The word has two senses. For ‘amusements’, see backgammon, dice, dominoes, go, hacky-sack, kukrim, and children’s games.

The more usual sense is ‘athletics-meeting’. Games in this sense are Gehennese favourites. They are held to celebrate victories, weddings, and significant anniversaries. Amphiktionic games are held periodically to cement relations between the members of leagues, demotic games to affirm the unity of a tribe or city. Games are held as part of most festivals, and of some funerals.

The major events are foot races, archery contests, swimming races, wrestling, and kick-boxing. Minor events include kukrim, javelin throwing, fencing with swords and spears, canoe races, weight-lifting, long jump, and high jump. At the beginning of the sea dragon hunting season most coastal cities and towns hold dragon-boat races, essentially games at which the canoe race is elevated to the highest place of prestige.

Women’s games have no wrestling, kick-boxing, weight-lifting, or canoe-races, but have competitions in war-dance and what we would call gymnastics.

At some games, particularly the regular amphiktionic and demotic games, there are contests for poets, musicians, and dramatists, but these are not considered part of the games proper.

The prizes at games include weapons, tools, clothing, bronze tripods, and, most prized of all, diadems of cloth-of-gold. See colours.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.