Sinai Player Guide v5.0: 8.0 - Time

Sinai Player Guide v5.0

8.0 Time: Timeline and Calendar
  • 8.1 Measuring Years
  • 8.2 Holidays
  • 8.2.1 Rephidim Temple Holidays
  • 8.2.2 Arcane Calendar Holidays
  • 8.2.3 Olympian Holidays
  • 8.3 Time of Day
  • 8.4 Timeline
  • 8.5 Calendars
  • 8.6 Passage of Time in Role-Play

  • 8.1 Measuring Years

    Official documentation uses the reign of the current Captain-Astromancer to determine the year of the calendar. (There is also a yearly number, determined by "Rephidim Time Reckoning", dating from the time that the Temple believes the Expedition to have occurred at.)


  • The eighth year of Kephren the Fifth - approx. 5973 RTR
  • The fourty-seventh year of Cerbancos the Third - approx. 6096 RTR
  • The previous reigning Captain-Astromancer was Cerbancos the Third. His reign ended in the Fourty-Eighth Year of Cerbancos the Third, 6097 RTR.

    The present reigning Captain-Astromancer, Archelaus the First, took over the rulership of Rephidim in the year 6098 RTR, and official time is now determined in relationship to the year of his reign.

    8.2 Holidays

    Rather than measuring the year in months or weeks on Sinai, most widely used calendars instead measure the day of the year based roughly on the number of days before or after the nearest important holiday. The Rephidim Temple Calendar is the most widely used calendar, and its religious holidays are celebrated across the globe, though some local cultures may ascribe different names and purposes to these celebrations than the Temple dictates.

    8.2.1 Rephidim Temple Holidays

    The day of the year on the calendar used by the Rephidim Temple is based roughly on number of days before and after an important religious holiday. There are twenty of these. Here are some examples:

  • New Year (February 1) -- On this day, old ghosts are driven out with loud noises and yearly debts are to be paid or forgiven between friends.
  • Candlemass (March 15) -- A festival held to welcome Spring. People light candles and maidens wear or give flowers to their suitors.
  • Unity (May 23) -- A day to celebrate the Pax Rephidim, the treaties, and the tribes that make up this sky-island. Commonly celebrated with block parties and fireworks. [Based on the Fourth of July.]
  • Midsummer's (June 15) -- A day of celebration of those past. Candies and sweet breads are laid out the day before for the dead to 'eat', sugar skeletons are sold, and people remember those passed along in a pleasant way. [Based on Mexico's Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).]
  • First Ones (July 18) -- If the First Ones should ever return, it is prophesied that it shall be on this date. A day for the ruins dotting the planet, and for mysticism.
  • Ring Day (September 27) -- As the ring is always in existance, this day celebrates the Priesthood, the Captain-Astromancer, and all other permanent things within Rephidim. (When you don't know where you'll wake up, celebrating some permanence may make sense.)
  • Reckoning (October 12) -- A national day of mourning, grief, and quietness. A day to forgive oneself, others, and the gods for wrongs done to them. A day of lamentation for right things not done.
  • Fool's Day (October 21) -- On this day one person is chosen as the Queen (King) of Fools, and gives orders to her (his) 'subjects'. A day of practical jokes and merriment. This unofficial holiday is tolerated but not sanctioned by the established religions, and does not affect the calendar.
  • Guy Fox Day (November 5) -- A local Rephidim holiday celebrating the day that an anonymous fox attempted to blow up a procession including the Captain-Astromancer of that time as well as many other important personages. He made some sort of mistake and blew himself up instead. Fireworks are set off on this day.
  • Harvest Tide (November 15) -- A celebration of the year's bounty, with much feasting.
  • Landing (December 25) -- Purported day on which the Ark first arrived, bringing its peoples to Sinai. Rephidim priests perform secret rituals and then announce the omen of the coming year.
  • For instance, three days before New Year's would be written as "Three New Year's". Three days after would be written as "New Years Three". Years may be written in short, i.e. Cerbancos III 47.

    8.2.2 Arcane Calendar Holidays

    For some time, the College Esoterica has recognized a different calendar from that used by Rephidim Temple, which divides up the year into twelve segments of thirty days each, with a five- or six-year period at the start of the year to pad out the total 365 (or 366) days in a year. Each segment corresponds to a different sphere of magic, and due to the fairly even distribution, a "Sphere" or "Apex" is sometimes used to refer to a period of 30 days. (A "Hemisphere" or "Transition" may be used to denote a period of 15 days.)

    With the move of the College Esoterica to the sky island of Caroban, this fairly obscure calendar was put into regular usage, as a further symbol of Caroban's independence from any of the major powers of Sinai, though it still utilizes the old measure of years dating back to the presumed time of the Expedition.

    The holidays and other dates of note on the Arcane Calendar are as follows, as corresponding to "real world" dates:

  • Jan 15: Life to Illusion (Life 15, 15 Illusion)
  • Jan 30: Apex of Illusion
  • Jan 31: Year's End
  • Feb 1: First Day
  • Feb 2: Second Day
  • Feb 3: Third Day
  • Feb 4: Fourth Day
  • Feb 5: Leap Day [during leap years] / Illusion 1 [during non-leap years]
  • Feb 6: Illusion 1 [during leap years]
  • Feb 19: Illusion to Air [during non-leap years] / Illusion 14 [during leap years]
  • Feb 20: Illusion to Air [during leap years] / 14 Air [during non-leap years]
  • Mar 6: Apex of Air
  • Mar 21: Air to Water (Air 15, 15 Water)
  • Apr 5: Apex of Water
  • Apr 20: Water to Light (Water 15, 15 Light)
  • May 5: Apex of Light
  • May 20: Light to Earth (Light 15, 15 Earth)
  • Jun 4: Apex of Earth
  • Jun 19: Earth to Fire (Earth 15, 15 Fire)
  • Jul 4: Apex of Fire
  • Jul 19: Fire to Shadow (Fire 15, 15 Shadow)
  • Aug 3: Apex of Shadow
  • Aug 18: Shadow to Chaos (Shadow 15, 15 Chaos)
  • Sep 2: Apex of Chaos
  • Sep 17: Chaos to Dream (Chaos 15, 15 Dream)
  • Oct 2: Apex of Dream
  • Oct 17: Dream to Spirit (Dream 15, 15 Spirit)
  • Oct 31: Spirit Eve
  • Nov 1: Apex of Spirit
  • Nov 16: Spirit to Mind (Spirit 15, 15 Mind)
  • Dec 1: Apex of Mind
  • Dec 16: Mind to Life (Mind 15, 15 Life)
  • Dec 31: Apex of Life

  • 8.2.3 Olympian Holidays

    In the Nordikan nation of Olympia, the traditional calendar there corresponds to the Arcane Calendar that has been revived by the College Esoterica. The most significant difference, however, is that instead of "Spheres", the names of the major gods and goddesses of their pantheon are used. The "Apex" of each Sphere, therefore, becomes a holiday devoted to each deity. Due to the influence of Rephidim, however, even in Olympia, the Temple-dictated holidays still take precedence, and Olympian holidays are observed mostly in the temples, and in scattered villages where older traditions still hold sway. The Spheres can be "translated" to the corresponding deities as follows:

    Sphere Deity Apex
    Illusion Dagh 30 Jan
    Air Sinai 6 Mar
    Water Ashtoreth 5 Apr
    Light Primus 5 May
    Earth Behemoth 4 Jun
    Fire Abaddon 4 Jul
    Shadow Kasaris 3 Aug
    Chaos Fortunatis 2 Sep
    Dream Morpheus 2 Oct
    Spirit Ariel 1 Nov
    Mind Logos 1 Dec
    Life Arcadia 31 Dec

    8.3 Time of Day

    Days are 24 hours long. Locals measure the day in hours from sunrise to noon to sunset, i.e. "Three hours after sunrise".

    This said, the Earth tradition of measuring the hours of the day in two sets of twelve hours (running from midnight to noon, then noon to midnight) is recognized at the very least in Rephidim and in many of the Nordikan nations (such as Chronotopia).

    8.4 Timeline

    The following is a rough timeline of major events in Sinai history, along with semi-major events that have happened in recent history (i.e., during the time of roleplay on SinaiMUCK), or else hold some sort of special significance to PCs.


    8.5 Calendars

    For the sake of (relative) simplicity, Sinai's years correspond in length (and leap years) to years in the real world. The New Year occurs on February 1st on the Sinai calendar. In order to calculate the in-game year for events preceding the "Four Year Jump", take the real year and add 4100 to it. (Example: 1999 + 4100 = 6099) If, however, the month is January, subtract one year (6098), because the "New Year" hasn't happened yet.

    For events following the Four Year Jump, for roleplay starting in the year 2000, add four years to the previous calculation. (Example: 2000 + 4104 = 6104)

    The calendars presented here can be used as examples, and for calculating the IC date in not only the years listed, but in others as well. Basically, you just need to know the real-life month and day, and then check one of these calendars to find the Sinai Julian date (day-of-year) and the Sinai Holiday Date. Just be sure that if the year you're calculating for is a leap year, you also use a calendar that has a leap year. The day of the week doesn't really matter, since Sinai has no established precedent for the day of the week (or weekends) anyway.

    6096 - 6097 - 6098 - 6099 ... 6104 - 6105 - 6106

    First Day
    New Year's
    Second Day
    New 1
    Third Day
    New 2
    Fourth Day
    New 3
    Battle of the Eeps
    Fifth Day
    New 4
    Illusion 1
    New 5

    In the above example, note that dates are presented in the format of:

    RL Day of Month/IC Day of Year
    IC Arcane Date
    IC Holiday Date

    Rephidim Temple Holiday Dates are presented in the format of either days until or days past a given holiday. If it is 5 days until New Year's Day, it will be presented as "5 New Year's", or sometimes abbreviated to "5 New Year" or "5 New".

    On the other hand, if it is 5 days after New Year's Day, it would be presented as "New Year's 5", "New Year 5" or "New 5".

    The day before a holiday may be presented as above, or else listed as an "Eve", such as (for example), "New Year's Eve" instead of "1 New Year". These days, however, are not officially considered holidays, even though some early celebration may take place in the evening.

    Note that holidays are presented (as in the example above) with a dark background and white text. Some special one-time events (not yearly occurrences) that happened in the course of role-play are listed on these calendars, marked with a different colored background. Sometimes, these may cross-link to an explanation of the event.

    "Arcane Dates" are handled similarly to Rephidim Temple Holiday Dates, except that the College Esoterica started employing its own calendar after its move to Caroban. (Actually, the calendar existed before that, but was fairly obscure and hardly used for general purposes.) The Arcane Calendar has 12 holidays, each corresponding to a different Sphere of Magic, spaced apart at 30 day intervals, with a 5 day (or 6 day, during leap years) period that starts off the new year, to round things out.

    8.6 Passage of Time in Role-Play

    In the course of role-play, the passage of time goes fast or slow. In the course of combat, while we wait for the PCs to make their actions, and the GM to pose the results, it may take many minutes -- maybe an hour or so -- for a few seconds of combat to be resolved. On the other hand, by doing a "fast forward", the GM may suddenly jump forward in time minutes, hours, days or more, in order to speed things along to the next "scene".

    That said, in theory time passes at the same rate as real life, in regards to the passage of days. If a log was made about a year ago, then it happened about a year ago in "game time", most likely. The exceptions may be more than the rule, but this is the guidepost we use to try to keep track of the overall passage of time of events in relation to each other. For the most part, if you role-play on Thursday, and something big happens, then when another GM runs a log on Friday, the events of Thursday's role-play will be about a day in the past.

    We can't always keep to this. Sometimes, in the middle of a big battle, the net goes down, or someone has to leave, or we've just been staying up far too late, and have to work in the morning. We may have to cut things off, then pick them up again later. This rough idea that IC time passes at the same rate as real time does is just meant to be a rough guideline, to help us keep a chronology to the events that happen in logs, when we've got several GMs and several parallel threads.