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Coliseum (Maerimydra)

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The Coliseum was an enormous structure built by the drow of Maerimydra to entertain the masses with battles between slaves, prisoners, and exotic beasts.[2]


Located in the southern end of Maerimydra, the coliseum was more than half a mile from northern entrance to the city.[4]



The Coliseum of Maerimydra was an enormous oval building with its outer walls reaching a height of 60 ft (18.2 m). The top of the outer walls were lined with crenelations and windows peppered the sides. Along the north-eastern side of the coliseum, six great double doors opened for the public to enter. On the opposite side of the arena lay a smaller public entrance.[2] Two more sets of double doors lay either end of the coliseum to provide access to the arena directly.[3]


Beyond the six large doors that formed the public entrance, a public gallery, nearly 200 ft (60.9 m) long and 40 ft (12.1 m) wide, was situated beneath the coliseum's stands. Impressive staircases led up to the seating area above at three points. Torches of flickering continual flame hung from the ceiling to illuminate the chamber.[2]

Numerous inner rooms housed and supported the staff and inhabitants of the coliseum. These included an armory with a variety of exotic and gladiatorial weapons, slave pens for keeping dozens of prisoners and monstrous denizens of the Underdark, holding pens for larger animals or slaves to be shepherded into the arena, a kitchen to feed the captives and staff, and guard quarters to house the guards who tended the slaves held nearby.[5] In addition, the coliseum held quarters for the Master of Games within an extravagant suite decorated with murals of arena battles and ancient weapons displayed on the walls.[3]

The arena itself was ringed by a steep seating gallery fully 40 ft (12.1 m) wide and starting 20 ft (6 m) above the arena floor before rising to about 60 ft (18.2 m) at the rear. Three staircases from the lower levels rose up to punctuate the eastern side of these stands while another set was centered on the western side.[6] At either end of the arena floor, enormous 20-ft-wide (6 m) iron portcullises sealed the arena during fights and provided access for prisoners and beasts from the cells.[3][5] It was possible to hear the sounds of battles in the arena from outside of the coliseum, especially when the crowd filled the seats.[2]


Built primarily to entertain the drow of Maerimydra, the coliseum was also used as a means of dealing with prisoners who had crossed the drow.[2][5]


Intimidatingly large and sporting battlements along the length of the outer wall, the coliseum was well protected against threats, both outside and inside.[2] With two rooms to quarter guards, and dozens of slaves, prisoners and exotic beast fit for fighting, the coliseum could muster some highly dangerous opponents for any who assailed it.[5]

In addition, heavy iron portcullis' and large double doors could be sealed against even especially strong creatures.[3] However the open-air arena meant that flying attackers could easily enter the heart of the coliseum.[6]


For centuries, the coliseum of Maerimydra stood as the crowning achievement of their drow culture. Through the arena thousands of exotic beasts, prisoners, and slaves fought and died for the amusement of their drow masters.[2] Yet in 1372 DR, during the Silence of Lolth that threw the city into chaos, the half-fiend fire giant Kurgoth Hellspawn stormed Maerimydra with an army of goblinoids, giants, and demons.[7] The conqueror of Maerimydra made the coliseum the seat of his power while he laid siege to the last bastion of drow defiance at Castle Maerimydra.[3] While he waited, Kurgoth continued to use the coliseum as a source of entertainment for himself and his troops. He would send captured drow to their deaths in the arena and punished his disobedient soldiers by forcing them to fight his fiendish elephant, Tusk.[6]

Notable InhabitantsEdit


  1. Dave Olson (September 1, 2015). It's All in the Blood, loc. 35. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 74. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 75. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  4. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 69. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 76. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 77. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  7. James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 3. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.

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