Story from Within
The Swallowtail Festival begins promptly, as scheduled, on the morning of the first day of autumn. A cool breeze blow constantly from the ocean, but the skies are mostly clear with on a few high white fluffy clouds drifting slowly by. The square before the new Sandpoint Cathedral quickly becomes crowded as locals and travelers arrive. Local farmers and businesses have their produce on display, several merchant tents feature food, clothes, exotic crafts and souvenirs, and several contests, games of chance and other entertainments are also being set up in the square and throughout the town for the more dangerous and ‘discreet’ activities.
A large carriage is wheeled to the center of the market square. Father Zantus, with his greying beard and hair, dressed in a nice set of worn blue shirt and pants, recounts the long story of events that took place with Desna’s fall to earth and how she rewarded the young girl who saved her by immortal life as Swallowtail butterfly.
But enough of the history. Welcome! Today’s a day of celebration and first of all I’d like to ask our dear Mayor Deverin to step forward and say a few words…"
Having been mayor for almost 5 years, this beautiful woman stands straight, seems stern yet still seems friendly and happy.
“I see everyone’s arrived. Even Larz Rovanky has left off tanning hides to be here. I’m sure his workers are glad it’s not their hides getting tanned – at least, not today!”
When the chuckles die down and Larz stops glowering, Mayor Deverin continues.
“Citizens of Sandpoint. Today we celebrate!
It is almost precisely five years since we started to build our new Chapel. I know almost everyone of you has participated as they can and has helped in ways available for them. And today this major undertaking is finally coming to and end.
But this is not the end. No! Quite the opposite. Today marks the beginning of our future. A future we’ve paid for in sweat. Today we put the late unpleasantness behind us and begin a new chapter in our lives.
So mark this day for it’s an important day.
Anyway, I can smell the food being prepared already. A round of applause for Ameiko, Garridan, Cracktooth, and Jargie!”
More cheering erupts: the enticing aromas drifting over the crowd are mouthwatering.
“Now it is time for the other speakers so, I’m going to sit down. But one last thing. Today, as mayor, I am declaring a town order: have fun!”
The crowd responds with a roar, and it is a while before the Mayor can continue.
“So without further ado, let me welcome our dutiful Sheriff, Belor Hemlock, to the stage!”
She gestures towards a dark-skinned, bulky man, clearly of Shoanti descent, dressed in well-kept armor and with a sword at his side. Sheriff Hemlock nods and steps up onto the stage.Sheriff Belor Hemlock
“Yes. Um. Ahem.
As Kendra said today’s important. It’s five years since we started to build our Cathedral. And it’s five years since the Fire of Sandpoint.
Now, I know Kendra doesn’t want me to talk about Chopper or the evil things that took place before the fire.”
(Stops. Draws his breath as the crowd’s mood changes. Then continues.)
“So, all I’ll say is we lost many good people to Chopper. And we lost many good men and woman that night of the fire. Friends, fathers, mothers, people carrying out their duty or worrying about feeding their families. They will be missed.
I’d ask everyone here to join me for a moment of silence to honor those who have passed.”
(Another awkward moment passes.)
“Then finally I’d ask everyone to please be careful in the evening’s bonfire. No really, I’m serious about this. We don’t need to repeat the fire, okay?
The crowd awkwardly, softly, begins to clap.
Father Zantus returns to stage:
" Our next speaker is Mr. Kajitsu. Unfortunately a sudden illness has prevented him for joining us and he won’t be speaking today. So, let’s just move forward and give the word over to our beloved bard, Cyrdak Drokkus."Cyrdak Drokkus
Cyrdak is a courageous and emotional middle-aged man with tanned skin, blue eyes and dark hair swept over his right eye. He carries his lire with him and speaks in an overly dramatic fashion.
“Why thank you, thank you thank you. As always you’re such a lovely audience!
Alright! After the sobering words of our very own Sheriff Hemlock I want to get everyone back on track! Today’s about celebration! Heck, today is about awesome!
And with awesome I mean our amazing founding families that formed Sandpoint Mercantile League; the Kaijitsus, our esteemed glass makers, the Valdemars our trusted ship builders, the Scarnetti’s our ruggedly handsome loggers and the Deverins our reliable farmers and brewers. Of course it was Kendra who archistered this amazing, amazing feat.
And the end result is the majestic view you see behind me! It took years to finish the cathedral, but the it is truly impressive. To the south, facing Sandpoint’s heart, are the shrines of civilization: Erastil and Abadar. To the west, ,offering a view of the Old Light and the sea beyond, are the shrines of Shelyn and Gozreh. And to the east, offering a view of the Sandpoint Boneyard and the rising sun, are the shrines of Sarenrae and Desna.
Six powerful gods who will look after the seven virtues that we honour. Those will give us strength and make Sandpoint stand tall and proud no matter what lady fate decides to send in our direction!
And finally, this wouldn’t be a speech of Cyrdak Drokkus, the man you’ve come to know as the mysterious patron and fearless leader of Sandpoint Theater, unless I’d have a specific treat for you in the end! This time I’ve set out to out do myself for this is no mere treat, but a dramatic reveal! I know most of you are keenly waiting for our brand new production “The Harpy’s Curse” which will be premiering tomorrow. So this is the best time to announce that the lead role of Avis aka the Harpy Queen will be played by none other that the famous Magnimarian diva Allishanda!”
The Crowd erupts in applause clearly shocked by the reveal as master Drokkus eventually steps down.
Finally Father Zantus asks Beldak the Druid to step forth and talk to the audience in his new role as Warden of the West. Beldak is a short and stocky but charismatic dwarven druid who is usually seen smoking a pipe and is always in head to toe hides and furs.
“Heer, heer, heer, people of Sandpoint! As the Warden of the Western Shore I hereby give our blessing to this Cathedral. May it become prosperous and enjoy a high number of years!
May your new Cathedral stand
Mightly like the Oaks in Ashwood
As brave as the mount of Malgoria,
As clear as the gardens of Tavantula,
As ageless as the forests in the East,
And protect all those who walk in it’s shadow.
The crowd joins in:
Father Zantus points to the wagon. The large covered wagon’s top is drawn back and hundreds of Yellow and Black Swallow Tail butterflies are released and everyone, especially the kids, go wild. Some even try to catch them, to no avail.
“Let the Swallow Tail Festival begin!!”
(I have listed some of the activities below, so you can indicate which you would be most interested in:)
The Devil Hunt! (an archery game)
The Lighthouse Smash! (a mini catapult game)
Dragon Races! (a lizard race game – can be a group event)
Catch the Greased Pig! (the name says it all – can be a group event)
A free Magic Show!
Ogre Stomp! (a strength tester game)
A Pixie Kiss! (an adult only kissing game)
The Goblin Toss! (a beanbag toss game)
Try to Drink the Hagfish Water! (yup, a drink the fish tank’s water “game”)
Find the Real Wizard! (a luck game)
Charm the Uncharmable Woman! (a diplomacy or charm game)
Red Barrow Run! (an ACTUAL wheelbarrow race game – can be a group event)
Gorvi’s Goblin Fishing Extravaganza! (a luck game)
Harker’s Trick Shot! (an archery game)
The Gauntlet! (an obstacle course game)
Riddles and Rhyme! (answer three riddles game)