The Chronicle

of the month of Heliora in the year 145

Cllr Jocelyn Barnes has been imprisoned following a lengthy trial at the law courts. Cllr Barnes never denied attacking Sheriff Dixon, however she claimed throughout the trial that her actions were justified on the grounds that Dixon was 'treacherously plotting with the Floating Market against the city'. However Pendentite Torrel (prosecuting) destroyed this accusation and went on to explain how Barnes had deliberately lured the Sheriff to a meeting with her supporters, so that he could be assassinated. The Sheriff had only been saved by the swift intervention of the Witanmoot Guard that he had ordered to follow him. Sheriff Dixon described the sentence as lenient, however the imprisonment has done something to quell the unrest in Dowgate where many observers had feared that a death sentence would have precipitated an immediate riot. Protesters in the ward are continuing to campaign for Barnes' release and many are still calling for Dixon to be tried for treachery.

Matthew Dixon's chances of surviving as Sheriff are deteriorating following a large number of nominations for the post. Apart from Dixon himself, Ariane Pencric, Alan Griffiths, Martin Key and Samuel Ruche have all been nominated. Dixon and Griffiths are clearly the front runners, but Ariane Pencric has the backing of the powerful Drumm faction and may do well, especially considering the deal Larken cut with Lady Perignon during the Lordship elections.

Aralan Derwent has once again disappeared upriver, this time accompanied by Gemma Downe. The purpose of this errand remains a mystery and rumours of a secret renewal of her liaison with Sir Henry Longbridge abound. However more than one wag has seen fit to suggest that she is just taking a summer break away from the chaos her fellow councillors seem to be creating. An alternate theory is that Gemma Downe has gone into hiding whilst she recovers from the embarrassment of nominating Duncan Barnett for Sheriff. This might have been a good choice if it wasn't for the fact that Barnett lost his Aldermanship last year.

Grain shortages continue to be a problem, and may not be alleviated for some time. Recent shipping arrivals concentrated on much needed fruit, and the harvest is expected to be late and patchy. The Dalethians are warning of another bad year and price rises seem almost inevitable. A large group of Avigon hovel holders has already mounted one protest against the proposed price rises and if as expected the Cornmongers raise prices, food riots seem almost certain to happen.

The Treasury proposals for the budget split have caused outrage in the wards of Cripplegate, Faringdon and Avigon where taxes have been reintroduced, and in Oldgate where the levy has been raised to its pre fire level. Guilds throughout the city have also been protesting at the increases in their taxation. Despite these increases many services are still not being provided. Treasurer Alison Shefford told the Witanmoot, "The Treasury committee regards the city finances as still being on an emergency footing, and has attempted to trim all the budget proposals presented. The proposals of the Welfare and Education Committee have been hardest hit, I regret to say, since it is our recommendation that expenditure be maintained in those areas which are an investment in the future of the city". Not satisfied with the outcry against these proposals Alderman Shefford went on to announce that there will be further tax rises in 146 and 147 and that "the Treasury committee is investigating other possibilities for raising money". Despite the protests, many observers are commenting that Alderman Shefford has performed an excellent job in attempting to organise the city's chaotic finances and are surprised that she did not receive a nomination for Sheriff. It is interesting to note that she was scathingly critical of Lady Perignon's agreement with the King over the Dragonfeast, describing it as "not worth a candle". and it may be that she is biding her time for a Lordship bid in 147.

Adam Avery seems to have decided to spend most of his month looking into the recent prison breakout. The councillor has been talking to people throughout the city and has been getting more and more blunt in his questioning and suspicions about the event. Meanwhile, concerned residents of Dracas have been demanding immediate action to recapture Higgins, and at least one murder has already been ascribed to the madman.

Alan Monterey has been relaxing following the hectic budget proposals. Obviously satisfied with the outcome of his consensus building activities, he has taken up a new hobby of wagon counting. The councillor's presence at a number of the city gates is beginning to cause concern amongst the merchant guilds who fear a new wagon tax may be forthcoming. However, a source close to Monterey denied this; "Alan has simply been spending time gaining an understanding of the flow of trade into the city. If other councillors did the same instead of wasting their time getting drunk the City would be in a much better state."

Gax the Heretic has made a rousing speech form the Mootstone demanding that the cities budget be revised to include funding of an orphanage. He told a large crowd, "Alderman Shefford tells us she wants to spend money on investments in the future of the city, and yet once again the vitally needed orphanage goes unfunded. Once again the financiers, guild adventures and traders will benefit from investment of the cities funds whilst its greatest resource goes to waste. The children of the city are where investment needs to be made. In many wards street gangs are forming of the dispossessed, who will become the disenfranchised. If we do not do something about this problem the next generation will curse the current council for their short term thinking and concentration on lining the pockets of their guild paymasters."

The last council session turned into a mammoth event with a huge raft of boring procedural and organisational motions dominated by Sheriff Dixon's 'Definitions of Citizenship' Bill' which was eventually passed with little dissent. After the exhaustion of this, the Avery 'easy payment' proposal was passed by a large margin, mostly with only Larken Drumm summoning up the enthusiasm to complain. Alan Monterey then proposed the creation of two new Trade delegate posts for the Western Isles and Kerun which also didn't raise much comment. Although we suspect this may get more controversial when it comes time to vote on the three hundred pound cost. As the evening approached and with the council in a state of near torpor, Adam Avery made a speech on the importance of land registry in the light of the recent fires and proposed that "By the end of 146 all plots of land in the City of Linrodeth shall be registered in writing at the Witanmoot. Such registration shall define the principal owner and any other co owners of such land. An administrative charge may be made by the Witanmoot for the initial registration and subsequent changes to these records or the inspection of said records". This apparently worthy proposal was about to go through on the nod when George Rimon stood up and asked how much the administrative charge was likely to be. Avery's reply that he had though something around a pound reasonable, caused uproar, with Cllr Rimon bellowing across the room that this was a disgraceful attempt at back door taxation on property ownership, caused many other councillors to wake up. There were speeches from Cllrs Edge and St Lawrence pointing out the stupidity of assigning a principal owner when most houses were owned by couples; there were protest from the wealthy about the cost of registering their own properties; there were protests about the plan to charge for access and so on. Despite the efforts of the various faction leaders to push through this, the councillors weren't going to let it go. Lady Perignon was forced to adjourn the debate until next month.

Lady Perignon is once again suffering a summer illness. However this time the Torians have been unwilling to ascribe the cause of the illness and some people have suggested it may be poisoning. Given that the problem struck the day after the Barnes trial, foul play may be a possibility. However the guard have denied that a poisoning was possible. "All Lady Perignon's food is extensively tasted by a volunteer guard who takes her duty very seriously" they told the Chronicle.

William Trueman seems to be attempting to take on the mantle of the much missed Harry Truestaff. The councillor appears to have decided to blow the profits of his dried rosehip business on a major drinking session. Not wanting to cause any problems in his own ward of Faringdon, he seems to have ended up in Ishtan. Here, along with Captain Eagleview and most of the sailors in the port, he attempted to drink the ward dry. The ensuing debauchery led to a number of unfortunate incidents which the watch proved totally unwilling to deal with. Several citizens have demanded the restoration of the Wharf Guard.