In a distant land, an ancient structure of stone and copper stretches into the horizon. Its walls spread into an oval exposing the open center to the sky. Rows and rows of stands fill it, so that thousands might watch the spectacles that take place within. The arena stands tall and proud. A place of violence and power where warriors the world over come to test their mettle. A place where the only decoration is blood and the only music is the screams of the conquered. In such a place cruelty reigns supreme and nobility finds no foothold. A lesson that today's challenger will learn harshly. Leila steps out from the gateway and raises a hand to shade her eyes from the brilliant light that floods the pitch-black waiting chamber. The sudden roar of a sea of the stands crashes over her in a wave of confused noise. Spectators stretch into the heights of the arena as far as the eye can see. The battleground itself lays empty, a dusty expanse which houses nothing except for another gate opposite her own. With a confident stride, she marches out into the field. Brilliant golden hair flows out from beneath her helmet and piercing blue eyes watch the spectators with stern disapproval. Her silver armor gleams bright, the light of her god displayed for all to see. Her holy equipment hides the supple curves and smooth skin of a young woman behind the visage of a warrior. She is the sword of her lord, meant to show these heathens his strength made manifest. She stands at stiff attention and waits for the arrival of her opponent, ignoring the taunts and catcalls of the crowd. Moments later the arena explodes into a chorus of shouts and applause as the gate opposite her opens wide. The champion makes his entrance. Kasah is a mountain of muscular flesh standing at least 2 feet taller than her. His dark skinned muscles radiate an unearthly power. She notes with surprise that his attire is the opposite of her own fully assembled armor. A simple loincloth of bearskin adorns the champion's waist and padded steel gauntlets cover his fists. That is the extent of his protection. He raises his hands above his head and roars into the air, eliciting a responding roar of approval from the onlookers. The display of raw untamed wildness makes her shift uncomfortably where she stands. "Are you the best your god could manage child?" Kasah shouts in a tone of rye amusement. "He sends me a sacrifice on which to sharpen my claws." A thrill of fear runs through her, which she tries to hide behind a faÃ§ade of calm composure. This was the greatest champion the arena had ever known. Leila's answering voice was quiet but solid, barely heard above the bustling atmosphere. "I am not her to be a sacrifice. I come to slay a monster." His mocking laughter caused the young woman to flinch. "A monster, yes I like the sound of that. This monster will break you and send the pieces back to your god. Or maybe he'll keep you for his pleasure." Kasah pounds his fists together and licks his lips. The time for words is done and Leila lowers her visor in disgust and unsheathes the thin rapier hanging at her side, ornate golden hilt shimmering in the light. She moves forward with graceful fluidity despite the heavy armor that weighs her down. Kasah does nothing, choosing instead to stand his ground and wait for his enemy to come to him, wearing a smug grin. Leila feels a flush creep into her cheeks at being so underestimated and when they are only inches apart Leila lunges forward aiming a thrust directly for her opponent's heart. The strike is quick as lightning but the champion sidesteps it with apparent ease, moving only the smallest portion of his massive bulk. Leila's eyes momentarily widen in surprise until she sees a fist pulling back to retaliate. She swiftly raises her shield to block the blow. A thunderous boom echoes through the arena as Kasah's fist collides with the shield. Leila reels back and her arm crunches with the impact, several of her bones fracturing. She cries out as the shield falls to the dusty floor, her arm no longer capable of carrying it. The shield splits in half as soon as it hits the ground. Fear runs through the young woman who is completely unprepared to face such enormous strength. She'd heard rumors but thought them to be exaggeration. Now she could see that was not the case. She lifted her good arm, rapier in hand and assumed a fencer's pose. She could not afford to lose here. Kasah's fists rose up in a fighting stance. "I like your spirit girl. It'll make it all the more fun breaking you." Leila pushes forward trying to ignore his taunt, trying to ignore the horrifying implications should she fail. A swift end to this battle is her only hope. Her sword flits through the air, a fierce storm of thrusts almost too quick for the eye to follow. Kasah's response is a lazy series of dodges and parries with his gauntlets. He opens his mouth wide in a fake yawn and his eyes close for a split second. A moment later blood splatters across the dirt floor of the arena, the audience gasping in surprise. The point of the rapier is stuck straight through the champion's left shoulder. He himself looks at the blade in surprise. "Not so powerful after all." The Leila mocks, moving to withdraw her blade. She pulls and... nothing happens. With growing unease, she tries once more to withdraw the blade but it remains firmly lodged in the muscle of the champion. Kasah smiles down at her through a wince of pain. The sword held in place through the sheer strength of his flexing muscles. "You will regret that little girl." He growls. Suddenly he unleashes a punch that collides with her breastplate. The air resounds with ringing like that of a hammer against anvil as Leila flies several feet back through the air with a screech. She collapses to the ground and writhes in agony, a huge crack splitting her armor down the center. Kasah relaxes his muscles with a sneer and the blade slips out clanging uselessly to the floor. He approaches the knight who is moaning pathetically trying frantically to back away from him. He catches up to her after a moment, mounts her, and begins hammering the cracked armor with his steel fists. Leila cries out with each blow, the weight of a mountain falling against her chest causing her entire body to vibrate. She struggles to be free but there is no hope of escaping the massive figure sitting atop her. Kasah joins his hands together for a final attack and raises them high above his head. His hands crash down and the armor finally cracks, his fists continuing through and smashing against her chest. Her screams last for a moment before turning into a muted gurgle as the air rushes from her lungs. Kasah rises to his feet, ripping the girl's helmet from her head and lifting her by her hair. He displays his trophy for the crowd, her armor fallen away, her chest covered only by a black brassiere. She whimpers in his grip, feet kicking uselessly in the air. Kasah uses his free hand to begin tearing the remaining armor from his defeated opponent, a look of pained humiliation on her face. Finally, he holds her suspended in the air wearing only her undergarments helpless before the leering crowd. A hundred thoughts flash through her mind at this humiliation but foremost in her mind is the incredible weight of her failure. Only a single wound marred the flesh of the champion, which even now she could see beginning to heal out of the corner of her eye. "What are you?" She whispers. "I am your new god." With those words, he throws her to the ground and stomps on her stomach. He digs the heel of his foot in, her screams music to his ears. The useless clawing of weak hands barely fazes him. "Worship me and you shall live." Leila shakes her head in response and tears fling from her eyes to soak the dry dirt. It would be better for her to die than to praise this foul excuse for a human being. Much to her surprise, Kasah's foot lifts and the pressure on her insides is relieved. Coughing fits wrack her body as she rises to hands and knees, trying to hold back the bile rising in her throat. Kasah rears back his leg and lashes out with a savage kick, striking her in the chest. The blow is powerful enough to lift her off the ground and break several ribs. She lands hard and sobs into the dirt, her face covered in filth. Her body begins to weaken, each breath a desperate struggle with a bone now piercing one of her lungs. Her tormentor reaches down and lifts her with the ease one lifts a child. Soon she is suspended above his head for the gawking pleasure of the audience. Bruises and cuts cover the length of her nearly naked body, the badges of a terrible defeat. Kasah kneels with one knee outstretched. Leila knows what is coming next and thoughts of honor and dignity flee from her mind replaced by a desperate hope for escape. "You are my god Kasah" She cries out, her good hand thumping against his shoulder in the universal sign of submission. "You are stronger and greater than I shall ever be." She searches desperately for the words that will appease him. "Please do not kill me." "Do not worry woman" He reassures her in a satisfied tone. "The healers know how to fix my broken toys." He brings her down with sudden speed, so fast that there is hardly time for a scream of despair to peel from her lips. Her back wraps around his knee, the shattering of her spine loud enough to be heard half way up the stands. She lays draped over the champion's leg for a time, twitching and drooling, eyes rolled back into her head. With a grunt, he shoves her limp form to the ground where it remains unmoving. Sometime later she is unceremoniously dragged off the field for healing.