Dream combat takes place at night. Each actor goes to sleep and they all enter Dreamspace, a strange universe populated by those who possess the mental powers arising from the use of eeyal.
Dreamspace is vast; most of the other people in Dreamspace are far away and are only visible as tiny dots, like stars.
Usually people keep well apart in Dreamspace, but you can readily approach somebody if you wish to attack them with one of your auragons. They can also attack you. Each night, each of the contestants can make one attack.
An auragon is condensed, crystallized emotion. There are three emotions fundamental to Dreamspace: goodness, honesty, and power. Each of these emotions has a color: red for power, green for honesty, and blue for goodness.
You must use one of your auragons to make the attack. Dream combat itself is simple: red auragons defeat green auragons, green ones defeat blue ones, and blue ones defeat red ones. If two auragons of the same color are used, both are destroyed. But if one auragon defeats the other, then only the losing auragon is destroyed. Over the course of the game, auragons are destroyed. When a player has no auragons left, he is eliminated from the game. When there is only one player left with any auragons, that player wins the game and becomes the next Siboot.
“Aha!” you think. “This is just a rock-scissors-paper game! It’s just random guesswork!”
Wrong! Remember, each player has different numbers of the different auragons. Suppose that you had 3 red auragons, 2 green ones, and no blue auragons. Suppose further than somebody else knew this. They could then use a red auragon against you with zero chance of losing. Of course, knowing this, you could use a red auragon, but you would surely lose it. The other player has an advantage over you.
Usually the best strategy when in doubt is to use the color you have most of. So if you have 3 red auragons, 2 green ones, and no blue ones, and you don’t know anything about your opponent, you’re best off fighting with one of your red auragons.
But if you know exactly what the other player has, you can make a pretty good guess as to what auragon they’ll deploy, which gives you an edge in dream combat.
Therefore, victory or defeat in the game hinges on your ability to find out how many auragons the other players have. You obtain this information in conversations during the day.