The City of Cauldron
The Flood Festival
CAULDRON’S 30th ANNUAL FLOOD FESTIVAL!!!
As winter draws near, the citizens of Cauldron begin shoring up their homes and businesses in preparation for the flood season. Since the town is essentially built inside a large bowl, the rainy seasons of winter can be particularly dangerous. The mouth of the caldera catches falling rain with great efficiency, and the gutters and alleyways of Cauldron quickly become filled with turbulent rivers that more often than not overflow into the streets as they drain down the inner surface of the crater and into the central lake. This rain can sometimes overcome the lake’s drainage into the caverns below and nearby rivers. As a result, the water level slowly creeps up, flooding the lower buildings and forcing the inhabitants to flee to higher ground. Since the buildings along the lakeshore tend to be poorly constructed, and their inhabitants poor, sick and destitute, the damage done by these yearly floods can be devastating.
After a particularly wet winter several decades ago, when the central lake’s waters reached Ash Avenue and completely submerged many of the lower buildings, the town’s leaders decided to do something about the recurring problem. Representatives of the church of Sarenrae, Wee Jas, and Kord got together under the urging of the then-high-priestess of the Church of St. Cuthbert, pooled their resources, and created several Wands of Control Water to combat the next flood season. That winter, clerics from these four temples patrolled the lower streets of Cauldron and fought back the flood using the wands. The citizens were grateful for the aid, and assisted with sandbagging and shoring of the buildings where they could; even with the magic wands, the flood waters could still do significant damage.
So successful were these measures that, after that flood season, the city erupted into a massive festival. In the years to follow, this grew into a tradition, The Flood Festival, beginning each new year after the first major downpour. Each year, the clerics of the city created wands of water control to fight the floods, and each year the floods were controlled. For a few years, the clerics even dabbled with scrolls of control weather, but this option was abandoned before long because too many mishaps cropped up when lower-level clerics miscast these powerful spells.
As winter ramps up, merchants begin to prepare their stalls and the morning after the first major downpour, the city collectively and spontaneously decides that it is opening day. Crowds of merchants and citizens start to collect at the beloved Lakeside Pavilion. Throughout the morning the “Johnny-come-latelys” start to catch on and flock their way to the crowd. By late morning practically the whole city has packed the streets around the pavilion and the citizens erupt in a rhythmic and deafening chant of “FLOOD FESTIVAL! FLOOD FESTIVAL! FLOOD FESTIVAL!” As the chant becomes louder and louder the city officials make their way to the pavilion for opening ceremonies and announce the beginning of The Flood Festival. The excited crowd dissolves faster than it collected as the people spread back into the city to participate in the much-loved annual festivities.
Flood Festival Events & Games
Flood Festival Sales
During the festival, all of Cauldron’s merchants give a discount of at least 15% off their regular prices. Some merchants go as high as 20%
Drain the Clouds
A unique archery game that symbolizes Cauldron’s citizens “draining the clouds” in order to alleviate the hard winter rains. Shoot Down the Clouds was invented by Cauldron Halflings who needed shooting practice but could not be bothered to carry large targets. A large scaffolding is constructed, in which “white fluffy” sacks are hung in varying location and heights. The contestents simultaneously shoot at the sacks attempting to knock them out of the scaffolding and claim the prize and/or coins inside. Prizes higher up the scaffolding may or may not be of greater value than the lower. The weapons being fired are always padded, to prevent possible injuries.
The centerpiece is of this loved event is a replica a huge red dragon, a elaborately crafted costume worn by half dozen or more participants, which is paraded through the festival, harassing fair maidens & chasing children. Someone inside the dragon controls each appendage, in addition to those moving the body, and coordinated teams can make the costume move with surprising realism. The dragon is led throughout the fair, ending up at a central location wherein lies its treasure, a mountain of gold, jewelry, and priceless treasures waiting for the brave to try and take it. The “treasure” is mostly a few bales of hay, covered in pieces of costume jewelry, mock weapons and arms. Single contestants or groups run into the hoard area and attempt to capture a more valuable prize that is hidden amongst the mundane objects. Contestants that are hit by the dragon are “slain” and out of the game.
Drink Down the Flood
Cauldron’s tavern’s hold an elaborate drinking contest during the length of the festival. This contest symbolizes Cauldron’s prodigious drinkers pitching in to lessen the flood damage by drinking away the excess liquids in town. On the seventh day the winner of this 6 day contest is invited to one final bout, a drinking contest with reigning champion, Lord Vhalantru himself.
There is a 100gp prize and a 500gp bonus for anyone who can outdrink Vhalantru.
Crater Lake Monster Hunt
On the second day of the festival, Bluecrater Academy holds their annual Crater Lake Monster Hunt. At sunrise, stundents of the university set hundreds and hundreds of tiny boats afloat on the surface of Crater Lake. One of the boats is rigged with a harmless illusion of the mythical monster, when that boat is discovered the illusion is triggered. During the morning hours, anyone who wants a shot at catching the “monster” can pay a 1sp entry fee to “catch” the monster for a prize of 50 gp and a trophy
Moron Mitch’s Moronic Monkey Wrasslin’ for Morons
Moron Mitch is a middle-aged human man, who seems to have a few physical problems. His head is perpetually canted over at a slight angle, and he stalks the grounds near his fair booth with a seemingly exaggerated limp. Apparently a victim of too many head wounds, Moron Mitch has problems staying on task, or remembering what happened a few minutes ago. Despite his injuries received while training his apes* to ‘wrassle,’ Mitch loves the big furry creatures, and wants to share his love with fairgoers wherever he travels. In his case, sharing love involves giving every man, woman, child, and Elf a chance to grapple with a fierce ape. Mitch has 4 highly trained apes of varying strengths for your wrasslin’ pleasure. Prizes depend on which ape you wrassle and range from 10gp-50gp if you can pin the ape.
CHILDREN WRASSLE FREE!
*Moron Mike is aware that there is a difference in monkeys and apes, but the word apes “dunna fit wit tha fine alliteration.”
And finally the prize jewel of the Flood Festival….
The Demonskar Ball
On the last night of the Flood Festival, the Aslxins hold their traditional Demonskar Ball at the Coy Nixie. This is an invitation only event that takes place in the Nixie’s large upper floor ballroom. The ball itself is an elaborate costume ball. Each invitation bears one of two symbols: a mountain or a crater. If the invitation indicates a mountain the invited and his guest is expected to come dressed as one of Cauldron’s founders. If it’s a crater, the invited and his guest is expected to come dressed as a demon. The ball is an elaborate rendition of Surabar Spellmason’s glorious defeat of the region’s ancient demonic taint.