The Great Game
The Great Game (Xorvintaal in the tongue of dragons) is an immensely deep rooted and never-ending game “played” by dragons of all kinds across the world. The game is played to establish a hierarchy between dragons. Lesser dragons who succeed in events rise in power and rank. Conversely, dragons that are defeated or victimized by other dragons fall behind in stature and thus, power.
The rules to the game are impossibly complicated and ever-changing, and even the most brilliant dragons don’t have complete knowledge of them. It’s not a matter of knowing the rules, it’s a matter of how many rules one knows. Rules are techniques for dragons to get ahead in the game; unearthed, kept secret, utilized, and then once used, left obsolete and forbidden from use by other dragons. Because of the nature of these “rules”, Xorvintaal is the ultimate game of strategy.
The Great Game is unintentionally split into different divisions of competition. Lesser dragons compete with each other through rapidly paced, small scale “speculation games”. Veteran and Greater dragons play outside of these speculation games, usually taking years to make a single, calculated and significant move. While speculation games are often aggressive, played to get ahead, greater dragons play defensively, and rules are utilized to secure their position rather than get ahead. Only extremely rarely is there open conflict between greater dragons.