Day of Grace

A Walk Through the Planes – Part 46: The Day of Grace




Meant as a very, very tenuous tie-in with the forthcoming Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix III, “Day of Grace” is a one-page short story from Monte Cook set around Sigil’s New Year’s Day Celebration. It was published in issue 127 of Polyhdron in December of 1997. It’s also the first work of fiction we’ve covered since Zeb Cook’s final contribution to the setting he did so much to create in issue 100 of Polyhedron, way back in 1994.1 Which is a bit odd, considering how much of the actual game supplements for Planescape consists of pseudo-creative writing, but whatever. I’m fine with having non-game literature splashed in every now and then, but if I had to cover reams and reams of bad fiction for this series like I would with a column devoted to Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance, I never would’ve made it through half a dozen “reviews.”

The story behind this holiday, the Day of Grace, is that many years ago a small girl smiled at the Lady of Pain and then said something to her and, much to the surprise of everyone in Sigil, she wasn’t smited. The Lady walked on by and nothing at all happened, which was her way of showing her grace. The story of this lack of murder, whether or not it’s true, moved many in the city to create a holiday, which is celebrated on the first of the year because… uhh… yeah. 

It’s like the cover image, only greener!

Following this little parable, Cook spends the rest of the story on how exactly this day is celebrated. “Everyone shows grace, mercy and forgiveness on this remembrance day, because the Lady did. There are no public executions that day. No floggings or similar punishments are conducted. Folks forgive those who wrong them and spare berks who commit addle-coved mistakes.” Plus, there’s a parade and some sales from local merchants, so it’s kinda like Christmas but better, because there’s fewer Hallmark movies involved.


The article particularly details how all 15 of the city’s factions celebrate this day. These range from the Harmonium’s military procession to the Ciphers’ nonchalance to the Fated’s muted resistance. After all, the Fated are essentially Ayn Rand adherents whose basic philosophy is that might makes right, so grace isn’t so much their strong suit. 

The girl’s face is my main issue with this art. The Lady looks good up above, but the kid’s kinda off.

And that’s all there really is. Oh right, graphics. The two images put with the article are just excerpts from the issue’s cover by “cartographer extraordinaire” (their words, not mine… though, yeah, they’re spot on) Rob Lazzaretti. It’s probably my favorite drawing (not map, just drawing) he’s done for the setting, but still not quite my thing. All in all, a totally adequate contribution to a totally adequate article/story. Worth the three minutes it takes to read through if you can easily find it online for free (hint: you probably can without too much difficulty), but otherwise a totally skippable release.

1. Admittedly, this is because I chose to skip the tie-in novels for Planescape because, well, they really suck, at least the ones that I tried. But maybe one day I’ll get back to them after all. I don’t have a Patreon because I am categorically and almost philosophically against making good financial decisions, but maybe I’ll have to do that one day to motivate me to get through them. 

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