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Question: What time of year is it?
Summer
A festival of Foiros
Fall/Harvest
Winter
Other (please note)

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Valan Nonesuch
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« on: 01 November 2010, 08:56:28 »

My NaNo Novel is going to be a Santharian one. Part of me is interested in the Year of Darkness and particularly in how people survived. So that's the subject.

However, I might need the help of you, the other compendiumists that give this world its diversity and flavour.

At the moment, I'm throwing the characters together in a sort of roundabout way. I roll up a 3.5e Dungeons and Dragons NPC, and the convert it to an RP board style character sheet.

So the question is this. You are one of about three dozen people living in a tiny village south of Astran. You wake up one morning (if it can be called that) to find that the sun hasn't risen. What is your reaction?
« Last Edit: 01 November 2010, 09:31:59 by Valan Nonesuch » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 01 November 2010, 10:01:42 »

Hmm, I would simply assume I had woken up early. Once I find out that it is indeed time for the sun to come up, I would be scared, it isn't natural. So...the end of days!
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« Reply #2 on: 01 November 2010, 15:43:16 »

"Oh, no sun. Hm... Well, back to sleep it is then."

The blinding rage and fear (and drinking) would come after waking the second time.
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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« Reply #3 on: 01 November 2010, 16:43:40 »

I would go back to sleep. Definitely. Or if I were rich, what the hell would I be doing getting up at all?

Otherwise, second time, I would assume a really bad night's sleep. When someone else came into my room shouting that the sun hasn't risen, I'd reply "No s*** Sherlock. It's about four am." Then when he told me it was four pm, I would go nuts.
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« Reply #4 on: 01 November 2010, 16:54:10 »

PS: I would assume it was going to come up tomorrow, however.
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« Reply #5 on: 01 November 2010, 19:42:20 »

End of days. Duh. Also; beginning of nights.
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« Reply #6 on: 01 November 2010, 20:08:04 »

Ah, I am optimistic so I can see everything from a positive side, One day the sun will rise.... If not, well then night swimming on Croatian beaches, I will invite you all... grin thumbup
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #7 on: 02 November 2010, 01:05:03 »

Thanks folks.
Do we know what time of year the Year of Darkness began and ended during? It would dramatically affect how different things survived. I'm thinking mid-late fall for the start.
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« Reply #8 on: 02 November 2010, 01:31:07 »

For dramatic effect, I vote the Year of Darkness begins on a specific day of importance for Santharia. In essence, as if darkness covered the real world during Christmas Day. Now that would be scary!
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« Reply #9 on: 02 November 2010, 14:20:41 »

For dramatic effect, I vote the Year of Darkness begins on a specific day of importance for Santharia. In essence, as if darkness covered the real world during Christmas Day. Now that would be scary!

No, no, my dear. The Zombie Apocalypse Revolution starting on Christmas would be scary. Darkness covering the world would be sad because mummy and daddy wouldn't let us open our presents until the sun came up. =C
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« Reply #10 on: 03 November 2010, 04:19:34 »

Poll has changed. Kindly vote accordingly  grin
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« Reply #11 on: 03 November 2010, 19:43:09 »

Winter is the most important day of the year! It's also the most important, and the most likely.
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« Reply #12 on: 04 November 2010, 00:04:49 »

I think it would be particularly dramatic in the late winter, when one is already tired of the short days and long nights....


You are an Astran peasant farmer, a widower with some stock and a bit of land to tend. 
You fall into bed weary as Injera sets, blowing out the candle as the sweat still dampens your brow,
 knowing that you will be up again in the grey dawn as the taenish cock crows, ready to milk your two cows and take up your day's burdens once more...
but the cock never crows.   

In the blackness you awake with a start.  It is absolute darkness, as it usually is at three or four of the morning,
but you are oddly wakeful.  You fumble for your striker and light the bedside candle again.   The hairs on the back of your neck prickle as you hear an odd sound...the lowing of a distressed cow?   

'Sommat's at the stock', you mumble to yourself, pulling your boots on hastily and wrapping your coat around you.  You seize the scythe leaning by the door - always sharp, and handy if any of those wildcats are after your chickens...    The lanthorn by the door gets a coal from the nearly-dead fire...you built it up and banked it well for the night, though!   It should still be glowing redly, smouldering to warm the cottage, at this hour... but you have no time to wonder about it now, as you stomp out the door towards the tiny barn.

Nary a varmint in sight, around or in the barn.  But Bassy and Nielly are lowing, their udders full and painful, as if you hadn't brought in the late milking that evening.  The goats, too, are swollen with milk and their food troughs are empty.   "Sommat strange,' you grunt again to yourself.   But, like a good farmer, you see to your stock.   'Best check the taenish-coop, too,' you say, unhooking your lanthorn carefully.   There as well, the hens are restless when their heads should all be under their wings, and the cock is fretting back and forth as if something ails his belly.   Yet not hide nor hair of an egg-thief, a shir or wilderon or rat.... and no entrance for one either, as you keep your coop well-built and managed.

You return to the house and build up the fire again.  Sleeplessness has taken you, as surely as the stock, and you think you'll just sit and wait for the morn, for dawn must surely be soon.   The time-candle on the mantle burns lower and lower... an hour, two, three... and just as slowly a sinking eats at your heart.  Surely...surely... some greying on the horizon?  A hint of pink at the edge of unrelenting black?   Ah, if only this were a moon night, instead of clouded over; you could judge the time from his height in the dark sky!    Yet slowly and surely the sick realization creeps over you: the dark is not rising.

Noises in the distance penetrate your numb fear - more lowing of cows, a crackling of disturbed chickens, then screams....human screams...panicking women, or children?    The village is roused, joined in common terror as the unnatural night continues.  Someone has found a timepiece - the reeve's prized hobbit-made clock. You stumble out with your lanthorn, a bobbling little light to join the other little fearful lights, huddled in the village square.

It is ten of the clock - in the morning - yet there is no morning....  and the breath of night's winter closes in...

There will be no morning for a year.



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Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang
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« Reply #13 on: 04 November 2010, 03:56:43 »

Judy, it sounds like you should try and write a novel as well!

Regarding the survey: Winter, d'accord.

Inspired by Judy's description, I remembered my experience of the full sun eclipse that was visible in parts of Europe about 10 years ago, and the accounts I read about it. It seems likely to me that if the sun was out of kilter, the first to notice would be the animals. In fact, they'd probably know that something's wrong hours before it occurs to the first human to wonder whether they'd woken up earlier than usual.
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« Reply #14 on: 04 November 2010, 07:15:55 »

That is very atmospheric...

However, I cast my vote with a festival of Foiros, for the irony (and also because it could fit with my idea about where the sun went. But then Art dashed my hopes. I think.) But I think the idea that, instead of granting his blessing, Foiros instead curses the world is good.

OR, how about a society having a yearly ritual...they make sacrifices and pray to Foiros for the sun to rise...and they do it...and wait...and wait...and...the sun doesn't rise. It's the kind of thing which topples empires.
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