Battle Arena

The Battle Arena is where students of the Academy go to fight or play. It is constructed with several wards to safeguard both combatants and spectators. Furthermore, at any given time there are dozens of combat instructors present, complemented by several Tarot teachers and Arena Supervisors. Construction was extremely expensive, due to its massive usage of Wardstone, Sealstone, and Sensewires. At the end of each schoolyear, selected third years participate in the Great Tournament.   The outside of the elliptical arena is 300m long and 250m wide, with 50m wide stands. The maximum stand capacity theoretically is eighty thousand spectators. Given how the Academy and the nearby Academy City combined can only fill a fourth of that, it is considered extremely overambitious in size. However, the extra space is rather useful during the Great Tournament, when many noble families visit and observe.   The Arena is used for combat classes, training, and duels. Many students participate for amusement rather than serious training. Classes may be given top-side, or in the many different training rooms.


The main battleground is used for classes, selecting the Blade Master, the Great Tournament, and Tournament training. It also is used for large student assemblies, such as the yearly introduction speech. In rare cases, a Tarot Duel may be allowed to take place with spectators. It is the only part of the arena where normally no students are allowed outside classes.   Underneath the main floor are two basement floors. The first underground floor contains both close quarters and long-ranged training rooms. Students are allowed to train here outside sleeping hours, with as many as they'd like. Often there are friendly matches and rivalries.   The second basement floor contains large Figment Rooms. These are capable of summoning illusionary enemies, which can be used for simulating lethal combat. Extremely popular, each student receives one ticket every two weeks, usable for a reservation of half an hour. Eight students are allowed to enter on a single ticket, so sharing training time is quite popular.   When not reserved for classes, most of the Arena is officially available for combat training. This is encouraged so that later in life, students can fight without being forced to use Tarot Abilities. In reality not many students bother with heavy combat training. Instead, they participate in friendly competitions, or have duels to fight things out in the only place this is allowed.   Competitions might be who hits the most targets, who defeats the most opponents in friendly duels, or who can survive longest in a Figment Room. Some even simply throw or hit balls over nets. There are some clubs that come together frequently, focused on specific skills as a form of sports. However, most students just come with friends, to hang out and do a bit of fighting.
Founding Date
3745 WE
Alternative Name
Training Grounds
Material Value
26 years of continental tax income
Opening Hours
Dawn to midnight
Class Hours
Dawn to dinner
Supported Class Types
  • Close Quarters
  • Long Ranged
  • Group Combat
  • Tarot Duels
  • Figment Fighting
Active Staff at any given time
  • 20~40 Combat Instructors
  • 2~6 Tarot Teachers
  • 2 Arena Supervisors
Most popular forms of entertainment
  • Archery (Moving Targets)
  • Five-Point Duels
  • Figment Survival

Architecture & Design

Building Materials
The stands are made out of smooth dark wood, supported by a hive of hollow pillars. These were created by Tarot users. The outside is decorated in four quarters, each with a repeated pattern of one of the four Tarot suits. The arena floor consists of wooden platforms, surrounded by Wardstone pillars. Underneath is a main floor made out of Sealstone, meant to prevent any Tarot Abilities from damaging the foundation.   The underground foundations consist of stone walls supporting the arena. The outer walls are laced with Sealstone, with normal stone gaps to prevent a full Seal. The first basement floor exists of lengthy narrow rooms between the foundation walls in the center, and small rooms connected by a large corridor around the edge. The second basement floor is a bit wider than the main base of the Arena, with long corridors separating hexagonal hives. Its inner walls have Sealstone cores, surrounded by thick solid rock.   To allow proper observation, all walls of the Arena are covered by Sensewires, allowing the Arena Supervisors to keep an eye on general physical and mental conditions of all present individuals. Due to how many students and staff are at the Arena at any given time, only a general overview is possible.
Main Battleground Layout
The main arena floor, a 200m x 150m ellipse, consists of seven areas. It has a buffer zone between the stands and the battle ellipse. The battle ellipse contains a circle split into four arena quadrants, aiming at its four main sides. It is completed by two sickle-shaped parts.   During smaller events, group fights take place in all six battle areas. Large fights are allowed to use the entire main circle, the sickles used as team waiting areas. Avatar-fights will take place over the entire circle, with the controllers located in the sickles.   The buffer zone is covered with sand. The battle areas are covered in short grass. Barricades and wooden forts are stored in the buffer zone. These are available to be placed in the battle areas, to simulate a fight with obstacles. However, such warfare practice is rarely performed.
First Basement Floor Layout
The first basement floor has many walls that follow the long edge of the ellipse, splitting it into five parts that each span 20m at their widest. Each part is cut in two by a central hallway, creating two rooms that are 70m long. Located around the edge are smaller semi-rectangle rooms, meant for small training groups.   The long rooms are paved with gravel. They are equipped with rails and cables to hang archery targets from. Both nets and barricades are stored to the side, which can be used for increased difficulty or competitive sports.   The small semi-rectangle rooms have compacted soil floors. They have weapon racks with many different weapons. Weapons are blunt and carry various forms of Tarot-enhancements. Thanks to these, they do not cause dangerous injuries, while still making each injury actually feel painful.
Second Basement Floor Layout
The second basement floor mostly consists of thirty hex-shaped Figment rooms. Staircases leading upstairs are located in empty hexes. The room walls are 20m long and 5m thick. The rooms, which are 40m at their widest, have one or two large gates as their entrances.   Each Figment Room has a sand floor. Most of the surface is taken up by a circular stone slab that is 32m in radius, serving as its battle area. In two corners are control panels for summoning Figments, which are either chosen in advance or controlled by an assistant during a fight.   Figments can take the form of people, monsters or various other creatures, which are summoned through the use of Minor Arcana cards. Injuries from them are mental, not physical, and they disappear if anyone falls unconscious.


The Arena initially was constructed alongside the Academy centuries ago, construction beginning in 3737 WE and officially completing in 3745 WE. Its original build only consisted out of the main floor and the stands. Over the decades, the basement floors were constructed and security measures were increased. It wasn't until 3864 WE that the Academy considered the Arena complete, only making small tweaks to its design since.


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3 Dec, 2020 17:43

How is the Arena maintained? What are its maintenance days and hours? Midnight to dawn doesn't seem like a long enough time to maintain the grass of the arena (especially since it's quite dark out), much less keep it clean and usable.   If you provide 5 square feet for each person, by the way, it would only fit 44,768 people in the stands, by the way. 100,000 people would require around twice the area you provided (my math is: 282,743 (the area of the total place including the stands) - 58,905 (the area of the arena bit of the place) = 223,838 square feet for spectators. 223,838/5 = roughly 44,768 people can fit).   Overall, the article is extremely well-built and has excellent grammar. I do recommend removing any information repeats though.

Aydan Nightshade
3 Dec, 2020 18:07

Fair, I used Colosseum numbers. =) As discussed on Discord, I made a few tweaks. Plus I added a note about the main battleground! That should clarify no students on the grass between dinner and dawn.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
12 Dec, 2020 21:50

Interesting! I totally want to read more of this. Also, great job on the layout. I especially like the collapsed bits. Well done!

Rafael Martin
13 Dec, 2020 22:26

I really like the collapsed bits! (Much better than using the simple spoiler-tag like I do hahaha) I don't know much about arenas. Did you read or watch a good documentary to be able to get these numbers down?

13 Dec, 2020 23:01

I looked at Colosseum numbers and floorplans, then mistook its outer circumference for its inner circumference. When I found out, I decided to roll with it, because the bigger numbers felt better. Then I got Cedar Lowell's feedback here and on Discord, which I used to tune things a bit.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Rafael Martin
15 Dec, 2020 11:09

I see. That's a nice mistake to make and cool that someone noticed so you could fine tune it :D

22 Dec, 2020 14:37

Great visual improvements! Love it! Especially the buttons/popups for the floor layouts.

22 Dec, 2020 17:54

Damn, I feel bad for not being able to go and see it in real life. :D The Vaulted Cellar hints it, but the corridors, the Figment Rooms, maybe even actual fights. A fine piece of work.   Have you heard of students or Academics, who went overboard during training and actually hurt, maybe even killed someone? Or, if the Sealstone has some cracks of which people know and try to avoid/exploit?

22 Dec, 2020 21:52

Hurting by accident or deliberate happens, but even an accidental kill means you're visibly Marked as a Criminal for the rest of your life, so not even the desperate would go that far. But yes, hurting people happens, and so do self-injuries due to lost control. Or someone going so haywire that others fear for their lives. Arena Supervisors are politically neutral with a reason: Any form of hesitation can have lethal consequences.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
22 Dec, 2020 23:12

This is really amazing work. I love the collapsible bits with the visuals of the floorplans, and I like all the detail and thought you've put into this. The figment rooms sound amazing - I'd love to see them in action specifically.   I like that people think that its size is extremely overambitious. Tells me a lot about the people who built it. XD

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
1 Jan, 2021 01:40

Love the Arena presented here, excellent detail and a favorite subject. Its great how the area can morph to fit different societies from Rome to the Drow Underdark. Clean and well presented data.