As the scrivener told Kharl, Stupidity is the Wellspring of Chaos. This is one of the many ways to look at it. The other prevailing theme that I notice is that wealth that spoils your sons into corruption makes wealth a Wellspring of Chaos as well.
I am nearly 120 pages into this story so far and it feels like Kharl can’t have anything else bad happen to him, then, someone comes and tells him how much his tariffs are going to be, and that he has till the first week of Winter season to pay the total or be charged extra for each eightday that he’s late.
Lesson #2 Poor bookkeeping is problematic. Especially if it can save you from owing more money than necessary.
Kharl mentions that the bookshelves were put in during his grand-sire’s time, and that the forge in his shop is considered a half forge, and is not usable by iron workers or blacksmiths in full capacity, but a farrier can use it.
The tariff auditor tells him “A forge is still considered a forge, regardless of size for income purposes” and then proceeds to tack on extra golds for the forge.
All-tolled, Kharl’s tariffs quadrupled from the year before because of the corrupted officials.
I am thoroughly enjoying this story. I look forward to the next two-thirds.