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Blood On The Sand

Arena Glatorian PG-13

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18 replies to this topic

#1 Offline L'Etranger

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Posted Mar 22 2012 - 01:01 PM

Blood on the Sand

Swinging my straight swords wildly, I expertly crush my panicking enemy’s defenses, leaving him open, and allowing me to get closer. His broadsword is no use at such close-range, and he is unable to defend himself. Taking advantage of the situation, I drive my short sword’s pommel into his chest, rushing the air out of his chest, and follow up by a smack to the head with the flat of my blade. He collapses to the sand, unconscious. The crowd cheers, and I twirl my swords before sheathing them. The village’s leader, a less-than-young Agori with a slight limp, signs of a life in combat, raises his staff into the air, ready to announce the winner. “The Glatorian Wilnoth is the victor! He shall advance in the tournament!” He shouts, and the crowd doesn’t wait for him to finish to cheer. I nod my recognition before stepping back into the arena gate, disappearing behind two guards. They both whispered words of congratulation. I remain silent, but nod as before. As soon as I have gotten my armor repaired and my swords sharpened, I am notified that my second fight is about to begin. I make my way to the arena, and find that the battle is at it’s very end. Two glatorian, both from the jungle tribe, are severely wounded, and their attacks are sluggish. The smaller one releases a burst of energy and lunged forward, catching the other off-guard and downing him. I throw a coin onto the sand as the crowd would, showing my respect. The glatorian and I make brief eye contact, and his wounded, depressed look pierces deeper than any blade could ever. His expression haunts my thoughts as I make my way down the arena steps and into the sand-filled fighting pit. I’ve never seen someone so… subdued by sadness. His eyes showed that what he did was wrong in his eyes, and that he would have done almost anything to change the battle’s outcome. In all my years of arena battle, I have never seen one with emotion, let alone regret. The simple stare has challenged my entire view of life. Could we not have to kill each other for land and water? Could we actually coexist? My thoughts were shattered by the announcement of my opponent, an obscure female from the Ice tribe. I spin my swords silently, attempting to push my troubling thoughts away. My opponent enters the arena, and from the way she holds her spear and carries herself, her skill is apparent. Her spear’s blade glistens in the sun, its masterfully crafted blade catching the light with beauty. On her belt, a pair of katana-like swords glisten as well. Her eyes fall on me, and her mouth curls into a smirk. She obviously thinks that I am no challenge. Perhaps she is right. Only one thing will settle it, though. Battle. These thoughts rush through my head as I charge forward, sword blades ready to attack, block, parry, and counter attack. She expertly stabs with the spear, and I sidestep to the right, forcing her to pull the spear back for another attack. As she does so, I rush forward, Swords in a X in front of me for protection. She swung the spear vertically, missing me with the blade at such close range, but smashing the wood pole against my shoulder, sending me tumbling once more to the right. I use the force to roll, but even as I evade current danger, I know I stand no chance. I attempt to scramble to my feet, but a vicious kick sends me back down. Before I can roll once more, a sword blade finds it’s mark in my back, taking my life in one quick motion. As she draws the blade out, she kicks me over, and my wound’s blood flows onto the sand. As with many others, my blood runs onto the harsh sand where so many have fallen. The arena has claimed another life yet to be fully lived. The victor accepts the crowd's cheer with a smile on her face, no regret in her mind. Was I truly like that every time I won a fight? Was I truly so selfish and cruel? It is disgusting now to look upon, but I had no such thoughts before. Blood on the sand. A cry of victory, and a cry of pain. One final cry of pain, to be exact. One final cry, one cry that takes with it your life, your soul. Your essence. Your dreams, your hopes, your beliefs. And for what, some pond you've never even seen? That, my friends, is hardly a fair deal. Blood on the sand, victor alive, and loser dead.

The End


Edited by Lord Darkon, Mar 24 2012 - 09:47 PM.

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#2 Offline Jinkmeister

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Posted Mar 22 2012 - 01:23 PM

Excellent work! Very quick read, and very enjoyable. It expertly captures the emotion, the mood, the tone...a work of art. It flowed very well, and there were no grammar errors as far as I could see. I'll definitely have to read more of your stories! Also, listening to Gustav Holst's 'Mars, The Bringer of War' while reading made it that much cooler :P
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#3 Offline L'Etranger

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Posted Mar 22 2012 - 02:05 PM

Thank you for reading and reviewing! I always try to put my heart into any story I write, and I'm glad you think so highly of it.
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#4 Offline Cederak

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Posted Mar 22 2012 - 04:21 PM

Glatorian is clearly derived from gladiator, and you have written an excellent account of that lifestyle here. I did notice a few errors though.

a obscure female from the Ice tribe.

an obscure

it’s masterfully crafted blade catching the light with beauty.

its masterfully

sending my tumbling once more to the right.

sending me

taking my life in once quick motion.

one quick motion

The victor accepts the crowds cheer

the crowd's cheerThis is a brief look at a life of hardship in the arena, battling for your life and for your people. It is a place that does not tolerate mercy or reluctance, and there's a desperation to be victorious. All of that came to life as I read along, really connecting with your nameless warrior. I kinda chuckled though when I read the line "I use the force to roll," with Star Wars immediately coming to mind. Your last line was a bit over the top too, personally, and I think the reiteration is what did it. Despite that, I don't read/comment on much Bara Magna work, but I wanted to say something about this. Nice work.-Ced

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#5 Offline L'Etranger

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Posted Mar 23 2012 - 12:25 PM

Thank you for the review, and for pointing out those errors! I'll be sure to fix them as soon as possible. Glad you liked the story as a whole, I did also think that the story's ending was a bit... dissapointing.
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#6 Offline The Tomorrow Girl

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Posted Mar 23 2012 - 04:34 PM

Wow, simply stunning. As Jinklemeister said above me, it really captures the emotion, mood, and tone of life in the arena. I seriously enjoyed reading this. It seems like a darker version of the Bara Magna arena system that we all knew. Yeah, the last line did seem like a bit too much, but other then that, awesome! :)
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#7 Offline Death of the Endless

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Posted Mar 23 2012 - 04:34 PM

I came here from your subliminal message. :PThe idea (a Glatorian contemplating the struggle between the villages before death, and recognizing a reflection of themselves in their opponent's cruelty) is interesting. However, some sentences seem like they belong more in conversation than in a literary work. For example: "As she does so, I rush forward, Swords in a X in front of me for protection." I think it would be more appropriate to say "swords crossed" (and yes, I know that I am being rather picky, but I honestly think that it would help). Also, "Swords" should not be capitalized, and as Cederak has pointed out, the reiteration in the last sentence makes for a bit of a narm-y feel.I think this story would have been better if it could have been a little longer, too, with more time spent on description and the character's emotions. That would make it easier to feel the despair and regret of the protagonist.Nonetheless, this is pretty good, especially considering that it is an online fan fiction. I like the use of the present tense, which helps increase the drama and realism of the story. I apologize for reacting so critically. I just want to help, if possible.NOTE: If you don't know what "narm" is, Google the TV Tropes page for narm. It's a little hard to explain here.
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"When the first living thing existed, I was there, waiting. When the last living thing dies, my job will be finished.  I'll put the chairs on the tables, turn out the lights and lock the universe behind me when I leave." 

- Death, The Sandman

(Previously Toa Alaka)

#8 Offline L'Etranger

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Posted Mar 23 2012 - 06:05 PM

Thank you both for your reviews! I'll be sure to fix up the story a bit, but at the moment I'm a tad busy, so A modified ending might appear tomorrow.EDIT: Okay, changed ending. Not much better, but it's all I could think of at the moment. Still kinda cheezy, but come on, I'm tired and my mind is liquid.

Edited by Lord Darkon, Mar 24 2012 - 09:45 PM.

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#9 Offline Zaxvo

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Posted Apr 01 2012 - 10:25 PM

Hey, it's Zaxvo here from the SSCC!So I enjoyed reading this, it's intelligent, engaging, and very interesting. But there's one glaring issue that I have with the plot, and that is that the Glatorian fights were never fights to the death. Malum got exiled for killing a competitor; why is the audience here cheering for the other Glatorian when it's obvious that she killed Wilnoth?In the opening fight, Wilnoth doesn't kill the other Glatorian, he takes the effort to use the FLAT of his blade to knock the other Glatorian out, instead of simply killing him. Why? From the beginning, the story is set up in the standard Bara Magna we know: no killing. And when Wilnoth is watching the other two Glatorian fight, you simply say that the winner "downed" the loser. That could still mean knocked out, or even just knocked down. And then at the end, the story goes against everything that is built up before it. Grammar-wise, your writing is excellent. In my opinion, the present tense is odd, at times, but you make it work very well (I get why you chose the present tense; no one wants to grapple with the issue of "If he's dead, how is he talking in the past tense?" lol). Your protagonist goes through a change in attitude in the story, and I think that's really what you wanted to focus on. The good news is, for the most part, it's done very well. You plant the idea in his head in a great way and his change of heart near the end is well-written. My problem with it is that he dies (yes, I'm coming back to this :P). He's dead. So even though he's had this epiphany, it only benefits him...and even then, it doesn't. Because he's dead. The way I would have done it is extend this epiphany so that the climax lines up with the climax in his fight. Make it obvious that this is such a pressing topic, he's still thinking about it while he's fighting. And then, when he comes to the conclusion that violence is wrong, it can be that much more dramatic when he, for example, drops his weapons and refuses to fight. And then you can get into the audience's reaction and whatnot. So basically, because the Bara Magna Glatorian fights never had killing, and it seems like you're dealing with those same fights in your story, the issue of killing other Glatorian seems almost irrelevant...which makes Wilnoth's great mental shift in the story completely spontaneous. But then he does get killed and the reader is left wondering what exactly is going on. I hope that's clear enough. I don't mean to rant or demean you at all; this is an excellent story, well-written and engaging. It's just that Bara Magna isn't the greatest choice of setting. If anything I've said is unclear or whatnot, just ask.
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#10 Offline L'Etranger

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Posted Apr 02 2012 - 12:18 PM

I was hoping someone would bring up the "Killing's not allowed in Glatorian Arenas" point. This story, though you couldn't tell, I considered to be set in the far reaches of Bara Magna, where killing was a option, that most fighters perfered to end their fights with. However, I completely forgot to write about this, and thus, it just seems like a twisted version of the normal arena system.Anyway, yeah, you were right. Bara Magna wasn't the best of choices. The arenas in Stelt would have probably been better.Thanks for the review, I really appreciate you took the time to write it.
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#11 Offline Zaxvo

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Posted Apr 02 2012 - 09:53 PM

Well, that setting is still problematic. First off, if Killing is an option, then why doesn't Wilnoth kill? IMO that would make his transformation that much more dramatic. Other problem is that I'm fairly certain there was no "outer reaches" of Bara Magna -- there were four non-Skrall villages, and if a Glatorian in one village broke the laws and they got away with it, then everyone else around the planet would have found out. They all agreed to these laws. So yeah, the Steltian Arenas would have better in that regard.
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#12 Offline L'Etranger

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Posted Apr 05 2012 - 01:49 PM

I have learned my lesson.The lesson is question is to never have a killing-arena in a Bara-Magna. Do it in Stelt. On a off-topic note, new story (http://www.bzpower.c...?showtopic=4288) up for your reading pleasure!
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#13 Offline Zaxvo

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Posted Apr 09 2012 - 02:03 PM

lol...unless you plan on returning to this story, or something like it, that lesson is fairly useless IMO. The lesson should be to consider your setting carefully so that everything is coherent, consistent and appropriate. I feel like I'm overly criticizing though, so let me add this: your story was very well written, it was gripping, and you have a lot of the right ideas.
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#14 Offline L'Etranger

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Posted Apr 10 2012 - 01:37 PM

Thanks. I feel my above mentioned work is my best to date, though, so your thoughts on that would be interesting as well. /begging.
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#15 Offline The Renegade Emperor

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Posted Apr 10 2012 - 01:47 PM

Well, before I start I have to say I feel... worthless posting after Zaxvo and Jinklemeister.Alright. On the story. It's a simple plot, but it has a deep meaning: death comes for everyone, you can never know when it will come to you and, above all, to say it in gamer slang, if you're on a killing spree it doesn't mean you're not going to die next time you face someone.Nothing more to say. I simply love this genre of stories: short but intense. Very well done, Darkon! ( as always, I'd say )----- Lord of the Rings -----Titles: Dark Lord, Lord of Mordor, Lord of Gifts, Lord of Barad-Dûr, Lord of the Earth
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#16 Offline L'Etranger

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Posted Apr 10 2012 - 03:48 PM

Thanks for your review! You seem to like this genre of story, which I'll hopefully be doing some more of, so stay tuned.
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#17 Offline Athmos

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Posted Apr 12 2012 - 05:36 PM

Brilliant read! I have no criticism for this, only praise! Unique way to tell a story in the arena of Bara Magna, beautiful writing style and I love the ending!
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#18 Offline L'Etranger

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Posted Apr 12 2012 - 08:17 PM

Thank you for your suppourt and praise! I'll be writing more stories (There's already a new one I've linked to in this topic) for your reading pleasure, so stay tuned!
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#19 Offline The Renegade Emperor

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Posted Apr 13 2012 - 01:41 PM

Thanks for your review! You seem to like this genre of story, which I'll hopefully be doing some more of, so stay tuned.

Well, yes, I do like this genre and I'll surely stay tuned for more! Copy that? :P----- Lord of the Rings -----Titles: Dark Lord, Lord of Mordor, Lord of Gifts, Lord of Barad-Dûr, Lord of the Earth

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