FROM: Count Lionel ‘ja Bramble
TO: Commandant GEROLD COYNE, of the Amalguard
I must confess a degree of irritation as I write you for this third and final time. Given the urgency of our predicament and the high esteem in which many of my friends — including my dear cousin, the very Emperor himself — hold you, I expected a more robust response.
Amid the riots instigated by the Longshoremen’s Guild, I was impressed with your efficiency in striking down the rabble-rousers and protecting the Imperium. I dare say I developed an affection for you and your work. You saved us all a great deal of trouble and proved yourself a loyal asset to the Empire.
How is it, then, that such a firm ally as the Commandant of the Amalguard would fail to respond to repeated letters concerning the security of the Imperial Ferry Service?
Of course, the Amalguard are beholden only to the Empire. Perhaps, set against the time-honored duties of lingering near brothels on patrol and haranguing business owners for whatever taxes, the sabotage of my ferries would seem insignificant. As you yourself have said, Amalguard are not guard dogs. Amalguard are, however, servants of the Empire, and considering the stake it so holds in the Imperial Ferry Service — and the dividends which have supplied a great many Imperial programs with vital funds — your prompt investment in this matter would be most beneficial.
Forgive me if this offense I’ve taken is undeserved. Have my previous correspondence failed to reach you? Such things happen, I know: Letters get lost, rumors spread, rations arrive late. Contracts fall through. Accidents happen, dear Commandant. But I didn’t expect so many of them to have seemingly befallen the Amalguard.
My proposal, which I’m sure you may find in my first letter, is not a burdensome one, especially for a leader of your cunning. I am, of course, amenable to the details, numbers, and so on, and, as such, I have no doubt we reasonable and intelligent men can’t strike a deal. Such commitments would be far from permanent — just enough to provide a show of force, to crush any further pranks or troubles, and to set my worrisome mind at ease.
A proposed addendum to my plan regards the Longshoremen’s Guild. As you well know, their continued behavior has presented difficulties in the shipping business. Given their unbecoming comport — even after your swift end to their riots in autumn last — an investigation into some of the more prominent members would seem fitting. And, considering their disruption to Imperial trade and the legal practices of non-guild members, it would be no surprise if the guild itself were to be disbanded. Surely, it is a minority that partakes in incivility. But corruption begets corruption, as my cousin says, and we know what bad apples do to the bunch.
I hope we can continue our productive and, dare I say, enjoyable working relationship, Commandant. My service is inextricably linked with all facets of the Empire. If such a neglect of my business were to continue, I fear the worst for so many of Amal’s vital institutions. And such flagrant disobedience among these base people would reflect poorly on the Amalguard, too. So much so, it might call the Amalguard’s authority into question. And such a question would necessitate certain reform.
But I get ahead of myself. I remain optimistic: We will avoid any further preventable accidents, so long as we do what must be done.
Count Lionel ‘ja Bramble
Owner & Operator, Imperial Ferry Service