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MATCH EIGHT: Bárðr vs Manawyddan


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There were no gods for him to pray to, none that he remembered.  None of his life before slavery, none during his childhood years as a companion and later on house servant. While others began to grovel in front of their idols, Bardr did not. Instead he stood ready.  To live or to die. Ready to place the crowd enough that if he was given another day upon this earth, he would leave the audience well entertained during his match. 

Hearing the command that it was time, he approached the center of the arena. His steps slow and steady, firmly heading towards their destination. He was dressed like a typical gallus. Helmet hiding his face though, and his hair a long braid down his back, wrapped in leather to keep it secure as he fought. All one could see, if they were close enough were his eyes. Staring at his opponent across the way. An older man with something hollow about him. 

Giving his opponent a nod, he shifted into a battle ready pose, his body eager for it all to begin. 


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Manawyddan felt fear but that was only natural for a man. Somehow it was welcomed. He was crouched sitting down, holding his weapon, he fiddled with it. Just the night before, he’d been offering others words of comfort, even if death was at their doorstep and there was no changing that. Manawyddan hoped it was his time. As soon as he heard the announcement for his entrance, he headed into the arena. All around, in the beaming, bright sun of Rome, he could see the crowds cheering loudly, their voices ripping at his ear drums. The sun bore down and he squinted.

Before him was a young, fair-haired man. He’d have been a little older than his son. When the man gave him a nod, Manawyddan offered a smile and a nod in return. Manawyddan was trained to kill but he was no killer. He’d make it quick for the other man, if his gods chose for his life to end that day. Manawyddan closed his eyes and began to mutter under his breath, praying to his gods. For him and the other man. Taking a deep breath, exhaling to release his nerves, he opened his eyes and the crowds were seen again. Contorted, rowdy, and animalistic.

He had to remember, his gods brought him here for a reason.


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