Site Wide Event Festival of Lights

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#1

Festival of Lights
For the first time in over 300 years, the Festival of Lights is held beyond the barrier. The souls of those who have died in the Hollowed Grounds have too-long remained trapped, and it seems fitting this year to hang their lanterns in the trees of the Greatwood rather than in the Outskirts.

Throughout the trees hang lamps, baubles, and homemade lanterns - anything which can hold light. Some are handmade this year, others have been handed down from generation to generation, but all are unique and serve to remember the souls of those long past. Some are made from paper and decorated wildly with paint and dyes and goodness knew what else. Others still are composed of leaves and twigs, fabric and ink, flame and earth and lightning for those Abandoned who know how to creatively manipulate their elements.

For every light, there are two souls: one who has hung the flame, and one who the flame represents.

A large bonfire has been lit and many a conversation has been struck up over drink and food. Blankets have been spread on the ground, and above the stars twinkle brightly.


The Festival of Lights had begun.




Welcome to the 309 PC Festival of Lights!

This SWE is open to Naturals and Outlanders alike, and for the first time, is being held in the Greatwood!

This thread will remain open until the end of the month, at which time perhaps Ludo will appear to chose its favourite lantern, and bestow a gift! This is the main lantern-hanging thread. Feel free to have off-shoot threads for your other activities if you like!
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 28 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 9 - Strg: 22 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 30
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
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#2
They had made their lanterns from simple materials, but with care and sincerity in their hearts for those each lantern represented. Jigano had brought more than one, remembrances of friends gone, or changed, or for those who no one else would remember.

The first he hung was, in spite of the disapproval of the old gods, a lantern for an Ascended.  108's lantern was a perfect cube, the frame of wood, the walls of snowy white paper. Holes had been pricked in the paper to reflect the constellations that sparkled above the Spire - the Spire itself was present on one of the walls, black paper pasted atop white to create the obelisk's silhouette.

As he walked along he found a place for a second lantern. Another Ascended, though now a unicorn. Still, he honored the friend he had lost with a lantern made from differently-sized wire hoops covered in black linen. The hoops dropped away beneath his hand to make a sphere as he lifted it, and he lit the small candle that hung from the handle before he placed it on its branch. The lantern was a dark one, but it was adorned with dried flowers that still bore bright colors, though in the darkness their beauty was overshadowed. Silver thread glinted with reflected light where decorative rows of stitches - the sutures Isla had taught him - ran vertically in three neat rows spaced evenly around the lantern's covering material.

The last lantern was not from the crafting day, but one he had worked on privately. Stylized flames of copper and gold leaped from the copper base, echoed within by three candles that burned brightly as soon as they were lit. He set the red glass lid back on the lantern as he placed it on a high branch, letting the feathers - one white, one pale blue - dangle beneath it. He stepped back with a ragged breath, tucking his shaking hands into the folds of his cloak as he watched the lantern silently, Isuma sharing the vigil on his shoulder. The little gryphlet peeped quiet greetings to her friends as they passed, but the bard seemed lost in his thoughts now that his hands were empty and more lights sprang to life around them, for lives and souls that would not be returning.
Only simple tables without images or background colors when threading, please. It's much appreciated!
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
General of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 Abandoned, Level 2 Attuned - Strg: 20 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 16
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
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#3
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

The last time Deimos had been at the Festival of Lights, he’d arrived with naught but ignorance and curiosity, a pestilence on the horizon, amongst the crowd who’d been volleyed and tossed into the vast unknown.

But now – now he understood exactly what the lanterns represented, why they paid tribute, and at what cost. Death held no prejudice; corresponding to everyone and everything, a fact of life, a turn of nature, but leaving the living behind to deal with its blows, with its throngs, with its upheaval, and hollowed void.

He had three this time, carefully, meticulously, designed and molded from his machinations. The first in his hands was for Emmett, the lost lad in the underground, whose bravery had not gone unseen or unnoticed – lantern hastened in a darker shade, almost like the earth, hastened and honed with a donkey on each side, the little emblems and banners he’d noticed on the blanket covering him as he and Roana lifted his form back up to familiar grounds. The Sword suspected more would follow in his wake, but he could start the notion, the predilections, tying it off, ensuring the fire was burning bright before moving down the columns and lines.

The others were for his parents (the girl in the rain had her burial shrouds, but he’d never had a moment to grieve for those who’d given him life). One was crimson, a deep, vibrant red, yielding naught but fire, the edges etched in flickering embers, a promised conflagration given the right chance, the right moment, to catch and become an inferno – a representation of his father, seething coals and blistering ambitions, cut apart too soon. The other was blue, vivid and stark in its cold, ethereal composure, like ice, like water, like marble, like rocks and boulders, borders curling like a wave, a current, on unchanging tides – his mother’s elements, taken from the plains of her power with abrupt precision. He hung them together, watched how they swayed, maneuvered, as a singular force, and stepped back, hovering, eyes catching upon others beginning to take shape, placed in the darkness.

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
Phoebe Steadman
Midwife / Dean ☆ Caido Medical College
Age: 18 | Height: 5'9" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 12 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 14 - Luck: 25
PIM - Mythical - Dragon (Electricity)
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#4
Phoebe
I've been very hopeful so far
Now for the first time I think we're going wrong
Hurry up and tell me this is all a dream
Or could we start again, please?

Phoebe had not attended the Festival of Lights the year before, but she had heard what it was. In the year prior, she had been too swept up in trying to get back in her feet she had missed it. But this year she couldn't. She had lost more than she could have ever anticipated, and she came with many lanterns. They were not particularly ornate, not skilled with magic or maker trades (that wouldn't light on fire) but each had been made with love and melancholy, cloaked in her memories for each person they represented

The first series were for her patients that had been lost to labor or stillborn or miscarried. There weren't many, her practice having only ramped up late in the year. The simple wooden lanterns with rice paper walls were carefully decorated and personalized to each person, hung gently, a light frown on the usually sunny countenance of the midwife. She never forgot a woman or child she could not save, and that practice did not stop in Caido.

The next lantern was for Emmett. Made of wood and rice paper like the last, it was simple, not fussy, like he had been himself. But on one side she had made careful cuts in the paper so light shone through - a donkey walking towards a group of people, the reunion she knew he had with his family upon his death. A lump of emotion knotted in her throat as she gazed upon it. Their relationship may have ended well before he passed, but it still made her heart ache, to know he was gone; her first love's life extinguished far too soon.

The final lantern she held in her hands for awhile, staring at it. This one had been decorated like Emmett's, little cuts in the paper in the shape of a small bunny, hopping around the lantern in a lilting pattern, having no real beginning or end. Beneath it hung a small pendant she had shaped from clay and painted; a woman holding a swaddled infant in her arms. This lantern she knew she would make every year. She hung the simple thing, imbued with a mother's love and sadness, lit by a flame from the candle she had kept alight since her visit to Ludo. Phoebe stared at it, tears welling and rolling down her cheeks, willing herself not to break into full sobs. Two seasons had nearly come and gone and yet it felt like only yesterday still.

Pim rubbed his head against her legs, as comforting as a dragon could be, standing gaurd next to his person as she was overwhelmed with emotion.
Ronin Taliesin
the Fallen Star
King of the Hollowed Grounds ☆ Monster Hunters Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 23 - Dext: 23 - Endr: 24 - Luck: 24
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
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#5
everything has its wonders
Like his fellow Outlanders, where Ronin had arrived ignorant of the festival last year, this time he felt all too close to it. He walked quietly through the Greatwood towards the flickering lights of lanterns and bonfires, already softly aglow with starlight; it was hardly surprising, given how he felt about tonight. In his left hand he held the lanterns - three in total, though only one would leave with them to bring back next year, over and over and over. In his right arm he carried his daughter, Aoife softly babbling to the stars and the trees and the moon high above.

Smiling, the blighted ex-captain leant in to plant a kiss on her cheek, surreptitiously checking that she still wore Arduinna's blessing to protect her from the scourge that plagued the woods (and him). Soon enough, they arrived at a tree whose branches were still mostly bare, and Ronin nodded. "This will do nicely, right?" He grinned, carefully setting Aoife down and arranging the first two lanterns. These were small but carefully crafted; one a deep, dark crimson painted with dancing fire, the other a pale green, dotted with wildflowers and the silhouette of a donkey (and a few thumbprints, from his daughter).

"For Edrei and for Emmett," he told Aoife, who tried on their names as Ronin hung them up and clapped her hands as they were lit with a taper from a candle nearby.

The last was the largest - a sturdy box lantern painted in ocean hues, with a ship setting sail upon its front. It had a tail of wooden seabirds, which clacked and danced as Ronin lifted it up.

"Ma," Aoife announced proudly as it was lit and lifted to hang upon a separate branch. Scooping his daughter into his arms, Ronin kissed her curls and nodded, enjoying the glow from the newest additions to the festival.

"That's right," he murmured. "This one is for Ma."
even darkness and silence


Coding base by Sky!
Sunjata Senzaok

Age: 26 | Height: 6'5 | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
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#6
SUNJATA
He had been there when Phoebe had started to make the lanterns. He had also been there to listen to her talk of what the event was, what the lanterns signified, what the point of the entire thing was. And while she made her many lanterns, he had spent his own time working on his own – really, the only one he had cared much about anyway. And he had, though not particularly saying why it had affected him as much, but it made it easier that way.

A lantern that was simple, but adorned in varying shades of blue – for the water back home and the lights that day on the rooftops, with purple and gold for the clouds above. He was by no means an artist, but he at least tried to make it appear beautiful, and for that he thinks he’s succeeded. So he goes with Phoebe, giving her space as she hangs her multitude of lanterns, first the ones that had mattered but not quite as much as the last two, and he glances around the area for a place to put his own.

He leaves her before she places Emmett’s lantern, letting her grieve and deal with the lanterns as they sway with the wind, light flickering through the paper walls. And he makes his way to a separate place, where he decides that perhaps Lusea’s lantern might fit well in with the rest of them. Slowly, he reaches up to hang it, steel eyes glimmering as he stares at the lantern and watches it sway before he shakes his head and makes his way back toward Phoebe – approaching just as she had hung the last lantern and stares at it.

Eyes dart to Pim briefly before he stands behind Phoebe and wraps her in his arms, to look at the lanterns he knows mean so much to her.
boy with gunsmoke
for breath, boy with
rebellion in your bones
Remi Taliesin
Alchemist ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 21 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 10 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 26
ISLA - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
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#7
all our lives i watched you search beneath the fallen skies
For as much of a family as they were, Ronin and Remi didn't need to always be together. So as the hunter and their daughter hung their lanterns, Remi trailed his fingers softly across Ronin's back before making his way towards a patch of ground barren of trees. Kneeling down softly, Remi pulled in a breath. LongNight felt like forever ago, and yet the memories of those lost were still imprinted keenly in his mind. Two, specifically. Celosia, the duchess he'd only just gotten to know in Northaven before their lives were uprooted, and Zero, a man he didn't know at all, but who had impacted the alchemist's life in fundamentally altering ways.

Placing a hand softly on the ground, a tree began to grow from a mere sapling. Remi didn't stop pouring magic into the earth until the tree was nearly as tall as he was. With a flickering smile, the alchemist closed his eyes. Rather than bringing a lantern, he created the two he had in mind; or rather, grew them. From the bark of the tree two lanterns appeared like some sort of strange fruit.

Celosia's was elegant but simple, whereas Zero's was eclectic but inticing. The wood twisted into beautiful patterns, and in the bark their names appeared at the top of the lanterns.

Finally, on the other boughs of the tree, Remi created small organic lanterns for all the souls lost or forgotten. He wasn't sure if it was proper or even useful, but stepping back from the little tree of his making, covered in small wooden lanterns that grew like strange soul-bearing fruits, it felt right enough.
Speaks with an Italian accent. Looks visibly blind.


Force and magic can be used against Remi without permission.
Let me know if you want to kill him and we can chat.
Samuel Wordsworth
Book maker/seller ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 27 | Height: 5' 5" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
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MIA - Regular - Ragdoll Cat
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#8
Samuel
I pray to blades of grass
To find forgiveness in the weeds


Sam had not attended the Festival of Lights since he had left his family - it had been a tradition too caught up in them, and he had dreaded the crowds. People looking at him publically hanging up something he'd made.

Honestly, the idea still felt a little nervewracking (how strange it was, that one could fight monsters bravely and be scared of a judging glance the next day) but he went anyway; he had people to remember, to respect. Isla, who was not dead in the full sense but whom he missed every day in her old form, Cornelius, his old mentor whom he had seen and harmed in the Spire (something for which he felt guilty every day) and the Ascended man he had seen killed on that same journey, though he did not know his name.

As he approached he looked over to Ronin. Next year, I might hang a lantern for him. He thought, frowning and swallowing down the sadness that welled up in him at the idea. Glancing away he went to hang up his lantern:

He had used scrap papers from his bookmaking, illustrated letter doodles and inky smudged paragraphs creating an unique pattern across the surface. The lantern was a simple cylinder, not fancy, for he had never been much of a crafter outside of his books; some ribbons hung from the bottom, blowing in the wind with a gentle grace. Hanging it on a branch a little out of the way away from the main crowd, he watched it for a moment, feeling more than he had expected at the sight of it.
Jiao Chen
Seamstress
Age: 45 | Height: 4'6" | Race: Fae | Nationality: Natural
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#9

As Jiao approached with her lantern, the one she had made with Jigano, she had the self-consciousness to actually feel a little embarrassed. Everyone around her seemed sombre, hanging simple or meaningful lanterns for those they had lost; whereas she simply had one made to be pretty, with no memory attached to it. She had simply not been close to enough people to have lost any yet; as a Fae her family were expected to live for a long time, and she had never been one for many friends.

Still, she went to hang her lantern. Flying up, she chose a high branch as she felt it fit her lantern thematically; a light red six-pointed star with patterns of swirling lines and dots, neatly position around the whole piece. In her spare time she had painted the edges with some gold and made some bead strings to hang from it, small red, brown and gold wooden beads clacking against each other. When she flew back to look at it, she smiled at how beautiful it looked against the night sky, even if it was not as poignant as others.

Sitting on the branch above the crowd, she watched the humans hang their lanterns. What did it feel like, to be so full of sorrow? To have so many people lost to remember?
JIAO
Even if I'll end up in shatters
Baby it doesn't matter
Bastien De Rosieres
Guildmaster / Artist ☆ Artist's Sanctuary Guild
Age: 33 | Height: 6' 2" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander
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#10
BASTIEN
Bastien held the lantern he had made in his hands reverently; after all it was a memorial. He had worked late into a few nights working on it (and a few prototypes. He had not made a lantern before, and he needed to practice to be sure this would be perfect). As he walked into the woods he nodded at the people he knew - Remi, Ronin, Jigano, Deimos and begrudingly, Phoebe.

When he reached an appropriate branch he paused for a moment, eyes closed, wondering for one last time if this was a good idea. When he opened them again he reached up to hang the lantern.

It bore a star, with a smaller star cut out of it, a smaller glint of light in the large shape. The lantern itself was square and he had applied to it several washes of colour; sombre tones of blues and purples, but in the dark with the light inside they were beautiful. It was understated, yes, but he hoped the person it was for would appreciate it.

Well, it was for the child Rexanna had lost. But really, the gesture was for her. And as she approached him at the event, he would tell her so: "Cara, I hope this is not inappropriate of me. But this is for your child. The one you told me of before."
We're aware they're trying to take away our dreams
Adam Pikely
Ex-Highwayman
Age: 28 | Height: 6'3" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 15
COFFEE - Mythical - Dragon (Firebreathing)
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#11
ADAM
Adam was not by nature a creative person, nor someone openly sentimental.

But recently, he had found himself drifting back to thoughts of his father; maybe because it was sinking in he was going to be in Caido where the name Pikely meant nothing forever, maybe because he was having to face a lot of his demons without all the distractions of his old life. In the hopes of covering over the old wound, he had made a lantern.

It was a misshapen mess. Meant to be a circle, it had a dip in one side and a strange bloom in the other, a messily painted flower on the side; taken from his memory as his fathers favourite, a bush he had grown at the edge of his fields purely for the beauty of the flowers. White, with a blue gradient towards the centre and yellow stamen.

For the task of hanging it up he had asked Pet to come along. He had marketed it to him as a fun time at a festival, though really he just didn't want to feel alone when he was hanging it up. At least Pet was from his world - even know he was sure Pet had no idea who his father had been (he didn't ask, unsure if he could handle the answer) it still felt better, somehow.

Looking about to make sure not too many people would see this soft moment, he smiled weakly at Pet then hung it up, took a step back. "...I hope he knows about it, somehow, even though it's all the way over here." He said quietly, kicking the ground with his boot.
good evening, misadventure.
farewell morality.
it's time for another risky venture,
into the depths of depravity.
Please note Adam has 5 large scars across his neck and chin.
Kiada Njovu-Reyes
Mercenary
Age: 22 | Height: 5’7 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 17 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 13 - Luck: 8
AUNI - Regular - Luxere
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#12
maybe we exist to bleed // maybe we exist to burn
oh but who can say which?
If there’s one thing she wouldn’t miss, it’s this. And she had spent time with Amalia perfecting the lantern to the heart of her soul, with walls that looked like stone with the way the light within flickers, and the hues of a bronze color for decoration, a splattering of it for his lack of coordination and on the other side, swift beautiful foxes running and playing through the stony texture. He would have loved it if he could have seen it.

She smiles to herself as she looks to it, despite the faint hue to her face, the gauntness to her face, the clamminess and trembling within her hands as she holds the lantern. She wouldn’t have missed this for the world. It has almost been a year, and that year has been one of the hardest for the Harpy, a year of sorrow, of capture, of rising —

of falling.

But she had left a lantern in her home for him, the one thing Seiji had told her was custom for Caido. And it had never left when she put it up. Auni is there too, stepping quietly alongside her, his antlered head bumping into her leg before the glow of his antlers shine brightly upon the darker hues of her clothes. Deep down, the Luxere knows it’s his fault — had Kiada not been there saving him, she could have saved Ru’in. But that was the past and this was now. She was doomed to have it from the start.

She reaches up to place her lantern, biting her lip, tears brimming on her lower waterline. She pulls away from it, staring at the lantern for what feels like an eternity before she absentmindedly follows Auni to Deimos, where Kiada can’t help but to reach the Reaper at the same time, saying nothing aside from wrapping her trembling arms around him and burying her face into his chest.
KIADA
Melita Najya
☆ Monster Hunters Guild
Age: 18 | Height: 5'6" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
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FANGORN - Mythical - Vampire Gourd
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#13
MELITA
Her hands shook as they clasped her lanterns, but she wouldn’t be daunted, wouldn’t be led away, wouldn’t be swindled into anything but the heralds of darkness, eager to put out flames for those she considered friends and brethren. It was a harrowing world – her eyes flickered over to the other lanterns already taking their places, little lights searing and smoldering in the void, reminders of things they’d lost. Except…they felt it every day, didn’t they? They didn’t need a festival to recall their losses, the spread of demise, the open, wasted apertures along their chests and hearts. It was there in bestial moments, when the timing was off and one turned to gesture to the other – finding them no longer beside one another, empty tables, empty chairs. It was there in moments of bliss, yearning to proclaim reasons for excitement. It was there when they needed sagacity and wisdom in a rush of sudden ignorance, and no one to provide it, no one to comfort, no one to hold. It was there in the whispers, in the scrolls, of dreams and nightmares, either yearning not to wake up, afraid they’d leave, or dreading the next morning, knowing, understanding, there was no turning back.

She hung Emmett’s lantern amidst the others who’d come to do the same – charmed, a little, by the number he’d already accumulated – and then maneuvered further down, into pinnacles of shade and shadow, where some flames didn’t exist yet. In her spare time, she’d created two more: one, bright, beautiful, and orange, painted in vibrant hues and vined in flower designs, each one a particular favorite, and she only wished she knew a way to embody music and songs and dance and tunes into the features – for sweet, wondrous Clementine. The second was for her mother, adorned and fabricated with lush herbs, some she’d picked, recognized from lifetimes ago, tucked into the lilac hues, with some crimson sand for the Dragon’s Throat, with some bandages from the infirmary, with everything Melita thought the compassionate, kind woman had represented.

Then she took a step away from them, staring at their poignancy, at their haunting vessels, at what they meant and symbolized. They would never return. Fangorn nestled at her ankles, trying to snag her attention, away from the sorrows, away from the heartache; but this evening seemed especially designated for grieving. So she did – alone, just as she’d been when they were torn away from her.
You're all gonna watch me
Disappear into the sun
Peter Launceleyn
Thief / Assassin
Age: 26 | Height: 5’3” | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 2 - Strg: 8 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 6
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#14
PETER
Not for the first time, Peter was walking into something significant completely blind. Adam had asked him to come, and he had all but jumped at the chance to spend more time with the other man. Even if he wasn’t quite sure Adam was telling the whole truth about what the evening would entail.

His suspicions were confirmed when Peter noticed the lantern in Adams hands, saw the ones clutched by others. Even if he wasn’t familiar with the customs of Caido still, it didn’t take a genius to put things together. He absently wished he’d been told more, so he’d had time to prepare something of his own.

Peter stayed quiet as Adam hung his lantern, watching him with a quiet intensity. He didn’t return the smile, but he did lift a hand as the taller man stepped back, and raised a hand to rest on his arm. A reassurance, the most he could really offer. ”I think he... a-anyone, um... I think they know. They stay with you.” Offering a small smile then, Peter turned back to the tree, considering.

Stepping away from Adam, towards the tree, Peter held his hands up, close together, a lantern appearing between them. Blacked metal swirled around a cage of red tinted glass, an intricate, confusing knot. Edy has been nothing but confusing to him, but this was a gesture he felt he owed her.

Reaching up, he hung it, then pulled a second one into existence, this one made of a shining silver, an angular chain zigzagging from a hook to a dangling crown. The silvery caught the light of the other lanterns beautifully, the chain looking like it was sparking with electricity. Peter has no idea what had happened to Zariah, but in his experience, when someone left, they weren’t coming back.

The last one he made was far simpler, resembling a birds nest, suspended by silky ribbons. Adam had made him think, brought up memories he hadn’t returned to in too long. This wasn’t closure, but it still felt like something. That was enough. Peter borrowed a lift from Adam and lit them all at once, then stepped back to stand beside Adam, close enough their sides touched. He wasn’t sure it was the moment for anything more.
And oh, don’t you wanna love?
And don’t you wanna feel?
I remember, you were reckless, you were hungry
You were real
Peter is very heavily scarred, most noticeably on his hands



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