#25 – Purth ‘Swift Storm’.

| November 25, 2012 | 2 Comments

Everyone knew of the Arena. It was a place of myth and legend, a gargantuan, open-air stadium carved into the very mountains around it. It falls in neutral territory owned by no realm or kingdom. Said to have been built by the gods and their offspring to watch the great beasts do battle.

In the current age, the third of men it is used as a source of entertainment, people from far and wide gather on this neutral grounds to watch the greatest warriors face off against each other, to see noble heroes test strength against the most fearsome of beasts from across the great lands. The people come to see the names of new legend, and see men who started the day with no name leave with one.

Purth was not of noble birth; he was but a lowly farm boy. Kind hearted and strong, poor Purth’s life was not to be easy. Ending up a slave to a local land Baron in exchange for his family keeping their farm, he was ill treated, yet somehow keep his kind heart though his strong arms meant he could break a man if he wished.

The Baron had a daughter, a beautiful young maiden, a few years older than Purth; she drew Purth’s eyes whenever she was near.

During the annual summer hunt for the giant four horned stag that roamed the land, the Barons daughter fell from her mount, which was startled by one of the great stags. The beast made to escape, and would have trampled the innocent lass if Purth had not intervened. Throwing himself from his mount he grappled the huge stag, wrestling it to the floor. Locking its huge neck in his powerful arms he cut the creatures air off, it fell unconscious to the floor.

Pulling the maiden to her feet as the Baron, on the back of his own mighty warhorse rode to them, his men at arms all around.

The Barons daughter couldn’t tell her father enough kind things about Purth. The baron himself was reluctant to admit but the boy had impressed him too. The boy had great strength, had saved his daughter and also managed to capture a great stag in doing so. The baron made Purth an offer he could never had expected. The baron was to ride to the Arena in two moons time to partake in the gambling on the events. He offered Purth the chance to enter an event, it would be dangerous for sure but the Baron vowed that if the boy could win the event, and thus a lot of gold for the Baron the boy would have won his own freedom. To sweeten the offer the Baron said that should Purth leave the Arena with all his limbs he could take the great stag he’d taken down as his prize to ride free on.

Purth could not refuse such an offer and so shook the Barons hand to seal their deal.

Two moons passed quickly when the day of your fate is approaching. Purth could barely remember the month long trek to the arena. It was a blur.

The open event for this season was one on one combat with an unknown beast. The list of partakers was short, but the names where all known in the Arena from sessions before, all apart from Purth’s. The Baron laid down a pouch of gold of Purth to great odds and a few chuckles from his fellow gamblers who said he’d never see that money again.

Purth was last to enter the arena. From the sounds he heard waiting to enter no one had beaten the beast, and none had escaped with their lives, let along a prize. Stepping up to the arena entrance Purth was offered his choice of weapon. They all looked brutish and barbaric. It was the trident and net that finally drew his eye. He had fished with is father as a boy and could handle the tools well enough. Snatching them up as the sun poured in, the door opening and the huge arena floor opened out before him.

Walking out, the crowd fell silent. No cheers for Purth like the other combatants. At the other end of the arena stood a massive stone door, a dozen men above it cranked a cog the size of a house and the door started to move. The crowd grew nosier as the full sight of the beast was finally revealed.

It looked like a Minotaur; Purth had heard tales of these creatures. The beast before him was more terrifying however. Standing nearly twenty foot tall, it was wide and muscular, its torso covered in chainmail, its long legs furring and thick. In its hand it held a great axe that was bigger than Purth. He should have been scared but he wasn’t, this beast stood between him and returning home to his family better than he had left them.

The noise was unimaginable. Cheers and chants that could wake the gods filled the Arena. Purth stood drenched in sweat. The Minotaur lay unconscious and wrapped in Purth’s net. Using his speed to his advantage Purth had out lasted the beast for nearly an hour until it finally dropped to one in out of exhaustion. Seeing his chance Purth climbed the beast wrapped his net around its throat and choked the last of its fresh air free. It hit the ground and the crowd erupted.

The Baron left the arena with a new found reputation for training warriors and more gold than he could have dreamed of winning.

Purth left the arena with so much more. He left to chants saying he must be half Ashen; they had dubbed him Purth Swift storm, a name that would live on in the Arena. The trident and net he taken into battle had been given to him as gifts, they hung nicely at the saddle of his new great stag mount. He called the creature Storm in honor of his arena name.

The Baron nodded to Purth as he passed him, true to his word Purth rode out a free man. He rode back to his family. He longed to be home.

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Category: 2012

About the Author ()

Shaun was born, a baby, like most. He grew up in a small village in the U.K and went on to read The Hobbit, play tabletop fantasy games and see the greatest movie of all time, Die Hard. Through these wondrous events he grew into the man he needed to be. The one who spends his Saturday nights at home drinking Pepsi, (other fizzy pop brands are available) whilst writing comics he one-day hopes someone will actually draw into a nice pretty comic book. Until then he will just keep on writing. Shaun can be found on the Internet at his blog. Or if you’d rather have his words 140 characters at a time over on Twitter under the very imaginative and clever handle of @ShaunRichens

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