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 Autumn Equinox, Festival Details
Helen Versaillez
Posted: Jan 17 2012, 03:44 PM


Officially situated in the open expanse between Martielltton proper and the Versaillez estate, the festival grounds has effectively spread right up to the Countess' gate, and the various shops of the town have brought out their wares into the open. Temporary stalls have been erected, some specially ordered by the Countess herself to highlight the duchy's woodworking skill with the native pine. Such cases display stories carved into the wood, or natural scenes of the mountain wildlife. Needless to say, the region's rich sources of precious metals and gemstones are also brought out for the public eye in the form of vendors displaying ornate jewelry.

A special clearing has been made just outside town for the horse shows, ever popular in Rodan where the Aknatari can bring their mounts most easily for appraisal. Opting for a less hostile environment, the Countess has propositioned a race course down the valley and back through winding passages to town. The interest, she commented during the planning stages, was in the dangerous route: narrow mountain passes that, while not peak-high, would quickly end a horse's career should he misstep. A competition to prove skill and speed for the most experienced riders.

The promised food and drink is of course present as well, with regional favorites made with goat, potatoes and other earthy vegetables. Merchants have come from both north and south, however, bringing with them their own seasonal contributions and offering a broad selection of delectables. One notable feast, to be held at the end of the month for the benefit of everyone present, celebrates the Gairan holiday of Lordas, and has been generously provided by the Countess herself.

The centerpiece of the festivities, however, is the introduction of the hot springs. Closest to the Countess' own home, aqueducts pipe steaming hot water from natural springs down to a public bath, constructed from Rodani materials, including quartz and marble in an attempt to increase the marketability of the minerals.

And of course, no festival would be complete without the antics and displays of the Rodani gypsy troupes that have set up shop outside official boundaries. Although not officially sanctioned, their presence brings entertainment, unique trinkets and materials, and exotic foods borne from their travels.
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This is Tetel’ac, where the women are capricious, the ale is usually tepid, and life is hard. Prince or pauper, the world is a dangerous place to play and the game of politics is far from voluntary. Whether you live in the gentle tropics, lush forests, harsh mountains, or expansive desert, every day is sure to spell adventure for those who live under the intruding thumb of the king, or amoung the hidden eyes of oh so many spies. With a kingdom on the brink of yet a second revolution, the future is a fragile thing indeed.

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