"Good things come to those who wait."---Greldum Drobe, captain of the White Rhino's military corps, addressing his young apprentice.
Kalacum Windling Clan Time System
I’ve spent the majority of my life traveling the breadth of Barsaive and beyond in my
studies of culture diversity. I’ve spent time with almost every conceivable race known to
man. One of the cultures that I was regrettably unwilling to study was windlings. I know
that anthropologists should try to study all walks of life with an objective stand point but I
couldn’t bear the thought of spending any amount of time in a windling village. Luckily,
for me, I was forced into a situation that required me to live with the Kalacum windling
clan. Instead of being insulted every second of the day, (My original perception of
windlings) I was accepted as an honorary member of the clan and was treated with
respect. Of course, it is in windling nature to play the occasional prank and I was subject
to my fair share. However, these pranks were harmless fun and the prankster would often
share a mug of the finest ale in the village with me afterwards to show no animosity. The
topic of this essay is not to tell you everything about these Windlings. I’ve written a book
titled The Kalacum Windling Culture and it’s human/meta-human relations. Which
can be found in the Great Library of Throal. Due to time constraints, I was unable to
place the clan’s time system within those pages. Luckily, I was given the opportunity to
place this piece of work into the Order of the White Rhino’s archive
For centuries, cultures have used the sun as a means to tell time. Even the Therans and
dwarf kingdom of Throal, who have set the standards in the twenty four hour time system
most of us use to this day, relied heavily upon the sun to tell time. However, this system
was relatively crude and not very accurate. Most would look at the sun and make
estimations on the time, generally guessing within one or two hours of the actual time.
Even the more primitive tribes and clans that still have not conformed to the Thera/Throal
time system cannot guess the time with much accuracy. I have come upon one exception;
the windling clan of Kalacum. By no means would I consider this windling clan primitive.
They have many technologies. They still use there own means of telling time which I have
not seen in any other Culture. It is proof that this clan has not been persuaded to conform
to the Thera/Throal twenty four hour clock. Instead, they have evolved the time system
which I spoke upon earlier. They rely heavily upon the sun for telling the time. When
first saw one of the windlings look up to the sky and tell the time, I had not known what
time he meant it was. I inquired what time it would be according to the Thera/Throalic
clock. (The clan has in fact learned this system of time as well but do not utilize it) He
told my that by the Thera/Throlic clock it would be 15:45, or 3:45 in the afternoon. I
quickly proceeded to set up my sun dial to determine what time it actually was. I was
amazed to find that he was merely three minutes off. I conducted a test. I asked five
windlings each five questions on what the time was. They all gave the same answer for
each question. The test results are below.
My findings show that these windlings have some sort of system for telling time with
relative accuracy. I began researching their time system. The twenty four hour time
system shown in the table was actually converted. For example, when I asked what time it
was for question one, each windlings first response was in their time system. In other
words, they told me that the time for question one was three quarters sun, one quarter.
This is converted to being 10:45. in question five, they said the time was three quarters
moon, three quarters. This is converted to being 23:13.
The biggest problem that I have come across in my research on this topic is the fact that it
seems that this time system makes the assumption that the there are twelve hours of sun
light, and twelve hours of darkness in one day. This is not necessarily the case in reality.
This assumption may be relatively close, however, in the case of Barsaive. Because of our
provinces location on the globe, we receive just about equal amounts of time of daylight
and equal amounts darkness. The best solution that I can come up with is that the
Kalacum clan have almost an innate sense about compensating for such discrepancies.
I have included this diagram in order to help understand the way their system works. This
is a crude diagram at best and should only be taken with a grain of salt. In actuality, there
are 64 segments rather than the 16 that I have displayed. remember, that in each of the 16
segments, there are another 4 individual segment.
As you can see, when the sun and moon are on the decent, they are referred with a “low”
in the term. (for example, two quarters, low moon) You will also notice that when the sun
and moon are ascending, they are referred with no indication of which direction they are
traveling in (there is no “one quarter, high moon” or “one quarter, high sun” but just “one
quarter sun” and “one quarter moon”) I have heard the clan refer to the rising moon and
sun with “high” but it seems that it is acceptable, even preferred, to not use the “high”
term. I believe that the reason for this is to avoid confusion between JUST high moon and
High moon and high sun are exactly what they mean. This is the point at which the sun
and moon are at the highest point in the sky. This also seems to help the windlings tell
time. It is almost as if it is a check point, of sorts. When telling time, the clan seem to
round it to the lowest quarter. that is, they would round 10:14 to 10:00 and yet they
would round 10:16 to 10:15.
There is no doubt that the Kalacum windling clan use a complex time system which would
appear to be not very accurate. I have studied this clan for years and I still cannot believe
that their time system remains accurate, even over the changing seasons. It is quite
possible that this windling clan has some sort of natural ability in judging time under open
skies. What ever the case may be, I am in amazement with what these little folk have
accomplished and I believe that even the wisest of scholars wouldn’t be able to discover
the truth behind this mystery.
Submitted from Auirak Cealdhome, troll anthropologist and troubadour adept.