The Praetorian Club an elitist illegal entertainment group, whose members gets to see brutal fights involving animal hybrids whom are kidnapped.captured beforehand and held prisoner in between events.
CLEA ORGANISATION DATA FILE
- Illegal Fight Ring
- Praetor – Deborah Henshall
- The Consuls (Unknown backers)
- Illegal fighting
- Illegal Gambling
- False imprisonment
- Aggravated Assault
- Has to keep moving its set up to keep ahead of the law
Before the Club
One time the club was nothing more than an underground fight club run by Deborah Henshall. She is an Alpha with the ability to heal wounds by absorbing the blood of another. Though a fight host, having been a fighter herself and rising up the ranks she still had a taste for personal evolvement. This proved to be a downfall because she decided to modify her own fight card one night and place herself in the ring in order to try her skills at fighting an animal hybrid called the Beast.
Though she was good, the Beast was able to power through her defences and clawed her face, tearing out her right eye. That was when she discovered that her Alpha ability could not regenerate missing body parts Disfigured for life and needed to wear a glass eye to look “normal” Deborah wanted vengeance against all hybrids. She therefore introduced more specialist matched to her fight club so that hybrids would face off against strong human opponents. She got to see her “enemies” suffer on a nightly basis and employed one of the most brutal combatants, Melinda Dunne as her champion. Deborah’s need to see hybrids suffer culminated in setting up red matches which were fights to the death between two or more hybrids. They made lost of cash.
However she had to keep her operation on the move due to the law. This changed when a rich billionaire asked for a private event. That garnered a huge sum of money and when Deborah asked if there were others like him, he introduced her to some business acquaintances. Having the fights take place on private land reduced the ability for the police to get involved especially as the clients were powerful as well as rich. Developing the idea further she created the Praetorian Club.
The Praetorian Club setup
The main purpose of the club is to allow its members to witness thrilling bloodsport. The Praetor and Consuls take an equal share of the profits which is covered by gambling and membership fees. Membership to the club is by invite only and involves large sums of untraceable cash. This fee can be lowered under certain circumstances such as if a member:-
- Loans/Supplies Praetor and her staff with aircraft and other equipment.
- Employs use of contacts to protect the Praetor and the group from be hassled by the law.
The Praetor club considers its brutal fights along the lines of Roman gladiatorial tournaments hence has adopted Roman terminology for the entire organisation. The host of the event is known as the Praetor, so chosen because Deborah Henshall considers herself judge, jury and executioner. Combatants in the event are logically referred to as Gladiators although for entertainment purposes they are given appropriate ring names.
Roman theme and terminology is used throughout giving the club its unique identity thus:
- Consuls – These are Paretor’s rich partners. They own and manage the venues and support staff. In return they have an equal share of the profits and can govern the type of show they want Praetor to host.
- Praetor – Acts as the “show” host and maintains the mobile section of the event
- Senators – are the names given to members of the club
- Gladiators – are the fight combatants
- Lanista – trains the fighters
- Medicus – ensures the fighters are kept in optimum condition
- Lictor – are internal event security
- Venator – capture “wild” combatants
- Urbanae – capture combatants in urban environments
- Chariot – the code name used to refer to Praetor and her staff and the rest of the mobile part of the club.
Whereas most clubs have a fixed meeting place, the Praetorian Club actually has several venues in various locales around the world. These venues are owned by the “Consuls” the original group of rich people who first wanted the type of entertainment the Praetor had to offer.
Unlike other forms of entertainment, the venues used by the club have to be a combination of an arena and a prison. Each one therefore has a large enough “floor” for the matches to take place and includes seating for the audience. Sometimes this is set out like a sports venue whilst in other times it is set out like a formal club with tables and chairs. Back stage the venue must have secure cells to contain the Gladiators as well as a training area and medical facility.
Significantly each of the venues usually has some form of “disguise”. Though they are privately owned facilities and more often than not secreted away in private land they have to appear “normal” to avoid the unwanted attention of the law. Some venues take this to the next level by being situated in business parks and hide in plain sight.
During an event alcohol is normally served and members can choose to gamble on the outcome of a fight. This part of the event is not run by the Praetor and her “staff” but is provided by the Consul in charge.
The Chariot is the internal club name used in reference to the Praetor, her staff and the gladiators. Since they travel between events the Chariot therefore refers to the “mobile” part of the club. Just like with the venues, vehicles used to more people and equipment are often heavily disguised to appear unassuming and avoid attracting the law.
Apart from Deborah, several others hold a prominent position in the Chariot. Jamal Marshall is known to the club as Medicus. He has been with her from before she owned her own fight ring and has been her fight trainer and medic. A qualified medic, he was discharged from the the military on mental health grounds. Unable to find legal medical work in the civilian world he had previously made money for patching up fighters in the illegal fight rings. Jamal is needed to keep the gladiators in tip top condition. He’s also an expert in using drugs to make sure they comply to Deborah’s wishes.
Melinda Dunne is known as Lanista. She was Deborah’s prized fighter and since forming the club trains the Gladiators to fight. Almost all the combatants are captives and try to resist being used in blood sport but with Jamal’s drugging and Melinda’s brutal training methods, most can be forced into fighting.
To keep order with the captives and protect her from those that might want to harm the group has a team of armed guards known as the Lictor. The team leaders travel with the Praetor as part of the Chariot and extra troops are employed at the venues. All equipment though remains with the Chariot. This saves on resources by not having to keep equipment at every venue and prevents the tech falling into the wrong hands.
Finding New Combatants
Since Praetorian Club members pay to watch brutal fights the one commodity the club cannot do without is actual fighters, or Gladiators in club terminology. Since some matches result in the deaths of some fighters, the club needed to find a way to replenish “stock”. They did this by creating two specialist groups to track down potential Gladiators. One team has the training and equipment to capture suitable “Gladiators” who inhabit wild environs whilst the other accomplishes the same task in built up areas.
The Venator is the name used by hunters who have the expertise to go into some of the wildest places on Earth in order to bring back the most dangerous animal hybrids. Unlike other animal hybrids the ones the Venator hunt are truly “wild”. The best source of these creatures is Terror Island. Though out of bounds to all but a few select science groups, it is normally impossible to get onto the island due to the air and sea exclusion zones patrolled by an international military coalition. If anyone manages to avoid those and get on the island, military land patrols usually ensure they do not get far.
However since the club has massive financial resources such obstacles are not a problem and the Venator have been smuggled onto the island many times and taken many captives. They and the Lictor wear the same specially armoured suits which provides the wearer with superb protection.
Whilst getting onto Terror Island is possible it is not an easy or regular method of supply.That coupled with the difficulties involved sometime means that it is easier to snatch prospective Gladiators from city streets. Many animal hybrids have found ways to live in society using their human guise to hide in plain sight and it is these “people” that the Urbanae hunt. Whereas the Consuls control the Venator, the Praetor is command of the Urbanae
Obviously the type of armour worn by the Lictor and Venator would be quite noticeable in public so the Praetor opted to use stealth by employing three skilled fighters to fulfil her goals. They are opportunists and travel with the Chariot and so they hunt whenever an event is being set up. Praetor was very careful in her choices for the Urbanae and poured through a great deal of intel before choosing them.
None of them would normally allied themselves to her cause so with Jamal’s help, Deborah had all three brainwashed. This effectively stripped them of their memories and made them compliant with her will. For a long time the people knew the Urbanae as the “Slayers” after news stories had reported on sighting of the trio hunting and capturing animal hybrids. At first reporters assumed they were killing the hybrids and hence called them the Slayers. Only recently after infiltrating the club has CLEA learned the true identity.
Despite the Club staging illegal gambling and fighting, and being suspected of murder, the rich membership has used its resources to continuously frustrate CLEA from putting a stop to it and seeing justice done. This has not stopped amateur adventurers from stopping the club. Going after Praetor though is high risk since it has been learned that as part of her Chariot she has special “containment” equipment to deal with a variety of enemies including Alphas. It is believed if such “heroes” are unlucky enough to be caught then she places them in specialist matches to set an example to those that would dare challenge her.