22 July 2014

Earthdawn: Adventure Log 22 - Rainbow Connection

This is the twenty-second Adventure Log in an ongoing series about Earthdawn. Introduction and Index.

Note: This is not a canon event.

The Rainbow Pride Festival is an annual-ish celebration in Glenwood Deep open to everyone. The ostensible purpose is for all windlings spread across Barsaive to return to the homeland to share stories, connect with old friends, make new friends, and celebrate life in a raucous display of color; the color of a windling's skin will tell a story of where they have been recently.

All Namegivers are welcome and Owl City is temporarily expanded by Elementalists to allow for greater than usual occupancy. Envoys from some of the major players in Barsaive who prefer to operate behind the scenes will often meet in the surroundings which provide more discretion than other potentially politically charged arenas.

The major draw for many is the festival which features a prize each year. Anyone who is a Journeyman adept may enter, though the various rounds are setup to weed out all non-windlings as they progress. Cheating is prohibited, of course, and will get you removed from competition if you are caught, but also expected. If your friends won't cheat for you, why do you have such terrible friends?

Adventure Log – 022 Rainbow Connection

Written By: Elmod, From the Other Side of the Well, of Glenwood Deep

Date: 5 Charassa – 21 Charassa, 1508 TH
Group Name: Mismatched Steel

Group Members
Bongani the Scout
Coriolis the Swordmaster
Elmod the Nethermancer
Honeysuckle Sunspray the Windmaster
Ting the Swordmaster

Our group has been staying in Travar for some time, losing some of the members for other pursuits(1).

Finally, we have decided, Ting, Honeysuckle, and I, to return to Glenwood Deep for the Rainbow Pride Festival(2) there. We book travel by airship, the last one out of Travar.

Outside of Travar, we are deposited at an arapagoi(3) and book travel on a surprisingly well-armed ship. The boatmen are amazingly drab and uninteresting. We met another elf ensign, Coriolis, along the way to Glenwood Deep.

We arrive outside Glenwood Deep and make the day's journey to Owl City(4) and observe the colorful celebration getting underway.

Since this is the first time I have returned to Glenwood Deep for some time, I pay a visit to my parents. I relate some of my interesting adventures and ask them some different questions about my parentage, birth, and Mestoph's involvement(5). Apparently Mestoph saved my life when I was born with his physician skill(6). They didn't quite take to Regia yet(7), but are happy to see me.

The others are preparing for the festival tournament(8), dancing, and otherwise.

In search of information about Regia's wood-tree(9) and met an interesting dark and bandy fellow, Bongani, that knew exactly where the wood was near Death's Sea and guarded by skeorx.

The Warmaster, Poison Wing(10), opens the ceremony and announces the prize of the tournament is Firefly's Heartblade(11).

The first even is a race through the forest which Ting and Coriolis manage to succeed, and Honeysuckle of course. Bongani and I helped a little to help the odds.

The second event was a search for razor flowers in a living maze. Ting and Coriolis failed, but Honeysuckle does with with a map from Bongani.

Much time is spent drinking at night. I met a lovely Horror hunter named Mistriel. She inquired about Mestoph and may be interesting to collaborate with later(12).

I went to see Mestoph with Mistriel, but could not find him or his house, though toured my old apprentice grounds. It seemed rather smaller than I remember(13).

Ting meets some strange t'skrang and has a good time(14).

Bongani and Honeysuckle suggest we look in Mestoph's house for clues where he went. It appears that someone was there recently - looked "lived-in" - but that may be an illusion. It also looked like another group of six people were also at the house looking around. Still no luck...(15)

*     *     *
(1) Good luck, Jak'Tak. I hope you find the heart of Cara Fahd. Note: Create reference between that file and this file.
(2) To say this is something of a haphazard event is to put it mildly. Still, windlings always seem to know when it will take place, even if they cannot actually put a date to it. This is one of their biggest holidays open to Namegivers from all over. There are good indications representatives from great dragons attend every event for their own reasons.
(3) Must be Ishkarat.
(4) The cultural center for windlings across Barsaive and the only location truly open to other Namegivers. Also the only other location where things are on the ground and can accommodate people of any reasonable size.
(5) This is not something which normally makes it into an Adventure Log. What is going on here? We need to know more about the background here and his connection to Mestoph.
(6) This statement seems innocuous, but either this is a different Mestoph, or there is something else going on here. My money is on the latter. Note: Start library Adventure Log pool.
(7) You think? I have seen this creepy doll and... that is all I will write. She could find me.
(8) The tournament is a very big deal, a way of honoring young windlings who are coming into their own. Technically the tournament is open to anyone, but structured so only a windling can win.
(9) What? I feel like there is some innuendo hiding in this statement.
(10) She is bad news. She was a part of the Adventuring Group, "Four Fathers". 
(11) Wow. I didn't even know he had a Heartblade; we need to know more about this item.
(12) I'm pretty certain this is a euphemism. I cannot find any information about a Mistriel who hunts Horrors. This is concerning.
(13) That's what she said.
(14) Pretty straight forward, but I wonder if he knows what he just entered into the Library of Throal for eternity?
(15) Received and edited by Ela Pono

This story arc came after a long break in playing where I was going through some burn out. In many ways, it could have been the conclusion to the story where some secrets are revealed and even more questions are posed. Beyond all of this, it was meant to be fun.

The setup for the festival was to allow for everyone to participate in some fashion, even if they aren't actually competing. Each of the events granted a significant advantage to windlings, relying on their natural abilities. The race was significantly easier for anyone who was small and could fly, being able to navigate through shortcuts. It was specifically designed to take eight minutes to fly the course; anyone over 12 minutes was cut.

In the maze, the tricks were using astral sight to see the carefully hidden (to normal eyes) directions to each of the flowers, in addition to being able to fly so the extremely difficult flowers could be reached.

Both of these had the characters not competing actively involved in helping their allies, even forming new alliances over beating the spread and getting paid. Oh yeah, there was some serious betting taking place. From sneaking in and getting an advance lay of the land, to countering other cheaters, and using any trick to put other promising competitors at a disadvantage. There was a great deal more taking place than just what was on the field.

There was a greater lesson behind all of this which windlings take to heart: the world is big and hostile to windlings; they must learn to work together to get every advantage they possibly can, while never letting anyone else know their secrets. The tournament isn't necessarily about who is the best, it is about who is the best windling.

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