Isle of Doralon
The days and seasons of Doralon
Doralon falls into familiar rhythms in its days and its year. Although many folk are taken aback by the twin suns and the twin moons, the roll of days feels familiar. While there are variations to all names based on local traditions and influences, the information below outlines the practices of the Barony Loremasters agreed on nearly seventy years ago.
The suns of Doralon: Sul and Mysgoch
Two suns track the skys of Doralon. Sul is the daystar that is painful to look on for more than an instant, providing bright yellow-white light twelve hours a day through the year. Sul rises in the east and sets in the west with no variance.
Mysgoch (“little red”) is smaller in size to its big brother Sul, casting its red light like that of a fire. Mysgoch has a path unlike its other heavenly brethren, tracing slow circles across the heavens. For part of the year, it is in the sky all day and night, transitioning through the year until it is only out during the day, only out at night, and not seen day or night.
The moons of Doralon: Eirween and Duvyn
Two moon follow fairly regular paths through the sky of Doralon. Eirween, the white snowcaster, makes a stately progression each night, waxing and waning from full display to shadow and back to fullness over the course of 40 days. When full, her white light competes with Mysgoch to flood the landscape below. As Eirween progress across the sky, she trails a sparkling tail somewhat behind her, which can be seen even when Eirween hides her face in shadow.
Duvyn, the dark hawk, is the small excited brother of Eirween. Zipping across the sky every hour, to be gone an hour then return, when he is around Duvyn glows with colors changing from ruddy red to dark yellow, depending on the time of year and mood of the sky. When his sister Eirween is dark and Mysgoch is hidden, Duvyn is the only light aside from the stars, and his light is so weak he does not even make a shadow. Duvyn can occasionally be seen during the day, briefly dimming Sul or blotting out Mysgoch.
A day is based on the rising and setting of Sul, and is 24 hours long. Time is set by the rising and setting of Sul, and by the rise and set of Duvyn. The activities of most peoples are dictated by Sul, which rises in the East and sets in the West. The number of daylight hours are equal throughout the year, but the light of Mysgoch allows people to continue working in the spring and summer nights.
The Week and Month
Each month is based on the waxing and waning of Eirween, with her full dark marking the start of the month. The month is further divided into four 10-day periods called dyddeg or week, depending on local tradition. Most written records use only the day and month (e.g. 35th of Kocap or 4th of Travanj).
Dyddeg are referred to as Dudydd, Hadydd, Wendydd, Ebdydd, corresponding to the state of Eirween at the start of the week (dark, half rising, bright, half ebbing). Many local customs name the days too, but there has been no consensus on their naming, or even clear majority. If clarity is needed, time until or since the start of a week is used (e.g. “three days before Wendydd” or “a day after Dudydd”)
The seasons are marked by astronomical events: when Mysgoch is seen and the Lost Night.
Spring begins when Mysgoch is out during the night as well as the day, and summer is marked at the point Mysgoch is out for the full night, doing its strange circular dance among the night’s stars and through Eirween’s trail. Fall is marked when Mysgoch first leaves the night sky before Sul rises, and winter begins when Mysgoch no longer lingers in the night. Each season is two months long. Seasons are referenced broadly, and usually in relation to agriculture (e.g. plant this in the second week of Summer)
The year is four seasons long, plus a few days: Eirween does not progress on a Lost Night nor on Nos’ymdeith. Thus the Lost Nights and Nos’ymdeith are not counted as part of a month. This totals 325 days in a year. The years are referenced from changes in rulership at Cadairhen, and eras are noted from major events.
All together, this is the roll of the year (see the Calendar, as well):
- Herald of Light
- Travanj (late spring)
- Kocap (early summer)
- Eternal Day
- Sarpen (late summer)
- Vierasen (early fall)
- Ruen (late fall)
- Noemvri (early winter)
- Herald of Dark
- Liuti (late winter)
- Marzec (early spring)
Holidays / Celebrations / Noted days
- The Lost Night is a single night each season when Eirween wears her mask for an extra day, and Duvyn wears a mask as well – he can be seen flitting across stars at times. It corresponds with the crossing of Mysgoch for the season. During this day, Mysgoch seems brighter (when it can be seen), and Sul dimmer. Each lost night is celebrated with some abandon, as it is considered a night of lost inhibitions, where one is held less accountable for one’s actions. It is considered bad luck to speak of a Lost Night or its events on any other day, even to reference that it exists. When calendars are written, the space between months where a Lost Night happens is decorated symbolically to indicate the Lost Night there.
- Work is shirked on these days if at all possible. It is a strong universal taboo to speak of the day or the events on the day around any religious figure, icon, or spirit. Too, it is a milder taboo to speak of the events of the day (most folk touch iron when doing so). This does not mean that people do not act on them, however.
- Children born on this day are always a bit different (in societies that allow them to grow up).
- Herald of Light and the Lost Night: The Herald of Light proceeds the beginning of the calendar year. This day marks the beginning of six months of light, and summer’s push against winter succeeding, bringing warmth, rain, and a more plentiful time. It is considered bad luck not to plant something, repair something, and renew an old acquaintance. This day does not necessarily coincide with the planting.
- Eternal Day and the Lost Night: This is marked as the first day of no night, and is often the warmest day. It is a carnival day where a treat is set out, and people go visiting and frolicking much of the night. It is considered ill luck if you do not provide a treat, and if you do not at least consume three other people’s offerings. Few people do any work this day.
- Harvest and the Lost Night: A day of (relatively) quiet celebration. It is ill luck not to gather a bit of food, a bit of wood, a drink, and a candle or bit of tallow to store for the coming Herald. Feasting is common, especially on last year’s stores. The Harvest does not necessarily coincide with the harvest, when a harvest feast and celebrations occur.
- Herald of Dark and the Lost Night: In the dead of winter, this day is traditionally spent with friends, family, and community. People gather, ales and wine flows freely this day, and food is either scarce or abundant (depending on both availability and traditions). The food and drink stored at Harvest is removed and shared, the wood burned and the candle or tallow lit at the setting of Sul. The night is spent in the company of others, with many places traditionally telling tales and yarns that grow wilder as the night wears on and the darkness outside lingers. It is considered very ill fortune to spend the first dark night alone or among untrusted folk.
Further pending more play…