Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Lightless Day of Loksos

The Lightless Day of Loksos occurs once every two or three years in the middle of summer. The name derived from the ancient term Lok’aosis which means ‘the day without season’. It occurs regularly every two years for six years then every three years for a two year period. This day is easily recognizable as it occurs in the middle of summer but has the rain of spring, the chill of winter, and the gale of autumn. It is also usually accompanied by an eclipse that last for the entire day.

Most races in Valley of Blue Snails have some sort of traditional rituals to perform on this day. For the likes of the civilized races it is a great conglomeration to meet in the highlands of Nifflaer. It is here where the great nobles of all the races meet in fellowship, tournament, and diplomacy. This is where they attempt to work passed racial conflicts, diplomacy and some sort of unity of civilization. It rarely achieves such lofty heights, but in truth it is one of the rare times that the great powers of the four races meet and speak with one another.

Commoners are usually not permitted unless they have a special merit to make an appearance. Nobles are invited but are warned not to bring men at arm (most do anyhow). The location is Nifflaer, just north of Kabdoria and it is said to be the navel of the world. Spirits and foul powers indeed avoid the place and a general serenity can also be felt here. No race or realm can claim the place as its own, as it is universally named neutral ground.

Once every few decades a fifth or sixth race will make an appearance Loksos. During the Great Rot, it was the Myconids who came, made circular rings of fungus, and then simply left. Before that, the palm-sized cricket men of Yithnai made an appearance but seemed distinctly out of place, and did not return the follow Loksos. Elves record all Loksos events and speak of days where long forgotten races joined in the festivities regularly.

In the heyday of the Ladoga Empire the Emperor himself attended it was a grand event rife with tournaments of melee, livestock, jousting, archery, craftsmanship and just about anything else that nobles entertain. It has lost is glory in recent years but is still the premier tournament for Ladoga nobles. Halfling, Dwarf and Elf are also obligated to steady their hand at such events although they mostly prefer dance, food and hole-digging contests. The best trained animals are also brought to these events and they compete with one another and exchanged among the races. Some trade is prevalent but strict merchants are generally not welcome.

The Lord of the Loksos shifts by race every time it occurs. The individual race then chooses a master of ceremony who will carry out the rituals of the event. This person is usually named simply ‘Prince of Loksos’ which is a great honor but at a great cost of wealth to themselves personally. The Emperor of Ladoga sponsored it on more than one occasion but recently a mishmash of Lords have taken the honor. Any arbitration of disputes will fall upon their shoulders, and that need rises often. Loksos itself is only one day, but the festivities usually last five days, two before and two after. Some will stay longer but are generally advised not to do so and any events are not sanctioned afterward.

Many nobles bring men at arms to the event, although it is generally frowned upon. Luckily no overt warfare has occurred in Nifflaer but it is not uncommon for the Prince of Loksos to dismiss troupes who are overly heated. Jests, wagers and contests can lead to heated arguments and these are usually solved in melee, or simply resolve the matter elsewhere. In one such occasion the Dwarf white-beard Fisiul boasted that the Dwarves in his workshop thwarted a Marggot attack and claimed over one thousand Marggot ears in one night, an act impossible to overcome. Not be outdone, the Halfling Sheriff Tibil rallied his men along with the great Bohtan lords and the Elfish Village of Three Winds¹, and sacked the Margott realm of Cvefler. They utterly decimated its population. Over ten thousand ears were collected in one night and it is said to this day that Margott’s are mostly an earless race now, and a damn skittish one at that.

It can indeed be frighteningly powerful what can occur when the four races act as one, and few things could ultimately challenge them united. Such unity soon breaks apart when cultural, moral and ethical divisions begin to make their appearance. Eventually they would war among each other if they stayed in such close proximity, but thankfully each race desires distance from the others.

Notable Loksos events:

Loksos 18’s90, Seleuicid, Emperor of Ladoga, slew the Elven Lord Thyraes in a duel carried out well outside of Nifflaer. The gaunt and sadistic Elf was as old as memory and was known to be one of the best swordsmen of his day. How the young Emperor defeated him or why the duel occurred in the first place is speculation. Many Elves were greatful of the demise of Thyraes but grew wary of the Emperor who bested him.

Loksos 20’s89, Lucor, Champion of the Infallible, won the joust and melee riding a Tapir given to him by the Elf Lord Chaesmael as a jest. The Tapir could not handle the weight of armor so Lucor wore none and used a bamboo lance. To honor him the Elf Lord Chaesmael uses a Tapir as a mount to this day.

Loksos 06’s87, Vaersis the Younger, a genius Elf who studied with the Dwarven engineers of Presamaesto, moved an island. She managed to move the island of Yuenil off of the coast of Kabdoria to a more suitable location several miles away. She did this to impress a prospective mate, a minor noble Elf Paeniv, who did not even bother to attend her demonstration. Vaersis is alive today, and still pining for the apathetic man who barely notices her attentions.

Loksos 12’s73, an Elf raised among men calling himself ‘The Grinning Knight’ challenged and slew the Emperor of Ladoga, Fevabemaer in a joust. He fled shortly thereafter disappearing into lore, and it is said he went mad in the deep wilds. Since this time jousts were carried out with heavily blunted lanced with thick armor.

Loksos 08’s70, the ancient white-beard smith Kebia and his prodigal Halfling student Shindo wrought 15 weapons during the Loksos. The weapon were forged from old stone, metals that fell from the sky, and cooled in the waters during the Sinchola, the life-water during the endless season of spring. The weapons were given out to the victors of the tournaments and are among the most legendary items known, each imbued with the might to steal the experiences of those they smite.

Loksos 15’s62, the Walking Stone decimated the race of water Nerieds. Only those who attended the Loksos survived.

¹ The Village of Three Winds is widely known to be a band of Elves to be best avoided. Other Elves even avoid them, hesitantly naming them killers of the unseen shadows. Other races know them as psychopathic killers who revel in delight at the suffering of others.

No comments:

Post a Comment