The log from the ceremony:
*Note: there is a ******* between Valoryn's story and the ceremony
[21/12/13 22:00] *Mya Celestia*:http://storenow.net/my/?f=9554d51efe17054d6c4470fef6aef836
[21/12/13 22:14] *Mya Celestia*:Thank you all for coming.
[21/12/13 22:15] *Mya Celestia*:Valoryn, would you mind telling us your story first *smiles*
[21/12/13 22:15] Lintara: (back)
[21/12/13 22:16] Valoryn: *is startled a little, not expecting that, but nods* Alright then.
[21/12/13 22:16] :BFH the Green claps
[21/12/13 22:16] :*Mya Celestia* slips him a quick note
[21/12/13 22:17] :Valoryn reads the note and adds a hasty reply on it before handing it back
[21/12/13 22:17] :powle finds a comfortable spot to relax and listen to the story
[21/12/13 22:18] :Valoryn takes a seat on one of the lower steps of the stair and looks at the crowd
[21/12/13 22:18] Valoryn:Greetings and welcome to our Yule celebration.
[21/12/13 22:19] :Lintara climbs up a few steps and sits down on a step
[21/12/13 22:20] Valoryn:This occurence today has sparkled fond memories from my homeland of old, its customs and traditions and it's some legends and tales from my homeland I wish to share with you this day.
[21/12/13 22:22] Valoryn:So, we need to go there and also a few thousand years back in time and see how people used to celebrate the longest night and how those traditions managed to survive the test of time.
[21/12/13 22:23] Valoryn:In my homeland of old, people used to worship many gods. Even if we bring our hands together and count our fingers, they won't be enough to count and name them all.
[21/12/13 22:23] Valoryn:But we don't need to trouble ourselves with all of them. It's only two of them that concern our story.
[21/12/13 22:25] Valoryn:One of them was known as Dionysus, the god of wine, feasting, merriment and their extremes. This is at least how he is depicted nowadays.
[21/12/13 22:26] Valoryn:But in those times of old, he was known as the mad god, able to turn his followers into an exstatic frenzy and make them do his bidding.
[21/12/13 22:26] Valoryn:His followers were exclusively women, known as Maenads, who under the effect of their god, would roam the forests and mountains in search of prey.
[21/12/13 22:27] Valoryn:If a man happened to be in their path, they would lunge at him, tear his flesh apart and feast on it. That was Dionysus' power over his followers.
[21/12/13 22:28] Valoryn:That may seem irrelevant to the occasion today, but it isn't really so.
[21/12/13 22:29] Valoryn:One of the major city-states of my homeland of old used to hold a festival in Dionysus' honour, known as Lenaea.
[21/12/13 22:30] Valoryn:That festival would begin on the Winter Solstice day with a ceremony including the sacrifice of a man, whose flesh the Maenads would then feast on.
[21/12/13 22:30] Valoryn:Centuries later, human sacrifices caused a lot of disdain and that sacrifice was replaced by that of a goat.
[21/12/13 22:31] Valoryn:The festival would last for twelve days, which would include feasts, dancing, contests and theatre plays, mainly comedies.
[21/12/13 22:32] Valoryn:On the last day of the festival, a newborn child would be presented to Dionysus' altar as a mark of the rebirth of the earth and the lengthening of the days.
[21/12/13 22:33] Valoryn:This is one part of our story. But there is another god that's involved in it.
[21/12/13 22:33] Valoryn:And that's none other than Hades, god of death and ruler of the Underworld.
[21/12/13 22:35] Valoryn:According to ancient tales and folklore, there were many big tough wooden pillars scattered all over the Underworld, which were meant to keep the Upperworld in place.
[21/12/13 22:35] Valoryn:If those pillars fell, then the Upperworld would crumble and collapse.
[21/12/13 22:36] Valoryn:Hades, although a fairly balanced god, in the sense that he didn't trouble himself that much with the dead roaming his realm, he had a swarm of demons in his service.
[21/12/13 22:37] Valoryn:Those demons were small in size, but very very mischievous. When they had nothing else to do, they would spend their time sawing those pillars, trying to make them fall.
[21/12/13 22:38] Valoryn:Of course, Hades didn't mind them doing so, because if the Upperworld were to collapse, everybody there would die and his dominion would be the strongest and mightiest of all.
[21/12/13 22:39] Valoryn:But there were a few days of the years, when those demons would abandon the Underworld and crawl into the Upperworld to cause mischief there.
[21/12/13 22:39] Valoryn:And those twelve days were the days during the festival of the Lenaea and other similar festivals throughout my homeland of old.
[21/12/13 22:41] Valoryn:These demons, however, alhtough they were really mischievous and nasty, they were afraid of two things: light and intense smells, mainly of burning herbs and wine.
[21/12/13 22:42] Valoryn:So, during the festival, the Maenads would ensure that logs of wood, previously soaked in wine, would be burning throughout the twelve days of the festival:
[21/12/13 22:42] Valoryn:To scare those demons away before they harm the people, especially those who would overindulge in wine and other beverages.
[21/12/13 22:43] Valoryn:However, as it comes to all things, those gods of old began to fade and a new faith made its appearance.
[21/12/13 22:44] Valoryn:Along with them, most festivals also faded and those few that persevered had no longer connection to the gods of old nor a religious meaning.
[21/12/13 22:45] Valoryn:But people kept burning logs in their homes during the Twelvetide, even after they had long embraced the new faith.
[21/12/13 22:46] Valoryn:However, the higher officials of the new faith didn't like the old customs, they considered them paganistic, hostile to the faith, and they began a war against the old traditions.
[21/12/13 22:47] Valoryn:People were prosecuted, excommunicated, even tortured and executed. And the witch hunt kept going for years.
[21/12/13 22:48] Valoryn:But the old traditions endured. And a thousand years after its appearance, the new faith had to declare defeat. Nothing could uproot the old customs from the hearts of the people.
[21/12/13 22:48] Valoryn:So, its officials decided to take those old customs and adapt them to the new faith.
[21/12/13 22:49] Valoryn:The Twelvetide would have to be dissasociated from the Winter Solstice and would begin a couple of days later.
[21/12/13 22:50] Valoryn:During those twelve days, the world would still be considered impure, easy to be tainted and corrupted, therefore easy for those demons of the Underworld to come to the surface and cause mischief.
[21/12/13 22:51] Valoryn:So, the people kept following the custom of the burning log, to protect themselves from such misfortunes.
[21/12/13 22:53] Valoryn:This custom has endured till nowadays. And those stories about the gods of old, the festivals in their honour, and the mischievous demons, may have now become fairy tales for children, but their...
[21/12/13 22:53] Valoryn:...symbolism remains true.
[21/12/13 22:54] Valoryn:In the little village where I come from, we tend to make a big bonfire on the Twelvetide Eve, gather around it, sing and dance, eat and have fun and merriment.
[21/12/13 22:55] Valoryn:And there is always a barrel of wine nearby, to sprinkle the bonfire with it.
[21/12/13 22:56] Valoryn:"If the smell of burning wine was able to keep demons away and even revive gods themselves, why can't it also sparkle hope back in the hearts of mortal Men?"
[21/12/13 22:57] Valoryn:This is how my own grand mother used to end such a tale. And it's true. Darkness doesn't need to be in the form of the night.
[21/12/13 22:58] Valoryn:Darkness can be our own fears, our doubts, all those things that refrain us from doing what we like to do.
[21/12/13 22:58] :*Mya Celestia* nods
[21/12/13 22:59] Valoryn:And if we see each and everyone of us as an "Upperworld" of sorts, then the pillars holding us in place are the people we have close, those we care about and the things we like to do.
[21/12/13 22:59] Valoryn:And we do want them to remain intact.
[21/12/13 23:01] Valoryn:And the light... The light, of course, can be a symbol of happiness and hope, but also one of inspiration and creativity. It's so important not just to keep it alive, but also to rekindle it.
[21/12/13 23:01] Valoryn: *makes a small pause then bows his head lightly* Thank you.
[21/12/13 23:02] :*Mya Celestia* applaudes
[21/12/13 23:02] Bash Chelik: *claps* i like:))
[21/12/13 23:02] :*Sunfire* cllaps
[21/12/13 23:03] :Valoryn bows once more, then stands and makes his way to the crowd
[21/12/13 23:03] :Ary Endleg yawns
[21/12/13 23:04] :*Mya Celestia* walks over to the place below the deck and gathers up some mistletoe
[21/12/13 23:04] :*Mya Celestia* passes around sprigs to all who are awake
[21/12/13 23:05] :*Mya Celestia* gives each person a tiny torch as well
[21/12/13 23:05] *Mya Celestia*:Come and gather around the log
[21/12/13 23:06] :Bash Chelik walks to mya
[21/12/13 23:06] :Valoryn takes a sprig of mistletoe and a torch from Mya and looks at the others, feeling that his fear about putting them all to sleep with his story had come true
[21/12/13 23:07] Bash Chelik:well, i liked it:)
[21/12/13 23:07] :*Sunfire* moves towards the log
[21/12/13 23:07] :*Mya Celestia* lights her torch then each person's torch
[21/12/13 23:07] Ary Endleg:one hour story :P what did you expect
[21/12/13 23:08] :Valoryn walks closer to the log
[21/12/13 23:08] :Ary Endleg gets into position for his next lullaby in bushes near the log
[21/12/13 23:08] *Mya Celestia*:While the burning of the log is a way of pushing back the darkness during the Winter Solstice, we have no "night" as it is known here.
[21/12/13 23:09] *Mya Celestia*:There is still a darkness within our realm
[21/12/13 23:09] *Mya Celestia*:The burning of the log signifies the cleansing of the past, As the slate is wiped clean and the new year dawns
[21/12/13 23:09] *Mya Celestia*:Let us lay the darkness of the past at the yule log that it may be burned away
[21/12/13 23:10] *Mya Celestia*:So may our futures be as bright as this flame and as cheerful as the adornments that welcome it.
[21/12/13 23:10] *Mya Celestia*:The mistletoe adorns the log for a purpose. An evergreen that reminds us of life and is a sign of prosperity and good fortune.
[21/12/13 23:11] :*Mya Celestia* lays her mistletoe on the log and motions for the others to follow suit
[21/12/13 23:11] :Valoryn lays his mistletoe on the log
[21/12/13 23:12] :Bash Chelik follow mya`s example thinking about fire
[21/12/13 23:12] :*Sunfire* places his mistle on the log
[21/12/13 23:12] *Mya Celestia*::It brings the hope of new futures and new romances as well. Let us all remember that without love our lives are dark, too.
[21/12/13 23:13] *Mya Celestia*:Let us wipe our slates clean, burn away the darkness and enlighten each other.
[21/12/13 23:14] *Mya Celestia*: *raises her torch* Let us make our wish and light the log together
[21/12/13 23:15] *Mya Celestia*: *holds her torch to the log* Let us join in heart and fire
[21/12/13 23:16] :*Sunfire* holds his torch to the log
[21/12/13 23:16] :Valoryn holds his torch to the log
[21/12/13 23:16] :Bash Chelik brings his torch to the log while wishing for some divine inspiration
[21/12/13 23:18] :*Mya Celestia* smiles as the log begins to burn
[21/12/13 23:18] *Mya Celestia*:Though the chilled blanket of winter has subdued the land. Let us not allow it to restrain our hearts and minds.
[21/12/13 23:19] *Mya Celestia*:Let our creativity and imagination flurrish with the warmth of the flames of inspiration and knowledge
[21/12/13 23:21] *Mya Celestia*: *looks upward* Bless each of us. Give us what each needs though may not be desired.
[21/12/13 23:22] *Mya Celestia*: *looks to each one and smiles* There is individual sprigs of mistletoe for each of you to take, hang and remember what's been done.
[21/12/13 23:22] *Mya Celestia*:May each of you be blessed in the coming year.
[21/12/13 23:23] :Valoryn looks at the burning log, then takes a deep breath and closes his eyes for a moment
[21/12/13 23:23] Bash Chelik:thanks, you too, mya:)
[21/12/13 23:24] *Mya Celestia*: *smiles* You're very welcome. I hope this has been a glimmer of light in your day.
[21/12/13 23:25] Bash Chelik:indeed so:)
[21/12/13 23:26] :Valoryn looks at Mya and smiles, as he takes a sprig of mistletoe
[21/12/13 23:26] *Sunfire*:sunlight in the shadow
[21/12/13 23:27] :*Sunfire* grabs some mistletoe and pockets it
[21/12/13 23:27] :*Mya Celestia* hugs each person that accepts it
[21/12/13 23:29] :*Sunfire* returns the hug
[21/12/13 23:29] :Valoryn hugs Mya back
[21/12/13 23:33] *Mya Celestia*:Not as thorough as Shem's, but I feel better that we did it when it should be done.
[21/12/13 23:34] :*Sunfire* nods
[21/12/13 23:35] Bash Chelik:no offence, but i feel shem is quite fitting for this somehow:D
[21/12/13 23:35] *Sunfire*:each has their own style
[21/12/13 23:35] Bash Chelik:and i thought that more people would come:(
[21/12/13 23:35] *Chewett*:It was good mya, i enjoyed it. And dont let anyone else say otherwise. :)
[21/12/13 23:36] Valoryn: *nods as well* It's good that it was done. *glances around at the sleepers and lowers his voice a little* If only I hadn't put them to sleep...
[21/12/13 23:36] *Mya Celestia*: *smiles* Thank kyou, Chewett
[21/12/13 23:36] Bash Chelik:hey, i didnt said it was bad:P
[21/12/13 23:36] Bash Chelik: :)
[21/12/13 23:36] *Mya Celestia*: *smiles at Val* It wasn't you
[21/12/13 23:36] *Mya Celestia*:I found your story very interesting
[21/12/13 23:37] *Sunfire*:aye
[21/12/13 23:37] Bash Chelik:and well said, if i may add:)
[21/12/13 23:37] :*Chewett* hands a note to mya
[21/12/13 23:37] *Mya Celestia*: *smirks* I should wish for the acoustic remains spell *giggles* '
[21/12/13 23:38] :*Chewett* enchanted a Memory stone into a Acousticremains stone
[21/12/13 23:38] :*Chewett* passed Acousticremains stone to Mya Celestia
[21/12/13 23:38] *Mya Celestia*:Ooo presents :D
[21/12/13 23:38] *Mya Celestia*:Thank you
[21/12/13 23:39] Valoryn: *blushes a little* I'm just not used at making long speeches, that's all.
[21/12/13 23:39] :*Mya Celestia* used the Acousticremains stone to temporarily learn the Acousticremains spell
[21/12/13 23:39] *Chewett*:it was good, Im not sure iv met you before, Im Chewett.
[21/12/13 23:39] Bash Chelik:it was a story, not a speech;)
[21/12/13 23:40] :[Spell] Echoes of the past
[21/12/13 23:40] Valoryn: *extends a hand to Chewett* I have seen you many times, but we haven't spoken before. I'm Valoryn, but you can call me Val when Valldore isn't around. *chuckles a little* .
[21/12/13 23:41] *Chewett*:Nice to meet you Valloryn :)
[21/12/13 23:41] *Mya Celestia*: (ugh stupid ff)
[21/12/13 23:41] *Chewett*:Nicknames are given to the most popular, So im sure that one day you shall overtake valldore. Rendril overtood Renavoid, and became the "Ren"
[21/12/13 23:41] :[Spell] Echoes of the past
[21/12/13 23:42] Bash Chelik:and even in his grumpy state, chew remained chew:D
[21/12/13 23:42] *Chewett*:Yes, normally im grumpy offensive and downright unsocialable. I am trying to put that behind me.
[21/12/13 23:43] *Chewett*:Back to how i used to be :)
[21/12/13 23:43] Bash Chelik:i know, old friend, it is a pleasure to see that incoming:)
[21/12/13 23:44] Valoryn:Nice to meet you too, Chewett. And popularity is, in fact, the least of my concerns. *smiles*
[21/12/13 23:45] *Mya Celestia*:Valoryn is one of those quiet, smart people. One has to keep an eye on him *giggles*
[21/12/13 23:48] :*Sunfire* nods in agreeance with mya
[21/12/13 23:50] *Chewett*:A hidden gem in Loreroot, No wonder you guys are so quiet. You keep these wonderful players hidden.
[21/12/13 23:51] :*Sunfire* chuckles
[21/12/13 23:52] *Sunfire*:everyone has potential chewett, its only to what purpose we use it that makes us great
[21/12/13 23:54] :Valoryn nearly hides behind his hood and grows quiet, but listens
[21/12/13 23:55] Bash Chelik:i forgot whos mind said "the quiet minds has loudest thoughts"
[21/12/13 23:55] *Chewett*:Not everyone can fulfill their potential.
[21/12/13 23:56] *Chewett*:Sadly the one person that holds us back the most, is ourselves.
[21/12/13 23:56] *Sunfire*:true
[21/12/13 23:56] *Mya Celestia*:Very true
[21/12/13 23:56] :Valoryn nods
[21/12/13 23:56] *Mya Celestia*:It can be hard to get out of our own way
[21/12/13 23:56] *Chewett*:I know a good friend who has social aniexty.
[21/12/13 23:56] *Chewett*:What is stopping them from going out and doing things? Nothing. Just themselves.
[21/12/13 23:57] Bash Chelik:ahh, chew, "just" is very relative
[21/12/13 23:58] *Chewett*:Why so?
[21/12/13 23:58] *Mya Celestia*:I hate to party and run, but the other realm demands I get somewhere else before a big storm hits.
[21/12/13 23:58] *Chewett*:Goodbye Mya, Be well.
[21/12/13 23:58] *Mya Celestia*:Take care, everybody.