The Monika Coliseum Building / Landmark in Kustaanos (Iron Era) | World Anvil

The Monika Coliseum

The Ring of Wonders

The tale of the coliseum's creation is widespread and retold across any Ravennian tavern you visit. There was once two well regarded mages in Readsend Harbor, Mon and Vadika, well experienced and familiar with their magic studies. One day, the two dared to push each other's skill to a higher limit, and so it escalated for over a year.   Statues were crafted from simple ritual materials, magical artifacts were constructed like it was paltry magic, and Vadika broke their peak when he made an entire coliseum on the outskirts of the harbor town. Mon didn't see it as enough and convinced Vadika to work tirelessly to make it a landmark unlike any other.   Countless enchantments were applied to the interior, so many that people today have lost count. When they were finished, there stood a structure capable of altering its image by creating environments that was both real and illusion at the same time.

Semi-Annual Passtime

Even before their work was done, citizens from all over Ravenna had caught wind of these feats and gathered every day to witness this unworldly creation. Soon enough, the city had hastily purchased the coliseum from the two for a lifetime fortune, a new cultural idea swelling in the nobles' minds.   The Tourney of Champions, a week-long competition crafted by the nobles, puts every single enchantment on the coliseum to use. The most appealing factor of the coliseum's games is the ability to alter the ground's terrain. What once was a small, sand arena, can quickly become a dense forest that looks even larger than normal.   Occurring every year during the last week of The Wheat Festival, these games pit twenty different contestants against each other over a series of rounds each day. One day might hold a team battle in a mountainous arena while another is a free-for-all among ships in a sea-saturated arena.
Underhanded Dealings

Tourney Brokers

With the ever growing appeal the tourney is gathering, it is making contestants ever more desperate to achieve that fame and glory. Originally, this began as cheating during the event, but thieves and shadowed criminals took notice of this and capitalized on it.   Nowadays, it is very rare that a contestant's equipment isn't stolen from them, or that they aren't injured in some way by brokers hired by a rival competitor. The coliseum's personnel, the Cardinal Clerics, have noticed this, but anything outside the arena is outside their jurisdiction.   Many citizens who are street-smart consider the games today to be favored for the competitor who lines the most criminals' pockets. This is something Mudgard has slowly been increasingly accused of.   Sometimes, competitors wealthy enough will even pay off other contestants to sabotage another or simply drop out.
Alternative Names
The Ring of Wonders

Fortitude and Clerics

The Tourney of Champions is not a walk in the park. In fact, if it weren't for the Cardinal Clerics to aid in injury (even death), the games wouldn't be as popular as they are. Many rounds consist of bloody, sinister fighting from one to another, so only the most battle-steeled contestants ever find the courage to enlist themselves into it the week before the games begin.
This place was created many centuries ago. I and many others know because there has been one-hundred and eighty seven recorded tournies.
~ Mudgard Orlain

Current Status

The Tourney of Champions still sits as Ravenna's most popular event every year. Along with this growing popularity, more and more contestants apply to compete in each one.   However, unbeknownst to the public, illegal deals and trades continue to rise knowing the popularity the games have. This includes bribery, sabotage, and very occasional assassination.
  Reigning Champion

Mudgard Orlain

Mudgard has competed in the Tourney of Champions since 1547 AC. After his first tourney's loss, he has been crowned the champion of every other tournament since. This next tourney will make his third time participating.   Some speculate there is a broker under the shadows employed by him, while optimists see him as a pure symbol of determination. People normally comment on his brute strength and quick wit being the deciding factor for his victories.


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11 Jul, 2019 04:31

RIP Alternate Universe Paidrag here, 'twas crushed by Virel here.

11 Jul, 2019 04:39

Hey alternate universe Paidrag made it to the finals!

~ Tristan
11 Jul, 2019 04:41

Very true, very true.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
11 Jul, 2019 06:06

First i love the creation story. its kinda over the top and adds this sense of power among the two mages. it was very entertaining to read. The use of quotations and images is amazing. i love the layout and the use of columns here. Very well put together. You mention many enchantments being present. what are some examples of the most well known? i dont see any mentioned anywhere.

11 Jul, 2019 06:14

The most well known are the illusory enchantments I mention which allows the coliseum's arena to change environments. I'm glad you liked it so much! I usually like to make the article visually appealing, since I've found it helps with reading clarity.

~ Tristan
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
11 Jul, 2019 06:27

i do suppose the picture of a naval battle should be example enough to be honest lol it just seemed a bit broad. i did enjoy it. it really seems like each section is designed to move the eyes where you want it. that takes skill... and patience lol

Dryant Feywright
11 Jul, 2019 08:55

This is pretty interesting to read, the passtime of watching tournaments at the coliseum reminds me of Ancient Rome and I'm guessing that was sort of what you were going for? Overall, this is a well thought-out article and I can imagine how it's like in my mind. The Tourney of Champions seems to be a highly anticipated event in the Monika Coliseum. Is the Tourney always different? It talks about the arena altering its environment and i was wondering if it changes several times or is there a different environment for each Tourney?

11 Jul, 2019 22:21

Yes actually. Every Tourney features the same number of rounds each day for the whole week (five days in a week for this world, two events a day). Some events from previous Tournies may return, but each one's format is different to ensure the contestants are always on their toes.

~ Tristan
Sage WyrdBard
Heather Strickler
11 Jul, 2019 17:01

I like the echoes of Rome, though I find it quite interesting (and a comment on the culture) that higher incidence of maiming and death would make it less popular (given that it did not see not do so in Rome). It's an interesting hint of how the culture thinks and how it is different from Rome as well as the superficial similarities. I like the use of images and the over all layout and presentation. Well done, sir.

11 Jul, 2019 22:23

I appreciate the appreciation! I;m an avid fan of ancient Rome, and my idea for this country specifically was to combine it with England, meaning a more civilized gladiator arena with no fear of anyone getting permanently hurt.

~ Tristan
11 Jul, 2019 20:54

I have to say I agree with Dylon when I say that the art is great. I think my favorite is the one of the ships fighting in the arena. I like your origin story, as it is unique and I could definitely see to master mages having a massive competition to see who is better. One of the questions I had was, if it takes place every 3 1/2 months, how do the people running the arena ensure that it is unique every time? Does the tourney have a set limit of contestants? Finally, do you have an article that goes a little more in-depth on Mudgard Orlain? he seems to be an interesting fellow.   Nice job on the article, it was a fun read ! :)

11 Jul, 2019 22:27

I mention in the article at the end of, "Semi-Annual Passtime," that twenty contestants are pitted against each other every Tourney. Perhaps you missed that.   As for the uniqueness, the magic is often what's used to make the different events, and when there's a massive well of it, you have an infinite amount of possible games to create, meaning you can literally let your imagination carry you where you go. Heck, a lot of the events are basically free-for-all fights, just morphed into different environments (like tundra vs. mountain).   As for Mudgard Orlain, my world is pretty new despite all the articles I have. For that reason, I don't already have everything; this is just a brief introduction for him. I'll plan on diving deeper in the future.

~ Tristan
12 Jul, 2019 00:41

Wow, Tristan, this one's got a whole city of campaign hooks ready to go. I really like the origin being a fight for bragging rights between two mages. (In the second paragraph, you have "simply ritual materials", is that supposed to be "simple ritual materials"?) I love it that they have clerics on staff, and it is so rich that even after a couple years, there's enough money in the games to have full-time professional fixers working to make sure their chosen champion wins. As for where you might go next, it would be cool to have a bit of a taste of what it is like for the crowd on game day - what sort of foods do they sell in the stalls? Did the mages include indoor plumbing? What's the view like from the sky boxes and do the people in the cheap seats get splashed by the illusions?   This is a really rich setting to elaborate on, thank you for sharing it!

12 Jul, 2019 21:03

Thanks for the kind words Orlon, always appreciated! As for the error, it's been fixed, thank you for the catch!   Actually, it's not only been up for a few years, the coliseum's been crafted for nearly 600 years now, and almost 1,500 games have taken place, which is the main reason why the games are so prepared. Think of the NFL but with gladiators.

~ Tristan
12 Jul, 2019 21:04

Sorry, I meant 1,100 games, and I forgot to comment on your other points too.   These all sound like good questions that I might touch on in future prose, since I feel they would fit better there than here.

~ Tristan
13 Jul, 2019 00:39

Okay, I don't know how I got "just a few years" out of it, but I certainly didn't get "centuries". That would be something to call out a little more, but maybe that's clearer to someone deeper into your world. In the "Semi-annual Pasttime" section, you've got the bit about the Tournament of Champions in the second paragraph, and then you start the third one with "occuring every three and a half months...". That led me to believe the tournament of Champions was every three and a half months. It would be much clearer to me if those two paragraphs were swapped, and I might even suggest throwing in something about the timing of the Tournament of Champions. "The annual Tournament of Champions..." or "The Tournament of Champions, held every other year in the spring,..." or whatever.