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Old May 2 2012, 12:55 PM   #41
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Las Vegas
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Default Re: What is the tithe rate?

Given what we see of tithing in Dragonflight, I suspect this is how it works from the Weyrwoman's perspective: quarterly tithe is due 1st Month, 4th month, 8th month and 11th month. (Pern has thirteen months of 28 days, so one month has to compensate for that. We can adjust the quarters depending on peak harvest times, but in the NC, 4th month is going to be fruits of spring and first veg, 8th high summer harvest and 11th month heavy in preserved foods.)

Before Turn's Day, then, the Headwoman and her assistants go through the Weyr stores and prepare a list of what the Weyr needs, what items were used more than expected and etc. The Headwoman presents that list to her Weyrwoman and after a meeting or two, she drafts up a formal request list to each of the three Major Holders of what is needed for tithe. Perhaps she involves her Juniors or assigns them to help the Headwoman at various stages. She could entreat them to deliver the notices - good for diplomacy and as practice for the day one of them succeeds her.

The Lord Holder in question responds with his ability to fulfill the request and the Weyrwoman hopes they all agree, but in reality there's probably haggling up to the day the tithe train leaves the hold. Depending on weather, the tithe train will likely have riders posted to observe it - Pern has bandits who'd love to carve off a couple head of cattle from a tithe train, and it also has Thread. For precious or sensitive material, or things like to spoil on the run, she might even entreat her Weyrleader to allow her a wing to run the deliveries up. The delivery of marks or jewels would be handled by one of the juniors - if not herself, because nothing says power relationship to your Lord Holder like turning up for a fine meal at his table and then receiving your marks.

Tithe arrives at the Weyr several days after it left, because Pern must have good roads to allow this frequent traveling back and forth. It gets unpacked on an incredibly busy day in the Bowl, with Headwoman, assistants, Weyrwoman and her juniors all trying to check items off their lists and keep weyrbrats from filching things from the wagons during the unpacking.

The stores are rechecked after stock, and then the cycle begins all over again. Many RPers would find this boring, but this is the economic lifeblood of the Weyr, and things going wrong (and there are so many points of failure!) mean minor catastrophe for the Weyr.
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