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The Economic Impact of Smaug - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
The Economic Impact of Smaug
This is what happens when one individual amasses a vast amount of wealth in a destructive manner and then holds onto it over a long period.  (Link courtesy of my partner Doug.)

Think about it.

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starcat_jewel From: starcat_jewel Date: January 5th, 2013 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
It doesn't have to be a single individual. Look at what's happening to our economy, where 0.5% of the population is sitting on over 90% of the wealth and not doing anything with it. Anything that ends up removing significant amounts of money from the system is going to create the Dragon Effect.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 5th, 2013 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well...

Imagine what Middle Earth would've looked like if there had been a conflagration of dragons, instead of just Smaug. Thranduil turns around and..."Oh shit ANOTHER dragon?!?" And so forth.
msstacy13 From: msstacy13 Date: January 5th, 2013 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
A family of 400 dragons,
and then Ronald of Rheye Gon insists that because pieces of gold
trickle down from the dragons' undersides when they fly...

well, you get the idea...
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 15th, 2013 08:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Well...

I did actually incorporate the idea of dragons sprinkling treasure as they fly. It makes sense; if they're lying on the stuff, some of it would stick and fall off at random intervals.
msstacy13 From: msstacy13 Date: January 5th, 2013 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I was going to say that a family of 400 dragons could have that same effect.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 5th, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hmm...

That would actually make a rather awesome fantasy story, or series ...

Dragon #1 hits the first target. Neighbors shake their heads and say, "Golly gee whiz, what a shame you got your stuck-up city razed by a dragon." Also it would be hilarious to name this one after global warming somehow.

Dragon #2 hits the second target. Now people are all "WTF another dragon?!" They go running after the first bunch of refugees, who are all, "Boo hoo, fuck off and find yourselves a tent city of your own."

Dragon #3 hits the third target. There goes the last dominant power in the region. Little cash remains in circulation. Raw materials and finished goods alike have been obliterated. Large swaths of forest and cropland have been burned; livestock and wildlife populations are gutted; surface water is contaminated with ash and possibly toxic trace elements. A majority of several populations are now refugees, squabbling amongst themselves for increasingly scarce resources.

People begin to realize that they have an endemic problem. They all really hate each other. It takes a while to convince anyone to gather for a meeting. Most of their warriors (and indeed, a great many people altogether) have already died in the initial attacks. They finally come to a wary and grudging meeting on a wide plain, where a small band of surviving heroes attempt to formulate a strategy.

Dragons #4 and #5 arrive simultaneously, attracted by the no-longer-common accumulation of people and livestock. #4 lands in the middle and begins eating people by the dozens. The small band of heroes does not survive. #5 attacks #4 and they roll all over sky and land, clawing and flaming, until #4 falls dead to the ground, spewing toxins. Much of the plain has been destroyed and many refugees slain.

Dragon #6 arrives, attracted by the ruckus. #5 and #6 have another noisy fight, somewhat different in flavor but no less destructive. Then they proceed to fuck all over the ruined landscape and smoking corpses. #6 gorges on the dead, then starts scraping up vast mounds of scorched earth to form a nest. #5 collects the pitifully scant treasure to be found amongst the ruins and pushes it toward his mate, who hisses in displeasure over the paltry offering. Knowing which side of the golden hoard his butter is on, #5 flies away in search of more gold.

The traumatized refugees look up to see a conflagration of dragons in a V, bugling and flaming as they go. Sensibly the refugees take cover. Something strikes the ground with a distinct ping. It is a golden coin which lies glinting in the sun. Something else falls, a jewel. The dragons are slowly raining pieces of hoarded treasure that had stuck to their scaled hides as they slept. Several people dart out from cover to grab the fallen treasure, and soon begin to fight.

The dragons, spying a ready food source, drop down to devour more of the refugees. Those people not immediately eaten scatter into small groups and individuals, most of them with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.

And so it goes ...
msstacy13 From: msstacy13 Date: January 5th, 2013 07:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

Feel free to write the full story.
Just don't use any trademarks in the title.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 15th, 2013 08:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

The series will be "A Conflagration of Dragons."
cissa From: cissa Date: January 5th, 2013 08:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

BRILLIANT.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 15th, 2013 08:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

I'm glad you think so. I've been developing background material for this.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 15th, 2013 08:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

You do realize that you've helped me raze a world, right?

Actually, it only took 6 dragons to wipe out the major capitols, the economy, and what little cohesion the divergent societies had. Beyond that they were squabbling over the remains.
the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: January 5th, 2013 11:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
*chuckle* Thanks for pointing this out.
pickledginger From: pickledginger Date: January 6th, 2013 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful discussion, thanks! And yes, very like the modern banks.
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