Trial of Bloodright
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A Trial of Bloodright is one of the Six Trials of Combat, and determines the assignment of Bloodnames.
Being a matrilineal descendant of a Bloodnamed warrior gives a warrior the right to participate in the Trial to earn the Bloodname (and due to the Clan eugenics program, there are a lot of potential warriors for a particular Bloodname at any given time).
By Clan law, at any one time there are up to 25 active warriors with the same Bloodname (there can be less due to Reavings). When one dies, a Trial of Bloodright is held to determine who should replace the Bloodnamed warrior. Though each Clan originally only claimed the forty Bloodnames that were assigned to their Clans by Nicholas Kerensky, various Trials of Possession for genetic material had ended this practice by the 31st Century. A warrior who was taken as a bondsman to another Clan could still participate in a Bloodname Trial for a name in their former Clan.
The trial involves a single-elimination tournament of one-on-one combat duels. 32 candidates are chosen to compete for the Bloodname, so a candidate can only win a Bloodname by winning all five duels. The nature of the duels depends whether they are fighting for an Elemental Bloodname, MechWarrior Bloodname, or an Aerospace Bloodname. If the dueling warriors are both disabled or killed, the warrior who would have faced the winner automatically moves on to the next round. If the final two warriors kill each other, the Trial of Bloodright starts over again.
Each member of a Bloodname nominates one warrior for the Trial with the head of the Bloodname nominating the rest to form 31 candidates. A 32nd slot is given to any potential Bloodname holder who isn’t nominated but wishes to compete for the Bloodname, these warriors then have a single free-for-all battle to win the 32nd slot called a Grand Bloodname Melee.
Once a warrior achieves a Bloodname, they may not participate in any other Trials of Bloodright; their Bloodname is permanent and they can only have one. Hence some ambitious warriors may decline a nomination for a Trial of Bloodright if they hope to earn what they believe is a better Bloodheritage.
A Bloodname can be cut short one member through a process called a Reaving. A Reaving, if successful, cancels a Trial of Bloodright, which in turn ensures that there is no replacement for the old member. A reaving is called if there is a perceived taint or weakness of a Bloodname, however usually their reasons are political.
It is initiated by an accusation by a third party (usually another Bloodname). The Clan Council then investigates and discusses the merits of the accusation and holds an internal vote over whether to proceed with the Reaving or not. If the vote is in favor of the Reaving, the Reaving can then be canceled by a Trial of Refusal, where the members of the Bloodline fight the accusers for the right to hold the Trial of Bloodright.
The ilKhan can decree the cancellation of a Bloodright Trial, which though not technically a reaving, it reduces the bloodcount until the ilKhan or the Grand Council allows it to be reactivated. Ulric Kerensky applied this to Conal Ward's legacy.
- Era Report: Golden Century, p. 14
- Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 19
- Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 20
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 65 "The Reaving"