Greyhawk 636 CY: The Rise of Asmodeus
Richfest is the third of the Greyhawk Calendar’s four festival weeks. Celene is full once again and high summer officially begins. Midsummer Night (Richfest 4) is the one night of the year when both moons, Celene and Luna, are full; all lycanthropes are active during this time, and things of great portent are likely to occur (depending on the positions of the wandering stars in the lairs of the Zodiac). Richfest is a weeklong holiday among the halflings of Elmshire. Followers of the Old Faith and Sotillion consider Richfest an important time of year. The midsummer celebration of Richfest is especially important to Sotillion and her faithful. Regular ceremonies are held every other Godsday. These services consist mainly of light singing accompanied by stringed instruments. Falling asleep during this time is considered a righteous and laudable act.
The Old Faith of the Flan celebrate it as the midsummer and the highest holy days of Pelor.
In 636 CY Richfest is the time of the celebration of the liberation of Geoff and the turning point in the archlich war. Grand celebrations are planned all over the Flanaess with the largest, of course, being in Geoff and the New Flan Empire.
- These three days are used to prepare the feasts and for general merriment. Many minor feasts in honor of Pelor are performed. Also Lydia, Sotillion and other gods of summer and light are worshiped. In the Flan Empire in 636 CY a massive celebration is planned that have, at the apex: The 4th and 5th of Richfest.
- Richfest 3: Day of Remembrance. A day to remember all the dead and fallen. An ancient Flan celebration. In modern times it focuses on all dead but pays particular reverence to war dead, both civilians and warriors. It has become a day to strive for lasting peace and honor those lost.
- Occuring on Richfest 4, the Summer Solstice, also called Midsummer Day, marks the beginning of high summer on the Greyhawk Calendar. This is the longest day of the year, but the night is especially significant, as this is when both Luna and Celene shine full in the sky, drawing the beast out of the world’s lycanthropes and possibly heralding other portentous events. The sun, Liga, appears furthest north among the stars on this date.
- Giving Day: The Holy Day of Pelor, also known as Giving Day and Midsummer’s Day, is celebrated on the Summer Solstice. Because Pelor is widely loved by the commoners, this day is set aside as a day of rest in the Free City of Greyhawk. Only essential work is done on this day. Many merchants close their shops on Giving Day as well out of respect for the Sun Father and his teachings. Gambling houses are closed, but not hostelries, for Giving Day is a day of feasting and goodwill, a time for enjoying the fruits of the Oerth. Public services are held from dawn until noon by Pelor’s priests, outdoors if the weather permits (which if almost always does, as the clerics use weather-controlling magic for maximum sunlight). Even Greyhawk City’s large temple of Pelor is not big enough to hold the throngs who come to celebrate on this day, so throngs of the faithful fill the temple grounds in the Garden Quarter, spilling out from the Millstream to the Nobles’ Wall, and to the road leading toward Greyhawk’s Grand Theater. Many come, of course, for the free meal the priests provide after the service. The Pelorian priests are well aware of this, but believe that for the needy, a full stomach must come before wisdom and learning. Members of Greyhawk’s Guild of Thieves and Beggar’s Union, many of whom remember Midsummer’s Day fondly from their orphaned childhoods, both protect priests of Pelor on this day, and woe onto those who attempt to test them on this matter. Priests of Pelor, bedecked in yellow and gold, parade about the streets, demanding donations for their charitable works, freely using guilt to squeeze more from stingy purses. Free healings are given out, particularly to children. Most Greyhawkers wear at least one item of yellow cloth on this day out of respect. Some crusading Pelorians crusade against evil lycanthropes on this night, since both Celene and Luna are full.
- Agelong, observed on the 4th of Richfest (the Summer Solstice), is the celebration of the legendary creation of the elves. According to myth, after Corellon Larethian spilled his blood during the battle with Gruumsh, the rest of the Seldarine gathered this sacred blood and mingled it with the tears shed during the same battle by Sehanine Moonbow. The Seldarine then infused these divine fluids into vessels they had created to be the bodies of the elven race. This day is, among the elves, mostly an excuse to go orc-hunting. Elven warriors cut themselves with daggers carved from volcanic glass to remind themselves of Corellon’s own wound from Gruumsh’s spear, then strive to slaughter as many orcs as possible during the night.
- The faithful of Rao consider the night of the summer solstice to be an especially holy time, for they believe the moons were Rao’s gift to guide humanity from the darkness of Tharizdun.
- Brilliance Celebration, a feast in honor of light and knowledge in honor of the goddess Lydia.
- The Feast of The Heroes of the Key. This celebration has been growing in popularity as a folk day but in 636 CY the Heroes will be in Geoff for the offical recognition of their accomplishments. Plays and events retelling the tale are planned as well as an offical institution of the day by King Tristan Everdawn.
- Guild Days
- Guild Days, the 6-7 of Richfest are days of competition, judging and exhibition from the merchant and artisan guilds. This began in Greyhawk City but now almost all large cities across the Flanaess have the Guild Days.