The roar of the distant crowd echoes from down the corridor. A most profound moment of your life is about to take place. You look down at the worn surface of your hands as glittering dust shines in the purple twilight glow of the moon. Finally, the organizer calls to you from inside the stone polished waiting room.
“You! Come here and state your name!”
[[I am the great Felix!->choice 1]]
[[I am a champion of Ossis. Radament!->choice 2]]
"The queen dislikes arcane magic. She will aim to see you fall first, magician."
[[She may try, but I have an answer.->choice 5]]"Ah! A fellow warrior of marrow! May your bones turn red with the blood of your foes."
[[For Queen Layla. For Ossis!->choice 39]]"You from the outer lands assassin? Be wise, young one. Females are killed just as mercilessly as the males in here."
[["You are paid to talk. I am paid to kill."|choice 71]]"We will see how long your confidence holds magician. Your first opponent is a soldier of Marrow. Bulmdoor the Mighty!"
[[Walk slowly into the arena.->choice 6]]The mostly skeleton crowd boos you loudly as you walk into the large stone, circular arena. A skeleton warrior stands ready on the other side of the arena and you notice that he appears nervous at the sight of your magical stave.
The arena announcer chimes in.
“Our first fight is between Felix the Magician and our own Bulmdoor the Mighty! Let the fighting, begin!”
[[Conjure a fireball to shoot out of your stave at Bulmdoor.->choice 7]]
[[Hold back your magic and dash at Bulmdoor with your metal stave.->choice 8]]Bulmdoor screeches in terror and hides behind his shield. The fireball is deflected, but his shield is now slowly smoldering and visibly smoking. Feeling the heat on his shield, he throws it aside and backs away from you with his sword raised at the ready.
[[Aim your stave at Bulmdoor, as if you are ready to shoot another fireball.->choice 9]]
[[Use magic to change your stave into a rapier.->choice 10]]Bulmdoor counter charges and thrusts his blade at your chest!
[[Dodge the attack using your physical dexterity.->choice 18]]Your bluff makes Bulmdoor even more tense and you can see his arm is shaking even though he continues to point his sword right at you.
[[Tell Bulmdoor to surrender or a fireball will be the least of his worries.->choice 11]]
[[Laugh confidently as you inch closer to Bulmdoor, unafraid of this trembling skeleton.->choice 12]]Bulmdoor slashes his blade left and right, but your rapier is much faster and lighter than his scimitar. You continue to block Bulmdoor's attacks without too much trouble.
[[Wait for an opening to make the final blow.->choice 20]]
[[Prolong the sword fight to gain favor with the crowd.->choice 21]]His sword slowly lowers, but is still at the ready. "Why should I trust a magician?"
[[Tell him a magician is stripped of his title if he goes against his word.->choice 13]]
[[Now! Shoot a fireball while his guard is down!->choice 14]]Bulmdoor’s back is now up against the wall that encases the arena. In a last desperate act he jumps forward and wildly throws his sword at you.
[[Dodge left.->choice 31]]
[[Dodge right.->choice 32]]Bulmdoor throws his sword at your feet and concedes. He stares at you as you put your stave away under your robes. He seems relieved.
[[Claim victory!->choice 15]]With his guard down your fireball makes a direct hit right between his eye sockets. Bulmdoor’s head swings back from the force of the fireball and a small piece of his skull shoots off to the side. His body falls backward and he lays on the ground motionless.
[[Claim your victory!->choice 36]]You lift up your arms in victory and look out into the crowds. The announcer chimes in.
“Looks like we have a surrender bones and girls. Felix the Great is victorious!” The crowd mostly boos your victory, but a handful of skeletons clap to your achievement albeit unenthusiastically.
Looking around the crowd, you notice two heavily armored skeletons enter a secluded booth at the top of the arena. Your body suddenly grows tense as an immensely strong magical presence in the air creates a physical pressure against your highly attuned magical senses.
A seven foot tall slender figure (even for a skeleton) enters the booth dressed in a shimmering purple and green robe. A feminine, but very powerful voice booms into the air.
“Silence. I will have silence!”
With that command the entire skeleton crowd immediately falls silent and takes their seats. It seems the skeleton queen has graced the arena with her presence. With a spin of her left wrist she manifests a large golden throne chair just as she bends backward to sit down.
You watch as the queen gazes down at you. Although she has no living eyes, you feel she is judging you harshly right now.
“Magician! You have won. Savor your victory for now, but be prepared for your next match. It begins soon.”
The queen motions for you to leave her arena and at that moment the sealed wall encircling the arena lifts and you walk back to the waiting room from wence you came.
[[Rest while you can before your next match.->choice 16]]
[[Talk to some other fighters while you wait.->choice 17]]End of Chapter 1. The Skeleton King chapter 2 coming out in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]
End of Chapter 1. The Skeleton King chapter 2 coming out in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]
You are not as dexterous as you thought. The skeleton’s wild attacks are still precise enough to catch your body. His blade slashes your side and blood begins rushing out of your body at a high rate.
[[Dodge!->choice 19]]You attempt to evade his attack, but the damage to your body is too great and you don't move fast enough.
[[Your journey has ended too soon.->choice 6]]You wait for an opening in Bulmdoor’s defense and stab cleanly just below his chest. To your astonishment your rapier moves cleanly through Bulmdoor’s rib cage and out the other side of his body. With one hand Bulmdoor grabs the end of your rapier from behind his back and with the other he slashes with his scimitar across your face.
[[Abandon your sword and dodge!->choice 22]]Bulmdoor dodges and slashes his scimitar in unusual angles with swift speed, but it is not fast enough. His attempts are admirable, but in the end they are useless.
Bulmdoor’s mouth hangs open sucking in as much air as possible to keep up. He looks at you confused and says, “Your sword (referring to your technique) is obviously stronger. Why do you prolong this battle?”
[[To entertain.->choice 23]]
[[I haven't thought that far ahead yet.->choice 24]]</style>
[[You were not fast enough. Try again magician.->choice 6]]Bulmdoor looks at you with a dumbfounded expression. You explain that you actually don’t want to hurt anyone in the arena if you can help it and you’d rather provide the crowd with an entertaining show.
A quick smile spreads across Bulmdoor’s bony face, but leaves immediately as he speaks. “I thought magicians hated us undead? Isn’t this why mages invented necromancy? To turn us into slaves?”
You look into Bulmdoor’s empty eye sockets and speak truthfully.
“This hate for the undead is only shared by mages who do not understand the greater magic of our world. And yes mages did discover the magic to control the undead, but it has long been ruled unlawful to force your will on any creature, alive or dead. Do not worry yourself about necromancers, skeleton warrior. In truth that kind of magic is feeble anyways. You sacrifice half your life only to control a mere buzzing fly.”
You see Bulmdoor’s shoulders relax and his breathing becomes more controlled.
“Magician. You seem good-hearted so I will tell you why I’m fighting in this arena. You see. I am cousin to Queen Layla. I do not fancy the pampered life of royalty. I wish to fight alongside my brothers. The warriors of Marrow! But, the queen does not believe I have the fighting spirit for that life. She has agreed to enroll me in the Ossis army as a captain if I win this tournament.”
You lunge forward with your rapier in a dramatic, but predictable fashion. Your attack is blocked and your blade slides across Bulmdoor’s scimitar as you step forward to meet face to face. You push your sword against his, testing his strength and drawing his focus.
“So it seems I am in the position to give you at least one victory today, but I require one thing in return for handing you this fight.”
Bulmdoor grunts as he pushes his sword against your rapier.
“And... and, what is that magician?”
You grit your teeth and push again against his sword with all of your body. From the audience’s point of view it appears you are overcoming Bulmdoor and his strength is beginning to buckle under your advance.
“Your friendship. I have never had an undead ally. Let alone one from a royal family.”
Bulmdoor’s lowers his head trying to focus all his strength is pushing you back. You shout wildly and continue to push your sword against his until Bulmdoor jerks his head up suddenly and headbutts his skull into your face.
You fall backwards and collapse with your rapier falling out of your hand and transforming back into your short stave. You are dazed slightly from the blow and you can smell blood in your nose.
You think to yourself, “I wonder if I made a mistake?”
You lift your head to look slightly forward at Bulmdoor standing above you now with his sword pointed downward at your face. Bulmdoor’s jaw opens slightly and although he has no lips you get the sense he is happy to see you like this. You let out a chuckle and your head falls back onto the floor.
You hear the announcer’s booming voice sound out over the cheers and screams of the audience.
“That’s it bones and girls! The victor today is none other than our own skeleton brother. Bulmdoor the mighty! Well fought Sir. You will move onto round two and be one step closer to becoming the champion of the arena!”
Bulmdoor retreats his sword and you wipe the blood from your nose. It takes you a moment to shake off some lingering dizziness, but you manage to rise to your feet and grab your short stave that lay beside you. You see Bulmdoor with his bony arms raised in the air as the audience chants his name loudly.
The solid wall which encircles the arena suddenly lifts and the path back to the waiting room appears again. You follow behind Bulmdoor as you both make your way back to the waiting room.
As you are leaving the arena you suddenly feel a very strong magical pressure against your body. A very skilled magician must be close by, but you see nothing in the audience beside the usual skeletons and some other visiting races.
*Either I really hit my head or there is another magician here.*
[[Continue|choice 999]]Your bold honesty only brings more confusion for Bulmdoor.
“You are not sure why you are in this arena magician?”
Bulmdoor’s assertion is partly correct.
“Well. I am here to make a name for myself although I’m beginning to think maybe a magician winning in this arena might not be the best way to gain the favor of your people.”
Bulmdoor stares at you for a few seconds and moves his head in a gentle side to side motion as if in deep thought.
“What is your opinion of me Skeleton? Do you think a magician winning this contest will grant me prestige with your people?”
Bulmdoor shakes his head slowly and chuckles quietly under his breath.
“Are you not schooled in the history of this place magician? It was your kind that gave birth to us undead to do your bidding, but we refused and started are own society. You mages have never trusted or given any respect to us undead since that day. Queen Layla built this city to protect the undead from your kind. Don’t waste your time trying to win over my people. You mages spoiled that opportunity long ago.”
You always thought yourself wise to the great history of this land, but this skeleton’s perspective was new to you.
“There are those in the arcane order that do not trust undead, but the general view held by most mages is that we are all equal parts of the greater magical energy. I know the order has not shared our advances in magical technology with your people but...”
Bulmdoor interjects, “We don’t need your magical short-cuts magician! We get by just fine with the old ways.”
Done with this conversation, Bulmdoor sidesteps quickly and makes a series of lunges for your midsection. You block just in time, but your head is not in the battle anymore. All you can think about now is how you can help move this city into the modern magical age.
You can feel the great magical energy in every corner of this place. It is still pure, untapped, and strong. A great source of energy is just sitting at the feet of this city. All that is needed to access it is the knowledge of the arcane.
Bulmdoor’s sporadic attacks grow in ferocity and you find yourself having to focus more on your defenses.
“You will lose magician!” Bulmdoor shouts wildly as he appears to be full of anger. You convince yourself you have only one option at this point. You must win the competition in order to see Queen Layla. A discussion with the queen of all undead should begin to mend the rough relations between the order of mages and the undead population.
[[Go on the offensive with your rapier.->choice 25]]
[[Cast a spell on your rapier. Giving it electric properties.->choice 26]]Believing you can end this battle with just your sword, you attack! Bulmdoor leaves himself open as he attacks you wildly, but after numerous stabs and slashes from your rapier it doesn’t seem to be inflicting any noticeable damage.
Both Bulmdoor and you are now quite obviously tired and frustrated at the lack of progress. The audience cheers loudly for Bulmdoor to claim victory and before you can start another assault the announcer chimes in.
“What a first match we have here today girls and bones. Both contestants are evenly matched and neither side is showing an upper hand. What will be the outcome?”
Panting profusely. Bulmdoor stares at you exhausted but still intensely angry. “Listen to me...magician. You will not win...unless you kill me!”
You shake your head in a disagreeing fashion to his words and grip your rapier tight in your palm. It does seem a noble victory through swordsmanship is out of the question at this time.
You begin to contemplate your next move as Bulmdoor swings his scimitar at you sluggishly. You block successfully, but almost fall over from exhaustion yourself. As you stumble back you sense a newly formed magical energy in front of you.
You focus on Bulmdoor as he stands hunched over with his free hand resting on his knee while struggling to catch his breath. It takes you a moment to pick up the source of the magical energy, but you discover that it is coming from Bulmdoor’s body.
You must not have noticed the energy through your physical exhaustion, but Bulmdoor’s body appeares to be leaking magical energy from multiple points on his skeleton at a steady rate.
You realize your past attacks with your rapier were actually much more successful then you thought. Each successful slash of your sword opened a small hole for magical energy to leak out of Bulmdoor’s body.
You recall from your arcane studies that all undead creatures are born of magical energy and hold within themselves a specific pool of magical energy which holds their life force to this plane of existence. This pool of energy is usually held in the center of their body and provides the undead host energy to move and function. This energy is constantly renewed at a very slow rate from the magical energy permeating the world around us.
If the energy is used up faster than it can be renewed then the host body will cease to function and the magical energy will return to the world. Bulmdoor was losing the magical energy rooting him to his body at a fast pace. You estimate that within the next fifteen mintues Bulmdoor’s skeletal body will not have enough magical energy to keep him grounded to this plane of existence and he will cease to exist.
...That is, unless someone brings him back to life with a resurrection spell. The exact same kind of spell that first gave him life.
You scoff at the thought though. Magic of that power hasn't been seen in ages and to even consider such a spell is scuicide. No, it is beyond even casual thought.
[[Surrender the fight.->choice 27]]You harness the arcane energy around you and begin swirling it around your rapier until is moving so fast the friction begins to spark and crackle with powerful energy.
Bulmdoor doesn’t hold back and continues to slash at you from multiple angles. You block each attack easily enough with your light sword, but at the first opportunity you lunge your rapier in closer to touch the side of his shoulder.
A great spark emits from your sword as magical energy in the form of lightning transfers from your sword into Bulmdoor’s body. He shrieks in pain, but only for a moment. After a loud "crack!" and a small cloud of smoke pluming from the contact point of your rapier and Bulmdoor’s shoulder, he falls to his knees and collapses. He has been rendered unconscious.
[[Claim Victory.->choice 28]]
Focusing your mind back on Bulmdoor you immediatly throw your rapier at Bulmdoor’s feet and fall to your knees. You announce your surrender to Bulmdoor as he struggles to raise his scimitar one more time.
He looks down at you confused. “Do not deny me an honorable victory magician. Take back your sword and fight me!”
You hang your head down and do not respond. Any more words spoken will only shorten the precious time Bulmdoor has left to live. Bulmdoor mumbles to himself incoherently and raises his scimitar once more. His arm extends the blade down to your head, but wobbles slightly as he struggles with the weight of the sword.
You hold your gaze down at the floor and watch Bulmdoor’s shadow move in front of you. Struggling with the weight, Bulmdoor eventually lowers his sword and you raise your head to look him in the face.
Bulmdoor lifts his arm to the sky in victory without taking breaking his gaze on you. The crowd immediatly cheers and screams of victory begin to echo around the arena. The announcer chimes in.
“Bulmdoor has won! Citizens of Ossis Bulmdoor is victorious!”
You glance around the arena to see all the undead audience standing up and cheering Bulmdoor’s name wildly and giving praise to something called “The warriors of Marrow.”
A loud thud sounds in front of you as you turn your head back to see Bulmdoor collapsed on the ground. You can tell that his magical life force is almost depleted. Acting quickly, you roll Bulmdoor over and pinpoint the magical leaks on his body.
The magical energy leaving his body is seen through your eyes like thick green smoke rising through clear air. You transform the rapier back into your stave and grab Bulmdoor's scimitar as well.
Much like cauterizing a wound you take Bulmdoor’s sword and beginning melting the metal with a fire spell. The heated metal drips, solidifies, and seals the leak. You hear the announcer talk again in the background, but you can’t make out what he says as your attention is very much focused on Bulmdoor's body right now.
Finally, you successfully seal all by one leak on Bulmdoor’s body, but a combination of your physical exhaustion and heavy use of magic has rendered your arcane energy nearly gone.
You use up the last of your arcane energy and move the flame emitted by your short stave and Bulmdoor's scimitar, which is now melted in half, over the last leak on his body.
Your head turns instinctively as you hear running footsteps behind you. You look over your shoulder as a skeleton guard swings his blade at your head. With what energy you have left you duck underneath the attack and roll off to the side. Before you can regain your feet you are apprehended by two skeleton guards.
The two guards hold you by each arm and make it impossible for you to move your upper body to any helpful effect. The third guard who just recently attacked you looks over Bulmdoor and then back and you and exclaims,
“The magician was defiling his body!”
Before being pulled away by the other two guards you watch Bulmdoor’s body as the last bit of arcane energy leaks out of the one opening left on his shoulder.
The third skeleton guard is looking over Bulmdoor’s body just as Bulmdoor’s head rolls over to the side, limp. The guard near Bulmdoor quickly spins his head around and barks a command at the guards holding you.
The skeleton guard on the right lifts his sword and hits you in the back of the head with the pommel of his blade. Your vision goes black as you lose consciousness.
[[Continue.->choice 55]]The crowd goes silent as the small cloud of smoke eventually clears and the sight of Bulmdoor is seen lying face down on the arena floor. You kneel down to make sure you hear Bulmdoor’s breath as the crowd begins uproariously booing you.
“And there it is bones and girls! Bulmdoor has fallen to Felix the Great. He will now move on in the competition and be one step closer to the grand prize!”
The announcer’s voice clearly rings over the noise of the crowd, but all you hear in your head is the sound of booing and disgust from the skeletons and other undead in the audience.
The small section of the stone wall that encircles the arena suddenly lifts up to reveal the path back to the waiting room where you once were. You make your way back to the waiting room as other skeletons rush past you to gather Bulmdoor.
You look back to see that they notice he is just unconscious. You continue to the waiting room, but just before you approach the arena coordinator who is standing inside the entrance of the room, you feel a very strong pressure against your body. Being a magician, your body is very sensitive to nearby magical energies. An immensely strong arcane force is nearby somewhere close to the arena. Most likely in the audience you think.
*“Another magician, huh?”*
The coordinator speaks as you approach the waiting room.
“Congrats on your first fight magician. Your next match will continue later today. You may choose to rest or converse with the other fighters until your next match.”
You sense an air of disappointment in his voice, even though he congratulated you. He was probably hoping Bulmdoor would have won.
[[Rest before your next match.->choice 29]]
[[Talk with some of the other fighters.->choice 30]]End of Chapter 1. Skeleton King chapter 2 coming out in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]
End of Chapter 1. Skeleton King chapter 2 coming out in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]
Bulmdoor’s blade flies past you not even coming close to your body. His jaw drops in disappointment. Did he actually think that was going to work?
Being a experienced magician you take advantage of every situation and this instance is nothing new. You point your stave at Bulmdoor’s face and smile. Bulmdoor’s head hangs back as if he is ready to pass on into the void.
“Hear me now Skeleton. I will spare your life, but not without cost. If I let you live you will serve me hereafter”. Bulmdoor looks at you for a moment and then down at his hands. His jaw opens and closes as if to say something.
“Speak your answer!” You shout at him impatiently.
“... My sword is yours.” The words leave his mouth with the last of his pride.
You extend your arm and Bulmdoor reluctantly grabs it. You both stand and the crowd begins to cheer the both of you.
[[Claim Victory.->choice 33]]The sharp end of the scimitar catches your head. You fall to your knees as the sword sticks out from the other side of your brain case. What a throw!
[[Your adventure has ended magician.->choice 6]]The announcer chimes in.
“I don’t believe it, but it looks like we have come to a mutually agreed victory for the great magician, Felix!”
The crowd cheers loudly and the wall encasing the arena somehow lifts up and the path back to where you came from appears again.
As you walk back to the waiting room you speak softly to Bulmdoor after he retrieves his weapon and shield.
“Remember skeleton. Your life belongs to me now.” Bulmdoor nods and follows you.
Before entering the waiting room your body suddenly feels a tight pressure. Being a magician, you are highly sensitive to nearby magical energy. An immensely powerful magical force must be close. Could there be another magician in this arena?
The arena coordinator watches you intently as you return to the waiting room.
"I’d never thought I’d see the day a magician and a skeleton come to an understanding. You have done well magician. The next match will start later today. You may rest during this time to focus yourself for the next match."
[[Rest before your next match.->choice 34]]
[[Ask Bulmdoor about who will be in the next match.->choice 35]]End of Chapter 1. The Skeleton King chapter 2 coming out in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]
End of Chapter 1. The Skeleton King chapter 2 coming out in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]
You raise your arms and shout triumphantly to the crowd who is a gasp at the death of the skeleton warrior. The announcer chimes in after a few seconds when it is obviously that Bulmdoor’s still smoldering bones are completely devoid of life. “The magician is victorious! Bulmdoor has been defeated!”
The skeleton crowd boos again, but much more enthusiastic then before. The roar of the crowd becomes wild and the announcer tries to talk over the crowd, but their noise has become unruly.
Just then you sense a very strong magical presence nearby and you see two very large heavily armored skeleton guards enter the queen’s secluded booth at the top of the arena.
The crowd quickly notices this as well and quiets down as a tall figure enters the booth suddenly.
Your body grows tense as an immensely strong magical presence in the air creates a physical pressure against your highly attuned magical senses.
A seven foot tall, slender framed (even for a skeleton) figure walks out onto the secluded booth. A booming overpowering, but feminine, voice shouts “Silence!. I must have silence!”
The figure’s purple and green cloak shimmered eerily in the red twilight. The entire crowd immediately falls silent and takes their seats.
“Your queen understands my good people. Bulmdoor was a lowly fighter in the arena, but he was still my cousin. He yearned for a warrior’s fame, but instead received a warrior’s death. His essence is now sent to the void. We will all mourn his loss, but do not mourn long my people. Such is the life of warrior that it may end abruptly. Especially here... in my arena.”
The reality of the situation suddenly becomes very clear. You have won your first fight, but at the cost of killing a member of the royal family. The queen looks down at you with her eyeless skull and moves her jaw in a chewing motion. “Magician! You have won. Rest while you can. Your next match begins soon.” The queen then flicks her left hand and manifestes a throne chair behind herself just as she decides to sit down. She then motions for you leave her arena.
The wall encircling the arena lifts up to reveal the path you took into the arena and the arena coordinator motions for you to return. You walk back to the waiting room from whence you came.
[[Rest while you can before your next match.->choice 37]]
[[Talk to some of the other fighters.->choice 38]]End of Chapter 1. Skeleton Queen chapter 2 coming out in the future.
[[Play again?->The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]
End of Chapter 1. The Skeleton King chapter 2 coming out in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]
"Your opponent is Bulmdoor the Mighty. Go brother and fight gloriously for the queen!"
[[Walk into the arena chanting "Glory for the Queen!"->choice 40]]The crowd surrounding the arena is predominately skeletons, but a few other undead persons are seen cheering loudly along side the skeleton populous.
As you take the stone pathway to the arena the crowd cheers wildly and shouts your name, “Rada! Rada!”
You raise your sword to acknowledge the praise as the stone wall encircling the arena suddenly closes behind you.
A lone skeleton warrior stands at the ready near the center of the arena. He watches you closely and raises his scimitar and shield ready to fight.
The announcer chimes in over the screams of the crowd.
“Both fighters are inside the arena. The match will begin...now!”
[[Attack first!->choice 41]]
[[Wait for your opponent to attack first.->choice 42]]
Leading with the left side of your body and your shield out in front of you, you dash forward at Bulmdoor. Your large scimitar ready to strike from behind your body.
Expecting your first strike, Bulmdoor stands firm and raises his shield. You collide shield against shield and Bulmdoor is knocked back by the force of your shield bash.
Bulmdoor is shifted off balance, but quickly regains his poise and squares up his shield and sword in response.
“Very good young warrior! You have been trained well, but know that I will not hold back during this contest.” You praise Bulmdoor, but also issue him a quick warning of your intent.
Bulmdoor replies, “I would expect nothing less from the second-in-command of the queen’s High Guard. I entered this competition to test the strength of my bones. Not to be given another combat lesson.”
You clack your teeth together repeatedly in approval and reply, “Spoken like a true warrior of Marrow. The lesson is over my grace. Fight well!”
Bulmdoor replies quickly, “Do not think of me as your prince in this arena. I am just your opponent.”
You reply, “If you are not my prince then I do not have to follow your orders.” You chuckle out loud and begin swinging your sword at Bulmdoor testing his reaction speed.
Bulmdoor blocks each of your attacks, but can do nothing else. He only seems able to defend or attack at one time. Is this the limit of the prince’s training?
[[Continue testing Bulmdoor->choice 43]]
[[Attack with your full strength.->choice 44]]
You are more interested in seeing what your opponent can do then testing your own skills at the moment.
“It is good to see you young prince. Show me what you have learned from your royal combat training.”
You slash your sword in front of you and raise your shield to acknowledge you are ready for combat.
“Do not underestimate me Radament. I may surprise you.” Bulmdoor replies and slowly moves towards you.
You bow your head slightly and clang your sword against your shield to display that you are again, ready to see what he can do.
You watch Bulmdoor closely as he closes the distance. Just before Bulmdoor comes within striking range you begin to circle around him and raise your sword and shield up in a high guard stance.
Bulmdoor moves in for the obvious opening you create when you position yourself in a high guard. Bulmdoor lunges for your lower body, but you slam down your shield and sword both defending the attack and slashing down at his arm.
Bulmdoor quickly recoils his attack and backs up. You shake your head at Bulmdoor.
“No no. It won’t be that easy.”
Bulmdoor gives out a snort and raises up his scimitar and shield once more. This time Bulmdoor attempts a different maneuver.
First moving side to side Bulmdoor approaches you slowly. You expect a quick lunge so you shield up and aim your own scimitar horizontally towards Bulmdoor.
Once again Bulmdoor attempts a lunging slash at you when he is in range. You easily backhand his scimitar away with your shield and allow him to recover to his feet.
This style of attacking carries on a few more times until Bulmdoor starts to breath heavy and stands in front of you a little frustrated.
“Why do you mock me Rada? You are clearly the superior swordsman.”
“You read me incorrectly young prince. My only goal is to bring glory to Queen Layla. I have no interest in mocking you or this contest.”
Bulmdoor lunges again after you explain. His blade attempts to cut your sword arm but you spin your blade with a flick of your wrist and deflect his blow.
“If it is glory you wish to bring the Queen I know of a far greater method than winning this mere contest.”
“Do not try to distract me young prince. I was not animated yesterday.”
“The prince of Ossis does not lie, but I shouldn’t talk any more. The queen has trusted this secret to me and it is my secret to bare... until I find a fighter worthy of her cause.”
Your curiousity and desire for glory get the best of you and you ask, “What cause do you speak of?” You begin attacking the prince with a few low and high slashes after talking.
The prince waits for a break in your attacks to reply. He appears to have a limit to his focus and can not defend and talk at the same time.
“I must order you not speak of this to anyone Rada. Not even the queen.”
“You know you can trust me your grace. I would give my life to defend this kingdom and bring glory to Queen Layla.”
Prince Bulmdoor attacks with a strong overhead attack and you raise your shield to block. His sword slams on your shield and attempts to push your shield down with his brute strength.
You hold your shield up against his sword without too much trouble and he leans his head in close to whisper.
“The queen is in trouble Rada. Are you familiar with the forbidden desert?”
“The forbidden Desert? Of course. I was among the first wave that fought against the evil minions of count Drak during our revolution at that desert. I stood with the queen when she defeated count Drak and sent him into the void.”
Bulmdoor pushes more fiercely against your shield to grab your attention for a moment and whispers.
“Count Drak is not dead Rada. The queen has secretly sent scouts to that forbidden place and feels the count has returned to build another army.”
You push Bulmdoor away with all your might and step back.
“This can not be true young prince. If the queen was worried of this in the least she would have send her armies out already.”
Bulmdoor motions for you to keep your voice down and raises his sword and shield back up as he inches closer to you appearing to be looking for another opportunity to attack.
Bulmdoor slashes quickly at your feet and you jump to avoid the attack and slash downward onto his shield. Bulmdoor struggles to hold up your sword, but continues to talk.
“The queen is afraid Rada. She does not want to risk her armies. She needs a single brave warrior to investigate this threat, but she can not bring herself to ask this of one of her warriors of Marrow. Imagine the glory you could bring the queen by helping her with this mission which is of the most importance to her.”
You push down your sword with all of your strength until Bulmdoor’s shield buckles and he falls backward from the force of your strength. You quickly jump over above Bulmdoor and point your sword down at his face.
“Even if you speak the truth prince, I can not leave my post in the queen’s high guard.”
Bulmdoor nervously looks up at you and speaks.
“I can present your willingness to undergo this mission to the queen personally. She will be greatly relieved to not have to pick a warrior of Marrow herself and you will have the chance to bring great glory to this kingdom.”
“Why would use do this for me Prince Bulmdoor? Why not the captain of the high guard? His strength surpasses mine.”
“The captain may best you in strength, but not in devotion. The queen needs the most loyal of her warriors for this mission as you know Count Drak can be very crafty. You are perfect for this mission.”
“You would do this for me to serve the interest of the queen?”
Bulmdoor turns his head from side to side uneasy about this question.
“No Rada. I need to move on in this contest. Believe it or not the queen does not think I should be a true warrior of Marrow. She says a prince such as myself should be focusing on royal matters and should not have to fight the battles of our kingdom. She is wrong Rada. I am born to be a warrior of Marrow. I must prove this to her!”
“You remind me of myself when I was young, Prince Bulmdoor. I see what you require inturn for this favor. I agree to this exchange. How would you like this battle to carry out?”
Bulmdoor explains how he will gain the upper hand after you strike a blow to his shield hand. You follow his plan and put on a great show for the crowd eventually striking a decisive blow to Bulmdoor’s shield hand.
Bulmdoor falls to his knees in pain and you go in for the final blow, but a quick swipe of his scimitar strikes your sword hand and makes you drop your weapon. From there Bulmdoor makes you surrender with a crippling submission hold with this bare hands. A tad much in your opinion, but you don't interfere.
Bulmdoor stands proudly after you declare your surrender and gains wild cheers from the crowd and an enthusiastic victory announcement from the announcer.
You rise to your feet letting your sword arm hang loose as if you sustained a greater injury than you really have. Bulmdoor passes by and whispers.
“Meet me outside the arena in the royal courtyard.” You nod and notice the stone wall surrounding the arena suddenly lifts and the path to the waiting room is shown to you once more.
You slowly walk out of the arena holding your shield and weapon in one arm and letting your sword arm hang loose. You approach the waiting room and see the arena coordinator standing by the entrance as usual.
He speaks to you as you pass by.
“I did not expect such a defeat from you Rada. Do not fret warrior of Marrow. Maybe this result will lead to a new adventure for you?”
[[Continue|choice 70]]“Attack me warrior of Marrow!” You yell and begin goading Bulmdoor by stepping in striking range of his sword with your shield at your side.
Bulmdoor forces out a warrior’s yell and lunges for the obvious opening you created. You sidestep and deflect his sword with your own. You dance around Bulmdoor banging on your shield and goading him further to attack.
Bulmdoor grinds his teeth in frustration then lowers his sword and shield as he stares at you quietly.
“Giving up so soon young warrior? If you don’t fight me at your fullest I will end this quickly!”
You laugh and raise your sword. You slowly move closer to Bulmdoor, your sword held high above your head and your shield front and center.
Just before you come within striking distance, Bulmdoor leaps wildly in your direction. His arm shoots outward and he strikes between your shield and sword towards your face.
You brush off the attack with your shield and shuffle forward to move in for another shield bash to put him off balance again.
Surprisingly Bulmdoor recovers much faster from his last attack then you thought possible and he jumps over your shield and attacks you from above. With your shield out in front of your body you don’t have enough time to block the entire attack.
[[Block with your sword.->choice 45]]
[[Block with your arm.->choice 46]]You waste no time and dash at Bulmdoor’s left side then curve right slashing low as you move. Your first attack is blocked, but you quickly rise and attack from above, then below, then push against Bulmdoor with your shield once more.
Your rapid and alternating attacks are too much for Bulmdoor as he is much too focused on blocking effectively to attack you at all. Your second shield bash knocks him off guard once again as predicted.
[[Slash at his exposed legs.->choice 51]]
You raise your shield arm quickly to meet Bulmdoor’s blade. Bulmdoor’s blade slashes across your forearm completely missing the rest of your body.
“Arg!” You scream in pain as you drop your shield. The large bone in your forearm has cracked and shifted slightly. Safe to say you will not be able to use your shield arm anymore.
You turn around quickly holding your damaged forearm behind your back. You see Bulmdoor roll away after the attack and stand back ready to go again.
The pain you are feeling is great, but it is located in a single spot and besides losing your shield you have not been compromised in any other way.
Bulmdoor sees the terrible pain on your face and takes advantage of your suffering to attack you from the front with all his might knowing you can not block with a shield.
[[Roll backwards!|choice 58]]
[[Counter charge!|choice 59]]You quickly raise your sword over your left shoulder to block the attack. Bulmdoor’s sword hits against your sword with a loud “clang!” but not before cutting you in the back.
“Ack!” You involuntarily wince out as you flex your shoulders back in pain. You spin around quickly to see Bulmdoor roll away from his attack and regain his stance.
The pain goes in and out with every slight movement of your back. Bulmdoor skips side to side in place to make it difficult for you to know which angle he will attack from next.
*Very good prince. The real battle begins now.* You think to yourself as you grip your sword and raise your shield. Each step now causes considerable pain from your back, but you can manage.
Capitalizing on his successful attack Bulmdoor wastes no time and dances around you waiting for an opportunity of weakness to attack you again.
You hold your shield firm to your body and arch your scimitar above your shield. Your stance shows your opponent you are ready for another attack.
You spin your body around to always face Bulmdoor and the pain from your back injury makes you grind your teeth.
[[Provoke Bulmdoor.->choice 47]]
“Attack me before these bones wither with time!” You yell and bang your sword against your shield.
Bulmdoor’s honor can not allow him to back down from this challenge so he inches closer to you and slashes his sword at an angle which requires the most amount of stretch from your back.
You raise your shield up high and arch your back. Bulmdoor’s overhead slash hits your shield firmly and you shout in pain not from the attack, but from the strong stretch of the bones in your back.
You continue to provoke Bulmdoor while dealing with a considerable amount of pain. Although this may not be the most wise course of action this is quite typical of how you have dealt with strong pain in past battles.
In your past fights you have found that when dealing with extreme pain an attitude of, “If I lose now it better be in a glorious fashion” has brought you both great motivation and instilled a good amount of confusion in your opponents.
Your screams of battle enrage you and actually help distract you from the terrible pain in you back. Bulmdoor who seemed quite confident a few moments ago is now noticeably irritated and confused from your screams of provocation.
Bulmdoor shouts his own battle cry and attacks fiercely on multiple sides. Each attack is ferocious, but you are so caught up in your rage that the pain in your back seems non-existent. You block Bulmdoor’s attacks with both sword and shield in quick succession.
Bulmdoor’s frustration builds and builds as it seems your defense is nothing but impregnable. In Bulmdoor’s anger he opens up his shield hand for a disarm.
While attacking you ferociously, Bulmdoor leaves his shield hand lowered and off to the side. After blocking one of Bulmdoor’s attack with your shield, you quickly slash downward not straight on at Bulmdoor, but towards his side at his shield.
Bulmdoor not expecting you to attack his shield attempts to re-grip his shield and raise his defense, but he does not react in time. His weak grip fails as your blade crashes into his shield and knocks it out of his hand.
You laugh in triumph which further frustrates him. Bulmdoor takes a moment to analyze the situation and continues his series of attacks.
It would seem Bulmdoor has become blind with his own rage and is attacking you wildly. His attacks are sporadic and fierce, but easily defended with proper focus.
The upper hand appears to be in your favor now as Bulmdoor must be tiring from his constant, but defendable attacks... or so it would seem.
The crowds cheers in waves as the battle continues and to your surprise Bulmdoor isn’t tiring like he should. On the contrary it is you who is getting tired from defending.
It has reached the point where your own rage has been overthrown by Bulmdoor’s. His attacks continue and you begin to struggle now to defend his oncoming advances.
The battle culminates to one moment. After an endless barrage of attacks, Bulmdoor recklessly charges you head on. Without a shield he is defenseless so you stab towards his arm.
To your surprise Bulmdoor does not dodge and gets cut deeply on his shield arm. Screaming in pain he continues his charge as you hold behind your shield. Bulmdoor charges square into your shield with the full force of his body. You are knocked backwards and thrown onto your back.
The pain of landing on your injured back is horrible. Your shield hand bounces off the hard stone surface of the arena floor and you lose your grip. Your shield bounces out of your hand and you look forward to see Bulmdoor standing above you.
The terrible pain from the cut on your back is now fresh and all-consuming in your mind again. It is impossible now to remove yourself from the experience.
You force open your eyes while writhing in pain to see Bulmdoor pulling his sword arm back to deliver the final blow. You have only a moment to react before his sword meets your body. Whatever you decide, it will most likely be the last action you take in this battle.
[[Reach for your shield.->choice 49]]
[[Kill Bulmdoor.->choice 50]]You desperately grab at your shield, but the pain from your back doesn’t allow you to maneuver in time. Bulmdoor brings down his sword before you can even grip the handle of your shield.
[[Try again warrior?->choice 40]]
[[Pick your champion from the start.|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]Before Bulmdoor can deliver the final blow you slash your large scimitar at the side of his body with all your might. The blade breaks through two of his ribs before crashing into his spine where it sticks in firmly.
Bulmdoor’s jaw drops as his head swings forward. His body falls next to you as his sword drops to the ground. You pull your arm away as it is still attached to the sword that is stuck in the middle of his body.
The crowd grows silent and you roll over on your chest to take pressure off of your back injury. You lift your head to look over again at Bulmdoor. His head is facing down into the ground and his sword is still clutched in his right hand.
Even though it brings you terrible pain, you rise to your feet and walk towards Bulmdoor. You do not feel sorry about what you did, but you wish it hadn’t come to this. It was your life or his. Bulmdoor knew what he was doing.
You reach down and pull out your scimitar from Bulmdoor’s spine. You do not raise your sword, but rather drop to one knee and kneel before the fallen prince as a sign of respect.
You hear talking and whispering amongst the crowds in the stands. A familiar loud voice cuts through the air, but it isn’t the announcer. You look out into the audience to see the queen standing with her personal guard in her sectioned off area in the stands.
“People of Ossis! Show your appreciation to prince Bulmdoor with your applause.” The queen’s voice booms outward for all to hear followed by the queen herself beginning to clap.
The arena audience follows in her example and begans clapping loudly with the familiar crack of bony hands slapping together. A few skeletons in the audience even cheer Bulmdoor’s name and continue to clap.
Queen Layla halts her applause and puts her hands behind her back. Her long purple and green cloak ripples in the passing wind showing her long and slender frame. Her seven foot tall body towers over her subjects and gives her an air of majesty and elegance. The crowd follows the queen and quickly halts their applause as well.
“Bulmdoor was your prince. He was my dear cousin. Although quite happy to be apart of the royal family, Bulmdoor yearned to be a warrior of marrow. A warrior fit to lead my armies.” The audience claps and cheers with the words of the queen showing their support.
The queen lifts her long slender arm to both halt the applause of the crowd and to show thanks for the support.
“Bulmdoor did not fail in his endeavor. His life force may have left his body, but his spirit and courage has been given to us all.” The queen nods her head after a few moments giving the crowd permission to applause.
“It is strong spirits like Bulmdoor’s which protect us all. And it takes a person who truly understands that kind of spirit to best it. Let us now applaud Radament. A true warrior of Marrow!” The queen speaks proudly and begins to clap.
The crowd follows in the clapping and cheers your name. Still kneeling at the body of Bulmdoor you slowly lift yourself up and stand to face the crowd. Your jaw rattles slightly in awe of the queens words, but a strange sense of guilt swells from down deep in your body.
“Rada. You are the victor here today. Be proud of your strength. Show the people of Ossis that a true warrior of Marrow will triumph over all in this arena.”
The queen gazes down at you as she speaks. Her words of encouragement lessen the guilt you feel stirring around where a stomach would be if you had one.
The stone wall encircling the arena lifts suddenly and after grabbing your shield, you slowly walk back over to the path leading to the waiting room. The crowd once again cheers your name as you see the arena coordinator standing in his usual spot by the entrance to the waiting room.
As you pass him he speaks.
“A more honorable victory has yet to be seen in this arena. You did what you had to do Rada and Queen Layla is proud of you. A medic will be here shortly. The queen has allowed you to recover before your next match. Do your best to focus on healing.”
[[Continue|choice 48]]You cut across Bulmdoor’s shins and he falls to his side in pain. In a flash you move over Bulmdoor and kick his sword hand fiercely which sends his scimitar flying out of his hand. Bulmdoor immediately turns to protect his upper body with his shield.
[[End the battle quickly.->choice 52]]
You drop your knees on Bulmdoor and hold the weight of your body on top of his. The shield he was holding in front of himself is now pinned against his body. Bulmdoor can neither move nor defend himself.
You pull your scimitar across his head and rest it in front of his neck. “You fought well young prince, but you are no match for me.”
Bulmdoor attempts to move and push you off of his chest, but he does not have the strength to do so. It hurts his pride immensely, but he announces his surrender.
The crowd is silent at first not believing the match is over already. The announcer chimes in reluctantly. “A very quick match today bones and girls. It seems this fight was just practice to lieutenant of the queen’s high guard, Radament!”
The crowd applauds hesitantly still surprised by the speed of your victory. You lower your sword and bow to Bulmdoor out of respect and do the same to the crowd.
The stone wall encircling the arena lifts and you see the path that leads back to the waiting room. As you walk back towards the waiting room you begin to hear the crowd boo and even shout words like, “Fixed! Cheat!”
You can’t believe what you are hearing so you turn around to face the crowd. Skeletons in the audience continue to berate you until the announcer chimes in again, “Everyone. Everyone! Radament is clearly...” The angry wails of the audience are too noisy and the announcer can not get his message out cleanly.
At that moment a loud booming voice breaks out into the air, “Silence!”
Everyone’s eyes including yours quickly look to the queen’s secluded section of the arena. Queen Layla stands just outside her private entrance into the arena. Her seven foot tall frame and booming voice displays her power and demand of respect. The crowd quickly falls silent and takes their respective seats.
“What is this talk of deception? I will not stand for any schemes to progress a fighter in *MY* arena. People of Ossis! Are you saying my cousin, your prince, is involved in a plan to fix this competition?”
The skeletons in the audience look at each other and remain silent at first, but eventually one skeleton rises to answer her question.
“Rada won the match with ease your grace. It is like this was all just a practice match for him.” A lone skeleton explains.
Queen Layla turns her gaze towards the lone skeleton and then back towards the rest of the crowd. “Is this how you all feel? Speak my people!”
The remaining skeletons in the crowd began chiming up and speaking affirmation to the lone skeleton’s claim.
“Enough!” The queen’s voice booms out again over the crowd. The crowd falls silent once again and sits down.
“Cousin Bulmdoor. If what our people say is true than you had a hand in this arrangement? What say you cousin?”
You look back over at Bulmdoor as he sits up on his knees since he is unable to stand from the cut on his shins. *This is ludicrous. You did not cheat. Bulmdoor is just no where near your level as a warrior... but would Bulmdoor openly admit to that in front of his people?*
Bulmdoor turns his head to look at you for a moment then back to Queen Layla. He hangs his head down for a few moments and then raises his gaze slowly back to look at the queen again.
“It is true my queen. Rada forced me to give him victory. He desires the grand prize and has threatened my life if I did not cooperate in this match.” Bulmdoor explains.
You can not believe what you are hearing. What was a quick victory is turning into a dangerous situation.
[[Speak the truth about the prince's lack of strength.->choice 53]]
[[Reaffirm your position as a lieutenant of the queen's high guard.->choice 54]]“The prince’s combat skills are lacking compared to mine. This is the simple truth!” You explain in the plainest words you can.
Bulmdoor shakes his head in disapproval and the crowd’s discontent grows in intensity as they shout back, “Of course he would say that!”.
It seems you are definitely not winning over this crowd and Bulmdoor is not helping you either. You look back towards the queen who appears to be gauging the situation by watching the crowd.
You feel like you may be losing the confidence of the queen so you speak out.
“Queen Layla. I do not speak this way of the prince to lower his prestige as a member of the royal family. I am just speaking to the reality of this fight. From the perspective of an experienced warrior of Marrow.”
The crowd grows even more boisterous and fervent over your apparent betrayal.
“Silence!” The queen’s voice booms over the arena once more. The crowd immediately grows quiet and takes their seats.
The queen appearing slightly dismayed stares over at you. “Guards. Remove Radament from my arena. I will not stand for any fowl play in my contest.”
With the decision made, the queen turns around, her purple and green cloak shimmering and waving in the wind as she spins her tall frame, and she walks back gracefully to the secluded entrance she appeared from.
You try to grab the queen’s attention, but you are unsuccessful. Before you notice two skeleton guards grab your hands from behind causing you to drop your weapon and shield.
“Brothers you are mistaken. I would not betray the Queen. I swear on my life as a warrior of Marrow!” The guards are disinterested in your words and escort you out of the arena.
You are across the royal courtyard and down into the castle dungeon. You are thrown in a cell in the back of the dungeon without a word spoken to you by either guard.
Maybe you should have worded your defense in a different manner?
[[Continue|choice 56]]“I am Radament of Queen Layla’s high guard. I am second in command because I am a strong warrior of Marrow and because I personally protect the entire royal family!”
You direct your words evenly to each section of the arena crowd and then end your sentence facing the queen.
The crowd dismisses your words and the queen stares at you calmly.
“Radament has protected the royal family in the past. Why would he betray all of us now for this contest? What say you cousin?” The queen speaks above the crowd and focuses back on prince Bulmdoor.
Bulmdoor glances quickly between you and the queen and appears to be searching for something to say.
“The grand prize your grace. He wants it for himself and he will do anything to acquire it.” Bulmdoor repeats his defense.
Queen Layla looks to you for a response and you do not waste her time.
“I fight for all of Ossis. The honor of a true victory means more to me than any prize. If the grand prize is the focus then I say here and now... if I win I will give back the prize to Queen Layla.”
The queen folds her long arms in front of her chest and seems content with your response. She glances back at crowd and then down at Bulmdoor.
“He is deceiving you your grace. He has cheated me out of this contest. I deserve...” Bulmdoor tries to explain, but the queen lifts her hand to signal his silence.
“I have heard enough. I see no reason why the lieutenant of the high guard would hatch this ridiculous plan. Guards take the prince to the great chamber.”
In the next moment after her order, a nearby section of the arena wall lifts and two skeleton guards emerge and in a few seconds they are upon Bulmdoor.
You watch the guards carry Bulmdoor past you as another section of the arena wall lifts which leads back into the waiting room. The crowd remains silent until Queen Layla exists the arena and hushed whispers are heard throughout the crowd.
“Rada. Rada! Come here.” The arena coordinator shouts at you from afar. You look over and see him motioning for you to come over to the waiting room.
You walk casually to him and look him square in the eyes. “What an unexpected turn of events. I have a feeling we will be seeing more of you in this contest.”
Still dumbstruck at the current situation you simply nod and enter the waiting room.
“Oh, Radament.” The coordinator speaks suddenly.
“Yes?” You reply reluctantly.
“Queen Layla wishes to see you. Wait for her in the great hall. The guards are expecting you.”
You nod again reluctantly and take the stairs that are located on the opposite end of the waiting room. You make your way out of the arena itself and out into the castle courtyard and approach the tall metal castle gates you know well. Two guards stand at the ready on either side of the gate and clang their scimitars against their shields at your arrival.
The tall metal gates slowly swing open and you make your way up a series of stairs that lead to the queen's castle. Another series of guards greet you and the gold laden and purple embroidered doors swing open.
You make your way past the castle foyer and up a long spiraling staircase to the great hall. The great hall is the largest room in the castle and it feels quite strange to be the only person there.
The guards by the entrance walk in just after you and say, “Wait here Rada. The queen will be here shortly.”
[[Continue|choice 57]]End of Chapter 1. Skeleton King chapter 2 coming out in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]End of chapter 1. The Skeelton King Chapter 2 coming out in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]End of chapter 1. Chapter 2 The Skeleton King coming in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]Seeing Bulmdoor’s obvious path to attack, you gather all your strength and slash your sword towards his blade.
Your counterattack overpowers Bulmdoor’s attack and Bulmdoor’s blade is flung to the side out of his hand.
Bulmdoor quickly tries to move to grab his sword but you raise yours before he turns his body.
“Not so fast!”
Your scimitar is now inches from Bulmdoor’s face. Bulmdoor stands with his side to you, starring at his sword which lies on the floor roughly ten feet away.
“Move for your blade and I will strike you down.” You explain as you hold the tip of your scimitar pointed at the side of Bulmdoor’s head.
Bulmdoor turns his head ever so slightly to get a better look at you. His gaze teeters back and forth between the sword at his face and the sword on the floor. What is he planning to do?
You are about to demand Bulmdoor’s surrender when his head jerks away to distance himself from your sword.
[[Strike him down.|choice 60]]
[[Let him recover his sword.|choice 61]]You roll backwards avoiding the attack, but accidentally rollover your forearm in the process. Immense pain surges out of the crack in your forearm and your whole body flinches in response as you scream in pain.
Bulmdoor’s blade meets your skull as the screams of your pain ends.
[[Try again?|choice 40]]
[[Choose your champion again.|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]Bulmdoor attempts to jump to the side and raise his shield, but you slash your blade downwards before he can bring up his shield.
Bulmdoor yells in pain and falls to the floor holding his side where your blade connected. You quickly slide over to Bulmdoor’s body and lower your sword just in front of Bulmdoor’s neck.
“I concede. I...concede.” Bulmdoor exhales
[[Claim Victory|choice 62]]Even though you have already received a heavy blow in this fight, you feel victory for yourself as a warrior of Marrow must be won through a true challenge of skill. You allow Bulmdoor to escape and recover his sword.
Some enemies might see this kind of action as a sign of weakness, but you can tell now from the focused look on Bulmdoor’s face that he appreciates your gesture.
After pausing for a moment staring at each other, you turn to the side letting your injured arm hang behind you and raise your scimitar towards Bulmdoor.
Bulmdoor acknowledges your gesture with a nod and takes on a similar attack stance.
It feels like time has slowed down as both of you analyze each other and wait for the first attack. Skeletons are fierce and unpredictable fighters for the fact that there expressions and body language are very subtle.
The battle seems equal at this point and either fighter could easily gain the upper hand. You notice Bulmdoor’s sword hand shaking ever so slightly. He is doing his best to hide his movement, but a trained eye like yours sees this. The only question is his shaking due to nervousness or anticipation?
[[He's nervous. Attack!|choice 64]]
[[He's anticipating your moves. Wait for an opening.|choice 65]]You raise your sword in victory as the arena announcer begins to speak, “An honorable victory. Let’s hear it for the victor, Rada! Warrior of Marrow and lieutenant of the queen’s high guard!”
Loud cheers and screams begin filling the arena as you look around at the cheering skeleton audience. Your victory is well earned, but you did not win unscathed.
The encircling stone wall around the arena slowly lifts as the walkway back to the waiting room appears. You look back at Bulmdoor and see he is still overcome with his defeat.
“You fought like a true warrior of Marrow my grace. Your teacher has taught you well.”
Bulmdoor looks up at you and he chatters his teeth repeatedly to show he is appreciative.
You turn back towards the arena exit and walk to the waiting room while the crowd continues to cheer and chant.
You pass the arena coordinator as he chuckles at the sight of your presence.
“Your victory was honorable and the crowd loves you for it. Medics will be here shortly to patch your bones. Your next match will begin later today. You may rest or interact with the other fighters. The choice is yours warrior of Marrow.”
[[Continue|choice 63]]End of chapter 1. The Skeleton King Chapter 2 coming in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]
You lunge forward and just before you attack you re-grip your scimitar like a dagger. With the blade now pointing down and to the side and not straight up you rush in for the attack. You do not move towards Bulmdoor in a straight line, rather you serpentine back and forth as you hop towards him unpredictably.
Bulmdoor does not know if you are going to attack from the left or right so he constantly shifts his shield and sword to guard from his left then to this right and back and forth.
You close the distance very quickly and instead of pulling back your sword to swipe at his body you charge your fist forward attempting to punch Bulmdoor’s face.
Expecting your sword and not your fist, Bulmdoor defends with the sword in his right hand and pulls his head to the side.
Your fist being small enough it passes between his guarding sword and flies over his shoulder. As your fist sails over his shoulder, your sword follows as you swipe it around your side until it is sticking straight out right under Bulmdoor’s neck.
Just as your fist goes over Bulmdoor’s shoulder and your blade approaches his neck, you pinch Bulmdoor’s sword arm at the wrist between your chin and your left shoulder. The force of the pinch causes considerable pain in Bulmdoor's wrist and he drops his sword.
As Bulmdoor realizes your blade is at his throat and his sword arm can’t move he attempts to step back. You quickly place a foot behind his to stop his movement.
Bulmdoor can now not move backwards or else he will trip over your foot and fall. He can not attack because you have immobilized his sword arm and he can not move forward or else he will come into contact with your blade.
Seeing the spectacle in the arena, the announcer chimes in.
“Girls and bones I can’t believe it. Rada has captured Bulmdoor in the signature Blade Pincer hold! What will Bulmdoor do now?”
The crowds cheers in excitement as you remain locked against Bulmdoor. He tries to break his sword arm free, but your pinch is too tight and unable to move forward or back he can not loosen your grip or move away from your blade.
Your turn your head, practically touching skulls with Bulmdoor now.
“It took me two weeks to figure out how to escape the Blade Pincer young prince. Would you like a lesson?”
The prince, understandably quite afraid with a blade at his throat, meets eyes with you and nods in a respectable fashion like a student would to a teacher.
“The pinching of the sword arm is the most difficult part of the hold and requires the hardest of bone to disarm a foe. It is also the one weakness of the hold.” You begin to explain quietly without releasing any pressure from your chin at his wrist.
“Try to pull or push your sword arm out of my pinch young prince.” You direct at Bulmdoor. He looks at you attentively and cautious at first, but eventually tries to pull and push his sword arm out of your pinch.
“Ah. You see it is quite difficult. This is how most warriors react when they are caught in this hold. Now, attempt to raise or lower your sword hand instead.”
Bulmdoor tries to raise his sword arm but lets out a grunt of pain as you tighten your pinch.
“I know it hurts young prince, but you can do it. Raise your arm like this is the last fight of your life!”
Bulmdoor tries again and grunts deeply through the intense pain. You tighten your grip as best you can, but his arm begins to lead you upwards as it raises and then lowers.
“You see. You can still move your arm up and down. Most warriors will believe the fight is over when they have successfully pinched your sword arm and brought a blade to your throat.” You explain as Bulmdoor listens intently next to you.
“Most warriors believe it is impossible for all but the strongest of warriors to move their sword hand at all during the Blade Pincer hold. When you see you can freely guide them up or down they will become distracted. In this instance you can drop your shield so you can use your hand to push away my blade. Then pull your head back slightly and pinch my blade with your chin against your chest near your shoulder. Try this now young prince.”
Bulmdoor grinds his teeth in anguish as he lifts and lowers his sword hand which moves your head up and down then suddenly clamps down on your blade with his chin and pushes against your sword hand with his now free shield hand.
You attempt to push your blade into Bulmdoor’s throat with a moderate amount of your strength, but his shield hand is pushing against your blade too strongly and his chin has pinched your blade too tightly.
Bulmdoor grunts fiercely as he is using all his strength to pinch your blade against his chest and hold your sword arm at bay with his shield hand.
He grunts through his teeth, "Now what?"
“Now the lesson ends.”
You simultaneously drop your blade and use your uninjured right hand to grab his shield hand and flip Bulmdoor over your shoulder. Bulmdoor lands with a loud “Thud!” against the arena stone floor.
[[Claim victory!|choice 66]]The longer you wait the more difficult it becomes to ignore the pain coming from your injured arm. You begin to struggle to focus on Bulmdoor. And then he attacks!
Bulmdoor slashes at you from the side with his large scimitar. Not quite ready to block, you sidestep instead and dodge the attack while bringing around your own scimitar for a low slash at his legs.
Bulmdoor awkwardly dodges your attack, but closes the distance surprisingly fast. You hide your injured arm behind your body as it sways painfully with your movements. Bulmdoor continues his assault and attacks you from different angles.
You dodge his attacks easily enough, but with each jerk of your body you sway your injured arm back and forth painfully.
It is now you realize Bulmdoor’s true tactics. He is not looking to make the final blow, but to wear you out from the painful movements every time you dodge an attack.
Bulmdoor’s plan succeeds as eventually you stagger backwards during a dodge. The pain from your arm is too great now to completely ignore and you simply can not focus well enough on dodging precisely.
As you step back dodging one of Bulmdoor’s attacks, the pain staggers you and brings you down to one knee. You raise your scimitar in front of your bend knee and expect the worst.
Bulmdoor halts his attacks and acknowledges his upper hand in this battle.
“You can not last me anymore Rada. Surrender your sword or I will take it from you.”
You take a deep sigh, “Aye. You have bested me young prince. My sword is yours in this battle.”
You flip around your scimitar to offer Bulmdoor the handle of your blade. A prolonged battle after your arm injury insured your defeat and yes you lost this battle, but at least you lost with your life still intact.
[[Surrender the fight.|choice 68]]Bulmdoor lets out a painful gasp of air, but otherwise remains motionless on the floor. You pick up your scimitar and raise it high in the air. The crowd cheers triumphantly and begins to chant your name.
“That’s it bones and girls! The fight is over and your winner..... Rrrraaaddaaa!”
The announcer declares as the cheers from the crowd grows in intensity. The stone wall encircling the arena lifts to reveal the path back to the waiting room. You recover your shield and hold it underneath your good arm as you make your way to the exit.
“Wait!” A painful yell lets out. You turn to see Bulmdoor roll his head to the side in your direction.
“Rada. Be my teacher. Help me become a true warrior of Marrow.” A noticeable amount of pain in his voice.
You casually walk over to him and kneel down. “You are a true warrior of Marrow my prince. My duty belongs to the queen’s High Guard. Your current teacher is doing a fine job.”
“No...no. I want to be taught by you. Radament of the High Guard.”
Although flattered by the fact Bulmdoor now is suddenly using your proper title, you shake your head and reply.
“My duty is clear my prince. I protect the queen and you. I am flattered, but I have no time to instruct you young prince.”
You begin to walk away, convincing yourself you are finished with this conversation.
“Wait! Radament. What if I helped you in this contest?” Bulmdoor asks, breathing heavily to deal with his pain.
“The queen... she expects me.” You start to explain with a slight annoyance in your tone.
“Do not worry about the queen. I can convince her. Think of the honor you could bring the queen by winning her contest.”
You take a few more steps but then slowly stop yourself. You find yourself pondering over the possibility. Winning the contest would bring great honor not only to your name, but to the name of the queen’s High Guard. Your name would become legend.
“Not to sound unconvinced young prince, but I defeated you in the first round. How can you help me in this contest?”
“I am the queen’s cousin. I often overhear her plans for the contest. I know important facts about all the fighters. I could help you gain the upper hand.”
Having no knowledge of what to expect later in the contest you feel like the prince is offering you a great opportunity. You hold your sword and shield underneath your injured arm with some discomfort and walk back to the prince.
Without a second thought you pick up the prince’s arm with your right hand and lay it over your shoulder while holding onto it tightly with your free hand.
“Lean against me young prince. We will continue this conversation when your wounds are patched.”
The prince leans against you and begins to hobble slowly towards the waiting room with you.
You eventually pass by the arena coordinator and help Bulmdoor down to the benches that line the waiting room walls.
“An honorable victory Rada and valuable ally you have made. This decision should prove wise for you later in the contest I’m sure.” The arena coordinator remarks and welcomes you back.
“The medics will be out shortly for you both. Be mindful Rada. Your next battle begins later today. You can use your time to rest or converse with the other fighters. The choice is yours.”
[[Continue|choice 67]]End of chapter 1. The Skeleton King Chapter 2 coming in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]You have officially surrendered as Bulmdoor takes your scimitar and drops his shield holding both blades high in the air. The crowd cheers wildly and the announcer confirms the result of the fight. You have lost this match, but you live to fight another day.
[[Continue|choice 69]]End of chapter 1. The Skeleton King Chapter 2 coming in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]End of chapter 1. The Skeleton King Chapter 2 coming in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]***The Skeleton King by Brian Bates***.
This is an interactive story in which you take on the role of a specific character.
Each page ends with a set of actions that you must take before you can continue.
TAKE CAUTION! Every decision has a consequence.
Will you be heroic? Will you be evil?
Will you fight for others? Will you look out for yourself?
Will you do what it takes to win? Or will you just try to survive?
This world is full of mystery and magic. What role will you have in its future?
[[Begin your adventure. Now!|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]
"...Right. Your opponent awaits you in the arena. A warrior of Marrow! Bulmdoor the Mighty!"
[[Walk down the stone walkway towards the arena, hands in your pocket.|choice 72]]
You walk casually into the arena. The dark colored shroud and mask you wear covers the majority of your face except your eyes. You hear the crowd begin to talk and whisper silently to each other as you take your place in the middle of the arena.
“Okay bones and girls. It looks like a great first match is at hand. Here today we have our very own warrior of Marrow. Bulmdoor the Mighty! And facing him today is an unknown challenger from...unknown lands. She has requested we call her Shevz. Let the match begin!”
Your opponent the undead skeleton Bulmdoor raises his shield and sword abruptly after the announcer finishes talking. You stand and face him with your head leaning to the side.
“I am the mighty warrior of Marrow. Bulmdoor! Shevz? Is it? I will not go easy because you are a woman.” Bulmdoor explains and inches closer towards you cautiously.
[[Shut up and die|choice 73]]
“Shut up and die.”
You immediately throw your hands forward releasing two heavy weighted throwing daggers.
Bulmdoor raises his shield just in the time to block the daggers from hitting his face and peers over his shield. But by that time, you are already upon him.
[[Toy with Bulmdoor.|choice 75]]
[[Uphold your usual level of professionalism.|choice 76]]You quickly pull a dagger from a back pocket and cut Bulmdoor across his arm, behind his leg, and down one shoulder before jumping and rolling away.
Bulmdoor reacts all at once to your attacks and lets out a loud yelp of pain. He bends his body inward as if to shield the vital organs he does not possess.
“So you do feel pain. That’s good.” You smile while spinning a kunai around a finger in your right hand.
Bulmdoor lifts his head up slowly and grumbles painfully.
“Demon. Fight me face to face!”
You holster your kunai behind your back and walk slowly towards Bulmdoor. Bulmdoor grunts loudly like a wild animal and forms up his shield and sword.
You stand just outside striking distance and face Bulmdoor with your hands resting in front of your body. You slowly raise your fists in front of your face and shift your right leg back.
“One on one. No weapons. No tricks”
Bulmdoor appears almost insulted at first, but hesitantly lowers his sword and shield. You shuffle your feet back slightly and sniff your nose loudly.
“You have my word.”
Bulmdoor slowly lowers his sword and shield all the way down to the ground and stands in front of you for a moment.
“Go!” You shout and leap towards Bulmdoor leaning your upper body forward to close the distance. You hook your right arm around and punch at Bulmdoor’s head.
Bulmdoor pulls his fists up quickly and leans his head to the side. Your knuckles skim off of his skull and push him slightly to the side.
You turn to see Bulmdoor perform a high kick at your face. You block with your left forearm and follow up with a series of jabs and straight punches.
Bulmdoor ducks his head down a little and raises his forearms vertically in front of his face. You strike his forearms directly and begin to push him back.
His body is truly just hard bone and you feel every punch you strike against him painfully in your fingers.
After your series of punches Bulmdoor throws a wild knee towards your chest and attempts to grab your head to pull it down.
You sidestep away, but he replies by twisting an elbow around towards your head. You don’t have time to step away from the blow so instead you move in closer to Bulmdoor and avoid the hard point of his elbow by instead blocking the section of his arm that is closer to his body.
Being so close now you move behind Bulmdoor and clutch your arms around his neck and position one leg in front of his feet. You yank your arms up from under his neck in an attempt to get Bulmdoor to pull away from you and trip over your carefully placed foot in front of his.
Bulmdoor can not fight your hold around his neck, but he spots the placement of your foot and he indeed falls forward but steps squarely on your food as he does.
His bony foot stabs your left foot causing a sharp pain in your toes. You push him away to stop the pain in your toes and release him from your headlock. Bulmdoor recovers and turns around. He quickly raises his arms and shifts his feet into a fighting stance.
You shake your left foot and casually walk in a circle around Bulmdoor.
[[Pay Bulmdoor a compliment.|choice 77]]
[[Scoff your superiority.|choice 78]]You move behind Bulmdoor before he can notice and bring another dagger up to his throat.
Bulmdoor gasps suddenly realizing you are behind him with a dagger to his throat. You can also hear a noticeable gasp from the crowd as they too just realized what happened.
“Okay, okay. I surrender. You are victorious.” Bulmdoor immediately drops his sword and shield.
You lean in closer to the side of his head and whisper, “You know I’ve never killed an undead before. Do you even feel pain?”
Bulmdoor’s jaw quivers as you notice his breathing becoming erratic.
“Yes we feel pain just like any other living being. Please. I have surrendered. You do not have to kill me. Please Shevz.” Bulmdoor pleads with you sincerely.
[[Show some mercy.|choice 79]]
[[Act in your usual fashion.|choice 80]]“No bad skeleton. You are much better with your fists than with your sword.” You laugh and flex your fingers which are a little bloody at this point.
He looks you over, shakes out his arms, and rolls his shoulders.
"Every warrior of Marrow is trained in the honorable style of frattura. Bone point combat. Sword and shield are weapons of war. No honor in the fighting, just in the surviving."
"I see. To be honest skeleton, I have not tested myself in real combat in some time. How about we quit playing around and go all out?"
Bulmdoor looks at you with his usual blank expression, but you can tell by his body language he is either confused or nervous, or both.
"I accept, but I have one request assassin." You give Bulmdoor a quick nod saying you are willing to hear him out.
"We fight an honorable match. We fight on our feet. No retreating, no stopping, no..."
You interject, "No killing. Yeah, I understand."
Bulmdoor nods his head in agreement and claps his boney hands together three times before kneeling on the floor and bowing his head toward you.
"This should be fun."
You smile behind your mask and reach up to remove the clasp that is holding your cloak onto your slim frame. You undo the clasp and toss your cloak off to the side of your body. It falls heavily onto the floor revealing a wide assortment of daggers and knives on the inside.
The undead crowd quiets down and many whispers start to fill the air from different points of view around the arena. You ignore the whispering and continue to remove your other hidden weaponery. You reach behind your back and remove two large knives on the back of your belt, two from underneath your forearms, and a couple more hidden on the side of calves. Finally, you pull out a sword handle which is attached to a tightly wound-up blade behind the middle of your back. You toss all of these items except four of your longer knives onto your discarded cloak until there is a sizeable pile of blades and weapons laying on the arena floor.
Bulmdoor is still kneeling on the ground about ten feet or so from you watching your display and staying quiet. You stretch out your body for a moment and spit to the side on the arena floor.
"No retreating, no holding back."
You repeat to Bulmdoor and hold up four long daggers in your hand. He rises and approaches you slowly.
You take one dagger and stab it into the arena floor behind yourself. You walk past Bulmdoor and place another dagger in the floor about fifteen feet away. You hand Bulmdoor the other two daggers and he nods in understanding. He places the other two daggers across the two you have planted. Now there are four daggers marking four outer points of an imaginary circle about fifteen feet wide in diameter.
You both walk to opposite ends of the boundary you have created. Bulmdoor hunkers his body down slightly and takes a new fighting stance. Instead of leaning more foreward with his arms protecting his face, he leans slightly backwards with one leg bend out in front. He raises one arm to protect his face and stretches the other straight out as if to push you away if you get too close.
Both of you approach the center of the circle you have created and size each other up. Bulmdoor remains still, but you start by arcing around Bulmdoor at a good pace bouncing and shifting directions abruptly left and right horizontally. You can tell he seems to be taking a more defensive strategy. It makes sense since retreat is not an option now. If you care about honor that is.
You begin poking at his defense with quick jabs, but instead of dodging these attacks he counters by making his own attacks. He doesn't throw any punches, but instead he bends his arms and swipes his elbows. These are faster movements then throwing long straight punches because they are traveling a shorter distance, but they lack the reach so as Bulmdoor counters he shuffles his feet forward in quick succsession.
His shuffling is almost entirely done with his feet and calves, not so much with his thighs. This allows him to retain his defensive stance at all times and also gives his movements a deceptive quality. It is hard to tell when he will commit with all of his legs and lunge forward for a full-on attack.
It is easy enough to dodge his elbows, but since his attacks are less commiting and closer to his body he is defending much faster so you can not see an easy opening to strike this way.
You dance around Bulmdoor just out of reach of his elbows, but not out of reach of a foot strike if he uses the full length of his legs.
Bulmdoor tests your agility a bit longer with short, quick lunges and sweeping elbow strikes along with an occasional upward knee strike. In the eyes of the crowd, Bulmdoor is on the offensive and so the crowd cheers loudly with his assault.
It is obvious to you though that Bulmdoor is still very much not committing with his attacks. He only attacks when it is safe to do so. Meaning, he is only attacking when he has a guarantee that he has the time and space to return to his defensive posture. At this point, both of you remain equal. He is not fast enough to hit you, but his form does not have any obvious weaknesses. You have to change up your strategy.
[[Grapple him|choice 85]]“It would be easy to defeat you skeleton, but what fun would that be.” You smile maliciously.
Bulmdoor bangs his forearms together and shouts back, “Your bones are weak. Come at me demon!”
It appears Bulmdoor has shed the fear he once had at the beginning of the fight. Not only that, but he is now taunting you openly.
You drop your smile and begin to remove the tight dark blue gloves around your hands. You clench your bare fists and display the bloody red bruises on your knuckles and fingers to Bulmdoor.
Bulmdoor clangs his teeth rapidly by opening and closing his jaw. He appears to be pleased by the sight of your bruised hands. You shift your weight on your back foot and raise your arms up in front of your face and motion with your left hand for Bulmdoor to, “Come on over.”
Bulmdoor’s jaw closes tightly and you hear a distinct inhale of breath right before he dashes forward straight at you.
Bulmdoor comes within striking distance, but quickly back pedals and begins to encircle you with his hands slightly lowered.
You circle slowly in the opposite direction and keep your hands up and fists forward. You dance around each other for a few moments gauging one another’s physical condition.
You suddenly change direction and swing a high kick at the side of Bulmdoor’s head. Bulmdoor ducks avoiding your kick, but after your swung leg reaches the ground you pivot off of it and swing around your other leg in the same spot.
Bulmdoor does not expect your other leg as he raises his head back up and a solid “thud” sounds as the soul of your left shoe slaps against the side of Bulmdoor’s head.
Bulmdoor stumbles off to the side almost falling onto the floor, but recovers miraculously. He shakes his head and adjusts his jaw. You smile devilishly and start circling around him again.
Bulmdoor follows your lead and circles in the opposite direction. Not wasting any time, you abruptly change direction again and throw a flying knee at the center of Bulmdoor.
Bulmdoor simultaneously throws his arms forward pushing down your flying knee and slides backward to maintain space.
You land back on the ground and arc a right punch around Bulmdoor’s forearm guard. Bulmdoor steps forward and turns at right angles to deflect your arm with both of his hands. After deflecting your arm Bulmdoor bends his right arm outward sending a elbow quickly towards your face.
You escape the brunt of the attack, but Bulmdoor’s elbow does hit your cheek and you can feel a small cut across your cheek underneath your mask.
[[Comment on Bulmdoor's technique.->choice 84]]“Back to the void with you...” You whisper on the side of Bulmdoor’s head and pull your blade across the bones of his spine where his throat would be.
Bulmdoor gasps wildly and falls on his knees grabbing where his throat would be with both hands. Cutting the bones where his throat would be doesn’t seem to affect his breathing, but it does cause him great pain.
You look down at Bulmdoor with your head cocked to the side again. You raise your right knee up as high as you can and bring your foot down on the back of Bulmdoor’s neck.
An audible crack emits from the small bones on the back of Bulmdoor’s neck breaking. He lays motionless on the ground. His head laying on it’s side with his jaw now agape.
The crowd is stunned at this quick turn of events. You look out at the crowd and smile underneath your mask. The announcer chimes in, softly at first.
“I can’t believe my sight. That’s...that’s it bones and girls. Bulmdoor has fallen. Shevz is victorious.”
You sit down in the middle of the arena not sure what to expect next and you put your hands back in the pockets of your pants. You feel a piece of paper in your left pocket. You take it out and read what is written on it.
*Win the contest and kill Queen Layla*.
*Sounds fun.* You pop the paper in your mouth and swallow it.
The stone wall encircling the arena lifts and the path leading back to the waiting room shows itself to you again. You get up and walk casually back to the waiting room. As you exit the arena the crowd loudly boos and yells in disdain.
You approach the arena coordinator who is standing in the same spot as he was before. He talks to you as you pass him.
“A piece of advice assassin. Dishonorable victories such as yours attracts more enemies than it scares away.”
You snap back, “Honor is for the weak. When is my next match?”
The coordinator lets out a snort from his skull and replies unenthusiastically.
“Later today assassin. You may rest or talk to the other fighters in the room. The choice is yours.”
You take your seat on one of the many benches in the waiting room. The nearest fighters next to you immediately get up and move further down to the other side of the bench away from you. You lean back against the wall with your hands clasped behind your head and think to yourself.
*The queen better put up more of fight then this.*
[[Continue|choice 82]]“I suppose I could have a little more fun with you.” You whisper to Bulmdoor and vault yourself over his body using his shoulders as a launching platform. You roll backwards once and regain your feet quickly.
Bulmdoor picks up his sword and shield without taking his eyes off of you. He shakes his skull as if to release some tension and lets out a loud scream to shed some noticeable stress.
You drop one kunai out of each of the two pockets on the back of your pants which are hidden by your dark shroud. These kunai are connected to a chain which you grab with each hand and begin swinging them at high speeds at your sides.
Bulmdoor guards up and points his scimitar over his shield towards you. He appears to be ready for this attack. You spin your kunai faster and faster and lower them down ever so slightly. The quite small tips of the kunai skim off of the hard surface of the stone floor.
A couple small sparks began to spray as the kunai hit the stone floor until suddenly each kunai burst into flames. Bulmdoor instantly recoils his position and jumps back.
These particular throwing blades are coated with a very flammable substance and also have small opposite facing hooks at the end of the blades. They are made to enter a material and be very difficult to pull out.
You suddenly launch each kunai out from in front of you at Bulmdoor’s shield. Bulmdoor can not dodge fast enough so he attempts to block the kunai with the large blade of his scimitar.
He successfully blocks one kunai, but the other sticks solidly into his shield. The direct heat of the flame makes Bulmdoor jerk his head away, but he attempts to save his shield by hitting the kunai with his scimitar. He does loosen the kunai, but the hooks of the blade keep it stuck into his wooden shield.
The active flame on the kunai begins to crack and cook his shield until it slowly smolders and appears ready to ignite and spread. Bulmdoor attempts to put out the fire first and bashes his shield on the floor, but the kunai sticking out does not make this maneuver very effective.
You dash over near Blumdoor while this is going on and move behind him like before. Bulmdoor notices when you are near this time and slashes his scimitar behind himself at you.
You block his attack by grabbing his sword arm both by the shoulder and by the wrist. You hyper extend his arm back across the backside of his body and push his arm down hard against his back with your free hand.
His arm surprisingly bends back without too much resistance. Bulmdoor drops his shield and bends his shield arm all the way back to grab your leg and tries to pull.
You re-position your feet around his hand that is grabbing low on your foot and twist in a counter-clockwise motion. Bulmdoor screams as you crack his wrist with the twisting motion of your feet.
Since it appears you can crack his bones, but not put pressure on his non-existent joints, you move your left foot in front of his and push your body-weight against his back.
Bulmdoor trips in front of your left foot and with the full weight of your body he can't help but fall forward onto the arena floor.
You sit on top of Bulmdoor now with his sword arm secure underneath the weight of your body. Bulmdoor tries to attack you by bending his feet backwards to hit you from behind, but it is just a nuisance.
“I have you at my mercy once again.”
“Assassin... Shevz if I may.”
“You may.” You reply and put a hand on his skull, pushing his head down onto the hard stone floor.
“Ugh... I know my life is yours now, but I was wondering if I could...ask you a questions before you kill me.” The pressure on his skull not helping his speech.
You don’t answer right away, but look up and around at the crowd. Everyone is watching you intently and there is an odd silence in the arena. It is not an atmosphere you care for.
“Wha..wha... why are you fighting in this contest?” Bulmdoor asks with some nervousness in his voice.
You think about it for a moment, but you draw a blank. You take your free left hand and start searching your pants pockets. Eventually you find a small piece of paper. You fold it open and see what is written.
*Win the contest and kill Queen Layla*. You smile at the prospect.
You pop the paper in your mouth and swallow it.
“I am here for the prize.”
“What would an assassin want with old scrolls? They are hardly worth much arcanian.”
“Is this the point where you offer me more money to spare your life?” You laugh and step on Bulmdoor’s cracked wrist.
Bulmdoor yells in pain and his body shakes trying to break free.
“Arggg....You would not know, but I am related to the queen of this kingdom. Her cousin actually. I could give you far greater wealth than the prize offered at this contest.”
*The queen’s cousin? He could get me close to her.*
“Hmm... a prince? I bet I could get a pile of arcanian for your ransom...” You whisper to Bulmdoor. Diverting your real motives.
Bulmdoor takes a deep breath before responding.
“You could, but but...Why go through all that hassle when I could just give you the money?”
You pull a dagger from a back pocket and yank Bulmdoor’s head up so you can place the dagger across his throat.
“Why should I trust you, skeleton?”
Bulmdoor grunts in pain as you pull his head up, but begins to talk quickly now.
“What is there to lose? If you kill me now at most you could only win the contest prize. If you let me live, you might win the contest prize, but you will for sure walk away with a royal share of money.”
There are obvious flaws in Bulmdoor’s plan, but you go along with it not because you desire his money, but because you want to get close to the queen. With the money you will gain from completing this contract you will be able to buy your own kingdom.
“I will accept your deal under one condition. You will lead me personally into the castle to collect the arcanian.” Bulmdoor shakes his head at first hearing your condition, but you pull your dagger close up against the bones of his spine where his throat would be.
“Okay..okay! I can get you into the castle to collect the arcanian.”
“Good. Now just in case you forget our arrangement...” You quickly reach under Bulmdoor’s rib cage and place a small insect behind the breastbone in front of chest. The insect instinctually clings tightly to the back of the breast bone and widens its large mandibles as if yawning, but then goes back to being absolutely still.
“This is a calcium beetle. She is under a sleep spell and won't eat until I break the spell, which I can do from anywhere at anytime. Careful, she hasn’t eaten in a week...and neither have her babies.”
Bulmdoor’s breathing grows rabid and he tries to say something, but you push him down as you lift yourself off of his body.
“Surrender skeleton, before I change my mind.”
Bulmdoor immediately kneels before you and shouts “I surrender!”.
You look around at the confused arena audience and smile behind your mask at the way things are going for you. If you win the contest the queen gives you the grand prize herself. If you lose the contest, prince charming will take you into the castle himself. From there you can find the queen. All that matters is you don’t die.
The announcer breaks the silence and sounds out over the crowd.
“We have a surrender by Bulmdoor! The mysterious Shevz is the victor in this first match!”
The crowd boos and clangs their bones in a displeasing fashion at you. You watch as the stone outer wall surrounding the arena lifts and the path to the waiting room reveals itself to you.
You casually walk out of the arena and notice the arena coordinator is standing in his usual spot at the entrance to the room. He speaks to you as you pass by.
“A surprising victory assassin. It appeared you were about to kill Bulmdoor, but you settled for his surrender. Some fighters might see this as weakness. What are your motives?”
“My motives are my own.”
“Okay...your next match assassin will be later today. You may rest or converse with the other fighters until then.” The coordinator explains.
[[Continue|choice 81]]End of chapter 1. The Skeleton King Chapter 2 coming in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]End of chapter 1. The Skeleton King Chapter 2 coming in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]"Your technique shows years of practice. You were probably trained at a young age, yes?"
"Young for my kind, yes. You also have good technique assassin, but your bones are lacking."
"That is why I agreed to fight this way. You do not grow as a warrior when you only fight the battles you know you can win."
Bulmdoor relaxes his guard for a moment and steps a little closer towards you.
"I may have misjudged you assassin. There seems to be some honor in the way you fight, but I will never respect someone who kills for money." Bulmdoor raises his guard back up again.
You lower your guard in return.
"I do not kill for money, skeleton. Those who pay me are the killers. When no one desires others to be dead, then I will find other work."
Bulmdoor leaps forward and swings one knee across the other at your head. You duck underneath as his body flies over you.
"Then why are you here if not for the money assassin?"
You spin around to face Bulmdoor and run towards his body that is also turning around. Before Bulmdoor has a chance to sidestep you stretch your leg forward and kick him in his chest. He falls backward and rolls once before he can begin to recover.
Bulmdoor is on his knees before you and takes a moment to look at you before he stands up.
"Could you be here to kill someone? Someone in this tournament maybe?"
"To be honest, beyond this fight I do not know why I am here."
"Why would someone want to kill a fighter? The grand prize given by Queen Layla is worth much more than... " Bulmdoor trails off. You don't think he was even listening to you.
Bulmdoor jumps to his feet suddenly and looks at you silently for a moment.
"No. There's no way someone would want..." Bulmdoor seems to be lost in his own thoughts at the moment.
You stutter step and catch him offguard and land a quick side kick onto his lower leg. Bulmdoor falls to the ground once again and you mount his body in an instant, pinning his arms with one arm and the other with your right knee.
"You have lost Bulmdoor. You daydream too much. Surrender now so I don't have to bloody my fists more on your skull."
"Wa...wait assassin. Wait! I...I will surrender. But you must tell me one thing." Bulmdoor suddenly appears very rattled by his perdicament.
"Are you here to kill one of the fighters in the tournament?"
"I told you skeleton. Beyond this fight, I do not know why I am here."
"I do not understand. How can you not know why you are here assassin? You must tell me, now!" Bulmdoor is panicking at this point for some reason.
You think about it for a moment and decide to explain.
"My orders are written on a piece of paper in my pocket. If I win the first match I am to read the paper to see what I have to do next."
You reach into your left pocket and pull out a rather small piece of paper. About the length of your palm, folded once.
"I will pay you half of what is owed to you to know who you are supposed to kill assassin. I...have family involved in this tournament."
"You can not afford even a hundreth of what I am owed skeleton. Surrender this fight or I will crack your skull."
Bumdoor's mouth hangs agape for a moment and he appears to be desperately tryin to think of something fast.
"Okay, okay. You may not know this assassin, but I am a prince. I am royalty. Queen Layla is my cousin. I have the means to pay you. Of that I am confident. Now tell me, who is written on your paper?"
You go along with Bulmdoor. "How do I know you are not lying?"
Bulmdoor motions to the back of his skull by turning his head sideways. "On the back of my skill. There is a royal crest. It was carved into my skull by Queen Layla when I was animated."
You turn his skull a little more and look at the back. To your surprise there is a small elaborate design etched into the back of his skull.
You think about your next move for a moment. It is not the first time you have sold information on the side for some additional payout.
"Surrender. Right. Now."
You lean off of his body and Bulmdoor immediately kneels and announces his surrender. The crowd reluctantly cheers not quite sure what has happened in the past few mintues, but the announcer is quick to sum things up.
"That's the match bones and girls! Bulmdoor has surrendered himself in the first match. Shevz is the victor!"
A section of the stone wall around the arena lifts to reveal the walkway back to the waiting area and you begin to retrieve all of your weapons and your cloak from the arena floor.
"Assassin, we had a deal." Bulmdoor speaks down to you as you kneel down to pick up your gear. You unfold the piece of paper from your pocket and read what it says to yourself.
*Win the contest and kill Queen Layla*
[[Tell Bulmdoor the truth.|choice 93]]
[[Lie.|choice 94]] You begin to swing wildly and kick with the full length of your body pushing Bulmdoor to the boundary of the circle. Bulmdoor blocks every attack, but can not stop your advance.
When he nears the perimeter of the boundary you charge him by grabbing his waist and lifting him off the ground and you both leave the circle.
You carry him a short distance while he scores a few elbows against the side of your head before you slam him down onto the arena floor.
As Bulmdoor hits the floor his arms fly backward and he soundly hits the back of his head hard on the ground. You slump over his legs with your head still at his waist. Those elbow strikes dazed you a bit and you can't stop your head from spinning around.
Both of you remain still for a few moments, except for your heavy breathing. The crowd is dead silent, but all you hear in your head is a loud ringing.
Eventually you climb over Bulmdoor's body by feeling the shape of his bones to guide you. He responds to your touch and grabs you with his hands to keep you from moving. You pull away his hands with your own and hold them down against the floor while you rest your head on his chest, tired and with significant pain in your head.
You become aware of a dampness on the left side of your mask and the feeling of a liquid pooling on the front of your face. You lift your head up slowly and see a small pool of blood left behind on Bulmdoor's breast bone where you rested your head. As you tilt your head the collection of blood on the front of your mask runs down over your nose and around your eyes.
Your focus slowly returns as Bulmdoor's head begins to turn left and right as if he is waking up. Instinctually you kneel on his left arm and hold down his right arm with your free left arm. He is pinned down and his face is open to attacks from your right arm.
With a tired breath you raise your right arm up high and Bulmdoor seems to be realizing the situation that he is in. The crowds screams loudly as your arm stands raised up in the air. They are not booing this time. Some of them are even cheering, although it sounds like a small minority.
Bulmdoor looks up and stares first at your raised fist and then back to your face. He nods silently, unable to speak.
You drop your fist down as hard as you can over his face. Bulmdoor simply grunts lowly in pain and tries to move his arms, but you have him pinned down squarely. His legs wiggle trying to get a footing and you raise your right arm up again.
You hammer fist his face again, and again, until his legs stop wiggling and he stops resisting with his arms.
[[Claim victory|choice 87]]You slump off of Bulmdoor's body and stand for a moment before retrieving your cloak and weapons. You hear a screaming crowd with a mixture of cheer and booing as the announcer loudly sounds over the racket.
"The fight is over girls and bones. And the winner, is the mysterious Shevz!"
A section of the arena wall suddenly lifts and the path back to the waiting area is revealed. You gather your gear and when you have the hood of your cloak over your head you pull down your mask and apply a bandage which you retrieve from a pocket sewn under your cloak.
You make your way back to the waiting room, but before leaving the arena you turn to take one last look at Bulmdoor who lays motionless on the arena floor as a team of other skeletons move quick to retrieve him.
"You surprise me assassin. You gave Bulmdoor a true warrior's defeat. Very honorable of you."
"If you require assistance for your wounds we can...okay then. You may relax now assassin or converse with the other fighters waiting for their matches. The choice is yours." You dismiss the coordinator's suggestion of assistance and take your place on an open bench in the waiting room against a wall.
Before closing your eyes you reach into your left pocket and pull out a small piece of paper.
*Win the contest and kill Queen Layla*
You chuckle to yourself underneath your mask.
*Is the money really worth it this time?... Hmm. What else am I supposed to do with my life?*
[[Continue|choice 88]]End of chapter 1. The Skeleton King Chapter 2 coming in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]End of Chapter 1. Skeleton Queen chapter 2 coming out in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]End of Chapter 1. The Skeleton King chapter 2 coming out in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]
"I am to win this tournament...and then kill the queen." You say in a lowered voice as you pick up your gear. You wait to hear Bulmdoor's response, but he just stands motionless behind you. His shadow drapping over you in the red moonlight.
"I...can help you."
[[Continue.|choice 95]]"I am to kill another fighter in this tournament. They are also from a distant land."
You can hear an almost disappointed sounding sigh from Bulmdoor who is standing behind you. You turn to look at Bulmdoor who is looking off somewhere into the crowd.
"You sound disappointed."
Bulmdoor looks back at you and hesitates before he speaks.
"I just. I just had a feeling about someone is all. Tell the arena coordinator what I owe you and he will send word to me. I need to...take care of something."
Bulmdoor rushs off ahead of you to the waiting room.
[[Continue|choice 96]]End of chapter 1. The Skeleton King Chapter 2 coming in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]End of chapter 1. The Skeleton King Chapter 2 coming in the future.
[[Play again?|The Skeleton King by Brian Bates ]]