Duels

The Rasennan character contains a heavy measure of pride. Duels are a frequent way of settling affairs that, for whatever reason, the participants do not want to take to a court of law or religious hearing. Duels by sword or dagger are the most common throughout the land, and in some cases hired bladesmen serve as proxies for the event. Vendettas drive duels even further, and can lead to widespread bloodshed if the families of parties are unwilling to consider a matter settled by the conclusion of a duel.

Local attitudes toward dueling vary greatly. Some princes abhor the practice, and make laws to punish duelists with imprisonment or public shaming. Others are caught up in the romance of it, and would duel themselves if their courts permitted. The most heartlessly pragmatic approach, in some cases, is the attitude expressed by Prince Riva of Carcador: “Forbid duels? Of course not. When the land’s between wars, men and women will look for excuses to vent blood and smoke. Let them have their duels, and at least they’ll be cutting down other willing targets instead of turning on the unwilling.”

One of the most elaborate dueling cultures is located in Cinquedea, a city whose narrow streets and canals are often splashed with the blood of combatants. There it’s common practice to paint an arrow on a door or wall near where a duelist of note died. The arrow points up if the fellow was well-regarded, as a sign that the unfortunate soul has at least ascended. It points down if opinion has it that his character was bad — or if it’s the fervent desire of the painter that the fallen duelist sinks down into the Hells.

Duels

Rasennan Summer Barastrondo