“Lord Khuvu, it’s merely the application of advanced goblingineering principles and chaos theory to basic sidereal subsistence issues, micro-scale socio-economic functions, and human-inhuman relationship equations.”
Gobber scratched spidery Goblic formulae in the sand with someone's broken femur.
“One can feed on preserved foodstuffs for 10gp each moon; dried zombie, gelatinous bouillon cubes, salt gar, broo cheese; edible but expensive and hardly gourmet fare.
However; we can indenture a family of serfs for a capital expenditure of only 4gp moonly. Clearly these poor sods are not worth feeding. Starve them and work them to death and indenture twice as many or more next moon.
Viz, we indenture 80 families for 320gp. We kill and butcher half of them, resulting in an estimated average moonly production of 40 pounds of meat per individual, including offal and viscera and factoring in the small children, of course, that’s 200 pounds of meat per family, and a grand total 8000 pounds of flesh. Cure it and distribute 40 pounds of serf jerky to each of 150 soldiers and 25 pounds each to 40 laboring families, save 1000 pounds for roasts and curries…we feed 400 for only 160gp. It's like feeding the rats to the cats and the cats to the rats.
We won't be popular with the temples if this draws down the pool of sacrificial victims but we could appease the gods by sacrificing all of the laborers remaining alive at the moon’s end… and I need to factor in the price of bulk salt..."