Historical Event: Storyteller's Festival


The Storyteller's Festival is an annual festival celebrated in many regions of Sagittaron, especially in the south. Over a stretch of five days (with one evening also being significant), the god Hermes is lauded in praise and Sagittaron's citizens honor the messenger of the gods by recounting the stories of their deities. Sagittaron being one of the poorest colonies, the festival celebrates its ancient tradition of passing down stories in spoken word rather than in text. Anyone from the old to the very young are encouraged to participate in the symbolism of storytelling, and this festival is often a time when even the most obscure of heroic tales are dusted off and handed down.


Day One is regarded as a general day for opening festivities, dedicated to Hermes Diactorus. Hermes' blessing is always invoked at dawn, normally by a group of priests who enter the city wearing wide-brimmed travelling hats and carrying staves. At temples altars would be decorated - one in gold, another silver, another a herald’s wand of ivory, and others other rich presents for the god: sheep's milk, honeycomb, roses, and violets. After the morning blessing, the entire day is set aside for storytelling. Some cities put up pavilions in parks where the oldest and most experienced storytellers sit and regale passing crowds, while others allow the activity wherever the fancy may strike. Almost all stories from scripture, they may be spoken or sung. Rarely are they "acted out" as in theatre.

Day Two is for Hermes Tricephalus, referring to the god's divine influence at intersections. Storytellers on this day generally have a repertoire of tales involving journeys and epic choices being made, whether about the physical path chosen or a course of action.

Day Three is dedicated to Hermes Mechaniotes, the Trickster. Tales told on this day revolve around famous stories of mortal cunning and divine trickery. Masks are commonly used on this day, worn both by storytellers and listeners. Acts of trickery are strongly encouraged (though in keeping with the spirit this is done unofficially), and these frequently make for a mayhem-filled day. Items stolen and property damaged are sometimes returned and fixed, the opinion being split between whether it honors the god more to repair any bad blood, or to be able to get away without being caught.


Day Four is another general day of storytelling festivities, with a prayer to Hermes Aglaus opening the day. On the evening of Day Four, a special invocation is given to Hermes to praise his role as Zeus' conductor of dreams to man. Sagittarians will often bring feathers to temple, symbolic of Hermes' winged cap and boots, and at nightfall will lay them under pillows or hang them somewhere in the room. Many sleep in Hermes' temples instead of at home.

Special care is placed with attempting to remember one's dreams that evening, and on the morning of Day Five all are encouraged to tell their dreams to one another. Temples distinguish between insignificant and significant dreams - insignificant dreams are dreams that can be explained as experiences, desires, or fears of the dreamer; significant ones are regarded as prophetic. No matter the designation, they are all treated as blessings from the gods.

The evening of Day Five marks the end of the festival, usually with grand events of troupe-style tale weaving in costume.

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