Trained for the arena-fighting that is common throughout Avendar, gladiators transform the gruesome structure into a spectacle of showmanship. Arising from the slave culture of Ashta Harrud, gladiatorial combat grew in popularity as word spread along northern trade routes. With the emergence of the shuddeni into the racial mix of Avendar, gladiatorial bouts have become both more humane and less. Cities such as Earendam the Grand have outlawed the use of slaves and brought a measure of self-determination to the practice. Meanwhile, its brutality has simultaneously increased with the growing number of chaja and introduction of overworlders into the high-risk arenas of Yithoul.
It is common for srryn to come north from their native swamps to ply their bloodthirst in Earendam, their reverence for Fenthiran ideals outweighing the indignity of competing for the entertainment of warmbloods. Harrudim gladiators are nearly exclusively human, whereas the shuddeni favor making their chaja subordinates fight for pleasure. The massive size of the alatharya frequently make them a fan-favorite, their racial proclivity for both resilience and force giving them notable advantages. Kankoran often train as gladiators, although the radical fringe of pack society may shun them for embracing this product of highly civilized life.
Gladiators are trained in a variety of weapons, as well as techniques to put them to good use-- a lesson hard-learned from the restrictions of the arena. The spear, the sword, the whip, and the flail are often weapons of choice for a skilled gladiator, as each carries unique, tactical advantages. However, most gladiators settle on two of their staples: the spear, and the whip.
Dolgrael is a favored deity among gladiators, as their lifestyle puts them frequently against the odds in battle. Fenthira, too, is a patron of the gladiator's creed, Her notion of evolution dovetailing nicely with its brutal culture. The arena calls to no one faith or alignment, and gladiators often pray to whatever god they feel most likely to grant them victory. However, such prayers are a privilege paid for in blood.