Nightsdeep: Calendars, Clocks and Time
The Nightsdeep year has 348 days, 8 months and seven days to the week. The average month has 44 days. The names of the months are: Justice, Fleetfoot, Lastmarch, Applebud, Matron, sextant, Oldmanor and Frostfel. The names of the days are: Sunday, Moonday, Templesday, Waterday, Thronesrday, Fateday and Swordsday. There is one moon called, Quicksilver though, it can’t be seen anymore. The lunar cycle takes about 28 days. The years are marked from the start of the Unification. It is currently 197AU (197 years after the unification).
|Month||Season||Official Holidays||Saluwan Holy Days||Days of the Old gods|
|Justice||Winter||New Year’s Day, Vigil||Sunday|
|Fleetfoot||Spring||Firstseed||Day of Blessing||First Coil – Fifth Coil|
|Matron||Summer||Festival of Light|
|Sextant||Fall||Harvest, Day of the Crows||Sunfel, Mourning||Black Crow’s Eve|
|Oldmanor||Fall||Unification Day||Day of Peace|
The first day of Justice is New Year’s Day. This is often celebrated with great fanfare and joy as it’s not just the start of another year but survival of the previous. The week after the first day is called Vigil. It is in remembrance of those who didn’t get to see the new year. The first waterday of lastmarch is Firstseed. This is the beginning of the planting season. Market is a weeklong celebration with goods brought in from across Nightsdeep. It takes place the first week of Harvestmarch. Often, shops will remain open long after their ordinary hours.
Absolution is the second fateday of Applebud. During absolution, grudges are forgiven. Harvest is a celebration of the harvest and is usually celebrated in rural areas with a week long celebration. The last night of Harvest is celebrated throughout Nightsdeep and is called The day of the Crows. During the day, children dress in costumes and go to celebrations. At night, nobles and others who recieve invitation go to a dinner and dance. At the strike of midnight, the last person left without a lit candle is said to be a “feast for the crows.” They are shunned for as long as is “fun” or until the beginning of Oldmanor.
The 34th day of Oldmanor is known as Unification day. It is still celebrated but the mood has changed dramatically. Brotherhood Day is the first day of Frostfel and is typically celebrated with a meal shared by the community. The elders of the community typically distribute the food as a symbolic gesture of the lean times. Secretly, many believers of Saluwan still worship quietly every templesday. Matron is unique in that it has no special holidays.
Saluwan Holy Days
The Saluwan calendar was the one used before the fall of Zweitenholm. It has most of the same days as the official calendar but with other holidays that are dedicated or based around Saluwan. The days that are left that would have had to do with Saluwan have had their religious trappings removed. These are a few of the holy days.
The end of the month of Justice has a holiday called Sunday. Sunday is a celebration of the day that Saluwan chose to become flesh on this world. It is celebrated with prayer and a ritual where a candle fire is kept burning until the day of blessing. The first day of Lastmarch is the Day of Blessing. On this day, the sanctified candle is allowed to burn out. This is typically celebrated with a simple dinner and a prayer to Saluwan.
Instead of the commercialized holiday of Market, there used to be a holy week called Springsedge. During springsedge, it is customary to wear one article of clothing or item that is white. This symbolizes purity. After absolution, there was a day for those grudges that could not be forgotten. It was called Redemption. During Redemption, anyone who was challenged to a duel would have to accept the challenge. Thus, some would pay for their crimes in blood.
During Matron, there was a short, two day festival called the Festival of Light. It was a reminder that though the Fall is coming, the light of Saluwan watches over us all. During the celebration, Everyone would take to the streets at night and meet the midnight with a burning candle in their hands in defiance.
Sextant holds two very sad days for the followers of Saluwan. Sunfel is in honor of the day that Saluwan fell to the darkness. Mourning is in honor of the day that he died. These days are honored with fasting. Typically, a follower will fast during the daylight hours from Sunfel to the night of Mourning. The hunger is a reminder of Saluwan’s pain.
A week after Unification day is the Day of Peace. This is a minor holiday and is often celebrated with a simple, special prayer. Resurrection however, was anything but minor. Resurrection is a holy day that celebrates the expected day of Saluwan’s return. For resurrection, no follower of Saluwan would refuse to aid a traveller. The belief goes that Saluwan will return tired and request aid from his followers. Every follower of Saluwan dreams of the day that Saluwan will come to his or her door.
Days of the Old gods
During the month of Fleetfoot, there are five days that make up the 5 coils. Each coil is a day dedicated to the worship of a different Old god. During these days, a different blood sacrifice must be made each day to appease the gods. The gods don’t care where the blood comes from but, the blood sacrifice must result in death of the victim. The sacrifice need not be human and in fact most followers of the old gods do not use human sacrifice but, some prefer human blood.
Black Crow’s Eve is the night after the Day of Crows. It is said that in this day, the gates to the land of the dead open and the Eye of Marka opens. During this day, if the “feast for the crows” is sacrificed, it is believed that one could exchange that life for the life of someone else who has died. This was the original intention of the feast for the crows, to find someone to sacrifice.
Lastly, Coldtide is a day dedicated to Grao. It is believed that the waters were the source of all life and thus all life is Grao’s to do with as it wishes. During this day, it is said that all prayers to Grao are answered. No fisherman would dare go out to sea during coldtide. To do so, is to invite the anger of Grao.
Clocks and time
A new invention called the windable clock has made considerable changes to modern society. Since the invention of the clock, most major settlements have a clock tower of their own. This tower marks time and tolls on the hour. The towers are typically designed so that they can be heard from wherever one may be within the settlement. The cities all have more than one tower. These towers are often named in honor of the house that constructed it.
The new ability to mark time precisely has led to such concepts as market hours and the workday. Previously, a store or stall would remain open until sundown and open again with the sunrise. Now, most stores have far more precise times that are often posted where they can be easily seen. In many ways, this has improved the quality of life of the average person.