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View Full Version : [Festival] *Bargaining Day



Rick
2004-12-25, 04:20 AM
First Impressions:

The trip in to the town of Hawkingvale could have rightly been described as surreal. A small community set amidst verdant farmlands, it was meant, like many other towns of its nature, to be little more than a central market during harvest time.
Life here was meant to be simple. Wooden signs placed outside of town promised travellers a hot meal and a place to sleep. Nothing more, nothing less. One could almost call it idyllic, for Hawkingvale was a place that was supposed to be untouched by the outside world.

And yet, instead of green fields and wildflowers surrounding the town, the earth had been trampled to a uniform brown by the feet of dozens, if not hundreds of men, animals, and vehicles. Scores of tents dot the landscape, bearing the banners of dozens of different factions both political and economic. The crush of competing colors among the uniforms, arms and armor is an assault upon the visual.

The town's sole inn, though larger than expected, is filled to near capacity with nearly all manners of civilized life. A dozen languages are engaged in conversation, some in casual tones, and others not. Some communication even is being done by nothing more than pantomine. Subtle tensions flow through the room, an undercurrent below the smell of roasted meat and stew.
The volume level is briefly broken by the loud laughter from a bearded, barrel chested man dressed in leather armor. He sits with his feet up on one of the tables, surrounded by five of his men. He carelessly tosses golden coins on the tray of the serving girl who'd just brought a round of ales, seemingly unknowing or uncaring that his payment exceeded a half year's salary for the girl.

"Hap-py Bar-gain-ing Day," a woman in an apron says to you, in a slow and loud manner. "Food?" she asks, as she moves her hand to her mouth. Her smile is strained, and you can tell that she's feverently hoping you speak the language.

A Cause for Celebration:

Hawkingvale is a town that has the unenviable task of being "the place to be," through no fault of its own.
Despite being in a fairly strategic position during the last Great War, through a quirk of fate, it simply wasn't a primary target for either side. Perhaps both kingdoms had wanted the fertile lands intact, or perhaps there were more pressing engagements to be fought, but in the end, Hawkingvale was untouched. Naturally, it seemed like the place for peace talks to be held.
When the two delegations met outside of town, they eventually partook of Hawkingvale's hospitality during negotiations. The simplicity and uncomplicated nature of the people impressed both parties, and Hawkingvale's reputation of "neutrality and hospitality" grew by word-of-mouth.
Soon, everyone started going to Hawkingvale to conduct their business. Why? Nobody knows. And yet, "everybody goes to Hawkingvale."
To the exasperation of the locals, every year or so around harvest time, people from the neighboring lands camp on their doorstep and throw their community into chaos. Over the course of a few weeks, treaties are renewed, others are made, bargains are struck, intrigue is performed, and just as soon as they arrive... they're gone again.

Festivities:

There are no festivites per se. The locals all pitch in and provide what hospitality they can, but secretly hope everyone leaves in a reasonable amount of time so life can get back to normal.
The value in Bargaining Day is appreciated by the attendees more. It's a time and place for -opportunity-. Potentially everything imaginable is available, through the ambassadors, politicians, or the merchants that followed them.

Modifications:

Hawkingvale doesn't operate any differently, except to make sure they have enough supplies on hand to feed the visitors. They don't offer anything more in terms of trade goods than they normally would.