Umbral Domains: Dark Ages Fae Time

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A Strange Perception of Time

This idea might be really out of place in the canonical Dark Ages setting but would certainly contribute to the oddness fae experience when dealing with non-fae.


It's well established that fae have an unusual relationship with time. The core text mentions that they occasionally become obsessed with minutiae to the point where they lose track of hours or decades. But what if this idea is taken a step further? What if time just doesn't flow for them the same way it does for other mortals and supernaturals?

Say for example that all fae are pretty much on the same clock and when a fae interacts with mortals that fae is on the mortals clock (i.e. Experiencing time just as the nearby mortals are). But fae society as a whole can slip forward and backward in time by seemingly random increments.

From the fae perspective there is no discontinuity caused by this, time and the seasons seem to them to be flowing the same as ever... that is until they start trying to interact with those crazy mortals again. At that point it becomes a mystery why the major city that once stood here is now just a more primitive trading village, or where these "cars" suddenly came from.

It becomes even stranger when they try to corroborate stories with fae who visited other places nearby in the mortal society simultaneously and found human culture and artifacts totally incongruous. Circumstances bend over backwards to keep all fae clocks running the same as each other and to keep fae from ever meeting older/younger versions of themselves or older/younger versions of other fae.

One way for a fae to definitely arrive in a certain place in the mortal world at a certain time (as mortals experience it) is to make an oath with mortals which includes a statement to the effect that they will be there at such a time. If the fae’s word is given to mortals that they will be there at a certain time, then the power of the oath will make sure that temporal slips don’t prevent them from arriving. This also helps provide an interesting secondary aspect of the oath function of 'connecting fae to mortal society'. Some fae may even make multiple oaths with different mortals they encounter just so they can try to exploit the power of the oaths for the purpose of inter-temporal war and commerce.

--Peter K. 07:16, 20 May 2006 (PDT)