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IC Event  - the Festival of the Sun —

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Played by Offline Leviathan [PM] Posts: 42 — Threads: 24
Signos: 185

There is a phoenix in the market square. 

It is not altogether uncommon to spot the occasional desert beast swept into the charybdis of downtown Solterra. For the markets, you see, are where things go to lose themselves—from the slack-jawed guard to the squalling child to the gold hidden deep in a cloak pocket. Some beasts are intelligent enough to appreciate this.

The phoenix, however, has not come with the intention of being ignored. 

At first it is given a wide berth, as, for several long moments, a fog of anxious conversation engulfs the crowd: not one of the gathered parties can recall the proper way to approach a phoenix without risk of swift incineration.

Eventually, someone works up the nerve to try anyway.

The phoenix perches, with the nonchalance of a schoolboy, on the scarred wooden frame of the market’s notice board. Scarlet spools of fire lick up and down its wings, its eyes, silver as mercury, brightening in interest as the first of the brave draws near. 

Hello, hums the phoenix, its voice like a flute’s melody. The crowd gasps. The phoenix tilts its golden head to the side, pleased.

Beneath its billowing fan of a tail is a sheet of parchment stamped with the seal of the King, yet written in Eibet—the common tongue. 

Played by Offline Leviathan [PM] Posts: 42 — Threads: 24
Signos: 185

the Festival of the Sun

the Noon Feast
the first bell
(the Day Court)

At high noon, the first of the sun bells is struck.

There are twelve of them in all: one for each ray in the Solis sun. At the passing of every hour, another sun bell will be struck, until, at midnight, the bells will be played from the first to the twelfth in breathless succession. A symphony of chimes in round canon. For twelve minutes, the hearts of Solterra will beat to a song of bells.

The first bell rings in the start of the Noon Feast.

The Noon Feast marks the start of the day-long festivities of the Festival of the Sun, and is a momentous event. Sponsored by the Monarchy (now the Regime), the Feast is a lavish affair with the primary aim, beside general merrymaking, being to strengthen the ties between king and country. It is when the people dine like kings, and when kings serve the people. Foods once considered affordable only by the nobility pile platter upon platter down a table the length of the castle courtyard. Flowers from the royal gardens—or imported in dripping bunches from the fairer courts—separate dish from dish in bouquets placed in bright vases blown into fantastical shapes by Solterra's glass masters.

Three traditional foods eaten at the Sun Festival are:
  • Sun cake: Baked inside the mold of a sun, a sun cake is a sticky honey cake stuffed with dates from the date palm* and hickory nuts from the shagbark hickory*. Honey oozes out in rivers when cut into; if you are amongst the lucky few to find a gold coin hidden in your cake, rumor says you will be blessed with Solis's favor for a season. [special IC item available!]
  • Nightdew flan: Made with the extract of the nightdew agave*, this scrumptious flan is drizzled in sweetened milk and topped with tart pomegranate seeds. Due to the nightdew's reputation as a stimulant, one flan packs quite a punch, giving its consumer a buzz and a boost of physical stamina.
  • Senita pastry: A square-shaped pastry with layers of egg custard, served on a bed of wine-preserved senita fruit*. Known for its lengthy preparation time, and beloved by many noble children for its near-overwhelming sweetness.
* marks a plant/fruit listed on the flora & fauna page!

Additionally, no feast is successful without a hearty selection of spirits. Here are four specially prepared cocktails, each with its own temporary effects (that may or may not be known of ICly...).
  1. Pale gold with gold sparkles and sugar on the rim of the glass. Smells flowery and tastes like fruit. Rumored to cause truthfulness in the drinker.
  2. Sapphire blue with silver flakes and warm to the touch; contained in a flask with ancient Solterran runes drawn on the side. Smells a bit like charcoal and tastes bittersweet. Side-affects may include slowed reaction time and a heightened sense of either smell, touch, or hearing.
  3. Midnight black with gold swirls and served in a bronze chalice. Smells frightening and tastes like snow. It will burn through any material it is spilled on, but is safe to drink. Rumored to cause mild hallucinations or euphoria.
  4. Copper and phosphorescing, contained in a vial with droplets running down the sides. Smells like fresh blood and tastes somewhat like rum. Side-affects may include slight (1-2 inch) levitation.

the Solonia
the third bell
(the Colosseum)

For some, the Noon Feast is merely the opening act for the Solonia.

Solterran festivals are infamous for their love of orchestrated violence. It is simply the Solterran way: a smattering of chaos to heighten the merriment. To keep things from becoming boring. The current Regime, however, has reinstated the Solonia, the Sun Festival's main tournament, with an edge of caution and a fleet of eagle-eyed arbiters: killing and extensive maiming between competitors is expressively prohibited. Additionally, tournament rounds will be timed—unlike the old practice of a round continuing until a surrender (or a death)—and foul play will be harshly punished.

Now that all of the bases are covered, let's get on with the fun.

rules & format
A Solonia tournament will run like an unjudged battle, following the general battle format. There will be 2 characters in a round, each character allowed 3 turns. Every "action" made must be offensive. Whether or not that attack succeeds will be determined by dice roll.

Every battle will be run by me (@rallidae) via the Official Day Account—by which I mean after every turn, I will post the "results" of that move, determined via dice roll, ASAP! An example:
  • Characters enter the ring. Character A attacks. (A1)
    • Official Day Account rolls a dice: 1 for fail, 2 for success. Rolls 2—character A's attack lands/B is not able to dodge.
  • Character B attacks. (B1)
    • Official Day Account rolls 1—character B's attack fails/A dodges.
  • Character A attacks. (A2)
    • Official Day Account rolls 1—character A's attack fails/B dodges.
  • Character B attacks. (B2)
    • Official Day Account rolls 2—character B's attack lands/A is not able to dodge.
  • Character A attacks. (A3)
    • Official Day Account rolls 2—character A's attack lands/B is not able to dodge.
  • Character B attacks. (B3)
    • Official Day Account rolls 1—character B's attack fails/A dodges.
In this case, A made 2 successful attacks while B only made 1. Thus, A wins! In the event of a tie, a tiebreaker dice will be rolled that takes into account character A & B's health stat.
  • Character A has 10 health points. Character B has 30 health points.
    • A dice is thrown. If number is from 1-10, A wins. If number is from 11-40, B wins.

The Solonia is very similar schematically to a gladiator fight. Things can get as heated as you like—or stay friendly! (The crowd, however, might not be pleased.) Of course, you are free to write your character suffering injury if the other character's attack lands. As with every battle, however, please be sure you do not accidentally metagame/powerplay the other character. When you make an attack, you will not know whether it will succeed or fail. I also ask that if you wish for your character to be maimed/hurt, that you talk this through with the other writer! Some writers might not wish for their character to inflict severe injury on another.

The winner of a Solonia round receives a prize: a wreath of crimson rosa sancta awarded by Adonai. (This will be an IC item that will be listed and redeemable in the Festival Prizes thread.) Since this is an unjudged battle, battle EXP will not be rewarded—however, feel free to arrange for characters to fight for something besides sport, be it honor, a reward, a plot reason, etc.

To start a Solonia thread, find someone who wishes to battle with your character, figure out who will start, and in the thread title please add [Solonia]! There is no time limit for battle replies, though if you wish to redeem IC event prizes, a Solonia thread must be finished by the end of year 506 fall. Please also tag me (to post the Official Day Account result) along with your battle partner.

the Stone Lion
the fourth bell
(the Mors Desert)

There is a stone lion sitting at the edge of the Mors.

It is discovered by a passing merchant's caravan just after the third bell, and by the fourth bell a decent-sized crowd has made the scorching trek out to see it. Many think it is just a statue. It is made all of stone, utterly lifeless. When a mischievous colt runs up to the lion's tail (curiously, it is not a tail but a snake) and touches it—nothing happens.

Until the colt, frustrated, throws a pebble at the stone lion's mane, and a hairline fracture appears.

The stone lion's eyes begin to glow.

See the stone lion for yourself.

the Sleeping Market
the ninth bell
(the Day Court)

By the ninth bell, the madness of the Solonia has lulled to a close. The moon has replaced the sun, and stars speckle the sky. Bonfires have been erected and lit throughout Solterra. If you close your eyes, the smell of woodsmoke, the fall of cool night, and the chalice-ful (or more) of liquor in your blood makes you feel, just a little, as if you are standing in the streets of Denocte.

Washed silver by the moon, the Court of the Sun has changed. There are still stragglers lingering about the Feast (for the table is kept stocked until midnight), yet most of the Court have wandered away from the palace, in exchange for the street of market stalls stretching from one end of the Court to the other—a road of rainbow awnings.

Entranced, you walk. Solterra has no tradition of night markets. Merchants rise with the sun, and pack their wares by sunset. Yet for this night, the Sovereign has incentivized all licensed merchants into adjusting their hours of operation. You have never seen the streets so packed. To your left wafts the smell of caramel apples, hawked by a mare swathed in watery blue silk. Glance to your right, and the flames of a blacksmith's forge leap behind a heavy iron grate. A dazzling selection of weapons—swords, battle maces, bows, a double-headed ax—lines the walls of the stall (so large it is enclosed by a tent), a sullen guard watching your every move with suspicion.

Yet you do not forget that however much Solterra changes her face, she will not be denied her nature. Wander deeper amongst the licensed stalls, and the wares will grow ever stranger.

Not all who sell are licensed. Not all who sell are honest.

the Midnight Prayer
the twelfth bell
(the Vitae Oasis)

When the song of the twelve bells echoes to an end, a priestess steps into the Oasis.

She does not wade in very far. Only until the water scrapes her knees, and fills up the wooden bucket tied with a rope to her side. Humming the tune of a long forgotten hymn to Solis—known only by his most devoted followers—the priestess leaves a dripping path behind her as she lugs the bucket to the base of a fig tree planted beneath the shade of a palm. Behind it peaks the leafy foliage of ten more. Dutifully, she tips the bucket out to quench the fertile soil, before bending her head in silent prayer.

The fig grove was planted by the priestess in the spring, and nourished by the Vitae's crystalline waters, it has already begun bearing fruit.

An old Solterran legend says that fruit planted by the shore of the Oasis taste as sweet as ambrosia, and to share one with a friend—or a lover—is to bless that union for the next solar year.

Do you come to pluck one of the priestess's figs? (She won't mind. It is what she planted the grove for, anyway.)

Or perhaps you come simply for a moment of tranquility.

This event will run until the end of fall, year 506. Since summer is ending soon, I thought I'd extend it into the next!

The Festival of the Sun was originally conceptualized by @Jeanne in her Day Court Laws & Customs, Festivals & Events lore. ♡

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