Dueling is a form of combat, both formal and informal, still practiced by the Fae.
Overview EditThe term "duel" is usually reserved for a formal contest, but duels range from murderous street brawls to the climax of changeling tournaments. Duels are fairly common occurrences between sidhe nobles.
The duel has a nearly-mythic place in sidhe society, and has seen a renaissance since the Resurgence. It is said that the Dragon's Dance was the first use of the Dragon's Ire after the Shattering. Members of House Scathach had nearly forgotten the power of the Dragon's Ire, until the ritual and romance of the duel brought it back to them. Dueling on this ritualistic level is beyond a public brawl; it is an art form and one of the keystones of the noble society.
Nobles are limited to challenging only those of equal rank; those of higher rank can refuse duels with little loss of honor. Challenges delivered to inferiors are rare, but can be attributed to "teaching the offender a lesson." The person challenged has the right to choose the weapons and time of the fight. These discussions are usually carried out by the parties' factors; persons whom they entrust with the arrangements. The general rules for conduct are set during these arrangements, but hot-blooded sidhe often forget the niceties in order to get on with the fun.
Formal Duel Types Edit
These formal duels often involve the invocation of the Dragon's Ire, even though cantrip use is usually considered cheating. All of the following duels involve taking an oath, binding the participants to abide by the rules set forth by the type of duel, and observing any exceptions agreed upon by the duelists (House Eiluned knights consider cantrip use fair, for instance). There is no benefit to taking the oath, other than the protection it affords as both parties are bound by the duel's limits. Failing to abide by the oath results in the immediate loss of a permanent point of Willpower.
The Scarlet Trip Edit
The Scarlet Trip is fought to first blood, usually with little or no armor, and with light weapons.
- Tonight we trip for honor and right. Guide our hands, Mother Dream, as we fight. Fae are quick to anger, but quicker to mend. We swear, tomorrow our anger will end.
The Dragon's Dance Edit
The Dragon's Dance is regarded as the most honorable duel and, as such, is the most common form of dueling. It is fought until one side or the other yields. It may be fought with any weapons or armor the foes agree to.
- We dance the Dragon's Dance beneath the waning moon, And let loose the Dán, the Chariot of Dream and doom. The reins of reason slip as the star-hoofed horses race, And we hear the cackle of misrule beneath their frantic pace. Wide-eyed, the mares of terror to us draw you near... Come, sweet Mother Dream: our love, our lot, our fear.
Danse Macabre EditThe Danse Macabre is to the death. Only queens and kings can sanction can sanction such a contest. It may be fought with any weapons or armor the foes agree on.
- We call for honor in deeds. Let us rise above this petty seeming. Death to s/he who flees Before the power of the Dreaming.
The Dance of Iron Edit
The Dance of Iron is fought with no armor and with Cold Iron weapons. It is fought until the death of both the changeling soul and the human host. it is illegal in Concordia and most foreign kingdoms as well.
- The only oath taken before the Dance of Iron is something to the effect of, "Die and to Oblivion with your soul, bastard!" Many variations of this exist.