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A small southern town, a delicious wine, and a holiday all share the same name; Erstwin. The small sunny town of Erstwin, situated far to the south, is famous for its various wines and surrounding vineyards. The town’s economy relies almost exclusively on winemaking, its supporting trades, and the celebration of the holiday, which draws many visitors.

The vintners that form the town’s ruling council spend a lot of time each summer assessing a special variety of grapes, known as erstleas. Small pale yellow fruit without seeds, this variety is prone to bursting if left on the vine too long. The vintners do this to determine the perfect moment to harvest the grapes, and therefore the date of the festival shifts every year depending on weather conditions. For a week before the forecasted day, the town’s streets are cleaned and swept, with fines for those that purposefully dirty them again.

At dawn on the day of the festival, most of the town and its many guests turn out to take part in the harvest while those left sweep the streets clean one last time. Plucking the vines bare, a great number of baskets are filled with yellow fruit and carried into the town before being emptied into long stone troughs. As only water is available between noon and dusk, a sense of urgency fills the morning as everyone hopes to finish in time to enjoy a glass or two of last year’s wine before the noontime bell at the center of town is rung. This bell signals the start of a food fight using the grapes, and it erupts on every street. With no alliances or victors, the fight is purely for the joy of it, lasting an hour before the bell sounds again.

When the second bell rings, combatants cease their conflict and work together to scoop up the shattered grapes, dumping the remnants back into the troughs. The vintners and their workers then spend the afternoon placing special lids on the troughs, using them to press the grapes, and preparing the results for fermentation. While this is done other revelers enjoy a generous feast of fruits, nuts, bread, and cheese. At dusk, the roasted meats are served and a great deal of wine flows.

Game Mechanics

The wine created on Erstwin takes at least 6 months to mature, but once bottled this delicate white wine has magical effects. A bottle of Erstwin contains sufficient liquid for four glasses, each of which grants the imbiber immunity to fear effects for the next two hours.