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The Hippodrome

The Hippodrome is located in the Civic Ward of the Imperial Quarter of Parsantium. A visitor heading down the Mese (the central street that runs through the Imperial Quarter to the Great Palace) will pass the great Basilica of Pelor on the right, then the Hippodrome looms into view, a massive wall of white marble, gleaming in the sun. The building is 300m long and 60m wide and its stands are capable of holding 50,000 spectators. The sheer scale of the building is very impressive – this is a larger-than-life arena built for larger-than-life heroes.

At the northern end are the Carceres – starting boxes with a tower on each side and topped by a gilded statue of a charioteer. The Hippodrome Boxes are opposite, located at the halfway point on the eastern side of the stadium; the largest of these is the Royal Box, draped with purple hangings and rare tapestries on race days. The spina running down the centre of the long U-shaped track is lined with bronze statues of the god Terak, famous horses, chariot drivers and gladiators. An obelisk recovered from the desert ruins of Khemit to the southwest by a previous basileus stands in the centre.

The chariot races are a city-wide obsession and fanatical support amongst the citizens for the Blues, Greens, Reds and Whites has been known to lead to rioting. The races also provide some of the rare occasions in which the Basileus and the common citizens could come together in a single venue. Political discussions often take place at the Hippodrome.

Residents of the Imperial Quarter tend to support the Blues while Old Quarter inhabitants favour the Greens. Eight chariots, two per team, take part in each race. When the races or gladiatorial games are on, the restrictions on movement from the Old Quarter to the Imperial Quarter are lifted and the supporters of the Greens and Reds pour across the bridges to the Hippodrome.

The biggest event to take place in the Hippodrome are the Victory Games held every October – a huge celebration on the anniversary of Corandias XVI the Stubborn's successful Great Crusade which liberated Parsantium from the tyrannical rule of the hobgoblin “king” Kalgroth Ironheart. This event is marked with two days of gladiatorial combat followed by the biggest of the year's chariot races.

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