Dark Night

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Greyhawk Holiday
Dark Night
Frequency Annual
Date(s) Goodmonth 11
Type Cultural; religious
Observed by Various folk; faiths of Celestian, Rao, and Kurell
Significance Luna and Celene both new.

Dark Night, also called Black Night, Star Night, and the Night of Hopeful Dawn, is observed on Goodmonth 11. It is a holy night for the church of Celestian because the stars are so easy to observe without the light of one of the moons getting in the way.

It is also a holy night for the church of Rao, who refer to it as the Night of Hopeful Judgment. They believe that Rao chooses this time to separate the sinful from the righteous in the afterworld. There is also a prophecy in the Raoan holy text, the Book of Incarum, that claims that Rao will cleanse the world of evil on this night, sometime in the future.

The priesthood of Kurell consider it holy, too, calling it Kurell's Night, requiring the faithful to undertake special missions on this night to prove their cleverness and skill. Kurell smiles particularly on acts of theft or vengeance performed on his holy night, blessing those who do so successfully. Donations to Kurell's church are encouraged afterwards, for Kurell may take vengeance against those who do not properly thank him for his aid.

Most other people regard Dark Night as a time of ill omen, fearing it as much as the night of the Blood Moon Festival. Bonfires are burned from dusk till dawn, particularly in small villages and in Elmshire and Narwell. Orc and goblin religions view it as an excellent night for raiding settlements. Certain evil cults perform kidnappings, murders, and vile rites during this period. On the other hand, lycanthropic activity is at its lowest.

Iggwilv and Tuerny attempted to summon a demonic army to Luna on this night in 585 CY.

Apocrypha

In the graphic novel Vecna: Hand of the Revenant, Dark Night (spelled Darknight in that book) is described as a period in which Pholtus's power is at its lowest, causing the people of Fleeth to lose faith in the god. The priests of Pholtus compensate by completing a rite called the Ritual of Light in which the temple of Pholtus is transformed into a great beacon that destroys all "creatures of darkness" (including undead) within a mile of the city, often blinding normal humans. The rite is performed every twelve years. The book claims that Dark Night itself only takes place once every twelve years, though other sources say it happens every year. Perhaps every twelve years it is even darker than usual.

Vecna's assault on Fleeth took place on Dark Night, because that is when Fleeth's defenses were at its lowest. However, the Ritual of Light was a temporary setback for Vecna, nearly destroying him. In the aftermath of the rite, Vecna's left hand and eye were burned away by the light.

Bibliography

  • Lai, Gary. "Hopeful Dawn." Dungeon #41. Renton, WA: TSR, 1993.
  • Miller, Andy. "Campaign Holidays." Dragon Annual #4. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1999 (pp. 18-19).
  • -----. "The Oeridian Lesser Gods." Dragon #263. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1999.