anders made me do it

“…The Circle, though it has originally referred to the Tower or Circle of Magi, is now a reference to the shape of the field in which the mages compete. It is the most widely known aspect of a mage’s life, a spectacle that anyone can attend, should they have enough coin to purchase the tickets. Naturally, the prices of these tickets fluctuate widely depending on the nature of the battle- a commoner can purchase a seat with just a few coppers should the mage in question be battling wild animals. Mage on mage battle have been known to cost as much as hundreds of sovereigns…”

“…The challenges given to the mages are most often arcane in nature- demons, possessed creatures, or other mages, and therefore their armor serves as little else than as costumes, designed to entertain and appeal to potential patrons…”

“…A harrowed mage earns the right to compete in the Circle though few get the choice of when and who. By competing in these gladiatorial battles, they have the chance to appeal their talents to potential sponsors or even the king or a commander, however rare these cases might be. Solona Amell has been the first mage in the last fifty years to have been recruited by such, a Grey Warden. Understandably, sponsoring a mage out of the Circle is not something even a king should take lightly. The Chantry levies heavy tax on the family that does so press on this point, the only exception being the Grey Warden who retain the Right of Conscription…”

“…Nobles families will often choose a mage to sponsor, as a winning mage in the Circle will bring prestige to their name. Though most do not choose to sponsor the mages out of the Circle, they will gift enchanted weapons and armor to the mage of their choosing, hoping to give their chosen an edge in the Circle. It is not uncommon, however, for these houses to sabotage their mage champions by sending them faulty equipment under the guise of gifts. They have also been known to sponsor their own blood should they have a mage in the family, despite the monetary responsibility though the mage does not regain their title…”

“…A battle is not usually fought to the death, but death due to extensive injuries are not rare…”

“…Purchasing a mage for a single day, or night’s service is frowned upon but not forbidden by the Chantry, and while no Circle will release the exact amount of profit made on these services, it has been estimated to be a significant portion due to the unwillingness of the Circles to cease such practices…”

“…Escape attempts during such battles are rare due to heavy security surrounding the arena and the threat of immediate death from the challenge at hand. The last attempt to revolt by Uldred of Kinloch Hold has led to the Annulment of the Circle…”

- Excerpts from Circle of Magi, an Alternate History