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  • Ryan Havdala

Granite the Great

Chyron Jones, more commonly known as Granite the Great, was one of the most famous pro-gladiators of the recently-bygone era. The city of Nihe was known for its famous gladiatorial arenas, and even if the fights were heavily rigged and choreographed, the fans still went nuts for the dramatic twists and turns as grudges were brought to bear, betrayals abounded, and referees turned a blind eye to all sorts of crazy rules infractions. And few of the fighters could entertain like the three time holder of the Gladiator Title Belt, Granite the Great. A peak physical specimen and proud dwarf, Chyron knew how to work the crowd and perform the craziest stunts. His signature move was always guaranteed to send the audience into a frenzy: His short-sword would become embedded in the floor or wall of the arena or some sort of stone pillar, and he would struggle to pull it out, all while keeping his enemies at arm’s length. When he would eventually free his sword, it would come out still partially embedded in a large chunk of stone, and he would wield it like a stone warhammer. Thus, Granite the Great and his sword (lovingly dubbed “The Headstone'' by his fans) rose to fame as one of the greatest fighters in all the land.

Of course, Chyron knew full well that it was all nonsense. Sure, he was fit and well-practiced, but all the fights were choreographed. The winners were chosen in advance and the moves were rehearsed again and again with practice weapons until the safety of all the fighters was all but guaranteed. So when the Devourers Descended and Chyron Jones found himself across from enemies that he not only hadn’t rehearsed with, but hadn’t even imagined before, he fled. He was one of the lucky survivors to escape Nihe, and in his shame, he put the city behind him. It wasn’t until a few months later that he came across a band of nomads where a fan of his, a portly bookworm by the name of Mikaeus, recognized him. Before he could work up the courage to explain that all of his fights were carefully coordinated in advance and the outcome predetermined, Mikaeus introduced him as one of the most capable fighters to ever live, after which the tribe was eager to have him. Granite the Great reluctantly accepted, fearing the day that was drawing near when he would be forced to fight a real fight with a real opponent who wanted to really kill him. When that day finally did come, though, Chyron was astonished to find that even without choreography, his muscle memory still granted him exceptional coordination. His tireless training had given him great strength for delivering mighty blows, and even if he didn’t have advanced knowledge of the moves his opponents would make, Mikaeus always seemed to know thanks to his incredible insights and a touch of scrying magic. With Mikaeus offering a few well-timed shouts to “duck!” or “Swing for the right shoulder!” Chyron found that his fighting ability was barely diminished from the arena. It seems that after all, Granite the Great was not just his character, but it was him in actuality.


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