The ‘Anvil Almanac’ was intended to be a factual much-shortened condensation of the Winds of War and Winds of Fortune, plus a guide to current Imperial Titles and their current holders. As the House of Seven Mirrors in the League, we published them each event for just over four years - Summer 379 through to Summer 383.
We’ve made all the digital PDFs available, and put together an index of the complete collection of every edition which is linked in this post.
The Almanacs contain clear, concise summaries of all the news carried on the Winds prior to each Anvil Summit. The scope grew over the four years to include various other useful information such as military strength numbers, budget figures, building commission opportunities, and potential Synod mandates. Plus, of course, all the Imperial Titleholders with a note of which were due for elections.
Who might be interested? Players of high politics - wiki-divers - new players - the merely curious? We’re sure they’ll be useful to someone!
Roz (…used to play Lisabetta von Holberg)
Simon (…still plays Severin von Holberg)
You can probably figure out how much work these booklets took, and I thought I’d write some more as an explanation of how we got into doing it. Because my character was going for the Throne, I decided she would take the approach of knowing as much as was humanly possible about everything, so we started writing summaries of all the Winds of War and Fortune before each event. The idea to publish all the titles and who held them came originally from Alexis, because an IC newspaper editor finds it useful to know who to chase down for news. Two seasons later, we figured out it was a relatively short process to turn the Winds summaries into something pretty and saleable as well.
You can see how the content of the Winds (and the number of Imperial Titles!) has expanded over the four years. The OC process got longer and longer, and the print and assembly run took several hours, even with the assistance of Mattmatt, who plays Kaspar von Holberg.
Summer 382 ran very late, and we had real-life work crunches - so we gave up and published the googledoc draft on the dedicated Anvil Almanac FB group The version linked in the index was put together for close advisors and staff of Imperial Offices, hence is branded a bit differently.
Autumn 382 wasn’t printed at all. The one here is an “online exclusive!” By 11am Thursday morning we still couldn’t get it down below 36 pages without rendering the font too small to be legible - it needed to be 32 pages to make the booklet format work properly and we had just plain run out of time.
For the last three seasons, the content was spread across two publications for reasons of space and printing logistics. One dealt with “Imperial Concerns” - ie the Winds - plus valuable analysis from Amy who plays Liesel van Holberg (Master of the Mint) - of all the commissions opportunities, plus a nifty version of the Empire map annotated with income from each territory. The Imperial Titles were split out to a separate section. We didn’t print as many of those because Amy, who did all the selling, reported that there wasn’t as much demand. For those last couple of editions we were summarising around 90,000 words down to around 9,000 for each “Imperial Concerns” section.
Incidentally, after the first couple of seasons, the money was a bit of an irrelevance. If easy money were the object, there were far easier options to make six to ten thrones - eg selling home-made cake, or home-brewed alcohol. It was mostly a labour of love.
The design inspiration is from William Morris’s publishing house, the Kelmscott Press. Morris is one of my heroes - “have nothing in your house which is not either useful, or you think is beautiful”. In fact the fonts are based on Morris’s fonts.
It was a substantial additional challenge to present structured information in a way that was highly usable yet also looked IC!
I for one, always bought a copy, even on the event when I couldn’t be there (someone went for me!), and my group always knew they could come to me for current information because they knew I’d have the Almanac!
I understand it couldn’t continue forever (I saw via FB just how much work it took you lot!), so just want to say thank you for continuing to do it as long as you did