Possibly The Greatest Idea EVER!

Just answer me this: HOW do these guys manage to keep their stores?

Let’s face it, when we first arrived on Dereth, it was perfectly acceptable to sell stuff and not know what the hell you were doing. None of us knew what we were doing, so you fit in. And hey, if you were a mighty TWELFTH level, it was obvious you know LOADS more than us mere 4th or 5th level guys and gals!

But now, here we are, capped characters everywhere you look, and who’s running the shops? The newbs.

Come on, people. We need to start holding some standards to these slobs! Selling us basic arrows? Are we going to stand for this? It wouldn’t be so bad if these were just wandering bowyers or something. But these guys have all the good spots! Oh, sure, you can set up in Marketplace – but let’s face it: that place is crowded, noisy, and usually full of idiots like Merovingian.

Who’s that? I dunno, some goombah running around Market asking to see my bow. I had just gotten level 7 buffs while standing right in front of him, so it’s not like he was going to do anything for me. But when I tell him to go away and stop pestering people, he calls ME a n00b! Me – and yet his idea of a clever thieving scam was to just ask people for their weapons? Honestly, I remember the days when thieving assholes really INVESTED themselves in their roles, by golly! Actually taking the time to invent some sort of swindle involving an exploit or something – remember those days? Sigh. Now we’re stuck with assmunchers like Merovingian and his oh-so-witty, “Lemme see your bow.” Sigh.

Er…but where was I? Oh, right – the merchants! Look, I accept that mages don’t actually practice magic. That’s fine; if I go to buy something from them, I’m just going to buy base components anyway. But blacksmiths? Not knowing how to tinker? And bowyers not being able to make anything except the most basic of arrows? Who are their Union Reps? Satan?

How does that meeting work, exactly? Which meeting, you ask? The one where you’re explaining to the angry mob of town residents why your store isn’t going to sell anything except basic arrows! Aren’t there lawyers out there yet? Why aren’t we suing these guys? How can you call yourself a blacksmith and not actually be able to do any smithing, let alone any of the black variety!

And we’re not talking about people SO busy they have nothing else to do, here! These are people with apprentices! What are their jobs? What could they possibly be learning, “How to Bilk Your Average Citizen?” I mean, come on, I pay my taxes!

Death says, “No you don’t! Nobody pays any taxes!”
You say, “Well, if we HAD taxes, I would pay them!”
Death says, “You liar! You’d whine and bitch about them just like you do everything else!”
You say, “QUIET, SLUT!”

Where’s our great and powerful Queen? Why isn’t our (not yet collected) tax money being spent on Vocational-Technical schools? It’s not like you walk up to an apprentice to ask for something and he has to go get the boss or anything! And they don’t even barter! The price is set in stone! So basically all the apprentice does is hold some of the stock for the blacksmith. I dunno, maybe when nobody’s around, they have to clean out the bedpans or something, but I never see it happen.

Let’s face it: if a brand new arrival to the land walks up to your store and says, “Woah, your inventory kind of sucks, n00b!” You’ve got a problem! I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have a clue when it comes to marketing. And yet I think that I can make a dangerously accurate prediction: nobody buys plain arrows from bowyers! Why would they? I think I’ve seen brain-damaged Virindi ‘experiments’ that could make better arrows than these guys! In fact, I can snap a branch off of a tree and have a better arrow!

It wouldn’t be so bad if these goombahs didn’t have such a choke-hold on every town. You think I’m kidding? Find me a town where ONE bowyer sells decent arrows! Or even a blacksmith that can do anything to your weapon or armor (other than steal it from you for a ridiculous sum!)! At this point, I’d be completely happy if they took it and broke it – just so I could believe they were actually trying!

Here’s what I think needs to happen: first, kill all the merchants. Let’s face it, they’ve been living off of our misery long enough! Let THEM see what a little vitae feels like! And let’s face it, these guys could stand to earn a bit of vitae – what, you think 8% vitae’s going to even make a dent in their ability levels to make the crap they sell now? Yeah right!

Anyway, once we have the old merchants under control, we establish NEW merchants. Ones that pay taxes! And have actual skills!

And if they were all attractive red-heads in low-cut gowns…Well, the world wouldn’t be too worse off, would it?

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