No Dark Place
The Cage is eternal, so much so that no one knows the date of its creation or founding. The Lady surely was present, but whether she and Sigil came into being simultaneously or she preceded the city is not know except by her. Those who stay in the city long enough realize that with the constant changes in Sigil it doesn’t matter too precisely how long ago something happened, but there are always those who take a keen interest in attempting to carve up eternity into manageable portions. Within the Cage, the modrons who operate the temple of Primus in the Lady’s Ward are recognized as the city’s official timekeepers.
The Tarock Calendar
Invented by the Fraternity of Order, the Tarock calendar is meant to represent a symbolic passage through the planes of existence as well as their associated ideologies. Some bashers believe that the city’s mood often changes to reflect the traits associated with a particular month, but most consider that mere screed.
The clueless, along with some addle-coved berks, are often confused by the Tarock calendar. No surprise there; the Guvners have never been accused of making things easy for a body to understand. In truth most cutters don’t ever use the whole thing.
Also known as Cycles, each year is comprised of 365 days, including 12 months of varying length.
Years are measured, then, from beginnings of factols’ rules, most often according to those of the Fraternity of Order. The current date is the 131st year of Factol Hashkar’s reign (often abbreviated as FHR or HR). Some berks instead keep a tally of years starting with an event known as the Great Upheaval which occurred in Sigil some 630 years ago (equivalent to -507 HR) in which the Lady of Pain is said to have intervened to dictate the number of factions which would be permitted to operate within the city.
Months, also called Arcana (sing. Arcanum), are fixed in order, but the number of days in each one is somewhat haphazard, as the calendar was assembled over a very long history. Each Arcanum consists of between 28 and 31 days, which typically comes out to about 4 weeks. They are, in order:
Days are grouped into weeks, each week being exactly seven days in the same order. Most days are named in honor of a specific plane, with the seventh day of each week being reserved to honor Her Serenity, the Lady of Pain.
The bashers in Sigil base their timekeeping on hours relative to the peak hour of light. Peak is roughly equivalent to noon on a prime world; the six brightest hours in the City of Doors are the three hours before peak (BP) and the three hours after peak (AP). For the primes, this means 2 BP matches 1000 hours in military time, and 2 AP corresponds to 1400 hours. “Midnight” in Sigil is called antipeak. The six darkest hours come just before and after antipeak. Cutters should be aware that hours don’t have names or numbers, really (no Hour of the Weeping Crow, no terce or matins), just positions before and after peak and antipeak. This is clearest on the city’s clocks, which all have twenty-four increments and are shaded from black at the bottom (antipeak) to white at the top (peak).