Phyandarst, brother to the emperor, Knizor, has secretly orchestrated a war with another empire to gain the throne. Phyandarst is fighting on Knizor's side but is secretly coordinating the enemy attacks. Knizor's right hand dragon (all the characters are dragons) is a blacksmith named Rishta. He is the Hamilton to Knizor's Washington, the Teancum to Knizor's Moroni. Second in Knizor's circle of trust are Alkandar and Arabur, two good friends who share Rishta's rank of command. Phyandarst instigates a duel between them, then tips them off that the other dragon intends to kill them, against the rules of dueling which dictate the duel ends after first blood. (The duel is fought with swords, so death is incredibly rare as the contest ends with the first scratch, however minor.) This causes them to kill each other in self-defense. Both ask Rishta to be their second. (Knizor can't know about this.) Rishta, torn between the two, eventually chooses Alkandar. Arabur is offended, but Phyandarst, feigning sympathy, becomes his second. My question: how could Phyandarst get such two close friends so angry with each other that they would choose to settle it over a duel? Keep in mind that they enter the duel thinking their opponent will try to kill them, instead of entering the duel intending to kill their opponent. So they don't start off angry enough to kill each other over whatever it is, but angry enough to duel over it.