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King of the Mountain

King of the Mountain

One of the most popular venues in Solaris VII's Xolara region, the King of the Mountain is a Class V Arena located in Xolara "district" in Solaris City built around a intimidating landfill mountain in the center of a nuclear blast crater. While deceptively simple at first glance, the unsteady terrain has caught out many an unwary MechWarrior.[1] [2]

HistoryEdit

Following an unsuccessful Free Worlds League raid against Solaris VII in 2820 intended to punish the planet for changing its loyalty to the Lyran Commonwealth during the First Succession War, the Essex-class FWLS Despiser launched a nuclear orbital bombardment of Solaris City's northern suburbs such as Xolara, devastating the region with one of the scars from the bombardment a massive nearly thirty meter deep crater. This crater was used as a dumping site for radioactive and other toxic materials during the clean-up operations that followed the bombardment, with locals continuing to use it as a general dump afterwards. Within four decades an ugly mound of debris more than six stories high stood within the crater.[1]

In 3001 local construction firm owner and entrepreneur Rufus J. Tilman saw something else entirely however. Purchasing the site for a pittance, Tilam used his firm to convert the unsightly mountain of waste into a BattleMech arena, hardening several small plateaus in the crater to support BattleMechs while packing the debris mound into a stout 'Mech scalable mountain, with ridges cut into it to provide irregular lines of sight. While many derided his efforts an expensive waste, Tilman would have the last laugh when the arena opened in 3008 and observers immediately acknowledged his King of the Mountain as one of the Reaches' premier fight venues.[1]

The King of the Mountain was one of the few venues that was directly untouched during the Word of Blake Jihad, but by the Jihad years decades of combat and efforts by the arena's management to shore up the Mountain's integrity introduced a new hazard - random rockslides that made its steep slopes even more deadly, sending many a favored MechWarrior tumbling to the very floor of the arena. While the Mountain's management publicly insist that these rockslides are a natural occurrence, many fight fans believe that the engineers tasked with ensuring the giant mound remains a stable field for battle regularly sabotage small sections to ensure that combatants regularly tumble from the peaks. This belief has gained considerable traction ever since the late 3090s, when these rockslides occurred with such regularity that they became the focus of side-betting pools for King of the Mountain matches.[2]

The ArenaEdit

Combat in the King of the Mountain tends to focus around ascending the mountain and matches tend to go to those who control the high ground. Both combatants start at the outermost edge of the moat of semi-toxic water that surrounds the Mountain, most MechWarriors choosing to climb as soon as possible, but some make lateral runs around the base to flank their opponent. At first glance climbing the Mountain looks deceptively simple with numerous old beams and concrete supports jutting out of the mound to serve as handholds, but most are unstable or unable to support the weight of the 'Mech, with a number of areas on the Mountain not compacted well to further hinder climbing. The Mountain also features several plateaus at various heights, ridge lines blocking line of sight with many 'Mechs lingering too long on the plateaus being attacked from above or below.[1] [2]

Much of the appeal for spectators of matches at the King of the Mountain is watching BattleMechs falling down the mountain, 'Mechs which are damaged or caught off balance can fall several stories at least, with those which do not suffer crippling damage often left dangerously exposed to fire from their opponent. By 3053 in an effort to enhance the action in the arena, the Mountain's then-owner Gundar Baxter began randomly placing Vibramines in both the moat and the mound itself to catch unprepared opponents out, and by the Jihad sections of the mountain were prepped to cause rockslides, massive 'Mech sized boulders able to knock even the more elite pilot flying to the very bottom of the Mountain.[1] [2]

Another curious feature of the Mountain is its lack of proper boundaries; its border is roughly defined by the general seating bunkers but each corner is noticeably open. The combatants enter from the corners, but unlike other arenas there are no blast doors to prevent a truly desperate MechWarrior from retreating, though of course they forfeit the match if do so. [2]

SeatingEdit

The King of the Mountain has a total seating capacity of 15,000 - 2,000 within box seats with the remainder in general seating section. The general admission seating is within four enclosed bunkers built along the edge surrounding the crater, while the box seats are located in four towers surrounding the Mountain, offering direct views of the action as well as serving mounting points for lighting to allow night matches to be held. While the Reaches most popular arena, admission pricing is still much less than the arenas of Solaris City - 60 C-Bills for box seating, 15 C-Bills for general seating.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Solaris: The Reaches, pp. 21-23 "Xolara - King of the Mountain"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Experimental Technical Readout: Royal Fantasy, p. 36 "3146 Royal Fantasy Rules - King of the Mountain (Reaches Arena, Xolara)"

BibliographyEdit