The Ankarch Desert Death Race

A race originated in the Kingdom of Steadhelm, and taking place across the Ankarch Desert which Steadhelm borders. The race is known for its high mortality rate, but also provided a great source of income and tourism to the Kingdom of Steadhelm. Now with the last of the royal bloodline lost in Steadhelm, the race is officially put on hold. "Officially" that is…

The race involves a team of four members riding in or on a stagecoach with two horses. The four members are:

  • The Driver - Responsible for guiding the cart safely through the desert and across the finish line.
  • The Horsemaster - The animals trainer and handler who keeps the horses calm through all of the ensuing danger and chaos.
  • The Sacrifice - Usually a prisoner or criminal of Steadhelm who serves out his death sentence by being dragged by the stagecoach across the desert. However The Sacrifice must survive until the team crosses the finish line, a judge checks to insure that he/she is alive and then promptly kills them. Thus living up to their title of… The Sacrifice.
  • The Knight - Responsible for making sure that The Sacrifice doesn't climb aboard the carriage and kill them. If he's a good Knight, he also makes sure that The Sacrifice doesn't get separated from the carriage, and/or that the driver doesn't get The Sacrifice killed before they cross the line.

The official rules of the race, such as they are, are these:

* Cross the finish line with The Driver, The Horsemaster, The Knight, and The Sacrifice all in tow.
* The three representatives from the kingdom must be alive and in their positions. The Driver at the reigns, The Horsemaster shotgun, and The Knight atop the carriage with no ropes or anything securing him to the carriage.
* The Sacrifice can die during the race (especially if The Driver being of subpar quality) but such action automatically disqualifies a team from winning. None of the other participants may harm The Sacrifice until they cross the finish line. Only after a winning trial can that kingdom then make their sacrifice by killing the prisoner.
* If the team does not win and does not perish, The Sacrifice goes free.

Because of the dangers of the race (some rather unsporting parties have been known to send aid to their respective teams by placing ambushes or obstacles in the canyons along the race path), only one team has ever survived more than three attempts at the race. A team famous for the fact that they competed seven times before they disappeared somewhere in the desert. After the loss of Steadhelm's greatest athletes (Wicklef, Conrad, and Lursol) the race was officially cancelled until further notice, though that hasn't stopped amateur attempts.

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