Tournament of the Crimson Crown

The Tournament of the Crimson Crown is a semicentennial tournament that is used to seat a new monarch. Each participant must complete the Pilgrimage of Twelve Paces in order to participate.

The Tournament is organized by the Order of Rhodan. The format is typically the same for each iteration of the Tournament: one-on-one single elimination bouts. The goal of each fight is to incapacitate your opponent, but killing them outright is neither outlawed nor discouraged.

Since it is typically impossible to complete the Pilgrimage of Twelve Paces by oneself, a participant’s allies will all be in the same tournament block so it is impossible for them to meet in the final match. This is because the final match is a team battle, since even a king has trusted advisors to rely on. (This, in fact, is the entire reason why the Pilgrimage is made so difficult to complete alone.)

The prize for winning the Tournament is the Crimson Crown of Rhodanthus. The throne belongs to the winner until the next Tournament, although the crown will pass to the winner’s descendants until then in the case of untimely death. Each participant gets a lordly title that expires at the beginning of the next Tournament, simply for completing the Pilgrimage.

The Origins of the Tournament are detailed in The Scarlet Tome, which claims that since Rhodan valued strength above all else there can be no more reliable method to choose a king than a test of merit. It incites those with strong hearts to take up arms, retrace the steps of the Crimson Colossus, and make sure evil men don’t take hold of the throne of Rhodanthus. Each winner of the tournament receives a special epithet after his actions during the Tournament and the Pilgrimage, but kings who inherit the throne from the winner as a result of death do not receive this honor.

Typically, the rule of the Tournament’s winner has been respected throughout history. The populace of Rhodanthus prefers this sort of “election” even when it results in an ineffective or tyrannical king. This is usually because an evil king meets such strong resistance from the Order of Rhodan, which is notoriously difficult to eradicate due to widespread support from the people.

Previous Tournaments, and their winners.

  • 28th – King Robert, the Plain
  • 27th – King Gimler, the Stout
  • 26th – Queen Ilia, the Graceful
  • 25th – King Lyserg, the Immortal
  • 24th – Queen Sylvana, the Tempest
  • 23th – King Sigurd, the Cyclops
  • 22nd – King Otto, the Irresistible
  • 21st – King Soveliss, the Black Arrow
  • 20th – Queen Anna, the Unrelenting
  • 19th – King Grok, the Jagged
  • 18th – King Lyserg, the Fiery
  • 17th – King Maxwell, the Coward
  • 16th – King Munduus, the Poorly Named
  • 15th – King Cherenkov, the Uncaring
  • 14th – Queen Riswynn, the Iron Shield
  • 13th – King Sandalphon, the White Archon
  • 12th – King Mordenkainen, the Inventor
  • 11th – King Albrecht, the Venomous
  • 10th – King Gauthak, the Red Tyrant
  • 9th – Queen Avanae, the Omnipotent
  • 8th – King Melech, the Devil
  • 7th – King Orlan, the Unpredictable
  • 6th – King Bigby, the Forceful
  • 5th – Queen Leva, the Saintly
  • 4th – King Shakkan, the Exorcist
  • 3rd – King Ozo, the Demon
  • 2nd – Queen Beatrix, the Insurmountable
  • 1st – King Kilborn, the Loyal

Tournament of the Crimson Crown

Twelve Heavenly Paces of the Colossus Ostrakon