Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

Inter-Branch Banking [18 Lage 4385]

Mirrored from Sythyry.


A fretful night was spent on Strayway, with variations on the following conversation:

Someone: “Zascalle cleaned out the lockbox?”

Someone else: “The way she was throwing money around, probably more than that.”

Someone: “She did have control of Sythyry’s money. Perhaps she helped herself to a great deal of it?”

Someone else: “My very concern!”

Someone: “Why does Sythyry not go to the bank and put an end to this?”

Someone: “The banks are not open at this hour.”

Sythyry: “And I am preparing other things which I expect that I will need.”

Banking at the Bank of Teleporting Hexagons

Bank Minister: “I am surprised that you dare to show your blue-feathered head around here.” He was rather more polite about it, but I knew what he meant, so I have written it.

Me: “I am concerned that my accountant, Zascalle, may have done something improper with my accounts here.”

Bank Minister: “You have no accounts here!”

Me: “I don’t? How did this come about?”

Bank Minister: “Zascalle, armed with a letter giving her full authority, told us of your extreme displeasure with our bank — everything from the tenor of our tellers to the decor of our offices, and, of course, the integrity and diligence with which we perform our duties. Points which I humbly beg to differ with you about … but no matter.”

Me: “Points which I humbly beg to differ with myself about! I have been banking with you for thirteen decades, and been wholly pleased with you for the last eight or nine of them! In any case, today is the first time I have seen your tellers or offices, though of course I know those of Vheshrame better.”

Bank Minister: “Nonetheless you cancelled your accounts — in extenso!”

Me: “Zascalle somewhat exceeded her instructions. She was to transfer a sum of money from Vheshrame to here, to cover some surprisingly large expenses we had incurred in our travels.”

Bank Minister: “Is that so?”

Me: “I might have been slightly unclear to her, but not that unclear.”

Bank Minister: “But — the instructions to do this have been in place for years!”

Me: “They have?”

Bank Minister: “Observe this letter!” He showed me a leaf, upon which were a few sentences written in a tidy hand and silver ink about how I had advised the bank that the transfer was pending any month now as of two years ago, and the details were on file in Vheshrame. “We were simply following your instructions!”

Me: “I cannot fault you for that. But what were those instructions?”

Bank Minister: “She transferred all of your accounts to the Bank of Steel and Iron.”

Me: “Not precisely my instructions. Wait, all of them?”

Bank Minister: “All of them.”

Me: “Not just my personal ones?”

Bank Minister: “All of them.”

Me: “Now I am worried. One of those accounts is used to support my estate in Vheshrame. They may have a vast bowl of trouble if that account is now vanished.”

Bank Minister: “I suppose it is not within the realm of possibility that the Bank of Steel and Iron will support your estate in Vheshrame?”

Me: “I have no reason to doubt the integrity of the Bank of Steel and Iron. But I do have reason to doubt that they were informed of the details of the matter.”

Bank Minister: “Such oversights have been known to occur in situations such as this.”

Me: “Can you reverse the process?”

Bank Minister: “I give a long and very technical lecture on how it might be done, but only with the extensive cooperation of the Bank of Steel and Iron.”

Me: “Well. I have nothing per se against the Bank of Steel and Iron, but I would prefer that my millions of lozens remain in the Bank of Teleporting Hexagons.”

Bank Minister: “I would as well, m’lord.”

Me: “Then, perhaps you could accompany me to the Bank of Steel and Iron, to help with the technical matters? I daresay there will be bonuses forthcoming for helpful attention to such a tricky situation from your superiors in the bank, and gifts from myself.”

Bank Minister: “I should be glad to oblige.”

Banking in the Bank of Steel and Iron

Bank Minister of Teleporting Hexagons: “I explain a situation in great detail!”

Bank Minister of Steel and Iron: “Well, I would be delighted to help, having heard the situation. And having received letters from our superior banks in Daukrhame and Vheshrame which, although their dictatorial content was quite clear, left somewhat to be desired in the matter of alleviating my worries of the honesty of the transaction. Though, admittedly, only so much can be written on a leaf.”

Me: “Wonderful. Let us arrange the reversal instantly.”

Bank Minister of Steel and Iron: “Unfortunately, the most extraordinary thing has occurred.”

Me: “How, extraordinary?”

Bank Minister of Steel and Iron: “The account is not with Steel and Iron! We were an means of conveyance only, not the destination of the money, saving for certain modest fees not to exceed two per centum.”

Me: “Zascalle is a clever creature, isn’t she? Where did it the account go?”

Bank Minister of Steel and Iron: “The Bank of the Trunk’s Amber!”

B.M.T.Hex.: “Please accompany us.”

B.M.S.Iron: “Oh, dear. I shall.”

Banking in the Bank of the Trunk’s Amber

Previous Ministers: “We explain a situation in detail and in a two-part harmony which serves to accentuate the urgency, but not help the clarity of the details.”

B.M.T.Amber: “The Bank of the Trunk’s Amber was only involved as an agent. You see, we have offices up and down the main trunk, and a superior system of communication to yours, if I do say so myself. Where you send leaves back and forth by the ordinary post, we have our own private trees with unique enchantments, and our messages take minutes where yours take hours. We coordinated the movement of this money to several smaller banks in Ketheria and branches below, to accounts bearing the names Zascalle, Thiane, Feralan, and Ochirion.”

Me: “And not Sythyry. How awkward. I imagine there was a modest fee, not to exceed two per centum?”

B.M.T. Amber: “Three and five-twelfths per centum. It is all fully specified in the contract that we worked out with Zascalle, one of the owners of the source account, nearly a month ago.”

Me: “A contract that I never saw nor heard of!”

B.M.T. Amber: “This is a matter between yourself and your … if the matter were far more decent, I would call her a wife. Your personal life is clearly inferior in practical ways as well as moral ways to ours. I have little advice to give on the matter.”

Me: “She does not resemble a wife to me at all; she is simply my accountant. Rather, she was my accountant; stealing all of my money may be interpreted, obliquely, as a resignation … and, I daresay, an expressed desire to retire in luxury. Bank Ministers, you must attempt to sort the matter out as best you can. I shall reward you if you succeed.”

B.M.T.Hex: “Success is likely to be partial and slow. Only so much can be done by letters to Ketheria, especially in such a confounded and deliberately confusing situation as this. And I do not wholly expect the full assistance of the Trunk’s Amber”

B.M.T. Amber: “You may, at least, see the agreements that this Zascalle made with us.”

B.M.T. Hex: “By which it is meant that the Trunk’s Amber will probably cooperate in the matter, but will charge their extraordinary three and five-twelfths per centum again to play their part in recovering the money, and Steel and Iron their two per centum, and of course Teleporting Hexagons will require our fees. I daresay the other banks will charge as well, even assuming we can get them to cooperate at all. The total charges will be substantial. Still, if all goes well, we should be able to recover nearly three-quarters of your property in a matter of months, unless further surprises occur.”

Me: “La!”

B.M.T. Amber: “I beg your pardon … but … ‘La!’?”

Me: “I mean, ‘La!’ It’s merely money to me. Money is a convenience, to be sure, since cley does not come in such small denominations as lozens.” They looked somewhat distressed to see me fleer at the fundamental stuff of their lives. “But I am not a financier, whose power is wholly based in money. I am a wizard, and the full nature of my power is elsewhere. As you shall see.”

B.M.T. Amber: “O Zi Ri! We are citizens of Eigrach, in which you are foreign! Any assault upon us shall be treated most harshly!”

Me: “Your culpability is minor, though I would guess not utterly ignorable, and it is unlikely to be worth my time to punish you at this point. I am going to fly up to Ketheria and chat with Zascalle in person.”

B.M.T.Hex: “Oh, my.”

Travel Plans

I am not Vae, and I do not wish to bring Vae along on a trip like this. For one thing, she is likely to be helpful, and that would be an utter disaster in some unpredictable way. For another, I am not bringing Strayway, for I need to travel quickly. I would like to leave her here to guard it.

I am not Vae, and do not have her endless, free, transcendent powers of Locador. But I am an enchanter and a deep-mage, and have tricks and devices. I could — unaccompanied, or with a single companion — reach Ketheria in a matter of hours. Assuming no disasters or interesting occurrences.

Then I have to find them. I can locate Ochirion if I get within a hundred and twenty miles … but even measured in units of a hundred and twenty miles, the World Tree is a big place.

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