Trial 1: The "Lighting of the Dark" celebration is launched without incident. The 30-trial darkness of Cylus is alleviated somewhat by the burning torches and braziers. The cold is ever-present, however.
Trial 5-10: A particular run of clear skies brings the temperature to dangerous lows and there are a number of deaths from exposure. For the most part, it is the poor and the drunk that are victims, but the level of freezing to the bodies is not consistent. This leads to speculation, and suspicion towards a visiting group of Ellune, another race known to embrace Immortal worship. This is bolstered by the river being blocked by an unusual amount of ice, shutting the mill down again.
Trial 20: The Ellune bring a formal protest to the Tower about persecution. One of their number is found dead in a location where the ritual brazier had gone out. This is not supposed to be able to happen, due to the continual-feed oil system for each unit. It is found to have been blocked up by ice in spite of the presence of the oil. There is a resurgence of resentment both toward, and from, the Ellune, who are held by the general populace to have sacrificed one of their own number to gain reparation concessions from the city. There is never any evidence of this having been proposed, but the rumors persist.
Trial 35: The river is still strangely blocked by ice, even though the temperature has risen considerably with the arrival of the Ashan season. The Ellune, meanwhile have left in a huff, needing to begin their voyage back to cooler waters while the coolness of the season lasts. "Imp Press" publishes an editorial about the evils, both economic and moral, of basing actions on unsubstantiated rumors. But his suggestion that the city risks losing valuable foreign trade through such hasty actions falls mostly on deaf ears.
Trial 42: The temperature takes a sudden bitter plunge, and the "Procession of Recognition" celebration is postponed. The river, only just cleared of ice, is manned by soldiers, to break up the ice and ensure it does not freeze up again. Those chosen for this duty are primarily those in disfavor in their units as punishment. One drowns, one freezes. Both are said to have been drunk. There are rumors of some sort of cover-up in connection with this event, but details are sketchy.
Trial 50: The temperature rises to tolerable levels again, and there is a "Rule by Combat" resulting from the deaths at the river. The causes are suppressed to a large degree, but it comes out that one of the soldiers, probably the one that drowned, was accused of being a "half-breed" Elune. This appears to be based solely on the fact that he was not as bothered by the cold as the other soldiers, which is "why he had to be drowned, and not froze..."
Trial 51: Imp Press launches a scathing condemnation of the racial prejudice connected to the "Rule by Combat". One of his workers is found beaten in an alley the next trial and covered in a half-melted pile of ice chunks. He survives with no lasting injuries, but the Black Guard launches a harsh search for the perpetrators, which only adds to the growing tension.
Trial 60: Three men are arrested as a result of the Black Guard's investigation. Under "questioning", they confess, and are publicly beaten and left naked in the cold in the center of the arena. Imp Press composes a hesitant "Thank-You" toward the Black Guard, but adds that this still falls under the subject of actions taken on questionable facts. The story peters out a few trials later.
Trial 70: A late blizzard postpones the "Procession of Recognition" again. Some begin to wonder if some sort of mystic karma is at work. People begin to whisper that Imp Press may have been right all along. As if in response, the weather clears and warms four trials later, remaining normal for the rest of the cycle. There are still occasional dips in temperature, and some sleet and hail, but this is normal. Imp Press seems to have been vindicated, but does not press the issue with any sort of published "told you so" articles.
Trial 76: The "Procession of Recognition" finally occurs, and an Ellune citizen is among those honored. She suspects that she is being honored as a politically soothing choice, but is wise enough to make no issue of it, or the recent events, and things go off with no more than the usual drunken fights and arrests.
Trial 95: It is noticed that there has been no "Trial of the Promised" thus far this cycle, but folks are willing to accept the previous hostility towards the Ellune to have filled that role. Besides, the preparation for the "Grand Hunt and Roast" are in full swing. Having been so late to begin, there is no desire to distract from it, as it is a favorite of many.
Trial 100: The Great Hunt officially begins. Some think that launching it on the 100th trial of the cycle is a nice change. The weather has warmed, more game is afoot, success of a grand catch seems more likely. This has the downside of causing some citizens to think that the whole stink earlier in the season was somehow "destiny" now, and the moral lessons are suddenly reduced. Imp Press publishes a gentle reminder of what had been learned, and what should be remembered. It has moderate acceptance.
Trial 105: The Roast is one of the best ever. Both in culinary expertise and celebratory gaming and theater.
Trial 110: Within a few trials, there begins to be an alarming number of escalating arguments over whether or not the success of the Hunt and Roast indicated that the previous hostility toward the Ellune was a destined necessity and not an immorality. Other arguments rise over the frustration that some people will not drop this subject at this late point. A strange hostility runs rampant through Etzos, all seeming to stem from this source. There are numerous brawls, deaths, feuds, Rules-by-Combat and Ten-Trial Games as a result.
Trial 130: An Empath is discovered within the city, and is found to have been responsible for the escalation of exaggerated focus on past events, and their tendency to lead to violent confrontations. Many citizens are embarrassed and infuriated to discover how they had been manipulated, and surge of anger toward anyone suspected of using magic falls over the city.
Trial 132: Imp Press launches a quick, preemptive reminder of his past articles about hasty, unsubstantiated actions, deciding to follow it up with a series of similar editorials. There are still a few incidents, but it is not as bad as it might have been.
Trial 133-on: The remainder of the cycle passes with no outlandish events.
...has the following for sale this season:
'Miss Givings', The Wandering Vendor
IRON SHELL BUSH SEEDS: 5-dose packets that allow a brief but significant adrenaline boost, followed by a 2 or 3-break hallucinogenic "trip", for 40gn per packet.
CLAM LEAF RESIN: 3-dose vial of numbing fluid, used for medical purposes, for 25gn per vial. Warning: Using all 3 doses used on the same injury may cause blood poisoning.
IGNIS BEANS: Very high-protein diet supplement. Hard to come by but an outstanding replacement for meat when game is scarce. 1 cup, in a festival-cauldron of stew, will fully replace the meat-based protein for the entire batch.
Can be dried and stored for arcs. 1 pound bags are for sale for 10gn.
"FROSTBITE" POISON: A tonic that quickly reduces body temperature to drastic degrees. Has a medical application for expert medics, but is more commonly used as a debilitating or even paralytic poison. Most commonly administered by skin contact. 4-dose medical vials sell for 80gn. 2 doses are debilitating, 3 doses are paralytic, 4 doses are lethal.
"RUBBERLEGS" POISON: A cream that quickly find its way to the skeleton, destabilizing its structure and allowing them to bend in unbelievable contortions. Those with less than expert training in acrobatics, find it utterly crippling, and can get no leverage for the simplest functions. 2-dose vials sell for 60gn.