NPC is the common acronym for "non player character". Simply put, these are like extras at a movie. But not really. ;-)
NPCs at ConQuest do play full fledged characters and have as intense and thrilling gameplay as any player. But they do have less influence on their characters story, motivation and demeanor. 
Most NPCs at ConQuest are part of the Forsaken armies (consisting of the "Black Ice", "Undead Flesh" and "Army of Doubt"). Together these armies are the players adversaries, the "evil" side who get their orders by the GMs (or their general army motivation and goals).
But life as a successful gladiator was not just about winning - you had to do it with style, inspiring the audience with your performance. There were certainly better warriors than Sorius, who had already defeated many enemies in the war.
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