Viderio
rating: 0+x
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Population: 1,623,887

An open magocracy, Viderio has a rather unusual way of choosing its ruler, who is also known as the "Magister". Every five years, the city holds what is commonly known as "The Games" - a contest of spellcasters open to all practitioners of arcane magic who chose to apply. The contestants are paired off to fight duels with each other, with the winner (determined by surrender, incapacitation, or death of his opponent) progressing to the next round. The initial rounds are mostly used to weed out the less skilled spellcasters, and while injuries are common, deaths remain rare, as it is considered unsporting to kill off an opponent who is vastly weaker than you are - and besides, none of the serious contestants are keen on showing off their latest tricks too early, lest their rivals learn of them and prepare countermeasures. In later rounds, the duels usually involve spectacular fireworks and fatalities are common. Nonetheless, the contest remains popular, as even progressing to one of the later rounds gives a competing mage serious bragging rights in some quarters - and plenty of experienced priests gather around the Games to cast raise dead at inflated prices (casting spells that prevent resurrection of one's opponent is grounds for disqualification)…

The winner of the final round then has to fight the current Magister (if that Magister hasn't abdicated at the end of the Games - and many do) - and if he wins, he becomes the new Magister. The old one (raised if necessary) then retires to the Council of Mages, an "advisory" council that in reality controls most of the city and uses the Magister as a figurehead.

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