Very few people know the location of today’s festival, and given that it has variously been described as ‘a sunny glade,’ ‘a pool by a very large oak tree,’ ‘atop a waterfall,’ and various other locations, it is likely that it changes each year, depending on where the sounder of Buentoilliçan boar has been tracked to. Yet it is also the case that the Cult of the Boar King maintains that they congregate at a single location every year, but will not reveal that location publicly for fear of hunters, and therefore the reputedly varied nature of the location may be an attempt to keep maintain the secrecy of this famed congregation point. Today, they say, is they only day that they will know where to find the Boar King.
The Buentoilliçan boar, also known as the ‘stupendous boar’ or ‘thumper,’ is a species of wild boar that inhabits Luck’s End forest and a number of other wooded areas that are near the City. Unlike other species of boar, the stupendous boar is able to cunningly disguise its scent and trail from hunting dogs, although it is not quite clear how this is done; only the Cult seems to be able to track them with any accuracy. This goes some way to explain why they still exist when many other species have been hunted to extinction by successive royal Buentoilliçan courts.
Remarkable intelligence is not the only thing that separates Buentoilliçan boars from their counterparts, they also exhibit a particular form of polymorphism which means that the dominant male of the sounder becomes remarkably large. Due to the lack of scientific research on the species, little is known about what benefit this strange change confers upon the species, although they are clearly doing something right to have survived this long next to such a large human population that has been, until very recently, intent upon destroying their habitat and eating them for thousands of years.
It is this dominant male that the Cult of the Boar King is named after, and worships. The Cult is thought to be thousands of years old, once being a powerful force within the ancient Escotolatian tribes. It is thought that once there were a number of woodland shrines in which stupendous boars roamed freely and were venerated, but these seem to have disappeared with the passing of the ages (and the felling of much of the woodland). The Boar King is considered a source of animalistic power for those who worship it, and it is frequently invoked as a symbol of fertility.
Members of the Cult are known to have very large families (a factor which may have kept it going for so long, rather than withering away like many other similar nature-based religions), a fact they ascribe to today’s ritual, where couples looking to conceive are led to the sounder and present roots, truffles and other prized foodstuffs for the Boar King, known to have a prodigious appetite. Some stories tell of couples bathing the boar with holy spring water, or even stripping off and engaging in the conjugal act there before it; there is little information besides snippets extricated from drunken or gregarious members of the Cult. Besides hopeful couples, Cultists of all genders looking to improve their persuasiveness or physical strength will visit the Boar King, with his sounder court, hoping that he will share some of his power. Strangely enough, there seem to be very few injuries sustained, despite such closeness to powerful wild animals.
There have clearly been a number of Boar Kings since the inception of the Cult, but the official belief of the Cult is that they were one and the same, each body like a new overcoat to be worn and shed when it grows too old and shabby. The figure beneath this overcoat was once a man called Odumlin, a man of extraordinary physical prowess, arresting charisma and an appetite for power that could not be sated. A primal spirit, he would have been a great and terrible leader of the world, they claim, were it not that he was cursed by a witch, contained as an animal, unable to conceive of any greater achievement than to grow vast and have many children. One day, they say, a foolish wanderer will come and free him of his bonds, and the world shall be cast beneath his shadow.
Other festivals happening today:
- The Festival of the Amplifier
- Debtor’s Day
- The Crystal Sphere Festival