Knave of Fates
Games and Sports of the World of Toreen
The Arcantis is a deck of 91 cards used to play a variety of “leaf” or card games. The seen suits are (in rank of importance): Beasts, Crowns, Roses, Sheaves, Gems, Moons, and Tomes (with Tomes trumping Beasts). The thirteen cards in each suit are (in rank of importance): King Queen, Vizier, Judge, Hierophant, Knight, Merchant, Smith, Maiden, Servant, Peasant, Hermit, Knave (with Knave trumping King).
Some games remove suits and/or cards (usually Roses and Gems; Vizier, Hermit and/or Knave. A variant called the Major Arcantis includes four more suits: Shields, Swords, Hearts, Wands, and two, unsuited cards: The Void and The Dragon.
Dice games abound throughout Toreen, with four-, six-,and eight-sided varieties the most easy to make. These games often have simple rules and a gambling element, and are common among the poorer or seedier elements of a given society.
Ko ka ni gai wa is a board game played between 3, 6 or 9 players invented by the XXXXXXX. It is a tactical game of moving small round stones forward on space at a time, or “leaping” an enemy piece with no supporting piece behind it. The game is completed when all of a player’s pieces have ended up in one of the zones on the opposite sides of the board.
The winner by tradition can request one stone from each opponent, and to deny the request is an insult. Players who appreciate the skill of the opponent, win or lose, will offer a stone before a request is made. This is seen as a gracious and honorable gesture.
Puzzles and Riddles are a common past time among lock makers, academics, and wizards to sharpen their skills. Some mechanical puzzles may find themselves integrated into a lock or trap, while word puzzles and ciphers may be used to conceal information, or unlock a magical ward.
Ten Winds is a battle game set on a board marked with orthogonal lines denoting the possible resulting movement from that intersection and a blank row in the middle denoting a river (with diagonal lines from the starting positions of the General and Officers). The pieces are The General (1), Archer (2), Catapult/Cannon, Chariot (2), Elephant (2), Horse (2), Officer (2), and Soldier (5). The standard number of pieces per side is 17, but some variations on larger boards go up to 29, and with assymetrical piece counts and starting points. Also, so variant boards have some additional, assymetrical diagonal lines.
This game is an abstract replay of the Battle of Ten Winds, and is used to train military officers.
Bagshaw is the common name of Bai’gi’xia (“flat field behind the barracks”), a military training game developed in antiquity by Bea’txo commanders to improve the fitness of the troops. Originally, two units of equal size would face each other, trying to maneuver a carried object between parallel sets of trees at either end of the field by handing it sideways or backwards, and avoiding having the carrier “captured.” Variations on this version is still used in training by armies throughout Toreen, and its derived sport is the most popular.
The modern sport version has teams of 13 (or 7) opponents on oval fields 143 (or 77) yards long, and 91 (or 49) yards across at the center line. A two-layer, air-filled ball is used, usually ovoid in the proportions of the field, but certain XXXXXXXX regions use a ungainly seven-pointed form, made from seven ovoid pieces sewn together, around a circular air bladder.
Players for the team possessing the ball must remain even with or behind the ball, and the ball can be handed sideways or backwards, or passed by hand or foot to any player in a legal position. If the ball carrier is held and cannot move away, or is taken to the ground, they must release the ball, to be taken up by any player.
If the ball is passed out of bounds, or the carrier goes out of bounds, a member of the opposing team must throw or kick ball back into play toward the center of the field. If the ball is not sent towards the middle of the field, it is awarded to the other team.
Scoring is done by carrying the ball between two posts or trees set 7 yards apart at each end of the field for 7 points, or passing it between them for for 3 points. Play is for two 49-minute halves, or until a predetermined score is reached my either team (typically 49 points).
Variations on these rules abound from region to region.
Baliri is part religious ritual, part sport among the XXXXX people of XXXXXX. The first recording of it is in XXXX in the journal of Zalamiri Trader-Captain Glintan Doebeliy, the first Trader-Captain to return from XXXXXX.
He reported that the fittest of the young adults, male and female, would gather before the temple naked at dawn, and standing in a circle, and begin kicking aloft around the circle “a holy sphere of roots and vines wrapped together.” Any part of the body except the hands can be used to keep it aloft, and if a player fails to keep it aloft, they leave the circle with the ball and consume it, with the ritual/game resuming with the next player. If one interferes with another player, they are ostracized by the temple until the next festival. The last participant remaining receives a special blessing, favor, or token from the high priest.
Regional variations include those allowed to participate, length of ostracism, direction of play, and size and composition of ball.
Footdown is an obstacle course foot race derived from military exercises of the Zalamiri Empire that originated in that form in year XXXX, and became a holiday contested sport in the decade that followed. All of the men of a village or neighborhood don a kit either equal in items and weight, or an equal percentage of the carrier’s weight (typically 20%). This last variation is called handicapped footdown.
Individual Contests of Skill have existed since before history was recorded on Toreen. Martial arts, foot and boat races, climbing, jumping, swimming, acrobatics, skating and skiing are all contested in communities throughout the year.
The Golden String Archery competition is held in Five Rivers, Zalamiri Empire, for five days around the Summer Solstice, for almost 300 years, interrupted only by war (eight times) and flood (twice). It attracts archers and crossbowmen from many nations competing for the rich purses in the many individual competitions.
Mount Racing is a sport so old that it is not known when or where it began. Horses are the most common mount, so also are the most common sport animal in mount racing.
Hunt racing is typical for testing battle trained mounts, chasing after released quarry, across all kinds of terrain.
Endurance racing is typically used to test the endurance of messenger mounts across distances ranging from 25 to 100 miles.
Flying mount races typically will be around an aerial course no more than 7 miles long, and no more than 7 laps (5 miles and 3 laps being the most typical.
Xipak Tirgaw is a non-competitive sport of the XXXXXX people. A group of six “helpers” gather around a central “soloist” in a seven yard circle. A woven, round ratan basket is kept in the air by the soloist while performing one of countless body position maneuvers from dance and martial arts of the XXXXXX. The helpers aid the soloist by keeping mis-hit baskets aloft. Style and form are the important parts of the exercise.