The Lacras, had took upon the teachings of Hyuru the Wise and calculated the days by observing the exchange of arrivals of the planet’s two moons: Qata and Valora. The month begins with the cycle of Qata, when the blue light of Valora displaces the pale red of the first moon, it was still considered to be the same month. Only when Qata returns, a month would be considered to have passed and thus the new month begins. According to the records of those who lived before the unification, a year is said to have passed when the exchange of the moons have been completed five times.
For the Iarians, the method is considered to be barbaric by the current culture: There are no months in pre-Aloro Iara, only years. A year is said to pass only when the leader receives a revelation from the old gods while meditating, it was said after such a revelation, the people would choose a worthy member of the Pliner council to be sacrificed to appease the old gods in order to usher in a new year. Failure to do so before the next sunrise would cause the civilization to be trapped in eternal darkness, never again to witness a new day and a new year.
In Bathear, the method of the current form of calendar was named after the Emperor, Pryme Welone the Brilliant. Quite simply, a month consists of 60 days and a year has 6 months:
- The Month of the Wandering Moons
- The Month of Sotoria
- The Month of the Fallen Ways
- The Month of the Darkening
- The Month of the Bohmerians
- The Month of Pryme
*The meaning and history of the individual months shall be explained in future chapters
The era of After the Light (AL) began after the Lacras and Iarians had separated.
The boy was on both knees with the palms of his hands on each side. His eyes stared into the ground the whole time the plan was being discussed; both Ror’s and the boy’s culture dictates these to be signs of respect for the well-deserved for which under it, is only for those with undeniable achievements and it is completely devoid of the concept of age; an 80 year-old elder with no notable accomplishment would have less respect than those for a 21 year-old war hero.
Minister Ror was closing in on his 56th birthday and was one of those rare individuals with achievements not only known but more importantly revered by both of their respective civilizations and the boy kept this in his mind the entire duration of the exchange. “Yes, Minister.” He replied, his vision firmly fixed to the granite floor. Ror, nodding his head, stood up from his chair and went to his balcony; the cacophonies of overlapping voices became louder. Small as though the town may be, it was still as developed and busy as the capital. From his there, Ror observed the people going in and out from every direction, carefully avoiding each other but it was more to prevent anybody from touching their suits and dresses rather than common courtesy. It was night, the theatres had just opened, the shopping complexes had just received the latest products from Vular and best of all, for the young ones at least, the day after was to be their rest day. So, as expected, the young ones outnumber the adults tonight.
Minister Ror observed the townspeople like a father watching over his children with the pale blue shine of Valora displaced by the town torches. The ones in suits were holding conversations with potential business partners on their mobile phones or with a firm handshake; others were relaxing in coffee houses. A sage master was demonstrating the wonders of Efversis to the children by changing the colors of fire with his left hand and manipulating the fire to swirl around his body before extinguishing it by creating water with his right hand. The children clapped and laughed in delight, and the teenagers recorded the performance with their mobiles.
Ror turned back and looked at the boy, still kneeling and facing the floor. Ror never fully understood these people. Their civilizations had not met each other since the Great Separation. Even though both of their cultures came from Aloro the Unifier, after the Great Separation, both of their civilizations took Aloro’s practices and interpreted it in very different ways. Ror’s civilization, the Lacras, interpreted the practices to be only for personal references but unfit for ruling an entire kingdom. In contrast, the boy’s civilization, called the Iarians, took the practices and codified it, failure to adhere to the practices could mean death. Ror thought of telling the boy there was no need to bow in his presence but he stayed his tongue considering the sort of environment the boy grew up in. After they separated, the Iarians disappeared from visible existence but the Lacras were aware that the Iarians were still very real.
When Minister Ror first met the boy, he was walking to his governmental office in the capital of Toria, Oraenil, the boy was then staring at the portrait of Kracia II, the King of the Lacra and the Emperor of the Living Realm, his deep grey eyes was said to pierce into the soul of those who look upon him and the boy was clearly transfixed by the portrait. Ror let out a gasp, alerting the boy to his presence and before Ror could summon the guards, the boy immediately dropped to his knees and hastily proclaimed, “O great Minister Ror, please do not be alarmed. I hail from the Iarians!” Ror stared at the boy with astonishment beyond comprehension, at then Ror knew that a historic event was unfolding.
Four months had passed and it was then the Month of the Wandering Moons. The boy had revealed the reason he came to Ror. A plan had been conceived by the Elders of the Pliner that could cause cataclysmic result to both their civilizations and it was to be carried out in four years’ time, in the Month of the Fallen Ways. “How could your Elders be so suicidal?” Ror cried when the boy had finished. “The Elders do not care what happens to the Iarians, all they could think about from the time of the Great Separation was to bring about the utter destruction of the Lacras. Even if it meant their own would perish, it would only be collateral and necessary in their eyes.” He replied, the lack of emotion in his voice disturbed Ror. “Why are you telling me all this?” Ror had asked, his left forefinger and middle finger clipping his cigarette. “Because I love my people, O great Qhol. I do not wish to witness the extinction of my people.”
Ah, so if the plan would not affect the Iarians, he would not have bothered to come anyway.
Ror walked over to the boy and placed his left hand on his shoulder. “Look at me.” Ror said gently. The boy hesitantly looked up and stared at Ror with his brilliant red eyes. “You may not know this but the people of Lacra wished with all their hearts to only reconcile with the Iarians. We share the same culture and we did live together before the Great Separation. If we manage to accomplish this, I see no reason why we could not meet each other once again.” Ror offered a warm and sincere smile. The boy did not say anything and only stare at him with his burning eyes. “Now go” Ror walked back to the balcony. “For both of our peoples’ sake”
When Ror looked back over his shoulder, the boy was gone. He went out to the balcony and looked down on the townspeople.
All these, Ror thought to himself, all these must be protected