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December 10, 2015 at 10:56 am #1630

As the sun is setting, the various outdoor drinking venues open up. Bands begin to play. The music of Shen ling is a blend of rhythmic drumming with haunting melodies played on woodwinds and large multi stringed instruments. The Melodies are ancient and strange, like something out of another time, and some have a decidedly elven influence. Haunting and rhythmic would be the way to describe it. Shen Lings people are steeped in their traditions, but they are not uptight, and you have seen this in the past days and even now as the celebration begins. They have their social rules and etiquette, but these things feel transparent, and to look at them, it just looks like any group of people having a good time at a festival.

Yet it is more, there are tears among the smiles, and those red rimmed eyes of those who have endured much, but above all, there is a look of relief. This is the lively part of a wake for an entire peoples dead. Clay cups are filled, the most lively bands get people out to dance. Shen Ling’s dances are lively jigs with lots of jumping. The footwork is quick and energetic, but the upper body is held dignified and graceful, favoring sweeping movements of the arms that half or quarter the speed of what the feet are doing.

A large stage overlooks the biggest beer garden, and underneath a sweeping canopy of canvas, three long tables are arranged in a u. These are the Lords tables, and you have been given a place at them should you chose to sit there. Daidoji, Oldbow, Grey’s Cousin, and the mysterious dark haired half elven woman are there, along with Shanzee, Sharn, and Sheal, and many others who have been given a place of honor at the Lords Table. Dinner will be served in about an hour, but the drinking has begun in earnest