

Meanwhile, the Wizard of the Dark Elves made his preparations and was able to assure Bumble Brew that a mystical link would most assuredly free one of her relatives each time she was able to attain another Level of Power along the path of Wizardry.

He had grown to love Bumble Brew as his own child and softened in his wrath against her great-grandfather and his offspring. Now he was sending her to a mystical location that showed the greatest promise of Bumble Brew facing the dangers and obstacles required for her to gain the necessary experience along the path of Wizardry to attain the Levels of Power to free her loved ones.

It was the least he could do to amend for his anger that had plagued the Bumble Brew lineage these many long years, for The God of Greater Hope had touched his hardened heart in answer to the tearful prayers of Bumble Brew and her sister HOPE.

Only her great-grandfather was allowed to witness the passage of Bumble Brew from the Realm of RannGorr of the Triple Suns to begin her journey into the unknown. This too was a gift from the Dark Elf Master and The God of Greater Hope.

Her last image was the smiling face of her great-grandfather shouting encouragements and gratitude for all she had done and for all that she was about to do as he prayed aloud to The God of Greater Hope with thanks that he had lived to see a Bumble Brew freed from the curse he had so unwittingly brought upon his family!

Bumble Brew mercifully passed out from the sensations of swirling colors and multi directions that seemed to rip her body and soul apart as she was flung along the corridors of the Space/Time/Dimensional Plane.

When she awoke she was dazed and confused as she began wandering in a strange forest in a somewhat aimless direction. She barely had time to breathe a prayer of thanks to The God of Greater Hope and to ask for guidance before she was taken captive in a mystical net and led as a prisoner to the Dark Arena in the City of Nefaria on a world named Roxas Isla.

[TIME JUMP]

Far Ago and Long Away on a backwater planet named Earth located SomeWhere in the Distant Past, a Knight by name of Sir Yder was adventuring to win the favor of a fair maiden.

His quest for looting a dragon lair filled with mystical treasure had been simple enough in the beginning, but was now complicated beyond his wildest imaginings!

Barely escaping the lair with his life and a few gaudy gems, the Knight found himself pursued by a renegade magician and his demonic minions.

Lulled into a false sense of security when he had seemingly eluded those seeking his life and newfound treasures, Sir Yder found himself beset by ambush from all quarters as he was driven like a fatted calf along the course of a raging river.

Forced to cast aside the precious gems, the Knight plunged into the river and was unceremoniously swept along against jagged rocks, plus assorted flotsam and jetsam, culminating in being spewed forth by the force of the raging waters and over a waterfall.

As he plunged towards the foaming waters below, the renegade magician unleashed a curious array of arcane energies that enveloped Sir Yder mere moments before he lost consciousness as his body struck the foaming obstructions below.

He awoke in a pool of water far removed from the planet Earth as a captive of some Black Hooded Guards who were securely binding their new prisoner to escort him to a place of fear named The Dark Arena in the City of Nefaria on the planet Roxas Isla.

[TIME JUMP]

In yet another time and location on that backwater planet named Earth a young Native American named Cunning Fox underwent a supernatural rite of passage known in his culture as a vision quest.

Seeking the guidance of the sacred Thunderbird he had devoted his life to pursuing, the young Cleric made his way through the swirling mists that disguised a supernatural anomaly between the nexus parallel planes of esistence that were hidden from the natural world in which his tribe strove to live in harmony with all things creative.

The great Thunderbird gave the young Cleric wings as Cunning Fox was guided to his destiny beyond the supernatural mists!

When the young Cleric awoke he found himself surrounded by a hostile group of Black Hooded Guards who stripped Cunning Fox of his earthly possessions and herded him like a trapped animal to a place known as The Dark Arena in the City of Nefaria on the planet named Roxas Isla.

[TIME JUMP]

SomeWhere in the TimeLessNess BeYond ElseWhere and ElseWhen in an Alternate Reality known to its denizens as Audalis, a young female Paladin in service to Rydor the God of Truth and Justice was growing weary in the wake of an eerie battle involving arcane energies as she helped to secure a nameless town in the region of Ertain from the forces of supernatural evil that had held the terrified populace in its fearsome grip.

Something evil had attached itself to Ariane Arvendre in retaliation for her battle in service to the forces of good. Something arcane that seemed to be trying to sap the life from her. Something trying to sap her will.

Something that was causing her to slowly succumb to a deceptively peaceful sleep-like state was soon replaced by a more malevolent force of evil that encompassed her with villainous arcane energies.

No mage or magician was near enough to realize or prevent the young Paladin from being removed from the former field of battle as easily as a pawn would be discarded from a chessboard.

In mere moments Ariane Arvendre was seen no more as a shimmer of a glimmer of arcane magics and supernatural incandescent lights shifted her from one plane of existence to another.

When she awoke she was an unwilling prisoner of a band of Black Hooded Guards who were escorting her to a place of shadows aptly named the Dark Arena in the City of Nefaria on the mystical planet Roxas Isla.

[TIME JUMP]

Ullrich Orico Uppsdrada the Silver Bear had given his life as a Ranger with the rank of Lieutenant in The Federation to help liberate the oppressed peoples of the Uppsfallon from the invading armies of the Emperor Divine.

He had come to Whiskey Diggings to find an ally to make contact with members of the underground who would provide The Federation and especially the Brotherhood of the Woods with enough resources from the surrounding mines to help finance the resistance against Emperor Divine and his twisted philosophies.

His fellow Rangers among the Brotherhood of the Woods were counting on the Silver Bear to secure the information and resources necessary to topple the Emperor Divine.

Unfortunately, his disguise as a merchant of Trocar Ale had been compromised by the promise of gold coin and favor from the minions of the Emperor Divine, causing his contact with the underground to help spring a trap upon the unsuspecting Ranger.

The sleep spell overcame the Silver Bear before he was aware of the trap and when he finally awoke he was a prisoner bound by the very guards he was sworn to resist.

They beat him with great delight, but the Silver Bear refused to divulge any information that would betray his fellow Brothers of the Woods.

He was rewarded with a long and arduous journey in a prison cage mounted on a cart and paraded as an example of the fate that awaits all who dare oppose the Emperor Divine.

Soon he was brought before the Grand-Inquisitor of the Divine and transported on another bone-jarring journey to The Temple Mountain

Another forced march up the mountain under the threat of spear point brought the Silver Bear before the Emperor Divine who denounced the Ranger as a mere slave instead of a hero of the people of Uppsfallon

A listing of crimes both false and greatly exaggerated from the truth were levied by the Emperor Divine, while the Silver Bear could do nothing in his own defense, finally culminating in the sentence of being forced through The Gate.

The Gate was a large stone monument that looked like a crude gate with two large stone columns with a stone lintel across the top that contained an ominous swirling purple mist.

Nobody knew where The Gate led to and the priests of the Divine swore it led to the very maws of hell. Ullrich was convinced that wherever The Gate led was nothing worse than standing in the presence of the Emperor Divine.

Besides, the Silver Bear did not believe in their hell. He did not think their hell was real and he had no idea what The Gate meant or where it led to. He did know that it meant death and nightmares to the populace of Uppsfallon and that nobody had ever returned that had stepped or been thrown through those swirling purple mists.

At least the guards were not removing his head and the Silver Bear absorbed the sound of the roar of the crowd as he was pushed forward through those ominous swirling purple mists.

As he went through The Gate the Ranger could only wonder what would happen next as his guts were wrenched inside out and his senses spun wildly as he lost consciousness.

When he finally regained consciousness, the Silver Bear realized that he was still a prisoner, although the clothes he had been wearing were missing; plus not everyone was a human as Ullrich was.

The Silver Bear found himself on a forced march with other humans along with some rather strange humanoid-looking creatures who were being herded like sheep to the slaughter by other humans wearing the garb of Black Hooded Guards.

Exercising his battle-honed senses as a Ranger, the Silver Bear soon determined by the snatches of conversation between the Black Hooded Guards that their destination was a place of foul practices known as the Dark Arena in the City of Nefaria on the planet of surrounding mists named Roxas Isla.

[TIME JUMP]

Kandreth Mollander aka Kan or Kandi had only recently established himself in the southeastern tip of the Chondalwood. The young male human Druid daily strode this new domain that was granted him by the will of Mielikki the Forest Queen.

Familiarizing himself with the flora and fauna of the area, Kandreth walked the perimeter of the forest edge as a fit and capable protector.

Noticing two figures off in the distance who were wielding a fair amount of power at each other, the young Druid approached cautiously, only able to determine that the power being wielded was of an arcane sort that was unidentifiable.

Keeping his gaze intently upon the two arcane combatants, the young Druid failed to notice that he himself was continually moving towards the scene of battle, until finally coming within range of detection by both Wild Mages.

Instinctively and simultaneously both Wild Mages reacted as one, launching a blast of wild magic at the unsuspecting and unprepared Druid, resulting in a Wild Magic Well that tore a rift to and sometimes between the planes of existence.

Kandreth was engulfed by the wild magic blast and unceremoniously sucked into the Wild Magic Well where he lost consciousness and all sense of direction.

Sore and stripped of his belongings, the Druid awoke in a strange place where he knew no one and recognized nothing with any familiarity.

He was unable to gain any information from anyone in the forest that he spoke to, although the language spoken in this new place was similar enough to his own native language that he could understand the majority of what was spoken, yet certain references simply left the Druid puzzled.

From the time of his sudden arrival in this strange place, a now-constant habit has arisen with Kandreth: the crossing of his right hand to the area above his left breast where he had commissioned a tattoo of his deity to be placed.

Approximately three inches high, the tattooed symbol of the left-facing Unicorn of Mielikki was to be a constant reminder of his faith, even with the loss of his Holy Mistletoe and enameled symbol.

That desire and action turned out to be fortuitous, given his current situation, for now he had no physical symbol of his deity other than that tattoo.

The people in this place not only seemed to hate and fear outsiders, they also seem to hate and fear the deific images that outsiders bring with them.

Thus, with the security of that tattooed symbol also came strength. Whether or not the Forest Queen had a hand in his placement in this strange land was not only unknowable to Kandreth, but was therefore irrelevant.

If Our Lady of the Forest had wanted the young Druid other than alive, Kandreth would certainly not be alive.

So this new situation has become a test of his worthiness in extreme circumstances, as he has heard stories about such experiences from the members of his Druidic College and the few Hierophants of the Council that he had chanced to meet when he was a student.

Therefore, the young Druid had determined that he had been plunged into some sort of test that he had no intention of failing!

So engrossed in these musings was the young Druid that he fell prey to a band of Dark Hooded Guards who had taken him by surprise while gathering prisoners to fight in the Dark Arena in the City of Nefaria on the mysterious planet named Roxas Isla.

[TIME JUMP]

Shandra the Monk moved inside the Temple when the rose of dawn heralded the new day. Quick fluid steps carried her down the silent hall to the center of the Temple as she passed the silent sentinel columns of white marble veined with gold.

Into the circle of columns stepped Shandra and her sandaled feet stepped down three steps onto the mosaic of a Sun in Splendor created by gold glazed tiles. The large gold circle had eight rays: four greater rays of gold and four lesser rays of brilliant silver.

Surrounding the Sun in Splendor was a sinuous dragon made of cunningly cut rainbow moonstones scales, golden claws and a large opal for its eye to signify the prismatic dragon that was another symbol of the Light.

Shandra stepped over the dragon as she moved into the Circle of the Light, ignoring the others round about her as they silently prayed and communed with their deity.

She brought her hands together palms up, fingers slightly overlapped, raising her head to the clear crystal dome overhead. In its center was a large faceted sphere of clear quartz and as the sun struck the crystal it reflected the first light of the sun into the Circle of Light.

Sensing the closeness of that moment, Shandra lifted her palm so that her fingers touched her holy symbol, a circle of lapis inlayed with gold and silver to make the Sun in Splendor and the border was made with mithril, cut so that light reflected off it in a rainbow of colors.

“Oh, Light that Was, Is and shall Ever Be,” she intoned, “I lift my heart to thee.”
Shandra then touched her palms to her chest and lifted her hands into the air at the moment the sun’s first rays struck the crystal on the dome and the center of the Temple was fully illuminated.

The murmer of prayers and supplication surrounded her. The Light did not have formalized prayers, but each prayed in their own way.

The golden tiles seemed on fire and the dragon scales shot back the light in a multitude of rainbows. She felt safe and secure within The Light, as it was the first time she had stepped into the Circle of Light to be enwrapped by The Light.

So it was that her life changed and she became dedicated to The Light. Unlike others that served The Light, she was drawn to an inner way to serve.

She trained her body and spirit into a fighting style that did not use the weapons that were normally used. In the beginning she learned to fight with no weapons at all.

The style came from the Dawn Isles and the Elves there had learned it from the people of the Daihon Islands.

Now she was at a level to go out into the world and serve The Light. She bowed her head in silent commune with her deity. The Light was all and knew all, so that she did not feel the need to say what was within her to say.

The Light would know her mind and judge her. She closed her eyes as The Light intensified, growing brighter and brighter than she had ever known before, bright enough to invade her closed lids. The Light became palpitating, its warmth infused her and she was one with The Light.

When she was released she discovered that all was different.

Gone were both the Temple and the new city that was being raised around about it. Plus, it was night and not day. She stood on a road leading to a city she had never seen before.

In the heavens was a Moon she did not know and the stars held no familiar constellations.

Shandra the Monk took a deep breath, deciding that if The Light had brought her here, then it was for a purpose. She was determined to serve The Light to her fullest.

That purpose was soon sorely tested as a group of Black Hooded Guards surprisingly overpowered the female Elf as she pondered upon The Light and her own destiny as a Monk in a strange land.

Stripped of her possessions and clad in prisoner garb, Shandra the Monk soon realized that a dark and sinister purpose was dragging her to the Dark Arena in the City of Nefaria on the hostile planet known as Roxas Isla.

[TIME JUMP]

Sirae Amberlyn Foxfire was a human female training to be a Knight in the kingdom of Rylanor in the year 509 after the Great Cataclysm on the continent of Thoron on the planet Aeir, a name not commonly known by the current population.

Currently training at the Temple of the Light where she was left as a child and raised with other children who aspired to the religious order, while Amberlyn gravitated towards the military side of the Temple of the Light and the august body known as the Knights of the Light.

Her aim in life was to be good enough to join those holy warriors that fight for the rights of all good and neutral people as well as for The Light, her deity, a positive force for good.

Rylanor was founded in the lands filled with Orcs, Ogres, Trolls, Gnolls and goblinoids of all types and other such beings of ill intent. Rylanor means eagles flight in honor of a giant silver eagle, an avatar of The One, that had led them to this land.

This empire was built on the principle of Good, Law and Justice for all. All people of good mind and lawful manner were accepted, regardless of race, where they flourished in their struggle to keep the lands free from the ravages of evil beings and creatures of ill intent.

The Temple of the Light and those who served had been in a pitched final battle against the xenophobic Krayelens off plane, followers of Krayela the Fire Goddess who 5000 years earlier had torn the world of Aesir apart.

Continents were destroyed and recreated as civilizations barely survived and much of the magics were lost before slowly being regained. The Krayelens had seemingly disappeared, but in the year 498 the first hints that the Krayelens had not been destroyed began to surface as evidence of their having gone off plane and using portals to attack strategic locations to reestablish themselves on Aesir became alarmingly evident.

Through a stroke of luck the portals were discovered and people of the good and neutral alignments all across Aesir began banding together in an alliance to close their lands and the planet from the invading Krayelens forever.

This young female Knight-in-training was on a flying ship that passed through the portal when something went terribly wrong. She felt a sickening twist that was totally different from any other portal passage she had ever experienced.

In a flash of incredible light she was wrested off the ship and when she had returned to consciousness she discovered that she had been stripped of her uniform, weapons and other personal possessions.

She was a prisoner among prisoners of a band of Black Hooded Guards that were gathering prospective gladiators to fight in the slave pits of the Dark Arena in the City of Nefaria on the xenophobic planet of Roxas Isla.

[TIME JUMP]

The Blonde haired, Green eyed, Bluish-hue skinned female Elf named Bumble Brew and the Orange haired, Blue eyed human female named Ariane Arvendre were well aware of the hungry looks from some of the Black Hooded Guards after being stripped and forced to march as prisoners, clad only in long white shirts with double-bladed black axe insignias on their prison garb.

They each turned their hearts to The God of Greater Hope and Rydor the God of Truth and Justice respectively, realizing how dangerously vulnerable they were among these battle hardened warriors who served the Dark Arena Consortium unquestioningly.

Each prisoner was clad in a simple white pull-over, ankle-length sleeveless shirt that bore the insignia of a small black hood above two crossed black battle axes [much like the skull and crossbones of Earth’s pirate days] imprinted on the front and back to signify their status as the sole property of the battle arena attendants.

Their ankles were bound with a small chain that allowed them barely enough space for marching where they were forced to go by the Black Hooded Guards, while their hands were tied behind their backs with silk ropes and their mouths were gagged with a black cloth that prevented the prisoners from uttering any audible sounds to their captors.

The commander of the Black Hooded Guards kept his eyes upon those under his command that seemed unable to keep their hungry eyes from trying to see beyond the shirts of their female captives.

"Remember to Keep Your Hands and Other Body Parts Away From the Gladiator Merchandise!" barked the commander. "These and Any Other Females We Are Gathering Are Strictly for the Dark Arena! Not Yours or Any Others Perverted Interests! Must I Remind You of This Unbendable Truth Under Penalty of Death to Those Who May Think Otherwise?"
The negative response from his comrades provided but a small bit of comfort to the women that even in this strange and hostile environment their deities were somehow interceding for their protection.

There must be a purpose and a plan for this seeming madness!

[TIME JUMP]

Towering before the prisoners and the Black Hooded Guards stood a massive 7 foot Giant Dwarf with long silver hair and silver beard. His fiery red eyes were unable to hide a grim look of pity for the prisoners that lay before him on the stone floor.

Refer to the Opening Prelude Post at the Beginning of Land of Xenophobia for the Remainder of This Time Jump Entry!
[TIME JUMP]

The prisoners were escorted to the Dark Arena for their first orientation as to their purpose for being!

There they learned that the Dark Arena was a 220 foot by 220 foot square encircled by a gloomy darkened dome of protection that separated the prospective combatants from the frenzied spectators who paid gold to watch the gladiators compete for glory, honor and their very survival in the Dark Arena!

This group was informed that in the next 5 months they would compete against other gladiators with blunted weapons and dampened abilities to excite the masses as to the possibilities of their survival in the upcoming Emancipation Sand Dance!

Their only clue as to what type of opponents they would be battling against six months from now was the 20 foot by 20 foot square in the middle of the arena that housed an elevator connected to a multitude of tunnels that were used to bring the gladiators and their opponents to the surface!

After walking upon the Dark Arena sands to get a feel for the area where they would be training and competing for their very survival, the newly acquired prisoners were taken to their respective cells that would serve as their homes for the next six months!


Every Player with the Exception of Brodeur30 and stryke May Now Begin Role Playing Their Respective PC Characters!


Posted on 2008-09-07 at 23:54:41.
Edited on 2008-09-07 at 23:59:12 by Hammer

Hammer
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Prisoner Orientation

Six Months Ago
You are among the prisoners who have just heard the speech by the Giant Dwarf before the Black Hooded Guards order you to your feet and march you to the Dark Arena.

You marvel at the 220 by 220 foot squared circle with the sand floor and a dark tinted dome that separates all combatants from the spectators who are seated in rows encircling the square battle area.

You note that the only entrance or exit to the Dark Arena is an elevator shaft platform 20 by 20 feet that connects to a multi-level series of tunnels and passageways.

The Black Hooded Guards inform you that you will be training one on one against a Black Hooded Guard with Blunt Weapons and Armor with NO Personal Contact with Any of Your Fellow Prisoners!

After a tour of the Sands you are escorted separately to your own private cell where a comfortable bed plus a table and a chair are provided.

There is an adjacent toilet and shower that leads to a changing room where you are allowed to change into appropriate attire [Training Gear and Fighting Gear] for training and fighting in the Dark Arena with Blunted Weapons and Armor of your choice.

Nutritious Food and Drink is brought to you by Slave Servers 3 times a day who treat you as celebreties, but these Slave Servers say very little about the environment surrounding the Dark Arena and the City of Nefaria should you ask them any questions.

They mainly serve you food plus drink and compliment you on your progress as a Celebrity Warrior in the Dark Arena and inform you over the next few weeks that each of you are developing a following of fans who avidly cheer while they watch you fight on a weekly basis!

Fortunately, None of You are subjected to Sexual Abuse, but the Black Hooded Guards are prone to Verbal and Physical Abuse when Training You to Fight, their motive being to goad you into becoming savage fighters which translates into more Gold and Revenue for the Dark Arena Consortium!

You are training one on one against selected Black Hooded Guards who heap Verbal and Physical Abuse upon you while you are Training in the Dark Arena! [There is NO SEXUAL ABUSE Whatsoever Under the Penalty of Eternal Death to Those Who Would Try!]

Each Saturday Night you are brought to the Dark Arena to fight with Blunted Weapons and Armor against other opponents who are obviously prisoners, but who are a bit more seasoned than you are!

This is to develop your fighting ability under the duress of facing more battle-hardened opponents!

For some reason the Casters are Unable to Cast Any Spells!

Obviously there are highly enhanced arcane powers at work that prevent the Casters from using any Spells in the Dark Arena during Training or the Weekly Battles!

As You Train in the Dark Arena one on one against a Black Hooded Guard, you are only paired with a Black Hooded Guard; however, there are other pairs scattered around the Dark Arena during Training Sessions, so you do know there are other Prisoners, but you have No Verbal Contact with any of them!

During the Next 3 Months You Are Fighting Once a Week Against an Assortment of Opponents with Blunted Weapons and Armor of Your Choosing, but the Casters are Unable to Cast Any Spells!

[After Your Private Shower You are Offered an Assortment of Weapons or You Can Request Specific Weapons Be Supplied to Your Character for These Blunted Weapon Fights!]

You are Informed that Every 6 Months an Emancipation Sand Dance is staged before standing room only crowds who pay enormous prices to watch Selected Gladiator Prisoners that Fight with Sharp Weapons, Armor and the Casters are Able to Cast Spells during these Battles! All the Winners are Freed while the Losers are Sentenced to Serve in the Dark Arena as Opponents!

However, in the next 3 months you overhear whispered conversations between the Black Hooded Guards [and also from the Slave Servers that bring you your food] that the Dark Arena Consortium has Declared that the Upcoming Emancipation Sand Dance is a Battle to the Death and the Only Way a Gladiator Prisoner is Freed is by Fighting and Surving Against Opponents Trying to Kill You!

Whether you like it or not, if you are selected as a Gladiator in the upcoming Emancipation Sand Dance in the Dark Arena, You Will Be Forced to Kill or Be Killed for the Chance to Survive and Be Granted Your Freedom!


Posted on 2008-09-11 at 22:28:10.

Hammer
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Gladiator Team Selection

Three Months Ago
ThunnGarr the Mighty has been observing and evaluating the new prospects that arrived 3 months ago.

He has been contacted by the Mysterious Merchant that certain Special Gifts will be bestowed upon himself, the Bard and his selected teammates for the upcoming Emancipation Sand Dance.

ThunnGarr was also informed by the Mysterious Merchant that the Dark Arena Consortium has decreed that the Emancipation Sand Dance will be a Battle to the Death for their freedom!

The Dark Arena Consortium has also decreed that ThunnGarr may select 7 teammates and those teammates must be ONLY from the Fresh Meat that arrived a mere 3 months ago!

Therefore, the Mysterious Merchant has promised to aid ThunnGarr and his teammates in their quest for freedom on the condition that he and his selected teammates agree to return the favor!

ThunnGarr informs Each of You that You Have the Potential to Survive the Dark Arena Death Battle and that he will help guide you to The Sanctuary and the Promise of an Artifact that can transport you back to your homeworld, if you agree to join his team!

This aforementioned Mysterious Merchant has also recently sent word to ThunnGarr that some Special Gifts from his personal collection of Rare Treasures are being bestowed as a type of Down Payment to secure the services of himself and his selected teammates for an employment opportunity once they are freed from the Dark Arena.

These Special Gifts serve a Double Purpose:

1. To Provide the Gladiators an Unexpected Edge for Surviving the Emancipation Sand Dance!

2. They will Need the Special Gifts to Help Deal with the Hazards they will Encounter when they Embark on the Employment Opportunity should they Survive the Dark Arena!

ThunnGarr also informs you that you will continue your one on one training with the Black Hooded Guards until he gets clearance from the Dark Arena Consortium to allow his team to begin training together!


Posted on 2008-09-11 at 23:45:02.

Hammer
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Forming a Team


Two Months Ago
Today started out like any other day as a new prisoner who was collected by the Black Hooded Guards, if you could call the effects of four months of training and fighting in the Dark Arena still qualifying you as a New Prisoner!

You were subjected to the same routine before being called to shower and dress for your daily training in the Dark Arena, but today was a new beginning that would change the course of your life on Roxas Isla forever.

Instead of being segregated in individual pairings against one of the Black Hooded Guards, you found yourself being herded into a group with six other prisoners in the middle of the Dark Arena sands, where the Giant Dwarf ThunnGarr the Mighty stood waiting alongside the Half-Orc Bard named Ollie Gory.

ThunnGarr and Ollie looked upon the 7 prospects and exchanged glances, waiting for the Black Hooded Guards to withdraw from the area as the Dark Arena Consortium had instructed them by the issued orders, according to the instructions relayed by the signed parchment that ThunnGarr and Ollie had received in response to the selection guidelines they had made for the upcoming Emancipation Sand Dance.

These past four months ThunnGarr and Ollie had watched with intense interest as the various new prisoners went through their individual paces of training one on one against the Black Hooded Guards.

They took mental notes and reviewed their findings with each other on an almost daily basis, not always searching for the seemingly best fighters in the prisoner pool, but evaluating which ones possessed the heart and determination to free themselves from the clutches of the Dark Arena, no matter how badly they were humiliated in front of the spectators each Saturday night when they were paired against seasoned opponents who were hardened to the ways of battle and the Dark Arena social structure.

When the Dark Arena Consortium had decreed that ThunnGarr would only be allowed to choose from the prisoners who were obviously from off world [for such was the unexplained phenomena of the Roxas Isla planet that almost on a weekly basis foreigners from other worlds were mysteriously transported and deposited within reach of the Dark Arena prisoner gatherers] both ThunnGarr and Ollie narrowed their focus to find those who had a knack or inextinguishable spark somewhere deep within themselves to keep battling against all odds, especially when it was painfully obvious that they were hopelessly out-classed by the sheer ability of their opponents!

Although ThunnGarr had previously met individually with each of these seven prisoners a scant four weeks ago, it had taken yet another month for the Dark Arena Consortium to approve his selections!

Time was obviously NOT in favor of making any better choices! Because now friends ThunnGarr and Ollie would only have a mere 2 months remaining to develop these 7 selectees into a fighting unit capable of helping each other and working together to defeat wave after wave of hopeless odds in an effort to win not only their freedom, but to survive the Dark Arena Emancipation Sand Dance!

Thankfully, the mysterious Merchant was willing to invade some of his horded treasures to help equip these prisoners in exchange for their services once they had fought their way to freedom from the Dark Arena.

As the Black Hooded Guards cleared the area and left ThunnGarr and Ollie with those who were selected to team with the Giant Dwarf, the very atmosphere of the group exuded nothing but grim determination to be free once and for all from the Dark Arena!

ThunnGarr studied the eyes of each of the five Humans and two Elves, intently scrutinizing the looks of sheer determination on the faces of the three men and four women who now stood before him as equals in the fight for their freedom.

"We have six weeks to train together for the Emancipation Sand Dance,” thundered ThunnGarr the Mighty in unusually subdued tones. "Then we have another two weeks of proper preparation before we face whatever forces the Dark Arena Consortium has assembled against us!"

"You seven have been chosen to accompany me in our fight for freedom, while my friend Ollie serves as the announcer and watches our backs!"

"Two Knights, a Cleric, a Monk, a Paladin, a Ranger and a Wizard teamed with a Barbarian and a Bard in quest of our freedom from the Dark Arena!"

"The odds are stacked against us! Warrants for our deaths are expected to be fulfilled on the sands of the Dark Arena!"

"Yet we do have an unknown benefactor! One who has promised to supply certain rare and valuable items to aid us in our fight for freedom!"

"In exchange for our services for a period of time once we have overcome the odds thrown against us by the Dark Arena Consortium!"

"This is what everyone should agree to be a fair price and a fairer bargain to provide us an edge in our quest for freedom!"

"I spoke to each of you individually a mere month ago! Now I have the honor of introducing you as teammates who will train together for the next six weeks!"

"I present to you Sir Yder the Knight; Sirae Amberlyn Foxfire the self proclaimed Knight in training; Cunning Fox the Cleric; Shandra the Monk; Ariane Arvendre the Paladin; the Ranger Ulrich Orico Uppsdrada the Silver Bear and Bumble Brew the Wizard."

"Now take a few moments to get acquainted before we begin training for the fight of our lives!"






Posted on 2008-09-14 at 16:41:40.

Hammer
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Merchant Treasures

Two Weeks Ago

Six weeks of training together has flown by. Each of you has shown remarkable progress in learning to work together while trusting the instincts and abilities of your teammates.

The Black Hooded Guards have allowed the nine of you to train together without unwanted prying eyes analyzing your abilities and tendencies in battle situations.

This is because the Dark Arena Consortium has decreed it to be in the best interests of all whose livelihood is derived from the spectacle of the Dark Arena that the less known about the abilities of those seeking freedom the better.

Spectators spend their entertainment gold pieces on tickets, refreshments, souvenirs and other related activities that bolster the economy throughout the City of Nefaria.

The revenue sharing that the Dark Arena Consortium rakes in from the underground black market gambling establishments, plus the generous cuts received from the government sanctioned and publicly approved wagering in both the public and private sectors where government licensed and approved gladiator casinos were flourishing with the anticipation of ThunnGarr the Mighty and his off world teammates fighting for their freedom from the Dark Arena!

Adding to the excitement was the recent announcement by the Dark Arena Consortium that 3 other teams comprised of members originally sentenced to death were granted a form of clemency by competing for a full pardon and freedom should they succeed in surviving the rigors of the Dark Arena Emancipation Sand Dance!

At the North End of the Dark Arena, eight Human Fighters of the Free Booters Society who were sentenced to death for refusing to hunt and capture exotic prisoners to fight in the Dark Arena.

At the East End of the Dark Arena, eight Halfling Monks from the Order of the Golden Dawn who were sentenced to death for refusing to reveal the location of the hidden treasure of the Great Golden Dragon.

At the West End of the Dark Arena, eight Gnome Clerics from the Clan of the Copper Caverns were sentenced to death for refusing to reveal the location of the lost treasure of the Great Copper Dragon.

At the South End of the Dark Arena, ThunnGarr the Mighty and his off world teammates may as well have been sentenced to death in the light of this particular Emancipation Sand Dance being declared a Battle to the Death by the Dark Arena Consortium!

There was also great anticipation and speculation as to how many and what type of opponents would be released into the Dark Arena to warrant the hype of being a Dance of Death Battle Extraordinaire!

Rumors were running wild, although the Dark Arena Consortium did recently confirm that All Surviving Dark Arena Emancipation Sand Dance Opponents would be granted Freedom and Not Slain, Terminated nor Exterminated should they Succeed in Eliminating ALL 28 Dark Arena Emancipation Sand Dance competitors!

Now with a mere two weeks remaining before the Emancipation Sand Dance, the off world gladiators teamed with ThunnGarr the Mighty [not to mention the Bard announcer Ollie Gory watching their backs] had gathered together in a secluded meeting room somewhere deep within the bowels of the Dark Arena to receive their Special Gifts!

Special Gifts courtesy of the mysterious Merchant who had pledged to assist them from his own personal Treasure trove with the understanding that the survivors would agree to accept a Special Assignment to Aid the Merchant in solving a particular Business Problem that Only Brave Hearted Adventurers Could Possibly Solve!

The mysterious Merchant had connections who owed him some favors! Therefore, he personally selected the following items from his vast Treasure trove to enhance the survival chances of each competitor.

Plus it was explained in detail that some of these Special Gifts were selected to help equip each competitor for the dangers and obstacles they would face in the future when aiding the Merchant in solving his Business Problem!

"You Must Use These Items Wisely!” cautioned the Bard. "Especially Items With Charges! You Must First Survive The Dark Arena! But You Must Use These Items Wisely! Your Survival Depends Upon Using These Items Wisely!"
Special Gifts were dispersed as follows:

Bumble Brew – Wizard Ring of Fire Elemental Command
Staff of Power [50 Charges]
Wand of Cure Critical Wounds [50 Charges]
Tome of Clear Thought [+3 to Intelligence]
Tome of Understanding [+3 to Wisdom]

Cunning Fox – Cleric Bag of Tricks [Rust Colored]
Ring of the Ram [50 Charges]
Staff of the Woodlands [50 Charges]
Tome of Understanding [+3 to Wisdom]
Manual of Quickness of Action [+3 to Dexterity]

Sir Yder – Knight +2/+4 Dragon Slayer [Red Dragon - Double Damage]
+2 Armor of Fire Resistance
Helm of Telepathy
Manual of Bodily Health [+3 to Constitution]
Manual of Gainful Exercise [+3 to Strength]

Ullrich Orico Uppsdrada the Silver Bear – Ranger +2 Oathbow
Slaying Arrow [20 – Attuned to Kobalds]
+3 Sylvan Blade [Longsword as requested]
Manual of Quickness of Action [+3 to Dexterity]
Tome of Clear Thought [+3 to Intelligence]

ThunnGarr the Mighty – Barbarian +2(+3) Dwarven Thrower
+1 Shield of Bashing

Sirae Amberlyn Foxfire – Knight in training +3 Feathered Sword
+1 Plate Armor of the Fathom
Helm of Comprehend Languages and Read Magic
Manual of Bodily Health [+3 to Constitution]
Manual of Gainful Exercise [+3 to Strength]

Shandra – Monk Bracers of Deflection
Staff of the Woodlands [50 Charges]
Javelin of Lightning [10 – each is consumed in the attack]
Manual of Bodily Health [+3 to Constitution]
Manual of Quickness of Action [+3 to Dexterity]

Ariane Arvendre – Paladin +2(+5) Holy Avenger
Elvin Chain
Wand of Cure Critical Wounds [50 Charges]
Tome of Leadership and Influence [+3 to Charisma]
Tome of Understanding [+3 to Wisdom]

Ollie Gory – Bard Staff of Evocation [50 Charges]
Wand of Finger of Death [50 Charges]


Special Note: Manuals and Tomes take a total of 48 hours to read over a minimum of 6 days and the words are entwined with powerful magical effect. The result of each of these particular Manuals and Tomes permanently add +3 to the Original Attribute Number.

Example: A Character with 12 Dexterity reading a +3 Manual of Quickness of Action over a total of 48 hours in 6 days receives a Permanent Bump to 15 for Dexterity Attribute Number. Once the book is read, the magic disappears from the pages and it becomes a normal book.

Each PC Character has 2 weeks to read both books to increase 2 of their Attributes before the Emancipation Sand Dance commences!



Posted on 2008-09-14 at 22:00:51.
Edited on 2008-09-14 at 22:10:16 by Hammer

Hammer
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BUMBLE BREW Receives an Invitation


Dark Arena Sands Training Session
Three Months Ago

The past three months had been filled with continual pain and humiliation.

This was not what Bumble Brew had expected, but then again, she no longer had any time to reflect upon what she may or may not have expected after the Dark Elf Master had banished her from her homeland and flung her along the corridors of the Space/Time/Dimensional Planes.

She was not even aware of how she had been taken captive in her disoriented state, but captive she was. Small solace in the fact that she had been spared the indignity of being made a slave for some gods forsaken pleasure pit like other misfortunate innocents had found themselves enslaved on far too many worlds in far too many time streams.

There was no pleasure in her experience on Roxas Isla other than the quarters she had been given and the fleeting moments of socialization with the serving girls who brought her the exotic nutritious meals three times a day in the privacy of her own prison quarters.

One alarming fact she swiftly discovered was her inability to cast any spells. Some unseen force was preventing her from accomplishing the simplest of spells.

Twice a day in the morning and then again in the late afternoon Bumble Brew was prodded by spear point to march herself down the underground passageway from her room and private bath to a weapons warehouse to select appropriate training gear for her twice daily exercise.

She found a suitable "battle robe" as she liked to call it and an extremely blunted, but sturdy quarterstaff to train for gladiatorial combat on the Dark Arena Sands.

Bumble Brew seemed to spend most of her training time either lying on her back or face first in the sand as the Black Hooded Guard verbally taunted her and beat her down with his own fists or blunted weapon of choice for the immediate training session.

It did not seem to matter what kind of blunted weapon the Black Hooded Guard chose to humiliate her with because he gave her no quarter and continued pressing the attack until she was beaten into the Dark Arena sand time and time again.

Any onlooker could plainly see she was hopelessly outmatched. Yet Bumble Brew refused to whimper, cry or complain about her unjust treatment.

Her years of servitude to the Dark Elf Master had already hardened Bumble Brew to any form of outward complaints and her times of play with her brothers were as rough as any treatment a young elf maiden could receive in her formative years.

She would just glare at her tormentor as she used her quarterstaff to pull herself upright from the sands of humiliation and without telegraphing a move of retaliation, Bumble Brew would spring forward to attack the Black Hooded Guard with her quarterstaff in areas left momentarily unprotected as her tormentor gloated about her continous misfortune at the end of his blunted weapons.

Her determination and courage could not be denied, but her ability to go toe-to-toe against battle hardened fighters left much to be desired.

Yet day by day Bumble Brew showed progress at the expense of the bumps and bruises she suffered twice daily.

Were it not for the healing salves made available in her private shower, Bumble Brew would have suffered continually from the pain and damage inflicted upon her in the twice daily training sessions.

The Saturday Night Dark Arena Battles were another matter altogether.

Each of her opponents showed no mercy as they fought to gain the right to fight for their own freedom in the twice yearly Emancipation Sand Dance Extravaganzas that the Dark Arena Consortium had parlayed into an extremely lucrative enterprise every six months.

Invariably Bumble Brew found herself trying to cast a spell in the heat of battle each Saturday night, much to the amusement of her opponents and the spectators. But some unknown force prevented her spells from materializing.

Sometimes her opponents toyed with her, playing to the crowds and to their own inflated egos, while others merely beat her unmercifully into the Dark Arena sands with their blunted weapons and unbridled anger venting release at her expense.

Many of these Saturday night contests were settled by beating their opponents into submission, which mainly meant beating them unconscious.

Bumble Brew would drag herself from the sands of defeat each Saturday night for the past three months and defy her opponents to knock her down again.

Which they continued to do until Bumble Brew was unable to voluntarily move a muscle, twitching helplessly in the sands of humiliation until she passed out from the bludgeoning she received on an all too regular basis.

She did manage to strike her opponents with her chosen quarterstaff, but most only reacted in surprised anger at her efforts and made her suffer the consequences as the spectators witnessed her determination and attitude that would not quit until her last breath escaped her lungs.

Yet each Saturday night the inevitable outcome was always the same. Bumble Brew was carried from the sands on a stretcher to be tended to in her private quarters by one of her assigned serving girls.

In spite of all the pain and humiliation, Bumble Brew continued to worship The God of Greater Hope and knew in her heart from her hours of devotion and prayer that she would not be left in this desolate situation of despair for longer than she could possibly endure.

Bumble Brew expected her seeming defeats to be rewarded and she continued her daily battle training with a vigorous determination that amused the Black Hooded Guard and all those who watched her press on against all odds.

Today seemed to be no different from any other day as Bumble Brew was escorted to her training area on the Dark Arena sands, but her life was about to change for the better as ThunnGarr the Mighty walked up to the Black Hooded Guard and spoke a few brief words to her tormentor.

The Black Hooded Guard nodded respectfully to the Giant Dwarf and motioned for Bumble Brew to lay down her weapon as ThunnGarr the Mighty approached her.

Bumble Brew had been tricked before and today she would not let herself fall for the ruse that someone wanted to speak with her and then belt her with a blunted weapon or fist.

She swung her blunted quarterstaff at the Giant Dwarf who caught it in mid-swing with one massive fist, but Bumble Brew let go of her weapon and ran as swiftly as she dared between his legs to find a place of safety from what would certainly be swift retribution from the battle seasoned Barbarian.

But no such retribution followed as the Black Hooded Guard laughed boisterously as ThunnGarr the Mighty tossed the blunted quarterstaff to the sands and sat himself down without looking at Bumble Brew.

Slowly she made her way around his giant frame, making sure she was well out of his reach, then upon finding a relative position of safety, Bumble Brew glared inquisitively at this unprecedented change of events.

"I Have Been Studying Your Progress Since You Arrived Here!"

"There Is Something About You That Marks You As Quite Different Than Most Prisoners!"

"The Dark Arena Consortium Has Decreed That I May Select Seven New Prisoners For My Emancipation Sand Dance Team That Will Fight For Our Freedom In Three Months!"

"We Have A Benefactor Who Will Supply Us Some Special Items To Aid Us In Our Quest For Freedom, But We Must Agree To Help Him Solve A Certain Business Problem Should We Survive The Obvious Death Sentence!"

"We Will Be Required To Go On A Great Journey! An Adventure Unlike Any You Have Ever Experienced Here Or ElseWhere!"

"Plus I Will Help You And The Others Find The Sanctuary So You Can Locate The Artifact To Send You Back To Your Home!"

"You Are Obviously A Spell Caster! We Have Need Of Your Abilities For That Adventure! And You Have Need Of Our Abilities If You Hope To Leave This Dark Arena Alive!"

"You Will Be Required To Continue Your Individual Training With The Black Hooded Guards Until The Dark Arena Consortium Approves Your Selection To My Team!"

"But You And I Both Know That Almost Everyone Who Has Been Watching You Is Convinced That You Would Not Be Able To Survive The Dark Arena Emancipation Sand Dance!"

"Are You Willing To Surprise The Doubters And The UnBelievers?"

"If So You Have A Place On My Team!"

Cautiously Bumble Brew reached out to shake the Giant Dwarf's extended hand of friendship.

Finally, she was now assured that The God of Greater Hope had heard and answered her prayers in this far away world of madness and torments!

"It would be a great honor to be a member of your team! I will not fail your trust and confidence in my potential ability to survive the Dark Arena Emancipation Sand Dance!"
Bumble Brew excused herself and strode over to the Black Hooded Guard, swinging her blunted quarterstaff with renewed determination from the words of encouragement from ThunnGarr the Mighty.

Moments later she was laying face first in the sand with a fresh welt across her forehead and an aching back that screamed to her fading consciousness that the young Wizard needed to vastly improve her battle instincts and abilities if she hoped to survive the Dark Arena Emancipation Sand Dance Experience!


Posted on 2008-09-19 at 22:09:01.

CirroWolf
Veteran Visitor
Karma: 7/2
145 Posts


Caged like a Lion, a Tiger, a Bear....???

Two weeks from now, the so-called "Emancipation Sand Dance" would determine the paladin’s fate whether she’d find freedom or find her place in her God's cradle like many others before her.

Outfitted in her white prisoner suit again, Arianne sat on her bed and read through one of the Tomes provided by the Merchant. Her fingers traced line after line with devotion. She would go through it before and after her training, even during one of her meals, for about eight or nine hours each day.

Arvendre's noble ancestry and origin was typical (from her world) – one of many lustrous knights that hailed from Ertain, the country known for its holy knights and kings.

Her father Destin, a religious aristocrat and the owner of an orphanage, was a zealous follower of Rydor, the God of Truth and Justice. Before Destin, there were people who fought for good conduct in the world. Even Ari’s grandfather and great-grandfather, two successful knights (one war hero and one local bureaucrat who worked in city security), looked up to Rydor.

Her father, grandfather, great-grandfather and those who associated with them – the girl took all their feats into heart and the stalwart spirit that she inherited from them began to manifest soon enough. However, because of her gifted lineage, many believe that Arianne was immediately high-handed; but maybe, being a chosen warrior of God was definitely a blessing. An 18-year-old woman would exemplify that in Nobility, there were exceptions. Of course even the sexists found it so typical that they allow a soft-hearted girl to be chosen as a figure of good and humbleness, "This girl?" They'd think, but some of them dare didn’t say that out in the open. It has been proven even the women could be on the same station as the men.

Ariane actually was a humble person, with time and training became someone with perhaps the knowledge and foresight of a woman beyond her years. A sense of justice is strong and burns within her heart; turning away the natural feelings of fear, her courage transcends the Golden Way in Coria for a young woman. This is one of the reasons why she was selected to be what she is. The color of her hair and the brave feeling of her eyes could just be a coincidence?

Six months ago, the paladin lost consciousness during battle. When she opened her eyes, the first thing she realized was that she was imprisoned, and her weapons and armor were taken and destroyed. The only thing that wasn't taken was her life and apparently her tangible bond to Rydor. Neither her gifted lion heart nor her soul could be excavated by whomever evil entity took her.

Before long, she'd get an answer, an unexpected answer.

According to the giant dwarf ThunnGar, Ari was abducted by the Black Hooded Guards and jailed within an xenophobic country. Now she was placed into this ritual called the "Dark Arena" to fight for her freedom. The dwarf was a veteran within the Arena, and provided her and others with plenty of information about what was in store for them.

It had been months now. The paladin had long understood their hate for humans and knew that taking aggressive action would make matters worse. The Lionness cooperated; in fact, this "Tourney" would benefit her - she'd hone her skills and maybe win the hearts of the citizens by demonstrating her technique.

But...while training with one of the Guards, something raised her curiousity. The giant dwarf ThunnGarr told his teammates (Ari included) stories about this Sanctuary and how he was in the Arena for ten years. He was never pardoned? She wondered.

Then, that same wonder shifted over to the rumors she had been hearing about...


Posted on 2008-09-20 at 02:38:06.

Brianna
Not Dragon Mistress
Karma: 105/32
2282 Posts


Sirae Amberlyn Foxfire


Some days were harder than others, the solid walls of her cell closed in on her while her spirit wanted to soar free. Those were some of the worst days, when she remembered and longed for her freedom. The black days of her memory were the first days of captivity when she realized that there would be no justice for her with these people, Her soul and heart had railed at their stupidity, their unjust laws that condemned a person for being born of a different place. It made not difference to them that she was a good person and meant them no harm and that her only desire was to find a way home. She had remained composed by will alone and her belief that she would be freed eventually. That much hope she had been given by the Giant Dwarf that had spoken to a group of prisoners shortly after they arrive in the slave pens.

Days had passed, weeks months, Her only freedom was battling the Black-hooded Guards in the arena. Always she told them she served a good Deity her being here was an accident, Even repeated that it was unjust to hold her in captivity just for being in their lands. Not that it made any difference to them. And thus it was that she did what she could to make them pay for their crimes, did they but know it. Even with blunted weapons she did not pull her blows. The one thing that was for the good was that she knew she was stronger and faster now than she was before.

The worst part was the loneliness and the isolation from any contact other that the guards. Her spirits would sink so low with not light of the sky, no sound of birds or wind in the trees. In those dark times she turned to the Light to help her banish the darkness from her spirit. She held fast to the tenets of her faith even when she was at her lowest. As a child she had learn that the Light was present in everything that was, whether you know it or not, all was made of the Essence of the Light. The Light was, is and ever shall be. Amberlyn clung to that simple belief with a tenacity that would not be shaken.

This day Amberlyn sat quietly in her solitary cell. She has recently been returned to it after another training session in the Dark Arena. She had stripped and cleaned up then slipped on that shapeless sleeveless garment with its sole adornment of a logo in black that symbolized her captivity of almost 5 months. She repeated by memory the 12 rules of the Code of Conduct for the Warriors of the Light. Those holy warriors that serve the Light, her Deity. After she repeated the Code of Conduct, she stood and drew a circle on the floor of her cell and stepped into it. Her own circle of light. Had she not been able to draw it it would have made no difference to the Light. Whether she stood, or sat, or crawled on her hands and knees, none of those would make any difference to the Light. However, it made a difference to Amberlyn who would meet her Deity standing on her two feet with her head high.

“Light, you know my soul and heart, you know my desires. I pray for the strength to keep my head up, my spirits high, , my arm strong, so that I may serve you as best as I possibly can. We have been recently chosen to make a team for the coming Emancipation Dance,” she added this last part because it meant so much to her. “It is my hope to win my freedom and find away to return to my home. Let be be just in my dealings with all, let me be merciful whenever I can. Let fear be recognized by put aside when right needs doing. Let be be honest in my dealings with others and speak the truth even when others do not care.”

They had met with the Giant Dwarf again and a group of them had been chosen for the coming battle to fight against the other teams for freedom. They had been allowed to work together for the first time. Amberlyn knew that she, the other knight and the giant dwarf would be the front line of their fighting groups. She looked at the fighting styles of the other, one was a wizard she they would have to be protected. One elven young woman fought with her hands alone at most a quarterstaff.

Amberlyn couldn’t help but begin to plan on how to use their strengths and weaknesses to their best advantage. Of course, a lot depended on who and what they faced--so many unknowns and so much depending on them.

“Light guide me.”

Amberlyn stands and communes silently with her Deity taking strength from his tenants.


Posted on 2008-09-22 at 00:17:42.
Edited on 2008-09-24 at 02:44:27 by Brianna

Nomad D2
RDI Fixture
Karma: 47/5
2302 Posts


A question of conscience

Note: Ullrich comes from a world with only humans.

Having been chosen for the Emancipation Sand Dance struck Ullrich as both a curse and a blessing. He had to be happy about the chance to earn his freedom. That was the key to any other goal. But it also meant he had to fight with real blades and draw real blood. His own death did not worry him. Sure, he might not survive the Dance, but that was always a risk when you fought. While he didn’t like the idea, that particular risk was nothing new. Death was always a risk.

No, it wasn’t his own death that concerned Ullrich about this Dance. It was who might be on the other end of his blade. By all accounts their opponents would be other slaves. Ullrich had dedicated his life before he arrived in this accursed world to freeing slaves! And now he would be asked, no, he was not asked -he was forced, to kill slaves. He had no choice. He could refuse to fight, but was almost positive the punishment for that would be death. And the loss of perhaps his only shot at freedom. He could refuse to fight on the sands and sacrifice his life that another might live. Strangely, although a willingness to so sacrifice himself if the need arose was always implied in his actions before, it just didn’t make any sense here. Such a self-sacrifice here wouldn’t really save anyone, just change the name of the victim. He would have to kill. He didn’t have to like it, but he saw no way out of it.

He didn’t even know what he would be fighting. In this world it seemed it could turn out to be anything. Anything at all. But then, he didn’t even know if that made it any better. At home any fight would have been against another human, or perhaps against a beast. But in either case he would have known what he was up against. But here?
Here he didn’t even know what half his team was, let alone their opponents! Not just who, but what! This world had Dwarves! His own team captain was a Dwarf! Well, dwarf really wasn’t the right word. The guy was HUGE! But other dwarfs didn’t seem to be so. Dwarfs! What the #$%%# was a dwarf!? And pointy eared elves? What was this place? He’d heard stories of such things, but in Uppsfallon they had always been just stories. Nobody ever actually saw the creatures! They were not real! Yet, this illusion would not go away, he could not disbelieve it. And that giant dwarf sure seemed real enough.

Yeah, they were real, all of them. But what were they? That was a problem. His teammates seemed like real “people.” Not human exactly, but intelligent, caring and capable of pain and empathy. Certainly they all felt the burden of their captivity and appeared to be dedicated teammates. These people may come in odd shapes, from his experience, but they were still people and from what he could see, were as ill-suited to slavery as any person. He was proud to be teammates with them. It appeared Thungarr had chosen wisely.

But what about the enemies? The others had spoken about the likelihood that they would face some of the evil races. An entire race of evil creatures? With men there certainly were evil individuals and evil acts, he’d seen enough of those to be sure of that fact! But an entire race of evil people? No, that wasn’t true of humanity. Could it be so here? The others spoke of orcs as evil. But their bard was a half-orc! Was he evil? He didn’t seem so! (And he was “guarding their back?” What did that mean in an arena fight anyway? And did you want a half-orc at your back?)

He was guessing they might be fighting some Kobolds. His only reason for this was his gift of the arrows. They were attuned to Kobolds. Why else give him some if not because they would be fighting the little buggers? “Little buggers?” The expression almost made Ullrich smile in the darkness of his cell. He’d never actually seen one before – how did he know they were “little buggers!?” Because others had told him so.

They had also told him that they were vile and evil little creatures. While in his heart Ullrich hoped that no species could be so labeled, he almost wanted to believe it of Kobolds. It would be much easier to kill enslaved Kobolds if they were evil to the core.

But did it really matter? The simple, hard truth was that Ullrich would have to kill whatever came out of the center of the arena and it wouldn’t matter if it was an evil-to-the-core Kobold, or a fair maiden. He was being forced into being someone else’s executioner. And he wasn’t happy about it. But he was helpless about it.

Which didn’t help his state of mind one bit.

With his mind full of such thoughts Ullrich lay back on his cot to try and get some rest before tomorrow’s team practice. Frustrated as he might be, he was also determined to do everything in his power to help himself and the rest of his team win their freedom. If they could do that, then they could worry about saving their home worlds or do something about this vile arena. But freedom came first, and even though the means might be unappealing, means to gain their freedom had been put in their hands. And Ullrich intended to win.




Posted on 2008-09-22 at 00:53:46.
Edited on 2008-09-22 at 00:55:36 by Nomad D2

Dragon Mistress
Not Brianna
Karma: 68/55
1764 Posts


Shandra


The Light had brought her here for some purpose and from what she had experienced at her arrival let her know that the people of this place were in dire need of enlightenment. The society of this land was in serious trouble. The whole concept of the Arena was just a way to perpetuate intolerance, and racism.

Shandra was the bane of the Black Hoods, for she never showed emotion. In the inimical way of the Masters of the Open Hand and other Martial Arts, she surprises the Black Hoods when first tried to get her to take up a weapon and defend herself. She suffered their abuse without comment or rancor. They soon learned why she did not need a weapon when one swaggering Black Hood thought to humiliate her, he and they soon learned to stay away from her feet and hands. Try as they might to get her to wear armor and take up a weapon she only accepts a staff and little else for their style of weapons were not what she was trained to use. Her demeanor frustrated the Black Hoods, though it was not in her to gloat over their faults and mistakes, there was a certain satisfaction that they kept their distance.

She was either training, or she was meditating, when she was not eating and sleeping. Her cell was not unlike living quarters in the temple where she trained. There was a sort of solace to be taken from being left alone, giving her time to meditate and pray.

She said nothing when the Giant Dwarf that choose a team to fight in the Arena, included her. She only bowed and accepted his choice. The Light allowed all to make choices. How one chose was how they were judged.

Finally came a day when they were brought before the Giant Dwarf,

ThunnGarr studied the eyes of each of the five Humans and two Elves, intently scrutinizing the looks of sheer determination on the faces of the three men and four women who now stood before him as equals in the fight for their freedom.

"We have six weeks to train together for the Emancipation Sand Dance,” thundered ThunnGarr the Mighty in unusually subdued tones. "Then we have another two weeks of proper preparation before we face whatever forces the Dark Arena Consortium has assembled against us!"

"You seven have been chosen to accompany me in our fight for freedom, while my friend Ollie serves as the announcer and watches our backs!"

"Two Knights, a Cleric, a Monk, a Paladin, a Ranger and a Wizard teamed with a Barbarian and a Bard in quest of our freedom from the Dark Arena!"

"The odds are stacked against us! Warrants for our deaths are expected to be fulfilled on the sands of the Dark Arena!"

"Yet we do have an unknown benefactor! One who has promised to supply certain rare and valuable items to aid us in our fight for freedom!"

"In exchange for our services for a period of time once we have overcome the odds thrown against us by the Dark Arena Consortium!"

"This is what everyone should agree to be a fair price and a fairer bargain to provide us an edge in our quest for freedom!"

"I spoke to each of you individually a mere month ago! Now I have the honor of introducing you as teammates who will train together for the next six weeks!"

"I present to you Sir Yder the Knight; Sirae Amberlyn Foxfire the self proclaimed Knight in training; Cunning Fox the Cleric; Shandra the Monk; Ariane Arvendre the Paladin; the Ranger Ulrich Orico Uppsdrada the Silver Bear and Bumble Brew the Wizard."

"Now take a few moments to get acquainted before we begin training for the fight of our lives!"

Shandra looked about the group and took in there faces and demeanor. She understood what was at stake, and she for one was determined to be free.

Six weeks of training together has flown by. Each of you has shown remarkable progress in learning to work together while trusting the instincts and abilities of your teammates.

Now with a mere two weeks remaining before the Emancipation Sand Dance, the off world gladiators teamed with ThunnGarr the Mighty [not to mention the Bard announcer Ollie Gory watching their backs] had gathered together in a secluded meeting room somewhere deep within the bowels of the Dark Arena to receive their Special Gifts!

Special Gifts courtesy of the mysterious Merchant who had pledged to assist them from his own personal Treasure trove with the understanding that the survivors would agree to accept a Special Assignment to Aid the Merchant in solving a particular Business Problem that Only Brave Hearted Adventurers Could Possibly Solve!

The mysterious Merchant had connections who owed him some favors! Therefore, he personally selected the following items from his vast Treasure trove to enhance the survival chances of each competitor.

Plus it was explained in detail that some of these Special Gifts were selected to help equip each competitor for the dangers and obstacles they would face in the future when aiding the Merchant in solving his Business Problem!

"You Must Use These Items Wisely!” cautioned the Bard. "Especially Items With Charges! You Must First Survive The Dark Arena! But You Must Use These Items Wisely! Your Survival Depends Upon Using These Items Wisely!"

Shandra accepts the gifts, Bracers of Deflection, Staff of the Woodlands [50 Charges], Javelin of Lightning [10 – each is consumed in the attack], Manual of Bodily Health [+3 to Constitution], Manual of Quickness of Action [+3 to Dexterity] and immediately sets to studying the tomes. She quickly begins to accustom herself to the weight and balance of the staff and learns the command words for the magics. It could be of great value, if she first only practiced with it as a staff and nothing more, others might not learn of its hidden potential, there could be spies for the other groups watching.

Shandra continued to prepare her body, mind, and soul for this test the Light had placed before her.



Posted on 2008-09-24 at 03:10:15.

Hammer
Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts


BUMBLE BREW Benefits from Team Training

Secluded Meeting Room
Deep within the Bowels of the Dark Arena
Two Weeks Ago

Bumble Brew proved to be a quick learner as she observed her fellow prisoners and how they approached training and fighting with their particular styles and weapons.

In 4 weeks time she had improved considerably with her Quarterstaff under the watchful eye of ThunnGarr the Mighty as he instructed her how to develop her limited battle talents with the additional use of the Club and Dagger weapons.

The young Wizard soon caught the knack of how to throw both weapons at targets 10 feet away with accuracy and damaging authority.

She would heed the advice of her teammates and make sure she carried plenty of Clubs and Daggers into the Dark Arena for the upcoming Emancipation Sand Dance!

But now Bumble Brew was enjoying a secret battle strategy session with ThunnGarr and the rest of her teammates.

Especially since she was able to relax a bit and recuperate from the countless aches and pains acquired from her rigorous training sessions.

She was especially pleased to have won a couple of fights in the past month and had fought another opponent to a crowd-pleasing Draw in her Final Saturday Night Fight before being granted a 2-week reprieve to better prepare for the Dark Arena Emancipation Sand Dance.

Even the Black Hooded Guards had paid for their insolence in recent days as Bumble Brew put into practice what she had observed from Shandra the Monk; utilizing her blunted Club to knock a couple of Black Hooded Guards down, then punishing them with her new-found prowess with the blunted Quarterstaff, teaching them some hard lessons of her own for subjecting Bumble Brew to their sadistic brand of humiliation these past months.

At the end of the current strategy session, Bumble Brew and her teammates received their Surprise Gifts that were sent from the mysterious Merchant.

They had all pledged to assist this unknown Merchant, if they managed to survive the Dark Arena Emancipation Sand Dance, in exchange for his offered Treasure Items to give each of them a much better chance of surviving the Dark Arena Emancipation Sand Dance experience.

Ollie Gory the Half-Orc Bard had briefly explained the importance of such rare gifts and artifacts as each item was carefully presented to its proper recipient.

Bumble Brew was quite pleased with what she had received, especially when Ollie Gory took plenty of time to instruct her in the use of the Staff of Power and the Wand of Cure Critical Wounds.

The young Wizard made sure that she did not accidentally set off one of the Charges prematurely; especially after the constant reminders that these items were presented as an advance-payment and would serve as survival tools, both in the Dark Arena as well as wherever their next assigned adventure took her and her companions should they emerge from the Dark Area as victors!

As for the Ring of Fire Elemental Command, Bumble Brew was quite fascinated by its seemingly harmless beauty, plus its potential for Great Power.

Wearing this particular Ring while possessing the other Special Items gave her a considerable boost of confidence of her chances for survival as the date of the Dark Arena Emancipation Sand Dance drew ever closer.

Her instructions were to use these Special Gifts wisely. She intended to use these items with her newly acquired Wisdom and Intelligence to help her survive and mature to New Levels along the path of Wizardry that would set her family free once and for all from the Bumble Brew Curse!

But most of all she treasured the Tome of Clear Thought and the Tome of Understanding as she spent the next 2 weeks studying one volume from cover to cover in the expanse of 48 hours in 6 days and then repeating the discipline for another 48 hours in 6 days to Transform and Increase her Wisdom and Intelligence abilities Permanently!

Bumble Brew also took great comfort and solace in the reassurances from both Ollie Gory and ThunnGarr the Mighty that during the Dark Arena Emancipation Sand Dance the young Wizard would have her Spell Casting Abilities available to assist her and her teammates in their fight for survival and promised freedom!

The God of Greater Hope had proven many times over that Bumble Brew was not abandoned in her quest to free her loved ones from the Curse of Bumble Brew!


Posted on 2008-09-25 at 15:36:17.

Abraxis
Newbie
Karma: 2/1
23 Posts


xenophobia

Sir Yder sat in his room nightly reflecting upon his situation. There was no option, his code of conduct decreed it. He would fight and he would fight his best and if he lost it would be with honor. This was a wonderous sword that the unknown benefactor had bestowed upon him. It surely would tatse the blood of many an enemy before long. His allies seemed strong and none had shown to be without honor as yet. He felt good about his chances of survival and of regaining his past glory!


Posted on 2008-09-27 at 00:19:01.

   
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