Friday, April 19, 2019

Sunset Realm Calendar

Continuing this blogs trend in posting setting-vomit likely useless to anyone but me, here's a calendar. I gotta make a dungeon or something

In the absence of continual solar presence or seasons, Moonlanders developed various ways to mark time- hunger or sleep or decay. In the age of the second sun Yg-A, dragon growth cycles marked time, but after Yg-A was trapped in the center of the earth and became the Undersun, there are more serpents than dragons and only hardcore snake-librarians of Yg stick to this method. In the age of the third sun, the Alf-Star, various magical and/or mechanical marvels were constructed, but on account of the fractious nature of Alves, each such device set a unique and competing standard. Some modern societies have unearthed and learned how to operate these devices, such as the great Clocktower of Vint. But the method that gained widespread traction among humans and human-adjacent societies was the Stellar Calendar, developed by Heliognostics in the intersolar period between the 4th and 5th sun, measured by the relative movements of certain stars in the inconstant sky. Due to the irregular motion, sometimes certain weeks simply don't happen.

Festivities by Week and a note on Seasons, Day, and Night

  • Bold indicates holidays which are official and known to 99% of the human populace(unless it's endemic to a specific culture). They will happen culturally even if the stars are not quite right.
  • Italic indicates the astronomical designation for times that only astronomers care much about. These weeks have a 4-in-6 chance of occurring and are otherwise skipped. Years are not fixed in length.
  • The Calendar starts at the beginning of spring, and ends at the end of winter. Each season is a maximum of 13 weeks long (usually a few weeks are lost). Years, or 'Solar Patrols' can be down to less than half as long in event of truly unusual stellar motions (which the sun reacts to) but on average, a year is 40 weeks long.
  • The Noonlands do not have seasons- for 3/4ths of the year, they are a roasting tropical hell of eternal day where people can barely survive(but the Noonlands are also relatively monster-free so they have their advantages), and in the final 1/4th that passes for their 'winter', the sun is merely low and small in the sky, roaming the horizon in an eternal sunset. The large island of Heleologos is the center of the Noonlands and has never known night save for intersolar periods, but apart from a few of the Beast Islands and the coast of Saresare, the Noonlands should more accurately be called the Noon Sea.
  • The Daylands, most similar to the real world, do have seasons and day/night cycles, as the sun comes and goes, a circular patrol. Seasons are named for certain moons, who do not make appearances due to the constant patrol of the sun and the The Moon Lumar, who has shadowed the sun's path since time immemorial. Seasons are otherwise pretty much as you'd expect, though a few naive godlings who have never seen the moons Spring, Autumn, and Winter occasionally purport to be in command of the seasons.
  • The Twilight Lands have day night cycles as the Daylands do, but are far enough away that Moons may boldly sneak into the night sky as in the Moonlands.
  • The Moonlands do not have seasons or day/night cycles, and mark 'days' as 'sleeps.' The Sun is a random encounter, as is the light of the moons, and so the only guaranteed light is that of flame. They are not as cold as you might expect, for Moonlight provides warmth in the absence of the sun, though at the cost of various reality-warping effects. Humanity does not reign here, they only reside and survive in small pockets.

THE CALENDAR

  1.  Adulation of the New Sun- a yearly(such as it is) festival to celebrate the coming of the 5th sun. Festivities include a massive game of tag, where the most athletic individual of the society, dressed in pale gold circlets and a white robe, defends an offering to the sun from various people symbolically dressed to represent the moons. Those chose to play moons are typically charity cases who are given community support by the chance to snag valuables, or clowns whose role is to mock the moons and reassure the populace that the sun and humanity will surely triumph over adversity. Players who wish to participate can donate treasures to the offering of value equal to their current levelx1000 to reroll saves to try to throw off curses, diseases, mutations, and other corruptions, try to beat other sun-contenders in footraces in the days leading up to the festival, or sign up as a Moon if their costume or community support is good enough, and have a chance to snag donated goodies if they can get to the offering before being tagged by the Sun.
  2. Locust Found- A star lost near the end of winter typically returns. Random encounter tables are restocked by region and monster lairs and dungeons are recolonized if appropriate, and an additional encounter is added to regional encounter tables. If Locust does not return and this week is skipped, the encounter tables are left empty (assuming the players depopulated monster lairs and so on) and the lands remain safeish another year.
  3. Mole Pursues Locust- Animals and animalistic monsters have morale +1 and reaction rolls +1 due to a combination of post-winter hunger and spring breeding.
  4. Vigil for Riikhus- A solemn  wake observed by followers of the ancient faith of Riikhus and Mokkhus. Riikhus is dead and Mokkhus is lost, but dogma states that Mokkhus is seeking his brother in the moonlands and, as a death-god, will someday return with his fiery brother and once more enslave the errant gods into a hierarchical pantheon. Naturally, cultures who were once enslaved by the Mercian empire led by the Slave-Pantheon of Riikhus do not look fondly upon these candlelit walks, but even so, this wake is especially popular among societies who found themselves in the Moonlands in the era of the 5th sun, where in the reign of the 4th sun Riikhus they enjoyed reliable day/night cycles and no Moons. Players wishing to participate simply keep a candle lit until the sun arrives. If Riikhus ever returns, perhaps they will be rewarded, but the 4th sun has been dead and gone for 2 centuries and betting odds are against it.
    Places extremely opposed to this vigil(such as Yuba) sometimes call this day Townlocke's Triumph and give some small thanks to the prophet of M'shesh who threw down Riikhus(aka  the Tyrant Sun by his detractors) as well as some minor attendance to their usual gods.
  5. Ice In Tiger's House- no festivities, frequently thought of as the last week where there will be snowfall in spring. If, in the aseasonal Moonlands, a Moon arrives, it will be the Winter Moon pursued by the sun shortly thereafter.
  6. Tiger Swims Counterclockwise-No festivities, though astronomers use the spiral path of the star dubbed 'Tiger' to guesstimate Moon schedules with increased accuracy.
  7.  House of Tiger (or Ant, if you utilize Saresaren astronomy). Random monster lairs always have maximum monsters and treasure encountered at this time.
  8. Locust Takes Leave From Ant's House- no festivities, but frequently an extra work shift creating impressive and fragile constructions meant to be broken, meaning even unskilled people can find work, and people will be up late.
  9. Tribute To The Lord of Calamities- a festival in which people dress themselves as monsters and spirits, get drunk and wreck shit, and even undergo scarification and self-mutilation if they're serious. Like emo halloween but with incense and vandalism instead of candy. Especially popular among the pregnant who wish their infants to be spared mutation and disease, lords wishing their fortresses to be spared from earthquake and war, and peasants wishing their fields to be spared storms. Players who wish to participate will have plenty of opportunities to undertake anonymous mayhem and either attract or avoid the attention of Murulu, whose blessings and curses can be a little hard to tell apart either way. But they will earn XP for the value of property damage they inflict, and if they inflict enough damage to gain a level, they will automatically pass their next save vs mutation or death and dismemberment, or they can suffer some dismemberment results to gain, or remove, a mutation or curse.
    For most civilized people, they constrain their activities to the destruction of the false constructions built the week before (Piñata houses) but people can and do go further, and those that go too far can get in trouble with the law.
  10. Hawk Hunts Locust- no festivities, but known as a week of cleanup after the tribute to the Calamitous Lord.
  11. Hawk Crosses Ice-no festivities. Doubled chance of moons, monsters, and inclement weather.
  12. Hawk In Roost-no festivities, preparations for Spring Effigy, add Spring Cult encounters
  13. Burial of Spring- A Noon/Daylands exclusive festival on the last day of Spring(the season, not the moon that inspired the season), where an effigy of Spring is burned to make way for Summer. The effigy is traditionally made from various aromatic and psychoactive herbs, and reveling near it may open ones minds to other realms and gain secrets, spells, cooking or alchemical recipes, or at least just a really good time that may help fog the memory of past trauma (and possibly some amnesia due to brain-fug). Moonlanders will likely see this Dayland ritual as an abominable moon cult ritual at worst, and a dangerously misinformed display of idiocy at best.
    Tribute to Spring
    -The moonlands version, where the effigy is made of scraps of Spring-spawned jungles and monsters and burned, to ward off the Spring moon- players may participate by offering Spring monster parts to gain respect and another hit of XP. Occasionally moon cultist revelers of spring will attack these rituals, so players may also find easy work as hired security. Those seeking to illegally deal in monstrous moonspawned eggs and seeds and mosnterparts may find buyers and sellers in larger settlements as well. Whether spring is repelled or drawn to the smell of its own burning spawn is unknown, but at the very least if it does appear, so too will the sun to drive it off within 24 hours.
  14.  Hangover Week- a recovery period after the Burial of Spring that even astronomers are hard pressed to remember the name of. Afterwards, remove Spring Cult encounters, and, assuming one is in the daylands, declare it to be summer.
  15. Nameless Triskaidecagon Stellar Arrangement-Dicerolls of 13 result in unfortunate consequences or 'critical fails'. An unlucky week. Despite the inconstant movements of stars, astronomers always manage to see a new accursed arrangement and mark it down in the Triskaidekaridion, a smallish tome detailing each unique arrangement.
  16. Ant in Tiger's House (or Tiger in Ant's house, in the Saresaren astronomical method). All random encounters will be of the 'conflict of (roll twice)' variety. The wilds echo with the snorting of monsters in territorial disputes.
  17. Day of Our Lady of Gardens- the most popular day for summer weddings and proposals among people of 'good breeding.' Particularly well-formed piglets and other domestic animals are brandished about, horse races are had, studs are exchanged, etc etc. Less of a festival and more of a glorified sort of 'business as usual but look how good my business be' sort of thing. Players can typically purchase usually not-for-sale animals of exceptional pedigree on these days and marriage proposals have a +1 to reaction rolls. A much bigger deal in the lands of King's Point, Queen's Coast, and Prince's Spit, which are the home of Our Lady of Gardens but as a very low-impact event it is fairly popular everywhere there is lawful civilization.
  18. House of Hawk- Encounter distance doubled during day, halved for night.
  19. King/Queen/Prince's House- A past king insisted a stellar holiday be arranged for his glory. He is now forgotten and the three fractious nations of King's Point, Queen's Coast, and Prince's Spit tend to have annual bar brawls over 'whose star it is.' Reaction rolls between patriots of the same origin are at +1, and of differing, -1.
  20. Alf Day- Commonly bastardized to 'Elf Day' outside the Moonlands and seen as an excuse to marvel at the inability of elves to get drunk. In the Moonlands and rare areas of the Daylands, flowers are gathered, floral masks are worn, and iron objects are marked by small flowers. This is meant to ward of the wrath of any Alves, Goblins, and Ogres escaped from the Iron Moon, but is not taken very seriously and is usually just a diversion to keep young children occupied and perhaps get them to help pick up flowers after any weddings from last week. It is a popular wedding time for those who missed last week.
    Players may be interested in finding actual elves during this time, or throwing around 100c to get child labor to ID and obtain a solid, if informal, overview of all flowering herbs in the region which could be of use to herbalists, alchemists, and so on. This week contains the summer solstice.
  21. Exquisite Charnel House- All rolled dice get +1 due to stellar arrangements. The Carnage Moon can be seen all over the world, very high in the sky, almost the size of a star. For the bloodthirsty cult of the Sons of Nalil, this is a week where they are free of their worshipped moon, either to show softer sides, or to try to murder double-time to call it back sooner.
  22. Eight Dog Days- A holiday endemic to Yuba, where prisoners are sacrificed and their hearts eaten to glorify the Jackal God of Yuba, directly transferring all their XP to the ritualist. In the absence of prisoners or presence of more humanitarian Jackal-Priests, horses are sacrificed instead, in memory of the lost Horse God of Yuba. All excess flesh is fed to dogs, naturally. Players may find it possible to recruit Really Good Dogs as retainers during such celebrations. It is a common mistake to mix up this and Charnel House, though not one a proper astronomer would ever make.
  23. Renewed Motion of Ice-A subtle motion of the Ice star in relation to others. Apprentice Astronomers able to perceive the precise day are typically promoted, no one else cares.
  24. Exodus From Tiger's House- Chance of surprise in random encounters (for both sides) increased by 1.
  25. Ant Stands Alone- Wandering monsters that would be surprised are instead found dead, smote by the wrath of the Sun and marked with lightning-strike damage. 
  26. Farewell to the Sun-A festival of more sun-offerings, where people bid the sun best wishes as it starts to leave its position over Helelogos to swing further along the border of the Moonlands, chasing off cocky moons and providing a bit more light to the Moonlands in the coming months. People in the Noonlands give sacrifice to give the sun strength, while those in the Moonlands give sacrifice to hopefully earn the sun's favor and see more of it. Players may participate by sacrificing burnable things on the pyre, and if they sacrifice value equal to their level x1000 they may reroll their HP or one statistic. This is the last day of Summer.
  27.  Time of Justice-A week-long Saresaren holiday where crimes are re-examined with an eye for either mercy or further condemnation. Even criminals with bounties on their heads are free to argue their case in court without being apprehended. Canny players may wish to scope out juicy bounties in preparation for Gazelle Pursues Lion, or work to exonerate certain criminals(such as themselves) of their sins. This is the first week of autumn.
  28. Gazelle Pursues Lion- A week of notorious bounty-hunting and vigilante justice in Saresare. The most common result on encounter tables will be bounty-hunters, and the next-common result, outlaws.
    Commonly mistaken as 'Lion Pursues Gazelle' by astronomers not of Saresaren education, due to it being a cultural, rather than astronomical, name.
  29. Festival Of Kispiritis-In which offerings are made to the missing and probably dead pirate-god of the waves, at least in coastal settlements. An unmanned 'merchant ship' is loaded with offerings and then pushed out to sea, then 'attacked' by available ships and sunk. As usual, players may offer valuable to be sunk for double XP, though the very bold might think to rob the treasure-ship, though they'd be risking the wrath of the populace, actual pirates(who often happily participate in this festival) and, if rumors are to be believed, the massive Ningen of the sea who are the true recipients of this bounty. If true, players could expect the favor of the Ningen for making sizable donations...
    In some, typically smaller communities, this has been replaced by the Day of Saint Bridget, where lovers seek to gift each other the best fish they can catch and hopefully ensure their relationship will be blessed in contrast to all the ways Saint Bridget's were cursed.
  30. Annual Eclipse- The Moon of Day, Lumar, occasionally catches the sun. In the age of the 4th sun this was seen as a garment-rending heretical occurrence, but nowadays it is seen as more of a confirmation that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and that the 5th sun and Lumar are still getting along well (though both entities are notoriously noncommunicative so this is hopeful speculation). However, the obscuring of the sun does allow for moon-rituals and darkness magic to run rampant in lands where it otherwise should not. People react at -1 to wizards during the eclipse, and wizards can cast and memorize spells regardless of level requirements.
  31. Worm and Mole- Largely agreed to be the boringest day of autumn, especially after the pirates and wizards of the last two weeks and with the promise of skellingtons later this season. All reaction rolls from random encounters are 7.
  32. Day of the Skull- No relation to the accursed undead moon Skull, but a memento mori for humans, and a reminder that they would do well to prepare for the afterlife, lest they linger on as undead and eventually find themselves embroiled in the eternal Skeleton War in the deep earth.
    Skeleton War recruiters occasionally arrive from the deep earth to look for fresh bones, which ties in well to the Tomb Vigil if they have living relatives. Adventurers may be tempted to follow a skeleton into the veins of the earth to join the skeleton war early as a fleshbag for gold, glory, and other such weaselly notions.
  33. Tomb Vigil- A sort of day of the dead where the common folk go to visit their dead ancestors and ensure that all is well. This can simply mean confirming that a corpse remains a corpse and has not been possessed by its own soul(or anything else, for that matter) or actively speaking to an undead relative and determining what, if anything, needs to be changed in the tomb to ensure the dead continue to rest in peace (or at least ensure their nonstop disgusting undead drug-fueled-orgy-parties will stay in the tombs where they belong, ew). If anything, this is probably the day that has the least problems with the undead, for gravetenders usually spot such problems far in advance of the Tomb Vigil, and indeed part of their job is ensuring that the resting places of the dead remain restful. Players may be intrigued by the possibility to commune with the dead, hire on as assistant gravetenders to finish up last-minute undead-bashing, or try their hand at tomb-robbing where their presence among the dead will not immediately arouse the suspicions of gravetenders.
  34. Ill-Omened Tiger- Wandering monsters encountered have maximum HP and personal (but not lair) treasure.
  35. Nox Sanguinus Veritae- A 'festival' found only in Vint and Savoth, whose goffik cities lie near the grave of the Blood Moon, where hooded supplicants file through churches to have their blood let into chalices. Depending on the facilities available, this can diagnose diseases and moon-corruption, or simply be a hopeful bloodletting ritual to ward off such. Anonymity is a sacred part of this ritual and the priests in charge can only make generalized guesses about infection rates in the populace to determine whether or not a Hunt must be proclaimed, or if people just need to use more soap.
  36. The Hunt- In most the daylands, a simple hunting competition where scoring the biggest beast nets you the biggest prize. In Vint and Savoth, a concerted effort to hunt down those who have been infected by the blood moon- from plague victims to werewolves to worse. Of course, the Hunt is sometimes used as a front to exercise political control within the cities themselves. The Hunt goes on for 1d3 weeks, culminating in the Autumn harvest, which in Vint-Savoth will likely be a more solemn affair on account of lost friends and family.
  37. Locust Rebuffed By Ant- Monsters in lair always surprised due to being bloated by preparation for hibernation and overeating.
  38. Worm Flees Ice- Wandering monsters have -1 morale and only 1d4hp per HD, due to drawing the short straw when it came to finding pre-winter forage.
  39. The Autumn Harvest-Typically a day celebrating the culmination of weeks of hard agricultural labor, followed by a night of enjoying the literal fruits of said labor. In places that venerate the minor but well-known goddess Hefon, blood feuds are either renewed or put to rest via a feast or a wedding. Adventurers typically have no place in such proceedings unless they're swearing eternal vengeance against someone, but more potato-diggers are always welcome if you care to earn a handful of silvers or at least free room and board until the harvest is over.
    Rusted Leaves- In the moonlands, there is an alternate ritual(as harvest cycles in the moonlands are madcap and irregular), similar to the tribute to spring, where an effigy of the Autumn Moon is burnt(or rather, smelted down, due to the high metal content in Autumn Moonspawned plants and monsters). The crude mass is then typically beaten into a plow or other agricultural implement which will never be used, but buried in secret. Adventurers interested in finding these moonish implements may wish to infiltrate the proceedings, and as one might expect, it is common to see the Autumn Moon make an appearance, pursued by the sun a few hours later. Whether the ritual attracted the moon, or led to it being driven away by the sun, is anyone's guess.
  40. Black-as-Ice- The reasoning for this name is unknown, though its earliest confirmed use is from the reports on clockwork and gunpowder sanctions engraved by Mercian dwarves in the stone library of Stonefast Three. It sometimes marks the first day of winter though, and so has been fastidiously remembered.
  41. Stonegate-this is the week where the dwarves of Mercia decide whether their impregnable stone fortresses will remain open for another year to deal with humans, or if a large purchase of foodstuffs will be made and the dwarves will seal themselves away at least until next Stonegate. It is a time of great commerce and travel, but there is an edge of survival and politics to it. If the gates are closing, anyone with a wagon or horse can make fast money running various mercantile errands, and any bandit will likely find a plethora of ill-equipped traders to loot. If the gates are to remain open, prices of goods will likely remain more stable during winter.
  42. The Black Stars Behind The Pale Stars- Named not for any stellar configuration, but for the anniversary of the Saresaren astronomer whose blasphemous writings resulted in his very name being expunged from the annals of history, who ventured far out into the black sands to observe the writhing of the darkness of the sky in the absence of sun, moon, or stars. This reminder is a warning not to follow in their footsteps, not a recommendation. Though there is no appreciable effect in the daylands, the Moonlands will have neither sun nor moon. Technically this can happen multiple times per year, but it is only in winter that astronomers take note.
  43. Ice Stalks Mole- Wandering monsters do not fail morale due to losses and damage taken, fighting to the death unless truly and utterly outmatched, perhaps out of hunger. One less check per day/night, though.
  44. Allnaughts- The festival of the gambling trickster god T'liki (the name comes from the sobriquet 'all for nothing' which itself is a play on 'all or nothing'), to distract the populace from the growing gloom of the world. Valuables may be gambled away for the potential of winning similar trinkets- gold for gold, spells for spells, etc etc. Only decadent cities and very bored wilderness camps tend to partake seriously- T'liki is an unpredictable god and vulnerable communities such as villages shun his gambling rambling ways and will at best make token offerings by playing for pitiful stakes such as old chickens and individual corn kernels while sensibly rationing for winter.
  45. Lost Locust- The Locust-star, among others, becomes invisible. Nights are darker, making humans and other night-blind creatures surprised on an additional +1-in-6, and Nightmare Realms may be formed from those who die horribly (1-in-6, or 2-in-6 in Saresare)
  46. World's Sunset-Typically the darkest day of the year for the Daylands, the only day of the year the island of Heliologos sees Sunset, and a day that everyone in the entire wide, wide Moonlands can expect to see at least an hour of sunlight and have any squatting moons chased away. Though no celebrations are typically in order, it is expected to wear colorful clothes on this day, and if your clothing is the most garish in the room you can expect to get +1 to reaction rolls (and -1 if you're a stick in the mud who doesn't at least don a bright handkerchief.)
    Light sources also lose 5' radiance. This is the winter solstice.
  47. Vultures Feast-A Saresaren festival where food is purchased and prepared as normal, but is thrown out without being eaten, so that the Vulch, the sad, sacred vulture-folk of the desert have something to eat, while the humans fast. Vulch retainers can be recruited at this time, though the recruitment must be subtle indeed, as Vulch neither accept explicit charity nor do labor for payment.
  48. Ice Clad In Furious Raiment- Monsters and weather makes reaction rolls at -1. 'Dead' encounter results are likely frozen solid.
  49. Old King Winter- Monsters and weather makes reaction rolls at -2, though if surprised many monsters will be hibernating. In the moonlands, all moons rolled will be the winter moon.
  50. Mole Calls Upon Worm-A week of nightly checks, wandering around cold halls wrapped in fur blankets, wielding candle, where cellars and other subterranean areas are double-checked to make sure they have not undergone dark-corruption and turned into dungeons or nightmare realms. It is diligent to check more often than this, of course, but most people never discover anything unusual save for a few items that may not have been in the cellar before and so if they bother at all this is usually the time they finally get around to it.
  51. Names Written In Light Upon The Face of Darkness- Darkspawn that are found in cellars are traditionally driven out by fire and pitchfork around this time of year, or if they proved reasonable tenants, shown to dinner guests and given an official name so that they may be illuminated and join the world of daylight(or moonlight) and ordered forms. This is a ritual with origins shrouded in antiquity, and the more predominant the worship of light, be it from the sun, moons, or gods, the less common this will be, and it doesn't occur outside the Moonlands apart from, perhaps, deep in the earth or sea or sky.
  52. Worm in the House of Mole- no festivities, but preparation for the Adulation of the New Sun festival. The stellar name of this week is relatively well known simply due to it being the anticipatory period of the biggest festival. It is the last week of Winter(the season, not the moon)

1 comment:

  1. "Darkspawn [are] shown to dinner as guests and given an official name so that they may be illuminated and join the world of daylight"

    ^ Love this.

    ReplyDelete