This yearly festival is held over an entire week, with its last day being the longest of the summer. The festival is held in and about the Imperial City, officially opened by the Emperor or Empress, and sponsored by the Church of Siramus and the Guilds. It features a wide variety of competitions of all sorts, and participation is open to everyone regardless of their social status. As it attracts an enormous number and variety of people, it attracts many merchants and the markets are crammed with goods not normally available at any other time of year in that city. The competitions are not restricted to combat-oriented ones; there are ones for the finest-made clothes, the best tasting pies, and the like. The festival culminates in a grand joust, open to all, and a series of large and small dances.
The festival gained its famous name from the sword that Emperor Karn Tordrack reputedly thrust into the ground when he declared the first festival to be opened, centuries ago. Every head of state since then has opened each festival with a similar gesture.