The Lost Seas

Death in the Ring

Paying the Levy 6

Recorded by scholars studying the life of Bost.

The crowd roared as the Zatla Cowboys sauntered towards Bloodsand Arena, the center of the Altaruk’s gladiatorial sport. The people of Altaruk cowered at Zuri’s ominous silence, recoiled at Bost’s tattooed mien, shuddered at Birel’s elfish defiance, and swooned at Chat’G’Hak’s stark beauty. Their opponents, the Mericles Maulers, consisted of a motley crew of murderers and showmen. Among them included The Crusher: a halfling who reportedly used his wielding dual singing sticks to kill his opponents from the inside out; Petal: a mercurial half-giant; Korgil the Raver: a sadistic elf who seemed to enjoy the violence more than the show; and Tok: the half of a set of thri-kreen twins.

The opposing teams took their places on a curiously constructed stage. The platform was divided in half by a ten foot high wall, and surrounding the perimeter of the platform were piles of thorny bushes. Bost and Chat’G’Hak took their position on one half, along with Petal and Korgil. Zuri and Birel prepared themselves on the other side of the wall, where they faced The Crusher and Tok.

The fighting began. Bost charged around the platform as if he were an Athasian Ram. Chat’G’Hak chipped away at the Mericles Maulers with deftly aimed chatkcha throws. Zuri floated about the platform, slyly utilizing its magical capabilities without alarming the superstitious crowd. Birel contended with The Crusher while keeping her compatriots in top shape.

The was long, dangerous, and not without its incidents. Although clearly bested by the Zatla Cowboys, the elf Korgil refused to tap out of the fight. With a murderous gleam in his eyes, Korgil continued his onslaught against Bost despite Bost’s efforts to pull his punches. Exasperated, Bost finally brought down his hammer against Korgil’s face, pulverizing it in a mash of blood and skull, and killing Korgil for good. The crowd booed the Zatla Cowboys, but the fight continued. Chat’G’Hak poetically withstood blow after blow, before revealing herself to the astonished crowd as the Orchid of the Dunes, and bowing out of the fight.

Eventually, the wall that separated the fighters was lowered. United, the Zatla Cowboys continued their fight against the Mericles Maulers. Even if it was mere theater, the fight proved to be their closest battle yet. But ultimately, the Zatla Cowboys prevailed. Dusting themselves off, and shaking hands with the (surviving) Mericles Maulers, the Zatla Cowboys enjoyed the adoration of the crowd as well as their generous winnings, distributed by the promoter Two-Bit Grisk.

The Zatla Cowboys were now minor celebrities in Altaruk. They went to Bloody Sands, a local broyhouse where they shared a few drinks with their opponents. Although the Maulers were put off by the death of their elfish compatriot, the two opposing teams were able to enjoy a drink without reprising their recently fought battle. Bost tried, unsuccessfully, to convert Petal towards his increasingly radical anti-slavery political agenda.

Next, the group headed to The Cracked Globe in order to enjoy a relaxing evening watching Chat’G’Hak’s dramatic performance. The crowd at the theater was excited, no doubt encouraged by Chat’G’Hak’s earlier act in the arena. Everyone took their seats, expecting a fun and lighthearted night. Instead, the crowd witnessed a politically charged allegory, “”/campaign/the-lost-seas/wikis/the-farmer-and-the-scuppernongs" class=“wiki-page-link”> The Farmer and the Scuppernongs". The play was ostensibly about a farmer and son attempting to raise a crop of scuppernongs, and their interactions with a thri-kreen druid. However, in the middle of the performance, Stavros, one of the actors, went off script. The crowd was alarmed, and the director fearfully fretted about how the authorities would react. Chat’G’Hak did her best to calm the audience and salvage the night with an impromptu puppet show.

The Cowboys also made contact with Tawa Tomblador, a member of the Tomblador merchant house and (secretly) of the Veiled Alliance, and discussed the upcoming trip to the Dragon’s Altar.

The group of adventurers then decided to rest up, and to prepare for the following morning where they would attempt to infiltrate the slaver’s camp.



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