[This article uses Planescape Slang, explained here]
Recently, lots of bashers were rattling their bone-boxes about the weather in Sigil. Now it had poured a mix of slush, rain and smog for days on end, followed by an ash storm that turned the Cage’s ubiquitous puddles into miniature tar pits. But that hardly qualifies as poor or unusual weather by Sigil standards. So what was it that put everyone to talking?
It started when a Chaosman who introduced himself as The Weather Prophet of Stump Street took the stage at the public debate forum known as the Trianym and, apropos only of the whirlwind of thoughts in his own head, asked how the Lady of Pain can banish the Powers from Sigil but can’t keep out the rain? The audience scattered, fearing they would be caught up as bystanders when the Lady arrived to banish the Prophet to the mazes. And none have seen him since, though Trianym types seldom find themselves over on Stump Street.
The crowd did however, bring the chant with them, and soon everyone in the city was throwing out ideas. Some folks blamed the portals, saying they must bring in bad weather from across the planes. Another popular theory, advanced by a Sign of One deducer, argued that Sigil’s weather must be terrible because it cannot be imagined to be otherwise. But probably the most convincing theory supposed that while the Lady was able to banish the Powers from Sigil itself, she was not able to keep them out of the void atop the infinite spire that surrounds the city. Consequently and as revenge for being kept out of Sigil, the Powers resolved to make life miserable for its inhabitants by summoning the worst weather from across the planes. How else could one explain how Sigil goes from oppressively hot with smog as thick as Arcadian goat cheese to blistered by the howling winds of Pandemonium in the space of a day?
Fortunately, Sigil’s residents are nothing if not accustomed to managing misery, and so they’ve turned these conditions into the social bonds that connect an otherwise philosophically fragmented population. Residents typically greet each other with “What’s the chant, berk?” or “Where do you stand, cutter?” To which the most inoffensive reply is a rehash of the day’s meteorological misery. To grease the social wheels for those less adept at turning a phrase, common greetings have evolved that correspond to Sigil’s different types of weather. For example, when ice storms hit Sigil and icicles hang from every archway, a cutter typically responds to “Where do you stand, cutter?” with something like, “Been hanging in Levistus’s Meat Locker all day, berk, where do you?
Using the Sigil Weather Chart
The chart at the top of this page shows common weather patterns in Sigil. At the start of each day, DMs should roll one 1d8 and one 1d12 and sum the result. Then consult the appropriate entry on the table. Middle-value numbers are most common, while extreme highs and lows are least common. The first line in each entry is underlined and shows the slang nickname given to the weather type by Sigil residents. DMs and players are encouraged to creatively use this term when responding to the common planar greeting, “Where do you stand?” The second component of each entry is a more detailed description of the weather. The third component, prefaced by the symbol (**) shows any applicable mechanical effects. Such effects exist only for weather found at extreme high or low values on the table.
As for the origin of Sigil’s notorious weather, none can say for sure, nor dare they try. Soon after the chant went viral, the Lady of Pain whisked away a whole gathering of meteorologists to one of her mazes, bringing serious rain down upon the parade of debates about the weather. Conversation has shifted back to the usual fare, and the weather has again become only another of Sigil’s many miseries to manage.
Want More Information About Sigil?
Check out my article and chart on Lifestyle Expenses in Sigil, or my Introduction to Planescape series, which explains how to add Planescape to your existing DND game. And follow me on twitter @theplanardm if you want to be notified of future articles about Sigil or the Planes.