The Tavern

“Are you sure we should be doing this?” the nervous voice of your best friend, Harlan, asks.

“Of course. I can do whatever I want," you reply.

“What if the King finds out?”

“Ha! So what? I’ll deal with him. There’s not much he can do to me that he hasn't tried before.”

"It’s not you I’m worried about...”

Though you wouldn’t admit it out loud, you know Harlan is right. Being the second-born prince of the Brelia Kingdom had its benefits. Unfortunately for Harlan, he wasn't afforded the same privilege and would likely be punished much more severely.

You both sat at the bar in one of the city’s shadiest taverns, The Dancing Goat. Lately, you've become somewhat of a regular. You always wore rugged attire, but its patrons somehow assumed you were nobility, probably because you never argued on price like most everyone else. Once a week, The Goat held fights and it wasn't uncommon for the matches to end in death. After weeks of being thoroughly entertained in the crowd, you were ready to test yourself in the ring.

“Hey, pretty boy. Are you ready to pop your cherry?” the announcer’s ragged voice resonates over the bar noise.

You empty your cups contents.

“If you have anyone skilled enough to challenge me.”

"The brash ignorance of youth!" the announcer replies. "You're not the first soft face to wander in here. Most don't leave as pretty as they come in."

"I intend to stay this good-looking for awhile, old man," you reply.

A burly hand grabs your arm and drags you into the circle of a screaming mob. Looking around, you see the drunken faces of screaming gamblers. Standing your opposite and a full head higher, you instantly recognize your opponent. That’s the fucking champion, you think to yourself. His heavily muscled frame is marked with numerous scars. His eyes meet yours and upon sizing you up, the corner of his lip curls into a grin.

"Ladies and gentlemen! Our very own nobleman has finally grown a pair. I just hope he remembered to clean his fingernails for the occasion (the crowd laughs). Who will welcome him to the pit? A man that needs no introduction. A man that has never been defeated. The champion, Carthus!"

At the mention of his name, Carthus lets loose a primal scream and beats his chest in pride. The crowd roars into a frenzy at the sight of the monstrous champion.


Carthus rushes at you like a crazed bull. You're unsuprised by his tactics and quickly get a feel for the man's combat prowess. An untrained man of his size, he depends upon superior strength to compensate for lack of technique. You easily side step his mad charge, tagging him with a right hook on the way past. Angered by the blow, Carthus turns to you and starts a second charge.

You stand still until he’s almost upon you. Just before he reaches you, your arm underhooks his shoulder and you use his momentum to swing onto his back. You throw hard elbows to the back of his head to soften him up a bit. Dazed by your blows, you slip your arm underneath his chin and lock the choke with both arms. He bucks and grabs at you with both hands in attempt to throw you off. Holding with all your strength, you press your body into his and wrap your legs around his massive frame to keep your center of gravity even with his.

“Arghh!” you yell as Carthus bucks and flails around the ring.

After a few moments, the lack of air gets to him and you feel his body begin to go limp. His body falls to the ground with an earth-shaking thud. You're careful not to be squished by the falling giant.

“Victory! Nobleman!”

“Pour me another drink and bring on the next challenger!” you shout to the cheering crowd.