It is believed that the Gods have cast a curse in Tanares, through which all massive bloodsheds would be punished with natural catastrophes (see Malrokian Curse).
Mankind disobeyed. Among other disasters, the Wasteland happened, and all relevant armies in the World perished (see ‘Draconic Age’, ‘Wasteland’).
Filling a power vacuum by making alliances with the Church and Nobility, a powerful surviving warrior became Tanares’s Emperor (see ‘Imperial Age’, ‘Emperor’).
Power was maintained and enforced by building the world’s only relevant army. All other armies are forbidden, as well as any unauthorized acts of violence (see ‘Ironhand’).
To avoid wars and maintain the Empire, the masses had to be sufficiently satisfied, as well as allies in positions of power (Noblemen and the Church). The institution designed by the Emperor to accomplish all that was the ARENA.
Life is the constant pursuit of happiness. To achieve happiness, people go after interests, through which they believe happiness will manifest. They may be a piece of land, a loved one. It can be a collective interest, or a personal one.
Many times, other people get in the way of obtaining the thing needed to fulfill that interest. Someone may take over that piece of land and refuse to leave; someone may make a deal with the beloved girl’s father and he promises her away. One nation may find that another blocked the access to a river that would water its crops.
When the impasse becomes insoluble through pacific measures, the resisted claim can only be settled with violence. The strongest party gets to be happy.
In the Imperial Tanares, violence is forbidden, but conflicts of interests are inevitable. Therefore, to answer pleas (coming specially from powerful noble allies, men that hold many interests in many places), the Emperor created the ARENA OF FATE, a place where violence could be controlled and kept to a minimum.
Its purpose was to substitute (and prevent) wars. Violent feuds that could easily get out of hand would now be within imperial control, and more: once disputes got settled in the Arena, the Empire would enforce the result, making Ironhand available in case the losing party decided to disrespect the outcome of the battle.
Paradoxical as it may sound, the Empire managed to diminish violence by promoting Arena combats.