Journals of Alhazred

Fiction based on the World of Warcraft game setting

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Visions of Combat:Warrior

This is the first in a series of vignettes focused on combat in its many forms. For while the results may often be the same, the methods and perspectives are unique.

...As the huge troll walked out onto the sand of the arena, I tightened my grip on the haft of Rivenspike. I could almost feel the mighty axe’s desire to spill black blood, and I smiled tightly as I looked over the edge of my shield at yet another challenge to my supremacy as Gladiatorial Champion.

Once, I would have been looked at such competitions as the product of degenerate societies. But as I felt the familiar rage and blood lust building, I knew that my people had forgotten the truth we knew when we were less civilized, that life is sweetest when walking the thin edge of destruction. The air was more crisp and colors more vibrant when fortune might at any moment strip them away.

The young bravo stopped a yard away and brandished his trident and net with a fierce yell trying to dominate my will. He had just started to swirl the net above his head when I felt the familiar energy of my hatred hit my heart. As my vision narrowed down till all I saw was this tyro before me, I gave a mighty yell. All of my anger, all of my bloodlust and the sheer raw joy of power and life I pulled deep from within me and put into that howl of defiance.

The sound hit my opponent like a solid blow and I saw his eyes widen in fright. The moment his arm started to falter in the swinging of his net, I sprinted forward. Covering the distance between us in a single heartbeat, he had not recovered enough to block my tackle as I rammed the spike of my shield into his collarbone.

Wind blasted from his lungs and reeling from the impact, he could not defend himself from the vicious swing I slammed into his side. I felt the impact of his ribs shattering as Rivenspike pierced deeply through his cuirass and I knew that at least his lung, if not his heart as well, had been punctured. With an explosive grunt of agony, he dropped to his knees and vomited forth blood and mucus on to the sand.

Taking an instant to adjust my footing, I brought the axe over in an overhead chop that I drove straight into the hallow joining his shoulder and neck. His chest piece may as well have been made of cloth for all of the resistance it offered, as I split his torso from neck to navel.

Blood fountaining over me, I planted my boot in his chest and with a mighty tug pulled the war axe free. Battle? Challenge? No, this had been an execution and as his body pitched forward, I casually brought the axe up and allowed the weight of his body to sever the head on the cruel keen edge of Rivenspike.

As I slowly came down from the rush, I could feel his blood thick on my face and body.
With the usual weariness and disappointment that came after a killing, I quickly replayed the fight in my mind.

Twelve beats of my heart to end this threat to my glory. Twelve beats… I have done better, but I was younger then.

I heard the arena master walking up behind me, bringing me my winnings. The money mattered little really compared to thrill, and as I turned to accept my reward with the adulation of the crowd ringing in my ears, I wondered if he would give me two next time providing I promised to share the purse…


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Short and sweet, I loved it.. bravo!

12:10 AM  

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