View Full Version : [FESTIVAL] Dawn Festival

2005-01-05, 07:26 PM
This Festival is linked to my homebrew campaign, but can be applied to any setting featuring temperate plains and dieties that are active in the world. As presented here, it is also deity specific and city specific, but all the diety needs is the Sun Domain, and all the city needs is an open area just outside that faces East.

First Impressions: A disturbance awakes you from your night of slumber in the Tavern common room. Bleary eyed, you look around to see the tavern owner gently awaking a handful in the room, the ones you noticed the night before wearing the brooches of red glass. As they awake, each silently gets up and walks out of the room. You begin to ask a question, demanding to know what's going on, but the Innkeep silences you with a glance and a finger raised to his lip. He makes his way over to you. "Come if you so choose, but silently." he says, his voice barely above a whisper. "Follow the others to the open field east of town, but remember, do not speak." Now fully awake, you decide to take the man's advice, waking the others in your group as you do.
Outside the tavern, you see that the streets are full, though dawn has not arrived (but by the light, it is imminent). It seems like the entire town and more are walking to the field, most walking alone, but many in small clumps. The vast majority have red brooches pinned to their chests. No one is speaking, not even the children, who act subdued and somber (perhaps because of the hour). Several men and woman in the garb of Eos, Sun Goddess, are quietly knocking on the doors of houses. Each time, people come out and begin walking east.
Finally outside of town, you begin to hear chanting. It sounds out of place amid the silence, and you wonder wordlessly what it is. As you get closer, you see practically every cleric in town, lined up, facing the city, in their best vestments murmuring meaningless syllables. After a few pointed looks, your own cleric takes his places in line, where immedietly an Eosian priest pins a red brooch to his chest. The chanting goes on for several minutes, gently increasing in tempo and volume until no more stream from the city.
A sole human woman of about 15, dressed in a pure white garment, is the last the exit the city. She holds high a dagger, flaming like a torch. The chanting clerics are practically screaming now, and the crowd parts to let the woman walk to the center of the line. By sheer coincidence, she ends up next to your cleric. When she reaches the line, the chanting stops; the silence seems immense. Smiling she hands the flaming dagger to your cleric, and turns to address the crowd.
"Last October, the Dawn Child warred with the Crone of Winter." Her voice carries easily, as no one dares speak when she does. "Despite her might and courage, the Dawn child fell, and cold swept across the land. The season of death was upon us.
But we know something the Crone Cordelia does not. We know that death cannot claim the very spirit of creation, the one you bless crops and infants. We know, that while Lady Winter might now claim our land, she will not have it forever. We know, the dawn child lives!"
"THE DAWN CHILD LIVES!" answers the crowd, who cheer themselves horse.
Behind the woman, the sun begins to rise.

A Cause for Celebration: When the Gods were still young, the Dawn Child Eos and the Death Crone Cordelia made war, to see who would rule the Frontier Continent. The war was long, bloody for both, and ulitmately inconclusive. For though the Dawn child eventually tired and forced to surrender, Cordelia had only won the battle, not the war. Eos came back, after resting for three months, and managed to rally her troops and beat back Cordelia to her Glacial Palace. However, Eos could not maintain the pace forever, and before the year was out she was once again forced to withdraw. But her people knew, that if they waited long enough, their goddess would return, because they knew what people who worshiped death did not. They knew their goddess still lived.
Every year, one week before the Spring Equinox, the people of Lughai, and many others devoted the the Dawn maiden, remember that thier Goddess lives, and celebrate it with a day long Dawn festival beginning just before dawn. The maiden holding the flaming dagger is an acolyte of Eos, meant to symbolize the youth and beauty of the goddess herself. Many bishops of Eos once officiated Lughai's Dawn Festival.

Festivities: After the opening ceremony, the people of Lughai are allowed to run wild. Every act that reaffirms life is seen as strengthing to Eos, so almost no limits are placed on the people of Lughai that day. Drinking, games, and feasts of all kinds take place, as the populace consume the last of their winter supplies.
Every human child born the previous December are celebrated in a mass ceremony at the temple of Eos. They are considered sacred to Eos, as they represent the rebirth of the goddess in mid winter. Plus, people who can count and know a bit about midwivery realize that the children were concieved the previous Dawn Festival.
Another important event, this taking place mid-afternoon in the field outside of town, is a dagger throwing contest. The winner recieves the dagger used in that mornings ceremony, which is a masterwork dagger with the spell continual flame cast on it.
The red brooches worn by everyone are merely trinkets, given out at Eos's temple to anyone who wants one. It has no inherent powers, but it can count as a temporary holy symbol for a cleric during the Dawn festival. Most people keep one that they wear from year to year, and many adherents of Eos choose to be buried with it.

Modifications: Food prices are slashed dramamtically on the day of the Dawn festival. All temples but those to Eos are closed in Lughai; all clerics are considered that day to be clerics to Eos, even gaining temporary access to the Sun domain (but not its power). In addition, due to the fervent worship of Eos in Lughai, continual flame spells cast within Lughai on this day are twice as bright, and retain that brightness as long as the spell is active.
Most business that do not cater to out of towners, such as inns and taverns, generally close early the day before, so that everyone can get plenty of rest before the Dawn ceremony.