We’re deep into the year, but we still have more Adventure Seeds for you! This time we have some fun Holiday & Festival seeds.
These are a little different from the norm; in each seed I provide a brief summary of a holiday, festival, or event, and then in most I give a special twist or turn of events turning it into an adventure seed! Of course, you can forgo the hook and celebrate the holiday or make up your own twists. Some of these are loosely based upon real world holidays; see if you can figure out the ones that aren’t immediately obvious!
No assumptions this time other than what is written in each seed, and many if not all can be moved around between settings freely.
And now here are the adventure seeds:
The villagers gather at sunset on the last day of the year to celebrate Setting Sun Day, where they bid goodbye to the bad luck of the current year to make room for the good luck of the upcoming year. It’s been hours and the sun doesn’t seem to be setting on the horizon and people feel their energy draining.
On the first day of the year, it’s tradition to flip 3 coins- one gold, one silver, and one copper- with a heads on each coin meaning positive and a tails meaning negative for the following year. Gold represents wealth, silver represents friends and family, and copper represents health. Up until this year the mayor has gotten all heads every year, but now they get all tails.
Every year on the king’s birthday, the people celebrate King’s Day in honor of their benevolent ruler with general merriment and fun throughout the city. However, he has acted weirdly lately, and just announced this year there will be fights to the death in a newly built arena for his amusement.
The queen has decreed a day in her name for the people to celebrate. Rather than giving gifts to her, she has asked everyone to give to those less fortunate than themselves. Oddly though, she refuses to give anything herself and instead takes credit for the gifts others give, making some of her subjects confused or irritated.
On the first official day of summer, it is tradition that the townsfolk each donate a bucket of water to fill up a large hole that is dug in town square for swimming. After the hole was filled this year, a giant tentacle came out and dragged someone under. Needless to say, there was panic and no one has gone near since.
On what is usually the hottest day of the year, a Festival of Fire is held to stave off the god of fire who would burn their crops. This involves burning small offerings of meat, flowers, fruits, and melting down coins. A fire elemental has emerged from the flame, demanding a person also be offered in flame from now on.
A small village appears to be celebrating Goddess Day and invites passersby into their temple to celebrate and receive a blessing from their goddess. One such traveler who took them up on their offer said he narrowly escaped being sacrificed to said goddess instead.
On the 7th full moon of the year, the Dance of Dragons is started when two ancient dragons emerge from their lairs; one in the mountains north of the city and one from the south in the sea. They dance a choreographed battle above the city and then land, sharing their wealth with the city in exchange for good stories from the people.
The end of the harvest season is capped off with a Harvest Festival where farmers and merchants set up stalls and sell and trade their crops with others, and people leave small offerings to the spirits of nature. A few however woke up on the morning of the festival to find all of their crops had shriveled and died overnight and have no idea why.
The wizards of the city put on a parade every year showing off their newfound skills in a type of Magic Parade. The parade consists largely of illusions and conjurations that are benign, but occasionally a dangerous spell makes its way in for some extra flare. Unfortunately, this year it meant summoning a bunch of small demons that got loose and ran away to hide within the city.
On the shortest day of the year clerics that serve the god of light use their divine powers to shine light through the night in the Night of Light festival, and villagers help by lighting all the candles and lanterns they can. This year was another success, but a week later and the magic light refuses to be snuffed even by the clerics.
Fey Day is looked forward to as much as it is feared by the people who celebrate it, though celebrate may be a loose term. On this day various fey play pranks on mortals, doing everything from planting flowers everywhere to temporarily polymorphing them. That is, until one particular pixie polymorphed the king and disappeared, refusing to change him back.
Pirates and sailors alike pay homage to the kraken of the Day of the Sea by dumping portions of their treasure into the sea for protection. Many who sail in the great depths of the ocean on the day claim to have seen the kraken’s large tentacles come up and almost wave, only to slowly submerge and not be seen again. The last sighting however was 20 years ago, and some are thinking of skipping the celebration this year.
The people celebrate a day of fasting in honor of the spirit of ravenous hunger. Legends claim that a hungry spirit lies dormant every year, awakening on one day where it consumes the negative spirits and fill people with positive energy. Those who don’t fast find themselves sick, and this year they find themselves rotting away while alive and in immense pain.
Atonement Day, a holiday established by the local clergy, is a day for the common people to acknowledge their shortcomings and receive blessings of the gods for the next year. However, it has become known that the priests are using this information to blackmail and sabotage those with power in the community.
A noble baby whose birth was prophesied to end war was born and the entire kingdom has begun celebrations as soldiers put down their weapons. That night, many streaks of fire were seen careening in the sky, and one has turned out to be a small flaming boulder that decimated the surrounding area on impact- and more are coming!
In the nomadic tribes of the desert, one day a year is dedicated to sowing chaos. This Day of Chaos is a day where tribal laws cease to exist from sunrise to sunset, where destruction is encouraged, and at night everyone drinks themselves to sleep to finish ridding themselves of stress. Heinous crimes such as murder and the like are still forbidden, and many would look the other way at the murder of one who has just murdered, but this year an entire tribe was found dead by another wandering tribe just days after the event.
After wanting yet another reason to sell their wares, the merchants have come together to start Trade Skill Day! This is a day meant to celebrate the craftspeople who make the goods everyone uses; from cooks to blacksmiths to alchemists. The farmers however have decided not to participate after learning that their goods sold would help line the merchant’s pockets more than theirs, and are protesting and making life difficult for those gathering in the city square.
Mortician’s Eve is the night before Ancestor Day, when the morticians and clerics work to ready the grave sites and tombs for those wishing to pay tribute to their late ancestors. Common people spend the night walking around with multicolored candles playing tricks on each other. Unfortunately, this year a trick went too far when mud was slung and hit the side of a royal tomb, releasing a terrible shriek from inside and causing the clerics to go missing.
On Ancestor Day, people visit grave sites of their lost ancestors to pay respects and remember them and their deeds. This is capped off with letting the candles from Mortician’s Eve melt onto the various graves and inside the tombs until they are completely gone, signifying the completed sending of messages to the deceased. However, it would appear all of the candles from the previous night have turned black; a bad omen from legend signifying demons are about.
One of the oddest festivals, Night of the Necromancer, sees benevolent wizards and clerics use their powers to animate the dead to clean up around the community, help harvest crops, and otherwise just help. It serves to both give back to the people as well as reduce the fear of the undead among them. That is, until a bone golem was accidentally summoned and destroyed a city wall before making its way to the mountains.
The Endless War finally ended after 500 years just a few years ago, and the day the peace treaty was signed was dedicated to all the soldiers on both sides who fought and died. People celebrate Soldier Day by respecting their sacrifice and by resolving to understand those different than them. However just a few short years after the war, someone has begun leaving graffiti around major cities inciting violence that threatens to restart the war.
Every year adventurers seek out to slay a roc so that they can use it to feed the surrounding towns with a giant feast. During this feast townsfolk are encouraged to reflect on the last year and thank those who have helped them while also resolving to be humble and ask for help when needed in the next year. The roc population is dwindling, and protesters are threatening to stop the holiday this year.
Merchants look forward to the Winter Festival, where people give gifts to the ones they love as a way to show their feelings. Especially sought over is the frozen rose, actually made of frosted glass, which people give to the one they love as a way or proposing to them. A prince has decided to ruin as many people’s fun this year as possible after his frozen rose was rejected last year by buying every frozen rose he could and smashing them.
In the dead of winter, many small towns celebrate Hearthfire on the first big snow of the year. People are encouraged to stay inside, take a day or two off of work, and spend some quality time with their loved ones and tell stories around the fire. Things start to go awry when the snow continues to pile up and guttural yells can be heard outside and large shadows can be seen outside.
As always, please let us know what type of adventure seeds you’d like to see next!
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