Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The Foxes and Snakes game may be the essential guide for Fools and Adventurers pitting their all against the Aelfinn and Eelfinn, but gamemaster Moridin is playing a different and all-encompassing game: Sha'rah. Moridin's target and opponent is the Arthurian figure Rand al'Thor, and it's therefore appropriate that Sha'rah is a game with strong Arthurian links. The main piece, the Fisher (King), is modelled on the Fisher King, the lame and incapacitated guardian of the San Greal, and victim of the Dolorous Stroke, and through him, Rand. The game itself is similar to one that King Arthur played in the Mabinogion, an important Welsh version of the Arthurian legends. Now that the Shadow's endgame draws near, it seems timely to re-publish Linda's essay on Sha'rah, the Fisher King and Their Equivalents. As well as describing the board, pieces and rules of Sha'rah, it also discusses what the similar real world games reveal about winning strategies for each side. It is fascinating to see how closely Moridin's strategies do follow this game.