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The Red Rumble

"...Well, like I said, 78 gold coins."   "But you said it was 50 to get in!"   "Eh? Tounge must'a slipped. That'll be 89 gold coins, miss."   In the grand year of 261 UC, the Sunstone Empire located a large, 50-foot tall selenite crystal within Areon. Seeking a gold mine in cash (as they do with pretty much anything), they decide it best to extract it from the ground and transport it back to Aestus. Except this time, the emperor is feeling a little bored. See, the emperor was feeling like his approval ratings weren't exactly where he wanted them, so he had to think of a solution fast before the populace found out how much of an idiot he was. The solution? Decide he would personally aid the extraction team in flying their airship. After all, an active ruler surely makes a good impression on the citizens! How badly can someone screw up flying an airship anyway?   ...Right?   ...And so came the day to begin the extraction. Once all the dirty work was finished, the emperor personally stepped up to the cockpit of the airship.   "Rejoice, my people! For your emperor has decided that you need a good rest. Your hard work has paid off! Allow me to fly in your steed, and I will set a glorious example for the people of the empire!" he told them. The team gave a hearty cheer, thanked him, and went on their way for a nice boxed lunch. The ship took off without a hitch (surprisingly), and everyone relaxed as they ate their lunches to the smooth rhythm of sailing through clouds.   Halfway through the trip, however, the emperor started getting bored. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to pilot an airship on a whim just for some narcissistic desire for praise. Not that it mattered at this point, anyway. But curiosity began to grow in the young emperor, and he looked around the cockpit for something to snack on. Just then, he accidentally lets go of the controller keeping the mechanisms for the crystal stable! Thinking quickly, our emperor decides not to consult the help of the pilots! And who could blame him, he has so much pride to lose! He tries stabilizing it himself...only to release the restraints holding the crystal together, causing it to fall right onto an orcish city below. The impact leveled half the city, killing thousands in its wake.   Whoops. Butterfingers.   At this point, the orcs are absolutely LIVID. It's bad enough that half the city just got destroyed, but thousands of innocents died! They're just about ready to declare war that very instant until...what's this? What does our intelligent, cunning man of an emperor spot within the wreckage? Why, it's an untapped gemstone deposit! Gemstones, minerals, all sorts of luxurious goods, ripe for the taking! As a Sunstone emperor, he can't just let that slide, now can he? He's gotta claim it one way or another!   But the orcs (rightfully so) just aren't having it. They demand vengeance in the name of the fallen innocents. Suddenly, both parties look towards the fallen crystal. As though it had a will of its own, the large tower of selenite placed itself upright and began to go haywire! A strange barrier coated the field, stretching all the way to the edge of the Sunstone Empire's borders. To make matters stranger, all of the dead citizens were suddenly found alive on the other side of the city! After brushing off the oddity, the nation of Oruk'Tai immediately declared war on the Sunstone Empire, and both parties built outposts, crystal shrines, and all sorts of buildings.   Eventually, everything became clear: the impact of the selenite crystal caused it to crack slightly and accidentally unleash a large field through its magic. Anything within the field's barrier cannot permanently die, and all that do will eventually resurrect at a nearby shrine built by their respective countries. The very presence of this permitted an eternal war that could be waged until the end of time. And waged war they did. Months turned to years. Years turned to decades. Generations came and went, and yet the Red Rumble fought on. The entire world looked upon the bloodshed with tragedy in its eyes...   ...But eventually they just stopped caring.   The Red Rumbles spanned so many years that the world stopped seeing tragedy in it and only found stupidity. At this point, there was little reason to actually fight, and given that nobody could permanently die, why should they keep going? Surely, with a crystal that ensured no soul could leave its realm of influence, there could be some practical use? Something that could benefit the populace! Something that could make people rich. But what could the Sunstone Empire do? It's already a bloody war-   Why, turn the whole thing into a damn spectacle is what they did, an action that both nations caught on with. The empire eventually began charging for entry to watch the Red Rumble, now one of Sagrea's biggest sources of entertainment. Most of the fighters became popular "performers" (to the point of befriending enemy fighters and acting out a fight for the masses), and the world crowded to see their favorite heroes eviscerate each other. To this day, no matter the political climate, no matter the current world threat, no matter what one's love life decides to throw to stress them out, the Red Rumble lives on to put on a grand, pancreas-vomiting show. So next time you wanna see a great beatdown of legendary proportions, head on over to the Red Rumble to watch old man Legate Nandi cross swipe the legs of an orc or the Golden Reaper slamming everyone's face with an axe like a true heel should.

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