Speculations on the Cytheran Calendar System



  • Recent discussions in this topic have led me to ponder on the nature of the calendar system used in Cythera. I'm basing my assumptions (for the moment) on the usage of a 255 day year. I've considered several different possibilities in a somewhat disordered manner, and I'm curious what ideas or insights others have on this subject.

    Despite the fact that most calendar systems develop organically, I'm basing most of my speculations on the assumption of a more ordered system for two reasons. First, and foremost, convenience: an organic system is more realistic but is extremely messy to deal with (unless you're Tolkien). Second, one might reasonably assume that Alaric and the mages have a fairly high understanding of Cytheran astronomical phenomena and have developed--that is, presumably the mages developed and Alaric improved or corrected if necessary--a reasonably accurate calendar. It is also reasonable conjecture that Alaric and the Judges implemented this system and that it has become standard over the centuries since the Fall of the Tyrant.

    As to how this system developed, I would posit that the initial Cytheran calendar (called the Tyrant's Reckoning) was created by the First Tyrant soon after his rise to power. Before this period, datekeeping was probably somewhat haphazard due to the nature of the humans' arrival into Cythera. Presumably, this system became widespread in Cademia and Catamarca and influenced or even replaced the system used in Odemia (called the Odemian calendar). In Exile, the Mages developed their own, far more accurate calendar. Alaric adopted and perhaps corrected this system, creating the common Cytheran calendar (called the Alarican Calendar).

    Our own calendar follows a solar year, but the thirty day month has its origin in the phases of the moon. I considered an eleven month calendar, but this results in a messy shifting of New Year's Day from year to year. Then, I considered the possibility ten twenty-four day months. This leaves out fifteen days, but one can add a shorter month to cover this period. However, I don't like this system since this last month differs so much from the (apparently) twenty-four day lunar cycle. Alternatively, one can create a ten month calendar with five twenty-five day months alternating with five twenty-six day months. This is a much better system since each month encompasses a full lunar cycle.

    One must then consider the question of weeks. Personally, I like the idea of a five day week in this system. This creates a fifty-one week calendar and prevents any shifting of days and dates, creating a nice orderly arrangement. For a Cytheran NPC, this seems (to me, at least) to create a reasonably efficient calendar.

    Of course, from a TS point of view, having approximately thirty day months and seven day weeks prevents any confusion. Thus, one could use an eight or nine month calendar with this system; however, this still creates difficulty in dealing with the New Year. One could try an eight month calendar under this system and create a "leap month" every other year, but I think this would be horribly inefficient. Alternatively (and probably most easily), one can simply ignore the issue in a TS.

    So...any thoughts? What sort of calendar system (assuming for the moment a 255 day year with a 24 day lunar cycle) do you think Cythera would use?



  • I feel like the 255 days isn't a canon number but just because the value was stored in 8 bits. It wouldn't make sense to have a "half month" and was more "the developer didn't think people would ever live a full year and didn't take the time to implement a full calendar system".



  • You're probably correct, but we don't have another number to use as a basis for speculation. Thus, I went with what I had.

    Besides, we could use more topics :p .



  • Avatara killed the topic :( .



  • I thought about replying, but I really have no idea how the Cytheran calendar system works. I haven't seen any indication that Gandreas even decided how long a year should be, or how the months are arranged, etc. I don't think the 255 days has any significance other than Gandreas assumed there's not a need to program more days than that, but I could be wrong. The moon cycles seem to be programmed separately from the days (that is the day # according to the journal).



  • @selax_bot, on 15 November 2014 - 03:29 PM, said in Speculations on the Cytheran Calendar System:

    Avatara killed the topic :( /> .

    Justice is blind.



  • So we can conclude Scry killed the topic?



  • Yes, and probably also that she loved it.



  • I suppose that I'm probably one of the few people who reads the LotR appendices :( .

    Mind you, I usually don't read the ones concerning calendars, languages, and such as closely as I do the ones concerning history.



  • i would just like to point out that the adjective cytherean is a word pertaining to the planet Venus. a year on Venus is equivalent to about 225 Earth days. however, Venus' days are actually longer than its years.



  • @daowei_bot, on 05 December 2014 - 10:24 PM, said in Speculations on the Cytheran Calendar System:

    i would just like to point out that the adjective cytherean is a word pertaining to the planet Venus. a year on Venus is equivalent to about 225 Earth days. however, Venus' days are actually longer than its years.

    Hi, daowei, thanks for visiting. Please write us a love story.



  • You know, at one time I probably would have agreed with the general consensus that this is just a result of storing the year as an 8 bit number. That's true in part to be sure, but there's no reason gandreas couldn't have used a 16-bit value for the day as he did with oboloi and a few other things. The main reason I would consider this number as canon is the amount of effort gandreas went to for the moons. That was a decent amount of work (not to mention additional space for all the moon graphics) for something that 99% of players probably neither noticed or cared about; he would have known that while developing it. It is possible that he just wanted to store the day in 8 bits to save space and figured no one would play that far, but I think he very carefully considered the astronomical aspects of the game. He may have added all of the information about the year being shorter to justify his decision to store it as a char.



  • Maybe Gandreas didn't feel like he could justify the extra data?



  • My guess is that he didn't really consider it a priority, but I still like the thought of using the existing number as the basis for an in-game calendar, since there's little other information to go off of.


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