Day 4-The Wrestling
What the Priestesses Say
Though Butterfly Girl's suitors each fiercely contested with one another to win her favor, they also were vigorous, spirited young men who enjoyed one another's fellowship, and they sought as much to impress each other as they did to win Butterfly Girl's charms. This is a friendly contest, and a chance to exercise the gifts that the gods have granted to strong, healthy young men. The wrestling contest takes place in a five-meter by five-meter sandpit, and the competitors are unarmed. Loincloths must be worn by all competitors, for the locals have not adopted the classical Lumulean style of naked wrestling. The two contestants begin at opposite corners of the sandpit. At the signal the contest begins. Although called a "wrestling" contest, characters may use any unarmed combat ability including martial arts. Magic is permitted providing that it is not directly harmful or debilitating to your opponent. To win, a wrestler must either incapacitate his opponent, throw him out of the sandpit, or pin him for three consecutive phases. A single loss eliminates a contestant. Opponents are chosen in the same manner as for the joust. If the atmosphere of the joust represents a rugged, hostile, no holds-barred battle between warrior suitors, the wrestling contest represents a friendly match of strength and ability among trusting, sporting companions. No specific rules exist to discourage loutish behavior, but uncouth wrestlers may win bouts, yet lose the favor of the crowd. For example, a character who goes berserk may, in his frenzy, continue to pummel an opponent after the opponent is incapacitated or forced from the sandpit. Such behavior may win bouts, but the crowd boos, hisses, and spits, while other contestants make a special effort to punish the miscreant. The offender is also unlikely to win points in the Ladies' Choice (-2 to -6 penalty applied depending on perceived degree of lack of sportsmanship).
Each wrestling match containing one or more Characters run by the Players is normal combat. Run those involving only NPCs as simple contests, and describe the nature of the bout in as much detail as required to maintain the atmosphere for the players. Players are encouraged to describe the actions that their Character is attempting, and the GM should then describe the outcome appropriately. (Each time a participant loses, describe how they either: are pinned to the ground but break free; for a moment are almost pushed from the ring, but manage to lurch back to safety; or are on the wrong end of a charging attack and come crashing down but then manage to rally.)
Contestant Strategies during the Wrestling
Carylon - no specific powers to help out here: he will go into the ring and give it his best. He will ask an opponent if they wish an agreement not to use magic (in the hope that they agree) but will try to stay impassive regardless of their response.
Promidor - Prefers to use magic, but will agree to a non-magical bout with another Horned Man Cultist. If using magic he will cast GLARE.
Vathmar - Prefers to use magic, but will agree to a non-magical bout with another Horned Man Cultist. Like Promidor, if using magic he will use GLARE.
Myrrhyn - Will always choose to use magic, then he can use his extra magical END from the piece of moonrock to assist him INTMIDATE in hopes of putting his opponent off balance. The Blue crystal, hidden in his loincloth, gives him +10 STR. If the cheat is used, he will also gain the benefit of a DUPLICATE spell..
Sir Barharach - Sir Barharach takes part in this event thoroughly greased with slippery seal fat apart from his hands This makes him particularly difficult to hold. (Increase his STR by 10 for any holds or escapes.) He always chooses magic and casts SPELL OF THE WARRIOR'S STRENGTH, and thereafter attempts to grab and throw his opponent straight out of the square.
Jarst Daro - He appears in classical stance for wrestling (naked) and only covers himself when the judges insist. Many ladies loudly profess shock and indignation, but he wins many admirers (and a +3 to his final chance at the Ladies Choice). He will fight straightforwardly but may be able to use the Gherent's trick to make an aopoent yield.
Samadrian Trick - The blue crystal provided by Sorghall gives Myrrhyn an unfair and undeclared advantage. In addition to this, aided by the usual superior crowd distraction tactics of the Samadrian agents, Agrestis will cast DUPLICATE on Myrrhyn so that his opponent does not know which one to attack.
Gherent's Trick - If he can pin his opponent, even for a moment, so that he can get his face close, he will use the Gherent's fascination power to try to force his opponent to yield.
Potential Trick for a Character- Thanks to playtester Martin Gibbs for independently coming up with the 'pig fat' cheat after his cunning character noted Sir Barharach in preparation. Contestants liberally coated in fat are at a +10 bonus to STR for any escapes.
The Wrestling Prize:
Three points are given to the winner of the wrestling match, and two points to his defeated opponent. A further wrestling match decides the winner of third place. The winner receives an ornate bronze girdle, set with semi-precious stones.
Depending on the dainty item the Character has found for Jezra, she may or may not invite him to join her today. Whatever the case, one of Raus' men approaches him later and suggests he leave her alone. The threat if he refuses is left unspoken.
Cathilion, a young Klinthan Armiger, discretely approaches a Character spectator, asking if he would lay a bet for him. (While there is no law against gambling on Klinthe, Lord Solanthos fiercely disapproves of his men gambling in public.)
The Characters learn where the kegs for tomorrow's drinking competition are stored. If they investigate, they encounter a pair of Samadrian agents spiking the barrels. In the ensuing melee, do the spiked barrels get hopelessly mixed up? (See Intelligence Test strategies for the 'Spiked Beer' Option.)
Another brawl erupts between Samadrian soldiers and the locals, and Sir Davis Houndsgor himself appears with his men to restore order. After the fray dies down, the word goes round that Lord Raus has threatened to leave an extra contingent of troops in town after the contest to keep order if this sort of thing happens again.
If the players are keeping an eye on the Samdrians, they notice a brown-robed man (Kyris) who also seems to be spying on the Samadrians. If they attempt to confront him, or follow him in turn, he will eventually notice them and disappear in a rapid and most perplexing fashion.