These are the regular events at the college. They generally happen
at regular intervals and are well prepared for. I would love more
ideas for this kind of thing, and specifically suggestions for
more events at the 'Games', especially events involving magic and
The exact dates of the games, are decided based upon
the weather. Given the resources at hand, the collegium has little difficulty
predicting a nice day a week in advance. Never is magic employed to
create such a day though.
At the games, the students and whoever wants to participate compete in various
events. There is no prize for winning as such, but winners and close runners-
up gain a lot of respect as well as getting their names in the rosters in the
main foyer of the College. There is fierce competition between the various
fraternities in these games, and some stoop to underhanded means to ensure
victory. In particular, the chamber of the Gryphon Wing is notorious in this
regard. It is not uncommon for the equipment of the rival Chamber, the Chamber
of the Claw, is found to be sabotaged too late to repair it, their members to
fall mysteriously ill or otherwise be absent, etc., during the games. In this
way, the Gryphon Wing compensate for what they lack in physical prowess with
cunning and deceit.
The Collegium is aware of this, but so far nothing has been done to actually
endanger the health of anyone, and they hesitate to interfer in the relations
between the students.
Unless otherwise noted, use of magic, herbs, etc., to enhance one's chances to
win is illegal and punishable as a disciplinary matter.
It is worthy of notice that there are no official competitions
involving 'Power Projection' and anyone caught doing this in private
are likely to find themselves expelled from the College. This event
represents a degree of power (ab)use that the College will not accept
or encourage. The Collegium is painfully aware that very many have
fallen to the Unlife in their quest for power, this is the reason for
the harshness in this matter.
The first day of the new year is celebrated all over Jaiman.
So also at the College. At the last day of the year, there is a large banquet
for all who reside there at the time. Later in the evening, there are
activities both inside and outdoors in the snow. At the strike of the fifth
Quintar of the Old Year, the coming of the New Year is celebrated. By the
strike of the First Quintar, the party will have died down and most residents
can be found in their quarters. There are no bed-time restrictions this night
Start of Winter Term
At the first full moon of Varin in the new year, the tenth, winter term
starts with a short ceremony. The First Speaker holds a speech, and new
students are welcomed before the gathered College. Students that move up in
the grades are assigned new quarters around this time.
During the winter, several ski tracks are cleared in the terrain around the
College grounds and regular outings are arranged. The lake within the grounds
tends to freeze over, and is used for skating.
The Winter Games take advantage of all this, and the students compete in speed
skating, skating team sports (hockey-equivalents, etc.), cross-country skiing
(individual and team events) as well as some other less mundane events.
Snow-sculpting is growing in popularity, the winner is decided by a jury
combined with the votes of the spectators. There is much room for influencing
the public here, although use of magic for this purpose is illegal. Using
magic for fashioning the snow sculptures and creating interesting effects is
encouraged though. The sculpture must still be 'mostly' snow and ice,
magic (illusions, etc.) may only be used for minor enhancements. Of
course, the specifics of how this rule is enforced will change over time.
When the nearby lake has frozen over, there
are also ice-sleigh competitions. Sleighs with sails and steel runners are used,
not unlike the Ky'farni ships of the Ky'taari race. They are not necessarily
seaworthy though, being designed primarily to move on frozen water. There are
few participants, normally three or four, but each sleigh has a large and loyal
following. Normally, a large number of people back each sleigh, a crew is
selected, and then the supporters help the crew build/maintain/etc. the sleigh
when needed. Being selected to crew one of these sleighs is a great honour and
the winners gain instant and lasting fame. This is one of the few competitions
that is spared for cheating and underhandedness.
During the Games there is also the speed flying competition. This is a purely
magical competition, the winner being the first to cover a ~5,000' distance
flying. The participants are free to use 'Fly' spells and nothing else. All
participants in the same event must use the same 'Fly' spell, i.e., there is a
'Fly I 75'/rnd' competition, one for 'Fly II 150'/rnd', etc. What determines
the winner is a combination of 'Spell Mastery' and 'Flying/Gliding' skill. The
course is not straight - there is quite some maneuvering required, such as
'around that pole', 'over that tree branch and under the next', 'through that
snow ring', etc. The reason the competition is held at winter is that one
makes sure the ground under the course is covered with soft snow so crashes
shouldn't cause too severe injuries. Of course, with Zaris around it hardly
matters anyway, but ...
At the vernal equinox, the term ends. A gathering is held, major projects are
presented briefly, students especially worthy are given some attention,
graduating students (those who will leave) are given the chance to speak and
are given wishes of luck from the gathering. The First Speaker says a few
words, and the students who will not stay are sent home.
In theory, there is noone at the College at this time. Most students are at
home on vacation, but there are still many left. In addition, several students
make the trip to the College solely for the Games. As such, there is quite
some more attendance than what one would think. As a result of the below
maximum attendance, the summer games hold the least prestige.
- held within the confines of the College. 300' dash is the most
- Distance running
- a five mile course is run on the paths and in the terrain
surrounding the College.
- Anyone who wants to can make a team for this event. Each team consists
of four members who each run a one mile stretch along the road leading to the
- The handball tournament involves teams of four players each, a
smallish ball (about the size of a modern handball) and a set of
rules not entirely like modern handball. The object of the game
is to deliver the ball into a circular, vertical hoop on the
opponents' side of the playing field. There are rules limiting
from where the toss can be made, how the players may move in
relation to one another, etc. This is not a contact sport, but
injuries do happen from time to time. To play this game, one
needs to have the skill 'Athletic Games: Handball' in the
Athletic*Gymnastics or Athletic*Endurance category (character's
choice). Any one player's category does much to determine his
place on the team, and each team normally has two players from
each skill category. Gymnastic players generally play defense
while Endurance players play the offense. However, points are
given both for scoring and for successfully defending against an
attempt to score, so all players have about an equal chance of
scoring points for the team. This
particular brand of handball is quite common in this part of
Jaiman (including Rhakhaan and much of U'Lyshak) although the
rule about gaining points for successful defenses is more or
less unique to the College.
Normally, each fraternity will enter one team into the
competition. Some may not enter teams, and others may enter two
or more. In any case, however, each fraternity may only have one
team eligible for the tournament, the other teams just play
without their scores being recorded. There have been sporadic
attempts at cheating in this sport, and they have largely been
discovered and punished. From time to time, however,
conspirators are successful. Now, the handball tournament isn't
taken all too seriously (nothing in the Summer games is), so the
punishment is seldom severe.
- A mile or so downriver, the Ryanna widens out and runs quietly
for several miles. This is where the regatta finish line is and
also where the exotic riverwalking competition is held.
The winner is the participant who first crosses the river and
back again walking on the water. The river is about three
hundred feet across at this point, and the current is normally
not a problem when walking on the water. It might turn in to a
problem though, in which case maneuver rolls would be in order
to avoid splashing into the water.
To enable participants to walk on the water, special potions are
prepared. Each of these enables the drinker to walk on water and
to breathe both water and air for a period of half an hour. It
is actually a special herbal drink created by Zaris. It is
worthy of notice that this potion does not enable one to run,
crawl, walk on one's hands, etc., on the water. Only walking (or
standing still for that matter). Only the soles of your feet
treat the water as (semi-)solid ground, so no bending down
supporting yourself with your hands.
Ropes are laid out on the river and anchored to each river
bank. There are about 30-50 feet between each rope, creating one
30-50 foot lane for each participant. A participant may not
leave his lane. He must walk the entire distance, if he ever
falls into the water he must make his way back on top of the
water, walk to where he fell in and resume the race from
there. Note that getting back up on the water is quite difficult
(if not impossible) without assistance. More on that later.
There are referees present (professors, powerful spellcasters)
who will monitor the entire contest and make sure no magic is
employed within the arena. They will also make sure the
contestants do not have any spells on them at the start of the
contest. They will further lend assistance to contestants who
come into potentially harmful situations, casting whatever
spells are needed to keep the students from harm. In short,
whatever happens to disturb the contest that is not an act of nature
(or seemingly an act of nature) tends to be illegal with
disqualification as the prominent penalty.
To help the contestants ('walkers') get out of the water, clear the
way of obstacles that should pop up, etc., there are the seconds. Each
team may have one row boat in its lane in addition to the walker. This
row boat may have up to three people who are responsible for helping
the walker get across. They may not offer any direct assistance,
except to help him out of the water and back on the surface, and most
indirect assistance consists of removing debris and such. They may not
do anything that might disturb other teams' walkers. Neither may
walkers disturb other teams' walkers. There is, however, no rule to
prevent seconds disturbing eachother, as long as it does not directly
disturb one of the walkers.
The timing of the contest is rather simple. The contestants are
responsible for being at the start line by their respective lanes ten
minutes before start. The referee gives the start signal, and all
contestants must walk to the river bank, drink the potion, walk across
the river, and walk back. First one to come back is the winner. There
is a rule that states that all participants must wear plain bathing
suits, no more, no less. This is primarily for safety
At this time, it should be noted that this is the one single event in
any of the games that is most laden with underhandedness, deceit,
cheating and general treachery. This is something everyone knows, but
as long as nothing directly illegal happens in or near the lanes that
has a plainly obvious culprit, not much is done about it. There are
numerous possibilities for working behind the scenes here and creating
advantageous sitiuations for one's own team that at the same time are
to the detriment of one's opponents. There is usually extensive
subterfuge involved in the preparations for this contest, and it is
the event with the most hilarious results. It draws a large
For a story about the riverwalk, click here.
More martial than the other games, these games include events of the
more violent and war-like type.
- Martial Arts
- This competition consists of two parts. First, the
qualification, and second, the cup. In the qualification, all
participants are divided into several groups of four
participants each. Within each group, all participants fight
all other participants exactly once. A win is one point, a loss
in minus one point and a draw is zero points. The participant
with the most points moves on to the cup. A draw prompts an
additional match to decide the winner.
In the cup play, all remaining participants are arranged into
pairs. Each pair does one match, the winner moves on to the next
level while the loser is out of the tournament. In the end,
there is one final match, the winner of which is the winner of
The fencing tournament takes place over several days, with each
participant doing as few as one or as many as three matches each
day. The final is always on the final day of the games.
Participants are issued wooden broadswords for the
tournament. These broadswords are of very good quality (for
being wooden, anyway) and aren't much different from wielding
regular steel swords. They are not really capable of doing much
slashing or piercing damage though, although you should be able
to bludgeon your opponent to death if you really wanted to. All
participants also wear a soft leather jacket and leggings as
well as a leather helmet to avoid injuries.
Score is calculcated from a combination of grace/skill and
accomplishment. So, if you scored many hits but did so in an
ungraceful and brutish way, while your opponent scored fewer,
but more skillful and stylish hits, it might end up a draw.
There is usually a good contingent of participants from the
College guards in this tournament, and they generally do well. The
prize tends to be a sword of superb craftmanship,
often with magical properties. It is crafted by Amia, the
Fatedard, the fencing instructor, is responsible for this tournament
and he is likely to strike down on cheaters very harshly.
- The archery contest is quite straight-forward. Ten targets are
arrayed at fifty paces. In the first round, all participants
shoot five arrows each, ten archers at a time obviously. They
use their own arrows (which can not be magic, but may be of good
craftsmanship). The ten archers with the highest scores qualify
for the second round. In this round, each archer is given ten
tournament arrows (plain arrows with simple decoration on them
to mark them as tournament arrows) in a quiver strapped to a pole
next to his firing position. All archers fire ten arrows each at
their own target, drawing one and one arrow from the quiver. The
five with the highest scores move on to
the final round. In the final round, each archer takes turn to
fire one single arrow at a target. All archers fire at the same
target, and only fire one arrow each. The arrow closest to the
center of the target wins. In this round, they also use
tournament arrows that are given to each archer individually by
one of the officials as he steps up to shoot. Order of fire is
in order of score from the previous round. That is, the winner
from the previous round shoots first.
The prize is a set of magical arrows crafted by Amia's students.
Fatedard, the fencing instructor, is responsible for this tournament
and he is likely to strike down on cheaters very harshly.
- Fire various elemental bolts at targets.
- About the same prestige involved as in the ice-sleigh competition.
Few boats are involved. They race up-river for twenty miles, ending just down-
stream for the College.