Warrior Core and Lord Gladiators Association
The Warrior Core and the Lord Gladiator Associations are found in many shadows and in many variations. This is a general listing of the organizations used in Gesheka, Randal, Vulsar Base, the Dramaturge, Ang Ri and Gutsedvem. The York shadows have a large number of interacting groups though they are headquartered at Gesheka. The Tosian Wold has a series of interlocking groups within its universe headquartered at Wall. However many Tosains are involved in the Gesheka Games..
- 1 Rules
- 2 Testing or Authorization
- 3 Victory and Combat Conventions
- 4 Armor
- 5 Cultural Elements of the Games
- 6 Rankings
- 7 Lords of the Game
- 8 The Gesheka Games
- 9 Harness and Armor
- 10 Fandom, Fashion, and Memorabilia
- While there are many rules, in nearly all realms WCA and LGA are non-Lethal sports. Variations across shadow where the "Games" are full blood sports are abhorred by sportsmen though they have their adherents.
- While rules vary from realm to realm it is standard that no magical weapons or defenses of any kind may be used with the exception of certain type of healing magic that prevents death.
- No magical or clerical spells are used in in official events. There have been scandals where combatants have participated while under enchantment. Most Arena level venues have Mages on duty for detecting magical influences and for magical healing.
- Certain denominations across shadow, especially in the Tosa/York regions, have close association. Dolkian, Alexandrian, Fairhand, and Zatonian Sects have long histories as participating as well as providing clerical services for the Warrior Core and Lord Gladiator Associations in their realms.
- Magic Games: Some realms, such as Gustevedem, have Associations of Magical Combatants-AoMC. "Magic Games" have been known to be as dangerous to spectators as to the combatants.
- No archery weapons are allowed though all combat weapons may be thrown. No bows, crossbows, throwing stars, throwing spikes.
- Some associations have "Battle Circle" rules or "Battle Circle" events. , meaning only certain weapons are used. The typical standard weapons are sword(1), club(1), sticks(2), staff(1), daggers(2) or morning star(1). No shields are used and only one type of weapon allowed.
- Combats must wear, at a minimum, the Right Arm Harness[].
Testing or Authorization
Combatants must face an initial examination, variously called The Testing' or Authorization,to show they are familiar with Association rules, understand the equipment and armor, and are at least passably familiar with combat arms. Once Tested they are eligible to fight in active bouts.
A Tyro, or novice, wears a white harness while training, a custom many warriors carry on after gaining rank while only wearing their combat harness in actual bouts.
Once a fighter participates in a legal bout he receives his medallion. One must present one's medallion to the refferee as they enter a bout space regardless of the venue or level. The referee holds the medallion till the bout results are recorded, at which time they are returned to the fighter.
Active and retired participants often wear their medallion the rest of their lives or display them in places of honor. Many then wear versions or representations of it on their apparel; similar to people wearing military awards or flag pins on suit jackets as lapel pins.
Victory and Combat Conventions
The terms of victories in battle vary from association to association, with associations that practice similar rules interacting
- The majority of associations use a counted landed blow system.
- Many groups practice a form of honor combat relaying on combatants to acknowledge clean strikes. Abuses occur.
Honor Combat Rule
Associations that use the Honor Combat Rule state that when one fighter has clearly shown victory in the battle the opponent is Honor Bound to yield. In these bouts its considered uncouth, rude, and dangerous, to continue a fight past the point that the battle is clearly in the control of one fighter. These associations often have the most friendly crowds, and treat the activity as a test of warrior prowess where 'Yielding is as much a point of honor as Winning. Forcing an opponent to batter another out of ego and hatred is not just frowned on, but often gets a participant suspended, banned, blacklisted or ejected from the sport.
10 Called Rule
Associations that use this rule have a mixture of warriors recognizing a strike as being cleanly landed and seemingly of a suitable strength to cause a wound to an unarmored opponent, referees calling a strike, and audience participation acknowledging a strike. Combatants may challenge a call though it rarely goes in their favor unless the opponent concurs with the challenge.
As in most of the Rule Systems, Reputation is as important as victory. A reputation for challenging strikes gives one a reputation for being argumentative. A reputation for depending on Referee calls, gives one a reputation for being thick. Gaining a reputation as a cheater or a argumentative combatant lowers the likelihood of being booked.
Ten Blood Rule
In realms where victory and honor maybe be a less sure concept the Ten Blood Rule calls for referees to call wounds once a blooded or Hard Contact is made. At Ten calls the fight is completed. Three Blood, Five Blood, and Seventeen Blood are known variations on the Ten Blood Rule as are other counted totals depending on the event or venue.
Three Down Rule
The Three Down Rule calls for referees to call a 'Down' for a scored hit causing dramatic response from the combatant struck.
Blood Fight Rules
Blood Fight Rule make the fighters fight till one yields or is wounded till unconsciousness.
Death Match Rules
Death Match Rules require a fight till one opponent is slain. These games are usually in violent and desperate realms.
The vast variations of armor stylings is too numerous to discuss since they depend on the culture of the Association and the world it is in, the level of bloodsport, Honor combats or deathsport, and other elements. Personal choice is a strong matter as is the question of Vanity versus Safety.
In most associations a basic bodily covering is required but it is often disregarded and some venues are given exemptions. The Warrior Harness is often considered the minimum of armor standards.
A crotch guard is another nearly ubiquitous item. Usually a heavy kidney belt supporting a stainless steel padded codpiece, worn under short pants or battle skirt.
While Bare Combats occur in some associations it is extremely rare depending on the culture and the venue.
The Right Arm Harness, as detailed below, is iconic for the sport. The Left Arm Harness is as much part of the whole of the body armor as it is an element of personal style, affiliations and personal safety.
Cultural Elements of the Games
The importance of the Associations vary from regions of usage. Their respectability is also questioned in some realms.
While worlds like Gutsedvem and Gesheka are bloody warrior worlds the non-lethal games aspect of the WCA and LGA allow the training of a warrior class among the general public. Most also are members of the military, security, and law enforcement organizations.
It is also attractive to bodyguards, bouncers, and violent criminals; all with an eye on improving their fighting ability and their ability to intimidate.
The "respectability" of members and venues is often telling of the interest of the people eager to participate.
Competition between venue owners is often fierce, with prize and pay bouts coming at great price.
The rankings of Warrior and Gladiator are each broken down into five levels. The top are the Lords of the Game, those who have achieved the highest level of regard in the realm of their association.
- Warrior: Warrior is the entry rank granted when one is licensed to participate within the Association rules. Fights in the Warrior Class can be run by anywhere by licensed Referees. Warrior rank is the most common rank and many fighters never advance beyond it. Still, the Warrior Rank is a bragging point for many people in later life. The Circlet on the WR harness is Stainless Steel.
- Grade Warrior:Grade Warrior fights are often held in bars,, local fight clubs, and open air park tournaments.The Circlet on the WR harness is Stainless Steel and bronze stripes.
- Blade Warrior:Blade Warrior fights are held in Fight Clubs, Local Tournaments, fairs and special events.The Circlet on the WR harness is Stainless Steel and Bronze wedges.
- Front Warrior:Front Warrior fights take place in Fight Clubs and and special events. Front Warrior are considered Semi-Pro and often have sponsorships from commercial organizations. The Circlet on the WR harness is Stainless Steel and bronze quarters.
- Rank Warrior:Rank Warrior fights take place in Fight clubs as top billing and in Fight Arenas as opening and warm up battles. The Circlet on the WR harness is bronze.
- Gladiator: Gladiator is the first Lord Gladiator rank and its importance bears comment. It is the beginning of a new combat class constituting the first of the Professional sportsman warriors. For a vast majority of Warrior' ranked this is the goal. To gain the "Gladiator" license. the entrance. The Circlet on the LG harness is Stainless Steel.
- Scale Gladiator: The Circlet on the LG harness is Blue effected aluminum or steel.
- Bond Gladiator: The Circlet on the LG harness is purple aluminum or steel.
- Rank Gladiator The Circlet on the LG harness is silver.
- Lord Gladiator The Circlet on the LG harness is gold.
Lords of the Game
Lords of the Games are the Highest rank available in the Games. The total varies and the membership rules vary. The circlet on the LoG purple harness is usually mithril.
Association of Magical Combatants
Few worlds have a AoMC as part of their WCA/LGA associations. Usually they are a separate organization. AoMC participants may not challange for a seat as a Lord of the Games unless they also participate in the WCA/LGA associations.
The Gesheka Games
The Gesheka Games are considered the original or most prestigious of the rankings, have 150 seats in the Grand Arena for the Lords of the Games.
- A challenger for Lordship must be at least Rank Gladiator. Though in practical terms it is extremely rare when someone other then a Lord Gladiator challenges.
- A challenger must have Rank or Lord Gladiator ranking in the Association in which the Seat is being challenged. A Lord Gladiator of the Vulsar Association can not challenge for a seat in the Gesheka Games. To do so he would have to Register as a Gladiator and progress in rank.
Harness and Armor
the Harness is the standard identifiable element of WC&LGA combat. As described below it has many variations but is generally a right arm leather guard for the chest, with leather pauldrons usually worn. To establish balance in the armor many participants use a similar harness on the left arm. In most associations this is the standard shoulder harness.
While the Harness is standard many fighters wear a wide variety of other armor pieces depending on the level of strength expected. Agreed upon armor is usually aspect of venue choice.
Common addition armor include:
- Kidney Belts or Girdles
- Elbow and vanbraces
- Leg and knee armor
- Armored boots.
The harness is different from Association to Association but is generally thick leather, strapped around the chest beneath the arm and strapped to a belt at the waist.. It is often worn in combat. The minimum Armor rules usually consider the chest plate of the Harness the least armored standard, worn over fabric clothes. The shoulder pauldrons are a commonly included attachment and are sold together. Chest and shoulder units are considered basic in nearly all venues.
- The combat harness is usually leather but non-combat versions of many kinds are worn socially. Many participants have cloth versions, light leather, even metal versions to be worn in social situations.
- Heavier versions, including metal harnesses, are often used in fights where such armor is part of the venue specific rules or by participant agreement. While association minimums are the rule for authorized fights, higher armor standards may be required by different venues.
While Augmentation rules vary by association some rules are fairly standard.
Right Arm Harness
The only decorations or augmentation required on the Right Arm Harness is the rank circlet. Only two other decorations are allowed, under normal circumstance, on the harness is a symbol of religious devotion and a Lord's Favor purple strap.
Left Arm Harness
The Left Arm Harnessis not part of the Association harness and is open to a great deal of individual decoration. Location of Augmentations is fairly standard but does vary.
- Personal Device or Symbol on the left breast.
- Sponsor's symbol on the shoulder.
- Championship rockers or banners on the lower chest piece.
- Some awards are given by cities or regions for public service and respect.
- A personal favor is ofter worn on the belt, as well as other favors for companions, warbands, team affiliations.
Saint of Battle Augmentation
In many of the Tosa/York world exist an award called the Saint of Battle. Among the accouterments of the Order is a small golden S that is affixed on the first Lame below the should pauldren. The Saint of Battle sigil is awarded for life & death battles and has never been given for Association fights, even among Lord of the Game. Wearing the Sigil tells others that one is a warrior out of the arena as well as within it.
Many an Association fighter might go their whole lives and never meet an actual recipient of the Saint of Battle accolade. As such many fighters have assumed the Sigil without earning it. Some associations have awarded the Sigil, having been aware of the award, seen it in literature and never having had an actual recipient in their group. When the Order has been made aware of the sigil being used undeservedly they have made a huge stink about it.
There is a famous incident that occurred in Wasaliak, a world connected to the Tosian/York Realms through Mac's Bar. The Order of the Saints of battle were informed that the the WCA and LGA had been established in a capital city in Wasaliak and had been active for 40 years. They foght under the 10 Blood rule of Victory. Among the awards frequently given to Lord Gladiators and Lords of the Games was the gold Saint of Battle Insignia and a granting of the right to call themselves Saints of battle.
The details can be found here:The Wasaliak Incident
While a belt is worn with the harness to secure it in place during fights there is a series of common belts worn according to rank. They are a personal choice and are not required or official parts of the combat harness.
- Green belts with buckles for the corresponding rank are worn by Warrior Core members. The green in respect of the Gladiatorial Ranks.
- Purple belts with Buckles of the corresponding ranks are worn by Gladiators. Purple is in respect of the Lord of the Games.
- White belts is worn by Lords of the Games, usually with a mithril buckle and a large mounted diamond.
The back harness is an optional addition but is favored by the vast majority of Warrior level fighters.
- The long Harness back is meant to cover the kidneys.
- The short harness back allows more mobility.
While some augmentation is placed on the back it is generally overflow and considered not as respectful. It is generally left free.
Some associations allow the back harness to be more heavily armored, even using steel. The need to protect the kidneys and the spine is considered important enough depending on the association rules to add the protective lower back lames.
Fandom, Fashion, and Memorabilia
The amount of coverage for particular fights vary from realm to realm. However in most realms the popularity of fighters is similar to mixed martial arts, boxing and other type of amateur and professional sports.
- Most combatants who achieve Gladiatorial ranks have fans. The higher they rise the more they gain.
- Like many other sports there are fans who prefer the amateur combatants and follow their exploits as devotedly as those who follow the professional gladiator ranks. consider this like people who are fans of Olympic sports or college football and baseball.
- Many combatants, especially in the professional ranks are sponsored by corporations, companies, noble families, royal and noblemen, and Venue owners.