Time and the Seasons
Almost every people or race of Arland marks the passage of days, seasons and years in some fashion. In Arn and the other Kingdoms, royal astrologers carefully tend the Record of Years. Even the monstrous races compose harsh chants that record the days and deeds of their fierce chieftains.
Day and Night
Arland’s days are 24 hous long, divided into night and day by the rising and setting sun. In the unsettled southern shores of Arland, the length of the night does not vary much with the season, and 12 hours of light and 12 of dark is the rule year-round. In the north, the days are markedly longer in summer and shorter in winter. Midwinter day in the Provinces sees little more than 8 hours of daylight and Midsummer is almost 16.
Seven days comprise an Arnan week, The days are:
- Tweenday, (for baking)
- Winday, (for laundry
- Fireday, (for burning refuse and taking baths)
- Satyrday, (for market)
- Soulday. (for the home)
Each region or province within Arland has their own interpretations for the meanings and associated tasks for each of the seven days though most consider Satyrday night to be a night for revelry and enjoyment with friends and family and Soulday is for rest.
The Hours of the Day
Timepieces are not found in Arland and most people break up the day into several slices – dawn, morning, noon, afternoon, dusk, sunset, evening, midnight and after dark. Dozens of conventions for naming these portions of the day exist, and cause no little confusion for travelers in foreign lands.
These customary divisions are only approximations, and one person’s later afternoon might be another’s early dusk. Local customs dictate the general length of each portion of the day. Each of these customary periods last anywhere from 1 to 4 hours, so noon is generally accounted to be an hour or so on either end.
Few people in Arland have cause to measure an hour (or any length of time shorter than a day) with any great precision. People are accustomed to gauging time by intuition, the movement of the sun, and the activity around them. Two merchants might agree to meet at a particular tavern at dusk, and chances are both will show up within 15 to 20 minutes of each other.
In large cities and some towns, the tolling of temple bells replaces the more casual accounting of the day’s passage. Several major faiths attempt to measure time more accurately. The Pilgrims of Gizad treasure their hourglasses, carefully measuring the time by the falling sands. Clerics of Arn assign acolytes to watch sundials, carefully adjusted by years of observation of the sun’s movements in the sky. Traditionally, the hours are numbered 1 to 12 twice, and the bells sound once for each hour on the hour. “Twelve bells” is virtually interchangeable with “Midnight” or “Noon”, depending on the context.
Months of the Year
Each month is 27 days long, beginning at dawn on day of the High of the Full moon (the middle of the three days of the full moon) and terminating at the first day of the full moon of the next month. There are twelve months in the year and each year starts with the arrival of the month of Auren in Spring.
The Moon goes through 9 different phases within a given month, each lasting three nights.
Days of the Week with Phase
Months and Festivals
Seasonal births are treated in much the same manner as astrological signs. The time of year a child is born has much to say about their personality.
Spring Birth: Those born in spring are considered wild and impulsive; living for the moment and throwing themselves into parties and pleasurable company without care for the next morning.
Summer Born: Those born in summer are less impulsive than the Spring births and not as orderly as the Fall births. They are generally considered the perfect “parental” personality having a mixture of both the vigor of youth and the pragmatism of maturity.
Fall Birth: Those born in the fall are considered orderly and reserved. They are constantly planning for the future and rarely settling on the moment. Not prone to wild displays of emotion, they are considered somewhat aloof and harsh.
Winter Born: Those born in the winter are considered to be mean-spirited and greedy; constantly needing more and more attention from those around them, demanding perpetual care and gratification from others.
Years of the Mark
Years of the Mark Each set of 10 years is its own Mark. These Marks are named after animals and are used as a unit of time measurement. A full set of ten ‘Marks’ makes up one century. Those born under a Mark, each decade, is said to resemble the traits of the animals they are named for. Though the influence of their birth moon (see seasonal births) has a greater impact upon their individual personality, a person’s mark is normally a constant element in their personality.
A list of the Marks, their character trait and the years of the century are listed below. For example, a character born in 1034 GR would fall within the mark of the Ram.
|Serpent||The Dark Reformer||(15-24)|
|Ram||The Remover of Obstacles||(25-34)|