The Marshall's Tournament 784 AC
The nation of Iott [pronounced I
Ot] has existed for seven centuries as a nation of wizards. It has been
known through those centuries as the island of thinkers, Thynkyzland,
and several other names.
Although it possessed many of the most skilled wizards on Habololy,
there were far too few people for any other nation to consider it a
threat. They had never made any aggressive moves, nor taken an active
role in any conflict. After two centuries of existence, the nation
remained a bastion of learning and peace. This changed during the Return
of Amat when Magus Joseph Firebringer was killed. Before the wizards
could appoint another Magus, a Wild Caster named Bartholomew Crasix
forcibly took the role. Fearing the worst, nations sent their greatest
heroes and agents to stop him. Even Stasis, a mortal at the time, went
to kill Bartholomew, and failed. The cult of Chaos and the wild casters
were in control for over a decade, which turned out to be enough time to
corrupt the island.
Although Bartholomew and the cult of Chaos were purged in 224 AC, their
influence continued. Every Magus that followed recognized the nation
could be a force on Habololy. Although they rarely went to war, the
wizards loomed the threat of their action over the heads of those that
they wanted to influence. They came to rival the String Mountain Dwarves
in mastery of arcane magic. The Arcane Academy, which had once been free
to all wizards, began to charge an exorbitant amount for lessons.
Sorcerers, a phenomenon that was recognized shortly after the Return of
Amat, were persecuted and sometimes executed. Iott became a nation of
the elite and the powerful.
The War of Technology was the first major threat to the nation. When it
began, the wizards recognized the danger, and for the first time
actively aided the other nations in a war. The Tinkocracy made several
attempts to destroy the island, but were never successful. The wizards
of Iott, to eliminate all tinkers that posed a threat, founded the group
known as Extinktion. When the war ended, this group made every attempt
to convince the other nations to outlaw tinkers. In most cases, they
Today, Iott continues to influence all of Habololy. They hunt down
active tinkers where they can. They put pressure on every nation to
eliminate Nomagrok. They persecute the cults of Drunnbar and Chaos
wherever they are found. Their distrust and persecution of sorcerers as
softened, although they are still considered second class casters. They
control a quarter of Habololy’s arcane market. The Arcane Academy is one
of the finest in the world, and those who attend must pledge their
loyalty to Iott.
The current arrangement of power in the nation has exists since the end
of the 3rd century AC. The government is a magocracy, meaning that it is
consists of all arcane spellcasters. The best and most powerful
spellcasters either take or are appointed to the positions of power,
which have strict rules on the sharing of power. The system is designed
to prevent any one spellcaster from rising too far above the rest and
becoming a dictator, as Bartholomew became.
The structure starts with the heads of each of the schools of magic.
Their official title is head master. Each of these is voted upon by all
of the tenured members of the school. Only spellcasters that meet
certain criteria may be voted for. The criteria involve a certain amount
of time spent in the school, a particular level of spellcasting ability,
and a test of knowledge. In the case of a tie, a revote is held with the
least vote getting eliminated each time. A continuing tie is broken by
the Dean of the Arcane Academy.
The Dean is another prominent position in Iott. It is given to the
spellcaster that has formerly been a headmaster and that can show he is
a Sage of unmatched knowledge. Once appointed, the Dean cannot be
replaced unless he commits a serious crime. Final decision on the
appointment of the Dean goes to the Magister.
The Magister is widely considered the most powerful spellcaster in Iott.
When one dies, an election is held to determine a new Magister. Three
months are spent by any who wish to contend for the title wooing and
impressing all of the spellcasters that receive a vote. At the end of
that time, the votes are cast and the leading vote getting is appointed
Magister. The Magister can be challenged at any time, and should he lose
in the spell duel, a new election is held. The Magister that lost the
duel is free to run again. The Magister is the adjudicator of all laws
regarding magic on the island. He controls who gets the arcane rings
that allow spellcasting on the island. He is also tasked with appointing
The Magus is the head of state for the nation. He is the equivalent to
the king, president, or emperor in other nations. For anyone in Iott who
is not an arcane spellcaster or a student at the academy, he is the
highest officer of the land. He cannot be removed from office accept by
a vote of no-confidence taken by a counsel of 17 leading wizards of Iott.
These include: the eight headmasters, the Dean, the Magister, the
Theurge, the five lesser headmasters, and the Marshall. If the Magus
voted out, the Magister must replace him. A vote of no confidence can
only be called by the Theurge or the Marshall.
The Theurge is the wizards’ liaison with all things divine. He is an
arcane spellcaster that is also a divine spellcaster. He is selected by
the religions of the nation from within their ranks. The methods for his
selection are left to the religions. The deities whose religions are
allowed a say in the Theurge are: Smofarf, Arsur’Anyodel, Falan, Tfop,
Everentual, Frostine, and The Oldest Orc. This position arose after the
fall of Bartholomew. The wizards begrudgingly acknowledged that they
needed a way to counter the influence and plans of Chaos, who they had
to admit confounded them.
The Marshall arose after the initial battles of the War of Technology.
The leaders of Iott had many different ideas on how to battle the
tinkers. They were used to having a great deal of time to solve
problems, sometimes spending a decade to come to a solution. The war
came as a great challenge. Their individual missions succeeded, but they
could not agree upon an overarching strategy. Finally, the Magister
called for the creation of a new position, one that would take
responsibility for international affairs of war and for a unified
defense of Iott. This position was called the Marshall. It proved a
success. The Marshall, all after the first, who was appointed, is
selected through a tournament of arcane combat skill. Once appointed,
the Marshall can only be removed if he loses a battle. Even then, he
must lose a vote of confidence by the counsel of 17 other prominent
The last of the list of notables are the lesser headmaster. These five
positions have been created over the years to recognize the relevance of
some non-traditional schools of magic. Other than beings part of the
counsel of 18, they only have control of wizards of their school.
In the year 784AC, Iott was embroiled in a great internal political
debate. Around the world, on the continent of Icefia and on the
Dedestroytian Peninsula, wars were beginning. The Kingdom of Icefia
began to reclaim the lands of the Scaled Kingdom. The Destroytian
Republic has for nearly two years been at war with Kathow-tio-Horari at
sea, and now the nearby nation of Thalmeret has declared war, claiming a
treaty with Kathow-tio-Horari requires they must. The Orcish Empire,
irritated at a loss in a major battle several years ago near the Great
Forest to a coalition of forest dwellers, grows more irritated at their
defeat and has begun to build forces for another march west. Borkondof’s
Warlord has begun to flex his power and harass western Yellowia. The
debate in Iott is: whose side, if any, should the nation take in these
The final decision in this matter lies with the Marshall, whose name
was Keller Manolin. A skilled abjurer and Counterspeller, he had been
Marshall for twelve years. He was known for his masterful movement-based
tactics and his patience. His decision in these events was simple; wait
and see what happens. So it was until Napay of 784, when an assassin
struck. Attacked while inspecting a lighthouse on the coast, Keller was
killed. The assassin suffered great pains to not only kill the Marshall,
but take his body with him. Keller’s two guards were not killed and gave
a full description of the attack. The assassin focused all of his
attention of the Marshall, taking spell after spell from him and the
guards. They badly wounded the assassin, but did not stop him from
nearly beheading the Marshall, removing most of his items, and diving
into the water with the body. Once in the water, the guards were
attacked by summoned scrags and delayed long enough for the assassin to
The nation now clamors for a new Marshall, who will decide the matters
of war and defense. The Magus, Murrur Goldstone, set the date of the
10th of Smofena as the date for the beginning of the Marshall’s
Tournament. The contenders begin to assemble, and have two months to
prepare for the contest.
RULES OF THE TOURNAMENT
The Marshall’s Tournament consists of arcane duels. The duels pit two
spellcasters against one another in a best of three duel match. A
contender is eliminated from the tournament should he lose two matches,
a two loss elimination. The tournament continues until there is only one
contender left without two loses; he is declared the winner and the new
Marshall. A ceremony is held one week after the end of the tournament to
make the appointment official.
Each duel is fought in a random arena, selected by or magically created
by the headmasters. These arenas range from a mountain summit, to
underwater, to the inside of a laboratory. The idea is to make sure the
Marshall can function in all settings and can adapt to whatever
challenges are throw at him. The combatants have one round to prepare
before they may begin to attack each other. The duel continues until one
surrenders or is unable to continue. There is no time limit. There is
one full day in between duels. The spellcaster is allowed to be
magically healed by others. The spellcaster must remove any
extraordinary conditions using his spells. After the final match of a
round, there are three days of rest.
The combatants must present their spellbooks to the headmasters before
the tournament begins. Each combatant is allowed two spellbooks, of one
hundred pages each. Any magical items the combatant intends to use must
be presented to the headmasters for examination. The items must have
been made by the combatant to be allowed. Spellcasters that do not use a
spellbook must demonstrate all of their spells to the headmasters before
the tournament begins. Using a spell not in a shown spellbook or
demonstrated by the caster results in a disqualification. Should a
spellcaster gain a new spell over the course of the tournament, it must
be demonstrated to the headmasters. Spells may not be added to
spellbooks during the tournament. Spellbooks may contain spells that the
spellcaster in yet able to cast.
Spells or items that cause instant death, such as Disintegration, are
discouraged. Should a combatant choose to use a spell or item of that
type, the judges make the other combatants aware that the user of the
spells or item is fighting to the death. If that is the case, the other
combatant is free to use those spells and items as well. If a combatant
dies during a duel, the headmasters bring the combatant back to life
using spells at their disposal. The dead combatant is not eliminated
from the tournament or even the current match, although death is
considered a defeat in the duel in which it took place.
Should a combatant be rendered helpless or near helpless do to a spell
or effect, it is up to the judgment of the headmasters whether the duel
should be ended. Reasons such as a combatant being held or paralyzed are
considered by the headmasters. Attacking a combatant after the
headmasters have ruled that the duel is over; results in
disqualification from the tournament.
The combatants may not leave the arena. Doing so results in a
disqualification for that particular duel. Combatants may not use magic
to travel in time to a point before a duel began. Traveling into the
future by more than one minute, results in a disqualification. If a
combatant is forced out of the arena by his opponent, he loses the duel.
Summoned creatures may not physically enter the arena from outside of
it; they must be magically summoned into the arena.
Familiars are allowed to compete in the tournament with their masters.
Should a familiar die, it is not brought back to life by the
headmasters. The combatant may use his own magic to bring the familiar
back to life. A combatant can choose to not have his familiar
participate. Other bonded animals are not allowed to compete in the
There are several ways in which a duel could end in a draw. The first
is if both combatants are rendered incapacitated and unable to recover
within ten minutes. Another is if the duel lasts for 24 hours, at which
point the duel is stopped and a draw declared. If a match ends in a
draw, by each combatant having one win, one loss, and one draw; or three
draws, the headmasters order another duel to replace a draw.
Between matches, the combatants must stay in the city of Sailoswa, where
they are accommodated by the government, if they do not already live
there. Any combatant that does leave the city is disqualified from the
tournament. In the city, the combatants are free to do whatever they
want as long as it does not break the standard laws of the city.
The Entrants into the tournament are: