The arena was filled with the cheers and shouts of the blood thirsty spectators. Today the annual caravan had arrived from the far flung reaches of the empire carrying with it those unlucky enough to have been taken as 'spoils of war' and sold to the arena masters.
As the grim procession made its way through the centre of the arena the crowd's cheers became more frenzied than before. Cages filled with beasts and men alike were brought through and disappeared one by one into the entrance to the bowls of the arena - where most would spend their last days, weeks or for some lucky few, months alive.
The terrified faces on most of the slaves gave away their inexperience - however a select few wore the hardened faces of veterans of combat - the men and women who were unlucky enough to end up here.
The slaves were all assigned a battle master - and thrown into dark rough rooms, with hardly any light or comforts. Many of the slaves would not return after the first day to these rooms. For the first day of the games were known as the most bloody.
Each group was informed that the next day they would be sent to the arena to face another group - and only when all of the opposing group were dead could they return - an live to fight another day. As the slaves attempted to sleep - rumours of fierce and deadly creatures spread through their ranks. There was tell of monstrosities that could tear a man limb from limb, and one man even insisted he had seen the soldiers bringing a Griffin back with them.
As the sun started to rise - the sounds of activity rolled through the arena. The first day had started, and whilst most were lucky enough to not be included within the first battle they could hear the faint sounds of battle, death and loudest of all the crowd.
The guards who patrolled up and down the rough corridors ignored the slaves in their rooms for the most part, most of them were discussing the first battle in the arena and before long whispers and rumours were spreading through the slaves. The talk was mostly of a fierce Griffin that had made short work of all that stood in its way with the help of a small girl apparently.
Before the rumour could continue the arena masters made their way to the cells that would be fighting next.
The second battle was about to begin.