The Khezvaran Day

The times when most Khezvarans wake, work, and sleep is governed by the sun, and people in the City of Ten Thousand Daggers adapt throughout the year to make the most of the day. Regardless of the season, most Khezvarans begin their day as soon as there's enough light and go to bed once it gets too dark to accomplish much, but how they spend the two portions of the day between those points varies with the time of year. The primary variable throughout the year is when people eat and take their rest.

The Summer Day

During the high summer months, when the days are longest, people usually wake up when it's still twilight so they can be ready to begin whatever work they do at first light (5:30-6:00 am). Around mid-morning (9:00-10:00 am), they stop briefly for a light breakfast before returning to work. They stop work again for their mid-day meal, usually the largest of the day, in the early afternoon (1:30-2:30 pm) and follow the meal with an afternoon szundi, or nap, that can last up to 3 hours. Most Khezvarans return to work for a few more hours after they wake up again. Those who have had a productive or profitable day or who are wealthy enough to take the rest of the day off often use the final hours of daylight for personal pursuits. They may take in a fight or chariot race at the Grand Arena, have a drink at their favorite tavern of coffee house, or take part in religious ceremonies or civic activities. A respectable citizen is expected to return home an hour or so before the sun sets (at 8:30-9:00 pm) in order to tend to family business and take their final meal of the day.

The Summer Night

As the last light fades, Khezvarans bed down for their first sleep, which typically lasts 3-5 hours. Sometime in the middle of the night (midnight-2:00 am), they wake up for about an hour, which they may spend in leisure or religious pursuits, performing light household chores, or visiting with neighbors. The main requirement for activities during this period of wakefulness--called ejnyom--is that it be something that does not require much light (usually no greater than a candle). Aside from the expense of lighting the darkness, the heat from larger light sources can be unwelcome even at night during the hottest parts of summer. Following the ejnyom, Khezvarans return to bed for their second sleep until it's time to wake up for another day.

The Winter Day

As the days grow shorter, Khezvarans take shorter szundi and sleep more at night. By the middle of winter, the sun isn't fully up until much later in the day (around 8:00 am), so Khezvarans take their breakfast as the sun rises. Some people still take a short break for coffee and perhaps a pastry or piece of cheese, but this is usually a luxury of the middle class or workmen who have a strong guild. The mid-day meal comes earlier in the winter (12:30-1:30 pm) and tends to be less rich and filling than a summer lunch and the szundi that follows is limited to 30 minutes or an hour at most. With sundown much earlier (6:30-7:00 pm), Khezvarans must make the most of the light they have. For those with the resources, the evening meal during winter makes up for the meager mid-day victuals.

The Winter Night

During the winter, Khezvarans go to bed and wake up from their first sleep earlier (waking up around midnight). Since the night is so much longer and it's cold enough for a fire to be welcome (or even necessary), a wider range of activities can occur during the ejnyom, which lasts two hours or more during the winter and often includes coffee or other hot drinks and (if food isn't too scarce) a light snack. After the ejnyom, people return to bed until the next morning arrives.

The Gentleman or Lady's Day

The wealthy are not restricted by the comings and goings of the sun in the same way the common folk are. They can afford lamp oil to light the night and servants to fan away the heat produced by the lamps, and have minions to handle anything that requires daylight to accomplish. Staying up late into the night--especially if it involves frequently hosting dinner parties, masquerade balls, and other functions for the similarly privileged--is seen as a sign of wealth and good breeding. As a result, The City of Ten Thousand Daggers' leisure class (and those who seek to be accepted by it) keep a different schedule than everyday Khezvarans.

Regardless of the time of year, a person of means rarely awakens during daylight hours before mid-day, and that's merely to spend an hour or two in quiet relaxation and perhaps enjoying coffee or a light meal of fruits and nuts. This is the noble's version of the ejnyom, and is followed by their second sleep, which lasts until early afternoon (around 2:00 pm). When they wake up again, they bathe and eat another light meal, after which they conduct business and meet any other demands that are made of them. When such unpleasantness is done, they usually spend the rest of the day on outdoor activities like hawking, hunting, or fencing during the summer. In winter, they may play games, engage in scholarly or artistic pursuits, or entertain guests.

As the sun begins to set, the well-to-do Khezvaran has another light meal and often a second bath and prepares for the night. An evening's festivities usually involve either hosting or attending elite social functions. These traditionally include a late-night feast (10:00 pm - Midnight) featuring rich and exotic delicacies. After the meal, guests lounge and sometimes nap for an hour or so before returning to more energetic pursuits. The revelry continues until late into the night, with a party-goer returning to their (or someone else's) bed shortly before dawn.


Cover image: Main Header Banner City of Ten Thousand Daggers by Steve Johnson


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16 Dec, 2020 07:52

Great article with nice use of historic accuracy. I see what you did with 1600's and ancient roman behavioral traditions! I'm a big fan of ancient Rome for my city of Incaras.

Sage kingyak
Steve Johnson
16 Dec, 2020 11:22

Thank you. I wanted to include the idea of a siesta since the setting is Mediterranean-ish and then remembered hearing about first and second sleep and thought that having everyone wake up in the middle of the night in a "city of thieves" had some fun implications.