Time of Day in Thèah
Time of Day in Thèah
Clocks and watches or other timepieces are not nearly as prevalent in Théah as they are in our modern day, and they are also far less accurate. Peasants and sailors tell the time of day by the height of the sun, and at night by the constellations they see. Aside from those natural markers, days are punctuated by the cycle of masses, as announced by church bells; a person is far more likely to say "Be here at vespers tomorrow" than "at six." The exact hours by the clock vary with seasons, since they are based on the sunrise and sunset.
- Matins: The night office lasting approximately from 9 PM to 3 PM.
- Lauds: Dawn mass, technically the closing part of Vigils; ending at approximately 6 AM in summer.
- Prime: The office lasting approximately from 6 AM to 9 AM.
- Terce: The office lasting approximately from 9 AM to noon.
- Sext: The office lasting approximately from noon to 3 PM.
- None: The office lasting approximately from 3 PM to 6 PM.
- Vespers: The evening service, lasting approximately from 6 PM to 9 PM.
- Vigils: The night office, comprising Matins and Lauds.
- Compline: Recited at nightfall; somewhat outside the rest of the hours scheme.
Sailors have a different way of dividing the day: ship watches. Here is the most common arrangement:
- First Watch: 8 PM to midnight.
- Middle Watch: Midnight to 4 AM.
- Morning Watch: 4 AM to 8 AM.
- Forenoon Watch: 8 AM to noon.
- Afternoon Watch: Noon to 4 PM.
- First Dog Watch: 4 PM to 6 PM.
- Second Dog Watch: 6 PM to 8 PM.
The ship's company is usually divided into two watches, designated as the starboard watch and the larboard or port watch, who alternate being on duty for each shift or watch. Notice that with this arrangement, each group alternates from day to day having the First Watch, and so on. This is one reason for the two short Dog Watches, the other reason being to allow convenient time for the evening meal.
A bell is struck each half hour to indicate time, so that the sailors count bells to tell time. For example, five bells in the middle watch corresponds to half past two in the morning.