Damaia Rak’Mathorn Introduction

So, today’s post is a little bit different than usual.

I have yet to finish out Master of the Hunt, but I have been writing some Dungeons and Dragons backstories. This is the introduction of my replacement character.

Note: It is a little more violent than the majority of my writing.

Damaia looked up from polishing his onyx horns in the shard of the once beautiful mirror that adorned the wall of his small cell and stood. There was a jingling on the other side of the door. He needed to be in character. It was what they would want to see.

As the keyhole clicked, he shut his eyes and retreated into his primal mind, allowing the anger, the pain that drove him to come out. He was a method actor to be sure.

A half smile crossed his face. He had a new song for this fight. The crowd would like that.

The door swung open and his eyes snapped up, locking on the four guards who were entering, weapons raised. He raised his hands, weaponless, an arrogant smile on his face and a wicked flame in his eyes. The message was unmistakable.

The guards were alive because he had no reason to want them dead.

They cuffed his hands together, as per usual, with manacles that connected to the iron collar about his neck. They then led him from the cell, three taking up positions behind him to strike him down if he were to get any ideas.

He held his head high, as if they were a king’s honor guard and not a dangerous prisoner’s escort. In a way they were both; none who had seen him fight could possibly hope to dispute that he ruled the arena.

As they led him under a portcullis and into the massive, magically lit arena, Damaia raised his bound fists and let out a battle cry. The resulting roar from a crowd being given their favorite performance was earth-shaking.

He winked as the lead guard spun around, startled, his obsidian eyes inscrutable against his equally dark skin.

The guards tentatively undid the manacles and rushed away from the dark elf-tiefling hybrid, dropping the portcullis with a clang that could barely be heard for the crowd. Damaia’s favored weapons, a trident and a quarterstaff, clattered to the ground, the trident sticking in the sand. Damaia theatrically retrieved it, to the delight of the crowd, before slinging the quarterstaff across his back.

He began to pace, eyeing the portcullis across the arena from his position, and began to work up to his song.

The normally violently churning crowd began to fall quiet.

“Loyal patrons of the Knightfall arena, we present for your viewing pleasure, the barbaric bard, Glory!”

The crowd cheered, quickly falling quiet again, as some mage cast prestidigitation on Damaia to amplify his voice a thousand times, allowing the crowd to hear. It started as a low growl.

“I’m undefeated.”

He paced, gradually getting closer to the opposing portcullis. He could see his opponent through the bars, desperately trying to steel her nerve. It was a half elf girl, a bard from the looks of it. She wore a green dress and had hair the color of midnight with a diamond blue streak running through it.

Damaia shot her a terrifying smile.

“This is his fiftieth fight, folks! Should he succeed here, he will have again increased the record of the arena!”

More cheering rattled the air around Damaia. Ignoring he, his voice rang into a clarion call, shattering even the roar of the crowd. He slammed his trident back into the sand and crossed his arms, milking the crowd.

“Hands on my neck, foot on my back

Closing in from every side

Bleeding me dry, I’m fading fast

Left for dead but I will rise up on my own

I could make it alone, I got all that I need to survive.”

The portcullis slowly began to turn, and the half elf took a deep breath. Damaia could see her lips move as she wove a spell about herself.

“Through the sweat and the blood, I know what I’m made of

It’s the hunger that keeps me alive

This time, I’m coming like a hurricane, this time”

As soon as the portcullis was high enough that she could step through, Damaia began his advance. She was easily flushed from the small cell on the far side of the portcullis, dashing to his left. He turned lazily, keeping her in his sight.

“I came to fight for the love of the game, unstoppable

That’s why I, I’m undefeated

Off the leash, out of the cage, an animal

That’s why I, I’m undefeated

I, I, I know I can beat it

Won’t give up cause I believe it

Fight for the love of the game, unstoppable

That’s why I, I’m undefeated!”

The crowd began to feel the pulse, chanting in the right places.

“Here at the edge losing my ground

Stare into the great divide

Pushing me over, pulling me down

Almost dead, but I will rise up on my own

No, I’m never alone and it’s all that I need to survive

Through the sweat and the blood, if I fall, I’ll get up

It’s the hunger that keeps me alive

This time, I’m coming like a hurricane, this time…”

The girl finally took the bait, drawing her shortbow and unleashing a hail of arrows. Damaia made a halfhearted effort to dodge, hardly flinching as one struck him in the chest. To the delight of the crowd, he theatrically snapped it off and dropped it to the ground, ignoring the trickle of blood.

The girl quickly ran out of arrows and drew her rapier. Damaia could see as spell after spell failed her, the arena dampening all of her offensive magic. Ripples of laughter pulsed through the crowd as they realized this was a bard who still thought her music could save her.

No, here, music was nought but another tool of intimidation.

With that he engaged her, whipping the staff off his back and deflecting a series of calculated rapier blows, jarring blows rippling through both their arms in time with Damaia’s overpowering singing.

“I came to fight for the love of the game, unstoppable

That’s why I, I’m undefeated

Off the leash, out of the cage, an animal

That’s why I, I’m undefeated

I, I, I know I can beat it

Won’t give up cause I believe it

Fight for the love of the game, unstoppable!”

The word “unstoppable” heralded a truly might blow, smashing the girl’s sword from her hand with enough force to throw the staff from Damaia’s. Desperate words formed on her lips, but could not save her. With all the menace of a feral predator, Damaia drew his trident.

“That’s why I, I’m undefeated!”

With practiced aggression, the gladiator slammed the point of the trident under the half elf’s jaw, the outer points pushing the hair back from her temples. His voice still magnified by the spell, he uttered the last words she would ever hear.

“I’m the only bard who opens his mouth in this area, girl.”

He then ended her life by wrenching the trident from her head, and she fell to the ground like so much dead weight. Making eye contact with the announcer in the box, high above, he licked the blood from the blade, flaming ice in his eyes. The crowd, bloodlust barely satiated, roared louder than ever before, and the arena’s owner tossed a solitary rose to his prize fighter.

Damaia returned his trident to the ground, blood clotting in the sand, and clasped his hands behind his back. The rose landed in front of him as, once again, a small group of guards clustered around him and returned him to chains.

His character began to crack ever so slightly.

That girl – who was she? Did she have a mother, a father, siblings, maybe even friends?

He forced the thought from his mind and put on a show, resisting the manacles, enough to be believed but unwilling to harm one of the guards.

As they dragged him from the arena, the image of the blood pouring from the girl’s neck and the taste of her blood in his mouth burned itself into his mind, and he fought back bile.

 

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