|Objective||Eliminate the Leading piece|
Throughout the course of Alorian history, and in the rooms of many tacticians and hobbyists alike, the game of Chess stands as one of the most respected games of any society. Having an origin in the Allorn Empire, the simple game of tactics soon spread across Aloria where it was adopted by other empires. While the names of the pieces changed between empires, the fundamental rules remained the same, causing Chess to be a unifying factor among all nations. Today, the game remains a favorite of military elites and scholars, and one would be hard pressed to find a tavern without a copy of the game available for patrons to use.
Chess’s presence all over Aloria has made it difficult for a source of origin to be determined, as each nation’s own cultural spins on the game have slowly created pseudohistories as to the root source. However, most accomplished scholars conclude that the game has its roots in the Consolidation of the Allorn Empire. After the death of Empress Talea, several Altalar wished to memorialize the First Empress in a game that anyone could learn. After several years of studying game theory and studying Talea’s reign, they eventually came up with the first variant of Chess, which was immediately praised in the Allorn Imperial Court.
As Altalar ships left Teled Methen to go on both diplomatic and slaving trips, the game of Chess also went with them. In the east, records from the Sariyd and Sihai Empires both record the game reaching their shores, which soon spread to their own populations as a prized game of basic tactical skill. There, the games undertook their own modifications which are still kept to this day. By the Cataclysm, Chess was a commonplace game in any township which the Altalar encountered. When the slave revolts broke out after the use of magic waned in the Allorn Empire, the Ailor rose up against their former masters and aimed to put their own name on the world. As a result, Chess also saw a heavy change in its gameplay, and soon it entered the Court of Emperor Theomar I, who encouraged the Regalian population to use the game to better their own tactical understandings. Today, the game remains a staple in game rooms and taverns across Aloria, with a dedicated population of players continuing to further understand the hidden nuances of the game.
While the overall gameplay of Chess is similar across Races and nation, the names given to each piece changes based on location. Below are the two terms used in both Allorn and Regalian Chess:
|IRL Piece Name||Allorn Variant||Regalian Variant|
Each side has a set of 8 Pawns, 2 each of Rooks, Knights, and Bishops, and 1 each of a King and Queen, which are placed on the board as follows:
- on the rear line, the arrangement goes as follows:
- Rook, Knight, Bishop, King, Queen, Bishop, Knight, Rook.
- The Queen should always be on the color of their piece. For example, a Red Queen should start on the Red middle square, while a Black Queen starts on the Black middle square.
- Rook, Knight, Bishop, King, Queen, Bishop, Knight, Rook.
- on the next line forward, a row of 8 Pawns are set up
The movement of each piece is summarized on the table below:
|IRL Piece Name||Movement|
|Pawn||*1 square forward
|Rook||Any number of squares forward, backward, left, or right|
|Knight||Two squares, forwards, backward, left, or right; and one square perpendicular in a single move. Also considered an "L" movement|
|Bishop||Any number of squares diagonally|
|Queen||Any number of squares forward, backward, left, right, or diagonal in a straight line.|
|King||1 square forward, backward, left, right, or diagonal in a straight line.|
How to Play
- The senior player is permitted to choose who shall go first. In terms of seniority, this may apply to one’s societal status, military rank, age, or any other way to defer respect to a superior.
- Players proceed to take turns moving their pieces across the board.
- When a piece lands on an opponent’s piece, the opponent’s piece is removed from play. This is referred to as a “capture” in traditional chess, though other societies may use the term “kill” instead.
There are three special moves that can occur during the game of Chess which developed over the centuries, eventually becoming a standard in all other cultural games. These moves are as follows:
|IRL Move||Alorian Term||Description|
|Castling||Garrisoning, invented by the Sariyd Empire||If a Queen and a Rook have not moved during the game, the following moves may be conducted at the same time:
|En passant||The same, invented by the Villiers-Eclaire Order||If a pawn takes its initial 2 square movement, and has an opponent Pawn next to it in the same row, then the opponent's Pawn may move diagonally to the first Pawn, capturing it in the process despite being a square behind.|
|Promotion||Ennoblement, invented by the Regalian Empire||If a Pawn manages to reach the opponent's back row, the Pawn may turn into a Queen (referred to as a "Noble" if the player's Queen is still in play), Rook, Bishop, or Knight.|
The game ends when the Queen/Empress/Emperor is captured, or until all pieces have been captured on the board.
- It is suggested to use an online game of chess to play this in-game, though it should be noted that Alorian rules are slightly different from IRL which may not allow some moves to be made on a program. For example, the Queen in Aloria is considered the main piece, while IRL the King takes this honor.
- The Blossoming of the Allorn Empire saw Chess take its deadliest and most spectacular form. Instead of a board, the Altalar utilized a large grid played in a field, in which the various pieces were played by their actual equivalents. This resulted in the deaths of 16 slaves each game, as well as a mystical battle between Archmages that could often last hours in and of itself. In an ironic twist of fate, the Daendroquin later forced their Altalar enslavers to play the role of slaves after the Cataclysm, though the practice soon fell out of fashion as the Regalian Empire moved into Teled Methen to set up client states.
- The Qadir came up with the idea of timing a game of chess using one of their Clockwork timekeepers. Over time, some innovative technologists created a mechanical Chess player which was able to play against living opponents with surprising success. Unfortunate to many avid Chess players, this construct only exists in Farah'deen.