December 25th - On this day a historic armistice was signed with the mole-people, bringing their assaults on our gardens and sewer systems to a halt. All new construction must be approved by the mole-people or risk being plunged into the dark tarn. This has led to extremely thoughtful city planning and is generally considered by architects to have been a Good Thing.
March 30th: According to the volume titled “Proceedings of the Town Council of Bricklayer’s Cross,” an ordinance was enacted requiring all those emptying chamberpots out the window to shout “Ware below!” and wait three seconds before emptying. The fine for failure to comply was a half-penny for a first offense and ten minutes in the stocks for the second offense.
April 21st - The only Sugarplum Fairy born in captivity was born at the Royal Menagerie, later the Royal Zoo. It was named Elmer. Sugarplum fairies had been widely hunted for their snacks and musical choreography skills, and steps were taken to preserve the species, but they proved difficult to breed in captivity.
November 18th - The Convent of the White Goat, on the Isle of Shun, was founded on this day. This isolated island had been nearly destroyed by imported rabbits when the nuns arrived. While the white goat features prominently in the Convent’s seals, crest, and stationary, there are no goats anywhere on the island.
February 17th - The Kingfisher Bridge across the Autumn River was rebuilt, at great cost and greater indignation. It had been built once before, but was then misplaced through governmental incompetence. It stands to this day on the High Street, providing one of the most heavily traveled thoroughfares in the city.
September 12th - Not as many people died in a horrible fire as could have. The Glass Quarter was, at the time, home to the glassblowers and a kiln exploded. Things went very badly, but they could have gone much worse. Survivors attributed their good fortune to providence. At least one, trapped on a chair surrounded by a small lake of molten glass, said that her faith sustained her in the dark hours while the glass cooled.
November 17th - The birthday of famed trumpeter William Howel. Virtually nothing is known of Howel’s life, beyond the dates of his birth and death, except that he was extremely popular as a trumpeter for tournaments and royal occasions. His name occurs frequently in the record books, normally with a margin note as to his fee. He commanded quite high prices by the end of his life, before passing away at the age of 59.
September 23rd - A stuffed corgi was placed upon the throne, proving enormously popular.
July 25th - The ruling stuffed corgi embarked on an ambitious plan to expand one of the colonies by importing marriageable women. The so called “Daughters of the Corgi” were recruited from workhouses and charity schools throughout the city and transported to the colony on the large island of Greenbriar. Greenbriar had, at the time, a ratio of approximately ten men to every woman. The Daughters of the Corgi were provided with substantial dowries by the crown, and many professed themselves very glad for the chance to have improved their prospects so dramatically.
March 27th - Lady Warthington Shemp was born to the noble house of Shemp. Lady Warthington penned several prototypical self-help books, including “All is Well in the World: A Guide To Self-Improvement With Particular Attention To The Physical And Spiritual Makeup” and “Peace Beneath: A 3 Month Guide To Improving The Healthfulness Of One’s Bowels.” Her techniques relied on equal parts prayer and enemas, and were bafflingly popular with readers.
January 6th - Lord Peter Duckwald was arrested for murder. His collection of pressed flowers had led to pressing other objects, including lizards, small mammals, large mammals, and eventually, people. Eleven pressed humans were discovered on his estate, clamped between the pages of extremely large books. He was summarily executed, and his technique has never been duplicated.
April 11th - A small gray lamb was born to a ewe on a hillside some miles from the town of Gant. This is of no significance to anyone but the lamb and the eye and the shepherd, but history is made no less of small things that go on around the edges than it is of kings and battles and heresies.
June 6th - The stuffed corgi, which had ruled for many years, was deposed in a coup by the villainous wooden penguin. Corgi loyalists were forced to go underground by penguin supporters. Several folk songs of the time are believed to be coded references to the captivity of their ruler, including “My Love Had A Squeaky Toy” and “Bring Back My Woofy To Me.”
June 30th - It is the birthday of the rug designer Anna Weaving. Born Anna Slovanovich, in a poor part of the city, she began making place mats out of rat hair and selling them at local markets. Her genius was rapidly apparent, and she moved to more dramatic designs and more sanitary materials. Her enormous tapestry rug, “The Battle Fought In Argyle Socks” hangs in the Royal Museum to this day.
October 13th - The town of Obanoch was officially recognized, by the building of a local custom house. The site of Obanoch, in the western highlands, has been continuously occupied by humans since the Stone Age, but no one bothered to put the name on a map until 1760. This would not be terribly historically significant, but the custom house exploded some weeks later, apparently owing to a terrible accident involving coal gas and a cow that had been kept in the basement, as part of a scheme to provide fresh milk to traders. Several tradesman died, but the cow escaped with only minor injuries. A second, cow-free custom house was built the following year.
Date unknown - A new, cow-free custom house was built in the town of Obanach to replace the one that had exploded the prior year.
September 25th - Ground was broken on the Great Tunnel project. The Great Tunnel connected the two halves of the city divided by the Autumn River and was one of the greatest construction projects of the day.
August 20th - The birthday of the great icon painter Lorenzo Mandolini, who produced some of the finest artwork of saints that the art world has ever known. His illustrated Book of Hours is still reproduced today.
January 2nd - Riots began in the city. The original cause was poor working conditions among chimneysweeps, but spread rapidly throughout the kingdom, for reasons said to include the price of bread, the callousness of public servants, and the color of brick used on the new facing for the Kingfisher Bridge. The riots lasted for months, flaring up repeatedly, and caused 1779 to be known as the “Year of Unrest.” The assumption of the throne by the Librarian Prince ended the riots, but replaced them with something rather more unpleasant.
May 5th - Badly outnumbered highland clans triumphed over royal forces at the Battle of Lizardstick. This unlikely victory served as a rallying point for the highlands, and spawned approximately eleven thousand different folksongs about Lizardstick, recent compiled in the exhaustive 30-CD-volume set, “Songs to Smack Royalists By.” The fifth of May remains a day of celebration throughout the highlands and a day of mild disgruntlement throughout the city
October 14th - The Librarian Prince passed the first of what would be known as the Hateful Decrees. This one forbid citizens from wearing the color orange, or risk immediate execution. The populace was largely puzzled and did not protest this decree, setting an unfortunate precedent for laws to come.
October 23rd - The Librarian Prince passed the second of the so-called "Hateful Decrees", which stated that goats were a figment of the imagination. Those citizens claiming to believe in the existence of goats, or having goats in their possession, were immediately executed and the non-existent goats confiscated.
November 1st - The third of the “Hateful Decrees” was passed by the Librarian Prince. This decree stated that the city sewer system was property of the crown and anyone using it would be fined. For homeowners, this resulted in a minor additional tax, but had the knock-on effect of declaring sewer workers and cistern cleaners to be enemy spies.
November 13th - The next of the "Hateful Decrees" was issued by the Librarian Prince. This one attempted to ban snow. Possession of, consorting with, or failure to report the presence of snow was punishable by imprisonment. A record fourteen inches of snow fell in the city not long after the anti-snow decree however, so troops were occupied dealing with this “domestic weather terrorism.”
November 22nd - The Librarian Prince suffered a bad attack of gout, for which he blamed witchcraft. Two cooks and an underfootman were beheaded, and a maid was exiled on suspicion of being born with red hair.
December 9th - The next of the Hateful Decrees was passed by the Librarian Prince. It banned numerical winners in competitions of any kind. Winning first, second or third place was now a hanging offense, and awarding such could result in having your property seized by the crown. A number of workarounds were developed, including color-coded ribbons, Honorablest Mentions, and the “We’re Extremely Glad You Participated Award.”
January 15th - The first Hateful Decree of the new year was issued, which banned skulls. This was extremely difficult to work with, and many butchers shut down immediately until the situation was resolved.
March 24th - Another Hateful Decree was passed, which outlawed gathering in groups of more than one. It was amended some days later on the grounds that the population of the city would suffer a severe decline nine months later. No arrests were made, as they would have required the arresting officer to break the law themselves. The rewritten decree outlawed gatherings in groups of greater than ten, which made workplaces problematic and holidays somewhat less so.
June 4th - The Librarian Prince issued yet another Hateful Decree, this one against hummingbirds. Hummingbirds have never been a major cash crop, so there was no lobbying in their favor. A number of little old ladies growing flowers were disappointed and an underground system of gardens rapidly sprang up to provide migrating hummingbirds with nectar. Local officials mostly turned a blind eye to this behavior, as it is difficult to look like a hero when you are dragging a little old lady in gardening gloves into the police station.
July 2nd - The next of the Hateful Decrees was passed by the Librarian Prince. This one banned centaurs within the city limits. As centaurs had never shown any indication of wanting to enter the city, the decree remained unchallenged and unenforced until the mid-70s, when a growing movement for centaur rights challenged it in court. It was hastily struck down with apologies.
September 12th - The Librarian Prince almost passed a Hateful Decree making flatulence a capital offense. Fortunately, a quick thinking minister paid off the cook to prepare a dish of beans and eggs for the Prince’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the Prince reportedly saw the error of his ways. This is more crude than uplifting, but it is my duty to report history, even the sophomoric bits.
October 20th - The next of the Hateful Decrees was passed by the Librarian Prince, banning arsenic. This was not a terribly unpopular decree, except among rat catchers, apothecaries, and interior designers. (Arsenic had long been used to provide a particularly elegant green pigment, popular in paint and wallpaper.) The rat catchers and apothecaries were issued exemptions, and the interior designers were forced to find less toxic pigments, leading to a general rise in quality of life.
December 13th - The sheep breed known as the Highland Blue-Nose was first recognized by the International Sheep Council. The Highland Blue-Nose is a small, compact sheep with excellent wool production. Nose, ears, and legs range in color from blue-gray to lilac. It was recognized as a Breed of Distinction by the ISC and a ram named Sturdy took the Exceedingly Honorable-We-Really-Mean-It Award at the city fair the following year.
Date unknown - The Great Tunnel was completed after claiming the lives of hundreds of workers.
April 2nd - Poor Schmo’s Book of Proverbs was published. It was a collection of vaguely clever sayings meant to appeal to the common man, but most likely published as a tool of propaganda for the Librarian Prince. It includes such gems as “He who lies down with dogs is arrested for unseemly behavior” and “Love thy neighbor, but report his suspicious activities to the authorities.” Poor Schmo’s Book of Proverbs enjoyed extraordinary sales, as purchase was mandatory, but continued to be a strong seller for many years. Its enduring appeal was eventually explained by the thin, soft pages, which were plentiful in a time when toilet paper was scarce.
August 28th - The trial of Eric von Awning, famed furniture maker, began. Von Awning created many gorgeous and fantastical pieces based on animals, which were highly sought after by the wealthy. This lasted until the Librarian Prince tripped and nearly impaled himself on a swordfish-inspired end table. He immediately had Von Awning arrested on charges of “passive attempted regicide” and arranged a public trial to, he said, “discourage other pacifists.”
May 2nd - The birthday of the poet known as the Unmarked Line, an anonymous writer who scandalized society with strikingly explicit (for the era) poetry in honor of his—or her—mistress. The poet’s publishers refused to name them, saying that the poetry was delivered via post and with no identifying marks, and that the royalties were donated by request to the foundling home and the asylum for angels. Rewards were offered for information leading to the Unmarked Line’s identity, but they went to their grave without being discovered. Volumes have been published claiming that it was anyone from the Prime Minister to the Librarian Prince to various nobles and the editor of the Encyclopedia Troyzantium. Whoever they were, they covered their tracks very well indeed.
December 1st - The 36-gun frigate, the RMS Sirius, was lost at the Battle of Heavingford. It never fired a shot, being docked for repairs, and was simply set on fire by the enemy, who walked up to it and tossed a couple of lit rags into the hold. “Tis a vile doom for a great ship,” said the captain, who insisted on going down with the ship. When it finally settled on the bottom, some five feet below its original position, the captain waded ashore and went to the bar.
June 11th - The Gothic novel “House of Lepers” was published. It featured many of the now classic tropes, including an ancient, crumbling, probably haunted manor, uncommunicative servants, and a young heroine widely considered too stupid to breathe. Nevertheless, it sold out eight print runs in as many weeks and made a fortune for the publisher. The identity of the author was the subject of much speculation, but remains one of the best kept secrets of the industry. Some fifty years later, a number of people claimed to have authored the book, but none could be authenticated. Many scholars believe it was dashed off by the publisher’s wife in order to meet a deadline.
December 14th - The last known specimen of the Violet Reedbuck was shot. Violet Reedbucks were found in small numbers throughout the southern continent along the lower edge of the Glass Wastes, but were most likely rare even before trophy hunters began to pursue them. The color of this large antelope was extraordinary, being described as deep violet on the back fading to soft rose or lavender along the belly, with black feral striping on the hind legs. The color likely derived partly from the creature’s dark skin being visible through the fine reddish fawn coat, along with an unusual light scattering property in the oils of the Reedbuck’s hide. Taxidermy mounts lacking these oils are a vague roan color, with only a few specimens actually appearing violet. Several other species of Reedbucks survive, and the endangered Water Reedbuck is closely monitored on preserves by the Horowitz Trust.