“In the north, it’s known as the game of Beggars and Kings.
In the south, as Crowns and Swords, and in the Wilderlands they call it Shades.
Its real name is Dumas Breige, which in the old tongue is to “go falsely.“
It is played by men all over the world, and it is the game of kings, priests and sumisarians, for in its intrigues and strategies lies the fate of nations and gods. If Sep is to survive the battles before him, he must not only learn, but master the game, for the skills of a swordsman are of no avail in the court of nobles.”
The game of Dumas Breige is one of those weird things that happens when you’re writing. I have a scene in The Whisper of God, where Sep and Elise are discussing the politics of the court of Jarick, and she describes it like a game of chess. That’s all well and good, but I wanted something a little different than chess, and if you’ve read the first two books, you know that Sommerstone is different. There is no connection between their pantheon and the pantheon of our antiquity, the mythology of our world and the reality of Sommerstone.
That said, I set out to make the world of Sommerstone one with a plausible history and mythology, as well as belief system. Chess doesn’t exist in the world of Sommerstone, so I was faced with the dilemma of making a game that is like chess ( a passion of mine), but is unique in how it’s played. I didn’t want the game of chess under some other guise and a nom de plume. I wanted a game that was real and born of the social, cultural, religious, and political fabric of the world.
Dumas Breige was born of that need, and while it’s not a fully realized game like chess, it is more developed than I’d anticipated for something to be merely a part of a conversation between two characters. World building never ends, and while it is tempting for an author to include in the book all the hard work he has put into building the world, it’s a temptation one should resist.
With that in mind, and the realization that the game has evolved into something of a character in the book, I have undertaken to expand it and make it fully playable. When it’s done I’ll upload the files needed to print (it is a board game) and play it. I’m looking forward to sharing with you this unique aspect of Sommerstone, and I hope you’ll find it enjoyable.