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Action Id: 3569 Crisis: Participants: Evaristo, Ida, Aureth, Warrick, Carita, Lethe, Amantha, Estelle, Gianna, Helena, Berenice, Raymesin and Saro
Status: Resolved Submitted: July 18, 2019, 12:37 p.m. Public: True GM: Tenebry

Silver: 30000
Economic Resources: 2000
Military Resources: 500
Social Resources: 1400
Action Points: 25

Action by Evaristo

In order to spread Death's doctrine in Arx (and around the compact if rumors spread and travellers carry the word onward), the Harlequins and Bard's college plus associates of either, with Harlequin Mockingbird Evaristo, Legate Aureth, Voice of the Queen of Endings and Nightingale Gianna organising, get together to create the Festival of Death.

The festival itself takes place during spread out events over the course of the summer, culminating with the The Rhytm of the Wheel that in itself is more than one event. Many of the events will take place in the Lowers and Uppers and will largely be free to attend. Nobles are encouraged to donate to the Faith of the Pantheon and the Harlequins in particular, however. Some contests might have a small fee if you also win something, but commoners will pay a token one. Streets will be decorated with bats on string, skulls, spiders and of course, wheels.

Streets nearest the events will be decorated with spiders, bats, wheels and skulls (not real ones!) hanging from buildings or in trees. (Yes, they will be taken down and not left to litter!)

Events will include (but not exclude other things):
* Pun contests
* Fashion show
* Craft stations for children (make your own bat plushie or spider etc.)
* Pin the leg on the spider
* A Death inspired poetry reading
* A Death inspired Masquerade ball
* A spider petting zoo
* Play performances on Death history and stories
* Music performances
* Dancing performances
* Sermons at the Shrine of the Queen of Endings, and lore sessions for the curious

Each event will offer the Death Prayerbook to read and each event will give a short briefing on her doctrine at the start. The Iron Guard will be helping to keep order on the streets on any events taking place outside in the public.

The culmination of the festival will be The Rhytm of the Wheel event, in which hundreds of drummers of all ages get together, wearing clothing in black, white and red. (See this link for an idea of how it might look/sync - though think more heartbeats. None will have faces painted as skulls, but there will be Death's own symbol on the clothes or held aloft on banners. The drummer event will start at the Shrine of the Queen of Endings and move towards the Graveyard right outside of Arx. It will portray the beating heart - of the city, of the people. Syncronised and organised by the Bard's College and conducted by its members, Evaristo will walk in the front with any Harlequins who wish to do so and other invited guests who might want to join. It will be a powerful display, with the rhytms perfect, the drummers moving in sync with well-rehearsed dance steps and drumming. Small drums, large drums, combined into an epic melody of life, from beginning till end. Along the way, actors will perform little mini-plays of scenes from life. Children playing. A marriage. Adventures. Lazy days in the sun. Shivering cold in the winter. Working. Tragedies, joys.

At the Graveyard the drums will slow down. Slower and slower until they stop. And symbolically, a woman in a black dress and a black hooded cloak (Gianna acting as Death herself) will come forth and embrace an old woman before the two walk away together while the drummers slowly fade out the 'heartbeats' - the Ending. But then, after it fully stops, a young couple walks into the graveyard, the drummers parting way. They carry a young baby, walking to visit a grave. The drumming begins picking up once more. A new life has come. A new Beginning. The concert ends in a crescendo, every drummer giving it all.

After the Rhytm of the Wheel event, Evaristo, Aureth and Gianna will do a concert together. They will sing and play. The Life is a Near Death Experience song will be sung, but also new songs about stories about Death. Humorous, and serious, epic and small. The concert will be held at the Shrine of the Queen, outside of it on a stage built for the occasion. And then it will all end in an amazing party, finishing the Festival of Death - for this year.

Action by Aureth

Aureth is here to grease wheels, primarily (this is what the 500 social he added is for -- for greasing wheels and calling in a few casual favors, as a big bad faith favor caller), but he's also here to offer cheerful sermonizing and a little performative panache to the whole thing in conjunction with Evaristo and Gianna. There's nobody who loves Death more than him, as far as he's concerned, and demonstrating that is his favorite part of his job. He's available for singing, juggling, and the all-important part of his priestly role, answering questions for the confused.

Action by Helena

Though not a Harlequin, Helena is a fan of the Queen of Endings and Beginnings for a few reasons, so she lends her voice to the effort, to help spread the doctrine of Death. She'll attend and lead events, speak highly of the goddess, answer questions, and do her best to help the people of Arx understand what a gift the Queen is to humanity, rather than being something to fear.

Action by Lethe

As a Harlequin Lethe will attend as many events as she can. She wants to make sure people have a good time. She will be there to talk to anyone who is curious about the Queen of Endings and will do her best to answer any questions they may have. She will also walk with Evaristo and other Harlequins during the rhythm of the wheel event.

Action by Estelle

As with any large gathering of people, it is wise to have well-practiced healers on hand just in case. While this is a Festival of Death, there is no requirement for any actual deaths (this is not a Nox'alfar gathering after all). Estelle will be there with a number of Mercies both to keep everyone in good health and spirits while the Godsworn woman will also offer what she knows of the Queen of Endings.

Action by Gianna

Gianna's main contribution, aside from providing the Bard's College backing, will be to perform in that concert. The Nightingale herself! People pay big money to have her sing, and here she's doing it for free. FOR FREE. You're welcome, everyone. She will even play nice and sing with Evaristo and Aureth instead of trying to grandstand. Or she'll try not to, anyway. Sort of. OK, there might be some grandstanding.

Action by Carita

Darkwater itself has gone through the wheel of life, so it's one of the reasons the Countess of it feels a connection to the Queen of Endings because of it. Carita's more than happy to lend resources and silver for this beautiful idea of Evaristo's. After all, she knows people that know people to make sure things run smoothly even with minimal resources.

Action by Saro

Drums may not be Saro's more typical line of work, but with skills in both wood- and leatherworking and a perfect ear for pitch, it's certainly not outside her capabilities. That being the case, she's taken it upon herself to create some of the drums to be used in the parade; just a few larger pieces worked in the motifs of the Queen of Endings to punctuate certain points of the procession and provide a decorative, and spectacularly LOUD, focal point.

Action by Warrick

Warrick will bring the presence of the Iron Guard to the festival to provide order and security for the performers and guests. He'll keep the other guardsmen evenly divided between the roads they're instructed to block off. More guardsmen will be directed to stand guard at every corner on the parade route, and a small squad will travel alongside the drummers in the Rhythm of the Wheel event, spaced so they remain discreet. Any disorder will be met with every attempt to de-escalate, or else a gentle escort out of the festival.

Action by Raymesin

As a Harlequin and a Lowers man, Raymesin will be adding security measures throughout the festival that have nothing to do with the Iron Guard and everything to do with keeping the peace. After all, there are few things like the offer of having a personal meeting with the Queen in a minute or two to help someone decide that maybe they didn't want to do what they were about to do after all.

Action by Ida

While not a Harlequin, Ida believes all of the pantheon should be honored, so at the suggestion of Princess Helena, she stocks the shop with hairpins in spider and skull themes for the upcoming events. A portion of the proceeds from those sales will then be donated to the Shrine of the Queen of Endings.

Action by Amantha

Amantha will be there leading a small group from the iron nurse corps to assist the Mercies when needed or patrolling the festival when it's not.

Action by Berenice

Berenice will be at her socialite best, offering the weight of House Velenosa's grandeur and style to the festival, as well as serving as a co-host for one of the final events. Don't you want to join? Are you /sure/? (You definitely want to attend.)


It's a good festival in the way all festivals ought to be. Enough events, spaced out far enough, that the Queen stays on people's minds, that the momentum for more Queen events remains. This is all known, everyone knows that they've been out there, spreading the word, spreading art and music in her name.

What isn't known is this: After the drums of the Rhythm of the Wheel fade, after the crowds have largely dispersed, after costumes are shed and it's time to tend to the Graveyard and make sure nothing's left behind, Evaristo and Aureth, Gianna and Helena, Ida and Berenice, Carita and Lethe and Saro, Estelle and Amantha, Warrick and Raymesin, they all see someone strange. They're seated at one of the tables not quite cleared away, thin and cloaked and slump, and they're singing a thin, sharp song that only just carries.

You are born. Now. Open your eyes and cry.
You are aged and worn. Close your eyes and die.
You are born. Now. Reach out your small hands.
You are worn. Now. Lay your body on the sands.

The soul is spun new. The soul is spun old.
You are righteous and bold. Or clever and cold.
The light excites you. Or the dark draws you close.
You embrace a legacy. Or resist it, in throes.

You are dead. Now. You wake now, anew.
You will look back, soon, see how you grew.
Or didn't. Now. Again begin. End again.
Close your eyes. The Wheel still spins.

As the song continues, the graveyard darkens slightly, the soil near them rivering with spiders. The sky does not change, but the feeling of being outside does, as if they were wrapped in close garments and kept somewhere safe. And by the song end, the figure is gone, although no one saw them leave. Their heartbeats seem a touch louder for a few minutes after, drumlike, as if accompanying something unheard.