The Chronicle

of the month of Skelern in the year 152

The deep ice of the River Ishtan has encouraged traders to set up a Frost Fair above the bridge. A good number of acrobats and troubadours are entertaining visitors alongside the food sellers and guildless traders. The Frost Fair has even attracted an unexpected visit from The Citadel. The young Prince Sikander was taken around the attractions in a small silver sled towed by Her Highness Princess Selina and her ladies-in-waiting. An enterprising trader presented the young Prince with a souvenir scroll illustrating his visit.

The inviting expanse of river ice enticed some rash youths into an extended game of football. Unfortunately for their tournament, their activities were observed by Sgt Kali of the City Guard, and rudely broken up at sword point. The punctured leather ball has been confiscated as evidence. Sgt Kali's ever-efficient squad has imprisoned two dozen youngsters en-mass, only the dog escaping the long reach of the law. It appears that many of these footballers are from the city orphanage, leaving Gax and the other trustees wondering how to pay off the fines if everyone is duly convicted. The detention of the orphans has left another City Guard squad at a loss for prime suspects. The clapper for the Big Tom bell in the Hahnite belltower was subsequently stolen, leaving the tolling of the hours sounding ... feeble. Customarily this prank would normally be ascribed to the long standing rivalry between the Hahnite scholars and Gax's orphans. But it seems that this time the orphans have a perfect alibi. The Archimandrite is reported to be "unamused".

Rumours are circulating in the both the Citadel and Witanmoot regarding certain "significant discussions" between Princess Selina and senior members of the Witanmoot. If the rumours are true and talks relate to a major change in the responsibilities of both the Witanmoot and the Citadel, then we could be about to witness Princess Selina's first move against the democracy of the City.

The taverns and hostelries around The Bards College have been coping with an unexpected boom in business and damages by the number of students at large. Lectures and classes have been cancelled by the masters, leaving students very much to their own devices. Rumour has it that the masters are dealing with the unexpected return of a minstrel and the material which he has brought to their attention. Unfortunately, the students are not merely speculating but have also been organising many impromptu demonstrations of their skills at all hours of the day and night. Complaints to the porters lodge and city guard have tripled this month.

The House of Eshi has launched its latest season of fashions. Lady Cyarçon on hired the largest of the acrobat tents in the Frost Fair to unveil a collection of court wear heavily styled with soft lace around the collars and cuffs. Despite its immediate popularity with the Citadel crowd, almost equal interest was given to debut of a rival couturier to following week. Jorian's "Unruffled Collection" of soft daywear has gained an instant following amongst the younger set.

A falling slab of thick ice has killed a resident of Bassishaw in a freak accident. Master Gifford Payne was a respected cornmonger of the ward, and was returning home when a cart-sized ice slab fell from the Brynette temple roof. Master Payne died instantly. Acolytes from the temple have already been sent to inspect the roof and break up any further ice found on the tiles.

Activity in the various shipyards across the river continues apace. It seems as if the consortium is especially keen to launch the first new ship from Kingsport Old Dock, where most preparations have already been made despite the deep winter snows. Anyone interested in free entertainment from the Navy should take themselves and a picnic down to the estuary spit at the first sign of a thaw and see the new design briefly in action. Marlowe would no doubt have been looking forward to the event, had he not met an untimely end.

This month's committee nominations show for the first time the shift of power which is occurring in the Witanmoot. A balanced set of nominations from across all groups demonstrated a failure of the usual pre-nomination stitch up. The only uncontested role is Chairman for Lands and Agriculture where, perhaps due to other discussions, Jemma Downe retains unassailable control. The full nominations for chairmen were as follows:

Treasury; Alison Shefford, Melanie Romanie

Trade; Petro Cutario, Olivia Warin

Law and Order; Bernard Hubold, Duncan Barnett, Mary Hastings

Shipping; Alan Monterey, Thomas Osbert, Eva Capel

Welfare and Education; Richard Saunders, Judi Spich, Marie Cripstead

Lands and Agriculture; Gemma Downe