Letter to Baroness Jarvis
To the esteemed Baroness de Jarvis -
In case my name is not already known to you, allow me to introduce myself. I am Lord Aldo Mondragon, and I am writing to you today to discuss a mutual unpleasantness between your House and my own writings. We both can certainly agree that the actions of Melodia Delronge have inconvenienced the common man and woman in Kintargo, and her attempts to force House Jarvis out of the business sector have only further damaged the well-being of our people. If you have not read the most recent of our interactions, I will send a copy alongside this letter.
I have no issue remaining public in my criticisms of House Delronge, and that will continue whether I receive any assistance or not. However, I offer you a chance for us to work hand in hand – though not explicitly, for both of our sakes. I ask only that you consider a few ideas before responding.
House Delronge seeks to upend House Jarvis through the use of slave labor, often seized at times where the victim is in debt and used indefinitely. I represent a handful of like-minded individuals who seek to break and interrupt this program, thus depriving Delronge of the economical advantage of slave labor and debtors prisons. I am able to draw the emotion of the common man, and have succeeded in making Delronge look foolish so far.
But at this time, I begin to fear for what happens to myself and this like-minded group should we run out of funding. I offer you a simple agreement – I will continue to press our advantages against Delronge and break the back of their debtors prisons, which will make them unable to compete with your business interest. In exchange, I ask only two things – a letter or sign of your support and consent, and some manner of funding. With what you can provide, we may do so much more.
I await your response, or a chance to meet.
Dear Lord Mondragon,
How wonderful to finally get a chance to speak with you! I must say that my family and I have been admirers of your work for some time – some members of the nobility are not so fond of your writing, but House Jarvis has always appreciated the power of satire to provoke change. The Heroine is truly a masterful piece of work, and we have made sure to get tickets whenever it has been revived.
I am familiar with your most recent criticisms of House Delronge, and I cannot say you have mischaracterized them in any way. To be blunt, Melodia Delronge is a devious and untrustworthy snake of a woman who tears down others in order to claw her way to the top, and she has been since we were children. This is no news to you, of course, but I simply wish to illustrate that we are on common ground.
I have suspected for some time that Melodia has been utilizing slave labor, or at least indentured labor, in order to prop up her businesses. If you have proof of such a thing, I would be very interested in seeing it. Although slavery may technically be legal in Cheliax, I believe all honorable people can agree that it is an absolute injustice. We all deserve the right to choose our own destinies.
I would be interested in scheduling a meeting with you in order to further discuss funding for your group, which I can only assume is completely legal and would provoke no reprisal from our lord-mayor. Please respond at your earliest convenience with a time and date that would work for you – I am fully at your disposal.
Baroness Jarvis -
I am both humbled and honored at the kind words and effusive praise that you enclosed. While I have rarely considered nobility to be fans of mine with any great zeal, it is wonderful to know that there are some yet with the wit, intellect, and humor to enjoy my works. Your kind words have helped raise the spirits of a weary man.
Enclosed are a handful of copied contracts from the Bellflower network, showing agents of Delronge engaging in a predatory scheme of taking in the indebted. Many of these carry an interest rate of fifteen to thirty percent monthly for room and board, making it impossible for the borrower to pay back the sum. This forces them to work far longer for far less, and as they owe everything to the lender – they are not held to labor law. As you well know, Chelish rule considers the indebted to be little more than tools and property.
As an ardent follower of Cayden Cailean, no cause is closer to my heart than freedom for my fellow man. That is the most paramount of rights, and one worth fighting for – regardless of the cost or what the law claims as acceptable. My associates and I are deeply ingrained in this belief.
I would love little more than a chance to meet with you. Evening, four days time? I will bring at least one of my associates, likely two. I will be cautious to bring no followers, I fear that the Delronge seek to quiet my tongue by any means that they can at this point.
Your obedient servant,
I thank you for your kind words, and I hope this will be the beginning of a lasting friendship. In examining the contracts you have included, I see that your assertions about Melodia Delronge and her business dealings are entirely correct. I had no doubt. Though her schemes may technically be legal, a reveal of this sort could go a long way towards undermining her already shaky public support.
I must admit, I had suspected that you were a fellow follower of the Accidental God – who else would write so passionately about freedom and choice? Despite the current prohibition against our faith, I believe there are a devoted few of us here in the city, and we have the opportunity to do as Cayden would in bringing freedom to Kintargo.
I would be happy to meet with you in four days’ time, and I hope it will be amenable to you if I include my sister Livia. I fully understand if this is something you would not be comfortable with, but I can assure you that Livia can be trusted absolutely. I await your reply eagerly.
I would be delighted to meet your sister as well. I look forward to toasting the Accidental with you.