Many in the Kingdom hath celebrated the recent decline in cases of the plague. There art generally fewer corpses in the streets, less corpse stench in the air, and people can once againe go to their local taverns and only have to worry about being kilt by the normal tavern things like sword fights and dysentery.
But there be one industry that ist not celebrating: the makers of bird masks.
Indeed, in the past two fortnights alone bird mask sales hath declined by o’er half, and most masksmythes are struggling to maketh endes meet.
“Aye, plague tymes were goode for me bird mask workshoppe,” sayeth master masksmythe Wrye Beakmayker. “I took on fife more apprentices and e’en bought mineself a new beak carver.”
“But now sales are declining. I’ve already had to kill two of the apprentices with the beak carver because I could no longer afford to feed them. Although I ne’er really fed them much in the first place.”
Prior to the plague, bird mask sales had held steady at approximately 6 bird masks-per-nobleman (BPN) per moon cycle. At the height of ye plague, sales shot up to a peak of 22 BPN.
But an abundant supply and declining demand hath caused pryces to plummet and inventory to pile up in the Kingdom’s many masksmythe workshoppes.
“A ninemonth hence me shoppe was selling bird masks as fast as I could polish a beak, and at premium pryces,” sayeth journeyman masksmythe Michał Hydeface. “Now the unsold bird masks are piling up and I practically have to give them away to make space.”
Royal Economist Meethal Pickelgräber hath considered taking economick measures to help the struggling bird mask industry.
“We asked the Princess to make a publick appearance in a bird mask in the hopes it would make the masks fashionable again. But she killed my assistant for being so impertinent as to ask her to do something,” sayeth Pickelgräber. “In all likelihood we’ll just tell people bird masks protect against pox or leprosy or something. Or maybe we’ll tell them God willed it, that always seems to do the trick.”
With the fate of the bird mask industry uncertain, some masksmythes are even hanging up their beak carvers for goode and turning to other types of masks as their main product.
“Torture masks always sell well. And, luckily, torture ist not going anywhere any tyme soon,” sayeth Beakmayker. “But mineself, I’m a birdmasksmythe at heart. For now, I shall just keeping praying for more plague so I can keep my shoppe afloat, and kill off more apprentices if I have to.”