Greetings, gentle reader, and welcome to the chronicle of my life. I have ink and paper for the first time in many years, and I write tonight in a temple of Patior, in the city of Ishar, having recently escaped from the slave-pits of that same city.
I will elide the details of my time there, as you, gentle reader, must already well know that the pits of the gladiator-slaves beneath the Colosseum at Ishar are a horrible place. There is, at any rate, very little to say of my time there save this: I fought often, and did not die.
For many years I knew only anguish and agony, until one night a kindly jailer granted us the means to escape. I was placed, with several other gladiators, in a cell barred only by a rusty door, and in manacles which were too large for some of us, and too weak for the others. He also gave us a key, which was a sure sign that he was either aiding us at great personal risk or tricking us into destroying ourselves. I am, gentle reader, an optimist at heart, and so shrugged off my manacles with great haste.
One of my fellow-slaves, Tzolek, an enormous Goliath, made short work of the cell door (and the guard behind it), and we made good our escape.
There were two small impediments before us:
Impediment the First: We were unarmed and clad only in rags.
Impediment the Second: We had no idea where we were in the complex.
The second matter was far less grave than the first, as we were a band of stalwart warriors, well-accustomed to battle, and could spend as much time as was needed slaying guards and searching halls to find a way out. In fact, we would have relished the opportunity! However, with no armor and no weapons, and deprived of the various magical trinkets we had each acquired during our previous lives, slaying guards would be a tricky matter at best.
Luck, or perhaps some god or goddess, was with us, as we found the first guard patrol at the same moment that we found the chest containing our effects, a chest to which our kindly jailer, Glut, had provided us a key. Swords were taken up, axes hefted, bows nocked, etc., etc., and the hapless guardsorcs were hastily dispatched. Sadly, the only other orc we encountered before we discovered an exit was Glut, whose mercy and goodness we repaid in kind.
We emerged into the festival crowd during the evening’s festivities and we all, each with more or less daring and panache, finally escaped from the colosseum.
My stalwart companions and I were met, upon our escape, by a priestess of Patior. It would be unfair to say that she was the most beautiful woman I had spoken to in years, but it would be fair to say that she was the most beautiful woman that I had spoken to in years who was not trying to kill me. If this sounds like faint praise, gentle reader, then you should be grateful that you have never been a gladiator-slave.
She has asked us to bring her a certain man. We may damage him if necessary, but she would like him alive. This is a great change from the work I had been accustomed to before being enslaved, but as she has sheltered us, and fed us, and… kept some of us company, the task seems like no more than a small and well-deserved favor.