The Sapphire Tournament
Time: 8th-10th of Harvester
Zanris Sapphire (or Zanris Shortboot Kneeslasher Sapphire to give his full gnommish name) is a gnome who fought in the war, where he earned both of his middle names. Upon the war ending in Year 615, Zanris decided that the excellent fighters that he met during that time should meet for a grand tournament in the lands surrounding Methoni to decide who was the strongest. He, of course, named this tournament after himself. “The Zanris Shortboot Kneeslasher Sapphire Tournament”
He hired many of the war’s healers to stand by so that they could go all-out without fear of causing the death of some of the world’s great champions. Zanris was stomped in the very first round in such a one-sided battle that he stormed out, claiming that this was a stupid idea and he should never have thought of it. He returned however to find a great crowd cheering on an amazing final bout and decided that instead of participating, he would organise the tournament as a yearly event. He, of course, would be the organiser and announcer. And just so people knew who founded the tournament, the winner would be presented with a sapphire. Soon the tournament became known as “The Sapphire Tournament”.
After many years of the tournament taking place at Methoni, getting larger and grander every year, the city started to struggle with the massive expenses to host such an event, Methoni not being the largest or most well traded with city. They refused to hold the tournament at all in Year 623. Thus, Zanris decided that the tournament should travel the lands, being hosted in a different city each year. With people having to ask year after year as to which city it was taking place in, the tournament was often referred to simply as “The ____ Tournament”, with the name being whichever city it was to be in this year.
The tournament grew steadily to encompass other events, including archery, mounted combat and many other events. However the main event was still the grand fighting tournament, growing so much in numbers each year that soon a field was not enough. It became an arena, a colliseum, and recently 2 colliseums. And the prizes got bigger too, although always retaining the original sapphire theme, whether alongside the main prize of as an embedded gem, depending. The tournament is now really truely something to behold.
List of winners by year: