This puzzle is loosely inspired by Food Similarities.
I'd like to begin, if I may, with 1 anecdote. This story was written on 2 scrolls more than 900 years ago, and goes as follows -
Once there were 2 knights, who had been 4 fortnights on the road. Fatigued, they came at last to a crossroads, where the road split to 2 towns. Said one man to the other, "let us find an inn to rest 1 night - I'm hungry enough to eat 9 dinners!
They turned left down the path and arrived shortly at a small town, no more than 3 hectares in size. They quickly sought out the inn and paid 10 cents for 2 meat pies. No sooner had they begun eating than a gathering of 5 farmwives entered, speaking frantically amongst themselves. Approaching, the travelers were able to make out a few of the words:
"... but what CAN we do against a pack of 12 timberwolves?
"... we have but 4 warriors between us and the nearby town, and those poorly armed..."
"... we must do something! Since my son barely escaped them 11 evenings ago, he's had 8 nightmares!"
At this point the travelers felt compelled to speak. "We are armored knights, and volunteer to help".
The next morning, the knights ventured out into the wild and within but 4 hours, they had driven the wolves far afield. Upon returning, a steward approached them.
"The Lord of this town offers his thanks, and grants 1 souvenir, a gift of your choosing."
"We are glad to have been of help. Might we perhaps have 2 horses to speed our travels?"
To which the steward replied, "I am sorry, but for such a bold deed, my lord requires that you be granted bold gifts"
The knights were briefly puzzled, but shortly one lit up, saying, "Ah ha! I know a few things we might ask for, and why! It's quite simple, rea...
(the rest of the manuscript is worn and unintelligible)
Next Puzzle: The Knights and the Hounds