(OOC – I apologize if I have dates off… I’m going from memory and don’t have notes with me)
We had several days of waiting for our scheduled bout at the arena. In those days I studied several rituals.
On the prescribed morning, I left my gear in my cell at the Cathedral other than my arms and armor and departed. We were taken into holding cells beneath the enormous complex.
We were held until early afternoon. We learned from the guards that the days’ matches included a group of warforged implicated in some sort of disturbance, a group of bandits taken off of the roads in the area, and a band of professional mercernary orc-kind, who evidently fight the arena for treasure or glory.
When our time eventually came, we emerged into a truly massive battlefield. It appears that the government must spend much more effort into maintaining this place and putting on these battles for entertainment than they spend on seeing to the wellbeing of the people under their “protection” in the lands lorded over by the city.
The arena was hosting multiple battles simultaneously, and there was a large, cheering crowd.
We found ourselves faced with what was a much more elaborate arrangement than I expected. There were a series of columns and walls surrounding a low rise that was crowned with a massive statue. Arrayed on and around the hill, providing them a tactical advantage, was a large number of half-orcs. There were two archers, two casters, a number with long spears, and a commander.
We were commanded to prepare ourselves inside a small starting area between the walls and the opposing force and to await a signal to begin.
After initially arranging ourselves I called out to re-arrange that I might throw protective blessings over the lot of us. Soon the battle was begun.
Deitrich, Drelf, and Monique rushed forward to engage our foes, while I called our Lady’s protection down on us. Deitrich was quickly beset, drawing the attention of the enemy’s front line onto himself, while Dirge and Hali rained spell, chant and dagger down from the rear of our line.
I tried to bolster Deitrich with a healing word and summoned forth divine witnesses to both enhance our healing and hopefully interfere with our enemies’ movement. Maintaining both prayers became taxing and limited the attention I could dedicate to engaging more enemies, though I did manage to engage some with my axe.
While outnumbered, and with our enemies holding the more advantageous ground, we were able to overcome our foes. We took a number of significant wounds, and Deitrich took a nasty blow that briefly knocked him down, but his mettle could not be overcome and he was able to shake it off before Dirge or I was able to come to his aid.
Some of our number made an effort to knock out our foes, others treated them as lethal foes. In the end about half the mercenaries were dead, several were unconscious but lived, and a few had surrendered.
After our battle we were quickly shown out of the arena and sent on our way, our sentence evidently served.
Later a group of guards arrived at the temple and found Monique and left the valuables of those combatants we had defeated as our reward.
A strange and perverse justice system where one can profit as the result of the sentence for a crime. I am glad my calling is to serve a being beyond the transient physical temptations of temporal wealth and power.
Hopefully this chapter is done, and we will not have to deal with this sadistic blood sport as justice system again.