Scales of War
Dwarven Calender and Holidays
Etalbynian Calendar (Dwarven Calwendar) -12 of the months are named after Dwarven heroes (which basically encompasses any dwarf name I picked out while reading the lore section, and I had to build off of the “official” lore slightly in some cases to make the individual worthy of being called a hero), and each of these 12 months is 28 days long, with the first of every month being a holiday, a “Day of Reflection” specifically, celebrating one of the 12 lessons learned by the dwarven race in it’s long history (These 12 lessons are also taken from the Lore section). These “lessons” range from actually skills such as metallurgy, to virtues such as sacrifice or emotions such as despair. I also did my best to have each Day of Reflection correspond to the Dwarven hero the month is named after, for example, the month of Therron, named after Therron Bellowstone, the first and greatest Animator to ever live, holds the Day of Reflection revolving around Stoneworking, as Animator’s works are generally crafted from stone.
-2 of these 12 months also hold an additional holiday, making these 2 months 29 days long. Both of these special holidays fall upon the 15th (mid-way) through their respective months. The month of Dorumbar holds the Day of Remembrance, whilst the month of Doran holds the Day of Cursing.
-As for the 13th month, it is named after the first and greatest Dwarfhold, Haganduur, which unfortunately was lost in The Turning. This month is only 27 days long, with no Day of Reflection, but with a leap year holiday, the Feast of Thurin, occuring every 4 years (on the 29th of February in real time), making this month 28 days long on leap years.
-All told, this gives us 10 28 day months, (280 days) plus 2 29 day months (58 days) and then plus 1 27 day month, with 28 days on leap years, so that is 280 + 58 + 27 for a total of a standard 365 and 1/4 day calendar.
-As a bonus, I wrote out a list briefly describing the ideas I had behind each of the 15 dwarf holidays (12 Days of Reflection, Day of Remembrance, Day of Cursing, and Feast of Thurin), which I will post following the actually calendar itself.
Month 1: Dolmurg (3/25 to 4/21) Day of Reflection: Joy (3/25)
Month 2: Gourim (4/22 to 5/19) Day of Reflection: Wonder (4/22) *Gourim Moradin Grimbronze’s birthday!
Month 3: Arak (5/20 to 6/16) Day of Reflection: Sacrifice (5/20)
Month 4: Therron (6/17 to 7/14) Day of Reflection: Masonry (6/17)
Month 5: Vashtarn (7/15 to 8/11) Day of Reflection: Glory (7/15)
Month 6: Gutthorm (8/12 to 9/8) Day of Reflection: Despair (8/12)
Month 7: Dorumbar (9/9 to 10/7) Day of Reflection: Honor (9/9) Special Holiday: Day of Remembrance (9/23)
Month 8: Thrangdan (10/8 to 11/4) Day of Reflection: Battle (10/8)
Month 9: Hingorn (11/5 to 12/2) Day of Reflection: Labor (11/5)
Month 10: Keldron (12/3 to 12/30) Day of Reflection: Metal-Working (12/3)
Month 11: Findo (12/31 to 1/27) Day of Reflection: Responsibility (12/31)
Month 12: Doran (1/28 to 2/25) Day of Reflection: Anger (1/28) Special Holiday: Day of Cursing (2/11)
Month 13: Haganduur (2/26 to 3/24) Special Holiday: Feast of Thurin (2/29)
Thus to give an example of this calendar in use, today, February 27th, 2009 real time, would be the 1st day of Findo, The day of Reflection: Responsibility, in the 102nd Year of Shadow. March 25, 2009 in real time will be the beginning of the 103rd Year of Shadow according to the Dwarven Calendar.
Days of Reflection
Joy This holiday falls on the 1st of Dolmurg, and celebrates the success and continued survival and progression of the dwarven race. It’s patron, High Thane Dolmurg, was and is the reigning Thane of Barankoll during The Turning, and Barankoll still stands to this day as the oldest and largest Dwarfhold in existence, essential making it the Capital of the Dwarves. This day is generally observed with heavy feasting, drinking, and singing.
Wonder This holiday falls on the 1st of Gourim, and celebrates the knowledge the dwarves have gained of the Roofless World, though it also encompasses all the wonders and skills dwarf-kind has discovered in it’s long history. It’s patron, Gourim Granitehammer, was the first dwarf to travel to Aernyth and actively search for and compile the lore of the surface world to bring back to his people, and is thus credited as the wisest dwarven loremaster alive. This feast is usually observed by drinking and sharing tales and lore from all the races, and for this reason invites other non-dwarves to partake of the festivities more than any other dwarven holiday, and promotes cooperation and friendship amongst the races.
Sacrifice This holiday falls on the 1st of Arak, and it urges realization of all the past sacrifices not only the dwarves, but even Thurin himself have had to make for the greater good of the world. It’s patron, Arak Helmsplitter, is dwarven lore’s second greatest hero, second only to Thrangdan Giant-Killer himself. He was the dwarf who sacrificed his own life, and the lives of thousands of his comrades, when he struck and shattered the lone pillar holding up the ceiling of the great cavern outside of Haganduur, after Doran Diamondeyes was revealed to actually be Morloch the Destroyer in disguise. Though Arak’s selfless act cost the lives of many of the dwarven defenders, it buried the entire attacking elven host, thus halting their advance, as well as stopping and presumably slaying The Traitor. Before his death, Arak’s greatest friend and comrade was Therron Bellowstone. This holiday is observed by every dwarf giving away or destroying one of his most prized or valuable possessions.
Masonry This holiday falls on the 1st of Therron, and commemorates the oldest dwarven trade of masonry. It’s patron, Therron Bellowstone, was the first dwarf to ever walk the face of Aernyth, and the first and greatest Animator of all the races, who learned his craft from watching the All-Father create the Titans in the Valley of Creation. He was a renown companion the Arak Helmsplitter as well. His greatest work is the Colossus, a gargantuan stone murgolem crafted from the side of a mountain that still stands watch over the lost Dwarfhold of Grimbord to this day, though it has not moved in over 1000 years. This day is particular sacred to Animators, who meet and share their latest advances and techniques in masonry. The festivities of this holiday naturally revolve around stonework, and many Animators craft their finest works to be displayed and compared on this day. Legends even say that if construction of a castle or fortress is started on this day, the structure will stand for a thousand years, if not until the End of Days.
Glory This holiday falls on the 1st of Vashtarn, and revolves around the memory of past dwarven accomplishments. It’s patron, Vashtarn Granitebrow, was one of the 96 dwarves killed at the base of the Cliffs of Fate. He died while serving gloriously in the service of Thurin, and his sacrifice, along with those of his comrades, sparked the dwarven nation into action, and from the ensuing war, many glorious victories were won in The Shaper’s name. This holiday is observed through drinking and boasting of past accomplishments, both personal and those shared by the entire dwarven people.
Despair This grim holiday falls upon the 1st of Gutthorm, and marks the first time the dwarves ever felt despair when they learned first hand of death. It’s patron, Gutthorm the Mournful, was the sole survivor out of the 97 dwarves who were attacked by Ymur and his giants at the Cliffs of Fate, and was the one who fled back to Haganduur to tell his people of the travesty that befell them that day. This day is revered by fasting and prayer, as all dwarves are particularly stone-faced this day, and easily provoked to anger by those who fail to show the proper respect.
Honor This holiday falls on the 1st of Dorumbar, and is dedicated to the loyalty and honor the dwarven people have to Thurin and their allies. It’s patron, High Thane Dorumbar Delver, was the first dwarf ever slain, and numbers among the 96 slain by the giant-kin on that fateful day. At the time, Dorumbar was the High Thane of Haganduur and leader of his people, and valiantly held true to his beliefs, even in the face of the fearsome giants, which ultimately resulted in his death. This holiday is celebrated by the recognition of members of the dwarven community who performed exceptionally noble or heroic deeds in the past year, and a feast is held in their honor.
Battle This much-anticipated holiday falls upon the 1st of Thrangdan, and revolves solely around all military aspects of dwarven society. This festival’s patron is the most well-known dwarven hero who ever lived, Thrangdan Stoneshoulders, or more commonly know as Thrangdan Giant-Killer. He was the first and founding member of the elite dwarven fighting force known as Giant Killers, and undoubtedly dwarf-kinds most skilled warrior to ever wield an axe. After the slaughter of the dwarven rune collectors sent to the Cliffs of Fate, Thrangdan led his people to a bloody and successful war against the giant folk, and went on to fight in some of the greatest battles Aernyth has ever seen. This holiday, particularly sacred to Giant Killers, is observed by the retelling of the glory of past military victories and conquests, as well as large scale sparring matches between the region’s most seasoned dwarf combatants.
Labor This holiday falls upon the 1st of Hingorn, and celebrates the dwarven love of labor in the survive of Thurin. It’s patron, Hingorn the Martyr, was yet another one of the dwarves slain while working to recover the shattered fragments of the weltwyrdangssaga at Thurin’s bidding. His and his comrade’s tireless dedication to their task, even in the face of death, continues to serve as an inspiration to dwarves today. Unlike most holidays, dwarves do not refrain from their normal activities and labors on this day, and if anything, tend to work even harder on their projects. While outsiders might think this is odd, dwarves love crafting with stone and metal, and hardly consider work in this field work at all, and they believe that any labor they accomplish on this day has added meaning and purpose.
Metal-Working This holiday lands on the 1st of Keldron, and celebrates the dwarves favored craft of metallurgy, and all of it’s advances and creations. It’s patron, Keldron the Forge Master, was one of the 7 original Forge Masters, and among the greatest of their kind. Naturally, this holiday is particularly sacred to Forge Masters, and most dwarves spend this day displaying and comparing their greatest forged works, from the finest weapons and armor, to priceless jewelry and other remarkable works of metal. On this holiday, all the local Forge Masters collaborate their latest discoveries in metallurgy and attempt to make even further advances in dwarven smithing. In addition, many non-dwarves would pay dearly to partake of this holiday, as one is guaranteed to find Aernyth’s greatest blacksmith’s present, as well as view (and perhaps for an exorbitant sum of gold, even purchase) some of the greatest artifacts the Roofless World has ever seen.
Responsibility This holiday falls on the 1st of Findo, and reminds the dwarves of their duty to serve the greater good of Aernyth, no matter how dire the consequences. It’s patron, Findo True Axe, was one of the many dwarves slain by Ymur’s people while collecting shattered runestones to determine the fate of the world. Though it cost him his life, Findo never wavered from the responsibility he had to carry out Thurin’s bidding, and exemplifies the unwavering loyalty to duty all dwarves should strive to achieve. This holiday is particularly sacred to Clanwardens, and on this day they gather the clans together and lead them in reiterating their vows of loyalty and servitude to The Shaper, and demonstrate that the dwarven race has not wavered in their responsibilities to Thurin and the All-Father.
Anger This less-jovial holiday falls upon the 1st of every Doran, and reminds dwarves of the anger they felt when faced with past shortcomings, and urges them never to be overly trusting and gullable, as it has led them to misfortune in the past. It’s Patron, Doran Diamondeyes, was dwarf-kinds greatest High Priest of Thurin at one time, until he was secretly murdered by Morloch the Destroyer, who then took Doran’s form in an attempt to deceive the dwarves and lead them to ruin. This day is observed by all dwarves performing some sort of penance for past failures, and it is highly recommended that of all days, do not attempt to break your word or cheat a dwarf on this day, as there will be no chance for forgiveness or mercy.
Day of Remembrance On this solemn day, which falls upon the 15th of Dorumbar, dwarves congregate in their local Hall of Voices or Cathedral of Thurin and together recite and sing the Song of Mourning, naming and honoring every one of the many thousands of dwarves who have ever perished since their creation. Though revered, this day is not necessarily full of mourning and sadness, as it is more a day to honor and remember the fallen, and celebrate that they are joined once more with Thurin in the afterlife.
Day of Cursing Uncommon among other races, this holiday is not meant to celebrate anything at all, but instead remember and revoke the evils of dwarf-kind’s greatest and most hated enemy: Morloch the Destroyer. This violent holiday lands on the 15th of Doran, and dwarves spend the day cursing the name of Morloch and his many deceitful and treacherous forms, and vowing to never again fall victim to his designs. In some larger Dwarfholds, even full-blown attacks are launched against the settlements of orcs and minotaurs, and other evil creatures who worship The Traitor god, as it is believed that on this day, endeavors against the minions of Morloch are especially blessed by Thurin.
Feast of Thurin Only occuring once every 4 years, on the 4th of Haganduur, the Feast of Thurin is the largest and most important holiday in the dwarven calender. For this holiday, every dwarf who is able travels from where ever on Aernyth he currently calls home and temporarily leaves any lord or king he currently calls master so that he may return to his home Dwarfhold beneath Aernyth’s surface. In most cases, dwarves will begin traveling in late Doran so that they may reach their home hold in time for Thurin’s Holy Day. On the day of the 4th, a massive feast is held for the entire clan, and the merry-making and celebrating that occurs during this feast day is unrivaled by any of the other lesser holidays. Aside from the eating and drinking, the clan members swap all the knowledge they have learned while traveling abroad, and based upon this information the Council of Thanes who rules the dwarf nation decides what course of action will best solve their current problems. Also during this time, any information regarding the whereabouts of either Thurin or Shadowbane, or information on how to repair the damage done to Aernyth is eagerly sought after. In this way, all of dwarf-kind maintains an equally well-informed and close knit society, and continues to work in unity to complete the tasks appointed to them by their Father.