Pitch: The Joyful People range far and wide in the Valley of Three Rivers, between two mountain ranges. Despite the great distances, each community of the People sends a delegation to the Island of Stars every year to share news, ritual, and camaraderie.
Hook: The climax of the Constellation Festival is the fire dance, where representatives light their fires from the Eternal Star, a stone wreathed in flame that never goes out and doesn’t burn living things.
Early in the festival, the PCs discover that the Eternal Star is missing! It would be conspicuous for anyone to leave the Festival early, so it can’t have gone far...
As a group, answer the following questions to develop your shared world:
What is the PCs’ relationship to the Constellation Festival?
- Custodians of the Island of Stars, hosting the event
- Delegation from a far-off group, seeing the festival for the first time
- A mix of some first-timers and some for whom this is their last opportunity to attend
Do you want fake dating hijinks? If so: It’s expected that each delegation is a fully connected polycule, meaning everyone is dating each other. The PCs aren’t in a polycule, but an authority figure in your community has urged you to pretend that you are, or your group will lose status. Alternatively, each delegation must include a couple.
GM: After your players select their playbooks, ask the following questions. If the listed playbooks aren’t in play, ask the question of someone else. Everyone should answer at least one question. If more than one named playbook is in play, they can each answer from their point of view or agree on an answer.
- Devoted or Seeker: Which values of your community aren’t shared by the wider society of the Joyful People?
- Nature Witch or Spooky Witch: Why is the Island of Stars so significant to the Joyful People?
- Beast or Scoundrel: What traditional purpose do your swords fulfill at the festival?
- Chosen: What event marks the climax of the Constellation Festival?
- Infamous or Trickster: Which group of the People failed to send a delegation this year, and why is that ominous?
Finally, each PC should define one NPC they look forward to seeing and one they don’t want to see.
GM Section: Contains Spoilers
Make the stakes personal and take advantage of the NPCs created by your players. Build Toxic Powers out of the answers to the first and last questions (what value is not shared and which group failed to send a delegation), and figure out which NPCs are being influenced by them. Take time to celebrate and explore and complicate the positive connections, too.
The questions will help you put together a plot. Perhaps something has gone awry with what makes the island so significant or the traditions of the festival. Perhaps everything needs to be fixed before the climax, or the festival will be a disappointment.
Once you know what the Toxic Powers want, what the Festival is all about, and have some NPCs, you’ll begin to see how things might go if the PCs weren’t there to interfere. After you come up with a few hints and hooks to get them involved in the various schemes, you’ve got an adventure ready to go.
If you really want something different, you could say that the physical conflict moves apply to competitive dance-offs and do without the swords entirely. Check out Customizing Your Game (page 216) for advice on how to do this.
What's Really Going On? Some Possibilities
Here are some possible culprits:
- A group who seeks power wishes to bring the Star to the Spring of Night in the mountains. It was once the meeting place of the People, and they wish it to be again.
- One of the Custodians found that the fire had gone out and fears what it might mean. They have taken it to conceal this fact and want to find a way to reignite it (or fake it) before others find out it has failed.
- A group of lovers borrowed the Star to bless their union, but it was stolen by a monstrous creature (to bless their own monster union).
Keep It Secret: The PCs could use help finding out what happened, but someone doesn’t want them spreading the news of the problem.
Misplaced Blame: A rival accuses a PC of the misdeed and challenges them to a duel or a dance-off.
Stolen Again: A creature that fancies fire, such as a Moth Giant, found the stolen Star and claimed it for their own.
Conflicting Obligations: The social obligations of the festival require the PCs to help with disputes—when they really need to be finding the Star! The PCs’ rivals and crushes are no doubt involved in the conflict.
The Eternal Star
When multiple people touch the Eternal Star at the same time, the one with the highest Spirit stat rolls +Spirit:
- 10+: The Star has seen this all before and assures you it will be alright. Each participant may ask the Star a question relating to the past or the feelings of any participant, and gains +1 forward to act on the answer.
- 7–9: You share a cryptic vision composed of flashes from your dreams. The GM will describe it. Each participant must give a String to another participant of their choice, and each can see through the senses of the others until the sun rises, though the sense is distorted by green flame.
In either case, the Star’s fire changes in color from orange to green until the next sunrise, and anyone rolling this move while the fire is green or extinguished must mark a Condition.