View Full Version : [FESTIVAL] Ball of Eldarbre'

2004-12-08, 07:21 PM
The Ball of Eldarbre’

Awakened Lands Campaign

Village of Tannil

First Impressions:
One of the last warm breezes caresses your face as you walk down the Tesshire road. The leaves have already started to turn bright red and orange in the trees. Soon, autumn will be here and the warm nights will slowly disappear for another year. The moon shines full as you clear the Lokklorn woods, and the first notes of a tin whistle catches your ear. If not for the music, you would think the village up ahead was burning, so bright it appears before you. The scent of a spiced wine tingles your nose and you quicken your pace to see what is afoot. Soon the sounds of other instruments reach you, a lute, a harp, perhaps some sort of drum… as well as the cheerful noise of many people. Your first glimpse of the party treats you to roaring fires circling the town square and a festival pole reaching towards the sky with the villagers dancing around it. Brightly colored streamers reach out to each dancer as they weave around it. Whatever food they are roasting makes your mouth water with anticipation. Your foot taps in time with the music as you get swept up into this grand celebration.

A Cause for Celebration:
The village of Tannil has never been a prosperous village, but always a stable one. It sits on the edge of Lokklorn woods and is the first sign of civilization when traveling north on the Tesshire road from the city of Godspar. Most merchants and travelers pass by the small village in hopes of reaching the much larger town of Tesshire. It lies a few hours away by horse.

It was much the same seventy years ago as it is today. But one fateful night changed the people’s lives here forever. Back then the King’s son lived in Godspar. Prince Willam Eldarbre’ was a brash young man who lived for adventure and was the cause of many grey hairs on his father’s head. A whole lock must have turned grey that night for the poor King. You see his son was supposed to meet his future bride in Tesshire and partake in a grand ball in their honor. She was the daughter of a wealthy merchant who had bought his way into court. It was not something that Prince Willam had thought highly of, but he was going to do his duty. But in typical fashion for the young man, he had gotten himself wrapped up in some adventure or another which found him racing down the Tesshire road in hopes of getting there on time. Whether his steed threw a shoe or simply stepped in a hole, no one knows, but down his horse went and down went Prince Willam. Luckily, it was outside of Tannil and the young man was found and cared for. He had taken a blow to the head during the fall and the young priest of the village needed time to heal him.

Unused to having such an important person in their village, the people of Tannil didn’t know what to do and ended up falling over themselves trying to serve the young man. Finally someone had the idea to throw their own ball for the Prince. The square was cleared and bonfires were set. A festival pole was erected and tables were place around the cookfires. The inn broke out their only barrel of wine for the occasion as well. It was simple and small compared to what the Prince normally attended, but the joy that radiated out of the people was unlike any he had ever felt. When the priest finally healed him, Willam decided to stay instead of going on to Tesshire. He could not leave these fine people who tried so hard for him, nor did he want to. So he stayed and he danced. He drank and sang until the morning sun crept over the hills. When the Prince left, he heartily thanked the people of Tannil for a time that he would never forget.
So now every year, on the first full moon of autumn, the people of Tannil clear the square once more and hold the Ball of Eldarbre’.

The Ball of Eldarbre’ is centered around the dance. A tall pole is erected in the center of the square with colored streamers attached to the top. The people dance around weaving a colorful pattern on the pole. Each dance though will end with the pattern undone so that a new weave can start with the next dance. The dance itself is a contest and teams are judged not only on the dance, but also on the pattern that they make.

The folk here know simple, but festive songs. Instruments are normally hand made and handed down from generation to generation. It is never hard for travelers to fit in as most likely they have heard the same music at other towns in taverns and inns.

Over the years, other small contests have been added to the festival. There are various types of marksmanship, such as axe throwing or using a sling. One of the biggest crowd drawers is the log duel. A large trough is filled with water and a log placed inside. The contestants must stand upon the log with a quarterstaff and attempt to knock off the other. The quarterstaff must be held in two hands and two strikes be made with each attempt while the log tilts and spins. Minor injuries are expected and a priest is on hand for anything serious.
Prince Willam had sent a barrel of his finest wine in thanks for their hospitality. It is now tradition for the King to send a keg for the festival each year. The wine is handed out to the winners of the contests as their prize.

The Ball of Eldarbre’ has grown to be the biggest event in Tannil every year. Everyone takes part and contributes in some way. When it was decided by the village council to hold it every year, they set down rules for the festival. It was only to last one night, just as it did the first time. Preparations would start at noon and the celebration would last until morning. Though the people prepare for it all year long, they want to keep it a small, personal affair for the village. The only thing allowed in is the keg of wine from the King. Travelers are indeed welcome to take part in the celebration, but they take no other charity from outsiders. All shops are closed and no business is done once the party starts. Since its such a small village, it has little impact on them. The festival has caught many travelers by surprise due to these rules. Many believe the townsfolk are a little crazy as such a big festival will simply come and go so quickly with little warning.

***** Brother Glacius

2004-12-09, 08:11 PM
Make sure you post to the main thread to enter. Looks good.

Gorbash Kazdar
2004-12-16, 07:50 PM
I like the simplicity and directness of this one, and the flavor text really has a fantastic poetic quality. The dance contest is a fun variation on the may-pole idea, and the detailed history and feeling of tradition are very nice. The logfighting one is good as well, plus the note about the king always sending wine.

It's a bit generic, but that works in its favor - can be dropped into any world quite easily. It might need some sort of unique gimmick to really put it over the top, though.