Chapter 20

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"Damn!" Setryv swore under his breath. The sword slid off his own, the flat of the blade colliding with the side of his head. He easily fended off his opponent's advance, however, and assumed a defensive position to allow himself a bit of a respite.

It had been a long day for Setryv, for all the participants of the trevhette actually. The second day of the MidSummer celebration was warmer than the first and very humid, with occasional showers that muddied parts of the Commons. The first of the three trevhette events, hand-to-hand combat, had reached the final stages. Over sixty men had registered for the trevhette and, through the course of the day, the field had now been reduced to less than eight. After Setryv's match, only four combatants would remain.

The competition was held in a makeshift arena, the field of which measured thirty feet on each side. The participants fought against one another for an allotted amount of time using specially dulled weapons, choosing one that met their preference. Armor was allowed and ranged from leather to mail and full plate.

Winning a match was achieved in one of four ways: forcing your opponent out of the prescribed area, beating your opponent so thoroughly that he was unable to rise from the ground after a given period of time, submission by your opponent, or, if the allotted time expired, the match was decided upon points awarded for blows rendered and their severity. The match was no holds barred. One could only be disqualified for inflicting a life-threatening blow, using real weapons, using magical charms or wearing magically protected armor.

The winner of the match advanced to the next of five rounds and was opposed by one who was also victorious in the previous round. Losers sought out healers to tend to their wounds. Points were only awarded to the top eight finishers. First place was worth one hundred points. Second place received sixty points with third getting fifty and fourth forty. Fifth place claimed twenty points while the remaining positions claimed fifteen, ten and five points respectively. Each point so painfully earned was worth some pennhutz. But probably more important, some respect among one's peers.

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