In the flat lands of the Mardhelm Empire, travel by cart, wagon, or carriage is commonplace. With such an expansive landmass over which to travel, doing so both in comfort and in the most efficient way possible is of vital importance. To merchants traveling the land, imperial army logistics divisions, and even tax collectors; these needs have been met by a marvel of ingenuity that is regarded as being so simple as to be genius.
It's the stupidest thing I've ever seen. Overheard in a tavern.
The theory is quite simple. If one carriage is good for getting a person and his or her goods from one place to another, then more carriages must be even better. Lash half a dozen together pulled by twice as many horses, and you have yourself an imperial carriage train. It is not uncommon to see official imperial tax trains numbering a score of carriages, often pulled by as many oxen. Everything from food to coin is moved around the empire by carriage train, and it is not rare to see one trundling down the road on any given day.
Many view the tax trains as potential targets for bandits, but when one looks at the contents of each carriage in the train they soon find that attacking one of them would be a foolhardy proposition. The tax collector himself has an ornate carriage in which he rides, of course, and often the chests of gold and silver reside with him. A few other carriages might contain sundry goods provided as payment, such as agricultural produce. Another will be full of supplies for the journey. The rest, often a dozen or more, will be full of imperial shock troops armed to the teeth and eager to gut any bandit with an eye for stealing from the emperor.
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