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Dueling in the Empire

Dueling has been a common sport for centuries in the Empire.  Most duels are fought for disagreements, settling arguments, or defending someone's honor.  There are several styles of duels, but few are intentionally fought to the death.  Most are fought to first blood, incapacitation, or yielding.  Dueling with live steel is dangerous, and many a fatal blow has been unintentionally struck during a moment of passion.  Some of the dueling codes allow a champion for the combatants, allowing some a healthy living as a duelist.

The most common codes of dueling are the Code of the Seven Houses, Code of the Rat, Code of Tahlin, and Magus styles.  The challenged individual chooses the style of the duel, but the challenger chooses the terms of victory.  The Code of the Seven houses is the most common amongst the gentry and nobility in the more "civilized" cities of the Empire.  Allowing no armor, no magical items, spells, nor effects, and the only weapons that may be brought to bear are rapiers.  Duelists are required to remain within a 15 foot circle, exiting the area is an automatic yielding.  These duels can never be given to a champion or alternate.

The Code of Tahlin is less specific with the regulations and is more popular outside the environs of the populated towns and cities of the east.  The challenger is allowed to choose the weapon and armor used or they both may allow an impartial witness to decide.  As with the Code of the Seven Houses, no magical items, spells, or effects are permitted.  There are no dueling ground dictates, and some duels have ranged across entire small towns.  Both sides may choose champions to take their place in the duel.  Historical Note.

Named after the less than honorable war practices of the Secotah, the Code of the Rat is more of a free for all than an actual style.  Whatever can be brought to bear by the individuals dueling may be used.  Champions for one or both of the duelists are quite common.  Far more deadly than the Code of the Seven Houses, most Rat dueling is chosen for the advantage of magic or a lack of skill with rapiers.

The Magus style of dueling can only occur between mages.  The least deadly of styles, each spell caster casts spells to terrify, amuse, or astound the witnesses.  Summoning spells, illusions, elemental manipulation spells are all extremely common.  The most flamboyant and puissant magician wins.  This style is often chosen for duels over guild rank or prestige.


2000 J. K. Wykowski & T. Coonrod