High stone walls enclose the Allfrehem amphitheatre, an open air venue 30 meters tall, 120 meters long and 90 meters across. The entrance to the arena features a dozen finely crafted arches carved with reliefs of warriors battling beasts. Countless yellowed and pulped handbills cover the lower bare portions of the wall, faded ink advertising years of battles. The oval arena area is surrounded by bleachers, tarraces, and long arcades where patrons gather to place bets upon the next match. A set of large chambers beneath the arena house the caged beasts used frequently for fights; typically common creatures such as Urpan, Gulogar, Wolves, and Luxi Leopards, though occaisionally Takkan will pay the expense to capture or purchase more exotic game. Beasts are released into the arena via hidden doors in the arena floor, and kept from leaping into the audience by an iron cage that can be erected to enclose the arena floor.
The arena is surrounded by open streets and surrounding buildings which are mostly owned by local promoters who use them to house fighters, eateries which feed the crowds that gather, and assorted supporting businesses like smiths and leatherworkers.
During the day the arena proper is used as a training area for the Allfrehem guard and gladiators (often the same people). In the evenings the Arena acts as a general entertainment hub, lit by an array of relic lights and staffed by several dozen food and ale sellers. The Arena schedule is quite varied; one night might see foreign performers, the next a Serdheim passion play, and the night after that a battle between captured Urpan. The Arena has become a place of mingling for upper and lower class Allfrehemers and a good place to overhear the local gossip.
The amphitheater is an oval with streets surrounding it and one large primary entrance. There’s might be enough room for a direct charge on the entrance. It’s also possible for cavalry to use the curve of the building for a parallel strafe of anyone caught outside the amphitheater
- The entrance way is a large arched tunnel about 7 meters long that is currently closed and barricaded with makeshift carts and a pair of Grommen on winch held chains operated by arena staff.
- The arena likely has other animals in captivity beneath
- There are several hundred people in the arena, some in the pit, some in the stands. The stands are separated from the pit by a sheer drop of about 2.5 meters but there are gated stairwells leading into it.
The Arena Menagarie
From the arcade beneath the stands there is a stone staircase leading below the arena. Descending into the chambers beneath you are assaulted by the pungent smell of animals and blood long before you see either. You reach the base of the stairs and enter a long corridor with two great oak and steel doors at the end. On either side of the corridor are a variety of rooms; dressing and arming rooms, a workshop, an office of some sort, a kitchen and larder, and other chambers used to support the arena’s business. You reach the great doors and even from this side you can hear the sound of large and dangerous animals at rest; breathing like forge bellows, grunts and snorts, the scratch of claws on stone, and more exotic noises. The doors are unlocked and you enter a large rectangular room with four cells, two set on your left and two on your right. Each one has thick metal bars, a gate, and a dense layer of straw on the floor. You note two large wheeled cages set on rails that trace their paths from the cages to the far end of the room. It’s immediately obvious that these rolling cages are used to move beasts from their cells to the enclosed ramps that lead above ground.
Each cage has fountain set in the wall to feed fresh water and you can see numerous bones scattered within and outside of them. Peering in to each one you find the following:
- The first cage on the left is empty but the unlatched gate, shed scales and familiar smell tell you that this is the home of the two adolescent Grommen you saw defending the front of the arena. (Runar – Adolescent Grommen, Tupar – Adolescent Grommen).
- The second cage on the left bears a similar but more potent smell and you spot a much larger adult Grommen lying in a shallow pool that appears to be heated by some unseen mechanism. The beast has a patchwork of scars on its snout and shoulders and is calmly gnawing on a thick piece of bone. It looks at you for a moment, then uses its talon tipped median limbs to produce a series of clicks on the stone floor before returning its attention to the bone. (Odar – Adult Grommen)
- The first cage on the right has three black furred Vargr who mill and press against the bars and begin to whine and growl when they see Myst. One of them gets to close to another and they begin snapping and jostling, apparently distracted from your presence. (Dooi – Vargr Pup, Hudy – Vargr Pup, Luda – Vargr Pup)
- The second cage on the right contains a log that has been shredded halfway into pulp by sharp claws and a large heap of white fur with black spots. One pale green cat’s eye opens and the creature lifts its head to stare at you. You recognize from the two long curved fangs that protrude from its mouth and the size of the creature, that this is a Faeles Thule, a mountain cat. Thick neck muscles bulge beneath its snowy fur and its nub of a tail shakes once before it makes a chuff and sets its head down once more. (Milaya – Faeles Thule)