As the she-devil stands at the trading post a familiar voice breaks from thin air. "Hahahaha, I am seeing you are enjoying the sights around my most beautiful Varisia! I can also see you are not getting the things that you are to seeking. Perhaps I can be assisting with the helping.", the accent is obviously Varisian and of gypsy decent.
A skilled smith as Attalas does not need very long to make a nice pig poker and after only two hours he has produced a toll that will serve generations of Podels!
Sadly Harican is already gone to help prepare the feast...
The festival ground is in the centre of the village, beer banks are set up and large tables are carried over from the mayor's house. A small podium is errected and everything is decorated with colourful swamp flowers.
It smells of exotic spices and vegetables and if you weren't surrounded by this ghastly and desolate swamp this would really look like a nice village fair...
I turn back and look at Vidor. Wow, you know how to talk. I figured the ghosts in the courthouse had stolen you voice. You have not said anything for over a month. Anyway, glad to have you back. I am trying to figure out why everyone here has stirges as pets. If we were in the Worldwound, I would understand having stirges and quasits as pets, but not in Varisia.
"I thought I was invisble this entire time, hahaha. That is why one should not fool around with magic that they do not undetstand! I attamted to cast a spell that I just thought I might be able to without any instruction. I must have only got half of it correct. What can I say, there are some very strange people in this country. I for one would not prefer to be hanging around such a person."
Jez wanders off to the festival ground and meets several Podels here who are all willing to answer her questions
Stirges? Why not? There are lots of them around and other pets don't get very old in this area, heh!
Founder's Festival? We celebrate it every full moon to the honour of the first settlers who came here! It's the only distraction of our life full of hardship, everyone loves it - why don't you join us and compete in the festival?
Main resource? the man looks a bit confused before he makes a sweeping gesture over the swamps
The mud! It's very fertile but extremely difficult to cultivate! The first families that settled here? No one knows that, all their descendants died, only the Kriegels, the mayor's family survived over the course of time. Their blood is strong.
While working on armours for the kids Attals gets to know what kind of competitions there will be during the festival
We have the Dreamer's Leap, the Falling Stars, Raven Fights, a three legged race and the very best thing: The Greased Pig!
Oh the church? Burnt down about three years ago...quite a tragedy since the priest and his two female acolytes also died in the flames...how long ago it was founded you ask? Mhmmm...well I guess a pretty long time ago, like 300 years or so.
"You two are much to seriousness for Varisia, I tell you. Many strange questions you will be having if you are having lighter attitude. Life is good, yes, very good. I make you soup....eh, not soup, hehehe. I am meaning,ah, super, yes! That is what I am meaning! Come,come, we go have super fun time now."
Turning to Ragnvald: Yes, lets enjoy the festivities. But we will all have to be on the lookout. Something very strange is going on in this town. We will all have to be very careful what we eat. I would say to bring all food and drink by me before consuming anything here. I can purify food and drink which should destroy any poison.
The preparations finally come to an end shortly before the sun sets. The festival ground is ornated with the nicest swampf flowers and a large bonfire surrounded by beer banks burns in the middle of the market square.
All families of Ravenmoor have gathered here and now they all await mayor Krieglers presense with great anticipation. As you reach the scene Viorec Korzha quickly scurries over to you and says
Seeing the ogre sitting at the fringes of the festival, Vidor strolls right over to him and strikes up a conversation. "Big friend, why do you avoid the fun to be had? Does your kind not like the merry making?"
"I used to have to clean up the end of the merry making. I just come for the food. I might play the games too. See what they is first, maybe I'll go in the drinking contest..." he seems to smirk a little at that.
Ragnvald follows along for lack of better things to do. It occurs to him to perhaps regale them with a song of bloodshed and heroism. But then reminds himself that it is unlikely these people have ever known what true battle ever was. The rush, the carnage, the peace of knowing no other decision but to kill, no other thought but to act and react. For the first time since he began his long journey the son of Gorum felt homesick.
Once you have all seated yourself it takes only some moments until the festival is opened by former mayor Andretti Kriegler.
He wears a strange brown and ragged robe and a mask that resembles a mutated and evil parody of a human face. In this strange costume he runs around the fire and makes strange noises that remind you of some sort of litany, but you are unable to understand or even make out single words or phrases. Faster and faster he runs around the fire and suddenly he vanishes in a cloud of smoke!
Everyone around the fire laughs and cheers and you are the only ones who furrow their brows...Then Viorec stands up and shouts
Time for the Dreamer's Leap! and he begins to sprint towards the fire and jumps right over it! Soon other men and women follow his example - this seems to be the first competition of the festival.
The second round is already harder when the fire is enlarged by atleast one diamter - several villagers catch minor burns and the spectators laugh and cheer - then it's Mobo's turn and everyone looks expectantly at the little goblin.
Meanwhile the masked former mayor explains the roots of this strange competition
We do the Dreamer's Leap in honour of Desna who told us that it sometimes only takes courage and bravery to leap from a dream to its realisation!