"While the Colosseum stands, Telborea shall stand; when the Colosseum falls, Telborea shall fall; when Telborea falls, the world shall fall."
- Gaius Decimus
Wonders of Telborea by Gaius Decimus wrote ...
The Aurelian Amphitheater, named after the Emperor who built it and better known as the 'Coliseum' or 'Colisem Caelum' (Sky Theatre), cradles the upper summit of Mt Olimpia which rises to preside over the City of Telborea. Built of concrete, stone and marble, it is the largest amphitheater ever built in the Telborean Empire, and likely one of the greatest wonders of architecture and engineering on the whole face of the world. It can hold between 50 and 80 thousand spectators to watch gladiatorial matches, animal hunts, mass executions, and more. Although knocked about by several earthquakes and attempted pillaged by stone-robbing dwarf degenerates, the Coliseum stands today as impressive as it stood when it was inaugurated some four hundred years ago.
Journal of Cassia Aurelia Candidus, Princeps Templarii Imperialis wrote ...
To seek wonders and culture on Thain, or this landmass they call Faerun, that even remotely resemble the splendors of the Imperium is an exercise in futility; forsooth, 'tis like looking for marble and only ever finding a stone quarry. Yet there are paler echoes of Telborean culture to be discovered on this primitive land; while Thain does not boast amphitheaters in each of its cities, Steinkreis does have some sort of opera, the Iron City likewise. Instead of universities and forums of learning, Elisara has a school that teaches magic (or perhaps this is a wisely constructed asylum that contains those who are seduced by the wickedry of the Weave?). Finally, while the island does not feature a single temple or holy site dedicated to all the known deities, there are scattered ruins and shrines attributed to the obscure and ancient paganistic deities of Thain. Thus, even if Thain is moored in savage and unenlightened customs, I am hopeful that the islanders are not entirely lost to culture, religion and science.
Would I bring the light of Telborea to Thain, to illumine and to inspire? Certainly. I have attempted to convince its ignorant populis to see the wisdom of erecting a place of worship that pays homage to all local deities (to Wa'i'lanai, Arderak, F'tarek and Entheat all at once), but such attemts have been answered with ridicule and mockery. I have cautioned the present warden of the Kresian throne, Bargus Telmorean, to reinstate the use of magic permits to curtail the spread of magic lest it sweeps the lands like a plague, but that, too, has been answered with scoffing. That Bargus himself is a magus explains volumes. Thus I am led to believe that I can ever only hope to appease to most base cravings of the islanders, for, forsooth, they have not evolved to grasp anything of intellectual import.
Those cravings? Violence.
Thain is steeped in it. Everywhere I march, I see it. Banditry. Warring. Pillaging. Piracy. Cruelty. Disorder. Savagery. The light of civilization has, it seems to me, entirely omitted to illumine this little island. At the Crossroads, the central and focal point for gathering on Thain, the prevailing theme of the day is never intellectual, cultural or overly scientific; 'tis almost always the same: 'what disturbance ocurred here most recently, and how did you kill it?' It is those urges I shall appeal to, and strive to give them meaning. I shall gather the mightiest warriors of Thain, be they magi or martial combatants, and rather than simulate an environment of nonsensical clashing, I shall attempt, even for a day, to foster meaningful battle; an arena where men and women of courage and skill combat each other not for prize of victory or the shame of defeat, but to learn. To hone. To improve. To respect...
Fifteen men and women gathered at the Crossroads agreed to help me locate a venue suitable for a tournament. In earnest, considering the perils of traversing certain hostile fringes of the island, fifteen men and women were required for the task at hand. I had initially a particular cavernous compound in mind, buried somewhere in the scorching deserts of the Wastes. We journeyed there, all sixteen of us, braving weather and beast to reach our destination. When we finally found the cave and descended into its gloom, we were content to find nothing feral or hostile had taken refuge inside. According to some of my educated companions, the cave once served as some manner of transit site for ancient celestial beings. I am uncertain how long ago this was, but considering the present crumbling condition of the masonry, I estimate it must have been abandoned many hundred years ago. That, alas, seemed to be the crux of the obvious, immediate hinderance: age. While the cave contained a center featuring an ingress that could serve as an arena, there was no guarantee the stonework would endure the rampage of dueling combatants. Worse yet, given the cave was hollowed out leages under a surface of sand, one tremor too many would cause an avalanche of sand to bury us all alive. Thus we agreed to pursue other sites of interest.
We agreed to split into three groups to find an alternate site for the tournament: one group would scour the desert realm of the Wasteds, one group would venture to the Northlands, and a last group would seek the abandoned fort in Crater Lake.
When I initially set out to find a site that might serve as tournament ground, my expectations were limited. I had heard whispers and gossip-talk about a place called "the Fray" that featured a proper circular arena, but it was operated by a man who was nowhere to be found (further, that man, one Jack "Dretsch", is of such ill repute I would not wish to associate the tournament with him). Some had proposed the Crater Lake overlook as a feasible site for the tournament, but I dread to accidentally disturb the contraptions there that hold the twin draconis entities in a stasis. Others proposed we scour the remainder of the Wastes (and we did, coming upon some interesting sites), the sheer remoteness of that place was not a negligible obstacle. The Northlands were likewise visited without much luck.
But hope was rekindled by Rita, Narade and Kashan who went to inspect the subermeged fort in Crater Lake.
There, on the northern fringes of the fort, largely untouched by disrepair, a site built to suit our exact purpose. I know not if the previous occupant of the fort was fond of hosting similar tournaments or if they employed the arena for alternate spectacles. Whichever the case, the condition of the arena is almost excellent; the inner wall that circles the ground is reinforced with steel, as are the top-most railings. Seats are missing and much of the construction which was wrought from wood rahter than iron or stone has been eroded away by water and age. Fortunately, however, a nearby storage house has a great amount of timber piled inside it which should greatly help us in facilitating necessary repairs.
But we not without setbacks or hindrances. The fort is presently patrolled by Vandal Hawks under the supervision of one Naythirra, an apostate in Krel's employ. I do not know if the Vandasls will take offense to our enterprise. While they have no men stationed in the segement of the fort where we intend to host the tournament, I foresee Krel wanting to capitalize on anything that transpires on "his" grounds. I doubt that degenerate cutthroat has any legitimacy to his claim to the fort, but he has an army which I do not. Further, accessible through an entrance ten feet away from the arena there an encompassing sewer system that once provided the fort with fresh water. Now it is wholly submerged and occupied by reptiles, some which appear to be sentient. We shall have to address both of these hindrances prior to hosting the tournament.
Registered Member #23930
Joined: 11:30:55 am GMT 04/26/15
After a long day training er troop then taking some time to leave the keep Liekki found herself at the fire near Ravens Watch talking to Rita and Etrich.
Rita ask about the Old Fort up at Crater Lake saying how they wanted to use it as an arena and how it belonged to Krel.
Liekki agreed to help and talk to the man liking the idea herself as a bit of fun she later left to go see him hoping she would agree ..after all she did save his life.
Entering the room as she normally did on her night guard duty she moves and stands by Krel's chair waiting till his free and i'm good spirits.
"Sir iv been approached by some people about using the old arena up at the crater lake they want to hold a tournament and seek your permission first. They are willing to pay you for using the land and make any repairs needed them self."
She lets him think it over a moment then adds.
" I'm willing to over look it myself if needed and I think its a good chance for my squad and any other guard to get more experience. It will also show me others weaknesses if i join the battle and your strengths if i win"
She chats to him the rest of the night and in the morning when her shift is over she leaves letting him think it over.
Weeks were spent deliberating how to enact a tournament that would satisfy both practical and aesthetic standards, then converting those deliberations into results. The practicalities involved reinforcing the arena with mostly timber salvaged from a conveniently nearby storage house. Seth von Hendricks who had originally proposed the fort arena as tournament stage supervised the repairs given his background as smith and occasional mason. All of the repairs relied on manual labour, and considering not a single Grey Iron Mine labourer had cared to sign a contract to commit repairs to a structure contested by the Watch, that manual labour was exclusively comprised of Kashan and Cassia. The barbarian and templar laboured from sunrise to sunset to meet Seth's specifications, often neglecting food to solely rely on water for a whole day at a time. In the storage house Cassia and Kashan had discovered several dozens of old wooden chairs that they dusted off and oiled, mounting them atop a narrow battlement that encircled the arena grounds and thus served as excellent improvised balcony. Whatever wood was not employed to serve as either chair or arena patching was used to obstruct a lone entrance to a nearby sewer. Perilous amphibious creatures capable of great damage were discovered to have built nests within the tunnels of the fort's old aquaduct system, and it was in everyone's interest to ensure those creatures did not surface to wreck the tournament.
Meanwhile Narade was in charge of all artistic endeavours. An arena was not unlike a theatre stage albeit the battles enacted upon its sands were somewhat less imagined and much more visceral. Men and women who would partake in the fighting to test their mettle and skill would be taxed in blood and sweat, and such sacrifices had to be respected and acknowledged. Ambiance and atmosphere were thus integral facets in preparation of a worthy tournament; specifically, Narade would fashion banners and flags, and she was also in charge of lightning the arena.
Rita's task was arguably the most challenging. While the arena was largely left unused and unvisited, there was no circumventing the fact that a large number of Vandal Hawks were present within the old fort's perimeter. Whether Krel had any legitimacy to his claim over Fort Crater or whether his troops were merely there to salvage materials, the very presence of his troops no doubt meant Krel had interests vested in the old fort; interests he was apparently willing to enforce with steel if shove came to push. Someone had to address Krel with careful discourse and, very likely, a sizeable pouch of coin, and Rita was the best suited. Rita had cleverly sought to sway the Vandal Lieutenant, Liekki, hoping to appeal to that one's love of battle. But Krel had yet to approve.
Soon, very soon, the arena would stand refurbished. Then the tournament would be announced.
We had come far and achieved much. The fort arena was all but refurbished and we had moved chairs and taburets from the old storage house to the overarching battlements to accommodate spectators. Kashan and I had made sure to thrice-barricade the nearby sewer entrance to avoid contact with the lizards that built nests there, and we laid traps to further deter the amphibian beasts from surfacing. Narade and Seth had been working on aesthetic appeal and arena safety, respectively. Meanwhile Rita had spoken with the dragonkin Liekki and piqued that one's interest to promote our enterprise to her lord, Krel.
Yes, we had come far and achieved much; in fact, I was on the verge to announce the tournament. But then Krel annexed the fort.
Months of preparation and tedious labor, all undone within a fortnight. But then such is the nature of war, is it not; a whirlwind storm of steel, aggression and expansion that uproots and displaces all things. And so, too, were we and our hopes displaced from the fort.
A harsh turn of Fate, to be certain, but not altogether without promise. By happenstance I met with a woman, one Krynn Millener or "Raven," as she called herself, whose duty was to oversee the business of the Ogre Belly Inn while the original innkeep, a man of notorious repute, was away. We spoke at great length with Raven, discovering that her employer possessed a key that opened a gateway of sorts to a completely operational arena that surpassed the one we had been refurbishing by any conceivable standard. As it happened, Raven kept that same key in storage somewhere. And thus the light of Sol shined upon our endeavor with renewed purpose.
We reached an agreement with Raven and drafted a contract against monetary compensation. The tournament shall yet be held, more prestigious and worthy than I had dared imagine, and Thain's champions shall yet gather in a show of individual mettle that shall be remembered for ages to come.
The below poster is delivered in person to all adventuring heroes of Thain as well as other personages of renowned martial mettle. The courier would ask that you not talk about the event or invite anyone who will not personally participate in the tournament.
Poster wrote ...
[ image disabled ]
Honoured Combatant, lend me your ear and your wit,
Should you be so inclined, you are hereby invited to partake in a tournament that will test your prowess to their limit.
Four days hence, an arena ground hidden from the public eye shall become accessible to you and all who deem themselves worthy of participation.
The tournament will not tax your coin pouch but it will, most certainly, tax you in sweat and blood. Yet we do not indulge in senseless slaughter or savage entertainment; we commit ourselves to the arena with a sacred pledge to honour the Gods of War and to learn how to better our skill by pitting ourselves against worthy opponents. There will be no gawkers. There will be no betting. There will be no dishonouring the sacrifice of the combatants. We respect the arena and its warriors by giving honour where honour is due.
All may partake. Warriors, clerics, magickers, beast-talkers and shadow-walkers. Humans and non-humans. The arena accommodates and honours all who will commit to its sands.
THE RULES [OOC]
Before each battle, the combatants, under the cover of darkness, have 5 rounds of preparation. The combatants may cast their spells to prepare. During this interval, they may not engage each other.
Once the darkness lifts, the combatants are free to engage each other.
Shadowdancers must respect the 6 seconds HiPS rule. If they disrespect it and blink in and out of sight before six seconds have ticked, they will be disqualified.
Mages are allowed to use any and all spells save these: Time Stop, all Bigby Hands save the Interposing Hand, Power Word: Kill, Power Word: Stun, Black Blade of Disaster
Clerics are allowed to use any and all spells save these: Heal, Mass Heal, Greater Restoration, Word of Faith
Paladins are allowed to use any and all abilities and spells save these: Lay on Hands
The following spells are not allowed by any class or class combination: True Strike
Tenser's Transformation is only allowed to those who can cast it.
All herbs and stimulants are strictly prohibited.
[The event will be hosted this Saturday, May 13 2017, around 10PM GMT+1]
I. Liekki Rugadh "the Dragon" -- 8 points II. Cassia Aurelia "the Lightbringer" -- 5 points II. Kashan Day "the Fury" -- 5 points II. Chuchuwyn "the Dwarven Thunder" -- 5 points III. Dae "the Shadow" -- 4 points III. Jora "the Giantsmasher" -- 4 points IV. Rishkin "the Deathwalker" -- 3 points IV. Dwent "the Terror" -- 3 points (had to leave early, though) V. Dakeyras "the Blood Wing" -- 1 point VI. Dradoc "the Gnome of Death" -- 0 points (had to leave early, though)
[And a major shout-out to DM_Dogbert for running things DM-side. Fantastic job and it's greatly appreciated!]
Registered Member #24041
Joined: 4:19:01 am GMT 01/24/17
((OOC: I stumbled upon this without realizing what exactly was going on but I enjoyed the heck out of it! Kudos to all who set up and ran it))
IC: Cuchuwyn breathed deeply, kneeling on the floor of the rocky outcrop he calls home. His mind was full of thoughts of the arena, and particularly the fight he lost, against the dragonkin. He rises to his feet, braces himself against the heavy wind, and begins to train.