Edar: Return of Akolo
Amulet of Mighty Fists
This large amulet is made of silver and gold the silver being runes that are etched across the suface. A small amber stone rests in the center of this golden amulet, resembling a bestial eye.
Swords drawn, three men stood in the middle of the dusty road circling a single, unarmed lizardman. It was Versel
the pitfighter and they were not about to take their chances with him.
Calm and collected, the cold-blooded fighter clinched his empty fists until his knuckles cracked loudly as a tumbling boulder.
He wasn’t always so calm. In the scarce, fleeting seconds that past as the men circled with their swords, Versel remembered back to a day years ago….
It wasn’t often Versel became nervous, but if lizardmen could sweat, he’d have had droplets streaking down his scaly face.
It was the day for which young Versel had been waiting for so long: his chance to prove himself as the meanest, toughest, and most skilled pit fighter in the land. Only one thing stood between himself and the enchanted amulet offered as a prize for winning the tournament: a strapping, powerfully-built seven-feet tall half-orc named Gorefist.
Versel wasn’t nervous because he feared losing, or because he was scared of the pain. No, he was nervous because he worried he would be unable to stop himself before beating the half-orc into a bloody corpse of snapped bones and torn flesh. Disqualification had been the way of his only losses, and they numbered more than one.
The announcer stood before a motley audience of hundreds, magic amulet dangling from his fingers, glittering in the noon-time sun for all to see. Thinking back, Versel couldn’t remember the announcer’s introductions; he could only remember standing and rushing forward with adrenaline-pumped legs before pouncing on the half-orc like a tiger leaping onto its prey.
Fangs barred, hatred gleaming in his serpentine eyes, Versel was a furious cyclone of tooth and claw…
…Until the half-orc sent his sledgehammer of a fist crashing into the lizardman’s jaw, nearly unhinging it from his face.
Through the pain and the fatigue, Versel fought. Twenty minutes past, no rounds, no breaks, just two bestial warriors trying their best to kill one another. The crowd was crazed with bloodlust, whipped into a fervor with every spray of crimson gore.
Though the half-orc was a mighty opponent, he could no longer stand against the lizardman’s fierce onslaught. He dropped to the blood-soaked dirt and rolled away, trying to put distance between him so he could stand for a desperate, last-ditch effort.
That was when the glass bottle smashed into Versel’s left eye, scratching though its nictating membrane to cut his slit-like pupil. Versel roared in pain and anger, staggering back.
Gorefist stood, bewildered at his fortune. A man in the audience who had bet against the lizardman had thrown the bottle, and it had inflicted the desired effect. Gorefist looked at the two referees who both yelled for him to continue fighting. With hesitation, the half-orc waded back into the fray with a haymaker.
Yes, Versel eventually lost the fight ten minutes later, but it was obvious what had turned the tide. So close — but the shimmering magical amulet was now just a figment of his memory.
The lizard man sat in one dark corner of the tavern covered in blood, nursing his disappointment as well as his swollen, sightless left eye. He knew eventually his wounds would heal, even his eye, but the loss that day would leave a scar deeper than any sword could rend.
Suddenly, the door swing open. A mountainous figure ducked under the threshold and stood scowling at all the tiny humans who dared meet his gaze for even a brief instant.
One bloody, bandaged hand gripped the chain upon which the magic amulet dangled. His glare scanned the crowd slowly, sweeping across all until it came to rest upon Versel’s one good eye. Versel stood from his chair defiantly, ready — nay, eager — for another go.
Slowly, eyes never leaving Versel’s, Gorefist strode across the crowded room. The way parted before him as people scampered away from the juggernaut’s path. As he approached, Versel used one claw to fling the table away from between them before loosing a bloodcurdling battle hiss — “Come, orc-blood,” Versel roared, “Let me finish what I began in the ring!”
The stone-faced half-orc never flinched as he stood like a statue, brow furrowed, mouth turned down into the deepest frown. Without warning, he tossed the amulet onto a nearby chair’s seat and stared back at the seething lizardman.
Leaning forward and pointing, the half-orc delivered a threat in low, gravelly voice:
“One day, I’ll be back for that. You won’t win next time.”
With that, he turned and walked away….
Not a day passes in which that warning ceases to echo in Versel’s memory.
Not a day passes in which Versel doesn’t ready himself for its arrival.
Finally, the first of the three men worked up the courage to strike. Sword raised, he rushed forward, shouting, the other two not far behind. Versel parried, ducked, and whirled, smashing his fists, elbows and knees into their faces, bones breaking with each strike, blood spattering everywhere.
Soon, the lizardman loomed above their lifeless bodies, staring down at them, the sun glinting off the golden Amulet of Mighty Fists’ surface.
Like the memory of Gorefist so long ago, Versel turns his back on the broken bodies and walks away, never to be seen there again.