Ja’Deir’s gala of epic proportion raged almost out of control as the cool southern winter’s night wore down the candle’s wick. He sat back in the lacquered chair with his mug of heated spiced wine, and watched the dozens of party goers look past racial, theological, and political differences; joined in the cause of joy and camaraderie. In every situation like this, he opened up his empathy, and let the sheer ecstasy of the group wash over him.
Most people don’t know this, but everyone has an innate sense of empathy. When someone has a strong enough emotion, you don’t have to see them to feel them. When you put more people with more emotions together it isn’t simply an additive amount of emotion that results, they all feel the emotion of the room and it resonates and reverberates within them, multiplying it. Ja’Deir opened up his empathy, and it was like taking in a drug straight to his brain. He was nearly listless from it, and from his joy at the scene.
As he watched, Overkill joined in a drinking contest with an elated Gnome, two humans, a few Elves, a Wolfen, and – of all things – a goblin. None of them worshipped the same god or had the same occupation, and obviously had political and historical views that should have made the group stand with their swords at each other’s throats and separate like oil and water. But as the dwarf’s complexion gained a rosy hue, and the Gnome started to hover a foot off the ground in pure elemental inebriation, the others kept pace, toasting the good health of all, and goodwill toward brethren living and past.
The storied ‘spawn of the Old Ones’ sat surrounded with well-wishers and professed blood-brothers, hanging on every word issuing from his self-deprecating gilded tongue. Though they inundated him with questions, he kept his head above water by answering while they nursed their mugs. A bard had heard of the party, and left another inn for the promised crowds at the “Haggard Merchant”‘s common-room, rented out by Ja’Deir and Overkill for the past fortnight, and sang ballads of lands far off, whose words were lulling Indaris into a dreamy stupor, imagining travel to fabled lands, and making such maps the likes of which Palladium had never seen.
Not a month past, Ja’Deir had thought there would never be hope for such brotherhood between peoples.
The Gold Coast trials for the Lopanic Games had just ended, and Ja’Deir partied with Tyvernos and Overkill, revelling in the recent victory of their team mates, and taking a much-needed break from the excitement of the last week. The loss of Mikala, and violation of peace had been more taxing than Ja’Deir had supposed, and it felt good to eat, drink, and join in the merriment all around.
A horrible moan rose over the celebration, chased by a hush, as the clock struck midnight. Ja’Deir realized it was the beginning of the Festival of Taut, but where he lived there was nothing like that groan as part of the celebration.
Ja’Deir grew up respecting all of the gods, but focused on the Pantheon of Ra, and Apis in particular, as the loving gods they were. As a devout of Apis, though, he never shunned anyone, no matter their religion, creed, or view. He embraced all, as long as they showed love one to another! He never imagined that the world would be so rife with hatred of fellow man based on a choice. Professed followers of the Light proved to be the most acidic toward those of the Dark, and if you ever offered respect toward them it was as good as murdering a babe and drinking its marrow, in their eyes.
Ja’Deir quickly became enamored with the celebrations, at least those done by the children. They masked themselves and played pranks, including thrown squashes. You had to travel from place to place all that night and the next day carefully, with your eye out and hand on your purse, in case you were the next on their prank list! It was so exciting! Several times he was able to catch a child’s rotten squash in mid-air, and toss it back at the tyke. The energy wasn’t the same as what you might expect of a celebration of Taut, though he never strayed into a church of Taut, or into a Graveyard. He also didn’t go outside on the second day of the Festival, said to be dangerous to those of the Light, but he doubted it was nearly as bad as people claimed. As the day progressed, though, he noticed the agitation and frustration of the other members of CrIsis.
They truly cannot stand anything of the other pantheons, and many of the followers of the Light are the same. Ja’Deir asked a Priestess about the different celebrations of the Festival of Taut, and Ja’Deir thought she would kill him for it. How Dare He?!? Such divisions break his heart, and he spent the rest of the Festival near Indaris, in quiet meditation. He loves Apis, but it was SO BORING! An idle follower is a useless follower, as far as Ja’Deir is concerned. He was so ready to leave by the end he was afraid he would break the doors in excitement.
The road to Wisdom was ordinary, and so was the first day. That added to his frustration at the division, that Ja’Deir took it upon himself to bring union and joy to CrIsis and Wisdom! For nearly two weeks Ja’Deir organized a nightly party the likes of which had rarely been thrown in his memory. Though the days were taken up by the trials, Ja’Deir’s memory skips past all except for the glorious celebration. The Innkeeper proclaimed that the nights he hosted the party were better than he’d seen for seasons. The greatest of all the parties was the last, thrown the day after the trials’ award ceremony. It was four times the size of any night prior. It was so large that the celebrants partied in the streets. Members of the guard arrived near the middle, and had to return every hour after, to contain the noise.
Seeing CrIsis intermingling, Ja’Deir’s heart grew. He didn’t delude himself to believe they’d forgotten their hatred toward others, but he had hope that there might be a future where men of any sort can sit together to break bread. He worked the room, high on emotion, and was the life – almost literally – of the party.
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