I don’t know when it was exactly that I started to think about it, but for quite some time now I’ve been interested in the concept of time. Much of it’s totally arbitrary: humans are not born with an innate sense of what time of day it is. Seconds, minutes, and hours are culturally constructed ways that a culture in the past created to better understand and interpret their world. Now, many people around the world depend on this system in order to function. Cultural conceptions of time are really cool because time is something that is perceived: time, in a general sense, is real, but the ways in which we interpret its passage are social constructs that are all completely valid.
That’s not really the topic of this post, though. Ever since I first got into Neithernor, I’ve spent long amounts of time there. I’ve worked on the deck of the airship for hours in a day, spent nights both in my room and passed out in the lower decks from spell sickness. And each of these times, I have been aware of, or at least perplexed by, time in Neithernor. What we learned before we opened the Book of Briars is true: time moves differently here than in Neithernor. @Augustus_Octavian made about post that is similar to this a couple of months ago, but I wanted to make a more broad post. I wanted to put together a thread with everything we know about time in Neithernor. And by everything, I mean everything. So, without further ado, Time in Neithernor.
As we learned from our explorations in Neithernor, things decay just as they do here on Earth, and while that’s good to know, it’s not what I would call “super interesting information.” What is interesting is how Neithernor slowly changes you over time. You become used to it, and jumping back to earth makes it feel like you off. When Mr. Wideawake spoke to Deirdre, he said this about the subject:
When you spend too long in Neithernor, you start to adjust to its time. And returning home is like jumping onto a spinning carousel because of the way time works there. There are some people who are more susceptible to it and it seems like I’m one of them. He said it would pass but he’s heard of cases in the old time where people have spent years or decades in Neithernor and couldn’t go back home. They became Neithernorian and the change couldn’t be undone.
We’ve been really critical of what Mr. Wideawake told us. Some of what he told Deeds contradicts what we were told by Sullivan, and so some scrutiny is warranted. But here, I think he’s speaking the truth. We know that things that come from Neithernor can’t survive here, on Earth. Things like The Little Read House and the original Guide to Magiq simply faded into ash when they came to this world. It makes sense then that people who have become Neithernorian wouldn’t be able to jump between like we do.
Time in Neithernor, then, is something we can become comfortable with, over time. I haven’t heard of any Mounties report of feeling too bad after leaving Neithernor, so I guess none of us are more susceptible to its time. It’s interesting that membership within the group called “Neithernorians” is dependent on time. Neithernor, at least since before the time of the Monarchs, doesn’t have a unique culture. Nothing connects its inhabitants other than their prolonged presence there, and that’s fascinating.
Time in Neithernor has effects in the real world as well. After Cole and Deeds found the keep with the six books, they tired to prop open the door to Neithernor so they could easily return. However, after they tired to do this:
“… there were scorch marks already appearing on the wallpaper, and within minutes it had started to smoke. I couldn’t leave the door open or I’d eventually burn down the brownstone, and possibly everything in the vault.”
This is likely a consequence of several things. Part of it is because it is Neithernor: it’s a magiqal place, and prolonged exposure to our world where there is limited magiq probably isn’t great. But it could also be because of the difference in time. Time passes differently between the two places that’s undeniable. I wrote about my own observations on it here, and Deeds and Cole, as well as others, have also recognized this. Thus, a conflict in two different kinds of time probably has an effect on how long we can keep open the doors between the two worlds. Within a doorway between the two, one could simultaneously occupy two different kinds of time, and that’s probably not healthy for anything involved, least of all the doorway involved. Again, I don’t think that’s the whole reason why, but I think it could be part of the problem.
So now, I open it to the rest of you, my fellow Mounties: what do you think about time in Neithernor? Is there anything I missed? Please, talk about it below!