Merchant Caste

Fellow scholars, it saddens me that I must forbear presenting tonight’s discourse on The Feast in order to quell some of the dark rumors that have followed me like my shadow since I have left the Library of Al Talil. Certain persons at this very conclave, whom I shall not name, have made careless statements that could be construed by those with ill intentions that certain objects may have come into my possession by means that could be challenged by rightful owners.

It is true that my collection contains rare and wondrous objects; but that is because I, unlike many, have not succumb to the propaganda that certain religious orders have spread regarding the Merchant Caste.

In fact, I count among my friends and acquaintences members of the Caste such as Hortence Moneyfingers, who thrice has had her humble estate burned to ashes by angry mobs incited by the “prophecies” of the Meticulous; and Ignatius Goldpockets who now walks with a limp after being maliciously attacked by children, yes children, armed with sticks calling him "heron-eater"; and even Meribella Cashwell whose disappearance can only be accounted for by the actions of the secret police of the Atar regime, the Hand of Shadow.

It was that very same Meribella Cashwell from whom I, under completely lawful means, acquired the Diary of Lady Brisband. I can swear that the Certificate of Provenance was in perfect order - a fact that Meribella will be able to confirm upon her return from her presumed captivity, for the Certificate remains in her posession.

And furthermore, there is no proof that the Diary ever belonged to the Great Library, although as a former Preservationist, I know all too well that many treasures may exist uncatalogued and unexamined within the sub-alcoves, closed archives, "temporary" store-rooms, and cluttered restoration workshops of the Library.

We should all be thankful of the brave efforts of the remaining members of the Merchant Caste to maintain their tradition of trade in objects and materials both mundane and spectacular under such difficult circumstances as they face. Circumstances that I sympathize with for they are nearly as difficult as my own.

A statement of clarification presented to address certain misinformation about Calil In Dos


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