A barque flying the flag of Goldshire entered into Whaling harbour of the port of Walstadt. Four row boats were lowered into the cold waters and marked a brisk time with their oars as they cut a path between the whaling boats that jostled for position by the quayside. Mooring by the harbour steps the party of seventy-five disreputable looking men, dressed in the scarlet attire of some obscure host of Benacian cossacks, and carrying the patented ESB Anti-Kraken Rifle in addition to their trusty shashka, rawhide whip, dirks and broomhandle machine pistol, quickly climbed up onto the jetty and formed up into a guard party. Their presence attracting curious glances from the hard bitten mariners and other salt-encrusted denizens of the harbour side. As the advance party of cossacks waited, the boats returned to the barque and collected another contingent. This party, who now joined the cossacks on the jetty, comprised of 35 Babkhi, sporting sharp pin-striped suits, jaunty red fezzes and carrying brown leather violin cases, who lounged indolently as they waited, casting mocking glances at the crowd of Walstaders who were beginning to assemble. The other 40 men who had arrived with these boatloads comprised of some of the sailors from the ship, carrying bill hooks, flensing knives and the occasional revolver tucked into a waistband. One of these men was a grey-bearded and irascible looking fellow in a mariners cap and dark navy blue jacket who had, fastened to his waist, a naval cutlass in its battered leather scabbard, and carried a submachine gun. Finally the zombots, who had been tirelessly rowing too and throw between the barque and the harbour steps, climbed up onto the jetty, dragging with them heavy lead lined packing cases.
Seeing that they were all assembled, the man in the mariner's cap growled that he expected the buggers to get on with their duty. The bespoke-tailored Babkhi sauntered off towards the rows of shops belonging to provisioners and wholesalers, where they began to sample the merchandise and to have a quiet word in the ear of some of the other customers, that they might want to make themselves scarce for the next hour or so. The cossacks shouldered their Kraken Rifles split into three groups. One group of 30 briskly jogged off in the direction of the Northern Gun Battery covering the Whalers Harbour, while another group of 30 turned off in the opposite direction and pounded the cobbles with their boots as they charged off towards the Southern Gun Battery. 38 of the crowd of mariners formed up into rowdy mob, making a noise appropriate for a group twice their size and loudly went to announce themselves to the taverns and whorehouses of the port district, if such could be found. This left the blue-jacketed mariner, a party of 15 cossacks and another sailor of a more boyish appearance. To the boy he passed a letter and told him to take it presently to the Palace known as House Walstadt.
The boy saluted - to which the older man growled his harsh disapproval - and ran off to find his way to the palace. At little while later the following found its way into the hands of a junior member of the palace guard.
Captain Jaggery meanwhile had taken his party of 15 cossacks across to the Customs House where they were presently engaged in the relaxing pursuit of shaking down worried looking clerks and demanding to see the records of any vessel sailing too or from Jingdao. The Captain, as he absent-mindedly sifted through the various ledgers and bills of lading, would periodically enquire whether anyone knew the whereabouts of Aqa al-Zaraqi and Aqa Heinrich, as they had certain matters of business to transact.
For Delivery to the Great Enlightened King
[spoiler]To his excellency, Welf Blutwasser-Ayreon-Kalirion von Walstadt zu Schneedünen, Lord of Walstadt, greetings;
I beg leave to report, pursuant to Article VIII of the Treaty between His Most Bovic Majesty the Emperor of the Natopians and His Majesty and Niftiness the Kaiser of Shireroth (done at the Matrimonial Palace of Ardashirshahr in 1622), that my crew has come ashore at Walstadt for the purpose of buying up provisions for the ESB Colony on Ura'Bos. Specifically the ESB group has authorised me to offer letters of credit to all cooperating merchants in return for taking possession of all available stores of salt beef, whale meat, whale oil, gunpowder and liquor, presently held in the warehouses of Walstadt.
I have the honour to remain, your obedient servant,
Captain Avid Jaggery
Master and Commander of the ESB Trading Barque Seahawk[/spoiler]