Hey guys! The festival is right around the corner, so we're giving everyone the details ahead of time so you can plot things out with one another. It's a lot so try not to be too overwhelmed (you can
» GENERAL INFO
All right guys, we know many of you are excited for one of our most popular events of the year and it's just around the corner. Before we go into the nitty gritty details, here are a few logistics for you to know:
- Schedule. The festival is on a 3:5 IC:OOC day ratio. That means ICly the festival is from 4/14-4/16, but OOCly it's 4/13-4/17.
- Opt-in. Participation is completely voluntary and it will be easy for anyone to come and go.
- Logging. There will be two main logs that everyone can participate in.
- Trackers. There will be a designated Emotion Tracker as well as another tracker related to the event. Both will utilize the survey form and be linked in the navigation and log posts.
» THE TRADITIONS
To help our new players, here is a basic rundown of what this festival is from a traditional standpoint! For the full discourse, refer to our Seasonal Events page. For something quick and easy to glance at we have a handy dandy bullet list here!
- New year. Surprise, the Empatheian calendar starts in Ena (April) as they're more of a seasonal calendar and the spring season seems like an auspicious time to start the year. They used to celebrate on the actual first, but the flowers don't really start to really bloom until the middle of the month, so they switched it.
- Three things to celebrate. The festival is a dedication to 1) the new year; 2) the new season; 3) love.
- Matchmaking origins. That's right, this festival used to be all about matchmaking and getting couples together, with marriage celebrated later in the summer. It's less so now.
- Flower King and Queen. Basically your standard beauty/prom contest. The voting happened prior to the festival this year, but the votes aren’t tallied up until the festival proper in order for those interested to experience the process and excitement of seeing who gets to be this year’s King and Queen.
- Tribute to Elios. Since two years ago, the festival is now dedicated to Elios. Which only makes sense of course!
So basically just a fun festival involving a lot of flowers, love, and cake. Can't forget the awesome sweets that come in every year. Traditionally the festival has been held in Verens, but we're doing something different this year.
» PARTYING DOWN IN ELIOS LAND
This year, the festival is being held in a location within Elios's down, which will be a surprise for the lovable Arehtei. Given the "international" nature of the world now and the fact that Elios represented the very emotions that are being celebrated, it only seemed fitting to try and continue to expand everyone's horizons by taking the festivities elsewhere. With Bucky and Usagi taking charge with the organization, they found a location within his lands that turns out was once known for its parties and festivals: Diateris. Although only its remains are left, the surrounding fields and valleys are already flourishing with new plant life. The emotions that will surely come from the festival will only improve it further. Perhaps festival goers will even see the changes actively occurring as the time goes on.
For a general idea of Elios's domain itself, it is in the northern region of the world. There are a lot of mountain ranges, hills, and valleys, some of which can be seen from Diateris, a location set in the southern part of the region. Although the area they will be in is flourishing, there are still clear signs of the negativity that still plagues it. Black ice and snow can be seen in the far mountain peaks, and one in particular looms far north. However, none of it will reach the festival grounds. In fact, the air is relatively clear and not much is needed to keep it safe. But although the skies directly above may be clear with actual blue skies, this beautiful patch is surrounded by the dark, red skies and black storm clouds that still cover most of the world.
There are also threats that will lurk outside that will need to be taken care of. Unless you guys want the festival to be completely ruined, I mean that's always an option— In any case, security detail will be just as important.
In terms of travel, a teleporter will be activated between the ruined city and the festival location. Guests can freely come and go via the teleporter or even take the option to spend the nights there on the grounds.
» SPECIAL PEBBLES
Every year festival goers are usually given something special to carry around while attending the festival. This year there will be a special pebble handed out for everyone to wear around their necks. Although it may look dull and plain now, it can change depending on the wearer's emotions. The more positive, the more beautiful. But the more negative, and it'll look more like a lump of coal.
- Forming bonds. Although not every time, the pebble will try to lead individuals toward each other via a pulsing vibration that will intensify the closer they get. Once together, the pair will have a strong, invisible bond and must participate in one or two activities before they will be released. It should also be noted that the attraction and compatibility is not strictly a romantic one. Platonic friendships are also fair game for these magical stones, so such pairings can also be formed.
- Reactions. If a friendly relationship is successfully forged, a small gem (such as an opal, sapphire, ruby, etc.) will form on the surface of the pebble. But if a relationship falls through due to ill feelings, then a part of the pebble will turn black and break off. To keep tracking simple, there can only be a max of ten (10) of each reaction. So although unlikely, it's possible to have 10 gems and 10 pieces of the pebble broken off.
- 1 reaction per person. You can only have 1 reaction type per bonded person, so remember that the reaction only happens at the end of the time spent. Even if it starts off bad, it could still turn into a gem. The opposite is also true.
- Gift to Elios. At the end of the festival, all pebbles will be turned in to be later transformed into a work of art as a tribute for Elios.
- Tracking. Because of this, we will want to keep track of everyone's pebbles! These pebbles along with the emotions gathered throughout the festival will be used to determine certain effects that will occur afterward. Further details are explained in the "Trackers" section.
Any lost or misplaced pebbles can be replaced, and it's also possible for those to not participate at all. It also will not matter what state the pebble is in—all will be taken as a reminder that while there should be lots of love, hatred and dislike is still part of harmony and balance. After all, even colorful mosaics have chips of black to help balance out the picture.
TL;DR your character will have a rock that will try to play relationship maker so it can either be bedazzled or turn into a lump of coal and then later given to the fire bird.
» FLOWER VIEWING
Although not as bountiful as Empatheias, there are plenty of beautiful flowers that are blooming in the area. As the days go by and more positive emotions are soaked into the land, more flowers and plant life will noticeably flourish. But everyone's not down there just to watch the flowers—there are fun activities, too!
Although we won't go into full detail here, we can at least give you a general idea of what to expect.
- Picnic Area. Our designated general mingling area, we're adding a kind of "randomized" twist to it. Basically you'll choose between 1-5 and that's the area where your character(s) will be sitting. In addition, there is a special basket with delectable emotion influencing treats.
- Flower Crown Weaving. Can't have a flower festival without flower crowns. The big thing to note is that these crowns will have a tendency to hook with one another. Basically, this year's version of the hand cuffs. Have fun with that.
- Flower Arrangement Contest. Characters will have an opportunity to arrange flowers to evoke certain emotions from the audience. But like with everything in this world, those emotions will have certain effects, so hopefully it's all positive.
- A Peaceful(?) Stroll. There is a small wooded area that can be explored and walked through, perfect for couples to get some romantic ambiance going. It's too bad that there are some rogue topiary wandering around to ruin it. (Yes, said topiary is from the task board.)
- Night View. There is the option to actually spend the night on the festival grounds and tents are provided. So you can have a fun camping experience or a small, romantic getaway.
Nothing too hectic in this section since it's supposed to be more for relaxing and general mingling. For that, you'll want to head to the main festival grounds. A note that a few of these activities can carry over into the main activities, such as the flower crowns.
» MAIN FESTIVITIES
There's a lot to do during the festival, so we're going ahead and explaining at least most of what will be available. From fun food activities, to general games, to special attractions, to help warding off danger—there should be something for almost everyone.
» FOOD. Of course there are other food stalls and activities outside of the general picnic area. Some will find familiar favorites, but there are a couple of new ones as well.
- Cake Feeding. All sorts of cakes are available to taste test throughout the festival but there are certain kinds that can only be had if you have a partner for cake feeding. Looks like you’re gonna need a partner to get to taste some of the most elaborate and creative kinds of cakes since the most elaborate and scrumptious cakes have been sectioned off for this particular activity.
- Sugar Crystal Growth & Sculpting. A new addition this year to the festival, this event is based around cooperation. The goal is to create a sculpture from sugar crystals grown by each participant but there are going to be a few catches.
- Chocolate Egg Hunt. Mini chocolate eggs have been hidden throughout the festival grounds, but you’re going to have to fight for them against cute, pesty, but endangered birds. They’re really determined to hatch these eggs. Good luck!
» MUSIC & DANCE. Can't have a festival without some music and dancing! There’s a myriad of styles represented but it seems this time things a little spicier are more prevalent, perhaps due to the location? Salsa dancing seems to be ESPECIALLY popular, and there are even NPCs that will be stationed throughout dance areas to give brief lessons for those who are not more acquainted with less formal dances.
- Ena Trees. Based off the European "Maypole" tradition, for those unfamiliar, it's a tradition where a pole is erected and a group of individuals take the ends of long streamers, ribbon, or garland and dance around it in a circle. The end result is a beautifully wrapped pole. Several of these will be the open parks and people can either join in willingly or dragged in by exuberant participants. The Ena Trees will have long, garlands of flowers, all of which will shimmer and glow various colors reflecting the lighthearted atmosphere.
- Vocal Duet Competitions. Using a local with special “matchmaking” senses, participants can be blindly paired and they can either find they sing in perfect harmony with each other, or find their voices are completely incompatible and wind up having to walk off the stage embarrassed. Think similar to Karaoke, but outside and only for pairs!
- Dance For Seasons. DANCE BATTLE!! Two themed sides will be locked in a battle
TO THE DEATHto see who can create the biggest “storm” possible. Don’t worry though, these effects will be pleasant. You will be able to pick from a decorative candy snowstorm or a perfume enhanced flower rain.
» GAMES & ACTIVITIES. We have the traditional game booths, but there are also a few unique ones that are a bit more Elios in theme.
- Watery Duck Hunt. A large booth has been set up with a huge pool full of multicolored elios shaped plastic birds. (think bathtub ducks, for reference). There are hundreds of pairs of birds in this pool with matching flowers and feathers drawn on their undersides. The prizes will vary of course...
- Scavenger Hunt. This will be an excuse to get people to explore the new location the festival is in! A great chance to learn something interesting, perhaps even something important? It will last throughout the festivities and teams who finish will be able to claim a small trophy and certificate of completion. There might even be a small monetary prize too.
- Fire Ring Toss. Think ring toss but WITH SPECIAL NON BURNING FIRE in different colors. It’s going to get exciting, especially when all these different colors of flames start mixing together.
» SPECIAL ATTRACTIONS. These are the more involved “big” attractions during the festival and often involve a lot more excitement than the usual fare. We have a good selection for you this year!
- Return of The Garden Maze 3. The maze returns! It’s always been popular so there’s no way we wouldn’t include it this year.
- Aitvaiali Racing. Kinda like go-carts, kinda not. Since it’s the characters that are going to be the ones doing the footwork. This will be a paired event, where the rider will guide the runner through a course setup by the festival. You can compete against other player pairs or assumed NPCS!
- High Tea Bonding. So if you like the fancy shmancy sort of thing, this might be fore you. It also might attract those who are feeling romantic, but of course there’s always the option of going stag and winding up paired by the waitstaff.
- Elios Croquet. We like Alice in Wonderland too, and this is really reminicent of it. Emotions will be key here, of course! Eliose themed mallets are a must.
- Elios Boats. Think like swan boats, but there’s a twist, love and hate may well help you fly or sink, if you know what we mean.
» SECURITY. A new option this year for those sticks in the mud who wouldn’t participate in the festival but also because it’s something that will be needed. Expect things like patrolling for monsters that might infiltrate the celebration, or generally just getting participants to the festival grounds!
» FLOWER KING AND QUEEN
As mentioned in the Mod Announcement, there is a contest being held to choose the festival's Flower King and Queen. Voting submissions have already begun, but it's not too late to throw your hat (or someone else's) into the ring and cast votes.
Because the voting initially went up before applications, we encourage everyone to go back and check for new submissions.
Voting will go on until Friday, April 14th and the winners will be announced the following Saturday. Logging wise, we will have a designated subthread for general spectatorship of the votes and submissions posted at the start of the festival. Saturday we will create a subthread within it for the winning pair.
» BACK IN VERENS
While we will not have a designated log for it, we do have a few notes to give for those who may opt out of the festival to notice while they hang back. Nothing too crazy, but enough for folks to play around with if they so choose.
- Love is in the air. Literally. It's as if all the love from down below managed to make its way back onto the island. But there are little pink, heart shaped bubbles that are just floating all through the city. When they pop, they release a pleasant cherry and strawberry aroma that just makes anyone in the immediate vicinity feel happier and nicer.
- Flower trails. Doesn't matter if you're actually feeling positive or not, prepare to have a trail of flowers blooming after every footstep—including indoors! They're also persistent, not disappearing until several minutes afterward.
- Flowers everywhere. Not only are all the flowers blooming during this time (pity those with allergies), but they are also starting to pop out of the top of houses, windows, and doors. Verens is starting to turn into a flower village.
These effects will also last a couple of days afterward, with some tweaks depending on how the trackers go.
To further explain the trackers, both will actually influence subsequent "events" that will occur after the festival. Not right away, but some time after the festival. This will also include potential after effects within Verens itself, such as those mentioned above and more.
- Emotion Tracker. The Emotion Tracker survey will be the standard ET survey, so no real changes there. But it will be tracked on a separate sheet so that things won't get mixed up.
- Pebble Tracker. Both the amount and state of the pebbles will be important in determining how Elios's gift will turn out—as well as how he will react when he receives it. This will have its own unique survey and the data will be displayed on the same sheet for the festival ET.
- 1 submission per pebble. We doubt there will be many who do this, but here are the instructions just in case. Since it is possible to have more than one, you fill the survey once for each pebble. So if you have two pebbles, you do a submission for each pebble.
- Max of 10 reactions per pebble. As a reminder, only a max of ten (10) gems or pieces can be formed or broken off per pebble. So if you need to do some handwaving, that's totally fine, just keep it reasonable. Remember, 10 reactions mean 10 different people to have bonded with.
- Editable forms. If you wish to update your submission, DO NOT submit the form again. Upon submitting the first time, there will be a confirmation page that also has a link to edit your response. Click on it and save the link. It is your own unique link and you can use it at any time to edit your submission.
The results won't be a straightforward "if it swings this way such and such will occur." Kind of pointless since we all know this festival will be overwhelmingly positive. So the results will be a bit more intricate than that, with various trigger points and threshold levels. As to what exactly will happen—well that's for us to know and for you guys to find out. At least nothing that will lead to anything catastrophic.
» WHERE'S ELIOS?
One would think the bird himself would actually be around, but although he will see the festival, he strangely won't be. Although this is in part due to OOC reasons, there's a very big IC reason for his lack of participation. What that reason is, however, will be left to the interested and determined to find out.
We are holding a thread lottery to allow up to 5 people to try and reach out to Elios telepathically (physically is not an option). Due to the nature of the situation, only those aligned to him and stubborn and persistent enough will make contact. The conversations may be long or short, depending on how things go, but each person will get something unique and useful from the conversation. To sign up, comment here.
This leads to us giving a not so subtle hint that the visit to Elios's lands is not over once the festival ends. Plans for follow-up adventures will be laid and organized afterward, but not right at this moment as the focus is going to remain on the festival itself, and those trackers may come into play. But this is just a heads up for those who may be interested to keep in mind.
PHEW. That should be everything. We know it's a lot, as this festival usually is one of our more robust ones. If you have any questions, please comment here!