The civilizations of Thule use the old Atlantean calendar with which you are familiar, O King, dividing the year into twelve months of 30 or 31 days each. The Atlantean calendar is an observational system based on the transit of the sun against the various constellations of the zodiac. Since these transits may vary by a day or so from year to year, the length of the months is not fixed—priests or official astrologers in each city generally issue an official calendar every year, predicting the length of each month. By tradition, the new year begins on the spring equinox, and the months are named after the sign that “houses” the sun throughout the year.
Naturally, the Atlanteans had their own ideas of what constellations stood for, and in different ages the constellations stood in different parts of the Earth’s sky than they do now. The months of the Atlantean calendar are:
|Tebon||The Chariot (Capricorn)||March|
|Sana||The Slave (Aquarius)||April|
|Adar||The Dragon (Pisces)||May|
|Nidon||The Ram (Aries)||June|
|Taru||The Bull (Taurus)||July|
|Samon||The Throne (Gemini)||August|
|Dumet||The Messenger (Cancer)||September|
|Abron||The Lion (Leo)||October|
|Ulon||The Warrior (Virgo)||November|
|Tisra||The Mammoth (Libra)||December|
|Samnu||The Scorpion (Scorpio)||January|
|Kislon||The Chimera (Sagittarius)||February|
Astrology is taken very seriously in Thule’s civilizations, and the upper classes frequently pay lavish sums to have detailed horoscopes cast to commemorate noteworthy events such as a marriage or the birth of a child. It seems a prudent and commendable practice, my King.
Barbaric peoples lack the ability to do precise observations or calcu- lations, but they can certainly note the length of the day and tell when a new year begins. Likewise, they know their winter stars from their summer stars and can estimate the month with a good deal of accuracy. If a barbarian has to plan a date in the future, he or she is likely to say something such as, “I will meet you here on the first new moon in the month of Adar,” and won’t miss by more than a day or two.
In addition to the months and days of the Atlantean calendar, Thuleans also count seven-day weeks tied to the phases of the moon. This is only used to provide weekdays and provide a more convenient schedule for regular commerce and observances, which otherwise would have to be fixed to specific dates ahead of time. The days are named after major deities as follows:
- Asura’s Day
- Tarhun’s Day
- Kishar’s Day
- Nergal’s Day
- Tiamat’s Day
- Mithra’s Day
- Ishtar’s Day
The middle of the week is considered inauspicious in some cities, and people avoid beginning new enterprises or conducting important business on Nergal’s Day and Tiamat’s Day. Thuleans have little notion of a weekend, but in most places Ishtar’s Day is a day of light work; many festivals or revels are planned to fall on the last day of the week.
Most people in Thule count years from the beginning of their monarch’s reign. For example, a merchant might boast that she bought an olive grove “in the third year of Queen Nalyani’s reign,” or promise to pay a loan “by the eleventh year of the queen’s reign.” If the queen’s reign happens to end before eleven years, people understand that the date means eleven years from the year in which Queen Nalyani assumed the throne. In the course of a single human lifetime there are rarely more than half a dozen rulers to keep track of in any given city, so it is not very confusing.
From time to time truly villainous or despised monarchs are stricken from history by their succes- sors, which can introduce some uncertainty for later scholars.
Tribal peoples follow a similar custom, but they tend to date years from notable events—battles, natural disasters, or heroic deeds of great renown. For example, a barbarian might count “the seventh year since we fought the Lomarans at the River Klal,” or “the ninth year after the Great Comet.” On occasion the beginning of the rule of a well-loved (or much-hated) chieftain counts as a notable event, but not often. Finding common references by which two barbarians can agree on when something happened can be challenging at times.
Scholars and sages make use of the Evenoran dating system (or Atlantean Reckoning), which counts years from the foundation of Atlantis by Evenor, the first king of that realm. Since the destruction of that realm, the Evenoran dates have become less and less well known throughout Thule (and your own realm, Supreme Majesty), but no other universal measure exists. In this system, Atlan- tis was destroyed in 1906 AR, and the current year is 2213 AR.