A brief outline of relevant events.
Lord Macartney's embassy to China. His ship, the Lion, becomes the first Western vessel to chart the Bay of Zhitao. Macartney refuses to perform the ritual obesiance, the kow tow, to the Emperor of China and the British expedition is forced to leave.
January: The French frigate Amitie and a dragon egg are captured by William Laurence and the HMS Reliant. One week later, Temeraire hatches and is harnessed and named by Laurence. Laurence appoints Lt. Tom Riley as Reliant's captain.
February: Three weeks after Temeraire's hatching, Reliant arrives at Funchal, Madeira. After spending two weeks on a transport from the vicinity of Madeira to Britain, Laurence reports to Aerial Command in London. After spending a night at his family's home in Nottinghamshire, he reports to the Loch Laggan covert, where he and Temeraire begin training with Berkley and Maximus under Celeritas's supervision.
September 29-30: Excidium leaves Dover for Cadiz. He arrives two weeks later, and the British begin their attack on the Spanish.
December 2: Napoleon defeats Russia and Austria at the Battle of Austerlitz.
February 18: Chinese New Year. Feng Li attempts to murder William Laurence.
October 14: Prussia defeated at the Battle of Jena-Auerstadt.
November 4: In a series of surprise attacks on the road, Napoleon defeats the Russian army before it reaches Warsaw. Laurence leaves the Prussian army and heads for home.
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