Have you ever been reading The Dark Profit Saga and wondered what all of those funny dates mean? No? Well, that’s pretty normal. Maybe you could humor me and pretend that you care about all of the work I put into the date system? Great! Read on for a summary of how Arth’s calendar works.
The Months of Arth
Arth has the same four seasons as earth. The first day of the year is the first day of spring.
A year on Arth is divided into twelve months, each with thirty days, plus Mordo Ogg’s Day. Mordo Ogg’s day doesn’t fall within a month but instead falls on the first day of Winter (or the first day of Summer in the south). All months formally share a name with a god or goddess, but most in the Freedlands know them by their “farmers’ name”—the month used by the common folk. The formal names are more useful for caravans and scholars who must deal with nations from the southern hemisphere, where farmers’ names are reversed.
Once every three or four years, the Agekeepers will declare a Dark Year. In a Dark Year, Mordo Ogg has not one day, but a full week. This corrects the calendar, for Arth’s year is not a perfect 361 days.
The months are as follows, with formal names in italics.
- 1. Meltwater, Fulgen
- 2. Dawngreen, Leurieth
- 3. Bloomtide, Dewen
- 4. Auldlight, Fengelde
- 5. Sunheight, Baedrun
- 6. Summerglow, Oppo
- 7. Fireleaf, Thordin
- 8. Harvestgild, Maeneth
- 9. Fadelight, Fula
- Mordo Ogg’s Day(s), Mordo Ogg’s Day(s)
- 10. Frostfall, Molner
- 11. Highmoon, Al’Matra
- 12. Deepnight, Tandos
Ages and Years
Arth’s history is divided into Ages. Ages are indeterminate amounts of time, spanning all the way back to the Creation. Significant historical events mark the transition from one age to another, rather than set durations. The scholars of the Agekeepers, a society dedicated to the preservation of history and lore, collectively decide when one age ends and another begins. Because it may take some time for the Agekeepers to agree, Ages technically end a few years after the event that marked their termination. No age begins or ends halfway through a year.
Orconomics: A Satire is set 373 years into the seventh age, known as the Age of Heroes.
Formally, dates in Arth are formally written as [Age].[Year], [Day] of [Month]. e.g. 7.285, 15th of Fulgen. Customarily, dates requiring such ceremony always use the religious month, though they may list both months when made public. In such cases, the month is written as [god] in [month]; e.g. 7.285, 15th of Fulgen in Meltwater.
Less formally, days are usually listed first, and the gods are usually left out; e.g. 15th of Meltwater, 7.285.
Informally, the Age is left out, unless an age ended very recently; e.g. 15th of Meltwater, 285.
Where shorthand is required, such as in ledgers, months may be replaced with a number; e.g. 15.1.285.
Mordo Ogg’s day is always written out; e.g. Mordo Ogg’s day, 7.329. In a Dark Year, Mordo Ogg’s day is written as a thirteenth month with seven days; e.g. 3rd of Mordo Ogg, 7.360.
Now that you know how dates on Arth work, you’re ready to mercilessly check The Dark Profit Saga for chronological errors. Happy reading!
3 thoughts on “Understanding Arth’s Dates”
So, if all the months have 30 days, why are there seven-day weeks? A six-day (or five-day) week would line up better with the months. Of course, then there’s Mordo Ogg’s day — is that day part of the weekly cycle, or is not a day of the week, just like it’s not a day of any month?
—Your friendly neighborhood calendrics fan
Unfortunately, Michael, the ancient calendar makers of Arth were just as bad at making sensible decisions as those on Earth, and the math doesn’t always line up as neatly as we’d like. Much as with our own calendar, the days of the week don’t correspond to any particular day of the month.
Mordo Ogg’s Day(s) still fall on days of the week. They’re like a (very) short 13th month.