"The population of Albion," begins this history book, "is as bloodthirsty as it is stupid." The following pages describe the events that lead to the construction of the Crucible. It was a time when Heroes were no more, the Witchwood Arena lay in ruins, but the masses hungered still for the spectacle of violence. Taking advantage of a vast array of caves within Westcliff's mountains, the Crucible was built into living rock of that coastal region. Among the earliest competitors were bandits, guards and assorted riff-raff, all of whom failed to survive the full eight rounds. The first champion was a simple farmer by the name of Thresher Jim, who became as famous as any Hero and whose rugged good looks sparked a whole new celebrity culture. There have been hundreds of victors since, but none impressed more in his prime than Mad-dog "The Strangler" McGraw. After setting new records in every round, Mad-dog retired to become a Crucible pundit, commentating alongside Allen Murray, one of Albion's beloved, and most idiotic, voices.