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The Champions: A Discussion on Honor Duels

Once again, there seems to be a growing disparity on the nature of honor duels, when it is appropriate to call them, what the role of the Champions in Arvani society is, and the proper way to resolve disputes. Radiant Bliss Whisper is going to be hosting a discussion at the Champions Guildhall to try to clarify these matters, and encourages people to bring their questions.


June 10, 2019, 8 p.m.

Hosted By



Waldemai Reigna Raimon Cahal Zara Bhandn Aleksei Evonleigh Salvatore Tikva Sophie


The Champions


Arx - Ward of the Compact - Champions Guildhall Lounge

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Keso, a totally legit assistant, Peanut, an oversized mastiff arrive, following Aleksei.

This is probably the most full that the Champions Guildhall has actually been in quite some time, and for once, it's not full of just Champions sitting around, bragging, telling their stories to one another and trying to one-up each other with taller and taller tales of their duels. A series of chairs have been scattered informally around the room, with lounges and couches and bars all ready to be sat at, and Bliss Whisper is roaming around the middle of it, eyes going a little more surprised with every person who steps in. Finally, she nods and says, "Alright, everyone, please take a seat. This is intended to be something rather informal, just a chance for questions and answers to come back and forth about the nature of dueling and what it's about. There has been more and more confusion lately - this happens now and then - and I wanted to give a chance for things to be cleared up."

3 Thrax Guards arrives, following Raimon.

Waldemai pulls up a seat at the bar. If there's to be talk about fighting, ale is a key part of the process.

Reigna arrives on time, surrounded by her menagerie and looks to find a seat close to the place she thinks Bliss will be speaking from. Keener. Still, she looks to be in relatively good spirits, taking a moment to pet Oaken for a few minutes.

Raimon steps into the Champion's Guildhall, looking around curiously. He pauses for the guards to look over the covering of his halberd, making certain that it is tied securely in place before walking inside.

Cahal takes one of the chairs scattered in informal clusters before letting his eyes travel about the various people inside the hall with a note of genuine curiosity.

As Zara enters, she quickly marks out a Valardin cousin in the form of Sophie, who gets a dip of her head and a quick smile. The next moment, her gaze moves onward, still looking for someone: it's Evonleigh who at last catches her attention, spotted not by Zara, but by one of her companions. "Ah," Zara says, and then moves forward. She crosses easily through the scattered chairs, careful not to disrupt anyone, and intrudes with quiet courtesy to take a seat near Evonleigh, leaning forward to introduce herself in a low voice, then quiet as Bliss speaks.

Zara has joined the Table by the Stage.

Evonleigh has joined the Table by the Stage.

Bliss has joined the Grandstanding Stage.

Reigna has joined the Table by the Stage.

Bhandn is a touch delayed and arrives not long after Lady Keaton, mostly on account of peacebonding the broadsword on his back before he enters (the covered greatsword already being so), a quiet declaration he's not planning to do more than listen. He does, however, dither on exactly where he intends to seat himself, ultimately moving to seat himself not too far from the stage, after removing that harness on his back so he can sit in the first place.

Aleksei has been lingering near the bar, flashing the barkeep a grin while he pours out a whiskey for him, but now that Bliss is starting, he wanders over towards the stage to kind of -- sit on the edge of it. Like he's generally inviting himself to provide expert testimony or something. Where are his credentials?! You'll never find them.

Aleksei has joined the Grandstanding Stage.

Sophie has joined the Table by the Stage.

Cahal has joined the Table by the Stage.

Evonleigh turns and smiles when Zara approaches, standing to give a quick curtsy to the Valardin princess. The Whitehawk lady is no duelist by any stretch of imagination or definition, nor likely to be issuing challenges, though one never knows. She dips her head to speak quietly to Zara, but keeps an eye on Bliss, to wait for the lecture to begin in earnest.

Raimon comes to a stop at the bar, ordering a glass of wine as he rests his Halberd on the ground next to him. Once he has his glass he turns to face the stage, leaning against the bar.

Rather than wandering out in the open, Bliss walks up onto the stage near the end of the room, and then smiles when she sees Aleksei come up and join her, sitting down on the stage near the center and folding her hands on her lap as she looks over everyone getting settled. "So, we'll start with this. Honor duels. How did they start, and what is the reasoning behind them? A good place to look is the Oathlands. They seem to have derived, originally, from a search for the truth in disputes. Looking for a way to find that absolute truth. And from that, trials by combat came around, where Gloria would back the side that was righteous in their claim. Eventually, this was generalized into the more standard form of dueling that we have now. One side feels slighted by the other, the other feels they must defend their honor, and a duel is called. A fairly simple concept in its origin. The fights began to be popular, and spread, and now - well, we are seen as the standard way to resolve petty disputes between nobility. Can anyone name a case where something that should have - and could have - been resolved as a duel led to something much, much worse? There's a clear example for not too long ago in the North. A few decades back, I think."

Cahal picks up his chair and moves along to one of the tables. He sets it down again then, giving the handful of people already at the table a ready smile, and resettles. He takes a moment to offer a few words to those at the table and then turns his gaze attentively to the stage.

Ooh, Oathlands shoutout. Zara's chin lifts as Bliss begins speaking of the history of the Champions. But when it comes to the history of the North, she'll, er, definitely let someone else field that. Out of courtesy. Her gaze turns away from Bliss, briefly passing over the rest of the crowd.

"Oathlanders love being right," Aleksei supplies in regards to the origins of dueling. "And they /really/ love being /morally/ right in the eyes of the gods." Hence: duels. This is apparently the entire equation. You can trust him.

Salvatore slinks his way in and moves around before dropping into a shadowy alcove because... well crowds. The middle-aged soldier pausing only at one of the sideboards to get a mug which he fills with ale and settles in to sip.

Raimon has joined the Braggadocio Bar.

"The Alespill War," Bliss explains, lifting up a sheet of parchment near her and holding it in the air, looking at those nearby. "This was a case where joking insults at a feast turned into real ones as people became more and more drunk, and before too long, fists were thrown, Prince Bya-" A pause, a glance at the sheet. "B... yoo..." she clears her throat, trying once again in her Lycene accent, and almost getting the name Bjerarg right, "Prince Bjerarr of House Redrain, the father of Princess Gwenna and Prince Artur, ended up dying. This nearly spread into a full civil war, and it would have if the offender hadn't gotten sick and put in his will that he wanted the feud over. Hundreds still died. It could have been solved easily, though - call Champions and be done with it, rather than let it fester." She holds the sheet in the air. "If anyone wants to read this, I can have copies made. I think it emphasizes well not only why it's good to have people who can fight things out as professionals, but also why we don't want our nobility to fight for themselves."

Waldemai passes on the copy but lifts his horn of ale. "If they can't hold their liquor, they shouldn't have held their swords."

"It turns out that letting the people who have command over the armies throw punches is, usually, a really bad idea," Bliss says with a smile as she sets the sheet down, crossing one leg over the other. "Champions know when to stop a fight, and we fight in a very controlled way. Even fighting duels over silly things or minor insults - those let us normalize this as a perfectly acceptable way of duel resolution. A duel recently helped bring Houses Fournier and Greenmarch to the discussion table and let them put aside animosity, and they are tools for taking something that is high emotion - and setting a limit as to how we will resolve it. A fight to first blood, done in a way to entertain a crowd rather than drag them down, with people who will be professional about it. A civilized way to resolve disputes between two people. Of course, we know we can't solve all problems. Sometimes there are legitimate grievances between a full House and another. A death that would justify a war, or a seizure of land, or uncalled for aggression - that is when House Swords get involved, when there would absolutely be a war otherwise and the life of one person can instead save the lives of thousands. It is still entrusting your fate to another, but it is something much larger than what we do here."

Glancing at Aleksei, Bliss asks, "Am I missing anything big?" she wonders.

With both swords leaning up against him, Bhandn keeps his eyes firmly fixed on Bliss as the education begins. While he does give a deep nod to Lady Keaton, no words pass his own lips; his attention goes to the stage (only) after. He'll quietly raise a hand as to wanting a copy of the document in question, all while absently fidgeting his own instruments of war which are currently taking up residence against him.

Having successfully put Aleksei on the spot, Bliss then turns to the rest of the group and clears her throat, saying, "I think now is also a good time to take any questions that any of you might have, for specifics. What's worth calling a duel for, maybe, or any of the etiquette around it. Things of that nature."

Reigna has left the Table by the Stage.

4 Novice Keaton Huntsmen have been dismissed.

Gigi, an apprentice physician's assistant have been dismissed.

Sir Pupsalot, a polite, tri-color corgi have been dismissed.

Oaken, an Oakhaven bloodhound have been dismissed.

Fidelity, a white-tailed eagle have been dismissed.

Cahal lifts his head away from the discussion at the table to respond to Bliss' call. "Is there ever a situation that would be considered too petty for a duel?"

Confessor Imori, Confessor Warren, 5 Armed Confessors arrive, following Tikva.

Shaking her head at Cahal, Bliss says, "No, not really. I use the example of folding a napkin wrong sometimes as an example of something that's perfectly acceptable to call a duel over. Even if it's imagined offense, so long as you can find a Champion to fight for you, you have the makings of a duel. If the other person wants to respond to it because they want to see the fight happen? Great. Otherwise, they can just apologize or ignore the challenge, and at that point, it's accepted that they believe their folding of a napkin was, indeed, in the wrong. We are performers as much as we are here for resolution - it's perfectly fine for it to be something of a silly thing. I've challenged people over who was actually someone else's best friend. Without alerting the person we were fighting over first.

Waldemai has a question of import to the *ahem* gaming community. "I've gotten yelled at for trying to get a bet down on a fight," he says. "They say it's disrespectful, but we think if it's just a show...Well, anyway, how do you Champions feel about it?"

"Uhhh." Oh boy. PUT ON THE SPOT. Aleksei scratches fingers through his hair as he considers Bliss's question, but fortunately she's asking for further queries from the audience, so there's that! "I've fought duels for one lady challenging another for wearing her color that I guess she decided was hers for the season? I dunno. But that's pretty, you know, prime petty material." He thinks for a moment. "I don't much like accepting jobs where I get the feeling like somebody's just trying to be a bully or something. But it doesn't mean somebody else won't take the job." He shrugs a bit and takes a sip of whiskey. "I'm totally fine with betting as long as it's on me," he says with a flash of a grin.

"Do we get a cut of the profits?" Bliss asks Waldemai with a playful glint in her eye. "It might be seen as disrespectful at some of the more serious duels, but we are putting on a show. I say go ahead and bet. Sell merchandise. Make posters," she says, motioning around the room to some of the artwork that is on the walls of herself and the late Prince Luca.

There's a brief, low discussion at the table near the stage as Bliss calls for questions. After Cahal and Waldemai asks their questions, Zara lifts her chin. "Thank you for hosting this." Question to follow. Any time. "Your example could not have been better picked." In a second. "We were also discussing when it does not quite _make_ it to a duel. I was wondering if you had any particular feelings on that. Duels causing someone to reexamine their actions, and offer apology. A bit disappointing for the crowd, I understand." SHe doesn't quite glance at Waldemai, and her tone is touched with humor rather than disapproval.

Waldemai calls to Alexsei, "I'll bet on you, unless you're fighting Princess Reese. Or her." He waves the horn of ale toward Bliss.

"Are there circumstances in which you would publically /refuse/ to duel?"

Tikva grins crookedly from her corner when Bliss indicates the poster, and she makes a little crooked finger-point at her with a click of her tongue. Ha ha, she's been here this whole time, obviously.

Raimon sips from his wine, his eyes moving between the crowd asking questions and the two on the stage as they answer.

"Bit disappointing for the crowd, sure, but the end results are the same," Aleksei says with a rolling shrug to Zara. "Resolution. I don't mind, at any rate. Sure aren't enough apologies to cut into our work." He smirks a bit at Waldemai for his answer.

To Zara, Bliss nods and says, "Disappointing for the crowd, disappointing for the Champion hoping to get paid. There are duels which I really would have enjoyed fighting, but the other side backed down and apologized. But disappointment over not getting to do something doesn't mean that it's the wrong thing to do - slights being resolved by apologies mean that the slight is resolved, and that's better, in the end." She looks to Aleksei, and points her thumb at him saying, "What he said. Most people don't like to back down."

Zara lets slip an ever-so-faint sigh as Aleksei says and Bliss echoes the unavoidably true. She dips her head to them both in an acknowledging nod. "Thank you," she says, looking satisfied by the answer. "I imagine you don't sit idle long."

Cahal adds another question. "Earlier you said that we don't want the nobility to fight for themselves. Yet there are a number of noble champions." He contemplates what the actual question should be. "How do you resolve this conflict?" A pause and then he asks. "In respect to nobles apologising when a duel has already been called. If a noble is in the situation where he has done wrong, and a duel has been called, is it more responsible and appropriate for him to deliver the apology and stop the duel or to consider it to late in the day to act and thus allow it to continue?"

"Not really a conflict. Nobles sometimes join the Guild, but they fight other people's duels, not their own," Aleksei says with a shrug to Cahal. "If somebody /knows/ they're totally in the wrong, they might as well apologize for it. Most duels I see, both sides definitely think they're in the right. But you'll see people apologize after being challenged sometimes, and there's nothing too odd about that." To Zara, he adds more sagely, "I expect us to get at least /two/ challenges out of this meeting."

"The noble Champions do not fight for their own slights. Princess Sorrel Thrax has an open challenge right now and has asked that Lady Brianna Halfshav stand for her, as a current example," Bliss replies to Cahal. "It is a good question, though, and it goes back to why it's so important that the person fighting the duel turn it over to someone else. I don't fight my own duels when I have called for them, either." She is mostly echoing Aleksei's answer, of course, and says, "I suppose the question would be, if you know you are wrong - what is the more noble, civilized action to take? If you ask yourself that, you should find your answer if you end up in that situation. There are people who would still fight, I'm sure, but there's no shame in apologizing when you know you're wrong."

"Far from it," Zara says, which may be a little rude on her behalf to interrupt, but she's firm in echoing Bliss, giving her a nod. NO SHAME.

Cahal nods to Bliss and Aleksei. "Thank you for your answers."

"Dueling can be an opportunity to showcase the best in both sides of a dispute," Tikva claims from her own perch, one leg tucked up beneath her around the fall of her skirts. "Even if you have already accepted that you are wrong, why deny the public the opportunity for a little spectacle? Isn't that part of what it is, to be a noble in the capital?"

"I think that is a perfectly legitimate mindset to take, as well, Princess Tikva," Bliss acknowledges to Tikva with a dip of her head. "It is complicated, and there really is no right or wrong answer so long as you accept the results of the duel with grace."

Sophie speaks up and she says, "I think in duels, one must put some Faith in Gloria as well, that she may lead the fighting for the proper side to be victorious. We've all seen fights where someone won by what we called luck, when really.. in duels, one must trust that in honorable combat both champions are fighting on her behalf, and the victor is her choice as the representative for the party that is right, and just." Sophie nods her head and says, "There's no shame in accepting, admitting, and apologizing when you realize you are in the wrong. We must trust in Gloria to make that judgement for us sometimes."

Zara murmurs quietly after Sophie speaks: "Well said." But then, you would expect that. Her attention lingers on Tikva, however, and she says, "You are not wrong that it is about the spectacle, Your Highness. I was just remarking on how we make a sport of it, and that may teach us to accept our loses more easily. What would you say to those who struggle to accept the results?" She looks back to Bliss then. No, really. She's listening.

"Besides 'do better'?" Tikva editorializes, with a bright flash of teeth in a smile across the room at the Valardin princess, her eyes laughing where her voice does not.

Raimon takes another drink before speaking up. "What does a Champion do if they have a personal opinion on the dispute?"

Sophie's answer to Zara is simple, "Those who struggle to accept the results of a duel should be reminded that Gloria has made her decision, and that perhaps prayer and meditation is the correct way to personal growth, at least in my opinion."

"'You're only embarrassing yourself,'" Aleksei adds to Tikva's suggestion with a quiet little snort. "Take it as a lesson in humility, I guess; anyone seen making a show of their loss in public is just going to end up with people looking down on them." He glances over to Raimon as he takes another swallow of whiskey. "I'd say that /most/ Champions have a personal opinion on the disputes they take on. Or at least a lot of them. For one thing, I might actually charge someone less if I believe strongly in their side."

Cahal decides to ask another questions. "What if you are challenged over a matter you just do not care about? Perhaps because the challenger in question." he smiles at Zara at this. "Feels like it will be entertaining to have a duel occur." he looks back to the room in general. "In such a case is it better to ignore the challenge or to accept it just to help create a spectacle?"

As the Mother Mercy speaks, Sir Bhandn does offer a murmur of agreement, ducking his head in particular at the bit of 'being in the wrong', a small sigh escaping his nostrils. But he raises his head shortly thereafter, and directs his grey eyes back to the stage. "I assume the Champions or the Archive have a record of all known duels...?" Sir Bhandn speaks up, then leaves that query on a slightly interrogative lilt, glancing between Bliss and Aleksei as he speaks. He also shifts the swords jabbing into his shoulder one more time. "I was also curious if there were circumstances by which you would refuse to champion a duel when approached. Not that I want this to happen, and I apologize if the question is... delicate, but I worry that one or two names I can think of would try to create inappropriate situations, then call upon you for resolving them, while striving to demean your true purpose."

With a nod to Sophie, Bliss says, "I try to invoke Gloria before my fights, and I remind myself when I lose that it is not really a personal thing, and - it helps, because I am fighting for someone else, not for myself. That detachment gives space for her involvement." She then looks over at Zara, and then shrugs. "Honestly, if someone refuses to accept the terms of an honor duel? I think at that point they have shown that they are rather dishonorable, and I am certainly not afraid to point that out when appropriate." And, well, there might be just a little bit of glee in her expression at that. "Sister Sophie's response is likely the nicer one." A slight shrug, and she looks to Raimon. "We can choose to not fight a duel if we disagree with it, and yes, my pricing adjusts based on if I'm fighting for something I care strongly about, or if I'm fighting because I believe an opinion should be represented, even if I don't personally agree with it. Similar to how a Mirrormask will often defend someone otherwise undefendable." She holds a finger up as more questions come in, grinning. "One second, and I will get to both of you," she says to Cahal and Bhandn.

"We can always just not accept a duel," Bliss says to Bhandn with a small shrug. "Or charge a ridiculous fee to do so. If someone cannot find a Champion to represent them, that person should take it as a sign that what they are trying to fight over can't even find a single person willing to support their cause. There's no contract saying that I must fight every challenge that I am contacted about, not by any means. I would refuse, for example, any duel against a Whisper, on principle. I would not shame someone by siding against them on that. I wouldn't fight any duel where I personally would wind up embarrassed. Though - there was the duel between Princess Tikva and Princess Saoirse, were Prince Luca fought to declare that, no, he must have been cheating, and I fought to say that he was honorable, even though I was the runner up. Because everyone went into it knowing we were having fun and could trust one another. He won, and so by his own victory admitted he must have been cheating." There's a sparkle in her eye and a fondness as she looks at the posters, before looking toward Cahal then. "I think that answers your question, as well?"

"I can refuse any duel I want for the reason of 'I don't want to,'" Aleksei says with a light laugh to Bhandn. "We're not religiously bound here; it's a job, and we're free to pick and choose our work, and set our prices. That's part of the point: being able to find a Champion who will represent you is an indication that there's somebody out there who thinks your cause is worth fighting for."

Evonleigh is overheard praising Bliss: An excellent lecturer and discussion facilitator!

Zara makes a small gesture, her hand covering her heart as she tucks Tikva's words away. "Would that we all practiced that." She gives Sophie another nod, looking almost amused at points from other quarters: Aleksei, mostly, although she can't quite manage a quelling look. As Bliss points out the obvious failure of honor, she shifts to disapproval for this imagined figure they've conjured up, and sits back.

Bhandn is overheard praising Bliss: A well-stated response, and with enough levity to entertain the mind rather than seem a lecture.

"I have been directed to ask a question on behalf of another person, Champions," Tikva says with airy grace, "and while I cannot promise not to editorialize your answer when I pass it on," she leans forward, props her chin on her palm and her elbow on her knee, and puts forward: "How old is an acceptable age to begin training to champion the errors of others?"

Waldemai orders another ale, a perfect quaff for the balmy, warm and pleasant evening.

Cahal explains "It wass more the appropriateness of ignoring a challenge I am concerned about. If I was challenged because, say, I wore the same style of red brocade at the same time as Princess Zara. I would be inclined to simply ignore it so my question is - In such a case, should I make the effort to defend myself for the reason of proprietry and manners and all that or should I just ignore it because I do not personally care?"

"You should accept the duel or stop wearing red brocade, I'd say!" Aleksei says brightly.

Sophie laughs as she says, "Or apologize for wearing the same red brocade as Princess Zara, and likely society will smirk and think her quite foolish for declaring it hers in the first place. Sometimes the best fights are the ones you choose not to fight."

"My father is a master-of-arms," Bliss says to Tikva, raising her hands and holding them out, a self-effacing smile on her face. "He taught me everything I wanted to know as soon as I was old enough to hold a stick properly. I suppose the question is - does the person asking the question want to turn out like me?" There's a wink from Bliss to Tikva, something understood there, before she looks toward Cahal and, when Aleksei gives his response and Sophie offers her opinion, just shrugs. "I would lean toward having the duel, because the duel is entertainment. If you're ignoring it? You are functionally saying she is right."

"I rather think Princess Zara ought to challenge you for suggesting such a silly slight as your example," Tikva says with a slight, innocuous widening of her eyes.

Waldemai shakes his head. "There's no good fight that you choose not to fight. No fight means no betting." He thinks about that. "Unless someone wanted to get a bet down on whether you'd fight..."

Zara says something quietly at the table, and is met by a look from Cahal. She says, louder now, "Well, I _was_ going to suggest I should challenge him for having stolen my question, but now I rather like her highness's suggestion. Really, Lord Cahal. Will you withdraw your words?"

Raimon falls silent after hearing the answer to his question. He lifts his glass to his lips and takes a drink.

PS: she might not be _smiling_, but there's a laugh in Zara's eyes if you look real close. Okay, not that close. No mortal enemies, here.

"Thank you," the deep-voiced Bhandn replies. "That does take one point of worry out of this old man's mind." He states that in a slightly wry tone, one punctuated with another breath coming out forcefully from his nose. "As much as I would enjoy staying to hear more questions, I have another commitment to make as well today, so I must beg apologies for departing so suddenly." He'll get up then, offering a bit of a bow towards the stage, but he'll double-up with a deep nod and a courtesy towards the Mother Mercy as well. "One day, we'll have time for that tea, Mother Mercy," he'll call back over his shoulder.

Sophie smiles warmly at Bhandn as he leaves and she nods her head as he leaves, calling after him. "We will!" Then her attention turns back to Bliss, and those debating matters of champions.

"I suppose I have no choice but to accept your challenge Princess." Cahal replies with an amused look of his own. "I will not even bother to attempt to justify my words. A champion is clearly the only appropriate answer."

As Zara and Cahal volley back and forth, Evonleigh leans back to watch each, gaze bouncing from one to the other; her own eyes sparkle with merriment. "Oh, well, how exciting. I hardly expected to see a challenge issued and perhaps, with our esteemed champions in the room, resolved quite so soon," she says, brows lifting as she looks back to Zara then Cahal, to await the terms.

With that mention of Cahal accepting Zara's challenge, Bliss beams brightly, then looks around the room, clearing her throat and lifting a hand. "I am always quite willing to, say, represent someone on matters of fashion and having their outfits stolen from under them. I recommend, oh, a duel to first blood requiring exotic leathers or rubicund and - either high quality or rubicund weapons?" She glances to Aleksei, as if he has something to say on that matter, before looking back out. "That is the other thing - duels can be resolved in a number of ways. First blood is traditional, but wrestling matches and jousts also are pretty much always acceptable. Other things such as drinking contests and the like, well, those should be agreed upon with both the Champions involved and the person you're challenging beforehand. If you're putting out terms that are unreasonable, you'll be seen as the dishonorable one."

Tikva checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.

Tikva doesn't actually clap her hands or squeal, but she does look inordinately pleased.

Zara's head lifts, turning toward Bliss and Aleksei: "Well, what do you think my chances are of finding a Champion who sees merit in my cause?" She spreads her hands wide in a wordless entreaty. How unjust his words!

Cahal looks to Zara. "Might I suggest a joust Your Highness?"

Waldemai calls out, "This duel should be resolved by a coin flip. Fifty silver on heads."

Clearing her throat, Bliss adds, "Unfortunately, I am /terrible/ at jousts. But there are Champions who love to perform them, and I think would jump on the opportunity. Princess Sorrel and Prince Fecundo being the two who jump to mind."

"Arm wrestling?" suggests Evonleigh. "Wait. No. A matter of such extreme import and weight must needs be solved by thumb wrestling," she says, very solemnly, but for the glint in her gray-blue eyes.

Cahal adds "It seems fitting that the issue should be resolved when the loser is dumped into mud and dirt given the nature of our disagreement."

Zara is halfway through her nod already when she considers the possibility that jousting may be more challenging -- but Bliss is quick with reassurance, and so her nod finishes. "Yes, then. I believe a joust sounds perfect to this." She turns her attention back to Bliss, like one searching a fine point of etiquette: "What would be the best way to seek their aid in this? Should each injured party message one? Naturaly, I feel I must ask Prince Fecundo, if you have no objections," she adds to Cahal. It's a lower aside that she delivers to Evonleigh, saying, "Thumb wars just lack the sense of _spectacle_." She wiggles her own fingers.

Raimon glances back and forth, blinking a few times.

"A petition to the Champions, but for a challenge to be considered official, you should publish it to the Challenges board first and your opponent should accept. It is perfectly okay to seek your Champions at any point in the process - and yes, just message them and find out their terms," Bliss says as she folds her hands on her lap, seeming quite pleased with herself and happy to be the advisor in this particular situation. "Are there any other questions about the nature of honor duels or anything of the like tonight, before we move completely on to something new? Otherwise, I think we can happily open up the bar and let people spend time here, relaxing."

"I've never fought a duel with anything fancier than high quality leathers and good, plain steel," Aleksei says simply. "Helps keep things open for new Champions to work their way up the ranks." He scratches fingers along his beard. "I'm an -- all right jouster, but not the best. I think Lord Salvatore is another who's a solid jouster," he adds to Bliss's list.

Cahal asks a curious. "In these cases does the person standing in your stead actually need to be a champion? Or can anyone who believes in your cause defend you?"

"Needs to be a Champion," Bliss says, firmly.

"It depends on how you dress them up," says Evonleigh, regarding the spectacle of thumbs, another smirk pulling up the corners of her mouth, before she shakes her head to Bliss' query. No questions from this peanut gallery.

Zara is overheard praising Bliss: She did an excellent job fielding all manner of questions on Champions, challenges, and honor.

Bliss is overheard praising Aleksei: Aleksei did a wonderful job helping field questions and giving more context :D

"You would certainly earn social opprobium for using an unauthorized champion for any duel," Tikva says thoughtfully. "I've had to sit on my husband personally about that in the past, in fact." She winks, and adds, "But it seems very silly to ask the _Champions_ that."

Zara is overheard praising Aleksei: He did an excellent job assisting Bliss, speaking of Champions like a true Oathlander.

Sophie is overheard praising Bliss: Wonderful job clearing up the recent misunderstandings regarding honor duels!

Cahal looks mildly dissapointed at this declaration but nods anyway.

"If your person wanted to become a Champion, of course, that's a very simple thing to do - just let us know that they wanted to join," Bliss informs Cahal.

"I'll be sure to issue the challenge once I've had a moment," Zara promises Cahal. Yep. Don't worry. Challenge to come. She tips her head to him, an acknowledging gesture, and then looks over at Evonleigh and says something to her more quietly, laughter hinted on her lips.

Cahal says "That seems a rather large commitment for a single fight."

"Well, if they only want to do a single fight, then they shouldn't be doing it," Aleksei replies promptly.

Cahal suppresses a grin as he replies to Zara "I cannot wait your highness. Well. I better go before I get myself into even more trouble. Thank you for hosting this talk. It has been most informative."

"Think of it this way," Tikva says with a lift of her chin. "It is not done for a noble who sews to post up a shop and sell her wares because she is simply a hobbyist, because it takes away bread from someone who does not have the vaunted place in society that she does. It is uncouth. To use the services of someone who is not a champion-- I mean how could it be less than uncouth? There is a whole guild of men and women who have devoted themselves to this service."

There is a slight shrug from Bliss at Cahal's statement, and she seems to agree with Aleksei and Tikva as she does not correct them. Her eyes look out over the group, and she says, "Thank you all for coming, and if there are more questions, you can feel free to write me at any time. Or feel free to bother Beau with more paperwork, I am sure he would appreciate that."

Raimon pushes himself up from leaning against the bar. "So, all that is required for someone who wishes to join is to request it?"

Cahal has left the Table by the Stage.

Waldemai laughs at the thought of paperwork. "Enjoy it, fella," he says. With the meeting over, he heads off in the direction of Southport Square.

Waldemai has left the Braggadocio Bar.

"Generally talk to Beaumont," Aleksei suggests to Raimon. "He's the one who can accept new members into the Guild."

"Or the Guildmaster, when we have one. There are a few requirements to make a good Champion and not everyone will fit them - a penchant for the dramatic, an understanding of what we do and why, and of course, skill," Bliss says to Raimon with a slight shrug. "Most of us are people who decided this was the life we wanted to live and just started living it. Prince Beaumont might have more specifics that he will ask."

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