Arvins Arrows is also known as
"Jraekarthim" (lit. "Throwing Arrows" in
Styrįsh), Cymr Sar (lit. "Small
Arrows" - Kuglimz'Seitre),
Pil Horzim (lit. "Short Knives" -
Thergerim). This is a game
for two or more players. Starting off in the taverns of the ancient
Kingdom of Kyrania in southern
Sarvonia, this game has spread to all
corners of the United Kingdom of Santharia
and beyond. The purpose of Arvins Arrows is to throw a set of six darts at a
series of shapes that are hung on a wall at a set distance from the throwers.
The shapes differ according to local fauna, flora and custom, and the names of
the different scores can be different. Despite these differences, the winner of
each match is the thrower who has best met the established winning conditions
for the particular game.
A good game of Arvins Arrows played by two quality players is likely to draw the attention of everyone in the tavern:
A kind of hush went over the crowd
that night as they gathered in the 'Red King Inn'. Quite a few of the
locals were there, this was too good an opportunity to miss, and they took
the opportunity to watch the events unfold. Every eye in the place was on
the local carpenter and the other man, who lived alone and was little more
than a hermit. Conversations stopped, offers of 'something special in the
backroom' were momentarily forgotten, the inn staff on duty stopped their
work and also watched the unfolding events. Even the stranger, short,
young, good looking and red haired, who entered the inn at that point fell
silent at the expectation that seemed to permeate the inn.
Tradition has it that the game
of Arvins Arrows was begun by soldiers in the
Kyranian army in the aftermath of
the War of the Chosen in the
9020's b.S. According to the stories, during training, one archer snapped the
end off his arrows in frustration and tossed the first of his arrows at a
nearby target. Other soldiers became interested in what he was doing, and a
group quickly gathered. The soldiers became enthralled by the game and it
spread like wildfire amongst the soldiers in the army and the other branches of
the Kyranian military.
When commoners returned home after serving their time in the army, they brought the game with them, and the game spread throughout the kingdom, becoming a common part of the Manhood and other ceremonies celebrated by the Kyranians. Before too much time had passed, there was barely a tavern across the length and breadth of Kyrania that didn't have the game. Although initially it was played amongst the lower classes of Kyranian society, at the time of King Calder, the game was brought to the attention of nobles. Some higher quality darts, as well as boards, were produced, and were popular amongst noble circles. Most of the Kyranian nobles would never play Arvins Arrows against the lower classes, or even admit the origin of the game, of course.
Although the wars fought against the other tribes of man brought destruction to the Kyranian kingdom, it also led to the spread of the game to the conquering kingdoms, particularly Centorauria, as well as to the elves. The game also gained popularity amongst the Helcrani. In more recent times, it has become popular amongst the dwarven tribes as well, and their taverns will more often then not have a game of Arvins Arrows contained inside their walls. Rumours persist that even the Brownies developed a version of Arvins Arrows, using blowpipes. These rumours include an infamous incident in 1586 a.S. when a pair of LLaoihrr Brownies were playing a game. As it entered its final stages, one of the Brownies sucked on the blowpipe instead of blowing on it. The dart entered the unfortunate Brownie's body and killed him pretty quickly. Some Brownies today still play that version of the game, despite that lamentable accident.
As various groups, including the Black Butterfly Rovers, soldiers, merchants, researchers, travellers and sailors travelled around Ximax, Manthria and the rest of Santharia, as well as to Northern Sarvonia, Nybelmar, the other continents and even the R'unorian Isles, they took this game with them. The name and target shapes are changed based on local customs and important fauna and flora in the different areas. For example, the R'unorian Isles replace the Kruswik hopper, the kyrattin, the warg and the dragon with a pit worm, a blood toad, a crystal spider and a black unicorn respectively. Despite the change in names and shapes, the rules, set up and equipment are essentially the same wherever Arvins Arrows is played in Caelereth. A recent development in the history of the game is the establishment of "Arvins Arrows Tournaments" in parts of Santharia, which have drawn some pretty fierce betting on occasions.
The first thing you need are of coure some players - two or more should do.
The target board measures just under two fores in length and width in the "Red King Inn" in Naios. Other locations might have boards that are larger or smaller than this. Regardless of size, the target board has different shapes on it depending on the location in which the game takes place. The boards are generally made of wood from trees such as the oak tree, maple tree and birch tree. Regardless of whether the tavern is located in a city such as Naios or Marcogg, a village such as Simsy, one of the Zhunite city-states, a dwarven settlement or an elven tree house, the boards have four shapes on them.
These shapes were basic versions of kyrattin, Kruswik hopper, warg and a dragon throughout the former area of the Kyranian kingdom. As the game spread to other parts of Caelereth, the shapes took on shapes of flora and fauna native to those areas. The versions of the boards owned by the Kyranian nobility were inlaid with gold and for a while had the shapes covered by precious gems. As with the sengren axe, the nobles came to realise that the gems were breaking too easily, and after a while, these boards were used for display purposes only.
Each player is given six darts to throw. These darts normally weigh one mut and have an average length of two and a half palmspans. Most darts used in this game use iron tips. In some of the fancier versions of the game, such as those owned by members of the former Kyranian nobility, darts have tips made of mithril or other such metals.
The target board is hung on a wall in the establishment approximately one and a
half peds up the wall. A hook is used to attach the board to the wall. A line
is drawn/indicated on the ground two peds away from the board.
Rules. The following basic rules have to be followed at a game of Arvins Arrows:
Each player takes it in turn to toss a dart at the target board.
The player stands behind a marker on the ground.
They toss the dart at the target board. They keep lower arm level with the ground and flick their upper arm and hand towards the target board.
The aim of the game is to be the player to have at least one dart in each of the four shapes in the fewest number of throws. The player who does this is declared the winner.
A range of terms have been developed to identify how well or poorly the players go in targeting the different shapes. Like other aspects of the game, these are based on the area in which the game is being played. The following names are used in the 'Red King Inn' in Naios.
Having at least one of the darts in each of the four shapes is called a 'Hunt'. Doing with the first four darts thrown by a player is called a 'Great Hunt'.
If one or more shapes are missed, the following terms are used...
Having at least one dart in three of the shapes is called a 'Sengren'.
Having at least one dart in two of the shapes is called an 'Anvil'.
Having at least one dart in one of the shapes is called a 'Donkey'.
Missing all the targets with all six darts is called a 'Dung' ... and the person who throws such a game leaves the inn in shame, never to return again.
In some areas, the shapes of the different targets are ranked,
so that some of the shapes are rated more highly than others. For example, the
'Red King Inn' in Naios, the scoring system is quite complicated.
Calitter 'Cali' Kanemir, owner of the 'Red King' and Arvins Arrows enthusiast and historian explains as follows: "I decided that in the Red King at least that the shapes would rate as dragon, then kyrattin, then warg, then the hopper. If both throwers score a donkey each, a dragon donkey would win over a kyrattin donkey. The best in this game is a Great Hunt, which trumps all other scores ... including the time one of the players hit a dragon sengren, a kyrattin sengren and an anvil sengren."
Deklitch Hardin would like to thank Calitter 'Cali' Kanemir, as well as the staff and patrons of the 'Red King Inn' for explaining their variation of the game to him, and for not throwing him out of the Inn straight away.