Gather ‘round, residents of Tar Valon, while I tell you a story. A story of a time, late in 2016, characterised by discord and division. A story of a battle, fought using words rather than swords - a battle between two underhanded factions warring for victory, while the common people fought simply for survival as their doom crept closer, day by day, and night by night. A story of friends turning against friends, as minds and hearts were swayed by alternative facts, while truth and trust faded to distant memory.
A story of a time when evil ultimately won.
I’m referring, of course, to the epic story of the 2016 Tar Valon Mafia Invitational!
For the first time ever, representatives gathered from each and every membership group at TarValon.Net to match words and wits against each other in an epic game of Mafia. The representatives varied from relative newbies to the game, to seasoned Mafia veterans… but all were there to represent their diverse membership groups and play a fun game.
That doesn’t mean that everybody was necessarily serious about doing so. Shaerlyn Sedai of the Brown Ajah started the game with a confusing stream of quotes, as she rapidly switched her votes between the different players. Red Aspirant Syera took the opposite approach, commencing the game with a vote of “no lynch” which left punters confused and unnerved.
Things started well for the townsfolk, who successfully identified Soldier Arie as a traitor right on the first day. But the situation quickly deteriorated after that.
Night after night, the townsfolk woke to learn of another innocent neighbour’s death. During the day, they bickered and fought and pointed suspicious fingers at each other. However, this witch hunt only served to further decrease their rapidly dwindling numbers. Even a surprising shakeup, in which I (a Red Aspirant myself at the time) replaced Red Aspirant Syera, was not enough to stem the flow of innocent blood through the streets of our shining city.
Over the next few days, Marrow Gaidin of Mahdi’in d’ma Dieb, Autumn Sedai of the Yellow Ajah, Naeris Gaidin of Dai M’Hael, Kaldam Gaidin of San d’ma Shadar, Kassina Sedai of the White Ajah, Roheryn Sedai of the Green Ajah, Novice Aelonia, and the aforementioned Shaerlyn Sedai all rapidly fell beneath the weight of the accusations against them. Not even their innocence could protect them as the townsfolk unknowingly begged for their executions, or as double-dealing assassins surreptitiously crept through their bedchambers at night to slaughter them in their sleep.
Soon, only myself, Asandra Sedai of the Blue Ajah, Maibella Sedai of the Grey Ajah, Novice Nebka (representing the Citizens), and Padron Gaidin of Val’Cueran remained. The tension was palpable as each of us desperately tried to distinguish friend from foe.
Sadly, it was at this point that my (limited) powers of persuasion failed me, and I met my own untimely demise, leaving Padron Gaidin alone to avenge all of us against the Darkfriends and Shadowspawn that remained.
It was a battle that could not be won. The following dawn brought with it the news that both Padron Gaidin and the werewolf Nebka had been killed during the night. That cold November day, the Mafia, led by Asandra Sedai and Maibella Sedai, emerged victorious as the new rulers of Tar Valon.
An immense amount of credit is owed to Mychael Sedai of the Yellow Ajah, who created the game, successfully assembled players from every membership group to compete in the inaugural contest, and provided elaborate cutscenes which added flavour and intrigue to the scenario in which the game was set. Thanks also go to Stephen Sedai of the White Ajah, who kindly assisted with running the game as needed.
Congratulations to Maibella Sedai and Asandra Sedai for succeeding in playing the rest of the players off against each other, even as they seized the title for themselves. Additional congratulations go to Asandra Sedai, who was awarded the title of Most Valuable Player, Nebka, who achieved the Most Effort award, and Shaerlyn Sedai, who was voted Most Entertaining.
And with that, the tale of TarValon.Net's first Mafia Invitational draws to its conclusion.
Will we see each membership group’s representatives converge again next year to match wits in a battle for dominion over our beloved city? Only time will tell…