World:The Greatest Games

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The Greatest Games

Once every five years all the great Houses journey from their lands to the Greatest City in the World, Davfanna Aldrena, for an incredible contest of skill and show of sport. Old rivalries are forgetten, and peace rules the day as the greatest talents in athletics, tivalti, archery, artistry, trivia and prowess come together to determine which of their number is to be named the Greatest of Us All, Sa-Ven. The House to provide the largest number of champions becomes the First among Equals, and is considerered pre-eminent for the remainder of the Season. Its colors are flown in the Capital and its virtues are praised and celebrated in song and wine, and receives the favor of their Suaven.

That is the Face of it, anyway, but behind the Fan of Pomp and Ceremony exists a Great and Bloody battle for Supremacy. The judges are bribed and threatened, the contestants are sabotaged and blackmailed, and each House is expected to win its patron event on pain of death. Indeed, it is only in legend that a clear winner emerged from among the six families (each House will boast of the time that they were Triumphant), but the threat of such humiliation drives each family to the heights of perfidy.

The show of hovana, or truce, hospitality, and civility, is a nominal veil over what is tantamount to war among the families in the Capital during the Games. The laws are held in even higher esteem, and those who openly break them are given up to an even worse fate--the Suaven themselves, patrons of the Games--and each House tries to expose the other even as they break the laws themselves.