The Storms of Shadow
Hunts, Feasts, and Games of War
Amber is widely known for its hospitality. A great hunt or feast is often given in the honor of visiting dignitaries, and traditional days of celebration are commemorated with great events of merriment. The most prominent of these events are attended by the nobility of the golden circle states, filling the castle to its capacity with the nobility and retainers of Amber and all of it’s its allies.
Traditionally, Amber has four days of celebration. The commemoration of patternfall at the time of the summer solstice, the first sighting of the Unicorn on midsummer’s eve, the Unicorn’s victory over the Serpent at the time winter solstice, and the feast day of the King on the date of his birth.
The King’s feast day is an event of great merriment, celebrated with a boar hunt led by Amber’s monarch, followed by a great feast with dancing that ranges long into the night. Many nobles of the golden circle states travel great distances on this day to pay homage to Amber’s monarch and in hopes to gain favor in the eyes of the crown.
Midsummer’s eve is a religious holiday, celebrated with a solemn feast offered in the worship of the Unicorn. The highest members of the Church of the Unicorn attends the King at the high table on this day, and torches are lit in excess on the exterior of the castle, awakening the palace in an aura of flame. Only the most devout of the golden circle states attend this holiday, making for a smaller, more restrained celebration.
The recounting of the battle of patternfall and of the clash of the Unicorn and the Serpent are more martial celebrations, commemorated with feasts and games of war. Although the nobles of Amber do not participate in the contests of battle, aspiring individuals from Amber’s realm and the golden circle kingdoms attend the event in hopes of being noticed by those of the Amber line. Beyond those hoping to make a name for themselves, Amber nobles often enter their own retainers into the events either for recognition, wager, or simply as a means of testing the prowess of the knights that wear their colors.
Only those of noble lineage are allowed to partake in the hospitality of the palace, forcing other hopefuls to attempt to find lodging in the true city. An exception is made for the victors of the day, each welcomed to the palace to feast at the King’s table and enjoy its comforts for the evening.
The ranks of Amber’s military and the knights of noble houses are often filled through such events, and competition is often very high between nobles in attracting those who are skilled to their colors. Traditionally, the champions of the day are offered the chance to wear the King’s colors, but it is not uncommon for the King to place these individuals in the service of another Amber noble as a show of favor.
Many smaller events are celebrated by Amber’s nobility, each house normally having some tradition to pay homage to their ancestor of the first generation. The common folk of the true city also have their own traditions throughout the year, although these are not celebrated and are rarely even acknowledged by the Lords and Ladies of the Amber line.