- @ 8 p.m.
- Naish Holiday Village, Christchurch, Dorset, UK
by fona lloyd
Nehmera is the Panguin, the wife of Padishah Mahmud, ruler of the great land of Orum and its vassal lands of Chem and Lyria. She has been accused of adultery and if found guilty she will be executed. Her co-accused the Captain of guards Ramuda, has fled and cannot be found. Letters between the two have been produced and witnesses swear to have seen the two meeting in secret in a house just beyond the palace wall. However, since Ramuda cannot be found and questioned, and the two have not been caught together the case remains unproven. Nehmera has invoked an ancient right of Trial by Scheherazade. According to this she can ask that her innocence or guilt be decided by advocates on both sides telling morality tales either in her defence or to her detriment. The court will vote secretly by coloured beads placed in a jar, after each tale is told. Storytellers from all the realm and from neighbouring lands applied to take npart, as it is a great honour. Ten have been chosen by drawing lots, five to speak for the queen and five to speak against. In the event of a tie her guilt or innocence will be decided with Trial by Jewel.
The fabulous sapphire “Scheherazade”, is kept in the almost impregnable strong room below the palace. The size of an ostrich egg it is unique, being so pale a blue it is almost white, but it's interior dazzles with a myriad bursting rainbows. The old tales say it has magical powers far beyond the knowledge of the greatest priests and scholars of any age. It is said that in the wrong hands it could open a portal to hell itself. The gem will be brought out under close guard, placed in the Hand of God in the Hall of Judgement where the Queen must hold it with both hands until it is certain the judgement is complete. If she survives she is innocent. This has not been done for many hundreds of years. No one knows what may happen. Many hope it nwon’t get that far.
The fate of the Queen lies in the hands of a court full of lies and intrigue, where old rivalries and new jealousies simmer beneath a thin veneer of culture and civility. Centuries-old superstitions and fables haunt the Palace and modern ideals seek to be recognised. Will justice be done?
Scheherazade is a freeform game for 30 players. (Only ten will need to be story tellers to a strict guideline and time limit.) This is an experimental format with the stories performed to a strict timetable at intervals through the game.(Approximately 11 female, 19 male.)