This is the seventh installment in a series of previews designed to introduce newcomers to Chronoplex. In this, the fourth in a series about life in the plex, we see the formation of communities and the beginning of barter trade.
Tempors and Trade Routes
Spanners who first wandered into the Chronoplex, whether intentionally or accidentally, had to rely on whatever time-measuring means they could find. Some used makeshift sundials, but these only worked outside of the Plex, only worked in daylight and even then weren’t terribly accurate. Some created crude water clocks, but these could only be set up when the spanner was stationary, which was counter-intuitive to the spanner lifestyle. Some used marked candles to track hours and days, but they were useless if extinguished and keeping a flame going while traveling proved difficult at best. Some used marked incense sticks to track hours and days. These were relatively accurate, were easily portable and weren’t easily extinguished, but their odd appearance and overwhelming smell often drew unwanted attention from nearby linnies.
So overall, most early spanners didn’t have an accurate means of time-measurement…and they didn’t care. It was a minor inconvenience not knowing how long they had been in the Plex and not knowing for sure how old they really were, but in general it had little impact on their everyday lives. Early spanners were solitary and nomadic. They moved from one GTL to the next and simply adapted to whatever time they happened to find themselves in.
However, over the course of several generations as more spanners entered the Plex, a few of them settled down within some of the larger chroneurisms. Small communities of former spanners began to take shape and these communities operated their daily business based on the ebb and flow of daylight afforded them by their chroneurism’s horocirculation. For the first time in the Plex, time mattered, if only at a small community scale.
Of course not all spanners settled down. Many continued to travel and explore the Plex. But now they had friendly communities where they could find temporary refuge. And the people in these communities, who the spanners began to affectionately refer to as tempors, were more than happy to give spanners a place to stay. Spanners brought with them stories of their travels and news from tempor communities in other GTLs. Some tempors would even agree to bring small items or messages from tempors in one GTL to their friends and/or family in another GTL. While it wasn’t yet official, the seeds of news and postal carriers had been planted in the Plex.
In addition, tempors also loved that spanners brought with them items to trade. Tempor communities could usually fend for themselves, but spanners often brought with them items that were otherwise hard to come by in an isolated GTL such as fine textiles, spices, animal pelts, jerky, tea, etc. It wasn’t long before a few enterprising spanners noticed how lucrative this arrangement could be and began regularly importing larger quantities of in-demand items. These spanners carefully charted their paths between larger GTLs and tracked what goods could obtained in each. Soon barter trade exploded within the Plex. Formerly isolated GTLs were now connected through a series of regular trade routes.
Of course now that GTLs were doing business with one another, they suddenly found it rather inconvenient that their times were all so radically different from one another.
Check back in two weeks as we explore rising tensions in the Plex: History of the Plex, Part 3.