Arenas work simply: a party in conflict with another petitions the competent Arena to resolve the dispute, according to the magnitude of the interest and the territory in which the conflict occurs (see ‘Minor Arenas’).
Once the petition is accepted, the petitioner must pay the costs of the combat and summon the opponent. If the summoned party doesn’t show up, it loses the claimed possession/interest to the petitioner.
The holders of the interests in dispute cannot be confused with their representatives.
Holders are those who, having an interest at stake, depend on the result of the combat. They can be a group, company, nation, or a mere individual.
Representatives, on the other hand, are the fighters, those who will put their life at risk by battling in the Arena. Their motivations vary: they may fight because they are forced; they may fight because their own interests are in dispute; they may desire glory, or money (the best fighters sell their representation for a fortune).
Although the petitioners’ opponents may concede and lose the claim, once the summoning is accepted, it is not possible to win by W.O. – after all, administrators have an audience to entertain. Thus, all Arenas have a number of slaves (called ‘public defenders’) to represent the holders of interests that don’t have allies or financial conditions to hire aid.
When a Duchy Arena slave demonstrates above-average skills and survives a reasonable number of battles, he gains better payment, weapons and protection, and becomes a gladiator (County Arenas’ slave). The best gladiators are promoted to champions (the slave / gladiator of Provincial Arenas).
To encourage slaves to prepare and fight willingly, champions receive high pay, quality weapons, training with Weapons Masters, and have a much better lifestyle. However, they still have to fight in the arena to which they are bound, when their Services are called.
Hero is the name given to those who fought in the Arena of Fate. It is an appropriate title, because on their blades lies the power of armies; upon their survival lies the fate of Nations.
There are three paths to become a Hero:
- Ascending gradually through Minor Arenas. When a fighter wins enough battles and meets certain promotion criteria, he automatically becomes eligible to fight in the Arena of Fate;
- Passing a rigorous and potentially lethal aptitude test for the ultimate level of combat. In this case, it is not necessary to have a history of fights in Minor Arenas;
- Being directly invited by the holder of an interest. Holders of interests in dispute have the right to invite anyone to defend them. Many consider a bad idea to ask an inexperienced combatant to fight in Major Arenas.
Heroes that survive a battle in the Arena of Fate become prestigious, famous and rich, earning the admiration of people. It is a status that most children dream of reaching for when they grow up – but a large majority dies in Minor Arenas before their dreams come true.