That sucks man, but it should eventually turn good, the low parts are just another part of life I guess. Hang in there.
Agreed. Though they all died, so maybe child murder fines
Happy 5 year embassy-versary! Leaves a cake
For death and glory
What is dead may never die
21 can’t come soon enough
Us europoors in the continental ghetto get served whenever
Yo pass me a cool glass of B R E A D
So when is HN getting a redemption arc?
Wait, we were the baddies?
Of course we are
Wouldn’t have had it any other way
A Trial of an Upset Nature, Part 3
The eight remaining rebels waited in darkness. The eager crowd could easily be heard outside, cheering and clamouring for action and blood.
One of Bloodybees’ archaic laws had allowed these feisty few to save themselves from public execution, and instead fight for their lives in a desperate attempt to remain alive. This was a very popular choice of punishment, for both prisoners and the large crowds it drew.
“So Calliv, you’ve extended our doom yet again” remarked a deep voice from inside the huddle of dwarves “Shouldn’t we just get it over and done with?”
Calliv remained silent. She understood the crucial nature of this conversation and realised that it was these words that could inspire this lucky few to extend their rebellion again. The odds were very much against them, but that had never stopped them before. They had done the impossible, and while sacrifices had been made, it had all been worth it. The eyes of Bloodybees were on them, to show the world that the citizens did not have to be complacent, that they had a right to freedoms and the luxuries they slaved away to create.
She needed to show her followers this. And then, she and her followers could show the world. This was her plan. The laws of Bloodybees had given her the spotlight, which she had to use. They could do it. They had to.
“Be patient Pranraq, I have a plan” she said. All other dwarves listened in bated breath. This was the voice of the rebellion speaking, after all.
Calliv spoke on, in a hushed tone, “Gravelbat was only the beginning. Don’t you feel it? The crowds are clamouring for a fight, but they do not cheer against us. We are the scrappy survivors, the valiant adventurers, the heroes against all odds. The crowds can be on our side if we show we are worthy. The laws which gave us a platform to fight for our lives, will be our platform to fight for our cause instead. If we play our cards right, even if we die, we will live on in this cause.”
She had heard that a leader should always appear more prepared than they are. In truth, Calliv had no idea that the crowd would cheer for them, let alone carry on their cause. She was instead confident in their imminent demise. Her head continued to reach for more supportive words, but could find none.
In her subsequent quiescence, all she managed to say was “Work the crowd, and we might just survive.”
The huddle centred on her was silent. Despite the darkness, she knew the tears brimming each of their eyes. Calliv’s cheeks were similarly wet, in pride of her compatriots.
Pranraq continued “Calliv, we – “
Without any warning, a pair of gates suddenly opened before them, flooding the cell with a dull grey light. All the dwarves covered their eyes, blinded by the immediate bright surprise. As their eyes adjusted to the lighter environment, their predicament - and their plan - begun to set in, and the challenge became apparent.
Before them lay the old smeltery ruins near Grubin, a large flat area with several burnt structures littering the field. The arena was plain beyond this, without much elevation or complications to it. This was according to Calliv’s plan, to expose themselves to the audience. The edges of the large arena were solidly barred with grey metal fencing. Behind the walls were countless red faces, all dwarves cheering and shouting for a good fight, shouting obscenities and other derogatory terms. They clamoured and shook the walls, and Calliv knew what they were thinking in doing so. This crowd did not take sides, they merely wanted a good fight, and some exciting action.
Taking initiative, Pranraq strode forward into the light. Raising his empty hands, he boomed “Ya can’t expect me to fight like this, can ya?” He waved his empty hands around and beckoned towards the cheering mass on the edges of the ring.
The crowd responded in gusto, shouting an unintelligible mess of noises. Not a lot of information about who they supported could be determined from this response.
“Ya want me to show ya some neat tricksies?” he reciprocated, baring his teeth, applying a battle stance, and mimicking a swing of a battle-axe.
Behind him, the 7 remaining members strode in behind him with faux confidence, gesturing confidently towards the angry walls. To support Pranraq in his request, they too mimed gestures of their choice weapons. A smaller dwarf at the back of the group pretended to shoot another with an imaginary bow, whilst that dwarf was professionally wielding two non-existent daggers swiping systematically at the air. A third dwarf begun chanting an old folk song, about a legendary battle with demons from the abyss. Her voice carried through the motley crowd, inspiring their morale, and providing an aura of heroism and respectable pride.
“Oh the lords of the steep, they were strong and they were sweet,”
Calliv, Pranraq and the rest of the crew picked up her words, as the song was well known throughout the lands. They continued to swing their hands around in a formidable fashion, preparing for battle.
“They had dug down so deep, to the dark of diamonds and heat,
Oh the work was weary and tough, swinging and digging through cobwebs and moss,
But the hole grew coarse and rough, through the edge they did cross”
The Gravelbat gang were trying to show the crowd they were capable of fighting, and the crowd – by some miracle – acknowledged this. They picked up the song, chanting along with the fighters in the ring, shouting along with their final stand.
“Aho! The lords cried in vain, for they knew their enemy,
The demons would bring the pain, this had been their destiny,
No! Those here will not fall! We will survive and we will thrive!
Loud enough to hear for all, we will leave here alive!
So the great -“
“ENOUGH” boomed a voice from the far edge of the smeltery ruins, out of sight. The command and power in this voice was impressive enough to carry across the eager crowd, silencing them almost immediately. The Gravelbat crowd, steadfast in their goal, continued to gesture for weapons, but stopped singing in solidarity with their audience. They moved almost desperately in their silence, but not so much to appear as such.
The loud voice belonged to the Champions, the main attraction for the execution ceremony.
This meant the battle was to begin.
To be continued
Double like for the Gravelbats