Free City of Tenriver
Tenriver’s premiere festival, The Gathering is a week long party celebrating all things magic. Wizard duels, feats of strength and challenges abound as spellcasters from across the realm travel to the city to compete. The city also becomes a hub of magical knowledge as casters from different lands and schools share what they know.
Started in the early days of Tenriver, it quickly blossomed into the largest magic festival in Twixt. The archmage Theth-kanal created the event as a way to show the strength of his students and perhaps show that he still had some tricks in his old age. His death during the first tournament led to several rule changes.
Tenriver greatly relaxes it control over who enters the city during the festival. Two years ago, the Blue Dragonknight watched the tournament finale with several members of the Cabal of 9, causing much scandal. Another curious visitor during the festival is a large flock of ravens. Many cite this as approval of the festival by the Raven Queen, at least whenever none of the White Guard are in ear shot.
For the denizens of the city, the festival is a great relief to the oppressive rule of the Cabal. The magisters are all generally in happy moods during the festival and have been known to only Feeblemind a peasant who offended them instead of immediately Disintegrating them.
Every citizen in Tenriver seems to back a specific school and will defend that choice violently if necessary. The tournaments during the week are heavily attended by cheering fans hoping to see their school perform well. Gambling is heavy on the outcome of the tournaments and whole sections of the city have been known to riot when a particular school won or lost.
About ten or fifteen years ago, the festival also became the official signing day for young mages. The city’s diviners spend weeks attempting to predict which school the hottest prospects will attend. Recent years have seen a trend of students revealing their choices to the masses in grand spectacles with crowds cheering or lamenting their fates. The schools that pick up the best students tend to receive heavy betting on their future tournaments.
It is also a good time for trade and the markets are bustling with new money. Many shopkeeps mark the first day of the festival as ‘Blackday’ when their books are filled with the black ink of their sales. The festival week is the only week of the year when traditional trade outperforms the slave trade.
With most tournaments and games held during the day, the nighttime festivities are focused on more relaxing entertainment. The sky is usually flooded with lights and explosions of color while the Truthsingers dance and sing on the streets below. Taverns open their doors and serve to anyone within ear shot, while some even cater directly to the crowds formed around magician performers.
The prime attraction each year is the Exhibition of the Archmages. It features one member of the Cabal of 9 and three or four other archmages from around the world. It marks the end of the festival and is not something anyone should miss.