Exhibition Matches Tradition / Ritual in Tarin | World Anvil
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Exhibition Matches

"You remember the rules, right?" The referee glanced between the two Knights, expression thoughtful. "No revives, no soul weapons!"   The hulking Knight stationed in the left side of the ring rolled his shoulders, cracking them. "Yes, yes, I have done this before." He glanced to his opponent, smirking in excitement. "It has been too long."   On the right side of the ring, a much much smaller Knight with a lithe frame was stretching out. "And no Essentia. We know." He called to the referee. He straightened, shaking out his left leg. Bright orange runes sparked to life on his prosthetic, and he settled into a relaxed stance, grinning at his opponent. "It has."   The larger Knight cracked his own neck, staring at him. "Ready to lose?" He shifted, hand reaching down to touch the hilt of a weapon at his waist. "I'll take it easy on you."   The smaller Knight grinned, hopping from side to side, one hand halfway to the sword at his own hip. "Your loss then," he replied cheerfully.   The huge knight let out a booming laugh, before he suddenly launched forward while his opponent was hopping to one side. His jovial expression shifting to something far more feral and predatory as he neared him.   The smaller knight grinned as he was approached suddenly vanishing from sight. He reappeared just behind the larger knight in a flash of white magic, lashing out with the sword he'd somehow drawn.   The sword hit against a blur of metal and wood, a large club being swung opposite as the larger Knight turned his body toward him. He twisted fully, a slight smile twitching into his more intimidating expression.   The smaller Knight danced back, landing lightly on his good leg, sword in hand. He kept his distance for a moment before vanishing again, a burst of white appearing on the opponent's right as the smaller Knight swung his sword. The crowd gasped as the sword slashed through the large man's navy tunic, catching on chainmail he wore underneath.   The huge Knight stared down at the smaller, raising his left arm and swinging the harsh and heavy club at his torso.   The small Knight backflipped, avoiding the blow, but only just. He grinned at the other man, his prosthetic sparking as he landed. "You're getting slow, old man!" He teased as he straightened.   The huge knight let out a booming laugh. He feinted to strike at his prosthetic with a horizontal swipe, but switched to a diagonal strike leading up.   The smaller man dodged to the side, laughing as well. "Missed me~" He joked before lashing out with his blade again.   The large knight blocked the swing, starting to push into the smaller knight's personal space to give him less room to work with.   The closer they got, the less comfortable the smaller man became. He seemed to be trying to increase the distance between them, jumping back and moving into the defensive.   Of course, with each attempt, the larger man kept the pressure on. He rushed forward when he jumped back, moving to tackle him and pin him with the club.   He managed it, the smaller knight yelping as he fell back and hit the ground, pinned by his opponent. A bell rang as the crowd cheered. "Victory to the Knight of Destruction!"   The small knight pouted. "Awwww..."   The huge man let out a short laugh, pulling his opponent back up and patting the dirt off of him. "Next time," he offered.   The smaller knight's whole body shook as the larger one patted him down. "Next time." He agreed, grinning up at him.
  Exhibition matches are the favorite sport of mortals and Knights alike.


Given that Knights by very definition have pledged their soul and service to their God, they are far sturdier than your average mortal, far stronger and more agile, and most importantly they can revive from death. Knights train day and night to battle one another in the endless War of the Seasons, or to protect the borders in the Divine Realms from the encroaching reach of the exiled Dark God. But these battles don't occur every moment of every day, and Knights may grow bored without an outlet to test their abilities. Bored Knights are not something that anyone wants, and so exhibition matches were created to satiate their need to fight.   Knights may also participate in unsanctioned exhibition matches if they hold a particularly bad grudge against another participant and wish to settle the score. These fights tend to be more brutal, and it is quite likely that at least one of them will be forced to use a revival at the conclusion of the fight.


Typically, sanctioned exhibition matches are two squads of knights battling one another. A squad of Knights is approximately 4-5 Knights of different Classes, a balance of offensive and support specialists. Occasional rare and highly publicized matches are one-on-one fights.   In sanctioned matches, the rules are as follows:
1. No usage of essentia magic
Despite being the lifeblood of all mortals, when used in it's purest state essentia is highly corrosive to flesh. This is because the pull of the substance is great enough that it begins to turn to body back into its original components, i.e., more essentia. In order to keep the battles from becoming too lethal, essentia is outlawed.
2. Mortal Weapons Only
Knights are equipped with a weapon hilt that is attuned to their very soul. In true combat, this is their main weapon. Divine magic (essentia or one of it's two components) is used to create a weapon perfectly attuned to the Knights proficiencies and skills. If anyone else were to grab the hilt, the magic would dissipate, leaving them with a useless grip. In order to be fair, since these weapons can shift mid-attack, they are not allowed.
3. No Revivals Used
Knights have the unique ability to be revived from death. However, this is a limited process. In order to revive, their soul must travel between the God that holds it and the Knights body along a thin, invisible thread. Eventually this process will wear out the thread. When the thread snaps, the Knight has truly died, and their soul is returned to the God of Death and the Goddess of Rebirth. To ensure that no revivals are wasted, exhibition matches do not allow lethal force.
  All other Knight skills (based on their class, age, or general skill) are allowed. Despite these restrictions, the matches are still breathtaking to witness.   Unsanctioned matches have no rules, and are typically to the revival. Many seek these out due to the sheer excitement of seeing Knights truly fight.

Components and tools

  • Two Knight squads, or two individual Knights.
  • Mortal weaponry
  • An arena
  • Another Knight or Lesser God to act as referee

Cover image: by CrimzN


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