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Paying homage to Assyrian overlords carried its share of dangers:

Quote Originally Posted by Letter 121
To my lord the king (Esarhaddon[?]), from your servant the
guenna-official of Nippur:

May the gods Enlil, Ninurta, and Nusku bless Your Majesty.

The king knows that I am very sick. Had I not been sick, I
would have gone to the king to inquire about his health. So I am
sending herewith my brother Bel-usatu and ten well-born citizens
of Nippur to inquire about the health of Your Majesty.

The king well knows that people hate us everywhere on account
of our allegiance to Assyria. We are not safe anywhere;
wherever we might go we would be killed. People say: "Why
did you submit to Assyria?" We have now locked our gates tight
and do not even go out of town into the . . . We are (still) doing
our duty for the king; the envoy and the officials whom the king
has sent here have all seen this and can tell the king about it. But
the king must not abandon us to the others! We have no water
and are in danger of dying for lack of water. The king, your father,
wanted to give us the water rights for the Banitu-canal under this
condition: "Dig an outlet from the Banitu-canal toward Nippur."
[The . . . ], however, refused us the water. The king should now
send an order to Ubar, the commander of Babylon to grant us an
outlet from the Banitu-canal so that we can drink water with
them from it and not have to desert the king on account of
lack of water. They must not say everywhere: "These are the inhabitants
of Nippur who submitted to Assyria—and (when) they
became sick and tired of the lack of water (they deserted)."
A glimpse of the administrated recruitment that kept the Assyrian war machine churning:

Quote Originally Posted by Letter 123
Order of the king (Assurbanipal[?]) to Mannu-ki-Adad:

To you have been assigned as your charges 1,119 men together
with their families, amounting to 5,000—not counting how many
among them have died in the meantime and how many are still
alive—they are destined for the infantry of the palace. Why then
are you yourself transfering some to the fully equipped soldiers,
others to the elite soldiers, and still others to the cavalry, making
them part of your own regiment? Do not think that when
those come who are to check on the soldiers, you will be able
to make arrangements(?) with them! I am now sending this message
to you: "Summon them even if many of them are elsewhere,
everybody whom you have sent out for a special task, they all
have to be present for my officer when he checks on them!" I
am now sending my officer; he will muster them.
To be a subject king to a greater king was often a stormy affair where one wrong step could plunge the underling to his doom, and never more so than when the very guts of the overlords you had to serve were commonly hated, with that bile spilling over on you for subjecting yourself to their yoke:

Quote Originally Posted by Letter 127
[beginning destroyed] Nabu-[. . . ] said as follows: " [ . . . ] the king
of Urartu. Why does Your Majesty constantly send me messages
full of ill-temper, reproach, and anger; your father did not give
me orders in such a manner even when they spoke unrepeatable
slanders (about me) and were committing crimes right and
left, up and down. Yet the king of all gods, sublime and noble,
has handed over to you, his worshipper, the full extent of the
inhabited world!

As to the lapis lazuli concerning which Your Majesty has written
me as follows: "They should requisition it!"—does Your
Majesty not know that lapis lazuli is now high in price and that
the country would rebel against me if I had actually requisitioned
it? Rather—if it pleases Your Majesty—let a large body of troops
come here and let them requisition the lapis lazuli. And then
the king must not consider it a crime (of mine) when I will not
eat with them (the Assyrian soldiers), nor drink water with them,
nor accompany them, nor even rise before your messenger, nor
inquire of him about Your Majesty's health, when they come
here.

PS: Written down from an oral deposition of [. . . ].
Likewise, fire was a danger that would not go away:

Quote Originally Posted by Letter 139
A letter from Madanu-[ . . . ] and Labasi-Marduk: To our lords,
the administrator and [ . . . ] :

May the gods Bel and Nabu, the Lady of Uruk, and the goddess
Nana ordain well-being and good health for our lords.

Fire broke out on the second day of the month DuDuzu, during
the night, in the temple of Nergal. The secretary and Nabu-nasir
went there to see about it, and, thanks to the protection granted
by the gods, everything in the temple is in good condition. We have
transferred the images to the temple of Lugal-Marad. All the
personnel of the temple of Nergal in Udannu have run away.
Guzanu, the son of Nabu-mukin-apli, who was in charge as guard,
has likewise run away. There is nobody there to serve the sacrificial
meal to the two Nergal images, and nobody to stand guard
in the temple Eanna and in the temple of Nergal. Our lords should
send a message to Nana-eris to dispatch here all of the temple
personnel, especially Ah-iddina and Sum-iddina, [the sons] of
Arad-Nana. May the lords [act] quickly; there is nobody in
charge of the temple guard. Let us hear promptly an order issued
by our lords.
Interpreting omens were part of how people conducted their everyday business:

Quote Originally Posted by Letter 150
A letter of Kudurru to his brother Bel-rimanni:

A cloud appeared just when I was observing (the moon). Did
the eclipse take place? Please, send me an exact report. Find out
what (prayers) are to be said (on account of the eclipse). Write
down for me your well-considered opinion.

Send me an exact report concerning the finances(?) of Zerutu.
The best letter of them all is however one where the formal introduction of diplomatic letters is turned on its head by the stark tidings next presented, courtesy of Nergal. Is all well?

Quote Originally Posted by Letter 66
Tell the King of Egypt, my brother: Your brother the King of
Alasia (Cyprus), sends the following message:

I am well, my household, my wife, my sons, my officials, my
horses, my chariots—also everything in my land—are very well.
And so may my brother be well, also your household, your wives,
your sons, your officials, your horses, your chariots—and everything
in your land—be very well.

Dear brother, herewith I send to you, to Egypt, my messenger
together with your own messenger. My brother should not take
it to heart that I am sending herewith only five hundred pounds
of copper—I am sending this solely as a present for my brother—
because, my brother, it is so little. I swear that pestilence, the disease
of my lord Nergal, was in my land, and has killed all the
people of my land, so there was nobody to produce copper. So
my brother should not take it to heart (that it is so little copper).
Send back quickly your messenger together with my messenger,
then I will send you, my brother, all the copper which my brother
wants. Dear brother, you used to send me (ordinary) silver in
great quantity, but now give me fine silver, my brother—then I,
in turn, will send to my brother whatever my brother wants.

Now to another matter: Give me, my brother, the bull my
messenger will ask for, and dispatch to me, my brother, oil that
is perfumed, two kukkubu-jars of it, and, my brother, also send
me a diviner who is an expert in the behavior of eagles.

Now to another matter: People of my country are complaining
about my timber which the King of Egypt is taking away.
Would that my brother [pay(?)] its price(?).

Now to another matter of a similar nature: A man from Alasia
died in Egypt; his belongings are in your land but his son and wife
are here with me. My brother, collect(?) the belongings of these
people from Alalia, and give them to my messenger.

Do not take it to heart, my brother, that your messenger has
been staying in my country for three years; (it was) because the
"hand" of Nergal (i.e., pestilence) was in my country; even in my
family, there was a child of my wife's who died. My brother, now
dispatch your messenger and mine, unharmed and quickly, since
I have sent my brother a present.

Now to another matter: My brother, please send me the silver
for which I asked you, and there should be a lot of it, my brother.
My brother should also release the belongings for which I asked
you, and my brother should fulfill all my wishes; then I will
fulfill all the wishes which you, my brother, will express to me.
Do not align yourself with the King of the Hatti land and the
King of Sanhar. I, on my part, have returned twofold to you whatever
presents messengers have brought to me. Your messenger
has always come to me in safety(?), and my messenger to you
also in safety(?).