Requiem for a Sector
Through a coincidence of astronomical alignment, the sun above Xicarph, Quaddis, is eclipsed for a prolong period on an irregular frequency by the many erratically orbiting planets of the Quaddis system which slide into strange alignments around the sun. This event called the Grand Conjunction, is viewed a highly portentous and is filled with signs and omens, During it, many strange climatic and spatial phenomena are observed, not the least of which is that for the time eclipse lasts, Quaddis is cut completely off from Astropathic communication. This phenomenon, in turn, has led to the traditional belief that during the time of the Grand Conjuncture, while the eclipse lasts, the city passes “out of the sight of the Emperor.” It is claimed by most that the festival is held in memorial to the ancient times before the Imperium’s rule came to protect humanity and fear still stalked mankind.
Passing of the Shadow
At the height of the Festival when Quaddis’ sun begins to go into eclipse, there is a deathly pause known as the “Passing of the Shadow” which lasts a full 13 hours before total eclipse is reached. This is a time in which the inhabitants of Xicarph must prepare themselves for the deadly zenith of the festival, the Revel of Darkness
The Revel of Darkness
As Xicarph enters full eclipse, the light of the Emperor is snuffed out, and with it the flames of order and civilization. While this darkness lasts, which may be mere seconds or at worst tens of minutes, imperial law holds no sway and no deed done then may afterwards be punished under Quaddis Rule. This period is called the Revel of Darkness and is a time of violence in which scores are settled amongst the noble and base alike, a time of anarchy, theft, and opportunity, when a man might change his fate by his own hands , or lose his life, and any sin may be indulged until the light of the sun once again shines on Xicarph.
The Steel Clock of Gabriel Chase
Closely linked the Grand Conjuncture and the Revel of Darkness is the Steel Clock of Gabriel Chase. The augury that portents a Grand Conjunction is imminent is the clock, which normally lies deathly still begins to tick. Keeping track of no time until the “Passing of the Shadow begins” which may be months or weeks away. Once the sun begins to go into eclipse however the Steel clock begins to track time, ticking away the thirteen hours of the event always striking 13 times at the moment of the Grand Conjunction