Filed: White Stagg 16th, 3126
Between shoveling rubble in the morning, and nightly gambling, I managed to hear most of the final bouts. Dair-Kron Kirall, the Olaran mercenary-turned war captain announced a week of Blood Sports in honor of his master, Dair-Az Lorask ki Gult’s victory. With Xaos broken, the Great Wolfhaven crushed and sent scurrying back to A’Davar with tail tucked, Lorask ki Gult stood poised to reclaim the Grand Warlord of the South title after over five centuries of Youlin Aradi independence. To hear the Dremarin, what passes in the Empire for “citizens”, ultimate victory in the desert is all but assured.
Of course, not everyone seems to be pleased at the turn of events. Word, hushed though it may be, at the late night tables suggested that Fenrikas ki Arkor, Az-Ri of Kal’Montak is displeased with the upstart Lorask ki Gult’s success. Seems like it was always Fenrikas ki Arkor’s design to take A’Davar and expand his name, claiming the fourth Grand Warlord title, Vas-Dair- Az m’ Surnas, for himself and ascend to the emperors personal court. Worse, with Lorask ki Gult securing his new lands in the south, his will is being exercised by the traitorous ex-Olaran Dair-Kron Kirall. Such a slight would be cause for the upstart to be “removed.” Except, so long as Fenrikas ki Arkor mounts glories in the desert, his sycophant is “untouchable,” despite parading out the city like a High Born lord of the Empire.
He didn’t even request permission from the Az-Ri before declaring the celebratory games…if rumors are true.
It hasn’t taken much bribing to encourage the low lords skulking the back rooms to gleefully speculate on the likely intrigue, violence, and upheaval when the Olaran pushes the Az-Ri too far. Sadly, enmity aside, Az-Ri Fenrikas ki Arkor, or his retainers, are unlikely to assist in any kind of escape. Oh, they want the Olaran dead, but they are possibly more rabid about gaining control of captured prisoners from the war; in particular the Alpha Team. Prestige aside, every faction within the city seem to scheming to benefit from the Empire’s victory, but for wildly varying purposes.
A Vos-Ulin (High Slave) a bit into his cups let slip that his master had provided resources for posting of “elite” Tor Mastak arriving in the city. Which, is worse than it seems, because these particular agents apparently bear no loyalty to any of the city’s many factions. The Az-Junin have the biggest obsession with Corporal Zathlan. Or, more accurately, her unborn child. Seems the freakishly mutilated woman sniffing after Nexus is a Minister of the Undying Fire from the royal court in Kal’Zaketh. She was “gifted” to Lorask ki Gult when he was granted the forces necessary to check the Xaos threat. Known as the Scorched Priestess of Ceynara, rumor has it she is a Flamedancer so devoted to Ceynara, that she was bound to a Reaver demon…
If half the horrors Ive heard about her are true…the Olaran starts sounding better and better. Ascended help Nexus if that creature gets her blood, red talons into her.
Then, of course, you have the Az-Fal and Az-Dren of Kal’Montak’s court, each vying for favor with Az-Ri Fenrikas ki Arkor…
I despise politics.
As to the team, I’ve not seen any but Nexus, dressed like a Nazatiran whore, but alive. She plays the consort well, always on the arm of the Olaran. Given past missions, I half wonder if she’s “turning” him to her side. Ascended knows she can be highly persuasive. In the end, I imagine she will rescue the others.
I arrived mid week, too late to personally witness most of the bouts, but since the games, and the Kal expansion south, is all anyone is talking about, it was fairly easy to put together the events.
White Stagg 12th, 3126
Alpha Team is carted in with other high profile captives from the battles in the desert. I did not personally witness the event, but local news states there were over 200 wagons laden with the spoils of war, prisoners, bizarre animals, gold, and gear captured from Xaos forces.
Dair-Kron Kirall made certain word of their arrival preceded the caravan. By the time Alpha Team reached the massive coliseum Andak-cros, crowds had gathered to witness the Triumph. The team, stripped and humiliated were loaded onto one of the main elevators and raised to the arena floor as Kirall announced the week of games in celebration.
After which, they were lowered into the bowels of the Blood Pits. Based on news reports, all were presence, Lieutenant Volstagg, Sergeant Amaroth, Corporal Daynore, and RFCs Danica, Grendel, and Ranna. Corporal Zathlan was in the box seats with her new lover, and I…was at that point wearing a dead man’s clothes on my way to the city.
All according to plan?
The games would begin the following day, but the night was not wasted. Dozens of prisoners were sacrificed to Ceynara on their infernal altars. The screams echoed through night, a counterpoint to the revelry and fornication…according to the morning reports. They also selected a few dozen to adorn crosses around the blood pits, their dying screams adding ambiance to the events.
One must hand it to the Empire, they certainly know how to throw a party.
White Stagg 13th, 3126
Early in the morning fighting began. The first bout was, unsurprisingly, Volstagg. Or, should I say the Crimson Knight. Funny, for a man professed to spending his life battling the Kal, he certainly has their sense of fashion.
Anyway, they pitted him against a Minotaur. Nothing too surprising. Volstagg took a few good hits, but, in the end, prevailed. Of course, he called on Celesia, so now he is favored to die. Seems that killing a ranking Ranger is only almost as exciting as watching a Chosen of the Horn die. He couldn’t have a bigger target painted on him were he wearing bright red armor…oh.
Later on the first day, Sergeant Amaroth was pitted in a free-for-all match against a half dozen bandits. He did well. Though, he was hardly the favorite. Apparently a small time hood, Robert Oxley, a Galean of all things, had been arrested by the Kal and sentenced to die in the games. Of all those pitted in the event, he alone lasted to face Audric, both badly wounded.
Audric prevailed, but due to the young warrior’s prowess, and exuberance for life, the crowd’s demanded life. Is it mercy if they just want him alive to die “gloriously” later?
Damn, all this solitude is affecting my calm. I’m talking to myself in my own reports.
Audric won. “Bob” lived and is likely to become a crowd favorite.
I arrived sometime late on the 13th.
White Stagg 14th, 3126
It started raining before the 13th hour, but picked up hard for two days. Pissing rain, cold and brutal. The Kal didn’t seem to mind so much, but the arena turned to soup. And, all their fires, save for the slaves they lit, kept going out. So, they postponed the games.
White Stagg 15th, 3126
More rain. The games may have stopped, but work remained. I think our crew boss, Gurk…or Gorp… That sadist took unique pleasure in our pain. Sadistic SOB, but as a Kal, such things should be expected.
The rain let up late, but cold rolled in. Bad enough I kind of miss the heat of the sands, almost.
White Stagg 16th, 3126
Games resumed. There were some bouts. I heard, though was working so had no entry. At some time late morn, I hear Grendel and Ranna announced. Most of the crew grew excited. Seems the Ogres were given a special treat. Consensus was the Acolytes outdid themselves summing a rare childer like creature, Calydoes. Boar headed ogre-like childer wielding massive battle ax sized cleavers.
There were some human sacrifices and group of group bouts in the mid-afternoon. Something to keep the crowd’s blood up. Late in the afternoon, RFC Danica was introduced. Her game was to keep a pack of ratzin from devouring a group of kids. Word is, she almost saved one. But, the good news is she survived mostly unscathed. Though, probably not terribly happy about the situation.
Word is there will be another day of games on the 17th, and then final ceremony on the 18th. After that, assuming the team is still alive, they will continue to fight in the pits, or be summarily executed. Trouble being, I don’t know which.
As for Corporal Daynore, I have no idea. He WAS there on the first night, but after that…nothing. Not even a rumor. Though, given his status as an Adept, I can only assume the Tor Mastak is cracking his mind like an egg right now for all its hidden secrets. Makes me wary every time Lady Moonsilver contacts me for updates.
One of these mornings, I’ll wake up with Tor Mastak in my bed chamber.
Good news, though, my “reinforcements” are close, if command is to be believed. But, who would be crazy enough, or stupid enough to take this assignment….