Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day Two-Eighty-Nine: The power of correspondence

WE HAVE SUPPLIES. Holy lords in heaven and such, diary, we have the supplies.

After I gave that stirring speech yesterday, I figured I'd best follow up on my words with action. If we're leaving Friday, we need supplies. If we don't have supplies, we're gonna have to walk a long bloody way. And then dig holes in the dirt somewhere, and live in those holes.

Chances are good we wouldn't even get that far. Probably be eaten by a sloth as we wandered across the plains. Doi.

Yesterday evening, and MOST of today, was relegated to letters. Tons and tons of letters, all directed at Gok's aides. The king's still out bugging his sentries, but I'm betting his assistants have ways to get news to him, and Grylock slyly confirmed as much. Didn't give any particulars, 'cause he's still loyal to his king, but I think he's as anxious as me to have supplies for our trip out into the wilds.

SO. Letters. I wrote letters. I wrote the same letter about a dozen times, each with the same list of supplies included:

- A minimum of eight sheltered wagons to carry us across the plains
- Beasts of burden to pull those wagons, preferably giant frogs
- Enough supplies to last us for two months of travel
- Spare clothes, including cold-weather gear for the coming winter
- Seeds, so we can begin planting as soon as we find a good place to settle
- Digging equipment - shovels, picks, ploughs, that sorta thing
- Architectural plans for building a house
- Tools for putting together said house - hammers, saws, a few ladders - maybe a lathe, other such things (Libby added a BUNCH of stuff to this - suffice it to say that I dunno what half the tools are for)
- General travel gear - water skins, utility belts, cloaks, pouches, blankets, bedding, other creature comforts
- Weapons - mostly bows for hunting, though some swords and spears for close-ranged combat as well (nobles are gonna have to learn how to do this stuff, I guess)
- Lotsa money, however much can be spared

I ended each letter reminding Gok that my information regarding the shadowy thingers was invaluable, and probably worth a lot more than what I was asking. The whole letter was politely structured 'n stuff.

But there were a lot of 'em.

I knew one letter wouldn't get a quick response, and if we're supposed to be out by TOMORROW then I NEEDED a quick response. So, yeah, I made many copies, and sent Edmund out with each new letter to give to Gok's aides for quick delivery. Figured they would annoy him into giving us what we wanted.

Took a dozen letters for Libby to realize a flaw: the aides could simply NOT deliver the letters to Gok. That was an option, and a stymieing one at that.

We tried a different tactic. All of the nobles in our little band can read and write, so I employed the lot of them in replicating the letter in their own hands. Dozens upon dozens upon dozens of times, dozens upon dozens upon dozens of letters. I figured we could irritate the aides into demanding that King Gok address our requests.

Letters went forth in a blizzard of activity. Five hours after we'd started, no response. The aides didn't even ask us to stop delivering them. A visit from June, who'd grown curious as to the nature of these interactions, revealed why we weren't getting through:

a) In her opinion, it was a stupid plan, concocted by a stupid man, and thus doomed to failure; and

b) The delivery goblins were burning the letters before they got near the aides. Only the FIRST letter managed to make it down the hierarchy; after that the goblins got wise to our tactics and simply allowed us the illusion of progress. Even Grylock's intervention couldn't get word out to King Gok.

Though she thought the idea of writing heaps of letters was stupid, June offered to aid us in our scheme by delivering the remaining letters herself. The creatures from her hair gathered up our correspondence and dragged it all back to her apartment, and for a few hours we could do naught but sit and wait.

Night came. Morning followed. With it was a letter, adorned with King Gok's personal seal and addressed to me. It bore the following message:


You'll get everything you want. I'll spare a bit extra, as well. The details are below. 

Never ask the witch to send letters again. She has placed a hex on me, whereby a letter drops onto my head every time I take a step. This condition makes scouting intolerably difficult. I pride myself on my skills, and I won't have that old hag ruining my style any longer.

You have what you want. Your supplies will be prepped and ready by tomorrow morning. Leave then, and so long as June is with you, do not come back. I don't care if she is a miracle healer, I hate the bitch.

Fuck You,

King Gok'

So that's that! It worked! I get the feeling we didn't have to write nearly as many letters as we did to get that result - ONE probably would've done the trick, 'cause June's weirdass magicy stuff can obviously make duplicates - but it doesn't matter. We have supplies, MORE supplies than I asked for, and tomorrow…


We set out.

I'm the leader of a caravan of migrants.

We're gonna build us a settlement. A new home.



Scared shitless, I am.


Dragomir the Mayor

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