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Hatching-tide: Shell-Shocked

11 Apr 2012

In contrast to the inaugural Hatching-tide, this year’s event was scripted from the ground up, egg thefts and all. As the curtains descended upon the festivities, however, it would seem not all proceeded according to plan…

The Raven, Gridania’s leading tabloid, takes wing and dives into the unforeseen happenings.

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 on the rousing conclusion of that quirky new tradition called Hatching-tide.

The Best Laid Plans

This year’s Hatching-tide festival has come to a close in fine fashion, with citizens and adventurers alike having done their part to recover the decorated eggs from the thieving spriggans. Although it would seem that everything unfolded according to script, upon speaking with event organizers, The Raven learned that something came to pass that exceeded the bounds of improvisation.

In preparation for the event, Jihli Aliapoh and her fellow Dreamers had ordered a large shipment of dodo eggs from the Near Eastern city-state of Radz-at-Han. According to the merchant charged with fulfilling the delivery, however, mixed amongst the eggs were ones that resembled those of no cloudkin he knew. In the course of the festivities, word spread of these unusual specimens, and those folk fortunate enough to come into possession of one went to great pains to see it safely stored. Alas, it was to no avail, for when dawn arrived on the final day of Hatching-tide, naught were left of these eggs but broken shells.

Visitors in a Half Shell

So what, precisely, is the true nature of the enigmatic eggs? In seeking to shed light upon the mystery, this reporter tracked down an individual who claims first-hand knowledge of the truth. It is with pleasure that I now present his eyewitness account to you, our dear readers.

Our interviewee is a member of the Wood Wailers, who was on patrol the night before the incident. Upon being relieved of his shift, the man returned to the barracks, where he enjoyed a quiet moment gazing up at the starry night sky while taking swigs of mead. He believes he dozed off at some point, for when next he was aware, the skyline had taken on the gray hue of early morn. It was at that moment that his eyes were treated to a radical sight: a long train of baby turtles waddling amidst the morning mist.

As any forestborn will know, turtles are not native to the Twelveswood. And so it was all the Wailer could do to cry “Turtles!” before staring, shell-shocked, as the little critters continued their leisurely parade, taking their leave of Gridania by way of Black Tree Brook. Regaining his composure, our eyewitness sought out his fellow Wailers, whereupon he recounted to them what he had just beheld. Being rather disheveled from a night out in the open and with drink still heavy upon his breath, however, he made for an unconvincing sight to his comrades, who disregarded the tale as the ramblings of a drunkard. It was not long thereafter that I caught wind of the man and approached him with my questions.

The issue of eyewitness credibility aside, one thing is beyond doubt: Thavnair, the island upon which Radz-at-Han is situated, is indeed home to such turtles as were described. We at The Raven shall leave it to our informed readers to decide for themselves whether the account can be given credence.

Oliver Goodfellow