sábado, 22 de abril de 2017

Measurement of time in An Ominous Book

I just read an interesting blog post titled "Ways of Measuring Time in High Fantasy". I don't specify every aspect of the planet where my story takes place, but it has 1 moon, the year lasts 365 days and has a similar climate to Earth.

Elves don't measure months the same as humans, but they use two interchangeable systems to try to stay in the same book as the surrounding human nations to simplify things. Humans use the Gregorian calendar and elves use their own special calendar mainly for religious purposes.

If you have read my novel, you will soon realize in the second chapter that Lord Yu berates Spaulding because he has skipped the annual summer festival without a suitable excuse. This faux pass is once again mentioned by Lord Legarha who claims that if Spaulding keeps on skipping his duties as a clan leader, he will demand Lord Froylan to personally drag him to the capital kicking and screaming.

The ever ruthless King Salman is furious with Spaulding and thinks his misbehavior is a personal insult (BTW: he's right, Spaulding profoundly hates him and tries to find any excuse to avoid visiting the capital). Part of the reason why Salman punishes Spaulding with poverty and unemployment at the end of the first novel is payback for the percieved slight.

Things get even more reprehensible in the second novel where Salman takes advantage of Spaulding's disobedience and orders Eufurel to viciously flog him 30 times in front of the other 34 clan leaders to both humilliate him for skipping the festival 30 years in a row and to instill fear in the most politically powerful citizens of the nation.

The Elvish calendar is copied from the Aztec and Mayan calenadar which in fact has two calendars: a lunar 260 day calendar and a solar 360 day calendar. The final 5 days are the "no time" void days and the Aztecs had a really interesting 5 day New Year ritual. There is a small museum on top of Cerro de la Estrella in Iztapalapa Mexico City that explains how the Aztecs celebrated their new year in that little hill. The Elvish New Year occurs on June 21st of the human calendar.

The 5 day festival has 5 religious events which are mentioned in different books of my series. Most of the events of the festival are mentioned for the first time in the 4th book Diaspora. Spaulding's favorite day is the 4th when the king greets ordinary civilians as they drink holy water in the Elf King's presence and break the cup in a cauldron for good luck. If you ever get to read Diaspora, you will notice that the book mentions what happens 3 of the 5 days and the 6th novel Quandary mentions what happens on the 2nd day inside of the hall that contains the fog of resolve.

However, I left the events of the 3rd day of the festival as a secret. I finally mention what happens on that pesky 3rd day in the unfinished 7th novel Harlequins.

As for the way elves count time, they mainly use hourglasses, astronomy and the position of the sun in the sky at varying times of the year. When Spaulding is forced to perform the daily mirror session in the 2nd novel, Eufurel counts the hours of the daily brainwashing session with the aid of an hourglass.

Clocks as we know them are a previously unknown technology.

Read the original blog post HERE.

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