“Lend me your strength, Kog’Tepetl, that I may lay a great feast before you.”
Oquitzin knelt at the edge of the arena, offering a prayer to the Mountain Father for his coming battle. The orc veteran could feel the cold, harsh stone of the arena floor beneath him, and the familiar smell of blood hung heavy in the air. The pounding of the ritual drums echoed in his ears, a harsh rhythm that cut through the chanting of the gathered crowd of worshippers; the very heartbeat of Kog’Tepetl.
The orc rose to his feet as the high cleric Xocoy strode to the holy podium to perform the opening rites. The crowd cheered fervently upon seeing the legendary orc, honoring not only Xocoy’s greatness, but the blood that would soon be shed in Kog’Tepetl’s name. Oquitzin could feel his own bloodlust stirred by the roaring of the crowd, and his pulse thundered in his ears as Xocoy began the ceremony.
“Hear us, Kog’Tepetl! May you be sated by this offering of blood!“
Every orc knew this sacred rite by heart, and they roared the response to the high cleric’s invocation in one voice.
“Devour the unworthy! Gorge yourself on their shame!”
The single word echoed throughout the arena, a call worthy of the Kog’Tepetl.
“May the strong know your favor! May the weak know your hunger!”
The frenzy of the crowd reached a fevered pitch as the rite neared its end, and Oquitzin raised his heavy axe high in eager anticipation of its final passage.
“The blood we spill this day shall feed you, Kog’Tepetl!”
“FOR YOUR GLORY WE SWEAR IT!”
Welcome to The Arena of the Mountain God, the sacred battleground of the orcs of Entrath! Upon the blood-stained floor of the arena, gladiators battle for fame, glory, and blessings of Kog’Tepetl. Will you earn the riches the arena has to offer? Or will your blood be offered to the ravenous mountain god?
You will face a wide variety of opponents in The Arena of the Mountain God, each a master of their own particular fighting style. You may encounter vicious pyromancers, wily artificers, and even savage beasts of the wild while battling on the arena floor. These opposing gladiators may also be wielding powerful equipment of their own, making them deadly and terrifying adversaries. Defeating a ruthless necromancer is hard enough, but when they can use the legendary Banner of the Coming Plague to animate a swarm of Infected Zombies, you will be in for a hellish battle indeed.
You will face a series of ten of these gladiators, and those that emerge victorious after these battles will earn great rewards for overcoming such an ordeal. Gold, gear, and other riches can be bestowed upon those that prove themselves worthy in the arena. However, the greatest rewards come not from simple victory, but from honoring Kog’Tepetl with a glorious display upon the battlefield, and giving the assembled worshippers a match they will remember.
When people think of gladiatorial combat, they often imagine warriors who fight for more than just victory. The goal of a gladiator is not to simply defeat their opponent, but to provide a spectacle for the crowd. In The Arena of the Mountain God, this measured by a very simple mechanic: crowd favor.
As you battle in the arena, you will be able to earn the favor of the assembled mass of spectators by putting on a thrilling performance. The more the crowd likes you, the better your rewards will be upon your ascension to the victory podium. Those that take the time to put on a worthy performance will find themselves richly rewarded for their efforts.
What is it that the crowd wants to see? To put it simply, “cool things.” There are many ways to earn crowd favor, but the bottom line is that if it’s awesome, the crowd will like it. Some basic things, such as drawing first blood, can earn you a smattering of crowd favor, but the real payoff comes from creating truly epic stories through your plays. You can amass a giant army of troops, or even just one truly monstrous troop. You can deal a tremendous amount of damage in a single turn. You can unleash enormous, powerful actions on your opponent. You can defeat your adversary in a unique and flashy way. And of course, nothing gets a crowd roaring and on their feet like watching a clutch, come-from-behind victory.
Through the use of crowd favor, The Arena of the Mountain God creates a truly unique experience, one that rewards you not just for winning, but for winning with style. While in the arena, you’ll actually be rewarded for indulging in the desire to show off a little, and let’s face it: deep down inside, that’s a desire we all share. HEX now gives you a chance to truly embrace this desire, and the crowd is eager to see what you will do. May your name echo in the very heart of Kog’Tepetl!
Not all orcs end up giving their life to Kog’tepetl. Of course, it’s not as if some don’t try. The Blood Harbinger is perfect for a blood-built orc deck, and your opponent will be forced to agonize on whether to pay health to make sure this orc stays dead.
Hit them hard, and hit them fast. Rage Howler knows what the orcs are all about. Once Rage Howler gets going, the speedy orcs that will follow should have the crowds cheering for more.