The last and first month of the Lithrydel’s calendar year. Corresponds with December and January.
Pronounced: Mor - ning - frawst
Etymology: The word ‘Mourningfrost’ is taken from an old Vhysian phrase “Cu îmbrățișarea lui jalnică, vine primul ger” which means in Common “With his mournful embrace, comes the first frost”, which comes from a Vhysian eulogy that says “With his mournful embrace comes the first frost. But so too with the seasons, the iciness of death will bring blossoms anew.”
Yule: The first day of Yule also marks the Winter Solstice. Typically celebrated with balls or feasts during the second to last week of the year, there is also gift-giving (usually warm clothing to help with the coming harshness of winter, but other gifts are given as well, especially in hotter climates or in Frostmaw where that type of weather is all year round), tree-lighting (where magical fairy lights and small trinkets on hooks are used to light the way home through the snow), and leaving offerings for the God of Death. While most will leave offerings in the form of food or gold, the more unsavory types will offer up fresh souls instead, holding mass ritual sacrifices throughout the entire week of Yule in hopes of gaining the God of Death’s attention and being bestowed with his power.
New Year’s Eve/Day: These two days are used to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another by giving thanks to the gods for their continued guidance and to pray for good things to come in the new year. Beyond the usual offerings and whatnot, it’s also usually celebrated with parties, drinking, and fireworks.
History/Lore: As the god of death, Vakmatharas is also attributed with the death of nature that comes after the harvest, eventually allowing for it all to be reborn again in the coming year. Though most know of Vakmatharas’ skeletal form, it was also believed by ancient elves that he takes the form of a massive snowy owl during the beginning of the winter months and occasionally throughout them, using this unusual form (for a death god anyway) to help spread his divine necrotic magic to bring about Nature’s temporary death, allowing for Zaytor to sweep through in his wake to cover the lands with ice and snow.
The second month of the Lithrydel’s calendar year. Corresponds with February.
Rosales (February) Associated Festivities: Delishalia
The shape of the world is said to be born of fighting. The gods fought and eventually triumphed over the primordials, banishing them to invisible realms separate from the world they helped create. Many gods felt it was their duty to fight, and so they did. At least Delisha and Aramoth fought because they loved to. It drew them together! When the war ended, the fighting should've stopped. It didn't. Eventually Delisha left the realm she shared with Aramoth, remembering the earthly pleasures that littered the world. Things she appreciated between the thunderous battles that carved valleys and burned mountaintops. Who would greet her but Hind? The one who created those pleasures. Gods don't need anything earthly to survive; and maybe that's why when Delisha chose those treasures, it mattered. Hind saw her and gifted her with the newest creation, a rose. It wasn't the one we recognize, it was white with a smooth green stem, beautiful certainly, but only that. Delisha held it, smelled it, but she wasn't impressed. A god is a prideful thing, even one so grounded as Hind, and to them, spurning their creation was a deep and grave insult, an act of violence. Hind's ire became like knives, and tore threw the stem of the rose and into Delisha's fingers, drawing blood that dripped over the rose petals. This new creation, the thorny Rose with vibrant red petals, was much more beautiful now, they both agreed. Legends say this is how roses became red.
The Holiday: Passionbloom
Some versions of the story say Delisha left the heavens for a new beginning of her own free will. Some say she fled in secret and Hind sheltered her. It is this latter version that supposedly holds the beginnings of the holiday known as Delishalia.
It began not as a holiday, but as a secret congregation for Delisha's favoritest and most clandestine worshipers. They'd meet in isolated locations to perform their rituals (many of which involved red roses, among other more sordid offerings), and reenact the stories of the goddess. From her battles, to her fall, and her fated meeting with Hind in the field of red flowers turned white. Eventually, the mystery religions meetings grew into celebrations and festivals and eventually parties that none would miss by choice. Then the most palatable aspects made their way into holiday.
Much of the holiday's intended purpose was lost to all but the most devout worshipers, but the day will always be remembered as a day of love, when you might present your love with a red rose and hope they decide to keep it.
The third month of the Lithrydel’s calendar year. Corresponds with March.
Etymology: A fell, in weaving, is the line that designates the point between cloth and yarn, the usage of the word a nod to spiders being considered weavers and spinners. Sol is the high elvish word for earth or soil, as the third month of the new year is usually when the soil thaws in temperate climates and allows for the planting season to begin.
Associated Festivals/Holidays: The Culling. Local to Vhys, this four day festival during the first weekend of the month marks the first settlement of forsaken elves in Vhys, long before Ryeanna’s reign, when the elves were forced to eradicate arachnids from their new homeland. The task took three days, over the whole of what is now considered Elimdor and it is usually celebrated with a massive feast on the fourth day, after three full days of spider-related pranks, wherein the food is shaped like spiders and the elves make it a point to rip them apart limb from limb. This is meant as an affront to the Spider Goddess, who the Forsaken Elves deemed had had far too many children without an ounce of control over them.
History/Lore: Ages ago before the High Elves that would become the Drow were banished to the Underdark, it was believed that the Spider Goddess helped to prepare the land for farming. At the beginning of every Fellsol, she bore thousands of eggs wherever Vakmatharas’ wintry embrace had touched during the previous season. When they had hatched, half of her babies (the ones inclined to jumping and hunting) were then instructed to help till the soil by stomping around in it with their eight massive legs to allow for easy planting. Afterward, those that could spin webs wove a thin layer of webbing, to collect pollen and seeds, to help replenish the earth with grass and flowers and other plants.
The fourth month of the Lithrydel’s calendar year. Corresponds with April.
Deriving its name from the mythical planet Yanno, the Light of Cire, it is rumored that during this month Yanno is visible, skirting the horizon as it avoids getting tangled in the Spider’s Web. Though the existence of the mysterious planet is still debated, this month is named after Cire’s so-called domain in appeasement to their power. Falling in the middle of spring, when the Web of Arachne passes from the domain of the Spider Goddess and into the domain of Cire. This month is notable for its increase of natural chaos; Hurricanes, tornadoes, violent storms, cold snaps and heat waves- these things happen across Hollow with increased frequency, yet everyone considers this normal. It is a time of changes, of atmospheric shifts and environmental growth. Dangerous beasts that have recently given birth are territorial and a constant threat to those that stumble upon them, yet during this time of chaos is a period of beauty and wonder. Rare flowers and trees bloom in this month, and sights few ever get to see are visible for a short amount of time. In celebration of this new growth, following the full moons after the spring solstice, is the Egg Festival, a curious holiday where eggs are broken, symbolizing the breaking of storms that wreck their communities. If Cire is appeased, folklore tells, they will bless the Spider in the Web and endow her with a sac of magical eggs. Arachne then climbs down from her web in the sky and hides the eggs on Hollow, each a gift intended for the one clever enough to find it. The true origin of these eggs remain unknown, but none can deny that every year around the same time these strange eggs reappear once more. In honor of the legend it is tradition in some cultures to hide their own ‘magical’ eggs, painted and decorated in the bright colors of the spring flowers.
The fifth month of the Lithrydel’s calendar year. Corresponds with May.
Pronounced: Zei-vohn The name ‘Zeyvann’ is derived from the Elder God of the Waters, Zaytor, and the Ancient Elven word for ‘tides,’ vann.
The Celebration of Zaytor is held during the first week of Zayvann, which commemorates the lowest point of Vaalane’s rotation and the corresponding lowest ocean tides of the year. When the ocean’s tides are at their lowest, the corresponding rainfall is said to be imbued with Zaytor’s magic to replenish areas that have been stricken with drought, so that the ensuing spring and summer harvests are plentiful. This is celebrated by constructing a large wooden pole and decorating it in flowers and ribbons so that Zaytor will be able to see where to send the rain from his residence in the Realm of the Gods. In some regions, such as the areas of Rynvale Island that predominantly worship the two Gods of the Waters and the Deep Seas, this month marks the start of the new year. For universal recordkeeping purposes, however, Zayvann is the fourth month of the year.
The association of Zaytor with Valaane’s lowest point can be traced back to the folklore of the Pantheon and the intertwined tale they share with Selene. At its lowest point, the ocean’s waters are eerily still. It is at this time that the constellation of the Broom is said to point straight to Selene’s Isle, and Zaytor parts the storm clouds protecting the island and sends them to the mainland so that he may gaze upon Selene’s beauty as she looks up at Valaane.
The sixth month of the Lithrydel’s calendar year. Corresponds with June.
In honor of the first dwarves to ascend to the surface world, in mythological times, and especially the ones who chose to remain there, opening shops and bringing riches back to Craughmoyle and any other dwarven settlements. The 'Mithri' part, unsurprisingly, pertains to mithril; not just for the smiths and their favored metal, but for the long beard of Loda herself, said to be a great beard woven of mithril.
The seventh month of the Lithrydel’s calendar year. Corresponds with July and August.
In recognition that this month coincides with when Lithrydel and Rynvale are exposed to the maximum amount of sunlight, it is only fitting that it is named after Arkhen and his domain of Kafzhash.
The summer solstice occurs during the first week of the month, which is the day that the sun shines throughout nearly the entire day. To the befuddlement of those who only believe in the empirical, there is not a single summer solstice in recorded history that has been plagued by rain or clouds. According to the mythology of the Pantheon, it is believed this is because Arkhen uses his power to banish the clouds from the sky for his beloved Selene. In the lands of the opposite hemisphere, this is not the summer solstice, but the winter solstice, said to be the day that Arkhen awakens from rest to begin showering the lands with sunlight from Kafzhash should he be pleased with the solstice festivities.
Whether the solstice is celebrated in the north or the south, the method of celebration is universal; dwarven blasting powder is mixed with various effects, magical and traditional, to create brilliant firework displays so that Arkhen may see the lights from his chariot. Legend tells that once a year when the Chariot constellation aligns over Kazfash, it allows Arkhen to gather the nurturing light needed to sustain Hollow for another year. When this happens people across the world celebrate long into the night, setting off fireworks so that they might aid in showing Arkhen the way back home.
The eighth month of the Lithrydel’s calendar year. Corresponds with September.
The ninth month of the Lithrydel’s calendar year. Corresponds with October.
Pronounced: Vayl - oohr - ah
Etymology: The ‘veil’ part of the name refers to the space-time separation between the Mortal Plane and the Shadow Plane, while ‘ora’ is the Vhysian word for time.
Associated Festivals/Holidays: Halloween/Samhain - a holiday at the very end of the month of Veilora that celebrates the near-removal of the space-time separation of the Mortal and Shadow planes. This is usually celebrated via fancy balls or mass rituals by all walks of life, but especially including witches and followers of Q’na, as well as tangentially Vakmatharas.
History/Lore: Every Veilora, Q’na allows his power to wane somewhat over the space-time separation between the Mortal Plane and the Shadow Plane, allowing for the over-abundance of spirits phased between the two of them to become more tangible. During this time, people seek guidance from the spirits, while others seek to help them and set them free from the invisible chains that bind them between the Mortal and Shadow Planes, with the most ideal time being that of Halloween where the space in between is at its weakest point, just before Q’na returns things to normal for another year. In the week before Halloween, children dress up as all manner of spirits, going door to door for “offerings”, and carving jack-o-lanterns to create spirit lamps, to light the way for the lost dead, keeping the tradition of helping souls alive until they can finally partake in an actual ritual themselves when they’re older.
The tenth month of the Lithrydel’s calendar year. Corresponds with November.
The name ‘Selevann’ is derived from the Elder God of the Seas, Selene, and the Ancient Elven word for ‘tides’, vann.
Selene’s Harvest is held during the last week of the month, which begins at midday and extends well into night with no lamp light so that the full moon of Vaalane may light the celebration. Vaalane’s perigee pulls the tides into the highest tide of the year, which prevents most travel by ship and accordingly brings those who sail the seas home so that they may enjoy the land’s final harvest of the season. In some regions, such as the areas of Rynvale Island that predominantly worship the two Gods of the Waters and the Deep Seas, this holiday marks the start of the midyear. For universal recordkeeping purposes, however, Selevann is the ninth month of the year.
The association of Selene with Valaane’s perigee can be traced back to the folklore of the Pantheon and the intertwined tale they share with Zaytor. During Selene’s exile on the isle that shares her name, she twists and turns the seas into rampages so that those who confined her cannot sail close enough to witness her looking upon her homeland of Valaane. These storms are at their most dangerous when the pale moon is at its fullest point.