One thing holds consistent across the numerous worlds of science fiction and fantasy: everyone speaks the same language. Whether it's Lojban, English, Common, or the High Tongue of the Autumn Empire; there's one language that everyone knows, unless plot demands otherwise.
Do not gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves break through and steal. Matthew 6:19 KJV
An old, misanthropic and paranoid man feels his time is coming. There are sons to leave his fortune to, but they are not worth it, not a dime do they deserve! And he doesn't really trust anyone else. And so he has made a decision: as a part of his last will, his henchmen are instructed to burn and destroy all his holdings, buildings as harvest. The lands shall be auctioned off, the proceeds used to pay the servants. Nothing shall stay behind. Nothing.
Depending on the status of the grumpy old man, this weird occurrence may be only a family drama, or it may end up bringing an entire region into chaos. Or the son(s) have found what should happen, and want to prevent it before their sick father dies.