Friday, July 24, 2020

Ten Fearsome Pit Fighters of the Grand Arena

There are many fighting pits in the city, but none of them compare to the Grand Arena in terms of prestige, showmanship, and skill of the fighters. The fights generally end if one of the fighters is unconscious or too severely injured to continue, but rarely end in death. It is far more likely that a bland or unexciting fighter will simply be asked to retire if he can't rouse the spectators and get the crowd behind him. The most successful fighters are well paid and cared for.

1. The Living Legend
Human Fighter IX, AC as studded leather +2, steel longsword +1 (generally used with both hands)
STR 13 DEX 10 CON 16 INT 9 WIS 16 CHA 19
The Legend is a grizzled veteran, who fought in innumerous bouts and mastered both the flashy arena fighting style, as well as the backstage politics. He is known to personally train promising youngbloods and is rumored to own at least part of the pit fighting business in the city.
Special Maneuver: The Murderstrike – The Legend quickly changes the grip on his longsword to one-handed, grapples his opponent with his free hand and knees him in the face. Then he grabs his longsword with both hands by the blade and hits his opponent in the head with the pommel (if he feels charitable) or the crossguard (if not).

2. The Blademaster
Half-elf Fighter VIII, AC as brigandine and buckler, meteoritic iron pata (gauntlet sword) +2
STR 14 DEX 17 CON 16 INT 12 WIS 11 CHA 17
The Blademaster was trained in faraway lands and came to the city relatively recently. He climbed the arena ladder astonishingly quickly and thanks to his exotic weapon, raw charisma and lightning-fast reflexes, managed to win the championship from the Living Legend in a beautiful and bloody bout. It is rumored that the Legend is furious about this development and quietly plots revenge.
Special Maneuver: Ten Thousand Dragons – The Blademaster throws his buckler at his opponent to distract him, then quickly closes the distance, grabs his opponent's hand and – by applying a wristlock – maneuvers his opponent's body to a vulnerable position to deliver a lightning-fast flurry of thrusts with his gauntlet sword.

3. The Crimson Charger
Dwarf Barbarian VII, AC as unarmored, rusty great flail
STR 16 DEX 9 CON 18 INT 7 WIS 17 CHA 10
The Charger is a scar-covered, unhinged lunatic and an outsider to the Arena fighting elite. He lacks the skill and showmanship normally associated with the profession but managed to get some fans behind him because of his relentless, foolhardy fighting style. Recently he accomplished an impressive winning streak which grants him an opportunity to challenge the Blademaster for the championship.
Special Maneuver: Red Rage – After the Charger is successfully attacked and wounded by his opponent, he lets out a frightening battle cry, runs at his opponent and delivers three (high, low, high) mighty blows with his rusty great flail knocking him prone. At this point, he might either celebrate with the crowd or deliver one final blow to his downed opponent.

4. The Tower
Orc Fighter VI, AC as leather, greatsword +1
STR 17 DEX 7 CON 18 INT 8 WIS 11 CHA 9
The Tower is one of the promising journeymen, that caught the attention of the Legend to be personally trained by him and elevated to a higher status. The Tower is a huge, imposing fighter that lacks subtlety or grace. He rarely speaks or changes his facial expression and has trouble getting the crowd to his side. He is fiercely loyal to the Legend as sometimes acts as his enforcer and bodyguard.
Special Maneuver: Stone Swat – The Tower successfully sidesteps his opponent's attack and suddenly changes his stoic demeanor by smiling viciously. He clobbers his opponent's head with a pommel of his greatsword, sweeps the opponent's leg, and delivers a mighty strike to the falling enemy, sending him flying.

5. The Blackguard
Human Fighter VI, AC as scale mail, halberd
STR 13 DEX 12 CON 14 INT 15 WIS 18 CHA 9
The Blackguard is a disgraced temple guard, who started fighting in the Arena out of sheer economic necessity. The nature of his transgression towards the temple remains unclear. Many fantastic rumors about the circumstances that lead to his dishonor are flying around the city. He very recently managed to defeat the Dirty Dastard during one of the Grand Arena's big events and is now looking to establish himself as one of the top fighters.
Special Maneuver: Cry of the Cursed – In one swift motion, the Blackguard disarms his opponent with the hook of his halberd, trips him, and knocks him prone. When the opponent tries to stand up, the Blackguard delivers an executioner-style cut to the kneeling opponent's neck.

6. The Dirty Dastard
Human Fighter IV Thief II, AC as breastplate and buckler, broadsword
STR 12 DEX 12 CON 18 INT 16 WIS 12 CHA 10
The Dastard is known as the dirtiest fighting man in the Arena. He's the pit fighter that the Arena spectators simply love to hate. His fighting style is characterized by frequent use of low blows, eye rakes, and throwing sand into his opponent's eyes, among other numerous dirty tricks in his arsenal. Nobody sees him as a future champion material, but he established a niche for himself as a sort of a gatekeeper, a man to defeat to reach the higher echelons of the Grand Arena fame.
Special Maneuver: Betrayer's Blow – The Dastard feigns a high cut and when the opponent attempts to block it, the Dastard puts his broadsword between his opponent's legs, delivers a draw cut to his opponent's inner thigh and immediately disengages. While his opponent bleeds out trying to stay upright, the Dastard celebrates and taunts the crowd. When the opponent inevitably collapses, the Dastard might humiliate his opponent with kicks, spitting and verbal abuse or simply deliver a coup de grâce.

7. The Fearless
Elf Thief V, AC as unarmored, double daggers +2
STR 9 DEX 17 CON 16 INT 10 WIS 12 CHA 18
Nobody would mistake the Fearless for a great warrior at first glance. He's a short, lean man with the face of a boy. His fighting style is the epitome of high-risk, high-reward. He often leaves himself open for enemy counterattacks. Because of that he rarely wins his bouts but is beloved by the Arena crowd.
Special Maneuver: Deadly Leap – When his opponent attacks, the Fearless drops his daggers, jumps high in the air and lands feet-first on his opponent, after performing a perfect somersault.

8. The Carousal Prince
Tiefling Fighter II Thief II Wizard I, AC as unarmored, falchion
STR 10 DEX 11 CON 15 INT 16 WIS 8 CHA 17
The Prince has gained quite a reputation as a patron of various banquets, bacchanals, and orgies across the city. He's always laid back and gives off an aura of confidence and coolness. He's beloved among the city's more hedonistic aristocrats who cheer for him and hope to party with him after his latest victory.
Special Maneuver: Golden Debauchery – The Prince parries his opponent's blow, closes the distance, and headbutts the other fighter. At this point, he delivers a powerful cleave to his stunned opponent's hamstring and quickly runs closer to the spectator's seats to be able to catch and douse the many bottles of liquor, that his fans are throwing at him from the tribunes. Once satisfied, he faces his opponent and charges at him once more to deliver a wild cut preceded by a dance-like pirouette.

9. The Pouncing Puma
Human Fighter I Thief III, AC as unarmored, shortsword and dagger
STR 12 DEX 19 CON 16 INT 8 WIS 13 CHA 16
Puma is one of the journeyman pit fighters of the Grand Arena that caught the eye of the Living Legend and gained his tutelage and protection. Just as the Tower, he often acts as a backup for the Legend. The Puma is a master acrobat and his fighting style is full of flips, twirls, and showy flourishes. Though not entirely humorless – as he likes to toy with his opponents by leveraging his speed advantage – the Puma is a merciless warrior who looks to use any of his opponent's weaknesses for his advantage.
Special Maneuver: Daredevil Dodge – The Puma stands still and waits till the very last moment to dodge his opponent's strike and – by using his opponent's momentum – trips him and sends his enemy flying. His enemy will most likely lose his balance and fall to the ground at this point and that's when the Puma will leap into the air and sink both of his weapons into his opponent's body.

10. The Wellborn Warrior
Tiefling Fighter IV, AC as studded leather +1, rapier and swordbreaker
STR 17 DEX 12 CON 17 INT 16 WIS 8 CHA 14
The Wellborn Warrior is a scion of a well-known aristocratic family. He's an arrogant, cocky fighter that isn't above using dirty tricks when losing a fight. He's got a certain swagger and a lordly demeanor but he often shows himself to be a coward when it looks like he's about to lose a bout. And even if he loses, he claims that the fight was close and exaggerates his accomplishments to belittle his opponent's skill. He's almost universally reviled by the Arena's patrons, though recently – by using underhanded tactics – he picked up quite a winning streak and is looking to break into the Arena's elite.
Special Maneuver: Superior Strike – The Wellborn feigns fear, drops his rapier, and runs away from his opponent. When given chase, he catches the other fighter's weapon with his swordbreaker, disarms and grapples him, and delivers a powerful suplex dropping his opponent on the crown of his head. 

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