Campaign of the Month: January 2015
Skies of Glass
Festivals and Events
Annual Festivals, Holidays and TraditionsFire Festival
Every year on the 5th of Midspring, when the last vestiges of winter are vanishing, towns around the world celebrate the return of warmth and life to the world. Bonfires burn in town squares the entire day, flame throwers, ember walkers, fire magics, and other fiery acrobatics are common in the streets and squares of large cities and capital cities, along with spiced foods and hot drinks. Some races light giant, flaming barrels of tar after the sun sets on the festival, which the most courageous will then carry on their shoulder through the town for as long as they can, then pass it off to another. Homes traditionally keep a special spiced candle lit in every room that burns with a thick, fragrant smoke, and some races burn candles with a heady narcotic in it. Many believe that this festival began as a strange mixture of druidic rituals and fumigation practices after the long winter months. The Fire Festival is practiced by all races that do not relish in the cold, though Keldons tend to hold a particular love for the Fire Festival and often stretch out the celebration for days with heavy drinking and often dangerous traditions.Children’s Day
Every year on the 9th of Springsebb, adults around the world celebrate the children within their society. Children dress up in special outfits unique to their race or in national costumes, often very colorful clothing differing between boys and girls. Many children perform in plays or musicals, and capital towns often put on elaborate pageants. Children’s Day is practiced by most races that place value on their young, though customs certainly may differ from the norm, and many races treat it as something of a fertility festival for families that have yet to have children.Festival of Lights
Every year from the 6th to 8th of Deepwinter, the darkest and often coldest three days of the year, lights spring up around the towns of the world. For more religious or druidic cultures, this festival is often marked with fields of candles or bonfires that burn for days, celebrating the winter solstice. For the more pyroclastically-inclined cultures, this festival is marked by three evenings of fireworks, with the capitals holding spectacular shows. Either way, families and communities often gather and celebrate with gifts and feasts, and many decorate their homes with flowers and other symbols of light and spring. The Festival of Lights is practiced by all in one form or another, particularly by races that do not relish in the cold, Flamekin perhaps most of all who hold it as a particularly spiritual time.
Racial and Regional Festivals, Holidays and TraditionsAl’salyr – The Carnival of Celanthiral
Al’salyr is elvish for “To celebrate today”, and it marks a time where the often forward-thinking elven society abandons its social hierarchy (as subtle as it may be compared to many other races) and focuses on the beauty of the present. The Carnival begins on the 6th of Autumncrest, the day when Celanthiral was first founded centuries ago by The Old Lords. It lasts five days, one for each elven lord, and is celebrated exclusively in Celanthiral. During the Carnival, all people in the town must wear distinctive masks and elaborate costumes while outside or at social gatherings. Over the course of the five days of celebration, the old elven lords are each celebrated in turn during the day while dances, feasts, and performances both theatrical and magical occupy the night.Perhera – The Great March
Beginning in Summersdawn and lasting through Summersend, hundreds of Loxodon travel to the sacred site of Esala in central Coricona. Legend states that the first Loxodon tribes lived in Esala and that it was home to the First Guide. Elders from both the Plains Loxodons and the Forest Loxodons bring the most prized and sacred possessions of their tribes, the Tusks of the First Guide. Loxodons often meditate and fast for days, some weeks, once reaching Esala. However, after the 9th of Summersend, the remaining 5 days and nights are festive dancing, wrestling, magical feats, feasting and drumming. Perhera is often considered a ritual that all Loxodon should undergo once in their life, though many go far more than once.Kal-Krin – Search for Honor
An unusual tradition shared by both Nezumi and Kenku, Kal-Krin is something of an alternative to a prison sentence in their cultures. When a Nezumi or Kenku is caught, usually by one of their own, doing something that brings shame to their family, they are often given the right to choose Kal-Krin instead of facing whatever other consequences may await them. Kal-Krin requires that the offender begin to follow the Stranger across the land, and even the oceans if necessary, to seek an item of great worth to obtain and bring back to their family. “Great worth” is defined in Kal-Krin as being relative to the wealth and power of the offender’s family. Once the offender returns home with what the community elders believe to be an appropriate item, the dishonor is removed and other consequences of the act are forgiven.Songreau – Sacred Waves
While originally a deeply religious tradition of the Ocean Angels, Songreau has since become a festival observed in both Aasrugel and Laquaran, along with many coastal towns near the two nations, and is often described as the world’s biggest water fight. The celebration begins on the 5th of Highsummer, a day marking the birth of a particularly benevolent Sea Guardian in ancient times. Cleansing with water on this day is meant to purify and renew the mind, body and soul. In Aasrugel, the water fights can last up to six days, as Ocean Angels and tourists ambush each other in the streets with water buckets and water balloons, though using magic is generally considered unfair. In Laquaran, the tradition is celebrated with bloody public duels in the name of the Sea Guardian, but in respect for the ancient benevolence of the Sea Guardian, such duels are never to the death. While this is the most popular activity, Songreau is also a time when Ocean Angels and Merfolk visit elders and The Sacred Coves to pay their respects to the Sea Guardian, though many other races join in on the practice, particularly Vedalken.Nacht Kradak – Kradak’s Nights
A traditional Keldon festival, Nacht Kradak is unsurprisingly a celebration of Kradak’s final battle, “The Battle of Scarlet Sails.” Kradak’s Nights takes place over the course of a week, beginning on the 1st of Winterdusk, and features music, live combat, mageduels, feasts, and fireworks, all accompanied by excessive drinking and frequent brawls. The final night of the festival culminates in a recreation of The Battle of Scarlet Sails in the harbor out front The Necropolis, pitting a single Keldon witch-king and his warship against five pirate ships manned by captured pirates. The pirates are offered their lives and freedom if victorious or a fast and honorable death if defeated, both far better fates than await most pirates captured by Keldons.
Lunar Festivals, Holidays and TraditionsThe Lantern Festival
An ancient tradition of the Kitsune, the Lantern Festival is commonly practiced all over the Ikari and to a smaller scale in the Twin Kingdoms. On The Mother’s first new moon during the new year, usually during Newspring or Midspring, participants write their wishes on fire lanterns and release them into the sky en masse at midnight, creating a beautiful sea of floating lights in the sky. Writing a wish for someone else on a fire lantern and releasing it in The Clinging Mists is supposed to bring great luck to the person and maybe even the wish in whole if the wish for that person is true, selfless, and from the heart.Sharva Nar – Heroes Return
The Wandering Hero is often viewed by leonin as the soul of the first Kha, Kha Dakkan, and not surprisingly is held as a sacred celestial body. Whenever The Hero passes in front of The Mother, the celestial body the often represents the first pride to leonin, the leonin see this as the spiritual return of the first Kha to his pride consider it to be a holy event, holding a festival of sorts known as Sharva Nar. Sharva Nar is commonly a community-oriented celebration with firecrackers, sweets, and the lighting of small clay lamps and candles. However, if The Hero is waning gibbous or new when it passes in front of The Mother, the Kha is seen to be wounded as he returns to his pride, and the festival is often a somber remembrance of lost loved ones and those in pain or danger.Sharva/Kari Vika – Hero/Stranger Triumphant
Much as The Hero and The Mother hold sacred roles in leonin religion, so does The Stranger. Often seen as an assassin or murderous traitor, The Stranger means bad tidings for leonin. Whenever The Hero and The Stranger pass over each other, the leonin hold it as a holy (or unholy) day. If The Hero should pass in front of The Stranger, the leonin see it as a holy day hold a celebration known as Sharva Vika which is celebrated in a similar fashion to Sharva Nar, but typically is accompanied by mock battles and martial and magical presentations. However, should The Stranger pass in front of The Hero, the leonin see it as an unholy day known as Kari Vika. Kari Vika is seen as a day of great misfortune, and leonin traditionally refuse to do anything beyond the bare minimum to survive the day. Most leonin won’t leave their home, cook, or even clean on Kari Vika, and engaging in combat or even casting spells on these days is often considered to be inviting doom upon yourself. While The Stranger passing in front of The Mother is not typically observed as a special event, many leonin still consider it to be a bad omen.Rethnuk – Burning Colors
Rethnuk is a celebration of joy and color held by the Fire Angels. The celebration begins when The Stranger is sufficiently large and bright enough in the skies that the chieftan of the Fire Angels calls Rethnuk. Once called, all fires are lit with a special herbal mix that creates a grand and rippling prismatic array of colors in the flames, and the air is filled with brightly colored powder that flies with the wind. Music, dancers and feasts fill the streets at all hours during Rethnuk. Paint fights often run through the cities at all hours during Rethnuk, and a cheerful and charged spirit flows through Fire Angel communities. Rethnuk lasts until The Stranger no longer fills the night skies, which means the festivities can last just a single night or up to weeks at a time. Many of the other races of Dentyr often travel to Fire Angel villages to join in with these celebrations.
Unusual Festivals, Holidays and TraditionsFaerie Days
“For thirteen days every year, nature will defy the ground and the world will stop. For thirteen days, the fae will rule Creed.” – Lord Varis
Faerie days are strange and mysterious days that occur randomly throughout the year where the fey will travel outside the Faewoods, pestering and occasionally attacking the beings of Creed, and strange phenomena rule the land: the skies will turn green, water (and even blood) will stop moving, wind will either stop or blow like a hurricane, even magic can go haywire. Perhaps worst of all, the outlying areas of the Faewood are able to shift across the world on these days. While the shifting of the Faewoods is seemingly random, many adventurers share stories of being caught in these shifting woods, especially when they were younger. Faerie days always begin exactly at midnight and last 24 hours, and there are always thirteen in a calendar year. Multiple faerie days in a row are rare, but do happen (especially when Winterdusk rolls around and there are multiple faerie days left in the year).Salif Se’a Ke – Call of the Seed Guides
Salif Se’a Ke, known more commonly as the Call of the Seedguides (or “Song of the Seeded Grove” by those who actually speak Sylvan), is a special tradition among treefolk. Usually once a decade, treefolk actively wandering across Creed will seek out a nearby friend or ally and entrust to them a seed to take to The Murmuring Bosk to be planted. Why treefolk don’t take their own seeds back to their racial home is unknown, but those friends of the treefolk who make this journey (commonly known as Seedguides) often vouch that the experience is incredibly rewarding.