The Thirtieth Day of The Fading
The Year of Raining Tears, DR 1415
To the folk of Mosstone, Highharvestide doesn’t mean quite the same thing as it does elsewhere. Here, the High Harvest Festival is a little more laid-back, a little more care-free. It is a day and evening for delicious food, exotic drinks, and small games and gatherings shared by the entire community. Unless the weather is foul (a rarity), it is a grave offense (by Mosstone standards) to be caught ‘indoors,’ instead of out enjoying the last of the summer sun and the bright company of friends. Stalls are set up throughout the town, selling anything and everything, from treats to baubles to flowers. Since Mosstone doesn’t depend on the seasonal harvesting of food-crops, the majority of the ‘Harvest’ is relegated to the orchards within town. Long ago, this activity was turned into a game; the children of town race about, collecting as many apples and pears from the ample trees as possible, all the while to the cheering of their parents and neighbors. With little more at stake than bragging rights, the Harvest Festival is a time of relaxation and merry-making, a time for planning trips and projects before the rains come, and for enjoying the fine weather that the Firedrake Bay has to offer.
Tea came to our table, we warmed ourselves and settled down to chat. I decided to share the spoils of our last adventure with my cohorts and show our work wasn’t for nothing. Reaching into my pack I bypassed the helm and grabbed an apple size stone and placed it on the table. Oddly enough I was able to trick them into believing that was our gift from the grieved spirit. With a few chuckles to myself I decided to share the true gift that was bestowed upon us. Placing the helm on the table Burt examined it and told us of its origin. Being a helm of Lethander it has special meaning to the right people… Possibly up to 500 gold in value if sold to a temple! Much joy came to my heart hearing of its value and the kind of relief it would bring to the debt we hold with Ayidh.
Leaving the tea house we went about town and ordered furniture and supplies for our cave dwelling on the coast. We hired a carpenter to start work on building a wall and door at the mouth of the cave to make it more secure and home like. We all ordered tents, beds and miscellaneous furniture for our homes and laid stakes in different parts of the cave as our own. Our order and workman will be arriving at our new home a day or so after High Harvest. After their arrival we will set up our tents and head up to Athkatla to a temple of Lethander to sell the helm. By the time we return our cave wall will have been built and our home will be nearly finished. For the time being we decided to stay in one of the inns for the night and be in town for the morning of High Harvest.
Morning greeted us with the anticipation of the festival and merriment. I decided to paint a harvest design on the left side of my face and set off into the streets to take in what the community has to offer. The street stalls were being set up and everyone busied themselves setting up for the day. The air was buzzing with laughter and conversation as the day drew on. I went out and bought a few flowers and went off the stall outside the tea house. There I gave one of the flowers to Darva and a warm smile. The other I gave to Kara with a gentle bow. From there my cohorts and went off and enjoyed some of the games taking place in the streets.
On the way down to the orchards we saw a few tables set up for a little friendly competition in arm wrestling. I saddled up to the table to show off my strength and have some fun. My first competitor was a strange person who was new to the town, possibly visiting for the High Harvest Festival. There we locked hands, made a friendly wager and began our battle. With a few wavers back and forth I took victory and gave him a warm handshake and a friendly pat on the back. As I took in the energy of the crowd my next victim took his seat across from me… Steeleye brought up his arm and took up my hand for his go at me. I was more than delighted to have the chance to engage in the festivities with someone who meant so much to me… Thankfully I defeated him, saving face, a warm hug was given and laughs were exchanged.
We made our way down to the harvest races to watch the children take part in the fun. Children and parents laughed and had their fill of fun. As we were leaving the races we heard the cries of “THIEF” ring through the streets. Weapons in had we took flight to the cries to lend out assistance. There we found a man on the ground bloodied and one of the strange merchants we had met earlier in the day. He took up his shield and blade and engaged in battle. We fought him hard and brought him close to death when he drew a blade from behind his shield and took his own life. The stone at the end of the hilt began glowing and pulsing and burst forth from his chest. His dead body rose to its feet, the dagger began giving off a field of smoke around it and from the smoke burst zombies.
It seemed as though the creatures would never stop coming through the Smokey portal on top of the fact that the thief we had killed kept rising after what seemed like certain death. Thankfully Burt had managed to slay the thief and bring an end to the endless supply of minions. We gave aid to the injured commoner and made way to the sounds of battle to the south. There we were met with the same scene as up north. Except this time there were more portals and militia to help the fight. We continued the siege as a large creature leapt from one of the portals. It was a almost part human and part scorpion for lack of better description. It started in on us and tried to make quick work of our lives.
Slowly but surly we managed to weaken the creature and seemed as thought it were close to death. Unfortunately it made a hasty retreat. We took note of what we had left and what was taking place around us… It saddens my soul to have my home attacked during a time of joy and happiness…