TimeinCreation

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Contents

The Concept

The basis for this whole thing is really boredom and some overly curiousness into certain things. THen again, that's the start of a lot of the setting additions on this site, I guess, so I guess it's not all that bad, is it?

Anyways, with the introduction of the Shogunate dating system from Exalted: the Outcaste, we now have a general idea of when the Terrestrial Shogunate officialy began. The current default year for the game, Realm Year 768, is the eleventh year of the 11th Epoch of the Terrestrial Shogunate. Now, each Epoch is 125 years long and ten have finished so far. This means that the Shogunate started 125x10 + 11. Or, in simplistics sake, 1261 years ago.

So what's this have to do with anything? Nothing much really. Though it made me think. The current Realm calendar is based much on the dating systems of most nations. It starts with a specific date, and then just numbers from there. However, the Shogunate drew on Japanese dating systems, resetting the time unit after a certain time (In this case, a 125 year period, rather then Japanese ruler reigns). What this made me think is "Hey, maybe the Old Realm had its own dating system."

And so brings this bit of nonsense you see here:)

First Steps

Before one can go about building a calendar for a culture that is now dead, and whose dates haven't been used in centuries, we have to think of how we are going to do this whole thing in a way that is different fromt he standard XY Number system as well as the Japanese Epoch system, but still showing some logical progression. As such, we gotta work out some minor things.

Months and Seasons

First off, we are going to assume that the actual 425 day calendar remains pretty much intact. Luna doesn't seem to veer off of schedule too much, and Calibration existed in the Old Realm, and the existence of beings like Five Days Darkness indicates that it may even predate the gods themselves. So we'll keep these the same. Now, as to what they name the months and seasons, I would assume those would remain about the same as well. The same sasons seem to predate the gods as well, as Five Days Darkness once again hints to the Court of Seasons being pretty damned old.

Now, these seasons might have been rather arbitary in the Old Realm. With the Solar Deliberative bossing the Bureau of Seasons around as much as it did, I think it was just a general calendar of what to expect. But it was probably more or less stable as stable as the modern calendar, as the gods don't seem to be trying to make things as complex as back in the day.

Days of the Week

Now, while we're at things, let's deal with the most fundemental unit in a calendar, the day. Now, as we seem to have indicated for us, Exalted's world has four seven-day weeks each month, for a total of sixty weeks a year. However, we only have two references to the actual names of a day of the week. The first is in Castebook: Twilight, where there is a reference to Iay's wife saying that he has been all Anathemaish since Thursday. And then another is in Savage Seas, where the demon in the magics chapter is noted as not attacking people on Venus' Day.

Now, for anyone who's taken or naturally speaks Spanish, French, or other more Latin-based languages, you know that the various days of the week are basicically names of the planets, sun, and moon used to note days. Hell, English is based on this as well, though many of the days are based on more Germanic and Norse roots, such as Friday being named after Freya, rather then Venus, and Thursday after Thor, rather then Jupiter.

As such, we can guess this is the way they name the days of the week in Exalted:

  • Sunday = Sun's Day
  • Monday = Moon's Day
  • Tuesday = Mars' Day
  • Wednesday = Mercury's Day
  • Thursday = Jupiter's Day
  • Friday = Venus' Day
  • Saturday = Saturn's Day

Now, the nice thing about this cycle as well is that it starts on Sun's Day, the greatest of the gods. And then it ends on Saturn's Day, the Maiden of Endings. That's just kinda spiffy, if you ask me.

The Realm and Lookshy

Now like many things time-wise in Creation, the Realm is a bit of a sore thumb in this department. While nothing hints to this anywhere in canon, I usually use more elementally-flavored days names for the days of the week in places like Lookshy and the Realm, where the Immaculate Philosophy is a bit more dominant and so naming days after the gods is not really encouraged. This also plays into the Sidereals getting screwed on starmetal, as their goddesses slowly are widdled out of things as basic as a friggin' calendar in some areas.

The sun and moon stay in the days, however, fro the reason they show up in the rest of the calendar as the time-keepers. Also, its a bit of an anachronism that just won't go away really. Like Calibration parties and the whole right of passage thing with someone in silver and gold outfits.

Anyhow, the names here are based on the Japanese terms for them, and their translation. Anyone with knowledge of Chinese of any dialect, I would be much appreciative of the days in that language, as it would fit the Realm better. If they are the same as in Japanese, it'd be helpful to know for genuineous sake:)

  • Nichiyoubi = Sunday
  • Getsuyoubi = Moonday
  • Kayoubi = Fireday
  • Suiyoubi = Waterday
  • Mokuyoubi = Woodday
  • Kin'youbi = Metalday*
  • Doyoubi = Earthday
  • *We can always replace this with Airday, of coure.

Now, this pattern is actually rather convenient. Coincidentally, the alphabetical order we see the elements arranged in is maintained. You can even move the calendar so that Sunday and Monday are the last days of the week, like we see often done in Latin American calendars. And it all works rather nicely, if you ask me.

Well, that's fun. Now for other time units.

Years, Cycles, Epochs and other big numbers

Well, this is where we gotta decide on what calendar to make the First Age based on. To do this, we gotta thing of some things. First off, we already have Japanese and Roman dating systems. So it would be redundant to just recycle those. So, to figure out a First Age calendar, we gotta go and look into the basis for a lot of First Age culture.

The first thing to note is the theme of the time period's aesthetic. Architecture, outfits, and art notes all seem to dictate a Mayan theme. According to Melissa Uran's webiste, the art bible even says that the First Age is Mayan. The Exalted CD ROM also says this. And if you look at Old Realm, you'll note that it has a very Mesoamerican look and style to it. This also carries over to the pronounciation of Realm Script and Clawspeak, both languages which are based on Old Realm phonetics.

So, why don't we go with the Mayan time period? It's nifty, looks rather different from the other times, but also has a rather nifty system for other things. Certain patterns can be used for holidays. Gods get their proper respects in proper numerical combinations. And it looks impressive. So, let's do that. Before that, though, we need a bit of information on other things.

The Mayan Calendar in Short The Mayan calendar consisted of two main calendars, the religious and the state calendars. While it is a rather intriguing system which involves two calendars of different amounts of days, I am not going to detail that here. As I have already decided, I'll be doing this whole thing with just the Old Realm calendar. We can maybe think of a zodiac calendar later or something, but not now.

Instead, let's look at the dating system, known as the Long Count. Now, the basic idea is that while our calendar shows a Month, Day, Year (or Day, Month Year, depending on where you live, this being the internet and all), the Mayan used a system which indicated things a bit more definitely.

The basic units of the Calendar were the kin (day), uinnals (month, 20 days), tun (year, 18 months), katun (20 years), and baktun (400 years). Now, how the calendar worked is that it would list how far in the cycle of these it was basically. The number to the furthest right indicated the day of the month it is, the next the month it is, the next what year in the next katun it is, and the next the current katun in the baktun it is.

So, for example, the 8th day, of the twelth month, of the zeroeth year, of the 13 katun, of the fifth baktun might look like:

5.13.0.12.8

Or something. That's really all we need to know for the structure overall. Just note that this is basically counting lots and lots of days with a bunch of odd numbers. Also note that the culture that designed this starts counting at zero. So the first day of a month was listed with 0th, rather then 1st. I'll be incorperating this into the Exalted Long Count as well, with some tweaks here and there.

And so, with all this in mind, lets get to the Old Realm Long Count.

Units

First, we need to find a nice base unit for everything. For this cycle, we'll assume the kin and the uinnals are the same as with the current Exalted calendar. This allows for easy conversion and whatnot. Variations on this will be done with Autochthonia's calendar, towards the end of this document.

The next units we gotta be a bit more arbitrary. This isn't that hard in Exalted, however. With the emphasis on the number 5 in this world, and the very common occurence of 25 and 125, we can safely assume that making this count five-based is easy.

As such, the dates. In the system I shall be using, 25 years creates a cycle. This is basically identical to the cycles in the Shogunate calendar, but I am one to fathom that they might of been based on aspects of the Five Maidens, rather then the Five Elements. Of course, this is conjectural, but that's my personal theory there. The animals associated with each cycle, however, most likely remain the same.

The next major unit is an era. This has no real correlation with the Shogunate calendar. A single era is 25 cycles, making it about 625 years in length. Of course, these were rather notable units, probably akin to centuries for the shortened lifespans of Terrestrials, and moments of pride for the Celestial Exalted. One can imagine them noting their lives in terms of eras, rather than years, and also using the unit in much of what they did, the smaller units of years being very tedious and inept at describing periods of the millennia-lengthed lifespans of the Choosen.

When numbering these periods, one follows rather simple rules. First, the numbers start with zero. The calendar indicates which units are done, not which ones are you on currently. So a day with 23 as its number isn't the 23rd day of the month, but instead shows that 23 days have finsihed this month. Anyhow, here are the numbers.

  • Day: 00-27
  • Month: 00-15*
  • Year: 00-24
  • Cycle: 00-24
  • Era: 0-4
  • *Calibration would count as the Fifteenth month of the year, and would only have five days. I would see a calendar listing it as Calibration or Cal or something in that spot, rather than the number.

So then, on the eve of the third era of the Solar Deliberative, the date may be something like this:

1.24.24.CA.05

And then on sunrise that day:

2.00.00.00.00

This indicates that the Second Era has just finished, and the ticker would start with one once again.

Now then, like the Mayan calendar, this calendar has a habit of resetting. As one might note, I used only five numbers for the eras. The reason for this is that most Exalts never would use more than that. And they wanted to count other dates, which they would call an Age. Of course, this never got fully implemented. Or did it?

The Usurpation and the Calendar

The reset of the Mayan recount was the end of an age, and thus, the world. When the calendar resetted, the current world would end and a new world would begin to replace it. A very cyclic view on things, something seen in cultures all across our world.


Now, the spiffyness of this calendar is that it resets on a rather auspicious date storywise IMHO: If you take all the numbers together, an Age is 3125 years long. This might seem insignificant, but if you look at things closely, something interesting happens. We know that Solar Deliberative started about 5000 years ago. This is hinted by the age of Chejop, and also the Autochthonian date, which is now DA 4878.

So here's an idea. What if the calendar was going to reset? What would the Solar Exalted of the First Age of done? Thrown a party. Think about it, its the literal once in a lifetime thing for all Exalted present save some Solars with uber-high Essence Charms. Baring their magics, most none of them woudl see the next Age dawn.

And as such, a great party of the 300 or so most powerful mortal beings in Creation would have occurred. And the staging ground for the Usurpation would have been laid.

And come sunrise, there would have been a great blue flash, then a great yellow flash, and then, well, lots of really nasty stuff would have happened as the Battle Patterns went up and the slaughter of the Solar Exalted began.

Or something to that extent. Really, it just makes my calendar more appealing IMHO. Then again, I'm all a number-crunchy sort, so shoot me.

Laters

This ain't done yet, but I am stopping for now. Next time, a discussion on the Autocthonian calenar, its variations and its possible take on the Long Count, or lack thereof. And stuff. See ya folks.



Comments

This is so cool. Just one quibble: What about the 517 years between the start of the Autochthonian calendar and the start of the Long Count? Why would the Long Count have begun that long after the founding of the Deliberative? Actually, while writing this comment, I had an idea: maybe the "First Age" was actually the second age, and the Zeroth Age began when the Loom of Fate was built. That would mean that the Deliberative was already well-established when the first rollover occurred. -- MetalFatigue

My guess is a few things. First, the Usurpation itself would of taken a bit. This means that ht space between the actual Long Count and the first year of the Shogunate calendar would have soem differantion. Aspect Book: Earth hints that the Fivefold Dragon Paths were established before they were done with the first Epoch I think. This means that getting things running should of taken a while.

Also,t here was probably indeed was a reconstruction time after the Primordial War. Solars had to fix things. A few rogue demsns dealt with. And htings like Meru, the Loom of Faith, and ways ot deal with the newly formed Shadowlands dealt with. SO it might of added a fe wmore hundred years to things really.

The half a millennia isn't that bad I don't htink. There is also hints that Autochthon left before the war was even really over. If that was the case, then simply the Autochthonian calendar is based on before the war ended. Ir maybe een when he layed downt he rules for Exaltation. Who knows? There are plenty of ways to deal with it though, I think.

Stuff. Blaque

Except that the 517-year difference is in the wrong direction: Autochthon left 517 years after the establishment of the Long Count. (Which is why, in my campaign, RY 768 is DA 5878 instead of DA 4878.) --MF

Now here, I did some math, and I don't quite see what you mean.

Righ tnow, the Shogunate originated 1261 years ago. That's including RY 768. Now, add that with the length of the longcount before resetting, which is 3125 years, and you get 4386 years total. This makes DA times start 492 years before the Longcount atleast.

Now, this 492 years, of course, isn't official. The Solar Deliberative probably took a century or two to boot up. And as I noted above, the Shogunate too. So what happens is that if they left within the first couple hundred year,s a little before the Deliberative, the dates still add up I think. My math isn't giving me 517 years difference. So I'm not sure I see you here righ tnow.

Stuff. Blaque

Mmm. You're right. I must have screwed up my math this morning. (What can I say? It was early, or very very late, depending on how you look at it.) --MF

This is the awesome. -BogMod


This is just so friggen cool!
--BrilliantRain

Wow. This is a really cool project. I like what you've done with it, and I hope you keep working on it. I do have a few comments, many of them rather minor and nitpicky... but I'm just trying to be helpful, honest!  :-)

Mostly, I'm focusing on your use of Japanese names for days of the week. Since I'm actually studying Japanese, I thought I'd say a bit about that. For one thing, the Japanese days of the week are actually named after the planets, too - the "elemental" prefixes are actually the same as the prefixes they apply to the planet names. "Suisei" literally means "water star," and it's the term they use for Mercury, for example. I was a little surprised to see that the Dragon-Blooded Aspects don't match up to their Japanese planet names (Mercury is associated with Fire Aspects, for example); this caught me particularly off-guard since the Maidens are very strongly based on Eastern astrology (with a generous dose of Greek/Roman mythology, of course). Anyway, I just thought it would be interesting to note that, in Japanese, the names you have listed do indeed still refer to the five nearest planets.

That being said, I don't think the Japanese names for the days of the week are the same as the Chinese ones... but they should be very, very similar. One of the reasons it's so insanely difficult to become fully literate in Japanese is because many of their characters have different pronunciations - usually one based on Japanese and another based on Chinese, since they originally borrowed the characters from China. The days of the week use the Chinese pronunciations of all of the characters involved... but if you've ever heard a Japanese person trying to learn English, you know that they aren't all that good at pronouncing other languages, thanks to the relatively narrow range of sounds used in Japanese. So, in short, the names should, in theory, be nearly identical in both languages, with most of the difference being a simple result of the same words being said with differing accents. (There are a few Chinese speakers around here; I could ask one of them about it if you want me to)

A nitpicky linguistics point - you should probably be a bit more clear on how the Japanese days of the week are pronounced. Not everybody knows that a double-vowel is pronounced like a long vowel in romanized Japanese. Perhaps it would be less confusing to use one of the alternative romanization systems, and spell it "oh" instead of "oo"? I don't like that system very much, but it's more likely to be pronounced correctly by the casual reader. I'll stick to your spelling throughout the rest of this reply, though, in case you think it's too nitpicky to worry about.  :-)

Another nitpicky linguistics point - "Kinyoobi" isn't proper spelling in any romanization system I'm familiar with. It should be "Kin'yoobi." It's really subtle in English spelling, but it's a pretty major difference in Japanese spelling and pronunciation (let's see if the Wiki can post kana!) - きにょうび by your spelling, but きんようび is the correct Japanese spelling (Yay, it can!).

A helpful linguistics suggestion - if you want to make Friday into "Air Day" instead of "Metal Day" or "Venus Day" in Japanese, "Fuuyoobi" should roughly translate as "Wind Day". I can't find a Japanese syllable that literally means "air" that isn't an English borrow word, so that's the best I can do.

Another, even less significant nit to pick than all the others - when you talked about modern calendar systems, you didn't mention the Japanese one, which always goes from largest unit of time to smallest. Thus, it's always year-month-day, unlike the American or European systems. As a further confusing point, they don't always bother to mention what period it is when they're using the traditional calendar; I regularly receive mail dated in the style of 17年、3月、16日 (using today's date, March 16, 2005, as an example) here.

And finally... I couldn't help but notice a few typos and misspellings while reading through there. Nothing big, but I'm a compulsive proofreader (see FixTheSloppyEditing for proof, if my paragraph about Japanese romanization above isn't enough), and I don't know the wiki etiquette for this sort of thing yet, so I thought I'd ask if I could go through and clean up whatever easily-fixable typos and misspellings I catch. -Everyl who just realized that he typed more than a full screen worth of text as a comment ^^;

While linguistic detail is always good, I will admit that I was merely just using the Japanese terms in absence of understanding of Mandarin or Cantonese. I admit that my use of Japanese is there for translation purposes. WHen dealing with in-game stuff, I prefer to use Fire or Water day, before using Kinyoobi or Suiyoobi. Also, I have sorta interalized the kanji for "Day of the Week", so as a result, do have the habit of just doing things phonetically for a few things about.
As for spelling errors, I did try to reread and fix things. I'm not a linguistics person of any sort, and when I edit my stuff in Notepad, it gets complicated to fix things ^_^. But any assistance with that would be helpful. I also like your not eon the ways they'd list dates with day of the month first. This is also more in line with the traditional Long Count that I theorize they used in the First Age. It was just inverted over the years, and no one quite knows why in-game.
And stuff. Thanks for the comments. Blaque
IMHO, on a public blog page (though perhaps not in someone's personal section), typos and mis-spellings are fair game. --Toram
Just wanting to point out this is one amazing piece of work, and I will, with your permission, institute it immediately in my games, both online and offline. Leviathan
A note on Everyl's note. Year-month-day is actually now the international standard dating system. The European system is ass-backwards when you try and sort anything into date order, and the American one, oh dear, someone find me a shovel so we can bury that bizarre zombie.
-- Somori who really should be less of a geek sometimes.

I like this. Its an interesting way to look at the calender, and using Mayan gives it a nifty feel. The only thing I would strongly disagree on is the length of the First Age, but that is a matter of opinion. Beyond that, this is something that I think I am going to use. Great job - Heru

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