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> Hallow Horror for the Young Mercenaries, In Alguz
post Nov 4 2015, 07:12 PM
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In Alguz a weary, tired little girl enters the Golden Wings Tavern and as she enters the whole tavern goes quiet. Her father nods almost imperceptibly from the other side of the Tavern. It is a nod of acknowledgement and respect. Rangoo realises he has already heard the news that she was the sole survivor and winner of the first annual one night of horror competition.

This had all started because Rangoo wanted recognition from her father as having the potential of being a warrior and a force for good. She had always felt that he had wanted a son to fight the good fight to carry on his work as a smith and defending the people of Primus. She had worked hard in his forge building her strength and watching him work the forge. It was not her fault she was born so small and that others towered over her. She was tough and wanted to prove it so when talk reached the tavern of a competition to survive one night of horror she felt it was a chance to prove herself. She knew she did not need to win to prove herself by simply entering she was proving she was tough enough to try and risk all.

She had asked a local to get her one of the posters to her which read;

Young Mercenaries are called to enter the first annual one night of horror competition to find the best of the best, the bravest of the brave. It’s simple you just have to survive one night at Pietro’s House of Pain located in a pocket plane off Primus. Young Mercenaries wanting to take part in the competition must on Starsday make their way to the Reaper Tavern in Deci. There you will be meet by Rig R Mortis, who will explain the rules and send you on your way. Only the very toughest, most cunning will survive if any survive at all!!

Rangoo had read the poster and shown it to her father, he simply said if you must do this go prepared. He handed her armour he had made just for her and a finely weighted hammer which he had also made for her. She had used them a couple of times before on small mercenary missions she had been on. She knew they were good, her father had a good reputation for making great armour and weapons at a fair price.

She had left for Deci nervous and frightened, how someone of her stature could survive such a trial she thought. There would be bigger, stronger and more skilled mercenaries there. How could she survive?

When she arrived at the Reaper Tavern she was sent to a private room to meet with Rig R Mortis. He wore a tall hat and a mischievous smile. He came across as charismatic but evil. He told them that should they wish to take part in the first annual one night of horror they must understand that once they enter they cannot leave until the end of the night. They will survive the night or they will die. Any deaths will only further fuel the house of horror which will consume them and turn them back against their foes. The more that die the harder things will get. As a reward his master Pietro will gift them with 50,000 grulls and an item or items of their choice to share amongst the survivors and that they should work together if they hope to have any chance of surviving. 16 competitors had turned up including herself and she wondered how many would survive the night.

After the explanation of what was about to happen they were all then mystically transported off to another plane and into a dark foreboding house. Rig R Mortis was their guide and he was accompanied by a creature of death that was there to punish cowardice! She thought back on this; it had hurt a lot when Death touched her for straying to the back of the party. She was not a leader but her small stature meant that she was overlooked on the frontline whilst bigger more powerful mercenaries fought their way to the front. So she survived by not being able to fight at the front nor did stray too far to the rear. This kept her alive whilst others perished. She had watched others die, she watched a porcelain doll fall to some kind of curse that raised him as a Zombie. He was the first to go, and it was a sad death. Others followed, others died one by one, the house consumed them and turned them back against them. The power of the house was immense and terrifying, as each contestant died more undead, priests and other hideous creatures were sent against them. They fought armies of Zombies, Skeletons and Ghouls. She watched as the other contestants were carried off by the creature of death, she watched as a contestant simply walked in to a room to be destroyed by powers beyond her comprehension. She witnessed an army of soldiers be raised to destroy them and more besides.

Towards the end of the night she realised that there was only 4 of them left and she was still there. She could not believe that she was still there; she was a survivor!! She watched another contestant step across a warding and disappear into a pile of ash, he had never seen the warding. There were four statues in the room and one vanished with him. The priest spoke to his gods and discovered they simply had to match the poses of the statues and they disappeared, the warding vanished and they cautiously moved on. There was another warding and the creature of death stood there and asked them riddles. If they knew the answer they should enter the room, if they were wrong they would die. Her two companions both entered and both perished. Death glinted at her and asked her again. She thought about it. Over and over Death and Rig R Mortis repeated the riddle. The answer came to her; “Darkness”! She entered the room she was still alive!

Rig R Mortis then took her to an arena of death circled by 15 priests all holding their hands in the air in supplication to their dark gods. The circle tightened… Rangoo, who was once bitten by a werewolf, howled to the moon and it gave her strength. Rig R Mortis challenged her and goaded her telling her she must fight him to become a champion. She growled, gritted her teeth and fought whilst reciting the oath of the Knights of the Land, she fought for her life. She had hit this man over and over mentally she counted her blows, she had landed 43 clean blows with the strength of 3 men and still the creature did not fall. She was lucky…a distracted priest had missed an opportunity to use his touch of death miracle on her. The priests were dismayed but continued their chanting. Then something strange happened; for a second, just a mere second one of the priests faces changed back into one of the other contestants and without warning killed Rig R Mortis. He fell to the ground and as he did the priests died too. Rig R Mortis rose again and acknowledged Rangoo as the winner. The Priests however rose again as Zombies and trapped her in the corner. Fighting for her life she broke free and ran until she escaped the house…

She reappeared back in the Reaper Tavern…the other contestants had returned alive and well…in her bag she found 50,000 grulls and a necklace around her neck. She had won.

Back in Alguz, in the Golden Wings tavern, her father called her over to his table and the whole tavern sat in silence whilst she told them her story. When she had finished her father stood up and said

“My daughter is the first ever champion of the House of horror, she may be small but she is strong of arm and of spirit. She is a force for good and she will help us defend the people of Primus and of Alguz and I have no doubt that in time her deeds will eclipse my own in this city, Rangoo daughter of Rangar the Blacksmith. We all here acknowledge your bravery and will spread news of your victory far and wide so that all the people will know they have another champion in their midst someone willing to fight and die to make Alguz great, a force for good to protect the land and the people of the land no matter their station. As a father I could not be more proud. "

Rangoo simply beamed…The patrons cheered and news soon spread of Rangoo Champion of the House of Horror!

Will Power - plot@labyrinthe.co.uk
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