Can you believe it’s the last day of August already? Time sure does fly, but I wanted to take a morsel of it today to talk a bit about Falconsbane. It’s been a while since I’ve had a good chunk of time to work on it, and I miss it, so I’m going to share with you some Worldbuilding I did a little while ago before the summer buzz really hit: the Phennish calendar.
You might be asking why I even decided to develop a calendar in the first place.
Believe me, I asked myself the same question. What did it matter, anyway?
Well, the simple answer is that I am me, and these things happen. I didn’t begin this project wanting an unique date system and language pattern, but that’s how the cake baked. I’m not actually all that surprised it came to this, and I should have known it would happen sooner or later.
So, there are three main reasons this came to be. 1) I was already using a calendar as my timeline for plotting the story, so I can keep track of the days and what happens when. I like having that visual aid. 2) I’d already had to mention days of the week in the story, and I really didn’t want to use real-world terms for a fantasy setting. It felt unnatural and lazy. And so, if you’re coming up with different names of the week, why not go all the way with the months, too? 3) The Phennish New Year starts on a different day and at a different time of year than ours, so it made sense to rewrite the timeline on that schedule.
I’ll be honest, the set-up isn’t actually all that different from our own. There are still twelve months and seven days in a week. One reason for this is because it makes sense to me. I like the sequence of seven days, and wrote down the beginnings of a tradition behind it. Our own seven day week dates back to Creation, when God created in six days and rested on the seventh, ordaining that pattern for us even today. But I wanted something a little different, so I designed it that each day of the week represents an important event or period throughout Phennish history. It follows a progression from when the Phens were first called as a people, to the struggles they faced in the process of becoming a nation, to when they were finally able to defeat their greatest foe and experience a time of peace and rest. Someday I may go into depth explaining the origin and meaning behind each of the days, either on the blog or a branch page on the website, but for now, here’s the Phennish week:
- Ekadae ← Week kicks off with this day, our equivalent of Monday
- Sabbadae ← Week ends with this day, our equivalent of Sunday
Next I did the months, and I chose to stick with twelve because the more I thought about it the more it fit into my compartmentalized mentality. Four seasons, divided into early, mid, and late stages. I initially decided on the date of the Phennish New Year by using this really neat technique called ‘closing your eyes and pointing’. First the number of the day, then the month (and on our real-world calendar it happens to be the date of my brother’s wedding, kinda hard to forget that one!). With that as my starting point, it was a simple matter of math. Each month has thirty to thirty-one days except El’tan, which is the second month of winter, which has thirty-two. I have an idea of why I want that to be, but the details haven’t solidified yet.
I feel like working backwards like that is something I do a lot. ‘This worked out this way, so now I have to figure out why’. Some already know the ‘why’ or the ‘how’ before they embark on these things, but I find that more often than not I’m adlibbing and filling in the blanks after the fact. It can be a challenge, but then there are the times when the perfect idea strikes while you’re scrubbing cheese off last night’s pizza pan, and everything falls into place as though you’d planned it that way from the beginning.
- Nätalah (Phennish New Year, called Oy’masu Adasch Talah)
- Kor > Early, Mid, Late Summer
- Stäv > Early, Mid, Late Autumn
- El’tan > Early, Mid, Late Winter
- Harai > Early, Mid, Late Spring
In the autumn, usually between Veshé and Embrys, towns host their vintage festivals, celebrating that year’s harvest. Each town does something a little different, but there is always feasting, music, and dancing. There are similar festivities in the spring during planting.
It’s a work in progress, I haven’t sorted out many of the national, regional, and local holidays that’ll come as I further develop the Phennish history and culture, but the foundation is there.