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Vithicar--Arena 49

In the far north the snows never cease. Even when the clouds fail to give their gift of powdery white snow, the constant wind comes howling out of the west, kicking snow up into the frozen northern air.

In the middle of this frigid region rise the Eligon Mountains. High amid those icy peaks lies the glacial valley of Vithicar. It is said that once, long ago, this was a warm and bountiful land, but as the scroll of history unrolled, the land grew colder and the madness of the Chaos Wars began. What nature had designed, man's interference destroyed. The land of Vithicar was despoiled by glacial ice and freezing winds born of the uncontrolled magic released in the war. For a hundred years or more all the science and magic of the great city of Vithicar held the ravaging climate at bay. But even man, in spite of his pride and arcane might, cannot stop nature when she is unleashed. The city of Vithicar was slowly enveloped in a blanket of snow and ice.

Crops failing and all hope gone, most of the people of Vithicar fled to the south, many dying in the troll-infested lands of Hugoha. Some, though, remained in the lands of their ancestors, tunneling into the ice. Vithicar was reborn far beneath the ice cap. The few remaining inhabitants of the once-great city eked out a meager living selling the treasures of their forgotten past to the southern lands in exchange for food and clothing.

And then it happened that one year a most curious parchment was discovered wrapped in a shipment of supplies from the distant southlands. The parchment told of the city of Malcorn, the gladiatorial arena in that city and of other arenas in the southlands. It seemed that in the cities of the south the fighting arenas were vastly important, drawing in people and trade. The city elders (those of the ragtag Vithicarians who could still read) pondered long and hard on this unexpected information. The elders could not understand why people wanted to fight and kill each other just for the sake of the enjoyment of others. Still, if this was the way of the crazy southerners, then Vithicar should--no, must--have an arena.

Using the skills and magic of their ancestors, a fighting arena to end all fighting arenas was carved beneath the glittering ice field of Vithicar. Great stands of marble and magicked ice were erected for the throngs of spectators. Fine white sand from the legendary deserts of the far south was imported for the arena floor, as were great flaming braziers of polished brass to keep the cold at bay. The call went forth for warriors strong of limb and spirit to draw forth their weapons and challenge death and dishonor for the glory of Vithicar. The city of Vithicar would be reborn. And the warriors came, from the great deserts of the south and the forests of the east, to the dying city and its new arena. For the time of the arena of Vithicar had come...

Unfortunately, after an initial boom, the time of the arena of Vithicar went. It was too cold, too out of the way. The people of the city itself gave the warriors and spectators a chill reception in more ways than one. ("Crazy southerners!") Today the fights in Vithicar's mighty arena are few indeed.

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Published on: 2002-07-15 (1202 reads)

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