Back when the Guardians were all human for a time, and the Tree Spirit was contained within them, the Children of the Trees (the Insectafae) would visit them on the Solstice and Equinox of each season. They were compelled for the most part, lest they miss too many 'visits' and become Rogue Children. The last Solstice in the summer was passing, and I had scribed down notes for each one:
Coupant: They celebrate during the day by running drills and martial games with the menfolk of Eagle's Rook. The more 'girlish' Insectafae have procured watermelons for the evening to serve to the men. 'Male' Coupants are seen using Sir Vawn and Court for target practice with buckets of water, wet rags, and other aquatic tools they have devised. In the evening, with the permission of their Guardian, they have a giant bonfire outside the Keep; dancing, singing battle songs, drinking, making boasts of the battles ahead, and telling stories of battles fought and won. Liana is very much a part of the festivities and is granted as much honor as Sir Vawn and Court. Matthias is grateful for the wind-down of spring, and hopes for a peaceful summer with no one barging into his 'territory' uninvited. Lance, one of two Eagle's Rook members that escaped Black Annis, has been working with Squire Mihkail to learn how to shoot a bow, should the need arise. Ariel brags about the times ahead and how Coupant will triumph over all. Meanwhile, Gaze watches from the walls, very quiet and politely refusing to engage in the festivities.
Lumineux: The fireflies and moths gather near-by to their Guardian Kyomi, putting on a tiny light show and filling the air with a strange yet sweet perfume. Claire makes a small appearance in presenting herself to the Guardian, dressed all in white. "I apologize that we have so little to offer at this time," she speaks, and gifts the Guardian with six white candles. "We also have the location of the grand ritual mapped out, my grand Guardian Lumineux. The Children of your Brightness are working 'round the sun to make it ready for your arrival. If you wish to see it beforehand, we can try and manage it; will be much traveling involved."
Miserable: The children have been rather quiet, napping a lot in the noon-day sun. In Tarngire, they have grown accustomed to the environment and the never-ending supply of fang-bunnies and claw-deer(as they have come to call it). Many are looking very well-fed as opposed to the lean, skinny look of the hunters from before. For the Solstice, however, they hold a circle of howling, barking, and giving praise in their tongue to Guardian Shalindra, their mother spirit turned flesh, and leave offerings of smoked meat. They also drum very loudly and chant to the open skies, dancing wildly around small fires and asking the spirits for protection and good hunting for another season. Eagle overlooks it all, very quiet and without celebration. When the Solstice draws to a close, the Chosen walks off into the woods alone, without a word to anyone.
Baldaquin: Today, Josua had the feeling he was being watched, which continued as the day progressed. More and more the feeling of many eyes upon him, until two Insectafae dressed in simple stitched leaves drop down from the canopy. They bow low to the ground, placing gifts at his feet, and soon they are up in the trees again, with no words passing between them. The gifts are a necklace of simple design, and a basket woven from branches & vines filled with fruit and pinecones.
D'Amandes: D'Amandes is very quiet today within Cimone...she wonders how her two surviving children, Domiyana & Sarriette are. Domiyana gets himself quite lost and isn't able to reach the Tree Spirit in time. Sarriette however, is barely able to catch Cimone before the Solstice is over, granting her Tree some hope. D'Amandes is then told about the transfer to Aelias soon, and looks forward to the new beginning.
Fleuris: Many elfish-looking women and men journey into Folkestone to see Guardian Kwartz. They're dressed in scarlets and pinks, bearing bouquets of roses of all colors, glittering jewelry, and a whole lot of silk, all for Sir Kwartz & Dame Phoenix. They sing, joke politely, and flirt heavily with those who venture near. Amato(girl) is very happy in the celebration and is dressed up, showering her Guardian's room with rose petals and providing a small bottle of cologne for him as a gift. Amato(boy)has not been seen today, but it is said he'll return eventually: he has been looking for Guardian Phoenix since the end of April.
That was the last Solstice, I believe, that they all celebrated together. Shortly afterward, Eagle's Rook was sacked by this Zemarks or Xemarx guy, killing over 100 people and sacking four towns within Eagle's Rook. Ariel was killed attempting to protect the Shield with Sir Connor and a few others. Court & Eagle fell in the battle against the Shadow's goblins to protect the ritual's resting place, and Lance became the Chosen of Coupant while Eagle, strangely, could remain so for a time in spirit. Phoenix was recovered, as was Fleuris(Red) the Tree Spirit, back from the Shadow's clutches. Lumineux's Children were all destroyed save two, who the heroes promptly killed one and had a goddess strike down another (in order to complete her duty as a Chosen). An emergency of life sprung up in both Shalindra & Josua's lives, causing them to seek out other Guardians: Buredan & Gryf. Aelias & Cimone never got to make the transfer, as the Shadow brought the fight to the Guardians in the end, and so the Insectafae had to move quickly to defeat him.
Funny how so much can change in one season. - Ducheneux the Red