THE SANTHARIAN CALENDAR (SC)

DESCRIPTION - CALENDAR DEFINITIONS - IMPORTANCE

The Santharian Calendar contains the official definitions of time measurements in the United Kingdom of Santharia and has been in use since the year 70 after the kingdom was founded. It is the work of the elven astronomer Mowi Farseer based on the initial concepts of the Avennorian astronomer, philosopher and alchemist Tandelrah Cournan and his Cournanian Calendar. Many definitions Cournan made can still be found in Farseer's new calendar as he focusses primarily on corrections and adjustments of what had already been layed out by his human colleague. Most of the dates you'll find in Santharian writings and the Santharian Compendium therefore refer to this Santharian Calendar (SC, default if abbreviation is omitted), starting at the ascension of Santhros to the Santharian throne. The abbreviation a.S. following the year number indicates "after Santhros", b.S. meaning "before Santhros' ascension to the throne". The new Calendar begins at the cycle of 1646 due to the Cournanian Calendar, which was in use by the Eyelians, the Caltharians and eventually the Erpheronians (and much later the Erpheronian-based Tharanian realm).

The Astronomer Mowi Farseer
View picture in full size Image description. The famous elven astronomer Mowi Farseer (Mór'weí Kýn'vaí), capturing the transitoriness of time in the confines of the Santharian Calendar. Pic by Faugar, used with friendly permission by Mystical Empire.

Description. The Santharian Calendar was developed out of three reasons: Primarily there was a need to ensure a more consistent time measuring system in Southern Sarvonia. The requirement was that it shouldn't only be more accurate in terms of defining the times for seasons, years (cycles), months, weeks and days, but also more precise regarding smaller time intervals, which weren't measured in pre-Santharian times. Therefore in the Santharian Calendar units like hours, halves, quarters, minutes and blinks were added. Secondly the new calendar was meant to honour the founder of the Santharian realm, the King of Charity, Santhros the Wise - the ascension of Santhros to the Santharian throne was set as the beginning date of the calendar, and from now on dates should be referred to as before (b.S.) or after Santhros (a.S.). And finally another reason for the development of a new calendar was the fact that the unification of the ancient kingdoms and the progressing integration of races made it more and more necessary to attempt to standardize measurements in general, whether this meant line, wet, heft measures - or time measures.

Thus the Santharian Calendar emerged - it is the product of several years of research and scholarly work of experts done in Ciosa at the Starcharts Astrendum, the Astrologists Center of Santharia till this very day. The project was led by the Quaelhoirhim elf Mowi Farseer (originally called Mór'weí Kýn'vaí in Styrásh, 95 b.S.-111 a.S.), accumulating data and oberservations from all civilized races of the kingdom.
It needs to be emphasized however that the new calendar is to a great degree a detailed update on the Cournanian Calendar elaborated by the astronomer, philosopher and alchemist Tandelrah Cournan (1701-1636 b.S.).

The similarities between these two calendars reach much further than just the retention of certain names. Both calendars divide a cylce - also called "year" - in twelve months, which is due to the fact that twelve very bright stars can be viewed re-appearing on the Caelerethian night skies in regular intervals, while the sun seems to move away (winter) and return near the world's disk (summer) in the same period of time. Cournan based the beginning of months solely on these twelve stars dominating the Caelerethian universe and took the visible appearance of a star as the sign of the beginning of a month. However, there were irregularities in this concept and Cournan had to use some tricks to make his calendar work. In an approach of further specification the astronomer Mowi Farseer on the other hand concentrated his month-concept on the interpretation of whole star constellations where the mentioned stars are only parts of. Though the stars are essential in this context, according to Mowi the time for the beginning of the months cannot be reduced to the movement of these stars only (to learn more about this topic see the entry on Caelerethian Star Constellations). This allowed Mowi to specify the amount of days for
each month more accurately than Cournan did, as each month now has a fixed, though irregular amount of days (Turning Star: 31 days, Molten Ice: 29, Awakening Earth: 31 etc.). Cournan on the other hand had thought it wiser to assume 30 days for each month and then add so-called "Turning Days" to outweigh differences in seasons.

On the Difficulties of dealing with Star Constellations. Star constellation movements appear to be random, but they move however on a pre-defined strip through the skies. This was a knowledge Cournan and his later colleague Mowi Farseer shared. That each star constellation however falls into its predefined place precisely every 365th day was something Cournan didn't recognize yet, but Mowi eventually suggested this possibility and finally also managed to prove it. The difficulty to actually observe the falling into place of a star constellation lies mainly therein that various factors between the observation point and the constellation can prevent a proper viewing - a single cloudy night for example can make the constellation disappear to the eye of the people in certain regions of Caelereth, while others could see it very brightly. People before Mowi actually reported that there were years when a star constellation did not fall into place as they simply didn't see it - and took it even for a bad omen that the blessing of a certain God or Goddess would not be given this year.

Cournan only saw the guiding star. He knew that it was the guiding star which usually caused a constellation to appear and therefore he focussed on this star in order to define the beginning of months. But he was also convinced that the guiding star didn't always produce a constellation to fall into place, while on the other hand the guiding star always appeared in the night sky - not precisely regularly, but still it could always been seen. When Cournan saw the guiding star e.g. visible already at the 25th of a month he thought this marks the beginning of the next month already. But the guiding star could as well have appeared on the 27th or the 30th day after the last sighting, yes even at the 35th day if proper observation hadn't been possible before. [...] Mowi on the other hand knew that the actual first spotting of the guiding star was definitely an indicator of a month change, but that it was just that, not more. But the real month change is marked by the star constellation, Mowi concluded. Cournan therefore definitely sensed the big cosmical pattern, and though close to the solution the Cournanian system was very inaccurate and so he had to outweigh it by putting in Turning Days, which he saw as reference points for adjustments of the universe. Mowi, having more observation points at hand to determine cosmical phenomena, knew better - and from his time on, the Santharian Calendar should constitute the most accurate calendar on Caelereth.


-- Dharim Narja: "Pre-Santharian Cosmology", p. 104 f.


The Timecandle
View picture in full size Image description. Two timecandles with hour scales as they were already in use during the time of Cournan. Picture by Bard Judith.

With the Santharian Calendar also for the first time smaller time intervals were officially defined and standardized. Introduced were hours (one hour representing the 24th part of a day), halves and quarters (fractions of an hour), minutes (the 15th part of a quarter fraction) and blinks (derived from the "blink of an eye", a very small time measurement unit with no direct relation to a minute). While the latter is only applied as an approximative indicator used mainly in cooking and similar activities where precision is critical, hours, halves and quarters have became more and more important in every day life once they turned official. Hour- or sandglasses, though in use already long before the Santharian Calendar, now were compared to each other and re-adjusted by kingly verdict, so that they either measured a half or a quarter of an hour. Due to the fact that people had already seen a necessity to measure smaller time intervals than quarters for the one reason or the other they had made scales on the hourglasses, mostly 10-15 lines at the upper and the lower parts of the glass. These graduations were pretty small and some people referred to them as "quarter-minutes", which eventually inspired Mowi to integrate the term "minute" in his system as the 15th part of a quarter - a very practical explanation by the way why an hour now consists of the seemlingly untypical 60 minutes.

A Helmondsshire Halfling

View picture in full size Picture description. A Helmondsshire clockmaker checking his wheely-watch, also called the "Mowickle" after Mowi Farseer. Picture drawn by Eshóh.

Undoubtedly Mowi's courage to make a systematical approach towards smaller time measurement units made him also a symbol of representing a free spirit of individuality. Before Cournan time had been a vague unknown mass, after Cournan the measurement of time served to provide more precise guidelines for the workers, but with Mowi the power over time was given in the hands of every single individual, who could now determine when something should take place and how long it should last. It lasted several centuries though until a Santharian could take a pocketwatch home from the watchmaker, but there are very good reasons why the first halfling wheely-watch an individual called his own was still named the "Mowickle", just like the big clock Mowi Farseer constructed at the clocktower of the Ciosan Starcharts Astrendum around 100 a.S. Return to the top

Calendar Definitions. Mowi Fareseer didn't invent the wheel anew when defining the Santharian Calendar, but relied to a great degree on the work of Cournan, simply expanding it with further precisions. Secondary names for months and weekdays therefore were kept, the day-times remained as well as layed out by Cournan and hour name
s were for the first time officially written down and standardized by Mowi. Return to the top

The Naming of the Months.
While Cournan was a very down-to-earth person, who used already established peasant terms in order to define
the names of the months (Coldturn, Icebreak, Ploughin, Seeddown etc.), Mowi approached the issue from his elven point of view. Various new month names he introduced as Santharian standard are directly based on elven month names or slightly altered, having more a mythical or poetical touch than the more simplistic peasant versions. Nevertheless in some parts of Santharia one might still here locals refer to the old peasant names of the Cournanian Calendar as well. The alternate month names based on the guiding stars named after Gods are also still valid in the Santharian Calendar, mainly due to the fact that their use was widely spread in clerical practices all over Santharia. Aside from the naming Mowi's main accomplishment in terms of month definitions of course was to lay down the precise amount of days for each month, a task where Cournan simply improvised.

The Santharian Months

# Month Name Cosm./Clerical Days
1 Turning Star
(Córt'ometrá)
Seystar
(Godd. Seyella)
31
2 Molten Ice
(Smól'evathón)
Nehstar
(God Nehtor)
29
3 Awakening Earth
(Avénni'modía)
Armerstar
(God Armeros)
31
4 Changing Winds
(Méh'avashín)
Grostar
(God Grothar)
30
5 Singing Bird
(Alé'veván)
Ethstar
(God Etherus)
31
6 Rising Sun
(Dál'injerá)
Eyalstar
(Godd. Eyasha)
30
 
# Month Name Cosm./Clerical

Days

7 Burning Heavens
(Efér'ypheró)
Foirstar
(God Foiros)
31
8 Sleeping Dreameress
(Maáh'valannía)
Jeystar
(Godd. Jeyriall)
31
9 Fallen Leaf
(Chúh'querín)
Arstar
(Godd. Arvins)
30
10 Passing Clouds
(Sálari'herín)
Baverstar
(Godd. Baveras)
31
11 Dead Tree
(Coór'pherán)
Questar
(God Queprur)
30
12 Frozen Rivers
(E
xhón'almár)
Ustar
(God Urtengor)
31

The Naming of the Weekdays/Day-Times. In regard of the naming of weekdays Mowi wasn't very creative and accepted the definitions of his precursor, Tandelrah Cournan, without alteration as they had become conventional already at human, halfling and gnomish tribes (unlike at the months where there were still differences).

The Santharian Weekdays

# Weekday Peasant Days
1 Restday Prayday
2 Elfday Washday
3 Halfday Ploughday
4 Browninday Bakeday
 
# Weekday Peasant Days
5 Gnomesday Brewday
6 Dwervenday Scrubday
7 Folkday Fastday

Since the introduction of the Cournanian Calendar weekdays are therefore named after the civilized races of Caelereth - plus there is also a peasant version for each day still used by many locals as already seen on the Cournanian Calendar.

The day-times however were redefined by Mowi, nevertheless the Cournanian version is often used as coloquial form while Mowi's definitions are common in formal and official writings. Mowi eventually divided a single day into 24 hours with the following scheme: A day was split into "day-time" and "night-time", where each of these times has a climax, either when the sun is dominating (Sunreign, Noon) or darkness (Darkreign, Midnight), so that day-time as well as night-time have both two halves. All in all there are therefore 4 quarters, 2 for the day-time and 2 for the night-time. These quarters he split again into halves and each of these halves into threes, making 24 hours for a whole day.

The Mowickle (Day- and Night-Times)
View picture in full size View picture in full size (map names) Picture description. Scheme of the Mowickle showing the 3 day-times and the 3 night-times. Image by Artimidor.

Around the year 100 a.S. Mowi - with the help of gnomish, human and halfling craftsmen undertook the daring endeavour to construct a mechanical device meant to tell the time for the Ciosan people independent from weather conditions or visible sun movements, which had effects only on sun-dials. This gigantic device which should later earn the name "Mowickle" after its inventor and become the prototyp for many other varieties of Santharian clocks and watches, was no less than four peds in diameter and was mounted on the central tower of the Astrendum. At each beginning of a new day-section a guard rang a bell in the inside of the tower to make people aware of the progress of the day. The first Mowickle was constructed out of black iron, herne and aurium to provide different shades corresponding to the moving of the sun over the Caelerethian sky and though restaurated several times by now, the Ciosan Mowickle can still be viewed today as one of the town's landmarks.

The Mowickle displays 24 hours in a single circle plus day-sections (day-times) displayed in different colours and needs to be read from left to right, with the western point constituting the first hour of the lit day (sunrise) and the eastern point the last hour of the lit day (sunset). The wiser of at this clock moves automatically from left to right - the depicted state constitutes the time "five half" (five and half an hour) or "half to six", a hour and a half before midday (Sunreign). The image clearly shows the 6 day-times defined by Mowi and his scholars. The three main day-times are Daybreak (hours 1-3), Sunblaze (hours 4-9) and Daywane (hours 10-12), while the night-times are Greyshade (hours 13-15), Guardorans (short for "Guarded Hours", hours 16-21) and Nightsban (hours 22-24).

There are also expressions for day-times which were saved from the Cournanian Calendar, like "Dawn" used for the beginning of the day and "Dusk" for the end. Mowi allowed to use these terms, however, he himself distinguished between
"Day-Dawn" ("Dawn of the Day", equivalent to "Daybreak") and "Night-Dawn" ("Dawn of the Night", equivalent to "Greyshade") as well as "Day-Dusk" ("Dusk of the Day", equivalent to "Daywane") and "Night-Dusk" ("Dusk of the Night", equivalent to "Nightsban"). It needs to said however that Mowi didn't entirely succeed in convincing people to use these more precise forms - a peasant you might encounter on a field in Kolbruk might still only know "Dawn" and "Dusk".

The Naming of the Hours. The breakdown of the day into seperate hours has to be accounted to Mowi Farseer's greatest achievements as it still lives on unchanged to this very day. Defining and standardizing Santharian hours helped a great deal to achieve more accuracy in terms of regulating working hours, setting appointments and time limits and thus in general allowed better planning and improved business on the Santharian streets, which so far had been often heavily influenced by various circumstances like weather conditions etc.

The Mowickle (Hours)
View picture in full size View picture in full size (map names) Picture description. Scheme of the Mowickle showing the naming of the most important hours of the day according to Mowi. Image by Artimidor.

Mowi didn't name all hours of the day, but only the most important ones, marking transitions from one day-time to another.

The
hours of the lit day include: Firstflame or Sunrise (1st hour), Lighthrive (4th hour, marking the beginning of the dominance of the sun), Sunreign or Noon (6th hour, sun in zenith), Sundrown (10th hour, sun now literally starting to drown into the Void) and finally Lastflame or Sunset (12th hour).

The hours of the night include only four definitions: Starrise (13th hour, beginning of the night and first stars can been seen appearing on the night sky), Tenebrume (15th hour, beginning of the deep, dark night), Darkreign or Midnight (18th hour, sun in zenith over the Netherworlds) and finally Shadowleave (22nd hour, marking the end of deep night).

Importance. The acribic work of Mowi Farseer and the astronomers of the Starcharts Astrendum in Ciosa has been recognized as one of the major accomplishments in this field throughout the world. In the wake of Mowi's fame and the thriving of the United Kingdom the Santharian Calendar has become the central time measurement system, not only at most parts of Sarvonia, but also in the whole world of Caelereth. Since its introduction 70 years after Santhros' ascension to the Santharian throne the calendar has "conquered" parts of Northern Sarvonia and various oversea locations like Akdor, the Crimson Isles, northern Aeruillin or southern parts of Cyhalloi. This predominance is mainly due to the trading relations the Santharians have established in all parts of the world, mostly initiated already in Erpheronian times through the Quios Shipping Guild (Stormcloaks) and other similar organisations. Only a few places in the world remain which still stick to a modified version of the precursor of the Santharian Calendar, the Cournanian one - these places include the Isle of Denilou (the dwarven "Iron Realm"), the Kingdom of Dorania and the Isles of R'unor, the latter by the way featuring a very excentric Cournanian-based time-measurement system to say the least, but well, the R'unorians have always been known for pioneering the weird and the strange. Return to the top

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