A deafening explosion shakes the stadium. A great ray silver and gold flash shoots out of the lower tiers, evidence ofa magical attack. The bright flare fills the air with a peculiar stench that smells of melting copper. The bolt hits an invisible barrier at the edge of Kalak’s balcony, exploding there into a brilliant cascade of red and blue sparks. The magical wall of shimmering force fades away amidst a cacophony of loud sizzles and sharp pops
Rikus steps forward. Kalak looks away from the mul, his eyes drawn suddenly to Agis of Asticles in the High Templars Gallery. Rikus turns toward the sorcerer king and hurls the spear with all his might. As the enchanted weapon sails toward its target, an image born of Kalaks twisted mind, augmented by his mastery of the Way, appears over the entire stadium: a dragon, fierce and terrible, rises to the height of the great ziggurat. The image of the dragon rears back, ready to strike. In that instant the Heartwood Spear strikes Kalak, sorcerer king of Tyr, squarely in the chest and passes clear through his body. The kings screams fill the stadium, then the entire city. The unearthly cries do not fade as the halfgiants grab their leader and drag him into his golden palace. The stadium remains tense, but calm. Most commoners stay in their seats, too frightened or too stunned to move, filling the air with the steady drone of their astonished voices.
That image still runs through your head as you sit in the comftorable lounge of House Voldon. The early morning sun beats down on the vast fields that stretch outside the open window, and only cool shade offered by the white adobe house keep you from feeling that same heat.
Its been a two weeks since the fall of the Sorcerer-King of Tyr. You had all previously been captured by Kalak’s slave round up teams, and were meant to die in the final arena battle. As chaos enveloped the arena, the heavy slave collar sitting on your neck, an older but still attractive woman dressed in finer linen cloth approached you.
“I am Atrena Voldon, of the House Voldon enclave in Tyr. People will start dying here shortly, and I have the feeling you don’t want to be part of that. I have a simple deal for you: Serve me for a year and a day. I will remove us from this deathtrap and we can hammer out the details shortly.”
While hesitant at first, people closer to the massive Ziggurat started to drop to their knees, their life force being sucked out of them so quickly it looked like they were vomiting up their souls. As the wave of deaths came closer and closer to you, the decision was quickly made. Only five of the 15 individuals she offered this to accepted, and as you agree, she leads you over to where an elderly dwarf had scrawled a circle in the ground and filled it with soft quartz.
“Elrick, is it ready?” The senior trader asked, her tone indicating the answer had best be affirmative. Her eyes quickly scanned the crowd of near rioting Tyrians.
Elrick’s gravely voice was still deep, but scratched with age. “It is Mistress, but someone must remain here to keep the portal active. King Kalak has laid a powerful Arcane spell over the Arena and someone must focus on the psionic matrix to keep the portal open.”
For the first time Atrena looked directly at the old dwarf, and tears glimmered at the corner of her eyes. Elrick just nodded and closed his eyes, furrowed his brow and the slight hum that signaled powerful psionics reached your ears. A shimmer of crystal white light burst up from the cirlce in the ground, and stepped through, not even looking to make sure you followed. Your choices were short however, and follow you did.
The last two weeks have been some of the most relaxing in your life. The food and water had been plentiful, and while you were not allowed to leave your room without two Half-Giant guards following you, you have not been mistreated. This morning you were summoned for the first time to meet with Patriarch Voldon to discuss your future, and as your thoughts turn to him, he sweeps into the room, a small stack of clay tablets in one hand and a corncerned look in his eyes.