Author Topic: Long Dark Moon [December]  (Read 1608 times)

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Long Dark Moon [December]
« on: January 28, 2006, 11:18:35 PM »
Early Winter
Long Dark Moon

In the month before Winter fastens its grip, the nights are at their longest and darkest. Animals go to ground or migrate and so hunting is at its most difficult - and only fools or brave men (if there is indeed a difference) would go hunting at night when the wolf packs are starting to find it more difficult to find their own meals.

Tempers seem to run as short as the days as finances grind to a halt for many and rationing begins. The farming community quietens, and behind the castle walls the only bustle is getting from one place to another as quickly as possible.

The first powder of snow begins to fall, enough to make the cobbles slippery but not enough for the children to enjoy play. This is when the taverns seem to have the best business - for even though finances are tight, most men seem to have enough coin for an ale or three.

The Temple of Talon holds its private celebrations of worship at the Ushering Ceremony on winter’s solstice (the 21st of December), celebrating the entry into another harsh season and a new approaching year by acknowledging family members and friends who passed in the current one and toasting them at a mid-night feast.

A subdued ceremony, attended by those closest to the bosom of the Ordained and present by invitation only, it is not a commonly known and widely celebrated ritual.  Those that do speak of it, often know not of what they speak, for it is said that when the hour is blackest, worshippers indulge in some very dark ceremonies indeed; sordid rituals not spoken about in polite company.  Realistically, the faithful are merely offering up their thanks (in their own private way) and acknowledging that, but for the grace of Talon, they would not be around to see the moon change again.

The Festival of the Tree is a brighter event – as public as the Ushering Ceremony is private - held close to the celebrations of the Turning Year. A mere week separates the two - the Festival aimed more so at children with the entire day being filled with games and events to keep the young entertained. The giant pine tree in the middle of the King\'s Court is decorated with little boxes containing a gift within. It is said that the best gifts are tied to the top - and the more adventurous climbers are well rewarded for their bravery.

During the Turning of the Year celebrations, there are five large feasts held at the different compass points of the town (North, South, East and West) to which everyone is invited and one in the Royal Court where it is a function of a more private nature. Talon is again honoured during these feasts, as it is widely believed that the God of Death is responsible for seeing the Old Year come to a fine end.