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Living ENWorld:Earling Region

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Earling and the surrounding areas.

What is known in the greater lands as the Northern Mountains actually forms most of Earling's southern border. The largly impassable range dwindles to these merely annoying hills and gullys only to the most eastern side. Further on, they are cut by the mighty Mystic River which consitutes the state's eastern border and separates them from the Wilding Wood. Earling doesn't so much have a western border as it has a large contested region before the harsh desert where orcs, goblins and lawless nomads hold sway. To the north other city states hold their own land between the river and the desert, but Earling is the largest and taxes the easiest routes to the wider world and trade.

There is a pass through the Northern Mountains called Rontera's Rift, but colloquially known as "Big/Little Pass" because it is guarded by hostile giants, who will nonetheless occasionally allow halflings and gnomes to pass in exchange for performing tasks which the giants find difficult due to their size. The pass comes out near the city state of Andren, which is nearly due north of Orussus. There are many smaller villages in the hills around Andren, including a now largely non-existent one named Redoak.

The Gladiatorial Pits of Earling

Two hundred years ago, the gladiatorial pits of Earling were a place of carnage and brutality, where slaves fought to the death against each other or against pain-crazed beasts for the sport of those both highborn and common. It was a place of hopelessness, where being alive at the end of the day bought a slave only another night of filth and squalor and another chance to face death the next morning. The slaves who fought there were despised prisoners of war, condemned criminals and slaves who had proven themselves too fractious for any other use: the dregs of the slave market, lives bought cheaply and spent just as casually.

In some ways, the Pits are very much the same today: fights still occur every day, sometimes between gladiators and sometimes against beasts. The betting offices and informal pools still do a brisk business and both highborn and common still watch the matches from their stratified viewing areas. But at the same time, everything has changed. When the ruling family was torn apart in a bloody internal feud and the former king's elven adviser quietly put the pieces back together, one of the things that changed in Earling was the very nature of slavery. Now more properly defined as indentured servants, slaves have rights, including the right to earn or buy their way out of slavery, and cannot be killed purely for sport.

Unable to buy or sell the lives of gladiators cheaply, the owners of the Pits changed the entertainment they sold from slaughter to art, paying top gold for skilled and charismatic fighters, and making sure that in most cases the loser survived to fight again. While the gladiators are still slaves, many have deliberately sold themselves into the life for the chance at glory and in some cases even riches. A skilled fighter can "sell" himself for quite a bit of money to support his family then work it off over the years, only to sell himself again. Those with both martial talent and a flair for performance find themselves living well off of the gifts of fans, and while many gladiators are still owned by the Pit owners themselves, others are sponsored by minor nobility and wealthy merchants who show off their champions as they would a fine racehorse.

-Created by KahunaBurger

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This page was last modified on 26 April 2009, at 18:08.
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