The Drowning Fountain
Across from the Emperor's Palace is the Imperium-honored Drowning Fountain. Many lives had been ruined and several lost during the time it took for the Fountain to get where it currently is, but most historians agree it was worth it. The history of the Fountain is required knowledge for officers in the navy and is often told and re-told by Ministers and other Important Persons when speaking to the public for added flair. Everybody already knows the stories, and one shouldn't be ashamed of making up another. We've all heard the real ones by now anyway.
The Fountain itself was built by the Royal Architectural and Engineering Services Company, the first actual business to wrongly flaunt itself as being endorsed and supported by the Imperium's government. Laws to prosecute such businesses had not yet been passed, so the firm had nothing to fear until the Emperor ordered them to remodel his personal washroom to prove their so-called endorsement. The drafters and engineers quickly went to work, and by the end of the first week they had made a giant hole in the ceiling of the palace. Several of the government officials' offices had been destroyed in what the company claimed to be a side-effect of the washroom's expansion, but was really a crane operation gone horribly wrong. The Emperor, being an exceptionally stupid one, didn't complain about the emptying out of the offices. As a result the Public Health and Sanitation, as well as half of the Education Departments, were closed down for the rest of the Emperor's reign.
It took a month, but the Emperor's new washroom was finally complete. The crowing achievement of the project was the tub itself, that featured both cold and hot water, an engineering accomplishment beat out only by the extensive plumbing that now ran through most of the entire building. The firm had ordered pipes to be rolled somewhere overseas, but in an oversight of forgetting unit conversion they came back much too long. After several long nights of checking and re-checking floor plans of the palace, a plumbing arrangement had finally been found. Nothing had to be knocked down or ripped up (extensively), so the Emperor gave it his paws-up and the washroom was finished. When the Emperor gave his new bathtub a test run, he asked his personal assistants to let him wash by himself. Education Department officials later claimed that it was probably to let him sing. Unfortunately, the Emperor had bubbled up the water a tad too much and was quickly overwhelmed by soap suds. In an attempt to get out of the quickly filling tub, he lost his balance on the slippery tile and fell back into the water, where he drowned.
The Royal Architectural and Engineering Services Company was blamed for the fiasco, the argument being that the tile floor was much too smooth. The company members were tried in the High Courts and found guilty of beastslaughter. Instead of being sentenced to death like nearly everyone was for any crime, the Company was nationalized and thereby condemned to do community service work for the rest of its existence. The first order made by the new Emperor was to change the tile flooring of the washroom, and the second to install a fountain in a local park.
The fountain plans were made up and the contractors procured, and surprisingly the whole construction job was done in one night. Of course, the Company installed it in the wrong place, in the middle of the palace's own front lawn, and spitefully placed a statue of a bathtub in the structure of the fountain. The morning after the job the Company members were found and killed in their homes by the Emperor's personal guard.
The Drowning Fountain stands today as a testament to the Imperium's ingenuity and engineering prowess, as well as the stupidity of the Emperor. Palace officials claim that if you drown the current Emperor in the fountain you get a wish, but there has yet to be validation of the rumor.