One detail that went virtually unnoticed at the end of Sunday's meeting of the King's Council could be as significant as almost anything else that was discussed therein. It came when Arrr's Captain Sureno announced that the Council of Mages had lowered the taxes in all the towns under their control. “Prices have been very high for some time,” he said, “I hope this helps people out.” Asked if this was just a short-term publicity stunt or a permanent change of policy, the captain insisted it was the latter. “As long as we pirates control the towns, the taxes will be lowered. We have no interest in paying high taxes ourselves. We have also added some reagent vendors in the great cities of Trinsic and Vesper.” The news was almost universally welcomed throughout Britannia and it is hoped that it could lead to a boom in crafting. Certainly, fans attending Monday evening's bagball game at Empath Abbey, where the Yew Saints shellacked the Gilfane Dolphins, seemed delighted at the announcement. “It's great, we appreciate it,” said Optik Nerve. “Wow, great,” said a staggering Sam, trying to hide his bottles of Moonglow Red. “It will make it easier and cheaper to make potions for my plant addiction,” said Bindy the crafter, also from Moonglow. “And it'll mean cheaper scrolls to try and make slayer books. I will have to start stocking up.” Only Rue Tor injected an element of scepticism. “It could be a pirate plot to keep more gold on the potential victims!” he speculated But Ryan, a tanner who lives on a hill and the starting quarterbagger for the Dolphins, seemed quite disinterested in the news. “Yeah, so I can buy my lime and tools cheaper now. But it's not going to bring back my three interceptions!,” he moaned.