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The Islands Sky Race


    Within the last 30 years or so, the well-to-do layers of Alven society have developed a craze for a new invention called a hot air balloon. For the first time in human history, owing to this new technology, men have been able to lift themselves into the air like birds, and see the continent from on high.

Since its introduction from the south of the continent, via The Frencal Republic, many Alvenites have developed a passion for the vehicle. An ever-growing Guild of Tinkerers have spent a lot of resources and effort in producing more and more efficient airship. The 'race for the skies' has led to the creation of one of Alven's most talked-about new events: the Islands Sky Race.

The race was birthed ten years ago in the mind of one Gristern Blackhand of Clan Glassader. Gristern was the secretary of Hollyholm's Guild of Tinkerers and himself a keen balloonist. He challenged his fellow guild members to a race around The Eastern Isles in a bid to prove that his balloons were the fastest and most maneuverable in the business.

The race has been held every year since and has garnered a huge following in Lowside , Farside, and the Eastern Isles since then. The race starts on the 19th of Lutyme, on the first day of Feast of Leweyd.

However, speculations as to the winners and the losers would have been talked about for months beforehand in the keeps, homes, and Gazettes. Bets will have been firmly placed and divinatory rituals enacted to ensure a smooth bit of weather for the participants.    

The Race

    The race starts on the ocean shores of Hollyholm. Each competitor must land their balloon on a specific number of the Eastern Isles following a specific circuit. Usually, the circuit will be as follow: Kepmore, Grenisle, The Inch, and back to Hollyholm.

Beacons are lit on the different stop points to flag the balloons down or mark them 'on course'. The race is of course very dangerous and the balloons will be subject to the vagaries of the weather.
It is not unknown for casualties to occur during the race.

Only two competitors per balloon are allowed. This limits the size of the balloon and ensures fairness among the racers.  

Rewards and Fame

  The winners of the Islands Sky Race have over the year become celebrities, and gazetteers have been keen to report their exploits to an avid audience. There was much mourning celebrations for Gristern Blackhand as he tragically perished in last year's Sky Race as his balloon plunged into the ocean after being caught in stormy winds off the coast of Reidden, just a few furlongs from home and Hollyholm.  

The success of the Sky Race in the east has given rise to a Guild of Aeronauts being set up in the capital, Highfort on the western shores of The Shimmering Seas. There is much talk of a western balloon race to take place between The Great Towers Range and Highfort.
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