The Vestus Calendar
The Calendar of Vestus is the calendar used across most of Terrene. It was created by the wizard Vestus although most people associate the word “Vestus” with the calendar. It was split into twelve months, each lasting three tendays (or thirty days). There were an additional five days that fell between months, bringing the total number of days in most years to 365.
There are 12 months in the calendar year, known as the following:
Days of the week
The days of the week have no names, yet are known by their number. Each day is 24 hours. Time is divided into 10 major parts: Aurora, Morning, Midday, Afternoon, Twilight, Sunset, Evening, Midnight, Heart of the Night, End of the night.
Times of the Day
The time before sunrise.
The time the sun rises.
The time between Dawn and Mid-Morning.
The time between Morning and Highsun.
The time when the sun is highest in the sky.
The time between Highsun and Evening.
The time the sun begins to set.
The time between Evening and Midnight.
The time roughly 12 hours after Highsun; also called “twelve bells”. This is the darkest part of night.
Holidays and Festivals
There are many festivals celebrated throughout Terrene.
Midwinter (also known as Deadwinter Day) is a festival to mark the midpoint of winter in the Calendar of Vestus. It occurs on a special day between Frostmoot 30 and Deepsnow 1. Amongst nobles and monarchs it is known as Midwinter and is traditionally used to make or renew alliances, although the common people called it Deadwinter Day, a reference to the cold and hard times that remained before the spring.
The Spring Equinox is on Winterwane 19.
This is a festival to welcome in the first day of spring. It occurs annually on a special day between Rainmoot 30 and Palesun 1. Traditionally, the wealthier people brought out flowers to give to the less wealthy, who either wore them or spread them on the ground to encourage the deities to usher in the summer.
The Summer Solstice is on Highsun 20.
Midsummer is a festival that celebrates love and music through feast. It occurs between Firemoot 30 and Firewane 1 on the Vestus Calendar. It is a time when love advanced, and it is said the deities themselves took a hand to ensure good weather. If bad weather is experienced on this night, it is considered an extremely bad omen.
Shieldmeet is the equivalent of a leap year day in the Calendar of Vestus, occuring once every four years, adding a day after the festival of Midsummer and before Firewane 1. Traditionally the day is used for fairs, bazaars, musical and theatrical performances, and tournaments of skill and magical ability. Nobles usually hold court to hear the petitions of their people and to make or renew trade pacts, alliances, and agreements.
The Autumn Equinox is on Lowsun 21.
Harvest Moon is an annual festival, taking place between Lowsun 30 and Redfall 1. It is traditionally a feast to celebrate the harvest and abundance of food, but also the time when those wishing to travel left on their journeys before winder set in.
Preparations for the feast started as early as a tenday before, while preparing, cooking, and preserving the harvest for the cold winter months. Traditions varied from community to community, but examples of festive activity included food-related contests; races and challenges of skill and strength; receiving homemade sweets from the local clergy; and priests blessing larders, wine cellars, grain bins, and food preserves.
This day was often an important anniversary to various governments. Often, taxes and tithes came due, rulers held “open courts” to hear the concerns of their citizens, oaths were publicly renewed, troops received marching orders to new duty stations, and guilds met to confer on prices and rate changes for goods and services.
It was said that children born on this day were favored by Tymora to have lifelong good luck but be smitten with wanderlust. Another legend was that human females born on this day had control over their reproductive system (i.e., got pregnant only when they wanted to) by force of will alone, and that they could instantly sense when they had been poisoned, either by ingestion or being bitten by a venomous creature for example.
Feast of the Moon
The Feast of the Moon, or Moonfest, is an annual festival, occuring between the final night of Snowmoot and the first day of Fellnight. It is the last great festival of the calendar year.
The day traditionally marked the onset of winter. It was also a time to celebrate and honor the ancestors and the respected dead. On this day, folk blessed their ancestors’ graves and performed the Ritual of Remembrance. People also gathered to tell stories of the deeds of their ancestors and of the gods until deep into the night, until they merged and became legend. This was a time to hear of past heroes, great treasures, and lost cities.
In Terrene, battles were typically fought between harvest-time and the coming of winter. This meant that most of the fighting usually occurred in the month of Snowmoot. The timing of the Feast of the Moon—after recently slain soldiers had joined the ranks of the dead—was thus practical, if sadly ironic.
The Heralds of Terrene had a number of special duties on the Feast of the Moon. Prime among these was to perform the Bloodsong ceremony, at which a Herald publicly recited the genealogies of each noble family in the area. In this way, the Heralds reaffirmed a noble family’s traditional authority and status, as well as the respect accorded to them.
Priests of a number of deities of various pantheons held rites, ceremonies, and festivals on the Feast of the Moon. Many, though not all, focused on remembering the dead in one way or another.
Winter Solstice is on Fellnight 20.