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[Lore] Celestial Vigil



Paper's notes: Yay! It's Summmerrrrr... which means on Eyre it's time for the Celestial Vigil. The big summer event I've been hyping mostly revolves around this event and the festivals held to celebrate it. If you'd like, please read below for an introduction to what the Celestial Vigil is. I included a brief at the beginning for people to catch the most important parts, since the following text wall might be a big bite to chew on. Also pardon the messy pixel sketch, I've been so all over the place I couldn't make anything fancier. x3;; Right then! On to the good stuff!

[Quick Breakdown]

Celestial Vigil is a 1-2 week event that happens every year on Eyre where people get all crazy for fireworks and parties.

Things of significance:

*The moon (her name is Ul’uien “Ool-we-en”) falls out of the sky at the end of the Vigil and sleeps for the winter (which weakens the barrier between Eyre and Dusk and causes the level of miasma and daeva to spike). Most people spend the duration of the Vigil at festivals or other celebrations.

*Lots of stars fall during this period and actually show up on Eyre as little will-o-wisp dealies around festivals. They are considered good luck and protection against bad spirits so people try to attract them with lanterns and games and the like. The wisps disappear after the moonfall.

*So basically the Celestial Vigil is a period of time where you would expect to see people partying, laughing, drinking, etc. There are festivals and fairs in every city where people hang lanterns, open extravagant food and game stalls, and throw firework shows almost every night. It’s kinda nuts really.

*The Starfall Faire mentioned at the end of the introduction is the actual IC current location of the summer event. It's one of the largest festivals held each year and is run primarily by elnins! This year the Starfall Faire is being held in one of the big cities found at the base of Yggdrasil.

[Celestial Vigil - An Introduction for Elseworlders by Pathfinder Mielle]

On Eyre, the yearly summer solstice marks the beginning of what we call the “Celestial Vigil”. This tradition began very near to the time of Eyre’s creation, and at its core it has endured the passage of centuries mostly unchanged. In fact the Celestial Vigil has only grown more ingrained into the customs of Eyre’s various cultures and people over the ages, becoming one of very few traditions shared across the full spectrum of Eyre’s inhabitants (even the normally capricious Spiritkin observe the Celestial Vigil in their own ways).

But what is it exactly? Explaining the Celestial Vigil to an elseworlder can sometimes be a little bit difficult, because the event revolves around the Eternal Spirits that hold our world together (which in itself is already a complex situation to describe!). One of these Eternals, arguably the most important one really, rests in our sky as a silver moon, softly glowing as she watches over us. She is called Ul’uien, Silver Maiden, The Mother, La Lune (an elseworld name that managed to stick) or any number of similar epithets. This silver orb is in direct contrast to the much larger form of the planet called Dusk that looms further away like an ominous shadow.

While she is in the sky, Ul’uien suppresses much of Dusk’s influence on Eyre. This is why many people worship the Silver Maiden, and why her temples are the most prevalent across most major cities. When the Celestial Vigil begins, it means that Ul’uien will soon fall from her perch in the sky to begin her yearly terrestrial slumber.

Ah - This is where people generally require more explanation. As you might imagine, the idea of a moon falling out of the sky is hard to come to terms with for most elseworlders. But, on Eyre, it happens every year. It isn’t like a giant rock plummets in a roaring blaze out of the heavens, mind you. More like, the moon just kind of floats down, diminishing in size and, if you look really hard or else use some sort of viewing apparatus, even appears to take the shape of a falling woman. Interestingly enough, the race of Ul’uien’s form is entirely dependent on the race of the viewer (elnins are especially insistent that Ul’uien is an elnin, and display her descension form exclusively in their image).

The exact location of Ul’uien’s slumber varies each time, but it is usually well into the farther reaches of The Boundless, where only pirates or otherwise foolish seafarers travel. There are some tales about years where Ul’uien came to rest within the Manawell or even within the Fey Verge (if you can believe such a thing!), but there are no reports of this happening in recent history.

The descent itself is a captivating sight, and can be viewed from almost all of Eyre. The final night of the Vigil is often celebrated in quiet reflection as we observe Ul’uien in her descent, and just about everyone will stop to watch for at least a short time. It’s almost involuntary at this point in our history. People often talk about how they turn their heads toward the spectacle automatically even if they can’t actually see it.

In most people, seeing Ul’uien’s descent invokes a strong emotion. It’s different from person to person, some saying it makes them feel a poignant nostalgia, others feel elation, while some people say they feel fear or dread. Most cases are positive, but there is always a little bit of shared apprehension after the vigil is complete. For once Ul’uien is slumbering, her warding against Dusk’s corruption will weaken, thus heralding the start of the dark and perilous seasons of fall and winter where the Overwilds slowly fill with miasma, causing all sorts of trouble for Eyre’s people.

All of that serious business aside, the Celestial Vigil is probably one of the most cheerful and spirited parts of the year. Many extravagant festivals are held in Ul’uien’s honor, and since everyone knows that this will be the last hurrah before the hard work starts, most people are inclined to putting their full efforts into partying as hard as they can.

Festivals and fairs often feature nightly firework displays. There is a story about the origin of this tradition that talks about a man who fell in love with the moon, and would set off dazzling displays of fireworks to try and guide her to him.

The other thing that happens during the Vigil is an intermittent starfall that continues until the final night where the entire sky will be full of a shower of falling lights that signals the start of Ul’uien’s descent. I was told by an elseworlder once that it reminded him of a prolonged and staggered meteor shower. The stars that fall out of the sky don’t disappear however, they show up at the festivals as fey lights (or will-o-wisps, faerie fire, ghost lights, or any of their other common names). These little puffs of softly glowing flame appear abundantly during the Vigil and disappear shortly after. It is said that they are vestiges of Ul’uien’s grace, and the more that appear during the Vigil, the more protection we are left with while the moon is out of the sky. The wisps are also considered good luck in general and tend to congregate in areas where festivities are happening, which further prompts people to engage in as much frivolity as possible in hopes of seeing as many as possible.

Once the final night of the Vigil is over, all Eyresians shift gears to prepare for winter, so until then, be sure to have as much fun as possible! Enjoy the fireworks, eat lots of food, and don’t forget to attend this year’s Starfall Faire!

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kee-ari's avatar
This is JUST AMAZING ^u^