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The Rules of the Blade, also referred to as the Phosphura rules, were a formalized set of duel codes originally developed for internal business and settling of disputes among the Phosphura Belt Pirates. Later the Rules of the Blade were adopted by other pirates across the galaxy. These duels were inherently more serious and less stylized than those practiced by the Dueling academies.
In the absence of a judicial system, trial by combat was the simplest means to determine guilt or innocence among pirates, and the rules created three distinct type of duel.
- The first, or 'tente', was the least structured, being a simple duel with either no or simple, non-energy weapons, never fought to the death.
- The 'rigora' allowed energy weapons, and also permitted the challenger to issue challenges to the death.
- The final type, the 'negate', was fought between the champions, usually leaders, of two opposing camps in a pirate organization, with the winner taking over as pirate chief.
Duels to the death were sometimes fought inside burning circles, called a Fire Ring of Fornax, after one of the Wonders of the Galaxy, though clever and theatrical pirate chiefs sometimes substituted randomly firing blaster cannons, spinning sharp knives and other insanely dangerous symbols of bravado.