"...And forty-three pitchforks," finished the village headman, cheerfully.
"Very nice," said Eirene. "You keep a surprisingly accurate count of the village's sharp implements."
"Part of the job," he replied with a casual shrug. "A headman is expected to know his village from the top to the bottom, and frequently from the side as well. And as I am a headman of highest quality--or at least try to be--I labor hard to do so." He gave a laugh. "Besides, we've been planning our own revolt for some time. But you know... we've been waiting for a decent opportunity, and it never seemed to come, Always--always, a few more soldiers would come into town, or the weather would turn..."
Eirene blinked. "The weather?"
"Have you ever tried to revolt in a rainstorm?"asked the headman. "It's bothersome, because everyone is usually inside when it begins, and no one wants to go out." He gave a shrug. "So no one does. And no revolt."
"You Tintagelians seem to be a horribly practical people," said Eirene.
"That is our burden, yes," agreed the headman. "Still, you are quite a perceptive young miss to notice it."
Eirene raised an eyebrow. "Haven't been called that in a while," she noted. "I have to say, you've been... remarkably level-headed about the entire... Nightfolk matter..."
"Well, this is the outer islands of Tintagel," said the headman. "We run the ships that go from Bellamarina to Albracca. Oh, you have a few recluses, who only know you from sermons and folklore, but most have... some exposure. We know you're just... odd-looking people. And we've never really had to deal with the invasions the Free Cities had, so... no real problem." He gave a laugh. "No, we know you're not a lot of witches hurling curses every which way. Not really."
Eirene blinked. "Uh... huh. Yep. That's... very... good." She gave a nervous cough. "Very... very good." She made a mental note to keep track of where all those sharp implements were, and that they weren't pointed at her.