The Finns have celebrated the midsummer since time immemorial. Celebrating the longest day of the year with carousing, folk magic and spending time with loved ones. For some it’s a working holiday: the police, rescue services and hospitality businesses have their hands full with carousers. Midsummer is said to be a magical time, and on some worlds it might be more Magical than on others.
The Bonfire of Realities
When family Virtanen drove out to their summer cottage, like they did nearly every year, they had no idea what would happen.
With their coolers loaded with delicious foods and refreshing beverages, they fire up the sauna and start preparing for a feast. Their relatives and neighbors are going to come spend the night of celebration and there is much to be done.
It’s still early evening on the midsummer eve, when the last of the invited guests have arrived and the party starts in earnest with frosty beer, grilled food and sauna.
For the bonfire, the men have scrounged about for old wood, logs from a neighbor’s dismantled shed and an old boat too leaky to be any use. Someone has also brought in an old armoire, scuffed from use and the doors creaky from decades of use. Nobody present knows it, but it also a portal to another worlds.
Everything goes splendidly until it is time to light the bonfire. When the armoire starts to burn, the festive group finds that their party has acquired more guests, from beyond the armoire’s portal!
While some party-goers later blame strong drink, most can’t deny the presence of some very exotic guests. Goblins, forest faeries, talking animals and even some giants have come to participate in the festivities. Luckily the new guests have brought their own food and drink, for a six-pack is much of a gulp for a three-meter giant.
The original party goers’ sense of time blurs as do their memories and in the morning they wake up with vague memories of songs, laughter and sweet tasting mead. Apart from the lack of a hangover, it feels like a regular midsummer day after all.
… But when the family’s eldest daughter elopes with an elf a few months later…