Thrown into confusion by the flag of parley, the assembled throng along the waterfront watched in silence as the xebec rowed along a vacant slip along the harbour's outer piers. A member of the crew cast a leather satchel onto the pier, and the xebec backed water and came about, rejoining the other xebecs in formation just outside the mouth of the harbour.
The harbourmaster dispatched a boy to the pier to retrieve the satchel. Opening it, he found inside a parchment sealed with the Osprey seal of the Deylicate of Bizercca. Breaking the seal, the harbourmaster opened the parchment and read:
For the atrocities of the Imperial fleet at Bizercca on our defenceless subjects, and her Imperial Majesty's unbecoming disregard to the demands made in the name of the faithful of all of Dar al Islam for just punishment of those responsible in the review of those actions, the fleet under the orders of his eminence the Dey has been authorized to deliver a signal chastisement, by the destruction of the shipping, navy, storehouses, arsenals and harbourages of her Imperial majesty and of her subjects.
As his eminence does not war for the destruction of inoffensive inhabitants of her Imperial majesty's realm, his eminence is unwilling to visit the personal cruelties inflicted upon his subjects onto the subjects of her Imperial majesty detained in his eminence's bagnio or onto her Imperial majesty's subjects here unduly, and therefore charges you to deliver in ransom of your citizens the sum of five thousand sequins or the equivalent of your local currency.
If you receive this offer as you ought, you will fire three guns from the harbourage before noon of this day, and the failure to make this signal will be understood as a refusal and his eminence's fleet shall commence operations against the aforementioned properties of her Imperial majesty at its own convenience.
I have the honour, &c.
Sidi Mohammed Ibrahim
Wakil al kharj of his eminence, Driss Khal-al-Waw Dey