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Monday, May 7, 2012

Red Sand Black Moon battle report: Morning executions

Jane and Maretta had marauded the nomadic roads above Rubikon for years before their capture. But since the festival of The Oppenheimer was under way, the judge was obliged to give the pair a chance to save their lives, so they were sentenced to the arena. But when they found out who their opponent would be, they almost wished for the quick blade to the neck.

The frogs (more formally called the "Terrors of the Mountain Shadows" by the gene priests) are the most feared creature in all the Wasteland. To have any chance at killing one, you have attack its soft belly. To get to the belly, however, you have to avoid the sweeping, clawed arms and then make the killing stroke before the frog's teeth engulfed your head. Frogs are relentless, always coming forward until they've eaten or are killed. No one has ever seen one retreat. Frogs are fearless, vicious and always hungry.

Jane and Maretta knew they stood little chance of survival, but they'd at least go down fighting.
For such a large opponent, Jane chose a large warhammer as her weapon. And to further optimize her agility, she chose to wear no armor! Maretta decided on leather armor with as many metal plates as she could carry. She had no natural speed and would need all the help she could get. And to keep the beast at bay, she chose a ball and chain.
The prisoners decided on a strategy (at least to give the appearance they might survive); Maretta would draw the beast to her, and Jane would attack from behind with her heavy hammer.

With a wave of the Book of Deaths, the patron signaled the start of the match. Jane quickly moved off toward the side of the arena while Maretta went forward to meet the frog in the center of the arena.

Maretta tried to save her energy until Jane's attack. She was able to stand clear of the frog's large arms for a few seconds, but then the beast lunged! And before the match had barely started, the frog's teeth had wrapped around Maretta's head, crunching neck bones and ripping the head from its socket before Maretta ever had a chance to scream. There was no more plan. Jane was simply there, now, to live as long as she could for the enjoyment of the Rubikonian crowd.

She knew her only chance would be for an all-out attack. Using every bit of reserve energy she had, Jane swung the large wooden mallet at the terrifying frog -  A direct hit to the frog's head! The frog screeched in pain and stumbled back a few paces. It had retreated! It wasn't dead, but Jane saw that the beast wasn't as terrifying as she originally thought; it had felt pain.

With new-found courage, Jane moved in, swinging the hammer from side to side hoping for another lucky hit, and, for a few moments, she was able to match the frog swing-for-swing. The crowd was electrified. They had never seen a prisoner last so long against this terror, let alone seen one step backward.

Unfortunately, Jane had used all her energy in her first couple attacks and was unable to keep up. The beast's claw slashed across Jane's stomach. The strike seemed almost routine. And without any armor for protection, all of the prisoner's organs came spilling out of the gaping wound.

Justice was served as expected, but many in the crowd would remember, and pass on the story of how they saw a woman with nothing but a hammer make a frog take a step backward.