The Yellow Coliseum
Carved out of mother-rock deep within the under-levels of the dungeon complex, the Yellow Coliseum is part of the politics and ritual of the insect-men. The competition area and surrounding viewing gallery are hewn into the hex-form of their hive-city. The ceiling is domed, its pyrite-veined bedrock illuminated by luminous, gas-filled air-cnidarians, which drift and bounce along the stone ceiling. Five stone pillars line the killing floor for the punishment and torture of show-victims, or the ritual insect-man executions by slow carapace-rending.
|another application of isometric paper|
The insectoid unter-carls line the stone benches to stomp and cheer on the victorious and doomed competitors as they spar, grapple, and bleed into the coliseum's sandy floor. Obsessive gamblers, wagers are thrown, not only for victories, but for more trivial matters as first blood, whether a competitor will stumble, or if one of the wall guards will scratch... Winners of wagers cheer and losers moan. Coins and promissory notes fly from clawed hand to clawed hand as events turn on the killing floor below.
Underlying the coliseum floor are four sets of three gladiator-cells, populated by disgraced hive-warriors, political foes, random humanoids, and/or captured adventurers. Singly or in groups, they are forced to climb the spiral steps to their fates above, be it by an executioner's shucking-rake, or the weapon of a goaded foe. Either way, they are fodder for the amusement of the insect-men chattering and wheezing above.
Overseeing this all, is the Hive-Ryss, the necro-elementalist leader of his race.
He sits upon the Zirconium Throne, symbol of power for the insect-ment. The seat is composed of etched stone and massive jacinth crystals, nearly as old as the world itself. The throne is too massive to be moved, but even a single breadloaf-sized crystal, if somehow pried away without damage, would be worth 5,000 GP to a collector. The crystal would be worth even more to an elementalist, where it would provide enough cut gems to create wands, potions and components to last a lifetime.
Silent and contemplative, in contrast to the boisterous warriors and nobles surrounding him, the Ryss both gained, and holds, his power through political machination and subterfuge. He notes those who cast covetous glances at his throne, as well as intelligence whispered by his many informants.
The Ryss is not above periodically ripping a xorn or earth elemental from its home plane and into the ring. Disoriented and raging, it throws itself against the only visible perpetrators of its violation, crushing and consuming doomed combatants, to the thrill and joy of the spectators. A leader must, after all, provide some amusement, along with a reminder of the powers he commands...