Blood Games

What began, at first, as a friendly competition in street matches, has become one of the most lucrative, and deadly, forms of entertainment in Azaleon. A vast majority of blood fighters are slaves, but interestingly, even in Jihon, these slaves can become very infamous and well-loved by the regular patrons of the games. Many a slave has earned their freedom through the games.

The games are also a means of punishment, for criminals, thieves, and one of the easiest means of paying off debts. Free citizens often become blood fighters as a result of wrong-doing, or in order to earn a lot of money in a short time-span.

There are differing styles and disciplines of blood fighting, many of them based on the variant combat styles used by other nations' military, and almost anyone can find something they're good at on the sands. At times, the games are a form of public execution, and it is not unheard of for multiple large groups to be pit against one another, though occasionally one group may face down only one or two solo fighters.

A small number consider the games barbaric and unnecessary, but these voices are drowned out by the roar of the spectators. While perhaps the blood games are rather barbaric and unnecessary, they are an immediate hope for freedom to skilled slaves, and many a house has found glory on the sands, including one of the major houses of Dalmasca, House Lancaster.

Blood Fighters

There are several kinds of blood fighter. The most common is the sword fighter, who uses a one-hand sword and a shield, but sometimes a two-hand sword. Some fighters use spears, or ranged weapons such as bows and crossbows. A small number of experienced fighters can dual wield one-handed swords, and there is, very rarely, also the occasional fist fighter.

A reserve number of fighters, typically Galacese Ilim, use exclusively sorcery in order to do battle. These are humongous money-makers, as magic fights are very entertaining and interesting to humes, whom cannot do magic without severe risks.

All blood fighters within a specific trainer's school tend to have their own hierarchy. Earning the favor of their trainer is something all generally aim for, because doing so, even if they dislike him or her, gives them a better shot at being given their freedom after a while, or other rewards, such as being allowed to marry, or similar, and lowers the chance of one's trainer putting them back on market later, should they mess up.

Due to this, the hierarchy is partially influenced by the master's favor, but only partially. The fighters essentially establish something of a pecking order, and consider one another brothers, after a point. Receiving one's slave brand as a fighter is also considered an honor, and elevates one in the eyes of the other fighters. Then, one is a real blood fighter, worthy of being called brother, for then is when the master is proud enough of them to claim them.

Blood Trainers

Most blood trainers are noble families, but some come from more common class bloodlines. Blood trainers, of course, own and train blood fighters for the games. Each trainer uses different methods, but there are a few common parallels. Some trainers use fear, others perhaps respect, but for most, this respect is only marginally equal.

As most trainers are not actually allies with one another, but instead, competition, the spats of blood trainers can often be rather vicious and bloody.

Blood Champion

In any single city, one fighter from them all is named Blood Champion. The title denotes the given fighter has gone undefeated for over one hundred blood game matches. Most do not live this long. Some cities do not have a fighter that qualifies for the title, but a small fraction of these will name one anyway. The Blood Champion does not typically need to participate in matches any more. Their master may choose to free them, or may opt only to fight them in major games, such as games for the nobility or rulers of a given nation, celebrating a major military victory, or similar.

Macenia, notably, does not partake in the games, and does not have a Champion (nor will ever). Neither does Galace. The current Champion of Dalmasca's capital of Nydema, however, is a fighter from Saqqara. The current Champion of Jihon's capital of Galerith, is, incidentally, a fighter from Dalmasca.

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