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Author Topic: The Salsair Festival of the Horse  (Read 15995 times)
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« on: 16 July 2007, 14:49:33 »

Overview:  Salsair holds one of the greatest festivals in all of Santharia, the Festival of the Horse.  As it is not a religious festival, it attracts people of many different backgrounds, and races.  For one week every fifth summer, Salsair becomes the center of one of the largest peaceful gatherings of diverse peoples in the entire world.

Location:   Salsair, in the province of Vardynn.  The festival grounds proper are located just outside the city.  Days in advance, tents and stands are set up by vendors, merchants and performers.  A large oval racing ring was built to accommodate the races, and this is the only permanent structure here, complete with large stands of seats.  The area in the center of this oval is where some of the other events are held, in a fighting ring, and there is a stage here for the Grande Pageant.   Around this area, a veritable nomadic settlement springs up every five years, where everyone lives during the festival.

Time: The second week of the Burning Heavens.

Event:  A week long festival, where the Horse is placed front and center.  It was primarily a Centoraurian festival that has grown through the years, to where it draws people from all over the continent.

History:   Most of the events that are used in competition here were all skills that the ancient horse warriors excelled at.  Where individual warriors would compete to see who was the best, now they are used to entertain the large crowds.  People travel far and wide to attend these games, and they are a status symbol to the elite of Santharia.

1392: Raevalem starts the Festival as a competition between warriors.  Lasting 2 days, it includes Horse Racing, Jousting, and Battle of the Sword, as well as both types of archery.

1427:  Money is now given as prize incentive.

1437:  Chariot races are added, and a racing oval is built.

1492: Wagon Pull is added to the events

1497: Smith Forge becomes popular, drawing dwarves into the festival

1537: Warrior Battle is added, as warriors from all over Santharia begin to come to the festival.  It is expanded to 4 days, to accommodate all the new competitors.  King Aculim publicly sanctions this festival.

1547: Cook-off is added, as women make their contribution to the festival, which has become more of a full family affair.  A fifth day of activities is now added.

1612: Hawking becomes an event, adding to the family entertainment

1637: Horse Breaking is added.  This is introduced by the northern Remusian tribes, and there is some outrage against it from the Centoraurians who view it as cruel.

1647: The Grande Pageant becomes the closing venue for each night.  Braelachim the Magnificent creates this new feature and stars in it, amazing audiences with his feats of derring do.

1662: Wison Breaking is seen for the first time, as Ice Tribe warriors have come for the first time.

1667:  Aj Racing, from the Shendar tribes, is used as a demonstration event.  No prize money will be awarded, but if proven popular, will return the next year as a real event.

Famous People Associated with the Festival:   

Raevalem:  He created the games, and it started as a two day event where the best of the Centoraurian horsemen gathered to see who was the best. 

King Aculim:  He saw the possibilities of this kind of competition and publicly sanctioned it, thereby increasing the popularity of it, and saving it from obscurity.

Braelachim the Magnificent:  Brought a festival quality to the competition, and became a famous entertainer who delighted audience each year until his death at the event, when he fell from a high wire.  His son, Braelachim the Younger, replaced him after his death in 1652.

Events:
Horse Race:  A straight forward rider and horse combination that shows off the skill of the rider and the speed of the horse. When it began, this race was a straight race from where the festival grounds stood over a required length.   After 1437, it becomes a race around a long oval.  It would not be until 1462 before a non Centoraurian horse and rider would win this event.  In that year, an Azhorhrian horse and rider won the event.

Wagon Pull:  A race where a team of horses pulls a wagon combined with a strength event where a wagon laden with barrels of water needs to be pulled a certain distance.   Each year it is won by teams of either Sarvonian Draught Horses, or the Kev'lor horse.

Chariot Race:  A fast and exciting event, where teams of horses pull a chariot around the racing oval.

Horse Breaking:  A wild horse is ridden by a warrior and it is timed.  Those who can subdue their mount the quickest are considered the winner.  The majority of the winners have been Remusian.  Very few Centoraurians enter this event, as they deem it cruel to the horses.  In all, it is considered one of the more barbaric events, and looked down on by most of the Centoraurians.  However, many other people find this one of the more exciting events.  It has proven to be a very hotly debated event, and very decisive.

Wison Breaking:  The same as horse breaking, but wild wison are used.  This is strictly a timed event, as no one would be able to subdue their mount.  Whomever stays on the back of their beast the longest is considered the winner.  The Ice Tribes introduced this event in 1662, and with few exceptions, they have been the only participants.  Considered by many to be a gimmick more than a real event, it does not yet hold the same prestige as other events.

Cook-off:  A festival favorite, where great cooks battle it out to see who has the tastiest recipes.  This event is done daily with each day representing a new dish:  pork one day, dessert another day, etc.  This happens outside the oval, in a large pavilion tent that is in the heart of the festival grounds.  Judges are gathered from various areas of the kingdom to taste each of the dishes prepared.  For the first time, in 1662, Dame Sausade was one of the judges.  She has come a long way from the winner of this event in 1652.

Smith Forge:  Smiths come from far and wide to create the best masterpieces.  Like the cook-off, each day is a new item:  best horseshoes, best sword, etc.  A dwarven favorite.  Like the cook-off as well, it is held in the festival grounds, where a special area is set up with multiple forges.  It is a large draw.  Since its inaugural year in 1497, the dwarves have won each year, but for one.  In 1547, a Centoraurian smith won it, though it was a hotly contested outcome.  The dwarves almost boycotted the event the next year, but after much negotiation, were talked into returning. The current winner also won this event back in 1512, and has won it 12 times since, including a 15 year stretch from 1632-1637.

Archery:  Archery skills are spotlighted.  It is split into riding and non-riding parts.  Currently, this is one event where the competitor's scores are added together from the archery and mounted archery events, but at the behest of the elves, it will be split into two events in the coming years.  The elves have mastered the archery competition, but have complained that they were unfairly penalized in the mounted events.

Jousting:  A horse, a warrior, and a lance.  May the best rider win.  This was the event that started the festival.  It is still considered the regal event.  The winner here receives more accolades than any other event winner. In recent years, the Kuglimz have been dominating this event.  Their big, powerful Kev’lor horses have just been too much for the finely built Centoraurian horses to master.  Beginning at the next festival, in 1672, there will be two categories, a light horse joust, and a heavy horse joust.

Battle of the Sword:  Sword fighting is highlighted, where individuals battle until one calls for quarter, or is fairly beaten.  Although one of the oldest events, it is the antithesis of the joust.  It is considered somewhat of a brutish event, and the winners here receive little in the way of accolades.  As a side note, a half-orc, named Auguyst Palfenohr won this event in 1642.  It was the first and only time a half-orc has participated in the festival.

Warrior Battle:  The same as the Battle of the Sword, but any weapon may be entered.  Again, this event is considered a poor man’s event and not regarded highly.  As with the Battle of the Sword, this event was won by the half-orc Auguyst Palfenohr in 1642.

Hawking:  A test of skill between the bird and the trainer.  Held at the festival grounds with the Forging and Cook-off events.  Competitors are judged on the beauty of their birds, and the degree of training of the birds.  The birds themselves are scored when they are set loose on taenish, as their accuracy and speed are judged.

Aj Racing:  A new event in 1667, it has yet to be proven.  It has been incorporated in an attempt to make the Shendar People feel more welcome to the Festival.

The Grande Pageant:  A nightly closing of the days competition, which includes singers, dancers, acrobats, mages, jesters, bards and a fireworks display.  A crowd favorite and a prestigious event for the performers involved.   Taking place within the oval, it begins right after the day’s last event, usually around sundown.  A typical Grande Pageant would look something like this:

An opening orchestral song, with a rousing chorus singing.  Designed to get everyone involved in what is to come.

A Master of the Festival addresses the crowd, welcoming everyone to the festival.

Another song or two with the chorus, as well as dancers performing.

Acrobats take the stage.  Braelachim the Younger is featured, performing his high wire antics for the crowd’s amazement.  His specialty is his mastery of two long lengths of cloth that hang from ropes strung high overhead.  He performs feats of strength and dexterity while winding himself up the rope, then he unwinds himself in a flurry of movement that brings him down the lengths, leaving the crowd gasping as they think he is about to fall.  At times, his sister, Laylinida, joins him and the two are entwined as they perform.

Another song and dance.

A bard is featured, who sings and tells wondrous yarns of derring do.  Some of his tales are adventurous, while some are farcical.  It definitely keeps the younger members of the crowd entertained.

Jesters perform, giving the crowd some fun and laughs.  Again, the children are the main targets of this show.  Sometimes candy is tossed to those children closest to the stage.

More song and dance

Mages perform wonders of magic, which ends with the evening’s climax, a fireworks display, featuring mages from the Tower of Fire performing an amazing display of the Sparkling Stream spell.  The night sky is lit to where one might think it midday.




As well, while the contests are held during the day, entertainers perform for the crowd all day long, by those not famous enough to be featured in the Grande Pageant.  Merchants hawk their wares, exotic animals are displayed, vendors prepare quick meals, and games of chance can be found almost everywhere. A showcase of the many tribes is presented.  As well, it is a favorite festival for the notorious Black Butterfly Rovers.  It is here that livestock shows are held, where little money is won, but traders and breeders can make a name for themselves.  Pig races are held at the tilting field when there are no jousting events.  This is always a crowd favorite.  For the children, there are rides on Sarvonian Draught Ponies.

Effect on Salsair:  During the course of the week long festival, the population of Salsair can be almost double.  It is a period of boon to the city.  Inns are always booked solid, at greatly inflated prices compared to the rest of the year, and all manner of wares can be found.  This huge influx of visitors greatly affects the economy.  Though the price of everything goes up considerably, the locals usually have made arrangements with their local merchants to get products at the rate available the rest of the year.  Extra soldiers are brought in from neighboring cities, to help keep the peace, though there have never been any major disturbances associated with the festival.  Petty crimes are increased, but that is to be expected with the gathering of that many people.


This is a page from a guide book from this year’s festival.  It has the entire day’s itinerary.   (To view it properly, use the claws to make the screen as wide as possible.   Thanks to Khel for helping get this fixed.)
Time
1st Hour of Daybreak (Firstflame)
1st Hour of Daybreak (Firstflame)
2nd Hour of Daybreak
2nd hour of Daybreak
3rd Hour of Daybreak
1st Hour of Sunblaze (Lightthrive)
1st Hour of Sunblaze (Lightthrive)
2nd Hour of Sunblaze
3rd Hour of Sunblaze (Sunreign)
3rd Hour of Sunblaze (Sunreign)
4th Hour of Sunblaze
4th Hour of Sunblaze
5th Hour of Sunblaze
5th Hour of Sunblaze
6th Hour of Sunblaze
6th Hour of Sunblaze
1st Hour of Daywane (Sundrown)
1st Hour of Daywane (Sundrown)
2nd Hour of Daywane
2nd Hour of Daywane
3rd Hour of Daywane (Lastflame)
Event
Hawking
Livestock Show
Horse Breaking
Archery
Tribal Custom Display
Wison Breaking
Cook-Off
Horse Races
Battle of the Sword
Mounted Archery
Warrior Battle
Smith Forge
Jousting
Aj Racing
Pony Rides
Wagon Pull
Horse Talking
Pig Races
Stunt Riding
Chariot Races
Grande Pageant
Location
Ring
Stables
Ring
Tilting Field
Stage
Ring
Pavilion
Oval
Ring
Tilting Field
Ring
Forge Pavilion
Tilting Field
Oval
Ring
Tilting Field
Ring
Tilting Field
Ring
Oval
Stage

« Last Edit: 27 October 2007, 23:23:03 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #1 on: 16 July 2007, 14:56:08 »

This is my latest brainchild.  I am posting my first few thoughts down and inviting comments early.  As well, I invite anyone who wishes to grab an event or a biography and expand on it if you so wish. 

Let me know if Salsair is not appropriate for this venue.  I looked it up, and could find no reason NOT to hold it there, but, I miss things all the time. cool

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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #2 on: 24 July 2007, 08:44:36 »

I will be concentrating on this for the next while, so comments are welcomed grin

Uhm..i moved it here, as I think it is better suited for this forum..hopefully this is the right one... Kor'och knows Drasil catches me on this everytime, lol
« Last Edit: 24 July 2007, 09:00:20 by Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin » Logged

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #3 on: 25 July 2007, 03:26:49 »

A note on the placement of this entry: This is an example of what would go into the Miscellaneous section under "Culture & Customs". The "People" section deals with single persons or groups - a festival doesn't mean an entry on these people however, but on the event. And this is a custom that is part of the culture (see e.g. Taug Rik'tyan Feast, Day of Avis, things like that, the Armerenda would also be an entry for this section):
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Miraran Tehuriden
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« Reply #4 on: 25 July 2007, 03:33:17 »

My eyes spotted the word 'fireworks' in your Grand Closing event.. while i have no clue to what degree ASantharian fireworks are developed, you could enlist a few Mages to perform the Sparkling Stream spell
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« Reply #5 on: 25 July 2007, 03:35:31 »

Thank you Mira, that would be most helpful...I knew what I wanted, but haven't found all the right way to phrase them yet.  I will go read up that entry post haste.
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« Reply #6 on: 25 July 2007, 03:38:42 »

Oh, you're welcome.. i LOVE having legitimate ways to make other people read my entries :P
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #7 on: 25 July 2007, 08:21:25 »

oh, Mira that is a GREAT spell... It is exactly what I was looking for, thank you.  That shall definitely be the finale each night in the Grande Pageant.  You have any mages in your bag of tricks that would fit the criteria for visiting Salsair and making this part of the festival so grand?
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Miraran Tehuriden
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« Reply #8 on: 26 July 2007, 00:15:37 »

unfortunately no specific names, but i know that the Tower of Fire hires out mages, so it would probably just be a matter of contracting them.
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« Reply #9 on: 28 July 2007, 02:38:40 »

ok, I think I'm ready to throw this to the wolves...er, experts for a critique

 evil
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« Reply #10 on: 28 July 2007, 02:40:33 »

Well some people around here have animalistic nature...*stares at Mira*
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« Reply #11 on: 28 July 2007, 03:20:09 »

Quote
but i know that the Tower of Fire hires out mages
They do?   huh
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #12 on: 29 July 2007, 12:40:23 »

Still, even if the Tower of Fire does not officially hire out mages, a major draw like the Salsair Festival would bring some out, wouldn't you think? 
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #13 on: 29 July 2007, 13:24:05 »

Salsair Fairgrounds

This is a link to a pic to help visualise the fairgrounds.  Artistic merit notwithstanding. rolleyes
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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #14 on: 30 July 2007, 01:49:41 »

Altario!

A wonderful festival---but the Centaurians wouldn't BREAK horses!

They "talk" to them and tame them based on training methods like those of Monty Roberts, a real life horse gentler who uses the natural body language of the horse and its herd instincts to "tame" it.  He can have a completely wild horse (never been ridden) accepting the bridle, saddle and a rider in about 30 minutes using this method.  He gets the horse to "ask" him to join up, simply with his body language and a soft rope. 

Of course this can still be an event, but done this way it would be amazing too, wouldn't it?  This is called "Centaurian Horse-Talking" (although the Kuglimz do it too, they are less well known in Southern Sarvonia)  and think I've referred to it before in passing.

And, oh, they could also do stunt riding--I've seen spectacular stunt riding by the performers of Cavalia (look it up, it's worth it!) both horse and human working together and clearly in a relation of partnership rather than dominance and submission.

I completely love this idea and will try to help with more comments when you've had some time to flesh it out a bit more. 

Alysse
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