I have, over the months, got used to Jasper Cove time. By that, I mean the somewhat relaxed attitude to the timing of events, meetings and such like, e.g. a six o’clock court not starting until nearly seven, rather than the rather tenuous connection Jasper Cove has with the normal time line. Even so, proclaiming a Spring Festival to start in early May seems a little behind the times. On the other hand, it did take a while for the snow to go away, so maybe it is spring after all.
Seasons notwithstanding, her majesty declared that it was spring, and that we should have a spring festival on Saturday. The criers proclaimed this, and notices were served to assemble at 6pm in the gardens in the centre of town. And so, we all gathered at the appointed time, outside the tavern. Well, at least, Aoibheann, the kids and I did. But of a festival, or any other guests, there was no sign. I double-checked the time and place on the notices, but we seemed to be in the right place and at the right time. I ran up to the castle to ask Garrulous & Loquax if they knew anything, but they were as forthcoming as usual. Then, acting on a hunch, I trotted down to the docks and onwards into the woods, where I did find a feast in progress. I quickly went back for the others and we made our way down. I was going to offer to carry Jada, but Aoibheann had already assumed that role.
For an event that was supposed to be a celebration of spring, it was a very odd affair. Alec was seated at the head of table with Hadley, and later, Malachai (dressed rather cutely in a bunny outfit). Also at the table were Brigitte and somebody I later discovered was the deranged seer known as Ilandra. I thought that was a little odd, given I seem to recall that there was an outstanding order to restrain at all costs some while ago. More striking was a tall, probably fae figure with very large wings. I did not get his name; though I got the feeling he had some connection with the powers that maintain this place. There seemed to be some unresolved tension going on between him, Isabella and Alec, but of what nature, I could not say. Perhaps it was fae business. All I know is that there were tense words between Isabella and Alec, after which, she went off into the woods somewhere and soon after, the winged figure followed her, making some comment about her needing to talk to him.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned Ilandra was talking about various things that made no sense to me. At some point, a stranger stumbled into the gathering, claiming he was lost, having fallen asleep in somewhere called Dead End, and woken up here. When he saw the various other persons gathered, he passed out. Anna, who had also turned up, tried to revive him, but then Ilandra started talking to him. None of what she said made sense to me, and I doubt it made much sense to him either. Then she started going on about her magic stick, which got Brigitte’s attention for some reason. I wasn’t sure quite why, but whatever the magic stick was, it was something that Brigitte hadn’t been expecting to see again.
I tried to introduce the children, but the got somewhat shy and made themselves a little camp under one of the serving tables. They seemed reasonably comfortable under there, but Kale was behaving slightly oddly, talking about the “adventurers” and something about a sleeping queen. Children have such great fantasy lives. Aoibheann seemed to have them well in hand, so I left them to it.
Otherwise, it was a sedate affair. Cicely made a brief appearance, but left soon after. Wren came down to dinner and I nearly poked my eye out, trying to return her salute and forgetting I had a breadstick in my hand. I spoke briefly with Alec about the wrestling tournament, which he had all but forgotten. He suggested staging it in the training ground at the palace, where they have a big sandpit. While I was prepared to consider sand-wrestling as an alternative, I did consider it a little lacking in dignity, and suggested that maybe setting up the ring there would be a good idea in case any of the competitors got thrown out of the ring. That appeared to be an acceptable compromise, so some time soon, I will have to go see him at the palace and assess the proposed arena.
As festivals go, it was somewhat dull, though the food was good, so far as I could tell. Eventually, I grew tired and made my excuses. I did check to see if Jada & Kale wanted to come back to the tavern, but they claimed to be quite comfortable where they were. I was sure that Aoibheann was quite capable of bringing them home and left them to it. Back at the apartment, I did contemplate some more journal restoration, but decided instead to restore myself with a glass of my extra-special rum and an early night.