Time and History (Orizon Supplement)
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Time is central to an understanding of the universe and your place in it, we use time to reckon both our future and our relationship with the past.
This chapter covers the calendar of Orizon and the history of the plane, stretching out from the beginnings of recorded history.
The year on Orizon lasts longer than that of Earth, whereas Earth experiences a calendar of 365 days with 12 lunar months; Orizon’s calendar stretches 476 days with 14 lunar months, each lasting precisely 34 days. The relationship between solar and lunar reckonings of time occur with close regularity, Orizon has nothing like leap days. The way the sun and moon work together is spoken of as a part of the relationship between Soltis and Celeste.
There are many different ways of reckoning time across the various cultures of Orizon, but most cultures have adopted the soltian calendar, spread by priests of Soltis, that divides these months into four seasons based on those season’s relationship with the sun. Spring, summer, fall and winter.
The Soltian calendar divides the months into four weeks of 8 days, with two extra days during the month that correspond with new and full moons. These days, except for the “moonsdays” have no special names for recounting, and days are counted by their number, for example a archivist would say that an event occurred on 14 Thout, or 23 Haru, or by it’s relationship to the nearest holiday, such as “three days before siege day.”
The moonsdays, white moonsday and black moonsday are days of rest that take place in the middle of the full moon and the new moon, which takes five days to fully transition.
Most people don’t keep too close to a rigid understanding of time as the passage of hours and minutes. Though their understanding of the passage of time is based on the position of the sun relative to the planet. People can vaguely estimate what hour it is, but clocks are not common tools and most people just try to keep through the rhythms of nature.
The holidays of Orizon mark special occasions, repetitious moments of the season, and events that have indelibly altered the history of Orizon. Many cultures mark their own special holidays, but there are several that are common to the plane as a whole. These holidays are typically developed to honor the gods and are overseen by those god’s faithful and priests.
Thanks to the ordered, almost clockwork, nature of the movements of the heavens, the sun and the moon, most holidays occur on a regular schedule.
7 Lencten A holiday almost specifically for Wobbum, merrymakers day. Celebrated with a parade presided over by the “elected” king of fools, alcohol flows like water and the revels are expected to last until the following dawn.
12 Lencten A day celebrating Vesperi, people construct simple gliders of paper and other cheap materials and cast them off of the skylands into the wind to sail wherever the wind might take them.
Day of Dawn (Vernal Equinox)
20 Lencten This celebration involves greenery and rebirth, children are especially celebrated, and treats are prepared and freely shared. Rabbits feature as a large part of this holiday as symbols of fertility. The day of dawn often closes with nights of passion.
Week of Fox's Fire
9 Errach - 17 Errach The mornings of this holiday are spent with different celebrations of spring, fruits, flowers and greenery are in abundance.
The nights feature women, dressed in white, running through grain fields, swinging lit torches. The myth is that Sildrin had lit a fox on fire as it stole from her, as it fled the flame chased away hundred of other pests and helped to warm the crops. In gratitude Sildrin snuffed its flame and allowed it to leave, but repeated its feat and flames the next year. In actuality, this has proven to be a fantastic means of chasing pests out of the fields.
On the last night of the festival there is a ritual dousing of the flames.
Birth to Earth
15 Errach Held in the midst of the week of Fox’s Fire, the festival of birth to earth is the only day where the otherwise loud celebrations are put on hold, as this is it’s own festival, to an older god. The women that had been spending the week’s nights in the fields today present a specific sacrifice, a pregnant cow, to Karn, the goddess of earth in the hope of restoring the fertility of the soil.
23 Errach A surprisingly somber occasion for a festival of wine, anyone producing wine brings the last year’s bottles forwards and everyone is expected to take a small sample. An entire bottle is sacrificed to Wobbum, with a prayer for beauty, popularity, charm, and wit to be found in the drinks to come.
30 Errach A day to honor Diasilva, people go out into the woods and collect the seeds and honor standing trees. Planting a new tree is also a customary way of celebrating this holiday. Hunters also honor this day, trying to hunt and sacrifice something worthwhile for Diasilva.
The Flower's Games
3 Haru - 6 Haru Intended to be a celebration of the fertility of spring, the festival of the flower’s games features a licentious, pleasure-seeking atmosphere. Celebrants are encouraged to wear little and compete in impromptu games, the winners receiving laurels of flowers. Drink is expected to flow freely for this festival and all are expected to indulge. The flower’s games also involves sacrifices of hares and goats within the temples.
15 Haru A celebration of Tharsias, the gnomish god of merchants; merchants take this day to have the means of their business blessed, making a sacrifice of gold to the god in exchange for his blessing.
The Day's Fast
7 Lithe A day when people are expected to honor the pantheon by denying themselves. No food may pass though an observant’s lips between midnight that morning and midnight that night.
Brightest Day (Summer Solstice)
21 Lithe The summer solstice, longest day of the year, is held as a Day to honor Soltis, a grand bonfire is lit in front of the temples and a great communal feast is held.
4 Sumor A day intended to defy Incancatus. Fireworks have been recently incorporated into the festival and they are lit to commemorate the celestial battle held between Soltis’ divine army and Incancatus’ legions of fiends.
Day of the Depths
23 Sumor A holiday in honor of Tiad, the day of the depths is mostly celebrated with fish, fishermen compete to catch the biggest fish they can and sacrifice it to Tiad. The festival can also honor Vesperi if windfish are caught for the festivities.
28 Sumor Commemorating the destruction of the old world and the breaking, once a year this day features an annual solar eclipse, said to be Celeste hiding the mourning of Soltis from the world.
29 Sumor A day when people are expected to visit the temples and shrines of their gods and provide offerings in thanks to those gods that they believe provided them with some special blessings over the past year.
18 Samrad A holiday in farming communities in honor of Matre, this is a day when barns are built and beast of burden are honored, typically they’re garlanded with flowers.
29 Samrad - 30 Samrad A celebration of Agressa, Fortison, and Vister, the siege is celebrated in two stages. The first day, the town’s children, with the help of the faithful and their parents, construct a small fort of piled up wood and stone, and anything else they can use, and place a flag in the center.
On the second day, the children receive wooden weapons and draw straws to see which god they will represent. The children of Fortison defend the fort and the flag, trying to keep it within the fort’s boundaries. The children of Agressa try to get the flag and bring it inside of the local temple. The children of Vister try to make sure that neither wins, that the flag leaves the fort, but never makes it to the temple. The game begins at noon and ends at sundown and is constantly overseen by healers and devoted of Ashotene.
19 Natrisu A celebration of growth and fertility to Sildrin and to Wobbum, this festival centers around harvesting and pressing grapes for wine and a time when wine from years before in people’s cellars is drunk.
30-34 Natrisu A celebration time honoring Imperna and the arts and Sameth and the crafts. Stands and stages are assembled and people put their works on display, showcasing their art, performing their music, or simply hawking their wares.
The Champion's Games
12 Thout - 14 Thout Any game is possible for the holiday, but which take place is not decided until the first day. Those who agree to the competition must put a prize into the pot and a new game is hosted every day of the festival. On the final day, the spectators must choose a champion of the games that will win the pot. Numerous smaller games are held alongside the titular champion’s games during this holiday.
The Day of Dusk (Autumnal Equinox)
23 Thout The day of dusk is a time of preparation, of getting ready for the winter that is coming and ensuring that everyone has enough to hold themselves through the cold. This is a time for giving and sharing, but only of your excess.
12 Fogamur A day honoring Virden, repentance day is a day when people are expected to atone for their missteps in some way and to ease their burdens of guilt.
13 Fogamur Owing to the necessity of clean wells on the skylands, the wellspringing day is a celebration to honor Tiad and his waters on the skylands. Wells and fountains are decorated with garlands, and the temples pay for their cleaning to help ensure the purity of the water.
11 Haerfest A day for honoring those that gave themselves to war, honoring both Agressa and Fortison through honoring their chosen, soldiers. Where the siege is a holiday honoring the excitement of war, soldier’s toll is a day honoring the cost of war and combat.
Thanks and Giving
17 Haerfest - 24 Haerfest A week long celebration of plenty and community. People are expected to share food and gifts among their fellows. The center of the local temple becomes a feast-hall with a grand banquet.
Blackest Night (Winter Solstice)
21 Gemred A day to celebrate Celeste, celebrants wear masks and billowing robes to hide themselves and their appearance, then all come together for a community festival. The concealing is intended to allow the celebrants to be more honest with themselves and what they want, behaving more like their true self.
25 Yule In the depths of winter, the legends of the ancient world and its bounties seem to become a greater loss, the crisis an even greater folly. Saturnal Mass is an attempt to, even if just for a day, live like those ancient peoples. People store up food over the winter for grand meals shared with family and friends and gifts are exchanged between friends and loved ones.
Eve of Quiet
21 Frosyu A day for commemorating those who have passed. People are expected to take small a small amount of food and wine to the graves of those immediate family who have passed and leave it out for their souls. Many graveyards have a broad stone altar specifically for this holiday.
On this day it is considered the worst luck to speak aloud, and it is believed that speaking on this day will attract the attention of lingering restless spirits of the dead and draw them away from Bern’s peace.
22 Frosyu Following the eve of quiet, the people are expected to remember those family they still have. Celebrants build their fires and come together to feast as a family. This is expected to be a private, intimate, holiday shared between those in the home.
A Brief History
Much of Orizon’s written history has been lost to the deprecations of time. Especially considering more than half of their history was lost to a literally world-shattering cataclysm.
Each continent and each culture has its own means of reckoning history, and its own events that have made up what they consider worth remembering. But they all share some broad strokes in common, such as just about every culture using the breaking as the beginning of their counting of years.
The modern understanding of prehistory is all but lost. There are few records of the times of the ancient world surviving, and even fewer that predate them. What is known is shared as a mixture of legend, myth, or fractured accounts from divination. All details are lost, but some of the broad strokes survive.
The earliest years of Orizon are lost in a confounding haze of history, myth, and legend. What is known is that the ancient gods arrived from some place far distant and assembled the structure of magic, then built a world on top of it.
The ancient gods also either anticipated or precipitated the development of life. It seems that they occasionally stepped in to advance the natural process of evolution, but for the most part the ancient gods left their system to work itself, observing and making their own slight adjustments to better suit their needs.
The Eon of Dragons
After the world had developed for millennia, the gods took creatures and determined that they had the potential for greatness. The gods took various dinosaurs and manipulated their form, augmenting them and tying them to raw magic, granting these new creatures incredible power. They had made dragons. Unfortunately for the gods, they had expected subservience from the dragons. Dragons saw the gods as equals or simply as powerful beings, not gods to be worshiped. The more the gods pushed the dragons to worship, the more the dragons opposed them. Eventually, the dragons rose up. Dragons briefly ceased their rivalries and feuds to direct their attention against the gods.
The gods responded harshly. The power of the dragons protected them from much, but not from the full wrath of the gods. They brought down fire and brimstone down from the heavens, killing many dragons and totally devastating their food supplies. The dinosaurs were no more, and the dragons nearly followed them. Those that survived fed off smaller creatures or fled to other planes, hoping for refuge there, other dragons took to hibernating for long extended periods, significantly longer than they once had before. The age of dragons was over, though they survived they would never return to the numbers or the power they held in this ancient time.
The Rise of Man
Millions of years later, the world returned to some semblance of the prosperity it once held. Life had regrown, small mammals that had survived the mass extinction became megafauna like mastodon, cave bears, and auroch. The distant ancestors of the surviving dragons were again able to sustain themselves comfortably, but the gods saw little humility and decided to try again. They found a creature on the verge of awareness and “nudged” it. What were apes were now the first humans.
Humanity followed the divine scheme much more closely than the dragons had. They grew, they learned, they worshiped. Humans were a varied, curious and unpredictable species, they learned from their experiments with the natural world, they learned from communion with the gods and spirits of the natural world, they even learned from the dragons that deigned to teach them.
But the gods were not immediately satisfied with simple man. They decided to use this successful experiment as a baseline and make new peoples. They made elves to tend to magical energy and knowledge, they made dwarves to work the earth, gnomes to craft intricate tools, halflings to tend to the fields, orcs to tame the wilderness, and giants to defend against the dragons. Many went outside of their roles, which were at most vague guidelines, but they began to find places for themselves in the world. This early meddling and creation is believed to be the reason why humans are able to breed with nearly every mortal race, they are the common ancestor.
The Age of Wonders
? - 0 AB
The age of wonders was a utopia, magnificent cities, feats of epic magic, and technological peaks were the order of the day. During this time vast continental empires stretched all the way across the world and worked in collaboration on works of spectacular magical infrastructure.
This era is also referred to as the old world or the ancient world. The cities, now ruins, of the old world are one of the few places where people can find very rare and legendary magical items, and are the source of powerful artifacts and valuable knowledge. During this time the gods walked among mortals and shared their perspectives and knowledge, allowing mortal knowledge to advance by leaps and bounds beyond what they otherwise would have been capable of.
The people of the old world stopped the spread of chaotic monsters by exterminating or enslaving them, or by sealing the most powerful ones away. Their campaigns pushed the monstrous races of the world to the fringes of the continents, or the bottom of society. And the other races prospered immensely from this new freedom from these dangers.
The period of peace and prosperity unfortunately began to crumble as more aggressive individuals began small attacks and territory disputes or rebellions against their empire. These eventually descended into all out war as treaties and promises dragged other nations into the conflict. Nations began turning their productions from public good to offensive might. They developed war machines and technomagical weapons that they then turned on each other. This war continued for years, some believe for almost a century, each continental nation turned against each other in massive war.
The war culminated with the development of the grandest of the ancient war machines, the titans, massive biomechanical and technomagical war machines that stood at the size of a skyscraper and left swathes of destruction. The titans were the most devastating thing the war had brought on its combatants, but fortunately no nation was ever able to produce more than one.
The war finally ended when a small resistance group composed of members of each nation tried to stop the fighting, they targeted the technomagical infrastructure that had been spread across the world and hoped to shut it down, ceasing any nation’s ability to function. Instead they overloaded it, sparking off a massive explosion that encompassed the entire globe.
This overload unleashed powerful cascading explosions of raw wild magic. This energy created tremendous devastation across the world. Spurring natural disasters on an unprecedented scale, causing tidal waves and droughts, earthquakes and hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires.
Magical disasters spread from the cascade, releasing, wild, random enchantments. Uncontrolled summonings and banishings were common and ruptures were broken into to the fabric of the plane itself, although many of those were sealed by the old gods, most of the old pantheon died in the struggle to seal the plane against intruding monstrosities. The disaster cast entire landmasses up into the sky, enchanting the very dirt and stone and leaving them to hang forever in the sky, never to fall.
The Breaking turned the once great empires immediately into ruins, destroyed the entirety of infrastructure and society and all the systems for crafting magical items and technological equipment. Some of the few survivors were warped by the explosion of magical energy, others found themselves stranded. Monsters that had been enslaved or sealed away suddenly found themselves free to terrorize the world again and did so with a terrible vengeance.
The breaking is a period "remembered" with awe and fear, and many cultures have since used the breaking as a defense for policies of moderation or anti-magic.
The Salvage Period
0 AB - (~5 AB - ~500 AB)
Following the breaking there was still hope that the old world could be reclaimed, that their wonders could be rebuilt. The war had ended, the toll was too high, but perhaps the cost could be reclaimed. The salvage period is characterized by the tragically few survivors climbing out of the rubble and trying to collect whatever they could and piece together their lives.
This is also the period when the monstrous races, such as orcs, and goblins realized that the shackles that bound them had been released, and the monsters that had been driven to the fringes, such as mind flayers, dragons, and others, realized what the breaking signified, though the more powerful of these beings were killed immediately by the breaking’s energies. All of these beasts were full in their wrath of the old world and decided that the breaking marked the time to claim their piece.
The storms of wild magic, most potent within the ruins of the ancient cities, and the return of monsters, eventually forced the salvagers away from the old cities and out to fend for themselves in the wilderness, abandoning whatever treasures that they couldn’t recover from the wreck.
The close of the salvage period saw the beginning of the gods’ war, the war of aggression from Incancatus in its attempts to destroy the world. The surviving gods of the old world massed together and assembled the living mortal champions to oppose the gods and fiends of Incancatus’ armies.
The God's War
(~10 AB - ~300 AB)
Following the breaking, the god Incancatus was incensed with mortals, they saw the arrogance of mortals as the sole reason for the breaking. Incancatus sought to conclude the breaking and reduce the world to a blank slate. First, Incancatus turned to the other surviving gods, hoping to recruit them to its cause, some few came to join him, but none of the other ancient gods would join them. The other ancient gods were focused on repairing the damage of the breaking and the surviving old gods were dedicated to defending the plane. So instead Incancatus turned to the varying devils and demons, promising them divinity in its new world if they assist the mad god in destroying this one. Incancatus raised its armies and brought them in to fight, in response the other gods raised armies of their own, drawing in mortal champions to fight with them.
For the duration of the God’s War, the people of Orizon were deprived of their greatest heroes, and whatever leaders they could rally behind in their hopes to rebuild after the breaking. The god’s war also deprived the people of Orizon of divine magic. There were many who believed that the god’s war’s effect meant that the gods were dead. Few saw the true mass of the destruction of the godswar, it was fought at the edges of the plane, but the destruction was felt by many as divine weapons lanced across worlds.
At the conclusion of the war all but the ancient gods, who seemingly could not die, were obliterated. The old gods were dead, the heroes gone, but Incancatus was sealed away in the deepest pit and the war had ended. The gods returned to the world and to their attempts to restore Incancatus’ old infrastructure of magic. When the gods returned to the world, so did divine magic, and so did faith. New gods began to rise at the fall of the god’s war, though none are entirely sure why it did not happen until the end of the war, or what enabled mortals to rise to gods.
(~200 AB - ~400 AB) - (~400 AB - ~500 AB)
Eventually the Orcs and Goblins realized that they too could not stand the dangers of the old world’s ruins, and their took their looted reward out, to eradicate the remnants of the people that had enslaved them. The Monsters sought out the huddled survivors in their make-shift fortifications and turned the looted weapons against them. Blaster rifles fired plasma bolts and the volleys lit up the nights, monsters sent powerful beasts, recovered from cages and caves, against the survivor’s magic. Some tried to hide in the new skylands, but were never able to travel much father than a few feet off the ground.
Most of this savage period was spent in these conflicts, the survivor races against their former slaves. Monsters began carving out their own territory while survivors built fortifications. Through it all, storms of wild magic that wouldn’t begin to calm for decades to come ravaged both sides.
Above the world, and in the planes beyond it, the godswar raged. The heroes of the old world battled the gods themselves and all manner of monsters and demons. The war raged for decades, further devastating the world and leaving powerful weapons and the corpses of fallen gods scattered through Orizon and its cosmology. Only the six greatest of old gods and a few other survivors stumbled away, weakened and wounded, from the godswar.
During this period the knowledge of the old world was gradually lost, as the things collected during the salvage period began to rust and break, or were drained of power or destroyed in the conflict. Both sides worked to rediscover truly ancient techniques as laser rifles were gradually replaced with bows and arrows. Plastics and ceramics were replaced with bronze and iron.
Below ground a similar story was happening, those civilizations under the soil had been sealed away, and were attempting to rebuild following the disasters, but monsters that had fled to hidden caverns had begun to find access to the cities of the underground and wanted to take their piece. The dwarves began focusing on fortifying their cities rather than reconnecting to the surface, while the elves that would eventually become drow fled deeper, searching for sanctuary in the cave systems.
By the end of this period nearly all of the relics of the old world that had been recovered had decayed to uselessness and the knowledge that had been recovered was similarly lost without anyone adequately able to apply it. The people of Orizon were left to fend for themselves, without the gains of their ancestors.
(~800 AB - ~1,400 AB) - (~2600 AB - ~2,700 AB)
This is the period when the gods began to return to Orizon, the old gods worked to calm the storms of wild magic, and their clerics began to gain the powers to heal the effects of these storms. Some new gods too began to be “born” during this period following the breaking.
This is a period of renewal, the survivors of the breaking abandonded their attempts to rebuild, but their supplies were stripped and depleted, little of the technology they still had worked and all of their infrastructure was gone. Steel and concrete became wood and bronze. People rediscovered the bow and arrow, they hunted and gathered, scratching out farms. The great society had collapsed from a peak of civilization to the bottom of the bronze age. No one of the humanoid races was left alive that was present at the ancient world.
During the elevation, the survivors of the old world discovered the magical properties of floatwood, lumber that ignored the pull of gravity, and began making tentative journeys to the lower skylands. Simple airships were constructed and small groups began fleeing from the fighting on the ground by sailing to the skylands. This flight took decades to take off in full, the tools were lost to construct airships, and old tools of bronze and iron were being reinvented to replace them.
Gradually these fleeing peoples constructed homesteads and grew crops, then more and more of the survivors of the old world fled the fighting, running to the skylands and abandoning the ground to monsters.
This period is largely analogous to terrestrial history some time between the late stone age and the early iron age. Without the great mid-bronze age civilizations.
The Middle Ages
(~2,600 AB - ~2,700 AB) - (~4,300 AB - ~4,500 AB)
This period is the time when civilization begins its steps to reestablish itself in the skylands. Only the absolute oldest of the people in the skylands had any memory of the world that had come before, and they were few and far between, ancient elves who were believed to be telling myths and legends. Most of the treasures of the old world that had been reclaimed during the salvage period were useless, and those that remained were considered the most powerful of magical items.
The burgeoning civilizations of the skylands were insular, any airships constructed were still simple, designed for travel between the nearest islands. The peoples of the skylands established small communities of a few islands which became the earliest of the new kingdoms. Tools of bronze and iron gradually turned to steel, then improved alloys. These simple agrarian homesteads on the skyland were focused on recycling and conservation, there were few resources available to them on the skylands, and they had to make the best of what they had.
Empires rose slowly along with new technologies, then expanded as airship technologies improved and flying mounts were tamed, or crumbled as monsters, war, or intrigue overwhelmed them. Civilization spread outwards and even had begun to reclaim parts of the ground, firing arrows from their airships as simple air support to reclaim small spaces on the ground from the monsters which were used to harvest the abundant resources of the ground for those on the sky.
On the ground, the monstrous races also began establishing their own societies. As their former oppressors fled to the skylands they turned their rage, the reasons long lost, against each other. The various warbands began establishing fortress cities, ruled by the strongest or the most successful. These monster cultures would band together to attack any incursion of the skyland cultures onto the ground, or any rich dwarven cities, but never developed airships of their own.
Underground the dwarven cities had developed their fortifications and reconnected to the surface, and their cities came under attack by raiders on this new front. To help defend, many dwarves sent emissaries to the people in the skyland to open trade relations and encourage mutual support. The elves of the underdark had truly become drow, constructing cities with layouts like spiderwebs where they ruled through subterfuge and violence over communities of many different races. During this time the drow also began developing their raiding tunnels, conducting raids on the ground territories of the skylands, or the fortress cities of the monsters, or occasionally on the skylands.
Creator’s Note: This period is expansive, and can be drastically different between the different cultures of Orizon, but is broadly analogous to the period of the early empires (Greek, Roman, Mongolian, etc.) to the medieval era.
The Age of Sail
(~4,300 AB - ~4,500 AB) - Present (~4,835)
During this period, the technologies behind airships had reached a new level, airships could travel further than ever before, and sails had been developed to a point where air travel was more efficient than ever. Nautical sailing techniques have also reached a point where intercontinental travel could be reliable undertaken.
This expansion of trade led to the establishment of large cities and modern kingdoms, some built on the ruins of the old empires or those old empires have more firmly secured their hold on their existing territory. Although these kingdom’s hold over their territories is often tenuous with attacks from monsters, magic, or war.
The same expansion of trade has also helped piracy to become a more viable business plan. The number of active pirates has exploded along with the size of navies and the expansion of trade.
The monstrous races have since developed means of air travel of their own, but they are comparatively simple, balloons lifted by flame used for scouting or nighttime raids.