Moontide trials Tradition / Ritual in Shadowfire | World Anvil

Moontide trials

The Moontide Trials are held every three months at Camp Thrifty and feature feasting, trials and killings in equal measure. The period begins with the synchronised rising of the two moons, The Silver Wolf and The Bronze Mouse, and culminates two weeks later when both moons have risen to the high-tide mark directly overhead of the Uferbrech archipelago.

The Revel

The trials begin with a night of revelry coinciding with the twin moon rise. All business is put on hold, and all in the Camp are treated as equals. No open weapons are allowed. Serious altercations are dealt with through peer policing, and the threat of significant trials in the following weeks. There is agreement that no-one, not even the members of the Trusted Few, are exempt from the Moontide Trial armistice.  

The Lament

The following day marks the airing of grievances. Community members may each bring accusations and issues before the council of the Trusted Few. These may include accusations of theft, murder or cheating, disagreements over property, slights to pride or honour, or crimes of broken bonds and contracts. Each must specify who is being accused, and these notices are recorded.   False accusations are not uncommon, but the Council is not there to judge the veracity of claims, just that the process of the trials is followed. This has led to a general 'might is right' approach to justice within Camp Thrifty, but alliances and debts can be easily accrued as people make deals to get assistance with their trial, hire champions, or influence the nature of the trial to be undertaken.  

The Fracas

Over the next two weeks, each accusation, in order of significance from trivial to most intense, is dealt with between the involved parties. The oricess is known as the Fracas, and is done under direct observation of their peers and the Trusted Few, within the Arena at Thrift Rock.   Both involved parties must agree to the method of resolution before it begins. Often, things are quickly resolved through direct reparation, but can just as easily be through feats of athletics or bravado. In the more serious cases, it can involve combat to first blood, or even to the death.   Where needed, the Master of the Fracas, Tasido Diamond, will step in to broker the agreed resolution method.   Anyone who fails to take part in an agreed trial runs the risk of banishment from Camp Thrifty for themselves and their families, associates and colleagues.  

Moontide Feast

  On the final night, once all trials are completed, the trial ledger is burnt in front of all surviving participants. This symbolises the clearing of debts and any lingering resentment. Unsaid issues are never dealt with again (at least not in the open).   The people of Camp Thrifty then celebrate for one last night, at the highest of tides. The celebrations for Moontide include a community-wide feast of local and seasonal seafood as the entire reef of the archipelago plays host to migrating sea life.   The final night of Moontide often sees last minute revenge vandalism and killings, as bitter feuds are dealt with swfitly and quietly before the official armistice of the Moontide Trials ends. There is unspoken agreement amongst all that if this is done quietly and does not interrupt the feast for anyone else, then this is a fair part of the trials.


Like many places across Shadowfire, time and seasons are calculated and celebrated by the movement of the two moons. Camp Thrifty is no exception, but in its relatively young life since founding, the camp has instilled its own local flavour to the Festival of the Twins, as it is known in the Protectorates.   When the first settlers made camp at what is now know as Camp Thrifty, they melded the Protectorates celebration with that of the local Uferbrech Goblins, which observed the ecological importance of the peak of high tide across the archipelago.   The extreme anti-establishment nature of most of the settlers led quickly to the use of the full two-week period for extreme hedonistic debauchery. This quickly got out of hand, with many people being injured, property severely damaged and even regular death as people sought revenge for any real or perceived insult. The disruption to trade and profit was immense, and even the most independent of the pirates, smugglers and tomb raiders saw that this was bad for business.   When The Trusted Few was established to bring a sense of order to the camp, the first tradition they put into place was the Moontide Trials. This saw at least a channelling of the energies, and some safety limits set upon the celebrations, and a controlled avenue for grievances to be aired, judged and paid for.
Camp Thrifty
Primary Related Location


Please Login in order to comment!