Abciximab's Shackled City
Traditionally this festival begins on the first day of winter that sees any noticeable rainfall. Work comes to an abrupt halt in the city on this day as the citizens flock to the streets in an impromptu celebration of the rainy season.
Though the festival begins with chaotic revelry, it grows increasingly organized. What starts as impromptu parties in the streets quickly turns into rows of flood-festival-themed merchant stalls lining the streets, notice boards for registrations to the Festival’s organized games and competitions.
Much work is done to get the town ready, stages are erected, flags are unfurled, streets are cleaned, sales begin, merchants begin arriving and street stalls are setup. Notices are posted on bulletin boards at each tavern, Church and meeting hall, highlighting the activities and agenda of the festival.
Visitors from neighboring regions begin to enter the city, sending accommodation prices high, space in taverns, inns and hostels at a premium. In the days leading up to the start of the festival, the streets have been colorful indeed, with locals on a relaxing stroll mixing in with visitors from the surrounding region. Various local dishes are available from street vendors, as are some more exotic ones, which are normally not available other times of the year. Unusual plates of flat bread decorated with jellied chili peppers, or yak cheese wrapped in molasses and deep-fried are among the more interesting offerings from visitors who have procured the necessary licenses to setup their own booths for the coming flood festival.
Many of Cauldron’s citizens have been saving all year for this – the Flood Festival Sales! And many visitors have also been drawn by the chance to find a real bargain. During the festival ALL merchants give a discount of at least 15% off their regular prices, and some even go as high as 20%!
The Yearly Agenda:
o Drink Down the Flood (DDTF) – Day 1 through 6. Cauldron’s taverns hold an elaborate drinking contest during the length of the festival. This contest symbolizes Cauldron’s more prodigious drinkers pitching in to lessen the flood damage by drinking away the excess liquids in town – it just so happens that the contest focuses on the consumption of alcoholic liquids. Applications for entry are taken at each main tavern, but there are only 64 places. Many larger groups, guilds, crews spend the first few days holding mini competitions of their own, trying to establish a champion to represent them – most adventuring crews put only one (at most two) representatives in. Entrants must drink a standard glass, and continue against their direct opponent until one or the other yields, falls unconscious, is unable or unwilling to continue or vomits. Costs are 5GP entry, winner takes 100 GP, the balance split to the tavern owners. The DDTF lasts 6 days, each tavern taking hosting duties in turn at least once. No Magic, delay poison, etc allowed – a wizard some years ago was found to have cheated and shamed so badly by the public ridicule that he has never returned to Cauldron
o Various Games – each day. Toss the Hammer, Tug-o-War, Weighlifting, Throw the Spear, Running Races, Archery and Hurling Horseshoes
o Performance Artist competition- Day 1. Registered, Professional Performing artists compete for the right to perform at the Demonskar Ball. The Cauldron Nobility are the judges.
o Parade of Churches- Day 2. Each major religion is represented here, parading around the streets. Each year the parade ends at a different Church. Where once this was as grand affair, attracting huge numbers of clergy and followers, now there is only a token effort put in.
o Crater Lake Monster Hunt- Day 3. It involves putting hundreds of small (toy) boats in the Crater Lake, one of which is enchanted. Entrants to the contest swim the lake trying to find the one enchanted boat which when touched will trigger an illusion of some impressive monster. The person that finds the boat gets automatic entry into a draw to win tickets to the Demonskar Ball and a large gold crater statue (30GP).
o Street Party and Music Festival.- Day 4. On the fourth day of the Festival, tradition holds that Cauldron’s amateur performers get a chance to show their stuff. The streets are filled with singers, dancers, instrument players, and all manner of skilled (or not-so-skilled) performers trying to catch the eye of a potential patron.
o Baking Competition.- Day 5. The winners get to prepare their meal for the Demonskar Ball, and a trophy. Very prestigious award. The crowd can pay 3gp to be involved in part of the crowd portion of the judging process.
o The Parade.- Day 6. Floats, jugglers, marching band the whole 9 yards.
o Demonskar Ball.- Day 8. An extravagant Costume Ball located at the Coy Nixie Ballroom. This invitation only event celebrates the founder of the region (Surabar Spellmason) and his battle with demonic hoards. The climax of the Ball is a mock battle between “Surabar” and the Demon “Nabathatoron”. These two roles are given to only two honored guests. The others are dressed as either “Founders” or “Demons”. Costumes can range from common to very elaborate.