February 8th – The Day of the Three Sisters

The Day of the Three Sisters is not a festival in the proper sense, nor is it necessarily real. Many have called it out as a hoax or collective delusion, and indeed there is no evidence beyond eyewitness accounts that the events they describe have actually happened. Yet every year more people claim that they have been mixed up in the uncanny games of the Three Sisters.

The first person to claim to have met the Sisters was Johannes Sprint, a former clergyman of the Chastise Church. If his story is to be believed, at twilight today, in 1587 the man was performing the Ritual of Service in his church’s sacristy, when he heard singing coming from the hallway. He did not recognise the song, but it was certainly very beautiful. He quickly finished is ritual and walked out into the hallway that connected to the rest of the church. There he found three beautiful women leaning against the wall nonchalantly, singing a song that he realised now he did recognise; he had heard its tune all his life, somewhere at the back of his head. And the words, they were about him.

Though not much is known about the Sisters, they are usually reported to appear in liminal spaces; hallways, lychgates, building sites, arches; at twilight, true to Sprint’s original tale. Today, seekers of the Sisters will wait in these spaces, usually alone if they can be, although the groups of teenagers who look for them for a dare or bet often go in pairs or groups of three. Whilst many of these seekers claim to have seen the Sisters, their claims are by no means as convincing as others who never intended to meet them, or who may not have even heard of them.

Christine Lemark was a recent accidental finder of the Sisters. She was not a native of the City, but her father, Harry, remarried recently to a Buentoilliant, so she travelled to the City to visit. The Sisters are an obscure subject even in Buentoille, and in Christine’s home city, Markbury, there was no talk of them at all. After visiting her father, who lives atop the Literlamp Building (a tall block of flats) she called a lift. Inside there were three women, leaned against the lift walls. ‘Are you getting off?’ She asked. They replied that they were not. The lift down seemed to take much longer than it had on the way up, and she felt uncomfortable with these women staring at her; didn’t people in this City know it was rude to stare? The elevator music was nice though; Lemark thought it sounded familiar, but couldn’t put her finger on it. Suddenly there was a jolt and the emergency lights came on. The lift was stuck.

There are many theories surrounding the identity and origin of the Sisters. Many believe them to be the ghosts of women who all died during the plague of 1585. An archivist of the Hidden Library once produced a document that they claimed to be the Sister’s death certificate, but many claimed it was a forgery, and it was mysteriously lost soon after, so cannot be verified by modern means. Apparently the document only referred to them as ‘Three Systers of the Hecane Lyne,’ but this too lacks verification. There are also rumours of three gravestones buried in the marshes, facing in to each other. Other theories abound, including that they are aliens, visitants from some alternate version of Buentoille, or even that they are Death itself, having a day off to play games with the City’s inhabitants.

Games seem to be another unifying trait of the stories surrounding the Sisters. Whilst some are clearly taken from folk stories surrounding other mythical figures (for example the game of Chess in the Marquis Granly’s report of their own visitation is a word-for-word copy of Klivmire’s Chess with a Barrow Wight), others seem more plausible. In Lemark’s story, once the lift stopped, she began to converse with the women, and eventually one of them produced a pack of cards which they laid out on the floor. The cards were some kind of tarot set, but Lemark didn’t recognise which. All four women played what the women (Lemark now recognised that they were sisters) termed ‘The Game of Life,’ a game which seemed to involve trying to accumulate as many cards as possible, through a convoluted set of rules. At the end of the game, Lemark only had seven cards. ‘Interesting,’ said one Sister. ‘Indeed,’ said another. ‘What a lucky lady,’ said the third. It was then that the engineers helped Lemark out of the lift. In their official report they only mention one woman.

When they got to the end of their song, the clergyman, Sprint, asked, ‘and what happens next?’ The song had told a tale of a young boy who grew up loving a girl next door, who had eventually decided he could never have her love in return, and had devoted himself instead to the Church. It ended when this boy, now a man, met three weird sisters. They produced a set of bone dice, and said, in unison, ‘there is only one way to find out.’

Other festivals happening today:

  • The Festival of Street Chalk Drawings

  • A Day for Tea Drinking

  • Wolk Pederson’s Heavy Metal Fest