The Starlight Celebration: Winter Is Not Coming
The Starlight Celebration is once again upon us, the festival inspired by the benevolent deeds of the Ishgardian knights of old. This year, however, the preparations underway in Gridania appear to have taken on a foreign flavor. What in the stars above could have prompted this veering away from tradition? Mayhap The Raven has caught glimpse of the answer from its vantage point on high.
Read on for the full story.
High above the Twelveswood, the raven circles, evermore seeking out truth hidden amongst the shadows of the trees. In today’s edition, field correspondent Oliver Goodfellow reports from the hamlet of Hyrstmill, where a quaint foreign festival appears to have taken the place of the Starlight Celebration.
The North Shroud is unseasonably warm this year. In fact, there are some as say winter has yet to arrive. This makes yet another strange phenomenon assailing the land, and consternation is writ plain on the faces of Gridanians. Between this and the bloody-red hue of Dalamud, the citizens can scarce be begrudged their sense of apprehension.
An odd few have been heard expressing that they would as soon skip the harshness of winter in favor of an early spring. This way of thinking, however, is dangerously naïve, warns Fufucha of the Botanists’ Guild. The bounty of ice and snow is no less important than that yielded in warmth, stresses the Lalafell, before going on to remind us in a motherly tone that nature is dependent upon the turn of the seasons. The coming of the cold tells plants to shed their leaves against the chill, and animals to hoard what food they can. A late winter would cause seeds to sprout prematurely, only to wither before the onslaught of biting wind.
Far be it from this paper’s intent to incite panic, but the situation is grimmer than one might think. This grimness certainly was not lost upon an Ala Mhigan refugee named Waldomar, who took it upon himself to approach Stillglade Fane with a proposal: the holding of a festival hailing from his homeland called Winter’s Knell.
According to the Hyrstmill resident, Winter’s Knell is but one facet of the Starlight Celebration observed in his native Ala Mhigo. The festival entails the building of Father Frost, a giant of snow, in a ritual to usher in the blessing of winter and pray for the well-being of loved ones.
As any forestborn will know, the conjurers, ever seeking the elementals’ blessings in all affairs of state, are widely regarded as being excessively measured in their actions. And so it came rather as a surprise when Stillglade Fane received Waldomar’s proposal with open arms, wasting no time to engage the services of Black Rabbit Traders to assist with the festivities. This behavior on the conjurers’ part was so uncharacteristic, The Raven resolved to discover the forces that compelled it. And discover them we did, via a confidential interview with an initiate of Stillglade Fane, who agreed to speak with us on the condition of anonymity.
Among a host of other startling revelations, we learned that the conjurers have no expectations whatsoever that the festival will actually beckon cold weather to the North Shroud. In allowing the ritual to proceed, they mean only to assuage the mounting tension among the populace with a touch of revelry. And if relations between forestborn and Ala Mhigans were to improve in the course of events, they would be well pleased. With the dual threat of the Garleans and the Ixal bearing down upon us, our nation’s leaders are bent on wringing out all the unity there is to be had.
The matter of motive aside, Winter’s Knell comes to the Twelveswood for the first time; whether winter will follow in its wake, however, remains to be seen.