The Colosseum of Heroes

A report by Lyconian Scholar Arthur Blavier

Rumors tell of a colosseum located in the Great Mesa of Lyconia where adventurers and fortune-seekers can earn unimaginable riches and glory. Many have disappeared trying to locate this fabled ‘Colosseum of Heroes’, but those who return tell wild tales. In this text, I will be summarizing everything we know about the Colosseum according to those who have survived the harsh trials of the sun-baked mesa and the merciless colosseum.

The Colosseum is located somewhat inland in the Northeastern section of the Great Mesa. The arena sits on a large plateau alongside a small settlement that coexists with it. Its residents make up the vast majority of the rabid, frenzied crowd that accompanies the dramatic and often brutally violent battles that are staged in the Colosseum. One explorer described the attitude of those who lived by this great arena as “addicted to the bloody entertainment that the stadium provides”.

Anyone who wishes to submit a gladiator may either fight themselves or submit others, who are typically either their prisoners or slaves. Gladiators are usually pitted against common beasts (like tigers, lions, and bears), magical beasts, or each other. Gladiators who lose to beasts are killed by them. The same is usually true when gladiators battle each other. A loss without death is typically viewed as dishonorable. However, whenever a gladiator is beaten by another, they may appeal to the Gladiator King. If the Gladiator King believes they have fought well and honorably, he may grant them mercy to fight another day. If he believes they are weak and unworthy, he may signal for the victor to slay the loser.
There is another type of combat that is performed less often, but is not restricted to gladiators. These are called Trials. They are pre-determined sets of enemies that range in difficulty. A trial is lost if the challenger dies. A trial is completed if the challenger slays all of the enemies. Trials tend to draw larger crowds than normal entertainment.
A wise gladiator or manager (one who submits others as gladiators) will always determine that a certain contender is trustworthy, then bet large amounts of money on their victory. While typical viewers are limited in how much they can bet, a manager or gladiator can bet as much as they want for themselves. They are not allowed to bet on their opponents.
Gladiators who continually prove their excellence in combat naturally grow in reputation, and thus in respect. They are viewed as the epitome of honor, and all other gladiators strive to emulate them.

The Gladiator King
The Gladiator King sits in a large throne directly overlooking the gladiators’ pit. They oversee every fight and are protected by their own personal guard force. Though the “Gladiator King” is only a title, the position has complete de facto control over the nearby settlement as a result of the pressure their soldiers put on the residents.
One becomes the Gladiator King by challenging a previous Gladiator King and defeating them in single combat. Once the previous King is killed, the victor is crowned the new King. This practice ensures that the Gladiator King is always the strongest gladiator.
The current Gladiator King is a massive half-giant who is rumored to have never lost a battle. All who have challenged him have suffered an excruciatingly drawn out defeat and death at his hands.

A Final Warning
To those who go out seeking the legendary Colosseum of Heroes, be prepared for everything. Seeking out an uncharted monument in the unforgiving Great Mesa is difficult. And if you desire to compete in this mythical arena, you must be among the best of the best. Because only once you have proven your combat prowess to the residents of the settlement will you receive the riches and glory that so many seek.