The Five Ages - An Eorzean Chronology
Penned by Lewphon of Sharlayan, master theologian and astrologist, in the Year 233 of the Sixth Astral Era, to weave together the disparate histories of the nations of Eorzea with a common thread - the thread of time. For through its inevitable march the hours turn into Suns, and they into Moons, and they into Years. And from the Years come the Ages of Man. And ever eclipsing those is the eternity of Gods.
Chapter 1 - The Suns
By the unit of a sole Sun we mean that period which lasts for the duration of four cycles of the six elemental hours - those of Ice, Water, Wind, Lightning, Fire, and Earth. And so is the sun twenty hours and four, and so shall it ever be.
Chapter 2 - The Moons
The life of a single Moon spans four cycles of eight Suns, and is thus the sum of thirty and two. The eight deriveth from the elements six, Ice, Water, Wind, Lightning, Fire, and Earth, and the polarities two, Astral and Umbral.
Chapter 3 - The Years
The Year is made when the Moon goeth round the two Astral and Umbral poles, fluctuating between the six elements, and that in turn. In this, the Year can be said to be the length of twelve Moons. The first and second Moons of the Year are the first astral and first Umbral, and together they share affinity with Ice. On their watch, all is frozen, and breath of life sloweth to near silence beneath. The second Astral and second Umbral Moons come third and fourth in turn, and they are the Water of the melting Ice, and with their flowing slaketh the thirst of life again. Fifth and sixth are the third Astral and third Umbral Moons, and the Wind bloweth over the Water, carrying its heavenly boons near and far. The fourth pairing of Astral and Umbral Moons come six and seven. when the heavens rageth with the furies of Lightning and sendeth them below with godly terror to test the faith of men. The ninth and tenth Moons are the Fifth Astral and Umbral, as the Lightning turns to Fire, and it charreth growing life with the colors of its flames, bleeding blade and leaf with brilliant ues of crimson and scarlet. Year's end eometh in the eleventh and twelfth Moons, the sixth Astral and sixth Umbral, in which the Earth consumes all, for out of the ground we are taken for the dust we are, and to the dust we shall return.
Chapter 4 - Of Man
The wisdom of the Twelve saw fit to grant man with the cycle of years, and in turn the reverence of man bound them to his gods - the Year of the Navigator, of the Wanderer, of the Builder, of the Destroyer, of the Warden, of the Traders, of the Matron, of the Keeper, of the Fury, of the Lover, of the Scholar, and of the Spinner. The turning of these Years twelve is a sacred thing, and together they comprise one epoch of man, by which the histories of his endeavor are measured.
Chapter 5 - Of Gods
The constancy and eternity of time derive from the pulse and breath of the Twelve. And by their divine will the brilliance of the Astral Eras which see man flourish and prosper, and the shadows of the Umbral Eras which see man falter and doubt, are visited upon him in equal, and neither the greatest good nor the greatest evil may escape their purview. Since the peace among the Twelve was broken and life was created to wage their wars, six cycles of the Eras have come to pass in keeping with the elemental order. The Sixth Umbral Era belonged to the waters, as heavy rains fell and the seas rose high, submerging and cleansing all in a great deluge. With time the waters receded, ushering in the present Sixth Astral Era, during which man has again rebuilt his halls and tilled his lands. Naught save the ken of the Twelve themselves knoweth when the Seventh Umbral Era shall come and end our days. The sole certainty what resides within man is the selfsame as it has ever been - ours is the power to make of our Era what we might.