Author Topic: The Dark Expanse: The Darkonian Crown of Stars  (Read 177 times)


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The Dark Expanse: The Darkonian Crown of Stars
« on: April 18, 2023, 09:45:18 AM »

The Dark Expanse: The Darkonian Crown of Stars, The Twelvefold Zodiac

Written by Kassian Cervantes


The purpose of this work is to denote, categorise and provide insight upon some of the major constellations of the northern realm. When the catastrophic events of the Great Upheaval (or otherwise the Grand Conjunction) occurred in 740 B.C., the tapestries of the night skies were forever warped, an event recorded among astrologers as the "Stars' Twilight". Whilst it is not uncommon for the stars to shift, merge or otherwise be contaminated through the supernatural occurrences of the Core, the Great Upheaval was most significant in magnitude in our recent history, and thus the most impactful when we look upon history that has re-written the stars themselves. Many of the constellations that were surrounding Darkonian skies, and the northern realms completely, were either sullied, re-sculpted or merged into larger celestial entities - those of you who have done your reading might also know this region as Nostophilia or the Dark Expanse, per Yunon P. Ambrosius' star-maps.

The Crown of Stars, or Twelvefold Zodiac (or simply the Darkonian zodiac), are a series of major constellations that show periodically throughout the year of the Barovian Calendar. Curiously, they follow this natural rhythm without failure, and approximately align with each calendar month, provided other external factors are not prevalent; seasonal, geographic and aforementioned supernatural components may cause misalignment in this regard. The namesake "Crown of Stars" comes from the position of the star itself, the apex of their circular journey would sit them directly above Darkon itself, like a crown upon a king. As a result, typically they are associated with each month, making them reasonably reliable methods of time-tracking outside of timepieces, clocks and watches - and indeed, in a time where such things did not exist at all.

Furthermore, the zodiac was used frequently for the purposes of astral divination. Popular among sages, seers and fellow astrologers alike, the celestial giants among our night skies were often used to associate, and determine, the result of some event. For example, one's birth under a certain star might dictate their personality, and coincidentally their walk of life. Other accounts would use the stars to dictate the outcome of some decisive battle or naval expedition, and were more commonly coined as "omens" when applied to a grander scale. For example, setting sail whilst "The Snake" constellation was in plain view was said to bring bad luck, and a similarly bitter journey - thus, it would be avoided until the stars were not visible, or clouded. Conversely, a voyage under "The Hawk" constellation was said to mean for safe passage, pleasant waves and a successful trip.

Without further ado though, I present the zodiac of contemporary Darkon - and for curiosity's sake, the meaning of each constellation upon one's character derived from astral divination. Usually they are attributed to animals, however they have other aliases depending on the region.


The Tiger, Fire's Seeker
Appearance: January

Those born under The Tiger are said to often be reserved, calm but fearsome and courageous in moments of perceived danger. They are not inherently thrill-seekers per se, but rather they know what to do when action is needed. They have a fiery tenacity that makes them natural leaders, lieutenants, or suitable in any position of authority.

The Frog, Twilight Lotus
Appearance: April

Those born under The Frog possess excellent intuition and big imaginations. They are naturally big dreamers with perhaps larger ambitions, and try their best to carve it out in the world. They are strangely elusive in that they will comment or remark something that will often catch you off-guard, and wonder what else they might be thinking. But, stay around them long enough, and you will be thoroughly entertained. They make excellent psychologists, psychiatrists or alienists.

The Snake, Reaper's Scythe
Appearance: July

Those born under The Snake exhibit traits of intelligence, wisdom and creativity. They are great thinkers, often well-educated and studious, with clear set-out goals. However, they are often slow and not always persistent in steps to achieve their goals, and can likewise be consumed easily by jealously or arrogance if not careful. They are, most of the time, rational and slow to react, not doing so until they have the utmost faith in their decision. They make for shrewd politicians, businessmen, and entrepreneurs.

The Hare, Solemn Leaf
Appearance: October

Those born under The Hare are known to be notoriously lucky, but they are typically tranquil, calm and introspective. They are fleeting, avoid conflict and arguments wherever possible, and are usually sensitive or insecure. They are, however, incredibly vigilant, having an acuity for even the smallest of details, and to the extreme they can be perfectionists. They thrive in scholarly positions and pursuits, such as loremasters, researchers and book-keepers.
  The Bear, Willowing Star
Appearance: February

Those born under The Bear exhibit traits of the reliable introvert. They are hard-working, practical, capable, but often keep this to themselves. They are cautious, protective, but are renown for being one of the best guardians or carers should one become close to them. They often make for exceptional carpenters, engineers or inventors.

The Turtle, Resting Violet
Appearance: May

Those born under The Turtle like to hide behind their metaphorical shell, as you might expect. They are shy, reserved, and quiet. Unlike the others, they don't need fame or fortune to be happy, and a simple life is actually preferred. They are attentive to finer details, however, and like to keep themselves and their surroundings clean, their minds being suited to methodical and logical puzzles. Because of this, they make good librarians, mathematicians or gardeners.

The Boar, Wilting Sun
Appearance: August

Those born under The Boar are generally mild-mannered and chivalrous, they wear their heart on their sleeve and rarely lie. They are compassionate, generous, strong in both heart and mind. They are fiercely loyal when they need to be, refusing to stand down for what they believe in, perhaps even to their detriment. Social interaction, however, tends to their weakest area. They are diligent workers, making for good miners, mason, stonecutters and the like.

The Hawk, Ice's Razor
Appearance: November

Those born under The Hawk have an unending yearning for adventure and new journeys. No matter how big nor small, mentally or physically, they grow with each experience and learn the best practically, even if they might be known for losing their head in the metaphorical clouds. Curiosity, intrigue and wanderlust are the quintessential traits of these such people, and a curious eye lends itself to keener instincts. Typically, they make for excellent explorers, sailors and scouts.
  The Lion, Coldflowers
Appearance: March

Those born under The Lion are known to be prideful, bold and energetic. They welcome new challenges with open arms and do not fear pre-existing authority getting in their way. They hold an air of confidence, but this can be perceived as stubborn by others, and they are unlikely to change their approach once set into motion. They make for great actors as stage presence is a natural gift to them.

The Fox, Summer's Harvest
Appearance: June

Those born under The Fox are charming, self-assured and cunning. They are clever, but impulsive. They can adapt themselves to most situations on the fly, but are mischievous tricksters, for better or for ill. Whilst this makes them questionable companions, their cunning is their greatest strength - instead of cold, methodical thought, they are great at improvising on the spot. They make excellent magicians, dancers or performers.

The Squirrel, Fey's Fall
Appearance: September

Those born under The Squirrel are resilient, and aggressively persistent. They are socialites and often friendly, but they love the opportunity to prove themselves among their peers. They are inherently competitive, hoping to always be a step above their rivals, which might goad them too far. What they might view as friendly competition, others might see as obsessive, but they have an eye for success nonetheless. They struggle to find their passion, but once they do, they can develop it rapidly. They make good playwrights, songwriters and musicians.

The Wolf, Winter's Bite
Appearance: December

Those born under The Wolf are free-spirited, wise and intuitive. They are largely enigmatic in that they both desire their own freedom, but also a sense of community. Alone, they are fleeting and elusive, very much capable of being left to their own devices. Among the proverbial pack, however, they are generous, passionate and dutiful, playing their part to the best of their ability. Left alone too long, however, they become vindictive, vengeful and obsessive, not well suited for prolonged solitude - similarly, these traits tend to manifest when around others for too long, as well. To this end, they need a balance to sustain themselves. This balance can be best harboured in a militaristic environment, making them excellent soldiers.