The Flood Festival




After a particularly wet winter several decades ago, when the central lake’s waters reached Ash Avenue and completely submerged many of the lower buildings, the town’s leaders decided to do something about the recurring problem. Representatives from the churches of Pelor, Wee Jas, and Kord got together under the urging of the then-high-priestess of the church of St. Cuthbert, pooled their resources, and created several wands of control water to combat the next flood season. That winter, clerics from these four temples patrolled the lower streets of Cauldron and fought back the flood using the wands. The citizens were grateful for the aid, and assisted with sandbagging and shoring of buildings where they could; even with the magic wands, the flood waters could still do significant damage.

So successful were these measures that, after that flood season ended, the city of Cauldron erupted into a massive festival. In the years to follow, this grew into a tradition, the Flood Festival, beginning earlier each year until it started before the first rains fell. Each year, the clerics of the city created wands of control water to fight the floods, and each year the floods were controlled. For a few years, the clerics even dabbled with scrolls of control weather, but this option was abandoned before long because too many mishaps cropped up when less experienced clerics miscast these powerful spells.

Traditionally, the festival begins on the first day in winter that sees any noticeable rainfall. Work would suddenly come to a halt as the citizens flock to the streets in an impromptu celebration of the rainy season. For the next several days, the festival would grow increasingly organized. What starts as an impromptu party in the streets becomes rows of Flood-Festival-themed merchant stalls lining the streets, organized games and competitions, and a seemingly endless series of parades put on by churches, guilds, nobles, and other groups throughout town. Visitors from neighboring towns throng to the streets of Cauldron to take part in the festivities.

Over the past decade, much of the spontaneity of the festival has been dampened. To prevent the event from encroaching on city business, it was decreed that the festival would begin following The Feast of the Moon, an annual holiday celebrating ancestors and the honored dead. The church of Wee Jas fought against this decision, but the secular powers of Cauldron refused to change the policy. Ultimately, considering that the rains would often begin close to the time of The Feast of the Moon anyway, potentially causing the festival to run through the most holy of holidays anyway, the church of Wee Jas retracted their contention.

The Flood Festival

The Shackled City MarcMartin