Hašmaq Sag - The Zeribian Sarcred Duels
Sacred duels are sports-like duels fought between Zeribian nobles of different families.
The tradition seems to be related to the traditional warfare between native tribes, which is focused on taking opposing soldiers captives. The captives are then enslaved, traded for ransom or sacrificed. It seemes that sacrificing the losing fighter used to be frequent in the early years of the tradition, but the funtion has later been fullfilled by a blood sacrifice.
The duels are organised on dedicated arenas on temple courts. The ritual has sport-like elements such as the common people coming to watch the duels and cheer for their lords. The fights seem to have national significance for the people. The goal of the duel is to either knock the opponent unconscious, or otherwise make him unable to continue. Otherwise there are no strict rules, but many styles of combat and strategies can be used. The duels tend to mostly be armed combat, but can also include wrestling. After the match, the winner and priests lead the losing warrior to the temple, where he has to make a blood sacrifice. Normally this means performing bloodletting ritual of some kind, but the details can be modified. The sacrificed is usually stripped from any of his noble symbols, as a sign of humiliation, but this can also be seen so that he is performing the sacrifice on behalf of the whole people.
Components and tools
The main weapon in the duels is a large metal club. The fighters usually wear a metal helmet, and some light armor from canvas or leather to protect other body parts.
Every noble family is expected to provide warriors for the fights. The warriors are usually not first-born sons, that are deemed too important to risk. The younger sons are encouraged to practice their fighting skills, and the best are chosen for the matches.
The ritual calendar determines the days suitable for the matches,and what rituals will surround the duel fight.
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