Things do not go well for the other team from the word go. The female psychic warrior flickers like a ghost between the groups members, striking each with her psi-infused blades. However, she ends her teleportive charge a little too close to the barbarian, and a moment later is exposed to the full fury of the Ulnyrr.
Shnecke, now growing tired of this group gives in to his rage, and deep within himself finds the icy power of his homeland. As he allows the essence of that land to infuse his very spirit, so a startling change overtakes him. His skin becomes translucent and a thin layer of ice forms over his body and cakes his hair and beard. His eyes begin to glow with an eerie blue light; dismal and algid, and his breath fumes with frozen vapour. His voice, when he howls, is the hollow cry of the boreal winds as they shriek from the jagged fields of the Tokara'Tai, and his blood runs as cold as the springs that surge beneath its great glaciers and frozen wastes.
He charges the woman, and with all the force of his lands spirit behind him, strikes her with a blow beyond anything anyone could imagine possible. With one blow, the woman goes from near full health to out of the battle, the massive axe, caked in hoarfrost, striking her with enough force to split her in half - or at least it would were it not for the protective spells of the arena mages. Even the barbarian's allies are shocked by the force of the blow.
For a stunned moment the group stare at the hulking, ice wreathed barbarian. Then, inspired by what they have just seen, they leap to attack. In a heartbeat, the other party are down to two members – a swordsman and a mage. The group begin to split their numbers, hoping to capture the stragglers in a deadly pincer movement. However, this plan is severely disrupted when the mage conjures a vast field of black and red vapour. Stinking of burned blood and thick with necrotic energy, the cloud blocks sight and drains vitality. Jaeger, Emmiven and Varracuda all find themselves blind and unable to move within the cloud, and Seren finds herself along on the cloud's far side, cut off from the rest of her party. Grigori and Shnecke however are free, and set about taking the mage down.
The barbarian charges the white robed spellcaster, and lands a solid blow against them. Wincing at the injury, he responds by speaking a potent word of magic, and Shnecke suddenly finds himself 75' away, a stinging pain hitting him from all across his body. Dizzy and dazed from the involuntary teleportation, he dimly realises that he is bleeding from all over; the top layer of his skin having been teleported away. The bleeding only lasts a few seconds though, as his icy soul freezes the blood into a blackish-red crust, and he charges once more towards the mage.
Icy points of light appear around the wizard and warrior at this moment, each charged with a deadly cold, as Seren casts a spell at them. The mage avoids the attack, but the warrior is caught by it, frozen wounds jagging across his body, and with a snarl he charges the sorceress swinging his flail. She manages to blast him again before he reaches her, seriously wounding, but not stopping him, and as he reaches her he swings his fail, its dense head cracking dully into her skull, sending her reeling.
Emmiven manages to pull free of the consuming torpor the hungry cloud induces in him, and stumbles blindly towards the nearest sounds of combat. He emerges close to the wizard, and with a furious yell he charges, smashing him to floor with a savage blow. At the same time, Seren recovers from her blow and thrusts her enchanted dagger up into the warriors guts, channelling a spell through the blade. The dagger finds a soft spot and slides in so far that Seren can feel his entrails pressing on her hand. The magic erupts inside the man, daggers of icy power impaling his vital organs, and with a choked scream, he falls back, before vanishing in a wash of teleportation.
A lance of colourless energy, brighter than the sun blazes from the priests' outstretched hand and torches the mage, ending him. As he vanishes in a blaze of magic, he smiles at the party, a strangely satisfied look on his face.
This battle too is over. One more to go.
By this point there are literally only two other groups remaining in the arena; a group of dented and bloodied Dundorin and a panting party of mostly female adventurers.
The metallic voice of the arena suddenly fills the air, grating across the bloodied and churned battlefield...
“All combatants! Prepare to face your last trial!”
The group begin to form up as best they can, eager to gain some kind of formation before whatever happens next occurs. The other groups do the same, looking uncertain as horrific, monstrous sounds begin to echo from behind the massive adamantine portcullis's that line the arena's high walls.
Then, with a loud clank and rumble of machinery, the gates open and three groups of horrors enter the arena. The Dundorin find themselves facing a towering Vulgol'Gigorim; a freakishly muscle-bound specimen that swings a tree trunk as a weapon. The female adventurer's face a Chmiera; a hybrid things that bears the heads of a goat, dracani and lion and which initiates its combat with a blast of flame.
Our group faces four foes. Each is a hulking humanoid; obscenely muscled and dressed in thick armour made from poorly cured animal furs. They have thick, leathery flesh which is brownish-grey in colour, and are covered in horny plates, warts and strands of lank, slimy hair. Their faces are brutish with upthrusting tusks, bulbous noses and dark eyes under sloped, lowering brows, their hair long, black and lice infested. They stink. The are Urgorgori (Ogres).
Three of the brutes carry crude clubs and have long, iron tipped javelins across their hunched backs. They are almost 9' tall and only slightly less wide, though they move with surprising speed and a loping grace. The fourth Urgorgori is taller still and wider. Unlike the others it carries only one weapon – a two-handed axe with a blunt, crude iron blade.
Everyone spends a moment trying to gather their jangled nerves, and it is agreed that they will act when the monsters inevitably charge and try to swat them, moving as one to surround, flank and destroy them. Unfortunately, the three bearing javelins do not charge straight in, and instead move around the group, lobbing their javelins with deft skill and added momentum from their run, each hitting with deadly effect. One of the brutes then charges, scoring a ferocious hit against Emmiven with its club, splitting the warlord's armour and sending him reeling.
The hulking axe bearer begins to charge the group with a rumbling growl, and the party leap in to attack the brute that just smashed Emmiven, scoring several telling blows, and killing it. Then the axe-bearer arrives, swinging the quarter ton weapon with both massive arms in a deadly sweep.
The attack misses both Varracuda and Shnecke who see it coming and duck underneath it. Poor Emmiven however, still shaken from the brutality of the Urgorgori's last blow, doesn't get out of the way...
...The blade strikes him in the neck, glancing off his suddenly dented breastplate and slicing him across his throat. A puff of crimson explodes out, and the warlord drops like a stone, landing awkwardly, blood spurting in a crimson jet from his severed carotid...
...Varracuda darts in towards the massive beast and deftly lands three lethal blows; the first carving a rune of vulnerability to fire in the monsters flesh, the second and third unleashing devastating blasts of flame directly, exactly, perfectly into the arcane geometry of that bleeding rune, rendering horrific ruin on the monsters body, both inside and out...
...The world suddenly becomes washed out by negative colours..
...A field of golden energy surrounds the party, as if the ground is suddenly radiating all the warmth and comfort of the sun at once. Grigori, bathed in a light almost painful to look at speaks a chant of healing and Emmiven finds himself awake and his wounds rapidly diminishing. More magic darts from the priest, closing residual wounds, restoring hope and strength, and giving the party the power to finish this battle and finish this trial...
The battle is short but brutal after this. The monsters are dismantled by the rejuvinated party, the final blow being a precision strike from Jaeger which tears the life and soul from the final Urgorgori.
They have done it!!!!
They are through!!!!
A wall of protective glyphs springs up around the party, and they are told to report to the arena manager so their details can be taken, and so they can be registered for the first day of the battles; the 21st of the 6th moon.