In Kithiran society, Spring is a time of new beginnings and connection. Friendships, business ventures, or life changes that start during the season are considering blessed by fortune and any that happen during the Festival of the Dawning doubly so. Reflecting the deeply interwoven society of Kithira, bridging islands and cultures, the Festival of the Dawning is a celebration focused on community, perhaps more so than any other in the Kithiran calendar.
Each town (or in larger cities, neighborhoods) comes together to learn from each other, and to acknowledge that no person is an island unto themselves and that the greatest things are accomplished with the help of others. The specifics of the tradition vary by island, region, and hamlet, but the underlying tradition is the same. Small tokens are passed from person to person to celebrate new relationships of all kinds, be they romantic, friendly, business partners, or even rivalries. At the end of the festival, these tokens are brought forth and placed in the Heart of the Town, a small object embodying the hopes and dreams of the people for the coming year.
The individual with the most tokens is named Monarch of the Festival, and they safeguard the Heart of the Town during the coming year, until such time as it is emptied out in the cold dark of the Kithiran New Year, the moment between death, and rebirth. The Monarch holds a position of status in the town, and in times of great need, can remind people of their promises and goals to bolster their spirits. No Monarch can reign two subsequent years, as it is the previous Monarch’s duty to organize the festival and crown their successor.
As Port Katherine is a new settlement, and has neither Monarch nor Heart of the Town, Ffion MacKenna, a member of the Penitent Order, has offered to guide the town in the creation of a Heart and to crown the Monarch this year. Shortly before arrival in Port Katherine, she has handed each of you a pair of small silver bells as this year’s tokens.
[OOG cultural knowledge: The festival is about meeting new people and starting new things together. If someone shares a personal piece of information with you, you should give them one of your bells (if you have any). Sharing goals and hopes for the future are particularly encouraged. If you and one or more people start a new friendship, group, business venture, what have you, the initiator should get a bell from someone else in the arrangement. You can decide who you think the initiator is as a group, but if you find yourself arguing about it, either don’t swap bells or everyone swaps a bell (the latter is considered more auspicious, but either is fine). This is a very “by feel” mechanic, so in general, if you find yourself arguing about who should and shouldn’t get a bell, assume no one gets a bell and move on. Selling, stealing, or forcibly taking bells is all but taboo and considered deeply bad luck.]