The Pitt... This is the underbelly of Dreven City, the place your mother warned you about, the place you did not want to end up in and most certainly cannot escape once you start. It is like an addiction. On one hand it repulses you, assailing your senses on the basest level, and on the other, it is like a raging obsession begging you for more and more. All the while, your soul is torn between the two. This is the Pitt.
Deep underground, the cavernous arena is surrounded by a series of steep levels rising to a ceiling fifty feet high. The arena itself is set into the floor; from the lowest tier it is twenty feet down to flat, solid stone. The place reeks of sweat, blood, and tears and it holds energy to it like nowhere else in Shadokhan, perhaps nowhere in all of Lyran Tal. If you are in the Pitt, you are far from the safe haven of a warm bed.
This is where the upper and lower crust of Shadokhan gather to feed off a night of hedonistic revelry and desire. It is said that if you want or need something, you can find it at the Pitt. No one knows who backs the whole show, only that the enigmatic Harlequin is the Master of Ceremonies and holds sway over a throng of onlookers with sense of religious fanaticism. Somehow, this meeting of madness, vibrancy, and intense energy avoids the attention of all levels of authority.
It is all about competition and battle, acquisition and gratification. You would think that people would have had enough of violence and death. You would think that in a world turned upon its head by magic, folks would be looking for gentler pastimes. It's not true. The fear, the blood lust, the morbid curiosity work like an addiction. The rules are simple: two men or women enter the pit and one lives to walk out again. Once in, there is no coming out until one of you is dead.
Some of those that come to Dreven City come simply to make a name for themselves and attract some high paying sponsor who will shower them with gold for every victory. Some lose their very souls here, others merely die a nameless unmourned death. Whatever the outcome, it will change a person for the rest of their life.
(excerpted and slightly edited from "The Pitt,"by Seneca Evenzrow, 03 Mar 2000)