The storm wracked seas and the lashing rain or a 50 metre tall tower of rock are no impediment for those practised in the way of the arcane! Galen the warlock used a scroll given him by his sorcerous comrade Corvin and teleported to the pinnacle of the needle of rock, there to battle the harpy matriach and her sisters to save the wounded Captain Vasilvio.
With fell lightning, dread fire and his magic broad sword he smote the haglike harpy queen and her minions, before saving the bold captain and descending to his companions in the rowboat with a treasure of some harpies eggs.
Magical cures and some days in bed saw Captain Vasilvio returned to good health and sincere gratitude. Steering his ship northwards, after saying a prayer for a lost member of the crew – Salty Pete, the Crimson maiden made good time and arrived in the bustling melting pot of a trading city that is Criggen Varras.
The party said their farewells to the honest crew and wasted no time; Corvin the most enthusiastic and energetic amongst them to secure a place to stay and to find a captain to see if travel by sea further north was possible – The ice laden seas dissuaded them from this course of action. Meanwhile the stoic Sir Ronin found a stablemaster willing to sell the party some horses, and sold their excess armour and loot, while Galen procured potions for the spell casters.
Criggen Varras is half as big again as Clyster, and the markets and streets were teeming, as the group decided on further plans. The Arena had piqued Logen’s interest, and he resolved to enter into the competition and win some money so as to buy more magical equipment for the group. Showing his skills to the wily Jurgenson the arena master, he was matched for a battle that evening with Bjorn the Red Handed, a cruel Thane from the north who had bested and slain nine previous opponents.
As the sun dipped beneath the horizon the games began and the sand was stained red with the deaths of slaves who died in bizarre combars with wild animal, followed by short battles between less skilful gladiators, until some two hours later, Logen and Bjorn entered the circular arena, to the roar of the crowd that was now at fever pitch.
Nerves and pressure caused the youthful Barbarian to activate his magic ring slightly early, as the wily, experienced Thane backed away, and hoped the spell would collapse – magic items that did not impact directly on health were allowed, but no spell casting was, and the arena had a powerful wall of magic spell cast around it so as to stop magical cheating or healing or the like.
The battle continued for some minutes, the combatants circling and pacing, Logen became impatient, standing in the centre of the colleseum, roaring his disdain for the careful thane, as he circled at the arena’s edge. Then, a flurry of action, a spear launched, a reckless charge, and first blood drawn, a deep cut on Logen’s arm sent him into a berserker rage, he swung wildly with massive force at the thane, his battle axe smoting him once, twice, but two other attacks were slipped and deflected by Bjorn’s canny use of his shield, meanwhile his long axe flicked out, tripping Logen, and crunched once more through his armour, into his side.
Further swings, faints, parries, roars of combat and bloodlust were heard as the two gladiators struck one another time and again, their armour proof against untold blows, yet some more slipped through, until both were wounded and bloodied.
Time seemed to slow for Logen’s comrades who sat in the “blood spatter seats” in the front row of the arena, as their long time companion swung with desperate fury, high, but wide…the thane ducked his head just enough to see the battleaxe swing in a glittering arc above his head, and a spear thrust, sharp, firm, and fast flickered out- a great gout of blood blossoming from Logen’s stomach, his spine severed and death being instantaneous, he toppled to the floor in a cloud of bloodied sand as the crowd roared.
Some hours later, Ronin his martial comrade in arms, took Logen out of the city to a quiet area of woods and buried him, in the ways of the old Gods, and marked his grave with some white stones and hoped he arrived in the halls of his forefathers to drink and fight forever more, as his ancient pagan religion boasted.
Thus Logen the Barbarian passed into the history books – the Ogre Slayer, the man who fought Gods, beasts and almost touched a red dragon’s nose was no more, his memory and deeds live on in legend.