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Periodically, there is a Culling-- a process of thinning the herd. All food, water and any other basic necessities of life are withdrawn. Select inhabitants of the Colony are sent into the Crucible, a high-tech arean, and told they must fight to survive.
The Crucible, also called the Culling fields, is surrounded by a river of lava, it is an island filled with nooks and crannies, stalagmites and stalacties -- anything that would help serve as a battleground filled with rough terrain. It is the environment of those who will "kill or be killed."