Well of course you donít, but you might remember my Grandfather. Made the mistake of sending the wrong manuscript to the publishers. Is that a clue?
He was meant to write the official history, kept a more racy version for the family, managed to publish the racy one. Are you with me yet?
Hereís an odd clue. Its 31 December 1398, at least according to some. He Ďdisappearedí in 565. So how come heís my grandfather? Ė thatís something for later. Anyway he died in the year of my birth and Iím 317. Bad year for these parts, heíd managed to get himself conscripted and ended up dead. He might have had the potential for immortality but wasnít immune to too many arrows and very poor armour.
The current date? Ö well thatís disputed. There are some quite near here who insist its somewhere in 801, others, especially the more pompous in this city, insist itís the beginning of the 21st century. Hope youíre keeping up Ė there maybe more clues.
Well that made Granddad 571 when he died. Family rumour is that when he was up one night writing (and we donít know if it was the official or unofficial version) he went to the kitchens looking for a drink. Found something fizzy, being prepared by some Armenians Ė turned out it was part of the search for a philosopherís stone.
So all the males in the family have this problem. We are probably immortal Ė unless we encounter too many arrows. So that, plus a bit of learning from Granddadís mistakes means we tend to avoid two things Ė too public a position (after all someone notices if the emperor hasnít died in 500 years), and writing official histories. Did I write emperor? Oh well another clue.
So we do menial jobs, where no one really notices you havenít died yet, and tend to move around, even swop jobs as me and my 3 brothers donít look particularly alike. But at least one of us Ė and it is me, at the moment, in case you hadnít guessed Ė keeps up the family tradition of recording our times. The other problem with semi-immortality is you tend to lose much sense of loyalty to a state or a ruler. So one of my 3 brothers is already working with them Ė you know them, over there Ė and another is a merchant with a real interest in the legends of immortality. Hyperborea, the Isles of the Blest, that sort of place. The final one is a bit of the black sheep Ė he became a priest.
Dad disappeared a while back (another family habit), went off with some Venetians eastwards, he didnít come back but that doesnít mean much.
Anyway, this is the ongoing secret history of this city, youíre the reader. Thatís clear, more soon.