lion’s paw festival due to begin on vera
Celebrations are due to begin this evening for one of Vera‘s more peculiar holidays, despite the small matter of there being an unwanted guest in the midst.
The Festival of the Lion Who’s Paw Got Trapped in a Storm Vent But Managed to Free Himself After a While is an annual event observed for three nights across the Verian moonscape, the timing of which couldn’t be more apt given that it is a celebration in commemoration of ‘the overcoming of a rather stubborn nuisance’.
In the ancient Meridian tradition, Bartrium was a lion regent who ruled Meridia for a thousand nights while the queen was otherwise indisposed. He did such a good job He was recognised by the goddess Vera herself, who promoted Him to demigod ‘on a temporary basis, and provided you don’t maul anybody.’ (Meridian Gods, Vol IV: The Lion & The Lamp; Cera Deyamore).
Bartrium ultimately went on to have a prosperous career as a deity (which is why Verians have about forty bloody festivals in honour of His various exploits), before He was slain by the giant Prik, who, again referring to ancient Meridian tradition, was ‘fed up with pulling mane fur out of the celestial shower drain.’
mane main celebratory custom of the Festival of the Lion’s Paw (as it is mercifully shorthanded) is a tradition of giving others the opportunity to overcome adversity themselves, largely by causing them hassle, being an inconvenience, or otherwise just generally getting in the way. This extends throughout Verian society: markets switch their prices, food can be laced with any number of unpleasant (but for the most part not inedible) flavourings produced especially for the festival season — even doctors and firefighters used to get involved, until it was outlawed in 66 AC for reasons that should have been obvious from the outset.
Perhaps most significantly given current astropolitical tensions, festival tradition mandates a slowing of the lunar rotation to reflect the length of time that Bartrium spent entrammelled. This will no doubt further incense Sophia given the impact it will have on Vera’s orbital pacing, which is apparently obnoxiously slow as it is. Vera could be in for a shock, and I do mean that quite literally, given that Sophia’s weapon of choice is the arc cannon.
Provided Sophia don’t finally lose their rag, the festival will initiate the three-month period of Veagertide, during which animals are afforded special legal rights including the right to drive, to vote, and to not be eaten (the last of which being the only one they show any real interest in). Lions in particular are regarded as bearing great fortune throughout this period, unless during such an encounter said lion elects not to extend a similar armistice on the culinary front.
For those thinking of taking part, be prepared for prodigious irritability with a slim chance of fatality. Elsewise, you’d be better off waiting for the much more sensibly named Festival of the Olive Tree, which was apparently Bartrium’s favourite fruit.
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