‘Gladiator’ Ardan leaps into the bloody sands of the colosseum. Watch for him in the in-game market!
CHECK OUT HIS 3D MODEL:
- Dragon-toothed caestus
- Ancestor’s Death Mask
- Wolf’s-head cloak
- Halcyon-infused power gem
- Horned Death’s Head Kilt, Kidney belt and Galerus
- Gauntlet made of stakes and barbed wire
ALTERNATE FATE LORE
Thunder rumbled outside the pitch dark holding cell, shaking the bench. He tried to remember how to fight in the mud. Just outside the heavy steel door he heard the wagering of guards and attendants tending to his kilt and armor and most of all to the powerful gem that jolted power to his dragon-tooth caestus. In the nearby cells he heard the other fighters weeping, praying, pacing, growling, and the slapping sounds of a lunatic toughening up his own flesh. From other cells came the whimpering and roaring of animals.
The thunder began to sing, and he thought he must be a lunatic as well until he realized the thunder was the fans stomping to their places in the stands, and the song was for him:
We are marching!
Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!
The heavy steel door opened and light flooded into the cell, blinding him. Another fighter was shoved in with him and the door clanged shut again.
“Who is it?” he hissed.
“No one,” whispered the other.
We are the pack of wolves!
“A woman,” he stated, his voice flat. “One of the queen’s guard?”
“No one,” she repeated.
“Why did they put you here?”
“We are going to fight.”
“Together or against one another?”
“Who can know?”
There was silence between them, two doomed fighters wearing simple under-armor shifts in a cell made of rock and steel, surrounded by the thundering song that bled through the rock and carried for miles: Sanguis! Violentia! The son of Gythia! He felt the woman beside him shaking, from cold or anger or fright he could not tell. He should perhaps have feared her; only the fiercest warriors amused this crowd. But he had not been so close to a woman in many years, and in the claustrophobic dark he could not help but think of his wife, so long dead, and his daughter, out in the world without him since he’d been captured and forced to fight.
Soon he would curse himself for gathering the other gladiator into his arm, for patting her shoulder. “Your first time? No use worrying,” he said. “In the sand, it comes down to luck. Are you lucky?”
Ardan! Ardan! Ardan!
She gasped, then choked on a laugh. “Never.”
“Then I hope we are opponents.”
Light flooded in again as the door opened. Ardan blinked, looked past the guard to the men turning the capstan, the elevator rising with something hungry inside pacing and turning circles.
“Time to armor up,” said the guard.
“Good fortune to you, Ardan,” said the woman, and the guard yanked her away, and their eyes met for the first time in over ten years. Her long dark hair hung in tangles over her face, and without her uniform she seemed small, but it was she: the woman who had slid a blade into his wife’s heart.
It took five guards to hold Ardan down while he struggled and howled. “Save it for the sands,” they grunted, forcing him to his knees as his ancestor’s mask was forced over his face.
To be continued…
CANON ARDAN LORE: