The longest, warmest days of summer have passed now and a slight crispness in the air, combined with the scent of hearth-smoke, hints at the coming of autumn. Throughout Varisia, and, indeed, much of the northern continent, preparations are joyfully made for each local version of the Swallowtail Festival which will herald the beginning of harvest season.
The Swallowtail Festival belongs to no particular deity and to all, but it is most closely associated with the goddess Desna, because the celebration honors of the migration of the swallowtail butterflies. This is a day of food and fun with a festival that takes on the peculiar characteristics and idiosyncracies of each township that recognizes this day.
In the quaint seaside town of Sandpoint, the atmosphere of this year’s festival is exceptionally jubilant, as if the local population had something special to celebrate, and indeed they do. The magnificent Sandpoint Cathedral will be consecrated at sundown. This structure is the culmination of 5 years of labor and angst and is one of the notable holy shrines in all of Golarion. Smiles amongst the Sandpoint celebrants will be easy and laughter quick on this day, as this ceremony will close the final chapter on some recent difficult times for the fledgling town.
The Swallowtail Festival in Sandpoint is marked by a seemingly endless stream of sumptuous dishes featuring local seafood and game. Children run giddily through the town square unfurling colorful ribbons and streamers with fingers sticky from too many sweets. When the adults of the town aren’t stuffing themselves full of epicurian masterpieces (or washing them down with the local brew), they manage to get in several rounds of Hook and Trap, a local lawn sport. By tradition, drinks and food are free for all on this day and guests to the town are ‘honored’ with multiple ribbon necklaces and many toasts/drinking challenges.
It is here that our soon-to-be-heroes find themselves on the first day of the month of Rova…