...A week ago...The number of fight pits and gladiatorial arenas within the great Imperial city of Annuakat was surprisingly many, but as Medja of Ragash had searched for an appropriate venue for her latest machinations she had found all of them to be lacking. So it was that she'd made her way to a familiar, wide open ring to pay a visit to the arena's manager.
"Whatever modifications you need made, mistress, I assure you we can make them. Given appropriate time and funding, this entire arena can be made to fit whatever you desire." Zufar, the manager had promised in his efforts to satisfy Medja's impossible expectations. Thankfully for the Vizier, she had something else in mind.
"That will hardly be necessary, Zufar. I have not the time to wait for whatever subpar stoneworkers you hire to build something on the scale I have in mind." Medja replied, visibly unimpressed by the portly man's attempts at appeasing her. "No, I will be making these changes myself. Rest assured that you will see returns in sales for the event I'll be staging here, and I'll return the arena to its prior state afterwards, should you see fit."
While Zufar stammered and sputtered on about the potential details of compensation and the Vizier's intended changes, Medja brushed past him and into the arena proper, already set upon her plans. She breathed deeply, summoning her vast wells of geomantic power from within, and went to work.
...A few days ago...Annuakat had been a veritable swarm of talk and activity in the wake of the Vizier of Stars' announcement of a grand competitive event and her subsequent 'construction' of a massive, elaborate, solid stone tower in the center of a local arena. In truth, the thing had quite literally popped up overnight, owing to Medja's prodigious earth magic. Standing taller than the walls of the arena itself and supposedly stretching underground as well, Medja's announcement had dubbed it 'The Tower of Tribulations.' The structure was rumored to be filled with dangers and treasures alike, scattered across its many floors. Glory and riches awaited those who chose to participate in the game that would take place in the following days.
The tower itself was a conspicuous, but intricately made thing. Angular on the outside, it had many flights of stairs lining its outside that seemed to lead to other floors almost at random, most of which lacked any sort of rails to keep participants from falling off. Other sections of the exterior simply had platforms that lead neither up nor down. The interior was practically a labyrinth, an intentionally confusing mess of architecture meant to disorient those that traversed it. Some floors were comprised of tight corridors, dead ends, small rooms, and poor lighting; others were quite open, with windows that let daylight pour in from outside. Each floor was different from the last, bearing its own unique challenges. At both the zenith and nadir of the tower, particularly treacherous obstacles and valuable prizes awaited...
The arena, meanwhile, had been modified to suit this new addition in a number of ways. Aside from being restructured to properly contain the obelisk that now stood at its center, a number of large scrying crystals had been suspended in front of the stands so that activity that took place inside the structure could still be viewed by the audience. Sufficient queues had been constructed and manned in preparation for the likely thousands that would seek to attend the event, while Medja's own observation box had been revamped for both extra security and to better project her presence to the masses. No expense had been spared in assuring that the Tower of Tribulations was, to date, the most ostentatious event that the people of Annuakat had experienced.
Soon, warriors, athletes, mages, and aces from all across Liadain would gather to compete in the strange competition. For the first time in a long time, Annuakat was abuzz with excitement.
...Now...Lines back out into the streets for blocks around the arena containing Medja's grandiose tower. The stands of the ring fill steadily, spectators from all over the Empire eager to witness the exhibition to come. Contenders wait on tenterhooks for the call to begin, numbering in the dozens. Medja herself reclined in a suitably luxurious, if gaudy chair in her observation box above the rest of the arena, feeling smug and satisfied with the turnout of her little game. Soon the mayhem and festivity would begin, and while she generally couldn't stand this sort of thing, she felt a warm glow of pride over the knowledge that she'd put it all together this time.
The rules that had been laid out for the participants were relatively simple: the goal was to score as many points as possible, and there were many ways to score points. For those that preferred to fight, incapacitating other contenders or ejecting them from the tower would earn you points; alternatively, there were autonomous defenders and beasts within the tower that could be slain for points. For those that wished to avoid fighting, there were certain floors that could only be passed by solving puzzles or circumnavigating traps; accomplishing these would also earn points. Finally, there were a number of foot tall, bronze statues hidden throughout the tower that could be acquired and held for points as well. Regardless of whether or not one wished to fight, all contenders shared the same arena and were thus fair game for both sets of rules.
No intentional killing was permitted. Being knocked unconscious or being ejected from the tower would transfer all of your points to the one who defeated you, or would simply cause their loss in the case you were knocked out or ejected by one of the tower's defenses. Staff mages were on standby to safely slow the descent of and catch anyone who was ejected from the tower, but ejection would result in disqualification. The game would last for two hours. Prizes would be divvied out based upon points held by each participant at the end.
Soon, the contenders would be guided to the various entrances to the tower at random, each entrance leading each individual contender to a spot on one of the first few floors. The games were about to begin...
OOC: I'll be running this in a similar fashion to the Loot Runners events, where I act as a sort of DM for everyone from time to time. The contents of the Tower have been left intentionally vague, so feel free to introduce and describe what you feel like as you go!
You can use PMs or the Discord to ask me questions/discuss plans of action out of character.