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Festivals & Holidays:by Alex Benson
The people of Randel celebrate the standard holidays and festivals of the Empire. They also celebrate holidays that are more in tune with the history and placement of the kingdom. Several foreign holiday dates are used to celebrate Randel holidays. If you cross-reference some holidays, you will find that they fall upon the same celebrations of other countries.
Week of Remembrance (Nyxmir 8th to 14th) is a week set aside to pay homage to the heroes of Randel as well as the Alphatian Empire. An emphasis is also placed on the historical significance of Randel and its relationship to the Empire. It is a holiday marked with a visitation by the King to the Randel Line to inspect the troops stationed there.
In Telsadun, the entire city seems to flock around the city's Obsidian Tower. There they listen from dusk to dawn to the bizarre wails that are emitted from the Tower's interior. The wails are highly unsettling but they do draw attention with an almost hypnotic affect. Despite their length and volume, the meanings of these wails are not comprehensible, even if aided by spells.
DM Notes: The strange wails from the Obsidian Tower are the wails of anguish that pour from the undead warriors inside. Each wail represents the combined accounts of the King's slaying and subsequent disgrace the King's Guard faced. The wails are unidentifiable due to the off timed symphony as well as the walls of the tower muffling the noise. The wails draw the populace out with their eerie composition and the mystery behind them. There is no affect on the listeners except maybe intrigue.
Mobakonas (Amphimir 15th to 28) is the celebration of paying homage to reflect upon the previous year. This holiday is singularly observed by the Dyurkans. During this week the people of the Grey Mountains and the nearby Foothills, pause to reflect upon the year's events, personal triumphs, personal reverses, births, and deaths.
For them, it is a means to come to terms with the events and resolve them or make plans to resolve them. During the first four days, everyone fasts. On the final three days of the week, the Dyurkans feast and are all festive. The final day is spent in a restive situation, regaining their composure from the festivities. After that day, things return to normal and little or no comments are made on any events.
Dyurkan troops stationed abroad are excused from duty to observe this holiday with their fellows. In Telsadun, the entire city shuts down so the troops can observe it. Only in times of war is the holiday suspended. The Dyurkans are extremely reserved regarding their holiday and few non-Dyurkans know what it is all about.
New Years Celebrations (Alphamir 1st to 7th) is the combined observance for both the new year as well as the celebration of the Alphatian Landfall. To the people of Randel, Landfall does not only signify the arrival to Mystara, but it also signifies the victory of the Air Mages over the forces of the Fire Mages.
There is much celebration as well as remembrances. Re-enactments of historical events is common. And rarely does a night pass without at least one effigy of a Flaem being displayed and destroyed.
Opening Day (Alphamir 15th) signifies the beginning of the school year for the kingdom's University of Arms as well as the magist schools.
Empress Eriadna's Birthday (Sulamir 13th) sees the folk of Randel paying homage to the Empress. The day sees the King paying an official visit to Sundsvall.
Day of Infamy (Sulamir 22nd) sees the people of Randel pausing to reflect on the death of King Randel II and the subsequent split of the old kingdom. Randel closes its borders and the schools shut down for the day. Those attempting to cross are killed without warning. This practice is well known by neighbouring kingdoms and few will attempt to cross the borders into Randel.
Day of Magic (Sudmir 1st) celebrates the achievements of the mage. Spells are demonstrated to the populace by both established mages as well as student mages.
Day of the Warrior (Sudmir 8th) celebrates the attributes of the fighter. Both established warriors as well as students at the University demonstrate fighting techniques.
Howling Day (Sudmir 15th) is the day when Randel citizens celebrate without restraint. In Telsadun, the festivities run the entire week (Sudmir 15th to 21st). Basically celebrated in the same manner as it is elsewhere in the Empire.
Founding Day (Vertmir 1st) is the date that it is believed that General Zarthurastram led his followers into the wilds of Mainland Alphatia.
Smite Day (Islamir 7th) is used to celebrate victories over foes of the past, present, and future. These foes are not limited to just nations but also include individuals. It is not uncommon for duels to be fought on this day. For the most part, the populace is content to purchase or build crude figurines of their enemies and burn them in a bonfire at dusk. Figurines are most commonly fashioned to appear as Flaems or Thyatians. However, figurines adorned with the symbol for Bettellyn are also fairly common.
Midterm Day (Andrumir 15th) is the day that all of the schools of the University holds tests. These tests are to check what the students have learned over the previous months of scholastic learning.
Ancestors Day (Cyprimir 1st) sees the people of Randel visiting the graves of departed ancestors. They tend to the gravesites and act as if the departed are about walking the land. Doorways and passages are left open to allow ease of passage. Extra places are set at tables for departed family members.
In Telsadun, the incessant wails emit from the Obsidian Tower for the entire day and on through the night. Citizens and visitors pass by the tower and lay a flasks of wine or garlands along the base of the tower. After midnight the area is shut off from passers-by. Anyone caught taking these flasks is slain by the Dyurkan troops keeping watch.
Wine Week (Hastmir 8th to 15) sees the celebration of the Randel vintages of wine. Vintages are tasted and appraised. The grape growers and wine makers take this week very seriously. It is not uncommon for duels to break out between rival vineyards.
Valerias' Day (Eimir 14) is the Randel day of romance. This day sees established relationships celebrated and new relationships started. Affairs of the heart are prevalent on this day. Ironically enough, this day sees many duels announced by rivals.
School Closing (Burymir 15th) is the last day for all schools attached to the University of Arms. Students are dismissed until the schools reconvene next term. Graduates are dismissed pending the announcement of their first post.
The Break (Burymir 15th to 21st) students and graduates use this week to burn off the stress of the previous years schooling. Trips are often arranged to Telsadun, Eadrin, or Arogansa.
Positioning Day (Burymir 22nd) is the day that graduates are told where they will be spending their first term of service or if they will move onto a higher troop class and further their schooling. Those assigned directly to active service will have to report to that post by the deadline. Those furthering their schooling have until the next term to do as they please.
Barracks Day (Burymir 27th) is the deadline for graduates to arrive at their place of service. Those that do not report find a warrant issued for their arrest. Newly billeted troops are given that day and the following (28th) to get settled before becoming actively participants in their new unit.
Game Week (date varies) is the week in which the Randel and Bettellyn Hardball Game is held. The game itself is always played on the bordering strip of land that separates the two kingdoms. This shallow winding valley offers a great vantage-point for the spectators who sit on the sides and watch their team. This playing field is used only for this game.
The date of the game varies as to allow both sides the entire week to prepare and celebrate the game. This week sees the appearance of the game trophy, a chariot that supposedly belonged to the founding father, Zarthurastram. The winner from the previous year's game brings it to the playing field. Once the trophy is onsite, there are also the first sightings of Alphatian Imperial Troops. Their job is to be on station to afford security and prevent the two sides from fighting before, during, and after the game.