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The Beginning of the Fire Festival

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  • The Beginning of the Fire Festival

    Sixteenth day of the Seventh Moon,
    Nineteenth Year of Recent Awakenings

    In accordance with the will of Her Majesty and in upholding the duties charged to me as Junior Chronicler, I hereby submit the account of
    The Beginning of the Fire Festival.

    Observant residents have noticed a change in the small being living in the bonfire in the Outer Bailey courtyard. What was once a tiny elemental, smaller than a woman’s palm, is now a minuscule sprite, slightly larger than one’s palm. This change is a result of the diligent work of the castle’s inhabitants in harvesting during the Fire Festival and feeding the embers to the fire. Thousands of embers have been given to the flames over the last three moons, since Princess Maeve appeared and gave the gift of the Fire Festival.

    A Wave of Heat Heralds Mysterious Appearances

    It began on the day of the Duelist’s Virtue Tournament held on 21st day of the 4th moon. There was a wave of heat felt by many and then a blazing red bonfire mysteriously appeared in the Outer Bailey courtyard with a fire elemental dozing within. The fire seemed calm and unthreatening, and apparently invited people to sit near its warmth, and perhaps even share a story.

    Fiery rodents began scurrying around
    , looking like a cross between a rat and a mole with bright orange eyes that glowed like the embers of a fire. Their fur burned from countless specks of glowing orange embers that seemed to be embedded into the flesh, though the creatures did not appear agitated by the embers. The rodents smelled strongly of a wood stove but seemed to be constitutionally weak, dropping dead when caught with bare hands.

    A column of
    obsidian stood proud in the centre of the Gate Courtyard, tall and glossy, rising like a twisting stalagmite. It was rugged like the naturally formed stone of a cavern and glistened with occasional specks of red that glowed like fiery veins in the depthless black stone.

    In the Sunset Room, a patch of vines and bright foliage appeared, growing over the wall. It consisted mostly of bright green vines and stems from which protruded a mosaic of red and yellow flowers. It glowed with a subtle aura of gold light,
    which sorcerers recognised to be magic.

    Other mysteries appeared - a tear in the air was noticed in the cupola, a haphazard nest was discovered in the stables. Later a copse of trees was found on the parapets and a flaming target in the Practice Hall.

    Concerned about a possible attack, residents armed themselves. Lieutenant Adahn observed, "If flaming rats turned hostile, they could get anywhere through the holes like in the lecture hall. spread flame anywhere. We'll need a lot more barrels or hope the melting snow and ice help out a great deal.” Buckets were filled with water and kept at the ready.

    Sera Meryl sensed a living entity within the fire and began telling stories to the fire saying, “There is magic in stories. The more stories we tell, the more magic the fire has.”

    Meryl’s Short Story

    I met the Black Rose once. The First Sorcerer. When I first woke, he was terrorizing the keep, exploding Kobes, other nasty things.

    He came upon me, while I was waiting for an introduction to sorcery lesson, out by the obelisk in the lonely passage. I only knew of his by reputation, but oddly enough, he did not harm me physically, though I will remember…

    I will remember what he said, ”You will Never be a Sorceress. You will Die, and you will end.”

    I was afraid, but,
    more angry. My binding was a week away. To this day I sometimes wonder, if I survived purely out of the power of spite.

    Yeoman Celaena related to the fire a tale of the Burning Sickness and ser Atmos contributed a story about an ogre at which the fire appeared to giggle. Some other stories told to the fire have been chronicled here.

    A search was conducted of the Inner Bailey where nothing untoward was found though it was noted that Lord Griff had returned to the Royal Garden and was sleeping under the willow and seemed somewhat improved in health. [Note: sometime after the events in this chronicle,
    the gryphon woke and moved to the bonfire in the courtyard where he accepted grooming and nourishment before falling once more into slumber. That event was chronicled here.]

    Yeoman Elesin noted, “When it first appeared in the Yard, the flames crafted an almost human-like form for a moment."

    People donned their elemental charms which were gifts from Her Majesty many years ago. Lady
    Charmiam's earth charm thrummed with a low, sonorous chime that seemed to resonate with the vibrations of the earth. Doctor Aloria’s fire charm jangled cheerfully like the merry crackle of a fire on the hearth.

    A shriek rang throughout the halls when a well-meaning person threw water on the fire.

    An Impending Attack by Elementals

    Princess Maeve appeared, escorted by Duke Lucus. Also present were Lord Berner, Lady Charmiam, several members of the army and many other concerned residents.

    For those who have not seen Princess Maeve, she is a very tall, svelte elven woman of pale purple complexion with a head of luminous white hair, waist-length and worn cascading down her back in voluminous, chaotic tendrils. A pair of bejeweled, black
    horns sweep up and back from her hairline, curving softly over the top of her head and tapering into delicate points. The air around her seems to warp and shimmer like a heat haze.

    It was revealed that the scream had come from the Champion
    , Aysiah, and that Aysiah was the being in the flames. Princess Maeve said that Aysiah would help against the impending problems “with the elementals who are on their way seeking the remnants of a ... thing, not the same ones [who have attacked before]. They are another tribe. They haven't attacked yet."

    Her Highness has been working on a way to revive the Champion to her former state. As an Unseelie, the princess can't truly bring Aysiah back on her own, “She requires a lighter touch than the I possess. This is where you all will come in.”

    A Royal Gift

    Princess Maeve expressed, "As I was trying to mend Aysiah,
    my magics collided with part of hers; the Seelie part. From that, a bunch of... embers happened. Embers is a nice way to put it."

    Princess Maeve continued, "The fire itself is aiding in the reconstruction of Aysiah's form, but the embers will return her power to her. This will give her the strength to reform into her true form. What I need you all to do is collect these embers and return them to the fire."

    Princess Maeve explained, "Since Aysiah is a representative of fire and because of her personality, we are dubbing this the Fire Festival! She and I discussed this at length, and as you help her, you will be rewarded."

    Her Highness presented ser Pete with an ember and showed him how to toss it at the fire. The ember was consumed with a golden flash of light as it reached the bonfire and ser Pete was gifted a red, bronze coin, embossed on one side with the image of a curved bow. On the reverse side is the image of a woman's profile, with sharp eyes, long hair, arched eyebrows, sensual lips, and a fine nose. An inscription circling the edge of the coin reads, "The King's Champion, Aysiah”.

    Princess Maeve explained, "Every time you aid her, she will gift you one of these. As you acquire these, you will be able to redeem them with Jareth."

    When the princess spoke those words, a slender goblin made a brief appearance, seeing to come from out of nowhere. This was Jareth, a short, sleek goblin of pale green complexion with a full head of feral white hair, long and worn in shaggy layers and mismatched blue and green eyes. Her Highness had brought him here from a labyrinth accidentally. He will be working with us to provide items as we turn in our coins.

    It was explained that the embers could be acquired by capturing the little weird rat-mole-things and skinning them. Also that the embers like to hide in things such as the pillar of obsidian, the plan patches and the sorcery tears. For this, tools would be needed such as pick axes, trowels, and something sharp to skin things with, and for the magical tear, some sorcery skills. [For details of the places embers can be found, read the chronicle here.]

    Finally, the princess said that the Festival would officially start on the morrow and then all the items needed would be put out such as axes and trowels.

    Princess Maeve then departed for the Virtues Tournament saying she would give a kiss to the winner, "Even if it's a girl. Elves don't discriminate.”

    Duke Lucus
    explained that, "Champion Aysiah was Captain of the elven rangers of Avalon, as well as Champion of Prince Vortigen's Obsidian Tournament, but she was also a famed traveler, storyteller and perhaps a bard as well. I like to think that stories rejuvenate her.”

    Since the Princess has warned of an impending attack by a tribe of elementals seeking something, and that Aysiah can aid us, it is imperative that residents continue telling stories at the bonfire and harvesting the embers to give to the flames to aid in Aysiah's restoration.

    This chronicle will be subject to changes and corrections, as I humbly ask all readers please indicate to me through discretion any falsehoods I may have mistakenly communicated. It is by means of the conservation of the Past that we continue to serve Her Majesty and give substance to those that follow.

    In service to Her Majesty Queen Vivienne, The Office of the Chronicler, and the
    Denizenry of Her Majesty's Realm.

    Sera Tine
    Junior Chronicler

    Senior Chronicler
    Assistant to Doctor Dolph Li'astri