Book III, Chapter 8
The early Dragon Mail stations were an earnest and generally successful effort in standardization; Haddock and Ingerman explicitly acknowledged the degree to which their designs were inspired by the Imperial Roman Castrum system of standardized layouts. Having experimented with the design in the earliest mail stations in the Alban Isles and Norway, Haddock and his initial construction expedition were able to build the mainland continental stations extremely quickly, typically completing each within a matter of days. Once the physical stations were built, the local merchant partnerships would take over with maintenance, staffing, and other logistical needs.
These early stations, while they had their problems, were generally well-designed, featuring a landing platform on the roof, housing for the staff, temporary quarters for dragons and riders, resting and feeding stations for the dragons, and mail intake and output offices. Due to space requirements, they were initially built outside of the local city walls or municipal limits, but quickly accrued settlement in their immediate vicinity, as additional shops and services found the traffic going to and from the mail station to be a natural draw.
— Corpus Historiae Berkiae, 1396
Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:
- Altar Diplomacy: As a way of cementing the alliance between Berk and Norway, Magnus suggests that Hiccup and Astrid's child should marry one of his and Ruffnut's twins once they come of age. Stoick agrees, on the condition that the children should not be forced to marry if they do not wish to.
- Content Warnings:Chapter Trigger Warnings: Explicit Homophobia, Mention of Pederasty, Explicit Mention of Torture, Explicit Mention of Execution (burning at the stake) (Byzantines were scary)
- Death by Adaptation: Zoe Porphyrogenita dies eight years before her historical death date.
- Dies Differently in Adaptation: In Real Life Zoe Porphyrogenita probably died from natural causes, here she died from complications after having a stroke.
- Heteronormative Crusader: The Byzantines are really homophobic, to the point that men having sex with other men is a crime punishable by castration or death by burning at the stake. Harald is also this trope considering he thinks such punishments are fitting.
- Internal Reveal:
- Dogsbreath and Inga find out about Ruffnut's children, Astrid and Wulfhild being pregnant, and Cami being engaged.
- Tuffnut is told by Dogsbreath and Inga that Inga is pregnant and about what really happened to them in Francia.
- Pædo Hunt: Some of the men sentenced by the empress are convicted of pederasty (sex between a man and a boy).
- Pragmatic Villainy: Drago tells the Khagan that burning the fields and killing the enemy's livestock was incredibly wasteful as they could have seized those for themselves instead of destroying it.