Week of Shadows Tradition / Ritual in Urvén | World Anvil
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Week of Shadows

Seven days of skullduggery during the darkest time of the year.

Deep in the winter, from the 3rd to the 9th of Dark, the people of the Riven Lands partake in a communal challenge to steal - and usually return as a gift - valued possessions from others. This manifests in several ways: nobles may hire underlings to swipe the jewelry of a rival; street urchins will run off with food and merchandise, having no intention to pay; adventurers will compete amongst themselves to rifle through each other's possessions.

A good take is one where the mark does not know who has taken something. The best take is when the mark doesn't notice losing the item at all.

In civilised society, the week of shadows follows a set of rules. These rules ensure that the holiday remains good-spirited and causes no lasting damage.

Rule One:
Take only a single item from your mark. Greed entraps those who could have escaped with less.

Rule Two:
Take nothing that may put your mark in harm's way and harm no one to take anything.

Rule Three:
Return all that is taken on the first day after the week, the gift is in the giving back.

Rule Four:
Bask in the glory of a successful take, but do not punish those who are unsuccessful.

In less reputable circles, where those partaking to not limit themselves to the rules, the "holiday" can cause real damage. Indiscriminate thefts increase, property is damaged and innocents are punished.


The week of shadows has existed in some form for hundreds of years. The oldest records point at the tradition originating within goblin society, where the focus was on successfully stealing the most valuable item from the biggest orc or hobgoblin and, if possible, pinning the blame on someone else.

Worship of Neeq, or at least one of the many aspects of the god, increases during the week of shadows. This has led some to believe that THEY are behind the holiday.

Cover image: by Antonio López from Pixabay


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