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Generally speaking, most games on this world come under three general headers: Laughter, Creative, and Skill.

Laughter games can range from children's games of various sorts intended to crack everybody up to ritualized interactive theater in some parts of the world (again, to everyone's general hilarity) to humiliation games that the Chwahir had in particular, and various cultures have had at various times.

Creative games vary enormously, from singing games (these can get extremely elaborate among morvende and maulan, and shade over into skill competitions) to teaching games among scribes, heralds, and mages: puzzle games and group-dynamic games being used the most.

Then there are the skill games. The biggest variety is here. There are counting games with competition in speed and accuracy, games with objects (swords, bows and arrows), games of team competition, single competition, speed, skill, games wherein one can interfere ("attack") other players and games where one cannot. Objects can be strings, sticks, animals, boats, skates, etc. Balls are not as prevalent, though there are wooden balls for lawn and ice games. The most common animal game is called hunting, where people on horseback chase an animal, usually trained, through a given course, and the winner garlands the beast--gets close enough to throw a rope garland around head or horns. Deer are popular, horses as well--any fleet, smart animals. Animals clever at evading are much prized and cherished.

At one time Colend hosted the spring ritual called the Ym Hunt. The aristocrats dressed in spring colors and would chase the fastest of the young racing deer. The rider who successfully threw a garland around the animal's neck (getting it caught on antlers only netted one partial credit, frequently laughter) won, and was feted. There was heavy betting, which eventually got so out of control that entire holdings were risked, sparking off trouble . One of the monarchs forbade this particular tradition, though garland hunting was, and is, still popular.

There are also games played while sitting, such as cards and marker games of various kinds. Probably the most common game in Sartor (carried round the world by sailors and adapted into a variety of forms, such as Draelsta) is called Cards and Shards. This game is closest to "Spoon" on Earth, wherein one is playing a card game at the same time as keeping spoons in play. In "Spoon" and in some versions of "Cards'n'Shards" the Shards (which can be anything from glass to gems to wooden buttons) are removed, and whoever is left without loses. But there are very elaborate versions, with colored shards, that must be grouped in certain ways while the cards are continually passed from hand to hand and grouped then put down--a player being called out if the cards build up in hand, or the shards accumulate without being grouped and removed. But after play, the winner is determined by how many groupings he or she has.

The history of this particular game is related to a very powerful magical ritual, though there are only a handful of people aware of it. Other card games are more mundane in origins.

Cards are usually in groups of 72--six suits, twelve cards in each--but half-decks are often used for simpler or faster games: Stars/Crowns, Diamonds, and Swords are fairly standard, with hearts/targets being another suit, rings/moons/coins being another suit, and the last being clover or shield. Militant cultures tend to be shield, target, knives, coins, diamonds, crown.

Gambling is common, and goes through the usual laws when it causes violence, but always reappears. Gambling can be done with anything, and the stakes can be anything, from money to objects and work.

Court games are considered skill games. They tend toward the truth or dare types, or word games, or games that test one's court mask. As always in court, losing face can be more important than losing wealth. Though the risk in both is often great.

Page last modified on February 12, 2016, at 02:04 PM