Thursday 28 March 2024

Setting: A Matter of Time

One of the things Outer Worlders find most curious about those from the Otherworld is how preoccupied with punctuality they are. Anyone with any experience with dimensional strays knows to expect a number of questions about their schedules when said stray finds out that the Sun Machine is locked in place.

They will ask: when do you work, when do you eat, and when do you sleep?

And those from Outer World will answer: when there is work to be done, when I am hungry, and when I am tired.

A barrage of other, increasingly confused inquiries inevitably follow. 

The truth is, the folk of Outer World simply aren't as concerned with the matter of time as someone from elsewhere may expect. Most settlements have some combination of a communal time piece and a caller for official business, but otherwise people are left to their own devices. Storefronts, inns, and other services are open whenever the owners find it practical. As long as what needs to be done is done very few people feel the desire to demand much else.

(Some scholars have asked Otherworlders what it's like where they come from, and the general conclusion is that it sounds dreadful.)

There are a few exceptions to the rule, of course. Paw-Post Couriers have to be a bit more focused on things due to the nature of their job. Those wealthy or fortunate enough to find themselves in the possession of a pocket watch or other portable clock often grow much more aware of the passing of time, generally to the chagrin of those around them as this knowledge often comes up when someone is "late". Finally, the nation of Old Iron is notorious for its strict and demanding schedules, which is considered to be nearly as unpleasant as all their war-mongering.

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