Our story begins on Toril (planet) in the lands of Faerun (Continent).
The rich earthy lands of Sembia have drawn a diverse group of people with wealth to attend this year’s Midsummer Festival. Situated outside the merchant city of Ordulin (capital city of Sembia) in the SE, the festival grounds spread in a menagerie of colourful tents and pavilions. It is a time for celebration. The crops have been sewn; the weather has eased travel, and now is the time to look to other matters such as…love.
The famous Midsummer’s Long Night (where unwed maidens are “released” into the forest and would be suitors “hunt” their quarry) is but a week away. Sponsors of the event this year – followers of Lathander “the Morninglord” (God of beginnings and renewal) and Sune “Finehair” (Goddess of beauty and love) have promised a lavish affair of feasting, fine wines, and fellowship.
Aside from coupling, the festival offers a venue of finely crafted works of armour and weaponry. The ringing of the anvil can be heard clearly above of the din of celebration. Craftsmen of all handiworks bring their labours of love to sell and trade.
Tales of lands near and far are shared in song and dance. The tenor trill of musicians can be heard with every turn. Magical cantrips and bubbling potions bring life to the stories and joy to the eyes of festival goers. Apprenticeships are often born from chance meetings.
Festival preparations and entertainment are sure sources of employment. The shadowy side of civilization too seeks to impose their taxes on the bountiful events. The local watch (The Helms) have extended their patrols to the festival grounds and seek able bodies to maintain the peace.
The peaceful folk who live in the rural heartlands (Dalelands) (farmers and retired adventurers) look forward to this trek into “civilized” lands. While normally cautious, self-reliant, and quiet, the Midsummer festival is a time to celebrate and bring the world back to their communities. They take this responsibility seriously and seek to experience all that they can.
As people flock to attend the frivolities, opportunistic merchants from the surrounding lands travel to hock their wares. Trade ships and merchant trains from: the southern western city of Saerloon (home to 2 magical churches Mystra and Azuth), Selgaunt to the South (most wealthy and advanced city in Sembia) and Yhaunn (on the shores of the Dragon Reach (Sea)) to the east, travel with haste to fill their purses and lighten their caravans.
Traveling merchants look to adventurers to protect their burdens. Adventuring companies seek employment and recruits to fill their ranks. Protection and healing are often needed to bolster the bravado of the unproven warrior.
Health and fulfillment are a basic human need. The clergy of a myriad of churches devoted to the Gods of Faerun seek to swell their ranks through prayer and enlightenment. As the censers fill the air with incense, the festival attendee can rest assured that someone is praying for their welfare.
The festival awaits…opportunity is but a step away for those willing to venture forth.