Friday, October 27, 2017

The Merriment of Masks Festival has arrived for 2017

It's that time of the year again, when the kingdom of Mesilena celebrates its Merriment of Masks festival in Kingdoms of the Lost.

The Merriment of Masks was a festival that usually ran a week in length, and was steeped in Mesilena's tradition. During one of the earliest generations of the kingdom's history, tribal raiders from Klevnone attacked and razed many of their cities. Never having traveled so far to the west, the barbarians had no idea what to expect, but it was well-known that the barbarians from the east were a superstitious lot that was uncomfortable with most magic craft.

Of all the magical arts however, the necromantic ones frightened the otherwise unflappable warriors to their very core. So as they neared their destination of Harthrin - the capital city, one of the wizards in the Cyn bloodline thought of a way to trick the warriors of Klevnone. Mesilena was a land reputed for its dark and mysterious magics. Some even claimed that the lands were cursed.

A clever illusionist, this ancestor of Mechia's gathered up enough magic to give their warriors and people the appearance of the unliving. The Klevnone warriors were the more talented of the combatants, but the distance they had traveled combined with their own innate fears caused their morale to buckle when they found themselves engaged with what they thought were the walking dead.

Mesilena's people and warriors took on the very realistic appearances of zombies, skeletons and apparitions. They drove back the Klevnone hordes, reclaiming their land. It was many years later when Klevnone realized they had been completely tricked, and by then had already begun to expand to the north and southwest.

This was a celebration of that time, when the clever minds of Mesilena thwarted the superior physicality of Klevnone. People since that time gather in the streets, wearing masks that often emulate the undead, but also many other races and people as well in a show of creativity. Most of the celebration would take place in the evening hours, and it was not uncommon to have children or even fun-loving adults to play pranks on one another in 'reverence' to the events of the past.

Somewhere along the way, it became a game amongst the people. The adults would certainly dress up if they felt like it, enjoying the song, dance and other festivities. One night a year however, on the last eve of the festival, the children would dress up as well. They would go about the city, pulling pranks on homeowners and if they were successful, they were rewarded with the one thing almost any kid could possibly want: sweets.

The masks and costumes would help keep the identity of the prankster a secret, which would keep any hard feelings from overflowing into the following morning. There were many who bemoaned the pranks as juvenile, and sometimes even destructive, but in the end it was tradition. It had become a custom every year that not only the people took part in, but that the royalty supported fully.

This day was the first day of the festival, and while the morning was certainly busier than usual, Rylee, Mechia and their advisors had to prepare their end of the festivities as well, as they anticipated the first evening of The Merriment of Masks.

Mesilena was in terms of the game's history is our second oldest, and it was one of our first ones to be completed. It also has one of longest running festival lines. Sometimes we put it in direct competition to Klevnone so that it can somewhat 'compete' with the Klevnone fall Harvest Festival, but this year we have it standing alone and will run it until Wed, Nov 1st.