Tournament's of Ornthas
The most popular form of entertainment in Ornthas is the Tournament. These competitions are hosted by a noble wishing to display their power and wealth. Nobles from across the realm, as well as the occasional foreign knight will travel the event in order to participate, hoping to win honor and wealth.
The largest and most popular event is known as the Melee. This mock battle involves a Noble lord and their retinues fighting as a team against other nobles and their retines in a free for all battle. During this battle, they must only stay within an agreed upon area. The area can be quite large, including fields, forests, and even local towns and villages. Within this area will be designated safe zones where Knights may retire to rest, exchange mounts, or bring in a prisoner for ransom. A stable or a Manor courtyard would be an example of a designated safe zone.
If a Knight is defeated in the Melee, his opponent will attempt to bring him to one of the safe zones as his prisoner. If he succeeds in doing this, the captured knight must then arrange to pay a ransom for his capture. These Ransoms are sizable and if a knight cannot pay, the knight's horse and armor may be taken as ransom instead.
Apart from Ransoms, knights will also earn renown and prizes for various feats on the battlefield. Each night of the tournament, there is a feast, and various Lords give out prizes to those they feel excelled above any other in a certain category. These prizes could be for the one who unhorsed the most knights, the one whose battle cries were the loudest, or the knight who was the drunkest throughout the tournament. The feasts are a time to show off one's wealth and power, and the nobles are always trying to one up each other with acts of generosity.
During particularly large tournaments, such as the celebrations surrounding a Nemertingi’s move into a new host body, specific competitions such as jousting, archery, swordsmanship, and unarmed combat will be organized. Knights will compete in a bracket style competitions for each event, with the winner earning additional recognition and valuable prizes from the victory.
Some knights will make a name for themselves by traveling the tournament circuit, earning a place in the households of powerful Lords. Sir Richard of Corwyn, the 3rd son of the Lord of Corwyn, did just that. With no real prospects as 3rd in line, he joined the Tournament circuit and excelled. Eventually he gained the attention of Alric’s Marshal and was invited to join the house of the Nemara. Through his service to the Nemara, he was eventually named Marshal himself, eclipsing his father's power and influence in the process.