"Every fight is a show, let your weapons be your applause!"
This muscle-bound mul squints his eyes in the sun that has kissed his skin into a deep tan. His hands twitch and his feet dance as if waiting for something big to happen. His giant Mordenkrag is more covering than the rest of what could barely be considered clothing, fierce scars covering almost every inch of that bare skin. In the midst of a crowded city, this man can be seen with a crowd of people, winking at women, kissing babies, and earning the chagrin of the men.
Bo Baxter, known only as Barnado to those that following the gladiatorial scene, is a performer through and through. His initial slavery held very little sway on him, as he reveled in smashing his opponents with his ferocious hammer, or any other blunt object if the arena rules vie against it.
Barnado was bought at a young age by a Templar of Hamanu named Lord Stillvant. Originally to be a common laborer for his master, Barnado soon showed an aptitude for combat and Stillvant quickly sent him to train in the arena. Fierce heat seemed not to bother this strange child, and so Urik’s arena was little hindrance for this up-and-comer. With ferocity little seen from one so young, Barnado’s combatants found themselves little more than a bloody pulp after Barnado was done.
Barnado became a quick hit within the city of Urik, and well known for his signature move known as “Barnado’s Boom” A ferocious attack broke not just skulls, but the very earth itself! Some fans even believe that to feel the quakes in the stands helps to alleviate back-pains from its vibrations.
Barnado quickly earned a pretty penny for Lord Stillvant, who granted the young gladiator his freedom. However, Barnado would hear nothing of it and instead asked Stillvant to be his patron. With Stillvant’s vast influence, Barnado could surely face the most ferocious and powerful of foes and beasts and conquer them all!
Nothing surprised Barnado more than when another famous gladiator came to Urik during the Festival of the Highest Sun! Excited, Barnado invited the Halfling warrior known as “Anklebane” to join him in the celebratory arena match, that only sponsored gladiators could compete in. One so ferocious as to eat the ankles of his victims alive was more than deserving of Barnado’s adulation. While their tactics and weapons were different, they both chose brutality and fear as their primary weapons, and Barnado looked forwards to learning from their powerful cooperation.
Things were truly going to get interesting when “Anklebane’s” friends joined the tournament as well, young fools who had no idea what they were getting themselves into. And also with no understanding that even if they can win the primary matches, that they would have to fight their “friend” and Barnado in the finals. Deep down, Barnado was going to be pleased to see how that final confrontation was undertaken, even if they new-bloods would be of no match.
However, the tournament was ruined by the escaping arena beasts, particularly a gnoll of gigantic proportions. Barnado helped to fight off the beasts, chasing those that began to attack the crowd and rescuing his adoring fans. Though, strangest thing, the populace were whispering that the gnoll was allowed to live! Was Anklebane growing soft? Were his “friends” truly what they call themselves…If only the tournament wasn’t canceled!
Barnado left disappointed in his findings, believing that “Anklebane” wasn’t near the icon that Barnado first thought. Until…
Six months later, Barnado went to compete in a gladiator tournament within the city of Tyr as a special guest. Tyrian battles were disgusting, as the warriors from the free city no longer fight for their life, merely a weakened version of the real show. However, Barnado could not let down his fans and so he went to prove to the Tyrian dogs of their inferior gladiator matches.
Barnado crashed through the initial matches, insulting the fallen warriors that dared to compete against a REAL Gladiator, and soon the finals loomed before him. Barnado’s chagrin against the Tyrian competition was so vast that he refused to give any of the warriors credit and thus refused to read the roster….and so Barnado walked into the arena blind as the opposing gate opened, revealing the small frame of a halfing, it was Anklebane! It was time to remove the mask of that phony warrior!
The battle was a brutal one, neither Anklebane or Barnado yielding. However, the Halfling was a fast warrior, and without the intense heat of the Urikite Arena to eventually slow the fast warrior, Barnado just couldn’t keep up. Soon, finding himself tripped up by Anklebane’s Carrikal as the bastard sword went cross Barnado’s neck. As Barnado looked towards his feet, he saw a widow’s knife just centimeters from his leg, waiting for its prize. Barnado told Anklebane to take his prize, but the Halfling merely helped the defeat mul to his feet. Barnado was confused how such weakness could prevail, blaming instead on the pointlessness of the fight itself.
However, as it stood, the great Barnado had to watch as Anklebane became the gladiator champion that day, and Barnado realized that perhaps there was something still to learn… And asked to join Anklebane on his journey, to learn. Anklebane accepted, and Barnado now helps the Reformer’s on their journey.
Still a thought lingers in the back of the mul’s mind. There will come a time when Anklebane and Barnado will once again meet in battle….and Barnado was determined to make it a true match, one that will be remembered for ages.
Barnado was not going to live as a failure!