The Swallowtail Festival begins promptly, as scheduled, on the morning of the first day of autumn. A cool breeze blow constantly from the ocean, but the skies are mostly clear with on a few high white fluffy clouds drifting slowly by. The square before the new cathedral quickly becomes crowded as locals and travelers arrive. Local farmers and businesses have their produce on display, several merchant tents feature food, clothes, exotic crafts and souvenirs, and several contests, games of chance and other entertainments are also being set up in the square and throughout the town for the more dangerous and ‘discreet’ activities.
The turnout for the opening speeches is quite respectable, and the four keynote speakers each deliver short but well-received welcomes to the festival. Mayor Deverin’s friendly attitude and excitement prove contagious as she welcomes visitors to town and jokes about how even Larz Rovanky, the local tanner (and notorious workaholic), managed to tear himself away from the tannery to attend, much to everyone’s but Larz’s amusement.
Sheriff Hemlock brings the crowd down a bit with his dour mood, his reminder to be safe around the evening’s bonfire, and his request for a moment of silence to remember those who lost their lives in the fire that claimed the town’s previous church five years ago.
Fortunately, Cyrdak Drokkus (of the local theater) is more than up to the challenge of bringing the crowd’s mood back up with his rousing anecdotes as he delivers a not-completely-irreverent recap of the long process the town went through to finance and construct the new cathedral. He throws in a bit of self-promotion at the end, as is his wont, inviting everyone to stop by the Sandpoint Theater the following evening to check out his new production of The Harpy’s Curse, revealing that the lead role of Avisera the Harpy Queen will be played by none other than the famous Magnimarian diva Allishanda!
Finally, Father Zantus steps up give a short speech thanking everyone for coming before declaring the Swallowtail Festival underway. he invites everyone to partake in the activities the locals have set up (not that he seems to approve of all of them), before meeting back here, outside the Cathedral at noon for the Swallowtail Release – something the children seem especially excited about. As some of the local eateries rush off to prepare for the free lunch, most other locals scatter to run and partake in the activities.
(I have listed some of the activities below, so you can indicate which you would be most interested in, in order).
Catch the Greased Pig & Guess the Pickled Onions
Corners of Junker’s Way and Shell Street, just west of the Market Square.
A pig is let loose in a large muddy pen, smeared liberally with fat. It’s kind of a free for all, with four participants trying to grapple the piglet. The local farmers running this also have a jar of pickled onions to be won by the person that guesses correctly.
Prize: Bragging rights, Jar of pickled onions
The Devil Hunt
Do you have what it takes to bring down the infamous Sandpoint Devil and keep him from menacing the surrounding area? Take a shot and see.
This is an archery range setup on the beach down by the Lighthouse. Run by Jodar Provolost, an older balding Varisian with black hair, a big thick black mustache, and a noticeable big belly.
Prize: Small pie, Ale, copper, Carved bird, Arrow
The Goblin Toss
Three Goblins have found their way into your house and are tearing the place up! Grab them and toss them into the fireplace before they can destroy everything.
This game is a simple bean bag toss setup in the middle of the Sandpoint Market square and run by Daverin Hosk of Goblin Squash Stables.
Prize: Bag a jerky, Carved bird
The Lighthouse Smash
Who needs a lighthouse without a light? The old //Lighthouse has become an eyesore; let’s knock it down so we can use the stone to build something new.//
This game is set up at the end of Junker’s Way next to the Lighthouse. It has a table with six square stones stacked on it in a pyramid shape. Your job is to knock them down. Run by Aesrick Battlehorn (Carpenter’s Gildmaster), whose mini catapults for this game are works of art.
Prize: Small catapult (slingshot), carved bird
There’s been talk of starting Dragon farming in Sandpoint, so we’ve gotta find out which ones are the fastest so that we have the best dragons! Pick yourself a dragon and pit it in a Dragon Race against your friends.
This game is located in the Sandpoint Market Square on the south side by the docks just at the beginning of Market Street. It is basically a lizard race. It is being run by Gressel Tenniwar (manager of Fatman’s Feedbag).
Prize: 2 copper and medal
The little gnome, Vernutt Parooh, has drawn a small crowd to the front of The Way North (north of the market) with some minor illusions.
“Step on up, boys! No girl likes a noodle-armed weakling. Let’s see your strength!”
The staple game of every good carnival: a strength tester involving smashing a hammer on one end of a log on a pivot to spring the wood at the other end up a shoot to ring the bells. Set up on west side of the market and run by Das Korvut, the mutton-chop-sporting drunken smith of the Red Dog Smithy.
Prize: 2 copper
Pasty Eating Competition
The Avertin family of Sandpoint Savouries are running this stall in the market square.
Prize: 2 copper and medal
“But beware! A pixie’s kiss can bring the strongest man to his knees!”
This is actually set up inside Savah’s Armory, just south of the market Square. A lot of cheering comes from within even at this hour. The single men of the town crowd around to get in, the families stay clear, and any taken man is quickly hurried on by their partner. Exactly what is going on cannot be seen by walking past.
Unders & Overs
A gambling game set up in the market square. The table is divided into three sections: Unders, 7’s, Overs. Punters place money onto the section they wish to bet on. Run by Banny Harker (operator of the Lumber Mill).