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).
|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.|
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
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.
|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.
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
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.
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 names were for the first time officially written down and standardized by Mowi.
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
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
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
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.
|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.
|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).
The acribic work of Mowi Farseer and the
astronomers of the Starcharts Astrendum in Ciosa has been recognized as one of
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.
Information provided by Artimidor