"Come over here please, Kestral." "What is it, Magentasky? Have I done something wrong?" "No, you are good; it is time for me to pass the torch, little one." "What are you saying? You can't die yet. I... I'm not ready." "My dear daughter, you have been ready for the last thirty years. I have watched you taking on the rituals and tasks as I have aged past the ability to move easily." Reaching out she gently brushed a tear off her daughter's cheek. "Now is the time to enter the cavern before I pass and my essence is lost to our people." With lightning speed she crafted her rainbow bridge and was gone. Kestral knew this was going to be her hardest test, interring her own mother to the birthing pool. Crafting her own bridge, she followed her mother into the cavern. She watched helplessly as her mother turned to gold dust in front of her. Using her magic, she collected the gold and entered the most recently crafted birthing pool. "From the waters of life we came, to the waters of life we return. May the waters always be enriching." Throwing the dust into the pool, she crumbled on the floor. "Life that was, protect the lives to come."The festival caverns of the leprechauns are a tightly guarded secret. Not even the other fae know of them. For the leprechauns, these caverns are the repository of their magic and the center of all celebrations.
Purpose / Function
The festival caverns were created for the spring celebration, coming of age rites, and the birth of young leprechauns. The spring celebrations occur when the hawthorn trees bloom. When a leprechaun gives birth, the birthing parent must come to one of the caverns ad enter a birthing pool. When a leprechaun is born, the birthing pool eases the pain in both the parent and the child, preventing the onset of certain maladies which occur in the young without access to a birthing pool. The spring celebration is an adults-only affair since a rainbow bridge is required to access the festival caverns. These celebrations consist of a revel and party.
When the caverns are crafted, they consist of a large central chamber, for spring celebration gatherings. These chambers consist of a large open space for dancing and revelry. Crafted along the walls are benches carved from the stone of the cavern. These benches, covered in furs and pillows, are large enough to be used as beds. There is a small chamber off to the side for storage of additional furs, blankets and pillows for use in the revel. On the northern side of the chamber is a large pool of heated water for relaxing and the coming of age ritual of leprechauns who were male at birth. The water within the pool has a gold shimmer and very fine flecks of gold dust line the pool. The western wall has a number of doors leading off from the main chamber. These doors are the only access to the birthing pools. These pools are considered sacrosanct and are strictly off-limits during the spring celebration. Like the pool in the main chamber, they shimmer with the gold in the water and lining the floor of the pool. The birthing pools are smaller than the main pool, as they are crafted to hold only two adult leprechauns at a time. Each festival cavern will hold between four and eight birthing pools.
When the leprechauns decide to build a festival cavern, they first scout the mountain ranges of Corrigenda for a likely place that is both hidden and out of the way. Because of their ability to sense the magic in others, when a likely site is found, the one who found it will return to the community and lead the others back to the site via rainbow bridge. Once the community is gathered, they pool their magic to create an entrance which will be closed later. The chambers are crafted and moulded by their magic. The ceilings are turned transparent from the inside to allow natural light into the cavern. The area above the cavern is always clear of snow, though, through the use of glamour, this fact is hidden from view. Stalactites are grown in crystalized form to allow for light refraction during the day. At night, they emit a soft light, just enough to give the chamber a comfortably erotic feel. The bench/beds are sculpted into the walls in niches, designed for comfort whether sitting or laying on them. The tops are covered by a thick layer of soft moss. Leprechauns call these canoodling couches. Within the niches are small crystals which glow with a soft red light and can be covered if desired. The festival and birthing pools are hollowed out of the floor. Heated water is guided into the pools. The magic, which is infused into the water, keeps it clean and heated. The festival pool has stepped benches lining the edges.
Before the festival caverns were created, leprechauns would find a natural hot spring and create pools, one for the festival and one for birthing. That worked until humans discovered them and started taking the gold dust from the pools. This caused the pools to lose their magic. With this loss of magic, the young leprechauns suffered greatly upon their birth. Most young leprechauns died during childbirth. Those unlucky enough to survive the birth were born with some defect or another. Not all defects were visible. In fact, those who were born with mental defects usually ended up with the redcaps. The ones who were born with physical defects suffered for their whole life. Once the cause was discovered, the leprechauns carefully gathered the gold from the springs. With the gold in their care, they went in search of somewhere safe to craft new pools. This was when they decided to hide their sacred pools behind glamours and deep within the mountains, the only access being their rainbow bridges. They only had enough gold to build one festival cavern to start with. This first cavern only had one birthing pool, and the festival pool was very small, barely large enough to complete the coming of age ritual. It wasn't long before they had enough gold to increase the cavern's festival pool and add more birthing pools. This came at a great loss to the leprechauns for it required the death of a number of their kin. For the leprechauns, this was both a blessing and a curse. The ones who passed away in order to expand the cavern were those with physical defects, died from complications due to their deformities. While that loss was tragic, there was a distinct advantage in that they were no longer suffering.
Temple / Religious complex
DesignThis round cavern is carved directly from the inside of the mountain. A new cavern would be about forty feet in diameter. As the community grows so does the cavern.
EntriesThe only way in or out of the festival caverns is by rainbow bridge. This is so the leprechauns can assure the security of their sacred site.
Sensory & AppearanceThe cavern is warm and slightly humid from the pools. The floor and walls are smooth. The air has a scent of moss since this is the only thing growing within the cavern. Depending on the time of day the light can be bright and multi-hued or pleasantly dim. The sound of running water can be heard faintly. There are small doors and lids on the canoodling couches for storage purposes. There is a faint sound of music that permeates the air.
Contents & FurnishingsWithin the storage spaces, you will find instruments, pillows, furs, and blankets. In the niches are small crystal lamps.
Special PropertiesThere is hot running water and heated pools for relaxing in. The original entrance into the cavern has been sealed. A pair of air holes were left open to allow for the circulation of air. Due to their history, leprechauns are secretive by nature. For this reason, there are glamours placed around the air holes and the land above the cavern. These glamours are used to hide the effects of the magic and the sound which would escape from the cavern on the off chance someone found a way to reach the site.
"Momma, why is it we never go anywhere?" "Kestral, I am the keeper of the cavern. I need to be here when there is a need. I cannot leave for long if I do leave and, until you master the rainbow bridge you cannot leave either." "I never get to meet people my own age. I am bored." "Well, if you are bored you could always study." "I don't like studying." "Would you like to learn about what I do? It would mean more of my time for you." "Oh yes please, momma. I would love to learn that." Magentasky smiled. "Well then. Why don't we start with learning all about how to birth a baby. Our goat is ready to give birth."