Sanctioned Fighting Arenas
According to recently enacted Cardinalian law, super-powered fighting is not permitted outside of self-defense, militia defense (when cities or the country is at stake), service in an authorized military branch (even the mortal police are not allowed to use super-powered force, generally), or outside of government-sanctioned fighting arenas.
Endorsed fighting arenas are generally built by private contractors funded (at least partially) by government grants, often utilizing highly resistant synthetic materials, alloys, and technologies (such as force fields). They are built and run to particular specifications to ensure safety for spectators and fighters alike. While some find the regulation a refreshing change from the often gory and theoretically mortally dangerous public sparring that takes place on sovereign Deius Castle, certain others find the restrictions stifling and an unacceptable alternative to the old fashioned, no-holds-barred fighting. Those who fall into this latter category often go to Deius Castle. However, killing (however unlikely) is prohibited and punishable by death there, and neither is betting on fights allowed, and so some may choose to fight in illegal, underground competitions, in the country or the wilderness (both circumstances are also illegal but carry far lighter chances of being identified, much less caught), or in other countries, such as the wastes of Azshar, where there is no law at all.
There is a body of rules and regulations that universally hold domain over the activities in all of the sanctioned fighting arenas. While their actual text is more complicated than this, they generally boil down to the following ideals:
- All participants must sign a waiver and disclaimer, and register their powered-grade abilities and powers before fighting in the arenas. Registering once in any arena registers a participant for all government-sanctioned fighting arenas. While this information isn't immediately accessible to the authorities, it can be subpoenaed in case of a criminal investigation.
- Participants are only allowed to use weapons with which they are at least passably proficient (level 1 of any eligible proficiency).
- All weapons and special powers used in combat are expected to be used in a manner that does not cause lasting damage. For instance, the edge of a blade cannot be used to cut at an opponent.
- Combat must cease if any participant in a fight becomes seriously injured or knocked unconscious, regardless of their ability to continue fighting or survive. Intentionally trying to cause serious injury on an opponent, is not allowed, nor are weapons or abilities that cause damage that cannot be controlled in this regard. Unlike Deius Castle, most arenas do not have Aethaen D'Argente on staff, and are forced to make due with mortal medics or average powered healers.
- Betting on fights is not allowed.
- Interfering with a fight you are not involved in is not allowed without the permission of all the participants of that fight.
- Participants who are wanted by the Cardinalian authorities will generally be caught if they try to use a government-sanctioned arena. Perpetrating a crime (such as murder) in an arena almost guarantees capture, as all arenas can be reached nearly instantly by the Ranger Guard.
Tournaments and Other Events
All of the major city arenas and a few of the smaller ones host public tournaments not unlike the Tenkaichi Budoukai, but on a smaller scale. Fewer participants are usually involved, and the entire event typically takes up a single day. Tournament fights are held to the same standards as normal fighting in the arenas, with the addition of defeat on ring-out. Unlike Deius Castle, tournament arenas have ceilings and higher walls, and thus are more restricted in space.
Tournaments frequently offer monetary prizes or gift certificates to power-wielder catering merchants, to the winner or winners. In Central City, some enchanters and other talented item creators donate powered-grade items to tournament winners. However, even here, the prizes are far overshadowed by the monetary and material rewards given at the Tenkaichi Budoukai, especially at the higher tiers of competition. They are generally far less personal than those material rewards that Alothin procures for his winners, and participants are known to sell their unwanted items to other power wielders who do. The mortal populace continues to struggle to understand power wielder culture.
Each of the major cities (East City, West City, North City, South City, and Central Capital) host at least one sanctioned fighting arena. South City hosts two somewhat smaller ones for better accomodation of a larger body of mortal audiences, such is the popularity of watching powered fighting. While betting is not allowed in South's arenas, many casinos and bars offer betting forums for scheduled events, since betting IS allowed there. The arena in Central is largest, and is also quickly gaining a notorious reputation for being the hotbed of amateur powered fighting. An estimated 70% of the fighters there fall under the 200 PL category. To accomodate the larger body of power wielders, the single, very large arena is frequently partitioned into smaller chamber, so that many power wielders can use the facility at once. A few of the medium-sized, unnoted cities in Cardinal also host smaller arenas, but they generally see little use, with rare and brief exceptions. Power wielders in these environments are often seen as more of a club than a unique section of the populace. Not all smaller cities can provide the usage necessary to warrant the construction and maintenance of a sanctioned arena, and one has even been torn down to make way for other buildings, due to disuse.
Sanctuary also hosts several small sanctioned fighting arenas. These arenas are each nearly half the size of Tenkaichi Budoukai rings, forcing closer encounters. This makes it a particularly popular place for ki fighters to conduct their sparring. There is no space for an audience in these arenas.
Most arenas are free for power wielders to use, though there are exceptions when alternative arenas are available. Mortals wishing to watch fighting often are charged an admission fee, and prices for food and drink inside are somewhat higher. Outside food and drink is not allowed in these situations. During tournaments, admission fees are often markedly higher, and there can be an entry fee for their participants.
Arenas that do permit audiences provide powerful protection to keep the fighters from accidentally (or intentionally!) harming them. There is usually some form of manner that mortals can observe the fighting, despite the fact that the motion is too quick for them to follow. This sometimes comes in the form of private monitors, or a projection on a protective wall or force field, where the battle is slowed down to rates that unpowered senses can comprehend. In West City, the arena has a complex, computerized database where androids and computers can plug in and download the fight at selectable variable angles, complete with elaborate sensory information overlays, in a common, high-end format, which can be accelerated or decelerated to the viewer's liking. Old fights are also archived for download and later perusal.