With no sun, no stars, and no magnetic north, navigation is very, very difficult.

The most consistent frame of reference to a compass north is the Tide of the Mists, which seem to slowly and continuously flow in one direction. Considering your frame of reference is constantly moving, even this isn't very reliable.

Clans skilled in navigation may know some more secrets. Some are able to foresee the way that will get them to their destination, some have animals that know where they are going and some follow migratory birds….


Even though the concept of years would be an alien one to an inhabitant of this constantly changing world, there is still a modicum of regularity. As time passes fragments will slowly oscillate in height, meaning that it is possible to predict when a fragment will be closer to the mists or to the storms. This is important for agriculture, as the closer you are to the storms, the warmer it is due to their energy and power. The opposite is true for the mists. Thus farmers will still have a 'summer' and a 'winter' to pay attention to; the difference is that this will vary from fragment to fragment, and is even modifyable by a skilled geomancer.

Day and Night

There is no sun. No break in the clouds. Prismatic light filters through the storms, each day tinted a different color.

Light quality varies, bringing periods of darkness and periods of daylight. People learn to cope with the irregularity of this day night cycle, where the night could be many times longer, or vice versa, on a 'daily' basis. You rest when it is dark, work when it is bright. Sleep as you need, wait when you have to.

It is dangerous to travel at night for practical reasons. This can be incredibly frustrating when time is of the essense, but most means of making light when there is none are insufficient for safe travel given the number of threats which may lurk in the darkness. Working at night has become somewhat more feasible than it used to be due to the development of storm lanterns which store the energy of the storms in times of light and release it to generate enough light to see by in darkness. Larger lanterns bright enough to simulate daytime and allow for safer nighttime travel have been designed, but so far have proven much too unstable to be practical.


Most societies have adopted the day as the standard unit of time. It is equivalent to one period of light followed by one period of darkness.

Each day is divided into eight “watches”, with the first two watches being from dawn to the time of greatest brightness.

A month is 30 days, a year is 12 months, or 360 days.

Although this seems like it could lead to inconsistent timekeeping, it is helped by the fact that there is some regularity to the colours of the storms. Over the course of six months, the Storms seem to shift from very warm colours such as yellows and reds to very cool colours such as purples and greens. There is still a delination between day and night, but as the colours get cooler the 'days' get shorter and darker. Every six months, therefore, there is a solstice when the colours reach their most vibrant or subdued.

Melancholy equinoxes (when the colours are at their coolest) are generally celebrated by large family feasts indoors, whereas Passionate equinoxes, when the colours are at their warmest, are normally celebrated by all the clans on a fragment getting together and throwing a festival. Aside from keeping morale high, this has the effect that times of six and twelve months are kept to fairly rigidly.

game2/time_and_space.txt · Last modified: 2008/10/07 20:53 by gm_rob