A deafening roar rolled across the arena floor like a tidal wave. The guttural growl of a large horned beast clashed against the chittering clicks of an immense, spiney insectoid. Scythe-like legs slashed through the air, grazing off thick, hardened hide. A powerful thrust from a horned husk was narrowly avoided as sand and sediment kicked up into clouds around the two creatures. The ferocious sounds of primal conflict broke against the high, circular wall that rounded the arena and crashed into the sea of screaming patrons gathered for the premier of the long promised exotic beast fights: Beast Brawl.
The Iron Legion and Navy were admirable careers, but with whole families and working class residents forced to live locally for security reasons, they were left little in the way of entertainment. Arx was not a planet that one simply visited or left. It had been designed to be a full service destination for those that served the Brotherhood in one manner or another. The citizens that accounted for most of its population were the families of the enlisted or workers employed in the service or manufacturing industries. You had to brave the Sorasu Desert to find any kind of gambling dens, so the Imperial inspired security and rigor of Arx lacked any noticeable avenue for excitement or intrigue. So they had all gathered to see a spectacle, to escape from the mundane routines of their daily lives. Especially those that lived in the capital—Eos CIty.
That all changed today, as they got to watch a rare Lylek—transported all the way from Ryloth—battle against an age old arena contender, planet Ylesia’s Reek.
The Reek roared as the Lylek shrieked, the later leaping with freakish agility off a raised plateau for the top of the former’s back. The Reek bucked its shoulders, hurling the Lylek tumbling awkwardly into a nearby trench that opened up. Thanks to the modulating design of the arena, the operators were able to add obstacles and alter the terrain to corral the creatures back towards fighting one another. Standing by in the wings, of course, were trained Creature Controllers who had extensive experience with wild and ferocious beasts.
A small Bothan child clung to its father protectively, peeking out behind his fur-covered arms to watch the action below with a mixture of awe and terror. “Papa, is the three-horn going to win?”
“It’s called a Reek, Baye’k, and it does seem to have the high ground, so to speak.”
The little Bothan’s eyes widened at that, having no doubt heard about the historic advantages the high ground provided.
Across the way, a pair of Verpine hissed and pumped their long, spindly limbs in support of the Lylek while an assortment of Aleena excitedly cheered on the pure carnage and did not seem to care who won, so long as blood stained the sand. All throughout the arena, a medley of languages and slang shouts intermingled across the diverse crowd that still seemed to sport a largely Human and Near-Human demographic. Things had certainly changed since the early days of the Brotherhood settling on Arx.
The Reek charged the fallen Lylek, thinking to end the fight quickly and impale it with its lead horn. The Lylek sneered and twisted sinuously, however, and at the last minute lashed out with a full onslaught of its barbed, venomous tail. The Reek let out a cry as the preternatural blade tore through the hide of its side. The crowd roared.
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I’ve broken this into parts to try and make it easier to digest. If the fiction is too much, hopefully this review will be helpful!
- Elos Vrai is the main continent of Arx. It is where the Dark Ascent (home of the Dark Council), Iron Legion Headquarters, Eos City (capital city where people live) and most of the Possessions stores are. There is also a lot of forestland, a great lake, a mountain range, and of course the Eld, which is where we start.
- This story takes place 2 years prior to current events. A flashback, if you would.
- Two poachers, Jido Taraay (Sakiyan) and Wilbu’r (Trandoshan) are hunting for Arx Wolf pelts. For anyone that knows Wally (the writer) they should know that this probably isn’t going to end well for them.
- Wilbu’r is ganked by an energy bow in the head. Jido tries to find the attacker, but can’t. This is because the Huntress is an Elder Arcanist that can use Force Cloak.
- Jido finds the Huntress, and charges her, but her cape is caught on some branches, and she falls and is incapacitated by the Huntress (no capes!).
- Evant, the Regent, the person fictionally in charge of the Brotherhood’s assets and finances, is watching the scene with Marick, the Voice, who is the leader of the Inquisitorius.
- Evant introduces the Huntress as Neta'var Vask. She is highly adept and attuned with nature and wildlife. She has a Narglatch (kitty!) named Spike. This is also an example of the new “Deep Bond” feat.
- Marick gingerly hands over a pair of small pups. He reveals that they are Cythraul, large wolves that are historically tied to Clan Arcona.
- Cythraul are identical to Arx Wolves, but the Cythraul have lore and importance to Clan Arcona and are more rare and therefore more expensive. They have no advantage in Possessions over an Arx Wolf.
- Think of it like Tooka and Loth-cats being the same item, functionally, in Possessions.
- The Cythraul mother of the pack has gotten sick, and the litters are struggling. Marick resolves to have the last two healthy pups raised in a safer place and under the proper care.
- Neta agrees, and agrees to a deal with Evant and Arx Capital Exchange that she will help raise and protect the creatures of the Eld in return for larger protection for all of Elos Vrai from the Dark Brotherhood.
- Marick and Evant ask her what she is going to do with the remaining poacher. Neta says she will leave her for the wolves, a fitting way to go.
- Moral of the story: don’t poach, and don’t hunt puppers.
Artwork Courtesy of Knight Alaisy Tir’eivra
- The Corrino Research Laboratory is located on Uskil the second continent of Arx. It houses the Shadow Academy, the Combat Training Center (ACC HQ) and the Colosseum/Abandoned Mines.
- We get an in-fiction description of the layout.
- Inside one of the facilities, Koji, a member of the Regent staff that helps work with taming and managing creatures, is checking on the Nexu (Kitties!).
- Koji uses Creature Control to calm the Nexu down.
- Meanwhile, his pet Tuk’ata, a sith hound, is enjoying a nerf steak and seems nonplussed to everything going on. This shows the Deep Bond feat again in action.
- We jump to the Colosseum, which is an existing ACC venue originally introduced even before Arx was founded for the original GMIT. Once Arx was settled, it became a featured location. Now, it seems, it has found an additional purpose.
- A Reek (the three-horn from Episode II) is facing off with something called a Lylek.Lylek are from Rhyloth, which...makes way too much sense. They really love their tentacles over there.
- Wally writes animal violence, and the creatures fight each other. Heckin’ fierce.
- In the stands, there is a Prequel reference, and a lot of alien diversity.
- I'm serious, I don't want to hear complaints about too many Humans. Don’t @ me, bro.
- The Reek looks to have the upper hand, but the Lylek has a trap card. Its poison tail strikes the Reek.
- Creatures that are poisonous will have an Item Aspect that explains the severity and the effect it has. This was done for clarity when writing aforementioned creatures.
- In the control room, Rhent Ghosen is planning something. Rhent is the CEO NPC of Arx Capital Exchange. He basically helps make day-to-day decisions on the Brotherhood’s finances, and generally just seems to try and outdo Evant, who as Regent does the same thing just at a higher level.
- Rhent is excited that his idea to capitalize on animal fighting for profit will work. Evant sighs at his corny presentation.
- Surprise. It’s a mother-f’in-Rancor.
- Dun dun dun...
This fiction is billed as an Interlude. It’s part of the Macro storyline, but is not really meant to drive the narrative forward. The idea was to provide some in-fiction examples of some new, major things we launched this week. Hopefully the summary is helpful, and hopefully you enjoy the fiction.
- Special thanks to the Care of Creatures team for all their hard work.
- Shout out to everyone that earned Seals of Loyalty for their dedication to the club.
Shout out to Atyiru, my Praetor, for being there to help me proof and get through this past week supporting the launch.
Don’t forget to check out the May the 4th Competitions that are extended until *May 12th!
And then don’t forget to circle back to the Severian Principate competitions we have running for the rest of the month!