Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for Zodiac

Given the large number of visitors from the physical heavens, it's little wonder then that much attention is paid to the stars and planets, with many fields of lore and magic associated with them. One such field, astrology, attempts to divine future events by observing the movements of the planets through the twelve constellations of the zodiac. These constellations are (in order):
  • Sun
  • Moon
  • Star
  • Jester
  • Rogue
  • Cataphract
  • Throne
  • Flames
  • Key
  • Skull
  • Euryale
  • Ruin
There is also a thirteenth "constellation," known as "the Void," occupying an area in the sky where there are in fact no stars whatsoever. Ancient legends claim that, in primordial ages, the gods warred against demons and so great was their struggle that the light of some stars was extinguished forever.

Each constellation, including the Void, is associated with one of the calendar's 28-day months. Once, astrologers believed that under born in a particular month fell under the influence of the stars making up the constellation associated with it, but that belief fell out of disfavor long ago and is accepted by only the most superstitious. Of course, some astrologers instead theorize that it is not the stars of one's birth month that matter but those of nine other "greater constellations" whose locations in the heavens envelope several of the "lesser" thirteen. This theory has not found widespread acceptance, but many, in their zeal to find an explanation for the path of their lives other than their own decisions, have embraced it as the truth.

12 comments:

  1. Congratulations on a finished A-Z.

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  2. This is rather neat, linking the heavens to the Deck of Many Things, and very inspiring. I think I might try adapting this concept for the gameworld I'm working on right now [aka The Campaign I Shall Never Run], working the symbolism of the deck into the mythology and see what I can come up with.

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  3. Hmm, a void in the night sky. Does it move or does it just hang out in one place creeping all the townsfolk out?

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  4. This post makes me very happy. I am in agreement with Prince Herb. Nicely done.

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  5. Does it move or does it just hang out in one place creeping all the townsfolk out?

    It occupies a single, consistent part of the sky.

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  6. "It occupies a single, consistent part of the sky. "

    Nice. I would think that would make it an object of fear for people. In fact, I would think that, at least for those in your world who "accept" astrology, a planet crossing that void would be considered highly unlucky, weakened, or baleful -- a bad omen.

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  7. Is Euryale named for her aspect of Far Traveller or simply because of the coincidental resemblance to her more famous sister?

    I notice she seems to be the only actual name there. Do the other constellations have names or epithets?

    [Just curious. She's always been my favourite. Stheno can be such a bitch some times, and as for dear departed M, well she was always such a prima donna.]

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  8. There is also a thirteenth "constellation," known as "the Void," occupying an area in the sky where there are in fact no stars whatsoever. Ancient legends claim that, in primordial ages, the gods warred against demons and so great was their struggle that the light of some stars was extinguished forever.

    That is a really cool idea! I may swipe that for Gamma World!

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  9. So ... when are you going to come out with a setting product for Dwimmermount, and will these alphabet articles by any chance show up in it? :D

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  10. I would think that would make it an object of fear for people. In fact, I would think that, at least for those in your world who "accept" astrology, a planet crossing that void would be considered highly unlucky, weakened, or baleful -- a bad omen.

    Most definitely.

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  11. Is Euryale named for her aspect of Far Traveller or simply because of the coincidental resemblance to her more famous sister?

    Honestly? Because she was included in the deck of many things. :)

    I notice she seems to be the only actual name there. Do the other constellations have names or epithets?

    They almost certainly have names, but, since I never really had any opportunity to do much with the zodiac in play, I never bothered to think of them.

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  12. So ... when are you going to come out with a setting product for Dwimmermount, and will these alphabet articles by any chance show up in it? :D

    Sometime in the summer of early fall, I expect. I'm working on it now, but have been proceeding more slowly than expected because I wasn't quite sure how best to present the material I want to include.

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