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Faulty Apprentice Merchant by MapleSamurai Faulty Apprentice Merchant by MapleSamurai
Better late than never! I remember when :icondinmoney: announced the character design contest for the upcoming visual novel Faulty Apprentice (steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles…), I was one of the first to post a comment saying I wanted to draw something for it, but here I am, one of the LAST to enter. XD

If one thought of a what sleazy car salesman would look like in a fantasy setting, the imagined character wouldn't be too different from Winona Mackenzie, travelling item merchant and proprietor of Winona's Wondrous Wares, the finest purveyor of weapons, armour, healing potions and any other equipment an erstwhile knight or adventurer may have need for. If you've been dungeon crawling as part of your career for any length of time, chances are you've come across Winona's storefront, a seemingly ordinary merchant's wagon that unfolds into a veritable bazaar far larger than the vehicles original size (although she always keeps a small inventory of her wares in her Bag of Holding-like magic coat, just in case). Conducting business with the flair of a circus ringmaster, Winona shills her vast inventory with fantastic tales of such a item's capabilities, and sometimes even a legendary history passed through the ages... although curiously, she seems to always neglect to mention how that +2 dwarven battleaxe was "the ax brandished by the dwarf king Alberich himself, why look, it still has that nick in the blade right where it split the orc warchief's helm" until AFTER a customer expresses doubt in buying it.

Despite such dubious claims attached to her inventory, none leave Winona's storefront without a multitude of purchases. Charming, amiable, and with the best business smarts in the realm, there is no customer has not convinced to part with their well-earned coin. The illusory infomercials magically projected into the sky whenever she's in town certainly draw such customers to her, and they're always in need of some more gear. However, she's not exactly the most honest businesswoman either. While she has far too much pride as a businesswoman to sell any low-quality goods, the aforementioned embellishment of her wares' histories often convinces gullible heroes that they're walking away to legendary weapons far greater than what they're actually worth. She also has a habit of convincing customers to purchase more than they can afford, and is not above using her looks or a simple charm spell to secure a transaction.

But if things do go sour for Winona, she has a few magical tricks up her sleeve to defend herself or escape entirely, an all-too-common result of too many adventurers not satisfied with their purchases, whether she needs to fire off a few stun blasts, cast refund-seeking mobs into a temporary slumber, or just plain out teleport her and her wagon into the distant countryside. And her personal favourite method of dealing with uppity customers, polymorphing them into a small animal for a lengthy duration and selling them as a pet, being sure to leave town before the spell wears off, surprising many a child not expecting the bunny rabbit they bought the other day to suddenly turn into an old wizard or burly knight.
:iconwilledgecomb:
WillEdgecomb Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2016  Professional Writer
I kind of love her and do not envy her having to carry around that heavy cloak.
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:iconmaplesamurai:
MapleSamurai Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, you don't need to worry about that last one. Her coat basically works like a Bag of Holding from D&D: it contains a personal storage dimension that can hold more more stuff than should fit in that amount of space, while making it no heavier than a mundane item of its type.

After all, what's the point of having access to a massive store inventory of magical items if you're not going to take advantage of it? ;P
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:iconwilledgecomb:
WillEdgecomb Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2016  Professional Writer
Brilliant!
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