A little background: my story is set in a fantasy setting. The part of the world that Travian knows is known as the Wastes - dry, desert terrain more like the rocky parts of Arizona than the softer sand dunes you would picture in the Sahara. Water is an extremely highly-prized resource, to the point where it is effectively becoming a consumable currency.
Hello, my name is Travian, and Iím a slave.
It isnít as bad as it sounds - I am fed and watered, which is more than many people can claim. Despite that, being a slave means living to others' whims, and I am desperate to be free to choose my own destiny and live on my own terms. But enough of that.
I became a slave at age 7, when my father sold me to a slave trader. No, I donít blame him. My mother was dying, and he struggled to keep food on the table. If he hadnít done it, we probably all would have starved or died of thirst. I just hope it wasnít easy for him to give me up, and that he wonders about me sometimes. He is (or was) a hard man, but not a bad one. The times were hard and he tried to make the best choice he could.
For years, I bounced around from master to master. Mostly, I was put to physical labour, and I endured. I was about 12 when I finally found my current owner, Maelic. As slave owners go, has been pretty good to me over the almost 20 years Iíve known him. But then, Iíve made him a lot of money.
You see, Maelic saw right away that I was quick and agile and had tremendous endurance, but that there were plenty of slaves much stronger than I was. He was clever, and realized that with proper training, I could be a tremendous arena combatant, rather than just a pair of arms to carry enormous things.
And so I trained. Maelic spared no expense, training me for the better part of five years with various teachers, until I was ready for the arena. By then, the trading post of Paraat had become a central hub, and Maelic saw his opportunity and convinced local nobles to invest in an arena.
No training prepares you for actually killing things - beasts or people. I hated it, and I still do. But I endured, and I endure still.
By the time I was 25 or 26, I was already a veteran of dozens of arena battles. With many scars and mended bones to show for it, I had never lost a fight. But then, if I had, I wouldnít be here to tell you this, would I?
One day, Maelic came to me with a proposition that shook my world. He proposed that, if I could win 200 straight victories, he would give me my freedom. I still donít know why he promised me such! Since then, I have won 122 battles (in all humility, that alone is an achievement that nobody else can claim). With 78 more victories, I will be addressing you as a free man.