Arodus 16, 4715
Armasse did not properly begin until noon, but the people of Kenabres knew that good times could pass suddenly and did not much stand on ceremony. Almost since First Crusader Day, more than a week passed, the city had slowly come to life. Wooden shields, many bearing Iomedae's sign, appeared in shop windows and over doors. Now and then the signs of other righteous gods and empyreal lords joined them. Many bore fresh coats of paint, but a few hung in positions of pride: full sized shields once carried into battle proudly bearing their wear and scars. The arms of Mendev hung from banners on nearly every street corner, and in tremendous expanses of fine Tian silk from the high walls of the Kite in the distance and the Cathedral of Saint Clydwell, which dominates the plaza that shares the saint's name.
All Kenabres seemed pressed into that space, people of all races and decent faiths shoulder to shoulder and sharing breath. Laughing, bright faced children darted about holding, and often wearing, candies in the shapes of swords and shields. They cavorted about, jousting in one moment, locked in mortal combat with a demon the next. Now and then one insisted on playing a great wizard or priest, bringing cries of cheating and furious, brief arguments about whether one had to have a proper wand or staff.
Older youths slipped away to less crowded places in ones and twos, occasionally more. Now and then one of the plaza's bushes made an oddly human noise that, for this day, most adults blamed on the absent breeze. Others stood nervously about, often in small groups, awkward in new arms and armor and waiting to say their oaths. Many clustered around harried priests and priestesses in shining armor to hear brief words of encouragement. Still more went on the heels of members of this sworn brotherhood, that band of sisters in arms.
Hawkers moved through the crowd almost as swiftly as the children, shouting their wares. Many sold food, but others declaimed for charms, favors, and amulets. Several gnomes moved about offering bright ribbons, sure to please that special someone. Daringly-dressed men and women made their way through the crowd with the rest, shouting with their bodies instead of voices. Now and then someone would draw near and they, like the youths, would vanish down an alley or under bushes. Even a few scribes worked the crowd, scribbling down commissions for letters to distant lovers and family.
Entertainers of other sorts plied the crowd as well: fools in motley pretended to joust. Acrobats in far less clothing than Kenabres normally considered decent leaped and contorted themselves in small spaces ringed by spectators. Dozens of minstrels, of wildly varying talent, dueled with the din and each other.
As the noon hour drew near, you had the good fortune to make your way to a spot near the cathedral. The white stone fairly gleamed under the labors of the faithful, who had scrubbed them tirelessly for days to remove a year's filth. A collection of dignitaries gathered upon the pale expanse, ringed by numerous guards. Commander Ashus Striegher of the Order of the Sunrise Sword frowned at the crowd and stood apart, standing stiff in his battle-scarred armor. He shot dour looks in the direction of Kurt the Fair of the Sacred Band of the Rose, who held his "thorn" a glaive seven feet tall, in one hand and waved cheerfully to the revelers. The red enamel of his armor bore not so much as a shadow, let alone a chip, and its brass filigree curled about him in the shape of vines. Irabeth Tirablade of the Eagle Watch, stood an uneasy distance from Prelate Hulrun. The half-orc wore gleaming plate and shared a kiss with a young woman in leathers, ignoring the prelate entirely. He in turn pretended to stand alone on the cathedral steps, save when he spoke quietly to his stone-faced deputy Liotr Hawkblade. At several points he gestured sharply to someone in the crowd and Liotr stepped quietly away to speak to guards.
The doors of the great cathedral, huge cold iron slabs bearing sword-shaped rivets and painted brilliant silver, swung open and people stirred in the dimness within. The official opening of the festival could be only minutes away.
Hi everyone. Feel free to situate yourselves in Clydwell Plaza. You're all relatively close to the cathedral, but it's a big area with a thick crowd about. You're free to run into one another or just be off on your own. However you like. :)