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Divisions of the Day


Days are divided into five large units, called Stounds. These are broad measurements of time for vague conversation and roughly correlate with basic divisions of the day.
  1. First Stound: (morning) starts at sunrise and ends a little before midday
  2. Second Stound: (afternoon) starts before midday and ends mid afternoon
  3. Third Stound: (evening) starts mid afternoon and ends after dusk
  4. Fourth Stound: (early night) starts after dusk and ends a little after midnight
  5. Last Stound: (late night): starts a little after midnight and ends at sunrise


Is the most commonly used measurement of time. There are actually two different methods of sectioning and numbering hours, depending on who is speaking or where one is.
  • Hours: one hour is one-quarter of a Stound Hours are named as First Hour, Second Hour, Third Hour, and Last Hour and start again once the next stound begins. For a specific time stated the stound and hour must be stated. When written, it is as a:b with the former number representing the stound and the latter the hour. The time 2:4 is spoken as "two and four". The magi on the other hand, completely ignore stounds and number and name the hours from zero to nineteen.
  • Whiles and Vigils: are hours used by those who still have faith in the dead gods. Shrines and churches ring bells to signify times for prayer or reading of sacred texts. Whiles are the hours during the day, when the faithful do their labors and studies, and the vigils are hours when most people are asleep. Each are dedicated to one of the eleven Greater Gods. Starting from sunrise, they are in the following order (the first seven are the Whiles and the last four are the Vigils)
  1. Ortus: for Weland
  2. Matin: for Deiwos
  3. Meridiem: for Hausos
  4. Quartus: for Westya
  5. Vespers: for Mimras
  6. Occasus: for Kolyos
  7. Compline: for Seith
  8. Lectus: for Gwenos
  9. Nocte: for Menot
  10. Rite: for Perkwunos
  11. Lucifer: for Thunras

Subdivions of the Hour

Due to time-keeping devices such as hourglasses, waterclocks, candle clocks, and sundials, times shorter than an hour are used by the commonfolk.
  • Half-, Quarter-, etc.: are simple fractions of an hour
  • Mileway: is a very informal unit of time. Often used for travelling, it is roughly the amount of time it takes a person to walk one mile. There is about three mileways in an hour.

Mechanical Times

These are only used due to the magi and their mechanical clocks. The names of these units are based off the circular face of their clocks. Since the magi came up with these units, they are based off their hours; although the religious use these units in regards to their own hours, thus causing some confusion and misunderstanding.
  • Degree: there are three hundred and sixty degrees in an hour.
  • Radian: a larger unit equaling sixty degrees. This is a controversial unit as a true geometrical radian is actually just under 57.3 degrees. So some magi use replacement terms often derived from either sixth (being one-sixth of an hour) or sixty (being sixty degrees).
  • Tennute: (pronounced /ˈtɛ.nɪt/ or "ten-it") derived from "ten minutes", it represents one sixth of a degree. In geometry, a degree is divided into sixty minutes, but one minute is too short of a time for it to be useful; so a unit of ten minutes is used.
When speaking of a set time, generally only the hour and radian is used in the manner "x and y" with x representing the hours and y the radian. When written, a colon is used between the units. So the time 8:5 would be spoken "eight and five" and represents the fifth radian of the eighth hour of the day. If a commoner uses the stound-hour method, an additional number is written and spoken preceding the hour. So 2:4:5 is spoken as "two, five, and five" and would represent the same original time, but instead saying it as the fifth radian of the fourth hour of the second stound.   Only magi would necessitate the use of more precise times and use the unit "tennute" at the very end. The method is exactly the same. The time 8:5:3 is spoken "Eight, Five, and Three" and represents the third tennute of the fifth radian of the eighth hour.  

Terrestrial Conversion

The days in The Age of Embers are shorter than those on Earth. A day here is approximately twenty hours, seventeen minutes, and 296.3 milliseconds according to Earth's reckoning. This means that the years of both worlds equal the same amount of time.   Time and Seasons: other than the hours used by the magi, the hours of the day change depending on the season. A day hour in summer is longer than a day hour in winter and therefore the stounds, stound-hours, and whiles/vigils have differing lengths. The following times are using equinoxes as that is the time when days and nights are equal.
  • A stound is about four earth hours long.
  • An hour is about an earth hour long.
  • Whiles and Vigils are just under two earth hours long.
  • A mileway is about twenty minutes.
  • The half-hours and quarter-hours are about half or a quarter of an earth hour, respectfully.
  • A radian is about ten minutes.
  • A degree is about ten seconds.
  • A tennute is about one and a half of a second

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26 Sep, 2020 23:41

Rare to see an in-depth article on timekeeping like this! Fascinating!