This chapter has pacing that feels natural to experience and odd to describe. It will be quiet and slow by some metrics, quick and lively by others. Part of that has to do with Gravedust himself, whose thoughtful viewpoint will guide the flow of the tale from beginning to end. And Gravedust has taken on board the full range of what he’s seen and experienced as a Peacemaker, yet he remains a philosophical sort.

“Day 280.” I believe the last time we gave a date in Gravedust’s “My Travels” writings was here? We had no desire to be super strict about a timeline, but it was always our informal rule that time in Arkerra passed at the average rate of a chapter a week. This was our way of balancing out how little “real time” was in some stretches of Guilded Age (the Arkerran scenes in Chapters 38-40 mostly take place in a single day) and how long it felt like the story should take if you’d been following along for years.

(Some readers were indeed stunned that it had been “only” the length of an average pregnancy for everything to have happened so far, but if you go back and check, it’s hard to find more than a handful of “quiet periods” where weeks could’ve elapsed between or within chapters.)

Similarly, our rule of thumb was that time in Sepia World passed at the average rate of a chapter per day…which justifies HR’s observation that “Back in our home world, time passes much more slowly.”