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The Fugue Feast is an indeterminate period of sanctioned anarchy, which follows the end of the set calendar year.[1]

After the 28th day of the Month of Songs,[1][2] the new year does not immediately begin; instead, a period "outside the calendar" takes place. A decree from the standing High Overseer of the Abbey of the Everyman both initiates the Feast[3] and concludes it in "a day or two"[4] when specific cosmological signs are observed.[1]

During the Fugue Feast, people can act as they wish without fear of prosecution, as the time which passes "does not exist and is not recorded" in any official capacity.[1] Acts which defy the Seven Strictures, such as intoxication[5] and adultery,[6] are common during this period. Even criminal behavior is overlooked, as individuals cannot be held accountable for their actions by official bodies. Nevertheless, people often wear masks or paint their faces in order to hide their identities during the Feast, so that they may "pursue their passions without reservation."[1] Aristocrats tend to plan in advance, leaving the urban centers, walling themselves off or surround themselves with guards, often setting out to practice their own brand of debauchery. Meanwhile, lower class citizens are left to fend for themselves as chaos reigns the streets of the Empire.[7]

Once the appropriate celestial signs are detected, the High Overseer signals for the hymn of atonement, which ends the Fugue Feast, along with all associated impunity.[1]

Trivia[]

  • The Fugue Feast resembles Carnival or Mardi Gras, as both involve elaborate costumes, intoxication, and overturning social conventions.
  • According to Harvey Smith, the Fugue Feast lasts for one or two days.[4] Since the calendar of the Isles consists of 13 months with 28 days each, the Fugue Feast falls into the 365th day, or the 365th and the 366th days of the year.
  • Fugue is a psychiatric term for an amnesiac state wherein a person is "conscious of [their] actions but has no recollection of them after returning to a normal state."[8]
  • Several aristocrats throughout Dishonored can be heard saying they leave Dunwall for the countryside during the Fugue Feast.
  • High Overseer Francis Perry mysteriously disappeared during the Fugue Feast, and his body was never found.[9]
  • According to the Dishonored Roleplaying Game, a group of escaped Morleyan war prisoners planned to ambush Lady Julie Coldridge's caravan and assassinate her. During their reconvening with Ethan Finchley, a City Watch member, they were informed by Finchley that the best time to assassinate Coldridge was "during the Fugue Feast, so that there are no legal consequences for whatever goes down at the road". This suggests even murder is overlooked during the occasion.[7]

References[]

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