PROLOGUE ~ The Festival of Nations

Let us flip a few pages to the annual Festival of Nations one year, and then we may return to Queen Taspeth of Antandan and Carmun. The Festival of Nations? Why, the Festival of Nations is the most colourful, most exciting and most awaited time of year.

Each ambassador to the Kingdom of Carmun is granted a budget with which to contrive and organise a procession, funfair or entertainment for the amusement of the people of the City, although a large proportion of ambassadors like to borrow from the treasuries of their own capital cities in addition. You see, a good act is a superb advertisement to the abundant families and funmakers, who flock to the City of Carmun from all over the map to experience the festive cheer of the famed Festival of Nations.

So we hover above the Market Square on this pallid afternoon of October, rejoicing in the colour and noise lent to the fading weather from down below. From atop the spire of Saint Nich’s Church we can well see the hundred stalls, run by merchants of all kinds from all over the map. There are jewellers and toymakers and watchsmiths and bakers, and potters and stoners and tailors and painters, engravers and perfumers and confectioners and skilled craftsmen of all shapes and varieties.

Then there are the buyers—the simply-clothed peasants of Carmun, the black-cloaked pilgrims from Reshid, the fur-gloved children of Samare, the head-scarved women of Antandan, and the flamboyantly-hued draperies in which visitors from Hujin are swathed. And all are eager and active and frantic for souvenirs.

The End

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