Goroslov "The Sackbag" Mactova, and the burning of Antramar in the 13th Age

Goroslov Mactova, posthumously known as Goroslov “The Sackbag” is the most infamous combatant to ever emerge from the already infamous pit fighting leauges of Aphal.

Pit fighting has a long tradition on the continent, supposedly stemming from the Ryavi region in the north, and spreading throughout much of northern Aphal and Gimsonia by the time of the Antramarian empires peak.

Goroslov was supposedly born in the city Dnedi in the free realm of Archov, he was a street urchin who subsisted on petty thievery until he grew too slow and ended up trapped and sold to a prominent Pitmaster.

Keeping thieve’s as sold slaves was a common punishment, but being sold to a Pitmaster was often seen as effectively a death sentence, since they were normally tasked to battle experienced military retiree’s or career pit fighters.

Goroslov, however, quickly proved that he would make good use of his large frame, and armed with a wooden mallet managed to best several combatants he had very low odds against, earning his Pitmaster a sizable purse.

So when it came to the conclusion of Goroslov’s sentence of indentured servitude, the Pitmaster gave Goroslov a hefty retirement bonus.

Goroslov would not be retired for long however, he would burn through the money he had been afforded on women and liquor, and soon enough was left penniless and on the streets yet again.

This time however, he saw a clear solution to reinflate his purse, he would reenter the pits as an independent fighter.

This is when Goroslov began to gain renown outside of merely his hometown of Dnedi, as there was not always those who wished to fight a man of Goroslovs imposing reputation, he would often resort to winning a number of fights in one town, then moving on to the next.

During these travels Goroslov would defeat some of the most famous fighters of towns such as Wytwud, Gruglin, Woym, Ryav, Laklund, and Exeeva, gathering a number of unique pieces of armor he would don from some of the most unique of his opponents to eventually create an entirely unorthodox and borderline impractical set of armor.

Swelling in wealth as well as fame, it was during Goroslovs stay in Exeeva that he also commissioned the finest smiths of the city to craft Goroslovs legendarily luxurious two handed greatsword, “The Render”.

Goroslov had always had a fantastic record in the pits at this point, but he had not been flawless, at times losing matches blunt trauma and bearing dozens of scars from the many close encounters with death he had shared.

It was after one particularly close encounter against a disgraced Gimsonian Knight that he needed several Months to recover, and upon awakening from medical treatment flew into such a rage about his defeat that he murdered a woman he had been seeing.

Fleeing the charge in Gimson and concerned about the risk involved in his career, he decided that he would enter a tentative retirement and return to his homeland in Archov.

This proved to be good timing, as a few short Eages after his return, Alphim Callistar would take the crown of Gimson, and begin an aggressive campaign to attempt to reclaim lost lands of the Antramarians, and while Gimson and Archov were not yet at war, tensions were high and the border fortified on both sides.

In the time Goroslov had been home in Archov, he had used his considerable wealth and influence as a fighter to amass a group of bodyguard’s, and upon the outbreak of the war these bodyguards had swelled to become a veritable mercenary corp, not least of all due to Goroslovs resentment and anxiety regarding his history in Gimson.

Eventually the King of Archov decided he would involve himself in the war, and prepared to launch a surprising and daring raid on the old capital of Antramar itself, hoping they could capture and keep the city ransom to ensure favorable terms for their allies in Rivea, who had been steadily losing ground against the Gimsonians.

Goroslov was seen as a man of some status, and with the number of armed men he had under his employ he was approached by an envoy asking if he would agree to marry a force of Archovi to his own and command a raiding ship to join the armada.

Goroslov saw this as a natural step up from his position as up-jumped pit fighter, and with it appearing as though his wealth had already begun to dry up yet again he agreed to accept the command position.

And so the risky move was set in motion by the King of Archov, and the fleet began its long voyage just outside of the coastline to prevent detection from the already relatively relaxed Gimsonian sea patrol.

They arrived around a month later after a tumultuous stop at the Aeophoran port of Zafira, both Goroslov and the men under his authority had grown restless, so much so that at night after the “wise council” of several flagons they decided to begin the attack on their own much earlier than intended.

Their small ship size allowed them to approach the walls entirely undetected, and soon enough they had managed to scale the walls of the city and slaughter the local sentry guards, making their way into the city proper before the alarm had been raised.

From that point until dawn, chaos began.

Word first started in the Bakers district of an attack on the city, but Goroslov had personally had a small group cause a much greater commotion near the Gate district of the city, leading to much of the City Guard being drawn there and giving them free reign to begin to totally ransack the south end of the city.

The old cathedral of the flame, the master smiths stockpiles, the Imperial traders guild headquarters, all were invaded, stripped of valuables, and put to the torch.

Before long the madness had spread, and Goroslov had managed to inspire a great many independent looters to scramble for valuables, and by the time dawn broke and the remainder of the Archovi had arrived at the city, a third of it was already burning.

Some of the Archovi scaled the walls and joined their comrades, but the majority of the nobility who had been delegated to direct the assault were mortified, knowing the implications of this escalation, knowing that if this was the Archovi would do to the ancient birthplace of the Antramarian Empire that King Alphim held in such reverence, there would be no mercy for their own cities.

Word quickly spread that it was Goroslov that was responsible for the anarchy that now threatened to reduce the greatest city in Aphal to ash, and the Archovi tried in vain to find him so he could be hauled back to Archov for sentencing, but he had quickly fled with the lions share of the plunder once the chaos had grown beyond his control.

From here there are many rumors and songs about the fate of Goroslov the Sackbag, some say he fled back to Aeophora, and spent the rest of his days burning through his fortune in loot as he always had.

Some even continue this tale and say that even despite stealing away all of the finest treasures of the greatest Empire of Aphal, he still managed to drink and whore it all away, and returned to the pits yet again.

The message Goroslov represented regardless of his fate was clear, a cautionary tale regarding a lifestyle of extravagance with concern only for refilling your coin in hopes of being able to continue living fast for as long as possible, and how that ambition to fly forever can burn even the grandest of legacies to the ground.

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Centinuus
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