The Chronicle

of the month of Setheran in the year 144

The hearing of Aralan Derwent turned out to be the dramatic show everyone had hoped for. Once Gax the Heretic and Pendentite Antonius had got over the difficulties of finding themselves on the same (prosecuting) side the questioning got under way with some enthusiasm. Sheriff Perignon, presiding, showed a surprising impartiality, listening intently to all the witnesses. First of all many eminent members of the Mercers guild and of Welland were called to testify to the good and upright character of Phred Marcos. Next Alderman Derwent was called, she explained how during her successful negotiations to secure the city's grain supplies she had been subjected to a total of eleven assassination attempts. She had come to suspect someone called Marcos of having been involved and had ordered a member of the guard to "find that person". Sheriff Dixon was called next and wholeheartedly supported Aralan Derwent's story. Alderman Derwent was clearly upset to find herself facing a hearing as the result of her efforts to save the city from starvation, and the sympathy of the courtroom was very much with her. However the assembly then heard further details of the violent raid that took place in the early hours of the morning by the Witanmoot Guard, and heard a brief summary of this guard's court-martial where she was found guilty of conduct unbecoming to an officer. With opinions evenly balanced the proceedings were suddenly thrown into confusion by the arrival of Lady Amelia and some courtiers from the Citadel. They took the witness stand and described how Cllr Derwent had been offered £500 for finding Macros by Princess Selina. Sheriff Perignon intervened immediately and stopped the hearing. "This is a most serious accusation and clearly requires further investigation, I refer the case to Lady Cox for Trial" she told the stunned assembly. Commenting later to the Chronicle on Sheriff Dixon's robust defence of Aralan's actions she said, "If Sheriff Dixon has a fault it is that he is sometimes a little tender-hearted when perhaps impartiality might be more appropriate".

The budget debate has come to a conclusion with our councillors reaching a surprising consensus, to tax us mercilessly and cut many essential services to boot! Adam Avery's proposal to forcibly cut the Torian budget was passed and has resulted in the immediate closure of the Aralan Derwent Memorial Ward. A distraught Chirugeon explained, "There is nothing we can do, we are already overloaded following the fire, with the city cutting its support to us we will be hard pressed to deal with the needs of all the people. The Derwent Ward has always been used for those mercenaries, guards and members of the Witanmoot who have suffered injuries as a result of their profession of violence. In these difficult times, we must prioritise, and we simply can no longer cater for these people." Defending his cuts Avery launched a swingeing attack on his fellow councillors, "I am deeply upset that only two committees have seen fit to help the city out of its current dire financial situation and make sacrifices for the good of the city as a whole. I am sure the city will remember those who were prepared to sit on their fat backsides and let others make the sacrifices."

Citizens are warned to be on their guard for polluted wines and beers following a spreading of the vomiting and diarrhoea illness reported in the last Chronicle. Commenting on the problems Guildmaster Martin Key told the Chronicle, "I have absolute faith in the quality of the guilds goods. I blame bad waters used for cooking". More worrying rumours contend that this is the first outbreak of a new plague caused by the refugee camps. Due to the Torians being extremely overworked, they have been unable to investigate this idea.

Unrest has been noted in the countryside as the peasants become aware of just how much grain the city will be needing this year. Baron Scrope told the Chronicle, "the late spring planting damaged the crops quite badly. The peasants are worried that they will not have enough to feed themselves, let alone the city dwellers." Travellers are warned particularly to avoid journeying alone in the Gavelkinden area, where local serfs are exploring the 'panic stock-up' concept without the consent of the goods previous owners.

An irate Cllr Drumm was incoherent with indignation yesterday as news reached him that his Avigon cup was being displayed in several market squares around the city. The perpetrators of this theft appear to be a miscellaneous mob of (apparently) homeless children. Their noisy appearances in the market squares coincide with the distribution of treasonous literature (not reproduced here) and a collection for money using the Avigon cup as storage. Amused onlookers appear to have donated quite a haul of coppers.