-The path to glory-
With a stunned look, mouth agape and arms limp, the caller stared dumbfoundedly at the Challengers token. Only once in coliseum history had the reigning champion given away his "Right to fight" as it was called, the last time it was given out was close to 6 years ago the man mused as he idly thought about the massive scar in the ancient coliseum walls... Only 1 man had the guts to stand up for himself when matched with a greater foe than himself, with powerful friends the town had later discovered.
Ruby was the first man in the Coliseums proud 150 years of combat to receive the Challengers token, and win.
Now 8 years later, the new Coliseum champion had issued out his own token! Sweat was forming on the callers brow whilest he took the token and placed it into his pocket, a snap of his fingers alerted the guards to open the Arena's underground to the New fighter and his companions.
As the crew walked down the stairs into the cold basement of the coliseum, the training grounds, they would see hundreds of fighters eager for glory waiting in its midst. Some fought others, others trained with unique weapons with others of age and experience coaching them.
Then there was a heat, a blistering heat that rolled across the arena's usually freezing training grounds that made everyone hesitate for a moment. At its heart was what they called, "The masterworks".
A massive forge shaped with the detail of a dragons head sat in the dark corner of the training grounds, separated from the rest of the labyrinth of training rooms and practice arenas. A worn anvil and thousands of weapons were scattered about in every nook and cranny of the great forge. At it's center was a an elderly man in a smiths apron, though he was well past his 60s the man held a posture and a physique that made even Loop seem frail. In this titans hand was an elaborately designed hammer that seemed more fit to smash skulls than pound steel, yet it swung with the grace and power of a lion pouncing it's prey. The steady THUMP and the echo of molding steel echoed from it.
It was here, from this man, that Loop Lionheart would find his armor repaired.
(I'm just gonna take your character for a sec, gotta move things along.)
The old man looked over his shoulder the moment Loop set foot in the doorway with the broken armor, a stern look crossed the mans face as he put down the master hammer to usher him in. On a workbench the armor was placed for him to inspect as Loop told him about the damage it took, the old man nodding as he carelessly flipped it around before giving a sigh of dissapointment, telling the Knight that it would cost a hefty some to repair armor made from such fine materials.
The old man was curious about the dent in the armor, it was small but the force would have to be tremendous to not only dent but crack the fine steel plating. When the name 'Ruby' was uttered, the elderly man gave a great howl of fury deeper then any war drum, tossing the armor into the dragons forge before Loop could object.
"I will forge you a new armor, but you must make me a promise. On your LIFE," The old man turned to look over his shoulder at Loops eyes, a cold fury that had been tempered with age glowed brighter than the sun itself. "Avenge my son, whom was taken from me... By the Gemlord 'Ruby'!"
With that he picked up with great hammer effortlessly, taking the glowing scrapped armor from the furnace and placing it on his anvil.
The Coliseum was a massive circular structure, close to 150 rows of seats in every direction that reached what seemed like the sky itself. A dome, engineered to be opened and closed, had been added on to the coliseums structure recently to provide shade for the fans. In the middle of the Coliseum were 3 areas, "The pit" was as the name stated, a small hole with Spiked edged and a dome overtop.
The opposite side held an elevated platform that reached up just below the stands, atop this platform were bows and spears along with guns. This was used in the team-deathmatch scenario's that were hosted rarely. It was a highly contested area by the sharpshooters.
In the middle Was a labyrinth type maze that flowed into a large circular ring at the center, the walls were made of sand and stone. It was here the Coliseum champion favored highly.
An announcer called out for the cheering masses with a booming voice, the others became quiet to hear his words. "Ladies and Gentleman, Welcome to yet another day of our wonderful coliseums proud series of matches! Today for your pleasure we are proud to welcome back former contestants to the fight!" From a gate near the north, 3 pirates stepped out into the daylight and cheering crowds.
Leading this pack was a large man brandishing throwing hammers, while two large twins followed him up from the pack. "Everyone welcome TEAM HAMMERHEAD!" Whistling and shouting echoed from the crowd as team hammerhead walked forward, from behind them came a couple of stragglers in cloaks.
"Now ladies and gentleman, for the first time in eight years we have a crew of unknowns entered in with the legendary Challengers token! That is right people, The Coliseum Champion has exercised his "RIGHT TO FIGHT" and chosen these souls, what do they have that makes them worthy?! WE'LL FIND OUT! I give you TEAM LIONHEAAAART!" Almost immediately the crowd rose from their seats to cheer and whistle or throw flowers into the ring at the lionheart team, the thrill of the 'Challengers token' had them practically in a frenzy.
When the cheering died down, The caller began the match explanation. "The first match will be a team vs team fight, if you become unable to fight you are to be unharmed! If you attack a combatant who has been disqualified, you will be put in the stocks for 3 days as punishment!" The first thing that our combatants would notice about the battlefield was that the labyrinth in the middle had been covered by a large hill of sand and dirt, creating a large hill for teams to fight around or on. The pit had been de-spiked and the dome above it removed, a set of stairs on each side allowed access or escape.
(Outside the Coliseum earlier)
As the crew departed into the training grounds a certain man in rather plain clothing hefted up a small club, his grin took in his ears. Without warning he gave the unfortunate Ekora a good thump to the side of her head, as she swam in dizziness he hefted her over his shoulder and proceeded to a side house with a secret passage to the training grounds.
As the girl awoke, she would find a disturbing sight in front of her. Artemis Flint, the Ruby gemlord. "Listen up missy, I saw you with your friends up top. I do not like what I see! You know me, you know who I am. You know what I can do to you as painfully and slowly as I humanly can. If you'd like to live another few minutes you better get your pampered ASS UP IN THAT ARENA!" He roared in mock anger. "The people you were talking to so chumly with earlier are special to me. Go up and fight with team Hammerhead and give them a good beating... I want them roughed up by someone they know, or this would be so boring."
Ruby gave another sinister grin, raising up his now iron-clad right arm to Ekoras chin. "Get a weapon from the training grounds and go to the north gate. Failure to comply will result in a very painful and messy death. For you and them." With that, Ruby slashed the bindings that pinned Ekora to a wall and walked away. A doorway to the Training grounds opened from the side of her current location.