DEADGOLD ARENA! Intro.
“Miss Nikoli. How is the search for new blood going?”
A dark and deep voice spoke from a surveillance camera on the corner of the ceiling inside of a small room. It spoke to a woman in her mid-30s who was sitting near some drawn circles on the ground, wearing a long, navy blue robe along with a small purple sorcerer hat. The colored circles on the ground were surrounded by different withered plants and bones, coming from a wide variety of species. The woman looked back up to the camera, giving it a small nod before placing her hand on the circle that was furthest to the right of the room. The symbols inside of it began to glow with a bright white color that lit up the room.
“I have indeed found some warriors that I hope will be to your liking, Mr. Buck. I tried to keep this choice of combatants a bit more varied than the last to make up for the less than stellar season we had last time.” said the witch as she noticed how the light was forming into a portal-like structure. Fuzzy images were shown inside, but they were clearing up by the second.
“Good. I have contacted the marketing department to up the stakes for the coming attractions, so I have high hopes for these guys. Anything to make the people forget about that all-vampire fiasco.” responded the voice from the camera. The sound of a deep breath could be heard as well as the rustling of paper from the other side of the lens.
“So who’s the first one you got?” asked the dark voice, sounding intrigued as the light from the circles became brighter.
The witch carefully walked next to the portal as it began to show clear and well defined images of a pale man wearing an asymmetrical, knight-like armor along with a long, tattered and blue cape. His teeth were sharp and his left eye was blind. His black hair had frost covering the edges and his left arm was unarmored, covered in runic tattoos. In the images, he was shown swinging around a large and spiked blade wildly with a big grin on his face, cutting down a variety of enemies into bloody and gory chunks, mostly unarmed humans. From time to time, his tattoos would glow as the slain corpses would rise up, serving him in the cruel battle.
“I took note of your request for more blood-thirsty and violent competitors to earn the attention from the more sadistic audiences. I also noticed the lack of undead fighters during these last years. And I think I have a good candidate to fill both positions. Meet Johannes Svartsvard, a marauding Death Knight who seeks nothing but wealth and power, a great enthusiast of causing misery for the slightest of offences. He possesses inhuman strength as well as some spells often seen amongst necromancers. His brutality and his ability to survive injuries that kills most mortals will be great for drawn-out bloodbaths.” said Nikoli as she began to move towards the next circle, making it glow as well.
“Hmmm… So far, so good. Putting him in death matches would be a good gamble in order to raise the ratings. But what about someone who can mix strength with tactics? This guy seems mostly to be about brute force and that can get boring quickly if he survives for too long.” wondered the voice from the camera. Nikoli responded with a small smile and a nod.
“I’m glad you asked”
The second portal began to show images of a large woman, almost 7 feet tall. She was clad almost entirely in chainmail and plates, covering her entire body. She wore a Viking helmet that covered the upper half of her face, but her long ginger hair could be seen through it. She wielded a one-handed Ulfberht sword and a light wooden shield. She was shown to be battling other fellow Vikings, both men and women, trading blows in different halls as people watched, cheering her on. In some of the images, she was seen in the middle of battlefields, striking down foe after foe with precise and strong attacks.
“I bring you Annika Lundadotter, the daughter of a Viking chieftain, rumored by her fellow kinsmen to be a Valkyrie sent by Odin himself. As kind as she is tall, as strong as she is patient. As loved as she is feared, and as dreaded as she is respected. Having many years of experience in both non-lethal duels and all out wars, she has learned how to survive on her own in the cold north with nothing but the blade of her mother and the fat of the land. A honorable and fair fighter, but by no means weak or soft. As expected by any proper Viking.” The voice of Nikoli spoke with charisma as she did her best to advertise the fighters to her employer. To her luck, the voice in the camera seemed delighted by the choices so far.
“They don’t make women like this anymore, sadly…good thing that I have a certain someone who can look through countless worlds as easily as most people look through windows. But enough about my love for big ladies. What else do you have in store? A gunslinger, I hope?” said the man behind the camera with a delighted tone.
“Better yet. I found two, both on completely different spectrums of society. Let’s start with the more shady one, shall we?” said the witch as she once again walked towards another circle, activating a portal.
Yet again, the bright light showed images of an upcoming warrior. This time it was of a man wearing a white tuxedo and brown pilot glasses. He seemed to be of Latin-American decent, possessing a noticeable tan and a brown, slim goatee and a thin line of hair along his jawline. He was almost always seen smoking a large cigar while wielding two guns, one of the pistols looking cleaner and shinier than the other. Now and then, he would be seen counting money while sitting next to many white cubes wrapped in plastic. Other times he would be seen turning the guns into knuckles or knifes as if they were bendable to his will. The magic images also displayed him firing into crowds of police officers or gang-members while driving away with a small smile on his face.
“The man you see here has no real name, or at least not one that anyone has found yet. He instead names himself after his idol and role model: Escobar. At first glance, he seems to be just another drug lord from the South American underworld. But at closer look, you will find a man who can control silver and lead with a simple touch, turning the metals into any weapon he wishes. A man whose everyday life consists of smuggling, assassination, bribing and extortion will force him to learn how to handle himself in the world that wants him dead. And handle himself he can, proven by his growing empire and his capabilities with a gun. Both brutal and cunning, Escobar will make the deadly silver worth its weight in gold.”
Once again, the voice behind the camera released a chuckle of joy at the new attraction.
“Wonderful. Long time since we used human criminals for our games, let alone one with experience like his. Now tell me about this other gunner that you have found.”
Nikoli activated the fourth portal without a word as it once more showed a new combatant.
A red-haired woman, wearing a black cape, a beige jacket and pants, dark fingerless gloves and brown combat boots was seen holding on to a sniper rifle as she was shooting down a variety of demons from a distance. Her stern eyes were grey and her ears were tall and pointy, similar to those of an elf. Whenever a demon got close to her, she would pull out two handguns and shoot down her foes with ease. Even when they tried to sneak up on her, she could hear them coming. Now and then, she would be seen in a shooting range, practicing with a variety of pistols or rifles on moving targets, hitting most of them at first glance.
“A hunter of her own kind: Ryo. A demon that lives in the human settlement of New Ayers, protecting the city from the species that created her. A stoic and serious marksman who through years of killing unholy creatures has earned a name for herself as one of the top upholders of the law, keeping the people safe from humans and monsters. She is an expert with a variety of firearms, but her biggest strength comes from her demonic senses, being able to detect most threats from long distances while enduring through fatal injuries time after time. Being an officer of order, she is also skilled in hand to hand combat, giving her more advantages in the arena than most gunslingers that we have had so far.” demonstrated Nikoli as she walked towards the next portal. She could hear a sound of approval from the camera.
“As always, you never seize to amaze me, Miss Nikoli. I’m happy so far with the results. But I see that you have 4 portals left. Show me these last fighters.” said the dark voice.
With the order given, another light was lit. This time it showed a young woman with a blond ponytail, riding on a mechanical tricycle. She was constantly seen wearing a helmet and sunglasses as she rode past many roads, wielding a baseball bat. As she was dressed in her grey t-shirt and brown jeans she was seen foiling the plans of demons, avoiding a large variety of traps set up by Satan himself while even talking down to God. She was depicted leading a squad of similar women, harassing people of the opposite gender and building upgrades for their vehicles. A sound of a chair moving fast could be heard from behind the camera.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! Pause that for a moment! Did I just see her flip off The Devil and God and walking away Scot-free?! Who the hell is this?!” exclaimed the voice, sounding both surprised and a bit intimidated. In response to this, Nikoli cleared her throat before moving some white strands of hair behind her shoulder.
“That would be Xanthe Justice. She is the most outstanding member of The Sisterhood, a rather fanatical group consisting of radical feminists. Judging by her and their actions, I use that word in the loosest meaning possible, but enough about that. I didn’t think of her to be someone who should be taken notice too, but then I saw these… eye-catching moments that you just witnessed. Apparently, she has an ability to stand against gods and demons with greater ease than Jesus Christ, being able to avoid any form of punishment, revenge or retribution, even when it comes from divine beings. Almost every woman in her realm seems to be allied to her and she has proven to be able to defeat nearly any man in her universe without breaking a sweat. I am skeptical about this one, but I thought it would be better if I showed her to you before making any decision on my own.”
There was a long moment of silence once she stopped talking. Almost 2 minutes to be precise. A concerned sigh was heard from the camera before the shifting of a table was heard.
“Hmmm…a potential reality-warper who fights the Devil flawlessly without difficulty…I think this is what the humans call a… Mary Sue… this might be a threat to the battleground, but we have to take the chance. Besides… feminism is all the rage around this world these days, so we should be able to capitalize on it. If we’re lucky, she will be the source of many flamewars and debates.” said the voice behind the camera. This made Nikoli raise a questioning eyebrow towards the lens.
“Sir… are you sure that’s the kind of publicity that we need?”
A small laugh was heard through the camera along with the sound similar to that of a lighter emitting sparks. Seconds later, an exhalation was heard.
“It’s like I always say, Miss Nikoli: ‘Controversy Makes Cash!’ There is no such thing as bad publicity. We’ll include her, but keep a close eye on her. I don’t want her turning half the population into her own personal army.”
“Understood, Mr. Buck. Should I show you the next contestant that I have in mind?” she asked with an unsure tone in her voice.
“Be a dear and proceed.”
The sixth portal opened up and illuminated the room, showing a tall and pale woman. Her short hair was faded blue as her eyes glowed with a dark red color. She wore nothing but some golden bracelets on her feet, a pair of dull green shorts and a cropped tube top with the same color. On her forehead was a metallic contraption that carried many small circuits that was connected to a large pipe in her neck. Similar pipes were connected to her arms, whose forearms were basically large tubes with sharp claws for fingers and a purple orb-shaped crystal on each palm. In the images displaying her, she was seen tearing through doors and machines with her claws as she blew up down cars with purple laser blasts from her hands. Now and then she would launch her claws towards enemies to drag them close enough for lethal blows.
“Behold: The Sorrow. A cyborg formerly known as P-420 who was created to hunt and absorbing the power from minions of dark worlds, a job that she proved to be rather good at. However, after defeating a creature of sadness, she was possessed by it, becoming an agent of the very forces that she was made to end. Unlike most of the competitors we have here, this one actually has some experience in arenas like ours, having both won and lost a good amount of battles in the past. This will be the first time we have ever had a mechanical combatant within our ranks.” said the white-haired witch, looking over the two remaining portals.
“Looks like a good choice. However, I’m noticing a lack of martial artists here. Are you sure any of the last two combatants will be able to fill that role?”
“I was just getting to that one, sir.”
Another upcoming fighter was shown in the illumination emitted from the second last portal. It showed a rather agile and fast woman leaping and running around, often holding onto large bags that would leak some golden coins and jewels. She had the large ears of an ape along with a long brown-red monkey tail with two golden bracelets on it. She wore thigh-high socks that were colored banana-yellow and dirt-brown along with short shorts, detachable sleeves and an armless hoodie with the same color. She was seen avoiding bullets by moving from obstacle to obstacle in a city-like environment before dealing power kicks and punches towards her enemies. Sometimes she would rip out street signs from the ground and use them as weapons against larger foes, wielding them masterfully. Sometimes she was seen in old ruins, pilfering and looting treasures while avoiding traps.
“The last woman out of the chosen gladiators: Lizzy Strong. She is a monkey-girl who has a long history of theft and treasure hunting as well as hand to hand combat. Though she rather prefers dealing with her enemies by avoiding them, she is not above using dirty tricks to take down foes. Her acrobatic abilities and strong body allows her to pull off moves not possible by most humans, even when carrying heavy weights. Though her ways of making a living may not be the most honest, she has still shown to possess a heart as valuable as the riches that she claims, standing up for weaker people and aiding those in greater need than herself. And she is also what many people would consider attractive. Fan-service material, if you prefer.”
Another deep inhalation was heard from the voice behind the camera.
“I myself am more into taller and bigger women, but I guess more people are favorable towards the classic large-chested crowd. Sure. We will include her as well in the arena. So who’s the last guy you got for this season?”
Nikoli made her way towards the final portal, making it emit light like the others. The light portrayed a young man with cat-like ears and a feline tail. He wore a white shirt with small black shoulder pads along with a light blue cape, brown boots and a pair of blue pants. He was seen swinging around a long silver blade, turning unholy monsters such as demons and undead into dust by emitting bright lights from his hands. Now and then he would be displayed along with cheering crowds of people in a city, mostly earning the fame from humans.
“Syranon Glaed, one the few Beastmen to make it towards the human settlement of New Ayers. A young and kind-hearted paladin who backs up his naïve nature and sensitive personality with years of experience in the battlefield, hunting demons wherever they may threaten humanity or beast folk. His blessed silver blade has taken the lives of many monsters, both large and small, earning him a celebrity status in his hometown. As a member of law keeping forces, he has proven to be an ally of the everyday people along with his greatest partner, Ryo. To make matters more interesting, he seems to have some history with the death knight, Johannes Svartsvard.”
The voice behind the camera made a small laugh at the news regarding the paladin.
“Perfect! A little bit of rivalry is always good to keep the people going. I also like that pretty-boy face he got there. Good for the fan-girls and kids. I can see his face all over their T-shirts.” exclaimed the voice joyfully. The witch made a small nod while sporting a smile, happy to have satisfied the needs of her demonic master.
“Shall we send in the Capturers now while our collection of champions and beasts are prepared, Mr Buck?” she asked politely before looking over the portals one last time.
A malicious and silent laugh was heard from the camera along with something wooden scraping across the floor.
“Yes… Bring them over to this realm. Make them ready… they will serve us well in the Deadgold Arena!”