Lords of Fluviallis
The Grand Tourney
The Grand Tourney
Every two years, there is a huge tourney and celebration somewhere in Brevoy. Started by Choral the Conqueror, this tourney hosts tests of horsemanship, fighting skills, archery, and climbing for those who crave physical challenges. For those more creatively inclined, there are poetry contests, storytelling contests, insult contests, mental puzzles, baking contests, magic shows, and the very famous Maze of Death. The event is a kingdom wide celebration, and usually towns and cities too far away to participate hold their own smaller festivals in conjunction with the main event.
Hosting the Event
While typically the king or one of the great houses host this event, any noble house can bid to host the event, which in itself a great honor. Starting bids to host the event are 10000gp entry fee, sweetened by extra offerings of special events, guests, lodgings, and gifts to persuade the selector to choose them. The competition gets down to the top three entries, all of whom must forfeit their deposit whether they are chosen or not. The winner receives his entry fee back, but is expected to put it and additional monies up as winner’s purses for the events. While there is no requirement, it has become customary for the king to donate one of the other entrance fees to the overall purses and use the third to pay for additional guards and administrators to help organize and maintain order during The Grand Tourney.
Typical purses are between 1000gp and 25000gp depending on the field of competition and the particular contest. Surviving the Maze of Death earns you 2500 gp. Most contests also require an entrance fee, with some of the more prominent (aka knightly) competitions having the most steep costs, presumably to narrow the field to more worthy (aka noble) competitors.
Who is there
Knights, nobles, and those outstanding in their fields are expected to participate in these events, and failure to do so can result is a sullied reputation. Competition is particularly fierce in dueling and jousting competitions, as the former is typically won by Swordlords (much to the embarrassment of the other noble houses) and the latter is usually attended by knights from Mendev, the River Kingdoms, Ustalav, Galt, and even Varisia and Andoran. This event is also often used as a time for knightly orders to hold meetings, promote squires, pages, and new knights, as well as the rare senior election, since there will usually be more members present than any other time. The King is always present for The Grand Tourney, so it can also be a time to impress the ruling house and perhaps gain favor.
Despite the civilized trappings of the Taldan culture inherent in the original settlers of Brevoy, the atmosphere of The Grand Tourney had been moving more towards a gladiatorial games feel under Choral the Conqueror. Now that he his family has been absent for over a decade, the games have gone more towards pomp, grandeur, celebratory festivities, and of course politicking.
Each spring and summer there are a number of tourneys scattered across Brevoy, and it has become a matter of competition and prominence among the noble houses to host your own tourney, with the size of the purse determining the significance of the tourney. These events are a great way for fledgling knights, archers, and many other competitors to get experience, get recognized, and increase their standing in the field they compete in. Two of the more famous contests are the Tourney of Tall Trees put on every year by Rogarvia and Medvyed, and the Rushlight Tourney, hosted by one of the River Kingdoms every five years.