Dwarven Timekeeping

Drip... Drip.... Drop...

As seen in

Dwarven Measurement of the Passage of Time

    Dwarves, most of which live their entire lives out in subterranean Holds, cannot depend on surface-related time devices such as the sky's rotation. Instead, they turn their attention to the ground beneath their feet for answers to their questions about the passage of time.  
Human Unit Dwarven Unit Explanation Standard-Dwarven Measurement
Second Drip The highest quality stalactites are grown in some of the oldest of Holds. They use these to manufacture a standardized water clock. Using the stalactites, drips will form on the surface of the stalactite and gradually pool together at the tip, forming a single Drop (a human-standard minute). One Drip per 6 standard-Human seconds. 10 Drips per standard-Dwarven Drops.
Minute Drop For every 10 drips, a single water droplet has enough mass to finally fall from the stalactite water clock, collecting within a drum suspended below the stalactite. 10 Drips amount to 1 Drop. There are 40 Drops per standard-Dwarven Drums.
Hour Drum A drum suspended below the tip of the stalactite water clock collects water droplets. When the quantity of water within reaches 40 droplets, the drum tips, emptying its contents into a vessel below. The water collected in these vessels is considered a physical manifestation of time and is often used as an ingredient in dwarven brewing. As the water is used for brewing, dwarven time rates are measured in brewing terminology. 40 Drops per standard-Dwarven Drum. 16 Drums per standard-Dwarven Cask.
Day Cask By the time the sixteenth drum tips its contents, another Greater Cask will be completed. Greater Casks are delivered to dwarven Holds around the realms so that they can participate in the Great Ferment Festival each calendar cycle. They are labour-intensive projects and can only be produced by the finest craftsdwarves who reside in Great Holds. After each Greater Cask is completed, the shifts in the Cask Foundries change. 16 Drums per standard-Dwarven Cask. 6 Casks per standard-Dwarven Pipe.
Week Pipe After six Greater Casks have been completed, the available storage capacity perfectly measures a dwarven pipe. As such, the calendar scribes used Pipes as the measurement to track rotations. 6 Casks per standard-Dwarven Pipe. 5 Pipes per standard-Dwarven Tun.
Month Tun Unlike human tuns, dwarven tuns are a true feat of dwarven engineering. While a human tun can hold approximately 250 gallons of ale, a dwarven tun is precisely engineered to contain one thousand gallons of your standard dwarven ale. To ensure that the hold will not run out of their standard supply of ale, eighteen tuns are on constant rotation. By the time the eighteenth tun has fully rotated, dwarven representatives take a cask of their best ale from the previous calendar cycle to the capital for the Great Ferment Festival to enter the Great Ferment Competition. 5 Pipes per standard-Dwarven Tun. 18 Tuns per standard-dwarven Great Ferment.
Year Great Ferment Once per calendar cycle, ambassadors of each dwarven Hold leave their homes behind for the capital with a sample of the best experimental drink produced that cycle. Eight full days of activities commence in the capital to celebrate another cycle completion. The best ale produced across the realm will be the next cycle's namesake. After the festivities have come to a close, the winner is declared, the rewards are dolled out, and the ambassadors return to their Holds with word of the next cycle's name and any other pressing news. Example: The year's best ale comes from Umbradon. It is called "Lichenwater Lager."   The upcoming calendar cycle will be known as "Lichenwater."
Season Stone Before time was accurately measured, the earliest dwarves had to rely on their relationship with the ground beneath their feet. Seasons were measured by the touch and characteristics of the stone around them.   There are six Stones: Greenstone, Warmstone, Lichenstone, Coldstone, Darkstone, and Wetstone.

Marking Seasonal Changes

  The unique quality of the stone marks seasons. A "listening stone" is often chosen, shaped, and displayed near a Hold's entryway as a constant reminder of the passage of time. There are six unique "Stones," or seasons. Each Stone is about three Tuns in duration.
Stones (Seasons) Description
Greenstone As the stone begins to warm, the dampness of Wetstone begins to feed the seeds of the decayed lichen. The young lichen is a brilliant shade of green. It cannot be harvested at this point, but it is soft and cozy to sit on. At this stage, green lichen has medicinal uses in small applications. It would work in a pinch but should not be solely relied upon.
Warmstone The stone continues to warm as the sun in the sky beats down more oppressively on the surface. The warmth carries down into the stone, providing an ambient warmth in dwarven Holds. The lichen begins to turn a shade of yellow. Still unsuitable for consumption, the lichen can be harvested in controlled amounts to make textiles.
Lichenstone The lichen on the stone finally takes on its pale-gray colour. At this point, the lichen is ready for harvesting for dwarven ale. Holds shift focus from expanding the halls to harvesting the lichen to ensure a steady supply will be available for the next few Tuns.
Coldstone The colder Stones begin with Coldstone. As its name suggests, the stone becomes colder to the touch. The ambient warmth of Warmstone and the first part of Lichenstone cools. This is the last chance for dwarves to harvest lichen for ale. After this, it will be unsuitable for brewing but does have other uses, such as fuel.
Darkstone The coldest time in the hold is Darkstone. Shadows seem to creep further into the light of the Holds during this Stone. A common practice is to double all guard rotations to increase security with the increased darkness. Monsters and creatures are more active during this and the following Stone.
Wetstone With the increased rain on the surface, the stone begins to dampen deep into the ground. The listening stone's coolness becomes softer to the touch. Any lichen left unharvested will be ruined by this fresh dampness. From the decaying material, new lichen will form over the following Stone, starting a fresh cycle. Many Holds try to harvest as much of the lichen closest to the Hold as possible, as the decaying lichen smell is foul.

The Standard Dwarven Calendar



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