Your timing couldn't be better! I've just the ruckus for you. A fresh affray for those who hunger for glory and violence.
Think I'm talking it up a bit, do you? Well, that's my job. Don't tell me how to do my job and I won't tell you how to do yours... unless you're making a mess of it. And your job is to get in there and put in some good, clean violence.
At this rate, we'll make quite the decent gladiator out of you.
That said, I'm bit concerned about your gear. It's one thing to have talent, but if you don't have the right gear, you'll be a talented corpse.
Flasks are a must-have, especially the ones that can wash away any ailments an enemy might curse you with. The fastest, strongest fighter can be rendered as slow and soft as a slug. Thaumaturgy's a bugger like that. Choose your flasks wisely and use them sparingly. They've got to last you the whole fight, remember.
Anyway, have a look at the bits and bobs I've mustered here. Every item hand-picked to make other exile's lives miserable. See if anything takes your fancy.
Turns out you've found yourself a hideout. And as luck would have it, I find myself in need of somewhere to sleep.
Maramoa's given me the boot, you see. Oh, you didn't know about us? Not surprised. Pretty tight-lipped about her private life, that girl. Wouldn't mention anything to her either, unless you're looking for a piece of axe.
So, how about it? I don't take up much space, so there'll be plenty of room for others, and I'll defend your house like its my own. What do you say?
You're proving to be quite the reliable one. I like predictability in an ally, helps me sleep at night. And as luck would have it, I've just found myself a new resting spot.
Maramoa's given me the boot, you see. Oh, you didn't know about us? Not surprised. Pretty tight-lipped about her private life, that girl. Wouldn't mention anything to her, either, unless you're looking for a piece of axe.
So, how about joining me, eh? I could do with the company and, as we all know, there's safety in numbers when it comes to living in Wraeclast.
So, you've gone and set up a cosy, little nest with one of the other masters, have you? It's your fight, your funeral, as they say.
Should you change your mind though, I might still have a spot that'd serve the two us just as nicely, if not better. Defendable, comfortable, adaptable and whole lot of other 'ables' that escape me for the moment.
What do you reckon? Take a look for curiosity's sake?
Bet you're itching to know how I ended up with a hook, right? Not half as much as my left hand itches in the middle of the night. The mind, eh? It's the damndest of things.
But here it is. I got complacent. Been fighting in arenas and gutter pits so long I thought I knew it all. It took a waif of a girl with a rusty dirk to take my hand and my pride with one out-of-the-blue slash.
So here's a bit of blood-earned wisdom for you. Life is a school from which you never graduate. Those who stop learning, start dying.
You're getting quite a reputation for yourself in fighting circles. So here's another tip from the Redmane School of Not Dying, just to make sure you don't trip over your own pedestal.
Some say you should focus on your strengths. That's good for the ego, not so good for keeping your throat unslit. Instead, drag your weaknesses kicking and screaming into the light, and give them a damned good looking-over. That'll help you protect your soft bits, but more importantly, it'll train your eye to spot weaknesses in others.
Why go toe-to-toe with a man who has bigger toes than you, when it's his dodgy hamstring you should be going after?
I wish we'd met back in Oriath. I could have made a bloody fortune out of you. Ah well, ancient history, that. Let's look to the present, and to keeping you from becoming ancient history yourself.
I've met some mighty big hitters in my time, and picked up one valuable lesson from them: Don't get hit. A fighter can learn to take punishment. Body conditioning, armour, stamina... it all helps. But there are still attacks out there that'll cut through you like you're yesterday's bog paper.
Best thing when one of those blows falls? Be somewhere else.
You probably know me well enough by now to understand that I don't say what I'm about to lightly. So here it is.
You're a better fighter than I am. Better than Vagan, better even than the great Daresso, in my mind at least. And you know why you're better? You just don't bloody give up!
That's what it takes for true mastery, inside the arena and out. Sure, we all know how to put the blood, sweat and tears into something. How to just keep swinging that sword until it hits what we want it to hit. That makes us good. But you, you're different. You're so full of the fight that you've forgotten how to live any other way.
I know how exiles think and more importantly, how they fight. Oriathan and Karui, brawler and thaumaturge, I've seen every type of combatant. I've recorded their strengths and nutted out their weaknesses.
What do I do with all this know-how? I carve and hammer it into weapons and other bits and bobs. I could teach you a thing or two about that, if you're willing.
After all, if you're going to take down exiles, you'll need the right gear. Can't eat steak with a spoon, you know.
Speaking of which, stop in from time to time for a chat. I've always got a few events on the go. Exiles do love to bash each other... as if Wraeclast wasn't enough of a challenge for them!
But now and then, I like to streamline things. Make sure the ruckus has a bit of form and grace to it. Time your visit right, and I'll be able to point you in the direction of a right, top-notch ruckus.
Fair Marylene was one of the true greats of the arena in Sarn. Her skill with a longsword was second to none. Pinpoint accuracy and fast as a viper.
As the story goes, she started out as a gutter kid, brought up by her maidservant mother. No one knew for sure who her dad was, but some pegged Kre Faarblood as the most likely candidate. Apparently sowed more than his fair share of wild oats in his day.
You know why she was called 'Fair' Marylene? She was a looker, by all accounts, but that wasn't how she earned the nickname. It was down to her fighting style. The girl was a dancer, so sure on her feet that she was bloody near untouchable.
Could be something you want to try. Not the dancing bit, not literally, but working on your movement. Some fighters learn to take the hits, others learn to avoid them. Never seen a fighter successfully do both.
You won, so congratulations are in order. But the Syndicate's still going strong. Want to really hit us where it hurts? Then you've gotta let us team up. Take us down as a group! I'll even let you choose my teammate. Up for the challenge?
Don't snuff my candle just yet. I've got access to information you might find valuable. Just let me get in contact with a mate of mine, get a little drink in 'em. A little palling around and whammo, gossip galore. What do you say?
You hear a lot of things when you spend enough time at one job. The sort of things someone like you might get some use out of. Only, there's no bloody way I'm telling you anything if you're just going to slice me to bits.
I preferred being the Pitmaster than a pit dog in my proverbial past life. Getting bloodied for money was never much fun. I reckon a few sneaky maneuvers and I could knock a Syndicate chump down a peg, leaving me to take their place. Might piss 'em off, but I think somehow you'll be fine with that.
Back in my arena-master days, I learned the power of prestige. To rise in the eyes of the crowd, others must fall. That's somethin' I've made sure to keep ready myself. Bloody the noses of my comrades-in-arms here and elevate myself. It's a power play.
A bad apple spoils the bunch. Put bluntly, one monkey's arse can damage the whole crowd's enthusiasm. Get what I'm gettin' at? I make it my business to retain the ability to kick someone out of the rosters entirely.
If it's information you're after, no better to converse with than Leo Redmane. I've befriended all of my comrades-in-arms, and I can tell you all about their roles and fighting strategies... if you'll spare me a certain amount of pain in exchange.
When a fight's over, the fighter's job is done. We go home, tend to our wounds, and train for the next round. When Aisling's done fighting, well, that's just the beginning. The things she does to the bodies... I'm intimidating, but she's scary.