Time, Cold, and Rain
Weather, Seasons, and Timekeeping in Umqwam.
The great atawms gently dimmed and brightened, warming the nests below them as they did so. As if the gods had left behind these fruits to care for us in their stead.Umqwam, the great tree. Among its branches, various creatures carve out their lives. Be they within its several nests, within its very core, or clinging to life beyond these oases, they are each beholden to the natural phenomena of time and weather.
In a slightly staggered order, the atawm dim and brighten in 26 hour cycles. 14 hours of light, and 12 hours of darkness— referred to as the day and night respectively. These fruit are responsible for much of the weather within Umqwam, as well. Over the course of a 400 day period— known as a yapwaan, or year— the heat and brightness of the atawm wax and wane. This results in 3 distinct seasons; Umwaay, Qup, and Laatimaq.
In the shadowsThe atawm are unmoving, and as such, in nests where the nearest fruit is not directly above them, one can live perpetually in shadow. In hotter areas, it is not uncommon to find people settling within the shade of geographical features. Architecture typically accounts for this fact, as well.
|Umwaay||Typically seen as the start of the year, this is the hottest season and lasts through the first quarter of the yapwaan. Rain is more frequent, however, resulting from more evaporation. Crops are typically planted here.|
|Qup||The second season, neither particularly hot nor cold. This lasts through the second and third quarters of the yapwaan.|
|Laatimaq||The final season, when the atawm dim and all can feel the resulting chill. This spans the final quarter of the yapwaan.|
Tracking the TimeThere are no strict calendars within Umqwam, as the seasons are not punctual. Some years may be shorter or longer than others, but they are still seen as equal when recorded. Specific dates, when necessary, are recorded as "the x day of season." More often than not, however, events are simply known by the year and season they occurred within— sometimes specified as being early, central, or late within it. This often leads to things such as holidays being celebrated at different times by different settlements and households.
WeatherWeather is contained only within Umqwam's nests by some unseen force. Some believe that weather is the result of their ancestors and their moods, others believe they are predetermined creations of their absent gods, and a strange bunch claim that they are caused by entirely predictable changes in temperature, wind, and "atmosphere." When asked what, exactly, an "atmosphere" is— they tend to wildly gesticulate, make swooshing noises, and walk away. Wind alone is still a mystery— does it come from the cosmos beyond? Is it alive? Just as many of the great tree's denizens fervently seek the answers to these questions as others go about their lives without a single care for them.
Look, I don' really care. The atawm get bright, and th' atawm get dim. Thas' all I's need t' know.