Scholars report that the Known World takes 400 days to travel around its sun (a much larger and hotter star than our own) and is orbited by two moons. The larger of these – known in The Empire as Mannslieb (or “Beloved of Manann”) – has a cycle of 25 days from full to full, and looks not unlike the moon of our world. The other – named Morrslieb (or “Beloved of Morr”) – is erratic, appearing now closer, now further away than its partner.
There are two main legends concerning the origins and nature of Morrslieb. According to the first, it was once a gateway in the sky, through which daemons came to prey upon the people of the Known World. Morr inflicted a great and terrible death upon them and fashioned the second moon out of the wreckage, so that mortals would never forget how the god had saved them. The second legend maintains that when Chaos first broke through into the Known World, a great block of warpstone was hurled high into the sky, where it now circles endlessly, spreading Chaos on the lands over which it passes. This legend is believed mainly by followers of Chaos who hold festivals when Morrslieb is full. The truth remains a mystery.
The seasons are important to adventurers. Nobody is going to want to trek into the mountains at the beginning of Kaldzeit. Adventuring, like waging war, is best left to late spring, summer and autumn. Winter in the Empire is cold and inhospitable, and most people – adventurers included – would prefer to stay within reach of a warm hearth and a dry bed…people do not, however, always get want they want!
For a giant more readable picture see: http://www.playwithbob.com/whrp/calendar.jpg
There are as many calendars in the Known World as there are races and countries but the one you will be referring to is standard throughout The Empire. The Imperial Calendar divides the year into 12 months of 32 or 33 days, with six days that fall between the months and are not numbered. Four of these six are festivals connected to seasonal events – the summer and winter solstices and the spring and autumn equinoxes – while the other two mark the occasions when both moons are full. These last are greatly feared and even the most hardened cynics stay out of the eerie light cast by the moons on Hexensnacht (“Witching Night”) and Geheimnisnacht (“Night of Mystery”).
The months and holy days are listed below along with their respective translations:
|Reikspiel||English name||Number of days||Festival|
|’’Hexenstag’’||Witching Day||1||New Years Day|
|’’Sonstill’’||Sun Still||1||Summer Solstice|
|’’Geheimnistag’’||Mystery Day||1||Day of Mystery|
|’’Mondstill’’||World Still||1||Winter Solstice|
Within the Empire, 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 the Old World, and they are far more than a excuse for a day off. Anyone who expects to find people conducting normal business on a festival-day is going to be disappointed.
There are other feast-days in the calendar, but most of them are only observed in certain areas or by certain groups of people. A day sacred to Verena will be observed by scholars, scribes, lawyers and any profession linked to learning or justice, for example. Towns and cities will have special holidays in memory of local heroes or major days in the area’s history, such as the ending of the siege, a famous victory, the overthrowing of a tyrant or the anniversary of the birth or death of a well-loved ruler.
DAYS OF THE WEEK
There are eight days in the Imperial week, whose names probably date back to pre-Empire times. The days are listed below along with their respective translations:
The reasons for such names are now largely forgotten and, while a market is still generally held on Marktag wherever you are in The Empire, Holidays vary according to the deity of the local temples and shrines. Of the eight days of the week, Festag is technically a day of rest, reserved for worship. Shops should be shut and no work or trade be done. However, this varies from area to area, depending on the harshness of the local ruler and the amount of hold that priests and temples have over the local community.
Holy Days and Festivals
- Hexenstag – Morr
- Nachhexen 1 – Verena (’’Year Blessing’‘)
- Mitherfruhl – Manann, Taal, Ulric
- Sigmarzeit 18 – Sigmar (’’Sigmarsfest’‘)
- Sonnstill – Taal, Rhya
- Geheimnistag – Morr
- Erntezeit 1-8 – Halfling Pie Week
- Mittherbst – Rhya, Taal, Ulric
- Mondstill – Ulric, Taal, Rhya
- ’’‘Witching Night’’’ – The evening of the festival celebrated in many Old World nations, the turn of the year. This festival was used as a basis for a live event in WAR.