The Festival of Colors

Festival of Colors Invitation

Welcome to the Festival of Colors!

This is a Roleplaying and Creative Writing event that will run for two weeks (ending on 9/26/19 at roughly midnight EDT).

Write up an intro for your character at The Festival of Colors in Verdantia within any/all of the following scenarios:

• Your ADVENTURE! to Verdantia:

What’s happened on your travels?

Who’ve you ran into?

What was it like seeing Verdantia at long last?

• Things and/or people that you’ve come across in Verdantia:

See something you’ve only ever heard of?

Enjoying the sights?

See anything that you want to take home?

• Things you’ve seen or done during the Festival of Colors:

Eat or drink something strange and wonderful?

Run the Dye Dash?

Shop for new clothing?

Take a stroll through any of the gardens?

• Presenting your newfound Flora for judging:

What biome was the plant in?

Does it like a lot of water?

How much sun does it need?

Is it carnivorous?

Do you know of any uses it has?

Have you done anything special to keep it alive (if it did indeed survive) while traveling?

Once you’ve written an intro, feel free to join in on the RP in Verdantia's Discord server! Please post each of your Creative Writings here in this thread.

Points are awarded based on activity, creativity and how well your plant is judged (highly suggest you participate in the final scenario above).

1 point for your intro post

1 point for each Creative Writing(CW). Limit one point per day

1 point for each day of activity (RP or new CW). New day starts at midnight EST

1 point from each judge that grades your plant (final scenario) as passing their criteria

Prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the event based on point totals. There will only be 3 winners, prizes vary as follows.

• If you’re bloodline+ and settled within the Duchy of Mytharbor:

First place: 6,000 EP

Second place: 3,000 EP

Third place: 1,250 EP

• If you’re Bloodline+ and not a resident of the Duchy of Mytharbor:

First place: 3,000 EP

Second place: 1,250 EP

Third place: 600 EP

• If you’re below bloodline:

First Place: An Orchard Kit for your home biome

Second place: One Seed Stacks

Third place: One Adventurer’s Pack

Prizes may be exchanged with any lower prize for the same place, for example if you’re bloodline+ and a resident of Mytharbor you could exchange the first place prize of 6,000 EP for an Orchard Kit of your home biome if you preferred.

Best of Luck to you and remember to have FUN!

Here's your setting:

Click for larger image Click for larger image. Map/Art Courtesy of Count Conklin.


Verdantia, known as the City of Infinite Blooms is located less than an hour walk inland from the Capital, Port Royale. Verdantia is one of the great Ironwood Cities, built in the great trees but also beneath their boughs, a mix of Kypiq and Neran architecture. Verdantia is renowned for producing fine fabrics (namely silk), dyes and clothing (most notably that of privateers). Outside the great forest-city, fields of many varieties stretch seemingly forever outward in a tapestry of riotous colors and patterns. Otterbarge ferries organized by one Mayor Speaka Man (something to do with empty barrels on loan from Mayor Chi Elenthiel's famous inn) depart Port Royale City regularly for those carting goods, beasts and large plants as well as those unable to walk, upriver during the festival.

The Festival of Colors

Verdantia hosts the Festival of Colors once but every 50 years. During this prestigious event fabric of all kinds and colors is draped over branches, walls and most every other surface not already covered in living, ever-changing kaleidoscope-mosaics of flowers. Merchants from across the continent (and rumored farther) set up stalls and booths hawking their wares exotic, magnificent, mundane and practical. Food and drink of all sorts can be found during the festival making the air (and sometimes the imbibers) as aromatic as the city is colorful.

Verdantian Gardens

The many gardens of the city are in their prime, offering quiet peace and privacy during the chaotic cacophony of sound and sights. Muting Grass and Pillow Moss line the paths and alcoves, made perfect for napping by the fuzzy Blanket Hosta leaves, among brilliant flowers, stooped shade trees and singing streams ever dappled in sunlight, starlight or moonlight. Songbirds warble peaceable melodies lulling those in need of rest into dreamscapes most vivid, while the Sentinel Shrubs keep watch and the Viper Vines keep all safe.

The Dye Dash

At the beginning of each new festival day, newly arrived visitors participate in the Dye Dash. Participants are given a plain white set of clothes and at the colorful blush of dawn they run through the city. Citizens and those who've arrived prior throw handfuls of powdered dye at the runners as they pass them along the road, underneath the living-root sky-bridges and from the many balconies. The run ends at the river where participants jump into the clear, cool, sweet water, setting the dye they've been covered in into the fabric. This brightly colored garment, if they so choose, becomes their festival attire for the remainder of the event as well as a keepsake souvenir.

The Main Event

The festival concludes with the judging of flora gathered from far and wide and near and narrow. This aids Verdantia in its mission to categorize, record and cultivate all flora and is the main focus of the Festival of Colors. Some tend to the flora they find in the wild for decades, learning and recording all they can about it until the time draws near for the festival, then they transplant it, transport it and submit it to the Judging of Flora.

So, welcome one and all, to Verdantia and to the Festival of Colors!

Click for larger image

Click for larger image.
Commissioned from Scribbles, go check out her work!

Deep Roots, Strong Tree.

9/12/2019 10:42:06 AM #1

I am interested in participating, but have a few questions.

  1. Using the DSS settlement names currently available, which settlement can I assume is Verdantia? At this point, I'm thinking I traveled by foot across northern Bordweall, caught a ship from NW Bordweall and sailed around the coast up to the city of Port Royale, but I need an idea of how much overland traveling I'd have needed to do from there to get to Verdantia.

  2. Do you have a web page somewhere with info about Verdantia and/or the Festival of Colors, beyond what's available in your post here? If there is anything, I'd like to check it out. It might inspire an idea for my introduction.

Thanks so much for any help you can offer!

Dras healer in service to Kingdom of Bordweall (NA-E) || Duchy of Bloodbole

9/12/2019 11:08:00 AM #2

Ooh the answer to Kere's #1 would be beneficial to know! :D

That way I can think of good reasons for a Pirate to be inland ;)

9/12/2019 12:27:40 PM #3

Far From Home

The Waerd disembarked with the rest of the passengers in Port Royal. He felt the reassurance of the firm ground beneath his feet as he looked up the street. It was as crowded as he had been told. And as colorful. But he was not there to take in the sights. He was on a mission.

The Neran clothing chaffed a bit, as it always did. But The Visitor had decided that to remain inconspicuous at this time was the best tactic. He had already passed as one of them so many times before.

Blending in with the milling crowds, he began the walk towards Verdantia, his precious cargo tucked safely within the bag upon his waist. Now the real work would begin in earnest.

After a nice mornings walk along the trail with the other travelers to The Festival, he first beheld the city. It was unlike anything he had ever seen before in his vast travels. And that was an understatement.

Never before had he seen such a swirl of colors. Every shade of nature was represented. And some that he didn't even know were possible.

In the flowers.

In the fabrics.

Even in the light, if such a thing was plausible.

He now knew that his contribution to this festival would not only be welcomed, but coveted by those he had been sent to contact.

He just now had to get inside.

Cuing up at the cities main gate, he could not help but notice the colorfully dyed clothes of many of the revelers. Politely tapping one on the shoulder he asked if their was a purpose to the garb.

He was then told the story of The Dye Dash and how it was meant to symbolize the various peoples becoming one with the colors of the festival. It was a very deep and spiritual thing he was told. He was also informed that he had missed this days running, but that it would occur again at the next dawn if he were so inclined to participate. He took the story in without comment, filing the information away for later reference.

After passing through the outer walls, the crowd began to thin out, dispersing into smaller groups that headed off in various directions. He attached himself subtly to the tail end of one such group and began to work his way closer to his destination.

(to be continued...)

We Are The Many... We Are The One... We Are THE WAERD !!!

9/12/2019 2:26:45 PM #4

A proper map is incoming, but for now, Verdantia will be located just upriver from the City of Port Royale, in the Ironwood Town with the default name of Bridgebourne Springs.

9/12/2019 3:00:16 PM #5

Awesome, thanks Quintero!

Dras healer in service to Kingdom of Bordweall (NA-E) || Duchy of Bloodbole

9/12/2019 3:39:54 PM #6

Added the Setting to the original posts, power outage last night kept me from finishing it. Have at it! :D

Deep Roots, Strong Tree.

9/12/2019 7:26:03 PM #7

Community, spirit, adventure. For all of Abae's years serving the people of Mytharbor and whatever travelers visited it, those three words never seemed to fade from the core of her experience. It seemed the Kypiq there were always finding new ways to celebrate their lives or venerate the life surrounding them, whether inside the deep forest or wandering beyond its protective boughs. Among the finest examples of this was The Festival of Color. Though each and every year a letter of invitation showed up carried by messenger or brought over wing, Abae never found the time for making a trip. Certainly, it seemed doable by measure alone, the distance from Verdantia to Aomori might as well be called a day trip, even on those short little legs! The issue rather lay in her other responsibilities -- managing businesses, overseeing the port, and leaving for months at a time to tour those kingdoms friendly enough to invite Abae in.

This year, things were finally different. With the help of aids, consultants, friends, and advisers such as Doki, Char, and the esteemed Chi, Abae finally had time enough to see this Festival of Color for herself. With bags packed, arrangements made, and the perfect specimen for the year's flower judging encased in protective glass, she set out.

Abae was not overly famous. Despite holding positions in numerous organizations and businesses, others rarely recognized the Kypiq in person. Moreover, other Kypiq were often much more focused on her attire than her face whenever she set out upon the roads or up the coast. To save time, Abae purchased passage upon one of the boats leaving Aomori for Port Royale. The crew, all among the saltiest of sea Kypiq one would ever meet, regarded her with sneers and jeering. To this Abae smiled, waved, and retired to sit behind crates and barrels adorning the deck rather than protest their mistreatment of her; she knew that the comments were deserved, perhaps even proving the faithfulness of whichever sailors took part. After all, Abae was wearing leathers and fur. Perhaps if someone within the festival had something to say, she might explain herself, but there upon the boat it hardly seemed worthwhile.

Port Royale was as busy as ever when Abae arrived. Menn of all shapes and sizes from the Dras to the Hrothi bustled about, working their way into the city or up and down the docks. Being among the shortest of the tribes, Abae felt her height no stronger than in times such as this, when crowds threatened to overwhelm her. Dancing between the limbs of those around her, Abae eventually escaped their mashing feet to find a little pathway that led up the coast. She sought out calmer water, at least matching proper pasta water's saltiness, but lacking waves. What business was performed there would remain a secret from any prying eyes...

With that, Abae Inkcharm proceeded to finish the last of her journey to The Festival of Colors along less traveled roads.

(Indeed, Abae Inkcharm would do the rest within discord.)

9/12/2019 9:39:32 PM #8

Donovan Piquesby arrived in Verdantia around mid-day. His stomach had started rumbling nearly a league before, as soon as the warm autumn breeze had carried the festival to his quite large nose. He was leading two wagons piled high with goods for the market. Mostly consisting of carved stone, some ironwork, and pelts from his home of An’dalucia; the only Delving in all of Port Royale, mayhaps all of Mytharbor itself.

The real reason he came all this way was hidden within the wagon he drove, a flower. The festival of colors gave him hope that his little village could grow into a proper town, maybe even a city someday. But that needed gold, more gold then they could mine, or fish, or carve, without gold no Hrothi in their right mind would venture so far south and help them build. The festival of blooms had a reward for the most-amazing-never-before-seen flora. Donovan, and his entire village, were hoping they could win that prize.

Momma was driving the other wagon with Baby D on her back, sound asleep. Donovan knew he was asleep as that was the only time the lad wasn’t screaming his bloody head off, well that ‘an when he was eatin’. The other five kids were currently atop the mound on her wagon cheering and pointing at all the colors draped across the trees. As he wheeled the wagon onto the paved thoroughfare leading to the main gates he could hear music and singing, his stomach rumbled again at the thought of a heady mead awaiting him inside. There were guards at the gates but they were unarmed and greeting all the travelers lined up to come inside the treeline.

Once inside the children begged to explore, Donovan gave them all three copper and told them to find their way to the market by sundown. Looking his oldest, and until recently “only”, son in the eye, Donovan said “No Mead ‘an no fighting.” The children ran off and Donovan and his wife went to the market square, rented a booth from a nice Kypiq fellow, and began unloading the second wagon.

He parked his wagon behind the stall and then stabled the oxen. Momma was already barking and selling by the time he returned. He watched her for a moment, still totally in love with her after all these years. She noticed him out of the corner of her eye while selling an iron sculpture to a To’Resk noble and blushed. “Even if we don’t win I’m still the richest mann alive” he thought, joining her in barking their wares (after placing a bucket beneath the wagon to catch the ever increasing drips of water.)

The following day the children all ran in the dye dash at dawn, laughing and jumping into the river to make the powder stick. Sara, the smallest, came out with her clothes stained a horrible brown. Momma was quick to stop her crying with a bright yellow cloak made with a lovely purple Kypic silk liner. Once she put it on her face lit up like the sun itself.

Just after noon, the barkers began to announce the main event, the flora contest. Donovan hooked up the ox to a noticeably smaller-loaded wagon and made his way to the judging area, leaving a wet trail behind him.

Donovan removed the tarp from atop the wagon and attached it to the tent poles they brought just in case the contest was held out in the open. Almost immediately a crowd began to form at the sight of the mound of snow beneath. Donovan began carefully carving out a viewing door, reinforcing a makeshift igloo roof with wood. In the center of the snow mound was a glass cloche covering a delicate white flower. Donovan examined it closely, and was overjoyed that it made the journey intact. When the Judges came to his wet wagon-display he unrolled a parchment the whole village had helped prepare. It read:

What you see before ye, ladies and gents, is an extremely rare Frost Flower found only in the Alpine Tundra of the far, far north. Mountain folk cherish the frost flower for its unique taste. Melted down it makes an effervescent drink or tea, taking flavors from the region in which it was picked. Look closely as its beauty is one of a kind! Each frost flower is different from the next! They are born from ice crystal blown in the wind and grow as any other crystal would, forming the beauty you see before you. Take it in as you will never see this exact sight again! I humbly present, for your consideration, the Frost Flower.

Donovan pulled the glass dome off and stepped back. His face beemed with pride as the crowd ooo’d and awwwe’d and the judges stepped forward to admire the beauty of it. The months of searching and the wagons full of snow his kin had to replenish was all worth it in that instant.

Once the judges had thanked him and shook his hands he replaced the cover and packed the snow against the sides of the glass so the line of festival goers that formed up could all have a look at its splendor.

9/12/2019 10:04:14 PM #9

Floral Getaway

The purple tips of Orianna's dress flew in the wind, her auburn hair caught in the gusts of her perilous moment. With every gallop of her horse, arrows whizzed past her. She gripped the reins tightly, and her satchel danced closely by her waist. A swath of mounted bandits were in close pursuit of the countess, they seemed intent on taking the contents of her bag.

She stormed down a winding road that clung tightly to the mountainside, north of Burnt Grave. An unreliable wooden fencing is all that seperated her from the beautiful, lethal ravine below. The countess had a few more miles till she would reach the nearest town, but the bandits were skilled horsemen, and they were inching closer and closer.

As the sounds of the enemy hooves neared Orianna, she slipped her right hand deep within her satchel. Her fingers nudged past all the clutter in her bag, in search of an item that might provide her the means of escape. She pulled a wooden sphere from her satchel, a ball composed of two hemispheres glued together with tree sap and honey.

Orianna took a deep breath, and launched the ball towards the bandits behind her. Keeping her gaze forward, she heard a soft explosion where the bandits once stood. The force of the ball hitting the cobblestone path caused the two hemispheres to explode open, releasing a cocktail of confetti, dried petals, and silver dust. The vibrant, reflective cocktail of debris released into the air frightened the horses, launching their riders into the air. Many of which, fell down the ravine.

As the countess made her safe getaway, she made a brief stop at the foothills of the mountain range. Orianna stepped down from her horse, and carefully opened the satchel. She released a sigh of relief as she saw the flower was unharmed, carefully wrapped up in a cloth linen.

Nonetheless, she was dismayed to have wasted her floral contraption on the bandits earlier. Its intended use was for the introduction of her flower at the Festival of Colors. Prehaps Verdantia might have the ingredients she would need to make another one. Orianna adjusted her bag along her side once more, mounted her horse, and rode south.

9/12/2019 10:14:13 PM #10

The Arrival.

An old leaky boat slowly moved into a slit on the docks of Port Royal. Its single mast had a dirty ripped sail flapping haphazardly in the light sea breeze. The sun hung low on the horizon. A single, ragged looking sailor sat tying the small grimy boat to a barnacle encrusted pole. When the sailor was done, he donned his coat and hat, and disembarked his vessel. The Harbor Master starred in disgust at the sea vagrant's arrival. As the stranger passed the small hut which housed the Harbor Master, the Master shouted:

"Hey, it’s not free to moor here! You have to pay!". The stranger stopped, and the Harbor Master got a decent look at him. The sailor was a younger man, just out of his youth. Any skin showing from his wrist and arms were completely covered in tattoos of various nautical themes. He had long dread-locked hair half hidden under a black bandanna, atop which sat a three cornered hat that had seen the worse for wear. The sailor had a small mustache, and a light little beard. His hair and skin were punished by the sun. Dark charcoal colored the area under his green eyes. He held up a finger as if to start talking when suddenly there came a horrendous crash. The Harbor Master turned his head toward the noise, and saw that a river barge had rammed into a nearby dock, loosening several smaller boats. He rushed out of the hut shouting for his dock workers to set about re-securing the vessels. The stranger slipped off into the evening among the chaos.

Once out of the docks, the sailor, picked his way toward the nearest inn. He had been sailing a long way and was eager for some rum and maybe some news. He ducked into the first place he saw. It was a boisterous place. The din of voices, clinking dinnerware, and laughing announced that the place was, quite alive.

The sailor sat down in one of the few empty booths along the wall closest to the door. All the furniture was small for a To’resk, but not so small that he was uncomfortable in the tavern. The tavern was bustling with people from all across Elyria. A fat bellied, balding Neran man was behind the bar serving drinks. A bevy of Kypiq barmaids were busy serving drinks and food among the patrons. Two Hrothi arm wrestled at a table across the room. Finally, a young Kypiq barmaid sauntered up to his table. He smiled charismatically at her. She nodded and ask:

“What’ll you have sailor?” She seemed impatient, but that wasn’t a surprise given how busy the inn was.

“Rum, love, and before you go, any news worth hearing about?” replied the Toresian sailor. He slapped a few coins on the table to entice her to stay and talk a moment.

“Oh yeah, can’t you see how busy it is? Lots of travelers coming in for the Festival of Colors!” the maid explained.

“Festival of Colors?” inquired the sailor, a brow raised in interest.

“Yes. The Festival of Colors. It’s going to begin soon. In Verdantia.” She said, and before he could inquire further, she turned to fetch his rum. The sailor sat there and watched the room for a moment. Various types of people passed by, and he waited for his rum as he watched them. Before long, the barmaid returned with his rum.

“Ah, thank you love. My name’s Allerdyce, and what do they call you?” He said, as she set the small tumbler of rum on the wooden table. He was charming to be sure, and the Kypiq maid had no problem replying.

“Kihli.” She giggled, and once more, before he could say anything further, she was gone. Allerdyce smiled to himself as he drank the rum. He wished he asked for the bottle. It wasn’t long before he had, and soon he was in a complete state of inebriation. Just the way he liked it. He swaggered out of the inn, clutching a half full bottle of rum. Two of the Kypiq maids hung on each of his arms. They giggled as he slurred them tales of his exploits, and as they stepped off into the night he said:

“To the Festival of Colors!” and they were off!

9/13/2019 6:57:41 PM #11
The Dye Dash.

Allerdyce awoke with a start. He sat bolt upright and coughed roughly. Hay hung in his dreadlocks and his mouth was as dry as a bone. His stomach growled, emptier than a beggar's purse. He swayed a bit as he looked around himself. Pigs squealed. Sheep bleated. He groaned as he got up, and gathered his affects, which were scattered all around him. He placed his hat on his head, picked up his spyglass, compass, and cutlass and tightened all the buckles and straps down securing everything to himself. He sniffed as he looked over. One of the Kypiq maids was fast asleep in the hay next to where he lay. Another was on top of a farm crate, snoring loudly. He snatched the bottle of rum that was sitting precariously close to the edge of the crate, and off he went.

The To’resk shielded his eyes from the bright morning sun as he walked out of the barn and into the world. His walk was shaky, footing unstable, but he had a grace about him. He walked as unpredictably as a fly might buzz. He hit the road and started walking in a random direction. He had no idea where he was, where he was going, or what he was doing. All of the previous night was just a blur.

“Must’ve been a good time.” He mused as the large Ironwood Trees of a town appeared over the horizon. He could see small buildings built up in the ancient immortal trees. He estimated that he were perhaps three to four miles away. Before long, he was passing through the gates of the town. Verdantia, he had heard others saying as he joined a throng of other travellers. He hid the hilt of his cutlass under his overcoat. No sense in drawing unwanted attention to himself. Being armed was usually frowned upon in most civilized areas. He passed through the gates, and was handed a bundle of white linen clothing, and was instructed by the Kypiq who gave it to him to put them on. Raising a brow, Allerdyce continued walking. He set the bundle of white clothing on a barrel outside of a shop on the main road as he made his way further in.

“What in the depths of Oceanus is going on here?” He thought. Suddenly a shot and a burst of color exploded into the air! Allerdyce was covered in a deep purple dust as he looked around for the source. He removed his hat and brushed the colorful powder away. As he replaced the hat on his head, a flash of green powder burst from a tree nearby!

“Ack!” He shouted as he ran, in a still drunk swagger, avoiding flashing bursts of color. Red! Yellow! Blue! Green! Orange! Violet! Indigo! All flashed and peppered him as he ran through the city. Throngs of people, mostly Kypiq ran by in their once white clothing, now covered in a myriad of colorful dusts and powders. Allerdyce was carried along with the group as he ran. He ran as fast as he could, and used all his agility to avoid as much of the unknown powders as possible. Then his feet gave way and with a loud splash, cold water enveloped him. He sighed and spit water out of his mouth as he grabbed his hat, which was starting to float away. With a squish, he placed it back on his head and grumbled as he got out of the pool.

His clothing wasn’t much changed for all the color that had made it onto his coat, shirt, and trousers. They were so dirty and dark colored nothing could have made them look better. He slogged out of the pool just as two of the richest looking people ran by him and jumped in too. One, he could have sworn was a Waerd. He thought it a bit strange to see a Waerd participating in this madness, but he was wet and cold now, and all he wanted to do was find a fire and get some food.

9/13/2019 7:44:14 PM #12

Abae Inkcharm's final leg of her journey proved to be brief. Verdantia, being just beyond Port Royale, was in her view before noon of her second day traveling. Stepping along the road, Port Royale's ocean stained air was suddenly overpowered by hints of sweet pollen, nectars, and the buzzing of innumerable native insects, all drawn by an abundance of colorful flora begging for them to pay a visit. The countryside itself seemed to be exploding with life as far as Abae's eyes could see, to the point her jaw hung just a touch slack -- an impressive feat, given how well traveled she was.

Abae helped herself to a slight detour, straying from the road to follow into a patch of wildflowers. She slipped between trees, marveling at their height, and ever appreciative of the shade each cast upon her. For a minute, the Kypiq elected to have a sit and a snack.

Fruits were among her favorite things to forage and set aside. Apricots, grapes, even apples made for a wonderful munch on the trail when dried or ground into sugary pastes. She always set the seeds aside to be planted, but the flesh of nature's morsels was too good to resist. While enjoying a brown apple paste, on blue wings fluttered a butterfly. It sat there, perched at the lip of her wooden bowl, testing its contents to see whether they were edible. Such a marvel as this was rarely seen around the likes of Fortuna or Vornair, even if they had their own share of natural marvels, and it left Abae sighing in contentment with her decision to make the trek. Moments of blissful quiet passed, and as a cool breeze swept up from East to West, Abae finally returned to her feet to finish the journey, keeping her bowl out, and new blue friend in tow.

The city itself was at least as marvelous as the lands around it. Flowers seemed to dominate the architecture, adorning every piece of every tree that they were given the liberty to. Had she not brought a map, Abae herself doubted she'd be able to navigate the city -- but luckily, the girl was prepared. When she finally found the likes of the judges, Vig and Quint, as she affectionately referred to them, the poor Kypiq's legs had taken on ample fatigue.

"Excuse me," she gasped, holding up a hand to them before either had an opportunity to give some form of greeting, "Sorry, yes, wow that was a walk... I decided to try for a mere two days of traveling and I was NOT at all what I expected. I brought my flower, its really something, but before I show it off I want to ask a favor. Well, a question that leads to a favor if you say yes. Would any among the judges be willing to accompany me on on of the color runs in the morning down to the coast? Yes, I said the coast. I swear I'll get you back as quickly as you came, but I really think this will be worth it." While she spoke, leaning over between breaths to try and fight back fatigue, the judges caught little glimpses of a rather sorry looking blue flower peeking out of her backpack from within a sloshing glass dome. What in the name of all living things did she think she was doing, bringing something like that for judging?

9/13/2019 9:51:34 PM #13

The carriage ride was bumpier than he'd have liked, which put Count Daz'zle in a foul mood through most of his journey. Being jostled and bounced from side to side every time the carriage fought against a wayward root or downed tree branch was just another reminder as to why he preferred running barefoot through the broadleaf than to more 'civilized' means of travel. By the last leg of his trip, he'd begun to wonder how much longer walking would have taken. Of course, he knew the answer, but he was tired and hungry and fussy, and he needed something to complain about, even if nobody was around to hear him.

It was a sudden warm breeze through the carriage's sole window that caught his attention. The unmistakable perfume of flowers in bloom from somewhere close by had lifted his spirits. He closed his eyes, took in a deep breath, and smiled as he exhaled. He wanted to see them. He surrounded his potted plant with his personal belongings to hold it in place, lest another bump send it tumbling and cripple the poor thing, and walked on the cushioned seats to the window. Rows and rows of neatly trimmed and well taken care of trees and dark foliage were there to greet him. The meadows, it seemed, were on the other side of the carriage. He harumphed back into his seat with his arms folded. For the next few hours, he sat this way, stubbornly, until the carriage came to a slow and bumpy stop.

"Now arrivin' at Verdantia, m'lord Daz'zle", the driver bellowed. Razzle collected his belongings and checked his plant once-over for any injuries while the driver secured the Kypiq steps and opened the door. The driver was a tall and lean Neran with streaks of dirt on his face and arms from where he must have wiped away sweat. "Hope y'got to see some'them flowers comin' on the way!" He said with a toothy smile. Razzle couldn't help but smile back. It wasn't the driver's fault the trip had been so bumpy, it was just the way things go sometimes. He handed the driver a small handful of minted coins, and the driver's eyes lit up in appreciation. "Th-that's more'n the whole trip to and fro' cost, m'lord. Thankee!" They exchanged pleasantries and the driver departed.

Razzle looked small and out of place standing amongst the bustling city. His hair was messy and brown. His face was boyish and mischievous. He had on his finest attire, a green velvet vest lined with golden buttons inscribed with RD on them and two pockets with a gold chain connecting them, a long sleeved off-white shirt, and a pair of light brown corduroy pants. In his arms, amongst his sack of personal items, was a most peculiar and innocuous white flower. He came upon the inn he was scheduled to stay at, and, taking everything in, the laughter of children playing tag in every color imaginable, the merchants haggling their wares to tourists, the smell of fresh baked pastries and savory stews, and rising above all other senses, but perhaps heightening them, were the flowers. He made his way inside.

9/14/2019 1:54:15 AM #14

It was dusk when the caravan set out from Blackthorn Vale. The plan had been to leave in the late afternoon, but then someone hadn’t packed their silk wares, and someone else’s Otterbear needed to be fed and someone showed up an hour late because they were distracted on their way down the Ironwood tree and the Mistwatch didn’t stand in the right locations and had to be yelled at by their Captain. So dusk it was, when Melisande DeBrume finally got to leave her county for the first time.

As the youngest daughter of the countess, Melisande had very little opportunity to do anything, so she when someone was needed to lead the merchants of the Cloud Market to the Festival of Color she had jumped at the chance. She had spent the last hour attempting to wrangle all of the merchants and their wares onto the Otterbear carts and barges, while not getting in the way of the Captain of the Mistwatch who seemed to be doing the same thing with the caravan’s protection. Being a curious sort of Kypiq, Melisande chose to sit on top of the first barge in the caravan and stare out at all the new trees and rivers and wonder what the festival would be like and how long it would take to get there and-.

A sharp voice interrupted her thoughts. “What are you doing here?”

Melisande turned to see the Captain of the Mistwatch, a young womann who was tall for a Kypiq and carried a sword in her belt.

Melisande clutched her silk cape around her. “I’m leading the caravan.”

The Captain stared at her. “Typically the caravan leader sits inside.”

“That’s ridiculous. How can I see everything if I’m not in the front?”

The Captain shook her head. “I’m the one who’s supposed to see things. It’s in the name, MistWATCH.”

Melisande shrugged. “Well your not doing a very good job of it. The guard on barge five has left his post at least two times now.”

“What?” the Captain spun around. “Which one’s barge five?”

Melisande sighed. “It’s two barges to the left. I numbered them before we left didn’t you notice?”

The Captain turned back to Melisande. “You did what?”

“I numbered the barges before we left, because we were there for hours and I was bored and I figured that if didn’t number them we’d never remember which merchant’s stuff was where.”

The Captain frowned. “What did you say your name was?”

“Melisande DeBrume, and yours?”

“Miranda dun Hafoc”

9/14/2019 2:37:05 AM #15

Killean Piquesby was tired of watching his sisters try on hats, and scarves, and capes, and whatever else they could find. There was too much going on to just hang out in the market. Watching the crowds he saw a glimmer of red hair, moving away from the carts he saw her, a lovely Hrothi lass just about his age, couldn't have been more then 18 winters, plenty close to his 16., He excused himself to go find a rest area and followed her.

As luck would have it she was working at the beergarten! Squeezing up to the bar he felt tall, nearly a foot above the locals. Never taking his eyes from her he didn't hear the stout old barmaid ask him twice if he wanted a drink. When she shouted in his ear he jumped and the pretty redhead giggled having noticed his gaze. Killean did what any mann would do and ordered a stein.....

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