The Harrabloon Bank was founded in -185 EC. Olaff Devork was the principal investor and the first Grand High Lochree1 on the Owners Oversight Group2. No one is quite sure where Olaff obtained his money -- records of his life preceding the foundation of the bank are suspiciously non-existent. This author has managed to track down some documentation that seems to confirm the rumoured relationship between Olaff and smugglers. The nature of the documents makes absolute conclusions difficult, but it seems most likely that the bank was founded to launder the profits of a particularly successful smuggling ring.
As the bank grew and became more profitable, Olaff developed a high living lifestyle characterised by week long parties where huge quantities of alcohol, stimulants and hallucinogens were consumed. These parties were very popular amongst the elite of the day. The family names of many partygoers are now found in the membership of the Amphitheatre aristocracy although it is doubtful they would like to be reminded of their hedonistic forebears.
In keeping with his lifestyle, Olaff was notably fond of women and his eventual demise in -157 EC was attributed to a rare sexually transmitted disease that causes blisters and open sores to appear all over the body. Some imaginative freaks in the academic world suggest that his death is more likely to be associated with Captain Riquiras’ Idol which he stored in a secure vault for the captain. This author believes these stories are caused by the coincidence that both men died in -157 EC.
The Harrabloon Bank has the franchise for the minting of coins for the Principality of Jurra. For this reason, the bank is effectively split in two: one part handles the treasury of the Principality and the other performs the normal functions of a bank, namely retail and commercial loans and deposits. The bank also maintains a vault of deposit boxes where customers can place money or items of value in secrecy.
Bank officials have always been silent when questioned regarding their customers. This silence fuels speculation that the bank still has strong ties with the larger smuggling organisations -- a remnant of its colourful past. From time to time, political officials representing the Prince or the Town Council have made raids on the bank to try and locate evidence of ties with criminals. These raids always occur at times when either the Prince or the Town Council are being hounded by the press (particularly Folktown Records) about some controversial issue. The last raid occurred nearly fifty years ago.
All current coins have the likeness of Olaff Devork on the obverse and another unique picture on the reverse side.
- Ooo: least valuable monetary unit. Minted as a small bronze coin 1 inanit in diameter. The unique picture on the reverse of the coin is a likeness of a sheaf of Darseed.
- Truq: monetary equivalent of 8 Ooo. Minted as a gold coin 1/2 inanit in diameter. The unique picture on the reverse of the coin is a likeness of a Bindlet Ball.
- Evequ: monetary equivalent of 1.5 Thrud or 12 Ooo. Minted as a gold coin 1.5 inanit in diameter. The picture on the reverse of the coin is a likeness of the celebrated Bavarian Creame.
- Goon: monetary equivalent of 5 Evequ, or 7.5 Thrud or 40 Ooo. Minted as a gold coin shaped as a pentagonal disk. The picture on the reverse of the coin is a likeness of the front facade of the Odlucian Library.
- Quezloo: monetary equivalent of 213 Goons or 8520 Ooo. Minted as a platinum coin 2 inanit in diameter. (The use of oooite is obsolete.) The picture on the reverse of the coin is a likeness of the crest of the Amphitheatre aristocracy. "Quezloo" is technically an abbreviation for Quezlarian Ooo.
In -45 EC, the bank successfully lobbied the Folktown Council to have a Bank Holiday proclaimed. The motivation for this holiday was to increase the number of people who came to the town markets on that particular Ulfsday. The increased trade was expected to lead to increased takings at the bank the following Varhookan. Whether the increased takings occurred is known only to officials of the bank. The holiday on Ulfsday 8th Darwina has stayed with us and remains a big market day for Folktown.
The Most Senior Banker during the period -31 EC and -25 EC was implicated in the messy divorce of Bavarian Creame. Some rumour mongers claimed that the banker and Bavarian Creame were having an illicit affair; others claimed the two were engaged in drug smuggling. Other similar claims were made at the time, although none were proven.
The Harrabloon Bank was the primary lender to the founder of the Folktown Records and remains the bank of record for that august publication.
The Harrabloon Bank is reputed to be extremely secure. There are seven recorded attempts to steal from the bank. Two of these were partially successful, in that the miscreants managed to leave the bank with their booty, only to be found a few days later. In both cases, the corpses of the perpetrators were found at the edge of a forest in the Evesque Valley with the money intact beside them. Each had been neatly decapitated with the head placed at the feet of the corpse facing the body. Each corpse was also missing its hands, which were never found. In the other five attempts at robbing the bank, the criminals all entered the vault (alone) and then disappeared. None of the money in the vault has ever been missing. The Bank’s archives are closed to the public (even highly regarded scholars are excluded). For this reason, we have no information about the security measures the bank employs.
- The Grand High Lochree is the title usually given to one who organises and chairs meetings of committees that oversee commercial and semi-commercial organisations.
- The Owners Oversight Group, more commonly referred to as the OOG, is a group of people who represent the owners of a company. This group usually consists of the largest stakeholders and is expected to oversee the operation of the organisation to the benefit of the owners.
--Dok 17:19, 1 Nov 2004 (EST)