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Every seven years representatives of the eight Colleges of Magic in Altdorf meet to decide which of them will reign as the Supreme Patriarch for the next seven years. This is an important decision, because the winds of magic will blow strongly for the college which supplies the Supreme Patriarch while the other colleges will find their magic dimmed. The competition to determine the dominant College of Magic takes the form of a combative contest of magic in which gladiator wizards and their followers battle to defeat their rivals. In years past this contest was unregulated and often resulted in the destruction of large parts of Altdorf and widespread carnage amongst the civilian population. Today the contest is held within the strict bounds of the hallowed Obsidian Hall.
Thyrus Gormann, Master of the Bright Wizard College, has been the Supreme Patriarch and the leader of all the wizards in the Empire for many years. Recently he has been defeated by a young Gold wizard, going under the name of Balthasar Gelt. Thyrus has accepted defeat and has sworn loyalty to the new Patriarch, but his fiery blood will certainly see him in the position of the Challenger when the next Duel is held. Thyrus often attends the Imperial court in Altdorf and is one of Karl Franz's oldest and most trusted nobles.