Gheed story

Lore and Story
Don't get me wrong, I traded with the guy and all, he actually had some of the most entertaining gossip in D2 ("I'm gonna party like its 999").

But I'd never describe him as a great man. More like a sleazy salesman. Most of the other NPCs in Rogue Encampment don't seem to like him, except Charsi.

Kadala is revealed to be Gheed's daughter and says "My father was a great man... Until he lost his fortune." It's not clear how he loses his fortune though.

Gheed says he's raking in gold in Rogue Encampment, implying that he loses his fortune between D2 and D3. At some point Kadala is born (Gheed never mentions having a daughter in D2).

Kadala never mentions who her mother is but Charsi did have a fondness for Gheed...
I'm of the opinion that the Gheed we meet in D2 is post losing his fortune. Like you said, he doesn't appear to be anything resembling a great man when we meet him, nor does he seem to have the makings of one. We can only speculate on his financial path, but I don't see Gheed earning a fortune peddling weapons, especially once the Rogues stop buying from him. All this makes me think he lost his fortune prior.

I would also peg Kadala as being in her thirties and D3 is only twenty years after LOD, meaning she was already born at the time of D2 despite Gheed's not mentioning her. As to her mother, Gheed implies a certain level of promiscuity (his comment about "carbuncular trulls") meaning her mother could be anyone, but I doubt it's Charsi. My preferred timeline makes this an impossibility.
Good points. I'd agree with your assessment of Gheed's station as a traveling merchant being a good indicator that Gheed has already lost his fortune by the time we meet him in D2. Also agree with Kadala being in her 30s meaning she was already born in D2, and Charai not her mother.

Since Kadala carries on Gheed's role of supplying wares to the heroes (though her currency suggests something more occult), perhaps she believes this is an honorable task carried out by a "great" person..
My speculation is that Kadala didn't traveled with Gheed and just stayed in home with her mother. She may had remembered her father as a "great man", because when she was still a kid, whenever he came back home, he brought stories, presents and trinkets.

She may had heard the storied on how he helped save the Rogue Encampment and how he met the hero that defeated Diablo. This may be her own perspective and may even be true, because we don't know much about him outside of the encounter in Act 1.

Considering how much he charged for gambling and that we, players, are not the only heroic figures* in the world of Diablo 2, I am not surprised he was rich.

* Actually, people are not so mindlessly slaughtered in Diablo 2 like in Diablo 3. Guards are more than capable of defending the cities they are stationed at, like in Act 2 where through our whole journey for the Cube, they successfully kept the palace sealed. What I mean is that more than "heroic figures" were capable of amassing treasure from killing monsters.

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