Trade Factions (Dominaria Supplement)
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The Banking House of Calder and Dane, Respectively
The Esteemed Banking House of Calder and Dane, Respectively, is the state bank of Ramosia. The Banking House is based in Southern Ramosia: their headquarters lies on the Street of Pearls in Ak'kritaar, on a hill overlooking the Bridge Gate and the docks outside of it. The House also owns a the bridges over the Melidaa and Daan Rivers at Ak'kritaar and Colosopolis and the small port town that services Colosopolis. The Bank does much of it's buisiness up and down the country, financing Guilds, farming, mining, and mercantile interests with a keen eye to empowering Ramosia and making a tidy profit. The Bank holds significant liquid assets at its seven offices, each with their own coffers and vaults, but most of its liability is held by the Gold Bank of Sarnia. This is a fact easily known to the mercantile elite, but not publicly shared. The Bank accepts the risk of being beholden to the Gold Bank, but is a reliable client and really wont have any other choice for the foreseeable future. Another function of the Bank, aside from offering loans and securing deposits, is overseeing, notarizing, or officiating contracts and mediating disputes. When one does not wish to involve the "Law", for good or ill, there are few contracts more trusted and respected than a contract signed under the roof of the Banking House of Calder and Dane, Respectively.
Area of Influence: Ramosia
Base of Operations: Ak'kritaar
Leadership Style: A Chief Magister who oversees all operations and directs the branch Magisters
Patron Deity: None, unless profit counts
Symbol: An evenly balanced Scale, with a C and D on each side of the equation
Note: The House nomenclature is essentially meaningless, but Houses Calder and Dane find two voices (or votes on occasion) to be preferable to one.
The Banking House of Tybalt Tymber & Sons
The Banking House of Tybalt Tymber & Sons has dominated the Avenue of Gold in Amacidia for six centuries. The House rose to prominence in the turbulent years following the fall of the 2nd Imperium. House Tymber secured large reserves of capital and good during the fleeing, rioting, and the upheaval. They emerged prepared to position themselves well in Southcrown and were setting themselves up to take over when House Amace marched their armies in from the Reach and took over and Southcrown, now Amacidia. House Amace led the city to rejoin the reforming 2nd Imperium and House Tymber had to sink or swim. They decided to adapt, and Sir Tybalt Tymber leveraged their position into forming a banking House in the now prosperous trade heart of Cormyr. During the height of the resurgent 2nd Imperium House Tymber expanded and started a branch in Taralon. Their deep pockets allowed them to buy into the expanding trade in ores from Nurim's Mountains and solidified their position as a power in the region.
The Purge at the end of the 3rd Age ended the reign of the Mages' Council and destroyed the 2nd Imperium. During the chaos, rumors say House Tymber maneuvered in the shadows and vastly improved their position. It's said they bought up mercenaries and used the cover of chaos to destroy several rivals in the two cities. Whether true or not, House Tymber entered the 4th Age with deep pockets, powerful friends, and no rivals in Amacidia. House Tymber weathered the war in Amacidia and Taralon. They gave out large loans to House Arrington and House Latimer and the leadership of both branches of the bank weathered the war safe in Reavstone Keep. In the present day Amacidia the Banking House of Tybalt Tymber and Sons runs a brisk business in commodities and securities, gives loans and secures money, and maintains a ready supply of mercenaries to be hired. The last function serves two purposes. First, House Tymber is able to undercut competition (taking a loss when they compensate their mercenary captains the difference) and at the same time buy the loyalty of the Lords that do the hiring. Many new territories on the western edge of Amacidia owe their taking to House Tymber. Secondly, a steady supply of mercenaries hedges House Tymber's bets. It would be difficult for any but a well-prepared High House to topple them.
Area of Influence: Amacidia
Base of Operations: Amacidia, with a large branch in Taralon
Leadership Style: Hereditary through the branches of House Tymber
Note: House Tymber can call a roll of almost 4,500 mercenaries currently. Most of this force is dispersed on contract work but their imposing barracks in Amacidia host 900 men presently. They also have 17 ships based in Mantaér to hire out to shipping concerns.
The Gold Bank of Sarnia
The Gold Bank of Sarnia was formed in the early 2nd Age by a cadre of Sarnian nobles. Their goal, for the parts of Arcadia proper were still nationalistic yet, was to create a base of Sarnian power in the north of the boot and build up strength for a rebellion. The Gold Bank became powerful swiftly trading up and down Arcadia by highway and throughout a rapidly expanding Ramosia by river. Within 3 decades though, the original goal of the bank had been subverted by a younger generation hungry for gold and unwilling to risk war. Thus the Gold Bank became a staple of Arcadian and Ramosi trade and politics. Their stable rise in power throughout the region was uninterrupted until the early Third Age when the grand Banking House itself, almost a fortress by this time, was sacked and plundered by Grand Caliph Suzerain. The Bank slowly reformed after the war, but wasn't seriously able to take off again for several centuries. The Bank existed in a state of near non-existence, really just several Ramosi Trade Houses and some wealthy Arcadian merchant families. During the Third Campaign of the Wandering One however, the Bank's fortunes would reverse. The Arcadians needed more and more Gold, and the disaparate parts of the Gold Bank decided to form a coalition and remake the Bank properly. Since helping finance that war, they financed the Arcadian reconquest of Felix as well as the Selucian and Andoran portions of the punitive action in Concord. During the Fourth Age especially, the Bank's fortunes have truly taken off again and it has a strong power base throughout Arcadia and Ramosia, where it effectively owns four Low and Trade Houses. The Gold Bank is a traditional bank, and lends, stores, and exchanges money for people and causes it deems profitable. Its caravans and few locations are ridiculously well guarded and they have a reputation for security which only the Mecidi Consortium can rival.
Area of Influence: Arcadia, Ramosia, east Cormyr, east Andor, Rishdan
Base of Operations: Syracuse
Leadership Style: A Chief Magister who oversees all operations and directs the branch Magisters
Patron Deity: None, unless profit counts
Symbol: The ancient banner of Sarnia
The Rishdan Connection
The Rishdan Connection is ire of Marshalls and Constables throughout the Arcadian Peninsula and along the coasts of Dominaria. The Connection is the name for the now enormous drug trade started in the dock sprawls of Rishdan. The Darzi Family is believed to be the organization that first introduced Nalish to Rishdan and the greater Arcadian region. However, since then the Darzi Family has most likely joined the infamous Ra’alin Cartel.
The Darzi family has been in Rishdan for about 300 years, first immigrating after the Southern Caliphate crushed their native city-state of Ankar in Upper Sura. It took several decades of hard trading and savvy buisness, as well as strong marriages to the powerful el-Amin and Samara families - but the Darzi family became one of the more prominent families in Rishdan. They had a seat in the Emir's council and influence on several others, owned several important estates along near the northern gate, and maintained a compound centered on two of the city's famous towers. Alongside legitimate business the family also took on several illicit enterprises. Most notably the family is believed to have been behind the largest counterfeit operation in recent history, creating false transit and import/export papers. Near the end of the 3rd Age the family and several other crime organizations got involved in a huge civil war over the blossoming trade in Nalish. The violence and stakes were so high that even the wealthy Northern half of the city was engulfed in violence and the dock slums were a warzone. After the smoke cleared, literally, there was only 4 organizations left. The Darzi Family joined with the Ra'alin Cartel and took over the Bronze Street Gang. The Bronzebacks became much of the muscle for the Darzi Family while Ra’alin Cartel's drug ties became the newest arm of the family's buisness.
The Ra’alin Cartel formerly dealt in many of the drugs on Dominaria, spreading them throughout the southern coast of the Caliphate, but their two cash-crop drugs were Nalish and Hoc. Nalish is a poppy plant native to the Najiki Archipelago and is extremely addictive. The Guunharri tribes of the central Najiki have long derived opiates from Nalish and the Ra'alin Cartel began to bring the product north to trade and smuggle as early as the the mid-3rd Age. For a long time the Ra’alin the only major traffickers of the drug, and by the time of the Rishdani Gang Wars they were still the largest. After the civil war of Rishdan’s underground the Darzi Family came to dominate the trade like never before. For the longest time the drug was bought in rather small quantities in the dens of Rishdan and among the high Arcadian and Caliphi elite. The Ra'alin Cartel always kept the supply low and the prices high. The Darzi Family however had a different idea: move larger quantities than ever before. Within two years there were Nalish dens throughout the coast of the Southern Caliphate and well inland into Arcadia. The Darzi Family knew how addictive the drug was and once they had their claws into an area they had buyers for life.
In 70 FA the Nalish trade has spread throughout the coastlines of Dominaria. There are dens aplenty in Rishdan, the Southern Caliphate, and the Zomahastra; although the practice is seen as low in Rishdan, many of the Southern Caliph's Emirs frown on it, Nova Concord banned it, and many Emirs of the Zomahastra have opposed Ra'alin influence. Arcadia too has it's fair share of Nalish dens, although it is officially illegal in Arcadia and its provinces. Nalish gets more and more exotic as one moves west and quickly becomes very expensive by the time one reaches the Narrow Sea or the Southern Isles. All of this is controlled by the Darzi Family, either directly or indirectly
In summation, the 'Rishdan Connection' consists of three parts. First there is the Nalish supplied by the Guunharri tribes of the central Najiki in return for high quality weapons, gold, and well-built ships. This product is moved in large quantities to Rishdan by either the Ra'alin Cartel or one of the many captains that owe them. Finally, the Darzi Family uses their extensive trade connections and superior counterfeit/forging capabilities to move the product all over the world. The Darzi family does not have any entire governments under their sway or even any provincial governments of High Seats, but this is by design. They keep bureaucrats, functionaries, and minor military commanders in their hand to grease the gears and help spread the product under the scrutiny of increasingly resistant governments. All in all, the trade through the Rishdan Connection is growing at an alarming rate: more and more people throughout the world are succumbing to the sweet sweet embrace of Mother N!
Area of Influence: Rishdan, Arcadia/Southern Caliphate/Zomahastra (mostly coasts but inland as well), the southern coast of the Westlands, and the Southern Isles
Base of Operations: Rishdan
Leadership Style: The head of the Darzi Family and his sons/nephews, head of the Ra'alin Cartel and his Commodores, and the tribal leaders of the Guunharri humans and sea elves.
Patron Deity: None, although they increasingly venerate "Mother N" (the Drug) and "The Patient One" (a God of secrets, darkness, and they believe smuggling and influence - although he is really a patron God of Abberations)
The Trade Bank of Athon
The first bank ever in Dominaria, the Trade Bank of Athon, was actually created before currency and insured/underwrote large transactions between merchants as well as offering the first vaults. The Trade Bank, later called the Sea Bank for a time after the rise of currency, insured agreements and contracts signed under its roof by force and constituted a strong independent force of men scattered at various branches throughout Athonian, and later Hellenic and Beldroni territory. The bank volunteered its men to fight under the Athonian banner during the Great War, but by the end of the war the Bank had sworn never to commit its soldiers wholesale to a cause ever again. Since that day the Bank has become a source of money, security, or power for any willing to sign on the dotted line. The Bank's influence extends throughout the southern coast, Illyria, Beldron, the islands to the south, and overlaps with the Gold Bank of Sarnia in Andor and Cormyri lands. The Trade Bank is still known far and wide for enforcing any contract signed under the roof of a Trade Bank by force, and the vaults they offer only fall short of the Gold Bank of Sarnia and the Banking House of Cochler and Spade in Valmorra. The Trade Bank maintains a large force of permanent mercenaries (professional soldiers) and mercenaries, as well as a sizeable fleet of ships for trade, transport, and security. It's entirely possible that this constitutes the largest force of Hellenic soldiers on Dominaria, and one of the largest forces of Beldronis not aligned with a city, but no one really knows. These men and ships enforce broken or strained contracts by intimidation first, but then unrelenting force to uphold their proud reputation.
Aside from signing, notarizing, and enforcing of contracts, as well as offering vaults for the truly concerned, the Trade Bank sells ships and men for hire. The Magisters of the Banks rarely ask questions but they make a point not to break the law knowingly. For example they may consent to haul a cargo of large crates but if a Whitebridge harbor master opens them to find Hushka from the Najiki Archipelago, the captain will give up the cargo and display the contract in an instant. The Trade Bank's soldiers for hire are another matter though. While it is true they will not knowingly guard a slave caravan for instance, they will not quit a fight/conflict under contract unless it is hopeless. The Magisters of the Bank will carefully and stringently weigh any decision to sell mercenary services, but once committed the soldiers can be relied on far past normal mercenaries.
Area of Influence: The Hellenic States, Beldron, southern Illyria, southwest Cormyr, west Andor, the Southern Isles
Base of Operations: Athon
Leadership Style: A Board of Directors in Athon which directs the activities of the Trade Banks and makes overarching policy on who and what the Bank views favorably
Patron Deity: [Pholtus], God of Resolution, Law, Order, and Inflexibility.
Symbol: A scale balanced upon a sword
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