Tournament of Thieves
The Tournament of Thieves is a notable custom in Sharn, a practice that the Dragonmarked Heirs of House Kundarak have adopted and evolved into the spectacle that it is today.
In Sharn, whenever a notable member from a wealthy family manifests a Mark of Warding during their Test of Syberis, they are given a year to design and build a vault, and given near-limitless resources to build it. After a year has passed, the Tournament of Thieves is announced. It is during this period that members of the Sharn community are invited to test the wards and traps that the newly risen Kundarak heir has created, and serves two purposes: First, House Kundarak sees it as a test of the natural ability of the new heir, allowing them to see the strengths and weaknesses of the individual. Secondly, the unrestricted nature of the design process allows for sometimes new and interesting wards to be created, which become immediately incorporated into the vaults of House Kundarak that protect the Treasury and other important sources of wealth.
Most members of House Kundarak that have the privilege of calling for a Tournament of Thieves are families who are members of the Aurum or the Sixty; the massive amount of wealth required to be able to build whatever is designed is rare, even among House Kundarak; the cost of having a Planar Copy ritual on the Vault to allow multiple teams to enter at once without encountering each other costs a small fortune in and of itself. However, most dragonmarked houses and influential factions, as well as the nations of Breland and Aundair, invest heavily in hopes that new warding methods will prove useful.
Among the common folk, a Tournament of Thieves is like an unplanned feastday: most businesses close up shop, with the exception of taverns, as most employers know that no work will be done on a day when someone can make a fortune betting on the underdogs to make it the furthest through the vault.
The rules for the contestants are simple: They are allowed to bring in any items that they deem essential to their attempt to reach the final room of the vault. Each raider will be given a pair of rings created by a joint House Jorasco and House Orien ritual; if a raider would take any type of damage that would cause death while participating in the Tournament of Thieves, they are immediately teleported to a House Jorasco hospital. It has been learned that cutting off the hands of a person wearing the rings will accomplish the same effect; unfortunately this usually means that only the two hands will return to the hospital, leaving the raider to die from blood loss inside the vault.
It is not uncommon for most raiding groups to end up in the hospital; however, what matters as far as the tournament goes is the fact of which raiding group went the farthest through the vault. In each room, tokens are stored; the team with a token showing that they went further than any other team is declared the winner of a 1,000 gold purse. However, should a raiding team make it all the way through the Vault, they will receive a purse of 1,500 gold.