As it turned out, cities and the people therein functioned much the same way.
She herself did not have the funds, the connections, or the reputation. But she knew who might. So it was that she penned a letter…
Even as Valonia penned the letter, she had not been idle. She had never intended to leave all the work to the Companion, though the ultimate decision rested with him. Upon her return to Britain, she renewed contact with some of the merchants she had been acquainted with months ago, back when she was still investigating the roads.Lord Iolo,
As Mayor of Britain, you are likely tasked greatly with the demands of the city. For my own additions to these tasks, I must beg your pardon, though no regret of mine will still my requests. While this time of reconstruction is one of great challenge, so too does it allow for growth rather than simply restoration. Your position and name grant you influence within the city, and so it is that I urge you to consider the future, rather than just rebuilding the past.
To this end, I make two proposals: First - the maintenance of the almshouse and development into self-sufficiency. Second, the retasking of Bards who could be given the duty and responsibility to educate the general population as well as the development of schools throughout Britannia…
Though she did not make an official request from any of them, she spoke about the benefits of having a population educated enough to understand writs and contracts. Not only was it Compassionate to educate the populace, but in the long run, she explained, a small sum now to establish a literate populace would ease the way for more lucrative agreements. And as the Conservatory of Music was already established, there was already a system in place. All they would have to do is contribute as patrons rather than rely on Lord British, who was clearly in no state to dedicate his attentions to this.
As for the almshouse… Would it not be a good thing to be known as a business that had stepped up in troubling times? she suggested. Though no advertisements or flyers would be allowed within the almshouse proper, a well-placed piece of furniture from a local carpenter would catch the eye of whoever visited. The food and sundry provided by a local provisioner would be thought of as welcome by an individual plagued by hunger… etc.
By her estimations, the Almshouse project wouldn’t take a lot of funds, but the more businesses she was able to convince meant the individual cost dropped. It made it easier for everyone involved. Volunteers could keep it clean and running, without placing the burden unduly on any one business or individual.The Almshouse would be a physical representation of the kindness the City of Compassion was intended to represent. In these troubled times, it is needed moreso than ever. And with the support of the city’s merchants and citizens, the Almshouse can be self-supporting. I have spoken (though made no official appeals) to some of the businesses I shall list below, and have suggested to them that it might be worth contributing. However, as you are Mayor, your request (if you choose to do so) would undoubtedly carry more weight.
[The list of businesses follows.]…
There would be a limit to what could be provided, so as not to interfere with regular commerce. Furthermore, any merchant that wished to provide goods would be allowed to do so without marking their product, allowing for the quality of their own work to speak for them.
Valonia, of course, would prefer a portion of the city’s taxes to go toward it. That method seemed less prone to corruption or influencing. The Mining Guild, for example, couldn't influence all Bards to talk primarily about rocks or something just by contributing a large sum. Or the Merchant Guild teaching everyone the benefits of wagon carts and general goods sales. Or any number of things.The second proposal seems uniquely within your area of expertise. The idea is that the Conservatory of Music would train individuals to be knowledgeable of history, rhetoric, and in basic sciences such as arithmetic. And though it would likely be more ideal for a physical location to be dedicated to the education of those able to attend, individual Bards may be able to travel among the cities and establish their own centers of learning (or not) as depending on their needs. An individual Bard may travel to many Cities, after all -- while a physical location is not always reachable by those who need it. And depending on the quality of songs or rhymes, the knowledge may be carried on far faster than the Bard themselves can transport it.
This new arrangement would not replace the need for the Lycaeum or Empath Abbey, of course. This proposal would simply provide education for the general population, and perhaps inspire who would otherwise lack access to such things. If this is successful, perhaps a physical location can be established and Bards assigned or recruited for such duties.
My suggestion is to provide a portion of taxes in order to ensure fair and unbiased training, though encouraging local businesses to contribute to the Academy would also be a viable means of replacing the system of patronage currently in place.
She was not sure whether mentioning she was a druid would actually help her at this point. For one, she hadn't gone through any ceremony stating she was a full member of that society and could not simply say just 'druid'. And two... well... There was a reason she had left off 'of Yew'. But it was honest, as was everything else she had written about. The rest was out of her hands.I am not recommending anything in an official capacity, nor have I taken any liberties to create any arrangements. Those things I leave to you to decide. I simply leave these suggestions in hopes of your consideration.
Sometimes, it is not enough to rebuild a thing as it was; sometimes it must change if it is to be better.