“It’s not blood that runs through that relic’s veins, and if you cut him, you will see only green.”
Centuries ago, a young, smart, and innovative man invented a new way to use cash – by betting on the productivity of enterprise. Backing entrepreneurial and corporate efforts alike rewarded participants with part ownership of the companies in which they invested. Excited finance buffs rushed to buy and sell stocks in everything from apple orchards to zen getaways and a new hub of speculation and mathematics was born – the stock exchange.
Little did the man know that an ancient evil had set its sights upon his bustling stock club. The incarnation of greed and control. It spoke to him in his dreams. First, it came as innocuous promises. It told him that his efforts would bring about a long-lasting legacy, that he would go down in the history books. It told him that his project would become a primary center of commerce, touching the lives of millions.
The man became obsessed with developing and expanding the stock exchange, certain that all which the voice said would come true. Word of the fiscal phenomenon spread far and wide, and so too did access to the exchange. Transportation boomed, capital exploded, and within decades, hordes of hungry traders lived and breathed the stock exchange.
Its inventor, however, was growing old. Cancer took root in his early sixties, and the doctors gave him months to live. He turned to the voice that had been there for him every night. Driving his efforts, encouraging him, highlighting all the good which the stock exchange brought about – all the pleasure and profits it imparted onto the wise and the lucky. He begged the voice, “how can I make all of this permanent?”
The voice responded deceitfully, “it is true – without you, the soul will be gone from this place, and it will wither… but you don’t have to go anywhere.” It offered him permanence – a fulfillment to the promises made. In exchange for permitting it to bless him, the voice would grant the man the immortality to fuel his project and and the power to defend it. The man accepted. He was purged of the cancer the next day, baffling the doctors.
Those corrupt participants in the stock exchange that had quietly been awaiting the man’s death so that they could take control protested this miracle. Impatient and full of greed, they sought to oust him from the throne upon which he sat, overlooking the exchange and directing its expansion. They shouted that the exchange should be passed on to the young, but the man’s old lips curled into a grin as he declared, “I am further from death than any of you.” He reached out an arm, and two enormous familiars materialized at his sides, eyes aglow with eldritch power. One, a lumbering bear, the other, an enraged bull. With a splay of his fingers, he unleashed them on the usurpers – the first, but not the last time that blood would be spilled upon the stock exchange floor.
The traders, horrified, but caught up in the game, would not abandon their places as fixtures in the speculative system. They listened warily to the declaration of sovereignty made by the father of the exchange. “It is through my soul that you seek your profits, and it is my index that dictates your fate. I, Nathan Nyse, AM the stock exchange.”
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