Talice was badly wounded, dazed, confused. Smoke and dust kicked up around her from the arena’s floor. It was late enough in the day that the cursed sun did not affect her too badly but she felt stabbing pains behind her eyes none-the-less. The dungeon death traps below may have been the whim of a deranged megolomaniac but at least she had not had to worry about the rays from Pelor’s Orb.
Out of the corner of her eye she caught a fleeting image of a small form. The gobin! She swore she saw the flute he had stolen off her so many days ago now in his hand. She would reclaim the flute. Reclaim some semblance of her old life.
She took off in the direction she had glanced the goblin’s movement, there was a tunnel leading out of the high walls surrounding the arena. She was aware of the noise of fighting coming from above in the seating areas. Her friends were the other side of the smoke cloud and Kyle the beleaguered gnome lay unconcious but stable in the shadow of the wall.
The tunnel was fairly short and had been gated at both ends, though the one by the arena floor had been opened. The other however was blocked. And two forms stood in front of it. One was in some ornate armour that shone in the dimly lit passage, the other wore the uniform she had seen on guards that had been positioned in the arena.
Dhakiyah Nur Vildan always knew the angle to play. The Magisters had become corpulent and complacent. Even if this rebellion failed, and she was sure it wouldn’t at least in terms of this initial fight, there would be another. She may be nothing more than a glorified slave but she represented the old guard. Fought in the arena for them. Had killed many enemies of the magisters. Their biggest failing was that they could not believe the disparate elements of Q’Roth could talk to each other for more than five minutes let alone plan organised insurrection. Dhakiyah had heard the rumblings, everyone had, but she made sure to get word to the right people, ones who wouldn’t kill her before listening and let them know she would be ideally positioned to open certain doors, leave a vital window unlocked when the time came. Thankfully, when the time did come, there was at least one person amongst the rampaging mob that met her by the tunnel gate who knew who she was. Unfortunately for Derrick, the guard on duty, he was unaware of Dhakiyah’s duplicity.
“we can hold them off from here, I see no bows. Your magic can deal with them” Derrick poked his sword through the gate a couple of times before backing off a little.
Dhakiyah looked at Derrick whose attention was on the gate. She heard a noise and saw the dark elf, one who had been playing the games recently bearing down on him. It was incredibly unlikely the elf would be sympathetic to the Magisters but also, as an outsider was likely to be ignorant of who FELIX was.
Dhakiyah slid her sword into the back of Derrick’s neck, killing instantly. She nodded at the rebels and unlocked the gate, they pushed past roughly some clearly, deliberately ramming an elbow in Dhakiyah’s body, but they left her alone. She needed to get out of the ceremonial armour, it made her too recognisable as a Magister lapdog. Half-Elves were not exactly common in Q’Roth but she could talk her way out of any trouble easier if not in a symbol of the oppressor.
The Drow had followed her through to the changing room. A fire was raging in the next room and Dhakiyah knew she had to get out of there quickly.
Sallah Al-Bakkesh was not happy. He had joined up with the rebels, believed in the cause. ThiGMOO. This Great Movement Of Ours. The Magisters had outlawed his philosophy. A small, even he had to admit, rather inconsequential sect. but harmless really. They shifted with the winds. And yet, somewhere along the line the Magisters had decided to wipe them out. As far as Sallah knew he was all that remained. He had hoped to find news of others captured by the governing forces but all he found was dead bodies. He had hooked up with the rebels, there had to be some reason for the Magisters crackdown on his kind and with the ruling class overturned perhaps he could find someone or something that could tell him why. Allow him to follow through with his teaching as he was barely a novice when his tutor had been taken.
And then he had only gone and got himself captured.
He asked the wrong question to the wrong person, he wasn’t even sure who as they had come for him in the night and dragged him through the streets for all to see before throwing him in chains to be used in the games.
he had hoped to just bide his time, he knew the attack was coming soon, though not exactly when. Turns out he did not have long to wait rebels streamed through to the room where he was caged with four others scant hours after being locked up.
However, despite his shouts for assistance the group of would be liberators took one look at the scraggly band of captives and moved past yelling for the Grand Magister’s head. The last one knocked a torch into some straw on the ground. Sallah did not know if this was deliberate or not but and accident would be no less fatal. The fire caught quickly and the others around him started to panic.
“Remain calm. We can work together to get out of this” but Sallah’s words fell on deaf ears.
He tried to break the chains himself. but they were too strong. He threw himself against the cage door but it was awkward whilst still connected to the others. He sat back down, the heat waves were washing over him. He took deep breaths to center himself. Allow the shifting winds of fate to settle his future. He would not cry out when the flames came, He could only hope his essence, his dust, would live on.
But the winds of fate were not finished with him yet.
A nearby door opened and in stepped through two elves, though about as different looking as you could imagine. One clad in fine armour, Sallah recognised her as a champion of the Arena. The other’s skin was a dark enough purple so as to be black.
He had heard a Drow had been in the latest games but had not seen her until now. What was she doing with the Champion?
The drow ran over without hesitation and began to try picking the lock o the cage. The fire was raging and the half elf was shedding the armour she wore appropriating some lighter fare from a nearby rack.
The cage door swung open as timbers in the ceiling began to crack.
The champion shouted at them. Directions to get out. Sallah was not sure why she was helping but thanked the Winds and hurried with the Drow and other captives towards the exit. He used some of his magics to control the elements, damping the fire enough to allow safe passage, and the Drow got them out of their chains.
Lagertha Strongshield drank deeply. The negative of such a sturdy constitution was it cost a lot more to get shitfaced. She had travelled to Tyr for vengeance. But thinking too much of the one she had lost made her want to get drunk. She did not like to feel this hurt, this pain. She could apply no salve, drink no potion to soothe this wound. Fighting or getting wasted could ease the suffering. But fighting and getting wasted suited her best. She had not had much luck getting connected to the rebel underground here, but had heard enough to know it was going down soon. She had seen some people she knew tonight looking a bit more on edge, a few more swords openly worn on the streets. Her bones knew when a ruckus was about to explode and she just had to sit and wait.
No one person could take on a city but one person could do a lot of damage if everyone was taking on the city. The Magisters would pay. And her payment would be blood.