Grand Cycles of Aerenal

In Faiths of Eberron, the calendar used by the elves of Aerenal is described as "a strange affair, practically unreadable to anyone not raised with it" (page 141). It is a calendar that involves many cycles all of which contribute to a long period of about a decade. Below are the specifics of the calendar as I have come up with them. They can be used for Eberron campaigns focusing or visiting Aerenal or by Aereni PCs who want a bit of a mystic flair to separate them from other characters. The Grand Cycle reckoning has existed in Aerenal for millenia and it's baffling intricacies are sure to put Khorvairians on their toes as surely as somber pyramids and skull-faced guards.

Basic Structure

The units of time which make up the Aereni calendar system are as follows.

  • Day: While it is a recognized part of time-keeping, a day holds no special significance to the Aereni. A particular 24-hour stretch does not receive a special name, it is only used for judging the passage of time for events. A conversation might last minutes, a relaxing walk hours, and a long religious ritual days. Aereni think of this time period the way that Khorvairians might think of "afternoon" or "evening."
  • Tuern: Equal to three days, a tuern is the most basic unit of the Grand Cycles system. Each tuern is named for a constellation in the Aereni zodiac, though the ancient names don't always match the terms used in modern Elvish. Unlike the draconic constellations familiar in Khorvaire and Argonessen, the constellations in the Elvish zodiac are dark patches in the Ring of Siberys rather than bright stars.
  • Luenir: Though it holds the same position as a week in the Khorvairian calendar, a luenir is made up of 21 tuernai making it nine times longer than a week. Luenirai are all named for portions of longer chronicles of Aereni history, the ruelnai described below. Prayers and meditations for followers of the Undying Court focus on this aspect of Aereni culture throughout a luenir, providing context for the spiritual liturgy of the undying.
  • Rueln: There are four recognized epochs of Aereni society and each is honored during a particular rueln. They can be thought of as months in the scheme of the Grand Cycles but each includes 14 luenirai making it over two and a half solar years.
  • Nuerlnir: Though it is equivalent to a year, a nuelnir is ten and a half solar years long. During the course of a nuelnir the history of Aerenal is told through the Grand Cycle to remind all Aereni where they came from.

The calendar is currently in the midst of 2469 RC, or the 2469th nuerlnirai in the Rule of the Undying Court. Before the formation of the Undying Court, nuelnirai are listed as BR (Before the Rule).


Tuernai are the smallest tracked time of the Aereni calendar and as such the most commonly discussed part of the Grand Cycle. Foreigners rare grasp all of the intricacies of the elves' cycle but most who interact regularly with the Aereni can at least keep track of the current tuern. The other role that tuernai play in Aereni society is in the readings of astrologers. The tuernai are named after constellations valued by the elves (though they are different than constellations familiar to Khorvairians and are made of dark gaps in the Ring of Siberys rather than stars) and are used in decision making. Elven astrologers use medallions which can be spun to read the constellations for important decisions but most Aereni just pay attention to the tuernai and try to make important decisions on auspicious days. A cautious plan might be attempted on a Thysern while large announcements are usually made on a Terdlaern. The tuernai, their associated constellations, and the significance to superstitious Aereni are all given in the table below.

Number Tuern Significance
1 Teylaern The Cloak (Os Teyl) – Many Aereni folk tales feature magical cloaks which protect and hide their wearers. The Cloak is a symbol of hidden fortune and unclear consequences.
2 Shalyern The Black One (Os Shalyi) – The role of the assassin in the elves’ rebellion was a necessary role but one without honor. Usually depicted as a drow with a cruel knife Shalyi is a sign of difficult sacrifices ahead.
3 Parsaern The Water (Os Paraes) – Whether the wide oceans that led to the elves to their new home or the coursing rivers that have erased the giants’ cities, water represents change. This constellation is a herald of new things ahead.
4 Sharlern The Bat (Os Shar) – The Bat totem helped the elves to maintain their culture and unity despite the centuries of slavery. The constellation symbolizes secrecy and plots that the astrologer may not be aware of.
5 Dorimern The White Storm (Os Dori Myl) – The conflict with the quori that brought down the giants is known as the White Storm among the elves who only saw the waves of magic crashing down on their masters. Os Dori Myl represents an event, good or bad, where the astrologer is only a bystander.
6 Thysern The Fox (Os Thys) – The fox is a clever, cautious creature and one that inspired the elves during their rebellion. The appearance of this constellation indicates that caution is needed.
7 Bolmlern The Night Sun (Os Bol Mel) – It is said that when the elves first reached Aerenal, their arrival was heralded by an eclipse of the sun. This constellation, whose bright margin around the central gap resembles an eclipse, heralds the fruits of a decision and a climax of sorts.
8 Vaerolyern The Red One (Os Vaerolyi) – The counterpart to the emotionless Black One, Vaerolyi represents the seething rage that gripped many elves during the rebellion. This wild-looking elf warrior indicates powerful emotions and poor decisions.
9 Shasmern The Black Storm (Os Shas Myl) – The Maelstrom represents a force which is pulling on the astrologer whether he knows it or not. In some cases the Maelstrom must be fought and other times one should follow it to its end.
10 Jhoraeryern The Life-wind (Os Jhoraerysi) – This constellation resembles the stormclouds that build on the horizon to bring on the rainy season; a herald to good fortune in the near future.
11 Maejern The Faceless (Os Maejer) – The Faceless represents those unnamed elves who died in slavery with no one to remember them. The Faceless figure represents a mistake in the past that the astrologer is unaware of.
12 Aendrern The Eagle (Os Aendri) – Soaring above and watching, an eagle is able to see a large scene at once. The appearance of this constellation indicates that an astrologer must consider the larger picture.
13 Aelyraern The Entrapped One (Os Aelyraeryi) – Usually depicted as a slave in chains or, more rarely, an elven man in a well, the Entrapped One is the representation of a loss of hope. In astrologic depictions there is usually a key at the slave’s feet or a rope next to the trapped man which neither Entrapped One sees; much as the astrologer is ignorant to his own options.
14 Terdlaern The Howler Monkey (Os Terdlaer) – The howler monkey is one of a number of prized Aereni species. As an astrological sign it usually means a triumphant event approaching, one that will make itself well known.
15 Ornaern The Owl (Os Orn) – The silent owl is a force of balance and judgement, a bringer of death to those who “are owed it, not those who deserve it.” The image of the Owl indicates a situation which the astrologer is no longer in control of.
16 Paraedlern The Date-plant (Os Paraedel) – The date is a staple in Aereni cuisine and a lucrative export. The Date-plant represents an upcoming benefit, often something that the astrologer has developed for some time but has forgotten or is not recognizing.
17 Sesiern The Turtle (Os Sesi) – The turtle’s strong shell keeps it protected from the outside world and makes it fearless when others perceive it as plodding and cautious. The Turtle indicates that problems set before the astrologer are not so dire; sometimes the best approach is to push through them without stopping.
18 Jhysern The King (Os Jhys) – This long constellation crowned with three shining stars was once shown as an archfey ruler or elven commander. Today, it is invariably represented as an ascendant councilor of the Undying Court. This constellation represents a decision which will affect not only the astrologer but others’ fates.
19 Taliern The Candle (Os Tali) – This small constellation is usually rendered as an arcanist’s ritual candle, or a holy candle for a religious ceremony. Either way it indicates a need for precision and attention to detail for a desired outcome.
20 Tylydlern The Crocodile (Os Tylydoli) – The scaly predator of Xen’drik and Aereni waterways represents a consequence waiting for an action to set it off. The appearance the Crocodile means that a crossroads is coming up in the astrologer’s life.
21 Maedlern The Seed (Os Maedol) – This round constellation with a bright star in its center represents a new beginning and marks the end of the luenir. This is a good tuern for beginning something new.



Rueln Significance
Pyrdar "Pyrdar" means something between "loss" and "murder." It is the Aereni term for the invasion of Shae Tirias Tolai by the giants.
Maesoredi The Servitude is the long, torturous period that the elves spent as slaves to the giants.
Aeradi The period of the Escape includes the long conflict during which the elves fought their way free of the giants' empires, as well as their difficult journey across the ocean.
Vaerdos The Rebirth describes the growth of Aereni society, the elves' war with the dragons, and the establishment of the Undying Court.
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