In our own language, “party” is a little word. Perhaps a better word could be “event.” “Occurrence.” “Occasion.” But “party” somehow seems too small. The ven word, “althua” has two meanings. One is what we’re talking about. Gathering, get-together, festivity. But the word has another meaning.
Althua. Where romance begins and revenge ends.
There are several manifestations of frolic social events in my campaign. Darrheabarr has holidays and festivals all through the year and lots of street parties. The calendar is liberally dosed with traditions and celebrations in the Sunwashed Realm. Amber has the Yule Event instituted by King Random as well as the Harvest Night and the traditional Crown Day that Oberon allowed to be celebrated in mid-summer. Chaos only has one official event across all Houses: the Madness Festival that heralds the change of seasons. (Seasons at the Abyss involve changing expectations of arcane turbulence and do not have any set length and rarely more than a tenday’s warning of arrival.)
But the linked essay inspires parallels in all aspects of my campaign Reality.
Specifically, lots of things do or can happen at parties to change the dynamic in relationships.
In particular, Chaos (and to some extent Amber) have long memories and established attitudes that don’t bend easily in immortal minds. However, ‘frolics’ tend to open doors that are more usually closed between individuals. In essence, the ‘party’ acknowledges something of the chaotic nature of the Abyss and unexpected change outside normal social congress. Chaos calls the season event a Madness Festival and it is the party of which all others are but shadows. At the Madness Festival there are experimental shapes, obscene disguises, improper attitudes and clamorous magics.
Actually, some folks don’t attend events and you might well find that they do not want fluid possibilities to be likely. That’s an interesting marker itself.
Then there are the smaller parties Chaosi call ‘Abandonments’. Consider the permutations of that term:
- unbounded enthusiasm; exuberance
- a complete surrender of inhibitions
- act of allowing an option to expire unexercised
- act of surrendering a claim to, or interest in, a particular asset
Yep. In the realm where promises, traditions and intrigue are mainstays, an abandonment is the social means to test yourself outside the boundaries (and not get caught.) Dynamics may begin and end there, revenges be displayed, romances intensified or created and careers crowned or tarnished.
No one parties like an immortal. Few could.
It is at a Chaosi Abandonment that you might meet famous ghosts or blackmasks: Chaos celebrities from the ghost schools.