Alric was awakened by a noiseless tapping on his knee. After taking a moment to remember his surroundings, he opened his eyes and cleared his raspy throat. There at Alric’s feet stood the trembling little Elf he had recently taken on as an assistant. What was his name again? Fok? Twok? Sock?
“It is time, master.” The little Elf’s voice was fraught with trepidation. Alric knew that (in spite of his anxiety) the Elf was a magnificently resilient creature. Elves were not known to survive long in the unforgiving land of Azmare, and this little fellow had called the Water Splinter home for years.
With a tired yawn, Alric the Stormbringer began the painstaking process of rising from his plush champion’s chair. As he had advanced in years, Alric had realized the most comfortable chairs were also the most difficult from which to rise. To the Elf, he replied: “I’ve asked you repeatedly not to call me master.” Alric had, after all, spent the majority of his life ensuring that no one in Azmare would call anyone master.
Now it was time for another tournament battle. They said this was to be a great battle, that the stakes were incredibly high. Alric cared little for the politics of tournament play; he was simply here to summon his agents of chaos magic yet again. His fighters would defeat the competitor’s team and a great trophy would be awarded. Alric would simply add this trophy to his collection and enjoy the extra champion amenities that the Gloridax would certainly shower upon him.
Looking toward the door of the private dressing room the Gloridax nobles had arranged for him, Alric could see that all his totems had been laid out. The little Elf seemed quite proud of himself, having prepared everything for the final inspection, but Alric did not grant him the satisfaction of a thank you. He quickly checked the totems and loaded them into the appropriate bags. He then placed them onto the wagon that always accompanied him onto the arena floor; years had passed since Alric was strong enough to haul the bags himself. Finally, following the clop of his own cane and followed by the little Elf with wagon in tow, Alric Stormbringer began making his way down the long corridor to the Iron Gate.
The Dragonsguard at the gate looked upon Alric with great admiration, happily allowing him to upset their schedule by taking as much time as he needed. Every Gloridax knew that Alric Stormbringer was the founder of modern chaos magic, and that these great and glorious tournaments would never have been possible without him.
With a quick look to the little Elf, Alric said “Don’t make a spectacle of yourself.” Alric had granted the Elf permission to accompany him onto the arena floor only if he could maintain his composure. Wishing he was still napping in the plush dressing room lounger, Alric sighed at the Guard, signalling that he was ready for the match to begin.
The great iron gate swung open, and Alric walked quickly into the light that streamed in from the arena. The little elf with his wagon followed behind, and Alric was struck with a peculiar thought. No matter how much I win, the only real winners here are the Gloridax. Through this blasted tournament and their foolish notion of imposed peace, the damned Dragons are only becoming stronger. All they seek is control.
I’ll continue to entertain their tournament crowds for now, but they should beware my approaching retirement. Freedom and Chaos must be defended, and the monsters of the deep, when summoned by the likes of me, are capable of far more than play.
Written by Chris Roberts, Lore Master
Original Steem Post @steemmonsters