times of day. And some holy days are local, observed by
dle faithful of a specific temple.
Give some thought to how priests and common folk
-elebrate holy days. Going into a temple, sitting in a
pew, a nd listening to a sermon is a mode of worship
"oreign to most fantasy religions. More commonly,
celebrants offer sacrifices to their gods. The faithful
bring animals to the temple to be slaughtered or
urn incense as an offering. The wealthiest citiz ens
oring the largest animals, to flaunt their wealth and
emonstrate their piety. People pour out libations at the
graves of their ancestors. They spend all-night vigils in
darkened shrines or enjoy splendid feasts celebrating a
Holy days provide the majority of the special
celebrations in most calendars, but local or national
:estivals account for many others. The birthday of a
:nonarch , the anniversary of a great victory in a war,
craft festivals, market days, and similar events all
;>rovide excuses for local celebrations.
-ince your setting is a fantasy world and not a mundane
::nedieval society, add in a few events of an obviously
magical nature. For example, perhaps a ghostly castle
appears on a certain hill on the winter solstice every
_·ear, or every third full moon fills lycanthropes with a
particularly strong bloodlust. Also, the thirteenth night
of every month could mark the ghostly wanderings of a
ong-forgotten nomadic tribe.
Extraordinary events, such as the approach of a comet
or a lunar eclipse, make good adventure elements, and
:ou can drop them in your calendar wherever you want.
Your calendar can tell you when there's a full moon for
a lunar eclipse, but you can always fudge the date for a
ENDING A CAMPAIGN
A ca mpa ign's ending should tie up all the threads of
beginning and middle, but you don't have to take a
campaign all the way to 20th level for it to be satisfying.
.\'rap up the campaign whenever your story reaches its
:Make sure you allow space and time near the end
of your campaign for the characters to finish up any
personal goals. Their own stories need to end in
a atisfying way, just as the campaign story does.
deally, some of the characters' individual goals will be
:ulfilled by the ultimate goal of the final adventure. Give
haracters with unfinished goals a chance to finish them
before the very end.
Once the campaign has ended, a new one can begin.
f you intend to run a new campaign for the same group
of players, using their previous characters' actions as
r.he basis of legends gives them immediate investment in
dle new setting. Let the new characters experience how
me world has changed because of their old characters.
n the end, though, the new campaign is a new story
·it h new protagonists. They shouldn't have to share the
-potlight with the heroes of days gone by.
The world of the Forgotten Realms uses the Calendar of
Harptos, named after the long-dead wizard who invented
it. Each year of 365 days is divided into twelve months of
thirty days each, which roughly correspond to months in the
real-world Gregorian calendar. Each month is divided into
three tendays. Five special holidays fall between the months
and mark the seasons. Another special holiday, Shieldmeet,
is inserted into the calendar after Midwinter every four years,
much like leap years in the modern Gregorian calendar.
Month Name Common Name
Annual holiday: Midwinter
Quadrennial holiday: Shield meet
2 Alturiak The Claw of Winter
3 Ches The Claw of the Sunsets
4 Tarsakh The Claw of the Storms
Annual holiday: Greengrass
5 Mirtul The Melting
6 Kythorn The Time of Flowers
7 Flamerule Summertide
Annual holiday: Midsummer
8 Eleasias Highsun
9 Eleint The Fading
Annual holiday: Highharvesttide
10 Marpenoth Leaffall
11 Uktar The Rotting
Annual holiday: The Feast of the Moon
12 Nightal The Drawing Down
CHAPTER l I A WORLD OF YOUR OWN