A Day in the Life
The Calculating Engine
The Fire Pit
Ask any tout why the Lower Ward's so smoggy, and they'll point you to a thick column of black smoke rising out of a square near the Hive Ward. The source of the smoke is a tremendous fire at the bottom of a 40 foot deep hollow. The flames rise fully 20 feet out of the blackened dent in the street, sending great gouts of smoke into the already hazy sky.
The Firepit is a strange sort of landmark, a continually burning bondfire of gargantuan proportion. The poor gather close to its edges (but not too close) to warm themselves, and the area is quite popular among Doomguard. The place is always bustling.
Story goes, the Firepit was created when an angry Archmage decided to take revenge on a peer of his in the tower at the center of the square, then only known as Five Eye Square. Some say this mysterious archmage was none other than the destructive Scratcher himself, but there's no evidence to support this claim. The wizard supposedly hurled a tremendous ball of fire accross the center of Sigil that crashed into and totally consumed the tower - all that remained was a pit full of flame. To this day, the flames continue to roar, with no apparent need for fuel.
If you look carefully at the blaze, you'll see the dark flickers of a structure inside. Most say this is the tower, but fire mephit buddies of mine have confirmed the truth of the matter: the constant inferno of the Firepit made it the ideal location for a portal to the Elemental Plane of Fire. The residents have taken fire-resistant obsidian from their sister plane of Magma and built a structure within the flames. Azer, well-to-do mephits, and other creatures of fire who must visit Sigil for some reason often stay in this 'inn,' which is known as the 'Tower of Flames' (though translation is a little rough on that one). The owner is a money-hungry salamander named Essafah of the Great Ring (a reference, I think, to Sigil).
Though use of the portal is strictly regulated and difficult for more flamable races (like humans), it remains a popular way to get to that all-consuming elemental plane.
Otherwise, rates at the Tower of Flames are fairly high, ranging from 8 to 25 jinx a night. They are known among the fiery crowd for their 'dry bar,' which sells no drinks (for obvious reasons). More than a few fiends frequent the Tower, though they usually enter the Firepit in as discrete a manner as possible.