Dear Aunt Maggie,
I am writing to you as I usually would, though I have no idea when I will be able to send you this letter: the expected Courier's Guild packet has not arrived, and shipping through the port of Mont-Havre has decreased alarmingly.
Two weeks ago a sky freighter approaching Mont-Havre was attacked and captured by pirates, of all absurd and alarming things. The crew were put off in small boats, all but two whom the pirates killed in their initial attack. Since then, a number of ships have not arrived as expected; we do not know whether they have been taken, or whether their owners held them at their previous ports of call.
The effect on the colony as a whole is not too bad, so far. Armorica is largely self-sufficient, except in the area of luxuries and some manufactured goods, and so long as the pirates do not begin attacking towns as well as ships we shall certainly not starve. However, it will go hard for those of my new countrymen whose livelihood depends on shipping. My friend M. Fournier says he has stock for a few months before he will need to close up shop, and of course my employer, Suprenant et Fils, is directly involved in the shipping trade and has already been hard hit.
M. Suprenant himself called me into his office this morning. He was most apologetic, but he felt he must warn me that it might be necessary to let me go: I am the newest member of the staff, and while I am not least, outranking as I do the flurry of office boys and messengers, those same office boys and messengers are all members of M. Suprenant's extended family.
I might well find it prudent to move away from Mont-Havre into the countryside; I am still considering. In the past I have had you write to me care of the Guilde du Courriers here in Mont-Havre; I was trying to make it harder for an agent of my father's to find me. That seems less of a worry, now, so I think it will be best if in future you write to me at Truc's boarding house on the Rue de Montpelier. If I move away, Madame Truc will know how to send your letters on to me.
Best love to my mother!
photo credit: brizzle born and bred Godwin Warren & Co. Ltd., iron merchants, Redcliffe St, Bristol via photopin (license)