The Sunday of the Twelfth Annual

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The End of the Great Game

The Terms of Victory

The Great Game comes to a climax and at last, the true nature of the battle for control of the Middle Sea reveals itself.

At the Thirteenth Annual, the Age of Steel, where conflict settled through the Arena by decree of the Fates, and at the will of the gods, will come to an end.

At the Thirteenth Annual, battle will be between the competing visions of the next Age; the successor to the Age of Steel. No more will the affairs of the nations be settled at the Arena – or will they? No more will the Gods speak directly with the priests – or will they? And what of philosophy and wonder? What of that? The victors of the Great Game dictate what the rules of the Middle Sea will be for all – not just for themselves. And that great battle of ideas – and the territory where that idea holds sway – begins here.

As the Twelfth and Thirteenth Annuals progress, the competing visions will be winnowed away. Warbands and nations that supported visions which have fallen by the wayside will get the opportunity to transfer their allegiance either as an entire nation or perhaps individually to support other visions that perhaps may not match theirs precisely – but are close enough to be livable. And when those warbands move their flags, they move the territory they command too.

Others who cannot make peace with what is coming will get the opportunity to engineer an escape from the world of the Middle Sea and perhaps preserve a core of their culture by escaping the Great Game for good.

The nations which have played the Great Game for territory will have a significant advantage in the battles of the Sunday of the Twelfth Annual and at the Thirteenth Annual. For while Tribute is, now, no longer the priority, control of territory matters for each Vision Of the New Age, as you will see.

Eventually, there can be only one. And at the Sunday of the Thirteenth Annual, someone will be able to declare the New Age.

Creating The Visions of the New Age

Over the course of the Twelfth Annual, the Heroes of Atlantis of each nation will be given the opportunity to outline their nation’s vision of what the Next Age will look like. Talk with your philosophers, your gods, and your warbands.

In each National Tribute, a set of documents discussing a basic national paradigm and destiny will be found which may spur discussion. Your gods will no doubt have a view and that view may not be unanimous. The key things to consider in your vision (and in the visions of others) are:

  • In the next age, what will the relationship be between titans, gods and mortals?
  • In the next age, will ascent to divinity be something to be feared or celebrated?
  • In the next age, will mortals seize their own destiny or embrace a fate laid down for them?

However, by Saturday evening, each of the players in the Great Game will be expected to have, put succinctly, a VISION OF THE NEW AGE which can be expressed in a handful of sentences, and which defines what a future Middle Sea ruled by that nation would look like.

During the course of Saturday Evening, KING SARPEDON will walk the field of Atland, seeking out the nations and the other powers, and will gather them. At the Twenty-First Hour, in the Chamber of the Map, when battle orders would normally be given, the Three Kings of Atland will publicly outline seven VISIONS OF THE NEXT AGE.

Up to six will come from the Nations assuming all six nations present visions; the remainder will be up to two from other Forces which will be revealed in due course, for a maximum of seven Visions of the New Age.

Sunday of the Twelfth Annual: The Schedule

The Final Laurel Battles of the Annual

9.30am: The Laurel of the Warleaders; Special Status ends for the PRIVILEGED Nation.

  • Mortal warleaders only
  • A pot of three Cities randomly selected from those put at hazard on Friday is the prize for this battle.
  • Last hero standing claims a city for their warband
  • Two more cities go to the warband's national control

The Laurel Battles of the Annuals occur between all eligible participants - first the Laurel of Warleaders, which is fought between all warleaders of the six nations. Success in this battle will mean a powerful blessing on the warleaders by your gods at the Final Annual. Those warleaders who qualify for the LAUREL OF THE IMMORTALS may only participate in this battle if they accept the GEAS OF THE CHAMPION, set aside their powers and fight as a mortal and if they did not fight in the LAUREL OF THE IMMORTALS.

10.00am: The Laurel of the Champions

  • Mortal champions (or attendants if sufficiently brave) only
  • The remaining three Cities from those put at hazard on Friday is the prize for this battle.
  • The last champion standing may select two of the three cities for their own group, one of which will be renamed after the victorious champion as though the Greater Mystery In Names Lie Truth And Power had been cast upon them.
  • One city goes to the warband's national control

Following this all eligible mortal Champions fight in the final Laurel Battle. Success in this battle means a potent blessing on the champions by your gods at the Final Annual. Those of you who fought in the Laurel of the Immortals at the commencement of the Eleventh annual may not fight in this battle. Those champions who quality for the LAUREL OF THE IMMORTALS may only participate in this battle if they accept the GEAS OF THE CHAMPION, set aside their powers and fight as a mortal and if they did not fight in the LAUREL OF THE IMMORTALS.

Under the GEAS OF THE CHAMPION any champion or warleader may voluntarily give up their status as a demigod, ghul, ifrit, n'Hru, immortal, lycanthrope, lamia or other creature. The character will be remade by the magic of King Sarpedon into a mortal as if subjected to the Greater Mystery The Wheel of Khnum, and may then fight in the Laurel Battles if they so choose. The process is not reversible under normal circumstances and the character will not regain their special creature status. The god or external power who granted such status may react poorly to any such life decisions.
Any champion wishing to take the GEAS OF THE CHAMPION must notify the Kings by at the latest midnight of the Saturday.

10.30am: The Battle of the Contested Nations

  • This battle will be between the two nations in CONTESTED STATUS.
  • The two nations in CONTESTED STATUS must fight a battle between themselves on terms agreed with King Minos and the two nations in question.
  • The loser will not be permitted to present their Vision of a New Age to the Middle Sea.

Following this, any unrevealed FORCES who have presented visions will present themselves openly as new competitors in the Great Game (these may be, for instance, groups such as the Zodiac Council, Sikandergul, the Risen Darius and Pale Persia, a faction of dissenting gods from within an existing pantheon or some other as-yet-unrevealed player).

Some of these new players in the game may have means whereby the warbands of the defeated CONTESTED nation - or perhaps the warbands of other nations too, for this is a time for surprises - may transfer their flag. Some, indeed, may already have made any such agreements and arrangements long before this point. This is where secret deals, sudden but inevitable betrayals and truest alliegances are finally revealed for all to see. Note that the rules of the Annual still hold; blood may run high and anger deep but bloodshed is to be kept to the arena. Now of all times is not time to invite sanction upon your nation.

  • There may be options at this point for the warbands of the nation not permitted to present their Vision to realign to one of several options through public declaration.
  • Some options may allow warbands of nations with Visions to present to realign too, depending on circumstances.
  • Warbands which realign will be deemed to have transferred their military force and any cities they control to the sponsor of the new vision they support.
  • Arrangements regarding nationality and gods will vary on a case by case basis and the groundwork for much of this will be decided on the field during the Twelfth Annual.
  • We anticipate this to be the cause of some lively politics.
  • The Minoans will bring the Great Map from the Map Room and will display it openly in the Arena. Changes will be made today battle by battle.

With one eliminated in the Battle of the Contested Nations, only six VISIONS OF A NEW AGE remain. Each of them receives an arena slot.

  • An hour will be permitted for any changes of alliegance. Minoans will be on the field to facilitate this.
  • Think fast; your destiny may hinge on what you do in this hour.

11.00: The Special Battle of the Twelfth Annual

  • During the Hour, the Gods of Greece have asked to be given half an hour of the Arena’s time.
  • More information will be provided in Sunday’s horoscope.
  • The Map of the Great Game will be updated at this point to allow warbands to utilise any territory they have acquired in the Laurels.

The Vision Battles of the Twelfth Annual

The forces and nations do battle in the Arena over their Visions.

Each Force or Nation stands in defence of the Vision it sponsors. This schedule is draft and may change on the day at the whim of the Kings.

  • 11.30: The vision of a new age defended by CARTHAGE (or if they fail the contested battle, a FORCE)
  • 12:00: The vision of a new age defended by HELLAS PHOENICIA (or if they fail the contested battle, a FORCE)
  • 12.30 The vision of a new age defended by GREECE (or if the fail the contested battle, a FORCE)
  • 13.00 The vision of a new age defended by EGYPT
  • 13.30 The vision of a new age defended by ROME
  • 14:00 The vision of a new age defended by PERSIA
  • 14.30 The vision of a new age defended by those forces yet to be publicly revealed

Each warband of the sponsoring vision or nation may if they choose defend their nation or force’s vision

Each warband will have a total of two possible arena actions on the Sunday of the Twelfth Annual; either to attack once and defend once, or to attack twice.

  • A maximum of one may be a defence
  • A maximum of two may be attacks
    • To participate in an attack against a vision, each participating warband must place a city they control into the prize pot for the battle.
    • If they control no cities, they may place a city from the national pot into the prize pot if any are uncontrolled
    • If no such options exist they may put forward two cities controlled by another warband with that warband’s express permission as confirmed by both warleaders.
  • Defenders must commit cities – from the national pool or warbands defending - to match the cities bid in battle against them. If they cannot match the attacking pool of cities they must go “all-in” and risk their entire nation excluding their capital(s).
  • Winner Takes All

No nation or force will be eliminated on the Sunday of the Twelfth annual for the Fates demand the presence of all at the end of things. But at this point, after the battles, protection of capital cities ends - for the Thirteenth Annual, a capital city will be treated identically to any other city owned by the nation and may be attacked just as freely.

The Closing Announcements and the Drowned Dead Speak: 15.00

  • The map is once again updated.
  • The Kings Speak - the closing announcements are made.
  • When called upon by King Minos, the participants may DECLARE THEIR ATTACK PLAN for the FRIDAY NIGHT BATTLES of the THIRTEENTH ANNUAL.
    • Each force or nation empowered to participate in the Great Game at the Final Annual may declare a single attack to be resolved Friday night targeting three enemy cities of the same nation/force at once.
    • On the Friday Night of the Thirteenth Annual, each warband of that force or nation may attack or defend ONCE but may not do both, so choose your strategy with care.
    • Each warband in the nation must therefore decide whether to prosecute an attack, or to defend against an attack being prosecuted. This decision will be made on the Friday when the Final Annual begins. News of attacks levied against cities will be made clear in the horoscopes ahead of the Thirteenth Annuals.
  • The Great List of Renown is updated for the last time and the Kings announce the Seven Greatest Warbands of the Annuals, each of which will receive a BOON.
  • The Drowned Dead Speak