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[FORUM ACTIVITY] A Mycenian Tradition
A Mycenian Tradition

As you can see, there is quite a bit of hustle and bustle going on today. And why shouldn’t there be? Today is a very special day for Mycenians, after all! Today we celebrate the Cave itself — a sort of birthday, or anniversary, if you will.

As Mycenians flock from all reaches of the Cave to celebrate here in the main settlement, I am hard at work, as usual. Today I’m hoping to chat with a few Mycenians from caverns near and far in hopes of learning about their own local customs. It’s a great opportunity to get some research done — and the fact that so many Mycenians are coming to me means that it saves my paws from getting too tired. Travel’s hard on the toe beans, after all.

Actually — say, I don’t recognize you. Could it be you’re not from around here? In that case, do you have a few moments to chat? I’d be very interested in learning about any particular celebrations or holidays you observe in your part of the Cave!Ambrose

Amid Mycena Cave’s birthday celebration, Ambrose is hard at work collecting data on various Mycenian traditions celebrated throughout the Cave. He would be much obliged if you were willing to take a few minutes to teach him about the traditions in your home settlement — and is even willing to reward you for your efforts!

Participation Guidelines
  • Create and describe a Mycenian tradition, celebration, or holiday observed somewhere within the Cave. Consider the details of this celebration —what is it? How did it come to be? What are the customs/rituals associated with it? When is it celebrated?  The more detail you imbue your celebration with, the better!
  • You submission should be at least 150 words in length. You may include art if you wish, but it is not a requirement.
  • As we work on solidifying and expanding Mycena Cave’s lore, 1-2 of these community-created holidays will be included in the official Mycena Cave canon, and will be celebrated with a small site activity and participation prize in the future!
    • If you do not wish for the chance for your celebration to be officially observed in-canon, please clearly state as such in your entry.
  • The participation prize for this activity is an Enchanted Rainbow Gaze, as well as a special birthday-themed forum activity sticker!
  • Players who have their holiday chosen will receive a Bag of Wonders, be credited for their contribution to Mycenian lore, and will receive a copy of the participation prize for whatever activity comes of their celebration.
This activity closes at the end of the day on June 30th!

Post your submissions below! Any activity-related questions or comments can also be posted below!
Posted 06/21/19
Starfall Sendoff

As Mycenians go about their daily lives, the stars hang outside of the cave and watch over them. Legend has it that, every seventh of July, the stars bless Mycenians with the ability to grant their wishes. Every year, the cave dwellers gather and inscribe their wishes into sacred paper made with the pulp of trees, trees whose age and unfortunate circumstances have taken their lives. Renewal of hope through the tragedy of death is important symbolism for the tradition, an offering to the stars above to make good with the life they’d been given, even if only for a time. The paper is then deposited into rivers and lakes about the cave, left to dissolve and hopefully transform into wish-granting energy.

Traditionally, Mycenians celebrate this time of year with song and dance, typically jovial and merry in nature. Food and drink of all kinds are made fresh, but konpeito, star-shaped sugar candies, tends to be the celebration’s staple. With paper lanterns lighting up the cave’s walls and the scent of sugary food in the air, it’s certainly a time to hope for your wildest dreams to come to fruition!

Festivities heavily inspired by the traditional wish-granting holiday of Tanabata in Japan. ♡

Posted 06/21/19
Mushroom Memories

Every year, Mycenians take a break to think back on their memories in the cave. What do they remember fondly? Who have they met? What made a lasting impression? The cave is vast, but by no means are you alone - if you reach out a paw, you’ll always find someone willing to help!

With so many mushrooms in the cave, surely some of them will jog your memory. Maybe this one has the same color as a painting a friend gave you. Maybe that one tastes just like a favorite home cooked meal from your childhood. Maybe that Changingshroom gave you the coat that you wanted the least.

During this time, Mycenians take the time to utilize mushrooms to represent a memory that left an impression on them, good or bad, and then share it with the community. Perhaps you’ll make a mushroom stew that tastes just like grandma’s, or a mushroom arrangement that looks just like the cluster that grew next to the cavern where you met your geness partner. This is an excellent time to learn more about fellow Mycenians and a chance to come together and swap stories. Maybe all of this information swapping will lead to a new discovery, or maybe you’ll just have a chance to grow closer with your friends.

Perhaps it started off as an information exchange and grew into a shared campsite and then into a festival, but in a cave so vast it’s nice to get together and learn more about each other - and other places in the cave.

Posted 06/21/19

When the depths of the cave shiver with chill wind and drifts of snow pile across the settlements, and long after the first celebrations for the coming season, Mycenians everywhere are gathered during the longest of winter nights to celebrate community and caring. Wintershare began as a way to maximize the dwindling winter stores of smaller communities and foster communal support for each other. It began to spread, from settlement to settlement, and soon became a true holiday in many smaller reaches of the Cave.

Wintershare begins when the darkest winter nights grip the cave, and surrounds the longest night of the season with preparation of food and community activities. Unlike summer games and harvest celebrations, Wintershare often takes place during the coldest days, so Mycenians gather in each others’ homes or community buildings and cook heartwarming foods, treats to be shared, and warm drinks to soothe the restlessness of winter. Story sharing contests, board games, and crafts are made as Mycenians gather around the hearths of neighbors. Communities that have larger public buildings gather as many as they can within to celebrate the strong bonds of neighborly friendships and town and regional pride. Many see Wintershare as a quieter holiday, but still as important as many others as it gives a reason to look forward to the times when days are short and everyone bundles up inside to escape the cold.

Wintershare decorations vary by community, though many incorporate ever-blooming winter flowers, dried mushrooms, evergreen branches, and hanging wooden baubles made during the festivities. Snowflake, star, tree, and strings of wooden beads are often used as decorative motifs, as they generally are easy to craft from paper or wood and recognize as seasonally appropriate decorations. Fire and hearths are important to the holiday, and many spoken games are traditionally performed around fireplaces. Large tables filled with family, friends, and neighbors is also a theme, as much of the holiday revolves around the communal cooking and sharing of food. Mycenians typically bring food and decorations as gifts to the host of the year’s celebrations, and the sharing of private gifts is less supported than is the provision of ingredients and materials for the communal holiday. In smaller communities without large inside gathering areas, the families of the community share the duties of hosting each year’s festivities, and often small community gatherings are held earlier in the season to determine the location of that year’s event.

Posted 06/21/19
New Meetings Day

Once a year, in early September, New Meetings Day serves as a day to go out and meet new people, make new friends, or renew old relationships with friends you haven’t seen in a long while. It’s common for there to be cavern-wide parties, enticing everyone to come out in public and mingle to meet new people. Some folks even travel to other caverns to meet new people further outside their community, which helps foster inter-cavern relations. The purpose of this is to help form strong community bonds, where everybody knows somebody who knows somebody. Additionally, you may meet and become friends with someone you never would have spoken to otherwise. Even the shyest of Mycenians can meet a new person even without attending the big cavern parties, because smaller, more intimate gatherings pop up to provide for the quieter folk. And of course, what would New Meetings Day be without fun activities? Icebreaker games abound, and nearly everyone’s playing some version of Icebreaker Bingo, or Two Truths and a Lie, or a whole slew of other conversation-starting games. After all, what better way to meet a new person than to try and find someone who plays an instrument, or try and figure out whether that new person you met really once broke their leg in a freak dodgeball accident or if that’s their lie?

Posted 06/21/19

Burning Night (Not to be confused with the UK’s Bonfire Night)

Celebrated at midsummer, Burning Night is a time to sit out under the glowworms, relax, and renew. Large bonfires are lit all over the caves, fueled by scrap. It’s tradition to burn unwanted reminders of things you’d rather forget, to symbolically destroy frustration and grief, and gain catharsis. In addition, small offerings are also burned, to ask for luck and good fortune, to cleanse one’s life, and renew yourself for the second half of the year.

Of course, Burning Night isn’t just about self reflection! There’s plenty of festivity to be had. Absurd amounts of food are toasted over the fires, and copious s’mores consumed. In the wilder corners of the cave, people dance rings around the fires, and the braver among us might even leap over the flames!

Burning Night may have begun as a way to celebrate the end of spring cleaning, but it has far surpassed its humble origins to become a beloved cave tradition.

Posted 06/21/19
Spring into Summer Festival

In the early spring, Mycenians sneak out beyond the drowsy guardian of the cave to gather flowers. Bouquets are handed out to loved ones and strangers alike to decorate the cavern with their bright colors and intoxicating scents. However, as spring waxes on towards summer, the flowers begin to droop. Enterprising Mycenians, unwilling to see their beauty go to waste, pluck the petals from the flowers before they can wilt and preserve them. The petals are ground with mushrooms, fragments of sparkling rock, and water to create unique pastes in a variety of stunning colors. Then, when the showers of spring begin to fade into hazy heat on the eve of the Summer equinox, a celebration is held!
Starting at dawn, Mycenians bring their home-crafted concoctions to the streets or buy paints from the many dealers that appear in town with their special recipes to share. They decorate themselves, their friends, and anyone willing with the petal pastes, creating a kaleidoscopic rainbow of shimmering colors out of their neighbors! Towns across the cave are filled with stalls selling fresh baked goods that feature the ideal, specially saved spring crops as well as sweet treats that hint at the flavors summer will bring. Smaller stalls exist as well, selling varieties of polished pieces ranging from carving tools to hats to oddities from the far reaches of the caves. The celebration is bright, light-hearted, and filled with anticipation.
As evening comes, all who participated in the festival gather to wash the paste from themselves. The sun sets, the light filtering into the cave dims, and all at once everyone rushes into the nearest water source, splashing and screaming as the water whisks away the last remnants of spring and calls for summer to truly begin.

Posted 06/21/19

Start of Spore Season

In the depths of the cave, where lush mushroom forests grow in enormous humid caverns, the far settlements celebrate (or lament) the beginning of spore season. While outside the flowers may be blooming beneath the warm sun, within the cave the air is thick with shroom spores. Those with allergies may find this time of year particularly trying, but it is also a time of new life and festivity. Traditionally, this is when the giant mushrooms from last year’s spores are felled, their trunks used as a unique sort of wood in all manner of furnishings and decorations. It comes in a myriad hues, far more than any tree, and the blue-purple color of certain Greatshrooms are especially sought after by collectors and woodworkers alike. Trinkets carved from various types of shroomwood are often created and exchanged by friends, while the softer mushroom caps are turned into a variety of unique edibles.

Once enough of the giant shrooms have been felled, a large festival is held within a clearing in the mushroom forest. A central bonfire is lit, fueled by shroom logs, and all around it are arranged booths with games and food crafted using various parts of the mushrooms, both small and giant. All sorts of souvenirs can also be purchased, and the more creative individuals may even try their hand at polishing or carving bits of shroomwood. Small figurines and beads are especially popular among the younger mycenians. And the deep fried shroom caps on a stick are a must-try for any visitor. Musicians playing lively tunes often accompanies equally lively dancing around the bonfire. Many mycenians choose to renew their vows at this time of year, beneath the glittering spore clouds, and parenthood is celebrated in all its forms. Many choose perform kinnen, adding to their families, or celebrating the additions they already have. And for those who suffer from sneezing fits due to the spores in the air, there are tissues aplenty.

Posted 06/21/19
Annual Fish Festival

Every year, once the weather begins to cool from the summer heat, and the fish are abundant and swimming about a fishing festival of epic proportions is held to celebrate everything about fish! Events of all sorts such as a goldfish scoop, costume contest, crafting contests, and a cooking competition are set up, and food stalls are set up all about. It’s a week of fun for friends family, and fish lovers alike.

However, the main event that all look forward to the most is the fishing contest. Any Mycenean of any age is free to participate and take part. This fishing contest takes part deeper in the caves where a larger lake is located. During the fishing contest there is a time limit in which contestants can fish, and each type of fish caught is given a point value. Whoever has the highest point value at the end of the time limit is the winner of the fishing contest. However there also prizes for the Mycenean who catches the most amount of fish, and the Mycenean who catches the largest fish as well.

At the end of the fishing festival all the contests are judged and fish themed fireworks are set off at the end of the night.

Posted 06/21/19, edited 06/21/19
Mushroom Festival

Mycenians will often save mushrooms for a bi-annual event called the Mushroom Festival. The festival runs from sun up to sun down, and many Mycenians will rise at dawn to begin preparing delicious mushroom meals for festival-goers: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with snacks. This is the time for chefs to show off their skills, with aromatic and mouth-watering dishes, and it is also a time for mischief makers, as many of the mushrooms used will alter the appearance of whoever eats the dish. Of course, at the end of the day, chefs will distribute mushrooms that will revert appearance. Many Mycenians will spend the day making new friends and learning new recipes to take home and try for themselves, bonding over the silliness and deliciousness of the festival.

The Mushroom Festival came to be after the discovery of so many magical types of mushrooms in the cave. Mycenians like to show off newly discovered mushrooms and their effects, and since many are not available year-round, the event happens twice a year. And since there are always new mushrooms popping up in the cave, there are always new mushroom dished to try during the festival!

Posted 06/21/19
Grow Together

Every year during the same week the Cave’s inhabitants are encouraged to either challenge themselves to improve a skill, or challenge others to try a brand new activity. Each participant may choose if they want to set their own challenge, or accept challenges from others. The challenges are strictly FUN and never dangerous, with the intention of Growing Together.

The very first annual Grow Together was not planned or even intended to become an annual event at all. It was simply a group of young ineki messing around challenging each other toward increasingly silly goals, as all younglings will. Who can hold their breath the longest? Who can climb highest in the trees? What about jumping into a deep cenote - is anyone brave enough for that?! None of the challenges were overtly dangerous, but there was an unexpected result after the fun and games ended that day. Some of the ineki had enjoyed the challenges so much that they began to set real goals and focused on improving those skills. For example, there was only one participant brave enough to jump into the deep cenote that day. She hopped over the edge and immediately disappeared into the murky abyss, and climbed out a few minutes later with a new favorite hobby! Over the following year she continued to explore cenotes and other high jumps and exhilarating dives. Hers is an extreme example, but you get the idea.

As the one year anniversary of that day approached the friends gathered together again and noticed how much they’d all grown over the past year without even realizing it. They marveled at the simple fact that they had placed goals, reached them, and Grown Together. This was the year the annual event was truly founded, when they decided to set new goals for themselves with a one-week grace period to complete those goals. Grow Together has exploded in just a few years since that first day. More Ineki join in every year, challenging themselves or others to try out new skills or improve existing ones. This is an annual challenge to improve ourselves through positive encouragement within our online community. The option of setting goals for yourself is available so our more introverted Mycenians can feel included without feeling overwhelmed. Here are some realistic examples.

“I write poetry. Have you ever tried it? I challenge you to write one poem every day for Grow Together week and share it with us! If you need any advice I’m here to help!”

“I’m an artist…or, at least, I’d like to be. I could use some more practice in all honesty. This year for Grow Together I am challenging myself to practice life drawing every day for one week and share my progress with the community!”

“I love animals and really enjoy volunteering at my local animal shelter. I challenge you to volunteer in your community too! Who knows, maybe you’ll find an amazing new hobby or make new friends!”

Posted 06/21/19, edited 06/21/19
The Day of Song

As the seasons constantly move along, so too do Mycenians gather to find the beat that moves them best. Many of the caves inhabitants are fond of music, but the Day of Song is the one day each year where those without even the slightest bit of musical talent will find themselves almost compelled to try their paw at some form or another of music. The Day of Song, which occurs in the heart of Fall, around the autumnal equinox, brings with it bits and pieces of song long lost to the memories of the cave’s inhabitants, some haunting refrain, some primordial, pristine beat, some melody lost to the depths of time. Music flows through the cave like water, distant players harmonizing their songs without even thinking about it.
Some may attribute such musical aptitude to magic, or perhaps some other force, but it seems that there is a spark within every single Mycenian that flares to life for at least one brief day. Some only experience the musical urge once a year, but others… well, others find that spark igniting into a blazing inferno within them. Those are, more often than not, the musicians whose talents had yet to be uncovered. There’s no prescribed method of “observing” the Day of Song, as it is nearly a force of nature, in that it happens whether rituals are carried out or not, but more often than not, most Mycenians prepare themselves by ensuring that whatever instruments they might own are in good shape, and almost invariably, every single Mycenian is in bed long before the Day of Song begins, to rest their bodies and minds, such that they may produce the best music they can. From the hesitant notes at dawn to the blessed fantasia that the cave itself seems to create by day’s end, music is omnipresent on this day, above all others. So take this day each year, live a little, and let the music move you!
And for those of you worried about sounding like a yowling mole rat, don’t worry. The cave itself seems almost imbued with a magic that makes even the untalented among us sound good.

Posted 06/21/19
Firefly Wish

In the middle of summer, when the night is warm, mycenians would gather to watch the fireflies. The children are encouraged to cup one in their paws and whisper to it their wishes. They believe that the fireflies will carry their dreams and wishes and keep them safe until the next year. Usually, in the next year, a firefly would land on the mycenians and stay on their fur for a few minutes, sometimes more, before flying away. They believe that that firefly was the one they whispered to the previous year and it had carried out their wish one way or another, may they realize it or not. However, if one made a wish the previous year and no firefly landed on them this year, it is believed that the firefly lost its light, along with the wish.

Some of the older mycenians don’t really believe in these anymore, however they still encourage the younger mycenians to hope and to dream, for when those are lost, it would be like the lights went out.

It is unclear as to how this came to be, though through all the many versions of its origin story, there was a common theme; the fireflies represent a feeling of hope and warmth to those mycenians

Posted 06/21/19, edited 06/22/19
Kinnen Day

Essentially Children’s Day in the cave, Kinnen Day is dedicated to celebrating the young ones and that special bond of parenthood (blood-linked or otherwise). It is a day of appreciation for the new generation and typically celebrated by the older giving the younger small gifts.

Kinnen Day is a casual holiday celebrated sometime in late Spring. Not everyone pays attention to it (I mean, not everyone has kids after all…) and children generally use it as an excuse to have some fun for a day. Adults will generally indulge by giving them little treats or visiting somewhere entertaining for the occasion. Businesses tend to have special discounts on toys and candies on Kinnen Day.

With that said, some caution should be taken. Rowdier kids like to take advantage of the holiday to commit acts of mischief and get into all sorts of shenanigans unsupervised. It’s all in good fun though, right?

Posted 06/22/19
The StoryTeller’s Contest

(AKA: The Lying Games)

Once a year, Mycenians gather together to see who can tell the most outlandish story and win the honor of being the greatest Storyteller for the season. This festival often happens in the winter months when people are closed in and starting to go crazy with being cramped into small areas for warmth. It started out as a basic festival where people could meet and tell of news from between the clans and caves but as time has gone on the stories became more and more unbelievable as one family would try and one-up the next. Now it is a full blown week of festivities where there are contests of foods, drinks (especially brews), songs, and of course, the lies stories!

At the end of the week, Mycenians have generally voted for their favorite stories or storytellers and the last night puts up the favored bards against each other in a showdown of wits and words. Each needs to come up with a new story or new twist on an old tale and they take turns to perform before all Mycenians there. The winner will get crowned as the ‘Greatest Tail-Teller’ for the year and will usually get first pick of the bounty from the other contests during the week. It is quite often that the Tail-Teller will be asked to visit the clans and caves through out the rest of the winter season to brighten up the hearths with words and stories, bring paid in food and a place to stay in return. This can be a high honor and most accept it willingly.

Posted 06/22/19, edited 06/22/19
Wind’s Ward

The wind blows from a different direction each season. In Spring, it blows from the East, bringing the scent of newly shed pollen and freshly fallen rain. In Summer, it blows from the South, a welcome respite from the overwhelming heat and the smothering humidity. In Autumn it blows from the West, shaking the leaves from their branches and setting them to dancing around whoever walks beneath the trees. But in Winter, it blows from the North, heralding snow and ice, and all the dangers that it brings.

And so the Wind’s Ward festival is held. In the early days of Autumn, all who are able gather one bough each of ash, birch, hawthorn, and oak. These will be placed in a store for the following year’s Wind’s Ward, thus ensuring that there is always wood to host the festival.
The festival itself begins on the first sunrise of Winter. Last year’s wood is brought out of the storeroom, and a bonfire is lit on the Northern border of the town. It is kept burning for a full twenty-four hours, until sunrise the next day. The community gathers around the bonfire, bringing food for themselves and others. There is no real structure to the celebration — the intent is to spend the day around the fire, tending to it, eating, singing, conversing, and celebrating the year since the previous Wind’s Ward. At sunrise, when the fire burns down, everyone gathers a handful of ash into a small glass bottle, to be kept in a Northern window to ward off the dangers of the North Wind.

Posted 06/22/19
Bonding Tides

For those who decide to marry in Maritime and form a geness, a special ceremony is held to commemorate the marriage. Named after the tides the participants are doused in; ‘Bonding Tides’ has become a go-to for all who wish to test their love’s temperament. The islanders are extremely water-centric in all they do, so it isn’t a surprise water found a way into the ceremony. When the tide recedes for a short time as clouds cover the cavern’s light source above; the bride and groom take their place where the shallows once were. There, they do what they feel fit. Some gather shells and seaweed, crafting necklaces and trinkets to adorn one another. Some play and frolic in the wet sand, and some have simply stand silently, holding each other’s hand. It is uncertain what is expected of them, but many believe acts of love and kindness win favor with the water’s strange magic. Reliably, when one hour is up, the tide comes rushing back. Now, for as many years as this act has been witnessed, it’s become pretty obvious whose marriage will and won’t last. You see, if the waters rush over the mycenians, knocking and tossing them back to shore. Their love is flawed. Maybe one holds disdain for another, or even committed some foul act in secret. If their love is true, however, the waters will part around them. A soft glow illuminates the sand at their feet, and all the tidal pool will soon illuminate; these are the pairs who’ve found themselves the greatest luck and magic in their lives together.

While most are uncertain how this tradition was stumbled upon, a scroll in Maritime’s old library suggests that an old adventurer stumbled across a glowing bay with his love. Back then, the tide receded much faster than it does now, and returned almost instantly. The water’s had swept away some of their belongings, and as they gave chase, they found themselves with a wave rapidly coming towards them, but it simply split apart and an array of swirling magic took their breath away. Of course, these days it takes much longer for the waters to return, but it’s always certain this particular bay will perform each evening.

Tourist have since been allowed to buy special glass containers full of the bay’s water. A couple who keeps the water will find that, over time, the water grows brightly as their relationship grows.

Posted 06/22/19

The Cave is full of countless wonders, and one of them is quite a curious one. A plain little cavern, hardly distinguishable from others, transforms completely as winter solstice draws near.

When the days grow colder and shorter, a large, warm fire lights up in its midst. At the same tie the cavern expands, filling with finest cooking ingredients. And it’s not just herbs, vegetables and fruits, one can find anything they could ever dream of - differently prepared meats, endless variety of cheeses, freshly baked breads and rare spices… all delicious and within the paw’s reach.

None of these ingredients ever spoil or run out, but there’s a catch - the food doesn’t actually fill a stomach, even if one were to eat and eat without a rest. It’s nothing more than an illusion that goes away after a few days’ time… But that doesn’t stop the Mycenians from nearby settlements from flooding it every year to enjoy the cavern’s bounty.

Over time this has turned into a festival of sorts, its highlight being a cooking contest with a variety of categories. Cooks and patissiers come from all over the Cave to test their skills and develop new recipes, while the more common folk enjoy smaller, more casual cooking bouts. It’s the perfect time to try out new things, and since the food is magical anyone can even enjoy foods they normally couldn’t, be it because of personal beliefs or food intolerances.

While cooking and eating are the main focus of the festival, other activities take place in the cavern as well. From storytelling and word games to odd challenges and bonfire dances, there’s something for everyone. Some even use the magical food to make things that would normally be considered an inexcusable waste, such as creating strange food statues, contending over who can make the grossest dish imaginable or starting food fights.

Posted 06/22/19, edited 06/22/19

Darting of the Dawn-skimmer

While many Mycenaean tended to plant life and the fungi around them, there is one living creature that ALL Mycenaean’s care for; the Dawn-skimmer. Easy to mistake for a floating mound of bioluminescent plankton or algae, once you looked up close it was easy to see it was not either of those things, but a small butterfly-esque insect. it started as a larvae, growing under the water until it made a small cocoon out of shells, twigs, and other materials it finds at the bottom of the water. after it grows and matures it hatches free, and floats up to the surface where it spreads its wings to dry. no one is sure exactly how it moves across the water, or what the wings are for, but it is extremely fast, and the pools without it are murkier and do now glow as brightly. Floating on the water it collects particles from the water to feed off. they can not fly, and will never try to leave the pool they were born in.

as more Mycenaeans came from the rocks and deeper crevices of the caves, the Dawn-skimmer started to vanish. slowly at first, until one year no cocoons were hatching, and the waters grew less bright, and less full of life. the Mushrooms and plants around these pools would wilt, and the animals would no longer drink from them. that’s when the first connections between the importance of the insect and the caves were made. The only pools that still had healthy populations of them were the ones closest to the sun, even the pools deep under ground, as long as there was a sliver of sunlight the Dawn-skimmers were healthy, strong, and happy.

it started as a game the children would play. During the summer and early Autumn they would decorate large glass gars, containers, even large hollow rocks would be decorated and used for new pools for the Dawn-skimmer cocoons. it would be protected, carefully brought from the pools it was resting in, never touching the air. containers would be marked by specific colors or patterns depending on what pool the came from.once all the containers were filled, they were carried by the Mycenaean and they would sing as they did this. (the oldest say it was to wake the sleeping dawn-skimmer) and carry the containers to the entrance of the cave, they would never leave of course, but they would leave them there long enough for the Dawn-Skimmers to drink up the sun, and start hatching. this usually took all winter, and the event would end in the spring.

once the first ones hatched they would be celebrated, named, and the rest would all be put back into their original ponds. the first that hatched and were not put back in their homes were raced. there was no real reason for it anymore, the true purpose was long forgotten (perhaps it was so they would find untouched places in the cave to bring to life?) but everyone partakes in this event even if it’s just for fun now.

Posted 06/23/19
Floral Carnival

When the caves become warmer, the trees start to bear fruit and flowers bloom, the Mycenians find the biggest cave with some river or a stream and begin the preparations for the festival. They arrange decorations, mostly made from fresh flowers and colorful plants, they prepare delicious meals and drinks, and they build a simple stage and some booths.

The Floral Carnival requires a lot of planning, but it also lasts three days. First, there’s always an opening ceremony where bands play music - some bands feature only Mycenians, while others are made of various different creatures (such as insects)! After that grand opening everyone is free to do whatever they want - go and relax for a bit, try out many different types of food, play games or simply chat with each other. During this festival, many Mycenians from different parts of the Cave come. They mostly visit just to enjoy the fair, though some of them also bring handmade trinkets for sale.

The main event happens in the evening. Mycenians bring wreaths made from flowers and other safe materials or make them during the day at the festival. When they have a finished wreath, they write on a piece of paper something that brought happiness to them last year, then they fold the paper (sometimes into cute shapes) and put it in the wreath. After that they let the wreath float on water. Doing that shows their gratitude for the previous year and it’s supposed to bring luck in the upcoming year.

Lastly, to finish up the first day of the Floral Carnival, Mycenians set off vibrant fireworks. After that, the festival is held for two more days - but it’s mostly focused on games, tasty food and trading.

Posted 06/23/19
Celebration of the Lost

A Mycenian holiday observed throughout the cave. Towards the end of the year, a weeks-long celebration is held towards the deepest reaches of the cavern. Businesses are closed to encourage a gathering of family and friends to reflect on the blessings of the Sorceress and the presence of the Lost. The Mycenians do not view this as a mourning period, but as a ways of merry observance.

Citizens march towards the back of the caves, where statues of the Lost are stood. During this pilgrimage, it is common for banners and ribbons to be flown, along with music to carry them. For each year that the Sorceress collected the stones, the Mycenians complete one full circle around the statues of the Lost.

Upon completing the march, Mycenians are encouraged to build private altars containing their favorite foods and beverages, as well as photos and memorabilia. The intent is to encourage visits by the lost souls. It is believed that life can finally be brought to the Lost, should their souls hear the prayers and hopes of the living.

Posted 06/23/19

The Annual Gem Harvest

Once during the Mycenian year, during the beginning of Spring time, the magical Gems in the Cave are at their most, well, magical. Coincidentally due to changes in weather and as a result humidity, the soil and rock in the Cave is also at its softest this time of year, and collecting Gems is as easy as chiseling away a bit at their rocky surroundings. The increased magic power of the Gems also helps Mycenians to break them free too, of course! As a result, Gems are at a surplus in the cave during this time of year, and so is Mycenian magic. This special harvest of Gems often becomes the most magical time of year, literally, and there are unforgettable celebrations and events to go paw-in-paw with this most potent time of year in the Cave.

Perhaps most importantly, the Annual Gem Harvest also sees the Cave’s youngest members begin to use magic for the very first time. Young Mycenians, almost overcome by the potency of the gems and magical energy naturally coursing through the Cave, cast their first spells and learn their first pieces of magic. Some accidentally, some purposefully and led carefully by their caregivers and families, most Mycenians can recall their earliest magic experiences taking place during the Gem Harvest.

Financially, the Cave often also sees an increase in trade and sales of Gems to the outside world, since the Bone Monster is often asleep and Mycenians can enter the outside world to sell their beautiful wares and teach others more about the beauty and magic of these typically rare jewels. Non-Mycenians, of course, may run into some trouble trying to cast spells and magic as easily as Mycenians are able to! Of course, others revere Gems for their simple beauty, and are happy to pay for them to adorn jewelry and clothing, or as popular good luck charms worn around the neck.

Of course, this increase in trades and sales is reflected as equally inside of the Cave as well, and the Gem Harvest gives Mycenians the opportunity to store savings of Gems or barter for needed supplies or perhaps luxuries too with them.

Posted 06/23/19
The Twinkling Festival

From Cavepedia, the free encyclopedia

                  For the monument, see Twinkling Shrine.

The Twinkling Festival is celebrated during the first week of April every year in the caves directly adjacent to the Shrine Caverns. It is a celebration of the Twinkling Shrine’s lanterns being relit after their fire goes out on the eve of the new year.

The festival spans four days from dawn on April 3rd to dusk on April 7th, when the fires are lit. Often, Mycenians will stay near the shrine celebrating the return of spring and their survival through another year. Additionally, the Twinkling Festival is seen as a prime opportunity for Mycenians raised in the area who have since left to reunite with family and friends who still live in the area.

The festival started shortly after the Great Winter. The Twinkling Shrine itself was constructed by an especially enterprising team of ineki. Initially, what few lanterns surrounded and occupied the shrine were lit by curious espiritita, and as such the lanterns could be seen in any color of the rainbow. Recently it was discovered that it was easier to light the lanterns with an enchanted flame, allowing for more lanterns to be placed in and around the shrine.[citation needed]

April 3rd, the first day of the festival, is traditionally the day spent crafting additional lanterns to be hung around the shrine. These lanterns are generally simple lanterns made of handcrafted paper and fallen sticks from the forest in one of the caves closest to the shrine. When the lanterns are done, they are taken to the shrine and blessed by one of the shrine keepers, who will hang them up later in the festival.

April 4th, the second day, is often dedicated to preparing the more elaborate lanterns that the festival’s participants will often hang in and around their own houses. These can be made of anything. Commonly, the base is similar to the lanterns used for the shrine itself, with additional natural decorative materials attached. Common decorations for the lanterns include flower petals both fresh and dried, particularly interesting stones hung from the frame, and murals painted with natural pigments on the lantern paper itself; however, anything of a natural origin is acceptable.

April 5th, the third day, is a day spent reflecting on the previous year. Those who celebrate the festival generally refrain from doing any kind of unnecessary errand and spend the day with their loved ones. It’s not necessarily a solemn day, as many parts of many years are full of happy occasions. Often, families will bake a hearty whole-grain bread with a variety of dried fruit embedded in it on this day. The bread doesn’t represent anything special - it’s the process of making it with your loved ones that is more important than the bread itself.

April 6th, the fourth day, is split into two parts. During the morning, final preparations for the festivities take place. The shrine keepers enchant the lanterns with a spell that will allow them to stay lit until the new year, and hang them up inside and outside the shrine. Special care is paid to the lanterns in the windows, which are generally the largest of the lanterns given to them on the first day. However they won’t be lit until the next evening. During the night, the festivities begin, and continue for a full twenty-four hours. The festivities are centered around the villages near the shrine during this first night, and slowly move to the shrine itself as the next day comes around.

April 7th, the fifth and final day, begins with festivities in full swing. Merriment is had throughout the shrine caves, drinks flow freely, and a wide variety of food is prepared and consumed. The food tends to be finger food and things easily eaten with one hand while standing up, but this is not a hard rule and those seeking more substantial meals can generally find them easily. As the mushroom light begins to get dim, Mycenians will grab their ornamental lanterns and draw near to the shrine itself. When the mushrooms have reached their darkest point, a spell is cast by the shrine keepers that both lights all the lanterns in, around, and near the shrine, and creates an updraft. When the spell is cast and the lanterns are lit, the partiers release their ornamental lanterns and let them drift up to a crack in the cave’s ceiling.

After that, though some partygoers will bring the party to their respective dwellings, the bulk of the festivities are over until the next festival rolls around.

Posted 06/24/19
Are we allowed to describe/adapt a tradition we’ve used before? Obviously all new writing and description but the same general idea? I’d like to expand an idea I’ve had before (particularly Heavy Spirits or The Blossom Vigil).
Posted 06/24/19, edited 06/24/19

Sure thing! As long as the content is new, I don’t see any problem with that!

Posted 06/24/19
Gathering of Dawn

At the height of summer, when the days are at their nicest and the flowers are at the height of their bloom, the Gathering of Dawn is held. In the days previous, volunteers will venture into the Glade of Versilae - where every type of flower you can possibly think of grows - and they will pick as many as they can. The flowers will then be carefully braided into crowns, with each crown being part of a matching pair, and each pair of crowns completely unique from the rest. One pair of crowns might be made of large flowers with giant puffy red petals that are accented with small white flowers, while another pair might be a mix of dark blue and soft purple medium sized flowers. So each crown is unique and special, save for one matching mate.

Anyone who wishes to join the Gathering may, and they do so by going to the fair grounds at midday and being assigned a random flower crown. They’ll place the crown atop their head and spend the rest of the day finding the individual who’s wearing the crown that matches theirs. Pairs can include anyone of any age; they could be a child and senior or two young adults, and you could be paired with a relative, a friend, or even a complete stranger. Some end up making new lifelong friends, while others end up meeting the future love of their life.

Regardless, the pair will spend the remainder of the day together. This could be telling stories, sharing life lessons, dancing or painting or singing or sharing whatever hobbies they find they both enjoy. Some will even have prepared small gifts to bestow upon their flower crown mate. They spend the time meeting each other, this could be an initial greeting for strangers or a deeper understanding and respect between those who might already be friends.

Those who are brave and daring will attempt to stay up all through the night together, laughing among the fireflies or nestled before a campfire. Many believe the name, the Gathering of Dawn, is because you’re suppose to stay together as a pair until the dawn light touches the sky and shines upon the wilting flowers atop your head. Yet really, truly, dawn is in reference to a new start - the start of a new friendship, a new courtship, a new mentorship, a new beginning of fresh relationships throughout the cave.

Posted 06/24/19, edited 06/24/19
Sprout Spritzing

It’s not uncommon to spot several buds lingering upon the Sacred Tree, waiting to be claimed by their families. This can occur for a variety of reasons, ranging from the new parents having to journey from the far reaches of the Cave to collect the bud to the simple wish for a specific carve day.

There is an old story; one often passed around by older Mycenians specifically when a bud has spent any prolonged period of time nestled into the roots of the Sacred tree. It’s said that a sprout—much like this one, they usually add—born of the same true companionship all sprouts arise from, once appeared upon the Tree. Passing Mycenians would coo and admire it, wondering who the lucky geness might be.

Day after day, the bud waited, and soon, the idle chatter of the townsfolk turned to hushed murmurs. Whoever this sprout belonged to had yet to show. Or maybe, rumors began, they simply didn’t want it.

Days turned to weeks; sun to rain to sun again. Nobody ever claimed the little bud, and feeling sorry for its plight, the townsfolk began leaving small tokens around its base. Nuggets, gems, baked goods—nothing a baby bud would have any particular use for, but anything that might symbolize the care and concern the community held for the little one.

There is disagreement as to how the old tale ends. It is a common claim, however, that eventually the bud simply disappeared. Whether its parents finally came to collect it or the Tree somehow withdrew it into its roots once more, one morning it was simply… gone. Left in its place were all the gifts it received, and any who passed close to the spot it once inhabited claimed to feel an otherworldly, but reassuring, warmth.

Nowadays, whenever a bud has remained upon the tree for any amount of time, it’s not unusual to find a handful of nuggets or trinkets tucked close to it. It’s generally considered good luck to give without expecting anything in return, and the idea of any bud going as long as the one from the story did without any sort of love is heartbreaking to most Mycenians.

This tradition came to be called Sprout Spritzing, and tends to happen cyclically, depending quite a bit on the town gossip and the general bustle in the area of the Sacred Tree. It’s less likely to happen during periods of multiple sprouting, such as during the early spring, with the thought that multiple sprouts means that they’re more likely to be picked up in short order.

Posted 06/25/19, edited 06/25/19
Boney Appreciation Day

Most days of the year, the denizens of the Cave know better than to approach their Bone Guardian. Doing so will only rouse her ire and cause the botherers to retreat back to the safe interior of the cave. But at the end of the Flower Gathering festival in the spring, it has become traditional for the occupants of the Cave to gather together and thank the Guardian for her protections and her permitting them to pass by her on certain days throughout the year. By the entrance of the Cave, there is a small carved-out hollow. It has become smooth and worn throughout the year, eroded by the touch of paws throughout time. Into this little space, and it’s sheltered enough that going there will not rouse the Guardian’s temper. During the night after the Flower festival has ended, this space will gradually fill up with small gifts and notes to Boney. Many families have fiercely-guarded and cherished recipes that they will swear are the Guardian’s favorites, which they leave year after year. Others leave hand-crafted trinkets which they have worked on all years, putting all their care and gratitude into the creation. Some leave only notes, but these are universally affectionate, sometimes a little teasing. Although this celebration is not often spoken about, almost everyone in the Cave is aware of it, and most look forward to this, knowing that at other times it’s difficult to approach the Bone Guardian, even to say a few words of appreciation for how she looks after them. By the next night, the gifts and tokens have disappeared from within the little hollow, and although Boney will still chase off any who attempt to leave the Cave without her consent, there are many who say that her roar is a little more affectionate. It’s still incredibly loud, though.

Posted 06/25/19
Day of Blessings

On the solstice of summer, whichever day that may be, the whole of Mycena Cave participates in a most beloved custom: the exchange of blessings. While the power of light is at its highest, mycenians take the chance to present their favoured friends, family members, and partner(s) with a memento carrying one very specific and heartfelt well-wish.

Yet although the tradition is universal, each section of the cave has its own rituals for preparing such offerings. For example, the kelph of Kelpie Cove often trade clamshell-ensconced pearls that have been cultivated by the giver from a tiny grain of sand over the course of months (the process accelerated by magic, of course) with a special wish in mind, while the Hawkgriff ineki of Aviar Perch fancy gifting engraved wishbones from particularly well caught prey.

The end of this wonderful day is usually celebrated by a public viewing of the caretakers of Twinkling Shrine’s beautiful firework blessing displays shortly after sunset.

Posted 06/25/19
Walk of Three

The morning of the first day of spring, Mycenians gather in the heart of the caves and celebrate the Three—the sorceress, the wanderer, and the Bone Monster. This tradition began in the early years of the cave, and comprises of a day-long festival, followed by three separate expeditions to honor the three most important figures in the history of the caves.

The festival lasts from the early hours of the morning until sundown. Mycenians enjoy bountiful feasts and play a variety of games, while elderly Mycenians gather to tell stories of the early days of the caves. As the sun begins to set, they begin to prepare for the second part of the their gathering. They separate into three groups, all of them bearing baskets full of ripe fruit and fresh flowers.

The first group, comprised mostly of the elderly and children, travel to the Wanderer’s Grotto, where they listen to stories of the Wanderer’s journey. There, they leave gifts of carver’s tools and relics, thanking the Wanderder for their lives and celebrating the joys of life. At the grotto, artisans will carve flowers and figures into the walls of the cave.

The second group, most of which are the young and bold Mycenians, travel to the cave entrance to thank the Bone Monster for guarding their home. There, they leave treats for the Bone Monster and decorate the entrance with garlands and wreaths. The most daring of Mycenians play a game to see who can get the closest to the entrance without stirring the beast.

The third group is composed of only the bravest Mycenians. They travel deep into the echelons of the caves, only stopping when they reach the ends of the mapped locations. There, at the yawning mouth of the shadows caves, they leave lanterns of glow worms and offering of food and drink so that if the sorceress ever appears, she could be led home.

The three expeditions reconvene in the main caverns at sunrise and share a final and simple feast before retreating to their homes and spending the rest of the day in repose.

Posted 06/25/19