On the Time Measurement System

So far the time measurement system goes like this:

Lunar calendar (Moon/Norphelail)

1 Week = 7 Days

1 Month = 4 Weeks = 28 Days (full phase of Norphelail, new moon to new moon)

1 Year = 13 Months = 52 Weeks = 364 Days (I added one extra month—in comparison to the familiar Earth calendar—just to keep the length of the year close to ours and to keep character ages relate-able).

Oh!!! Better yet: in the ancient times there were 14 months (to keep things round and balanced), but some mythical creature stole one… could be Zurbahnian or Kuomoqo folk tale… (that, actually, plays to the theory that Artifacts are, indeed, an alien tech, left on the planet after the crash of the interstellar vessel, which created the Flats, and altered the planet’s orbit, speeding it up… aside from the fact, that no fauna would survive the catastrophe of that magnitude, and all the life forms would have to re-evolve from scratch. Yes, it’s a Darwinist fantasy. Or it could be just a tale. :-) )

Day consists of 24 hours, 12-hour count resets at halfnight and halfday:

A(fter)H(alf)N(ight) P(ast)H(alf)D(ay), e.g. 10 AHN, 4 PHD

Days of the week:

Moonday, Rainday, Winday, Earthday, Fireday, Starday, Sunday

Month of the year (so far):

Sacrifice, Ice, Flight, Melt, Seed, Water, Grow, Harvest, Keep, Feast, Rains, Snow, Frost (many need work, but the story is set during the month of Feast, that one is all right, I think).

Western Countries adopted the year count since the Sacrifice, but got the date wrong.

The story is set in the Year 1000, near the end of the First Millennium.

Should I play more with this, to make it strang-er? Call the weeks “spans” or something, just to de-familiarize the world a bit? Months could be “moons”, etc.

9 thoughts on “On the Time Measurement System”

  1. Oh man, so many ideas! Okay here are some thoughts:
    Love the 14 month legend. I am also a huge fan of blending sci-fi and fantasy (read a few books where the two are combined and was highly entertained. I think that if Artifacts are alien tech, you could reinforce this idea a bit more (without focusing on it too much in this book.) for instance, I think the poison detecting stone should then be a metal ball that glows a different color depending on the poison. Or something like that. as far as the flats being created by a ship,
    I like that. The earth’s rotation changing is a possibility, but, as you said, life would have to re-evolve, which makes me wonder how the myth of a monster stealing a month could develop of no one was there to witness the event…needs some more thought…

    Okay, now for the renaming section:
    1. I’m trying to figure out the time system based on your explanation and I don’t get it. (Math was never my strong suit)
    2. The month names are fine I think, but if the action happens in “Feast”, but the year count starts in “Sacrifice”, how can the action be leading up to the turn of the millennium?
    3. Renaming all the time measurements is a tricky thing to balance with the fact that you are still using English as your language. For example, if you change “year”, “month” and “week”, it’s strange to keep “day”, but you can’t change “day” because then you don’t have the word “today” or any other word that deals with time measurement…however I do see the attraction in using less arbitrary terms (i. e. Cycle or Spin or Turn for Year, Moon for Month, Span or Phase for Week) I think you could make it work if it’s reinforced a lot and maybe you can get away with keeping a Day as is…$$

    1. 1. What’s not clear in the math? Hm…
      2. As for Sacrifice being three months away, it’s because Western calendar is off. The fight happens on the actual date, the No Moon Night by the True Moon Zurbahnian calendar (it was mentioned briefly in the beginning chapters)
      3. I totally understand the point, so I am keeping weeks, months and years for now. It will be easy enough to change, if so decided (how did people write before computers? B.C. that is?)

      1. 1. I don’t know…I just don’t get the system…but maybe you can explain in person at some point :-P

        2. Right…I remember that…okay, cool :-)

        3. B.C. was a scary time…

        1. OH! Just went back and took a look at the time measurement system. The post looks different on the computer — much clearer. (I misunderstood the example you gave because there were different line breaks on the iphone!)

          Makes perfect sense now.

          Carry on.

    2. I can make the Chemist’s Stone metal, sure. I like metals. Maybe, not glowing, though, just changing color? Metal, changing color is kinda cool… or the ball is solid titanium-like metal with a thin slit around its “equator”, and that slit lights up, when the poison is detected? Possibilities are endless, but, while hinting that all the Artifacts are not “man-made” in the medieval sense of the word (e.g. machined with a high-tech equipment, not hammered in the blacksmith forge), I still do not want to make them look too familiar and iPhone-age-like. I would try to envision something well ahead of our time also, so it would have an air of magic even for us.

      1. I like color changing metal — that’s pretty futuristic even for us. But, as you said, possibilities are endless and yes, I agree — no digital screens or anything like that.

        1. Then it would make it not a Chemist Stone (which is quite all right, for it is not reminiscent of the Philosopher Stone), but a Chemist what? Hm… Eye?

          1. Chemist’s Sphere? (sounds like hemisphere…)
            Chemist’s Eye is pretty good actually. I like it :-)

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