The World of Tornen's Crossing
What does every character that exists in Tornen’s Crossing know about the world?
Days of the Year = 400
Seasons = Four (@ 100 days each)
Months = Eight (@ 50 days each, starting with a transitional holiday that then leads into 7 weeks of 7 days.)
The month of Low Spring starts with Verdance, a transitional holiday that celebrates the onset of the New Year and Spring season, as well as the relief of surviving the winter before farming starts anew. This is a very loud holiday, filled with music, dancing, laughing, stories, games, and fireworks. There are festivals, balls, and galas galore, and people wear their best. Many people wear green to honor what they hope will be a verdant new spring.
The month of High Spring starts with Heartspring on the Spring Equinox, a transitional holiday dedicated to love, romance, fertility, agriculture, and animal husbandry. In the name of love, people confess their feelings, write poetry, sing songs, and sometimes quarrel, any of which might be represented by contests or tournaments. While the intent, in part, is for new relationships to blossom and be pursued by those unbound by vows, some also use the holiday as an excuse for engaging in dalliances. People also use this day as an almanac milestone for comparing when crops are planted from year to year, as well as births resulting from the breeding seasons from the previous year. The first calf and foal born on Hearthspring in a community are considered creatures blessed of purpose. The month of High Spring also sees a lot of births among the people, due to the activities of newlyweds following Oathsgiving in Low Autumn.
The month of Low Summer starts with the Day of Brilliance, a transitional holiday dedicated to the fires of industry and creativity, hard work under the sun, artisans and craftsmen, intelligence, philosophy, and well… brilliance. Contests, tournaments, and games of chance are quite common during the Day of Brilliance, all of which have bonfires as central focuses of the festivities. On this day, many apprentices become journeymen, students graduate, and promotions are given. Rewards for excellence are also very common on this day. Additionally, the breeding of horses often waits until in Low Summer, so that the resulting births occur close to the next Heartspring.
The month of High Summer starts with Midsummer on the Summer Solstice, a transitional holiday dedicated to the celebration of joy, life, and passion. Bonfires are common, and burn deep into what little night is left on the longest day of the year, to celebrate the light and fend off the darkness. The burning of special woods, scented candles, and incense fill homes and businesses. There are parties that last all day, with music and dancing and other passionate activities by sun and firelight. It is considered a bad omen when the rare storm obscures the sun on this day. Additionally, the breeding of cattle often waits until the third week of High Summer, so that the resulting births occur close to the next Heartspring.
The month of Low Autumn starts with Oathsgiving, a transitional holiday dedicated to creating and honoring pacts, oaths, partnerships, and marriages. Many vows are designed to be revisited on this day, and if they are not resworn by both parties, may also end. Needless to say, there are many meetings and ceremonies throughout the day, and Oathsgiving usually culminates in weddings during the evening. In fact, many couples who started a lasting love during Heartspring often get married on this holiday. Low Autumn marks the start of the full push into the harvest season.
The month of High Autumn starts with Harvestfall on the Autumn Equinox, a transitional holiday dedicated to the ongoing harvest season. No one works on this day of rest, but they do eat and drink. And they drink a LOT. Some joke that Harvestfall is named after the stumbling drunks that tumble and topple throughout the day.
The month of Low Winter starts with Reaper’s Day, a transitional holiday dedicated to honoring the ancestors, martyrs, and other beloved dead, as well as the hard-working farmers and herders that labored during harvest season. Starting on this day, much of the extra livestock is slaughtered to prepare for the coming winter months. This is also a day of feasting to celebrate all the efforts that led to the bounty before winter. Many are gluttonous on this holiday, with some eating in excess as a reward for their hard work, and some partaking in the favorite recipes of their ancestors and lost loved ones, to honor their memory.
The month of High Winter starts with Midwinter on the Winter Solstice, a transitional holiday dedicated to peace, kindness, and generosity. Many candles are lit, many gifts are given, and travelers are never turned away on this, Winter’s longest night, though they themselves are also usually as generous as they can afford. It is considered a grave sin for someone to ever harm or betray a host who has granted them shelter on Midwinter.
The Divine Ancestors – A PANTHEON
The Divine Ancestors are a small pantheon of 6 deities that is worshipped by many civilized folk in the world of Tornen’s Crossing. They are perceived as a family of gods who gave birth to, and watch over the civilized Descendant humanoid races. The teachings of the Divine Ancestors say that all the humanoid races are brethren, direct Descendants of the Divine, even though some tribes, like many goblins and orcs, have fallen to darkness. There is great debate as to if those darker races can be saved either as individuals or as a whole, and due to this schism of thought some followers of the Ancestors will be more likely to treat wilder humanoids with kindness than others.
The most commonly depicted aspects of the Ancestors consist of 3 female and 3 male aspects, each seen as a Grandparent, Parent, and Child of their respective genders. Worshippers refer to them with reverence and recognition equal to their place in the family tree. With that in mind, there are also those who feel there are only two true Ancestors, a Mother, and a Father who represent the aspects of their genders, and there are even those who feel there is only one true divinity that represents all genders, who fulfills all Ancestral roles based on the needs of the faithful. These differing interpretations are rarely causes for true strife within the faithful beyond lively debate, and at worst, considering each other misguided or ignorant, though with hearts still being in the right place.
Because the Ancestors are seen purely as benefactors, their official portfolios represent only positive aspects of life and civilization. Truly sinful concepts are not considered part of their purview, despite much of the sin and evil that arises within the Descendant races. People who actually focus on worshipping darker concepts such as murder, thievery, and slavery are considered to be cultists of nasty entities and are anathema. Despite the Ancestors’ recognized portfolios, the rare few true clerics of the Ancestors are not limited in the domains they embrace. Despite followers sometimes favoring one or more of the gods, they have faith in them all, as they are all part of one greater divine host.
The names of the individual aspects of the Ancestors are root words for certain other words, for instance, Natu is the root word for “nature”, “natural”, and “Naturist” (a title among the faithful), and Lumin is the root word for “illuminate”, “luminous”, and “Luminary” (another title), and Arc is the root word for “arcane”, “architecture”, and “Arcanath” (another title).
The Divine Ancestors
Grandmother Night, She Who Soothes the Soul in Shadow
Portfolio: Death, Afterlife, Night, Darkness, Mystery, Time, Peace
Favored Domains: Arcana, Death, Trickery
Sacred beasts: Rat, Owl, Owlbear
Mother Nature, She Who Walks the Wind and Wood
Portfolio: Nature, Wilderness, Oceans, Weather, Plants, Beasts, Hunting
Favored Domains: Life, Nature, Tempest
Sacred beasts: Deer, Pheasant, Unicorn
Hearthdaughter, She Who Holds the Heart and Hearth
Portfolio: Love, Fertility, Family, Community, Commerce, Generosity, Protection
Favored Domains: Knowledge, Life, War
Sacred beasts: Hound, Swan, Wolpertinger
Grandfather Light, He Who Observes and Absolves from Above
Portfolio: Sun, Moon, Light, Law, Order, Judgment, Leadership
Favored Domains: Knowledge, Light, Life
Sacred beasts: Lion, Eagle, Pheonix
Warfather, He Who Wars in Weal and Woe
Portfolio: War, Combat, Victory, Athleticism, Freedom, Fortune, Luck
Favored Domains: Life, Trickery, War
Sacred beasts: Horse, Hawk, Pegasus
Son of Sorcery, He Who Seeks the Secrets and Songs
Portfolio: Knowledge, History, Art, Artifice, Music, Inspiration, Magic
Favored Domains: Arcana, Knowledge, Light
Sacred beasts: Cat, Raven, Sphinx