The History of Mooncalling


Throughout the empire, Mooncalling has traditionally been a time of transition between the 'light' and the 'dark' halves of the year. Referred to as the Day of the Dead, on this single night there is no moon seen in the sky, no matter what phases they might be in. The veil between this life and the next is particularly thin, and shades, spirits and wraiths hold sway. The Undead are known to have more power on this night than any other.

It is uncertain when or where the actual traditions began, but each region claims to be the birthplace of Mooncalling, and each region has its own way to observe the annual holiday. There are recorded stories of great mischief during Mooncalling, but there is no clear proof if such incidents are the result youthful indulgences and high spirits or as an actual result of spirits and undead coming forward. In an Arborian tale, a tree was said to move a bit north the morning after Mooncalling. In Thermador there is a story of a great dust storm which bore the face of a man, the mouth open to eat what little the tribes in the desert might have. In Oceanuus there is a story of sharks moving about on the land and eating their fill of the people who lived on the islands. Even Cloosidian has tales of rocks floating and chasing Seleventi from the skies. The one tradition that seems to have carried over in every land is that of gathering together to drink, partake of the recent harvest and be merry. This stems from the belief that joy, cheer, and brightly lit celebrations can ward off the appearance of the dead in any form. No matter the origin, the night of Mooncalling sees only the bravest of souls traveling alone...


The elves and the moons are tied, supplicants to gods and magic to magic. Anolinde lights the world at night, when the shadows and the undead lurk to grasp away life from the living, and the elves need her. Mooncalling is an ending. The time of growing things is over and most of the harvest in Arboria is already tucked away. Mooncalling's night of darkness is the harbinger of winter's sleep. Unable to see their silver moon is heartbreaking for the children of Gaia. It is a time of mourning, in fact, for the blackened beauty of the silver moon and the blotting out of Rodien's life-blood. The elves light as many candles, torches, and bonfires as they can to share with the world the light of Anolinde that is within each of them. Unlike the other regions, the elves do not feast on this night. They meet together and sing mournful songs, calling Anolinde back to them, imploring Gaia to guide both daughter - bright Anolinde, the bringer of dreams, and son - Red Rodien, the inducer of nightmares, home. When dawn breaks on the day after Mooncalling, that is when the elves start their feasting. They dance and love, sing and eat. The celebration of preparation continues all day and into the night to greet Anolinde when she returns, triumphant and shining.

(Thanks to co-admin Narratus!)


As near as research can tell, the celebration of Mooncalling most likely began in Etrauch City. The City's unique trade position within the former Empire allowed others to see the celebration and carried it first throughout Balthazor and then on into other regions. As each region took up the celebration, they added their own customs. The Balthazorian celebration still remains the most traditional and most true to the region's unique history.

During the celebration Etrauch City is lit by bonfires set outside the city and decorated with stuffy guys, which are man-like creatures made with old clothing and filler of straw or dried rice plants. This portion of the celebration is referred to as Khar-ue Trae. It is interesting to note that in some old Balthazorian texts this phrase is very close to a word associated with the execution of criminals. Could it be that the old founders of the City saved the execution of the most violent and dangerous of criminals until Mooncalling to ensure that they could not become a tool of the mages in the region?

Regardless of this possibly dubious beginning, the celebration is recognized as a way to acknowledge the great mystery of death. In the ancient texts housed in the Grand Repository, long-gone scholars theorize about the Well of Souls being closest to the world of the living on the night of Mooncalling. Therefore, all lands not only put up wards native to each region during this time, but recall the dearly departed.

(Thanks to the player of AJ Maran!)


Just as the sun moves across the sky, chased and goaded by our twin moons who are in turn chased over the far horizon by the sun in an endless cycle of the birth, death, and rebirth, so do the Seleventi see their own people. Each one takes their turn on the wheel, starting low as a hatchling, a blank slate full of promise and rising, rising into the air as an adult, then finally descending again, slate full of wisdom and experience. The lower part of the wheel dips down into death, and no one knows what is witnessed there until the wheel turns upward once more, bringing a spirit full circle to its rebirth.

Sometimes a spirit slips off the wheel. Whether by design or misfortune, these spirits are lost, doomed to wander the crags and peaks of the mountains. Many times they settle in the area of their death, or where a significant happening in their lives occurred. These spirits are capricious and unsettling, but mostly harmless. Still, during Mooncalling, the various Seleventi families will leave shiny, sparkling objects that catch light and glitter in these forlorn places. The shine catches the eye of the spirit who then takes the objects to line their spirit nests.

The offerings can be anything from a scrap of metal to worked jewels and handcrafted objects. Reports from the various enclaves have told that the objects placed at sunset on Mooncalling, are gone the next day.

(Thanks to the player of Ashoken!)


The month of Goldfall is a busy time in Luminii, as farmers bring in what remains of the harvest, winemakers pick the last of their grapes, and crops are preserved, dried, or otherwise prepared for use during the winter season. But on the 19th of Goldfall, there is a pause in this preparation as the land so steeped in the tradition of Life takes time to pay respects to the Dead.

Ceremonies are held to honor departed friends, family, and respected leaders, and their graves and tombs are tended to. These observances can be quite simple or rather elaborate, and range in tone from somber and traditional to the more lively. But regardless, given the bounty of this time of year, large meals usually play some role.

Mindful of the presence of spirits, and of the reputed power that the Undead have on Mooncalling, there is a long-standing tradition of keeping lanterns and hearths burning brightly indoors, and torches and bonfires lit out of doors. Usually these fires are kept going until sunrise the following day. It is also common for Vivomancers to be invited to the larger ceremonies and gatherings as protection against any dark forces that may arrive uninvited. However, since attacks by Undead have fortunately been a rare thing of late, their role is more a ritual one than anything else.

(Thanks to the Luminii Region Leader!)


Ghost Walkers (Nalu Makutu'ora'a) are the great warriors from the past who walk the islands on the eve of Mooncalling. Those in or near their path will hear the beating of their war drums and the chanting of war songs, and are in danger of being carried away to fight on the side of the spirit warriors in their next battle. Most S'oshans stay indoors throughout the night, and one's dwelling should be surrounded by torches that burn from sunset to dawn. Offerings of breadstuffs are set out on the doorstep to feed the Ghost Walkers on their journey and to turn aside their anger.

As an additional protection, many wear a pel'aiani charm, which is a bead fashioned by one of the acolytes of Piganki the trickster deity to fool ghosts into not seeing the wearer. It is made from driftwood washed up onto the beach on the first Mooncalling tide, and it bears Piganki's symbol. This symbol is often 'written' on one's forehead, over doorways, or prows of boats and ships.

It is also said that if you speak to one of the ancient warriors via a reflection in still water (while you yourself are carefully warded by torches and charms), you will learn something about your future, but what you discover may not be what you wanted to know...

(Thanks to the players of Kili Bashar and Ashoken!)


Shadokhan, sister-region to Luminii and the virtual melting-pot of the empire, integrates celebrations and traditions of all kinds. Most often one will see branches of Winterwoed hung around homes in the belief that the smell from their very fragrant needles will keep ghosts, mean spirits, and the undead away. Garlands of Blizzard Berries are hung over doorways and windows and even worn as necklaces. Bonfires also play a large part in the festivities, their warmth and light allegedly serving to shut the doors (or open places) between the world of the living and the world of the dead.


Every year members of each Thermadorian tribe make a pilgrimage to Wadi Medani to observe Fomhail to celebrate what is also known as Mooncalling in other areas of Hyathis. It is believed that any person who fails to celebrate Fomhail will incur the wrath of ancestral shades and die.

The classic pattern of Fomhail events includes opening the fishing season, participating in preparatory rituals of gift-giving and house purifying, eating the Fomhail meal, and performing the Fomhail dance. During this period normal activities are suspended while the Thermadorians focus on renewing relations with one another and participating in ritual activities. Twins are honored during this time as a special gift from Sulevia. In some tribes men may shave all of their hair from their head and face, symbolizing death and new life.

On Fomhail Eve day daughters-in-law bring mothers-in-law firewood, sons-in-law give bottles of Esashek to fathers-in-law, and tribal chieftains send presents to their nearest neighboring village. Senior women (wise women) in Thermadorian tribes smear ashes on door frames and window frames to protect houses from evil spirits that may have entered the village or town. On Fomhail Eve, drums are played loudly to warn people to stay within their houses, while ancestral spirits walk the streets. Late at night the Chieftain sacrifices a sheep and shares it with senior members of the village./p>

(Thanks to the Thermador Region Leader!)

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