The Hidden Almanac Wiki

Echo Harbor uses a calendar of named years, believing that numbered years are "easier to catch" than named years. Unfortunately, we don't currently have a way of knowing how these years are ordered, or what scale of time they cover.

Year of Anarchy

  • April 3rd - A train passing by Echo Harbor derailed, causing several tanker cars to overturn and breach their contents. As the train was carrying large quantities of pasteurized milk, this was not dangerous, but rapidly became foul. The scent of curdled milk was described by several prominent citizens as “vile” and “worse than that time with the sardine men.”

Year of Anguish

  • May 28th - All the wasps in Echo Harbor came together and built a single nest over the town hall. It was five stories tall and made of chewed paper. Several prominent citizens attempted to knock it down with a hose and were taken to the hospital with severe allergic reactions to stings. After a week of careful negotiations with the Wasp Queen, the leaders of Echo Harbor announced that a settlement had been reached. The wasps left in the night. Janitors charged with dismantling the nest reported enormous letters inside the nest, written in wax, reading “WE WILL RETURN FOR THE SACRIFICE.”

Year of Arsenic

  • November 9th - A sphinx statue reappeared in downtown Echo Harbor. The sphinx had appeared previously in the Year of Mud-Turtles and stayed for eleven days before vanishing. This time, it stayed for ten days before vanishing. Local records were studied, and it seems that the same statue has appeared several times before, staying for fourteen, thirteen, and twelve days respectively. The chronological distance between the appearances may also be shrinking, but the peculiarities of naming in the Echo Harbor calendar make it difficult to determine. Several prominent citizens complained about traffic being snarled by “that damn sphinx again” but the highway department was glad to get its traffic cones back.

Year of Baking Earth

  • February 26th - All the weathervanes in the town of Echo Harbor vanished. They were replaced by effigies of the Laughing God, wrought in obsidian and black iron. These weathervanes were removed, as their shocking visages proved detrimental to bird migration, and several years would pass before weathervanes were again common in Echo Harbor.

Year of the Black Egg

  • May 12th - The entire population of the village of Echo Harbor lost the power of speech. This phenomenon lasted for almost a week, during which the sale of whiteboards and dry erase markers soared and more had to be brought in from the city. Visitors were still able to talk, unless they spent the night in Echo Harbor, whereupon they too woke unable to speak. Several prominent citizens attempt to communicate with the press, but could only sing like birds. After six days, voices returned. One citizen described it as “oddly restful, actually.”

Year of the Blind Owl

  • September 27th - Hrolgar Hrolfsson set sail across the Wine-Dark Sea in a ship built of dead men's nails. Unfortunately the ship sank within minutes because dead men's nails are not waterproof.

Year of Blindness

  • July 11th - It was on this day that the coastal town of Echo Harbor ceased to exist for nearly five hours. Roads leading into Echo Harbor instead diverted to a nearby town called Gant, which hastily put up barricades. Several prominent citizens of Gant said, "You know what those Echo Harbor people are like, with the weirdness and the chanting and the bees." Delivery trucks and a few brave tourists were baffled, but the city blinked back into existence slightly before sunset. Echo Harbor officials would only say that they knew where they were the whole time.

Year of Blistering Snow

  • May 30th - A voice rang out from a cistern in the town of Echo Harbor. Sometimes it laughed, sometimes it screamed, sometimes it appeared to be reciting poetry in unknown languages. The cistern was hurriedly bricked up by the local park service. When asked if someone might be trapped in the cistern, one prominent citizen said “We can only hope.”

Year of the Blunt Ox

  • October 2nd - The last reported case of the strangling ritual was carried out in the town of Echo Harbor. The victims of the strangling ritual were three graduate students who had traveled to Echo Harbor specifically to research the ritual.

Year of Boiling Earth

  • January 17th - The ice broke in Echo Harbor, shattering upward as if struck from beneath by the tail of some enormous beast. Ice-fishing houses were destroyed and several prominent citizens were lost in the freezing water. “Bit early this year,” one fisherman observed. “It don’t usually do that until some time in March.”

Year of Bone Shadows

  • June 5th - A storm crashed into the beaches of Echo Harbor, eroding large quantities of sand and throwing things from the deep ocean far up on shore. Few of these were pleasant to look up. Several prominent citizens engaged in the clean-up, which involved throwing the things back, occasionally with apologies.

Year of Broken Ghosts

  • February 28th -The town of Echo Harbor found itself briefly landlocked. Instead of a harbor, it had a jungle. Strange scented breezes blew into town and wild animals could be heard roaring from the depths. Several prominent citizens vanished in an attempt to explore the jungle, which vanished as suddenly as it had come three days later.

Year of Broken Plows

  • January 29th - A shirtless man wandered into Echo Harbor. Despite the extreme cold, he showed no signs of hypothermia, but walked to the center of town and began screaming at a pile of bricks for several minutes. Then he left. The pile of bricks was later burned, just in case, at the order of several prominent citizens.

Year of Broken Sunsets

  • April 23rd - A violin began to play by itself in an attic in Echo Harbor. It played many popular songs of fifty years before, for nearly three days, before several prominent citizens pelted it with requests and it stopped in a huff. The total destruction of the building by a freak piano-fall the next day was almost certainly coincidence.

Year of Burning Foam

  • September 17th - Every egg in Echo Harbor was revealed to contain lotus blossoms instead of yolks. The egg whites remained intact. Omelets became extremely problematic, though duck eggs remained unaffected. Several prominent citizens reported that the lotus flowers were bright yellow. New eggs imported from outlying farms were normal until midnight, whereupon they, too, contained lotus blossoms. Three florists and a professor of classics were ritually burned in an effort to appease the eggs, which eventually returned to normal.

Year of Burning Orchids

  • June 24th - Unpleasant laughter began to come up through the drains of the village of Echo Harbor. It persisted at such length that plumbers had to be dispatched, followed by more plumbers, followed by sewer workers, followed by mercenaries. Eventually the source was traced to the caverns underneath Echo Harbor, and a trick of acoustics that was causing the laughter from below to enter the sewer system. Several prominent citizens gave their lives to close the breach, as the thing beneath had been fattened on the blood of plumbers. It is probably still there, but compared to the things you could worry about in Echo Harbor, it is a minor concern.

Year of Burning Reeds

  • May 20th - In the town of Echo Harbor the skeleton of every sleeping citizen awoke. The skeletons removed their flesh as one would a coat, and walked into the street, where they gathered in large groups. They gestured to one another for nearly an hour, then returned to their bodies, put their flesh back on, and went back to sleep. Security cameras captured this event and several prominent scientists set to work analyzing the footage. They have determined that the gestures represented a complex sign language, possibly coupled with tones made by striking bones together. “It is clear that they are communicating,” said one scientist, “and on a matter of some urgency, but we are no closer to deciphering what was said.” Since each of the scientists contained one of the skeletons in question, there was some concern as to what might be observing the research, but no one has been able to come up with a way to avoid this that was not considered inhumane.

Year of the Burnt Harvest

  • October 7th - Eleven preserved bodies were pulled from a bog near the town of Echo Harbor. They were extraordinarily preserved and appeared to have been ritual sacrifices. Ten were dated to over four thousand years ago, and the eleventh was wearing a wrist-watch.

Year of Chained Tigers

  • May 14th - A mysterious idol was pulled up in a fisherman’s net in the town of Echo Harbor. The fisherman looked at its terrible carvings, its suggestion of fangs, at the tiny humanoid figure crudely rendered worshiping at its feet, and threw it back overboard. When asked as to why he didn’t bring it back to the town where his family lived, he said “What are you, stupid?”

Year of Coiled Chains

  • June 19th - A boatload of tea was dumped into Echo Harbor. It was intended as a protest against unfair taxation, but, this being Echo Harbor, the tea promptly turned into screaming eels. The protesters said that they meant to do that, but several prominent historians point out that those who lived within earshot of the eels rapidly became disillusioned with the revolution.

Year of Cracked Tiles

  • June 30th - Every bottle of wine in Echo Harbor went inexplicably sour. Some popped their corks, others merely quietly turned in their bottles. Beer foxed in the barrel and champagne bottles exploded, resulting in minor injuries to several prominent citizens. Several Echo Harbor breweries went out of business and the town’s only vineyard suffered financial setbacks that took years to recover from. As Echo Harbor is not a good location for a grapes in any event, outsiders asked why the vineyard would even try to rebuild. Locals looked at them pityingly.

Year of the Dripping Moon

  • September 23rd - seven hundred and fifty men, women, and children were burned alive in a giant Wicker Man in the town of Echo Harbour. Investigations were immediately launched and the Echo Harbour fire department fined several prominent citizens for burning without a permit.

Year of the Driven Stain

  • November 29th - A man appeared in Echo Harbor. Several prominent citizens reported that he didn’t do anything, exactly, but there was something deeply weird about him nonetheless. He asked several unusual questions — “Does everyone here have bones?” and “The chairs, are they attached?” — then cried “The name of the game is objects that float!” and ran off toward the sea.

Year of Drunken Leaves

  • November 12th - Every person in the town of Echo Harbor turned into a statue. This state lasted for one hour, thirty-three minutes, and then everyone turned back. Several prominent citizens described it as “restful” and “not all that unexpected.”

Year of the Dying Bees

  • December 9th - It rained fish for three days in the town of Echo Harbor. Somewhat unusually for this type of weather, the Piscean precipitation was localized over the police station, the theatre, and the homes of several prominent citizens. Dead fish piled up in the gutters, attracting a great many raccoons. The fish were later identified as neon tetras.

Year of Empty Closets

  • March 6th - Every person in the town of Echo Harbor developed terrible acne. It was so sudden and so severe that doctors at first believed it was measles. Eventually it became clear that it was merely pimples. “I am seventy-five years old,” said one prominent citizen, in deep disgust. “I am done with pimples. I have dealt with eldritch horrors and holes in time and space, but this is too far!” Eventually, with the application of witch hazel and antibiotics, it mostly cleared up. The source was presumed magical, but never determined.

Year of Exhalation

  • November 5th - The city of Echo Harbor was suddenly draped in shrouds of a thin, gauzy fabric. This fabric extended in all directions, falling from rooftops and gutters, layers upon layers. It was easily pushed aside and proved more of a nuisance than anything else. A few prominent citizens remarked on it’s distressing resemblance to giant cobwebs, but of course there are no known spiders that large. The fabric was shoveled away and recycled into low-cost paving material.

Year of Extra Moons

  • June 22nd - A large dung beetle entered the city of Echo Harbor, made its way through the streets to a geodesic dome that had been erected over the local museum of science and industry, and rolled it away. The dung beetle was described as being about the size of a garbage truck, and the geodesic dome was several stories tall, but of course dung beetles are very strong for their size. The museum regretted the loss of its replica twin-engine plane and a working cotton gin, but did not attempt to pursue. Several prominent citizens were quoted as saying “Well, it was really inevitable,” and “What did they think would happen?” The whereabouts of the dung beetle at this time are unknown.

Year of Fireflies

  • January 26th - All the clocks in Echo Harbor set themselves to 3:33. If the time was changed, they would reset themselves within the hour. This persisted for twelve days. No one knows what happened at 3:33 on the twelfth day, and many fear to speculate.

Year of Frost

  • October 18th - The town of Echo Harbor was placed under strict quarantine. For eleven days, no living thing larger than a seagull was allowed in or out. Several prominent citizens were shot attempting to approach the barricade. When asked for an explanation, the Prime Minister said only “They know what they did.” After eleven days, the quarantine was lifted, and the details of the incident placed under seal in the Royal Archives.

Year of the Frozen Star

  • October 21st - Everyone had that nightmare where your teeth fall out and you can't get to a dentist.

Year of Gallows

  • June 10th - Everyone in Echo Harbor was very, very angry. Outsiders reported feeling a bit unsettled. “I mean, they didn’t say anything, but it was like the air was vibrating around them,” said one tourist. “I think I’m going to Troyzantium next year.” Several prominent citizens said, between clenched teeth, that everything was FINE, just FINE, thank you for ASKING.

Year of Giants

  • March 20th - The town of Echo Harbor suffered a brief cessation of gravity. Nothing over five pounds was affected, but the air filled with dead leaves, litter, rodents, and a number of small dogs. Other than making sure that the dogs were brought inside before they could drift away, the townsfolk seemed unperturbed. “It was about that time of year,” said one prominent citizen being interviewed. “We’ll take steps. It’ll be fine.” Whatever steps were taken, gravity re-exerted itself within the week. The bodies of eleven tourists were later found in a peat bog, covered in delicately tattooed equations describing the gravitational constant of the universe. This was probably a coincidence.

Year of Hides

  • June 13th - A community theatre performance of The King in Yellow was staged in the village of Echo Harbor. It ran for three nights, and at the end the players collapsed to the stage. Medical examiners announced that the actors had been dead, probably since the first night. Several prominent critics described the performance as “not bad for community theatre” and “good quality for an amateur production.”

Year of Indigo Moons

  • April 11th - The fog around Echo Harbor began to play a distant, chilly music. “It sounds a bit like harp,” said one prominent citizen. “Something with strings, but a not a plunky thing, like a dulcimer.” “Woodwinds, definitely,” said another citizen. It is unknown at this time whether or not the music of the fog was different for every listener, or whether people simply have very limited ability to determine the instruments that cause things. The cold music persisted in the early mornings for several weeks, fading slowly, and at last was gone. “It was an odd thing,” said yet another prominent citizen. “It didn’t fade like it was getting farther away, but like the musician was getting tired. Just a couple of notes here and there, and then a pause, and then another couple notes. It was sad. I mean, a lot of things around here are creepy, and you don’t really notice, but this was…sad.”

Year of Ink

  • April 4th - Every manhole cover in the town of Echo Harbor went missing. The open shafts appeared to overlook an unknown desert, where it was broad daylight. Sandstorms raged for several weeks, coating the streets with sand, and then the manhole covers reappeared as suddenly as they had gone.

Year of the Moaning Stair

  • February 3rd - the ghosts of a thousand skeletal whales drifted through the skies of Echo Harbor. Onlookers described more than a dozen species, from orcas to blue whales. The whale ghosts floated a few dozen feet off the ground and passed through the upper stories of several buildings. Several prominent citizens described this experience as “Unsettling and rather sad, but what are you going to do?” The whales vanished by the next morning.

Year of Veins

  • February 11th - A sphinx statue appeared in the center of Echo Harbor. It was about twenty feet long and crushed several food trucks and a parking meter when it appeared. It was technically a Criosphinx, in that it had the head of a ram rather than a human, but it was popularly referred to as “that damn sphinx statue that is mucking up traffic downtown.” Several prominent citizens chiseled their initials into the beast’s hindquarters. It vanished eleven days later, taking with it the remains of a gyro truck and approximately thirty orange traffic cones.

Year of Old Dreams

  • October 14th - A little old lady sat down at a café in Echo Harbor, chatting with locals. “You’re so lucky to live in this lovely city,” she is reported to have said. “One sees so much evil in small towns.” This terrifying apparition stayed for nearly four hours, occasionally knitting, before she left. “Said that her nephew Raymond was meeting her here,” said one prominent citizen. “The clouds turned into headless ghosts and performed unspeakable rites and she didn’t even blink. Said it was so interesting what people got up to these days.” The city was placed on high alert for a week, but she did not reappear.

Year of Paper Dreams

  • February 25th - The town of Echo Harbor was shaken by a severe windstorm. Shingles were blown from houses and the city hall was blown completely out of this existence and into an alternate dimension, briefly visible, where eyeless sheep roamed the streets, breathing in unison. Several prominent citizens were inside the city hall at the time, and are lost, presumed eaten by sheep.

Year of Scars

  • October 30th - Every seagull in the coastal town of Echo Harbor suddenly went insane. Most of them simply rocked back and forth and moaned to themselves, but a few became violent and had to be dispatched by authorities. Several prominent citizens reported that the seagulls had been feeding on some peculiar thing that had washed up on shore some days earlier.

Year of Shattered Glass

  • March 5th - An office worker in Echo Harbor opened a file on her computer, only to find herself gazing into the terrible face of the God of Machines. The God attempted to reach through her eyes into the wet synapses of her brain, clearly intending to reprogram her to serve the God’s unknowable needs. Through a superhuman effort of will, she managed to close the file. The office IT department told her to file a bug report, but were unable to reproduce the experience.

Year of Sober Thoughts

  • April 14th - The town of Echo Harbor found its rain gutters filled with enormous gray moths. They were over five inches wide and perched throughout the city, fanning their wings. Several prominent citizens said that the sound of their wings resembled someone whispering “Hush…” over and over again. It was somewhat unsettling, and the town kept very quiet for the rest of the day, just in case.

Year of Songbird Tongues

  • April 25th - All the cats in Echo Harbor appeared wearing masks. It was troubling, but everyone ignored it, because the alternatives seemed unpleasant.

Year of Starlings

  • October 3rd - Snails overran Echo Harbor. The snails were about the size of a man’s hand and had strange words written on their shells. Several prominent citizens worked out that if you laid the snails next to each other, the words formed complete sentences in a dead language. Scholars were still piecing together the story thus formed when the snails vanished again, leaving only slime and chewed leaves in their wake.

Year of Striking

  • March 14th - The Starheart Brewing Company of Echo Harbor introduced its Unspeakable Beer. This brew had a one-in-nineteen fatality rate, but was described by several prominent citizens as “robust” and “not too hoppy.” Later incarnations decreased the lethality, but at the expense of flavor, and New Unspeakable Beer was never as popular as its predecessor.

Year of Unending Rain

  • October 15th - A prominent citizen of the town of Echo Harbor entered a single, perfect orchid in the Royal Flower Show. It bloomed for one day, before the eyes of the judges, and sent them reeling away, weeping for all that they had lost in their lives. The orchid was granted the highest honors, and the senior judge said, through tears, “We have wasted so many days, so many sunsets…” He made his way from the flower show and called his estranged son. The orchid withered and was gone by nightfall. No one has been able to determine the species or genus of the orchid, although observers confirm that it was pink.

Year of Unknowing

  • December 7th - Folklorist Seth Wilmarth vanished. He had been researching ancient legends in Echo Harbor and had written long letters to his colleagues claiming that he was close to proving the existence of an ancient cult's survival, and hinting at abominations that might lurk in the woods around the town. Then he sent a final message requesting that his colleagues come to visit him and bring all of their correspondence. Only one was able to get time off of work and came, but found that Wilmarth had vanished and some kind of eldritch abomination was wearing his face as a mask. "It was all very unpleasant," said the colleague, who asked not to have his name written down where things might be listening. "It didn't pretend to be him very well and then it ran off with all the letters. Of course, I made copies of all of them before I came. I'm not an idiot." Sadly, the copied letters were mostly nonsensical. "Even before he was replaced with a monster out of space and time, Wilmarth was a really crap researcher," noted his colleague. "Nobody ever figured out how he got tenure."

Year of Unwound Chains

  • August 11th - The residents of Echo Harbor awoke to discover that they all had the heads of ravens. It was unsettling. This lasted for several days, during which many shiny objects were hoarded, before going away again. Several prominent citizens said that being a raven was oddly soothing but the change in vision was troubling. “I kept ducking to avoid magnetic fields,” said one. “It was kind of a problem.”

Year of Veins

  • January 22nd - The people of Echo Harbor were troubled by dreams of a black elk with antlers of blue lightning. Peculiar hoofprints were found in the snow outside the homes of the afflicted. The dreams proceeded intermittently for nearly a week, then stopped. No one died or was even particularly traumatized by this, which several prominent citizens described as “unusually benign,” and “weak sauce.”

Year of Winged Horses

  • August 24th - An evil snow fell on Echo Harbor. When asked what made this snow evil, several prominent citizens answered that first, it was August, and second, the snow knew what it had done. It melted within three days, and the water, which was widely considered to be at least somewhat malicious, ran into the storm system and onward to the sea.

Year of Withered Grass

  • August 18th - Everyone in Echo Harbor woke in the night for just a moment, convinced that someone else was in the bed with them. A great number of these people were correct, but it was a long time before they got back to sleep afterwards.

Year of Withering

  • February 12th - Every animal in the Echo Harbor Zoo fell into a deep sleep, lasting nearly six days. They could not be roused by any method, but appeared to take no harm from their slumber. Even those species with metabolic rates that required eating every few minutes, such as hummingbirds and shrews, were untroubled. At the end of their sleep, they woke, thirsty but otherwise unharmed.

Year of Woven Metal

  • January 4th - An enormous serpent emerged from the public library in downtown Echo Harbor. The serpent was some eighty feet long and nearly five feet in diameter. Its scales were iridescent green. It slithered through the downtown, occasionally sliding up light posts to look around. The edges of the beast’s scales were razor sharp, so while it did not appear hostile, it left a trail of gouges in cars and buildings, and crushed a number of trash cans, mailboxes, and outdoor café tables under its weight. Being familiar with such manifestations, pedestrians mostly got out of the way of the serpent. The police department was called and drove ahead of the snake with the sirens on to clear people out of the way.  Several prominent citizens said that it didn’t look angry or hungry, just as if it were going somewhere. It eventually reached the waterfront, slithered into the water, and swam away. The public library, upon investigation, had a volume of “The Hidden World of Reptiles” open on the reading table. A shaggy man in rags, with an enormous beard, was sitting beside it. The man, after shaving, was revealed to be Librarian Neil McAllen, who had been lost in a book years earlier. He was taken to the hospital and treated for dehydration and malnutrition. Unfortunately, the details of his time in the book were never revealed, as he flatly refused to ever be in a book again, or even a newspaper clipping that might someday end up in a book—or worse, microfiche—and so refused all interviews until his dying day. All that is known is that the snake was named “Earnest.” A few of Earnest’s scales were found in the street, but attempts to analyze them showed that they were made of extraordinarily constructed paper mache.