Embyr: Sword and Sorcery RPG Campaign Setting
The Embyrian Calendar
The Counting of Time in Embyr.
Each day is 24 hours long. The day itself is considered to last from one sunrise to the next (‘midnight’ is simply that; the middle of the night and not the start of a new day).
Weeks consists of 7 days: Sunday, Moonday, Truthday, Unityday, Thriftday, Freeday and Prayday (sometimes called ‘Godsday’ or ‘Worshipday’ depending on location). A week is also marked by the lunar cycle of Embyr’s lesser, reddish moon, Riyak, which is full on Prayday, the last day of a given week. Sundays Moondays, Truthdays and Thriftdays are commonly held as workdays. Truthdays and Thriftdays are also market days in most regions, while Freedays are reserved as days of rest (for those who can afford such a luxury). Unitydays are generally days of ceremony when weddings, funerals and divine dedications take place. Praydays are reserved for worship and most of the calendar holy days.
A month is made up of four weeks for a total of 28 days from start to finish. The month is also marked by the lunar cycle of Embyr’s more prominent moon, Selun. The first day of a given month is marked by the new moon, while the 14th day is marked by the full moon. There are thirteen months in a calendar year.
The first month of the year is Waterun, followed by Greening, Farrowell, Highost, Homage, Stormwell, Welltide, Hyharvest, Goldleaf, Withering, Darkmoor, Stylfrost, and Umbra.
A year in Embyr is 13 months (364 days) in duration.
High Holydays and Dates of Note.
New Year’s Day is observed on the first day of Waterun. There is an early morning tradition of young children visiting the homes of their neighbors to sing to them songs of blessing in the hopes of receiving treats and coins. The head of a given household is tasked to create a wicker and thatch effigy of a totem animal that acts as an augur to bring good fortune in the coming New Year. It is also widely believed that the first person to visit a home after the first day of Waterun will indicate what type of fortune that a given household will receive in the year to come, be it good or ill.
Festival of Rutting is a time of thanksgiving when families come together and celebrate their blessings. The month of Greening is also when animal husbandry is ceremoniously conducted between the herds owned by families that wish to strengthen bonds of friendship or to forgive a wrongdoing.
Festival of the Fire Heart is the holiday of lovers who wish to publically announce a betrothal, or for suitors to make their intentions toward their intended paramours known. Despite the celebration of romance during this time, it is considered to be very bad luck for any couple to be married during the actual month of Farrowell.
Grand High Tournament is the summertime festival of martial prowess when combatants gather together to engage in (usually) non-lethal combat. While the prize of these events is, generally speaking, simple honor and glory (and oft times a goodly amount of equipment and coin), occasionally these contests are used to settle minor issues of state.
Day of Homage is the annual recognition of the valiant fallen. While it is customarily considered a military tradition, any commendable hero who died well can receive the songs and homage of the worthy dead.
Thunder’s Eve is the annual ceremony of banishing malevolent spirits. At sunset, homes are emptied as the populace take up drums, tambourines, cymbals and chains and use them to shatter the silence of the night, for it is widely held that such a din will chase away wicked spirits. While this is a highly reaffirming notion amongst the common folk, most scholars, clergy and practitioners of the arcane offer the practice little regard.
Eve of Miracles is the festival of the unfettered spirit. On this eve a man is considered blessed if he can cast aside his cares and burdens and instead laugh and sing and live in good cheer, even if only for a day. Nomadic people, gypsies and travelers are particularly enthusiastic for the Eve of Miracles, as it is for them the most exulting of all holidays.
Harvestide is the festival of bounty and blessing for the passing season’s crop. Throughout the realms it is customary to observe Harvestide by selecting a Harvest Queen for these festivities. The honored girl who is chosen is considered to be anointed by the divine, and she is decorated with grain from the fields, fruit from the trees and colored ribbons from the families of selected households. On the day of Harvestide she is paraded through the villages, carried high on a throne of wattle and thatch so that she might bless the season’s harvest yield.
Warrior’s Oath is more ceremony than celebration. On this day warriors swear oaths of fealty to their lords, and lords in turn proclaim oaths of protection to their vassals and charges. Beyond the aristocracy of military leaders and soldiers, those of the common populace are expected to pray for the wellbeing of those that guard them against the evils of the world.
Eve of Passed Souls focuses on gatherings of family and friends who pray for and remember those who have passed away. Traditions include building small, private altars honoring the deceased, and the preparation of the favorite foods and beverages of the departed.
Masquerade is a fanciful time of celebration, mystery and gaiety when elaborate banquets and feasts are held, always accompanied by music, dancing and disguise. Lost within the borders of chaos and light, nobles dance among the Fey while ‘goblins’ wait with hungry eyes in the wings of their court. Though practiced far and wide by all walks of life, it is the aristocracy that has elevated this celebration into a matchless display of pomp and artistry.
Yuletide marks the end of a planting season and is the last social festival of the year. Customarily farmers and their families come to temple and bring along with them food to be eaten and shared during the three days of Yuletide. Throughout the celebration a bonfire is maintained, and at the festival’s conclusion the wicker effigy of the planting season’s totem animal that was created on New Year’s Day is thrown into the fire to signify the ending of the year.
Eve of the Twain Eclipse is not in fact a festival or celebration, per se, so much as it is an event that brings people to temple or to other centers of communal sanctuary out of fear, for this is the night when the twin moons of Embyr fall into eclipse and the undead walk freely throughout the realms.