Friday, December 10, 2010

Calendar of Andurantha

My last post was mostly systemless, so I thought I'd continue this in earnest.  I have a world I've been working on for awhile, and this world I'm trying to make as detailed as possible, while having as little to do with Tolkien as I can.  Tolkien is a bit old hat these days, and while a large amount of the populace is discovering Middle Earth through Peter Jackson's movies, the influence on D&D is too pronounced, and I'd rather steer away from that.  My ideas move more towards the Sword & Sorcery genre, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Fritz Leiber, et al.  So, without further adieu, I give you the calendar of Andurantha.  

A Note of Explanation: The Men of the Dawn were the first humans in the world.  They developed a highly-accomplished society, before betrayal brought about their downfall.  Their magic is ancient and some of the most potent known to any race.     

On Andurantha, they talk of time passing in 28-day cycles called "Moons."  Each moon represents a particular time of the year.

Wolf Moon -- Jan
Hunger Moon -- Feb
Sap Moon -- March
Spawning Moon -- March
Bear Moon -- April/May
Flower Moon -- Jun
Rose Moon -- Jul
Thunder Moon -- Aug
Red Moon -- Sep
Harvest Moon -- Oct
Hunter's Moon -- Nov
Frost Moon -- Dec
Long Nights Moon -- Dec

Wolf Moon - Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howl hungrily outside.

Hunger Moon - Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, harsh weather conditions make hunting very difficult.

Sap Moon - As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation.  It is considered to be the last Moon of Winter.

Spawning Moon - The herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring.  This is the time that the shad swim upstream to spawn.

Bear Moon - This is named for the time when bears begin to appear again most frequently.  Most bears begin hibernation during the Hunter's Moon and rouse themselves about now. They're usually not holed up for the entire time, but are rarely seen before this Moon.  They gain a lot of fat and tuck themselves into a cave or hollow tree.  Cubs suckle from mothers in winter as the mom slumbers.

Flower Moon - In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon.

Rose Moon - The start of strawberry picking season.  Strawberries are part of the rose family.

Thunder Moon - Normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur.  Thunderstorms are most frequent during this time.

Red Moon - Sturgeon are most readily caught during this month. As Sha'kal rises, it appears reddish through a sultry haze.

Harvest Moon - The Moon of the autumn equinox.  At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of the twin moons.  Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice are now ready for gathering.

Hunter's Moon - With the leaves falling and the deer fattened, it is time to hunt. Since the fields have been reaped, hunters can easily see foxes and the animals which have come out to glean.

Frost Moon - This is the time to set beaver traps before the swamps freeze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.  The beavers are now actively preparing for winter. This is when the frosts set in.

Long Nights Moon - During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest.  The midwinter night is indeed long; the Brothers are above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full moons have a high trajectory across the sky because they are opposite a low Sun.

Each time a new moon comes around, the bells in the cities toll to formally announce it. 

Months last 28 days, based on the lunar cycle, also based on a woman's cycle, because women are the Bringers of Life.

There are 13 months (moons) a year.

Last day of the year (365th day) is called the Night of the Black Moon, when no moons are visible, the Dark Powers are at their prime, and monsters walk free.

Seasons are based on the time of year, on agriculture.  Since farming and ranching feed the populace, this is natural.

Planting...Sap Moon to the Flower Moon
Planting is when the seeds are sown in the fields.

Growth...Rose Moon to Red Moon   
Is when the crops are at full growth.

Reaping...Harvest Moon to Hunter's Moon
Is when the crops are gathered in the fields.

Preserving...Frost Moon to Hunger Moon
Is when grain is stored in preparation for the long months ahead.

Sha'kal and Kerrg, the twin moons.  Sha'kal and Kerrg were brothers.  Sha'kal was good, while Kerrg was evil.  They fought constantly for which one would be ascendant, and during the days of the Long Nights Moon, Kerrg captured the sun, and blanketed the world, known as Isryn, with snow.  Sha'kal eventually won out, and Kerrg was put in his place, further removed from Isryn.  Sha'kal is white, with yellow and black spots some say are the wounds that Kerrg inflicted while they fought.  Kerrg is smaller (as an orange is smaller compared to a watermelon) and it is red, like the color of blood,  striated with black.  Sometimes Kerrg is called "the Blood Moon."  The moons collectively are called "the Brothers."

The names come from the Dawn Times, when the Men of the Dawn were simply scattered tribes.

Major festivals and feast-days do not fall on a day of the week.  Imagine it as:  Monday, Tuesday, Midsummer day, Wednesday, Thursday…  This gives the festivals an extra emphasis, making them stand apart from the rest of the week.  Festivals and feast-days are not normal days, they are important events in the religions and beliefs of Andurantha, and they are far more than an excuse for a day off.  Anyone who expects to find people conducting normal business on a festival-day is going to be disappointed. 

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