The Ferdiad Cycle
Here are gathered random tidbits of information regarding various aspects of daily life in the nation of Aenoria.
Holidays and festivals
- Samfuin – The New Years Eve (1st of Samonios). The temple make sacrifices to the gods and the cattle are brought in for the winter. Celebrations are held for the last harvest and the cycle of life and spirits passed.
- Daerwyn’s Day – Lover’s day (25th of Samonios). Lovers give tokens to their loved ones. The most popular day of the year for weddings.
- Feast of Ormic – Winter start to lose it’s grip (1st of Duman). Celebrations are had with over-eating and over-drinking. According to old tales the Hag of Winter sends her dragon to kill the Maiden of Spring. The dragon is killed each time by Iudocus the sun god.
- Ogronios – The Time of Ice (3st of Duman). Young men dye themselves blue and march through the towns naked to drive off the winter.
- Alban Eir – The Spring is Coming (16th of Riuros). The days begin to grow longer than the nights. Men go out hunting to celebrate while the women watch.
- Beltor’s Eve – The cattle is released (30th of Anagantios). The cattle is driven between two bonfired to purify them and are led out to graze.
- Balthain – First Day of Summer (1st of Ogron). The largest and most important festival. A time of rebirth. Bonfires of sacred wood are lit in honour of the ancestors. The veil between worlds is believed to be thin, allowing fairies to cross over.
- Galan Mai – Midsummer’s Eve (20th of Cutios). People say one can see the spirits of those about to die by this year.
- Lamas – the Harvest (17th of Giamonios). Celebrates the beginning of harvest season and the decline of summer to winter. A time of farewells and preparation for winter.
- The Dark – Shadows are growing longer (21st of Simiuisonna). The nights are growing longer than days again.
- Naeslinn – Night of Spirits (30th of Equos). The veil between the world and Tír na-Slinn is thin and spirits of all kind roam the night. Ceremonies involve fire, lights, setting out food and gifts for passing spirits.
- Epol – Wishing Day (18th of Elembiu). Wishes made this day have a better chance of being heard by the gods.
- Morrigna’s Eve – A day for the cattle (21st of Aedrini). The horses and mules are given a day of rest for the honour of Morrigna. All fires are extinguished and relit from a sacred bonfire.
- Minstrel’s Day – Celebration of the Bard (13th of Cantlos). Songs are sung for the glory of Iudocus. Bards are given shelter and food.
- Clerics and paladins are widely respected as members of the clergy. Even though they are not necessarily part of the priesthood they are often asked to act as a judge or legal representative in the Thane’s Court.
- Wizards are often met with a mix of fear and respect and at times with angry stares and even open hostility. Magic users are denied to own land and most families send their magically aligned children far away with no intention to see them again. While they are not trusted by the common people, many nobles and merchants pay highly for their services.
- The very few bards with arcane abilities are usually tolerated as they tend to charm their way out of most situations anyway.
Law and order
- The laws in Aenoria are mostly built on the Virtues of the Corwynt faith. Over the years the laws have become complex enough to need the expertise of the monks of the monasteries.
- The Thane can hire legal advisors from a local monastery to handle a difficult trial involving various nobles. Some of these monks even travel around the land acting as judges-for-hire.
- A noble can complain about his punishment to the king. If the plead is turned down he must suffer the sentence twice.
- Serious crimes are usually punished by death, usually by hanging. The Northerners sometimes use drowning or (in extreme cases) burning.
- As the local Thane can adjust or create laws within his province, minor differences exist between the different parts of the land. For example: in the province of Pynwedd calling a woman ugly in public is punishable by a fine. In Dùn Èiden peasants are required to own a personal weapon.
Art and entertainment
- The most popular forms of entertainment are singing and storytelling. Cerns are infamous for their thirst for alcohol so it’s no wonder one of the main imports is wine.
- Bards and travelling minstrels are popular among all castes. A bards education lasts for 12 years and they have to memorize over 350 song-poems.
- Phygosian sculptures are in great demand within the nobles and the southern temples.
- The northern provinces are known for their strong infantry and especially the Dún men , a heavy infantry consisting of nobles and their clans best and loyal fighter. They are armed with the famous two-handed broadswords which are so large they can only be carried in hands. The Southerners are famous for their powerful heavy cavalry whose only equals are the Hrod lancers.
- While women are not expected to be seen in the battlefield they train children to fight.
- Defeat on the battlefield is considered shameful and it is more honourable to kill oneself than to be taken prisoner.
- Cerns are very superstitious and some commanders can postpone a battle if he sees a sign of bad omen. A crane is especially thought to bring bad luck.
- If before a battle you see Morrigna as a bleeding crow with a noose around it’s throat you stand a fair chance to die in the coming fight. If you’re really unlucky and see a man with only one eye, leg, and a hand (“Ethui”) you’re sure to die.
- The Northerners consider denying anyone the safety of your home a low act.
- Boasting contests are a normal part of a celebration. The more outrageous boasts one can make about their exploits the better. No one is ever called a liar and exaggerating is part of the enjoyment.
- At a army’s campsite the bravest warriors expect the best meat. Accepting a modest meal is a sign of weakness and fight are started to for the best part. In the distant past this fight was with knives and to the death.
- Cerns are very clean. They wash their faces and hands every morning and bath regularly. Dirty fingernails are thought to be a sign of a serf.
- As Morrignas favourite animals horses are thought to be the example of beauty and strenght. Eating one’s meat is supposed to increase your own power.
- Small animals and especially cats are bricked up within walls when building house to bring good luck.
- The dead are buried with useful items to help them in the afterlife. Some nobles are even buried with their horses and chariots.
- To protect yourself from illness put your index and middle finger in your mouth and blow.
- When crossing a river it’s proper to give thanks to the sea god Maponos by throwing a dagger in the river. The blade must be bended so that Maponos won’t cut himself.
- Pigs are considered very intelligent. They often have the roles of sages in stories.
- Dogs are highly valued. A wound is thought to heal faster if a dog licks it.
- A sparrows feather, especially one that’s been killed in new year’ eve, is thought to protect sailors from drowning.
- Number 3 is a lucky number. Number 9 is a magical number (because 3 times 3 = 9).