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A Short Treatise on Taxation and other Matters

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A Short Treatise on Taxation and other Matters

Post  Magyc on Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:11 pm

The abacus hummed as Paido tallied the mountain of receipts generated for the kingdom this month. He had expected Thaddeus's decree that levied the first taxes of this nascent nation would be met with disfavor, but thankfully the backlash had not been too harsh. The new priest of Abador convincingly preached that taxation was the price for civilization, and the creature comforts that came with taxation kept the backlash to a minimum.

He found himself very grateful to Zaistrun for setting him up with the observation sessions with the exchequers of Restov. He learned many of the proper procedures that would ensure smooth taxation and budgeting and prevent costly errors that could hamstring new nations. Still, there were a few blunders he had made in the first few months that had resulted in significant losses of revenue-tolls not assessed, resources squandered, and probably a great deal of fraud by some entrusted with low-level kingdom duties, most of which could probably never be proven. He was quite ashamed of that discovery, but hiding the mistake or minimizing it had never crossed his mind. He had already prepared a letter of resignation to deliver to Thaddeus complete with a explanation of how he had failed him. Realistically he knew it was unlikely Thaddeus would accept it, but Paido had steeled himself for the possibility.

After just a few minutes of work he found that he could fully contemplate other matters as he continued with his error-free tallying. He daily meditations on the teachings of Irori continued to strengthen his mind, enabling him to plan and reflect in depth even as he quietly attacked the papers and calculations in front of him.

Unfortunately, much of this reflection also focused on the ways he had failed in serving Thaddeus and the other members of the group, in matters much more serious than the loss of a couple months of revenue. He found himself continually caught unprepared to address the threats they were encountering. For the 45th time, he again drifted back to the encounter with the plant-thing that had swallowed Thaddeus, replaying the events in his mind with every detail he could recall. After the encounter with the Mi-Go, he had planned to develop some weapons that would be effective in combating them. There were several ideas he had for concoctions that would be especially damaging to plant life. At the time of the latest fight though, they existed only as ingredients in Paido's lab, useless while Thaddeus was being consumed.

Often prior to that event, Paido had been plagued with nightmares of Thaddeus drowning. At the bottom of a river, weighed down by his armor, with himself struggling and failing to get Thaddeus up. He had not put much stock into dreams or visions, but after spending some time with Wynnsaren, he had made sure that he was prepared should his nightmare ever come to pass.

That fight against the plant-thing had been the nightmare come to life. After Thaddeus was...eaten, Paido had lapsed into almost a trancelike state- landing blow after blow, slicing straight into where the things brain should have been- yet it shrugged off his most effective strikes as though they were nothing. Only after Sarala was able to put the thing down-temporarily; was he able to slice that thing open and pull out his horribly burned Lord.

To add insult to injury, the encounter a week after that with the manticore had further underscored his inadequacies. Left with no means to combat a creature which had badly injured Zaistrun and Sarala from afar, Paido could do nothing but seethe in shame at yet another failing.

Paido knew he had to do more. More research, more planning, more training, more preparation. All of it. He had to anticipate every possibility, every obscure threat, every avenue of assassination, every conceivable danger to Thaddeus and the rest of the group had to be addressed. There would be no rest until that happened.

He completed the tallies and prepared his summary reports. For now, he had a mound of paperwork and reports to present to Thaddeus, a task that Paido could not help with, as that was a challenge for the King alone. He put the letter of resignation at the top. At best this was going shake Thaddeus's confidence in him. At worst....he did not finish the thought.
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Re: A Short Treatise on Taxation and other Matters

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:19 pm

Thaddeus was having a rather good day for what it was worth. While many strains of rulership bore down on him, some did not. Today he was looking over the plans for his new castle... It was a tangible thing, hard to explain really, but as he'd watched the first foundation stones going over the remnants of the Stag Lord's fort Novastasia felt more... real than it had it had the few months before.

And real it was... His unexpected dinner with the Troll Lord had showed him the gravity of that. The borders of his land was expanding... the number of his citizens was growing... Now, much sooner than he'd hoped, Novastasia faced it's first threat. Hargulka.

It was hard not thinking of the twelve foot troll he had so recently angered so... or the kobolds that had thrown their lot in with Novastasia. Farmers, kobalds, villagers... So much troll food if he didn't handle things carefully. He knew Sarala had wanted to pick a fight then and there... but he still felt he made the right choice. That was a day for diplomacy, steel would come soon enough.

He looked up as Paido was announced. He couldn't help but wonder how long it would take to get used to that....

"Paido! Welcome... ohhh..." his smile faltered a touch as he saw the stack of new paperwork the halfling brought with him.

"Okay then... what are the priorities today..."
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Re: A Short Treatise on Taxation and other Matters

Post  Magyc on Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:18 pm

"We have a large number of payroll approvals to consider. Working for you directly appears to be one of the most reliable and lucrative opportunities available. We should probably adjust the wage scales. Your subjects are also submitting construction proposals that need funding, which we should individually review and assign priority-though we may postpone that as Zaistrum had some ideas. The majority of the rest of these documents..." he paused as he stood on his tiptoes to heft the entire pile onto the table "are maps I made to help you deal with fairly allocating the massive amount of new farmland we have acquired among our new subjects. There were complaints after our first allocations that land quality was not considered when we made bequests, only quantity. I've included new metrics on these maps which indicate drainage, soil quality, tree density, and ease of irrigation. This should cut down on complaints substantially."

He took a deep breath. "However Sir, we should address this piece of paper first." He walked up to Thaddeus, took a knee and bowed his head. He waited until Thaddeus accepted the paper before he stood. "I am offering my resignation. The reasons are detailed in the document. In the course of preparing books for this month I found that my own inadequate understanding of proper governance has cost our nation a considerable amount of revenue in our short period of existence. I have detailed the problems and errors I made, and I fear the money is irrecoverable without imprisoning and questioning a large number of our subjects. For these failings ...among others...I offer my resignation. I do not wish to leave, but I fully understand if you wish to put someone more experienced in my place. Your kingdom must succeed."
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:22 pm

'It started as such a good day too....' Thaddeus thought to himself as he opened the letter. Inside, just as Paido had claimed was a list of reciepts and expenditures that frankly Thaddeus had a difficult time making sense of.

There were obvious mistakes that had been made, at least as Paido had them underlined. Still...

"Paido... If, as you say, you do not wish to leave this position, then I reject this resignation. At least for now.

"You are not experienced in this role you've accepted. I'm not holding you to the unrealistic standard of someone born and breed to it. You're going to make mistakes, I knew that when we all accepted our current roles.

"However... You have also discovered your errors, and moved to correct them. That satisfies me well enough." He took the resignation and held it to the candle flame and watched as it burned.

"Formal resignations are not necessary. Any time you grow weary of this position, we can begin to look for a replacement. Until then, the job is yours." He patted out the last embers and looked at his short friend.

"I do have a question for you though. Are you content in the role of treasurer? Are there other goals you aspire to? We have an Abadar presence here now, still getting settled and all, but eventually he or an acolyte or such could be promoted to treasurer. Is there an activity you would prefer?

"Your eagerness to adventure and quickness to join a fight makes me think you would be.... less then satisfied sitting behind a desk for months on end. "
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Re: A Short Treatise on Taxation and other Matters

Post  Magyc on Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:42 pm

Paido breathed a quiet sigh as the letter went up in smoke. The mild phrase uttered by Thaddeus that Paido's efforts "satisfied him well enough" served as the stinging rebuke Paido was looking for.

Paido listened attentively as Thaddeus posed his questions. He had hoped his actions to date would have made his stance clear to Thaddeus, but it was clear that some of his assumptions had to be dispelled.

"Sir, if you ask me to fight by your side, I will fight as best as I can, and I will never stop striving to improve. If you ask me to to keep our kingdom's finances in order, I will never stop learning and improving my financial acumen.... Master Thaddeus, if I have to make explicit my intentions, what I want is for you to place me in whatever role you most need me in."

After a beat, Paido decided that Thaddeus's offer to let him choose his assignment gave him the perfect opportunity to broach a topic he had been rather circumspect about before.

"If I may, Sir, I would like to share some of my concerns that could be easily allayed. With your permission I would like to inspect your quarters on a daily basis at different times of the day. I would like to verify the purity of any food presented to you before you consume it. I would like to accompany you on public appearances, especially if they were scheduled ahead of time. I also think it would be a good idea to have a small room built within your room where I can reside, or at least have quarters located directly next to yours. Your rise in stature will bring enemies who are loud and brazen in their opposition, and those who are quiet and subtle. It is that latter type who most concern me, and I hope you allow me to make use of my training to offer you that kind of protection."
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:20 pm

"Ummmmm...." Thaddeus blinked a bit under the barrage of personal... very personal requests. "Okay. We'll talk. Certainly. Hells no! Something can be arranged... and I agree with your concerns." He counted off on his fingers making sure he hit the high points, and more importantly, the right order.

"I have less experience with the sneakier variety of enemies... I would like to see myself protected from something like that if possible, though with as little subjecting you or anyone else to the threat as possible. Perhaps we could look into a wand for purifying food and drink or something. It's a divine spell, but not one that paladins gain.

"In fact, speak with Sarala some time about these concerns. She shares your interest in the less... obvious threats to my person. I believe that between the two of you, you'll find some interesting solutions." He stood up from behind his desk and buckled on his sword belt over his noble clothing. The sight was a tad awkward, but Thaddeus made it look natural.

"Come with me... " the king said as he turned and walked down the hall. He nodded at the guard as he passed. "Tell me, what is your opinion of our new Troll acquaintance."

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Re: A Short Treatise on Taxation and other Matters

Post  Magyc on Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:37 pm

Paido was heartened by the mostly positive response he ideas received. He was not surprised the in-room quarters were rejected, as he had included another more acceptable option that seemed much better in comparison. (His ideal post would be in a trapdoor in the Thaddeus's room above the bed, but knew that was very likely to be rejected. Perhaps it could be installed for very special circumstances...a conversation for another time.)

Paido walked by Thaddeus's side as he answered his question, looking off into space as he formulated his response.

"His height and intelligence place him far beyond what we would expect from a typical troll. It's possible he is very old for a troll, or just an extreme specimen. He showed considerable sophistication in his arguments -which while persuasive, I found completely ingenuine- and had amazing restraint when rejected. I fully expected a violent reaction when the Chief turned him down. "

"Based on what we have seen so far, I have no idea what to expect. We have not established a limit to his intelligence. About the only options foreclosed to him are diplomatic- it would be very difficult for him to turn neighboring nations against us. Short of attempting to assassinate you, probably the most damaging acts he could attempt would be to undermine the faith of our people in your ability to protect them. "
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:09 pm

"I agree." Thaddeus replied at the halfling's response. "I think Sarala was hoping he would start something then and there too... I'm not sure she was wrong either. It would have been a tough battle on ground we hadn't chosen... but this waiting is almost worse."

Soon they reached the great hall, or 'good' hall as Thaddeus liked to refer to it. Still under construction, but it would be great when finished. Glancing around the room he couldn't help but grin. There were at least two secret entrances in here that he knew about... perhaps he had given his sister too much free reign with the blueprints...

Glancing around he saw the usual crowd, including the ones he'd hoped would be here. Rowland Berthelsen their recently acquired herald, and Baldric Pirogov, the Steward of the Castle in progress.

"What concerns me the most, [i[is[/i] my ability to protect my people. That includes the kobolds who have shown their faith in me. I had hoped we'd have more time to establish our nation before making enemies, but Hargulka may have forced my hand. I promised the Sootscales aid if they are attacked, I need to be able to keep that vow.

"Currently Kesten is trying to establish a working set of city guards, and Sir Tambor is working at recruiting whatever soldiers can be found. I do have an added responsibility for you Paido. But first. Kneel...

"Rowland. Take note." Thaddeus boomed as he drew his sword. The herald snapped to attention as did the rest of the assembled citizens. He couldn't help but smile as he carefully tapped it on the shoulders of his loyal servant.

"Paido Firefoot. You have proven yourself to possess bravery beyond contention and loyalty beyond compare. Many times now you have hurled yourself into danger with little thought for yourself, concerned only with the preservation of myself and your comrades. More than once you have saved my life nearly at the cost of your own.

"That my friend is knightly... So it is both my pleasure and right as Lord of Novastasia to dub thee Knight Commander. First Knight of Novastasia.

"It is my wish to have a wide and varied knighthood in this kingdom. As Knight Commander, it will be your duty to find others like yourself. Those with the loyalty and fearlessness to protect my interests and personage. Regardless of their individual talents, whether with sword and shield, or spell and scroll. A knight is more than his weapons. A knight represents both his kingdom and his lord with honor.

"I seek those who will see the title of knight as both a recognition of their services and a chance to take servitude to new heights. Being a knight will not be easy, nor is it truly awarded. I wish for you to recognize in others what I see in you.

"Well Paido, do you accept this responsibility?"





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Re: A Short Treatise on Taxation and other Matters

Post  Magyc on Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:09 pm

His lip quivered as he contemplated this most unexpected honor. "I DO, Sir......I will do everything within my power to exemplify what the ideals you have founded this kingdom on. I thank you for this honor, and I will find others who are worthy and willing to serve those ideals!"

Paido's mind raced as he pondered the implications of this new charge. What Thaddeus had just charged him with did not absolutely conflict with his role in protecting Thaddeus from unseen threats...but it was definitely different. He decided there would be time enough later to reconcile the roles, and decided to live in the moment now, as a broad, rare smile took over his face.
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Colin Marcus on Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:56 am

"Then rise Sir Paido." He beamed as he looked toward the observant herald.

"Rowland. Spread the word. Tell the people about our new Knight Commander."

"As you command my lord." Rowladn bowed extravagently and headed out of the hall. Undoubtedly by days end Akiros would know what had happened, by weeks end the rest of Novastasia. He could get used to having a herald...

"Now Paido, there will be other matters to iron out later." For the halfling he truly expected little to change. He felt himself a servant, and despite whatever accolades and titles he tossed his friends way, Thaddeus knew he wouldn't be cleaning his own armor again. Still. If he insisted on being a servant, then he should rank chief of the servants.

"There will be land saved for you should you desire to retire and start a family someday, other perks undoubtably, but details for later. First we need to discuss the taxes and see to our troll contingencies... "



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