Information sourced from studies by the Citadel of Scholars dedicated to Our Lord Hamaskus, derived from historical studies of the Second through Fourth Eras, as well as multiple books published on the popular subject
The dice are made of different materials, the game goes by a different name, but there's no mistaking it. Bloody Deceitstones being played between an Angel and a Night Hag on the shores of the Sea of Blood where Souls granted access by Sindla wash up waiting to be reforged as Risen. I should've smote the Hagspawn where she sat, though I was mesmerised into disbelief over this moment of peace and common grounds. Even through I was standing under a different sky, this dice game can seemingly bring anyone together.
Gambling has always been one of the most common pastimes for all denizens of the Mortal Realm and even beyond into other Realms across the Star Bridge according to the tales of Realmwalkers and Traveller Knights of Courga, with the most popular and widespread being Deceitstones. Deceitstones is a parlour game played in 'Investigating Sea Hags'., and is most popular throughout Human-centric cultures as a means to gamble, usually for coins or food but occasionally for leisure when it comes to nobility. It is also an extremely popular social tool for interviewing an individual or trying to gain information, as seen in books such as
The player and their opponent have a set number of dice (Either two, four or six six-sided die) each which they secretly roll and look at. They take it in turns to make increasingly high guesses about how many dice of a certain roll are on the table altogether until one of them calls the other out on a bluff and confirms which dice are really on the table. The one who was wrong must remove one of their dice, and the loser is the one who is eventually left with no dice at all. Bets are usually only made once the dice roll has happened but before guesses start.
People use Deceitstones as a backdrop to converse with one another as they play. Higher bets are more dangerous but also socially allow them to ask more daring or important questions, while calling bluffs often cut off lines of conversation altogether. It is often referred to as a social dance, where a daring player my skirt closer to the edge and risk losing everything.
History & Spread
During the Renaissance Period of the Third Age, citizens of the Empire of Midland had more spare time on their hands to pursue leisurely activities. From this rebirth of cultural creativity came the invention of Deceitstones. No official source provides evidence for exactly when or where the dice game first appeared, but many settlements from major cities to rural hamlets throughout the old imperial lands claim to be the birthplace of Deceitstones for tourism potential.
Two opposing ideologies formed Deceitstone Cults as the game quickly rose in popularity throughout the Midlandian Empire, as it became a multi-cultural entity which helped to establish a shared Imperial Culture. The popularisation of Deceitstones spread even outside the borders of the Midlandian Empire via major trade routes such as the Ruby Road to the East and Gold Road to the Angel's Way in the West. The game appeared to catch on quicker in more human-centric pockets of population across the Mortal Realm such as the Storm Coast and especially Yosha as seen with the .
As the game became more widespread, the rules stayed the same but the names and materials would change leading to a new Deceitstone genre of dice games. Archaeologists have discovered depictions and records in the collapsed remnants of the Nameless Empire in the Great Desert of Rostau showing evidence of two opposing gambling ideologies who named their games "Sandstones" and "Slavestones". Sailors from Xhinjai in Alca and Monsalvat offer rounds of "Garamose's Game" harking back to their origins as a colony of the Yoshan Trade Empire. Tales of Devils rising from Mortis Realm to make deals through "Soulstones" are rife throughout the Realm, and the Arcane Council have developed their own "Mindstones" made from the finest Bloodstone. Even through the diverse Kushan Empire of the Fourth Era there appears to be "Scalestones".
Prompts Advent Calendar #22 WorldEmber Article #24
For Information on Gambling Halls and Dens, as well as the two Deceitstone Cults;
The two ideologies of Deceitstones exist depending on a player's personal views of the game whether it is one of luck, or one of skill and deception. As such, these fall into the domains of the opposing sibling-gods Effe and Pashna. As such, many myths have arose throughout the Mortal Realm depicting Effe and Pashna playing over a game of Deceitstones.
Pashna is a known and famous Realmwalker, with many legends depicting Him taking trips to where he shouldn't so that He could learn more about the Realms and races of the Great Dance as well as how to play with them. Some educated cultists of Pashna suggest He is the true reason why the game is so widespread throughout the Realms. Pashna often forces himself into timed comas so that He may walk throughout Somnium Realm and speak with His trapped sister Effe.
Two tales speak of a gambit made between Effe and Pashna over which ideology was the correct interpretation of Deceitstones, each tale describing a different outcome. For the worshippers of Miss Fortune, Effe won the game of Deceitstones and earned Her right to have a Demi-God despite being physically in a coma which would become Garamose. For the worshippers of the Trickster God, Pashna won the game and earned the right to influence someone on the Mortal Realm.
The Mad Emperor Sarrus VIII von Apollyon (r. 3E 719 - 769), child of Emperor Bridgett, became enthralled by the game as a result of Pashna's victory, it dominating every minute of his day while he gave all the decisions of the Midlandian Empire to the imperial court. After this descent into obsession, Emperor Sarrus VIII made one and only declaration, that the dice game should forevermore be known as "Imperial Deceitstones" and should anyone not refer to it as it's full name the person should be executed without trial. This law stayed in place until the collapse of the Midlandian Empire during the reign of his son Emperor Sarrus IX von Apollyon (r. 3E 770 - 792).
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