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Warhammer Avelorn

The Champion of the Everqueen is a position given at the start of an Everqueen's reign - to act as bodyguard and confidant to said-monarch. It is the second highest position any given Elf may aspire to beyond the Phoenix Throne, and is held for life or until either champion or Everqueen dies. A champion may technically choose to resign, but such an act is considered dishonourable by fellow Asur.[1a]

The position is determined by a tournament held in Avelorn.[1a]

According to Prince Iltharis, there is more to becoming the Everqueen's Champion than mere swordplay. They must be proficient with all weapons and fighting from horseback. They must be able to sing and dance and play the part of the dashing hero. Being the Champion is as much about looking good as it is being able to fight.[1b]

Known Champions of the Everqueen

Tournament

The Tournament for the Everqueen's Champion was a ritual that has only been enacted a dozen times during the course of Elven history, and thus has a significance that is embedded deeply within the Asur's nature as a whole.[1c]

Many across Ulthuan flock to the Tournament, hoping to become her Champion. Set within a clearing, the tournament grounds are heard before they are seen, the air filled with the sounds of singing, flutes, lutes and other traditional instruments. Ringing out through the forest, the sad, sweet music of the Elves drifts on the wind.[1c]

Indeed, thousands of voices sing the praises of the woods and the sun and the most beautiful queen to have ever lived. Yet this song is sad despite it all, for even as the elves celebrate the ascension of her cherished daughter they mourn the loss of one so beloved by Ulthuan's people. Even those whom had never known her find themselves touched by the song, pausing to listen.[1c]

The Clearing

The clearing itself is crowded with musicians, archers, and groups of Elves that are cooking, singing and dancing. As if a city had suddenly sprung from being under the eaves of the trees. The ancient woods, too, are crowded with people. Elves everywhere under the boughs of the great oaks.[1c]

Hundreds of tents are visible and quite possibly thousands more hidden just out of sight among the trees and dells. They range from mighty pavilions - large enough to house companies of bowmen - to small lean-tos set up by poor Elves with nowhere else to stay during the great festival.[1c]

Contestants

Warriors of the Maiden Guard inspect all arrivals to the tournament, guiding each competitor to a campsite for them and their retinue's personal use. Each of these campsites is set near those belonging to fellow contestants, all of which look over the vast, open field on which the Tournament will take place.[1c]

Given the stakes at play, most camps house beautiful pavilions, outside of which stands a tall proud banner telling of its champion's presence within. Some of these clusters of tents are the size of small villages, with some champions having larger retinues than the others.[1c]

This, however, is but the first move in a game of politics. If not to impress the new Everqueen, the size of one's retinue leaves an impression on rivals. Such a manoeuvre must be calculated to be large enough without being seen as ostentatious, lest ridicule and alliances be made at the champion's expense.[1c]

Everqueen's Pavilion

The Everqueen's abode during the tournament is a pavilion surrounded by similarly silken pavilions and corrals for proud, elven steeds. The Maiden Guard patrol the grounds yet never look on their fellow asur with suspicion - so inconceivable - even after the previous Everqueen's assassination - is the thought of any harming her during the tournament.[1c]

Tent City

The same night he arrived, Tyrion found the tent city made around the tournament reminding him of Lustria, for some of the trees surrounding it were as tall and ancient as those found on the jungle continent.[1c]

Meanwhile, the sheer crowds of elves exceeded the entire population of Lothern's Foreigner Quarter, not because the forest had such a population - which Tyrion joked as being where so much of their people had been hiding all this time. Rather, people from all across Ulthuan, some having stayed since the coronation - had gathered to see the historic event. It was indeed the largest crowd the forest had seen in centuries.[1c]

Concerning Tyrion

When Tyrion entered the Tournament, and despite enjoying the work, many nobles were quickly appalled and gossiped how he helped in setting up both his and the rest of Emeraldsea's tents. Not that he cared. He likened the tournament to rutting deer competing to see who led the herd.[1c]

Tyrion's camp looked overlooked a stream, on a slight rise giving a good view of the Tournament Grounds.[1c]

Atharis would note that there would be at least a dozen competitors, and was sure he had missed a few, going on to claim there was "always some dark horse who enters these tournaments".[1c]

As a boy, Tyrion loved tales of chivalry and heroism. The longer he stayed at the tournament, the more he saw it as teh setting for such a one. Full of intrigue, glamorous. It was beautiful. There was pageantry and magic, he could so easily see himself as a knight at the court of the fairest of Elven queens. Even now, as an adult, it was the sort of role he delighted in imagining, having the appeal even as he saw the folly of it.[1c]

Pending...

Source

  • 1: Sword of Caledor (Novel), by William King
    • 1a: Chapter 10
    • 1b: Chapter 12
    • 1c: Chapter 16

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