The Arena was built in the basement of the Red Dragon Inn. Renovations were extensive as a goodly portion of the wine cellar and catacombs were taken over. In the main room of the Inn is an unmarked door with two simple crossed swords hanging above it. If you go through that portal, you will descend a long set of roughly hewn, seemingly rickety-looking torch-lit stairs. Fear not though, they are much stronger than they appear.
When you reach the bottom, you will find yourself in the northwest corner of the Dueler’s Arena. A long wall extends to your left, and in front of you are numerous tables and chairs, all seemingly made out of the same old wood as their stairs. Early in the evening there might be some organization to the setup, but surely late in the night, the fact that many have visited is glaringly apparent. If you sit for a while, you’ll also notice that many have been unable to keep themselves from carving their initials in the wood while waiting to duel. Across from you, and down the length of the east wall are makeshift bleachers, erected to give the growing crowd a better view of the rings.
On your right is the corner of the bar, which extends five feet out from the wall, and then the length of the room. This is obviously *not* the same wood as the tables and chairs. The rich mahogany may be well used, but it is also well polished. Simple wooden four legged stools run the length of the bar. Though serving lads are known to run about, the bar itself is self-serve.
The various rings, with a few more tables, take up the south-end of the room and chairs interspersed throughout. Here you will find the “Callers Couch.” It is well worn, but sturdy and fairly comfortable. From the couch, the officials of the sport can see each of the rings, and close by is the Queue Keeper’s desk. Over the last ring on the south-end of the room is a huge portrait of Gondar, the first Overlord.
In the southwest corner of the room are swinging doors that lead into the kitchen, and next to them on the south wall, a door that leads into the pantry and various storage rooms. In the southeast corner, you will note another unmarked door, made with wood that doesn’t seem nearly as old as the rest. Through this portal used to lie more storage space, but more recent renovations have turned it into an Annex of the Arena, where people might find a little more elbow room for special dueling events.
The floors here are bare stone, except for whatever dirt and mud is brought down from above, or whatever blood and sawdust is tracked out of the rings.
The walls are covered with trophies, old swords, mementos, and the like. Tapestries and banners hang from not only the walls, but also the rafters. Every prominent house, family, and nation associated with the Duel of Swords is represented. Some of these include Redwin, Clatterbridge, Skylark, Westridge, Tynsdale, Lathadoscia, Mountainside, Covington, Dracoern and Questrion. All in all, there are nearly too many to name.
In the northeast corner of the Arena is another small set of stairs leading up in the skyboxes that line the east and north walls. The view is a little bad because of all of the banners hanging from above. Long ago a rope was tied across the stairwell to discourage anyone from bothering to go up. The skyboxes have long since fallen into disrepair and are no longer cleaned by the staff after the last tired dueler and caller head home.