The party opted to ride the “express” lift to the top floor offices of “The Solid” arena where 30 Minutes is shot. This was a first for the Mist Walkers. Outside the main entrance, they ran into Biff, a young man who’d been bumped from the night’s roster at the last minute to accommodate the “Avengers of Rat City.” Biff didn’t hold any grudges though, he admitted he had little to do with his victory at the Wild Card Tournament last month anyway. He’d been hanging around the locker room when a last minute effort to put a team together was going around and he signed on. The dudewho put it together was slick. Biff wished them all well, he even offered to fill in for Eve when she seemed hesitant to compete. The party let Biff try to tag along with them, but security recognized him instantly, sent him packing.
Inside, the crew met with Show Runner and Producer Jasper Fox. He introduced himself and asked that they please not die too poorly on his show. Mr. Fox is a notable figure in the history of 30 Minutes to Kill. He was a champion in his glory days. He competed for five years, a record that hasn’t been matched, and retired after a winning season. What he did next shocked everyone, he took a job behind the camera, in production. 30 Minutes to Kill became the powerhouse it is today under his guidance. Mr. Fox is unique in another aspect is well, he’s one of the few citizens of New Eden born outside the Corporate Houses older than 50 and literate. He’s a leader.
After a few nerve-wracking hours, the party was led to the green room to await their cue. They were advised to follow the instructions exactly regarding their entrance, since by necessity they would be in complete darkness until they enter the arena.
This arena was specifically designed to bisect the action. The ground level featured a knee-deep, four-section, acid stream that fed into a whirlpool which could drown you before your face melted off. Traversing this led to the flag guarded by the dragon, who’s orders were alternated between the DM and Players each round.
The second level featured several raised platforms with gaps between them. The gaps could be traversed with randomized teleportals, hidden catapults or a zip-line. The upper level also featured an array of booby traps including gouts of flame and spring-loaded pistons that would knock an unwary competitor down to the lower level within reach of the Dragon, who was kept from reaching the second level by an Omega Barrier.
As the crowd roared, the announcer… announced:
Ladies, Gentlemen, Draken and Mouzles, boys, girls, coffin, etc. Welcome! One! And! All! To the most exciting! Action packed! Death-defying! Ass-kicking half-hour of entertainment in New Eden! That’s right! You know it! You love it! You’ve got…
This round, our competitors square off not only against each other, but against the deadliest Mist Fiend in our stables, the Swamp Dragon! This heartless killer can eat its own weight in raw meat in less than seventeen minutes. It can dissolve a full-grown Cloven in an instant with one blast of its horrible Acid Breath. And it is utterly convinced that flag there is its prized possession, its one joy in this entire, cruel world. Go get it, Killers!