Circle of Equals
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A Circle of Equals is the Clan term for an area in which warriors combat one another for purposes of resolving a Trial, such as a Trial of Refusal, a Trial of Grievance or a Trial of Possession, though the use of the circle is by no means limited to these three forms.
One of Clan Founder Nicholas Kerensky's many ideas for his new society was that of honor and fairness, especially within the context of warfare. The Circle of Equals was a way in which even everyday disputes could be handled between warriors. It is a place where warriors may settle differences of a personal, or of a Clan nature, and do so in a way that strongly defines the Clans themselves. After the ritual words were spoken to begin the contest, none may enter or leave the circle until the matter is resolved through right of combat. In this way, it is firmly a part of the ideals that the Clans call collectively the Honor Road.
The shape of a Circle of Equals may range from that of a circle (as suggested by its very name), to any other form as long as it is of an enclosed nature, and is known to both parties involved with the Trial. If the boundaries of this area are ever crossed before the combat has been resolved, the warrior or party in question forfeits the Trial. A third party entering the circle will also void the Trial, and may lead to dire consequences for the offenders. Observers and referees, if called for, may be posted around the outsides of this border, though they can also view the Trial from a remote location.
A Circle of Equals may also vary drastically in size. Sometimes, it might be only a few meters across, as needed for individual warriors to fight a Trial of Grievance (also called an Honor Duel) or other contest, without a BattleMech or other weapon system. This style is usually referred to as Unaugmented. Ritualistic forms of combat, such as Clan Goliath Scorpion's stylized Dance of the Scars, would likely have a wider circle with room for many spectators to witness the event. A Circle of Equals may also range upward toward several kilometers in diameter, for fully-armed, or Augmented, combat between individuals or entire units.
A Trial of Absorption might perhaps take place in a circle marked as all of a given Clan's possessions, which could then range towards an entire planet or multiple solar systems in size. In the case of a Trial of Annihilation, the object Clan of the ruling is not considered an equal, and no circle places limitation upon the Trial. The complete destruction of the party in question is the only proper outcome of a Trial of Annihilation.
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 117 - "Circle of Equals"
- Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 17, 18, 19 - "Clan Trials"
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 42 - "Honor Road"
- Way of the Clans, chapter 5
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 106 - "Seeking the Past"