While Ronni pesters Ali for information on a real-life gold-based economy and explains her fascination, Loen is actually walking us through that enormous sprawling pseudo-European medieval fantasy town, up Witching Hill to Scott Castle. It's actually pretty impressive.
I completely stole that "I'm armed and not that generous" line from Adam Warren in his Dirty Pair 'A Plague of Angels' series. Brilliant bastard.
Ronni's points are completely valid, by the way. But as a hard luck heroine she is still plucking along, trying to stay ahead of her bad credit and this does look like a golden opportunity, pun intended. Coincidentally this was a mashup that inspired me in Ronni's creation- I wanted her to be money hungry and motivated by it, and the reason why made itself quite evident early in her creation.