Welcome again to The Green Castle!
My apologies for things being a bit quieter than expected in the past week, along with the limited food services and shortened visiting hours.
First we had a bunch of trolls trying their luck as an invading force, but thanks to some energetic defence work from the guard force on the battlements, combined with nifty trickery (including non-lethal smelly gases created in the castle alchemist’s rooms), we finally got rid of the problem. A ranger later told me that one of the trolls that had been badly injured by arrows and could only hobble back to its lair (so was left behind by the other less-injured retreating trolls) ended up being attacked and turned into lunch by a giant bear. Too bad, so sad. 🙂
The most time-consuming and mentally-taxing job, as it turned out, was when I became tied up in the nearest big town for days in a row: in haggling with and trying to stay on good terms with various guild masters, about service conditions and length of first main jobs at the castle vs what the town could or would offer for apprentices and journey men in various trades. We eventually reached an agreement based on ‘an apprentice for you, a journeyman for us, then the other way around next year/job’ basis. I made sure the scribe gave me a witnessed copy of that!
To complicate those talks, there was strong argument and devious logic being shamelessly used by a senior monk from a significant monastery. His monastery was a fair walk from the town and on the opposite side of it from the castle, but it was still close enough to compete against the castle for the town’s annual supply of promising apprentices and potential monks. This monk, as it turned out, actually preferred to see the said apprentices unemployed for longer times and any monks-to-be kept out of the castle’s own small chapel or workshops, rather than any of them earning ‘sinfully inflated’ wages and possibly being “moulded too much in the ‘worldly ways’ of the castle'” ??!! Since when did monks take anti-competition vows?! We both fumed a bit, protested our respective rights and innocence of any mean suspicion or bad faith, so of course couldn’t reach a civil agreement at any price. I turned to the leather-workers’ Guild Master (who I knew was a fair but shrewd haggler and was clearly running out of patience with the monk’s tactics) as an emergency deal broker. Luckily for all – as the outdoor light was fading by this time – he came up with a suitable compromise that included: neither the monastery or castle’s senior staff will try recruiting anyone for certain times of each year (those times to be staggered) and neither of us being officially or even unofficially expected to issue the other one any more than the bare minimum of official invitations to significant ceremonies at castle or monastery in any one year. Just between you -dear visitors, me, and my castle’s walls, this was and remains my favourite condition. Funnily enough, I just haven’t been able to schedule any ‘significant ceremonies’ yet. 🙂
Enough of all that saga, now. Great thanks for your forbearance. As a token of thanks, you are welcome to an extra mug of mead/goblet of wine or one bread&cheese lunch (if needing to keep travelling the same day), on your next visit to the castle.
Your host at the castle,