After the ambush in the badlands the caravan pressed forward. The party guiding the convoy through the rocky channels, avoiding another potential ambush, the merchant train reaches Altaruk on the morning of the 19th day of Sorrow. Kaldras paid the toll due at the gate of the town and the caravan made it’s way through the streets to the Elven quarter.
Once in the Elven district, Kaldras instructs the party to begin unloading the wares and tend to the Kanks and disappeared into a tent, presumably to secure the ceramic owed to the group. As everyone began to offload the goods, Shrakk‘s otherworldly awareness and Juan’s combat intuition revealed the elven ambush moments before it could unfold.
With the group now aware of the elve’s deception everyone flies into action as the elf’s chatka begin flying at them. Grek wasted no time in rushing up to one of the small acid-spitting Kanks lodging the heavy blade of his battle ax into the beast’s carapace. In the blink of an eye Khas dispatched with on of the elven snipers, blood and deadly ichor dripping from his blade. As a chatka flew at Juan’s temple, the skilled warrior easily stepped aside and in a half a heartbeat stood in front of one of the elven ambushers. Two more small Kanks shot streams of acid at the group, as the Kank that was wounded by Grek bit the Halfling with it’s mandibles.
The elf received his answer in a barrage of attacks from Shrakk, Cha’ka and Grek. Kaldras and his tribe had obviously misjudged the companions, the treacherous elf begins to fear, knowing he might never survive another assault from his former caravan guards.
Fortune favored Kaldras in the form of the sound of several pairs of sandaled feet marching into the elven market. The town guard of Altaruk, led by their captain Tellamon, surrounded the entire plaza. The captain, a battle-scarred human in a polished carapace breastplate, bellows above the din of combat.
“Hold! Stay your weapons! By the authority of Arisphistaneles, I order you to cease your violence!”
A smirk creeps across the captain’s face as he watches the feral halfling Grek get one more good swing in at Kaldras. As he strides forward everyone’s eyes are drawn to the steel short sword hanging at his side. “I am Tellamon, captain of the guard of this quarter. You have violated the peace, and I demand to know why”, The rugged male sternly addressed both the party and the elves.
Kaldras steps forward and begins to explain that the party is escaped slaves, and their master hired Kaldras and the other elves to retrieve them. Once they arrived in the elven quarter the ‘slaves’ began to attack. Tellamon turned away from the Elf with an upraised eyebrow and his gaze fell on Khas, the young boy stepping forward as the representative of the group.
Khas began to spin a tale just as false as Kaldras had, and Tellamon eyed the young man with the same suspicious look he had given the Elf. Turning to face his guards and the crowd that had gathered, the captain rose his hand, silencing the rabble that had grown.
The captain announced his judgement to the two groups and the gathering mob, the matter is to be settled in the Bloodsand Arena. Khas gave the captain a crooked smile and handed a fistful of ceramic to Tellamon. “If you would, I really like our chances”, the young boy winked surrendering his obsidian daggers. The captain loosened a muffled chuckle, taking the coins and the weapons, and smirked at the boy. With that, the crowd cheered as the guards seperated the two groups, disarming them and led them through the streets to the Arena.
After a few hours of rest and water the unarmed companions were led from the chamber they had been placed. As they ascend the stairs that lead up into arena, the sound of the crowd and the stark brightness on the late afternoon sun, assails the characters. At the top of the stairs the characters find their weapons laying on the ground at their feet. Across the Arena stands Kaldras and his gang of back-stabbing elves. A glance around the cracked arena shows you a multitude of stone pots filled with razor sharp brambleweeds. Two large stone coffers sit at opposite sides of the arena, and a pile of seven stone coins was piled in the center of the arena floor.
The arena master raises his hand with a flourish and relates the events that transpired in the elven quarter. The games master’s embellishments sparked the imagination and the watching mob began to buzz with boasting and betting. The arena master explained the rules of the game