Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Lunar Cycles

When I first pitched O Mortal to my players I included the premise that in seven months, the querub would arrive to announce the end of one dynasty and the beginning of another. The clock began to count down. Time is an aspect of this game.

Every game session, we track elapsed time. After just five sessions we've passed about eight days so at that rate it's going to be a while before the querub comes. Well, if we assume months of similar length to the player world, that is.

So let's talk about time in this game world.

There is a major moon, Soma, that determines the lunar cycles. It has a 22 day cycle, and the inhabitants have constructed months around this. There are ten days between full moon and new moon and ten days back to full moon. The inhabitants of the world have created two weeks of ten days around this, with rest days at new moon (Monnovi) and full moons (Monpuni).

There are two other, smaller moons called Anahid and Khons. They have 14 and 37 day cycles respectively. Lunar alignments are rare but celebrated.

Monnovi and Monpuni are always celebrated religiously by elves (it's a bit like going to mosque or temple each week), and often by humans. The elves connect with nature spirits as their principle religion whereas humans worship gods of places and areas. Human gods with a lunar connection would inspire more devotion on these days.

The days are divided into 22 hours, reflective of the lunar cycle as well. Clocks are not widely used outside of cities and even in cities the residents rely on a central clock tower to ring the bell each hour from one hour before sunrise through to one hour after sunset. Inside the towers are a variety of timepieces, ranging from hourglasses to clockwork mechanisms to (rarely!) magical constructs.

And as for the year? It's just not as important as the months. The new year does not happen on the same date every year, but is a moving date. Years last between eight and nine months and is calculated as the first storm of the rainy season. The seasons are based around weather, plant, and animal behaviours. Over a year, the cycle moves through rains, blossoms, bird migrations, snowfalls, and dry winds. As with all seasons, individual days are variable (e.g., during the dry winds season, rain is still possible).

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