Get your mead on! ZAM checks out Rift's latest world event
Gifts, rifts and snowdrifts aside, what's the story behind the Fae Yule Celebration? The seasons' festivities are mostly explained through the daily quest background. The “fae” part should give away where most of the lively lights and decorations are coming from: the plane of life! Apparently Greenscale was a bit of a spoilsport about the whole “party it up with the mortals” deal, and forbade the celebration for hundreds of years. But, with his death, the fae have decided to decorate all around Telara, and keep the mead and holiday cheer flowing. However, now the air plane's Crucia is being a party pooper, and is trying to enslave the minds of revelers, stop the flow of booze and steal the cheer from the celebration. One of the daily quests is literally to steal back the cheer stolen from disheartened partiers. Here's what I don't get: now, not all of the planar creatures are evil all the time, and I can accept that having a tyrannical dragon in charge of your plane could taint your perception of normal mortals. But you don't usually see planar creatures being nice without some kind of ulterior motive involved. If satyrs share their booze, it's to spread hedonism and their influence on Telara. If boglings are giving gifts, odds are the gifts are filled with gross swamp things or some nefarious device from their planar masters. The creatures of the planes have not been, up to this point, altruistic. So while I agree that the plane of life is probably the best thematic plane to use for the event, and their conflict with the plane of air makes a lot of sense (as the planes fight all the time), I can't quite understand why they'd include Telarans at all in the celebration. It feels like a rewriting of the lore. But maybe I'm just sour grapes and need more mead.
The lore for the non-planar side of the event makes a bit more sense, although it points to a plane of death kind of angle more than air or life. An elven hero nicknamed Illuminaria for her magic candles fought against a seasonal shadow of evil called the Winter Dark. I never found a good description of what exactly the Winter Dark was, but in the first phase of the event it shrouded travelers in a black cloud and could be dispelled by a candle during daily quests. Anyway, apparently it was too boring to keep using candles so the people started trading gifts to raise some holiday cheer, and this became known as Yule, and Illuminaria as the Yule Mother. I'm hoping there's some more explanation for what the Winter Dark is, or if it relates to the plane of death somehow. Odds are this might be revealed in the next stage, or next year... as, assuming Crucia dies in the next 12 months, we'll need a new baddie to play the Grinch next year!
Wrapping it up, the event was another decent one, although nothing too special. Frankly, I'm getting a little bored with seeing the same type of events, which all tend to involve similar mechanics:
Unique tokens to trade for costumes/vanity items/some useful items
Rare drops off the rifts
I'm not sure what would be better in future events, but I don't care to see the same kind of mechanics time and again. But don't let that detract from the event itself: Fae Yule will get you into the holiday spirit, and let you have a lot of fun with special costumes, rifts and presents. Merry Fae Yule to all, and to all a good night!