While more detailed timekeeping varies from place to place, the Aeon Priests have a widely used standard that most people have adopted in one form or another.

Due to the moon’s current orbit, which affects the Earth’s rotation, days are 28 hours long, making each year 313 days long.  A year is typically divided into ten months of thirty-one days each, with an extra three days tucked between the end of the previous year and the beginning of the new one. There are fifty-two weeks in a year, with six days each. The day without a week is the last day of the old year, and is commonly called Safe Haven, a day in which all debts are cancelled, all trespasses forgiven, and all records wiped clean. The “holiday” comes with a price, of course: a person seeking haven must place a piece of the past (some type of numenera) on the doorstep of the one they wish to grant them passage into the new year. This practice has waned over the years, partly because so many people started their new year off with the sin of thievery, ensuring that they would need to ask for safe haven yet again. In most places, it is now more a day of reveling, secret kindnesses, and gifts.

People in the Ninth World track the parts of a day in a casual way. Although they use measurements of time equivalent to hours and minutes, as in “I’ll be there in an hour,” they don’t give the hours any numbers as the day progresses. Instead, there are more general times of day marked by the location of the sun: early (before sunrise), morning (after sunrise and before lunch), midday (the brightest part of the day), wane (late afternoon), ebb (when it begins to get dark), and night. The darkest part of the night, when it is impossible to see anything at all, is called stark in some places.  Stark doesn’t happen on a night when there are stars or a moon to light the way.

In addition to (or sometimes instead of) the more common fifty-two-week calendar, some places operate on a societal year, a calendar based on events that are important or memorable to that particular community. Common starting points for the year are things like the day the current ruler was born, the time the town burnt down, or the week the dread destroyer showed up. In some places, every time a new ruler steps up, the existing societal year is thrown out, and a new one is integrated based on that ruler’s life. This can be confusing to anyone arriving from out of town (and sometimes even to the town’s inhabitants).


Numenera JoeDunham