Paid work

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The barmaid walks off with the covert message you sent. The innkeeper listens to her whipser, then turns to your bench and waves.

"Ahoy there, lad! I hear you're looking for some work!"

You turn bright red and rush over to him, horrified.

"Not so loud, good sir! Yes, I'm a little down on my luck at the moment, and looking to earn a few coins. Just enough to cover a few more expenses in the realm's upcoming campaign against the northern marauders."

He scratches his stubbled chin thoughtfully, and hocks into the spittoon.

"Aye, I got something for ya. Old Bill who I buys my whiskey from, he's holding out on the last shipment. I paid him for two good barrels, and so far I've only got one. He says he only got the money for one barrel, but that's just nonsense. That pretty little sword of yours ought to convince him to cough up what he owes me, and maybe a bit extra to pay for my troubles. Seeing as how I'd written the debt off, I'll pay you half what it's worth."

At least it's in the name of justice. You pay Bill a call, wrapped up in black clothes, and he sends over a barrel right then and there. The innkeeper pays you handsomely for the task, but somewhere along the line someone dropped your name, and people have been giving you smirks and funny looks since then...

Sometimes you're going to find yourself without a gold coin to your name. It happens to almost everyone, especially when you step off the boat, fresh to a new island. When you just can't get money any other way, and you don't want to wait for taxes, then you can always buckle down and work for a living. Paid work is just that -- you wander out into the town or city and find someone to hire you for a few hours. As a rule, there's more and better-paying work to be found in the cities. Towns offer some prospects as well.

Make no mistake -- doing work for hire is considered highly dishonorable. There's no such thing as an "honest day's work" for a nobleman. Manual labor is for peasants. You'll lose faith in the eyes of your peers if you're seen doing it. Of course, it would be unbearably demeaning to have your own troops see you stoop so low, so if you have a unit, you won't even get the option.