Shadows of Absalom
Proclaimed the largest arena in the known world, the Irorium began as a vast practice
ground where adherents of Irori’s tenets of constant self improvement tested themselves against one another. The field was placed on a large hill, so to even get to it required a rigorous climb. During the era of the City of Excess, these test bouts became a very popular spectator
sport, and stands were built to house watchers, gamblers, and those studying the fighting techniques displayed. The primarch of the time grew obsessed with the bouts and commanded a vast arena be built to house them. When priests of Irori complained, the primarch offered
them both an extensive temple and the opportunity to test themselves against dangerous monsters brought in from the wilderness. The followers of Irori relented, and the
Irorium was built.
The true worshipers of Irori no longer fight in the arena and have not for centuries, though even most natives don’t realize this fact. Instead there are vast vaulted chambers below the lowered gladiatorial holding pens, connected to the original Irori temple. Here the
faithful of the Master of Masters still train, ignoring the far-off roar of crowds cheering some bloody blow in fights staged not for self-improvement, but for coin.
The arena itself is controlled by a Master of Blades who runs the staff that collects fees, controls bets, approves bouts, and generally oversees the running of the arena. The current Master of Blades is Ganfen of House Kethlin, who unlike most previous masters has no fighting experience himself. What Ganfen does have is a knack for business, and a willingness to use the lower
levels of the arena to hold prisoners for wealthy houses in Absalom, in direct violation of local law. Because he approves matches Ganfen is also able to call upon the aid of a large number of gladiators to assist him in return for the promise of prime billing in future fights.