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Wednesday, 27th August, 2008, 03:29 PM #1
Guide (Lvl 11)
Merchants and Nobility of Harqual
PROJECT: Merchants and Nobility of Harqual
- Carrin-Austil Mercantile House
- Chisel, the (imported from the Shakled City Adventure Path)
- Claw & Anchor Mercantile Fleet
- Doverspeak Trading House
- House Aslaxin (imported from the Shackled City Adventure Path)
- House Grofus
- House Lathenmire (imported from the Shackled City Adventure Path)
- House Taskerhill (imported from the Shackled City Adventure Path)
- House Troika (imported from the Dark Sun 2e reference, City-state of Tyr)
- House Wavir (imported from the Dark Sun 2e reference, City-state of Tyr)
- Meridanio Trading House (imported [and renamed] from Piratecat's Spira campaign world)
- Naramore Kinship, the
Human Noble Families
- Brookwater Family
- Divine Blooded of Popescu, the
- Dragonguard Family
- Highborn of MaShir, the
- House of Arabasti (imported from Pathfinder Chronicles: guide to Korvosa)
- House of Cojocaru
- House of de Brose
- House of Gaill
- House of Gault
- House of Gerrard
- House of Hallet
- House of Hault
- House of Sandulescu
- House of Van Rihen
- Royals of Ahamudia, the
- Royal Family of Stonn, the
- Valdeshars, the
- Winternight Family
Demihuman Noble Families
- Clan of Blackforge
- Herljanvar High Clan
- House of Aellarahd
- House of Silversun
- House of Valmar
- Monarchs of Carillon, the
- Monarchs of Hillgate, the
- Mountain Royals of Gital, the
Bolded entries are finished.
Last edited by Knightfall; Sunday, 1st May, 2011 at 01:07 AM.Robert Blezard
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Wednesday, 27th August, 2008, 03:42 PM #2
Guide (Lvl 11)
Moved here from my Kulan: Lands of Harqual thread...
CARRIN-AUSTIL MERCANTILE HOUSE
Symbol: An axe and longsword crossed on a shield of silver with a gold coin directly above.
The mission statement of the Carrin-Austil Mercantile House is to dominate and innovate trade in the lands surrounding Xcellian, the City of Fortune. The mercantile house seeks to expand its reach across the entire Far South. It has warehouses throughout the lands of Harqual’s southern shore and the Thenin Peninsula. It also has business dealings in port cities as far away as Favir, Hellekan, and Sulinon on the western coast of Harqual near the Island of Thessal, as well as the city-states of Jyl, Kaaluntor, and Sasserine in the Wulman Gulf to the northeast. The leaders of the mercantile house wish to expand their territory to include the cities of the Belin, on the Nebral Peninsula, and as far north and east as the cities of the Relaini Bay and Varan Peninsula.
However, the Carrin-Austil Mercantile House is a strong “by sea” trading house with only minor interests in dealings with trade “by land”. Its land-bound mercantile dealings are limited to the areas in and around Xcellian with its best operations being in the Four Cities and the Greolin Lordship. Only in recent years have the mercantile house begun operations more inland such as the city-states of Nemuse and Onnostok, as well as the Legacy Lands of the Water God, also known as the Tullelands. Anders Carrin does have some good trading contacts with the torin dwarves of the savannas and the race of river traders known as the t’skrang.
Leaders: Anders Carrin [LN male dwarf (torin), Ftr8/Trd8]; Isabelle Austil [LE female human, Trd7/Wiz8 (conjurer)]. Generations ago there were two major trading houses in Xcellian, the torin dwarf dominated Carrin Mercantile House and the human dominated Austil Trading Coster. The Carrins dealt mainly in finished goods such as weapons, armor, furniture, clothing, jewelry, and transport (i.e. ships). The Austils, however, dealt mainly in raw, bulk goods and produce – coarse sugar, silk, gems, linen, velvet, spices, raisins, and coffee beans.
The two families were rivals for a long time until a male torin dwarf of the Carrins fell in love with the Austils patriarch’s daughter. The joining broke the rift between the two families and brought about the creating of the merchant house as it now stands. The current leaders (listed above) are the Patriarch and Matriarch of the Carrins and Austils, respectively. Anders Carrin is also the current Merchant Lord of Xcellian. This gives the mercantile house even more teeth in dealings with Anders’ peers.
The activities of the Carrin-Austil Mercantile House are all about profit. The members of the two main families that control the mercantile house are raised from an early age to see profit in anything and everything. One could say they are almost ruthless in their determination to succeed. The youth of the two families have the title of “Little Merchant” for the Carrins and “Coster” for the Austils. (Thus, parents of a dwarven lad named Benj Carrin would refer to him as “Little Merchant Benj” or “my Little Merchant son, Benj”.)
The mercantile house is known for its innovative look at trading. They have often given away “free gifts” to other wealthy families as enticements to visit their local Carrin-Austil shop and browse its shelves and catalogs. This had always been frowned upon by the trading houses of the Far South, as it is considered unseemly behavior for merchants of good breeding and civility. They also have provided decreased prices on items bought in bulk, which has appealed greatly to other, smaller trading houses in distant cities, without access to the same markets. The mercantile house’s dealers have also been known to haggle over prices, a rare concept on Harqual. Most merchant set a price and stand by it, especially in the lands of the Far South.
However, where the Carrin-Austils can’t innovate, they dominate, with ruthless buyouts and black marketeering. They will undercut a single competitor’s prices and drive them out of business by working with the local thieves’ guild in the competitor’s home city. They will often work within the framework of the law to ruin opponents legally and morally. Then they buy up all that is left, eliminate anyone who still opposes them, and use whatever else is left to increase their holdings.
For generations the Carrin-Austils have done this and yet, the law has rarely touched them. If a city or country’s laws are so rigid and unforgiving that doing “business” there isn’t profitable, the members of the mercantile house will simply pull out while trying to shift the blame onto a competitor. The Carrin-Austils have a sizable mercantile fleet and many of its ships are, in fact, little more than privateers working under the banners of the mercantile house. All this has made the Carrin-Austils very unwelcome in certain cities of the south. The members of the two families take it all in stride, believing in the power of god and silver to eventually given them complete control of the lands of the Far South.
The Carrin-Austils might be one of the dominant trading houses of the Far South but only if you look at their profit margins by sea trade. If you looked at their profits by land, they would be in the red. The Austils have always been in charge of land dealings and have, as yet, been unable to pulling in significant coinage. Only the strong bond of bloodline has kept the more ruthless members of the Carrins from initiating a purge of the other family. This and the iniquitous Matriarch of the Austils, Isabelle Austil, keeps them at bay.
Lady Isabelle has recently begun to “find ways” to make profit inland. She believes that anything that can be justified within the boundaries of the law is worth looking into. She will often make contracts with unsuspecting traders, contracts that are horribly complex and always with a loophole to let her out of it. She will use these contracts to squeeze a victim dry of all his wealth. She often brokers with devils and has a bound Erinyes in her service to act as an advisor, as well as for other needs.
The Carrin-Austil Mercantile house controls much of the trading power in the lands of Far South. They dominate the city of Xcellian and have only recently lost some of that power, due to the betrayal by Lord Anders Carrin’s vizier, Randolph Baer. The simple explanation was that Baer aligned himself with the Breshidi of the city of Cardamere, one of the many cities transported to the Lands of Harqual during the event known as the Transformation in the month of Thorn of the current year.
The betrayal cost the Carrins family a lot of money, although Anders is still the Merchant Lord of Xcellian and wields complete power in his own family. However, in the overall mercantile house, the Austils have gained considerable influence and are now close to being on equal footing with their relatives in the Carrins family. (The old rivalry still exists but outright bloodshed or anything that causes a loss of profit is forbidden.)
Anders has compensated by having his family take on some of the responsibility of inland trade. Unlike Isabelle Austil, Lord Carrins is a more levelheaded man (beyond his continuing obsession with Baer) and works more strictly within the rules of society then Lady Isabelle does. This has already garnered him more respect in the Four cities and the city-states of Nemuse and Onnostok. His successes have only made Lady Austil even bitterer about her family’s losses inland.
The many Carrin-Austil tradehouses scattered across the Far South are always run by a member of one of the two families. Most of these family members are low-level experts making their way in the world for the first time. Only the most gifted individuals have the trader class and these family members are kept close to home or give lucrative positions through the Lake Foxe Region (name given to the area near Xcellian.) Members of the two families given the responsibility of heading up tradehouses in distant cities are usually being punished or are thought to be the black sheep of the family (i.e. overly honest).
Four members of the Carrin-Austil Mercantile House worth noting are the daughter and son of Anders Carrin and the son of Isabelle Austil, as well as the Matriarch’s brother. First, Lord Carrin’s oldest child is his daughter, Andori [NG female dwarf (torin), Exp1/Wiz5 (illusionist)]. Andori Carrin isn’t much of a merchant, preferring her study of magic to the number crunching that her father wishes she would learn more about. He has sent the young dwarven woman to study trade with her uncle in the city of Fourivers. There, he hopes she will learn the discipline needed to be a true Carrin Merchant. However, her uncle has yet to reel in the girl and has recently lost track of her. Andori has thrown in with a group of adventurers and has gone to explore the ruins of Darkholme on the shore of Lake Thers.
Anders younger child, his son Finn [LG male dwarf (torin), Trd2], is more like his father and will likely inherit the title of Patriarch in less than a hundred years, when his father retires to go on one last great adventure with his old friends. Finn is his father’s son, yet he is own man as well. He doesn’t trust Lady Austil and would like to find a way to remove her as the Matriarch of her family. Unlike his sister or father, he doesn’t have the adventuring bug, which will both help and hinder him. He isn’t as likely to personally seek out new sources of gold, which will keep him safe, but he also will have too rely more on the opinions of others. Luckily, his father has built a strong foundation on which to grow.
The last important child of Carrin-Austil is the wayward son of Lady Austil, Branton [CG male mul, Ftr6/Horizon Walker4]. Branton Austil is the bastard half-breed of the Austil family. And while muls are not uncommon in both the Austil and Carrin families, most are born of married dwarf-human couples. However, this was not so with Branton. The young man’s father was a hill dwarf from north of the Great Expanse and was seduced by Lady Austil. The dwarf soon left in disgust, not wanting to risk a repeat encounter with the ‘human female’, as he put it and knows nothing of Branton.
And while Isabelle tried to raise the boy with her wicked goals and morals, he rebelled at a young age. She sent him off to the worst tradehouses in the Far South, hoping he’d relent, but the boy would simple vanish from his post and his mother would have to send her hunters out to find him. She has given up on the boy but refuses to unbind the mental shackles she has worked so hard to put on him. He has recently run away again and has taken refuge with the rockwood gnomes of the Heverkent Forest. He spends a great deal of time in the city of Highwall on the Rising Plateau just within the boundaries of the forest. His mother has yet to be able to scry his location, as the boy has the help of a fellow adventurer and wizard who has constructed him an amulet of proof against detection and location.
Another important member of the Austil family is the twisted and vile brother of Lady Austil, Dhamon [NE male human, Exp2/Ftr3/Rog5]. Lord Dhamon Austil is as cruel as his sister without any of the thought of how his actions might offend the law. As a result, he has always been second fiddle in his family, something that annoys him to no end. Plus, he has recently been given the difficult task of trying to increase profits in the region known as the Tullelands. So far he’s had little luck as the many religious extremists (he would say "nutters") believe that the river traders known as the t’skrang having the blessing of the spirit of the dead God of Rivers, Tulle. However, he prefers to work his machinations against his sister so that he can become Patriarch of the Austil family.
Last edited by Knightfall; Tuesday, 13th July, 2010 at 04:04 AM.