A GIFT AND SOME CONCERNS
It is I, your friend, the most humble and magnanimous Silver-Claw! I do hope you haven't grown too lonely during your well-deserved retirement. Despite your many protestations regarding gifts, I have enclosed a small packet imported directly from Valenwood. I have no idea what “strangler seeds" are, but it seemed exotic enough for your garden. Sadly, the instructions must be in error, for it seems you must “bloodlet thrice daily" so the plant “positively associates your scent." I must admit, Bosmer metaphors are quite beyond me.
If you haven't left your garden recently, I assure you that life in Abah's Landing continues apace. The Iron Wheel no longer marches through the streets, for the merchant lords insisted they decamp from the city. Rumors say Hubalajad Palace was recently occupied by a wealthy new tenant. (Next month's rumors will assuredly speak of a destitute would-be merchant lord evicted from Hubalajad Palace.) Oh, did you hear of the new pirate Commodore demanding tribute from her captains? Should you plan to travel, I would suggest overland routes until she is fully appeased.
Though I know you are far too polite to ask, and I am of course exceptionally embarrassed to inform you, I do not write you entirely to exchange pleasantries. In all honesty I have grave concerns regarding my business.
As you well know, Spotless Goods Shipping Concern has always been the metaphorical feather in my proverbial cap. It is true that I wear no cap due to my naturally flowing mane, and also that I am particularly allergic to feathers, but my point stands. I took Spotless Goods from a back-alley merchant stall to the harbor-side warehouse it is today. I made friends of my rivals, for I never aspired to be the best merchant in Abah's Landing—I simply wish to earn my place at the table. As you know, I have always dutifully paid the right people, whether merchant lord or your former shadowy associates.
Still, the shadows have been exceptionally quiet since the Iron Wheel's arrival. Even the merchant lords whisper of invaders from Taneth. I fear some delicate balance has been upset in the city I love. Remove too many spokes from the wagon wheel, and you break the wagon.
It is probably nothing. How did you put it once? That I have a tendency to “step on my own tail and claim it was a mammoth?"
Yet I see my heretofore most trusted overseers whispering in the warehouse shadows when they think me departed. I notice my invitations to social occasions have sharply declined, as though my fellow merchants seek to distance themselves. From what? I cannot predict. Since your retirement, I cannot trade favors for word from the shadows—and with the Iron Wheel's recent activities, I do not care to provoke their interest. My situation is most worrisome.
This is why it pains me so to remind you of the favor you owe me. A pain worse than freshly plucked whiskers, I pledge to you! If I did not hold the future of Spotless Goods in such high esteem as our friendship, I would never be so crude as to mention it.
But should I find a mammoth standing upon my tail, I fear you are the only person in Abah's Landing who could help me pry it off.
—Silver-ClawMEET THE CHARACTER – SILVER-CLAW