Monday, June 20, 2016

Calendars and Time

Time is a difficult thing to keep track of. Oh, sure, you can say that every time a party stops to rest, it's night time, and it takes a week to travel a hex, but does anyone actually keep track of those dates and times? I sure don't. In my Savage Worlds campaign, it's set in space, so I don't have to worry about any of that. I just make something up - "Oh, it's been about a week. Sure, that sounds right."
But with such a fully-featured world, I thought it would be fun to add some temporal aspects as well. I'll begin at the beginning: the calendar. The calendar of Mor-Thir was completed somewhere near 500 FA (500 years after the beginning of the First Age - I'll get to that later). The calendar has twelve months, each consisting of exactly 28 days, except four, those at the equinoxes and the solstices, which have 35 days. That means that each month is either 4 or 5 weeks long. The months are as follows:
  1. A'chiad (Ah kee-at)
  2. Dàrna (Tarna)
  3. Treas (Trees)
  4. Cheathramh (Kee-hrav)
  5. Còigeamh (Cahg-eev)
  6. Siathamh (See-ahav)
  7. Seachdamh (Seektav)
  8. Ochdamh (Awktav)
  9. Naoidheamh (Nuug-eev)
  10. Deicheamh (Tek-eev)
  11. Deug (Tee-ag)
  12. Dara (Tara)
The perceptive among you have noted that these months seem to be in a foreign language; the perceptive and knowledgeable may even have figured out it's a close approximation of Scots Gaelic. The True Elves (more on them later) speak a version of Scots Gaelic; I say a version, because I'm only using Google Translate, and it absolutely butchers languages. But, it still sounds elf-y, so that's what I'll use.
Back on topic: Treas, Siathamh, Naoidheamh, and Dara have 35 days, and the rest have 28, making a year exactly 52 weeks long (364 days), and each month have either 4 or 5 full weeks. It's precise, regimented, and close enough to our calendar not to be noticeable. Weeks have 7 days, because as fond as I am of creating my own world, I don't want to go completely crazy. A week works just fine. The days are known as Sunday, Moonday, Toothday, Windsday, Thirstday, Fireday, and Satyrday. Sunday begins every the week and every month, just as the sun begins the day; it is followed by Moonday, as the moon follows the sun. Next is Toothday, where the first day of real hunger would start, had you begun fasting on Sunday. Windsday is the middle, as winds all blow towards the center of the continent. Thirstday is the traditional day to begin a party, which of course would include alcohol. Fireday is the raging flame that consumes the end of the work week. Finally, all that is left is the party-mad Satyrday. Every month, and every year, starts on a Sunday, and ends on a Satyrday.
There are countless holidays celebrated in Mor-Thir, from birthdays to independence days; however, there are a handful of holidays celebrated continent-wide:
  • Dragonning (3/35) is a celebration of the Spring Equinox; fireworks, smoke bombs, and dragon-themed parades are the usual fare.
  • Summerfest (6/1) is the beginning of the brightest month is celebrated with plays and festivals.
  • Brightest Night (6/35) marks the longest day of the year; as such, Lawful churches and nations rejoice.
  • Summerset (7/1) is a celebration of thanks and remembrance; similar to Thanksgiving.
  • Beastnight (9/35) occurs on the Fall Equinox; children (and adults) dress up as monsters and beg for treats, similar to out Halloween.
  • Wintermas (12/1) begins the darkest month; trees are hung from the rafters and presents are handed out, somewhat akin to Christmas in our world.
  • Darkest Day (12/35) is, as the name suggests, the longest night of the year; Lawful beings stay indoors as the creatures of Chaos run wild.
  • New Year's Day (1/1) not only marks the beginning of the new year, but also the downturn of darkness; until Brightest Night, the days will grow longer; celebrations include fireworks and bonfires to drive away the darkness
And, finally, a few dates. This list is quite small; as yet, I haven't populated the world with many significant events, but I'll add dates as they arrive:
  • 0 AF: beginning of first age (Elves)
  • ~300 AF: arrival of Men on eastern shore; founding of Slowhaven
  • ~500 AF: Men and Elves agree on the dates of the calendar
  • ~2100 AF: end of first age, beginning of second (Man)
  • 3663 AF: Wall started
  • 3695 AF: Wall completed
  • 3699 AF: Wall improvement begun
  • 3788 AF: Wall improvement finished
  • 3800 AF: end of second age, beginning of third (Beasts)
  • 5165 AF: end of third age, beginning of fourth (Fae)
  • 6637 AF: start of adventure