Happy Cupboarder’s Day!

November 29, 2017 Background  No comments

For those of us in America, we just got through celebrating one of our local holidays – Thanksgiving – and it begged the question what kinds of holidays do the cultures of Samaria celebrate? Not all of a Samarian’s life is war, conflict, and a depressing survival. They have their moments of mirth and joy as well, and many noteworthy days on their strange, somewhat malleable calendar.

By the Samarian year 518 (based upon the Prevailers’ word), there are a number of Samarian Holidays being celebrated by one culture or the next.

In the wake of an American holiday here on “ancient Terra”, we wanted to list out a few popular ones on the distant world of Attr…

Cupboarder’s Day – Amongst the stacks of houses and apartments of New Ashkelon, refrigeration is extremely costly and rare. That means that when the hot seasons come most food goes bad quickly, so there is a yearly celebration where all the locals clear out their cupboards and pantries by holding block-wide feasts for at least one day. It is a time for camaraderie and fellowship, and one that is traditionally viewed as a “commoner’s holiday.”

Creation Annual – A High Prevailer holy day held on the longest day of each year, the Creation Annual is a solemn and quiet day of retrospective thought and prayer. On this day, the Prevailer Council locks themselves in the Templar solarium and the Saints – whichever ones are within the capital’s walls, anyway – are given the run of New Ashkelon until sundown.

Debtors’ Sanctuary – A frontier holiday observed by scavengers and slavers, Debtors’ Sanctuary is the last day of the short autumnal season in central Samaria. It also traditionally marks the last day where anyone who owes bludgelt to anyone else can dodge payment. For the full day’s length, bounty hunters and debt collectors cannot push their charges into repayment unwillingly… but the following day is generally one full of fulfilled contracts.

Ae’rhy’kkol – This ancient Dragyri day of spiritual rest translated roughly as “Aethercalm”, where no Dragyri loyal to the Grand Arbiter would dare use even a single Foci ability. It is said to be a day where the spirits of Foci users in the past were closest to the skin between worlds; so close they could watch the world of the living for anyone who would dare break the will of the Grand Arbiter – and punish them.

Kukulkan Rising – The only true holiday observed by the Attr-bound Kukulkani by both the Sun Crusaders and the Moon Congregation, Kukulkani Rising is thirteen hours of coldest winter warmed by the burning of dozens of previously captured sacrifices in Kukulkan’s name. For weeks leading up to the holiday, the alien warriors raid local communities far and wide in search of suitable captives, saving them all up for the collective clergy to sacrifice on the grisly holy day.

Father’s Day – A sick version of the original Terran holiday, Father’s Day is now a grand and visceral event for the Baniss tribes of the Skarrd. Tribal Fathers and all those fond with the “Father gene” within them are celebrated and held up on social pedestals within their tribes and cults. Their twisted families turn the day into a violent bloodbath of ritual combat, honor challenges, and hero worship that often ends up bleeding the ground muddy all over the Skarrd lands. On this day, everyone wants to earn their Fathers’ favor.

Anniversary of the Emergence – While not technically a traditional holiday, those Brood who are sentient and within the mental connection and influence of the Brood Mere all take a single day each year to migrate back as far as they can toward their “mother” to reconnect. This just happens to be on the mid-spring anniversary of the day MJB-1, Helexa, and the Brood Mere broke free of the old compound that birthed them. If it isn’t a conscious reflection from their matriarch, it is a disturbing coincidence. Now that a strange “Father” figure has also emerged within the Brood, with only a few months before the Anniversary – who knows what will happen to the currently erratic swarms.

Oathing Stretch – Salt Flat Nomads take the first day of summer each year to gather within their tribes and clans, turning their tent and wagon villages into a three day gala celebration of music, food, dance, contests of skill or strength, and the most important thing to each one of them – the re-swearing of any unfulfilled oaths and any punitive bloodletting that is called for. This semi-holy gathering is also where any grievances can be forgiven or lasting punishments lifted; but only if the Caravan Leaders or the Bladelord wills it.

The Sting of Loyalty – A recently re-adopted holiday marked on the seventh day of winter – the day the Prevailers openly forsook Saint Johann and sent the Lion Saint – twice accursed Matthew – after the Scorpion Saint. It is a day where secret cells of the Followers of the Heretic once gathered under the Worm Shepherds and were put through vicious tests to make sure they were truly loyal to the cause. Whether it was surviving thrusting a bare hand into a nest of salt scorpions, willingly accepting a bite from a rabid fell jackal, or even just submitting to an unnecessary graft – they all would do it if they wanted to stay in his good graces. It started with Johann and the original heretics, fell out of practice when he transformed into a Tribal Father, and has since begun anew with Jon Woe’s rise to Scorpion Saint…

The Wassail of Saint Nickislaus – A feared and dreaded night of New Ashkelonian terror when it is said an ancient Terran spirit of judgment comes to Samaria to seek out the wicked and the malcontent to bring them to heel for their crimes against their fellows. It is a dark night where trees outside homesteads are decorated to ward away the ancient terrors, livestock have their snouts painted red to embody blushed embarrassment for their misgivings, and children are given all the tools for their own survival in the year to come – should they survive the coming of the savage Saint Nickislaus and his portly wife!

Maybe now that you know these Samarian holidays, there can be just a little more story to bring to the table when you play your next game of Dark Age!

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