The business known in Avalon simply as “The Post” started some 500 years ago, by an elven woman known as Liratha Rider – the last name, part colloquialism, part nickname, was not one she was born with but later stuck. Liratha was an elven slave pressed into serving as a stablegirl for her noble master. Due to her affinity with the horses, she was occasionally sent to deliver messages and packages for him – and began to take on other jobs of the same kind in secret. Eventually, she had earned enough to buy her own freedom, and became a messenger and transporter across the city full time. This soon spiraled to greater and greater things, as she earned enough money to buy a building to work out of, supplies to travel to other cities, and even enough to hire on others to work for her. The Post grew around Liratha, and she remains a fixture of it to this day – while she doesn’t ride out in her old age, she still has full ownership and is in charge of business matters.
The primary station of The Post, sometimes referred to as “The Letter Hub”, is located in the Trade District of Avalon City. This massive office almost takes up an entire city block, due to it containing work office, storage and sorting rooms for packages, supply storage, private offices where other services are rendered, bedrooms for riders, and stables for horses. The Letter Hub is a large stone building, whose outside architecture is dominated by stone columns on which are carved a variety of birds and horses, all in poses of moving swiftly. It is the Letter Hub where all letters bound to outside the city boundaries are sent.
The Post has many smaller offices scattered throughout the city, even in the Undercity. The offices range in size from nearly as big as The Letter Hub, to just a single room, depending on the amount of traffic they get. All services The Post offers are given at all of their offices, although the smaller ones tend to have a smaller staff, and so often have longer wait times, or less convenient hours.
The primary job of The Post is to deliver messages, particularly written ones, throughout the city. For an extremely small fee, The Post will deliver any letter within a week. For progressively larger fees, letters can be delivered faster, up to and including “Right this very instant”. Packages can be shipped for more, with a similar pricing scheme. For those who travel often, The Post Is willing to set up storage inside one of their offices, so letters and packages can be picked up at a later time. The Post can also send out letters to locations outside of Avalon, although the delivery date for such is never guaranteed. Through a combination of riders, deals with caravans, and a partnership with the Goodtravel Guild, letters out of Avalon can reach anywhere in the world. Most major outlying towns have smaller, satellite offices for The Post (sometimes, these are as simple as a bin in the local government office or a volunteer’s house). Here, letters from the nearby villages are stored until a courier from Avalon stops by on a delivery.
The Post offers services beyond the obvious, tailored to the common folk of Avalon City. Due to the fact that many cannot read and write, a collection of literate, ‘retired’ postmasters are available in most offices. These men will read letters (or anything else brought to them), as well as take diction and write letters. When things are quiet, the gathering is often a place of lively gossip and chat, with the elder men and women visited by their friends to happily talk away the hours during downtime.
The employees of The Post are easy to recognize. They have a signature blue uniform with brass decorations, and they often show signs of wear. One can tell how much seniority a postman has from just how faded and torn his uniform is, as well as how many of the brass buttons are missing. The youngest members serve delivering along the streets of Avalon, with the more senior members being expected to serve as riders outside of the city. The truly senior members, whose bodies are growing as worn out as their uniforms, serve at the desks of the offices.
The following list of prices is for deliveries out of Avalon city. In general, the cost to send a letter or package to Avalon is roughly the cost to have the item sent from Avalon. Packages can cost anywhere from x5 to x10 cost if sent by normal route, but generally do not cost extra if sent for immediate delivery. Items of extremely large or unusual size or danger always have their own, special prices.
|Delivery Location||Delivery Time||Price|
|Within Avalon||Within 3 Days, normal route||1 cp|
|Within Avalon||Today, normal route||1 sp|
|Within Avalon||Immediately||5 gp|
|Neighboring City||Daily route||5 cp|
|Outlying City||Every two week route||1 sp|
|Any city with a post office||Immediate teleportation||700 gp|
The Post is generally well respected by the populace, and has offices in many outlying cities. Its influence doesn’t stop at the border, however – similar organizations exist in many other different countries, all sharing allegiance to the same ideal of fast communication. These different groups work together, and have a friendly, if occasionally rival-like relationship. Most importantly, they are largely left alone from local laws, and even in times of war are allowed to deliver letters to some extent – due to the pervasiveness of magical means to send or conceal messages, attempting to prevent or read mail for military matters is almost impossible, although packages are often banned in times of war. Important political documents and treaties are even at times delivered by the post; for such critical missions, The Post sends only its best carriers, often sworn to an oath using a Gaes spell.
Those of strong arm or magic are often needed by the post for a variety of reasons. The most obvious, and critical of which is to keep the roads free of bandits and highwaymen. Many a bandit has robbed a postal rider, only to suffer a disproportionate response at the hands of highly skilled adventurers. Other times, such adventurers will be asked to escort a postal carrier on an important or dangerous delivery, especially one in poorly charted territory, or delivering a package of great power and danger. All such adventurers are made to swear an oath to the postal code, and often made to undergo a Gaes spell. Finally, and most mundanely, a spellcaster may be hired onto the post for use of his spells in day to day affairs on a temporary basis, such as providing extra Teleports when needed.