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TT R2: Halhi141 vs Chi Warrior: Unexpected Help . A hero is captured... . Bracket: Foot Combat Category: Gladiator Guild: Average Gnomes Opponent: Chi Warrior Be sure to read the story, it explains how it's relevant to the category. The Halidran wearing a red speedo took another step forward. "How fun!" the Halidran - Fargon - told the troll. "And what enemies will they be facing? And how many?" "The men must fight 10 of the mightiest warriors in our village," the troll, Larzok, replied. "As to the types - isn't the best entertainment a surprise?" The room echoed with maniacal laughter. * * * Halbert walked over the leafy ground, casually stepping around the occasional mud puddle, waiting for action. The arena was not what he had expected. In fact, as far as he could tell, it wasn't an arena. It appeared as though he had been brought up from that underground chamber into some random patch of wilderness. There were no boundaries, as far as he could see. In the distance, he heard the sound of footsteps. Going away from him, though, not toward him. It was Dark, the man who had been captured by the orcs as well. The two of them had been taken prisoner the day before, while traveling to the next event of the tourney. The Orc sightings they had heard of must have been true after all... But Halbert couldn't feel bad for Dark. Only one of the men would be released from the arena alive - that is, if it really was an arena. And that man would have to be Halbert. Halbert heard the first unusual noise as he stopped under the shade of a tree. * * * Fargon was alone. Using the magic mirror, he watched the events from above. Two men walked in opposite directions. One dressed in dark clothing, the other in red. Red. Like his brother, Dzargon. That was when he realized. This wasn't just any man they had captured. It was a member of Dzargon's guild. Fargon swore an oath to himself that he would do whatever it took to keep the man alive. * * * It was at that moment when Halbert first began to dislike the sword he was given. It was flimsy and cheaply made, much unlike the sword he was accustomed to wielding. It was not of Mythronian make, that was for sure - it was likely designed by the trolls themselves. And the trolls had never been known for their craftsmanship skills. There were four of them here. Four trolls, sent here to kill him. The balance of the sword was off too. Halbert almost hit himself with his own blade as he sliced through the body of the first troll. The other trolls were fearful at the sight. They had been expecting a lesser warrior, it seemed. They hadn't expected someone so powerful. Halbert heard screams echoing from far away. The screams of a man. Dark was in trouble. Halbert forced himself to focus on the challenge at hand and not run to help Dark. As much as he wanted to see to Dark's safety, he knew that only one of them would be allowed to escape. And if Dark was having trouble, then Halbert's chances of escape were increasing. He continued fighting. Before Halbert knew it, only one troll was left. The leader, a cloaked troll wielding a long axe. But in this case, the size was a disadvantage. The axe was slower than Halbert's sword. Halbert had defeated the first of the many waves of enemies. Halbert walked away, looking to explore the area. * * * Fargon stared at the mirror. The man dressed in red was learning, that was for sure. A good idea to explore, yes... That is, as long as he could keep him away from the other warrior. Oh yes, it wouldn't do to have the traps he set for the other man be activated by the one he was trying to protect. * * * More running. Again. Halbert was frustrated; couldn't he have just a few minutes without somebody trying to kill him? Then again, he figured, that was the point of an arena. Halbert looked back, looking for a place to hide. * * * The cloaked Halidran hid behind a tree and looked for his prey. It was nearby, or so he had been informed by the gamemasters that had sent him here. He looked to his right to whisper orders to his fellow warriors. The two were dead. He barely had time to look up before he was stabbed himself. * * * The Halidran were too easy, Halbert reflected. The trolls - usually inferior warriors - were much more difficult to defeat. There was no reason for the gamemasters to send out such weak opponents. Halbert emerged from his hiding place and walked away. * * * Fargon was pleased. He had successfully drugged the Halidran to ensure that the man he was protecting - he who they had called "Halbert" - would be able to defeat them easily, while simultaneously leading Halbert away from the other man. All was right now. Fargon returned his attention to the mirror. No, it was not all right. Halbert was getting close to the boundaries. Too close. Fargon had to save him, before his efforts would be for nothing. * * * There were no warriors popping out of the ground at least, Halbert thought. Still, he felt like there was something wrong. As if... as if he were in danger. He shook away the feeling. * * * Fargon had no time. Halbert was almost touching the enchanted force field surrounding the arena. Once he walked into it, he was doomed. Desperately, Fargon unleashed a stream of magic. It had no structure, no guiding spell. It had but one object: to warn Halbert before it was too late. * * * The air glowed with streaks of color. Halbert stopped, frightened. What was this new opponent? And how could he possibly fight it? But he was not attacked. And the color faded away. Curious, Halbert threw a stone toward where he had seen the color. The stone stopped in midair and disintegrated. Halbert looked down and noticed something. There was a small, almost unnoticeable gap in the plants in front of him. Almost as if there was an invisible wall separating them. Then he realized. There was. Clearly, this was the barrier around the arena. And anything that came in contact with it would be destroyed. Halbert turned, walking more carefully. * * * Fargon relaxed, hoping beyond hope that Larzok hadn't noticed. He had. "Fargon! What was that about? Trying to stop the puny human from turning into dust? Fargon hurriedly tried to come up with an excuse. Anything. "I was trying to, uh, intice him. I saw him stop walking, I wanted to intrigue him so that he'd try touching the force field." "Oh," replied Larzok. "Well, don't mess things up again. Or else." * * * Halbert found himself standing among ruins. The overgrown area was foreboding in a way. He turned around, expecting danger. There was none. Halbert still felt uneasy. He looked around, trying to find someone. Surely someone had to be attacking him now. It had been too long since the Halidran; even longer since his last real opponents, the trolls. So Halbert wasn't surprised when he heard a savage war cry in the distance. It was the Ughan, he knew. The Ughan were members of a primitive tribesmen species, or so he remembered. As he readied himself for battle, Halbert tried to remember anything he could remember that might help him. They were led by a chief, usually the most brutal warlord. So maybe if he could kill the chief quickly... Halbert tried to avoid panicking as the cries grew closer. He heard another scream. So Dark had already had a run-in with an enemy. No. He had to focus. What else was there about the Ughan? They had no eyes. The Ughan saw through a dark patch on their head. They had no other senses. None. Which meant... They couldn't feel pain. Halbert couldn't rely on merely stunning or hurting the Ughan. He'd have to aim for death blows every time. The Ughan wearing a large headdress was first to attack. Of course; the chief would always lead the tribe. But there was no tribe. There was only one other Ughan present. * * * Fargon watched Halbert fight the Ughan. They, too, were little challenge. This time it wasn't because of his interference. It was because of Larzok's stupidity. For, as most intelligent creatures knew, the Ughan were useless without numbers. They fought as a tribe, not as individuals. By separating them from their others, Larzok had inadvertently helped Halbert. He watched the mirror again. Something was wrong. The events happened as though in slow motion. Halbert disarmed, thrown into the river. The Ughan's cackle. The moment of tension. Everything was wrong. All was over. Halbert was drowning * * * Halbert regained consciousness as the river dried up. He looked around. What had happened? The river was just there a minute ago. There was no way it could have disappeared. There was no time to wonder though. He had to strike now, while the Ughan's backs were turned. He picked up his sword, ready for battle. He stabbed the chief in its heart, killing it instantly. As Halbert expected, the other Ughan was now powerless. It knew not how to fight without a chief. So while it halfheartedly tried to strike Halbert with its scythe, Halbert decapitated it. When will this end? Halbert wondered. He had already killed nine. How many more warriors could there be? He crossed the river in hopes of further exploration. * * * Meanwhile, below, the Halidran was carried away, tied up and beaten. Larzok stood where Fargon had sat, looking forward to the moment that he would torture the fool. He wouldn't let that scumbag help the puny human again. He grinned in excitement as Halbert neared the most powerful warrior of them all. The Growlok would awaken... * * * Halbert heard a strange noise as he stepped onto the sandy riverbank. A cloud of dust appeared. From out of the dust rose a giant, tan, hunchbacked warrior: a Growlok. These mysterious, brutal creatures were rare, he knew; they were almost never found. Either that, or the finders didn't escape alive. It picked up a club on the ground and swung it at Halbert. Halbert rolled out of the way just in time, frightened. The Growlok leaped on him, wrestling him for the sword. The sword broke. * * * Fargon struggled to escape his bonds. It was no use. Only some sort of sharp object could pierce them. Sharp object.... In the corner of his eye, he noticed a sword on a shelf. If only he could get to it. Fargon scooted the chair slightly to his right. It worked. He continued the movement until he reached the sword. He moved his hands as much as he could until he grabbed the sword. The blade. He looked down at his bloody hands, disgusted. Fargon cut through the ropes with his good hand. He stood quietly, looking around to see if Larzok had noticed. He hadn't. Fargon crept up on Larzok, clutching the sword as he walked. * * * Halbert had lost. There was no way to win anymore. No chance of ever again seeing his friends. No possibility of returning home. He was defeated, or he soon would be. He couldn't win without a weapon. The Growlok closed in on him. * * * The orc fell to the ground, dead, as Fargon wiped clean the sword. He looked at the mirror, disturbed by the sight he saw. * * * Halbert looked around, searching for anything that could save him. There was a sword. His own sword, not the cheap, flimsy one he had been given. He knew it wasn't there before. Someone was helping him. Of course! First the force field, then the Halidran, then the river, now this. There was no other explanation. He was being helped whenever he most needed it. But by whom? There was no time to wonder. The Growlok was distracted; it appeared to have sand in its eyes. More help. Halbert stabbed the Growlok. * * * Fargon had succeeded. Now it was time for another plan. He sat, pondering how best to escape the Orc village. _________________________________ I quite like how this turned out, especially considering that it was built in only two days. Yep, that's right, I barely started this (just built the figures and a bit of the ruins) until yesterday (Saturday). Two crazy days of almost nonstop building later, here it is. Thanks to Kai for the tree technique - making a six-sided tree definitely wasn't easy! My favorite part might be the rock layers underneath. Once again, lack of pieces led to a neat detail - that seems to be the recent trend in my mocs... Enjoy these last few pictures! Thanks for viewing!

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