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Spoofs & Satire

Adventure Capital

It’s risky business, this adventuring, and best not undertaken by those bereft of bravery or collateral.

Day 43, Lunas Waning, Cycle of the Riven Shield

Shopkeeper
c/o INN
Haunted Springs, Falcadia

Dear Mr. Keeper:

Thank you for your recent loan application. Your request for 6500000 gold was (again) carefully considered, and we regret that we are (still) unable to approve your application.

And while we admire your perseverance, we here at BANK are in agreement that, without major revisions to your business plan, further requests for funds will be denied. Please do not apply again until the following issues are addressed, at the very minimum.

For starters, we have grave concerns about your inventory. Typically a fledgling business focuses on a single commodity or a few related lines of merchandise. Your proposal to sell “weapons, armor, shields, headgear, footwear, gloves, cloaks, robes, belts (seriously, belts?), rations, potions, scrolls, spellbooks, amulets, gems, maps, and torches” strikes us as overly broad, to say the least. You should look to “Bracers, Bucklers, and Beyond” as an example of a store that has found great success with a limited range of wares. Also, we’re pretty sure that “lockpicks and other equipment for rogues” cannot be legally sold in this province, just FYI.

Secondly, the word most commonly used to describe your choice of location has been “insane” (my supervisor went so far as to call it as “nuttier than a golem made from crazy”). Earlier this cycle we rejected the loan application of an entrepreneur wishing to open a tavern in Haunted Springs as simply too risky a proposition. As you presumably know, the town has for years been terrorized by the lichs and other undead that have taken up resident in the nearby “Well of Cantankerous Souls.” So when we saw that you were proposing to set up shop inside the WoCS… let’s just say that eyebrows were raised.

Have you even been to the Well of Cantankerous Souls? Are you aware that, in addition to the aforementioned undead, the catacombs are host to no less than 350 classes of monster, all of which fly into murderous rages at the sight of Men? Thinking that you might be talking about a different “Well of Cantankerous Souls,” or that the dungeon might have recently become vacant, we sent our intern Trevor to scout out the location; he didn’t even make it to the entrance before being beset by sentient dagger-wielding toadstools.

Furthermore, you say you are going to establish storefronts on “every third level.” Setting aside the fact that the WoCS is infinitely deep (true fact, look it up), how do you intend to staff all these shops as the sole employee? You will have one open for business at any given time, while the rest are unattended? And how long do you think the shuttered stores will remain unplundered given the packs of Master Thieves and Gremlins that roam the tunnels?

But despite all the above, we’re finding the “Projected Clientele” portion of your application the most puzzling. Your customer is described as “The Hero,” “The Adventurer,” “The Character,” and we can’t help but notice that these are all singular nouns. Are you suggesting that your place of business will only have one patron? That hardly seems like a sustainable model.

And we’re disturbed that your hypothetical customer will, according to you, “obtain the funds necessary to make purchases by killing the creatures and peoples native to the dungeon and stealing their loot.” Surely this kind of behavior is not something we want to encourage, much less abet.

And really, why would this “hero” (your word) kill the inhabitants, take their gold, and then spend it on your merchandise, when it would be quicker to simply kill and rob you? (Even if he doesn’t murder you out of greed, he may do so in rage when he discovers how little you are willing to pay him to buy back items.) We just can’t help but wonder if you thought this plan through to its logical conclusion.

One last point we’d like you to consider. The denizens in the Well of Cantankerous Souls all carry gold in copious quantities, despite the fact that they do not mint it, they do not use it as currency, and they have little contact with the outside world. Indeed, the WoCS is essentially a closed ecosystem. One would have to conclude, therefore, that some external agent is introducing gold into the environment, where it quickly finds its way into the hands, claws, talons, and tentacles of the indigenous species. The question of who would be fool enough to willingly walk into a dungeon carrying sackfuls of bullion we’ll leave as an exercise to the reader. Suffice to say, we have no interest in increasing the number of gold coins in that particular system by 6500000, if you catch our drift.

We understand that, with a name like “shopkeeper,” you feel this line of work is your destiny. And we agree that your CHA of 17 would prove a great asset in such a career. But, to be blunt, your current business plan has us openly questioning your INT.

(And while this has no bearing on your loan, and is frankly none of our business, we are in agreement that the working name for your business, “SHOP,” is almost completely bereft of pizazz. Even “SHOPPE” would be an improvement, albeit marginally.)

Sincerely,

Gravin Weatheredsoles
Lawful Good (certified)
Level 33 Loan Officer
BANK