CLOSED SIGNUPS Arena Forged || Misadventures in Faerün ●○

Rosé Moon

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A R E N A F O R G E D
○●Misadventures in Faerün●○
---

The notices had littered the nearly every notice board in the merchant metropolis of Arabel. I'm sure you've heard about it too-- the air of danger surrounding the Dalelands -- The forest on the Northeast route out of the sprawling city -- the rampant reports of missing individuals passing through. A couple monthes ago, the number of missing was small enough to pass off as the inevitable reward of bandits, or animal or beast attacks but now...

For a merchant city, a lost trade route is a huge problem. Especially when two of every three imports and exports over the last few monthes have vanished. At this point, the city government saw it fit to seal the gate, and begin planning for a new gate and route that circumvented the woods. This was concerning to some, however... more than hundreds of adventurers, farmers, and caravans had been lost before it had even been considered a problem. The Blackstaff in Waterdeep had even been asked to investigate, but had been unable to comply -- something about a Beholder and local gangs.

This leaves a massive registry of missing people, that had basically been written off as natural cold cases until someone of a more magical persuasion could be available to investigate.

---

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    An uncomprehensible scream, in a tongue equally comprehensible.

    You've awaken in a place with no sky. A roof, yes, but the stuffy, damp air is evident that even outside wherever you have found yourself is far from outdoors. The room around you is dark, but not blinding. Quiet, but not silent. A fire pit in the far side of the room casts a warm glow in the large room-- it appears to be a living hall, with only parts of the table that once resided strewn about the hall. The light only barely reaches to where you are, but enough to see that you are not alone. And enough to see your situation.

    Your hands are suspended above you, held by shackles that hang out of the walls. The wall your back rests against is lined with other. Others that also seem to be just rousing themself from a deep sleep. This is alarming, suddenly your mind begins to kick into high gear and you begin to think-- how did you get here? For that matter... who are you!? You try to think of your name, but it stands just tantalizing on the tip of your tongue.

    It doesn't come to you before the doors on the far walls are opened and a pair of beings enter, clad in a heavy armor, and armed to the teeth. These creatures... they'll large, and don't quite seem corporial. You could swear that you could see through these bulky boys, who seem to be sprouting a ghostly fire from around there necks. Despite their arguable corprial-ness, the two hoist up the man closest to the door, who seems to still be stumbling into consciousness, and begin dragging him from the room after releasing his restraints.

    Suddenly, you and your fellow prisoners are alone again, left in the almost quiet, dimly lit darkness. Waiting.

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    The long, dimly light corridor had grown quiet after the last pair of spectral being dragged a man out. After that, it was as silent as a graveyard, and for all intents and purposes, this looked like a waiting room for a graveyard pentroom. The walls were lined with people. Individuals of all kinds were here, and to the young girl, who's arms were suspended above here... somehow, even though some looked different, everyone in this hall was the same. The man kneeling to her left, though he was pale skinned with long, pointed ears-- he was just like her. The young boy on her left, who couldn't be any older than her, who looked... much different. Adorned in hard scales, with a reptile face, but here he was just like her. For some reason, she realized as she lifted her head, seemed to be one of the only people lined up like cattle that seemed to be... well, at least somewhat conscious. There were others though. Directly across from her, a fair skinned woman with swept hair that was slumped forward. Another, right to the right of her was the polar opposite. In the mind of the small girl, who couldn't be any older than twelve, thought she could've been a ghost, but now she seemed to be coming too as well. The ghost woman seemed to be as much a prisoner as the rest of them.

    "H-hello?" She spoke, in a language she realized she didn't know how she knew. She didn't know common was... well, common, but she did know she wanted help. People... the two beside her had the same glazed look over their eyes as everyone else, and she wanted to catch the attention of someone who could respond back to her.

    As she said, 'hello' however, the room suddenly became filled with a smell that created instinctual fear in most living things that were bound. A sickening, iron smell. The smell of blood.
 
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Applo

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Fire burned in the woman's shoulders and fog swirled through her mind but for some reason this combination of sensations felt strangely familiar. Uncomfortable, but familiar. Why was that? Had she been here before? Where was here exactly? Who was she? In clouded mind of the Auburn haired woman each question only lead to more question. Her breathing increased as hey multiplied faster and faster. Each one clamoring for attention, for resolution that she couldn’t provide. Frustration grew. Breaths turned into snorts. The answers were there, she could feel it but every time she reached for them they weren't there. It was like grabbing at air. Snorts turned into short little growls. Above the woman’s head, her fists started to open and close by themselves. And then a slight noise, a single word silenced the cacophony of questions bouncing around the inside of her skull.​

Looking up from the floor through the mop of orange hair that hung over her eyes, she saw a small woman, no small girl looking back at her. “Hey little one.” The words felt right on the woman’s tongue and with precious little other certainty in her life she was prepared to take what she could get. Conceivably this child could help with that. “Where are we and how lon-” A new smell drifting oozing through the room stopped the questions dead in their tracks. What the cloying, metallic smell was the mind couldn’t answer but that didn’t matter, the body recognized it all by itself. Hairs stood on end and a heart that had for a moment begun to slow down started to race once more. That smell was a terrible smell. It was one to get away from fast.​

The sound of grunting once more filled the corridor as shackles were strained and tested. As it was however, the bonds that held the fire maned woman we strong. Gradually beads of dampness began running down her arms and the frantic shaking slowed to nothing.​

As she panted for breath the woman noticed another being stirring from the slumber that seemed to hold everyone else in its grip.“Can either of you slip your bonds?” Green eyes bounced between the small child and pale faced wisp of a woman with deep blue eyes. “We need to get out of here.”
 
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Starlighter

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The pale, ghostly woman slowly lifted her head to blink at the girl with deep, dark blue eyes, her silvery hair falling back from a face drawn into an intense look of confusion. The girl spoke, a single timid word that broke the deep quiet around them. She knew that word, knew what it meant, knew it belonged to a language she could speak if she tried… but why? Why did she know it, how did she know it?

For a long moment she simply stared, lost in thought and grasping for her thoughts, her understanding of who she was, how she’d come to be here, why every inch of her ached so terribly much… but the answers were a vapor, floating out of reach and impossible to grasp. And then, as she took a breath, the scent hit her nose. She instinctively recoiled, pulling back toward the wall with a slight clink from the chains that bound her arms above her head. Her eyes widened, her heart began to beat a faster rhythm, and her breath became ragged as fear instinctively welled up inside her.

This was all very, very wrong.

She looked to the fiery haired woman, and her brow furrowed. She tugged experimentally at the chain, looking up and knowing immediately that she hadn’t a prayer of extricating herself by force. She took a deep breath, forcing herself to ignore the fresh wave of that horrid smell that assaulted her senses, and began twisting and tugging at different angles in an effort to slip her wrist out of the manacles.

She winced as the rough metal tore her skin, and a smear of red appeared, slowly working it’s way down her arm. With a sigh, she shook her head. “Not easily, I’m afraid.” But she wasn’t willing to accept it as an impossibility, not yet. Gritting her teeth and breathing slowly to moderate the pain, she began working at it again, determined to stomach the loss of some skin and blood if she could get a hand free by doing so.
 

Rosé Moon

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There was something about this place. Those of a magical, or spiritual persuasion would feel that this place not merely some damp dungeon. For behind all the moisture and stank of blood and mold in the air, there was the familar tinge of magic. The air was sharp with the sensation, and anyone with even an inkling of magical ability would feel it, even if they didn't know what it meant.

This hole wasn't simply unpleasant-- it was cursed.

It seemed too on queue. As the ghastly visage of a woman joined in their conversation, the room came to life. With an explosion of noise, the countless others bound to the walls seemed to spring into consciousness! What had just been a chamber nearly vacant of ambience was suddenly a cacophony of terror. The voices of men and woman, adult and child, human, dwarf, self, gnome and dragonborn alike suddenly became deafening, and in seeming response, the fire in the far fire pit seemed to feed on the noise and burst into an inferno! The flame spiraled and roared over the sounds of panic, and sudden terror before twisting into an eerie shade of pale blue. This flame began to twirl at the tip, creating a point, like a fiery tendril, that pulled the attention of the panicked occupants of the room to it like a beacon.

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The young, chestnut haired child was not strong enough to resist joining in when the room erupted in screaming. Like everyone, besides the two woman she'd briefly spoken too who seemed merely witness to this chaos, she longed forward in her chains, with the strength that she powered by fear and sudden adrenaline. Her wrist twisted in its shackle and became visibly broke and she seemed to try and free herself in horror.

And then it was quiet again. Just as quickly as the chaos began, it was silenced again, and the room fell silent again. The previously terrified Mass of the room slumped back in the chain, save the two woman chained beside one another, and feel into a silent daze. Even the small girl slumped down, her broken wrist now hanging at an unnatural angle. The room was silent, the flame returned to an orange hue--

And the double doors opened.

This time, five spectral visages entered the room. The spectral beings appeared somewhat orcish-- with the fanged underbite, massive build, and slanted forheads, but the blue flames that erupted from their collarbones told another story.

The five beings moved down the room, with equally incorporial halberds. They came to a stop, devoid of sound -- as if sound couldn't exist near them -- between the ice and fire haired woman, and the child with a broken wrist. Two began unshackling the one with the mane of flame, and another two the one of ice. As soon as they touched the woman, the woman would feel numb. As if the point of contact was a tear, that their very life was hemorrhaging from. The fifth began on the child.

In moments, all were unbound, and being lead from the room. Not unable to resist, but finding themselves... unwilling. As if, in this moment... this was what they wanted. All they'd ever wanted.

The fire-necked specters lead the three out of the hall, and into a corridor, where the stench of blood seemed to only multiple. This corridor was,long, and the decorator seemed to have had a thing for chains and gothic architecture. The corners of the roof were adorned with portcullis' and skeletons. The walls looked slick, and glossy. Upon closer inspection, it would seemed they were slick with something, some thick, viscous icor.

Finally, they reached the end, and what greeted them on the other side was astounding. A massive colliseum, that seemed equally poisoned in a somehow equally massive cavern. The stands of the colliseum were empty, but erupted with crys and cheers as if a monstrous crowd had watched as the three girls were pushed out, onto the ground, and their captors vanished. Even more concerning, the gateway in which they came from seemed to have vanished as well. As if it'd suddenly been patched by brick work.

Now the three could only observe. The child remained in a daze, upon the ground, but the adult woman would find consciousness, and the lack of fight suddenly vanished. The smell of blood here was evident, and the source was obvious, as the sandy grounds of the arena was littered with the corpses of hundred of men, woman, children and... plenty of corpses of beasts otherwise unspeakable.
 

Starlighter

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Although something deep within her might have felt the presence of magic lurking in the air, the conscious portion of the ghost woman’s mind had no space to acknowledge it in the aftermath of a room filled with unconscious unfortunates coming awake in the throws of terror. Her eyes widened in horrified surprise as the screams filling the room seemingly fueled the fire, and it erupted in ghastly blue. Her jaw hung open in a silent scream of her own.

Seeing the young girl chafe at her bonds, she winced at the dull crack of breaking bone. At this rate, panic would be the death of them all.

And then, there was quiet again. She dared not even inhale for fear it might once again shatter the stillness of the chamber. But this fear was short lived, soon replaced by another.

Her heart pounded a rhythmic counter melody to her short, shallow breaths as five spectral creatures entered and advanced towards them. Briefly, it occurred to her as they began removing the shackles that she might have just enough opportunity to make a move, to fight back, or run for it, or to -

But the numbness that enveloped her drowned out such thoughts, and she gave into it, unwilling to put up any resistance. Her gaze wandered aimlessly for the duration of their escort, taking in the sight of the grisly decor and the glossy walls with nothing more than apathetic disinterest.

But as she collapsed into the sand, her ability to care rushed back in. With a look of grim distaste on her face, she rose to her knees, and abruptly recoiled from the sight before her, stomach reeling in protest. “I have a bad, bad feeling about this,” she murmured quietly, willing herself to look away from the scattered remains and toward her two companions. Slowly, her delicate limbs shaking with just a faint tremor, she rose to her feet and bent forward to gave the girl lying prone in the sand a gentle nudge. “Come on, get up.”
 

Rosé Moon

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  • There was no response from the girl; she simply laid in the dirt, her chest slowly raising and falling in shallow breaths. It seemed she'd fallen unconscious, which truly was... unfortunate.

    Suddenly, there was movement across the arena! It was slow and methodical, but it was more than enough to draw the attention of anyone paying attention. Upon inspection, it seemed that garden of corpses began... moving.

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    Bodies, of those who were clearly dead began to pull themselves to their feet and let out disgusting grunts and moans as they turned their heads towards the three woman. It seemed five had sprung to life, but their visage spoke that that might be more than enough. Once the five began to encroach on the woman, the empty amphitheatre roared to life! Suddenly populated with hundreds of spectral spectators that roared their approval of this soon to be bloodletting. Were they to fight these things empty handed though? No... between the approaching zombie and them, stood a statue of some strange amalgamation of machine, and at its feet; crates. Crates filled with weapons. Short swords, long swords, great swords, battle axes, daggers, bows and arrows, crossbows and bolts, staffs and wands... it seemed this was not meant to be an unfair fight.

    To a more trained eye, more movement would be seen across the arena, in a cage that seemed built into the arena. In a more practical setting, this is where animals that would be released into the pit to fight gladiators would be kept, but now, it held three prisoners.

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    Inside the cage, resided three individuals who had fought, and survived the last round of Carnage. To their credit, they had slain the five zombies, and then lost the other two who'd entered with them before also slaughtering a beast that seemed like a Gods cast away homework project- a chimera. There was two men and a drow woman, who at this time, had all introduced themselves and knew the others by name. One man, dressed sharper than any other on the arena proper stood near the bars. Finnious and Aurelya knew him by the name Eridon. When the trio of them had made it to the statue, he'd grabbed a long sword, which he later explained was because it had just 'felt right'. This long sword now hung in a scabbard on his hip as he stood, observing the three girls that had been cast into the arena.

    "Only three!?" He exclaimed with genuine concern in his low toned voice, "Without that dwarf, at least, we'd be long dead. They don't have a chance."

    Eridon had a head of hair with shaved sides that gave him a strangely bird like appearance... what ever a bird was. For some reason it just seemed like an apt comparison. He also wore a leather jacket. While his two fellow cell mates were only clad into dabish rags and whatever weapons they'd found in their fights.

    "Is that a child!?" That now, clearly excitable, Eridon shouted as he banged his fists on the bars. "We can't just stay in here, those they're going to die out there!"

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Chile

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Aurelya

Aurelya had her knuckle pressed to her pursed lips, her deep red eyes shadowed under pensive eyebrows. Suveying the battlefield came naturally to her, and Aurelya had already cleared the mental hurdle that not remembering who you are came with. She remembered most of her name, and for now that was enough. Although she couldn't claim total clarity. There was an incessant revolt in the back of her head. Who did this? Why am I here? Someone will pay for this! There was a hissing fury in her mind. It's not something she would've noticed, but everyone else would see that her eyes were glowing intensely, taking on a vibrant blood red color.

"Only three!? Without that dwarf, at least, we'd be long dead. They don't have a chance."

"The three of us were the only ones that had a chance. The dwarf wasn't as skilled as you remember him to be."

It was interesting talking about remembrance when here they were, people who had lost their identities turned gladiators. She wasn't even sure she remembered the dwarf correctly, but shit-talking the dead helped her think more clearly.

The two women in the arena looked... able. The little girl seemed out of place. Every poor soul they had seen up until this point at least looked of age. There was something else about her that puzzled Aurelya but she couldn't put her finger on it.

"Is that a child!? We can't just stay in here, those they're going to die out there!"

For all of Eridon's bleating, he did make a point. Aurelya looked to the man she knew as Finn, the skilled fighter who she attributed more of their survival to than the dwarf, and then back to Eridon. A plan popped into her head and without the aid of a memory she wasn't quite sure how it formulated. But it did, and it might get them out of here. She did remember that Eridon knew how to wield fire, and that was incredibly value.

Aurelya picked up the small shortsword that lay on the ground beside her and quietly muttered an incantation before she touched the blade with two fingers. The dull blade began to glow with a soft white sheen of energy that hummed delicately. She didn't even register that she didn't quite realize what she was doing, only that it felt natural and like something that could potentially free them.

"Weaken the bars with your fire." She commanded Eridon. Then she looked at Finn. "You may want to cover your ears."
 
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MYTH*

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Finn

The human was leaning against the ichor-covered bars of their cage, a hand placed over his mouth in an attempt to hide his deep breathing. In their previous round, the fighter found himself having to do the work of two people. And in the end, they lost two bodies to the zombies. Effectively increasing their ranks and the number of opponents the next challengers had to face. Finn covered his mouth because he didn't want to present any weakness or exhaustion to his forced-comrades. Though he felt no negative feelings towards the two so far. Aurelya and Eridon proved themselves to be capable warriors so far.

"The dwarf wasn't as skilled as you remember him to be."

Raising his hand a little, Finn smirked and chuckled. "I second that notion. Bastard made me work twice as hard just to live. I wouldn't blame him though. We got put into a sour spot." The human looked towards the far side of the arena, spotting the three female figures who just entered. He gave the pair a good look over while stroking his beard. While the pair could hold off the undead for some time, if they are diverted away from the offensive in order to defend the child, they will lose manpower. Finn doubted that they had enough time together to gain trust and know each other in battle. "Eridon, you're right. They will most certainly perish. If only there were some people who would most certainly help them."

Finn was being mildly sarcastic in this instance as he wiped away some of the thick collection of blood off of his shoulder. His hazel eyes began to track the movements of the zombies as Aurelya began to mutter her incantation. Finn did not know if it was a magic spell or a prayer, but when Aurelya dealt her order to Eridon and himself, the human glanced back to the Drow with a nod before lifted his weapons to his side. In his hands, a short bow with a single arrow was prepared for combat. He wasn't sure what they planned, but the fighter didn't care. "As long as you can break those bars, I don't mind a little deafness. Just hurry up is all I ask."

Finn turned to Eridon and nodded towards the bars. "Best get started before they add to the undead ranks. I'd rather not see a child get turned." With a scimitar placed on his side in the scabbard, Finn lifted his bow and lightly nocked the arrow. The moment the Drow did what she meant to do, Finn would prepare the arrow and let it loose into a zombie. He'd be damned if he couldn't at least prevent a youth from dying on this horrible day. Lastly, Finn took in a deep breath and barked loudly towards the women. "Go to the statue! Defend yourselves damn it!"
 

Applo

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You need to get up child.

The redhaired woman blinked a couple of times as she suddenly became aware of her surroundings again. Climbing onto her knees, she spat several times to get rid of the sand in her mouth and looked around. Where had that voice come from. It had sounded like a whisper in her ear but the only people around were the ghost like woman and the girl. The girl. A memory of the child’s wild, twisted, screaming face bubbled to the top of the woman’s mind. Jumping to her feet, the flame haired woman sprinted over to her companions; the mystery of the disembodied voice suddenly unimportant. Just one more unknown amongst many.​

The sight of the child’s unconscious form lying in the sand was tragic. A glance at the girl’s broken wrist caused the woman's stomach to retch and blood to boil as the memory flashed uninvited through her mind. She had wanted to kill those creatures that had unshackled her. She remembered trying to bite one and kick at another. And then...and then a inexplicable feeling of peace, contentment even. Now she was here. For a few more moments she watched as her blue-eyed companion tried to wake the child before turning away unable to look on the wretched thing anymore. Instantly though she wished she hadn’t.​

“Fuck me.” Suddenly that dreadful metallic smell made sense. Things died here. People died here. Died by the dozen judging by the plethora of remains scattered across the sands. Died and became the doom of others. Of her. Of the blue-eyed woman. Of the girl. At least in unconsciousness she might be spared the terror of what was to come. That last thought caused the pit of anger the had been bubbling away in the woman to boil over into full-blown rage. When she found the fuckers behind this, she was going to make them beg for death and then deny them it. Death was too good for anyone who would throw a defenseless child to the approaching abominations. After that she’d move onto and find every single one of the now roaring crowd of ghosts an---​

Defenseless but not undefended. Focus!

A hand reached reflexively at the space where the voice seemed to have come from only to grab at thin air. Auburn hair flew wildly as the woman looked around desperately for the voices owner. Once more her gaze was met by nothing and now a short frustrated scream half escaped her lips before a small quiet part of her brain cut it off. Of course the child wasn’t undefended. She would stand between the girl and those things until they claimed her life. Hopefully, her blue-eyed companion would too, although she wasn’t sure how much help that one would be. It looked like a strong breeze would blow them away. All the same it was better to have anyone at your back than no one. The crowd was roaring, well then, she would give them a show.​

“Hey, blue eyes, I think I’ve got a plan.” That was stretching things a little but really who cared. “We need to face those things before they get here. I’ll try to take as many as I can. Follow a little way behind and take out any the get pas---”

"Go to the statue! Defend yourselves damn it!”

It took a moment for the flame haired woman to make sense of the bellowed instructions. Looking at the statue that dominated the centre of the arena she realized there was a collection of boxes at its base.​

“New plan Blue, pray those boxes have weapons or turn them into weapons.” Without waiting to see if Blue, as she had newly dubbed her companion was following her, the flame haired one sprinted towards the centre of the arena; coming to a sliding stop in front of the crates that seemed to almost over flow with weapons. For the first time since she had woken up a smile crept across her scar mottled lips. Now she really was going to give these fuckers a show.​

Diving into the boxes, she quickly began to sort through the weapons. What she wanted she didn’t quite know but she settled for fastening a sword to her waist. That was straightforward enough. Hold the blunt bit, place the sharp bit in the creatures. After a few experimental swings, the woman turned to observe the shambling abominations. Her gaze, however, was distracted by a simple object lying where she dropped it.​

A wooden staff, almost as long as she was tall, it had been discarded out of hand in favour of something more obviously damaging. Now as the woman looked at it though she wondered is had been a little hasty. Sheathing the sword, she picked up the staff and without even thinking gave it a twirl. Slightly taken aback by how familiar the ordinary weapon felt in her hand she gave the stick a swing, and then another, and then another, and then another. Each time the stick cut through the air she felt a little more confident with it. This was the weapon for her. For a few moments she swung the staff increasingly wildly, passing from hand to hand before finally slamming it home into the back of the statue’s knee. It felt good.
 
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Starlighter

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“Go to the statue! Defend yourselves damn it!” Celi jumped as the bellowing voice cut off the other woman's hurried instructions. She glanced around for the origin of the command, hoping to see someone who might be able to fight alongside them, but without time to pause and look harder, she saw no one. “New plan Blue, pray those boxes have weapons or turn them into weapons.”

“But what about -" But the woman was already running for the crates. She glanced down at the girl in a split second of hesitation, then chased after her companion. “Alright alright alright, the first part of the plan is the same we’re just getting weapons first… I think. Yeah. Right,” she whispered to herself as she ran, her words breathy and staggered between strides, “I think I might be Celi, but I’m also a little bit blue so if it works it works, right? Right. If we're giving each other names I should probably give her one, return the favour and all, and we seem to be getting on well so far, so I wonder what goes well with blue that might suit her, maybe - " She careened into the nearest crate, barely catching herself with both hands braced against it as she gasped for breath, “Red.”

She gripped the edge of the lid and shoved with all her might, casting it off to one side. Her eyes scanned back and forth over the contents, and on instinct she reached for a crossbow that looked light enough to suit her, and some bolts. Her unfamiliar hands fumbled with the foreign contraption, and she made the mistake of glancing up in panic - straight into the face of death itself marching toward her.

She moved without looking, each gesture methodical, instinctual. She reached back into the crate, and came out with a thin wand clutched in her white knuckled hand, which she pressed against her side as a few soft words in a language different from what she had spoken before slipped from her lips. It felt for a moment like a heavy weight had settled around her, a protective barrier wrapped around each limb, and the translucent outline of spectral armor enveloped her before vanishing in an instant, leaving behind only the sense of something still there.

As her conscious mind caught up with her body, she blinked at the object in her hand, and shoved it into her sleeve in favour of the crossbow. With surprisingly minimal difficulty, she slotted a bolt into position and raised the weapon to take aim, her icy gaze locked onto her targets as she slowly advanced towards them. “Whenever you’re done beating up that poor ancient statue, Red, I’d be more than happy to cover you,” she offered casually, still willing to let her counterpart call the shots. Without waiting for an answer, however, she fired at the skeletal head closest to her, and reloaded.
 

Blackangel

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How long had that statue stood amidst the blood soaked sands, a sentinel of the carnage that surrounded it? None that found themselves fighting for survival in that pit knew, just as they had no inkling of how they themselves had arrived there. Few had managed to survive a round or two of combat, and those that had had been removed before a fresh wave was fetched and loosed.

If any had been able to observe from a vantage point above the arena for more than a few rounds of the latest 'game', they would have noticed something particularly peculiar in regards to that effigy. While the shambling mounds of decaying glesh did go for the soft, tender entrails of those shoved terrified into the pit, they also seemed to move, crawl, or shamble towards the statue, as though drawn, especially if it stood between the dead and the living.



For too long had he been forced to watch and listen. How long it had actually been, he had no clue, nor did he know where he actually was. All he knew was that others were dying, and he could not act. Something held him in place, but he could not turn to see what it was, if it physical.


After the previous round, he had been resigned to watching another group succumb to the horrors they were being pitted against. He watched the facsimiles rise from the gore and start shambling toward him. He heard the shouts to the new combatants to arm themselves from the weapons cache that had been placed at his feet at some point.

Fate decided to take pity upon him, as he felt a sharp blow on the back of his knee, and for some reason, it caused whatever had been holding him to dispel, freeing him. For a moment, he was taken by surprise, as he was keenly aware that he was no longer bound, but quickly recovered. He slowly rose from his hunkered position, shifting to his full height, plates of armor sliding out, enlarging his frame.
 

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Everything in the Coliseum seemed to work in a nearly melodical concert.

  • Eridon, the raven-haired man in far nicer leathers than his two cell mates turned his head back towards Aure in that moment. Something about this dark skinned woman spoke to him; he favored that she wasn't reluctant. She seemed to have a plan, and it was far from him not to act on it when it could be so beneficial to those in need.

    "Yes, yes-- alright, you two stand back."

    Eridon followed his own advice and took a step back before taking a stance, one he had taken in the arena when Finn, Aure and he had faced the Chimera after it downed the Dwarf. From this stance, he took the hilt of his shabby long sword in one hand and closed his eyes. This motion - this grip and stance - he knew not what any of it was. This all came instinctual. It came from years of training and practice that, although his mind had forgotten, his body still remembered. The movements were like clockwork to his muscle and sinew. The long sword suddenly shot forwards, with impressive speed that seemed inconceivable from someone with as large a build as Eridon. The longsword, dancing along the bars of the cage at such a speed that the multiple strikes seemed to be a single noise resonated in the cage. As the sword left the bars, however, something else happened. Flames followed the arc of his blade. Black flames, ornate with a black glow that seemed to swallow light sprung to life over his target.

    As the orchard of enchanted fire clung to the bars, Eridon turned his head back towards Aure, the side of his face that held the scar that extended from his lip to center cheek, and exclaimed;

    "Alright? I hope you weren't thinking I could bust those all on my own!"

    Unlike typical fire, the blue dread flames set upon the bars did not die out. In fact, it seemed to grow in power, and the smell of blood intensified in the cage, and the bars did begin to glow a a very faint red.
  • Right as Eridon had struck the cage, the fiery-haired woman in the arena had struck her pole on the knee of the seemingly ornate statue. From there, two things happened that she might not have expected.

    First, the statue seemed to spring to life, as if her strike had given life! What kind of magic was down here!? Secondly, the sudden noise and movement seemed to trigger the undead that had been making their way at a menacingly slow pace. After the bang, and spring into action, the zombies let out a sound, and all five moved into a dash through the blood dyed sands!

    Two went straight forward, dashing at Reva and the now animated statue. The undead that moved at Reva had limbs that hung limp around them, but as it leapt at her, it seemed to us it's body momentum to hurl it's arm at the now armed Reva! The attack didn't connect, however, it seemed this corpse had been dealt a deadly blow to the shoulder, and the arm flew off, missing her wildly! The beast stared at it's claw in the sand for a moment before throwing it head up and letting out a guttural grow... or gurgle

    The other went for the large statue! Unlike the other zombie, it did not miss. Whether it's efforts did anything, however... it flung itself heavily at the statue, only to collide with it's bulky form and fly back from the strength of the mass it had met and fell back onto the ground before yelling a shriek of what had to have been frustration.

    The other three seemed to have a more... threatening idea. If these wretched beasts were even capable of such a thing. They skirted around the red head and the statue, which they seemed to consider and enemy, and came around to flank Celine. Surrounding her on each side Reva was not on. They let out growls, and the same bubbling sounds as the two that had attacked, but didn't seem to have the same element of sudden action as the other two. They bore down on the girl, making their intent to feed on her, clear, as they slowly closed in.





Eridon Against Cage:
  • Attack Roll: 15+3 HIT!
  • Damage: 2
  • Elemental Slash (3d6): 15
Zombie 1 Against Reva:
  • Attack Roll w/disadvantage: 15, 8. Total: 8 vs AC 12. MISS!
Zombie 2 Against Chief:
  • Attack Roll: 8 vs AC 18 MISS!
 
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As long as you can break those bars, I don't mind a little deafness. Just hurry up is all I ask."
Aure's placid eyes flickered with what might have been an ocular shrug. She turned back to the bars, and to the growing confrontation outside of them. Firmly gripping the leather wrapped handle of her short sword, the very tip began to shudder slightly, the reverberations and humming growing acutely. Eridon wove several blindingly fast strikes in tracing arcs against their cage. The dulled steel of his edge clattered in unison against the iron bars, but they held fast.

But then they began to burn with an obsidian flame that cast sharp and ghastly shadows against the dark elves blood red eyes. The oxidizing fume of heated metal coated the back of Aure's throat in a grit, and the smell of blood grew in their small confined space.


"Alright? I hope you weren't thinking I could bust those all on my own!"
As the metal radiated a searing red that smoldered through the blackened flames, Aure eyes narrowed in on her target. She cocked her arm back and raised the blade right underneath her cheek, using her free hand to reinforce the grip she had on her own blade. In order for her plan to work, she would need to strike the bars where her spell was most concentrated- at the tip of her sword. Hoping it wouldn't obliterate her blade in a shower of metallic shards, she uttered a short prayer in a language she didn't know she knew.

Aure thrusted her blade directly at the hot metal. Ka Kow!! The thunderous concussive force that was concentrated at the tip of her sword blasted through the air, rattling the weakened metal bars, until they blew outward onto the arena sand. Most of the cage was intact, but enough of it was blown away that they could escape through, and the dark elven woman didn't miss a beat in dexterously scrambling out of their holdings.

She sprinted past the sheared bits of cage metal that was still being devoured by the magical blackened flame. Slowing into a bouncing trot as she jogged past the outward perimeter where the others were fighting, her fierce red eyes darted between the red headed woman, to the statue and then back to the red-headed woman. Aure expected her to... glow. And the little girl too, who Aure spotted lying safely unconscious.

With a flourishing twirl of her blade, Aure darted up to reinforce the woman she hadn't gotten a good look at yet. She had enchanting blue eyes and hair similar to Aure's. She could instinctively tell they weren't kin, but all the same, it took some effort to pull her gaze away from her almost ethereal visage. Maybe Aure mistook the red haired woman's singing soul for this woman? The only effort that she made to communicate with her was a simple head nod, and then once again, with instinctive practiced effort, her body cast a spell on her blade that her mind couldn't remember.

An aura of dark violet enshrouded her blade that seemed to foul the air around it. It was tinged with raw malice and wrath.
 

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Staff still reverberating in her hands, the flame haired woman looked over her shoulder just in time to watch Blue loose a bolt at the nearest creature. Red. Something about the name felt very right. Very familiar. The shape her mouth made as she mouthed the word tugged a thread in her mind. For the first time she had awoken, Red didn’t feel totally adrift. Now she felt like a drifting ship that had just felt the tug of the anchor. Who she was was just at the other end of the thread, and all she had to do was pull on it. She never got the chance.

The sound of moving metal drew Red’s attention and when she looked for the source she suddenly discovered the statue standing proud and tall with metal plates sliding out of the body. “I gotta problem over here Blue” She didn’t bother to elaborate further, seeing would be believing for her companion. Instead Red started to back towards where she had last seen Blue, her eyes fixed on the impossible thing before them. So fixated was she, the rotten severed hand flying was the first she really noticed of the undead creature rushing her. For an instant Red was stunned by the sheer grotesqueness of the thing but as it threw back its head to let out a guttural cry, instinct cut in again.

In an explosive, upwards sweeping movement one end of the staff swung up and collided with the beasts jaw. It's head snapped to the side and for just half a second Red wondered if she’d destroyed the thing. She hadn’t. As decaying muscles started to pull the rotten maw back into place Red launched a swift kick at the thing left knee, hoping to at least slow it down a little. An unexpected shift in the bloody sand underfoot sent the blow wide and Red tumbling backwards onto her arse. Suddenly feeling vulnerable she scrambled backwards before in one fluid motion spinning herself around to face her blue eyed companion , only to see a dark skinned, white haired figure charging towards her friend.

“Blue!! Look out!”

With a grunt of effort Reva scrambled to her feet and made to defend her ally.

 
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Although it should probably not have been possible, Blue’s wide eyes grew wider still as the formerly inert statue began to rise, the plated metal sliding out to make it even larger. There was hardly a moment to watch the bizarre animation however, as mere seconds later one rotting corpse had lunged for Red, and another had launched itself at the statue. “I’m sure they’ll have fun snacking on that,” she muttered to herself, desperately digging around in the crate at her feet for something that wouldn’t be completely useless now that she’d lost the advantage of range. With the crossbow slung across her back, her fingers closed around the hilt of a dagger.

“Blue, look out!” Red yelled. She scrambled to her feet and whirled halfway around to see a woman whose strikingly contrasted dark skin and luminescent hair made for a beautifully terrifying image as she spun her blade in an expert twist and darted forward. For a split second she was sure this picture of wrathful glory would be her last glimpse of this world, but it was not. In a moment so brief she might have imagined it, it seemed the woman was just… looking at her. And then she gave a slight nod of her head, and Blue instinctively nodded back.

So, they weren’t alone in this fight after all. A fresh surge of determination powered by fear, adrenaline, and now just a tiny spark of hope rushed through her, and she spun to face the pair of corpses that had maneuvered to flank her. An interesting move, considering she wouldn’t have given them much credit for thinking and strategy when they appeared to be at a loss for brains.

Knowing that her trusty Red had her back and confident that the dark skinned woman was here to fight alongside them, she took a measure of strength from that thought and confidently raised the wand, the dagger clutched tightly at her side. In a low voice, she murmured a few soft words once again in a language different from what she had spoken before - one that felt somehow more natural, more…. more like it was a part of her.

A few tiny blue sparks danced around her wrist, and as the incantation finished, they appeared to be absorbed by the wand. And then, a powerful arc of crackling blue energy burst from the wand and split through the torso of the nearest corpse, causing it to erupt in an explosion of shattered bone and sinew that, unfortunately, splattered in a radius encompassing Blue and her two companions. From the first arc, a second beam branched off to strike at the other corpse, blasting off one of it’s arms at the shoulder before fizzling out.
 
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Finn

Finn thought he was the baddest ass of the bunch trapped in that cage. Hell, he was sure anywhere else in the world he was the strongest. However, when the bars of their small prison began to be assaulted and eventually cracked, Finn's ears and eyes began pounding as the reverberation in the air hit him hard. It stunned the fighter, who pointed his bow low and shut his eyes to wince. "Fuck me, mate." The distorted rushing of feet and of distant combat began to resonate. It was a mystery as to why the bearded man didn't just do what the Dark Elf told him to do. It is obvious now that Finn has a vain personality. To some degree anyway.

"Damn it, Eridon, remind me to listen next time!" Finn shouted to the other man as he slowly began to open his eyes once more. His vision was blurred, and any form of light projected a halo, making it harder to see. However, zombies shifting about and prisoners converging were easy enough figures to follow. Taking a deep breath, Finn pulled the arrow back before firing it towards the undead creature that was just smacked about by the red-haired woman. Once it left his hand, Finn didn't attempt to keep track of it.

"I'm coming!" The shout was rough and full of bass as the built man took his scimitar and rushed forward. Kicking the sand up into the air behind him, he moved similarly to an animal. But in form only; there was a subtle technique to his sprint and the manner in which he held the blade. "Do not run from me!" He directed his speech towards the same zombie he had shot his arrow at. "When you go to hell, it will be I who kills you twice!" Upon rushing into it, Finn attempted to pin the creature and then stab it once he got a decent hold on it.
 
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The Arrow, unfortunately did not hit its mark. Somewhere between the shockwave and the destroyed metal, it was understandable how the arrow would fly the stray. It was not for naught, however. The flung arrow caught the eye of the very zombie it was meant for, and as the Red haired woman clambered back after her attack, Finn rushed right past her.

At this closer proximity, the two might look... familar to one another. Like they'd met in a dream before. Almost deja vu. The two would feel as though there was some anger between them... but also subtle security.

Maybe it was this sudden sense of familiarity; this near feeling of protection, but when Finn hit the zombie, he took it clean off it's feet! Literally! The torso was ripped from the legs, and the undead let out this groaning release of air that almost seemed sickly before Finn's blade sunk inside of it.

It was at this point that, what had been a sickening release of noise and air was now a shriek and howl! It wailed as if it hadn't been an undead monster, deprived of sentience. But it did not cry for long, for now it was Eridon's turn. Inspired by Finn's heroic gesture, he sprung after the man after a moment of recovery, and soon passed the man, his sword shimmering past Finn's face with an almost too-close precision. The beasts head was sent soaring from its shoulders, and the wailing ceased!

Eridon was not one to be shown up, as far as heroics go, however!

The man spun about in a pierrot, before touching back down with his blade over his opposite shoulder carrying the momentum of the maneuver before slashing out with great might at what had clearly been Aure's target; the beast left standing after the Blue one's impressive bolt.

The undead had no chance of evading; although the blade had not hit him, the air around him suddenly crackled to life and a searing gash of onyx flame, accented in blue engulfed him. There was no time to scream, and no time to regret. The next instant, the fire was gone, and ash fell in the undead's place. No sign remaining.

The final two zombies, between the statue coming to life and the sudden bursts of magic and physical might, seemed to have a moment of reasoning as they glanced at one another, turned their heads, and suddenly bolted in the opposite direction!

The otherway.

The way the girl still lay unconscious.​
 

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“Blue!! Look out!”
When the woman with red hair and the ethereal women with white hair made no move against Aure, she assumed they both understood that she was not their enemy. Their unusual amnesia and circumstance as captives was the common thread that gave them cause to fight together.

She watched the woman with pale skin and blue eyes as she cast a spell, the electricity creasing the air around her wrist before azure streaks shot from her hand. A smile played at the edge of her lips. She was impressed... until a few bits of putrid smelling viscera speckled her face. Then she frowned and slowly wiped away zombie remnants from her face.


"When you go to hell, it will be I who kills you twice!"
Aure rolled her eyes. He had been like this in their last fight. Finn charged at a zombie so hard, he severed its trunk from its legs, guts long since decayed spilling onto the floor with a wet and slopping thump. It came as a slight shock that the dark elf was not even remotely preturbed by the cornucopia of unpleasant sights and sounds; the shrieks, the guts, the wailing, the smell-- none of it disturbed her in the slightest. Like she was used to seeing dismemberment of the undead... or worse.

And then Eridon rolled through, his flashy flaming technique which also elicited another eye roll from Aure. These men. It seemed the women and the statue were the only creatures that had sense.

Aure had readied her malignant glowing blade before the two remaining corpses lumbered off in a hurry. They lumbered off towards the little girl. The ethereal looking woman might have noticed it, Aure's expression flashing in panic before quickly paging over to anger, her eyes glowing red as rubies.

If the drow woman had remembered who she was, maybe she wouldn't have rushed off to the defense of a little girl, especially one whom she had no connection with. But the desire to protect the small girl welled in her chest. No one but Aure had heard the sweet mellifluous song that rang from the girl's soul, a beacon of light in the din of haunted laughter from shadowy presences that enclosed them on all sides. If the paladin had known she was a paladin, she would've considered her actions an Oath taken that very moment.

Plumes of sand were kicked up as she dashed, streaks of pain running up her legs that were unused to sudden burst of movement. She easily gained and passed the zombies, positioning herself between the girl and the zombies. Aure lifted her blade bloated in shadow and struck, piercing the chest of the cadaver on her right. The aura on her blade disappeared, but didn't consume the eyes of the creature, which let her know its mind could not be influenced in the way she had hoped. And even her blow was glancing, not nearly as damaging as she would've liked. She wrenched her blade free from the fetid chest of the zombie, slowly taking in deep lungfuls of air, locks of sweaty hair falling in her face.
 

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Feet slipping in the stained sand, Red, felt like she could merely watch as the grey-skinned, pointy eared creature closed towards Blue. She saw her only friend turn, dreadful blades in dark hands twirl and then... a nod. Relief surged through Red as she realised the grey skinned… elf, that word didn’t quite sit right but right now really wasn’t the time, stood with them rather than against. Blue was safe. Well safer. The brilliant flash of lightning that leapt from her friend’s hand and transformed one of the abominations she was facing into a rain of viscera reassured Red of the point. Putting her hands on her knees, the auburn haired woman sucked down a few dearly needed breathes amongst the gentle splattering of rotten guts before spinning to face her own monster.

"When you go to hell, it will be I who kills you twice!"

Halfway through her turn, the whole world seemed to slow down, moments stretching themselves out for longer than they hand any right to. The cause of this sensation? The bearded man charging at the undead creature she has been fighting moments before. Red could have sworn she had seen his face before. That she had lived a moment like this before. He wasn’t an enemy, her gut told Red that, but at the same time he didn’t feel like a friend. He went directly to the top of the pile of mysteries to be solved at a later point.

And then, as suddenly as the long moment began it ended. Time angrily reasserted itself and it was almost as if the charging figure benefited from this. Barreling into the monster, they ripped it clean in two, decayed guts spilling onto the sand, staining it further. The beast cried out but a blade soon silenced it as another man flew past Red and towards Blue and the Elf. She didn’t bother watching this one. Behind her back the living now outnumbered the dead, and the bearded man was demanding her attention. The longer she looked them the more he intrigued her. Something about him made her angry. Red wanted to pummel him, her empty hand clenching and unclenching into a fist by itself. At the same time though he felt a little like the staff had when she had first picked it up, familiar and comforting. Would he have any answers for her or would he be just as confused?

Moving a few steps forwards a scarred hand was extended towards the man only to be hastily withdrawn when Red snapped back into a fighting stance as two more abominations rose from the ground around the statue. She expected them to charge at her and the familiar stranger, or possibly at the strange statue which was still being assaulted by another of the beasts. Instead, puzzlingly and little troublingly the two grave dodgers seemed to share moment where they seemed almost alive and aware of what was happening before apparently fleeing from Red and the other combatants.

“Guess they weren't just mindless beasts.” This was announced to no one in particular as auburn hair was brushed out of her quickly darkening face. ”I hope whoever is behind this enj-”

THE CHILD!

Sand was flying from underfoot before the voice in her ear had fully died away. Looking ahead she could see the two beasts she had let go speeding towards the helpless girl. Red was a little relieved to also see the elven woman already in pursuit ahead of her but there was only one of them. She had to reach the beasts before they go to the child.

For the first time since she had awoken, Red felt fully focused. The swirling fog of questions, rage and fear was pushed aside by the need to defend her young friend. With each step she willed herself forwards. In the periphery of her vision Red saw the grey-skinned elf overtake and slash at one of the beasts, stopping or at least slowing its charge. As a result Red targeted the other one. She was flying now, her legs a blur of dark robes and leather cord, feet barely touching the sand before lifting off again as she closed in on the beast. It was maybe fifteen steps ahead of her, then ten, then seven, then three. Holding her staff in one hand, Red barreled into the back of the creature and brought the stick across the front of its body, so she could grab it with her other hand. Once she felt the creature was in her grasp, fabric boots where jammed into the sand to halt the pair’s progress before they reached the girl.
 
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Starlighter

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Blue watched with building panic as first the dark skinned woman and then her trusty friend Red abruptly bolted away from her in pursuit of the two retreating corpses. Her head listed slightly to the side, and she frowned at the lone undead creature still facing her. “Looks like it’s just you and me, eh?”

Then, like a light coming on inside her head, her eyes widened as she realized why Red and the other woman had taken off like the fire of hell was at their heels - the girl. She glanced quickly around her, and decided with a quick nod to herself that tackle-man and…. Well, that other guy, whoever he was, could probably handle one more pile of bones considering how easily the other ones had disintegrated.

Snapping off a sharp salute to the monster before her, Blue launched herself in Red’s footsteps with all her might, calling on every ounce of speed her dainty frame could generate. The resulting effect was not entirely what she had anticipated. As she moved to run, her feet lifted effortlessly off the ground, and by some innate magic, she flew a solid ten feet or so before dropping unceremoniously to the ground, off balance and trembling from the unexpected hiccup in gravity.

Still unsteady on her feet, she raised the wand towards the two monsters making for the girl, wishing with all her might that she could get there in time, that they wouldn’t get to the girl… And again, the resulting effect was… unexpected. As if an invisible rope had wrapped around them and been slowly pulled upward, the two skeletons floated up off the ground about five or six feet and hung suspended there, motionless. Blue blinked rapidly, wondering if this might be some kind of strange hallucination. But it remained entirely real.

She rose shakily to her feet and pointed to the two floating creatures, looking at Red with a look of confusion. “Did I do that?”



 
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