MESSENGER AND POSTAL SERVICES
There is a centralized postal service run by the Throne, but traditionally the delivery of letters has fallen to intrepid couriers, messengers, and carrier ravens.
Imperial Post is run and managed by the Church, tying citizen mail into its already impressive internal communication network of traveling friars and administrative clerics. Imperial Post is quite inexpensive, nearly free in comparison to other forms of carrier services, and definitely includes the Inquisition run Curia Praedium inspecting the contents for signs of heresy or sedition, and making a permanent copy for the Praedium’s historical records. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Scriptorium, but any letter that is not of heretical or seditious nature will almost certainly make it to its addressee.
Ravens are raised in rookeries and then transported in cages to distant places. Once they are released, message attached, they fly unerringly back to the place of their birth, perhaps to be caged and carried back to a new exotic locale. Carrier ravens can only carry short letters, and can only go to places large enough to have their own rookery. Instructions, and perhaps a guild note for payment, have to be in the letter to see it to its specific target. Most great noble families can be expected to have a rookery, but trying to reach a specific merchant (or worse, gutter scum) in a major city is very difficult with a raven.
Bonded Couriers are used for important packages and parcels. They belong to a Guild of couriers who handle such sensitive matters. The sender pays a considerable upfront fee for the guarantee that the package will get to its recipient. If the package fails to arrive, the sender may draw upon the guild’s posted bond for the value of the parcel or letter, agreed and certified ahead of time. More successful and serious bonded couriers can afford to post higher bonds as their career advances, and can take increasingly profitable packages. Bonded Couriers are serious transport for serious people.
Messengers are the less formal cousins to Bonded Couriers which rarely belong to a guild. Rather, they are individual travelers or merchants who were headed that direction anyway and can be paid to take on your letter or parcel for a bit of extra coin. Typically, the sender pays a basic rate to the messenger to carry their post. Upon finding the recipient, the messenger asks the recipient to purchase the letter from them to pay for their time and expense. Often these letters will change hands multiple times over the course of a journey, as one postman purchases the letters of another as the destination of the traveler and the letter diverge in detail. The final deliverer will want to make good on their investment.
Purchasing Letter Writing The usual rate a local Scrivener’s Guild will charge for dictation and sealing of a letter to the illiterate or those without a Writing Kit is around 1 silver. All of these purchases are an exception to the normal rules and may be purchased during Downtime without a scene.
When the situation near the local Theater is unsafe due to military concerns such as invaders, monsters, or bandits, it’s possible that sending posts are more likely to fail, higher in price, or outright impossible.
|Service||Local||Near||Distant||Far||Outside the Throne||Special Notes|
|Imperial Post||1c||1c||3c||1s||N/A||Contents are read, recoded, and examined for heresy. Copy available in Scriptorium.|
|Carrier Raven||N/A||4s||18s||36s||60s||May not carry parcels. Stragosa cannot receive ravens without a Rookery.|
|Bonded Courier||5c||10s||20s||40s||80s||Package or letter is insured against loss and likely to reach its destination|
|Messenger||1c||2s||4s||8s||20s||The parcel is cash on delivery to recipient, and has a higher likelihood of being lost or stolen.|
Local: Within the local city and its nearest environs.
Near: Within the local theater- any of the local Provinces.
Distant: Major cities in the country, and areas of adjacent countries.
Far: The rest of the countries within the Throne.
Outside the Throne: Sending post to the exotic regions of the Rime Lands, Sha’ra, or farther still…