It is not a trick of the eye, nor the ear; one's senses have not been cheated. In spite of all the season's grandest efforts, shrewd currents of Summer's heat have still made it through. Clandestine and swift, they slither their way into the gaps of Rhy'Din's every nook and crevice, rise in ghostly clouds with the fog wafting off cobbled stone. Dart, even, between cascading droplets of late month, chilly rain. They are as the determined reach of numerous, ardent hands, each long finger curling back on itself, luring the populace from their homes, their routines, for an evening of frivolity. Even the wan puttering of the city's street lamps seem to flicker in time, bending all in one direction: North.
The torches' slender, white forms act as breadcrumbs leading the pilgrimage to the festivities already in progress, visible even at a great distance for their riots of light, color, and sound.
Leaving the city behind for the primeval dark of the Wilds would not normally be a decision borne of wisdom, but this night a familiar, blood quickening pulse beat is one's stalwart company. Teardrop clear globes of blown glass house within them their own petite flames, sparsely decorating limbs and boughs overhead, growing in number the farther North one travels. Among them, strung errantly like the ruined webs of artistic spiders, run vibrant strips of satin, lace, and chiffon. Scattered among the trees stand birch wood torches, their flames protected from rainfall by a halo of mist. Their slender, white forms act as breadcrumbs leading the pilgrimage to the festivities already in progress, visible even at a great distance for their riots of light, color, and sound.
The edge of the evening's chosen glade is described by tufts of hip high flame, doppelgangers of the May Queen's own pyre, yet to be lit. Their red-orange glow zigzags in either direction, until their light can no longer be seen. Grass and underbrush steadily gives way to a silk smooth patchwork of unraveled bolts of multicolored fabric. They provide the floor for wood pallet tables heavily laden with food and drink, no one station bearing the same wares. Sporadic and asymmetrical placement encourages the flow of foot- and dancer traffic alike, with plentiful uninhibited space in between.
Peals of laughter, hoots and hollers, join the rhythmic thuds of heavy bodied drums
Peals of laughter, hoots and hollers, join the rhythmic thuds
of heavy bodied drums, livened by the fervent plucking of strings. Hurdy-gurdies and nycelharpas whine and croon, accompanying the vocal talents both ethereal and guttural to fill the space below a vast canopy of crown shy foliage, a further scattering of sunset wild, conic formations of satin fabric, and nebulae of colorful papered lanterns. Aerial acrobats whose skin is stained to match the silks entwining them twirl and tumble through the air above, at times linking hands and passing large rings of brass in complicated, gravity defying maneuvers.
Directly ahead, acting as the glade's North Star, is the intricate, alder wood throne awaiting its Queen. Hewn with sky-reaching blazes in mind and hand rubbed until it gleams, the sheen of its body reflects every tongue of flame, free burning or captured. At Her back stands the monumental, nine wooded pyre, stacked higher than even the throne's tallest stiles and will throw its shape into sharp relief when set aflame. A scepter of woven wood pierces the ground at Her right hand, its bulbous tip wrapped in cloth and soaked in flammable oil, at the ready. To her left, a fringed network of torn gossamer ribbons dangle from the overhanging trees, cut to form a generous archway and circled by the heads of full, fat, blossoms of cream, ivory, and jade.
The winding bend of a modestly sized stream meanders in from the West and out, once more, back into the trees to the North. The banks of this natural water source are likewise clothed in rippling satin and have been outfitted with a variety of vividly decorated poufs and cushions for the respite of those attending. Smaller pallets of wood situated in between provide a solid surface upon which to set one's food and drink as one cools their heels in the lazy current or enjoys the evening's atmosphere at a polite distance from the central hubbub of activity. Those looking for further privacy to hold their own intimate celebrations are encouraged to make use of the teepees of woven muslin, silk, velvet, and gauze speckling the wood well outside of the firelight's relentless glow.*
There is much to do, and much more to see beyond mere frolicking and the consumption of ever-flowing libations.
There is much to do, and much more to see beyond mere frolicking and the consumption of ever-flowing libations. An animated, dusk robed woman beckons for the participation in the evening's games. Land five brass rings around a single peg, sink a hand of darts into a well-worn bullseye, or lob a heavy stone the longest distance for your chance at acquiring a piece of treasures unimaginable. Or challenge the old, russet-skinned Ali Mayhu at a round of 58 Holes, currently undefeated (despite his tendency to play while asleep.), and learn the secrets of a long lost trove of spoils from an ancient and forgotten clan of nobility. All takers, whether or not they are victorious, will be gifted one round token the size of a thumbnail, one of its black stone sides painted with the motif of a capital C surrounding the burst of a silver star. If one is to ask after the meaning of the token, one will receive from its congenial gifter that all will be told in time.
So eat, drink, dance, and share in the bounty of another year survived with your brethren. For there is no room for difference or dissonance here. The rhythm of Life binds all to its rampant pulse no matter one's history or future, no matter one's deeds whether punished or praised. It is the fickle miracle, the oldest mystery, but can be regarded as nothing less than a gift. Because Mother Nature's watchful eyes are open, and whereas She will endure without Her children, Her children cannot survive without Her blessing.
Many thanks to Crispin’s player for writing the beautiful description for this year! There is a playlist here!
to set the mood. All fashion sets and vapored posts can be included below.
A note about the section of the setting around the river. For those who do not wish to play in a busy room, there will be a quieter discord channel available on the night of the Fires (#the-underground) that will be standing in for this section of the party. This will allow people to still play at Beltane but in a quieter, less fast-paced room. It’s also very easy to bounce back and forth between Discord channels and keep an eye on what’s happening at both “areas” of the party!