Stonewise events usually happen around mid-afternoon (3pm).
Early Spring – Knockers
Knockers are underground creatures that live inside rocks and tunnels. Some say they are Dwarves, or a queer cousin of the Dwarves that can move through the rock, and others say they are the spirits of the rock itself, or a spirit that lives in the deep darkness of the world. Regardless of their nature, miners can hear their knocking on the shaft walls when they are near, and for those they like, they’re knocking will warn of the impending collapse of a mine-shaft, or the location of a rare mineral vein, while for those they dislike, they will cause cave-ins or collapses. It’s thought that they have a society of their own within the rocks, and that they will uphold each other’s grudges throughout their underground community.
Every seasoned miner knows to leave a portion of their lunch down in the tunnel as an offering to the knockers, but at least once a year, it’s wise to make a more formal show of it. At mid-afternoon (3pm) each miner should gather Vegetables, especially tubers, Meat, which they crave above all else, and bury them near a large natural rock deposit or at the bottom of a tall hill, then pour a mug of Beer over the burial spot. Finally, each miner calls out to the knockers what they’ve done – some even declare the knockers to be in their debt now.
Reward: Each Miner extracts next Chapter as if the mine were 1 better Quality
Failure: All shafts have an increased chance to cave-in next Chapter when used.
Late Spring – The Blind Ring Dance
The Blind Ring Dance is an ancient miner tradition in Meerland. It’s said to represent some event that happened in a mine in ancient days, but what exactly is more or less lost – though miners like to speculate as they play. Two concentric rings of stones are made. One miner is blindfolded and placed in the center of the ring, while the others spread out in between the inner and outer circle. Those outside must hum or mumble, but may not speak. The blindfolded one must guess who is where by their voices.
Each time the miner guesses poorly he must take a shot of Spirits, which the miners must bring to the game. If the miner guesses correctly then the one guessed leaves the circle.
Rewards: After successfully guessing all those in the outer circle, the blindfolded miner may become Alert whenever they are in darkness or have their vision obscured. This lasts for the Event.
Late Autumn – The Kobolds
Deep in the mines of Gotha there are said to be creatures that live in the far darkness, called kobolds. Kobolds are expert miners and generally avoid human contact, but when men start mining in their home territory, kobolds will play tricks on them and turn valuable veins to useless, poisonous dust – named cobalt after these creatures.
In the early Autumn, they come closest to the surface where humans mine, and even roam the surface world in the dead of night, hoping to steal back the fortunes of human miners to their underworld caves. It’s been found to be an effective strategy for Stonewise miners to bury gold and silver, said to be the kobolds’ favorite, upon a high hill in order to distract them. It’s a small price to pay for the safety of the humans who mine, as it’s understood that kobolds become angry and vindictive when they see all the humans have stolen from the earth, in their view, each year.
Stonewise Miners can trick kobolds into taking their find and running back to the dark by burying at least twenty collective silver pieces (or 1 gold piece) for Kobolds to find. In the late afternoon, (3pm) they mark the ground on a high hill with circles and arrows and shout and sing of the treasure beneath the ground (some say it’s best to knock on large stones and talk about what they buried so sound travels to the underground) to tempt the kobolds, and then run away without looking back.
Winter is a time for reflection upon the end of things and those that were lost. As the earth freezes and becomes solid in the Early Winter, miners take time to recover the bodies of any of their comrades who have fallen or been lost in cave-ins, tunnel collapses, or lost to more sinister dangers of the dark places. The miners gather at the center of the Forum at 3pm to meet and trade stories of any lost miners or disasters over the last year, and decide if there are good candidates to be recovered.
If there are, the miners make an effort to dig out the bodies or recover them from whatever dangerous circumstances caused their demise. Once the body is returned, it is dressed in better clothes and taken to the local bar, propped up, and drank with as if it were alive while the miners tell tall tales of the mines, before putting the body to rest with a funeral.
Consequence of Failure: High chance of mine hauntings where not recovered.
Early Spring – Ice Doll
The last vestige of winter clings to the trees, the rocks and the earth. It is a sharpness against our skin and in the air we breath, threatening a weak yield. The reviled ice witch, Volva Groa, is both strengthened by it and gives it strength. A life size doll resembling her must be fashioned from straw, grass, branches and other plant matter. The doll must then be thrown into the lake, a symbolic gesture of banishing the the stagnation of winter and encouraging growth.
In the early morning, (8am), those who cast the doll in the water declare their wishes for the new year and their plans and commitments before handing the doll over to the next person. The last, nearest to the water, does the same, then casts the doll in.
Components: Natural components found nearby, bound together
Reward: Characters who participate may enter the Devoted state for their Devotion an extra time this Event.
Failure: Sow and Tend actions are sluggish, only half as effective this Chapter.
Late Spring – Springtime Feast
Bundles of herbs and flowers are gathered from the nearby woods, and then hung up to dry out around the tavern, but especially at the entrance. The people should touch the bundles as the pass them, especially underneath them. At the end of the day the herbs should be prepared into a large group meal for all the peasants who participated by adding some braided herbs to the decoration (eaten around dusk, 7pm). Eating the herbal meal is said to put the bounty of nature into those who partake of the Springtime Feast, and to make them a better Farmer for the season to come.
Reward: The participating participants may treat the meal as if it were a Feast, needing only 1 Vegetables and 1 Herb per participant, which were hung up at the start of that day, per participant. This Feast does not require Etiquette to prepare.
Failure: Farming actions this Chapter cause Misery for the next Event when taken due to allergies.
Early Autumn – The Festival of Reaping
On Sunday morning (11am), during the Festival of Reaping, one Hearthwise celebrant takes up the position as the titular Lord of Reaping, decorating themselves in orange, yellow, and the colors of autumn, accompanied by leaves and wreathes, carrying a scythe or sickle. The Lord or Lady of Reaping paints their face with the visage of a skull, and travels slowly throughout the Forum, flanked by any other attendants, who also wear skull visages. The celebrants sing, dance or play instruments (at least a drum is traditional) as they travel, making a scene to draw the attention of others. As they travel around, the attendance may ask any they encounter to join the Festival of Reaping, during which those who join commit to help bring in the harvest (thus committing their Downtime for the following Chapter). After the procession finishes at the Forum, they usually travel through the city itself to gather more help. Large processions gather more attention, and for each character who joined the procession in the Forum, an additional 2 Non-Player characters join the procession in the city. The Lord of Reaping can assign these actions during Downtime.
This celebration dates back hundreds of years, and the Lord of Reaping is said to represent the Archangel Lurian.
Reward: If they do so, they may act as if they have Farming 1, even if they do not, in order to help carry in the harvest for Autumn. If the Lord or Lady of Reaping has Farming 5, then any who join the procession may act as if they have Farming 5 instead.
Early Winter – The Longest Night
On the longest night of the year, the wicked force of the Night Malefic finds its purchase on the year to come. Wise people have long known that this evil can be blunted by burning and tending to a specially prepared log fire. The logs, part of the celebration of Jiuleis (or Jul, in Njordr), must be selected and handled only by someone with clean hands, and considered Hearthwise and brought to a central fire pit and lit before dusk. The fire must be tended to all night until dawn, and not allowed to go out, with no one touching the logs except the Hearthwise.
Peasants usually make this a community event, drinking warm ciders or mulled wines by the fire, telling stories and sometimes taking turns tending it. It is said that if the fire is allowed to go out, the Night will grow stronger for the following year, and indeed, that if this ritual were ever forgotten entirely, the whole world would eventually descend into darkness as it grew more sinister with each passing Winter.
Failure: The Night strengthens.
Woodswise events usually happen around mid-morning of Saturday, (11am).
Early Spring – First Tree
Spring is when the forest springs to life again, gaining power and momentum that will carry it through the new year. Humans can aid this process by selecting a specific tree to nurture that will carry its strength to the others.
At midmorning (11am) the woodsmen venture into the woods and find a young tree on hill or in a very high place. This special tree is given a name, then nurtured with bones, blood, and ash, spread around the roots in a circle and covered in loam. The strength will go into that tree and the winds of the high place will carry its seeds, fruits, and power to others in the area.
Components: Charcoal, blood, bones
Reward: Vegetable yields during Forestry for the next Chapter are increased
Unusual Late Spring – Rat Infestation
Rats have grown over numerous from feasting on the city’s food stores and reproducing in the granaries. As they’re pushed out into the forum, they eat wild vegetables and continue to reproduce. Furthermore, rats are known to be unholy and to be sacred to Lazarolth, and His influence spreads as they do.
Rats are sensitive to pigweed and licorice. If either is made into a slow-acting drug and combined with meat, they can be placed at rats nests that can be found in the wilderness near the forum. The rats will eat it and it will drive them mad, causing them to spread the poison to other nests and cause cascading deaths that will protect the nearby woods. At least three rats nests must be located and poisoned to be effective. They tend to nest in thick foliage but not too distant from human settlements where food can be found.
Failure consequence: Forestry actions yield no vegetables for the next Season, and those who use Forestry enter the next Event Diseased from bites.
Early Autumn – Black FOrest
Foresting can be a terrifying profession in Gotha where the trees are so tall and wide that they blot out the light. Forests are a wicked place, haunted by the hostile spirits conjured by woods witches or leftover from ancient evils of history, festering cankers where the light of Mankind has yet to make drive them out. Foresters in ancient times believed, however, that they could appease the spirits of the woodlands, or even trick them into ignoring humankind.
On Saturday at sundown (5pm), participants will go to the edge of the woods and bring with them at least three items that have great personal significance and stories attached to them. They will walk together to different trail intersections and with a proud orators voice, so that every listening man or spirit can hear, tell a short story about each item to the other participants and to the woods themselves, about why the item represents them. They will then use string to tie these items to branches along the path.
It is said that the trees will lend their ears to the tales of the woodswise, and that the forests become their home and safe for them to pass during the Early Autumn logging season.
Reward: Participants suffer no travel Risk as the hidden trails are like home to them in the Early Autumn.
Failure: Non-participants will suffer Risk for all Forestry actions performed in the Early Autumn as the shorter days and twisting, unfamiliar trails confound them and wicked spirits become more powerful as the night draws longer.
Early Winter – Tree of Light
Early Spring – Rogalian Deathbell
As the Throne grew wider and cultures and civilizations meshed, the plants and animals of their native regions traveled with them as well. Every spring, plants spring up in forests far from the ones they originated in, and the most infamous is the Rogalian Deathbell- a hardy fungus that spreads quickly and is deadly to non-Rogalian animals, who have no immunity to it. The wise hunter seeks it out and destroys it to avoid the decimation of the herds he hunts, carrying holy water with him to purify the ground where it grows and prevent a quick resurgence.
At twilight, hunters gather at the blind and hunt to destroy any Deathbells that have sprung up. Rogalian Deathbell grows best around 20 yards from running water. It is vital to douse the ground they sprung from with holy water to keep them from simply growing back and poisoning the deer. It’s considered wisest to search for them at dusk since they are phosphorescent.
Components: Holy water
Failure: The amount of Small and Large game at all Hunting nodes are reduced by one for each mushroom that was not found and properly disposed of.
Late Autumn – Hunt of the White Beast
Early Winter – Mari Lwyd
In some regions, during the cold nights of the early winter, a mysterious spirit can be seen which resembles a hooded beast, usually a horse. This spirit, called Mari Lwyd, is generally not considered to be dangerous, and if encountered, goes house to house. When it is encountered, it will sing outside of the door and attempt to entry through the medium of song or rhyme. The household is expected to deny the creature entry, but also through the medium of song, and the two sides would continue their responses to one another in this manner. If the household eventually relents or is stumped and can’t respond to the rhymes or song, the spirit will enter the household and drink all of their alcohol. If the spirit relents, those who bested it gain its blessing. Some report that if the spirit isn’t engaged at all, it will drink all the alcohol in the local tavern!
Reward: Those who best the Mari Lwyd are immune to Fear for the Event.
Failure: Those who attack the spirit are cursed with Fear for the evening.