Tales from the Inner Sea
The Calender and dating of the Inner Sea
The Years, Months, Weeks and Days
The known and widely accepted year (to those cultures to which this is important) is of 365 days, with 12 months each of 30 days. A 5 day period called The Turning occurs at the end of the old year, often used as public holiday and festival by many cultures. It is often a time of festivities but also reflection and preparation for the year ahead, marked by gifts supposedly practical to help a person for their year to come. A week is made up of 7 days, each named after one of the Heavenly gods and one set aside to honour Loksan (and unofficially Ba’Ath as well). They are in order Nerumal, Sensumar, Satromal, Bijiramar, Peramal, Cihamal and Loksamar. The months themselves have been given no names, numbering 1 to 12 as they are.
Time and its passage
The year and date is measured from the date that Empress Armanixes defeated her brother Cavitrine thus ending the Great Civil War within the Armavine Empire. This makes it, at the start of the campaign the year 323 Age of the Empress Armanixes (or A.E.A). Most people of nomad culture and onwards use this form of measurement through convenience, especially within the spheres of trade and academia.
Holy and High Holy days, plus other days of significance
Each Heavenly god has a Day most holy to them, when all followers (especially Initiates) of a deity are expected to attend worship no matter what.
Nerukata and Sensu
The King and Queen of the Gods share the same High Holy Day, known as the Festival of Light and Love, always held upon the first day of the 7th month. This day is given over to prayer, giftgiving (especially between lovers and spouses) and great celebrations of as much splendour as the local temples can afford (within Armarissa it is especially lavish and breathtaking, with great chariot races marking the week leading up to and the week after the day itself).
The Stormlord’s High Holy Day falls on the first Satromal of the 3rd month. It is called “Stormsheart” and is marked by wild celebration in most areas his faith holds strength. In the wilder parts of the Turbulent West a particularily dangerous form of worship is “Stormchasing”, when the mighty winds and lashing rains on that day indicate Lord Satrom is watching, and his most pious run out fully armed and armoured into the storms, singing his praises and shouting defiance to Chaos and Evil. The “Stormblessed” are the ones who catch his attention and are struck by a Thunderbolt from on high; those who die are elevated there and then to sit beside the Stormlord at his great table and to be favoured forever. Those who live are lauded and honoured with the title “Thundercatcher”, and always seem to gain unusual powers and insight into their Lord.
By contrast to the other deities High Holy Days, Perangs day is called “The Day of the Honoured Dead”. This day is marked in the early hours of the morning by sombre reflection, prayer and contemplation, honouring the glorious dead of war and battle, especially ones that the worshipper has killed themselves. The afternoon and evening is much given to duels, battles and more exuberant celebration like feasting and swearing of oaths. It takes place on the first Peramal of the 12th month as the year nears its death and passing. Within Voya it is the most important day of the year, even more so than Stormsheart, and most cities that have a Colissea within it throw great games and martial events to glorify the Lord of War, Battle and Honour.
The High Holy Day of the Agricultural and Earth Goddess is called “The Coming of Harvests” and is on the first Bijiramar of the 9th month when the harvest of crops customarily happens. 3 days of work in the fields and harvests is marked at the start by a great prayer and sermon (the holy day itself) and ended by a great feast and festival characterised by song, dance and some say way too much drinking. Massively popular in the rural areas, it’s the place to be when in the countryside.
Solemn prayer and entreaties of aid are made on the day known as “Mercygiving”, always observed on the last Cihamal of the 10th month. The most sombre and quiet of the Holy Days, The Lord of Healing and Mercy invites the giving of funds and collections from all which are then passed out to the needy and suffering. By custom no battles, wars or violence takes place on this day out of reverence to Ciha, something which makes this day very popular in wartorn and deprived areas of the Inner Sea and beyond.
Loksan (and Ba’Ath)
The High Holy Day for the 2 mysterious so called “Neutral Gods” is a great practical joke to the followers of these deities. The day always takes place within The Turning, normally the 3rd day, but Loksan and Ba’Ath, ever the Divine comedians have been known to shift the day to any of the other days within The Turning, forcing their Priests and Initiates to numerous forfeits and dares to recover. If a worshipper has failed to observe the day and fails the forfeit, they miss out on the benefits of a High Holy Day. If they observe the Day correctly or complete their forfeit/dare, they gain the full benefit of a High Holy attendance and the favour (for a time) of their deity. Detractors say that’s a damned stupid way to treat your followers, but Loksan and Ba’Ath like quickness of mind, cleverness in imagination and above all a good sense of humour from their flock. It’s not their fault other folks can’t see the funny side.
Other special days in the Inner Sea
Each culture has it’s own religious and non religious festivals, from Padiha’s “Great days of Wine” in the 4th month when aged wine is celebrated in a generally boozy series of parties, to the birthday of Empress Armanixes on the 10th day of the 6th month, which celebrates the revered and venerated birthday of arguably the most important Armanian to ever draw breath. It’s a truism that whilst a good religious festival is good for the soul, most people really like a good non religious party as an excuse to drink a lot of alcohol and behave in outlandish and comparatively uninhibited fashion. And that’s surely good for any culture worth living in many would say.