Some parallel worlds have different time-flows, like the fabled dwelling-places of the elves: those who visit them under the hill for a night return to find that years have passed in this world. Perhaps it is the gate leading between the worlds which causes the alteration. If a gate were 'misaligned', the shift from '| |' to '| \' or '| /' as it were would lead to that difference, much as a light-beam split and bent by a prism ends up taking a longer path. There might even be a mathematical function linking degree of misalignment to alteration of time-rate.
In a small farming community, the only way to cross a river is to basically pole vault across. A small section of river has a small raft on a string to pull items across but for a person to cross they must use one of the many provided poles. Might be interesting seeing what the players do when they come across it. Villagers do it all the time so are skilled and can do it with ease.