Keeping Time: The Calendars of Tellurak and Veydrus

by | Jan 9, 2013 | Behind the Pages | 0 comments

Time passes, but how do we track it? Here on Earth, the English-speaking world is familiar with January through December, with varying numbers of days in each. It’s a convoluted system that developed over centuries, but it’s also unique to Earth. It only came about because of the machinations of emperors (we’re looking at you, July and August) and the patchwork that their beleaguered subjects put together to cover for them.

That never happened on Tellurak. It never happened in Veydrus. Both worlds have their own histories, separate from Earth, and came up with their own calendars, which fortunately remained a bit more functionally useful. Also, though they are essentially identical worlds, neither is physically Earth. There are 360 days instead of 365.2422. Their moon has a 30-day cycle.

Tellurak’s calendar is lunar, counting days from the beginning of a series of twelve named months (from beginning of year to end: Icewatch, Hearthwatch, Cloudwatch, Greenwatch, Hillwatch, Gladewatch, Sunwatch, Starwatch, Stormwatch, Seawatch, Greywatch, Frostwatch). Every month has a 1 through 30. Residents of Tellurak mark and name the seasons as we do on Earth, but they are not officially a part of the date. Starwatch just happens to fall in the middle of the summer, Hearthwatch in winter. Go through all the months and you’ve had a year. Do that 10 times for a decade, 100 for a century, etc.

Veydrus uses a solar calendar. The calendar is broken up into four seasons, marked by solstices and equinoxes. The seasons are each made up of 90 days. While the concept of a “year” would not be so foreign to someone living in Veydrus, they don’t have a generic term for a cycle of seasons; they have four. “Summer” is a season, but “a summer” or “five summers” is a length of time from one summer to the next; it’s a year, but specifically referring to one that began and ended starting in summertime. This usage in speech is twofold. For events with a known point in time, the season that it occurs is used. A Veydran’s age-day (birthday) is a fine example; Brannis is 22 summers old, Iridan is 22 springtimes. For events of indeterminate beginning, summers is the generic term, however the season used can be varied to provide connotation. “Summer” is both the generic and positively connotated. “Winters” are used to describe regretful, painful, or unpleasant events, which is culturally why marriages are avoided in winter, and winter births aren’t preferred. “Springtimes” and “Autumns” are more rarely used for context, but would be appropriate for renewals and declines, respectively.

One curveball in all this? Acardia is in the northern hemisphere of Tellurak, and Kadrin is in the southern hemisphere of Veydrus. The graphic below shows how the seasons in Tellurak (Acardia specifically) and Veydrus (Kadrin) match up, with the colors showing the temperatures that can be expected.



How to spot a Twinborn: watch for slips in dates and seasons. The mismatched calendars are one of the trickiest things for a twinborn to keep straight between worlds. Years and seasons are so ingrained into the speech of each that misuse of verbiage is a constant worry. Not only that, but if they travel widely, the seasons can flip as they pass the equator, changing the local Veydran parlance, but having no effect on how Tellurakis track time.


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