Since the time of Connor and Brigid, it has been understood that The Land makes a complete rotation on its axis roughly every 23 hours and 56 minutes, which is commonly rounded off to 24 hours, which we refer to as one day. This means that the sun appears to revolve around the Land, and when it is on the far side of the planet, the near side is dark (which we call 'night'). This much was explained to the first generation of Landians by God. Connor and Brigid themselves chose to divide each day into 24 hours, based on the system used on Earth, at first using sundials which God taught them to make. (These would much later be replaced by clocks.) In the early history of the Land, the fact that the different times of day would happen at different hours of the day in different areas of the planet was of no real importance, since all Landians lived in the area that would eventually be called First Village. However, as other villages were founded in the ensuing centuries, farther and farther away from the first village, it became an issue. For example, if sunrise occurred at First Eight, in First Village, it would have already happened around First Two in Ristar, and would later happen around Second Seven in Woodstockade. This clearly made no sense, so each village began "unofficially" using local time based on their own sunrise, when discussing matters internal to their own village, but still officially used the time as determined in First Village, particularly when discussing inter-village matters.
In spite of the widespread use of local time, there were never any officially established time zones until LY 913. They were first proposed within the newly formed United Villages of the Chaos, and soon spread to First Nation and any sovereign villages. In fact, the idea came from Emma Pseud, who suggested it to Darius Lonewander. When the First 50 Elves had founded Woodstockade in 773, after being exiled from human society, it was only natural for them to establish their own daycycles, with their First One occurring seven hours earlier than it did in First Village. Just as human villages had done all along, they continued using their local time when they rejoined human society during the Coming of the Order, but at that time they also adopted the "official" timekeeping used by the rest of the world. Pseud believed it would make far more sense for different times to be officially recognized in different areas of the world. She was not the first to propose the idea, of course; it had been proposed numerous times, over the centuries. But everyone always thought it would cause too much confusion. Lonewander, however, claimed to like the idea of confusion, considering his new country contained 'chaos' in its very name. (There were those who argued that time zones were actually more orderly than chaotic, though Lonewander maintained that if that were true, they would have been adopted by the Second Order when it was established in 904.)
The twenty-four time zones were officially adopted by the UVC on 22 Aut'gin, 913, and by the rest of the world on 1 Fir'mo', 914. Time zones each contain fifteen degrees of longitude. The Prime Time Zone (sometimes called "First Time" or "Zero Hour") runs from 110° west longitude to 125° west longitude. Zones to the west of the prime zone are one hour behind, while zones to the east are one hour ahead. Exactly halfway around the Equator from the Prime Time Zone is the New Day Line, so named because the zone immediately west of the line is 24 hours ahead of the zone immediately east of the line.
Villages in different time zonesEdit
- PTZ -8: Freeport.
- PTZ -7: Woodstockade.
- PTZ +4: Port.
- PTZ +6: Ristar.
- PTZ +7: Barbequeue.
The establishment of time zones caused some renewed debate among cartographers concerning whether to change which meridian was considered the 'Prime Meridian.' The matter had previously been debated when the first world map was completed in 885, and since then there had always been some dissatisfaction over the choice that was made. Now that the time zone containing First Village was called the Prime Time Zone, it was argued that the zone should include the Prime Meridian, either running through First Village itself, or somewhat west of the village, in the center of the zone. One argument for this was that Earth's International Date Line (the equivalent of the Land's New Day Line) is opposite that planet's own Prime Meridian. But ultimately it was decided that there's no need to do everything the same on the Land as they do on Earth, and it would just be far too much trouble and too confusing to redraw every map and globe with a new Prime Meridian, so they left it where it was.