The Chronicle

of the month of Jasmarill in the year 145

Lady Beatrice Perignon's negotiations with his Majesty the King have resulted in a complicated tribute agreement which commits the city to a payment this year of only £55,000. This agreement has been heralded as a major success by Beatrice's supporters, who say that it vindicates their decision to back her for Lordship. Indeed tax levels this year could even be cut. However, other groupings within the Witanmoot have pointed out that the deal commits the city to a tribute of £60,000 in 146 and £65,000 in 147 and 148. Worse; Lady Perignon has offered the King gifts of £10,000 and £5,000 in 147 and 148 in return for the Dragonfeast being held in Linrodeth. With the delicate budget negotiations in progress most of the faction leaders appear to be keeping a low profile on the issue, however Cllr Richard Saunders told the Chronicle, "Beatrice has really pulled a fast one here, she has bought short term prosperity and personal popularity at the expense of her successor." Gax the Heretic, however, disagreed in a speech from the Mootstone he complimented "Lady Perignon's bravery in accepting liability for the future payments".

The budget proposals from the various committees are currently generating a lot of heat. The Trade budget seems to be forming the main battleground. Alderman Rucche's attempts to restore the budget to pre-fire levels is meeting strong opposition. Alderman Rucche described the consequences of not having his budget passed as "disastrous to the future of the city". Controversy is also centring around the Welfare and Education budget which includes proposals for a city orphanage and for a "five year program to properly re-house all those all those who have properties in the wards that were destroyed". Looking at the proposals, the Chronicle is not convinced that Lady Perignon's agreement with the King is going to come anything like close enough to balancing the budget. Indeed, according to a source close to the Marshgate Wardmoot, secret negotiations are already under way to restore taxation of burnt out wards.

Jocelyn Barnes has been committed for trial on charges of attempted murder. She made an unrepentant speech accusing Sheriff Dixon of Treason and Conspiracy to undermine the city. Meanwhile Sheriff Dixon appears to be attempting to push through the reforms which gained him Jockey's animosity and lost him the Lordship election. He has started this process with a detailed bill proposing definitions of the status of Citizens and Inhabitants of the city. The Chronicle would like to report the controversy around this proposal, however it seems to have met a solid wall of apathy from the other councillors, who are obviously far too worried about the budget to try to define who should and should not be paying taxes.

Adam Avery has come forward with an interesting proposal to reduce the number of debtors held in prison. In a speech from the Mootstone he proposed that the City impose 'easy payment schemes' rather than prison terms. "We have already permitted such a scheme on behalf of Cllr Derwent and I believe we should permit the same for other debtors" he told the crowd. The Chronicle will be interested to know how Cllr Derwent intends to deal with this insult given that she can not duel with the crippled Avery.

An embarrassed Chairman for Law and Order, Ann Tasker, has announced that some prisoners in Cripplegate Prison seem to have pre-empted Cllr Avery's proposals. Apparently some thirty of them escaped when a new guard dropped his keys in one of the cells. Most of the escapees were indeed debtors, however one significant addition was Albert Higgins, who was awaiting execution for the murder of a number of residents of Dracas.

The Spring thaw has relaxed the pressure on food supplies, with many ships arriving in port. However there are continuing shortages of bread which it seems likely will not ease until the harvest. Cllr William Trueman's mystery rosehip supply business seems to have done well out of the fruit shortage (once he convinced people they were edible). William is clearly enjoying his success and a generous donation by him of most of his remaining supplies to the Torian Temple and the residents of Faringdon has done a lot to increase his popularity.

Alderman Alan Griffiths' clearly took his investigations into the activities of Eshi Cyarçon very seriously. The two were seen to be dining at Maud Blessop's and it seemed likely to most observers that the negotiations were likely to continue thorough the night. However the intervention of the Witanmoot guard disrupted his plans somewhat when they arrested his new paramour for a murder committed in Salvoyn. Talus Snapdragon, who was also accused, evaded the guard and escaped over the rooftops, adding to suspicion of their guilt. Things looked to be getting sticky and an execution seemed the likely outcome when Oliver Warin (the then envoy to Salvoyn) intervened to clear the accused. Citizen Snapdragon later handed himself in and was fined five pounds for evading justice.