The Chronicle

of the month of Arvinoth in the year 145

The murderer Higgins and several other prison escapees have been killed in a combined Ward Watch and Witanmoot Guard operation in Bridge. Higgins was tracked down to his hideout next to the Fishmarket and was held there by the prompt actions of the local Watch whilst reinforcements arrived from the Witanmoot. Sheriff Griffiths has declared himself delighted by the operation which he describes as, "an excellent example of the Guard working in support of the local Watch" He went on to praise Aralan Derwent who led the investigation which found Higgins. However, questions have been raised about the actions of Cllr Derwent, and her failure to negotiate for the release of the children that Higgins was holding hostage, both of whom were killed. Descriptions of events vary considerably and her opponents are yet to find anyone willing to bear witness that she ordered the guard to attack and not to bother taking any prisoners.

Larken Drumm has been committed for trial following a long hearing before his Alderman. The packed courthouse hear how the combined City and Ranger force captured Larken in an area known to be frequented by the bandits. Sheriff Dixon explained in detail the reason the force suspected bandits to be in the area and circumstances of the capture, but refused to be drawn as to whether Larken was actually guilty. Larken himself explained how he had been on a painting expedition, whilst seeking a location for a summer residence, and it was clear that he felt that he had been set up. A number of Rangers then gave evidence of Cllr Drumm's odd movements through the forest and the hostile attitude of his guards when confronted. The mercenaries however explained that they had recently been hired to protect Cllr Drumm from bandits and were obviously cautious when the Rangers 'ambushed' them. A number of citizens then came forward to testify that Cllr Drumm’s lifestyle was rather more prosperous than could be expected for someone in his position, and several people questioned his ability to afford a summer residence. Summing up, Alderman Rucche was clearly unconvinced that Larken was a bandit and he told the court "Although I do not see a clear case of guilt, the evidence would suggest that Cllr Drumm's activities in the forest were rather more than he would have the court believe. I feel that more investigation is required and I reluctantly commit Cllr Drumm to a trial."

The unpopular Home Tax seems to have become a complete flop. So far only a few people, mostly the scheme's originators, have bothered to register at the Witanmoot. However following Gax's comment that his landmark Hanley ruling may call into question the entire validity of the tax, a much larger number of citizens have been up to the Citadel to ensure that their records are up to date.

Contrary to expectations a bumper crop is now being predicted for this year's harvest. Alderman Gemma Downe told the Chronicle, "All the indications are that in addition to alleviating the food shortages, we will be able to build up strong reserves for the coming years". The Chronicle notes with interest that Alderman Downe has recently offloaded all her own corn stocks and stands to make a handsome profit from the reduced prices likely to emerge come the harvest.

This months Witanmoot meeting looked like being one of the most turgid on record. Only about half the city's councillors bothering to turn up to vote in Sharon Brehon as the new Alderman of Dracas. However the few who were there were shocked by Lady Perignon's surprise declaration at the end of the meeting that she was "unhappy with the budget debate" and that she was decreeing the establishment the trade delegates posts anyway, with the funds to be drawn from those bonded towards the King's Dragonfeast payment. Lady Perignon obviously intends to impose her view of things on the city as quickly as possible. The Chronicle wonders if her rush to get things done has anything to do with the likelihood that Sheriff Dixon will defeat her in next year's lordship elections; should she lose the support of the large Drumm faction.

Alderman Olivia Warin has described Lady Perignon's decree as "Yet another example of this administration's ill-considered and erratic approach to finance." In a keynote speech which clearly positions her as a contender for the Sheriff posts next year, she went on to propose her view of the city's future "We need stability to recover from the fire, not wild and adventurous attempts at expansion. The City should abandon its plans to host the Dragonfeast in 147," she told a large gathering at the Grocers Guild. She ended by describing the current situation as, "the kind of mess which would never have happened under Samantha".