Reflections in blood

The explosion of noise within the stadium was deafening. Wildly ecstatic cheering from The Witch’s Coven fans throughout the stadium reverberated around the Nightmare Cavern, overpowering almost all other senses.

He had closed his eyes as he had crossed into the end zone, releasing all the tension and stress from his body. He had been stalked throughout the game by 2 powerful werewolves. Always on edge, using his instincts and ability to avoid their razor sharp claws. He had taken powerful blows but nothing that kept him down.

The noise from the crowd was growing closer. Opening his eyes he saw the fans rushing towards him. Liveried in Coven replica uniforms and other memorabilia, they were pouring down from the stands in all directions. He had seen the same in the previous game. This time it was jubilation on the faces of those coming towards him, not the anger and fury of dwarves, fueled by too much Bloodweiser and Dwarven whisky. This time though, he didn’t dodge and dance between the fans in a mad dash back to the sanctuary of the away dressing room. He allowed himself to be lifted up by the home fans, who were all reaching out, trying to touch one of their team.

Looking around he could see the rest of the team had also been hoisted onto the shoulders of jubilant fans, being passed along by outstretched arms eager to carry them over to the sidelines and the home dugout.  Some were even attempting to get to Althdrir, who was being frantically attended to by the team apothecary. Security, who had stood aside to allow the fans onto the field, had formed a defensive perimeter to protect him.

He slipped out of the grasps of those holding him and sped in between those who were in his way to get to his friend. The damage caused by being hit by 2 large rocks was clear to be seen. Althdrir had battled on after the first hit. The second one had been too much. The apothecary had managed to bring him back to life, but had he saved him? The two rocks had been collected and were being held by one of the security trolls. One was rough and crude, easily found all around the stadium. The other was finely polished, hand carved made of a material not just picked up off the street. Blood was splattered over it, dripping down onto the granite just off the playing pitch.

There was no doubting the source of those rocks. Had this been a random leftover, previously purchased and resold by fans again and again? Or was it one of the many high elf fans who had been trained by Royalty himself?

All the players had made it over to the sidelines and they were escorting Althdrir down the tunnel. They all knew he would unlikely play for the team again, that he would miss the final against Dream Wild, or the reigning champions, The Princes of Arioch. He followed the team down the tunnel, with new purpose and renewed hunger.


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