The Glass Harp
Days and Years
The Calendar in Saphil is measured in a twelve month cycle where each cycle of months represents a single segment in a seventeen year cycle.
J’ua, F’ur, M’ar, A’ri, M’a, J’ue, J’ul, A’us, S’er, O’er, N’er, D’er
- 17 Year Cycle – each is known as an ‘almoiety’
Unicorn, Rooster, Dog, Boar, Flower, Sparrow, Rat, Mouse, Ox, Cat, Hare, Dragon, Snake, Falcon, Horse, Fish, Spider
- The overall year is also measured from the birth of Saphil, 845 years ago. The first year was the year of the Unicorn, named after the constellation of such that dominated the night sky on the night the first King, Hallod Nars, was named.
Dividing the year by seventeen and counting the almoieties in order equal to the remainder resolves which almoiety it is.
856/17 = 50 r6. Or the year of the Sparrow as that is the sixth almoiety.
The current date in Saphil, as of the beginning of The Glass Harp is J’ua nine, year of the Sparrow, 856. (Twelve years from the Unicorn).
The significance of the Unicorn is that all Kings are named in the year of the Unicorn. Should the King die then a Steward, who is appointed by a Senate of 29 political figures who hold various stations, assumes power until the year of the Unicorn arrives. It is an arrangement that would seem to encourage treachery, although it also forces the King to seriously consider the will of the Senate making for an usual balance of power.