23rd of Rova, 4707 A.D.
The autumnal equinox is marked by the Swallowtail festival, a holiday in honor of Desna. In the town of Sandpoint, just north of Magnimar in Varisia, this year the festival doubled as the consecration rite for the newly-built town cathedral.
The festival morning started off with speeches made by three town officials:
Mayor Deverin welcomed everyone to the festival, and named the establishments that have provided free food for all festival visitors: The Rusty Dragon, The White Deer, Cracktooth’s Tavern, and The Hagfish.
Sheriff Hemlock urged everyone to stay safe, keep track of their belongings, and pointed out the locations of the guards in case there’s trouble.
Father Zantus asked for a moment of peace for Father Tobyn and his daughter, who perished in the great fire of the previous cathedral five years ago. After that somber moment, he reminded the crowd that the Swallowtail release will be at noon, and urged everyone to enjoy the food and games. Finally, Father Zantus pronounced the official start of the Swallowtail Festival.
In addition to free food, the festival had many games created by the town locals:
The Devil Hunt run by Jodar Provolost was an archery range, with two targets in the shape of the legendary Sandpoint Devil. The grand prize for hitting bullseyes on both targets was a masterwork longbow, but it went unclaimed this year.
The Dragon Races run by Gressel Tenniwar, participants raced small lizards across a short track. A black-skinned elf, who declined to give out a name, claimed one of the lizards as a prize. A cure light wounds potion prize was claimed by a catfolk named Balan.
The Ogre Stomp run by Das Korvut was a simple test of strength, with a board hit by a mallet that flings a weight towards a bell about 10 feet up. While no one broke the contraption, there were a few who were able to ring the bell and earn an oil of magic weapon, including the orc Thadius.
Right before the Swallowtail release, Brodert Quink held a trivia contest to test the competitors’ knowledge. After several rounds of elimination, the grand prize of the giant encyclopedia went to the grippli knows as Kaylee.
Just as Father Zantus threw the thunderstone to signal the Swallowtail release, the festival was beset by goblins. The town’s losses, while unfortunate, remained relatively few thanks to a number of combat-capable visitors attending the festival who engaged the goblins. After killing two groups around the festival square, Father Zanthus asked their help in fighting off a group at the northern gate.
At the gate, the group found a visiting noble under attack by a goblin commando on a goblin dog steed and his three lackies. The group defeated the goblins with relative ease, much to the relief of the noble, who introduced himself as Aldern Foxglove. Aldern was saddened at the loss of his hunting dog who the goblins took down, but he was very grateful to have kept his life, and invited his rescuers to join him at the Rusty Dragon for meal and drink.
Having seen how this fresh group of adventurers defended Sandpoint, Ameiko Kaijitsu introduced herself as the owner of the Rusty Dragon inn, and rewarded the group with a week’s worth of free lodging and meals.