Perhaps this old truism- light flickering on the darkest night of winter- explains the strange road that has appeared outside of Nocturne. Purplish candles, impervious to the biting gusts, form a trail that is miles upon miles long.
It seems to invite those of Nocturne to walk its length. Those rangers that know of such roads say that, if one were to follow it, it would eventually intersect with the Kerzenlicht, Kyrzenwold’s road of alchemical candles, just outside the town of Katzen. Were a traveler to begin their journey soon, they would be able to walk from Nocturne to Katzen; they would arrive in the bustling town just before the celebration of the Longest Night. The Temple of the Ever-Burning Font, the foremost church of the Woven Faith in Kyrzenwold, always has room for visitors and pilgrims.
“Why might someone follow such a road?” one might ask.
If it is an invitation, some might answer, it might be rude to ignore it.
If it is an invitation, others might venture, it is certainly a strange one.
In strangeness, still another might say, waits adventure.
For those curious about such an invitation, the Illuminarium, quite luckily, has archived material on both the Temple and the uniquely Kyrzenwold celebration.
In the town of Katzen, there is one of the few temples of the Woven Faith within Kyrzenwold. The temple provides religious service for the people who live in the town and surrounding areas. Given the nature of Kyrzenwold and religion, however, it is largely populated by visitors and pilgrims passing through. This is not surprising, as the temple itself is structured like a great inn of sprawling depth and ornate architecture. Because The Font is one of Kyrzenwold’s few temples, it has significant influence in matters of faith, and has one of the largest percentages of priests within a congregation in the world.
The Ever-Burning Font is a place of Creation and the arts. Tapestries, paintings, and stained glass of great beauty hang within the temple, attracting even those not of the faith to come and behold their artistry. Prayers and services focus on the Light of Creation, and how such light can protect those journeying in the sinister Kyrzenwold. Deep within the corridors and annexes of the temple, it is rumored, there is a lantern that gave the place its name. This lantern has an ever-burning font that was lit centuries ago; it is said to burn to this day, with no need for the oil to ever be refilled.
One of the striking features of the Font, is that it is a place of inter-faithful philosophy. All faiths and practitioners are welcome, and all are encouraged to participate in debates and discussions to develop a better Aerune. Even those who do not follow a particular religion visit the temple to meet with some of the sharpest and most brilliant religious thinkers in the world. Conversations, lit by the ever-burning candles of the temple, last long into the late hours of night.
The comforting sanctuary that the Font provides is unsurprising, given that it is tended by Aksel Reisinger. Despite his considerable prestige, Aksel would much prefer that those of the Woven Faith see him as little more than a common man, committed to the temple within Kyrzenwold. As both a Spidersilk Elf and a Tatterfolk more-or-less settled in Kyrzenwold, Aksel feels strongly that all who seek haven in his temple’s walls should be granted unquestioned hospitality: it is not uncommon, within the Temple of the Ever-Burning Font, to find Pale, Shamanic, and Celestial Court followers, most of whom are there for theological discussion, fine drink, and the world famous pastries of Katzen bakers. (Indeed, Aksel’s niece, Liza Reisinger- responsible for tending the Inn’s front desk and feeding the area’s numerous stray cats- is a prominent Pale follower.) Aksel, in all of his work, hopes to encourage conversations of the beauty and creativity of the world, and believes that welcoming all manner of conversation facilitates the truest paths of the Woven Faith.
The Longest Night
The Longest Night is a secular observance within Kyrzenwold. It is a time when Kyrzenwolders prepare for, perhaps obviously, the darkest, coldest, and longest night of the year. In Katzen, this event is celebrated at the Temple of the Ever-Burning Font. While the faithful are welcome to quietly meditate on their own worship, it is not celebrated as a religious devotion, but instead as a coming-together of community. Festivities begin at dark on The First Night with a ceremonial lighting, lead by visiting Vogels, of candles around the perimeter of the Temple. During this time, it is not uncommon for the creatures and beasts that stalk the woods to attempt to interrupt the Ceremony- the presence of skilled Vogels, therefore, is not merely for pomp and circumstance. After the lighting of the candles, the First Night is spent in storytelling and performances: skalds, bards, and Lyrikers tell folkloric stories, meant to scare and entertain, from their homelands.
On the First Day, bread is broken with strangers, and pleasantries are exchanged. Throughout the First Day, Kyrzenwolders maintain lights and brace themselves for the Second Night- also known as the Eve of Nightmares. During the Eve, the ancient Nightmare Fae of the Winter Table- Gryla, Papa Schlacter, Mama Perchta, Belsvinter, and the Slecthekat- make themselves known. On the darkest night of the year, it is said, the Fae come to, once more, teach the people how to be scared of the winter dark. It is a time to fear, and a time in which lost knowledge makes itself, once more, known.
The Winter Revel will take place on February 17-19, 2017. The in-game location will be at the Temple of the Ever-Burning Font (Katzen, Kyrzenwold), on The First Night.
(Teaser by Zoe)