Thursday, May 13, 2010

From the Slime Lands to the Pit - a Gladiator's tale

By Lester/B. Portly

Sleestakuras often thinks back to days when life was simple, to a time when I lived in the Slime Lands and my only concern was hunting a meal. Though my Lizardoid tribe was friendly to the Mutants, we were equally distrustful of True Men. The venal and greedy Limb Pirates were a blight on our land. They hunted for that which they could sell to the Flesh Sculptors or the Vat Guild.

Once, the Limb Pirates made a daring raid on the nearby Mutant village. The only survivor was a mere boy whose limbs were so horribly twisted that he was deemed useless for harvest. This pathetic boy, named Mookla had a keen glint of intellect in his eyes. He was also very trusting, and asked to  join our tribe. What could I do but take the poor orphan into my care. Mookla was fascinated with the stories of the Ancients. Over time it became evident he was adept at fixing the simple artifacts that my Lizardoid tribe had salvaged.

I had heard tales of a great store of artifacts east of the Slime Lands and I made up my mind that the boy could decipher them, and protect our tribe from future raids. No sooner than I was out of the swamp than a group of True Men descended on me with nets and clubs. I feared I was in the clutches of the the Limb Pirates, but my fate was much worse.

I was put into a caged cart drawn by zorses and taken beyond my lands to the city of Kharhem where I was placed on sale at the thriving slave market. My owner trained me to fight with a trident as a gladiator. "Win a fight and live another day" was the mantra of gladiators. Though I do not relish my victories, I did live. I became a popular gladiator among the disenfranchised rabble of Kharhem. I suppose because in some way I was a freak, just like them. Soon the name Sleestakarus reached Adomaz to the north. As the Baron Of Adomaz was fond of pit fighting and I was sent there as the champion of Kharhem.

In the fighting pits of Adomaz my master prospered. In the pit, where men fight naked only with daggers, my scales gave me a an advantage, and soon my name was known there too. My master was wise and knew I could not fight for my life indefinitely. He offered me my freedom if I became champion. I relished my freedom. I dubbed myself "the people's champion" in solidarity with the downtrodden. The crowds for my fights grew large and I vanquished all foes and thus I was set free. My master let me keep the tools of my trade and so I set south back to the Slime Lands.

No sooner than I was a few miles from Karhem did I see a huge exodus of people. I learned a preternatural acid storm had assailed the city so I made camp in an ancient cracked dome a few miles away. I was there but a day when I spied what looked like a band of brigands enter the ruins. The crew of toughs looked mean, so I kept my distance. Two approached my camp. Imagine my surprise when one of the two was Mookla, full grown, with tales of his own! Our reunion was short lived. Mookla, through his naive trust,  was carried off that night by a sorcerer that infiltrated our camp.

And so I joined this band of petty thieves and accursed Earth Men. Let them not forget that a shark swims in their midst! Be wary of the Lizardoid who was once the people's champion!

8 comments:

  1. YES! I really feel you found your "Voice" with this character.

    Long live Sleestakuras!

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  2. I've been spelling Sleestakuras wrong all this time?!?!

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  3. Oops, I think I spelled it both ways above. I was going for a mashup of Sleestaks+Spartacus, so actually your spelling makes way more sense - Sleestakarus is now "canon" ;)

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  4. Oh Mookla, he was so smart that it got him killed.

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  5. Great tale! Very evocative imagery.

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