The Swallowtail Festival

The Swallowtail Festival is a yearly celebration held in Sandpoint to renew the god’s blessings for the Sandpoint Cathedral. It’s held on the Autumnal Equinox—generally on the 22nd or 23rd of the month of Rova in the square outside of the church.

Welcome Speeches

The festival begins with various welcome speeches by Mayor Kendra Deverin, Sheriff Hemlock, and other influential member of town society.

Festival Fun and Games

Numerous games and contests take place during the day, including sack races, games of hide-and-seek, weight-lifting challenges, balance beam contests, tug-of-war events, and the like. Winners of these games generally win nothing more than bragging rights for the rest of the day

Swallowtail Release

At noon, Father Zantus and his acolytes wheel a large covered wagon into the square, and after recounting the short parable of how Desna first fell to earth and was nursed back to health by a blind child whom she transformed into an immortal butterfly as a reward for her aid, they pull aside the wagon’s cover, releasing the thousand children of Desna—a furious storm of swallowtail butterflies that swarm into the air in a spiraling riot of color to a great cheer from the crowd. Throughout the rest of the day, children futilely chase butterflies, never quite quick enough to catch them.


Lunch is provided free, at the expense of Sandpoint’s taverns. Each brings its best dishes—this event is as much a marketing push by the taverns to win new customers as it is to feed a hungry crowd.


Father Zantus takes the central podium, uses a thunderstone to attract everyone’s attention, and recites the Prayer of First Dreaming.

The Swallowtail Festival

Rise of the Runelords l0thar