Petrified dragon’s eggs. They were the sacred objects of the Great Games.
Every 10 seasons, for as long as anyone could remember, they were brought from the temple and gifted to the competitors. The founder of the games, a old bear now gone, gathered the original eggs from his many journeys and thought them appropriate when the Games were started.
The competitors called them “Stones.” A competitor would “Dare not drop his stone.” Some would wrap their Stone in a blanket of leaves and twine. Some would tie them to their backs. Others would carry them like a newborn beast next to their chest. It was not unheard of for a lonely competitor to lose their mind and begin to speak to their stone. It was, to them, a ticket to freedom, fame, riches, and all that a beast could ever want - if they could just keep it safe until they reached the finish line.
Stones have been dropped in the Games, but never broken. They are heavy and study things. The beasts speak of this fact before the Games begin but many refuse it as a rumor or common trickery by a rival. After all, no one would dare drop their stone to find out.