Blade Maidens: Closed Fist, Open Hand – 4

“Your highness,

I apologize for the unexpected missive, but an urgent matter arose in the town. As you know, one of our primary sources of revenue is the taxation of foodstuffs. We rely on purchasing the bulk of our stores from both our neighboring settlements within your principality and territories further abroad. Thus, levying taxes on both the raw crops and meat as well as the meals made with them at our smattering of inns is our most reliable way to earn the coin in order to repay your gracious support and defense of our lands.

This past week, meals were provided in the town square. There was no warning. No notice. Simply a pair of figures with steaming cauldrons and full bowls. No fee was asked, no coin was offered. Not in compensation nor in tax. By the time I had received word of the activity and assembled my household guard, their set-up was gone. And not a single one of my subjects would share where they went. No matter the punishment. They returned three days later, and left just as swiftly again.

I’ve stationed a set of guard in the square, waiting for sight of these unwelcome guests. Having spoken to the mayor of Cliffside, he relayed their appearance the month prior. Given their…persistence, I thought it best to alert you and seek your guidance.

Faithfully yours,
Mayor Holden Krantz”

– a letter sent to Holden Cereban, Merchant-Prince of Valfald, dated 5 Sulna, 753