Chapter Five: He-Man of Baritos

The square crowded quickly. The main event soon to begin. The event, a test of strength and of endurance. The competition, a challenge of the most powerful of men; and if situation permits, of woman.....

"..... See Toru, the master of the ring..... The strongest of all men of Annareice..... What man, does now challenge Toru?"

The crowd cheered as the four armed seven and one half foot tall under dweller flexed his muscles. Monstrous canine molars bared in attempts to intimidate the watchers gathered.

".... I will take that challenge friend......"

Toru turned unexpectedly to the calling challenger, the less than human adversary acted as if the challenge was not but an annoyance in disruption of his glory.

".... What name do you herald by newcomer?"

"..... I am called Titus..... I am the He-Man of Baritos....."

"..... You seem small for one in position of so deserving the title He-Man from Baritos..... very well..... step into the ring and pay your dues..... But you, you will present no real challenge for me....."

"..... Size and height alone, win no real battles Goru..... I can and will defeat you....."

Titus removed his furs. Goru scowled on the man's visible definition of muscle without any expressed concerns. this strong man by his standards, he was not making all that great the impression.

"..... Prepare for pain little man....."

Goru roared as he raised all four arms in unison. The crowd roared with him.

Not wishing to waste any time on impressing the audience, Titus struck first. The powerhouse punches falling hard upon Goru's abdomen in a series of three hits. the four-armed giant of a man stumbled back a couple of steps as if he was surprised by the stranger's attack.

"..... I respect the man that needs no recognition stranger....."

Goru now attempted to counter Titus' move with a double shoulder slam follow through. The He-Man from Baritos anticipated this action.

Titus surprised the under dweller by blocking all four of the powerhouse punch attacks, and following through with an upper cut and a head slam to the left side of Goru's temple.

Goru stumbled again. Titus took to a defensive position, the He-Man from Baritos watching for the under dweller's next move.

Rage was now flaring within the eyes of his enemy. The under dweller quickly began to revert to its primordial roots. Claws extended from his fingertips pointed molars bared. Spines burst through the dwellers' flesh from his back, his elbows, and his knees.

Goru, was now thirsting for the blood of his enemy.

Four arms raked wildly. Titus side-stepped the under dwellers' maddened rage, the man striking fast at the legs of the giant one low with a rotational sweep. Goru was instantly tripped up by the unexpected maneuver.

Locking the under dweller's arms with his own right arm between Goro's primary limbs and behind his head; Titus slammed heavily on the others' spine. The trigger spot of the under dweller's weak spot quickly realized by the one. Goru lost quickly all consciousness in fight that remained.

The ringmaster now raged on the strangers' success.

"..... You cheated stranger..... No man knows of the secret weaknesses of the under dwellers...."

"..... Pray tell, little man? how many innocence have you allowed Goru to slay; when you alone do have this knowledge?"

"..... I know not of what you speak....."

Two city-guard approached the ringmaster from behind. Their hands rested steady on the pommels of their swords.

"..... The stranger won fair Lucias..... You will pay this Titus the winnings, and we will have a new champion..... Anareich Seere will wish to have words with you..... Many new men have disappeared after battles lost of this blood sport....."

The ringmaster defiantly paid the stranger the winnings before being quickly taken into custody.

"..... Well done Titus..... Seere was wise in calling on you..... will you stay for evening feast?"

"..... Alas, I must continue north; toward the Evergreen Forest..... I have a mission to complete for an old friend....."

"..... Fair you well then, strong man Titus, He-Man of Baritos..... until our paths once again cross...."

Titus waited patiently as four more city guards arrived to take Goru into custody. The under dweller shackled and chained.

Titus grabbed hold of a glowing amulet that hung around his neck. The sigil upon the amulet reflected the depiction of a great wolf.

"..... My work is done here Mallorean Meneface..... Where are you my friend?"

"..... Here Titus..... I have supplies for the road....."

"..... Excellent..... Then, I shall meet you at the front gates..... we have a long journey ahead of us....."

Titus, with the support of the magic that now guides him; the He-Man of Baritos fails notice of an entity stalking him from the shadows.

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