The Day King

"My friends, my dearest friends; the tavern now runs dry. Carry your king, we march for the Crawford farmsteads. I decree that Bessie has something wondrous to show us all before I die." - Markus Allgood, Former Day King
  Spectre is a small town located in the heart of The Freelands. Ever since its founding, the town has been plagued with the supernatural. Banshees, Wraiths, and spirits of all kinds roam the woods surrounding the town as vestiges of lost souls from the bloody past of the country. To say that this made life difficult for the citizens of Spectre would be an understatement, but they were resolved to find a solution. Something kept them bound to the land, unable and unwilling to give in to the treacherous surroundings, so they enlisted the help of a Spiritbinder to calm the forest dwellers. The solution provided was not what they were hoping for, but what was declared an unfortunate necessity; an annual ritual sacrifice to appease the spirits and protect the town.   A council of elders met to discuss the implementation of the new ritual and how they could possibly keep sacrifices for the long term. There was no age, no gender, or any other specifications required of the individual other than they had to be a willing participant. Forcing it upon the residents or capturing an outsider was not an option. Surely, some residents of the town would volunteer to save their friends and family, but there was no guarantee that citizens would continue to volunteer themselves to die. The committee of elders came up with a solution that they believed would both encourage more volunteers and bring honor to them; being crowned the Day King.   The Day King is the title given to anyone who volunteers themselves as a tribute to the town of Spectre. Whereas the town has no official leadership, deferring to a council of elders to help govern, the Day King will become the de facto King of Spectre for an entire day. This gives them nearly unlimited privilege, being able to issue orders, create rules and laws, and enjoy every nicety the town could afford. Nearly anything they desire is afforded, except for what could be considered vile acts such as murder. Although the Day King is meant to have the best day possible for them, it is not a license to freely indulge in wicked vices. The prospect of being treated like a true king appealed to many residents of the town. Those down on their luck or being of old age were especially tantalized by the prospect of becoming Day King, to afford to have one final pleasant day and doing something good for the town with their death.  

One Immaculate Day

  In order to get the most out of their time, the Day King is crowned just after midnight on their specified day. They are immediately treated to any food and drink of their choice both to start the day and throughout to keep them going. Alcohol is stocked for weeks and food is often brought in from outside the town to keep the King and his entourage pleased. The Day King then begins his tour of wishes throughout the town, declaring his whims and witnessing them come to fruition. Obviously, these whims vary wildly by each individual Day King, and from how far the town's residents are willing to go on the occasion. Life-long debts have been settled, brawls have been organized, and taverns emptied by dozens of thirsty patrons with no tabs allowed. One previous King requested a local Ohrlen to start a Risen tower which reached thirteen high before ending in a series of broken bones upon the fall. Another requested to be carried on a palanquin of men, traveling to every woman in town and requesting them to expose themselves; many declared this an overreach of the Day King's privileges, but more than enough went along with the demand to please the King and his entourage.   The end of the day brings the end of the Day King's reign, reverting any policies or demands they enacted to the status quo. They will usually have one final grand meal and spend the night with their family before turning in their crown and making their final trip into the woods surrounding Spectre. No one knows for certain what goes on in the woods as the bodies are never discovered afterward; the individual simply disappears, never to be seen again. So long as the spirits continue to leave the town alone, they accept the tradition as a success, and title and tradition are passed on year after year.

A Crown for a King

  On the morning of the event, the Day King is handed an actual crown to symbolize his status. This lets everyone throughout the town know and pay their respects to whoever is being sacrificed for their safety. While without jewels, the crown is made entirely of gold, thus being of fair worth. Before the Day King departs into the woods, he passes on the crown to anyone of his choosing. This is most often their remaining family or a dear friend of the King. Whoever receives the crown is able to do with it as they will, often selling the crown to provide some material comfort in the absence of their loss. Should the Day King not have anyone they desire to give the crown to, it will simply be passed on to the next King in the following year.


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