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With an ever-changing sky and no significant seasons to use as a mark, keeping track of time in Felarya has always been a difficult task. Many civilizations in the distant past have devised their own methods to measure the passing of time. Some tried to use lunar phases, while others used the appearance of specific constellations as a marker for each "month". But as the number of moons and their phases could change at a day's notice, and whole arrangements of stars would suddenly disappear for indefinite amounts of time whenever Felarya would connect with a different sky in another part of universe, none of these methods proved reliable enough and were swiftly abandoned. It wasn't until the dawn of the Elven Empire that the first true Felaryan calendar came into being. The elves found the most reliable (and satisfying) way to measure the passing of days in Felarya: the growth cycle of a remarkable plant called Safaras.
During the early days of the empire, the High Elven Council was struggling to come up with a consistent calendar to help plan their future conquests. The obvious solution was to use something that had no relation whatsoever to the moons or the stars. Their first thought was to use the growth of plants as a basis, as they were practically unaffected by the changing skies. However, even these were not reliable enough. Their growth could vary wildly from one seed to another and bad weather could further stymie how long it would take to reach maturity, if it even reached it at all.
As the empire continued to grow and expanded its territories, a new agricultural plant was discovered. Over time, elven farmers made an astonishing discovery about it. No matter where they were planted or how well they were tended, the seeds that were planted around the same time would all reach maturity with remarkable consistency. Even poor weather conditions did little hinder its growth. It could survive all but the worst of droughts and the most devastating of floods.
Once the news reached their ears, the High Council, believed they had found the solution to their problem and ordered farmers all across the empire to study and learn the plant's growth cycle. Farmers would wait from dawn to dawn, counting every passing day until the whole plot they had planted had become ripe and ready for harvest. The results were astounding. The number of days it took for the plant to fully germinate from a seed to a ripe plant was incredibly concrete and precise, with only marginal deviations of a few days between two plots at worst. Using this data, the High Council decreed that the farming of crops all across the empire be centered around the growth of that very reliable plant, and farmers began transforming their fields to act as their calendar. They dubbed the plant "Safaras", meaning "Orderly" in ancient elvish.
The Elven Calendar
Taking note of how certain villages preferred to have smaller harvests once every few months rather than a big one once a year, the elves decided to divide their farming fields into twelve plots, one for each god in the Elven Pantheon. At the beginning of every month, they would plant one of the plots and then count down every passing day until it was time to plant the next seed. A year was deemed to have passed when the very first plot of Safaras had fully grown and was ready to be harvested. Once the plot had been harvested, it was replanted immediately. Come the following month, the elves would then harvest and then replant the next field, creating a perpetual cycle of monthly harvests.
Thanks to this method, the elves were able grow food across the empire far more consistently, which gave them an incredible edge over their enemies during their numerous campaigns across Felarya over the next centuries. Other civilizations would eventually discover and adopt the elves' farming method as their own until it had become ingrained in the mind of every men, women and children all over the then-known world.
After the fall of the Elven Empire, future civilizations such the Sagolian and Dridder Empire would continue to use the Safaras calendar pioneered by the elves, each putting their own unique spin to it such as altering the name of the months. The Elven Calendar stood the test of time even as the world ushered in the modern age, and advancements in magic and technology rendered the ancient Safaras farming as a means of calculating the passage of days obsolete. Today, it is the most used calendar used in Negav and Nekomura, and the most popular trade calendar employed by Felaryan merchants. You can still find some small plots of Safaras carefully cultivated and tended by Negavians at some locations in Negav, as a tribute to the past.
The elven calendar uses twelves months in a year with each month being 30 days or 3 Decals (10 days) long. The months were named from short elven phrases, each about a certain deity of the Elven Pantheon. Nowadays the names have become entirely common among the population and most people have completely forgotten their origins, which sometimes irritate elves.
- Temolin, derived from the goddess Temolian. The original name is "Temolian Olin", meaning "Duty of Temolian". In the elvish culture it's a time of growth and industriousness where elves are especially hard at work.
- Sermidyne, derived from the god Sermidian. The original name is "Sermidian-dyne", simply meaning "The time of Sermidian". It's a time of challenge and self-improvement. Elves push themselves hard during Sermidyne and major contests and tournaments among them often take place during this month.
- Araxion, derived from the god Araxiad. The original name is "Araxiadon", meaning "Araxiad's chance". A time of prosperity, wealth and optimism.
- Dregadil, derived from the god Rendregad. The original name is "Rendregad-adhil", meaning "The grasp of Rendregad". A time of uncertainty, caution and reflexion. Elves hate waging battles during this month and see it as a bad omen. Almost no elvish victories ever occured during Dregadil.
- Shiwolin, derived from the goddess Shiwo. The original name is "Shiwo Volin", meaning the "Song of Shiwo". It's a time for Rejoyce and hope and to be creative. Many elvish celebrations and parties take place during Shiwolin.
- Atim , derived from the goddess Atimielle. The original name is "Atimialle ogadim", meaning the "Blessing of Atimielle". It's a time for courage, confidence and fortitude.
- Tatal, derived from the goddess Thatalia. The original name is "Tali-Thataliae", meaning "Thatalia's exultation". A time for being bold and daring, pushing forward toward the goal ahead or victory. Many wars were declared during Tatal by elves.
- Felantil, derived from the goddess Fealanthia. The original name is "Fealanthia avil", meaning "Call of Fealanthia". A time for love, passion, courting, exuberance, gathering and coming together as a community. It's also a time of feasting which could mean more predation from elves across Felarya.
- Norowune, derived from the goddess Norowina. The original name is "Norowina Korowune", meaning "Norowina's gentle embrace". A time for reflection, self-consciousness and solemnity. Many elvish traditions are upheld during Norowune.
- Orchomenyne, derived from the god Orchomenos. The original name is "Orchomenos megnamedyn", meaning "The time of Orchomenos, the cursed". It's also called "the month of the cursed" or "the cursed month". It's a time of chaos, death, destruction and sea changes ahead. Elves are very wary and cautious during Orchomenyne and steel themselves for the worse. It's also the month when Cal-Chanim occurs and creatures from Milkadis temple come flooding out of mirrors.
- Margil, derived from the god Margadan. The original name is "Margadan Volangil", meaning "Margadan's litany of the past". A time for honoring the memories of the fallen, melancholy, renewal and looking ahead.
- Zeturin, derived from the god Zetur. The original name is "Zetur Telurin", meaning "Zetur's tranquility". A time of Peace, wisdom and deep thoughts. During Zeturin, many elves try to make additional efforts to reconcile with people they have a quarrel with.
- Credits goes to the forum for all the brain-storming and development of calendar, and to Shady knight for helping writing the article.