The Battlesands Quest is fought on battleisle for possession of one or more of the "sand" objects (see HELP SAND and HELP SANDQUEST for the basics). It involves a lot of inter-player individual and group combat/cunning. It is contended over rounds: each of a certain timed length. Points are won for getting the sand, for holding it - every minute - and, most of all, for being the person or team holding the sand or all of the sands when the Quest time runs out. The Battlesands is an ideal preparation for all types of combat: the skills you gain will help you in everyday fighting, in Gem Quests of a conflict nature and in the all-important Amethyst Ordinations.
Battlesands Quests are not, like some other gemquest contests, solely for the high levels. There is plenty of scope for clever mid-level and it will prove a superb learning experience even if you do not think you'll win. Information and tactics are passed around, the intensity of conflict and "need" for a cool head and a smart strategy: these test more than just skill-worth. Teams will be balanced out deliberately to make for a spread of professions and experience.
It is typically the case that Battlesands Quests are run without bloodlust and without experience loss. Equipment tends to be retained before and after and often is provided for competitors.
See HELP RULES for rules and format specifics of the BATTLESANDS event if it is proximate or RULES BATTLESANDS if there are multiple events running and/or preparing at the same time. This will also tell you how to declare your intention to participate and how to review the names of those courages enough to have joined you.