Date unknown - There was a movement to build “Ciceronian Gardens” which involved gardens built around large central firepits.
March 23rd - The wild chiltepin plant was first classified by botanists. Long known among local peoples for its spicy fruits, the chiltepin is the ancestor of the domesticated chile. Its tiny, pea-sized peppers are ruthlessly hot and are used as a condiment, and occasionally as a deterrent. It requires extremely hot weather and a longer growing season than most gardeners can manage, so it is rare in cultivation, though efforts to domesticate this ancient plant are underway.
April 7th - The waltz was introduced to the city. Considered a shocking and transgressively modern dance, as it involved men and women’s bodies to be in actual physical contact, the waltz was banned outright in many towns. As with many things, however, it eventually crept into the common repertoire of dancing, and eventually became seen as perfectly respectable, and now, some centuries later, as quite old-fashioned. Waltz-related deaths have been on the decline for a number of years and are no longer considered statistically significant.
July 18th - A large flock of hooded mergansers landed on Lake Plum within the city. For a moment, the air was full of black and white wings.
November 15th - The Black Beast was seen on the rooftops of the city. Initial reports were limited to the Western Quarter, and described the Black Beast as human sized, with wings and glowing yellow eyes. Journalists initially dismissed these sightings as the superstitious spotting an owl. One eyewitness, however, came forward to say, “I’ve seen owls and this was no goddamn owl.”
November 18th - The Black Beast was sighted outside the Western Quarter in the city, on High Street. A crowd of witnesses saw it running along the railing of the Kingfisher Bridge, before leaping over the side and vanishing. Police searched the river, but found no body. It was speculated that the Beast had climbed or flown onto the underside of the bridge and made its escape from there.
November 25th - The Black Beast was spotted yet again, this time in the back garden of one Mrs. L. Mumphrey. Mrs. Mumphrey was a noted eccentric and would not have been considered a reliable witness, had she not been hosting the annual Policeman’s Ball at her townhouse at the time. The assembled officers witnessed a large, dark figure climbing down the rain gutter.
December 6th - The Black Beast was seen for the last time by credible witnesses. A gathering of the Sacred Order of Bull Moose Men reported that the Beast climbed up on the roof of their lodge and watched them for several minutes. It was described as having a baleful gaze and wings which it raised and lowered over its head. Then it snapped off the weathervane and made off with it into the night. While other sightings would trickle in for several days, few were clear or reliable, and the Black Beast would not be seen again for nearly a century.
April 18th - The minor breakaway sect known as the Brogians split from the main church. The Brogians were led by one Andrew Brogus, who proclaimed himself the new messiah and claimed to have the power to heal the sick. All eleven Brogians founded a settlement that they claimed would be the new center of faith in their time, and refused to allow outsiders. With supplies running low, Brogus attempted a miracle, commanding the settlement’s single chicken to multiply. It did not. The Brogian sect did not survive this betrayal and vanished as quickly as it had formed.
May 20th - Two men met on a street corner near the High Street. One wore a ragged tophat and badly stained finery, the other was dressed in working man’s clothes. They nodded to one another but did not speak. They went into the alley and disrobed, trading clothing. Each one then took a piece of chalk out of the pocket of their new outfits and made a mark on the wall of the alley. Hundreds of faded marks attested to the fact that something unusual had happened there before. Then they both left by opposite ends of the alley, again not speaking, and went about their business. The one who left wearing the top-hat was later found dead, floating in the Autumn River, holding a piece of chalk clenched in his teeth. He appeared to have died before touching the water. No cause of death was ever found and the constables eventually ruled it as a heart attack.
April 2nd - The Bridge of Monks fell down for about five minutes. Everyone was very concerned by the bridge, which appeared to have fallen down very conclusively, but a few minutes later it shrugged, stretched, and shoved itself back into place. A small note of apology was later found hewn into the stones of the bridge’s foundation. It was the first noted collapse of the Bridge of Monks, but would not be the last.
April 27th - The Undercity Excavations were begun. As with any historic city, large sections have slowly subsided into the earth over the years, and new buildings have been erected on top of them. An engineer named Martha Bodner proposed that much of this ancient city was probably inhabitable, if one was only willing to dig down and find it. As the sewer systems were in dire need of repair as well, excavations were already underway, and the Undercity project merely expanded them. It was a remarkably visionary project, and Bodner’s detractors maintained that she was clearly mad. Neverthless, within ten years she had completed a section known as “the Old Neighborhood.” It became an extremely popular area and briefly the highest rent section of the city. The entire project took over a century, and was ultimately only completed with the aid of the mole-people. The Undercity today houses nearly two hundred thousand souls and (thanks to the mole-people) an extraordinary number of parks and gardens.
October 18th - A dozen wood thrushes assembled in one small magnolia tree and performed a magnificent rendition of O Fortuna! There were no witnesses, but the thrushes remembered it fondly for the rest of their lives.
March 7th - A two-headed pig in a jar debuted in Parliament, rising through the ranks to become a member of the Cabinet. The two-headed pig was considered very progressive on social issues, although the left head was whispered to be a radical. There was some talk of a run for Prime Minister, but rumors of scandal—that perhaps the two-headed pig was actually two separate pigs—dogged the campaign and the pig retired to a large estate in the country.
January 2nd - Artificial lighting was installed along the High Street in the city. Public sentiment was extremely negative, and newspapers were full of so-called “experts” decrying the lighting. Clergy wrote in to proclaim that by disrupting day and night, the city planners were setting themselves up as gods. Doctors claimed that the poisonous exhalations from the gas lights would lead to mass deaths, insanity, and masturbation. Others simply said that lanterns were good enough in their day and should be good enough now.
November 20th - An elderly nun knitting a sock accidentally stuck a needle into another dimension. The yarn had formed a complicated multi-dimensional shape and created a portal between two strands. The needle went in, poked a small hole in the fabric of reality and jabbed a being made of living crystalline vibration in the side. The portal closed a moment later, and the crystalline being, some centuries after the fact, felt a vague itch, which it scratched.
May 4th - Lady Genoa debuted an astonishing new hors d'oeuvre at a house party — pickled hummingbird eggs. Served on toothpicks, the eggs were an immediate success and the party was lauded as “a sad crush” which was one of the highest forms of praise that could be offered in the era. Other hostesses rushed to emulate Lady Genoa’s success, and three species of hummingbird were pushed to near-extinction as a result. Fortunately, the fad passed quickly, and two of the species rebounded quickly. The Troyzantine Broad-Winged Hummingbird remains threatened to this day, as it was the primary pollinator of the Troyzantine Bottlebrush Vine, which declined alongside the hummingbird. Ecologists eventually discovered the linkages between these two and populations of both bird and vine are on an encouraging upward directory.
February 6th - The Scrimshaw Bible was unearthed in the highlands. Carved on a half-dozen walrus tusks, the Scrimshaw Bible was a three-dimensional representation of instructive scenes from several lesser-known gospels, including the Chastening of the Sandalmakers and the Devouring of the Prophet Umber By Wild Beavers. The Scrimshaw Bible had been buried nearly five hundred miles from the ocean and a good bit farther from the nearest walrus, so the provenance of this work continues to baffle scholars to this day.
October 4th - The last known Sugarplum Fairy died in captivity. It had been born in the Royal Zoo and was one-hundred-seventeen years old at the time of its death. Keepers nicknamed the fairy "Elmer" and had attempted unsuccessfully to breed it. Elmer's body was stuffed and is on display at the Royal Museum.
October 25th - The Clean 'n Pure Soap factory suffered a tank rupture and flooded the entire factory floor with three feet of liquid hand soap. Seeing the drains clogging and her workers in the basement at risk of drowning, Anya Ahmad, the foreman, grabbed a sledgehammer and broke out the lowest windows. This allowed the soap to drain into the nearby Autumn River, where it produced a wall of suds twenty-eight feet high and brought shipping to a standstill.
August 12th - The Clean ‘n Pure Soap Factory suffered a tank rupture — again — mirroring an event five years earlier which flooded the factory floor and later the Autumn River with liquid hand soap. The foreman, Anya Ahmad, who had saved her workers the previous time reportedly stated “Not again. Uggh. Hold my shoes,” took down the sledgehammer that she had named “Old Faithful,” and slogged out into the knee-deep soap. She broke out the lower windows, saving yet more lives, and then, once everyone had been evacuated, turned state’s evidence about unsafe working conditions. Authorities fined the Clean ‘n Pure Soap Factory for unsafe working conditions in the exact amount of the cost of the factory. The factory site is now a museum of science and industry. Ms. Ahmad retired to the country and died heroically at the age of 94, saving the victims of a train derailment, with the help of Old Faithful. She is an inspiration to us all.
July 20th - A carver, working on the underside of a very large statue of a dragon, carved his declaration of love for the wife of his employer. He did so in a font less than a tenth of an inch high, etched along the sides of six different belly scales. In this miniscule font, he poured out his feelings, his loathing of his employer’s cruelty, and his intense belief that she was as much a victim of the situation as he. It was dated and, recklessly, signed.
November 1st - Countess Ludmilla Everstone was probably born on this day. She took the social scene by storm, was hailed as a “true original” and received innumerable offers of marriage from the social leaders of the city. At a masked ball, however, at the hour of unmasking, it was revealed that she was in fact sixteen crows wearing a trenchcoat.
August 31st - Faith healer and snake-oil salesman Doc Brightey was publicly executed by an angry mob. He had been selling ear-drops that were supposed to cure deafness and revitalize the libido, but which actually caused massive keratinous growths in the ear canal. In short, his patients grew horns out of their ears. This did not make them happy, and also did not help with the deafness. As the horns generally did not start to grow for several weeks — by which time Doc Brightey had moved on to the next town — he racked up some three hundred victims. It is speculated that he could probably have talked his way out of it, as he had done with several previous snake-oil mishaps, except that the angry mob was full of people who could not hear very well owing to the horns, and so he was executed. One mourns the loss of any human life, of course, but in some cases, the mourning is more abstract than others.
November 5th - The great volume “On the Descriptions of Jellyfish” which included color plates of all the jellyfish known in the world at the time, was published. The author, one Harold Jobs, insisted that all the illustrations be life size. He refused to budge on this, and so “On the Descriptions of Jellyfish” is twenty feet by ten feet and consists of only six plates and accompanying descriptions.
November 20th - Lady Agatha Herringbone made her operatic debut. Her range was described as “extraordinary” and “beyond reproach.” As the singer herself was a great gray albatross, the scandal magazines of the day found her difficult to criticize.
November 27th - An oarfish of the kind known as “king-of-herring” went mad with power and began inciting schools of herring to bloody revolution. He told the herring to overthrow the land-dwelling oppressors, to take back the portion of the earth that was theirs by right. “Has the land not been underneath the sea? Then it is only a cruel twist of plate tectonics that has denied us! Our ancestral homes must be returned!” The phrase ‘manifest destiny’ was used multiple times. Most of the herring ignored him, as herring are largely uninterested in revolution. A few fishy firebrands followed the oarfish in an ill-conceived invasion, which resulted in the herring and their leader fatally beaching themselves at the tiny tourist town of Smilax Bay. Biologists were puzzled and blamed freak tides or a swim bladder malfunction, but the herring knew the truth. It is reported that the last words of the oarfish were “Freedom!” but this is probably mythologizing after the fact.
August 14th - The Highland Cattle Killer was finally found. Ranchers had claimed that their cattle were being poisoned in vast quantities in the summer months and ascribed this to a crazed separatist. It escaped no one’s notice that the landowners affected were those who had been granted property seized from highland residents and granted to those from farther south. After dozens of arrests, a veterinarian finally explained that the new ranchers were driving cattle into pastures that were filled with chokecherry. Chokecherry leaves are toxic to wildlife in large quantities, and thirsty cattle were eating the leaves to get at the moisture. The crown released those falsely arrested and two veterinarians were charged with malicious obfuscation.
March 3rd - The small island nation of Qualm declared independence from the mainland. Owing to the slow nature of maritime mail, no one knew that Qualm had seceded until nearly a year later, after which letters had to be sent inquiring as to where Qualm was and whether they perhaps had the wrong address. Eventually it all worked out.
May 23rd: The first lyric sheet for the song “I Ate ‘Em All” appeared. This song appears to derive from the Navy and recounts the cannibalistic exploits of a shipwrecked midshipman working his way through the rest of the crew. The music was repurposed over a century later into a popular jingle for tires. It is unlikely that most people humming the jingle, or the executives who approved it, were aware that they were singing along to a chorus about eating people’s eyes.
March 10th - The moon vanished. It had been there the night before, but was suddenly gone. Tides ceased, much to the dismay of many small reef creatures, and the planet’s orbit was described as “having a bit of a wiggle.” Fortunately, the moon reappeared the following night and acted as if nothing had happened.
April 6th - In the During Sound, which lies south of the Glass Wastes, that several women began trying to bail the tide. The nest of a small plover lay directly behind them, and the tide was coming in. And after they had bailed for some time, the tide changed. Now and again, life is like that.
June 29th - The ruler of the Island of Quat stepped down. As the Island of Quat was approximately two feet wide, he only had to step down about six inches. This was considered historically significant, however, as the Island of Quat had been a place of considerable strategic value.
January 17th - The Duchess of Ellensburg appeared in public wearing a hat in the shape of a large shark. This kicked off a brief fashion for extraordinary sea-life headgear. For some months, salmon, sea urchin, and elephant seal hats were all the rage.
July 21st - The great landscape architect Madeline Boyden completed her commission to rebuild the gardens at the Royal Summer Palace. These gardens stretched for hundreds of acres and had been one of the great horticultural embarassments of the empire. Under Boyden’s hand, they were reworked into a series of hedge mazes and reflecting pools. “The view is unappealing,” she wrote. “I have therefore built high walls to avoid it and water to reflect the sky. The ultimate effect is not entirely successful, but it is better than it was.” Garden writers describe the Summer Palace grounds as resembling a maze built for contemplative rats, but agree that Boyden did the best she could with what she had to work with.
March 17th - An old woman was attacked in broad daylight by a group of Maladroit Langurs. The langurs, a type of monkey, had been imported from the island of Qualm as circus animals. A troop escaped and established themselves in the city, spending the cold winters in attics and raiding garbage cans.
Date unknown - Calico Jane, one of the most notorious outlaws in history, dropped out of sight after having racked up nearly a hundred thousand dollars in stolen banknotes.
October 21st - The Old Flowerspot breed of hog was introduced at the Royal Fair. The Old Flowerspot was a small, relatively dainty hog, well-suited to single family farms. Their personality was described as "personable", "charming", and "manipulative as hell." Many Old Flowerspots became beloved pets and passed away of great old age, causing the breed to fall out of favor with commercial hog farmers.
April 20th - The world was alerted to the present of a bizarre cryptid in the low country surrounding Bricklayer’s Cross. Dubbed “Hopping Jack” by the media (the previous name, “the Cowhopper” not proving to have much staying power) dozens of articles ran nearly simultaneously in major newspapers. Hopping Jack was described as a cross between a man and a grasshopper, five feet tall but capable of leaping over barns. The initial report came from one “Goody Parsons” who claimed that she had gone out in the evening to check on the cows and the beast had leapt straight over her head. “Twenty feet up, he went,” she reported, “and I lost him among the cows.” Scientists did not bother trying to explain this as any natural beast and went straight to “mass hysteria,” “money grubbing” and “can you believe I can’t get funding to cure diphtheria.”
April 22nd - “Hopping Jack,” the cryptid from Bricklayer’s Cross, was unmasked by an intrepid reporter who slogged out to Goody Parsons' cowfield and reported that it was full of sandhill cranes. Further investigation uncovered that Goody Parson was blind as a bat and her neighbors had stopped paying attention to her stories after she claimed the Krampus was doing her laundry. (It was Mister Parson.) The intrepid reporter refused to give his name, saying “This whole thing is ridiculous.” Mister Hogwaithe, a local, disagreed, saying “I saw it with my own eyes, and it weren’t no bird.” As Mister Hogwaithe was selling “Hopping Jack” commemorative plaques, glasses, and handkerchiefs, his testimony was met with some suspicion and the world’s interest in the cryptid rapidly waned.
March 12th - Typhoid began to spread in Troyzantium. Several tenement children were the first reported cases, but the disease spread unchecked for months throughout the poorer quarters, eventually claiming hundreds of lives and leading to major reworkings of the city’s water and sewage system. It was described as the worst outbreak in Troyzantium’s history, and is considered one of the contributing factors to the eventual Ribbon Riots of the following year.
January 20th - The Ribbon Riots occurred in Troyzantium. The cause was never adequately determined, but historians speculate that a sharp rise in the price of hair ribbons may have given the riots their name.
October 9th - A farmer named Obadiah Jenkins, in West Seagullshire, grew an eleven-hundred-and-forty pound pumpkin. It was a variety known as “Red Mammoth” and was over eight feet across. The prize-winning pumpkin toppled from the cart transporting it to the village square, crushing seven villages and toppling two more.
August 27th - The famed fashion designer Lady McNara debuted her Celestial Court Dress, which featured nearly a thousand feet of lace. The twelve foot train was embroidered in imitation of the night sky, with constellations marked in seed pearls.
December 24th - A storm paralyzed the city for days, leading to chaos, famine, and in one tenement building, cannibalism. When the snow finally melted, the residents of the Victor Building were found to have eaten two postal workers and a dogwalker. The building was condemned, as were the residents.
August 20th - The great icon painter Lorenzo Mandolini died after completing a painting of Saint Ramena, patron of small brightly colored fishes, having put the final scale on the mandarin fish that formed her left eye. Four hundred hagiographers attended his funeral. His tomb reads “Here lies one beloved of saints and men alike.”
January 23rd - The birthday of the theologian James Mahoney, whose translations of many of the holy texts are still in use today. Mahoney’s Highland Gospel is frequently held up as the pinnacle of the translator’s art. This would undoubtedly be more interesting if Mahoney had led a scandalous life, but in fact, he apparently was completely blameless. He ate sardines and toast and was in bed by 8:30 for every night of his adult life.
February 17th - A line of equine footwear was introduced by the Buckster and Morgan mail-order catalog. Billed as “Donkey Booties” and “Horse Booties” they came in several sizes and a wide range of colors.
June 2nd - The sky rained bright red ribbons for nearly thirty minutes. In some parts of the city, the gutters filled with ribbons in piles over a foot high. Weathermen were at a loss. Clean-up was extraordinarily expensive and had to be completed rapidly, as carriage wheels and the legs of draft animals became entangled and commerce ground to a halt.
September 8th - The notorious murderer, The Iron Strangler, was executed. His reign of terror lasted five months, when he killed citizens by strangling them with barbed wire. His victims were exclusively men, between the ages of eighteen and forty, mostly from the upper middle-class, who were “slumming.”
September 23rd - - The inventor Saul Rothchilde debuted his new flying machine, resulting in his demise.
August 3rd -The Revised Freshwater Fisheries Protection Act, known as the Garpike Act, was passed into law. This act specifically protected the garpike, an ancient freshwater fish possessing extremely sharp bony scales. The scales were being harvested as a cheap substitute for steel razors, which had become extremely expensive owing to political unrest among workers at the world’s two largest iron mines. The garpike had been hunted, practically overnight, into a small fraction of its original numbers. Garpikes prefer bayous and slow moving water, and must rise to the surface to gulp air, making them easily harpooned. The Fisheries Act put strict limits on garpike harvests. Their numbers continued to drop, however, and it was likely only the resolution of the miner’s strike that saved the garpike from extinction.
August 4th - The anniversary of the Pepperoni Riots, which occurred in response to a sudden shocking rise in the price of hard salamis and other meats. With pepperoni suddenly costing almost as much as gold, the population began looting bodegas and delis, trying to stock up on pepperoni in preparation for the coming salami apocalypse. Chaos reigned for eight days, until emergency supplies were brought in, and peace was again restored to the city. The reason for the price rise was eventually tracked to a particularly destructive infestation of the pepperoni weevil.
June 27th - The Mechanique Typewriter was first sold throughout the city. It rapidly spread, displacing several older models, and became the first cheap, reliable typewriter on the market. Because of its availability to the individual consumer, the Mechanique was referred to, somewhat disparagingly, as “the machine that launched a thousand terrible memoirs.” Mechaniques remained in use for nearly a century, with only minor updates, until finally displaced by the advent of the home computer.
January 22nd - A cat, seated by the fire, rose to its feet, rubbed against a bystander, and strolled into the street. This would not ordinarily be a matter of historical note, but the cat was part of the display in Lord Farringdome’s Wax Museum, and had remained motionless for more than seventy years.
December 27th - A white fox walked into the city. He was slightly larger than usual and appeared to have piercing blue eyes. He walked down High Street, across the Kingfisher Bridge, and sat down in the middle of road, gazing at the clock tower. Bystanders report that he sat there for several minutes, then muttered “Great. That time again,” before getting up and walking away.
January 29th - Golem-making was outlawed by international treaty. The last of the golemsmiths were offered pensions and retired, sometimes by force. Rumors abound that various rogue nations still keep war-golems in storage, in violation of the treaty, but no reliable reports have surfaced for many years.
June 4th - The last known war-golem was decommissioned. Golem-making had been outlawed some months earlier, but nations move slowly. The last war-golem was powdered and repurposed into commemorative planters, which grow peace lilies in the Royal Botanical Gardens.
February 9th - The Southern Express left the station for the first time. This luxury passenger train served the enormous distances from the city, through the Glass Wastes, to the southern countries. It was designed with comfort in mind, and trips on the Southern Express became status symbols. Often passengers would arrive in the south and immediately reboard the train to return to the north. “It is about the journey, not the destination,” said one socialite. “Particularly if the journey involves caviar.”
September 10th - The cruise ship Rapture of Poseidon sank in stormy seas. Ninety-five people perished, owing to a lack of lifeboats, and then sixty-five more people died because the existing lifeboats were inexplicably filled with government cheese.
January 8th - King Bando the 3rdordered what is believed to have been the first pizza delivery. Bando, known as both “the Beloved of God” and “Band the Fat” was both benevolent and fond of dining.
October 16th -The vineyard in the Convent of St. Megaera produced a jet black wine, so dark that it did not even reflect light. “It’s not a bad vintage,” wrote the Sister Cellarer, “but it is odd. It looks like tar in the glass. People don’t like to drink it, because it’s so odd.” Today, the convent has duplicated this phenomenon exactly four times in a century, and the wine is highly sought after by collectors for its unusual appearance.
August 20th - A fire swept through the city’s notorious red light district. Property damage was surprisingly minimal, owing to an extremely well organized response by the Notorious Sisterhood, a guild of prostitutes who sprang into action with water barrels and hoses. These scantily clad firefighters are credited with saving the city from a much larger blaze, and were awarded a medal of valor by the Queen. The details of the meeting between Madame Organza, leader of the Notorious Sisterhood, and the monarch are not recorded, but apparently they maintained a close correspondence for many years.
May 30th - The notorious Croaking Murderer left his first known victim. The Croaker, as the press dubbed him, was so named because a seamstress in the apartment next to the victim’s reported hearing him talking in a raspy, croaking voice. His victims were slain with a peculiar instrument, which police were unable to identify. “Like a tearing claw,” said one source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But only one.”
July 28th - Famed horticulturalist Caesar Andrew introduced the Saber Yucca, a form of yucca with foot-long spines. Saber Yuccas became popular as a form of home defense, but was also renowned for its magnificent white flower spikes. Many cultivars have been bred from the Saber Yucca, and some notable specimens include “Wall of Blades” and “Glory.”
October 11th - The Obsidian Laws were passed. These laws restricted the sales of black mirrors of all varieties and remain on the books to this day.
August 22nd - The tranquilizer Indigone was first used to anesthetize patients undergoing surgery. For many years, it could only be isolated from the droppings of Indigo Woodpeckers, leading to hundreds of captive breeding programs, but eventually was synthesized in the lab.
September 18th - The Great Mime Uprising. In the quiet hours just before dawn, an armed group of mimes descended upon the city, trapping soldiers in invisible boxes and garroting innocent bystanders.
July 25th - An end came to the ill-advised “Mime Accords.” Attempts had been made by the crown to negotiate with the silent masterminds behind the Mime Uprising. Interpreters, diplomats, and a few loyalist mimes were sent in an effort to negotiate. On this day, the last of the diplomats returned, badly injured by invisible dog bites, and reported that the mimes were quite mad and wanted an end to all who spoke beneath the sun. Most of the interpreters were dead and the loyalist mimes had been executed as traitors. The ban on mimes within the city limits was made permanent and further negotiations were judged to be unprofitable.
July 27th - The birthday of Henrietta Mohly. This extraordinarily long-lived woman took up photography in her twenties, and produced many iconic portraits for various institutions. At the age of 102, she published “A Life In Photos,” which spanned nearly a century of her work, and documented many of the changes that society had undergone. In the foreword, she wrote “It is perhaps foolish for one who has been given so long to work on her art to wish that she had taken it up sooner, and yet I do. If I had a camera in the cradle, I could have documented many moments that now exist only in memory. And memory, as we all learn to our sorrow, is fragile and failing, while the cold light of film stays pure.” Mohly passed away at the age of 107. Her photos live on.
Date unknown - Eloisa Mahoney, who founded the Mahoney Glass Company, was commissioned to create a rose window for the Cathedral of the Madonna of Leaves. It was twenty-six feet tall and contained over seven thousand individual pieces. It also caused headaches and eyestrain if viewed for more than ten minutes at a stretch, and so curtains were installed within the cathedral and the window was only revealed during times of special celebration.
May 7th - Experimental gardener Ethan Roswell created the World’s Largest Terrarium. It spanned four city blocks and included its own working railway. Various parties suggested that it was more like a really large greenhouse than a terrarium, but were escorted from the premises by the Terrarium’s scale-model standing army.
September 3rd - A weed grew on the edge of a path in the Royal Botanical Gardens. Anyone approaching the weed was filled with steadily increasing dread. Only the strongest souls could get within ten feet of it, and even they were seized with fits of nausea and shaking.
November 10th - It is the birthday of Zee and Zed, conjoined twins. Billed as “the Double Miracle,” Zee and Zed were joined along the back, a rarity in this already rare condition. Zee and Zed worked in a carnival sideshow for a number of years before Zed’s extraordinary powers of stock prediction allowed them to make enough money to buy out the sideshow. They devoted the rest of their lives to ensuring quality working conditions among carnival workers, before passing away peacefully at the age of 74.
May 26th - The Bridge of Monks fell down again. It took somewhat longer to get up this time, and required some assistance from a nearby railroad trestle.
Date unknown - The Griddle squash, so named for patches of rind that develop grid-like cross-hatching, was introduced. The 8-pound red fruit are teardrop-shaped, with thick orange flesh that is sweet and strongly squash-flavored. A beautiful variety in the fall garden, and a good keeper for winter eating.
August 5th - It is the birthday of the potter Nagoya. In an era of extremely baroque craftsmanship, his pots were simple, well-balanced, and had understated glazes. Occasionally one would have a handle or a lid. The pots were widely copied but rarely duplicated. His work sold for extraordinary prices in the city, but he nevertheless took his wares to the local farmer’s market and sold them for five and ten dollars apiece, because he felt that to do otherwise would be to give the pots more grandeur than he was comfortable with. He died at the age of 97.
Date unknown - A rain of freezing Holsteins fell on the city and was the most expensive weather event to ever strike the city until the silver thaw of 1948.
March 28th - The Black Beast was seen again in the city. It emerged from under the Bridge of Monks and frightened several passers-by, who described it as man-sized, faceless, and having either a large cloak or wings.
April 23rd - The Dippity-Doo Candy Company was formed in the city of Troyzantium. It was widely praised for its unusual savory flavor and almost fizzy texture. The discovery that it was using unfiltered water directly from the algae flats harmed sales enormously. Dippity-Doo began advertising a serving of vegetables in every bag, which led to some small recovery in sales, but eventually the health inspectors were forced to step in. Dippity-Doo was sold at auction for barely enough to pay its creditors and the founders fled the country.
July 7th - The Black Beast reappeared, swinging from lightposts in the streets of the Western Quarter. Unfortunately for the Beast, one of the lights was not firmly screwed to its base and it fell over, taking the Beast with it. The Beast struck the ground, flapped about sadly a few times, before flumphing away--apparently unhurt, but deeply embarrassed.
September 24th - The folklorist Vincent Mather published the first of a dozen collections of fairy tales, gathered from all over the world. The first book was called “The Prince and the Sausage,” and owing to somewhat baffling marketing choices, the series came to be called “The Fairy Sausages.”
October 6th - The infamous Scarecrow Paper was released, which detailed a study finding that approximately one in six scarecrows are alive and capable of conscious thought. Reasons for this are wildly variable, ranging from rogue golem-makers, stray bits of magic, and proximity to Echo Harbor.
October 9th - Thaddeus Mackelwhite landed a very small submarine while fishing on a tributary of the Echo River. This submarine was crewed by a somewhat confused individual who had invented the device in order to research animal life underwater, and had attempted to collect Mr. Mackelwhite’s lure as a specimen. The catch was later confirmed by the Echo Fisheries Association as the largest submersible ever caught on the river. Mr. Mackelwhite received a small certificate and a beer.
October 16th - Thaddeus Mackelwhite landed a seventy-two pound steelhead while fishing on a tributary of the Echo River. This record-breaking fish was later confirmed by the Echo Fisheries Association. Mr. Mackelwhite received a small certificate and a beer.