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  • Writer's pictureEli Z.


"Shatranj and politics have many things in common, the most important of which is power."

-Queen Mother, Royal Seyla

Shatranj is an ancient game of strategy and power that originated in Royal Seyla. The game is favored by those of noble blood, wealth, military power, and political influence. Many scholars, nobles, and tacticians have written books about movement strategies, piece usage, and related all these things to actual politics or military strategy. 

The game is played on a square wooden board, numbering eight spaces to a side, and alternating light and dark colors. Each player gets a court of pieces all of which have unique movement rules, abilities, and tactics. The object of the game is to capture the opponent's shah by immobilizing it. Other pieces include the ruhk, elephant, soldiers, ferz, and horse.

Most Shatranj boards and pieces are made from basic native woods in various kingdoms. Inlays, pieces or even entire boards of stone or various precious metals are common among the wealthy however. The most sought after complete sets are hand carved out of Moangi wood from Royal Seyla. Players often have a favorite Shatranj set they carry with them for luck.

Among common Innatraeans Shatranj is nearly as popular as dice or cards, one can often find a game in nearly any tavern. This becomes even more true in larger trade cities and capitals. Among both merchants and nobles it is common practice to have an elegant Shatranj board available to guests in the sitting room.

The royal court of Kinrai, Royal Seyla's capital, has held an annual Shatranj tournament for centuries. The winner of which earns the Queen Mother's favor, a special Moangi wood Shatranj board, and numerous royal scripts. In other places throughout Innatraea betting on Shatranj games is commonplace. Throughout history man events, from marriages to castle deeds and even wars, have been decided upon the Shatranj board.

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