HE LAYER ANUAL
XIII. TIME & DEATH IN ARADATH
Time in the Lands of Dragon’s Gate. ...
Just like in the world outside of Dragon’s Gate, there are days and nights, months, seasons, and years in Dragon's Gate. Currently Dragon’s Gate has an IC timer available through typing the TIME command, however for the sake of simplicity (because this timer is insanely complicated, and isn’t fun for anyone) treat this time command as non-existent and ignore it. Only Usilian scholars from the White Forest follow the ancient timing conventions, as the rest of the world has long ago moved on to the easier to understand and use Elven calendar. Times and dates in the world of Dragon’s Gate are expressed in the sense of the Elven calendar, detailed below and based mostly around the real life calendar we all use in our day to day lives.
A simple summary of the way time works in Dragon’s Gate is found by basically cutting every 2 real life months into 1 IG month, each named after one of the major Gods, with the exception of Unknown. Months within the Elven calendar make up a period of approximately 61 days (2 real life months), each month being named after and dedicated to the celebration of one of the 6 major Gods of the pantheon, during the course of one Elven month, two real life months come to pass. It is generally believed that a Gods power is at its highest point during the month of time named for them, though no solid proof has been found to back this theory other than the followers of those Gods are known to be more active during that month. The order of the months and their names occurs as follows: Tanei (Taath), Odeth (Odarous), Daleth (Elindale), Majus (Sa), Mateth (Set), Rina (Rinanni). Of course, the followers of the Unknown can be found preaching on the streets, in the taverns, or performing strange religious ceremonies at all times of the year just about any place someone will listen.
A new Elven year begins on the first day of each new real life year, and an Elven year comes to an end on the last day of each real life year. Various holidays occur within those time periods as well, reflected on the calendar below.
A comparison of Real Life Months to Dragon’s Gate Months ...
January & February – Tanei (59 days, every 4 years 60 days) March & April – Odeth (61 days) May & June – Daleth (61 days) July & August – Majus ( 62 days) September & October – Mateth (61 days) November & December – Rina (61 days)
The seasons within Dragon’s Gate ...
Much like the real world, seasons within Dragon’s Gate follow the same patterns in which the real life seasons occur. Listed below is the Elven calendar markings of when each season officially starts/ends, though the weather, much like in the real world, often doesn’t follow the design of the Elven calendar. Some mages dedicated to the studies of weather patterns have attempted to predict weather occurrences, but often are no better at guessing than the more experienced sailors of the vast Sea’s of Aradath.
Spring – Odeth 1st -> Daleth 31st
Summer – Daleth 32st -> Majus 62nd
Fall – Mateth 1st -> Rina 30th
Winter – Rina 31st -> Tanei 59th or 60th
Major holidays and events within Dragon’s Gate ...
The world of Aradath has many events typically celebrated by its people, often in the form of festivals or religious ceremonies, based upon specific dates each year within the calendar. The holidays typically coincide with the God whose month is currently in power, celebrating the beliefs and events of that specific God and their temple. Stories further detailing events of the great holidays, as well as the stories behind them are available in the history and lore sections (under the library link) on the Dragon’s Gate website.
Celebration of Nature’s Renewal – Celebrated by the temple of Elindale during the month of Daleth, Elindale’s servants the Wind Fairies dance around the altars of her temples within the great forests, re-invigorating nature for another year. The powers of the wind fairies bring about a renewal for nature, starting the processes of nature again for another year.
Festival of Shadows – Celebrated predominantly by the temple of Set at the end of the month of Mateth, it is a celebration of the dark and secret of the world of Aradath. Most years a massive festival is held in the city of Spur where citizens dress up in costumes of their favorite creatures from the darkest corners of the world. This time of year is most often marked by strange occurrences in the dark, a few people going missing, and deep shadows descending across the lands for a period of days.
The Great Celebration of Rinannimas – Celebrated by the temple of Rinanni during the month of Rina, Rinannimas is a celebration of the beliefs of Rinanni, peace, love and knowledge. Typically highlighted by a massive festival, the celebration of Rinannimas encourages the peoples of the world to come together to share knowledge amongst one another, remember times of the past, and bask in the love and peace of Rinanni. The peoples of the land often purchase gifts for their friends and loved ones, and receive them as well over the course of the holidays celebration festival. Though the holiday itself falls on one day, it’s not unheard of for the festival celebrating it to last many days, or even weeks in some cities where Rinanni’s presence is most strongly felt.
Death in the Lands of Dragon’s Gate ...
Dragon's Gate is a land wherein many gods work in concert to keep the fabric of the world together. The gods are believed to have subjected themselves to the framework and limitations of time in the same way that mortal beings are restricted to it, so time in Dragon's Gate is not as fluid as in some worlds. It is often said that even the greatest gods don't know how and when Aradath came into existence, but the Lore masters, if they can be talked into telling the tales, can weave a tapestry of some historical occurrences which contain at least some grains of truth. This is one of the tales they tell:
This is but one of the tales which can be found in Dragon's Gate. The tales of the Lore masters, and the information you can find in libraries and elsewhere can be an invaluable assistance to survival and advancement in Dragon's Gate.
Occasionally, the final summons of Death occurs the way that it was intended, but more often it does not. Dying in Dragon's Gate is no longer the inevitable end of life as it once was, and Death is no longer as fearful, but it is still a very real and final possibility. People in the lands of Dragon’s Gate still die of old age, and mortal wounds at the hands of powerful magicks and curses often bring the peoples of the worlds lives to an early end. The wise adventurers are still cautious in all they do.
Upon dying, a character may be returned to life by the powers of a clerics resurrection prayer, though only a short time is allowed for the cleric to reach the party and still be able to revive them. Characters who follow Gods may depart and if they have any favors with their God, be returned to the nearest temple altar and revived, though the character may suffer some penalties as a result of the horribly traumatic experience of death. Characters who do not have enough favors, or no God, may also depart and will typically be returned to life by the local office of the House of the Dead, either at the HOD headquarters, or in the same location where they had departed from the world. The House of the Dead often charges a fee for their services, and characters without enough gold in the bank or on them typically have the cost they owe made up in goods being taken from their possession.
Many creatures in the world of Dragon’s Gate exist between the world of the living and the world of the dead (often referred to as the underworld), typically undead creations of some form whose remains have become trapped, either on purpose, or by accident, still within the world of the living. These creatures are often tormented and tortured by their existence between the two worlds, as each world tears at the very fabric of their creations. As a result many of them can not be harmed by normal weapons, and often must be harmed through magickal or other more extreme means, these types of undead are referred to as ethereal. Furthermore, clerics within the world of Dragon’s Gate can learn the skill of Turning Undead after moving up in standing (devotion level within their temple) to charitable. (Characters may gain in standing through a various form of ways discussed elsewhere) Through the use of turning undead characters can separate the creatures body from its soul headed for the afterlife, and release it to death.
“There was once an old god with a headstrong and restrictive nature. He took the name Death for his own, and was feared by all because of his final summons. There came a time when Death became impatient, and wished to look forward in time to see what would become of Dragon's Gate at the end of time, so he went into isolation and called upon all the strength he possessed to look into the future. In so doing, the old god named Death vanished from Dragon's Gate, never to return.
The other gods have attempted to fill the void left by Death's disappearance, but alas, they couldn't completely do what Death had done so consistently for so long. The finality of Death has not been sure ever since. The other gods have sworn never to look too far into time, and many refuse to look forward or backward in time at all, at least until such time as Death's return. “