Part of site (including the main IC camping area) will be marked as Holy Ground. On Holy Ground, the Gods soften the impact of being wounded (see Damage and Healing), and punish those who steal or kill.
Stealing and Killing:
The Gods see all that happens on Holy Ground. Characters that steal from anyone other than the Unholy, or attack others outside the Battleground, will face their wrath. The Gods may also pass their displeasure to the warband of the perpetrator.
Please report any theft or mayhem you have caused on Holy Ground to a referee as soon as possible – ideally, if you intend to commit any theft (or violence outside the Battleground) on Holy Ground, take a referee with you.
Followers and creatures of Dark Gods are not welcome on Holy Ground. They will rarely enter this area, and the Gods do not care how they are treated. Some NPCs may be fair game for combat on Holy Ground, but there will be no organised camp attacks or similar planned violence.
Leaving Holy Ground:
Characters that voluntarily leave Holy Ground pass beyond the sight of the Gods and risk being attacked by the unholy, monsters or other characters. While potentially dangerous, there may also be considerable rewards for the brave. See Unholy Ground below for more details.
The Battle Grounds
The servants of the Gods have set up an area on Holy Ground where warbands may fight for renown. The Gods recognise that in martial strife there is a the risk of death and will not act should wounds received on the battle grounds prove too grievous to heal, however they will still not tolerate deliberate murder.
The amount of renown available for each fight is based on three criteria:
- The size of the battle – an amount of renown is available per combatant.
- How balanced the sides are – the maximum amount of renown is only available when both sides are exactly equal in number, this amount falls to zero if one side is twice the size of the other.
- How epic the fight is – an adjustment may be made on how entertaining the fight was, as judged by the crowd and presiding servants of the Gods. It will be possible for a losing side to still earn renown if the crowd decide they fought well.
The total renown will be split amongst the warbands based on the size of the force they fielded.
There may be restrictions on which warbands can receive the renown from a battle, for instance a battle may only grant renown to warbands in northern or southern territories. The Gods will make these restrictions known on Friday evening to allow political alliances to be formed for the battles. Warbands without a settlement are not subject to territory based restrictions, and may fight for either side in such battles to earn renown.
Battles have a maximum time limit set by the presiding servant (commonly half an hour) and during this period combatants may leave the area to receive healing and rejoin the fight afterwards. The winning side will be decided in one of the following ways:
- The only side still standing in the battleground when the time runs out
- Where one side conceded to the other
- Where one side took and held the centre of the battlegroundfor longer than the other
The presiding servant’s judgement will be final in all cases, but they may choose to listen to advice from other servants or the crowd. In rare cases when there is no clear winner, the presiding servant may award the victory to both or neither side, in which case the renown will be split or lost respectively.
Players under 16 cannot fight in the battleground, except for supervised situations arranged by the Young Player Team.
The Gods also reward non martial conflict with renown and their servants will preside over tests of a more subtle nature. As on the battlegrounds these servants will act as arbitrators, but the winners are judged by those that take part and those that bear witness.
As non martial contests can be more complex and varied than martial, the rules may vary, but there are common rules to each.
- The amount of renown available will be based on the number of competitors.
- Renown will go to the winner and the first and second runners up.
- Each competitor will have a vote but cannot vote for themselves.
- As per the battlegrounds, the presiding spirits judgement is final in all cases, and they may call upon the audience to help determine ties.
The schedule of contests and specific rules is announced on the Friday evening of each event but we encourage discussion of the nature of each competition on the players Facebook group.
Common contests are likely to include a bardic competition, camp hospitality and storytelling. The location, timing and duration of contests may also vary – for example, the bardic competition may occur on the battle grounds on Friday night, but the camp hospitality competition could take place all event in each campsite, with the winners being announced on Sunday.
The Gods (and their Servants)
There are many different gods and it is not unusual for new groups to bring new Gods with them. Feel free to submit your groups mythology, and we will do our best to incorporate it in the campaign. Note: you should be sympathetic to people’s out of character religious or cultural beliefs, and avoid deities or dogma that could cause offense.
The Godsmost direct servants are played by crew members. They will generally have the same skills as a player, but they are not playable characters. ‘Scions’ of the gods may have more elaborate physical differences.
Scions and servants may also hand out quests, these can range from collecting items from unholy creatures, delivering messages to various warbands, to forays into areas held by enemies, or securing political alliances.
Most characters that die on Holy Ground have the opportunity to go to the underworld and bargain with the gods for another chance at life. This is optional, and you may instead choose to declare your character entirely dead and create a new one.
If you choose to enter the underworld you will need to bargain IC with the gods and their representatives. Any dead character may choose another dead character to act as their advocate and speak to the gods on their behalf. Another character may volunteer to enter the underworld (and die) to act as an advocate for the dead character. The guardian of the Underworld will generally facilitate such negotiations between the living and the dead, and the gods will generally look favorably on such a sacrifice.
Characters killed outside of Holy Ground will not normally reach the underworld unless they did not willingly leave Holy Ground e.g. they were carried outside against their will. There may also be reasons why certain characters killed on Holy Ground would not go to the Underworld (e.g. curses).
All characters enter the Underworld stripped of any blessings or curses, including effects placed by spells and cantrips. Bargains and deals made with the Gods may affect the choices a character is offered in the Underworld, but nothing is certain. It is rare a character will be allowed another chance at life without some kind of price to pay.
The character of a young player of any age can take damage and may die, but their trip to the underworld will be handled by our Young Player Team, and they may have their parent or guardian with them throughout (the parent/guardian will not be disadvantaged).
Unholy Ground and Monsters
Outside of the bounds of Holy Ground is Unholy Ground – where the Unholy can roam freely, and characters can do dark deeds out of the direct attention of the gods. There are no IC restrictions on PvP combat outside Holy Ground, and death is more likely to be final.
While there may be unholy creatures out on Unholy Ground at any time, servants of the gods and other NPCs that venture onto Holy Ground may be able to provide more specific information about when certain groups of unholy creatures (and ordinary people just like the characters) can be found nearby, and why you might want to interact with them – other than to just take or harvest any resources they might be carrying or embody, of course.
In order to provide satisfying encounters, we encourage players to volunteer to help us portray these unholy creatures – see Monstering for more details.
Players under 16 cannot fight on Unholy Ground, except for supervised situations arranged by the Young Player Team.