The Baron huffs. "Of course the peasants are complaining! It's the privilege of those who serve to whine about those who rule. If they were able to grasp the decisions we need to make, they'd have been born in a castle, not in a pig-pen! Come. I'll take you there and you can see for yourself."
It's a day's ride to the domain of his vassal-knight. The Baron grumbles the whole way. As the western sky begins to turn the colour of roses, you enter a tiny, pocket fief of overgrown hedgerows and fields as thin as the peasants who work them.
The manor has fallen on hard times. The folk working its fields are gaunt, ill, and without hope. Their lord is not wealthy - his keep is drafty, his meat lean. But he and his family have food on their tables and warm clothes on their backs. Unlike his serfs. Ragged wool hangs from them. Some bear the livid red welts of barrow-sickness. Yet still they labour under the hard sun, to fulfill their obligations come harvest-time.
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