Chapter 1: A Walk of Brothers
It has been 2 days since the last conversation with his brothers, and Bran is anxiously awaiting his brothers to come from their rooms. It was around 6:30 in the morning, and the sun was already shining through the window. It was warm outside, typical of summer morning. As he sat on the couch, Bran heard some footsteps coming down the hall. It was his brother Rikken. Rikken, like Bran, was anxious about the tournament.
“Bran, can we talk for a minute?” asked Rikken.
“Sure. It will take a little longer for Robb and Jon to get ready.” said Bran.
“I’m really nervous about this tournament. What if something goes wrong? I’m not scared of being tied up, but what if we get tied up by the wrong people?” asked Rikken. Bran knew that Rikken had felt the same way about the tournament.
“I know , Rikken. If you don’t want to compete, then don’t. Our brothers will not blame you for it.” said Bran.
Rikken looked at Bran with concern. “But I don’t want any of us to go. I know how much it means to Robb, but the thought of being tied up by total strangers scares me. Bran, please don’t do this!” Rikken asked, begging his older brother not to take part in the tournament.
“I don’t want to either, but I am not letting them do this on their own. Maybe I would if Ned was here, but since he isn’t I am going to be with them.” said Bran.
Bran wished his oldest Brother Ned was here. Ned had just turned 18, and had decided to join the Crown Marchers, the primary millitary forces of Westeros. Ned would never have let them do something like this, even for that huge sum of money. He was always looking out for us, and would never let anything happen to his younger brothers. As Bran thought about Ned, he heard two sets of footsteps coming down the stairs. It was Robb and John.
“Well guys, are you ready to go? Registration starts soon! We want to be the first ones there so we can register our teams!” said Robb, excited about the prospect of the tournament.
“Yea guys, you’re not having second thoughts about the tournament are you?” asked John.
Bran looked at Rikken, expecting him to say something about not going, but to his surprise, Rikken replied no. The four brothers had left their house, and headed to Robert’s mansion. Since none of them had a vehicle, they had to walk. It wasn’t very far away, and it also gave time for them to talk more about the competition.
“Robert had sent out the email this morning about the competition details. I printed it out for you guys to read over.” Richard handed his younger brothers the printed copy, and they began to read over them. The document reads as follows:
A Game of TUGS - Rules and Info
A Game of TUGS will be a competition that is held on the estate of Robert Baratheon. The goal of the competition will be to retrieve one key from each team, and use it to open the door to the Wooden Throne. Inside the room, there will be one chair, including the throne, for each team registered. To win, tie each registered leader to the chairs, and have the team leader sit on the throne. The team who is able to get their leader on the throne and restrain all of the other leaders to the chairs around the throne wins the game.
As the game begins, each team is assigned a region that will serve as its headquarters. At the heart of each region will be a fortress that serves as the seat for the region. Inside will be a living area for five people (The leader and his “high advisors”). There will also be a conference room and a throne room for the leader. Underneath each fortress, however, there will be a dungeon, consisting of multiple cells for holding captives, and a torture area for interrogation (and fun, if you like). The first floor also has beds for the rest of the team.
The area will be monitored at all times to ensure safety and following of rules. If you are caught breaking any rules, security will intervene and take you out of the area and you and your team will be disqualified. Here are some general rules:
Each team member is assigned a headband with a team color. All participants must wear these at all times. Leader and Advisor headbands will be distinctively different, but the same rule applies.
Teams can change. If you want to join another team, then simply acquire one of their headbands. The only exception will be leader and advisor headbands. To become one of these, the team must overthrow their leader by any means, acquire the headband, and register a new leader at the terminal inside every fortress. The leader can also reappoint advisors as he sees fit.
BY NO MEANS, SHALL PARTICAPANTS BE ALLOWED TO CAUSE DEATH OR PERMANET DAMAGE TO OTHER PARTICIPANTS. This has been already stated before, but it needs to be emphasized. There will be much aggression during the tournament, so it needs to be understood that at the first sign of this, security will intervene. You may punish your captors, but keep it within reason.
Weapons will be used to temporarily incapacitate your enemies. Examples of weapons will include paintball guns and tasers. Also bondage equipment, such as shackles, rope, handcuffs, etc., will be provided for every fortress.
The area will be monitored by cameras placed round the entire area. There will also be “scouts” observing the area on foot. It is STRICTLY forbidden to engage with these scouts. They will wear a special headband that is easily identifiable. If you spot one of them, simply ignore them. They are there for your safety. If they spot rule breaking, they will intervene, and will use absolute force to stop you. Don’t push your luck.
You may keep slaves (from captives or even your own team), but treat them within the bound of the rules. Give them proper rest and food. You may punish them as long as it is not life threatening. Make sure all captives have enough living space (don’t overcrowd).
When you capture a team, you keep them as slaves. To capture or dismiss a team, remove a leader’s headband and scan the bar code on it and the system will mark the team as defeated. Be aware that a team can escape their captivity and get reinstated.
A team may hold as many forts as possible. The leader of each team can appoint a vassal to lead the area in his place. It is recommended that leaders choose a trustful vassal.
Food and other supplies will be delivered to each fort by scouts each day. It will be enough to sustain you for a one whole day.
As for weaponry, there are limits. The main thing to remember is that ABSOLUTELY NO WEAPONS THAT HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO CAUSE DEATH OR PERMANET DAMAGE WILL BE PERMITTED. For this reason, weapons will not be allowed past the entrance to the areas. “Safe” weapons will be placed inside each fortress for use. These rules will be strictly enforced.
Collecting resources: As mentioned above, food will be delivered each day to each fortress. But there will be other types of resources, such as timber for building things, scattered around the map. Each fortress is equipped with tools for constructing things out of wood. There will be other things scattered around, but the types will not be revealed. Also, a form of currency will be used. Each unit of this currency will be represented by a plastic coin (an example will be shown at the briefing). This can be used at the web store to purchase materials from Headquarters, which will be delivered to the fortress. You must present the correct amount to the deliverer at drop off.
Every participant is expected to stay the entire duration of the competition. There will be certain days you can leave, if you choose to do so. If you do, however, you will be disqualified from the tournament and will not be allowed to reenter the area. Participants will be allowed to resign from the tournament every other Saturday.
The winner will receive a prize worth at least $5000 at the conclusion of the tournament. If no team has claimed the Wooden Throne by the end of the summer, then it will be judged based on the performance of each team.
You are restricted to items you bring into the area. Only clothing items will be allowed inside the areas. No cell phones will be allowed.
Registration: In order to register a team, you have to bring at least 5 people with you at the time of the registration. Only 6 teams will be allowed to compete. Once 6 teams have registered, the remainder of the participants will be assigned teams, either randomly or by participant’s choice. The registration will last 12 hours, starting form 8:00 am and ending at 8:00 p.m. At registration, your team will be assigned a crate of headbands to wear. A maximum of 15 people will be allowed to join a team. If there is a severe imbalance, teams be partially reassigned to create balance.
I will go over these rules the hour before the tournament begins. I reserve the right to change the rules even after the start of the tournament. I hope to see many participants, as well as a lot of bondage (lol)! Good luck to everyone!
When Bran finished the letter, Rikken saw his face light up.
“Were supposed to stay there the entire time?!” asked Bran with even more worry than before.
“Yep. Don’t you think it will be fun? I mean instead of being tied up all the time, you may get to tie someone else up for a change! Haha” said Robb casually as they continued toward Robert’s house.
Bran was interested in the prospect of tying someone else up for a change. His older brother always won in their games, usually ending with the older brothers tying up the younger ones. “But what will mom say about this?” asked Bran, trying to persuade his brother to rethink his opinion of the tournament.
“Robb already talked to her!” said John. “At first she was skeptical about it too, but when we mentioned the money, she had a change of heart.” said John.
Bran remembers how his mom can be easily persuaded, especially when it comes to money. “Wait, when did you talk to her about this? I thought you only got the email this morning with the details? She was already gone by the time we were awake.” said Bran, trying to get some answers out of Robb.
“Well, Bran, I didn’t tell you EVERYTHING I knew. If I did that, then I knew you would think about it and withdraw from the tournament.” said Robb.
Bran was getting frustrated at this point. Robb had flat out lied to him.
“Just hold on!” Bran stopped walking for a moment, as well as the other brothers. “You didn’t have to lie! I would have gone anyway!” said Bran, with anger. “But now I am considering not going! Just how much more did you know?” asked Bran.
“With the exception of the indefinite stay part, I told you pretty much everything to you a couple of day’s ago.” said Robb casually. “If you are going to lie to me like this, I’m going home!” said Bran, as he turned in the other direction.
Robb stopped him for a moment. “Look Bran, I’m sorry I lied to you ok? I need you for this tournament! I didn’t trust you enough to tell you that last part. But it was a mistake on my part. Please, I need your help with this! You are smarter than the rest of us are! You need to help me with the strategies and stuff. Please Bran!” asked Robb, now pleading with him to join the competition.
Bran thought some more about it. It’s true that Bran is smarter than any of his other brothers; he is at the top of his class and has made straight A’s all throughout school. Robb, however, barely passes all his classes, and handles things with his fists rather than his brains. After giving it more thought, Bran changed his mind about going home.
“Alright fine. Just don’t lie to me again.” said Bran.
“You got it! Thanks Bran!” said Robb, pleased that Bran had changed his mind.
“But I need to ask, how does Rikken fit in? I know how I fit in, and John will be backup muscle, but how will Rikken be involved?” asked Bran, concerned about his younger brother.
“Because he is our brother. I don’t want to leave him out just because he is the youngest. As brothers, we always stick together through thick and thin. If Ned was here, he would be with us as well.” Robb turned to look at Rikken.
“Rikken, I know you have doubts about this competition too. Even I can see it in your eyes. I won’t force you or anyone else to go. I need people that I can trust, and who other than my own brothers would be better suited?”
Robb said, trying to ease and motivate his younger brother. The fear on Rikkens face vanished, and was replaced with a smile. He confidently said “Let’s do this.”
The brothers continue to their destination, eager to meet the challenges of the completion face on.