Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – The Festival of Masks

   Here we have another player contribution (with some fairly trivial editing) to the Star Wars setting – in this case, an upcoming event on his home world that he hopes to use to allow a quick visit home, despite the common belief that he’s a Sith…

   It occurs to me that the Festival of Masks back in Crevasse City is about to come up. Provided we finish with the Sith base in time, it would make the perfect cover for trying to sneak onto Alderaan. We could load the Nightraptor with a big selection of alcohol from Archegeph and try to get in as a vendor. If I used a mask, some hair dye, and some plain clothing, I would probably be able to walk the streets unnoticed. Especially since my hair has grown out some over the last eight months. I am sure the Glithes would be most displeased that their festival would allow me to sneak back into the city. Dorothy’s parents have never really liked me anyway. I will admit, it would be a major scandal if I was caught.

   Heh, this has me thinking of some of the previous festivals. Each year we would sneak off at night to see what the adults got up to, and when we got old enough, tried to pass ourselves off as adults. Dorothy was good about being able to find ways to sneak us in. I suspect it was the fact her parents were the head organizers. Inevitably some of us would get caught though. Mother would get so furious over us sneaking out like that.

   This was supposed to be the year all of us could legally attend the evening portion of the festivities. Nichel was finally officially adult, and therefore was legal to do everything – not that something so trivial ever stopped us. Officer Larson was continually be on the hunt for us, it got to be a tradition of hide and seek. Last year I had dyed my hair black while Nichel bleached his hair as white as he could. Larson tried to catch Nichel for being too young to be there at that hour, but only caught me. Now admittedly I was not old enough for that drink in my hand at the time, but Larson was too distracted to check that. Nichel and I apparently looked enough alike that Mother was thrown for a loop when she saw us that morning.

   The games were fun, although they always seemed to be either far too easy or way too hard. The contests were another matter though. Those were always fun to watch and participate in even if I couldn’t win most of the time. I remember the allegations the one year that someone was trying to cheat using Force powers. I don’t recall whatever came of that other than a major investigation resulted.

   Another fun activity we would engage in was trying to catch a glowbug of every color we could find. We would put them in jars and keep them in our rooms until they popped. The resulting color pattern on the jar was always unique and would glow when a black light was inserted inside. Each of us now have fifteen of those jars stashed away, unless someone’s lost some or mother threw mine out while I’ve been away. Arguments would break out each year between us on what constituted a different color. I think it was eight years ago when all the glowbugs in Sabrina’s jar decided to pop within a four second timeframe in the early morning hours. Scared the hell out of her, and the rest of us couldn’t stop laughing for a week afterwards.

   At first we purchased masks from one of the stalls around town, but over the years we began to make our own. It was amazing how creative some of the others could get with making their masks. Mine typically looked like it was done by a small child, while Nichel’s looked like it was professionally done. Guessing who each other was at the festival was almost always easy, we knew each other too well for something like that to fool us for long.

   Costumes were another matter. While not really required as part of the theme of the festival, a significant portion of the participants dress up each year. None of us were any good with fabric, so we all typically bought something from one of the tailors around town. Some of them could get quite elaborate, including the designs of artist Aaroneirro Arullie. His would be these long flowing designs that could change color depending on lighting and mood. Very cool I must admit, but way beyond my meager allowance. Always told myself I would have one of his costumes one day. Everything seems to come down to a matter of money.

   There was always plenty of food and drink about. It was practically impossible to go hungry during the festival. Some of the cooking competitions would get rather silly though. It seemed some of the chefs were purposefully trying to get the weirdest ingredients from across the galaxy that they could. Most of it was edible, although I felt better off not knowing what was in some of the food I was eating.

   Sigh, the last festival seems like so long ago, yet it has only been a year. How can someone look forward to something and yet dread it at the same time?

   The Festival of Masks

   Crevasse City, Alderaan

   The Festival of Masks has been a community event that has been held annually for the last fifteen years (and informally, and on a smaller scale, for many years before that). Sponsored by the Glithe family, the week-long Festival has become a major event for the city and becoming increasingly known across the planet. The upcoming Sixteenth Annual Festival of Masks aims to be the biggest one yet.

   With Crevasse City built into the side of a cliff, much of the city streets are shrouded in shadow and darkness. Artificial illumination lights the streets during most of the year, however during the Festival the lights are turned off and the festivities begin. Illumination is provided by batches of bioengineered “glowbugs” released during the festival. Although actually a form of fungus, these creatures have been designed to emit light in a variety of colors through bioluminescence. Once they reach the end of their short lifespan, the creatures explode with a soft pop and emit a small cloud of colorful (if infertile) spores. Batches are released periodically during the weeklong event to keep the streets lit.

   The city is decorated with soft glowing lights and candles, fireworks are set off with regularity, and the streets are kept clear of vehicles. Musicians, performers, artists and more fill the streets with music, dance, food, drink, and shows throughout the week. Games and contests are held in a wide variety of fields advocating friendly competition with a “Champion of the Mask” chosen each year. The “daylight” hours are geared to be family friendly with the late night hours having more mature entertainment scheduled in age restricted areas. The organizers and Security ensure the festivities remain clean and safe though.

   One of the central themes to the festival as a whole though is the masks. Worn over the face, these masks “hide” the identity of the wearer and allow him or her to join the ranks of the faceless masses. They come in a wide variety of colors and styles, although metallic ones are most common. One of the most common effects of wearing one is many people find themselves more outgoing and social than they would otherwise be due to the supposed anonimity. More than a few couples have met while wearing masks at the festival.

   Common games and contests include, but are not limited to, foot races, feats of strength, costume competitions, dancing, singing, and improv. Massive and complex fireworks display have become the norm and are becoming more extravagent each year.

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  1. […] Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav: The Festival of Masks […]

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