The moons of Krynn, and why this fan pulls his hair out every time someone talks about it.

So, when Trampas Whiteman asks me (or anyone) about the thoughts of solar eclipses and about how often they happen on Krynn, it opens a Blood Sea maelstrom-sized rabbit hole.  So when anyone asks me anything about the moons, Solinari, Lunitari, and Nuitari (Nutari if you read the first printing of Dragons of Winter Night), in return, I ask, which game system, and what age of Krynn.  Because it’s that complicated.

Why? Because, when you talk about solar eclipses, you’re basically asking when a moon will pass in front of the Sun.   And that means understanding how long it takes for the planet to orbit the sun.  And that is the interesting part I’d like to point out in this latest Nexus article.  And let me go over our available sources.

Dragonlance Calendar Interior

Krynn’s 365.25-Day Year

This is the first immediate source.  It’s pretty obvious when you read Dragons of Winter Night, page 301 refers to the 28th of December, using Earth-English names for the months.  But the most intriguing reference is Dragon Magazine, where editor Roger Moore specifically stated that Krynn has a year *which is 365.25 days long, necessitating the use of a leap year day. The year has 12 months with either 30 or 31 days a piece.  (Dragon Magazine, #123, 60)  This is reinforced by the Atlas of the Dragonlance Saga, where the author uses the 1985 Dragonlance Calendar. Time and again we see the modern Earth dates, including Leaves from the Inn of the Last Home, and manuscript written by Tika and Waylan Majere. Within there are references to March, June, August, October, and in particular, Kitiara’s birthday, October 31, 318 AC.  (Leaves, 169).  This will be an important reference I will use later. 

Krynn’s 336-Day Year

This is quite controversial, given the sources I’ve just listed.  The 336-day year is derived from DL13, Dragons of Truth.  The game module requires the dungeon master to track time as the players travel to the heart of darkness in Neraka.  The inside covers specifically tracks 4 months, with each month being of 4 weeks, and each week having 7 days.  So, a month has a total of 28 days. And with 12 months, Krynn’s year is exactly 336 days.  (DL13, inside cover) .  This is reinforced by the Dragonlance Campaign Setting for D&D 3.5e, where Krynn is specifically called out to have 504 days for each Night of the Eye, which then happens exactly every 1.5 years, or 336 days. (DLCS, 74).

You’ll see an immediate contradiction.  Kitiara’s birthday, October 31, cannot exist in this dating system, where each month is only 28 days.  This year also makes the Krynnish year shorter than Earth’s year, and books like the Atlas of the Dragonlance Saga, can no longer be accurate because it uses 365 days.  

Krynn’s 360-Day Year

Now, our final source is mentioned first in a non-Dragonlance branded module, Spelljammer’s SJR7 Krynnspace, the game material presented for fans of the multi-world, space-traveling ships, and extreme monsters and humanoids.  That in itself is controversial, because it’s not specifically a Dragonlance product, even though it goes into a lot of things about Krynn’s place in a solar system. 

And Krynnspace’s format details each planet in the system starting with a data chart. And for Krynn’s data chart, Krynn has a “year-length” of 360 days.  (SJR7, 26)  Krynnspace was followed up by SAGA game system, where the system’s first game product spells out that the Ansalonian year contains 12 months of 30 days each.  (5A, Book2, back cover)

Astute readers will note:  SAGA was never popular, and a 30-day month also contradicts Kitiara’s birthday October 31st.  

Which one is correct?  

Well, that is a much harder question to answer, because each calendar has its positives and negatives.  And I’m always a person who says do what you want, like what you want. Just be aware of differences, and that other Dragonlance fans may like different material.  I call this the “Multiverse Theory of Calendars.”  Simply put, each game system takes place in a completely separate universe, where the calendar is what it is.  For example, if you meet a fan of the Dragonlance Novels, you’re going to be getting a person more in tune with 365.25-day calendar.  A player of the AD&D2 or D&D3.5e may like 336-day calendar. And then are those poor SAGA gamers. They have 360-day calendars.

But really, which one is correct?

So, I’ve recently been playing around with the theory that Krynn’s years are actually malleable. That is, Different Ages of Krynn had different years. 

*****Spoilers ahead*****

Let’s say for example, that in the past, Krynn had a 360-day year. So, what if Krynn has 360 days per year.  Yet in the time of the War of the Lance, we also hold true that Krynn has an Earth-like calendar of 365.25 days. What if both were true? But a major event happened on Krynn that could change a lot of that math: The Cataclysm.  That is an event where the fiery mountain, struck Istar creating the Blood Sea of Istar. The impact crater is measurable in it’s diameter from the eastern coast of Kern to the western shores of Mithas Islands. Additionally, in Taladas, the Cataclysm also created the Great Lava Sea, also a huge structure of molten lava. The energy of that asteroid hit could have caused Krynn to spin slightly faster. But if one measures time by sunrise to sunset and your world is suddenly spinning faster could you tell the difference?  So, then the theory is that for the 383 years between the Cataclysm to the Chaos War, Krynn spun faster, the days, hours, minutes and seconds became shorter, and the only way to tell is when observers saw an extra 5.25 days per year. This resulted in time keepers creating the odd 31-day months, and the occasional leap year to keep everything straight.

Let’s continue with the Chaos War.  It is revealed that Krynn the planet was actually stolen and placed around another sun. Enter the SAGA game system recording exactly 12 months, each with 30 days per month for a new pale moon.  

Lastly, in D&D3.5e, where Krynn has 336 days per year: This is point where the Gods rediscovered Krynn and the three moons returned to the sky. We could say that after the War of Souls, the moon gods returned, but Krynn’s place in the new sun was corrected so that the Night of the Eye occurs precisely at 504 days, happening regularly at exactly 1.5 years in the new 336-day calendar. 

That, my friends, is the end of this wild yarn.  I leave it for you to ponder how sensible it is.  There are holes to this universal theory of Krynn’s moons. I leave it up to you to poke holes.    

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2 Comments

  1. For what is worth, I wrote a page enabling a Dragonlance fan to track the moons, seasons, and years, here:

    https://www.paercebal.org/HtmlKrynnEphemeris/index.html

    All this can be customized (by changing the epoch, or enabling the debug options).

    And yes, I use the 336 days-long year for my campaign, no matter the year.

  2. And here I thought the article was going to be about the wizards of high Sorcery really being clerics.

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