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ID: 2104


August 23, 2006, 10:56 am

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Cheka Man

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The Sidereal Calendar


A composite calendar devised by magi based on the movement of the stars rather than the movement of the moon or the sun.

Since the establishment of linear time, scholars and wise men have sought ways to measure it. During the bleak era that followed the usurpation, time was measured by the simple passage of the seasons, people accounted their ages by the number of winters that they had survived.

There have been a number of methods devised for the counting of time. According to the eldest of the records of the Elves and Fomorians, they arrived in this world under the light of the Silver moon. Thus the Elves have devised a 13 month calendar based on the movement of the moon. It is the oldest of the Calendars in use, and remains the standard of the Half-Elves, and of the ancient Kingdoms of Lomar and Stratia. (Neither Kingdom survives in the modern setting)

Humans, and Orcs count time by usage of a Solar calendar based on the movement of the sun and the recognition of the solstices and equinoxes. (is that a word?) The Solar calendar is 12 months long and there is a 3 to 7 day period of calibration each year due to the current inaccuracy of observing the Solar year. This is the standard calendar of the majority of the Aterrizaran Kingdoms, the most widely recognized and used across the continent.

Nearly 500 years ago, by Solar reconing, the Sidereal Calendar was devised by the Astrologers of the Imperial Wizardy. The calendar was based on the rotation of the celestial sphere itself rather than on the irregular and imperfect movements of celestial bodies within the sphere. The Calendar ascertains that there is a Celestial North, or a fixed point on the Celestial sphere that does not rotate, an axis point. By observing the movement of the 16 major constellations with an astrolabe, the Astrologers were able to determine that one sidereal year is exactly 360 solar years in length. Each of the 16 Sidereal Months lasts 22.5 years.

1. The Celestial Month of the Storm
2. The Celestial Month of the Dragon
3. The Celestial Month of the Tree
4. The Celestial Month of the Ox
5. The Celestial Month of the Silver Mother
6. The Celestial Month of the Pillars
7. The Celestial Month of the Tower
8. The Celestial Month of the Elf Maid
9. The Celestial Month of the Mage
10. The Celestial Month of the Sword
11. The Celestial Month of the Throne
12. The Celestial Month of the Lantern
13. The Celestial Month of the Ship
14. The Celestial Month of the Manacles
15. The Celestial Month of the Mirror
16. The Celestial Month of the Phoenix

On a side note, the information provided in the weather and gardening sections of each sidereal month is a thematic entry, rather than defining. There can be famines during the month of the Tree, and surplusses of food during the month of the Lantern, but these are odd events, the exception to the general rule.

Additional Ideas (16)

1. Celestial Month of the Storm
Under the contellation of Dunsturmas, this is a tempestuous sidereal month that is known for its violent and unpredictable weather.

Astronomy - Dunsturmas is a small constellation of five stars that form a rough zig-zag that is often interprited as a lightning bolt. The stars are associated with the Sisters of Tormenas, figures from Zehini folk lore that wove storms with needles made of lightning bolts.

Weather - As previously mentioned, Dunsturmas is characterized by violent weather. Storms and heavy rainfall are very common during this sidereal month. As a result natural bodies of water have elevated levels and mudslides and landslides are more common than usual.

Gardening - Crops fare poorly during this month, most grains suffer from the beating storms and other crops are waterlogged to the point that they start rotting on the stem. Wet crops such as rice do well, but since rice cultivation is localized around Suisiadh and westward, it is a general time of hunger in Falhath.

Adventuring - Getting lost is easy as rivers swell and cut bridges and landmarks are lost in sudden squals. Travel on the seas are very dangerous and archery becomes automatically more difficult due to constant winds. (+1 diff)

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2006-08-06 01:58 PM » Link: [2104#17800|text]
2. The Celestial Month of the Dragon
Under the constellation of Thyr, the second sidereal month is a dynamic time of upheaval and change following the relentless storms of Dunsturmas.

Astronomy - Thyr is a large and easily recognized constellation. It is composed of three parts, the Dragon Knight Thyr, his dragon mount Aurixia, and his sword. The point of the sword holds the brightest star while the stars of the dragon tend to be fainter.

Weather - Storms are still magnificent and large, they are less common. this is counterbalanced by other natural forces becoming more active. Volcanoes, geysers, earthquakes, and tidal waves are more likely to occur during this sidereal time than any other.

Gardening - While crops fare better in this month, it is livestock that fares the best. Animals grow larger and more healthy, though this applies to all animals, from dogs to wolves to ravenous wyverns.

Adventuring - Generally more dangerous during this month as monsters gain slight advantages, plus chances of encountering Giants, and giant variants of monsters is more likely. Spells of enlargement are easier, while reduction is much more difficult.

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2006-08-06 02:07 PM » Link: [2104#17801|text]
3. The Celestial Month of the Tree
Urfplanze is the name given to the god of the Dryads and the ents, they call him the All Green, and the Root Sire.

Astronomy - The constellation of Urfplanze is considered the easiest to pick out of the night sky, it is three bright stars that form a vertical line in the heavens with four smaller stars making a crown at the top. This constellation is associated with the Dryad deity Urfplanze, the god of wood and plants, also considered one of the Primerian dieties, but this is hotly disputed.

Weather - The sidereal month of the Tree is noted for its greatly calmed weather and stability. during this time the sun shines brightly and conditions are considered the best for crops. This is generally a saving grace following the violent weather of the previous sidereal months.

Gardening - Plants grow the best during this month with some forests expanding by miles a year. In remote locales, forests can swallow entire valleys in the span of a decade. Fruit bearing trees and vines grow the best with grains doing suitably well but overshadowed by larger plants.

Adventuring - This is a time of arboreal might, and magics that benefit plants are easier to accomplish, though binding plant spirits such as dryads is more difficult. (+1/3 diff)

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2006-08-06 02:18 PM » Link: [2104#17802|text]
4. The Celestial Month of the Ox
In folk tales, Ankar yoked the wild ox Geidiboros and used the semi-divine beast to plow furrows into the harsh stone of Ankara to feed his people.

Astronomy - The constellation of Geidiboros is a rough trapezoid of four bright stars with a fifth bright red star known as the Bull's Eye. This is considered a holy time in Ankara as the Ox or Bull is a sacred animal that is intimately tied to their heritage.

Weather - Relatively stable, but still rainfall remains substancial and watering holes are seldom if ever dry. This bounty provied s good deal of forage for wild animals and thus more prey for predatory animals.

Gardening - Crops grow well, but livestock fare excellently. Few births are complicated and lameness is rare. Akin to the Month of Dragons, Animals grow large and more healthy. Wild animals gain a health level or equivalent, or a point of strength.

Adventuring - Summoning spells work very well, but considering the increased size and vitality of random monsters, this is balanced out. divorced from their animal nature, humans and humanoids do not gain this celestial bonus.

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2006-08-06 02:32 PM » Link: [2104#17803|text]
5. The Celestial Month of the Silver Mother
Some think this reference to Ixia, but the Silver Mother is actually a Nysertan folk figure who is the guardian of the Hallowed Lands, a place of the dead.

Astronomy - The constellation of the Silver Mother is a cross shaped collection of stars with the center star being the brightest and the lowest star being the second brightest and red in color.

Weather - The weather is calm during this sidereal month, with thunderstorms being very uncommon. Rain slackens a bit, but drought is not much of a concern. Most consider this to be the most ideal of the Sidereal months.

Gardening - Plants and animals fare well during this period, though predators seem less aggressive and mating rituals much less violent.

Adventuring - Not such a good time to be a hero, as it is a time of peace, few wars have ever started during this month, and some have even been oddly ended by its arrival. Random Encounters with animals and people are rolled as if the PCs had Charisma 1 point higher.

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2006-08-06 02:45 PM » Link: [2104#17804|text]
6. The Celestial Month of the Pillars
In the Old Faith of Falhath, two pillars, Elim and Manil held up the heavens until they were cast down by Atma the Demon of the World.

Astronomy - The Twin constellations of Elim and Manil resemble blocky caricatures of a woman bearing a jug of water and a man with bull's horns. Together, thay are known as the Pillars.

Weather - Marked divisions are common events in weather, with storms being strong, or not at all. While not unbearable, or even unpleasant, the temperature is hot or cold, never warm or cool.

Gardening - The most important thing in their era is to diversify crops, as regions that subsist on a single crop may find themselves in a famine from the weather's whim. This is echoed in the civilized aspect by the polarization of the haves and the have-nots.

Adventuring - divisions, splinterings, schisms and the like become common, though the majority remain peaceful. Though this birth of duality creates a strong realm of competition as well as cold wars between various powers.

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2006-08-07 08:13 PM » Link: [2104#17827|text]
7. The Celestial Month of the Tower
Raised during the elder days, the Tower of Amaris was a monument to the greatest of the Elves, and to ascend to its peak was to see the face of divinity. Sadly, by hubris the tower was broken, though its memory remained.

Astrology - The Constellation of Amaris is marked by seven stars in a rough rectangular form, with an eighth bright star near the 'bottom' of the constellation. This is referred to as the Usurper, the figure who challenged the gods and broke the tower.

Weather - The weather more in rather predictable patterns, and storms and such may become strong, they are seldom exceedingly violent, and the sun rarely causes drought.

Gardening - Fruiting trees, especially apples grow well in this time, and wines are considered to be the 'best years' during this celestial month. Animals are healthy and illness of the herd is rare.

Adventuring - The Light shines within, and the swords of the righteous burn. The Religious faith gains power, often because of previous rifts caused by the passage of the Pillars. Conflicts take on a decided good surmounting evil perspective, and corruption is rare.

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2006-08-07 09:41 PM » Link: [2104#17828|text]
8. The Celestial Month of the Elf Maid
In the tales of Nahar and the founding of the first Empire, Nahar's first son took for a wife Wynress, daughter of the Elven King of Himloth. From this union was born the peace between man and elf, and the lineages of the High Houses of Men.

Astrology - The constellation of Wynress is a small collection of six stars that are constantly visible. They are frequently involved in divinations over political marriages, engagements, and even estranged lovers.

Weather - The Weather remains predicable, though it will be either hot or cold, and seldom ever a medium between the two. Dawn and dusk tend to be shorter than usual.

Gardening - With the weather stable, most crops grow well, especially berries and ornamental flowers. Horses breed exceptionally well during this time, with many fine horses being found compared to the number of average horses.

Adventuring - In a celestial month strong with magic, non-necromantic magics are at -1 difficulty. Elven magics are at -2 difficulty, and creatures of the faerie are more common than usual.

2006-08-21 09:57 AM » Link: [2104#18172|text]
9. The Celestial Month of the Mage
According to the ancient tales, it was the elder god Aisling Boccob who brought the secret of magic to the mortal races, and for his transgression, he was imprisoned within Aura, the golden Moon.

Astrology - The constellation of the Mage is drawn as a magic circle in the heavens, six stars picking out the cardinal points of the elemental star, with the Eye of Aisling being the brightest star directly in the center.

Weather - Predicting the weather is easy, and even the most common low sorcerer is able to do it. Altering the weather with magic is at -1 difficulty. day and night are almost constantly the same length, making many natural forms of time counting difficult, but magical ones more precise.

Gardening - Plants grow in almost symetrical rows without much tending, and even weeds form into lines. Produce is very uniform in quality. Livestock is much the same, with color patterns becoming very set for the duration of the celestial month.

Adventuring - Law, abjurations, wards and similar magics of order and control are at -2 difficulty, including summoning magics. Chaos based powers are at +2 difficulty and chaos aligned creatures suffer similar penalties.

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2006-08-21 09:31 PM » Link: [2104#18186|text]
10. The Celestial Month of the Sword
Alcadema was the mythical sword of Armas, the herculian warrior-king who waged the great war war between the free humans, and the elven lords of Aohd and the Ivy Throne.

Astrology - The constellation of the Panoply of Alcadema consists of three minor constellations, the first and brightest being the five stars of the Sword. There is also the Shield, six stars, and the Helm of Armas, three stars. These stars are consulted for military matters, and protection from faerie magic.

Weather - Bleak weather becomes more common, with rains becoming longer in duration, if slightly less in force. When the sun shines, it dries the earth until it cracks, and in some places, famines begin.

Gardening - The garden becomes a battleground of its own, with the invaders being pest insects, grazing animals, and even hordes of weeds. Conditions remain good, but competition for said resources becomes fierce.

Adventuring - Some consider this to be the best celestial month for heroes. Magics pertaining to war are at reduced difficulty, tempers run hot, and more wars are started under the pale light of Alcadema.

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2006-08-22 10:00 AM » Link: [2104#18197|text]
11. The Celestial Month of the Throne
The White Throne served as the visible seat of power for the ancient Fomorian empire of Lomar. Law, and oppression went hand in hand in that grim time, something that has not been forgotten.

Astrology - The White Throne, alson known as the Corpse is a large and bright constellation of 13 stars. It is the sign of judges, tyrants, and petty overlords, and is used in divinations of leadership and success at any cost.

Weather - Under the Throne, the weather becomes oppressive, with clouds becoming almost constant, and storms turning the sky to lead for days on end. When the sun shines, it is the Eye of Judgement, and it always finds the world wanting.

Gardening - With the weather as it is, farming becomes difficult, and food shortages become increasingly common. Few plants grow well, and even livestock becomes more lean.

Adventuring - Adventurers on the whole are eyed as a growing threat, as dissidents and dangers to the current regime. Magics of domination and subjugation are at -1 difficulty, and summoning magics have a single automatic success, or -2 difficulty.

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2006-08-22 10:18 AM » Link: [2104#18199|text]
12. The Celestial Month of the Lantern
Many assume that the power of light is always beneficial, but during the month of the Lantern light burns away all things, scars, and eventually leaves behind a cold and frozen corpse. such is the light that comes from Atma's Lantern, the light of the underworld.

Astrology - The constellation of the Lantern consists of onlt four stars, but each is very bright, and a comet passes through this constellation every other rotation, usually as a herald of great violence. The lantern is associated with inquisitors, and detectives.

Weather - During this sidereal month, drought is widespread. Even normally sodden areas feel the drying heat of the Eye of Judgement, the sun. rivers recede, swamps crack and dry, and forests wither and brown.

Gardening - only the hardiest of crops endure, with things like soft skinned fruits and melons all but vanishing for the duration. Livestock also becomes lean and hardy, with goods like milk and butter becoming less available and more expensive.

Adventuring - Few times are more heroes more vital than in this harsh sidereal month. There is little hope, and the people are hungry for more than just food. Destructive magics are at -1 difficulty, and summoning and conjuration are at +2 difficulty.

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2006-08-22 10:37 AM » Link: [2104#18201|text]
13. The Celestial Month of the Ship
Oinos is the name of the black hulled ship of the dead that silently plies the waters between the harbors and floating cities of the seafolk, and the lands of the dead.

Astrology - The Black Ship, Oinos, consists of seven stars that form a rough horizontal line, with six stars above that create the mast and sail. The passage of the Black ship is seen as a portent of despair and death, and few touch upon it in divinations.

Weather - The weather remains constant, skies are heavy and grey, but the rain never seems to come. when it rains, it never seems to stop, even when the ground is reduced to ankle deep mud. People look up and despair.

Gardening - Few plants poke their heads up during this time, save those that are poisonous or cause illness, blindness or madness.

Adventuring - Heroes are few and far between, with most figures being oppressors, destroyers, or avatars of false hope, lies, and promises that turn into ash in the mouth. All magics other than necromancy are at +1 difficulty, illusion magics are at +3 difficulty.

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2006-08-22 10:48 AM » Link: [2104#18202|text]
14. The Celestial Month of the Manacles
The demon prince Troublante once claimed the crowns of Sargantas and Hyloidia through infernal machination. It was then that Ixia, the Silver Forge took the two crowns of those kingdoms and made them into a pair a manacles and used them to bind Troublante and end his reign of evil.

Astrology - The constellation of the manacles consists of two rings or stars, one containing six stars, the other four. The constellation is consulted in divinations dealing with criminals, bondage, or revolutionary activities.

Weather - Where the weather was once oppressive, it now seems to be chained, storms seem to dry out early, and the sun fails to shine at full force. The temperature cools a considerable amount and winters become longer and more pronounced.

Gardening - Though colder, the climate is more stable, allowing hardy crops to flourish, rather than just survive. Livestock is still lean, but becomes more aggressive, and many fences are broken.

Adventuring - The Sign of the Manacles is a time of upheval and unrest. The bastions of the last 80 to 100 years face new challenges from criminals, dissidents and rebels. Many heroes find place among the commoners, fighting against the oppressors.

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2006-08-23 10:02 AM » Link: [2104#18229|text]
15. The Celestial Month of the Mirror
In the epics, Alonwe the Bright Princess had a magic mirror that she used to see into people, yet that mirror was broken by misuse, and would only show the worst of what was within.

Astrology - The Mirror is a large rectangular constellation consisting of 8 stars. the four brightest pick out the majot corners, with the four minor stars marking the centerpoint of each side. The mirror is considered an ill omen, only rivaled by the appearance of the black Ship for fortune telling.

Weather - Stuttering and violent is the best description as storms start and stop, alternating gale force winds and gentle showers. Temperatures fluctuate greatly between the seasons, and some seasons drag on pas their appointed times, and others are cut dramatically short.

Gardening - Nothing will stay in orderly rows, plants grow in irregular fashion, and fences will not stay mended long enough to keep the likestock from eating the grain in the field.

Adventuring - The powers of chaos swell bloated in celestial power, blowing away the old institutions of man as the forest fire burns away the old growth and debris of the forest. Chaotic or random magics work much better (-2 diff) while lawful magics are +2 diffculty for the duration. Crime is endemic, revolutions the order of the day, and anarchy the flavor of the month.

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2006-08-23 10:15 AM » Link: [2104#18230|text]
16. The Celestial Month of the Phoenix
In Falhathian lore, the Phoenix was a large raptor that had a peacock's tale and trailed flame, carnage, and renewal in its path, and was a friend to mothers in labor.

Astrology - The Phoenix is a large constellation of 21 stars, though only astrologers can pick all of them out. It is commonly located by the 7 cardinal stars that pick out the wingtips, beak, eye and the fan of the tail. It is consulted in fortunes involving children, disasters, and for good luck in the face of adversity.

Weather - The Phoenix is the herald of storms, and the weather answers with rain and wind, hail and lightning. Fires ignite from lightning, and it is a time of burning as well. Yet the soil is renewed, cities crawling with disease are burnt and rebuilt, from the ashes.

Gardening - The green shoots burst from the earth that has been tormented by oppressive and destructive weather. Livestock fattens for the first time, yet many are felled by lightning strikes. The cycle of life and death becomes almost frantic as the sidereal year comes to a close and the old is removed.

Adventuring - As the old forms and methods are destroyed, the seeds of the next cycle are planted in the soil, their deep roots to be watered by the storms of the coming Sidereal Year. Heroes of the old year become the legends of the next, and it is a time for the vanquishing of mighty and old evils, and the establishing of new and virile dynasties.

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2006-08-23 10:40 AM » Link: [2104#18232|text]
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Comments ( 14 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Shadoweagle
August 23, 2006, 11:38
I Cannot Fault this submission.

Rich and clearly well thought out.
This is particularly interesting to me as an almost passive effect in different roleplays in one world at different points in time. One roleplay may see a lot of storms and rains which would effect adventuring in the wilderness. another roleplay, 200 years later might see a country in that world in the grips of a large drought.
Anyway. Well done, two thumbs and Moonhunters' tail up *lifts Moonhunters tail*

Favourite Constellation:
12. The Lantern
Voted MoonHunter
August 23, 2006, 13:02
Hey that is my tail!

By using this system you can give a seasonal cyclic feel to the advancing of time. The GM can easily express the march of history and time in their campaign with this system, even on the smaller gaming scale.

Two paws up and the tail too.
Voted Murometz
August 23, 2006, 13:48
I was going to read this tonight, in the comforts of home, so I could concentrate on the piece...but alas..I was drawn to it now.

This is brilliant Scras! I tried to pick a fave like SE, but I cant. I just love the overall detail and the work you put in. This is somehow both esoteric and vague, while at the same time pragmatic and infinitely useful for any campaign world. I often speak in superlatives, but rarely announce that I am inspired to use the idea in game-play. Well, Consider this STOLEN!!

Great Work! I have been looking forward to this ever since you starting dropping hints on it, and I am not dissapointed in the least! Fantastic!

If thats not enough...then what SE and Moon said too! :D
Voted Mourngrymn
August 23, 2006, 14:18
I agree with the others. I will add this to the constelation thread in the hopes that people see this and treat it as it should be. I thought it relevent since it is dealing with constelations and all. :D I don't have a tail or paws but Ill give you two horns...
Voted Ancient Gamer
August 23, 2006, 14:48
As a GM veteran of many rounds of world creation (long ago), I know how BORING it is to do calendars. That alone warrants a 5.0 from me. Beside, it is Scras that wrote it and that enhances it further. It is different too.

Have a Scras plus! (5.0)
August 23, 2006, 14:51
Not to divert the subject matter any but yes I agree about calendars are boring to do. I found an online program that does it for you. You tell it how many days in the year, how many days in the week and how many months and it populates everything. It will even do moon cycles as wel las add celestial events such as comets and falling stars.
Voted B9anders
August 23, 2006, 16:10
this is a brilliant piece of work. Makes me want to re-visit my own piece and add more depth to it.

Five talons up!
Voted CaptainPenguin
August 23, 2006, 17:35
Only voted
Voted Cheka Man
August 23, 2006, 18:36
5/5 and tomorrow I will give this an HoH vote.
Voted valadaar
August 23, 2006, 19:33
Love the idea that Astrology will affect spellcasting!
Ancient Gamer
August 23, 2006, 23:43
Think that idea originally came from the elder scroll series (early-mid nineties), though I cannot be sure. It has been around for quite some time though.
Ancient Gamer
August 24, 2006, 13:41
Actually it is much older. Just remembered that the moons of Krynn affect spellcasting and the notion of spellcasting being affected by constellations have been around since the dark ages.

Sorry. My bad.
July 17, 2007, 4:38
Even great Chthulu, who lies dead and dreaming is bound by the alignment of the stars, and that was in the 1920s. :D
Voted axlerowes
January 11, 2015, 16:45

The mark of a truly great craftsmen is that they take something simple and mundane and make it look like a master piece. You are a truly great craftsman of the citadel post.

The idea that certain months or celestial alignments are superior for certain types of spells is as old as spell casting itself. The age of Aquarius versus the age of Ares has also been ascribed to explain certain global trends (at least as far my astrology minded former roommate claim). I am going to bet this idea came to in you a flash and was scribbled quickly into a note and then the formatting of this piece too longer than formation of the idea itself. Yet this is complete and well formatted piece. A nice bit of world building,

though the rarely is the pacing of a story or a campaign such that 22.5 years can be passed and then the relative bonuses or weakness of that period be appreciated.


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