Friday, July 3, 2009

Holidays in D&D: Part One

Your first step onto the docks sends a chill of excitement down your spine. The city streets are densely packed with creatures and races from all over the world, dressed in armor, robes, and garish outfits hailing from cultures you've never even heard of.

Throngs of children run amok through the crowds, squealing in joy at their first sighting of a half-giant, asking for autographs from some of the more regal looking elves, playing tag with a group of kobolds, and gently stroking the fur of various animals that cling tightly to their master's sides for fear of being lost in all of the excitement.

City streets are decorated with ribbons of green and gold, while proudly proclaiming the symbol of the Adventurer's Guild, the sponsors of this grand event.

A large shimmering banner hangs above the entrance to the shipyard, raining down a shower of magical sparkles on each new group of boat passengers as they cross the threshold onto the cobblestone city streets, as a magic mouth exclaims "WELCOME ONE AND ALL, TO THE FESTIVAL OF ADVENTURERS!"

A large gnomish band can be seen across the crowd in a raised pavilion playing jaunty tunes that whirl around your ears while a mixture of exotic smells overwhelm you, of spiced krenshar meat sizzling on a bed of hot coals, deep-fried guttersnipe shish-kabob, and warm gnomish goldspeck ale.

The sights, the sounds, the smells, all drown you in revelry, as even the most stoic mages cannot help but crack a smile, getting caught up in the joy and celebration that surrounds every new step.

The flow of city traffic quickly moves you south along winding streets, towards the Market Place and check-in for the festival itself. As you process down the streets in pseudo parade fashion, some of you cannot help but wave and cheer yourselves, as city locals lean out their windows or doors, throwing flower petals and streamers out towards you.

Every so often, a glitterdust spell is fired into the air, and as the shimmering beads of magic rain down upon you, you can often spy acrobatic hippogryph riders doing stunts far in the air above you.

The Market Place itself is booming with excitement. The long, wide street is lined with merchants, selling wares of all shapes and sizes.

A Goblin bangs his pots and pans, showing their durability, as a pair of young Half-Orc twins explain to a Halfling bard how their mandolins hold secret compartments sized perfectly for hiding an extra playing card or two.

You are shuffled quickly to a large group of tables, behind which sit several representatives of the Adventurers Guild, buried under piles of papers and bright green folders. After you work your way through the line they greet you with a genuine smile.

Without a wasted word, the representative before you rattles through his introduction all in one breath, as you imagine he has said nothing else for the entire day.

”Greetings, and welcome to the first annual Festival of Adventurers! If I could just get your name, city of origin, god or goddess of preference, area of expertise, and weapon of choice, I can give you your official Festival Packet. Oh yes, and did you come alone, or with others? This includes family, friends, party members, familiars, animal companions, and any other relation of body, mind, or spirit.”

They smile at you, dipping their inkpen in a small inkwell, preparing to jot down your answers.