Updated: Nov 13, 2018
In the district of Nymlarii on the Elvish dimension of Laniakeea, there is a grand archery
competition. It happens every three revolutions of Laniakeea's two moons, which is approximately equivalent to thirteen Earthan months. As a precursor, there are fourteen knockout competitions to decide the winners of each of the fourteen districts.
Each team is comprised of three members, and the teams are generally all from the same Laniakeean family. So, the team colours and banners and also the style of the bows and arrows will clearly show the spectators which family team it is.
For the grand final therefore, there will be fourteen teams. There will be a designated archer, and two 'assistants' for each team. The archer has two roles in the competition, which are called phases.
Phase one: The archer fires a special arrow, called a 'Skaeloth' high into the air to a designated height (Skaeloth arrows have no arrowheads, just a round end bound by leather.)
Once in the air, that team's two assistants, using ancient skills and mild magic, keep the Skaeloth aloft.
To the bottom of each teams Skaeloth is attached a very abrasive 'string' which is infused with the main powder colour of that particular family team. Once all the team Skaeloth's are hovering in the air, it is then the turn of each team's two assistants to try to manoeuvre the Skaeloths, and in particular the abrasive string, called the Lelurar, against another teams Lelurar in an effort to cut it.
When this happens, as a teams Lelurar severs another teams Lelurar, the coloured crystals emit a coloured cloud, and the team who's Leleurar has been severed has to retire. This part of the competition continues until there are only three teams remaining.
Keeping an eye on all of this is a referee, dressed in a black and yellow striped costume.
And uses a Barboski (The magical equivalent of a horse which is similar to the mythological Unicorn) Helping the chief referee are a number of minor referees, who make sure that there are no infringements of the numerous rules.
Certainly for the Grand Granthanda competition, Queen Haruntha will be in attendance
We then come to Phase two: Now the two assistants take a rest, and it is the archer of the remaining three teams that have a shoot out. This is not as simple as it appears.
Another specialised referee now comes into play, and his role is to magically inflate twelve spheres, the size of medium-sized balloons. They will appear four hundred feet in the air, above the heads of the archers. Again, there are four spheres for each of the three teams, and they are filled with coloured powder, representing that teams colours.
To say then that all the archers have to do is simply fire arrows (real arrows with arrowheads now) up into the air to pop their own coloured spheres, would be a gross understatement!
First of all, if an archer, by mistake pops another teams sphere, they are immediately disqualified, but it doesn't stop there! The spheres are made to move around each other, adding
another level of difficulty to the competition, and to make the competition even more seemingly impossible, well, to an Earthan anyway, each time a sphere is popped, the spheres move amongst themselves more and more quickly. NB: If an archer pops a sphere by mistake, another sphere of that family colour would appear to replace the one popped by mistake.
The winner is the archer that manages to pop all four of his spheres before anyone else's.
Since the Laniakeean's are much more highly evolved than humans, they have no need for money, so the prizes may be a few days break on a spa dimension, an ancient and magical bow, and even in some cases the opportunity to bond with their very own Barboski. This is indeed an honour, since there are far more Laniakeean's than Barboski's.
There is a chapter in the first book entitled 'Granthanda' dedicated wholly to the competition, and covers it in much more detail, using the Elvish names for every aspect of the competition, including the character descriptions of the referees, the size of the competition bowl, the fact that at full capacity it will hold 195,000 spectators. And describing in detail the almost spiritual loosing of the arrow in the first phase of the competition, when in fact the arrow has to reach a height of between three hundred and fifty and four hundred feet in the air!
Also at the beginning of this chapter is a quote, written in Laniakeean script and translated into English, and reads:
'Become as one with your bow and your arrow, and you will become as one with your soul'
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