The Games: the highlight of the learning experience. A noble battle, pitting all the teams of Arcanium students against one another to determine one thing: who is the very best.
The common civilian sees it as a glorified battle royale, an event for celebrations, drinking, and gambling. Crowds of people evacuate the city to come watch the spectacle in person, cheering for their favorite teams. A dedicated squad of mages use scrying magic to view the event from various angles, while their partners display the scenes in large illusions for those that can’t see the action (it is a rather large area, filled with crumbling ruins that block the view). Other mages set up similar illusions throughout Ryzen, so those that can’t leave can still follow the progress of their teams.
The Games are only really possible (at least with such a low body count) thanks to the , found long ago within the ruins that host The Games. As for the ruins themselves, they appear to be the remains of another city that fell long ago. It has been stripped clean of anything of value, with only the crumbling buildings remaining. Wild trees and vegetation have begun reclaiming parts of the outer ruins, but have trouble making headway due to taking collateral damage from the battles that rage there twice a year.
The Games are actually simple. At the start, each team choose a spot to start and gathers there. When all teams are in place, the bell tower on the campus will ring to signify the start. At that point, teams must take out all who stand before them. Alliances between teams are possible, but only one team can remain standing at the end. All 400 students are on the field at the same time, so seniors and freshmen can fight each other. Freshmen are usually not expected to do well.
When the Charms of Protection indicate the wearer is defeated, s/he must cease all hostile actions and leave the field. All other students should ignore the defeated. Failure to follow these simple rules from either side will result in punishments, and possibly expulsion from Arcanium.
The Games go on until there is only one team left. As a result, sometimes they can last for days. Should the need arise, food carts are wheeled into the ruins in each quadrant still open, and a magically-enhanced announcement reveals to all participants their locations. Of course it’s dangerous to gather at these locations, as all competitors will likely head there as well. It does tend to help shorten the length of The Games, though.
To keep The Games from lasting indefinitely by one person remaining on a team simply hiding and evading, the combat areas slowly shrink. A random quadrant of the ruins will be chosen at 75%, 50%, and 25% of the students remaining. That quadrant will then be announced over the previously mentioned announcement system, and those still in the area have 10 minutes to get to one of the remaining open areas. Those still in the area after that time are eliminated.