Constellations of Farland
Table of Contents
History of the Constellations
While the races of antiquity paid a great deal of attention to the sky and saw figures and animals in it, the seafaring elves of the ancient city of Palahan were among the earliest peoples to attach significance to the shapes they saw in the stars. It was the humans of ancient Aelfar, however, who standardized the constellations, creating star charts that could be used to identify each star grouping. The heirs of Aelfar, the Farlandish Kingdom and later empire, continued this tradition, identifying the constellations with the gods that had long been worshipped on the continent of Farland.
The standardized constellations spread throughout all of the mainland of Farland until the five human kingdoms, as well as the dwarves, elves, gnomes, and halflings, all recognized the same constellations. The Wintervale and its liege kingdoms never acknowledged the constellations, however, and it seems that Dark Folk have no real cultural use for seeing images in the sky at all. The human kingdoms subservient to the Dweller have their own sets of constellations that are quite different from the traditional Farland constellations.
Uses for the Constellations
The ancient elves of Palahan used their own unique constellations to navigate while sailing, and this use was passed to the humans of Aelfar and later all of the seafaring races of the Light. Sighting on The Jewel, the star at the center of the Khuckduck constellation, it is fairly simple to determine latitude by how high the star is relative to the horizon.
Besides navigation, all of the races of the light see the constellations as religiously significant, since, of course, they represent the gods of their pantheon. When the sun appears in the house of a certain god, the month is considered auspicious for sacrifices to that god and invocations of his or her favor; because of the arbitrary creation of each constellation, these months are generally different from the month holy to each god. Each culture also has its own myth for how the constellations of that god appeared in the sky.
Finally, the constellations are used in agriculture. While the calendar of Farland has been formalized for centuries, the peasant folk often don't have access to the calendar and wouldn't know how to read it if they did. They use the appearance of various constellations overhead to determine the month, and thus to determine when they should start the planting or harvesting.
The World of Farland has its own "Zodiac" of sorts. The ancient Aelfarians noticed that the sun passes in front of 12 constellations over the course of the year. They called this path and the corresponding constellations the Manoscima, or "Circle of Figures." The astronomers of the Kingdom of Farland kept this concept and in their own language renamed it the Signasema. The constellations of the Signasema are the 11 Greater Deities, with the exception of Khuckduck, and with the addition of Grlarshh and Tanarus/Sulis.
The constellations are named by their Farlandish name, although their names in other areas or cultures is sometimes indicated. The best time to view them is given relative to the continent of Farland, in the northern hemisphere of Núrion, at approximately 9 PM. These constellations are visible throughout all Farland as well as the West Lands, Cadocia, and Yrrkune. They change at the midpoint of Eruna, and those who live in Southern Eruna have entirely different constellations.
Constellations of the Good Gods
Tal-Allustiel: This star group is imagined as an elf bearing a spear and wearing a crown of horns. The elves themselves call it the Ardalu, or simply "Great God." In the West of Farland they call this constellation The Fey while in the South they call it the Antler Lord. Tal-Allustiel is best viewed in Kantalos (January).
Khuldul: This constellation is pictured as a dwarf at a forge. The dwarves call it Khuldulûm or "Mighty Khuldul," while on most of the continent it is known simply as The Anvil. Khuldul is best viewed in Kantalos (January) until early Neltalos (February).
Bunga: This grouping of stars is imagined to be a halfling proffering a mug of ale or beer. Halflings call it Preran, or "Divine Inspiration." The humans of the West call it The Drinker, while the humans of the South call it The Halfling. Bunga is best seen in Thrantos (March).
Calbran: This constellation is imagined as a human king or knight wielding a large hammer. Outside of Farland, they call this cluster The Warhammer. Calbran is best viewed in mid to late Bestalos (April).
Kantor: This star cluster is pictured as a mighty warrior with a battleaxe and with a hawk or falcon perched on his shoulder. The bright star Claros makes up Kantor's helm. In Western and Southern Farland, they call this constellation the Hawker. It is best seen in late Heshtalos (May) to mid Janoros (June).
Barlifandorf: Pictured as a short figure in robes, the gnomes call this star grouping the Tellalalkiron, or "Holy Illusionist." Outside of the Kingdom of Farland, it is called simply The Mage. Balifandorf is best viewed starting in late Janoros (June) until mid Reeanos (July).
Bestra: Called The Maiden by almost everyone on the continent, the constellation of Bestra is imagined to be a woman bearing a harp and shield. She is best viewed from the middle of Reeanos (July) to late Flamgos (August).
Thranton: This star cluster is pictured as the head of a man with wild hair and beard, who also has lightning shooting from his eyes. Thranton is called The Thunderer in Western Farland and simply Thunder in Southern Farland. This constellation is best seen in late Flamgos (August) to the end of Calbros (September).
Heshtail: This constellation is imagined to be a regal figure with a staff and a sword. In the West, they call it The King and in the south, this constellation is known as The Monarch. The bright star Arus makes up the king's crown. The constellation is best viewed from the start of Dekkos (October) to the start of Belos (November).
Bucca: This small cluster is pictured as a hand with thumb and finger extended. The extremely bright star Alunus is found in this constellation. It is called The Hand all over the continent. It is best seen in Belos (November).
Dhurli: This constellation is imagined as a pickaxe, and in fact The Pickaxe is what most everyone calls it. The dwarves call it Dhurlitûm, or "Skill of Dhurli." It is best viewed in the middle of Belos (November), and looking directly above the Alunus is the best way to find it.
Reeanan: The star group is pictured as a warlike maiden. In the West, she's called The Beauty, while in the South they call her Bella. She is best seen in early Darkenmonth (December).
Khuckduck: This circular grouping of stars is known to navigators for being the home of The Jewel, a bright star that is handy in navigation. This star group is pictured as a diamond. As a perfectly circumpolar constellation, it is visible year-round.
Constellations of the Neutral Gods
Neltak: This large constellation is imagined as a shirtless warrior. In the West, it's called The Axe, and in the South it's The Lawgiver. This grouping is best viewed in late Darkenmonth (December). Overlapping a bit with Tal-Allustiel, this constellation is confusing to pick out.
Flamgart: Pictured as a fire, Flamgart is called The Flame on the entire continent, even in Farland. It is best viewed in mid Thrantos (March).
Dekk: The star cluster called Dekk is imagined to be a bald old man with a staff. Outside of Farland, it's called The Sage, and it's best viewed late Bestalos (April) to late Heshtalos (May).
Bel: This constellation is imagined as a curved dagger. In the West, it's called The Knife, but in the South they call it The Storm. It can be best seen in Janoros (June).
Janora: This star group is pictured as a woman with upraised hand. In the West, it's called Fate, while in the South they call it The Swan. It's best seen in Flamgos (August). Interestingly, the Jewel of Khuckduck also makes up the hand of Janora.
Tanarus and Sulis: The star group is small but tightly clustered. It is pictured as a tree in the surf. The men of the West call it The Tree, while the people of the South call it The Wave. It is best viewed in Dekkos (October).
Aknor: Called The Second Anvil outside of Farland, Aknor can be seen best in early Darkenmonth (December).
Constellations of the Evil Gods
Salystra: The long and sinuous constellation of Salystra is unrecognized by anyone but the elves, who call it Mügh, or "The Snake." They see it as a dark and evil cluster that brings bad omens. Unfortunately for them, it is clearly visible from Belos (November) to Neltalos (February).
Grlarshh: This constellation is imagined to be a skeleton with a whip. Outside of Farland, it is called The Skull and is imagined to bring sickness when it is ascendant. It is most clearly visible at the end of Bestalos (April) and beginning of Heshtalos (May).
Vornoth: This large constellation is pictured as a terrible bat. When anyone speaks of it, which they try to avoid doing, they generally call it The Bat or The Dark One. Spanning much of the night sky, it is clearly visible from mid Reeanos (July) through Darkenmonth (December).