As we approach mid-December, a month jammed full of winter festivals from cultures around the world, it occurs to us to ask how the citizens of the Dragon Empire create warmth and light in the midst of the cold and darkness. When adventurers in 13th Age go forth on a cold night, what decorations hang in the windows, and what songs are sung in the taverns? Does the Lich King know it’s Christmastime at all?
And so, here on the Pelgrane blog, the 13th Age team is counting down the days to a holiday known throughout the Empire as the Feast of Gold (which coincidentally falls on December 25th in our reality.)
But what is it, exactly? Well, 13th Age encourages every campaign to be different, so the nature of the holiday, and the traditions around it, will vary from table to table. In that spirit we’ve asked several contributors to the game to share their visions of what the Feast might be.
I’ll start things off with what the holiday looks like in my own campaign of Blackmarch.
The Feast of Gold: Blackmarch Version
This winter solstice festival commemorates the Great Gold Wyrm’s descent into the Abyss, a sacrificial act to save the world from the power of its demons.
During the Feast of Gold, citizens of the Empire decorate their homes with festive ornaments and paper lanterns shaped like gold dragons.
In Axis, a magical fire pit representing the Abyss roars to life at the Emperor’s ceremonial signal seven days before the feast day. The feast officially begins when a gold effigy of the Wyrm plunges into the pit, turning it into a glorious fireworks display.
In the dwarf stronghold of Forge, the smiths try to outdo one another in creating exquisite dragon-shaped ornaments of gold and precious stones.
Among the halflings, old songs are sung and great quantities of beer are quaffed in front of cozy hearth-fires. Halfling children brandish wooden swords as they chase a figure dressed as a demon through the streets.
The elves keep a solemn vigil beneath the winter moon, telling one another the story of the great battle. The tale ends just as the sun rises, and the elves break their fast with laughing and singing and gift-giving.
The Feast of Gold is not celebrated in Drakkenhall, city of monsters…at least, not in public. In private, many of the monsters sing the traditional songs, eat festive meals, and exchange gifts on the sly. Because hey, who doesn’t love a winter festival?
13th Age combines the best parts of traditional d20-rolling fantasy gaming with new story-focused rules, designed so you can run the kind of game you most want to play with your group. 13th Age gives you all the tools you need to make unique characters who are immediately embedded in the setting in important ways; quickly prepare adventures based on the PCs’ backgrounds and goals; create your own monsters; fight exciting battles; and focus on what’s always been cool and fun about fantasy adventure gaming. Purchase 13th Age in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.