Sava was a game created by the drow. Resembling chess, it involved the moving and capture of pieces that represented soldiers on a battlefield. The drow goddesses Lolth and Eilistraee played, with the board representing the entire plane of existence.
The pieces in sava were labeled Warrior, Slave, Priest(ess), and Mage. Certain adaptations were allowed, especially in a deity-played game. In the case of the Lolth versus Eilistraee match, specific pieces known as Champions and Mothers were put into play. The Mother piece represented each goddess specifically in these matches, and it was implied that capturing this piece not only ended the game, but also that the losing goddess would be slain and absorbed by the winner. In the case of Lolth, her Champion was the demigod Selvetarm, who was later slain.
Each player could move a single piece per turn, and each piece had a set axis of motion, much like a bishop in chess can only move diagonally.
In order to inject a bit of chaos into their game, the drow used a pair of eight-sided dice designed for a sava game.[note 1] Each player was allowed a single roll of the dice, with the results having different effects. For example, when a player rolled double spiders (double ones), they were allowed to move one of their opponent's pieces (within its given range of motion) to attack another of their opponent's pieces—a representation of drow betraying their comrades for personal achievements even when houses were warring against each other. When Lolth rolled double ones in her match against Eilistraee, the result was good for Lolth. Eilistraee's earlier roll of double ones also caused a great strategic victory for Eilistraee, but which turned out to be planned by Lolth all along.
While described in novels, there has been no explanation of how the game itself is played. While the game-play itself is merely hinted at in several books, a chess-like game can be inferred. Some fan-made versions have been made, such as here and here
- ↑ Eilistraee mentions a sixty-three to one chance that the dice would work. Rolling two ones on two eight-sided dice is a one in sixty-four chance, and thus, assuming the dice do indeed have the same number of sides, the dice can be inferred as being octahedral.