Royal Imbolc Tournament of Kantoc Tradition / Ritual in Scarterra | World Anvil

Royal Imbolc Tournament of Kantoc

"There is no better place for a man to demonstrate his honor and mettle than during the Royal Imbolc Tournament!"   -Sir Derecho, Knight of the Red Lion
  The Kantoca nobility love to attend and participate in martial tournaments and Kantoca knights greatly seek the glory and prizes of all tournaments, the tournaments on the day of Imbolc are considered especially prestigious, especially the one hosted by the king.   The main event is a jousting tournament but there is also an archery contest and a general melee. There is a little bit of a festival atmosphere with food vendors and various troubadors and jugglers selling goods and services during quiet moments, there isn't as many such entrepeneurs here than on other similar martial tournaments the rest of the year. The weather is colder so more people stay inside than during summer tournaments and there are more restrictions on lowborn attendees for the Imbolc tournament than most other similar tournaments later in the year.


Imbolc martial competitions existed in some form in this region since well before the time of Vladimir the Conqueror though the Imbolc tournamnets of yesteryear were much less formal and much more bloody.


The winners of the archery contest and melee win a large gold prize whereas the winner of the jousting tournament receives a huge gold prize.   Winners of any contest also get trophies and medals and bragging rights for the rest of their life. Winning the jousting touranment, or even making it to the Elite Eight is also a key to social mobility for the knights who are likely to be offered new titles and honors for years to come.


Knights and free lance knights have to register weeks in advance to participate in the Royal Imbolc Tournament. Any high born Kantoca can attend as a spectator, but they aren't guaranteed a good seat.   Lowborn Kantoca and foreign dignitaries need an invitation to be able to attend. Foreign knightly champions need special permission to participate in the actual tournament, but this is usually a simple formality as the king and his vassals usually find it exciting and prestigious to have foreign knights involved.


The event starts a few days before the day of Imbolc. Knights and free riders have to double check their registration than present themselves to the king (and other other dignitaries with the king).   The jousting tournament typically has well over a hundred competitiors who are paired off in one-on-one best of three round matches.   The schedulers will try to arrange the initial rounds to favor some challengers over others. For instance, In the first round, celebrated veterans are usually paired with relative unknowns.   The first actual jousts occur on Imbolc itself, but the tournament tends to last a few days.   The archery contest takes place over a single day and provides an intermission of the elimination jousting tournament.   After the jousting tournament is decided, there is a feast for the nobles, a two day intermission, and then the melee, where knights have their weapons magically tempered with Wrath theurgy to make the combat considerably less lethal. The melee is essentially a free-for-all of armored knights wailing on each other with magically blunted blades and morningstars. Anyone who hits the ground for any reason is eliminated.
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