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The Tale of Thunder - Chapter One (Imprisonment)

Author: 
Thunder Kayowen(Ryan Goodrich)
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
212

Galen awoke with a start. At first he thought he'd gone blind, but then he realized the room really was pitch black. Feeling the cold hard floor, he recognized it to be stone block flooring, a design used for most forts. He must be in a room of some sort inside a fort. Or else a prison. He hadn't thought of that until now.

'Blast this head wound,' Galen cursed. 'It's sure slowing me down some.'

He felt the back of his head, wincing when he found the tender lump that was forming. If he were going to get out of wherever it was that he was, he sure wouldn't be able to do it sitting. Slowly he got to his hands and knees, a splitting headache suddenly assaulting him as well as nausea. He stayed in that position until it all dulled some, then slowly slid to his feet and suddenly felt metal weights around his ankles. Reaching down, he realized that his feet were chained to the floor. Taking a solid pull at each chain, he came to the quick conclusion that they were solidly nailed to the floor.

"Don't worry about getting out," a voice suddenly rasped from within the room. "They'll soon come for you as they will me."

Galen looked about the room, but since his eyes still had not fully developed to the dark, he couldn't see a thing. He tried to speak, but his throat was dry. He suddenly realized how thirsty and hungry he was. Clearing his throat, even though it hurt, he rasped out, "Who will?"

"The people that run this joint."

"Where are we?"

"One of the few places you would never want to be."

This person was not making much sense. "Care to elaborate on that?"

The voice chuckled some. "You sure sound like an educated person. Elaborate." He chuckled again.

Just as Galen was about to ask something else, a loud metal clank cut him off. This was then accompanied by several loud clicks, then a large metal door swung open, light flooding into the room. Galen had to cover his eyes from going blind since his eyes had just begun to adapt to the dark.

Three men entered the room. Two looked to be soldiers while the other was dressed in flowing robes of purple.

"Ahh," the one in purple said in an unpleasant sounding voice. "You must be the new one. What's your name, boy?"

Galen looked over at the man, squinting from the light. On his robe was the symbol of Valaria. "My name is of no consequence to you, Valarian scum!"

He spat at the man's face. The two guards moved to soften Galen up some, but the robed person signaled for them to stay back.

"Well then," the man moved to wipe the spittle off his face. "Very daring. Let us see if you are as daring as you were here out in the arena."

"Arena?" Galen did not like the sound of this.

"Oh, yes," the man smiled menacingly. "If you had not been brought here, you would have been executed."

With the wave of the man's hand, Galen was picked up by invisible forces, and then set lightly on his feet. His arms were raised, side-by-side. One of the guards pulled out a set of manacles and put them on both of his hands. The manacles were very heavy. Galen also noticed a strange symbol which had been painted on them.

"That symbol is magical," the robed man said, as if reading his mind. "It will prevent you from running away or from attacking any guards or myself. Come."

The man turned and walked out of the room. Suddenly, the manacles pulled Galen in the direction the man was going. The mage led him down a long stone corridor, hallways branching off here and there. The guards were following a few steps behind him. Just to make sure, Galen attempted to go down one of the halls, but the manacles held him in place. And just for his troubles, the manacles gave him a mild electrical shock.

The mage smiled in amusement even though he hadn't seen Galen attempt to walk away. "I warned you."

'He warned me about trying to run away, but not the electrocuting part,' Galen thought to himself in annoyance.

The mage led him into a small room. The door to the room opened as if it had seen them coming. The room was empty with the exception of a large set of double-doors at the other end of the room.

"Here is where we part company," the mage said. "I will be watching up in the stands if you have any questions." He grinned. "If you have time to ask them, that is."

The manacles unlocked and one of the soldiers took them. The three people walked out, the door shutting firmly in place behind them. Galen looked about the room. The large double-doors suddenly opened, revealing a large open area covered in sand. Strewn about the sand were bones of beings of all sorts.

Slowly he stepped onto the sand. A large wall surrounded the sandy area. At the top of the walls were rows after rows of spectators. Thousands of people began cheering upon his entrance, while some booed. Galen suddenly spotted the mage as he sat in one of the first row seats. After a few moments of gawking at the spectators, the mage stood, holding up his hands for silence. As if his magic were at work, which it most likely was, the entire audience was silent. The mage's voice echoed across the arena. "Former knight of the Western Alliances! We bid you welcome." Many of the crowd laughed at this. "You are now a member of the Achim Gladiatorial Arena! Since you are new, I shall tell you the rules that you must obey and live by while you stay here... if you live, that is." The crowd laughed. "First rule! You must fight in every round you are in... or else your opponent will kill you. Second rule! If you win, any armor or weapons your opponent had on you will be yours for the next round. Third rule! If you win all your rounds for each day, you will be given food and water so you may fight the next day. Understood?"

Galen just glared at him.

The mage took that as a yes, and turned to the crowds. "Let the round begin!" Galen suddenly noticed another large set of double doors at the other end of the arena. Both doors swung open. A large hairy creature strode into the arena, brandishing a short sword. An orc. Its black eyes glinted viciously when it spotted Galen. The doors behind Galen suddenly shut. The orc began to move toward Galen, its movements picking up the pace, but still slightly clumsy. Galen noticed that the orc also had on a leather shirt, while he had nothing.

Even though he was unarmed and unarmored, his training in the Western Alliances had covered unarmed combat to a great extent. He was as skilled in unarmed combat as was a monk who had just finished his training, which is saying a lot. Still sore from his cell floor and all the other punishment his body had been given, he took a fighting stance. The orc was running at him, now three fourths of the way across the arena.

Just as the orc was about to ram into him, Galen simply stepped aside. The orc flew past him, smashing into the doors behind Galen. Orcs were not noted for their abilities at stopping very fast.

The orc pulled itself from the door and spun on Galen, its short sword slashing out at him. Galen dodged aside and leapt back. The orc followed up, its short sword lashing out at him again. Galen suddenly swung his foot up, taking the orc's hand across the wrist. As Galen had expected, the orc dropped its short sword, grabbing its wrist in pain since he had just broken its wrist.

Galen followed up on the orc, his fist smashing into the orc's chest. The audience was really cheering now. When the orc doubled over, Galen kneed it in the face, and then smashed his foot into the orc's stomach. The orc fell backwards to the ground. Galen stepped over to where the orc had dropped its sword and picked it up. He then strode over to where the orc lay and raised the short sword in the air. He then brought the blade down, embedding it in the orc's neck. The orc gagged for a little bit, then ceased to breath.

The cheering in the crowd was deafening. Galen had no idea why they would be cheering an enemy on.

The mage stood again and the crowds fell silent. "Impressive. That, unfortunately for you, was just a test of your skills. Now, we shall begin the real fight."

The spectators began cheering again.

Galen turned to the doors on the other side of the arena. His body ached and his throat burned for water. The double-doors opened again, this time, three beings stepping into the arena. The three hyena-headed beasts laughed in a high, shrill voice. They all turned their glowing green eyes to Galen and began to close in. Gnolls.

Galen decided to close the distance quickly and began sprinting for the gnoll on the far right. His blade glinted in the light as the gnoll raised its staff to block the attack. Galen's swing tore through the staff and straight into the gnoll's chest. He yanked the sword free of the limp corpse and brought his short sword up in time to block an attack from one of the other gnolls. The battleaxe it held slammed into Galen's sword, the impact sending a sharp pain down his sword arm.

Galen brought his foot up to the gnoll's stomach and shoved back, sending it onto its rear end. Galen rolled aside as another gnoll charged up with a spear. It flew past him, but stopped quickly and turned around, jabbing the spearhead at him. He swung his short sword to deflect the blow, but the spear tore into his left shoulder.

Galen gasped in pain and hacked at the spear, chopping it in half. He reached up and tore the spearhead out of his shoulder. Rolling to his stomach, he got to his feet. The pain in his shoulder had begun to throb. The gnoll with the battleaxe charged up again. Galen blocked the blow with his sword again, and yanked upward, tearing the axe from the gnolls grip. Both the short sword and the axe flew from Galen's grip, something he hadn't meant to do. The seven foot tall gnoll towered over him. Thinking quickly, Galen did the only dirty thing he could think of to do. His knee flew up between the gnoll's legs. The gnolls eyes crossed as it collapsed to the ground. Several people nearby in the crowd booed.

'Not the most original idea, but it'll suffice,' Galen thought to himself as he turned to the last gnoll.

The gnoll attempted to stab him with the severed end of its spear. Galen dodged aside and grabbed the spear with both hands. Placing a foot on the gnoll's stomach, he leaned back and fell on his back on the ground. The gnoll went down with him, but the foot on its stomach made it fly over Galen to crash on the ground several feet away. Galen leapt to his feet and scanned the area for the axe and sword.

He spotted them both several yards away. He hurried to grab the axe. Suddenly, a large, hairy, clawed hand grabbed a hold of his tattered shirt from behind and pulled him back, making his feet fly out from under him. He landed on the ground, all the air getting knocked out of him. The gnoll that grabbed him bent over to grab Galen around the neck. Both of Galen's legs swung up, grappling the gnoll around the neck. Galen pulled both of his feet to the ground, flipping the gnoll over him. The gnoll smashed to the ground, its neck letting out a loud snap. His legs had made the gnoll's head come down at a funny angle, so when its body smashed into the ground, it fell right on top of the gnoll's head, resulting in its neck's breaking.

The last gnoll was getting to its feet. Galen was getting very exhausted, his strength drained from the lack of water and food. Forcing his feet to move, he hurried up to the gnoll and grabbed a hold of its head. He then slammed its face into his knee. Several bones in the gnoll's face broke, but it was enough to kill it. The gnoll collapsed to the ground dead.

The cheering was exceptionally loud. Everything around him was a blur. His feet felt like lead weights. His throat burned and his shoulder throbbed. Slowly, his surroundings went out of focus, and he fell into a deep darkness.

*******

Galen was brought back to reality when a bucket of water was suddenly dumped on him. He shook his head and rubbed his eyes. The mage as well as two guards stood over him. He was back in his cell.

"You put on quite a performance, boy," the mage said. "I congratulate you. You survived the first day. As promised, here is your food and drink."

One of the guards set down a tray next to Galen. On it was a cup of wine, an apple and two slices of bread that looked to be stale. Not caring if it were poisoned or not, Galen chugged down all the wine. It tingled slightly inside him. His shoulder began to burn in pain. Galen looked over at his shoulder. It was bandaged up. He couldn't recall what had happened to his arm. He remembered being in a cell and this mage came to get him, but he couldn't remember how he got his shoulder wound.

"From your previous battle, you earned a leather shirt and a short sword. You may use it for your next match," the mage said.

Galen couldn't remember what he had even fought in the last round or how long he'd been asleep. He quickly wolfed down his apple and bread and looked up at the mage.

"Well then," the mage said. "Now that you're done eating, let us take you to the next round."

The mage put his manacles on again and escorted him out to the arena room again where they gave him his sword and leather shirt. The three of them then left the room. Galen turned and waited for the doors to open.

*******

The days passed and Galen fought. Each day he was given a new group of opponents and he would kill them. Each day he would get more wounds. The wine he was given each meal he received had some sort of a healing herb or something in it because his wounds were healing faster than they normally would have. As he fought harder and harder opponents, he gained fame as well as a title despite his allegiance to the Western Alliances. His name in the arena was Iron Golem, because of how impregnable he seemed in the arena.

Then the day came, marking the two months Galen had fought in the arena. He followed the mage into the preparation room. He still did not know the mage's name. The mage and the guards left. Galen's equipment was all stacked on a table. Over the past few weeks, Galen had accumulated a strange assortment of items. He had acquired a longsword with a red blade, a armored gauntlet with spikes protruding from it, as well as plated boots. He also had a plated breastplate, leggings, as well as arm plates. He had also attained a helmet with two straight horns protruding from the temples of the helm.

Galen put his armor on and stepped through the open doors. The cheering started as he slowly walked toward the center of the arena. When he reached the center, he turned to the mage for him to start the round. The mage, as usual, stood and the audience went silent. "Before I have the round started, I would like to ask you something, Golem," the mage shouted down to him. "Your allegiance lies with the Western Alliance, does it not?"

The crowds booed at the words.

Galen nodded once.

The mage smiled at that. "Then you will be most pleased with what news I have for you. No longer than two months ago, your army attacked Achim, only to be brutally defeated by the Valarian forces. Few of your people survived."

Anger suddenly sparked deep inside Galen.

"Nearly one month ago, the Valarian army stormed across the Western Alliance's boarders with all our armies. And just two days ago, the Western Alliances fell. No longer is there a Western Alliance. It is now all part of the great empire of Valaria."

 

The Tale of Thunder: Chapter 1 - Imprisonment © Thunder Kayowen(Ryan Goodrich)

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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