Perish Day is a local holiday in Necine. Established in 1162CR by Inibis Valmeia, it does not recur on any particular date nor with any set frequency. Instead, the day is planned around the occupancy of the 56th and final cell in the Necine Dungeon. The reclamation of prison space is a pretext for the holiday's actual intent, however, which is spectacle alone.
To date, Perish Day has been held a total of seven times.
Perish Day begins two hours before sunset in the Cauldron -- Necine's central, wealthiest, and most important district. Its commencement marks the only time during which guardianship of district gates is forbidden. This policy allows admittence to the festivities for any who would seek it, including those who normally could not afford or achieve access to the Cauldron.
A feast is held until sunset as the prisoners' names and acts are announced and those in attendance react aloud as they are read. Each prisoner's "value" is then set by the crowd through cheering and screaming. The announcer is given freedom to accept or reject these responses at their own discretion to ensure no unpayable values are set. Prisoners perceived as being easier to apprehend often have their values reduced in this manner as well, but as many as 50,000 gold coins have been collectively assigned during these proceedings.
Typically, the more egregious an individual's crimes, the higher their value is set. This is not always the case, however, as some unfortunate souls guilty of minor crimes have been highly valued by drunken crowds on a whim. The highest value ever achieved was 10,000 gold pieces for a prisoner called Corovar who had previously attempted to assassinate Castian--the very man then serving as Perish Day announcer.
Following the feast, each prisoner is marked with his or her value in the form of an adamantine anklet infused with a Power Word Kill spell and a magical clock. After 18 hours, the anklet automatically unleashes this spell on its wearer. The device is intended to ensure that prisoners do not leave the city overnight.
Immediately following sunset, the prisoners are magically transported to a random location in Necine and given thirty minutes to scatter. Subsequently, the city seeks them out (although members of Kairos are forbidden to participate directly to give average citizens a sporting chance). Any who can retrieve and return an anklet from a prisoner is awarded that prisoner's value as set by the crowd. Unsurprisngly, the higher-valued prisoners become primary targets given the difficulty of seeking more than one prisoner across an entire city in an evening. Other dangers often await those who subdue a high value prisoner as other seekers need only retrieve the anklet from them.
The sum total of payouts is offset by taxes collected from the populace in the weeks following until a zero sum has been reached.
Inibis has claimed that the name refers not to the "perishing" of criminals but rather that of the past. In fact, the promise of freedom is said to await any prisoner still alive at sunrise the following day, when they may have their anklet safely removed while being absolved of all their crimes.
None have yet achieved this feat, however, and this has led some to question the sincerity of the promise. Inibis is not known to go back on her word to the Necini people, however.
"Perish Day" has also been used jokingly to refer to the time leading up to the main event, as most of Necine seems to "perish" while many rest to prepare for what is invariably a long night.