Looks like it’s time to meet a couple of our Coliseum combatants. Is there ever a good enough reason to risk your life for fame?
War of the Seasons – Part 2
They could hear the trumpets begin their song, announcing the commencement of the battles for the day. Caranne sat at the window of her bedchamber, peering out at the lost souls that lost them further once they set foot in the arena. She knew all too well that many only entered for personal gain, and she knew even better that those were the challengers that never passed the first round. Weak-minded and weak-willed, too many too naïve when real pain and injury becomes real.
She glanced across the room at the Autumn Spear that laid at the foot of her bed. Not yet caked in the blood of mortals, it’s blade gleaned in the sunlight that passed her in the window. Caranne could feel the essence of the mighty weapon waning, it no longer desired the absorption of souls it used to crave. When it had first appeared to her and she drew first blood with it, binding her soul to it and immortality, their thirst for death was insatiable. That was no longer their purpose; that was on longer the reason they lived.
Metal scraped against wet stone, the violent clashing ricocheting off the high stone walls of the armory. The blade of the Fire Lance roared amongst the grit and smog that clouded up from the forges. New steel could not compare to the ancient perfection that of its own make up. Though, ancient as it was, the Fire Lance still desired the warmth of mortal life blood.
Ragous’ desirous thirst matched that of his weapon. He had been born in a time of war that had been raging for decades prior and decades after his birth. He grew up in a culture that demanded that all be the strongest and highly skilled, or faced punishment. All he knew, all Ragous could understand, was battle, blood, and victory. Failure always met with death, and victory always met with more battles and blood. The Coliseum had been the perfect place for them both since its creation, and neither could see another place for them. The perfect match made in blood. From the day the Fire Lance was handed down to him by his father in his dying breath, Ragous knew he would only know war, so sought it out when his own lands were finally graced with peace.
The world of mortals did not disappoint in the slightest because no matter where his bloodlust took him to, there was always some dispute that required his strength and his Lance. Whether they lasted for weeks, months, or years, each battle was made into a war upon Ragous’ stepping on the battlefield. His presence made the enemy test the limits of their strength and endurance, but every time the enemy would fall. Their defenses would crumble, wounds would turn septic, and entire cities would die out or abandon their homes, traveling as far as their legs would carry them. To many this sounds ruthless and merciless, but though Ragous was fueled by blood and victory, he was always on the side of the victim. He would never aid in the further suppression of those who were fighting for their freedom, their very lives, and those of their children.
Ragous’ home nation had been one of constant war because its borders included some of the most lushes agricultural grounds on the continent, with one side bordering a large body of fresh water, plentiful in aquatic life, and an opposing border to the ocean, complete with a thriving harbor. Rich in wealth and life, it became the target of adjoining nations on land, as well as neighbouring countries that arrived by ocean. It quickly became apparent that an army would need to be trained in order to remain a peaceful home, but once this was accomplished, the threat from those beyond their borders only increased and intensified, employing more citizens away from producing and into war. When Ragous was born, as soon as he was capable of walking, a sword was placed in his hand and he was taught to fight for and defend his home alongside his brothers from other families.
A deep seeded hate grew inside of Ragous for the life he was born into, but he never regretted being molded and beaten into the man he was now. As much as he hated the loss of innocent life, that same hatred for those that took lives fueled his bloodlust for their deaths. Unfortunately, after a decade or two of Ragous’ mercenary actions, nations that sought to enslave them soon dies out, and he was left with no villains to slay.
That was when he found his place in the Coliseum. He knew the men he fought were not evil, they were not bad men who sought riches through the suppression or depravation of others, he knew they were men who sought honour through victory. Just as he was raised to respect the sword, he would enlighten those mortals the same way, and to earn the respect that comes from true victory.