Dueling has a long and somewhat chequered history on Sivad. King Franklin I’s Edict of Cebeck in 2812 set a dueling code to regulate the practice of ‘affairs of honour’ by his nobility. Even despite its strictures, some 1,000 duels are estimated to have occurred in the five years following the introduction of the Edict.
The Council of Equals managed to outlaw dueling in ‘An Act for the Prevention of Duels and Affrays’ in 2910, but there are a number of recorded duels after that date. While still technically illegal, there has been a resurgence of dueling following the restoration of the Sivadian Crown in 3002, and there is much speculation as to whether it will be legalized by royal decree, especially after a well publicized sabre duel involving HM King Richard I.
The salient parts of the Edict of Cebeck, still widely recognized as the Sivadian Dueling Code, state:
1. The first insult must give the first apology, regardless of the gravity of the retort. There can be no apology for giving the lie, or for an accusation of cowardice, or cheating at games or cards, until after the parties have exchanged one round of shots or one party has been bloodied.
2. A blow is the most severe assault on the dignity of a gentleman. No verbal apology is possible.
3. No apology may be received in any case after the parties have taken their ground but before they have exchanged shots or one party has been wounded.
4. Seconds are to be of equal rank in society with the principal they represent. If the challenge is not given immediately following the insult, they are to be delivered by the seconds as soon as practicable, but in no case less than forty-eight hours later.
5. The challenged party shall have the right to select the weapons.
6. The challenged party shall select the ground, the challenger shall select the time, and the seconds shall agree on the terms of firing.
7. Seconds are bound to attempt reconciliation before the meeting, or after the proper number of rounds have been exchanged.
8. If the seconds disagree and resolve to exchange shots themselves, they shall do so at the same time and at right angles to their principals, or if with swords, parallel and five paces distant.
A number of ‘protocols’ have developed to fix the terms of firing or meeting, and it is highly likely that parties will meet under one of these arrangements:
The Enaj Protocol: The principals will begin back to back armed with semi-automatic pistols. They will take ten paces apart, then turn. At the order to fire, both parties may take one shot at will. The parties will then be asked if honour is satisfied, and both must agree that it is. If it is not, exchanges of fire will continue until one side is injured.
The Ynos Protocol: The principals will be situated 40 metres apart armed with semi-automatic pistols, each equipped with a 10 round clip. When the president gives the command to fire, both parties may fire at will until: their clip is exhausted; the other party drops his pistol in sign of surrender; or one party is injured and falls to the ground.
The Retrep Protocol: The principals will be situated 40 metres apart armed with one shot pistols. The order of firing will be pre-determined, and parties will take turns firing. After each party has fired once, either side may declare that honour is satisfied. If they decide to continue, rounds will continue, the right to the first shot alternating each time, until one side is injured.
Duelling Sword: The principals, in shirtsleeves and without gloves, are situated so that there is one metre between the points of their swords from the starting position. At the order to commence, they will engage, advancing or retreating at pleasure. Combat will continue until one party is wounded, at which time the seconds will call the halt. It is the decision of the wounded man whether to continue.
Duelling Sabre: The principals, wearing gloves and in shirtsleeves, are positioned half a metre between sabre points. At the order to commence, the combatants advance on each other and engage at their pleasure. To strike an opponent when disarmed, to seize his arm, his body, or his weapon, is strickly forbidden. A combatant is disarmed when his sabre is either wrenched from him or dropped. The parties may stipulate that the duel will be with the edge only, in which case a thrust with the point which kills the opponent is considered murder. Sabre duels may take place to, most commonly, first blood, or to death or incapacitation.