Participants:

Fenris_icon.gif Luthor_icon.gif

Scene Title Long Odds
Synopsis Pit fighting turns into weird bonding.
Location The Pit
Date Harvestmere 3 9:31 Dragon
Watch For Fights are interesting, right?
Logger Fenris

The Pit was glorious once. No more. Now it's a shadow of its former self, only its purpose remembered — to shed blood. And it is to shed blood that Luthor Traske finds himself here now, in the center of the ring. He's facing two opponents, wiry men with dark skin and cruel eyes. All three are unarmed. When the pair rush in on him, Traske moves like a viper to answer them.

Two men are hard to fight. Harder than three — it's hard to use their bodies to confuse each other. But he does his best. He pivots to one side, grabs one of the two — eating a punch right to his face — and shoves him hard into the second. And so the fight begins. It's an ugly slug-fest, and many times, Luthor seems to be sure to lose.

But in the end, it's his sheer capacity for violence that wins the day. Surging upward, crushing one man's testicle in a fist, Luthor grabs the other by the back of their neck and smashes their skulls together. And again. And a third time. And again. Until they collapse.

Nothing even remotely like The Pit was something Fenris would ever call glorious. Not in its former grandeur, and certainly not now. What he would call it, however, was easy money. And with the disrepair, it was easy to forget that once this had been a Tevinter arena just like the ones he knew long ago. It worked out for the best, really, that Darktown had turned this ancient beast into a shamble. It kept him from killing people. Usually.

For all of his armor and the size of his blade, Fenris moves quietly. His lupine gait allows him not to jostle too terribly, and keeping with the elven penchant for going without shoes helps keep him stealthy. Not that he's trying for stealth, mind, but with the general tumult that comes along with a fight in the ring, there's a few moments where he goes unnoticed. It lets him slip into the crowd, looking down into the ring and… This guy again? Of course. Nevertheless, the elf watches, and at the end, when all is said and done, there's even a small, approving nod. Not that it will like be noticed in the bustle of people collecting and complaining about bets.

One eye swollen half-shut, Luthor staggers to the edge of the ring. He's met there by a pudgy man, another Fereldan. The pudgy man has a butcher's cleaver shoved through his belt and a competence about the way he collects bets — despite appearances, this is a hard man. Luthor leans against him, collecting his purse, and glances up into the seats.

It's coincidental, really, that the half-naked soldier's gaze falls on Fenris. He gently shoves off his friend, murmuring in the man's ear, and begins to plod up the stairs. But it's a painful step; his left knee took a pounding at one point in the fight. "Fenris." A bloody smile. "I didn't think I'd see you here."

Anything shock white in a place like this has a tendency to draw the eye, Fenris' hair tends to give him away. When the newest winner moves any direction, though, people tend to watch. That paired with the fact that Fenris looks like literally no one else in this city, not his hair, not the style of his armor, not his height, and not those damn markings in his skin, is enough to have people realizing that the damned Lyrium Ghost is here. There are muttered, and a couple people who throw displeased jeers his way. The most this gets is a roll of his eyes, as Fenris crosses his arms and shifts his weight.

"Luthor." Comes the answer, and though he did not leave their meeting on the greatest of terms, there's almost a civility to that tone. Almost. That's probably just how he is, right? Though, Fenris does glance around then. "Did you not? It is easy money. I am down here with some frequency." He pauses to nod over his shoulder in the direction of the jeers, "To the chagrin of many."

"We ought to fight, then, sometime. Rig it. The odds on you must be short, from what I'm hearing." Luthor keeps his voice low as he speaks, leaning in slightly to make the offer to the other man. "It's simple — I tap you once after you beat me for a bit, and you fake a drop. We could both live for a month." But he's grinning, clearly anticipating that the elf won't agree.

"Or I could just try my luck against the.. Lyrium Ghost. What's that even mean, anyhow?" The question is curious, but not accusatory. Just making conversation. He pauses to spit blood out onto the stone floor. "Damn. Two of them at once," he explains, "Is so much harder than three. You know? Three, they're always tripping on each other."

"They kill people for less than that down here." Fenris says by way of answer, though his tone doesn't sound as though he's terribly worried. But that's not an agreement either. "Two is harder than three. Harder than six, too, if you know what you are doing." However, the smirk that follows is positively wicked. "It is simpler to show you." He says, and then glances down to Luthor's knee. "I am going to earn the money I came here for, and then I know a man who can see to that knee." Joint injuries are a nasty business.

There's no lead up, no announcement. The docket was set for a different fight together, but they were still clearing the ring from the last. Just having finished doing so, even. And Fenris steps up onto the wall of the arena, and then takes another step, falling down into the ring with a practiced grace. Straightening, the elf walks to the middle, raising both arms in welcome and in challenge in the face of the reborn jeering that follows. Bloody fool, this guy. Or entirely too full of himself. Maybe both. But Fenris, he's learned the rhythm here too. Just like taverns, arenas were all the same at their hearts.

Bets begin, as they always do, but Luthor was right, these odds are long. The only thing that brings people hope for it is that every time Fenris pulls this little stunt, more people are bold enough to enter in after him. Whatever was on the sheets before is swiftly forgotten. If only because half of these people want Fenris out as quickly as physically possible. Let him come in, pull his little show, and leave, so they can get on to their real business. It is a stunt, too. Because that mention of six? Well, he wasn't kidding. The next six people that were supposed to be fighting, in fact. It does seem that everyone involved is going to at least have the courtesy to wait for the round to be called. That's something. Though Fenris does not drop into any sort of combat stance, not yet. Just stands, his arms crossing again. If people were going to hate him down here, he'd give them reason to.

Luthor limps back down to his friend's side, leaning into him to murmur, "That elf there is either crazy or one deadly killer. I know which it is that I think." His friend hesitates, then answers. "This is the man you were looking to recruit for your bloody silly crusade? I know which of you is crazy, and it ain't him, Cap'n."

"Probably. Let's watch him fight. Then he says he has a healer for my knee." The pudgy man glares aside at Luthor. "If you'd just come live with us, Cap'n, you wouldn't need to keep doing this to yourself." A beat. "You've a new wife and a child on the way, Sergeant. Let it ride."

Beats. They were in everything and everyone. You just needed to learn how to listen. Any force has a rhythm, even if it is wild from a lack of cohesion. It'll tell you where the holes are. It'll tell you when the strikes come. As the fight is called to begin, Fenris takes a deep breath, and he listens. There's a small movement, just in his shoulder, as the first rush begins. A physical marker to the battle tempo, and when he moves, it is that rhythm that times his steps. No strikes of his own, not yet. Just ducking and turning, not being where he had just been in a fluid motion. Fenris smiles, a fierce, but real, smile. No smirk or charade. This is where his life made sense, these moments, where shock white hair fell into his eyes as he wove through the six men like a fog. He's hard to track, beautiful in a cruel, dark way. He's toying with them, though, leading them around the ring in a dangerous sort of dance not taught anywhere south of Seheron.

And as they continue, the marks upon Fenris' skin begin to glow with blue-white light. When his game is over, he brings them back to the middle, standing still. In a normal circumstance, it would be a fatal mistake, staying still this long. But when the opportunity is taken, Fenris fades into that white blue light himself, not there to reach, twisting backward and through one of his opponents, making him shiver uncomfortably. It's then the strikes start, brutal and efficient, flickering into corporeal reality just long enough to bloody one opponent with gauntleted fists before fading and moving to the next. Lyrium Ghost.

"Well," says the pudgy man, "He's good. He's really quite good." And then there is that vanishing act. "If you're wanting to fight him," continues the pudgy man, "You have to get the timing right. Look at him. He fights like that Alpha we put down, the genlock. But stronger, even." Consideration in the pudgy man's eyes, and he smiles aside at Luthor. "But I see why you're curious about him. He's unique."

"And one-of-a-kind is always special," agrees Luthor softly. He watches the fight avidly. "I think I could take him — it'd hurt. I'd have to set a false rhythm, and I'd have to be very sure of where he'd end up next. But damn.. I don't want to try to fight that one."

One of a kind, indeed. It wasn't every day someone was willing, or able, to spend enough gold to put that much lyrium into a person. And four of these men who thought this would be a great plan are on the ground, and do not seem inclined to get back up. And then there were two. Two. That damned number. It was trickier. People didn't realize it, how they instinctively packed up when there were three or more of them. Two, though, they didn't do that. Two meant different tempos. And these two, they've caught on to Fenris' methods. When he moved to each them, he'd been met with dodges and turns. One, even, a strike in return that lands solidly across Fenris' jaw. But he's not one to fall that easy, though his lip splits, trailing blood down in a crimson mockery of the lyrium lines that already cross over his chin.

It's then that Fenris' method changes. Not the fog warrior, but the wolf. Identifying which of these men is the weaker of the two, and with goading strikes and careful turns, seperating him from his fellow. It's vicious, quick, predatory. He takes him to the ground, but the man catches hold of his armor, and Fenris goes down too, though on top of him. It's a bad position for this guy to be in, which he learns quickly. But on the ground, Fenris has his back to his other opponent, now. And as he gets surrender from the man under him, he's kicked hard in the side, sending him down into sand, though he has the good sense to roll. Which is good, because this guy… He's decided he's done playing.

There's a flash of metal, a blade drawn from the man's hip, striking down toward Fenris, and opening his leg to be taken out from under him. It's the fall that makes the strike miss by inches. Every once in awhile, someone would try this. Someone would get fed up, and go for the kill. Which, with Fenris, bad plan. There is no remorse as his instincts flare to the front of his mind, and the return of that white blue light heralds his reaching toward the fallen man, straight to his chest, through it. In the next moment, the man goes limp, and Fenris pulls his hand away, gauntlet covered in dark red gore. Sometimes people died down here. It was the way of things. It was part of the risk.

Fenris pulls himself to standing, and heads toward the edge of the ring. It was always bitter when these fights ended this way. But as he passes, he's handed his money. They've learned to not argue with him about it, and then Fenris is making his way back in the direction of Luthor, the light in his marks beginning to fade as attendants pull the body away to discard of somewhere deep and forgotten in Darktown.

Luthor and Ciann both saw the knife at the same time. Ciann's hand was full of a butcher's blade before anyone could blink, and both of them were shoving themselves forward into the pit. And then that happened. Luthor stares at the bloody ruin of the corpse, then up at the elf as he comes toward them. "Ciann," he says very quietly, "Go home to your wife. Now." It's an order — delivered in a tone far from his usual amiable confidence — and Ciann obeys. Not out of fear of Fenris, it seems; there really is steel beneath that pudge. No, he obeys because he is in the habit of obeying Luthor.

By the time Fenris gets there, the man is gone. Luthor meets the elf's gaze steadily, looking down at his bloody hand, then back into his face. "You ready to show me that healer now?" The question is even, but not cheerful. Careful. Wary. Likely, the man is wishing he were armored, or even had a shirt to his name. "And how do you figure we need to worry about men trying to kill us for riggin' a fight, exactly?" A hint of amusement as he whispers these last words.

Did he not mention that he was a killer? Was it not obvious from every inch of his being? Nevertheless, Fenris isn't exactly surprised by the wariness with which he is met. There's a nod as answer, and Fenris glances down to that knee. "You should not put so much weight on it." It's an offer of an arm, but with the look he's getting from Luthor, he's not about to touch him without invitation. He does have some tact. Whether Luthor accepts the arm or not, Fenris leads their way out of the Pit, out into Darktown proper before answering his other question. "Worry is not what I meant to instill. I do not want to have to kill that many people."

Luthor accepts the arm without hesitation, leaning against the elf as he follows along out of the Pit. After all, one killer to another, Fenris is unlikely to betray him for no reason. "That's reasonable. It was mostly a joke, but after seeing you fight.." The Fereldan soldier grins wryly. "I could make a fortune having Ciann place bets against you. Nobody would think twice — he always bets on me. And — no offense — I wager I could at least give you difficulty, with that dancing trick y'have. Your way of fading in and out. It all relies on the music, doesn't it?" Music? He hesitates. "The pace, I mean. The rhythm of the fight."

Fenris relishes a good fight. Really, he does. That smile earlier was a dead giveaway. He does not relish killing. So he had that going for his sanity, at least. "Rely may be a strong term. It is a method I employ, the tempo." Fenris answers, "But it is not the only way. It does not always work. Not with a force that does not match. And not with those who can set a false pace. There are other ways." The swelling starting in his jaw is not nice. That's probably something of a fracture. The fact he's talking is… There's something either very wrong or very right with this elf. "But if you insist, perhaps it can be arranged some day that is not this one."

"That's got to hurt," Luthor notes, eyeing the elf's jaw. But then, this elf has lyrium embedded in his body. He knows pain. Luthor knows it as well, but he has nothing on this fellow. "I'd just like to make some hard coin. And I think I'd like to work with you, Fenris. You not interested in helping Kitty and I, I'll find another way our interests align." Pausing for another moment, longer this time, he says "No offense. Just seems t'me, you seem like a good man to have standing alongside me, that's all."

"I have dealt with worse." Is the only answer about his jaw. No, Fenris, you don't say. Who could have possibly puzzled that out? "If you are desperate enough for coin to want to be in a ring with me, I am more inclined to just help you find real work." Fenris answers with a shake of his head. Not that he had any fucking room to talk. He went into Pits with men wanting to kill him for coin. But, well, Fenris' scale of risk was a skewed thing. Not that Anders isn't like as not to chide him for it. Speaking of which, there's the Clinic. "This is him. I am sure you have heard of the Darktown Healer by now?"

"Heard of him. Avoided coming here. Other folks usually actually need that sort of Healer. I just get bruised up." Right, like Fenris's jaw isn't fractured. Luthor pauses outside the Clinic, eyeing Fenris for a moment. "It's not that I'm poor, exactly," he says. "I've just got a lot of things to spend coin on. I can usually afford a Healer and let him save his energy." A weak explanation and a likely lie. "Well. I'm looking forward to meetin' him." He smiles.


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