Time-Keeping and Distance Measures

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The Celegian day is similar to ours in many respects, with a few important differences. The day is divided into twenty-four hours, each of sixty minutes, each having a further sixty seconds. Due to the general lack of accurate time pieces, few people bother much with seconds and often dispense with minutes as well.

In common use, the day is divided into six watches, each having four hours and being delineated by when its middle is. For example, the noon watch begins at ten A.M. and ends at two P.M. The six watches are: Noon, Afternoon, Evening, Midnight, Nether, and Morning.

The most common way of stating a time will be by calling the hour of the watch. For example, if sunrise is in first hour of Morningwatch, it is between six and seven A.M. The second hour of Evenwatch is from seven to eight P.M. The Celegians do not use A.M. or P.M., nor do they use "Military Time", as the practice of dividing up the days in watches this way eliminates any duplication of hours during the day or night. As are so many things in the Empire, this system of timekeeping comes from the military, and their habit of maintaining a rigid twenty four hour guard.

A usual military duty cycle will be three watches on duty, a watch of relief time, and two watches of sleep time. A Celegian trooper is required to be able to march one league in one watch, three times a day, for a week, in full kit. This pace will cover 210 miles in a week and is one of the reasons why the Legions are so feared, as they were quite mobile even before the Gates and Ley Lines were put into use.

This brings us to the method in which Celegians measure distance. Again, this system is quite similar to the one we are familiar with, with a few differences. The base unit of measure is the inch, also widely called a knuck by many craftsmen. The inch is divided into halves, quarters, etc., when more exact measures are required, which is not terribly often. Four inches make up a hand, widely used by craftsmen and ranchers. Twelve inches make up a foot, as we are familiar with. Five feet make up a step (also often called a square), a unit based very loosely on a double stride. The step is an old unit of measure, and many sages feel that Celegians have been growing taller over the years and in the dim past a step was much closer to a typical double stride. The step is made up of sixty inches, like an hour is made up of sixty minutes. Most people today cover the so-called step n' foot in a double stride, which is incidentally the height most people claim. A step is made up of sixty inches, or fifteen hands, or ten speds, or six racs, or five feet, or three cubits, or two yarts. Most of these units of measure are rare today and little used. One thousand steps make up a mile, or 5000 feet. The longest unit of distance is the league, which is ten miles, or ten thousand steps. The most common units of area measure are the square foot or the square step. There are twenty five square feet in a square step. The most common measure of property and land is the acre. For really large areas of ground, square leagues are used, each of which is one hundred square miles.