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Literally Fantasy Accounting

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jul 13, 2015
BusinessKnightSure, defeating the dragon, overthrowing the evil emperor, and fighting off an army of the dead is all well and good, but what exactly happens after? Kingdoms, even fantasy kingdoms, surely must have some basic financial realities that need to be faced, but stories seldom pay all that much attention to them. You beat the dragon, but then how do you deal with inflation when its gigantic pile of gold is begins working its way through the kingdom? The evil emperor is gone, but the massive debts he accrued during his reign live on. And that army of the dead? Do you know how expensive it's going to be to actually bury all those bodies to make sure they don't rise again during the next full moon? That sort of work doesn't come cheap, but the kingdom just spent its entire treasury on fancy magical swords (the only things that can even hurt the undead at all!) And let's not even get into negotiating trade deals with the vampire lords across the border (the difference in business hours alone will make this a nightmare), dealing with labor unrest from the Blacksmith's Guild (who, to be fair, do make pretty much all your army's armor), and, of course, collecting imperial taxes in a world where wizards can produce counterfeit coins with nothing more than a few cups of mouse blood and a verse spoken in the Old Tongue. 

An article on Tor, however, points out the works of science fiction and fantasy that take the time to include characters of sufficient financial acumen to wrestle with weighty problems such as these. Granted, most of them are more general financial experts, rather than specifically accountants or auditors, but in a genre where basic practical questions like "what exactly are dragons spending all that gold on?" are swept aside, maybe we can just take what we can get. 

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