Bron, we need to talk. I’ve tried to be supportive, but it’s time to accept the fact that opening an inn in a town plagued by dark cultists, the undead, murderous goatmen, the angry spirits of our ancestors and demons in service of the Lord of the Seven Hells himself was not a prudent business decision.
For starters, we haven’t had many guests. I’m guessing that’s because being surrounded by cursed ruins and twisted forests overrun by shadow doesn’t exactly scream “vacation hotspot.” And business travel has slowed to a crawl ever since most of this land collapsed under the screams of endless shrieking hellspawn. But I think what’s most important is that the majority of our prospective customers are now part of the shambling army of zombies currently laying siege to our town. I imagine they’re unlikely to be tempted by your “bring in the body of a slaughtered goat shaman and we’ll cook him for free!” deal.
I know, I know, you “anticipated” this. “But think of what we’ll sell to the guests we do have!” you said. “We’ll supply warriors and mages. We’ll arm and armour heroes!”
Well, I don’t know if you’ve taken a good look at the heroes in town, but I have. And I don’t think the eight-foot tall strongman wielding two flaming broadswords forged from Angelic steel that syphon away the life-force of his enemies to fuel his bloodlust is going to have much use for your grandfather’s old wood axe, unless he’s planning to shave with it. And that light leather armour from your stint in the town watch? The one you said wizards would be all over? Yeah, this wizard is surrounded by a raging winter storm that freezes anyone who gets within five feet of him. Which, incidentally, probably explains why Snuffles went missing.
Then there’s the woman who throws jars of poisonous spiders at her enemies while her undead hounds rip them to shreds, and the monk who punches skeletons apart. Should I ask them if they’d like to peruse our dagger inventory? Some of them haven’t entirely rusted up yet!
Not that it even matters if you make any money, because I’m sick of having to beat off swarms of flesh-eating ice bats every time I go to the grocers. I’m sick of losing guests who don’t believe me when I warn them that if they get too close to the tree around back it will set them on fire and then eat their soul. I’m sick of living in a town where the legions of the Hells outnumber us honest, hard-working folk by thousands upon thousands to one.
Remember when I had to hire an adventurer to escort me to my sister’s farm down the road? And he killed over 200 of the Hells’ undead minions, a trio of giant electrified spiders that could summon meteor strikes, and Lord Dunhyld, the Phantom of Anguish, one of the grotesque champions of Azmodan, Lord of Sin? It’s a good thing a horde of imps devoured all his flesh just before we got back inside the gates, or else we’d have had to take out a second mortgage to pay his hazard fee.
And don’t even think of saying that I should just keep in touch by mailing a letter. You know as well as I do that all the postmen have been eaten by wraiths.
I haven’t asked for much in this relationship. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to live in a place where we’re not in constant danger of dying tortuous deaths that will condemn our spirits to the fiery pits of the Hells for all eternity. Also, I have yet to “get used” to the constant stench of rotting flesh and endless blood rain as you claimed I would.
I love you, Bron, but enough is enough. Either we move, or we divorce. I know divorce is a sin in the eyes of the Gods, but considering that we’re woken up every night by the shrieks and moans of the ritualistic murder orgies held by maleficent covens across the river, I think it’s safe to say that the Gods’ eyes are elsewhere.
I know that keeping inn is your passion, and I want to support that. But let’s run an inn that overlooks the tide of a crystal clear ocean instead of a tide of unrelenting demonic evil. Let’s run an inn where you don’t have to demand gold up front in-case the guests are robbed and murdered by bandits. Let’s run an inn where, instead of hosting recitals of ominous prophecies and triage centres that turn into shambling battalions of the risen dead, we host bingo night. No one’s ever lost a limb or their sanity to bingo night.
Oh, and maybe think of a more welcoming name for your new inn than The Slaughtered Calf. Seriously, what the fuck were you thinking?