The Moons of Northumbria

In this series of articles, Michael Garcia shares various custom rules and handouts related to his worldbuilding for his ongoing Northumbria campaign. 


It is well known among scholars that the world has at least two main continents and countless islands, surrounded by at least four seas. Of these continents, the vast region known as Northumbria is the northernmost. While civilizations on the other continents are not the focus of this work and the savage inhabitants of the countless islands are rather unimportant, the heavenly bodies, at least those visible in the northlands, are of great interest and concern. We must study these bodies—those that move and those that are fixed—to understand Astrology and the secrets of the universe.

The Sun, the great fiery orb that gives life to all that we know, travels once around the world every 384 days, visiting the 12 Lairs of the Zodiac in an appointed round that never varies.
The Pale Moon, named Arcanus, or the Builder, circles the world every 32 days and makes 12 such orbits per year, giving us the months, three per season. Cultures throughout Northumbria speak of Arcanus as a great wizard from ages ago that grew so powerful that he eventually took to the Heavens. According to wizards, sorcerers, witches, warlocks, and priests alike, he brings a tremendous surge in magic power when he grows near. Traditionally, the greatest arcane rituals are done when Arcanus grows full.

The Dark Moon, named Entropa, Sorce, or simply the Destroyer, is a small and nebulous sphere that is less than a quarter the size of Arcanus. She is said to bring chaos and decay, destroying all that Arcanus builds as she speeds across the night sky. The Sorceress circles the world every 12 days.

The Influence of Arcanus

Phase Caster Level Bonus Added Spells Save vs. Spells Rest Time
New 0 100%
Waxing Crescent 1 -1 90%
First Quarter 1 -2 80%
Waxing Gibbous +1 2 -2 60%
Full +2 3 -3 50%
Waning Gibbous +1 2 -2 60%
Third Quarter 1 -2 80%
Waning Crescent 1 -1 90%

Caster Level Bonus: The caster’s effective level when determining, duration, area of effect, damage, and other effects is increased when Arcanus grows full.
Added Spells: A caster gains the indicated number of additional spells while Arcanus is visible. The spells must be those already known to the caster, but they can be drawn from any level the caster can use.
Save vs. Spells: When Arcanus grows full, magic is stronger and saves against it are more difficult.
Rest Time: For 1st- to 3rd-level spells, four hours of rest are required (100% = 240 minutes). Fractions of this time are as follows:

90% = 216 minutes 80% = 192 minutes
60% = 144 minutes 50% = 120 minutes

The Influence of Entropa

Phase Wild Magic
New 0%
Waxing Crescent 5%
First Quarter 10%
Waxing Gibbous 20%
Full 40%
Waning Gibbous 20%
Third Quarter 10%
Waning Crescent 5%

Wild Magic: Each time a spell is cast, roll to see if wild magic ensures. If so, roll D20 and consult the wild magic table below to see the effect:

Roll Result
1  Blue energies sizzle and crackle and then explode, dealing 3d6 to all in a 10′ radius. All within the radius must save vs spells or be deafened for 1d6 turns and blinded for 1d6 turns.
2 The spell’s duration is doubled.
3 Spell produces an opposite effect or fizzles.
4 The spell’s area of effect is doubled.
5 Spell fizzles after a few seconds, failing to take effect; double spell slots are used.
6 The spell’s range is doubled.
7 Spell fizzles after a second.
8 The spell has maximized effect if possible.
9 Spell misfires in a random direction or affects a random person (roll 1d8 for direction).
10  The spell takes effect as if the caster were a level higher; double spell slots are used.
11 The spell takes effect as if the caster were one level lower.
12 The spell takes effect as if the caster were two levels higher; double spell slots are used.
13 The spell takes effect as if the caster were two levels lower.
14 The spell takes effect as if the caster were three levels higher; double spell slots are used.
15 The spell takes effect as if the caster were three levels lower.
16 The spell misfires, causing an explosion at the intended target, dealing 3d6 damage to all in a 10′ radius. All must make a save versus spells or be stunned for 1d6 rounds. Those that save are instead dazed for 1d6 rounds.
17 The spell takes effect as if the caster were a level higher.
18 The spell misfires, causing a dispel magic effect within a radius of 30′ of the caster’s current position. This will linger for 1d6 hours.
19 The spell takes effect as if the caster were two levels higher.
20 The spell takes effect as if the caster were three levels higher. No mana is used, but the caster loses one point each of Strength, Constitution, and Intelligence for 1d4 hours.

Conjunctions

When the two moons align, the effects stack. There can be further effects if the alignment corresponds with that of a wandering star (meaning planets—there are five known to exist). The effects are up to the DM. Such alignments happen infrequently, so consistency should not be much of an issue.


Hours of Daylight in Northumbria

In the morning, Nautical Twilight begins when sailors can first distinguish the sea from the sky. It is no longer completely dark, but artificial light is needed to do most activities. In the evening, Nautical Twilight begins with sunset and continues until sailors can no longer discern sea from sky.

First Moon

Nautical Twilight Begins 6:18 a.m.
Sunrise 7:26 a.m.
Sunset 4:39 p.m.
Nautical Twilight ends 5:47 p.m.
Approximate Hours of Total Darkness 12 hours, 30 minutes
Approximate Hours of Dark and Gloom 14 hours, 45 minutes

Second Moon

Nautical Twilight Begins 5:50 a.m.
Sunrise 6:54 a.m.
Sunset 5:21 p.m.
Nautical Twilight ends 6:25 p.m.
Approximate Hours of Total Darkness 11 hours, 30 minutes
Approximate Hours of Dark and Gloom 13 hours, 30 minutes

Third Moon

Nautical Twilight Begins 5:02 a.m.
Sunrise 6:04 a.m.
Sunset 6:00 p.m.
Nautical Twilight ends 7:03 p.m.
Approximate Hours of Total Darkness 10 hours
Approximate Hours of Dark and Gloom 12 hours

Fourth Moon

Nautical Twilight Begins 4:01 a.m.
Sunrise 5:06 a.m.
Sunset 6:38 p.m.
Nautical Twilight ends 7:46 p.m.
Approximate Hours of Total Darkness 8 hours, 15 minutes
Approximate Hours of Dark and Gloom 10 hours, 30 minutes

Fifth Moon

Nautical Twilight Begins 3:08 a.m.
Sunrise 4:25 a.m.
Sunset 7:14 p.m.
Nautical Twilight ends 8:31 p.m.
Approximate Hours of Total Darkness 6 hours, 30 minutes
Approximate Hours of Dark and Gloom 9 hours, 15 minutes

Sixth Moon

Nautical Twilight Begins 2:42 a.m.
Sunrise 4:08 a.m.
Sunset 7:40 p.m.
Nautical Twilight ends 9:05 p.m.
Approximate Hours of Total Darkness 5 hours, 30 minutes
Approximate Hours of Dark and Gloom 8 hours, 30 minutes

Seventh Moon

Nautical Twilight Begins 3:02 a.m.
Sunrise 4:23 a.m.
Sunset 7:34 p.m.
Nautical Twilight ends 8:55 p.m.
Approximate Hours of Total Darkness 6 hours, 15 minutes
Approximate Hours of Dark and Gloom 8 hours, 45 minutes

Eighth Moon

Nautical Twilight Begins 3:46 a.m.
Sunrise 4:56 a.m.
Sunset 6:57 p.m.
Nautical Twilight ends 8:07 p.m.
Approximate Hours of Total Darkness 7 hours, 30 minutes
Approximate Hours of Dark and Gloom 10 hours

Ninth Moon

Nautical Twilight Begins 4:29 a.m.
Sunrise 5:32 a.m.
Sunset 6:03 p.m.
Nautical Twilight ends 7:06 p.m.
Approximate Hours of Total Darkness 9 hours, 15 minutes
Approximate Hours of Dark and Gloom 11 hours, 30 minutes

Tenth Moon

Nautical Twilight Begins 5:06 a.m.
Sunrise 6:09 a.m.
Sunset 5:08 p.m.
Nautical Twilight ends 6:11 p.m.
Approximate Hours of Total Darkness 10 hours, 45 minutes
Approximate Hours of Dark and Gloom 13 hours

Eleventh Moon

Nautical Twilight Begins 5:43 a.m.
Sunrise 6:50 a.m.
Sunset 4:25 p.m.
Nautical Twilight ends 5:32 p.m.
Approximate Hours of Total Darkness 12 hours, 15 minutes
Approximate Hours of Dark and Gloom 14 hours, 30 minutes

Twelfth Moon

Nautical Twilight Begins 6:12 a.m.
Sunrise 7:23 a.m.
Sunset 4:14 p.m.
Nautical Twilight ends 5:24 p.m.
Approximate Hours of Total Darkness 12 hours, 30 minutes
Approximate Hours of Dark and Gloom 15 hours, 15 minutes

 

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