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Arena of Blood

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The infamous Arenas of Blood, also known as the Blood Arenas, were a pair of identical gladiatorial arenas located in the city of Manshaka in Calimshan.[1]


One of the Arenas was located in the northeastern drudach of the northwestern sabban of the city; the other was found in the southern drudach (south of Drudach Street) of the northeastern sabban.[1]


As of 1370 DR, each Blood Arena held five shows per day for three djenayin per show or one djenarba for the whole day.[1][2] The matches were almost always to the death. An exception was if a match was set up to settle a political matter rather than for entertainment. All matches generated huge sums of money from bets. In fact, Manshaka was second only to Calimport as a gambling center, because of the Arenas. On an average day, the combined attendance of both arenas was over 10,000 spectators, and this number increased to 14,000 in the winter months when it was cooler.[1]


Beneath each Arena was a labyrinth of passages and tunnels intended to prevent escape, in addition to 100 guards.[1]


In the time of their existence, only two gladiators had ever escaped the Arenas of Blood—Vajra Valmeyjar and Jhalarn.[1]

Vajra was a 12-year-old Tethyrian slave of Pasha Abon Duum, placed with his stable of gladiators at the Arena of Blood. There she learned the arts of the sword, spear, and net and became the most accomplished of Duum's stable. However, after ten years, she had had enough and wanted out. Escaping, she seriously wounded several of Duum's best fighters[3][4] and escaped from the labyrinth of corridors below the arena and into freedom.[5] However, Abon Duum sent many bounty hunters after her, seeking to punish and reclaim his champion gladiator, though she remained free by 1357 DR.[3]

The largest event ever held in the Arenas was the Great Games. They were held in Hammer of 1370 DR on the last tenday and resulted in the deaths of over 3,000 gladiators and 5,000 wild animals and monsters as the crowds cheered on. During the Great Games, a spellcaster disguised as a slave appeared and dissolved one of the walls with magic. He was quickly killed by arrows from the guards, but a pack of dire wolves did escape and attacked the audience.[6]


Manshaka manacle

The golden manacle of a Blood Arena gladiator could fill any thug with fear.

Each Arena had pens for over 30 monsters and cells for between 50 and 100 humanoid gladiators.[1] Both free folk and slaves fought in the Arenas.[3] However, very few slave-gladiators survived their time there.[7]

Champion gladiators wore a special golden manacle bearing the symbol of a skull; those who recognized it knew they were in the presence of a deadly warrior.[7]


See AlsoEdit




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. (TSR, Inc), p. 111. ISBN 978-0786912377.
  2. Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. (TSR, Inc), p. 71. ISBN 978-0786912377.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Michael Fleisher (January 1989). “The Bounty Seekers Of Manshaka”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #2 (DC Comics), pp. 23–25.
  4. Dale Donovan (April 1998). “Rogues Gallery: The Heroes of Selûne's Smile”. Dragon #246 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 70–74.
  5. Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. (TSR, Inc), p. 110–111. ISBN 978-0786912377.
  6. Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. (TSR, Inc), p. 45. ISBN 978-0786912377.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Michael Fleisher (December 1988). “The Gathering”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #1 (DC Comics), p. 19.

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