Tuesday, 23 April 2013

T is for Toll Keeper, Velgeit Rechtshandler (Deceased)

Velgeit's story is the story of many Toll Keepers of the Empire.

The job is fraught with danger and, aside from the generally good pay for the hazards of the job, utterly thankless. Located in often isolated locations at ravines, rockfalls, claustrophobic narrows, natural fords or shallow shoals, Toll Keepers must be prepared to stop all comers, inspect and collect tolls. The money is often ensconced in a strong box that then must be transported by the keeper or picked up by scheduled coach. The toll keeper all the while waiting for the next bandit or worse to run the toll, paying with violence, or rob the toll house. 

Velgeit's story is not well known, but his toll house is a burned out marker on the River Road between Ossino and Gersdorf in Talabecland. The destroyed two story stone house a wreck of fire damaged beams collapsed in on itself, broken thick oak "windows," no roof or door, and new vines threatening to forever hide what remains. All this result of a beastmen raid out of the Great Forest.

Velgeit, unknown to all, lies on the bank of the river behind the toll house. His all but skeletal corpse face down in the mud before the escarpment over the river where he slid to a stop. Vines, dirt and leaves cover the body. If Velgeit were to be found by the curious how he died would be immediately obvious: blood loss from both legs missing mid-thigh, his legs the foul ration for beastmen or wild animals that would dare to approach the burning toll house.

Beastmen are savages, no doubt uncaring for the revenues lost to Talabecland or the tolls that Velgeit may have collected in the hours before the attack. Velgeit's murder and the burning of the toll house just another raid, spurred on by the rising winds of the Storm of Chaos.

Today, along with Velgeit's unceremonious grave in the mud on the bank of River Stir, a shallow stone box fills with rain water or snow melt beneath the ever rotting floor. Two thick, rotting leather bags, feeding hungry worms lie in wait for the revenue collector. Velgeit's charge left incomplete.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:06 PM in d10

 

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Comment: Gwen Gardner at Wed, 24 Apr 6:56 PM

A dangerous profession, to be sure! You'd think someone would check on him, though :(

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