Grand Arena

One of the more popular imperial exports to Khezvaros are the games held at the Grand Arena: Races, gladiatorial combat, and numerous other contests of skill and ability. The biggest crowds attend the arena every 7th day, when contests are held from dawn until dusk. These all-day events always include gladiators fighting to the death and chariot races featuring the most popular and accomplished racers. On the other six days of the week, the Arena opens to the public shortly after midday for a more sparsely-attended assortment of contests, typically featuring less experienced athletes still building their reputations and perfecting their skills. The daily events rarely feature deadly combat but always end the day with a chariot race featuring well-known racers on the verge of inclusion in the more prominent weekly games. The typical schedule is often disrupted during festivals and other holidays. These events often feature performances, imperial ceremonies, public executions, and other entertainments alongside the competitions.   Regardless of the competition of the moment, all arena athletes represent one of four different factions, each identified with by their devices and colors: Wolves (Gray), Lions (Yellow), Bears (Brown), and Scorpions (Red). Most regular attendees of the games have a preferred faction, and many are fanatically loyal to their faction of choice. Fights between followers of different factions are common.   Gambling is widespread during the games, and not just on the victor of a particular contest. Attendees also frequently bet on things like which charioteer will crash during a race, who will draw first blood in a gladiatorial fight, and how many times the [Imperial Governor's wine cup will be refilled before the next contest begins. It's rarely difficult for a gambler to find someone to take any bet he can dream up, no matter how bizarre.

Typical Events

  • Gladiatorial Combat
  • Chariot Racing
  • Beast Hunts
  • Horse Racing
  • Wrestling
  • Boxing
  • Pankration
  • Foot Races
  • Archery Contests
  • Jumping Contests
  • Throwing Contests

The Tunnels

Beneath the stands of the arena is a maze of rooms and tunnels. These include offices, storage areas, and other spaces necessary for the day-to-day administration and operation of the facility, but also includes sections that serve as an on-site headquarters for each of the factions. The faction complexes in particular are frequently used for clandestine meetings (political, business, or romantic). Since most Khezvarans are unlikely to raise any eyebrows by choosing to attend the games, anyone with the connections or coin to obtain discreet access to the faction tunnels can easily arrange secure meeting with those they'd rather not be seen associating with publicly.

Cover image: Arena Ward Banner City of Ten Thousand Daggers by Steve Johnson


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