The Tamarran Calendar

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Aktil Na Baylarassa, a martle and a traveller

“In my long travels across the Tamarran Continent I have heard many versions of our calendar. Allow me to tell the accurate account in the short message below.” — Aktil Na Baylarassa, martle and Traveller


The calendar currently used on the Tamarran Continent is known as the “Time of the Sovereign Pulse,” or “SP” for short.  It was established over 2,000 years ago, in SP~2,914, by the Six Guilds Committee of the History of the World (known as the Six Guilds Committee), and has been in continuous use throughout Tamarra since that time. The current year is SP~5,017.

The term “Sovereign” in “Sovereign Pulse” refers to the early years of the current time period, the Third Era of the Fifth Age of the World, when there were a large number of political sovereignties.  This was a significant change from first few centuries of this Era, when the folk of the continent lived almost exclusively in families or tribes.  The term “Pulse” refers to the fact that the world in Beyonder obeys a rhythm, or pulse, that corresponds to the natural fluctuations (the heartbeat, if you will) of the Six Energies.  There is mention of the “pulse” in the Beyonder rhythm system that is used in our game mechanics.

The Calendar

The Sovereign Pulse calendar measures the number of years since the beginning of the Third Era.  The naming convention may look complicated, but it’s actually quite simple.  First, the letters “SP” designate the Sovereign Pulse.  Next is the delimiter “~”.  Finally, there is the year itself.  So the year of 2,017 is written as SP~2,017, and would be pronounced “S P two thousand seventeen,” or “S P twenty seventeen.”

The Months

The Six Guilds Committee also established a way to measure the days of the year and divide them into months.  There are 365.25 days in a year on Ethem, where Beyonder takes place (sound familiar?).  The Sovereign Pulse calendar has six months of sixty days each, plus a festival period at the end of the year.  Each month is named after one of the founders of the Six Guilds.  The months of the year are listed in the table below and correspond roughly to the calendar system we use in our world.

Order Month Name Number of Days Corresponding Months (roughly) Guild
1 Harmon (sa) 60 January – February Charismatics
2 Tasz (ro) 60 March – April Somans
3 Sula 60 May – June Mystics
4 Kalkix (ro) 60 July – August Mentarchs
5 Kogu (ro) 60 September – October Evokers
6 Dollano (sa) 60 November – December Umbrists

Note: The endings (‘sa’ and ‘ro’) are included in parentheses because they are used only very rarely, and only on formal occasions.

The final five (or, every four years, six) days of the year are called the Close of the Tamarran Pulse, or simply “the Close.”  For most of the Tamarran Continent, the Close is a time when all work and serious activities give way to celebrations, competitions, and a great deal of eating!  As a part of this there is a huge competition among the cities, towns, and regions of the continent to see who can throw the biggest party with the finest display of fireworks and street decorations and performances.

As noted earlier, each year on Ethem is just slightly more than 365 days, which has the result that every four years the Close of the Pulse is six days.  The celebrations on these quadrennials include a number of special events that occur at no other time, such as the Great Gate Race, a race around the entire continent via dimensional gates.

Hammool Riders of the Plains of Lochuum

From Glenrah, Ushen, Elder of Stories

Hammool riders are ushen who have chosen to live a life of exploration united with a hammool, one of the largest beasts on the Tamarran Continent.  These riders are virtually always ushen and the hammool they ride are wild, unlike the domesticated ones driven by many races and used for transportation over the many roads of the Continent.

To properly understand the hammool riders of the southern plains, it is first necessary to understand a little something about the southern plains themselves.The Plains of Lochuum (LOCK oo um) make up the largest expanse of open land on the southern half of Tamarra (see the map of the Tamarran Continent).  They cover an area that runs almost 700 miles west to east and 400 miles south to north, with land that stretches all the way to the Zhemshen, the Inner Sea on the south, and the Yomoros Mountains, and the Kellith Sea on the east. The Lauggash Mountains serve as their northern and western borders.

The Plains are a lush expanse of gently rolling hills, rising and falling like the waves of a deep, ancient ocean.  The lowest parts are covered in high grasses, six to ten feet tall, that come in waves of yellows, tans, and browns.  The grasses are interrupted by enormous varieties of flowers, some small and delicate and others that tower tall and flamboyant above the grasses, sometimes reaching out above even the crests of the hills themselves.  The higher rises and hills are often covered in dark green and gray grasses that lie close to the black, rich soil of the Lochuum region.  In the center of the Plains of Lochuum, running northwest to southeast, is the dramatic Long Lochuum River, which begins as a series of small streams in the eastern outreach of the Lauggash Mountains and ends its journey south of the Yomoros Mountains, where it tumbles off high cliffs and crashes into the Kellith Sea.

The ushen were the first of the Ten Races to populate the Plains of Lochuum.  The free and open space of the Plains spoke to the ushen, who value individualism and have a great love for nature. The hammool were already there when the ushen first arrived on the Plains.  Hammool are giant creatures*:  an adult is typically 20-25 feet tall  (with some as tall as 30 feet), 15-20 feet wide, and anywhere from 30 to 60 feet long.  With eight sturdy legs, they are some of the strongest creatures on Tamarra.  Although they are one of the largest and heaviest creatures on the continent, their natural affinity with Body Energy makes them one of the fastest and most graceful.

It is no surprise that the ushen and the hammool would find each other.  They are similar in temperament, having the same love of family, with strong bonds to even their most distant cousins and kin.  Both species have a love for the Lochuum lands so strong that it can, on occasion, surpass their own love of life.It is unclear when it began, but there is little doubt that the ushen have ridden hammool for millennia.  

The relationship between a hammool and its rider runs deep.  Both of these proud creatures must agree to the partnership: the hammool must select the rider, and the rider must want the hammool.  The commitment is lifelong.  We do not yet know how the hammool and the ushen communicate; the ushen won’t say, but it is believed that song is at the heart of it.

Once an ushen has found their hammool companion, the ushen’s tribe performs a ritual: in the hour before sunrise, the rider-to-be feasts, welcoming the abundance of the life and the journey that is about to begin. They demonstrate the sacrifices that may come with a fast that ends at sunrise of the following day.  At sunrise, songs and chants begin and the leader of the tribe bestows blessings, ending after several hours with a sudden silence. The ushen will then eat three leaves of the crussra, a short, spiny plant that grows only on the tops of certain hills, and walk out into the grasslands, returning the next morning on the back of their hammool companion.

For the rest of their lives the ushen and the hammool companion will roam the Plains of Lochuum.  Most will find other Hammool Riders and become a part of an existing troop of Riders, or form their own.  Their lives will consist of travel and exploration.  They will learn all that the Plains of Lochuum can teach them, from each kind of grass, flower, and root that grows on and under the Plains, to each hill and contour that gives the Plains their shape and texture, linking them to the pulse of life, and the Energies, that drive Ethem.

*See “Imbelnhi’s Bestiary: Being a Traveler’s Account of Our Continent and Her Creatures