Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pellatarrum: the Common Calendar

The common calendar of Pellatarrum, much like its common language, developed organically through cooperation between the various Elder races and their emissaries out of a need to have a universal timetable during the Orc War.

Each day is precisely 24 hours long. No more, no less.

A Pellatarran week is eight days long. Listed first is the common bowdlerization of the name, and then the original name for the day.
  1. Briday ("Bright Day")
  2. Dorday ("Dwarf Day")
  3. Elday ("Elf Day")
  4. Gonnesday ("Dragon Day")
  5. Noday ("Gnome Day")
  6. Halfday ("Halfling Day"
  7. Manday ("Human Day")
  8. Bladay ("Black Day")
There is symbolism at work here (thank the elves for that): The week starts with Positive Energy -- birth -- and ascends through the elder races from shortest to longest lived. It then descends through the servitor races, again from greatest to least longevity, and thence into Negative Energy and death.

The two energy days, representing the sun and anti-sun of Pellatarrum, serve as bookends to the week and highlights their duality. But Bladay also becomes Briday with the changing of the week, representing their duality.

Owing to the fact that the sky above Pellatarrum is a gigantic celestial clock, seasons are easily tracked and therefore there is little need for varied months. Therefore, each season is a month, which can easily be divided into "ascending" (moving towards mid-season) and "descending" (moving towards the next season) if necessary. Each month is 12 weeks, or 96 days long.

Each Pellatarran year is 384 days (8 x 12 x 4) long, and you can thank the dwarves for having nice even months without any of this "leap year" nonsense. This means that for every year, a human on Pellatarrum ages 19.25 more days than a human on Earth. Therefore, every 20 years, a person will age an extra 385 days, or essentially one extra Pellatarrum year. This difference is negligible unless measured across centuries -- in which case either the individual in question will be dead, or is sufficiently long-lived (dwarf, elf, dragon) that measuring years to centuries would be akin to accounting for extra hours added to a human lifespan:  every century adds 5 years, and every thousand adds 50.

Again, this is not actual aging, just a conversion factor between Earth time and Pellatarran time.

Other Calendars
This is not the only calendar in use in Pellatarrum, just the only most used. The Dwarven calendar is far more precise (akin to an atomic clock), while the Elven calendar is a masterpiece of context that makes "In the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia" seem positively concise in comparison.

No one has quite gotten the hang of the Draconic calendar, as dragons measure years the way the rest of us measure minutes and hours. Kobolds quite happily use the common calendar, as do the orcs if their tribe is literate enough -- otherwise they simply mark the seasons.

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