I sit here now in The Iron Stronghold and a peaceful calmness overwhelms me. A crystal serenity of productivity and wealth covers me like a blanket. The birds are singing, the children playing and the flowers of gains blossom in the morning like a beautiful sunflower. The clouds part revealing a golden sunshine basking the land in light. How could it be that only a few short weeks ago this land was decimated by a force so evil and dark that all light was consumed? A malevolent swarm of chaos with destructive intent, powerful waves of anger swept over the valley like an avalanche of malice.
The Behemoth, contemplating the battle at hand.
Thinking back to that fateful day of the Strongman offering. I know now the fear that was in my soul and how we overcame it… But on the morning before the competition all hope seemed lost…
” Captain! Nik returns with the scouting party” Yelled Jake from the scouts tower.
Early morning dew covers the ground, an unnatural fog mists the land making it shiver like a winter fox retreating into it’s den.
” What news from the north, Nik?” I yell as Nik approaches the Stronghold.
” I have traveled with much haste, Zeus carried my steed on wind like lightning. I bring grave news. An army has amassed in the Frost Marshes. Some ten thousand strong, they lie dormant but their presence is felt for miles around. ”
A shiver ran through my spine. Hairs stood on end.
” Prepare the Stronghold’s defences. Today we make our final stand. Has Victor returned from the East? What news of the encroaching Ocean?!”
“Dust rises from the horizon, chariots approach!” Yells Maximus of the Burley Clan.
” Good eyes Maximus, this will be Victor’s scouting party”
Nostrils of majestic horses flared as the galloping brigade of warriors returned to The Stronghold. Victor leading them on chariot of steel. He arrived momentarily.
” Hail! I bring good news, the Ocean’s rage has subsided. The soft bubbles gently caress the shore. Dark clouds can be seen many miles from shore but it is calm at waters edge!”
” Hmm. Thank you Victor, this news is appreciated. Gather your men and make for the feast hall, your provisions are there. Eat hearty brother!”
Just then the great eagle Elendiel, soared in from the heavens, landing gracefully upon my shoulder. I gazed into his eyes as bond of Iron linked our minds.
” There is a still darkness in the west and south. Elendiel tells me of a slumbering threat unseen, he speaks of a force coming forth with one purpose, to rid the world of the forces of good.”
The great machine of war turns its cogs and the power of the brave will be put to the test. Grim faces turned down, tears of defiance in the face of absolute destruction. The Iron Legion faced it’s greatest threat this day.
” How can we look for hope when none exists, when such evil, ere our destruction on the new day. Doom is upon us!” Yelled Dave.
” Brothers! Sisters of Iron!! Find your courage! A black dawn may be met with light, and with it the threat of ruin shall crumble, with it, our future may yet stand tall! May your swords be wet with the blood of our enemies and your steel high in the wind, a tribute to our defiance of tyranny!! For eternity! For Iron! For the stronghold!!”
Cheers of resolve echoed in the halls, the day had begun. The day of strong was upon us and by days end, we would be alive, or dead. Maybe.
Loureen the Warrior Queen, awaiting her opportunity to strike,.
We started the day off with the Yoke walk. An event designed for one purpose. To crush the spines and souls of all who dare attempt it. The colossal task of shifting a citadel of purified weight, from one side of the land to the other. Some say the event was designed after Zeus had to single handed move Mt Olympus on his back to a new location. “Yoke” the word originating from the early 20th century Germanic Tribes, the word means “to carry a frame on your back with lots of weight” and on this day we had many attempt this and saw the evil of the dark plague lessen with our glorious efforts.
Iron Legionnaires marched forward, first in the ranks was Nic the Brave, Jess Iron Diva, Smash the champion of power, Marsteele the slayer and the Warrior Queen, Loureen. The ground shattered after every step. The women of the Legion show that they aren’t “Strong for a girl” They’re just strong. Jess took the win, with 180kg in 7.6 seconds. Loureen, the first comer came in second with 8.6 seconds. Ash wins the effort award with a monstrous attempt at 180kg, falling short on distance by a mere half a meter. Nic and Marsteele gave their best, at the heels of the other competitors all day. It is no simple task, but the might of the girls combined gave a boost to all that were there in their showing.
Marsteele, attacking the Yoke walk for The Iron Legion!
A smooth start, but something was amiss. It was quiet.. Too quiet. Were our attempts on days past enough to calm the approaching storm? Was the armies of ice frozen for eternity? What did Elendiel mean by an approaching slumbering force? Could they have been mistaken? Did the gods of power divine that our journey had come to victory and see the minions of fear banished from the land? As all seemed clear I gave chance to a moment of serenity. To enjoy the showing. And so it continued…
The Assasin, Jordan came onto the scene now. Blades of light slicing all challenges before him. He led Andy, the Iron Exemplar, Aaron the Engineer and Conan the Druid of Ascendance into the fray. 260kg loaded on the yoke. Laughing in the face of danger they pioneered the vessel of Iron power into uncharted territory. Vicious swings emblazoned glory, the banners of the legion rippling in the wind as they trudged on. Blackened clouds slowly appeared and tendrils of the forces of evil reared their heads again. The storm intensified, the elements raged. Conan, the winner, narrowly beating Andy the Exemplar. Aaron a strong contender and the novice Jordan both showing monstrous testicular fortitude in their attempts.
Members of The Legion, Stephen The Swift Shadow, Conan the Druid of Ascendance, Aaron the Engineer and Jake the Viking discussing the battle at hand.
The final battalion of Iron Legionaries consisted of our Iron knights, the heavy weight warriors of steel whom above all else desire density. Ranks full with novice power, newcomers to the Iron war, standing as brothers, Vince the Worthy Warrior, Cal “William Wallace” Mclaughlin, Grant ” The Experiment” Stokes all hungering for battle. An unquenchable thirst their swords drip with blood from the aggression of the battle. All decimating the 200kg Yoke, Vince and Grant a spectacle to behold. But it is Cal who wins the crowds heart. True grit got him over the finish line, a brother in arms cheered on by appreciation of the audience.
William Wallace with 200kg on the Yoke Walk
Next up, the return of the Golden Bullet, Will Love, leading his warriors into battle. The Shadow, Stephen Thresher. Appearing out of thin air alongside Jake the Viking King. Jake’s beard flowing forth like a river, his horned helm a trophy from his victory in battle with the demon Ox, ” Gorox, devourer of humans”. Will, after day of battle previously came in strong and finished with ease. Stephen the swift, the shadow, the agile, jumping from one side of the hall to the other laughed in dangers face and made quick work of the 200kg yoke. Jake, with a grunt and a battle cry twisted steel like butter, consuming the yoke in his quickened pace.
Within the halls of the Stronghold, fires burnt and warmth was all around us. Victories in the arena made surveillance of the outside storm stand idle. Outside vultures circled overhead, lightning cracked the skies, thunder shook the ground and we were given a grim reminder of that which we faced. Nervous smiles masked frightened hearts, grins hid feelings of hopelessness.
To finish off the Yoke Walk, the mightiest of the competitors came forth. Nik, the Iron Barbarian, Ven the Behemoth, Brendan the Strong.
” Ha! You call this a weight!? I call this breakfast!. My name is well earned servants of darkness. Let me show you why! Ha! Your pathetic attempts are a mockery to strength, may your existence devoid of strength take you back to the void!” Bellowed Brendan.
Nik stared at the weight, 300kg loaded. Sweat of Iron fell from his body, his mane glowing red. A violent surge of power saw him decimate the weight. The Strong made his entrance known by winning event, narrowly defeating the Iron Barbarian. Ven, the behemoth is known for his strength. For the arms that carry weight so easily. For the trunks that squat more weight than muggles can count. But his true strength is in the power of his spirit, after injury saw him out of the events he carried on supporting his friends. A bolster to the ranks of the Legion, his characters strength obvious!
The Behemoth in the midst of battle.
Suddenly the storm unleashed it’s full fury upon us. The earth trembled, the ground shook, the darkness overcame us. We were trapped. Then. Silence… A gust of wind and we were plunged into blackness. Screams of terror from within the crowd made all but the bravest of the Legion lose their spartan composure. The storm had arrived. It’s hidden power now evident, we were surrounded. The legion struggled to reignite the fires that warmed our hearts. The temple gave way to chaos. A raging turret of evil consumed the ground beneath us, the forces of the Iron Paragons kept the fortress level as the roots of the stronghold fluttered in the wind. Up we flew, whirling through the void like an tree uprooted and thrust into the sky. Flashes of the end became clear. The owl. Watching from the distance, never truly there, shimmering in the sky…
The chasm of hell opened up and swallowed us whole. We had arrived. The storms core, the centre of the tempest. Winged demons of black terror surrounded us, flames brighter than the sun licked at our walls and the dark void swallowed us as we were consumed by evil. Volcanic ash spewed forth like a vortex of hate. The ground turning to a scorched barren wasteland of corruption, tentacles of gore spewed their putricity upon the walls of the temple. Great clouds of blood splattered the side with a torrent of rain. The ocean threw black waves against us. All hope seemed lost…
But the Legion waged on!! Never give up, never surrender!! Log press! A symbolic victory pose, bringing strength to our resolve! Cheers of glory rang high! The shield maidens of the legion proving their worth! Nic, Jess and Loureen with 50kg! Marcelle with 35! Ash with 55kg! Like a blinding light their power combined as one they became a lighthouse of power! A guide to all who can not find their way! As the stronghold stood miles in the blackened sky held their by wicked forces they gave no heed to the danger we faced. Courage filled blood pumped through their hearts!
Nic the Brave setting up for the Log Press
Without hesitation the battalions began their battle. Andy, Iron Exemplar, 100kg! Aaron and Conan with 80kg, Jordan with 40kg. Cal and Will with 60kg, Grant and Vince with 70! Swords danced, shields held high, arms of power, fatigue an enemy of the brave! Stephen and Jake, following with 80kg. Nik, leading from the front 100kg launched overhead. Wolves howled in the distance, galaxies imploded around us and we were consumed by decimation and acceptance of our fate. I commanded all legions to march forth to our destiny! Ven, the wounded behemoth, 120kg! Finally our victor, The Strong, Brendan, with 140kg!
Vince “The Worthy Warrior” warming up!
Just then I felt a cold shiver down my spine again. I heard a loud crack and looked to the doors of the Stronghold and could see a glacial icy casing snaking up from the floor to the roof of the entrance. A lake of ice cracked the floor as the doors were frozen solid. A frozen path, a staircase from the earth below had froze it’s way to our doorstep, led by an undead ghostly figure on a white dead horse. A destructive shivering voice could be heard throughout the hall.
” Your attempts are valiant. But they shall be proven pointless. For too long has good stood above evil. Balance must be restored. Prepare for your doom, mortals”
It was Shivaxagon, the undead commander of the frozen army of the ice marsh of the south. Come to claim our stronghold as his own. I had heard tales from mad men of the frozen marsh but never thought it to be true. Then the frozen doors shattered, huge icicles impaling into the iron concrete as the doors of the stronghold crumbled and waves of frozen undead came bursting through the door. Past the shoulders of the beasts I could see a tempest of unearthly wrath devouring all the land. White strikes of lightning lit up the earth, floating on his undead horse of Ice, Shivaxagon laughed as his horde entered our domain.
” ALRIGHT LADS, LOAD UP THE FARMERS WALK!”I yelled.
It had to work. If it didn’t… We would surely die.
Grant, “The Experiment” Stokes unleashing his fury
Light emanated the halls, creating a barrier between the frozen undead and the Legion. Upheld with a link between the farmers walk event and the Legions efforts. Nic began, 65 kg, following was Ash, swift of feet they upheld the link. Marsteele the slayer with 70kg. Jess and Loureen with 80kg! Together they recited poems of ancient prophecies of purity, strengthening all who stood within the halls. Frozen swords clashed against the barrier, their hunger for flesh saturated their attempts.
Staffs of power from the paragons of Iron cast a spell upon our soldiers. Jordan, 80kg! Aaron, 105, Connor, 110, Andy, with his brothers cheering him on finished with 115kg!!! Their hope fluttered with the wind as the stronghold was hovering in the sky like an empty vessel, but it had regrown with passion for survival and strength! At sight of undead army within the halls they did not falter. Steel determination saw them unafraid and with it they cast a mighty blow upon the armies of hell that had come for us.
But those who cast the final blows, enough for fatality had yet to come. Grant, 70kg! The experiment showing his power! Vince, Stephen, Will, 90kg per hand! Jake, 110!! Nik and Brendan with 130kg! Ven and Cal, cheering them on! This empowered the link of light to point of bursting! I saw through my fingers the shock of Shivaxagon as he realized his fatal mistake. He underestimated the power of good and so was consumed by it. A rush of light flew forth, disintegrating the frozen army. Shivaxagon, consumed by light, unfroze and returned to his human form, consumed by self-hatred he threw himself into the storm and was shattered into dust by the raging elements.
Nik the Barbarian watching over Andy The Exemplar
We were close now. One more event and we would surely have overcome all of the darkness. But it would not come easy. For a rumbling now grew. Huge drums, echoing and devouring the land as the storms fury intensified. From deep within the earth we could hear it. A great booming, like a giants footstep. Every step leading us closer to our demise. That’s when the owl appeared to me once again. A white flash was all I remembered as I fell, collapsing on the stronghold floor…
I was unclothed, naked and alone in a white valley. I felt a sense of calm. A single flower lay on the floor, I approached it and picked it up. It’s fragrance filled my spirit with love. Then it withered. Within my hand it turned to ash. I turned seeking to escape. Then I saw it. The flower again upon the white ground. A touch and ash again. I could not escape it. The flowers ashes scattered across the ground.Then the owl appeared in front of me.
” This is the circle of life my son. For all that grows beautiful must pass. All that grows strong must one day become weak again. It is inevitable”
” But what does this mean!? Why have you bought me here?!”
” All that is, must pass. The time we are given is all that we have. See it well spent and prosperity shall be passed on. Your choices define the future. Fight darkness with light and see your actions transverse the present and live on forever ”
I looked to the ground, where the ashes had scattered now grew more beautiful flowers. Understanding now came over me. That which passes with our influence carries forward through the centuries. Our names may be forgotten but our legacy lives on. Cultivating purity and passion can help rid the world of blackness. Unity under a forged future by way of Iron. I looked back to the owl and he winked at me and flew into the light. I felt the ground giveaway as he gave me one last vision of coming evil. A warning! A glimpse into what we faced if we should fail. I knew what we had to do.
I awoke with purpose. Faces of my friends and family around me.
“Alright! We have one last mission, an enemy of unseen terror is upon us. Maggadon. The Ender of Worlds. The core dweller. This is humanities last stand. There is no other option! Bring out the Log carry event! Let our efforts pass the test of time and live on forever!”
Shocked faces looked at me with confusion.
” Dan, the log carry event. It is untested. No mortal has succeeded. Ho… How can we do this!?” Stammered Victor.
” FIND YOUR COURAGE. LET IT BE KNOWN THAT THE IRON LEGION WILL LIVE ON FOR ETERNITY WITH ONE LAST FINAL ATTEMPT! AND FROM HERE TILL THE END OF TIME OUR ACTIONS WILL REVERBERATE UPON THE WORLD!”
( This is getting so ridiculous but I have come way too far to stop, please send help)
Stephen, “The Swift Shadow” captured miraculously by a camera mid log load
So it was done. To start our Lady Legionaries began. Nic, Ash, Marcelle and Jess, successful attempts with the 70kg log! Loureen the Warrior loading the 90kg log and with it, victory! Rumbles shook the earth. Maggadon had awakened from his slumber in the center of the earth and was now rushing forth to claim the planet. He would consume us all. But did my eyes deceive me?! Did I see a glimpse of light through the clouds? As the stronghold surged through the sky, carried by wind and storm, was I deceived in thinking the storm was not so enraged? The tentacles of hell seemed to be placated as they flailed upon the earth, lightning struck but at the agents of evil on their black steeds as they fell from the sky. Loureens victory had been determined, Jess in 2nd place and Ash third. Surely this goodness was enough to submit the terrors that surrounded us! It had to, for the sake of strongkind!
BOOM. BOOM. A great booming came from the earth. Tears fell like a waterfall from the crowd as Jordan without hesitation loaded the 70kg log. Andy, Aaron and Conan loading the 110kg log! The impossible had been done. Andy narrowly beating Aaron, they stood as champions. Andy winning the strongman competition in the under 90kg class, Con in 2nd and Aaron third. It could be felt that the storm had turned. The waves retreated, the clouds brightened, we slowly sailed down to the earth, caressed by the hands of the Iron Gods we landed safely back onto our homeland. But the drums still sounded. Maggadon was nearing the earths crust. He would crack it open like an egg and the molten innards of the planet would spew forth alongside his hunger…
The Viking loading the 110kg log
BOOM. BOOM. One last stand. Vince looked at Grant and they accepted their fate. Without fear they both loaded the 90kg log, empowering the final contenders. Brendan, Stephen, Jake. All loading 110kg, one blink and it was missed by all. BOOM. BOOM. The beast approached. BOOM! BOOM! His demonic fist of power moments away from shattering through his prison and bringing about the consumption of all we love. The Legion was spent, not a single ounce of energy remained, they had given it their all over two full days of battle. This was surely the end…
Through the shadows the Legion looked up to see there was one man still standing upon the sands of the arena…
70kg, 90kg, 110kg logs. Booming into the back of the ute. Nik, standing weary with victory banner in hand he gave a war cry!
Nik the Barbarian – “FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOOOM!!!!”
He collapsed and then silence…
Vague faces stared at each other, tears flowed like rain upon the iron floor. Men, Women and Children huddled together embracing each other. Confusion was felt by all. Then they realized, the booming had stopped! The earth had fought back against Maggadon, the core dweller, the earth eater, the end of time, Armageddon’s ambassador had been defeated! He was sent back to the depths from whence he came. Locked for eternity in a slumber held in place by goodness. We had been victorious!
Just then, the skies cleared. The demonic winged beasts of hell were gone. Lightning flew back to the heavens. The wind returned to normal caressing the leaves of the trees and the flowers bloomed, bright and beautiful. I stood on the driveway looking into the stronghold. Bathed in light. The owl above the parapets, smiling at me as it faded into the air.
Smashley, Jess the Iron Diva, Dan and Loureen the Warrior Queen victorious against darkness!
” Brothers and sisters of the Iron Legion. Today, few stood against many in a battle of good and evil. Today, the forces of evil that stood to take that which we hold dear have been pushed back into the darkness! Today, you stand champions! All hail the victorious strong!”
Cheers were heard throughout the land. The Iron Bard Kronoceptor, played mad licks on his axe, shredding for all to hear. Dancing broke out and laughter was heard throughout the land. I knew then that even though we have but limited time within this world, our actions determine the fate of this world and our destiny. We must use our power for good. To fight evil. To become strong within ourselves so that we can make the right choices and craft the fate of the universe with our own hands.
Aaron the Engineer, Andy The Iron Exemplar, Conan and Dan, celebrate their victory with song and laughter
So basically, let’s fight climate change, or something. Whatever!
Anyway, I knew then… That we had saved the world, with our lifting.
Jake the Viking, Nik the Barbarian, Brendan The Strong. Victors of Strongman
Now, I sit here again in my office. The whole weekend, as clear as day as though it was happening right before my very eyes. Not a single word of this is a lie. This is a true factual recount of the day. Here let me ask Lisa,
” Is this true Lisa”
Would Lisa lie!? Hell no!
Let this be a lesson to us all. Lift weights, save the world.
Good work everyone, till next time,