A Supplementary Post for the Roots of Rookeri
For readers unfamiliar with Rothi-jaw, and the runmen’s talk of Svara and Verth and triple eclipses, here in outline is the astronomy underlying their astrology, followed by an outline of the implications.
Unlike our world, the New World of Kalamite, Sifadis, Eshe and Boddy has 3 moons:
- Stheino, with an orbit of 26.33 days
- Euryale, with an orbit of 54.33 days
- Medusa, with an orbit of 76.5 days
The 12 Decans
However, the moons’ orbits have not given rise to the divisions of the solar year (as happened Earth-side). That year has an exact 348 days (no additional hours and seconds). Which is rather fortuitous since that works out at 12 x 29 days, exact.
Instead of using a moon’s orbit, the astrologers
- Divided the celestial equator into 12 Decans (what we would call the Zodiac Belt, each of 30°)
- Named those Decans – inspired by the ‘Good Book’
- Applied the 12 Decan-names to the 12 divisions of the year as determined by the passing of Heli (their sun) through said Decan (or segment of sky)
The Decan-Names (No prizes for whence the inspiration):
- The Goat
- The Rainmaker
- The Fishes
- The Ram & Lamb
- The Cow & Calf,
- The Discords, aka the Twins
- The Crab & Shore
- The Cat
- The Maiden
- The Witan
- The Unicorn
- The Hunter
The divisions of the year are therefore named:
- The Goat’s weeks
- The Rainmaker’s weeks
- The Fishes’ weeks
- And so forth
Apart from the 3 moons, there are 5 planets:
- Verth, the Accursed
- Dizpeter alias the Good King
- Stup, alias the Wicked
As with Earth-side astrology, people and places are said to be ruled by the planets, the behaviour of the ruling planet held responsible for the behaviour of their ruled persons and places. For example:
- Svara rules Runman House and the Citadel Lecheni
- Verth, the Accursed, rules Two Boars House, where currently sits the legere-chair
- Medusa, the outermost moon, rules Old Shore House, where Sifadis Lafdi is heiress
- Murag rules the entirety of Luban, the land south of the Ridge where Boddy is Raselstad’s chorus master
When Svara and Murag conjoin – says the runmen – there will be invasion, bloodshed and war. Svara shares certain qualities with Earth-side Venus; Murag with Earth-side Mars.
The Runmen’s Event
On the 15th day of the Witan’s weeks, a triple eclipse of the moons will occur. An exact eclipse. A rare event, disregarding astrology.
Since one of the Houses at Citadel Lecheni is also called the Witan – being the council chamber of the Lafard Legere – this could prove additional cause for concern. Particularly since four days prior to the triple eclipse, and in that same Decan (the Witan), Svara and Murag conjoin, and linger a while in tight embrace.
Meanwhile, in the days preceding this, Verth the Accursed turns Retrograde i.e. he backtracks; a notoriously difficult time.
In truth, no one knows yet what will happen. But these multiple conjunctions (for an eclipse also is this) are definitely portentous.
At the start of the story, as Kalamite says, there are 31 weeks before these events. But the clock is ticking. By the time Runman Ffika finds what Kalamite wants from the records, and Eshe prepares for her trek to Rothi, already six weeks have passed.
If you’re not already a reader of The Roots of Rookeri, why not begin now and follow the countdown through the 31 weeks.