The Chronicle

of the month of Skelern in the year 151

The anniversary of last year's anti-Resh riots has been marked by further violence. The Atharvan of Brynette used the date to once more call for all true believers to "root out this evil and prevent the corruption by cleansing with the Holy Fire of Brynette". In what was clearly a pre-planned event, a hundred Brynette worshippers forced open the homes of known Reshites. Several people were killed and Cllr Maureen Quiller's house was destroyed, although the City Guard arrived in time to save her life. In the aftermath of the attacks a number of prominent Brynettes have been arrested. The Atharvan herself has been summoned to appear before Princess Selina to explain her actions. Tensions are running high and Colonel Aldridge has threatened to impose martial law.

By far the most contentious debate in the Witanmoot this month was caused by Cllr Marcus Lambourne's proposal that "The Witanmoot no longer requires officers of the Witanmoot, and those wishing to stand for office, to take the Oath of Fealty". Describing the motion as an emergency one which must be debated immediately, Cllr Lambourne explained that "a third of the Aldermanic court has chosen not to take the oath as a matter of conscience. Given their record of service to the people of Linrodeth I challenge anyone to question where their loyalty lies". He went on to praise Aldermen Barnett and Saunders and to suggest that not all Aldermen were suitably qualified or experienced, and that it was vital that the pool of candidates be as wide as possible". With Jim Bottler sitting out of the debate and William Trueman declaring that he was "fed up with the whole issue" and that the City had "more important things to do than continually debate this motion" it was left to the Monterey faction to provide opposition. Alderman Alison Shefford agreed with Alderman Trueman and reminded the council that the debate had gone on for over a year. Speaking with her usual authority, she expressed surprise that the council was still debating the matter a year later and accused Marcus Lambourne of deliberately prolonging the debate in order to cause confusion and 'ill considered' decisions'. She described Cllr Lambourne as "a puppet of Prince Kieran who would sell-out the City given half a chance" and reminded councillors that the purpose of the motion is to ensure that "people who wish to shelter under the protection of the City are loyal to it". She also eloquently reminded council of the clear rejection by the electorate of those candidates supporting the princes, and called upon councillors to show the loyalty which the citizens demanded. Alderman Petro Cutario added, "The Princess is doing a superlative job of defending the city and maintaining its trade during this difficult civil war. It behoves us all to give her our full support and anyone who does not simply cannot be trusted with an official post." But finally, the most devastating attack came from Lady Tasker herself. Breaking her normal habit of not entering in the debates, she spoke for nearly two hours to describe her loyalty and love of the city of Linrodeth. Her closing words sealed the debate; "how can anyone who is not prepared to take this oath be trusted? Cllr Lambourne has missed the point. His argument is that you cannot legislate for loyalty. He is right. But the oath is not about legislating for loyalty, it is about keeping traitors like him out of our government and away from control of our money, our lands and the welfare of our children".

The loyalty vote, when it was finally taken, was one of the closest the Witanmoot has yet seen with many people choosing to abstain rather that take sides in what has clearly become a pro- or anti-Selina debate. Faction discipline broke down completely. The first count showed a tied vote at 91 all. However before Lady Tasker could use her casting vote, Bert Belcher forced a recount, by the calling out of names. On this vote many who had previously abstained decided to participate and the recount showed the motion defeated by 102 votes to 98, with 76 abstentions.

Following the defeat of Cllr Lambourne's motion the nominations for the Committee chairs descended into chaos with many unexpected and cross fractional nominations. The situation was not helped by Jim Bottler's proposal, "That the Council recognises the inflexibility of the standard set of trade envoys in time of civil war and authorises the Trade Committee to create envoy ships as and when it deems fit, within the budget allocated to it, and subject to the envoy being selected by the Aldermanic Court from the body of councillors of the Witanmoot".

In the end the validly record nominations were:

Treasury: Alison Shefford, Melanie Romanie

Trade: Petro Cutario, Jim Bottler

Law and Order: Eva Capel, Duncan Barnett, Judy Spitch

Shipping: Thomas Osbert, Olivia Warin, Alan Monterey, Petro Cutario.

Welfare and Education: Richard Saunders, Judy Spitch, Eva Capel

Lands and Agriculture: Gemma Downe,

Aldermen Barnett and Saunders will only be considered valid nominations should they take the oath before the election vote. Saunders is rumoured to be thinking of doing just that and it is clear that the Lambourne faction is in trouble, with several members reported to be furious with Tilly Falgar and Sheila Herman for voting against the faction, and with David Northrop for abstaining. But perhaps the greatest shock was Sheriff Davy who in voting against her own faction declared that "whilst she deeply respected the faction for its service to the city, she could not as Sheriff support a motion which would remove the need for the all officers of the city to take the Oath."