Order of Batius
|Order of Batius|
|Headquarters||Twin establishments in Regalia and Etosil|
The Order of Batius is an organization dealing in Anglian quasi-slavery curiously supported by a piece of obscure and not-widely-known legislation referred to as the Tyat Law, that specializes in gladiatorial fights in arenas. The biggest curiosity about this organization is that it exclusively deals in Ailor slaves, which are commonly banned inside the boundaries of the Regalian Empire as anti-Unionist. The Order of Batius, however, skips around this by using a loophole of Etosian legislation, and through the smaller Tyat Law which protects the cultural heritage and activities of the Vladno migrants moving from Etosil to Regalia. The Order of Batius is as such, a semi-legal Ailor enslaving organization that organizes fights to the death and arena brawls for the entertainment of the masses in so-called Bloodsport.
The History of the Order of Batius dates back to the earliest settlements of Vladno people in Etosil where they engaged in an activity called Rabynysk where the Vladno would act as bounty hunters and law enforcers for the Supreme Patriarch of Etosil, but instead of imprisoning or killing the criminals, they forced them into a gladiatorial arena setting where they fought to the death, or were released victorious. With the integration of the Vladno people into the Regalian Empire through the conquest of Etosil, various legislations were passed to ensure Vladno and Etosian culture were protected to limit civil unrest from those cultural areas. It was thus Vladimir Kade who passed the Tyat Law as part of a much greater legal reform that protected individual Etosian rights in the greater Empire, hidden behind a 30th amendment to a much greater Akitios Legislation that had nothing to do with slavery and the Vladno.
With their practice protected and made semi-legal in Regalia, the Vladno nobles continued to lobby to expand their pool of acceptable candidates for the arena, which eventually led to the creation of the Order of Batius to allow unique rights assigned only to members of this order for regulation. The Order of Batius is officially led by a member of the Regalian Government, though leaves local enforcement to one of the many Lityel, or Gladiator Masters. Through additional legislation passed called the Arena Bloodsport Act, these Lityel were now allowed to acquire arena gladiators through various means. The most obvious conduct was the purchase of foreign slaves, such as Elves or Varran from the markets in the south of Archipelago from the Suffran Order. This was however not sufficient for the Lityel, because the Vladno believed there was something holy, a form of communal worship, in watching the Bloodsport of strength between gladiators in reverence of the Emperor, and as such would refuse any non-Ailor into the arena. As such, they settled with the second and third options. The second being, permission to offer recruitment to long-term serving inmates or prisoners who had no further prospect of life but to die in a prison. The third was voluntary recruitment into a state of semi-slavery that some Regalians willingly accepted as it offered a way out of destitute living conditions, if a somewhat dangerous one.
In modern times, the Order of Batius still only accepts Ailor, though some half-Ailor that are decently passing for Ailor have been accepted, and the Lityel aren’t only purely Vladno anymore, some Daendroque, Gallovian and even Heartland Ceardian have joined the already Vladno and Etosian Lityel that held their positions for many generations inside families. Whole industries have arisen to support the Order of Batius, including but not limited to bath-houses for the medical and healthcare of gladiators, bodycare through personal trainers and dieticians, and lavish living quarters for the highly performing gladiators. Despite the massive amounts of money that are sunk into the order, however, Bloodsport is still relatively unknown and unpopular among the Unionist Regalian crowd at large. It survives practically solely on patronage from the Etosian and Vladno communities, as well as non-Humans who have a much looser moral code when it comes to the slaughter of Ailor for entertainment. That being said, not only Ailor die. Sometimes the arena is inhabited by Kathar prisoners of war from the Dread Empire, to be slain by some jungle beast as a pre-show to the actual gladiatorial fights.
The Gladiators of the order are the lowest ranking members who are essentially combat slaves. Slavery in Regalia has a very peculiar definition: only a person who is wholly enslaved in will and capacity as well as reason to live is considered a slave. Even though Gladiators don’t have freedom of movement and have to fight even against their will, they are well provided for and taken care of physically and mentally. As such, even though one would say a Gladiator is a well taken care of slave in nearly all manners of the definition, by legal definition, they are not. Gladiators live to kill other Gladiators in the arena, and if they survive until age 50, they are usually released with full freedom and large finances to back them, though often end up becoming Lityels for the arena themselves. Many Gladiators however never make it to that age, and die in the arena some decades earlier. To many, to become a Gladiator might be a good choice in life to avoid the destitution of the slums, especially for poor Ailor. Gladiators live a life of luxury and pampering inside the pond villas, even if their lives might be cut short in but a moment because of a bad fight.
Lityel are the slave drivers of the Order of Batius who both groom, train and recruit the Gladiators for battle. Each Lityel has a number of gladiators and will compete with other Lityel for the favor of the Vyso, the leader of the Order of Batius. Anyone who has a decent amount of money can become a Lityel, though being one is financially draining. Taking care of Gladiators with the standards prescribed by the Order are expensive, and Lityels who only have Gladiators that repeatedly fail in the arena often face financial ruin. Those with winning Gladiators, however, continue to gather fame and wealth, and are often able to expand the business they own to make the lives of the gladiators more luxurious. When Lityels start in their business, they often only receive a pond villa, which is not even formally a villa but just an Etosian courtyard with a pillar gallery. With each victory, they can expand their pond villa with training rooms, bath-houses, brothels, medical quarters, armories and pleasure palaces. Lityels also closely cooperate with the Shers, the slave traders.
A Sher is a slave trader or recruiter. Sher visit local prisons in attempts to convince convicts to accept a plea into the Order of Batius, or rove the countryside looking for criminals to force them into the Order to avoid going to prison. They might also travel to Thessalos and Matosil, looking for slaves from the markets of Thessalonikon. Just because slaves are not permitted into the Arena does not mean that the Order does not recruit slaves for the care of the Gladiators. In order to function properly in the arena, each Gladiator is often given a bath wench as well as a personal training buddy and doctor, the buddies which are often replaced as they are killed in battle. It is as such possible for an Ailor Gladiator to have an Elven bath wench, a Yanar medic and a Kathar training buddy, all of which are slaves. The Sher purely recruit the slaves however, then selling them to the Lityel. Sometimes Sher however also take slaves back. For example, a Gladiator that has served for decades in the arena and still lived, and is physically stronger than most average Ailor, might be sold back to the Sher for further investment. In such a case, the Sher takes the Gladiator back to Thessalonikon where they are used to selectively breed a new generation of Half-Orc slaves.
The Vyso is the supreme leader of the Order of Batius. Usually, a very old Etosian or Vladno man, all Lityels strive to have the approval of the Vyso, because the Vyso’s word can cause an entire Lityel’s fortunes to soar, or plummet. The Vyso barely shows himself in public and is often mostly engaged in diplomacy between the order and the Regalian State, which frequently attempts to curb the freedoms of bloodsports in Regalia by shutting down arenas. Only one major arena complex survives on the Regalian Capital Isle itself, though the Vyso has largely managed to keep that one running and open, even if recent times have seen somewhat of a recession in income.
Arena Fights are fought daily by the Gladiators, usually pitting one Lityel against another in some form. The most frequent forms of Arena fights are one versus one fights, though sometimes Lityels pity numerous fighters against each other for more spectacular fights. A fight between two Gladiators can end in death, and usually does so in about 4 of the 10 cases. Gladiators are still massive financial investments, so as long as a Gladiator is still considered capable of living to the next fight, they are spared. If however a Gladiator cannot quickly recover, or will likely never recover, they are slain in the ring, hence the name Bloodsport. In between Arena Fights (an average Gladiator fights once a week), the Gladiators train and enjoy life as it is given to them at the pond villa owned by their Lityel. That being said, Lityel are sometimes extremely competitive. There is also a fairly large amount of subterfuge between the Lityels, including but not limited to poisoning, murder and other acts of sabotage to put one ahead in the Arena. After all, money and business are only temporary to the Lityel, but fame and prestige are eternal in the hall of Gladiators, or in the cases, even permitting them to pass on over to the Bellator Order where Gladiators become Imperial trainers, the highest honor a Gladiator could ever achieve.