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Chapter One: On Capitalism and The Little Things You Forget

 

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The spring crows cooed a lonely lullaby high above our industrious entrepreneur. As with all carrion birds, patience was key. Breaking ground on the first day nearly brought Reg to tears, thinking of the barrels upon barrels of ale and wine that would overflow their stockpiles very soon. Here on this hill history would be made. Along the journey it had been decided, the name of the bar would be "The Accursed Farm" - it was edgy and modern, but not off-putting. The perfect name to attract hardened adventurers and mysterious strangers from all over the Mythical Plains.

 

And so the dwarves got to building, the wood cutters clearcutting the forest around them and Reg laying out the floor plan for The Accursed Farm. With a glint in her eye she carved out sections for beds, the main chamber, the drinking halls, the hole in the back yard and the kitchen where all of the brewing would be done. Reg looked upon her plans for the future and knew nothing had passed by her thorough machinations. First things first, she set up the stills. A tavern is hardly a tavern if there's no booze in it - she even brewed the first barrel herself! Perfect, she thought. Her plans were perfect, in every way.

 

"On this day in the spring of 130, The Accursed Farm has drawn up its walls and now flows with ale! Share a drink with me, brothers and sisters!"

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And huzzahs and hoorahs resounded among the dwarves that gathered there. And the crows started to fly a little lower. Reg ordered the stills to begin processing on maximum. Every last distillable item was turned into glorious ale - but a slight issue was encountered that had not been considered. They had turned every last ounce of the food they had brought with them into alcohol! And while a liquid diet was hardly something they were unaccustomed to, it could not last forever. Slowly they came to realize that their stomachs rumbled and there was nothing to catch in the eastern swamps. Slowly the rats in the stockpiles began to look more and more tasty...

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Soon the dwarves were starving and scrambling about the tavern for every scrap of food they can find. Their minds were completely consumed by their hunger and any long term solution such as a farm or a fruit-bearing tree was abandoned in favor of the scramble for scraps. And the crows cackled as they watched their patience pay off... but then a knock on the door.

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A customer! How joyous, Reg's first customer! Reg crawled out of the hole out back and opened the door for their visitor.

"Stand aside, citizen! 'Tis I, Sibrek the Speardwarf of The Inky Page! I shall free you of the thralldom of this 'Accursed Farm' - Bring forth your master, emaciated one, and I shall free you from his tyranny!"

And before Reg could protest, a stay cat lept from the shadows and was eviscerated by the speardwarf.

"Your attack beasts are no match for me, coward! Show yourself! Release these poor wretches and I may spare your life!"

Sibrek scanned the horizon and started searching the tavern, but the dwarves had their eyes on one thing only. Meat. Raw meat. They snatched up the cat and cooked it, realizing the simple end to all their troubles.

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After filling their stomachs and setting their minds straight, they filled Sibrek in on what was really happening - he laughed heartily and confessed that it had been a long while since he had had some good dwarven alcohol. And of course Reg jumped to the opportunity!

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"What a novel idea, companion!" the speardwarf bellowed, "An establishment built on the tenets of sport, wine and song? I think perhaps I might stick around."

The food crisis was over, the crows moved on, disappointed and the hole out back grew ever deeper.

For now all was good on the hill, and many days of hard work had brought together the start of something new and wonderful. The light in Reg's eyes grew brighter by the minute.

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To Be Continued

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