[II] Eighteenth year of the reign of Talenés IV, the twenty seventh passage of Celem in the
month of the Hrônd.
To his Majesty’s chief scribe, Andariac for the ear of his Lordship, by the hand of Saltés, Governor of Valemteim.
Greetings and blessings.
First let me record my personal thankfulness to your Lordship for sending the young scribe, Hertión. His
opinions and obvious learning were impressive in a face so fresh. He mentioned some of his views concerning the wandering of Lôm received strong condemnation by others in Court and on the councils and that you have remained completely impartial.
It does seem more than credible to directly associate Lôm’s displacement with the flooding, though whether the movement will be able to do much worse remains the important question.
Clearly the situation is worse for the parts of the Realm close to the sea. That said, the flooding does directly impact the mountain regions who are so heavily reliant on the transportation of grains. In that sense your Lordship is very wise to think of this situation as being important for the entire Realm, Jotheim included.
If young Hertión is correct, and what he says he learned from his discussions with the members of the Shinse delegation currently residing in your Court are also correct, then it does seem to be the wise course of action to prepare for the situation to worsen rather than improve.
Your Lordship will be happy to note that the inhabitants of Valemteim and the province are already doing their best to lay up stores for this eventuality. The Royal store houses are not as full as they have been in seasons past as a result, which will necessarily reduce the impact we can have on any public response to continued hardship.
To my mind this raises two alternatives. Either we initiate a collection throughout the province to ensure that the public response is robust, or we leave the situation as it is, and encourage citizens to share with one another as they see fit.
Following the former course is likely to start widespread panic and a spike in the price of all commodities—and they are already greatly swelled. Once this panic has run its course, however, the governorship will be in a good position to direct resources as we see fit and thereby maintain a control over the province. We can also ensure a regulated supply of grains to Jotheim.
The latter course will preserve things as they are for longer, perhaps long enough to endure the current conditions, but a coming calamity would be much worse in terms of the chaos it could unleash. The citizens of Valemteim are a strong and independent people and would not hesitate to shed blood were it necessary.
No doubt Your Lordship’s council has already been over the options. In my assessment it is a question of probabilities. If we feel certain the calamity will continue to strike, and strike hard, then we must prepare—no matter the chaos and violence we have to endure to achieve it. If we are less certain of this, then we can maintain the normal state of affairs.
For our part, the citizens of Valemteim would be compliant—to a degree. But the provinces will be a next to impossible task and their will be a lot of distrust that our actions are being undertaken to directly benefit the citizens of Jotheim.
I am of course prepared to follow your explicit commands to the letter the moment I have received them.
Those who are following and reviving the Old Devotions are growing quickly in number and fervor. They now hold nightly sessions imploring Lôm to return to her normal path through the heavens. Hertión says it is much the same in the capital and even the Court. He added that one group seemed prepared to send out emissaries to all the others, imploring them to organize. An informant of mine in Valemteim confirms these rumors.
An organized group of devotees to the Old Devotions will present their own unique challenges, which again I scarcely need detail. I am wondering what Your Lordship has in mind to meet them.
The sea-going raiders have not been seen these last few octaves. Nothing has been seen or heard coming from the forests.
Here completes my report.
I remain obediently yours,
Saltés Borian, Governor of Valemteim, of the House of the Hylot.