Bjorn's seven foot stature wasn't enough to meet that of Dirk's. The male loomed over him, at least three heads taller, and waited patiently with ten metres between them. The tattoos riddling his torso and face were not a display of fashion nor story but an ability to withstand pain. They were black in colour and shaded to the point where no skin could be seen beneath, bar a patch over his left eye, the grey iris locked onto the nord before him.
With his chin kept up, Bjorn met Dirk's gaze. He pulled his dark red hair back and tightened it, forcing the majority up into a bun whilst a few sweat-drenched curls clung back to his face.
A bodiless voice, deep and angered, bellowed and filled the pit where the two stood watching each other. "Bjorn Wolfborn, you are guilty of murder. Ten of our kin have fallen at your hand. You meet your end here, nord. Any final words?"
"None." Bjorn stated, quietly. His chest displayed his steady breaths. With no sign of urgency he began to tighten the bandages already wrapped around his blood encrusted hands.
The voice flooded the arena once more. "By the creed of the Highland giants, your life is ours."
Without hesitation, as if a command had been given, Dirk charged forward, his titan-like legs striding, dragging his battle-worn axe alongside himself forcing sand to spray out with every step.
Bjorn stood vigilant, his bandaged hands falling to his sides, his bare torso beaded with sweat. He took a moment to close his eyes and silence the outside world, falling into a temporary haven before the coming storm.
The gap closed quickly and the giant hurled his axe up, ready to divide Bjorn by two. As the axe fell Bjorn sidestepped, narrowly missing the blade.
Dirk's momentum carried him forward, past his target as his axe buried itself deep within the sand. He took a few strides past Bjorn and halted, turning, his teeth bared beneath a black-tinted snarl.
"Your pet is strong," Bjorn spoke calmly, his back turned to Dirk as he addressed the crowd of giants, taking a few slow steps away from his attacker, "but he is blind."
Dirk, wasting no second, gripped his axe and ripped it from the ground whilst Bjorn spoke. The giant took his opportunity and swept low with his weapon, aiming for the nord's ankles.
The nord jumped.
Bjorn landed and swung around to his right, his left leg whipping up to connect with Dirk's jaw, resulting in a satisfying crack and spray of dark blood painting the burning sand.
"He does not think," Bjorn grumbled as the giant fell harshly to his knees. "he simply follows orders."
"Dirk, son of Thune, you were gifted this opportunity!" the bodiless voice returned, louder and angrier. "Fell your father's killer!"
The giant was already pulling himself to his feet, his jaw slightly lopsided and his blackened skin coated in red. With axe in hand he let out a volatile roar, hurling himself toward Bjorn.
Bjorn took no chances and threw himself up at Dirk in retaliation, his fist crashing against the already dislocated jaw, causing the giant to drop his weapon and fall to his back with a groan, the sand parting beneath him.
The crowd replied with an instinctive roar of their own.
Bjorn looked down at the fallen giant and placed his boot against his neck, his sharpened canines showing through gnarled lips.
"I am Bjorn Wolfborn," he whispered down to the giant that was now grappling his ankle, his eyes gesturing desperation as he struggled under the pressure, "and your kin have betrayed my clan. The Wolfborn do not forget and we do not forgive. I am your end. I am retribution."
And with that, Bjorn shoved his foot down into Dirk's throat, forcing the ability to breath out of the tattooed giant. He waited and watched Dirk's eyes haze over and his body halt it's squirming before stepping back.
He looked up at the crowd of hill giants, all heckling from behind the pit's barrier before the voice coalesced, halting the noise. The silence was welcomed and savoured for a moment.
"Bjorn Wolfborn, your gods have looked down upon you this day. You've been granted freedom. But know that we shall not rest until we're duly compensated for the lives you took."
The disembodied voice fell quiet, allowing time for a sturdy wooden gate to be pulled open, presenting the grass knolls outside of the arena.
"Leave this place. Return to what remains of your clan. Your point has been made, but your kind are being watched. The Wolfborn are abominations to this plane and we shall erase your existence."
Bjorn smirked beneath his red, braided beard, pulling his bloodied bandages from his hands and throwing them to the sand. He sauntered toward the gate and closed his eyes, allowing the familiar darkness to take over his vision, enveloping him in a second of serenity.
Let them come, he thought to himself, and the pack shall feast.