Day of the Setting Sun
Athas, though a ruined world, still has a semblance of seasons. During the months of the Risen Sun, harsh summer storms rage through the desert nights and the dark sun beats down during the day, with temperatures often exceeding 120 degrees in the open desert. Thousands will die in the South from the relentless heat.
The months of the Descending Sun are almost pleasant in comparison. Moisture comes from the breeze off the Silt Sea, the days rarely rise above 80 degrees and the nights are even cold. It is a time of growth and renewal. Accordingly, the last day of the Risen Sun, when the solar cycle begins its decline, huge celebrations are held across Athas called the Day of the Setting Sun.
Nowhere more so than in Balic. A coastal city, it profits the most from the cool, wet winds of the coming months. Its already large populations swells into the millions at the end of Summer. To celebrate this time of change and to provide release for the increase population a week long festival is held, to climax at sunset on the Day of the Setting Sun. The centerpiece of this festival is the seven days of combat in the Criterion, a grand melee sponsored by the great houses. The last day will see a new champion crowned and a house elevated to the position of Consul.
Secret deals, murder, poisonings, theft, blackmail, deception, election fraud, riots, disease and death herald the festival’s arrival. But so too, do opportunities to make huge fortunes and rise higher than would ever be possible otherwise.
It is two months away.