Nine Kings is a turn-based card game played by characters within the Lightbringer universe. The game, as described in The Blinding Knife book, is played between two or more opponents, either purely for entertainment or as a form of gambling where the stakes can be anything, tangible or intangible.
Kip has to learn Nine Kings by coercion, after meeting Andross Guile (Lux Lord Red) for the second time. They go on to play five high stakes games where the stakes range from the right to eat for one day to Teia's contract of ownership.
Deck Format Edit
The main requirement of any single Nine Kings card is that the reverse of each card is nondescript, so as to prevent any player from distinguishing one card from another. The front of each card depicts a famous historical figure, heroic legend, military weapon, or deity (among others).
Black cards Edit
The black cards (also referred to as the heresy cards) are a set of cards depicting pictures of people, deities or other elements considered taboo within the mainstream cultural of the Chromerian Empire. For most people, it is illegal to be found in possession of black cards, although it the games adjudicators (known as justiciars) did not consider it an offense to play the cards in a Nine Kings game.
Although the exact rules of the game are not described in great detail by author Brent Weeks, readers are able to glean some detail as to how the game may be played through a combination of third person narrative of Nine Kings matches played between appointments, Kip's study of the game in the Blinding Knife book and random details exposed by various characters, who mention the game in passing in various conversations throughout the series. Below is a list of some of the facts made clear about the game during the course of the first 3 books:
- Number of players allowed to take part in a game: At least two, with no mentioned upper limit.
- Number of cards comprising the Nine Kings set: More than seven hundred (no exact figure given)
- Number of cards issued to each player at the start of a game: TBC
- Players use cards to provide colors that they can draft from.
- Players' cards can fizzle, it is not mentioned how. Superchromats can prevent this.
- A time counter showing different times of day: Daybreak, Morning, Noon, Sunset, Night.
- This simulates the amount of light available for the players. The most powerful cards can be played at noon where light is the strongest.
- Brent Weeks has hinted that a playable version of Nine Kings is in the works.