Bannersnatching Tradition / Ritual in Shireon | World Anvil



In its most basic form, Bannersnatching is all about stealing the other team's banner and bringing it home to the home base. This is also the beginning of the game the first time it was played. After several years (and a handful of accidents) more and more rules were made to make the game a fun and relatively safe experience for everyone involved.

The Arena

(Main article: Arcane Arena )

The yearly game of Bannersnatching is held in the Arcane Arena, a magical battlefield in a pocket dimension permanently attached to the Tower of Lenthos. The floor is littered with obstacles that will change from year to year. This is one of the magical features of the Arena, and in this way there will be a different battlefield every year. The only thing that is the same is the pedestal where the banners are placed at the beginning of each match.


The players are divided into two teams. Usually the teachers are divided evenly to the different teams, since they are usually more skilled at magic than some of the secretaries, librarians and clerks. The Arch Mage does not join the games since he is way too powerful for it to be fair. Sometimes a special game is held where the Arch Mage joins one of the teams, but then most of the teachers and a lot of the more skilled spellcasters among the non-teacher part of the faculty is put on the other team. The times the Arch Mage joins are few and far between, though, and it might be several decades to a century between each time he joins in.

The teams don't necessary have the same players every year - some players will be on the blue team one year, then switch to the red team next year. Some members of the faculty will feel a certain belonging to one team, though, and will try to get on the same team every year. These individuals will sometimes get grumpy if put on the wrong team, and in some very few cases this will be a bit detrimental to the team's chance to win. Yet, usually most of the people being put in the "wrong" team takes it pretty well, and do their job on their new team.


The banners are just plain cloth banners with one enchantment that makes it impossible to turn it invisible. One is red, and one is blue. New banners are provided every year, since the winner's banner from every year is on display in one of the hallways of the Tower of Lenthos. The banners might have a symbol on them, often the rising sun of the Lenthir banner, but some years there will be a different symbol, usually with some magical meaning.

Banners should only be picked up by hand. Using force magic or wind magic to move the banner is not allowed, and will give the player doing it a ten minute mandatory break outside the field, and the banner they tried to get will be placed back at its pedestal.


The match lasts for 1.5 hours, plus additional time if the teams are tied when time runs out.

How to Win

The team that manages to get the opposing team's banner to their own pedestal first wins a point. The team that have the most points at the end of the game wins. If the teams have no points or if they have the same amount of points when the time runs out, the current round is played until it's done.

Known Tactics

Although there are no official roles on each teams, it has become almost a tradition to divide the team into three roles: Defenders, blockers and snatchers. Defenders stay behind and keeps an eye on the banner. Blockers and snatchers cross the field to the enemy's pedestal. The snatchers go for the banner, while the blockers block opponents trying to stop the snatchers. While the defenders can stay in their role for a whole game, the blockers and snatchers often switch roles mid-game if needed.

It's pretty common for at least one player on one of the teams to become invisible so they can sneak in to the opponent's pedestal and snatch their banner unseen. This has made it common to have at least one defender that can sense magic or see invisible beings on each team.

Even though damaging spells aren't allowed, force spells are, and they are usually used to either push opponents out of the way, trip people or otherwise prevent people from getting where they want.

Primary Related Location


Longest game
4 hours
Most points by one team in one game
Most points total in one game
Most years in a row with same team winning
6 (Red team)
Most wins overall
247 (Blue team)


Only non-damaging spells are allowed during the game. Players who cast a spell on the banned list will be disqualified for the rest of the game. If the same player casts a banned spell in any other game after being banned for this once, they will be banned for the rest of their life.

If the banner of one team is destroyed during the game, the game will pause while the referee finds out what has happened. If the team owning the destroyed banner is guilty of destroying it themselves they will lose, no matter how many points they have. If the other team is guilty of destroying it, or some external force like the arena itself is to blame, the banner is replaced, and the guilty player (if any) is disqualified from the game.

If someone on one team is hurt during the game and can't attend anymore, one person on the other team must sit out the rest of the game. This is in addition to banned players, if any. If the damage is caused by another player, and it clearly wasn't an accident, the other player is banned.

If a player is killed, the game ends. There are no winners in this case. If the death is caused by another player, there will be an investigation into the case, and the person in question will be prosecuted by ordinary Lenthiri laws if found guilty.


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