Winter Festival and The Longest Night

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    Hello Everyone!

    I have several wonderful things to tell you about the upcoming season of Winter as well as the traditions of the Winter Court and The Longest Night, a holiday of the Rock of Storms.

    First off, Sanctuary is going to be hosting several fun events this gather in observance of Winter. You may feel free to take part in all or none of these events. They are going to be lots of fun! All of these events will be taking place on the second day of the gather.

    Morning Decorating Party – After breakfast, we will be putting up lots of decorations to celebrate Winter including a small tree that we will be decorating with lights and other pretty things. Most of these things will be homemade as things made with your hands and crafting makes Winter very happy.

    Lunchtime Baking Contest – Around lunchtime, we will be sponsoring a baking contest. The rules are simple. Bring in your homemade sweet baked goods. It doesn’t matter if it’s cookies, cakes, pies, candies, or anything else… as long as it’s tasty and sweet. Three non partial judges will be chosen before the contest. The one that is liked the best shall win a prize!

    Winter Feast – I am not sure what the Cobblestone Inn will be serving, but I’d like to remind everyone that feast is when The Hybernal and the gnomes usually come to visit us. The gnomes REALLY like to fix things, so if you have broken armor or weapons, please ask for them to be repaired. They like it a lot. Also, during this time we will have an exchanging of gifts. Normally we do this in observance of Empress Day and please feel free to give gifts for this holiday as well, during feast we will be exchanging gifts with each other and celebrating our community, companionship, and everything this town has done together. Hand crafted gifts are the best kinds, but any gift that comes from the heart from one friend to another is special.

    Stocking Making Party – After feast we are going to have a table set up at the back of tavern with lots of stockings on it as well as nifty things to decorate them with. Put your name on your stocking and decorate it as you see fit! There will be lots of glitter, googly eyes, and other fun things to decorate with!

    The Hybernal’s Ritual – This is seriously important folks. Every year we put out our socks at the end of our beds and Hybernal comes by in the night and gives us gifts. We have not been doing this ritual properly so please pay attention. First off… HANG YOUR STOCKINGS! Do not lay them on the floor or on the foot of your bed… have them hanging up some way. I will have lots of pins available for anyone who needs one. If you are sleeping in a locked area please do not shut Hybernal out. When he is here at feast, give him a key to your locks, your Hojams, or whatever else you have blocking the way. Setting your socks outside is an insult to him. Let him into the place you sleep. He will not harm you. If you are not comfortable with this, just don’t leave socks out, but please do it the right way or don’t do it at all.

    That concludes the Winter part.

    The Longest Night –

    The Longest Night was the most important holiday in the Rock of Storms. On this night in the middle of the coldest season, evil magic would be used to raise the greatest of trolls. There was only a short amount of time where there was light and this time was used for the clanheads to prepare to battle the trolls. Depending on the clan, the rituals would be different for how the troll was dealt with.
    In the Rock, this one night was the determining night for how the rest of the year would go. If the troll was defeated then it would be a good year, crops would blossom and the clan would be strong for another year. If they failed to defeat the troll then the troll would place a curse upon the clan, crops would fail and even the children would be born sick and weak.

    As there are no more trolls, the observance of this holiday has declined, however Vilmer used to stay up all night and wait for the troll to come and he would do this alone. In remembrance and tradition of the Rock, I invite you all out to the fire pit in front of tavern at the hour of 2am on the first night of the gather. We will be building a fire, having hot drinks, roasting snacks over the fire, and sharing stories. I personally will be taking this time to tell stories of my brothers and sisters who are no longer here with us and sharing knowledge that has been forgotten with time. I invite everyone who wants to come to join me, tell stories, laugh, and await the dawn with us. As I know nightmares are a threat, I ask that everyone bring their weapons and be prepared to face down whatever comes. It would not surprise me if the nightmares send the aspect of a troll just as they sent an aspect of the Stormfather to fight Rockdor during the dream circle. I will hope and pray this doesn’t happen, but I just want to make sure everyone is prepared. We will stay there until the first break of light in the sky and then go to bed.

    If anyone has questions or would like to help out in any way please contact me privately as I do not visit the tree very often

    Robert-Sean Harley


    Who/what is the Hybernal and why does he care how we clean up our socks?

    Also this is my first winter, what do decorate with?

    Andrew Ulrich

    Aiko, I will remain awake to observe the longest night. I have stories of old to tell and songs to sing. We will make an event of it to celebrate the heroes who have passed and the world that left us in a blaze of glory.

    Jacob, the Hibernal is the Head of Winter. He fills the stockings with small gifts if you observe the rituals of Winter. As a representative of Winter, I encourage you to participate.

    FoD Staff


    Rockdor, I am glad to hear that you will join us. I was very much hoping that you would. All stories and songs would be greatly appreciated. I believe the two of us could tell some amazing tales of our fallen brethren, the Rock of Storms, and even Ragnarok.

    Jacob, The Hybernal is a seasonal power that helps keep Winter in balance. For years we have left socks at the end of our beds and he comes by in the night and leaves us gifts. Through talking to some who have been around a long time and notes from my books since I’ve been here, as well as observing Winter for the past year, I have come to find out that we could be doing a better job. It is my goal to make sure that we do things right and that Winter is properly celebrated as it is the season I am most closely tied to.

    As far as decorating, we can cut out snowflakes, hang garland made from sweet smelling trees, and put out colorful lights. Winter is about the spirit of community. As long as we work together joyfully and support each other, it will work out wonderfully.


    Oh, I am sorry that I did not answer your question specifically about the socks. Our instructions when we fixed Winter years ago was to hang our stockings up before bed and the Hybernal would come by and leave gifts. Many, I have noticed, have just laid their socks on the ground at the end of their beds or have placed them outside of locked doorways not allowing Hybernal to come inside where they sleep. The point is for him to come into the place we sleep and tip toe around, not waking us, and leaving us gifts. I just wanted to make sure that everyone knew that stockings should be hung and not placed on the ground and that he should be allowed inside the place you sleep.

    Also, I’d like to note for everyone that the Hybernal REALLY likes candies that are Wintergreen flavored. I am going to be bringing lots of peppermint and wintergreen.

    Robert-Sean Harley

    Do we leave all of our socks up or just one pair?

    Also you may want to bring tape as well, some of the wood is very hard and doesn’t take pins well.


    Just one sock is perfect, however if you’d like, you are more than welcome to decorate stockings with us at feast and use it to hang up for Winter. They look like oversized socks and they are quite festive. Also, they have never had the aroma of foot odor which can sometimes be bothersome.

    And yes, I will be sure to bring extra tape as well.

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