Tales From a Thousand Worlds

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Tag Archives: Gladiators

The Merchant’s Legacy – Part Two

The Merchant's Legacy

The fields that they passed through around the village had been made dry by a long, hot summer. Crops withered and wilted under a blazing sun. The harvest was destined to be a poor one, another in a string of them, reaching back to the days when the Empire had fallen. Ahead of the rough trail they followed, lying shimmering blue against a hazy horizon, were the hills for which they were making, low and rolling but dominating the flat lands before them. Not a cloud marred the sky, a burning washed out blue that promised days of no relief, whilst the air hung still and heavy, without a breath of breeze to stir it. Insects sung all about them in the stifling heat that bore down upon them like a heavy blanket.

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The Pit – Part Eight

The Pit

They ran far from the town, the wounded carried with them or aided. Across the plains, the burning of the gladiator pit could be seen from afar, a vast pillar of smoke and fire that raged unchecked, threatening to engulf the town.

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The Pit – Part Seven

The Pit

Elad stepped out of the courtyard into the street beyond, looking either direction along it. The crowds were gone now, apart from a few who lay sprawled on the ground, trampled during the panicked stampede. The fires about his hand were flickering, dying out. The rage that sustained them was bleeding away. Elad concentrated, willing the fires back to life, feeding them with all the anger and bitterness he could muster from his soul, at the state of the world, of loss and regret and despair. Sweat beaded across his brow at the effort.

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The Pit – Part Six

The Pit

Nhaqosa had watched as Elad landed in the pavilion, cutting down first the lord and then his guards. The sheer audacity of the attack had amazed him, but Elad’s survival could no longer be a concern of his. He retrieved his maul and strode back towards the gates that led into the caverns beneath the pits. The gates were remarkably flimsy wooden affairs. Nhaqosa took his maul to them, splintering wood under the force of his blow. A second strike smashed through. Nhaqosa kicked the remnants out of the way, seeing two guards waiting on the other side, nervously facing him.

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The Pit – Part Five

The Pit

The difficulty would not lie in throwing the human, Nhaqosa reasoned, but what would happen beyond that. There would be no leniency shown, yet the human, Elad, seemed unconcerned by that. Chances of success were slim at best, yet the weariness of days uncounted fighting in the pits had settled upon his soul. Dispatching the beast had torn at his heart, for it had been an innocent, mindless creature, a victim as much as he. Better to die in a futile attempt to escape than to live on and further sully his soul.

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The Pit – Part Four

The Pit

When the Beast, Nhaqosa had first spoken, it had surprised Elad. He had not expected words from such an unlikely looking a creature; a minotaur, that had been the word Nhaqosa had used for himself. Yet as they spoke, Elad had sensed something in Nhaqosa, a strength and nobility of character not yet tainted by the pits, or by the dying world that they lived in.

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The Pit – Part Three

The Pit

Nhaqosa studied the man sent to battle him as the pair slowly, cautiously circled each other, crouched down with their weapons ready. A dark haired man, his skin was pale though, unlike those who lived in the region that Nhaqosa found himself in. A northerner then, which made him a long way from home. Not as far as Nhaqosa himself, but far enough.

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The Pit – Part Two

The Pit

Elad staggered out into the pits, unceremoniously shoved through the gates by burly guards. Moments later a sword flew out to land at his feet, one notched by use and the hilt still damp from blood. The burning sun hammered down from a cloudless sky, glaring off sand marred with crimson pools of blood. His head throbbed dully. Fingers probed at the lump at the side of his head that caused it. He tried to swallow but could not, his throat too tight from lack of water and his lips cracked.

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The Pit – Part One

The Pit

  The crowd screamed, baying for blood, for death, animalistic in their fervour. Their cries reverberated around the gladiatorial pit, rising to fever pitch as man and beast fought below. Fought and often died.

Follow this link for Part One of The Pit