Postfest V, Part II: Postfest V, Part II: Mock Mayor Holidays
Date: Tue, August 09, 2005
Topic: Peoples & Culture
In Veluna City, the City of Greyhawk and Irongate, Mock Mayors once each year overturn the usual order to celebrate, ridicule and make licentious riot. Come Festivale!
Mock Mayor Holidays
By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
Date: 4th Flocktime, 25th Goodmonth, 11th Fireseek
Location: Mitrik (Veluna), City of Greyhawk, City of Irongate
Mock Mayor holidays are not uncommon throughout the Flanaess. In each instance, a mock or pretend mayor is named, who is then made sport of by the common citizens. By turns, mock mayors release pent up frustrations with actual authorities, which are well advised to watch the goings on for clues to the true feelings of the populace, or they may celebrate some event or just be an excuse for uninterrupted merrymaking or wildness. Interference by the constabulary with mock mayor activities is an invitation to riot. The three best known mock mayor celebrations occur in Mitrik, the City of Greyhawk and the City of Irongate.
The Mock Mayor of Mitrik rules on the 4th of Flocktime in the capital of Veluna. The event celebrates the ousting of the forces of Keoland during the Short War. The Mock Mayor dresses in Keolandish livery and is made up with wild hair and an immense padded girth. After lecherously picking a Fair Maid of Veluna, a contest actually judged by an annually selected committee, from a number of aspirants, the Mock Mayor upon attempting to kiss the Fair Maid is unceremoniously kneed. Thereupon, the Mock Mayor is placed backwards on a mule and paraded out of the city, being pelted with all manner of offal along the way. A celebratory feast is then held, overseen by the Fair Maid of Veluna and the restored Rightful Mayor of Mitrik, portrayed by the same fellow who played the mock mayor. The day after, a Street Sweeping Parade is held, in which martially attired citizens wash and sweep the streets, thereby “cleansing the city of the stink of Keoland.”
The City of Greyhawk celebrates a mock mayor on the 25th of Goodmonth. The mock mayor is referred to as Lord Dunce. He is a jester-like character, complete with fool’s caps. He dresses in the gown of a university don, left open to reveal a harlequin’s attire underneath. By turns he lectures nonsense in a ponderous, chastising voice, drawing his gown up around himself pretentiously, then mocks himself, throwing open his university gown to reveal the fool beneath as he capers and dances. Beginning in the Clerksburg and processing through the city, stopping at every tavern along the way, Lord Dunce is greeted solemnly by everyone. He is then mocked behind his back, as soon as he turns. No one, however, is allowed to harm, assault or insult Lord Dunce. The joke is that he is mocked without his awareness. By tradition, Lord Dunce always ends the festivities before the Temple of Boccob, presumably in remembrance of the original Zagyg.
Iron Gate’s mock mayor is unusual in that he is neither a figure of authority nor of ridicule. And he is a she. Or is it that she is a he. Irongate’s mock mayor is an androgynous and licentious figure, celebrating role reversals in all things. Known as The Cuckoo, he/she oversees a chaotic celebration that roils the city and knows few taboos. Every door, palace, parlor, bedroom, shop and tavern, is open to The Cuckoo, who dresses in almost revealing attire, combining both male and female flourishes set off by an exotic, feathered and beaked mask. The Cuckoo is accompanied by his/her Feathered Flock, followers dressed in similarly outlandish and androgynous attire who act as The Cuckoo’s court. Anyone properly dressed up may join the Feathered Flock, subject to The Cuckoo’s acceptance of their presence. Mysteriously, it is unknown how The Cuckoo is chosen or who is under the masque in any given year. Similarly, the Festival, as the mock mayor celebration is known, is of indeterminate origin. It simply occurs on the 11th of Fireseek, when an unusually warm wind annually blows from the south.