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The Iron Glare



Beaming, harsh rays of sunlight sprawled over what felt to be an eternity of wood and iron. This wood was not formless, instead it stood upright and bent into a barrier, one that would protect against the activities held in the middle of this... ring, for it was hollow in the middle. Iron tied and accented the wood, ensuring optimal sturdiness. Further planks came together to form several rows of pews, creating seating numbered in the thousands. And in the thousands did people come. People of varying race and status created a cacophony of the same screams, for there was no discrimination here. No one was better than another, unless they proved it in the center. Ale, beer, and alcohol littered the ground. So too did ham shanks, roasts, chubs, and berries; all of which were squashed under the trampling feet of many. Exits  were strategically placed on every corner, on each rotation; just in case one couldn't stand the brutality. For this was the Lion's Head Arena.
Dried, unclean blood etched itself into nearly all of the bottom walls, but more prominently, and freshly, did it splatter a trio of pillars encompassing what was the very center of this arena. The dry, desert-like dirt floor was stained in bodily fluids, from juices of sexual excitement, to that of urine and excrement. But before it all, two iron gates, not unlike spiked prison bars, prefixed and corralled eager combatants. The equivalent of a small bedroom, this caged-off section was led up to by a short tunnel; one that was decorated in the bowels of the lost. The losers. The fools. And the troublemakers. It was quite nice.
On this particular day, the resident Grand Champion was fighting a long-time rival. A fight so great, the challenger stated it would be the champ's last. Such determination, such pompous arrogance spurred news across the nation, well into other capitals and states. The fight was advertised as the Arena's finest, and as such.. many came. A plethora of abhorrent drunkards, excited spectators, and rich noblemen entered the arena on their own whim. Some on the hopes of making money, some for the fight itself. Some.. some only wanted to see the champion defeated. So that they may finally see her face. Other inhabitants included a large quantity of guards, and the announcer himself, who flamboyantly waggled his rear. The man was short, winged, and above all else, an imp with a surprisingly gaunt, feminine face. He floated up and cupped his hands on both sides of his mouth. Blue waves of.. magic coiled around his hands and he spoke; loud enough for the next town over to hear.
"LAAAAAAAAAaaaAaADIES and GennnTTTLLEMEN! Welcome to the LION'S HEAD! You're all in for a TREAT!!! You know her well.. she's sated your lust for blood MORE than once!!!! You've paid to see her rip his head off!!! The GRAAAAND CHAMPION!!!!! The IROOOON GLARREEE!" The Imp exacerbated, flung his arms about and gestured wildly, eliciting a uproar of cheer! He pointed straight down to his left.
At the tip of his finger was a woman. A very, very tall woman, nearly eight feet tall in the air. But she was no ordinary woman; a thick sheen of nearly pristine blue scales coated perfectly along the exterior of her flesh. Conversely, the more intimate and inner areas of her scaled thighs, her belly and underside, were colored in a holy white. She had a massive feather-tipped tail, one which swung outwards and coiled constantly, not unlike a living bullwhip. It matched the exterior of her large wings perfectly as they wrapped and unfolded about her entire person, acting as a sort of cloak.
While undoubtedly muscular and well-toned, she was not wide. Her body was lithe, but stacked with years of strength. As she stood unmovingly at the end of her gate, the only things particularly visible were her steel-armored digitigrade legs and trademark helmet, from which a pair of curled horns unfurled outward. This helmet was barren in a lot of ways, but wrapped along her long muzzle tautly, leaving only holes for eyes. It was enshrouded by wrappings of leather, which sat above like a hood. While not visible, her chest was certainly armored as well, but not to the degree of her legs. A comparatively light steel chest-piece made its way around her breasts, but cropped just above her waist.  Clawed gauntlets ran down the majority of her arms.. and that was it. She wore no pauldrons.
Pointing again, the Imp-Announcer screamed once more; "And our five-time CHALLENGER!!  Algraaaaanorrrrr the Bloodthirsty!!!" A mixture of boos and cheers crammed in from all directions.
What was on the end of his other finger was an Orc, to say the least. A vile, brutish, and dirty man who was clad in pounds upon pounds of the heaviest armor imaginable. Everything but his face was covered, but that was to his benefit. Most were too deterred by the rotten state of his face and hygiene to properly assess the fight. He sported a long handaxe, which was holstered on a thin ring attached to his hip. The Orc was tall, but.. even he was dwarfed by his opponent. His greasy, tangled onyx hair draped and flung back, his hands angrily gripping the bars.
He screamed to accent his announcement, which brought about a new wave of excitement to the arena. "YUR GUD AS DEAD, GLARE. YA 'EAR ME!?"
All attention was brought back to the announcer as he clapped his hands together. "NOW! The fight will begin, alright.. COUNT with me! TEN! NINE! ..."
The fight was soon upon them.
The crowd chanted in unison, unleashing a torrent of angry, violent and demonic screeching. The thunderous clank of steel and iron panged throughout the arena for a brief moment, and finally.. after a small rest, the crowd's uproar sobered to a steady, almost monotonous echo of its former self.
What enveloped in the ring was.. nothing to behold, truly. The reigning Grand Champion had taken a few steps forth out of her cell; her massive claws left menacing signs of her presence. On the other side.. the Orc, Algranor had done similarly. It seemed that all gusto he had faded away the moment the gates rose. His disgusting face shriveled up in a cringe; a squint to see more clearly. He perceived few things in her stance, but most of all he observed the same thing he always saw when he challenged The Iron Glare: lack of emotion. Such a cold, unfeeling embrace she exuded.. it was as if her demeanor indicated an utter disregard for anything.. and everything. The intimidation made it all seem a simple game; as if this all death was trivial. As if.. his death was trivial.
She continued to walk forward, claws digging deeper with every trod. She stopped at the forefront of the center's pillars and kept her name sake. Her mask beamed stoically and watched. The Orc trembled for a moment. Some of the crowd yelled encouragements his way, while others.. voiced their unruly opinions as well. Nonetheless, he shook himself and loosed his battleaxe; wielding it in an upward stance. His other hand palmed to his other side act as a sort of weapon-deterrent. His next act was to lunge forward; his weapon rose and her sprung at a surprising speed. Glare's mask inched upward in curiosity.. and it wasn't long before Algranor's axe was headed straight for her.
Thump thump...
Thump thump...
The crowd gasped. Glare's usual blade was no where to be found.. she was using her hands! And using her hands she was.. the only thing visible to the spectators was the sight of an Orc off his feet. Glare clutched him by his arm and held him up for all to see. She tilted her head again, leaning downward to huff heated puffs of air. The Orc let out a groan and violently struggled, dropping his axe in the process.
"FUCK YUH, AN' YER LIZARD MUM! YA COCKY CUNT!" Algranor bellowed in a nearly inaudible scream. He pelted his free hand forward and slammed his fist into the side of Glare's mask.
She recoiled and fell back, holding her face. Her claws scratched down and felt.. cracks. Parts of her mask crumbled, leaving small portions of her .. lilac eye and cheek visible.
Meanwhile, Algranor had landed, then flung his arms up and chuckled out a wretched laugh. He beckoned to the audience, turned away from his rival.
Silently, she stood straight, towering over the antagonizing Orc. Her only visible eye creased and slimmed into a sliver of black pupil. Her body arched forward and her claws lurched inward; she grabbed him by the back of the neck and held him up again.
His crude voice was interrupted as day-burnt iron slammed into his face; he was slammed face first into one of the pillars. A sickening crunch was heard as several of his teeth cracked and dotted the dirt below. But that was not the end of his punishment.
Glare pulled and let go of her opponent, allowing him to stand. Albeit clearly wobbly and dazed, the brute still murmured angry slurs. Again, Glare brutalized him; she clawed over his shoulder and jut him downward, straight into a well-placed knee. Enough to cause internal rupturing in weaker opposition, her knee plunged so deeply into his armor, it left a dent. Grabbing him again, she clutched around his face and flung him like a ragdoll. Algranor coughed blood, leaving a streamlet of saliva-infused-blood as he flew through the air. He hit the floor with a heavy thud, creating a small cloud of dust in his wake.
Meanwhile.. The Iron Glare stood patiently in the center, betwixt the trio of pillars. Her head angled downward.
She.. waited for him to get up.
Fight Music:
The Orc breathed. That much was evident in the way his carcass briefly moved; It could only be discerned as staggered breaths. Like a champ, the Orc stood, but wobbled further. H breathed rather hard and felt idly across his armor.. a massive crinkle in its otherwise masterful craftsmanship. He closed his eyes and shuddered. His face cringed as if nails scratched across blackboard. Blood trickled down his lips, and remnants of blackened teeth remained in his mouth.. so he spit them out in globs of viscous red. His upper-lips rose and so to did one of his arms. He loosened the straps affixing his armor to his skin.. and dropped it. He had an undershirt, but it was torn asunder; revealing his rather well-toned, but injured abdomen. It was blackened under a veil of bruising. One needn't wonder far to realize such damage was inflicted upon him only mere moments ago. He clenched his fists and exhaustedly gazed into the Iron Glare.
Algranor the Bloodthirsty has spent the majority of his time in the arena second only to The Iron Glare. All of his challenges have ended in his defeat, but instead of disposing of him in lethally, she'd point away; offering salvation. Simultaneously the greatest mercy and greatest dishonor imaginable; she'd spare his life. This time was no different. A single digit rose and pointed away in the direction of his cell. It was stern.. demanding, and almost too kind to pass up.
Almost. The Orc brought his fist up and dropped a thumb; presenting a thumb's down to her.. and the crowd.
"PETUH. IT'S YOU 'ER ME, LIZARD. I AIN'T LEAWIN' THIS TIME." His feet stomped and Glare's hand dropped. She continued to watch..
As if possessed by something otherworldly, the Orc sidestepped with the speed of a tiger, bursting forward in what could only be described as desperate attempt to inflict damage. Glare bent her knees and pushed inward, but as the Orc collided with her, she was lifted off the ground! Her tail wagged wildly to balance herself, and so too did her wings. Algranor ensnared her upper-legs in his tight grasp. It was quite a sight.. and she struggled to keep upright; he was using her height against her.
The Orc took her back to the middle of the Arena and rammed her back into the pillar, then quickly set to follow-up, but he was not quick enough. The dragon's knee broke free and jolted a familiar pain through Algranor's jaw. His head flew backwards and she fell to her feet.
All according to plan. The burly orc recoiled, but redirected the force inflicted upon his face right back and headbutted her; sending rippling strength straight into her mask. Dark crunches and the sounds of cracking metal filled the arena. Pieces of shattered iron were launched, so far as to reach the spectator's benches. The resultant aftermath was perhaps the first recording of Glare ever making a vocal sound. She roared, in fact.
Deafening, louder than any busy arena night. Her eyes brimmed with anger and her features, which were now visible, scrunched in inscrutable fury.  She brought her claws together and pierced into the Orc's exposed chest, cleaving through his flesh up until she thrust. She pushed him so hard, the flesh hugging his skull stayed in place as the rest of his body crammed outward. The Orc of course.. was sent soaring through the air.
But as he landed, she was right there. She picked him up by the throat and crushed him into the wooden walls of the stands. She slammed him relentlessly with such ferocity, it felt as though an earthquake passed through..
Algranor's grunts of pain faded into the eerie sounds of limp flesh clumped about. It went on for minutes.. but as she finally lifted his lifeless corpse upward by the nape of his neck, she presented a ... grotesque sight. His face was a mess of bloody red; nearly indistinguishable from a squashed tomato. Again, she tossed him away like a piece of trash.. and walked to the middle of the arena.
In all her draconic glory, her scaled features were available for all to see. All that was left concealed was her hair, or feathers. Something her hood still preformed well enough at hiding. Her lilac eyes shined brightly, but were distracted from by the way her animalistic pupils shrunk and enlarged. In a gruff, yet oddly regal voice.. the famed Iron Glare spoke.
"People of Lion's Head! The Iron Glare is no more. The mantle is dead. This was to be my final *fight.* But fret not, little spectators. This is not to be my final *battle.*" Her wings fluttered as she spoke, but settled once more around her person. And with that.. She turned away. She disappeared past the gate and down the tunnels, no doubt into the pit barracks.
Meanwhile, the announcer was busily directing people to exits, while also spewing news about the next inclusion of fights.


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