Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Moons of the Year

The World uses a lunar calendar with a slightly irregular relationship between the lunar months and the solar seasons. There are 12 regular months each year, with an additional irregular month that rotates from season to season. The irregular month is sometimes called the "Leaping Moon" because it leaps from one season to another.

Each month is defined by the moon, being 28 days long and divided into four weeks of seven days each. That makes a year 364 days long, or 52 weeks. My goal in designing the calendar was to keep it simple for me to track and simple for the players to understand. The rotating "Leaping Moon" is the only real complexity, and I rather like the quirkiness it adds. 

MonthCommon NameCorresponds to...
1 Wolf Moon January
2 Storm Moon February
3 Crow Moon March
4 Egg Moon April
5 Milk Moon May
6 Flower Moon June
7 Mead Moon July
8 Grain Moon August
9 Barley Moon September
10 Blood Moon October
11 Hunter's Moon November
12 Feast Moon December

As for the Leaping Moon, its proper name depends on when it appears in the year. It always bridges two seasons, and indicates either an extension of the prevailing weather or a slower transition between seasons. It is anyone's guess whether this is a means to account for the discrepancy between solar and lunar cycles or a simple fact of the cosmos ordained by the gods. When the extra moon follows Feast, it is the Hunger Moon. When it follows Barley it is the Harvest Moon. When it follows Flower it is the Thunder Moon, and when it follows Crow it is the Waking Moon.

The current year is 295 After the Crowning of the first emperor. The current leg of play began during the Milk Moon, and the players are currently mid-Flower. This year there will be a Harvest Moon.

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