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"I never thought statistics might be useful..."

Uncle Freddie stares at you in disbelief. After a minute, he pulls out a piece of paper with a couple jagged colored lines on it. The blue line is for the most part much lower than the red line.

"This here is an estimate of the strength of two realms' armies, day-by-day. Our realm is this blue line. The red line is Keplerstan. What does that tell you?"

You shrug. "Don't go to war with Keplerstan?"

"Damn straight. Don't you think that's useful?"
"I suppose so..."

He smiles at you, and puts the old paper away.

"Sorry, I get a mite touchy about that. Me and the other scribes work hard on those. We keep contacts with the scribes in other realms, so's we can keep tabs on how everything's going. We keep track of the armies, all the nobles, the economy, the harvest -- all sorts of useful information. Not only that, but we take great pains to get information from other islands, too. Admittedly, our information is usually a few days out of date by the time it gets to you, but it's still darned useful.
"Unfortunately, a lot of people just take that work for granted. I'll tell you something, though: My master paid close attention to those statistics, and he thought about them a lot, and it made him real smart. That's half the reason he advanced so fast."

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