Dynasties of Elisar
Legends and Lore
The Harvest God’s Festival in Welton
The Harvest God’s festival, now commercialized into a three day feast and drunken romp, originally was a sacred ritual in honor of the harvest god, Tem. A child is chosen from the village and dressed up as Tem. Hair died silver, antlers strapped to their forehead, and a falling star symbol dyed into the skin of their forehead. The child gets free reign to eat as much food and candy as they want, misbehave as much as they want, and freed from all chores and responsibilities. At the stroke of midnight, however, they must answer for their sins by being blindfolded, gagged, and deafened for the rest of the night. And in this way the crops will be blessed for the coming year.
The ancient legend this ritual derived from was that Tem was a God of chaos and mischief who stole the seeds of all the plants and grains and fruits from the other Gods and gave them to humans. He stayed with the human farmers and walked among them for a day, fornicated and drank with them, and taught them to plant and feed themselves, rather than hunting the animals of the forest. This made mankind self-sufficient and able to live in harmony with nature. The gods saw the good Tem had done, but also felt he must still be punished for his theft, so they took away all his senses. Now he wanders the heavens in darkness, unable to see, hear, smell, or taste. He regains his senses for one day a year, on the day of the Harvest God’s festival, during which time, according to the legend, he descends from the heavens and inhabits the body of the chosen child.
Another, darken version of the legend, asserts that Tem desperately wants to escape his punishment and if he collects enough souls he can repay the gods. Each time he departs the body of the chosen child, he takes their soul with him, leaving a vacant, empty being behind. A soulless child who will walk the world, burdened and empty for the rest of their days. A still final version of the myth states that one day Tem will stay in the body of the chosen child for all time, becoming a God made flesh, blessed with extraordinary power. But only when a child is born with a birthmark in the shape of three suns and chosen for the ritual.
These legends, however, are old wives tales at this point and little more than a flowery excuse to get wasted and enjoy the new planting season. Nothing magical has occurred surrounding the Harvest God’s festival for as long as those living can remember. And the chosen child walks away no worse for wear. Usually with a stomach full of candy.