Chapter 10

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"Normally it is a five day affair where all the residents of each city or village gather together and participate in food, drink, games, contests and the like."

"How do the witches celebrate it?"

"It is a little more special for us. For the witches, Midsummer Day is also a sort of respite. Because we are confined—by our own volition, mind you—to the Towers for the greater part of the year, we allow ourselves to take leave of the Towers for a period of a month. This allows us sufficient time to travel to and from our respective homelands, or wherever we may wish to participate in the MidSummer Day celebration. It is also the time we allow ourselves to forsake our abstinences."

Uriel gave her a questioning look. "Your abstinences?"

Khyrhyelle sat down beside Uriel before she answered. "There are several things that one should abstain from in order to keep the Spirit from being tainted when performing magics or partaking in ritual. As I am sure you no doubt noticed, we do not eat any meats and only consume wine, mead and ale as beverages, not something to be indulged in. Nor are any forms of narcotics tolerated, except in certain rituals. We always dress in our respective robes. And, of course, barring you, there are no men."

"So this festival is the only time you are… allowed to do these things?"

"We do not encourage everyone to go out and do these things while they are away. Nor do we actually forbid them throughout the year. They are merely actions which detract from our energy levels and so impair our effectiveness in our chosen vocation. The goal is to view other things as more beneficial, leaving one's previous interests behind. However, there are certain physical needs which are more difficult to live without than others. And sometimes it is necessary to fulfill those needs."

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