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Duel2 :: View topic - Dark Arena - A supplemental - Rocanis Turn #642 - Volume 12
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Grimwood
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Joined: Aug 26, 2003
Posts: 147
Location: Rocanis, Alastari

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:53 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The innkeeper behind the bar called out to Grimwood, manager of the Skull Squadron stable, "Welcome to Mylar's!"

Mylar’s hairline was receding on both sides of his head, the middle was thinning and had been slicked and combed back. He wore a low cut, sleeveless, tan cotton shirt, which revealed dense, black chest hair. Grimwood noticed his belt showed an obvious progression of notches corresponding with the man's expanding waistline. His pants were dark brown cowhide, well faded and stretched out and appeared to have been nice once.

Grimwood smiled warmly to Mylar. The yeasty smell of ale and hard liquor permeated the air. To the left of the room, a curved bar with recessed shelves held small kegs and bottles. At the end of the bar was a small, tapped keg. Larger, barrel sized kegs of ale were stacked in one corner. To the right a burning hearth with a stag mounting hung overhead. Circular metal chandeliers suspended by chains lit the room. Round wooden tables were scattered throughout the room and could easily sit six people each. A few barmaids were taking and delivering orders. A stairway led to the second floor.

The tavern was a burst of talk and laugher with the tinkling of plates and glasses. Grimwood spotted four members of his stable at a table near the burning hearth. One Eye and Black Steel talked to each other between sips, while Harbinger and Rao sat across from each other and avoided eye contact holding their mugs tightly. They looked down at their beer and occasionally their eyes darted toward the innkeeper Mylar. They looked nervous and with good reason, they weren’t supposed to be here, due to a brawl among themselves a couple weeks ago. However, Grimwood made an exception for tonight.

Harbinger spotted him and slighted pointed her glass towards him, alerting the others their manager had arrived.

Grimwood sat and looked to each of them. He detected a slight wheeze from Black Steel’s breathing, the infirmary staff had heavily bandaged One Eye’s right leg, Rao’s right arm was in a sling, and Harbinger just looked worn out. They all looked defeated.

Sighing, Grimwood asked, “What in the nine hells happened last turn?”

“We can’t start yet. The Mytori Priest isn’t here,” Harbinger said.

“He doesn’t need to be here.”

“Why?”

“He’s winning.”

All four gladiators went quiet and looked down. “I’ll ask again. What in the nine hells happened last turn?”

Black Steel glanced at the others, who didn’t seem inclined to say anything, anytime soon. He breathed in deeply, but winced in discomfort as air filled his lung. “I fought the Duelmaster, Hondo Ohnaka, the fastest person I’ve seen on the sands. I can’t be blamed for losing to such as good warrior.

One Eye then spoke up, “Xyim, just out sped me, I dodged as many of his attacks as I could, but I couldn’t get the initiative.”

Rao quickly said, “I know I fought a zero fight warrior, but I’ve never seen an initiate fight like that before. I’d bet everything I have Prints of Whales fought on the sands before. He’s outside talent and a ringer. Listen, even the Gladiatorial Commission thought so, and gave him forty-nine recognition points for his first fight…forty nine!”

Harbinger didn’t look up from her mug as she said, “I got scummed.”

A barmaid brought Grimwood a beer. Nodding thanks, he took a long pull and noted it’s coolness. He always loved how Mylar chilled his drinks in the nearby river. Grunting in displeasure, Grimwood said, “It’s been years since I had a 1 and 4 record.”

Harbinger added, “It’s been years since you managed.”

Grimwood glared at her until she looked away. “Yes, it’s been awhile since I’ve managed and I understand things have changed. I admit I’ve gotten used to managing warriors on the Isle of the Eye capable of using finesse to defeat their opponent. It was unfair of me to expect the same level of ability. So, I’m going to change how you fight in this stable. I’m going back to how I fought on Turn 1 in Rocanis. I’m going ‘old school’ with this stable.”

“What if that doesn’t work?” Harbinger asked.

“I still have one last option,” Grimwood replied.

“What’s that?” One Eye asked.

“The Dark Arena.” Grimwood finished off he beer and placed it on the table and left.

Despite the noise from the other patrons in Mylar’s Tavern, the Skull Squadron table grew deathly quiet for the rest of the evening.
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