The largest and most advanced arena in The Empire.
Purpose / Function
Built at the height of The Empire’s power The Pinnacle was a place of entertainment and a reminder of the Empire’s capabilities. The immense central arena was used to hold fights against monsters of legend, thrilling the crowds and demonstrating that such creatures could be captured and contained.
Running an arena like this was a massively expensive affair, and there was no way that charging for entry was going to cover those costs. The simple solution was to allow, and even encourage gambling, with a suitable cut for the arena. Stalls were built into the arena to accomodate betting on the matches, with sufficient securty to deter thieves and avoid placing temptation in the way of those working there. The dedicated gamblers could bet not just on the outcome of the match, but on the losses sustained, the blows landed. or the time taken for a match to finish.
Larger BetsThe especially rich and powerful could have a personal book keeper attend them while watching a match. These book keepers would track not just bets made with the arena but also record private bets between wealthy, ensuring that there were no disputes once the outcome was known.
In order to protect the audience a magical barrier separated them from the fighting area. Most of the time this barrier was transparent but when it was struck by spells or claws the faint outline of a dome made up of dozens of triangular pieces could be seen. The barrier was reputed to be strong enough to withstand the flames of a dragon, though this was never put to the test. As the Pinnacle was popular amongst the rich and powerful it was also a target for their enemies. After an unpleasant incident which resulted in the death of Duke Lirand, the arena saw a marked decrease in wealthy patrons. In order to regain the trust of their most lucrative clientele the managers of the Pinnacle invested heavily in improving the security. Smaller versions of the barrier covering the main arena were placed around the boxes reserved by the elite, and servants were replaced by magical creations which were incaoable of harming the guests. Despite the precautions attempts on the lives of some of the patrons continued at the Pinnacle. Those attackers who were caught were used as fodder in the arena, or as feed for some of the monsters. Although this helped deter some would be attackers, the problem never really went away.
The idea of the Pinnacle was discussed as early as 80 IE but it didn;t become reality until 158 IE when the first fight was held in the purpose built arena. The size of the arena was set from the start but the ambitions of the organisers of the fights necessitated several changes over the years. In 181 IE the first of the great holding pens was constructed under the arena to hold ever more dangerous creatures. The great barrier over the arena was added in 190 IE, along with a further two holding pens in 218 IE and 243 IE. By 300 IE talk had turned to whether it would be possible to stage a dragon fight in the arena. Though considered possible, the difficulties in capturing a dragon meant this plan never came to fruition. When the years of darkness began in 330 IE there were many who hoped that the great barrier could protect them from the demons. However, they failed to consider the passages that allowed both monsters and gladiators into the arean. The fiends were not slow to find these passages and everyone sheltering inside perished. The arena was tainted by the powers of the fiends which corrupted the structure itself and any creatures remaining inside. The Pinnacle was rediscovered in 154 of the fourth age, and several groups of explorers have managed to recover artefacts from the ruins, but a far greater number have never returned.