Calendar of the Year
Holidays bind the community of Luisant together. They mark the cyclical nature of the seasons and the joys and triumphs of the year, serving as a way to pause and reconnect with each other and remember that there is more to life than brute survival and desperation.
Many holidays center around the making and consumption of food and drink, an essential part of Cappacionne culture. This tradition dates back to the Age of the Feasting King Chiropoler. Holidays in Luisant are celebrated with a communal retreat to the Feasting Grounds and a respite from daily labors.
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Early Spring- Fair of Blossom and Song, Foire aux fleurs et aux chants
Celebrated in early spring, this holiday calls all of the town to come together to say goodbye to the hardships of winter and welcome the warmth and bounty of spring. As the land awakens with the scent of blooming flowers and the air is filled with the song of the returning birds, and the people of Luisant follow suit. All the frugality of the winter is left behind and the townsfolk bring out all they had stored.
Winemakers, pastry chefs, and bakers of all kinds bring out their finest goods to determine the best vintages and recipes for the new year. Egg collecting baskets are woven and decorated. All townsfolk are welcome to weigh into the competitions, but the winning ribbons are awarded by the Spring Sovereign.
The Spring Sovereign is the individual deemed most integral in the town’s survival through the winter. This person will be held in high honor for the entire festival – their every desire fulfilled and they are the final judge of all competitions. They also oversee the resolution of any town conflicts that persisted through the winter, so that those issues may be put to rest for this new season.
Yard games such as cornhole, croquette, bocce, and such are played. A maypole is erected, and songs are shared by the light of the fire in the evening.
Contests of all kinds are held, with the winners gaining accolades and much sought after titles granted by the Spring Sovereign. Some of these titles include:
Tete de la Mode: The one who makes the flower crown chosen by the Spring Sovereign.
The Vigneronne/Vigneron: Winemakers bring in a bottle of their finest vintage to be judged.
Tefe de la Fete: The winner of a battle of wits.
Papa-gâteau: Maker of the finest pastries.
Lightfoot: The swiftest runner in town.
All of the yard games are also contests to determine the “Champion” of that game. Songs and dances are done around the evening bonfire to celebrate the contest winners and the Sovereign until the night draws to a close. Everyone leaves their baskets by the maypole to be collected the following morning. After then characters must secretly put their painted eggs in the basket of their intended, who will come collect their basket and gifted eggs. Then the eggs are shared in the late morning feast.
Fine baskets are woven and adorned with flowers to collect eggs from the forest, the most beautiful of which receives the Blue ribbon. Baskets can be made for personal use, but are often gifted. Eggs are then collected from the forest to be decorated with elaborate designs to signify the wishes and intentions for the individuals the eggs are to be gifted to.
There is also a smaller tradition of gifting “the last Apple”. Apples were stored to feed the town through the winter, and by this time few remain. Apples are placed in the baskets of the one who taught the giver the most in the last year. The apple is shared between the two and the seeds are planted in the orchard.
Red — Abundance, a wish to see the receiver abundant in resources.
Orange — Creativity and Fertility, a wish to see the receiver create something new.
Yellow — Joy, a wish to see the receiver joyfull.
Green — Love, a wish for the receiver to experience love.
Blue — Respect, a wish to bestow respect to the receiver.
Purple — Wisdom, a wish that the receiver find the wisdom they need.
Pink — Blessings, a wish to see the receiver blessed.
Black — Awareness, a wish that the receiver become aware of a problem.
White — Cleansing, a wish to see the receiver at peace… or to take a bath.
Eggs are often painted with more than one color, and colors can be mixed to make new colors with more complex intentions. The designs are meant to reflect a personal message for the one they are decorated for.
Flower/Foliage crowns are decorated with colors in the same manner as the eggs to express one’s personal wishes for the coming season.
Doors are adorned with flowers and foliage to signify passing into the new season, and a Maypole is erected to welcome new growth. Ribbons with all of the colors are hung from it, and the town joins together in song and dance to weave the ribbons around the pole to thank the land and bless the town.
Sweet and sparkling wines are shared and mixed with fruit juices. Pastries and breads are served with egg dishes of all kinds made from those collected in the forest.
Each person must leave a treat or drink at the table by the maypole so that the spirits of the land may also indulge and be thanked for the bounty. If this is not done, then eggs may rot in their shells in the baskets of the people. If the following morning an egg is cracked and found to be rotten, then a curse has been placed upon them.
Late Spring- Effeuiller la Marguerite, Strip The Daisy
Each season has its own array of colors, but the flourishing green that colors the new growth of spring brings a special feeling of revitalization in it. Almost startling in its vividness, it stands out bravely against naked branches and the decomposing remnants of last year’s fallen leaves. The earth has awakened from the long sleep imposed on it by Winter, completing the cycle and beginning anew. Inhabitants of the earth that we are, we are affected by its rhythms and moods, and as sap begins to run and animals creep out of hibernation, our own bodies emerge from the soporific effect of the winter months and are renewed.
Spring is a time of awakening and healing, reforging bonds with each other and celebrating relief from a frozen barren earth. Winter is the season to rest and reflect away from the world; in Spring we bring all that we have learned in the dark silent months to bear, and the young and virile feel called to follow their nature and create new life. Young unwed couples often choose to marry during spring, and those who favor an extended courtship find themselves pestered by their elders to provide them with babies to coo at and play with in short order, and thereby foster new life and the next generation of the town. The heightened atmosphere of romance or simply desire for companionship is felt by most in the community during Spring. Strip the Daisy is a community celebration of this surge of energy and desire, named for the youths’ practice of picking petals off of daisies to tell (according to superstition) if their object of affection returned their attentions or not. This holiday is a time for marriage, courtship, and all kinds of love, where the value of individuals to the community and each other is celebrated.
During the days of Strip The Daisy, the inhabitants of Luisant traditionally host a party with the Amorous Reveler’s Trait on the second night at the Feasting Grounds. A bonfire is kindled and unwed participants of the party take turns adding wood to the bonfire, while the village elders pair willing participants in temporary ‘marriages’ that are acknowledged by all until the Feasting Grounds are deserted for a return to daily life. Dancing is common during this party; partner dances or dance spirals where the participants dance till they can no longer stay on their feet for dizziness or laughter are favored.
For the duration of such a party, Venial/Lesser sins committed in the name of pursuing love add no Depravity.
God wished to expand the Meaning of the Word, and thus, created Mankind, which was Form with Meaning.
In each human being there is God’s holy truth, and humans are but an emanation of the Lord who is too mighty even for His own world. The vessel determines the shape of its contents, and the world that we occupy is a vessel in which, when God be poured, forms Humanity.
In its perfect form, Creation is an Act of love, borne of a desire to see something outside of ourselves thrive and grow.
This place which we are born into is lonely and imperfect, full of trials and terror. Without our awareness or choice, we are torn from the greater whole of God and cast naked and solitary into a broken world. Other humans are both our only comfort and the source of our greatest terror; to be seen for who we are is a prospect that is paralyzing to us even as we yearn for intimacy and companionship with our fellows. We forget that we are not made to be alone, and none of our success can be attributed wholly to our own efforts. We are parts of a shattered whole, seeking always to find our place and know that we belong, yet thwarted; our true place is not in this world and we will not find it till we embark on the last adventure of all.
There are antidotes to this isolation to be found in family and community, and in the joining together of like souls in marriage. The spiritual bonding of two or more humans in the rite of marriage is a reflection of the unity that we once experienced as parts of God. Building these lasting relationships with other humans brings us such unique joy because it is what our souls were meant to do; to be connected with and overjoyed by one another.
Heartfelt, flowery letters and declarations of love-romantic, platonic, familial, or otherwise- are traditional during this time. The inhabitants of Luisant go out of their way to compliment each other and remind their fellows of their value and what they bring to the community.
Flower crowns and masks in the colors of romance and passion (see Floriography) are used to express attraction or desire for positive attention, as well as simple zest for life.
Plentiful amounts of flowers and spring foliage are strewn about, and egg imagery is common to represent new life and reproduction.
Light, sweet foods and drink such as honeycomb, floral liquor and wines, and desserts are common. Savory foods tend towards the light and fresh: salads, hard-boiled eggs, and tart berries are all characteristic of Strip the Daisy.
A boutoniarre of yellow, red, and blue flowers, bound together by a purple ribbon, signals interest in romantic attention. A gift of a purple flower symbolizes undisclosed feelings that the giver is shy to admit!
The appearance of the Desolate Suiter ( Folklore and Spirits) is common during this time of year, and wearing a purple ribbon in case of an encounter with the spirit is a local tradition.
Some say that tonight is the night when the fae and spirits themselves celebrate the Spring Equinox, and the adventurous and clever may find them reveling in the woods after sunset. There is a price to fairy wine and glamour, however, and things older and stranger than lovely elves haunt the silent halls of the Forest.
Early Summer- Foolsfest
This holiday has long been celebrated by the sordid self proclaimed free spirits of the community. Artists without purpose, tawdry lushes wasting potential, and garish poets trading their bodies and trivial works for meals, all indulge in this revel.
Foolsfest is a time to feed chaos. All assumptions are challenged as weakness until proven a strength. All strengths are disregarded if not novel in some way. Flexibility is celebrated in all things. Shame is left out for the wolves to devour as the flaw in character it is.
For generations the nobility oopposed the provocative energy of the celebration, driving the revelers deeper into the woods. They feared such hedonism could seduce hard workers into a life of foppish useless indulgence, thus bringing on the collapse of their budding society.
In recent generations the nobility have come to quite enjoy the bacchanalian ceremonies of the free-spirited, however. Now the celebration has been brought nearer to town, song and dance intermix with lounging admirers upon outstretched blankets. Most see this holiday as an advancement of civilization, an elevation above the stern survivalist outlooks of past generations, and a recognition of the value the bounties of the soul bring to our community.
Though tracking traditional observances of this particular holiday can be challenging, as ingenuity and change are so encouraged in this time, some tendencies have survived the seasons rather consistently.
The Mervaille family has built an expectation of a dynamic sort of tradition – to bring riddles and clever puzzles to challenge the minds of the community.
One of the only static rules of the holiday declares the blankets laid out during this feast time act as boundaries to territory. From threadbare end to threadbare end their lands extend. Taboos invented by Scum who lay these blankets are playfully but faithfully respected by all who enter the blanket’s boundaries. In these spaces Scum (and occasionally Outcasts) are seen as nobility in their own right, and wise townsfolk bring a pouch of small gifts to offer to any blanket lords that demand a tithe or tax for crossing into their domains. Great respect is often laid at the feet of visitors whose offerings hold objective value to the blanket lords.
Blanket lords (must be Scum or Outcast) may use the Authority gesture at will when on their own blanket.
[Note: This is an 18 and up game, that takes place on beautiful private property, thus adult content and behavior is acceptable. All who attend our game should be comfortable with the possibility of encountering this content. We still ask that if your group intends gameplay that involves nudity, or if your goal is to become noticeably intoxicated, that your group set up your picnic space beyond line of sight to the central buildings.]
This is not the season for gifts, but exchange. Be it for a short time, or forever, clothing is exchanged, going on to enjoy the appreciation of a new warm body. Those of similar sizes and styles are drawn together to peruse one another’s attire and share of their own.
[Note: This Holiday makes a perfect time to bring old garb you no longer have use to game to see what you might be able to exchange it for, both with staff and other players. When exchanging garb please be explicit out of character with the other person about your desired terms for the exchange to help avoid misunderstandings.]
Retinues of roisterers will bring large quantities of intoxicants, body paints, or any gift that can share an experience among the many to make the day one to remember for all.
The more affluent or crafty carousers will fill baskets of small gifts that can be handed out at random to partiers that catch their eyes throughout the day, or lay them down as a tithe to foreign blankets they travel to.
Individual gifts are usually only presented to lovers on this day. Casual or devoted lovers can expect to receive flowers, alluring clothing, and occasionally jewelry to embellish their natural looks on this day.
It is for all the things in the world to be potentially good or evil. The inherent nature of things is to first be good, and then be vulnerable to wickedness. In each human being there is God’s holy truth, and humans are but an emanation of the Lord who is too mighty even for His own world. The vessel determines the shape of its contents, and the world that we occupy is a vessel in which, when God be poured, forms Humanity.
Foolsfest encourages the most colourful and exciting outfits of any of Luisant’s holidays by far. As most people have their usual outfits washed and hung out to dry they turn to their families to share their collective less worn garments to mix and match as often outlandish costumes.
Defying what loose gender norms the community has is the most common of all practices, exploring sides of themselves dormant the rest of the year.
Several outfits are worn by most throughout the day. It’s not uncommon to come across individuals stripping clothing away to trade between themselves even in public.
Bold makeup usually compliments outfits, gradually growing even bolder as the day continues and more cosmetics are inevitably applied.
Even unclothed skin is adorned by brilliantly coloured body paint, in personal symbols to the wearer and bright depictions of flowers. This paint is usually applied while resting upon the blanket lords miniscule lands, applied by friendly hands.
Most associate Foolsfest with the smell of laundry in the air, and long lines stringing about the town and around blanket territories with colourful fabric drying in the warm summer breeze.
Almost every reflective surface available in town is brought out at this time of year to facilitate application of makeup and draw townsfolk around as a social hub like bees to a fragrant flower.
Some of the more modest of the townsfolk erect privacy walls of wood or hung cloth so the festivities don’t have to halt even as the people transform from one appearance to another.
The ebb and flow of sugar highs helps define the mood of this holiday. Candy selected from bags at random, in strange colors, or food that resembles other foods, or containing surprising elements such as hollow chocolate with surprises contained within garner much attention and appreciation during this feasting time.
While there is no traditional bouquet or arrangement, blue flowers are often clothespinned to laundry lines.
Late Summer- Jour de Flagellation, Day of Flogging
Celebrated in late summer, the Day of Flogging honors restorative punishment and seeks to heal any hurts the community has suffered in the year.
Lo, the Lord doth forgive all who pass under his gaze with heads bowed. He sees his sinful children and knows the story to every stain. Those who seek true absolution need not go away from His glory. Nay, closer to him are those who return from the darkness. Look upon such men and rejoice, but gaze not on his brother who hides from the light. They are the servants of devils and their time will come.
Early Autumn- Jouer de Gorger, Day of Feasting
The feast to end all feasts! In celebration of the coming harvest, families draw together for company as they consume.
A reflection on the heroic acts of the Ordo Croix and giving thanks for freedom from the Feasting King.
Late Autumn- La Toussaint, All Saints
La Toussaint, All Saints’ Day, takes place in the last days of Autumn. There is an eerie quality to this time; the fall colors are beginning to depart and the days grow colder and shorter. It is during La Toussaint that the world of the dead comes closest to that of the living, and thus we come together both to celebrate the beloved dead and ward off – or confront – the malicious apparitions, both dead and undead, that stalk the world of the living as the veil grows thin.
Simple is the fear these Malefic bring to our doorsteps, but more challenging is the fear they leave in their wake. The frightening observation that most Malefic are reflections of our own failings confounds our instincts and leaves our vulnerable minds to numbly grasp at the implications.
Families come together and tell stories of the ancestors and relatives who have passed on, and pray for the gentle, unbroken rest of the recently deceased. Flowers are placed on graves, and those who are Woodwise gather to say a Last Farewell to the dead who have returned in the form of the Night Malefic, to assist them in passing on.
Associated Lineage: Veneaux
The unquenchable curiosity and thirst for knowledge of the obscure that afflicts the Veneaux is at its height during La Toussaint. The mists of autumn and the whispers of the dead as they draw close to us stokes a fire in the children of the Veneaux lineage.
Many Veneaux find within themselves a desire to understand and become close to the things of the Night during La Toussaint, and it is not uncommon for members of the Veneaux lineage to be found hunting the story of an unresolved Malefic or attending the Last Farewell during this time.
Death is then simply the means by which a soul may transcend the stage of events. In death does the soul grow mighty, and wickedness and virtue cease to war. When the soul of a righteous man who obeys the Will of the Lord endures Death, his Virtue washes out all that remains of doubt. When the soul of a man frail of spirit or strong of vice does die, his viciousness makes black his soul entire, and by Death it is then discarded.
In truth, the soul is the only thing a man has, and he cannot lose anything that he does have. The Solidarity of Man extends far beyond any mortal coil. In their dying breath, each man is like one for a brief moment and understands the unity we all share in death if not in life. This revelation alone is but the first step into true service of the Lord.
Gifts of many different kinds are traditional on La Toussaint, and the people of Luisant have a saying: there is no more personal a gift than an experience. In this spirit, entire groups of family and friends will come together to create what some refer to as ‘pranks’, intended to delight, amuse, or simply terrify their target. The philosophy of the tricksters is that laughter and tears are how you know you’re alive, and pulling off a trick so perfect that it reduces the target to helpless emotion of one sort or another is the sign of true friendship.
|Sticks, stones, bones, moths, the withered leaves of autumn. As the darkness and cold of winter returns and the last days of harvest-time pass us by, it is impossible not to remember what lurks outside our little town; the slavering beasts and frigid nights that would devour our flesh given the chance. We look to the future and dress our homes in the nature that might one day claim them if the hopeless hurt of the Night were to swallow our town whole.
We place candles and colorful trimming alongside these decorations, mixing woodland decay and man-made joy, bringing them together in equilibrium.
During La Toussaint, it is a traditional activity for the community to come together and paint masks for each individual to wear. The masks are decorated with complex patterns and symbols that are unique to each person. The decoration chosen is usually intended to be recognizable to any beloved ancestors or dead loved ones returning to search for the wearer, but complicated enough to confuse and distract Malefic and hungry undead. Those wearing the masks are often able to escape the notice of attacking undead long enough to flee.
Pumpkins full of cider and desserts to match!
Some spirits are drawn out only on La Toussaint, when the veil is thin and we celebrate the dead. On this holiday, it is said that those wearing the appropriate mask and behaving similarly may be accepted by the forest spirits as one of their own. Who knows what strange wonders an infiltrator could see?
There is some belief among the people wise in the ways of the forest that the celebrations of La Toussaint and the Last Farewell may be combined somehow to call up a spirit of the dead to answer questions.
Early Winter- La Plus Longue Nuit, The Longest Night
On this, the darkest and most dangerous night of the year, the community gathers together to ward off creatures of the Night and remind each other that the light will come again.
If a man looks upon Death without fear, he can see then that Death is but a mundane thing, as the thunder or the rain, simply a fact and operation of nature, no more to be feared than the thunder itself. The thunder may evoke fear in a child, without the knowledge of things beyond their sight, and so too may a man act as a child and fear that which is beyond him. Death is then simply the means by which a soul may transcend the stage of events. In death does the soul grow mighty, and wickedness and virtue cease to war. When the soul of a righteous man who obeys the Will of the Lord endures Death, his Virtue washes out all that remains of doubt.
Late Winter- Noblesse Oblige, Nobility Obligates
On this day we commemorate the charity of the nobles past, how they laid foundations for the town, for each family, and still today give rather than hoard.
“When a man fails to see that which is obvious, that all mankind is of a single spirit, that all men are brothers, that horrors of the soul await those who would reject their brothers or believe themselves above. Thus does a man injure himself when he… abuses his duty upon others by making another man serve him without serving him in return…”