This post describes a fantasy location, for use in a roleplaying game. Welcome to The Silver Fist, a former whore house converted into a fighting pit, located in the port town of Bitton. Feel free to use this location, characters and story lines in your own game. Original artwork by Bobby Aquintania. Check out more of Bobby’s work!
He is a 50 year old bear of a man, almost 7′ tall and shoulders so broad, he enters sideways through most doors. His white hair is cropped short, revealing several old, long scars along the left side of his head. Five of his teeth are made of solid gold, and he is known to wear chains, rings and a poisoned dagger.
Torus was born a thrall but fought his way to freedom at the age of 20, in the fighting pits and arenas of the southern fiefdoms. Once freed, he spent a dozen years as a swordsman, first serving his former master, later joining a company of free riding henchmen named Harvest Moon, their banner sporting a blood red moon on black. Torus never had any dream of a glorious death, so when he felt age starting to slow him down, he left the warrior path behind and decided to settle down.
He moved to the port town of Bitton, close to where his family had originally been taken as thralls many years earlier. He found work at Good Cat Tankard, a rowdy tavern near the docks. “The Cat” was owned by a fat, old woman named Clara, a former whore who had done business there for years and inherited the place when its former owner died. The tavern doubled as a whorehouse, and Torus made sure all the clients paid and didn’t treat the girls too rough.
After three years a fire nearly destroyed the Good Cat Tankard. Eight people died that night, three of them Clara’s girls. Torus bought the half ruined tavern from Clara, but rebuilt it to suit his own purpose: his own fighting pit.
The Silver Fist
The old tavern was restructured to accomodate a fighting pit like the ones Torus fought in as a young man. The front room is small, holding only half a dozen tables and a bar with standing room. Patrons pay a small fee to enter the back, where the pit is located.
The pit is square and 8′ deep, surrounded by tiered benches on three sides. The side where the entrance is also has a betting station, where the featured fights are listed and patrons can bet on their favorites. If you win, you double your money, minus the 10% cut Torus takes.
Below the main room are the fighter’s quarters. This room is split in two by metal bars, so fighters do not start before they are supposed to. Each side has its own door leading into the pit itself. Once the fighters enter, these doors are barred from the other side. There is a separate exit from the fighter’s quarters, a staircase leading out into the street, next to the main tavern entry.
During off-season, when there are fewer merchants and traders in Bitton, the Silver Fist features fights two nights a week. During markets and other peak times, it will be twice as often. Torus would host fights every night if he could, but as it is the town is too small for such extravaganza.
Fighters are a mix of strong men who like the challenge, to thralls fighting for their masters’ entertainment (or wagers). The winning fighter is typically paid a 10% cut of the house takings. During peak times, this can amount to a lot of coin in a single night.
The fights are rarely to the death. If one fighter is knocked out, or otherwise incapacitated, the other wins. If one fighter yields, the crowd is usually consulted by the pit master, who then renders his verdict. If a yield is denied, the fight will resume. It rarely happens that someone refuses to fight, usually a thrall who did not enter the ring voluntarily. In such cases the loser is allowed to leave unharmed, only to face whatever punishment their master might have in store.
Besides the pit master and the bet master, there are 6 guards in the pit room. Two are stationed by the betting station, guarding the silver and gold deposited there by the patrons. The remaining guards are scattered throughout the crowd, ready to step in where necessary.
Two guards recently decided to steal from Torus Freeman, taking a full night’s profit and skulking off into the night. Needless to say, Torus is not happy about this. He is trying to keep the scandal quiet, so as not to make others think of his operation as an easy target, while at the same time doing everything possible to track down the two traitors. One theory is that they were working with Clara, the former owner. She has been heard saying, she feels Torus took advantage of her state of mind after the fire, and bought her out well under value.
A few people have also voiced their opinions against the fighting pit, claiming that it draws an unsavory, dangerous element to Bitton that is neither needed nor wanted. So far though, most of these are dismissed as patrons who lost more than they would like, or relatives of fighters who were maimed or killed in the pit. The local authorities have turned a blind eye to whatever goes on at The Silver Fist, because of the bribes Torus hands them, but if enough voices speak out against the pit, sooner or later they will have to get involved. Torus aims to ensure this never happens, and has started collecting information about those who seek to take his business from him.