Our adventures in Sandpoint begin! (Sunday, Rova 1st, 4707 AR)
The crowd gathered for the opening speeches of the Swallowtail Festival was quite respectable, by anyone’s reckoning, with many visitors in town and even many of the more reclusive farmers making the trek with their families to celebrate with the town of Sandpoint.
Mayor Kendra Deverin had a friendly attitude and excitement about the festival and town proved contagious as she welcomed visitors to town and joked that even Lars Rovanky managed to tear himself away from the tannery to attend (to everyone but Lars’ amusement). Sheriff Belor Hemlock made an address which managed to kill the mood a bit, despite even the dry heaving of a panicked dwarf hidden behind a nearby building (Holland), and an overconfident halfling plummeting from the roof (Eritai) during the moment of silence for those who had lost their lives during the Late Unpleasantness. Fortunately, Cyrdak Drokkus was more that up to the challenge of bringing the crowd’s mood back up with his rousing anecdotes as he delivered a not-completely-irreverent recap of the recent times and long process that the town went through to finance and built the new cathedral. He threw in a bit of indulgent self-promotion at the end, inviting everyone to stop by the Sandpoint Theatre the following evening to check out the new production (one of his own), called “The Harpy’s Curse,” and revealed that the lead role of Avisera the harpy queen would be played by none other than the famous Magnimarian diva Allishandra! Concluding the opening ceremonies was Father Zantus, who stepped up to give a short speech thanking everyone for coming before officially declaring the Swallowtail Festival under way.
The party went their separate ways for the most part during the Festival:
-Holland finding something of a kindred soul in Brodert Quink (despite their different approaches) at the location of the Old Light. Good discussion was had with a more-than-slightly inebriated Brodert, who spoke about the old light being something of an ancient flaming weapon..
-Eritai and Kieyanna (who managed a nifty bit of wordplay to get inside) headed off to the Hagfish, unable to resist the challenge involving Norah’s tank water mixed with a potent shot of Orcish Rotgut. Unfortunately, both were parted from their silver and their breakfasts, much to the cheers of the tavern, and Jargie Quinn even gave them a drink on the house for being such good sports.
-Arya took immediately to petty theft in the form of pickpocketing, and then proceeded to gamble it all away in a whirlwind of fortune and fate. (and perhaps Karma…)
At Noon, the crowd reassembled just outside of the new cathedral. Father Zantus and his acolytes brought out the wagon, gave a short parable, and released the thousand Swallowtail butterflies into the air in a spiralling riot of color to a great cheer from the crowd. Throughout the rest of the day, children (and Arya) tried to catch even one of the butterflies, but none were able.
Lunch was provided at no cost, as each of Sandpoint’s taverns brought their best offerings in an innocent competition of food, though in the end it was Ameiko Kaijutsu and her remarkable curry-spiced salmon and early winterdrop mead which were the people’s choice.
Revelry continued throughout the afternoon, and a great amount of fun was had. Arya managed to wear her pants as a cape, and Holland, despite his dwarven heritage and constitution, found a way to a full-on stupor, complete with hallucinations. These passed at least in part, by evening, but Holland did, unfortunately, lose the tremendous lunch he had taken earlier.
As the sun finally began to set, the consecration of the new cathedral began. Once again, the people gathered, and Father Zantus took the central podium. Using a thunderstone to gather the people’s attentions, he prepared to recite the Prayer of First Dreaming…
Suddenly, a woman’s scream pierced the air. A few moments later, another scream rises, and then another. Beyond them, a sudden surge of strange new voices rises – high pitched, tittering shrieks that sound not quite human. The crowd parts, and something low to the ground races by, giggling with disturbing glee as a stray dog gives a pained yelp, then lies still. A raucous sound of strange singing begins, chanted from shrill scratchy voices…
and one other, whose name escape me..