Peaceful and Nice Narissa, Advocate of Hugs and Kittensto Everyone

I'd like to know what the point of a challenge is. Or a duel, for that matter.

See, I always thought challenges and duels had the PRIMARY purpose of providing a forum for uninterrupted combat, a way for two foes to settle a score. They are a civilizing force - rather than simply running around, jump for jump, tit for tat, two enemies could challenge, or duel, to the death. It is a fight on equal ground, everyone is prepared and ready for the fight. It is a fight with nobility - there are no \"cheap tricks\" or \"cheap jumping,\" no teaming, just pure, unadulterated fighting, an oppor

tunity to take out the foe.

Challenges also serve a secondary purpose of training. You can learn how to fight, bloodlust is turned off, and the public decree that it is mutual will stop others from interfering.

Yet challenges and duels have seemed to slip from this primary purpose into the secondary. Duels half the time consist of people sitting around making settings, while their enemie sit thwarted by the protection from attack the duel confers upon them. Rare to see a mutual challenge from people of enemy cities. Jumping and teaming seem to be the ways to settle the score with enemies.

Perhaps part of this reason is that when enemies DO issue challenges and duels to each other, there is little respect for it. The winner may astralbond and continue to attack the loser, there may be stripping during the course of the challenge, the friends and citymates of the loser may gang up and attack the winner.

This growing disrespect for the challenge disturbs me. One of the things I love about this land is that the combat is intense, yes, but also civilized. There is an underlying respect for even your bitterest foe. Seeing the challenge and duel system degrade like this makes me wonder how far it will fall - will Avalon turn into just another land of retributive team jumps? I won't speak the dirty word here, but we all know my roots - I don't want that attitude to permeate here as well...

Written by my hand on the 15th of Cloudburst, in the year 1132.