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Old 01-29-2015, 05:36 AM   #521
Astromancer
 
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The High Festivals


The high festivals are a series of artistic festivals arraged along the major routes of the interstellar Grand Tour. These Festivals occure once every few years and feature all sorts of art, entertainment, and Balls of varying grandure and exclusivity. The timing generally reflects the patterns of the Grand Tour itself and is meant to allow those touring to take in large numbers of festivals in sequence.

The main functions of these Festivals, other than the local tourist ecconomy, are to function A) as a marriage mart, bringing together nobles from the far cornners of the 3I (and thus keeping the culture more unified) and B) as a means of channeling provincial artistic talent to the Galactic Capital by that talent getting seen in an important venue (which also makes the 3I's culture more unified). While each festival celebrates the local culture/s the blending and mixing of both nobles and talents stengthens the 3I while gently venting provincial resentments.

Many groups use the festivals as cover for their activities. People come and go to these festivals from across the 3I and further. Some folks come to these festivals from areas beyond the knowledge of the Imperial Survey! And many of the people coming to these festivals are nearly as colorful and loud as a festival themselves. The advantages to those who want to travel unseen are obvious. The average festival is as noisy and hectic as Mardi Gras squared! Thus any plot, sceme, or skullduggery, can have a wild, crazed, yet glamorous, background.
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Old 01-30-2015, 06:46 PM   #522
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The High Festivals


The high festivals are a series of artistic festivals arraged along the major routes of the interstellar Grand Tour. These Festivals occure once every few years and feature all sorts of art, entertainment, and Balls of varying grandure and exclusivity. The timing generally reflects the patterns of the Grand Tour itself and is meant to allow those touring to take in large numbers of festivals in sequence.

The main functions of these Festivals, other than the local tourist ecconomy, are to function A) as a marriage mart, bringing together nobles from the far cornners of the 3I (and thus keeping the culture more unified) and B) as a means of channeling provincial artistic talent to the Galactic Capital by that talent getting seen in an important venue (which also makes the 3I's culture more unified). While each festival celebrates the local culture/s the blending and mixing of both nobles and talents stengthens the 3I while gently venting provincial resentments.

Many groups use the festivals as cover for their activities. People come and go to these festivals from across the 3I and further. Some folks come to these festivals from areas beyond the knowledge of the Imperial Survey! And many of the people coming to these festivals are nearly as colorful and loud as a festival themselves. The advantages to those who want to travel unseen are obvious. The average festival is as noisy and hectic as Mardi Gras squared! Thus any plot, sceme, or skullduggery, can have a wild, crazed, yet glamorous, background.
I'll take that one.
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Old 01-31-2015, 12:13 AM   #523
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The high festivals are a series of artistic festivals arraged along the major routes of the interstellar Grand Tour. These Festivals occure once every few years and feature all sorts of art, entertainment, and Balls of varying grandure and exclusivity. The timing generally reflects the patterns of the Grand Tour itself and is meant to allow those touring to take in large numbers of festivals in sequence.
There are probably different levels of grand tours. Each sector would have one and there would be a Great-Grand Tour of the whole Imperium going from sector capital to sector capital. Not every noble would want/could afford to send their children on the big tour.

Unlike the participants of TD's Grand Tour, nobles coming from or visiting Behind the Claw would go through Corridor both ways. Perhaps the route mostly visits different systems in either direction.


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Old 01-31-2015, 01:26 PM   #524
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There are probably different levels of grand tours. Each sector would have one and there would be a Great-Grand Tour of the whole Imperium going from sector capital to sector capital. Not every noble would want/could afford to send their children on the big tour.

Unlike the participants of TD's Grand Tour, nobles coming from or visiting Behind the Claw would go through Corridor both ways. Perhaps the route mostly visits different systems in either direction.


Hans
I agree that their would be multiple levels of "Grand Tours" if for no other reason than the need of certain groups to understand different things. Some nobles would need to have a broad view of the whole Imperium. Some of these Nobles might be sponsered, hired, or otherwise get their tour paid for by those that need them schooled. Some groups would take more focused "Grand Tours" because of their need for more in depht knowlege.
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Old 01-31-2015, 02:56 PM   #525
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Some nobles would need to have a broad view of the whole Imperium. Some of these Nobles might be sponsered, hired, or otherwise get their tour paid for by those that need them schooled. Some groups would take more focused "Grand Tours" because of their need for more in depht knowlege.
Traditionally, a grand tour was considered part of a young gentleman's upbringing and was paid for by his father. I can't see anybody other than family paying for a grand tour.


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Old 02-01-2015, 12:23 PM   #526
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Traditionally, a grand tour was considered part of a young gentleman's upbringing and was paid for by his father. I can't see anybody other than family paying for a grand tour.


Hans
A farsighted patron who both wants a seasoned ally and the gratitude of the parents would have many reasons to send someone on the tour. Also the tour has certain benefits in keeping the culture of the 3I unified. The Imperial bureaucracy would find ways of getting useful or potentially useful young nobles sent on the tour. Young Nobles are raw matterials that require shaping for the good of the state. Fine manners and a bit of sophistocation are so much cheaper that battle cruisers, and properly deployed, more effective.
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:44 PM   #527
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A farsighted patron who both wants a seasoned ally and the gratitude of the parents would have many reasons to send someone on the tour.
Either we're talking about just the Imperial nobles, in which case they are the social equivalent of Earth kings and emperors (with incomes to match), or we're also talking about planetary level nobles, in which case a far-sighted patron can just cherry-pick a suitable candidate from the slew of noble offspring that have already done the grand tour and returned home.

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Also the tour has certain benefits in keeping the culture of the 3I unified. The Imperial bureaucracy would find ways of getting useful or potentially useful young nobles sent on the tour.
You mean, there's a policy decision and an assigned budget to make the Imperial Bureaucracy go to the trouble? Maybe even quotas to fill? Because while I can see the rare insightful philanthropic Imperial bureaucrat (of independent means) doing something like that on his own centicred just for the patriotic love of the Imperium, I really don't see it as a common feature of any bureaucracy.

A grand tour can be had for a couple of hundred thousand credits per year (more if you're not staying several months on each world on the itiniary). Even rich people would think twice before spending that sort of money on a stranger, however promising.


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Old 02-01-2015, 12:48 PM   #528
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Euneican Grand Spring Festival, Part 1

I'm basically setting up a given High Festival with plenty of local color and plot hooks. Most High Festivals won't be this rich in adventure seeds.

Euneica is a planet that circles the star Hylas in the system of Hylas and Heracle. Unlike most festivals it lasts six years rather than a month or two and there are thirty years between the festivals.

Hylas is the smaller and cooler star and it's orbit around Heracle is called the GrandYear by the locals. A GrandYear takes about 36 Earth years. The Grand Summer is a short period of brutal heat and storms and the GrandAutuum is unpleasent for several reasons. Through most of the cycle the 18 Earth year long GrandWinter the equitorial areas of Euneicia is temperate and lovely. The planet has been seeded with terrestrial sea life and is a source of luxury seafoods like lobster, scallops, and many highly sought after caviars. A wide variety of botanical extracts are also gained from the planet. Certain Imperial agencies have exclusive contracts to buy some of these, many of these extracts are kept as secret as possible with large areas of the planet off limits. Spies other use the festival to sneak into these areas.

Durring the GrandSpring a large archipelago of islands gains a mild westcoast marine climate. the local fauna is very safe and the local flora is brilliantly colorful and lovely to see. The natives (a minor human race I'll detail later) has a series of religious festivals in this area at this time. The local nobles, noticing that they were close to three major transit routes durring Grand spring, decided to advertise the festivals as a Galactic Mardi Gras. The locals do celebrate in masks and with elaborate dances and rituals. The locals soon saw the value of letting tourists pay for their festivals by letting them seen the lower rituals while reserving the high hallows for the initiated alone.

Once this festival got going the local nobles invited in circuses, puppet shows and other forms of entertainment suited to the original festivals.

(More Later)
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Old 02-01-2015, 01:07 PM   #529
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Euneican Grand Spring Festival, Part 2

Once this festival got going the local nobles invited in circuses, puppet shows and other forms of entertainment suited to the original festivals. The Imperial Bureauracy, seeing the possiblities of useing the the festival in it's long term plans. Sponcered Opera and Theatre festivals as well as a variety of gallery showings of all kinds. Five Hundred Seventy six years later the festival is six years of art, performance, balls, dances, parties, circuses, parades, and confusion!

Every kind of entertainer, artist, con man, grifter, huckster, hussler, hooker, freak, bonviant, diletante, coutier, spy, agent-provocateur, and wannabe, shows up for the fun. Many people spend almost all of the six years in masks and costumes. Cos-Play is nearly a religion! Those locals celebrating their festivals seem to dissociate and become a variety of religous figures and archetypal ideas over the period. They are not the only people who seem to change their identities with the clothing!

Many mystics show up for the festival, which after all started as a religious festival. The locals admire piety in others even when they don't share their faith/religion. Outsiders are allowed to seek intitiation into some of the mysteries of the Euneican faith. This has led to mass pilgrimages taking place to Euneica durring the festival and giving Euneica a reputation much like Eleusis in Classical antiquity.


The presence of these mystics is used by the various Imperial secret agencies to hide important aspects of their interest in the planet and its festival. Those agencies working with psionics have several important hidden bases on the planet.
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Last edited by Astromancer; 02-13-2015 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:34 AM   #530
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Euneican Grand Spring Festival, Part 3

The local minor human race is know for their good looks, longevity, martial arts skills, and their love of art, especially music and dance. At least that's what they are know for to most of the galaxy. To the inner circles of Imperial intellegence, that uses this world for a research base, the local Minor Human race is known as a terrifing anomoly, a race of humans successfully genetically engineered to enhance their psionic abilities by a group of mad men obcessed with the works of J.R.R.Tolkien!

The Quendi fit the generall description of Tolkien's elves and seem to have been designed to fit the stories. Luckily, Tolkien is known but obscure and the backgrounds of his stories are only known to a few specialist scholars. This wouldn't be important except that the Quendi are the longest lived human race known to the Imperial secret sevice. Because the Quendi are standoffish and don't have many close contacts with non-Quendi, this isn't widely known, although it is commonly known the Quendi are long lived.

Every Quendi has measurable psionic potential. But Psionic use is controlled by religious experience. Wizardry (secular use of Psionics) is very rare and required to be subtle. This means that the Imperial Secret Services can keep the Quendi under wraps and work with the Quendi "Wizards" to study psionics (in order to improve defenses against the Zhodani.

The Quendi seem to have some psi skills unknown elsewhere, mainly the ability to create illusions. These are limited in scope, a distant cry, the feeling of something clawing on your skin, a distrubing shadow seen out of the corner of the eye, a faint but noticable scent of burning, the taste of what you think is poison in your drink, and other small scale sensory tricks. The Imperial Secret service sees multiple uses for such little tricks.
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Last edited by Astromancer; 04-02-2018 at 06:29 AM.
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