|Keelath falls into a fighting stance and waits. Over the speculative hum of the observers, the ringmaster calls out the combatants’ names, embellishing them colorfully and adding clearly made-up history to their fighting careers. Keelath smirks as he’s compared to Koltira. If only the ringmaster knew…|
A shrill whistle went off somewhere, and Keelath shakes the thought from his head as his opponents makes their moves. Keelath watches carefully as the wizard points at him, and the ogron lumbers towards him, shining black claws twitching in anticipation as it barreled across the suddenly too-small arena. He didn’t know if the ogron really needed any excuse to want to fight him, but he had noticed the markings on its bracers. As the ogron swipes at him, Keelath leaps out of the way and brings his axe down one of the bracers, hoping to break it and whatever enchantment the wizard put on it.
Obligingly, the bracer cracks under the heavy axe, and the ogron drops that wrist to the ground, as if suddenly holding a much heavier weight in its hand. So, more of a strength enhancement than a controlling device. That meant the wizard would be free to cast his spells without having to command the ogron’s mind at the same time, and as if to punctuate the thought, a fireball streaks across the floor, narrowly missing them both.
Keelath brings the shaft of his axe up to block a blow from the ogron’s other fist, letting the force of the creature spin him about in a controlled pirouette instead of trying to stop it head on. Keelath then sets his feet and dives, rolling between the creature’s legs and popping up again next to the wizard.
The wizard looks at him in surprise.
“You really think plate is that hard to move in?” Keelath tells him sarcastically.
The death knight glances briefly over to the side of the ring, where he saw Malcotin’s eyes glittering as the other undead watched the proceedings. This close to the wizard, Keelath could smell the human’s tangy fear, and he felt unholy power coil in his stomach as sudden fierce hunger awakened in him. His senses sharpen, and suddenly each living creature in the room stands out to him as a beacon of life…and food.
This time, Keelath gave into it. “Let’s see if your contraption really works,” he hisses.
“Sorry?” snaps the wizard, backing up hurriedly. A faint shimmer in the air indicates a magical shield coming to life between them.
Keelath just grins at the man–though the wizard would of course not see it through the helmet–and charges.
The hunger became power which Keelath channels into the blade of his axe, and it parts the magical shield like cloth. The axe bangs down on the wizard’s shoulder, though instead of cutting him in half as Keelath expected, it lodges in his collarbone. Not a bad spell after all, Keelath thinks, but it was his last thought, as the blood wells up like glittering garnets, seizing his attention as surely as real garnets would seize the imagination of a goblin. Keelath pushes his strike through: though the axe goes no deeper, the wizard presses back into the arena wall with an aborted scream. Keelath grabs at his throat, hooking his magic into the wizard’s life-force and beginning to pull it into himself.
On the sidelines, Mirium swallows a hard lump in her throat away and glances at Malcotin. “Oh, Keelath. Come on, man. It’s now or never, if you don’t want a murder on your hands!”
|The Ringmaster was a little surprised, but still not sure he was seeing what was right in front of him. The fact that Keelath had rolled under the Ogron after only wounding it slightly and now seemed to be finishing off the wizard, did not make sense. Was he ignoring the brute or was he so intent on killing he forgot it was there?|
Malcotin shrugged slightly, “It appears that Keelath is very intent on his kill. As far as murder is concerned, I did warn the Ringmaster…but if he objects…”
There was not much time, as the Ogrin seemed a bit confused at first, then it turned to Keelath and roared, shaking the floor and stomping towards the death knight killing its master. Malcotin had brought out the rod at the beginning of the battle and kept it by his side, intending on using it sparingly. But it was almost too late.
With a nod to Mirium, Malcotin aimed the sapphire tipped rod towards Keelath and whispered an incantation. The gem at the end of the rod blazed a bright blue flash, it matched the glow of Keelath’s eyes. With a suddenness that would probably startle the death knight, his magic was cut off, mid spell. Malcotin had successfully blocked the flow of life force from the wizard. It was only to cause Keelath to turn around, and notice the Ogron bearing down on him intent on smashing Keelath into the floor of the arena.
“Let’s hope Keelath doen’t get hurt too bad by the Ogron, I am not sure about the wizard. If he survives that ax blow, he might need some healing.” They watched intently as the Ringmaster gave them a strange look, then started to say something about interference.
The ogron roared as it stomped forward, slamming it’s fist into the death knight, sending him flying off it’s master. The arena floor was only wood, with a light dusting of sawdust. As long as Keelath was able to get up after that blow, he could then go after the Ogron. The wizard slumped to the floor, unconscious and bleeding out.
|Keelath felt his ribs break as the Ogron’s fist slammed into him and he flew through the air. It didn’t hurt, the damage only translating to his senses as so many snapping sticks inside of him. He fell on his side, heavily, and a couple more ribs went under the impact.|
He faintly heard the crowd groan, but he immediately tried to pull on his unholy magic to heal the ribs and get back to his feet. Only…the magic wouldn’t come. He turned his head, looking for the wizard, thinking the man had gotten out of his magic’s range, but no–there he was, lying on the floor, helpless to anything Keelath would do.
And Keelath suddenly wasn’t hungry anymore.
That fact paled in significance to the realization that the hunger and his self-healing abilities were intertwined, and now he was in the middle of deadly combat without either of them.
The sawdust around him began to shake with the thumps of the Ogron’s feet. Keelath struck out with his arms and dragged himself out of the way of another pounding fist. His wounds still didn’t hurt–nothing but the Light had truly hurt him since he had been risen–but his back sagged in on itself and wouldn’t respond to his commands, muscles jerking at bones that were no longer structurally sound.
He continued to drag and roll himself out of the way of the Ogron’s hailing blows, his mind frantically churning for a solution. He could just let the beating happen: it wouldn’t kill him, only disable him until someone could get to him with a healing spell or until his own magic came back. Would it come back? He suddenly wondered about Mirium insisting that Malcotin’s device was a trap.
He snatched a glance at her as he heaved himself out of the way of another fist. Her hands were to her mouth, but her face was tight and pale rather than wide-eyed and horrified, so it couldn’t be that bad. She wasn’t trying to kill Malcotin, either. Perhaps he–
His thoughts were interrupted as the Ogron instead chose to pinch one of his feet and lift him into the air by it. Keelath grimaced as his back wrenched again, and he wondered vaguely that if the Ogron shook him hard enough, if he would separate and one half of him would fall to the floor. That might actually make a valid tactic, since at least part of him wouldn’t be chained to bones no longer working, but–
The crowd booed when the Ogron poked him in the face. He stared up at the one-eyed creature, and an idea came upon him, if only he could trick the creature into it.
He went limp. Curious, the Ogron poked him again, making a grinding, chuffling noise Keelath could only guess was a chuckle. He goaded it on by making a funny little squeak, that had the Ogron bringing him up close to its one great eye to inspect the silly, cheeping death knight.
Keelath’s shoulder wasn’t disabled, nor his arm. As soon as he was close enough, he struck out, his fist striking that great yellow orb…
It wasn’t enough to pierce it. Eyeballs were amazingly resilient. But still the Ogron howled and threw him out of the ring.
“Yield?” Keelath called just before he landed with another crunch, but his voice was drowned in the sudden swelling of noise from the crowd, as the Ogron began to flail all around, rubbing its eye and still howling out its pain. Spectators dived out of its way, and a flow of them were evacuating up the stairs.
|Keelath then felt arms around him, and the unique searing pain of Light healing magic flooding into him. “Come on, we’re getting you out of here,” Mirium said in his ear.|
|“I like this idea,” he told her as soon as the pain abated enough that he could speak, and he stood up as his bones re-knit and his body started responding again. Mirium took his arm, and not even glancing around for Malcotin, made for the stairs.|