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 On the Origins of Harptos's Calendar
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Blithric
Acolyte

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2024 :  22:58:07  Show Profile Send Blithric a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hail and well met, friends.

Does anyone know when the Calendar of Harptos came into use? I can't find much on Harptos in the campaign guides other than that he flourished in the long-vanished city of Kaalinth, which doesn't help me.

I'm creating an artifact for the campaign that I'm writing, the many powers of which depend on the date of the solar year when the artifact is activated. I'd like to key its powers to the dates of the Calendar of Harptos, which would make it easier to track the effects of the artifact, but I worry that artifact's age probably predates the calendar's development, which extends back to at least the height of Netheril.

One solution that I'm considering would have Harptos merely be the person who rediscovered and championed an ancient elven calendar (that would have been used by the wizards who created the artifact). Is there anything in extant lore that would contradict this?

My many thanks,
B.

lordsknight185
Seeker

USA
99 Posts

Posted - 14 Feb 2024 :  15:56:08  Show Profile Send lordsknight185 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Calendar of Harptos simply tracks the months/seasons, so wouldn't it be relevant no matter when the actual calendar names came into use? Even if it went by another name the stars don't (typically) change.
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Blithric
Acolyte

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 15 Feb 2024 :  00:47:12  Show Profile Send Blithric a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Iím interested in the semantic differences between the Calendar of Harptos and its forerunnersónot the static phenomena that a calendar endeavors to describe. Would a calendar used in Netheril have twelve months of thirty days (of three tendays each)? Would the months have the same names? Would the calendar have six extra days beyond the 360, and would those fall, chronologically, in the same places that they fall on the Calendar of Harptos? For all we know, the calendar used in Illefarn might look much more like our own than Harptosís.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7969 Posts

Posted - 15 Feb 2024 :  11:02:07  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Calendars tend to consistently demark months and years along lunar and solar cycles.

So I think yes, ancient calendars in the Realms (like ancient calendars on Earth) tend to count the same number of days in each month and in each year. They might arbitrarily choose a particular solstice or equinox as the start point of each cycle and they might interpret the cycles along grand astronomical or astrological patterns, but the cycles themselves tend to be the same consistent measures. The names of individual years and seasons and months tend to change but that's more of a linguistic thing than an astronomical thing so I don't think it has much relevance.

Ancient Netheril's deities and religion were recognizable antecedents of "modern" Realms deities and religions. In particular, Mystra and Amaunator/Lathander and Selune have (more or less) always been present and (more or less) always had the same portfolios.

So why would the Ancient Netherese have a different calendar? There's no particular reason for them to devise a new calendar. And there's no evidence, memory, history, or legend to describe their usage of a different calendar.

That being said, individual archmagi (or liches) might devise their own esoteric and abstract calendar systems during their magical, worldly, planar, and cosmic researches. But these calendars would probably seem incomprehensible or meaningless to normal folk, they would not like see any use outside of a magical academy.

[/Ayrik]
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Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
890 Posts

Posted - 16 Feb 2024 :  08:53:17  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To be a bit pedantic, the dates in the Harptos calendar year would ultimately correspond to the sun's longitude relative to the spring equinox, not to an arbitrary partitioning or labeling of the year.
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Werthead
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
173 Posts

Posted - 16 Feb 2024 :  20:09:35  Show Profile  Visit Werthead's Homepage Send Werthead a Private Message  Reply with Quote
According to the FRCS 2nd Edition, in the timeline, the Calendar of Harptos was adopted in the year 200 BDR, the same year Candlekeep was founded; whether the two were linked is unclear.
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Blithric
Acolyte

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2024 :  05:46:01  Show Profile Send Blithric a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Werthead

According to the FRCS 2nd Edition, in the timeline, the Calendar of Harptos was adopted in the year 200 BDR, the same year Candlekeep was founded; whether the two were linked is unclear.



Thank you, sir. That is most helpful.

And, yeah, it's curious that the adoption of the calendar and the founding of Candlekeep are joined by a semicolon in the timeline rather than a full stop and a carriage return like the other entries.

Cheers!

Edited by - Blithric on 17 Feb 2024 05:53:02
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